Back again! With another boy! (Anonymous)

Age: 26
3 months post partum

First post here, second post here.

This is my 3rd time submitting my story, and a lot has changed in the last 5.5 years!

I had my first son at 19 (now 7) a natural hospital birth, no complications. He was 6lbs 14oz and i breast fed him for 9 months.

I got pregnant with my second son when my oldest was only 10 months old, i was 21 when i gave birth to him. Another all natural hospital birth, he was 7lbs 14oz and i breast fed him for 1 year, he is now 5.

My husband and i were done having children, or so we thought. July 31st 2016, i found out we were expecting once more. We were excited and scared, we have our hands full with our 7 and 5 year old boys. But we welcomed the challenge! Instantly this pregnancy was different, i was sick and crampy, so i had an ultrasound done at 7 weeks. The baby had implanted to low and had an abnormal gestational sac, we were given a 50/50 chance of it surviving. So again at 9 weeks we went back, and to our amazement the sac was normal and the baby was growing upward! So i was cleared to have my dream delivery, at a birthing center!

Everything went smoothly the next few months, i was sick all of the time, but hey, that can happen when you’re pregnant! Then came our 22 week anatomy scan. It was our 3rd son! He looked great, measured perfect, but i had partial placenta previa, which meant my placenta had grown in the lower part of my uterus and was touching my cervix. The dr. Said it was such a mild case he was not concerned, and was certain it would migrate upward as my uterus grew.

Again smooth sailing until my follow up 28 week ultrasound. My partial placenta previa was now a complete placenta previa and i could no longer have a vaginal delivery. I was put on bed rest and told to look forward to having a csection at 37 weeks. So my placenta went from touching my cervix to completely covering it, i was absolutely devastated!

Before i had time to even find a regular ob (5 days later), because i could no longer go to the birthing center, i woke up to bleeding and off to the er we went. They were able to stop the bleeding and give my 2 rounds of steroids for the baby. After a 2 day stay in the hospital we went home on even stricter bedrest.

Then at 30 weeks i was woken up to the sensation of my water breaking, only to discover it was not water at all, it was blood, and i was bleeding out right there in my bed. We drove 10 min to our closest er, where i was airlifted to a hospital with a level 3 nicu. As if i wasn’t scared enough They lost the babies heartbeat in the helicopter and i feared the worst. Once we landed they were able to find his heart beat, faint, but there.

They rushed me up to L&D to discover not only was i loosing a massive amount of blood and clots, i was contracting every 3 minutes. So they made the decision to do an emergency csection.

My little boy was born at 30 weeks weighing 3lbs 7oz and 16.5 ” long, he is our little fighter!

He spent 8 long heart breaking weeks in the nicu. Talk about a Rollercoaster, he was up and Down for the first few weeks.

We are now 3 months post partum, and i am so blessed he and I both lived, the drs and nurses told us we were very close to not making it.

So now i carry a scar as a reminder of what we went through. I’m not happy with my stomach, but I’m trying very hard to take it easy on myself. I have good and bad days, i didn’t realize how difficult the recovery from a csection would be.

God has blessed me with 3 Amazing little boys, so i will try and carry this body with pride!

1st picture: 29 weeks prego (the last picture i was able to get pregnant)

2nd and 3rd picture: 3 days post partum

Pictures 4-7: now, 3 months post partum, including my scar

The difference between two and one- having a singleton after twins! (Lindsay)

My first pregnancy, with twins, was scary. At 18 weeks, doctors suspected the possibility of TTTS (Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome). I was put on a strict bed rest, and was only able to leave the house for twice-weekly ultrasounds. Long story short, Baby A’s diastolic blood flow ended up reversing at 31 weeks which resulted in an emergency c-section, 2 and 3 lb babies, a 2 month NICU stay, multiple surgeries, and a roller coaster of emotions.

Despite the hardships we faced with preemies, my c-section experience was not bad. In fact, I thought it was relatively easy. Of course, the recovery was slow, but I certainly did not have a traumatic surgery experience. I had thought if I ever had another baby, that I would definitely opt for another section. But, when I became pregnant again with baby #3, the idea of a VBAC was something that I began to consider. This was likely the last time I would ever be pregnant- I would hate to regret not experiencing labor and delivery the “normal” way. So, I made the decision to attempt a VBAC.

