As cliche as it sounds, it is the day that changed my life. I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen. She's perfect, sweet, and made this entire journey worth the wait.
Baby's birth story is not at all how I pictured it. Not in a million years.
A little back story... During the last several weeks of my pregnancy I experienced what a lot of pregnant women experience: severe swelling. My feet, my legs, even my calves looked like they were about to explode. I was wearing flip flops from March to May because I couldn't fit my feet into anything else! I called my doctor several times about this just to be reassured that this was normal. He calmed my fears each time.
On Tuesday May 1st, I had my regularly scheduled appointment with my doctor. I left work a little early, went to my appointment, and was sent on my merry way with no indication that things were anything but normal.
The week itself was an exciting one for me. I was still 23 days away from my due date at this point and getting ready to leave work on Friday May 4th. I purposely made it so that I had some time in between leaving work and my actual due date to relax and get any last minute things done before Baby made her debut. I had lots of plans for those last three weeks of pregnancy! Most of it involved lots of TV. And food. Some of it involved arts and crafts.
During the course of the week after my last doctor's appointment, I noticed my swelling getting worse and worse. I didn't even recognize myself from the knees down. By Thursday I really felt I had surpassed the realm of normalcy even for a pregnant lady. I spoke to my doctor and he told me to come in the following day for a follow up appointment. He mentioned he did make a mental note of the swelling and my high blood pressure. This was the first time I had heard of the high blood pressure. No one mentioned it on Tuesday!
The following day, Friday May 4th, was a fun day. A few teachers and I had put together a field day based on The Hunger Games for our students. (Side note: I pretty much knew when we planned this field day that May 4th would be my last day of work. I wanted to make sure my last day of work required the least amount of effort in an attempt to start my three weeks of "pre-baby vacation" off right! ;-] ) The field day was a great way to end the year for me. It was a huge success, we had a lot of fun, and everyone enjoyed the luncheon we had for the students afterwards.
After the luncheon I met my mom at my house to head over to the doctor. I was still in my field day t-shirt and jeans. I had no time to change! On the way to my doctor my mom and I talked about what would happen. I joked around that I'd definitely be having the baby that night. (I mean, this WAS a possibility with my high blood pressure and all!) My mom didn't find it so funny.
Once I got to the doctor's office, he informed me that we'd be doing my blood pressure twice during the appointment and also an internal exam. The appointment went like this: take BP. Determine it is sky high. Give me an internal exam. Send me through the roof during said exam. Take BP again. Determine it is even higher than before.
Wait...I mean...is ANYONE surprised here? I actually asked the doctor if he was seriously doing to take my BP again after that exam. I mean, what EXACTLY did he think would be the expect outcome? I'm pretty sure I screamed a couple times and almost fell off the exam table trying to get away from him! For those of you who are blissfully unaware of what an internal exam at 37 weeks 1 day pregnant entails, I will spare you the gory details. But let's just say it's an unimaginable pain unlike any pain I've ever had to endure. Tree trunk through a keyhole kind of pain...
Once we got the SUPER SURPRISING "OMFG-this-is-the-highest-BP-we've-ever-seen-how-are-you-even-alive-right-now?!" diagnosis the doctor informed me that it was unsafe to stay pregnant any longer. Baby needed to come out. Immediately.
Wait. What? Wasn't this just a joke in the car with my mom? This is really happening? I think even my mom was a little surprised that this was playing out the way that it was
I was given the option of trying to give birth naturally or to go straight for the C-section. The doctor informed me that since it was my first time giving birth and I wasn't dilated AT ALL, this would likely end in a C-section anyway after hours of labor. I opted for the C-section. I wanted to get her out as quickly as possible.
Things started happening quickly. My mom called D at work and he left to come meet me at home. The hospital was made aware that I would be there that night. My mom went home to take care of a few things before coming to the hospital later on. And I went home to finish packing and wait for Damien.
Luckily I had started packing the weekend before. I had my list of everything that I still needed to pack. So other than the house being really messy (we were in the middle of cleaning before Baby arrived), leaving for the hospital wasn't too crazy.
The drive over was surreal. I knew in my head what was happening but it didn't feel like it was happening. I mean, I still in my field day t-shirt! Surely I wasn't mean to arrive at the hospital to have my baby sporting a t-shirt that said "I Survived The Hunger Games 2012," right?!
We checked in fairly quickly at the hospital. We got there around 5:30pm. I was hooked up to an IV, dressed in a gown, and watched TV with D and my mom until it was time to head down to the OR. We had to wait until around 9:30 to get prepped since I had eaten lunch around 2pm.
D and I had to separate while I got the spinal in the OR. The spinal was painful but not as bad as I anticipated. I do remember crying. It was scary being in there alone and I felt very vulnerable. D came back in once I was laid out and drapes were over me. He was awesome throughout the whole thing.
The C-section was an interesting experience. Although I couldn't feel pain, I could feel everything they were doing. There was pressure, pulling, the numb feeling of my doctor cutting. And then there was the sound of a baby crying. It was a beautiful sound. I remember D telling me he could listen to that all night. (I wonder if he still feels the same? ;-] )
The details are a bit fuzzy from this point on. I remember someone holding Baby close to my face and I said hello and kissed her.
Then she was whisked off to the nursery where D accompanied her. The doctors finished up with me and I was wheeled into recovery. Baby was gone for a couple of hours and I slept most of the time I was in recovery. I was so dizzy and nauseated. But I was able to hold Baby when they brought her in.
After a couple of hours I went sent to my post-partum room. Since I was throwing up from the anesthesia, still very nauseated, and awake for almost 24 hours (Remember I went to work? And participated in a FIELD DAY before giving birth?), we thought it was best that Baby spend the night in the nursery. D and I needed sleep. I needed to feel better.
Those first few days in the hospital and the first two weeks home with D there, were amazing. As far as D and I are concerned, the first two weeks of Baby's life have been the best two weeks of our entire relationship. We've never shows more support, love, kindness and patience towards each other. I'd love to relive those entire two weeks.
As for me, I'm healing well. I felt great at 1 week PP. I started doing light exercising at the gym at 3 weeks PP. I'm enjoying having the whole summer off with Baby (who just turned two months!).
When I think about where I was one year ago, I can't believe how much has changed. I'm so grateful to have such an amazing husband, and to finally have the baby I waited a long time for.