My husband and I had been trying for a baby for several months. So, when not one but two pregnancy tests finally came back positive, I was ecstatic. My husband’s first words to me were, “Okay, don’t get excited.” My heart sank, and I honestly do not remember anything else about his reaction. Those words still echo in my mind to this day. We have since discussed his word choice. However, it affected how I communicated with him while pregnant.
After that, I scoured the web as my outlet to talk to and read about other first-time mom experiences. I read up on so much about what’s normal and what’s not, precautions to take as well as signs of things that could go wrong. I found myself dwelling on negative experiences far too often. So, I had to stop. I focused more on me, my eating, my stress level, and growing a happy, healthy baby.
Once my doctor told me when my due date would be, the anxiety returned. I am a teacher, which was literally at the end of our LEAP testing week. My mind flooded with different possibilities. What if my water broke during the test? Would I be able to walk around the whole time? What if my feet were swollen? What if I got sick in the middle of the test?
As the LEAP test and my due date approached, I was comforted that my baby was not much of a mover. He seemed comfortable. At my last appointment the week before, I was only 1 cm dilated. I figured I could last until LEAP was over. Out of precaution, my administrator assigned another teacher to be in the classroom with me if the baby was ready.
On the Thursday of LEAP, I had just finished the first session. I used the restroom before the second session began. Everything was fine. I gave directions and proceeded to tell my students how much time they had to take this session. I wrote 10:46 as their start time on the board. Then I felt a small gush. It stopped me mid-sentence. Luckily, it was small, so I could recover quickly, finish my directions and let the teacher know I needed to step out. When I reached the restroom, my underwear was wet. I wasn’t sure what to do. What if the “rest” was not far behind? I told our counselor, who was close by because of testing, and she said, “Yep! It’s time for you to go!” Honestly, I thought, Ugh! There is still so much I need to do! I calmly and quietly walked back into my classroom where my kids were testing, told the teacher, and grabbed my things. As I walked out, three of my administrators were nervously at my door!
One of them drove me to my husband’s school and went to the hospital. We were there for several hours as I was monitored. My water did not break; it was only the mucus plug. But we were excited that the baby was closer to being in our arms. They let us go home, and my husband and I took our one-hour ride home. As soon as I stood up outside the car, it looked like a water balloon had burst at my feet. My water broke!
When we returned to the hospital, we checked in, and I got all hooked up, and the wait was on again. Almost 24 hours later, still no baby. I did get an epidural because I couldn’t take the contractions. My dream was to push my baby out like many of the experiences I read about. But it seemed like that was not going to happen. My cervix was not dilatating quickly enough, and the baby’s blood sugar and heart rate were dropping. I needed to have a c-section. I was terrified, literally shaking. When I was brought into the room for surgery, my mind was racing. I heard them talking about the incisions, and I swear I felt a pain. I let one of the male doctors know. He then responded with, “Are you sure it’s not pressuring? You should feel lots of pressure, no pain.” I’d see the difference between pain and pressure. Afterward, I told my husband, “I can feel them knocking me out.” I saw lots of beautiful colors until it was all over.
Since my son’s blood sugar was low, after delivery, he was taken and given a bottle in the nursery. This was the moment that stifled the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. Thankfully breastfeeding became easier until I got pregnant with baby #2 in the fall of that same year.
Soon after, I stopped breastfeeding. I grew concerned that my previous incision wasn’t healed enough. No one would have known that the world would shut down a few months later. That helped me to rest during this pregnancy. I wanted to try a VBAC (vaginal delivery after c-section), but to no avail. I had another c-section. My body was not progressing.
I am blessed to have two healthy boys, no matter how they got here. My body did not fail me; it did exactly what it needed to do. My body is amazing; it carried two babies and healed from 2 c-sections.
Guest Blogger- Candace George