This pregnancy was smooth. Oh, what a difference there was between a twin pregnancy and a singleton pregnancy! I felt great, exercised regularly and ate healthy. Baby measured perfect at every appointment and I easily made it full term. It was a dream pregnancy, really! I was worried about how labor might go- I had never felt a contraction with my twin pregnancy since they were delivered so prematurely. But, people told me I would “know” when it was time. And, boy, did I ever! I labored at home for a few hours and finally decided it was time to go in. When I got there, I was shocked to hear that I was fully dilated! It was time to break my water and push! That also meant there was no time for an epidural. Wait… what?! I had certainly planned on getting one! I immediately thought I couldn’t handle it and the thought of just opting for the c-section crossed my mind briefly. But the pain was so intense, I couldn’t even care. My husband, mom, sisters and mother-in-law were at my side. My doctor arrived shortly after, broke my water, and I began to push.

I wish I could tell you that the rest of the story was calm and relaxed; that I simply listened to my body and gently delivered a beautiful baby. But… that wasn’t quite the case! My experience was beautiful… but it wasn’t calm. There is really no way to describe it. It was the most intense thing I have ever gone through. I may have used some colorful language and called my doctor a liar when she told me I was doing good. I may have even begged to stop and go home a few times. But, an hour and a half of pushing later, our baby girl was born. The memory of the pain just a few short minutes before completely disappeared. I had done it. I not only achieved a VBAC, but I did it completely unmedicated and naturally. I didn’t even have so much of an IV. I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, full-term baby. I was in love and in awe. I was proud and empowered. Giving birth is a truly amazing experience.

Today, my shape might not be what it once was. My stomach isn’t quite as flat, and traces of the deep stretch marks I once had still linger. But, I LOVE my shape. I love what my body was able to create, the pain it was able to endure, and the miracles it produced. While those miracles may have been what was responsible for stretching my body as far as it could go, it is also responsible for getting it to the shape it is now. Yes, I have three children. Yes, I have stretch marks. Yes, I exercise daily. Yes, health and fitness is a priority to me. And that is FOR my children, not BECAUSE of them. I don’t care what the number on the scale says- I just want to be here, healthy and active, running around the playground, coaching softball teams, playing tag, cuddling, carrying, and loving my babies for a long, long time to come!

~Age: 28
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 3 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 years old and 5 months old (5 months postpartum)

Mom with PTSD (Kara)

I always wanted to be a mom. I didn’t dream of weddings or anything else as a young girl. I was lucky enough to meet my husband in the most amazing of places: while we were in training with the navy. Before we were even engaged we talked about how many kids we would have. Them it got hard. We were stationed apart and were left with no choice but to marry one weekend without family or friends present.

It was nearly 5minths after being married that we were able to live together for the first time and we decided to try for a baby right away. Sadly I suffered a loss at nearly 18weeks. The naval hospital tried to convince me nothing was wrong and sent me away. I went to a “civilian” hospital right away and ended up having a d/c. I was devastated. My command was less than supportive. So it was back to military work for both of us.

I suffered a severe depression I can only recognize now. Them a few months later I discovered we were expecting again. I tried to be happy but I was terrified. The military has terrible prenatal care and I never enjoyed that pregnancy. My command was again less than supportive and when I was about 20 weeks along they started the unnecessary abuse. They told me I got pregnant on purpose to jeopardize my commands mission. I would never do that. I even I tended to deploy shortly after the birth. Those guys had my back and I had theirs, but my Commanding Officers kept on.

Every day I suffered to enjoy being pregnant with my daughter and came into my job and took yelling telling me that this was not a gift but something I did to hurt others. They had me transferred two weeks later. This ridiculous reputation preceded me and I arrived at a new command where I was instantly treated terrible as though I got pregnant to get out of my navy work. I was an air traffic controller and they quickly found I was one of the best. But at 26 weeks I went into preterm labor. My daughter was born at 33 weeks and almost didn’t make it. She stayed in the hospital for more than a month and I, determined to win the support of my command hardly visited her. I was not happy. We brought her home on mothers day. It meant nothing to me. My whole pregnancy I was told she was a mistake and I was terrified to connect so I wouldn’t suffer another loss.

We continued our military work and we found out my husband was going to be deployed for a year. A week later I found out at my check up for my IUD that it wasn’t placed correctly and I was pregnant again. My daughter was 6months old. Again started the abuse at work. Again I felt sorry I got pregnant instead of happy. I took yelling and abuse. And now my husband was deployed. I was alone. Somehow I made it and I had him at 38week. Now I was alone in the military with a 13 month old and a new born.

