Why do moms feel the need to scare hopeful, expecting, or new mommies? We constantly post about how we love our babies and our new 'role' as a mommy. Yet, when someone asks how it is, more times than not, they are fed the nasty details of pregnancy, birth, and labor. Only to end the horror story with a confession of love. Wait, what? But you just said....
This is very confusing and horrifying for the woman on the receiving end. So, why do we do this? We want to support new mommies, right? Yes, pregnancy, labor, and delivery are scary. Yes, sometimes things don't go as planned, but please remember EVERY SINGLE PREGNANCY IS DIFFERENT. What happened to Jane Doe, or even your mom, most likely will not be your experience!
With that being said, here is the jist of MY experience. It's not meant to scare or glorify. It is just the truth, honesty.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!
I had been sick off and on for a few weeks, sometimes more so than others. It came in waves and was normally early morning or late evening. We had been 'trying' for about 6 months. So I was psyched when that stick said it was positive. Over the next few weeks morning sickness got worse and worse. It continued to kick my butt for the next 6 months. Yup, that's seven months of all-day-sickness. It was day and night. I got sick in the car so much I even had to carry a Tupperware bowl with me just to make it to work. Those poor people at red lights. It sucked, there were days that I couldn't move from the couch. I couldn't even hold down water. And none of the little tricks worked. I tried everything: the little candies made specifically for morning sickness, popsicles, eating crackers before getting out of bed, drinking 64oz of water, taking B12, phenergan, Nothing worked! I got dehydrated once to the point of needing a drip, despite my best effort to avoid it. Many people were prescribed zofran to help ease morning sickness, but my Doctor wouldn't let me take it. Would you believe other moms got irate with me about this? I believe because if they had taken it, they took it offensively that my Doctor is basically saying they shouldn't have. Some Doctors still prescribe it. My doctor just chose not to for certain reasons and I definitely wasn't going to push the issue against his professional advice. So I dealt with it. Yes, sometimes I wished I could give up. I wished I could have it easier. I wished I was as lucky as so and so who hasn't been sick at all. However, so and so was going through different problems. Being sick sucked, but with much effort it wasn't hurting my baby for me to feel like I had been beaten and left in a ditch to die. However, so and so had been put on bed rest from eclampsia! She was scared, I didn't blame her. Eclampsia can be very serious if not caught and controlled. It can hurt the mom and the baby, even cause death. Sickness was nothing compared to that.
I only had one scare during my pregnancy. I am O-neg blood type, so from the beginning I was told I needed to get a shot that would prevent any complications. No big deal, I can take a shot. Then the phone call came that informed me I had already been in contact with a positive blood type and since I hadn't had a blood transfusion it could only mean I had miscarried before. Ouch, that hurt. I lost a baby and didn't know it? Yes, it hurt my heart, but it's far from uncommon for a woman to miscarry and not know. I wasn't sure of the risks of having the antibody and couldn't get any answers because no one really knew. They just kept saying it was rare. From that point on I had to have blood drawn and tested every two weeks in order to keep an eye on the titer value of that positive antibody. Thankfully the titer only bumped up a small amount once and still wasn't enough to cause concern.
All of my other tests were passed with flying colors, but so and so had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to be put on a special diet. The rest of my pregnancy was uneventful. Which I am definitely not complaining about. And after getting over the all-day-sickness at 7 months my only issue was heartburn. Boy oh boy the heartburn!
Three days before my due date I had run out of zyrtec. I can't go a day without allergy meds with out ending up with a full blown sinus infection the next day. So at 2 days before the due date I was a miserable ball of sneezing shotty mess! I had spent the day working from home, after being told the day before by a co-worker that no one wanted to be at the office with me there. Rude, yes, but considering the source it shouldn't have surprised me. I am a computer tech, I work with fellow computer techs....We aren't known to be the most socially able group. Unfortunately, there isn't a video game that teaches these guys how to deal with a pregnant woman. Thankfully, I build websites so as long as I have internet connection I can work. Anyway, I spent the entire day sneezing my guts out. My husband came home from work with zyrtec. I immediately took two and asked if we could go for a walk. I was hoping fresh air would help with the sneezing and itchy eyes. We walked about a mile with me sneezing at every step. I joked about being surprised I hadn't caused my water to break....20 minutes later, it broke. Honestly, I wasn't sure at first. It felt more like I had wet myself. I called several people to ask before deciding I should go to the hospital just in case. In the car it finished breaking. I flooded the front seat, but was feeling no pain at all. We made it to the hospital and into a room with no hiccups and still no pain around 7:30pm. Around 10 pm we decided I'd be ok to take a nap so our family and friends left the room. Sometime between 11 and twelve I rolled over to my right side so I could watch the monitor. Almost immediately the pain kicked in and gradually got worse. So I finally changed my mind and practically begged the nurse for an epidural. The doctor came in and checked me. I was only 6cm so they started setting up an IV drip because you have to have a full bag before they administer the epidural. Almost half a bag later the nurse came in and I needed to go before I wet myself so she helped me to the bathroom. When I sat down it felt like he was gonna come out in the toilet. I got back to the bed and was checked again. 9cm....it was about to be on and much to my dismay too late to get an epidural. A few minutes later I was pushing. Trust me there was no choice in the matter. My body literally made me push. The pain was indescribable. The Johnny Cash song "burning ring of fire" played over and over in my head. They laid my perfect little man on my chest and started sewing me up. I felt every needle prick, that sucked too. Our little man was born at 1:11am. It was the happiest most painful moment of my life. I forgot all the sickness, all the heartburn, all the pain the second I looked into his eyes. We had done it, he was here and the worst part was over and we had survived. That is all that mattered.
●morning sickness my rear, more like all day and night sickness
●drinking water helps with swelling
●cooking in a cast iron skillet will boost your iron levels
●preggo jeans are not comfortable despite the stretchy waste band
●waters do break like they do in the movies
●everyone has an opinion, which you have the right to ignore
●I saw my actual OB a handful of times during my pregnancy, the rest of the time it was a Nurse Prac
●another doctor delivered my baby
●oh!! despite my drug allergy being listed in my chart I was still repeatedly offered pain meds so make sure you stay on top of what you are given!
●I left my birth plan at home, but never needed it
●when the pain starts find something else to focus on and I mean FOCUS
all of your being. For me it was a vent clamp on the ceiling directly above my head. I felt like I was burning a hole into it.
It has been 3 months since I gave birth. I feel awesome, my little man is healthy, and though I remember being sick and the pain the details are so faint that I can see now why people say you don't remember any of it eventually. All I feel now is an overwhelming love that I had been told about but didn't grasp until my little man was out in my arms. It grows stronger everyday, with every smile, every giggle every touch.
To new, expecting, or hopeful mommies: Pregnancy is temporary and everyone has a completely different experience. So just because so and so did that, doesn't mean it will happen to you. Pregnancy is downright amazing, I actually grew a set of balls! Haha Do not be afraid of things you can not control, just go with it and know it will not last forever. Enjoy every minute of the miracle and be proud that you are strong enough to handle it. You can do this, You are not alone!