When my son was 5 mo the old I was basically kicked out of the navy. My command said I was hurting their mission (because after 20weeks prego I couldn’t control aircraft) and now I was on depression meds. My doctor was amazing and basically told me that it was best for my health to get out and so I was honorably discharged before my husband got back. Two years later I was diagnosed with PTSD. It is hard. I have no memories of the first two years of my daughters life. My mind has blocked them. I have no memories of the time during my husbands deployment (including the birth of my son). But my story isn’t over yet.

My husband got out of the military right after my son turned one. mostly so I wouldn’t have to be alone any more. And for that I owe him my life. Literally. So we moved to Colorado and I got a great job as an assistant to the owner of a medical spa. But not even a year into it I discovered my boss was going to fire me. Not for anything I had done. The girl who held the position before me was bubbly and cute and while I have always been kind to everyone, I am serious. She never gave me a fair chance and never like me the way she like the girl who left before me. I did my job well and saved her company tons of money. I showed up early every day and did exactly as she asked and more. She told me the day she fired me that I couldn’t be trusted (though I took her deposit to the bank almost daily and controlled 100% of her inventory). She told me that my resume was a lie and that she should have never hired me. Back came all of those feelings I had worked for two years to get over. Someone was again tying to make me guilty for something I had not done. That was February of this year.

I got 200 times worse after that. Now I have more anxiety problems, anger issues and a ton of other symptoms since then including letting food be my comfort at times. So I decided to stay home. I enjoy my kids, though my memories of them being babies are gone. I love them and play with them and stay away from the world that always finds a way to hurt me. Now I look in the mirror and see my post pregnancy body (though in my reality and my memory I never had a baby) and I hate the way I look. I was in perfect shape. In a difficult military command where I could do as much as the men. I see me now four dress sizes bigger and ravaged by eating problems, medications and depression. But I am determined that next year will be better and I can start to heal. I will love my kids and as hard as it is I will try to love myself. So now I am here with two amazing children, but I still feel as though I was only pregnant with my first. It still feels like I never got my wish to be happy and pregnant and have babies. And now I dont have my dream military job either. I just recently started staying home with my kids. I long for a connection with them. It is hard though. And now I look in the mirror and see my post pregnancy body, ravaged my medications and eating problems and depression and I don’t even recognize myself.

My journey to being a mom has left me four dress sizes bigger and with a broken mind. When I am out I wish people could look at me and see my story. Maybe then they would not think “look at the over weight lady” or wonder “why doesn’t she have a job?”. So I guess I am sharing with you since I cannot scream it at the world.

Thanks for your time!
Mom of 4yr old girl, 3yr old boy and one angel.

First picture is right before my first pregnancy, second is me and my daughter, third was today.

I Feel Okay With It (Anonymous)

Age: 24
Pregnancies: 2 (currently pregnant with #2)
Births: 1
Age of Children: 2 1/2 years

I am 24 and currently 29 weeks pregnant with my second child. I started my first pregnancy overweight by about 20lbs. My first pregnancy was an emotional roller coaster of cervical shortening at 21wks, preterm labor at 23 1/2 weeks, a Christmastime hospital stay for an entire week (including Christmas), strict bed rest at home until 37 weeks and weekly self injected progesterone hormone shots, and 60lbs of weight gain. In the end it was all worth it of course because I was able to carry my beautiful perfect son almost to 40 weeks! He was born just 3 days shy of his “due date”. And then the next roller coaster began… despite all the healthy looking fetal echocardiograms, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Pulmonary Stenosis (the same one I have) and a pretty severe tongue tie. Breastfeeding was a challenge right from the start and despite asking multiple times a day, every day for the three days were in the hospital after he was born to see a Lactation Consultant, we never saw one. I didn’t get to see one until he was 5 days old and the woman I saw was so rude and abrasive I was afraid to go back when I still needed help with breastfeeding. When my son lost even more weight than is normal after birth, I finally went back to the office and saw another LC. She was AMAZING. The only issue was my son was getting so tired while trying to nurse that he would fall asleep after only getting about 1/2 an ounce of milk. This was due to his tongue tie as well as his heart condition. Then we began the long journey of pumping and using a nipple shield to help him latch more efficiently and feeding him from a bottle when he was too tired to nurse at the breast. We also started the process of trying to get his tongue tie clipped by a doctor. Insurance said it wasn’t medically necessary… it took his doctor showing them his weight loss & heart defect paperwork for them to approve it. He finally got it fixed at almost 2 months old. That was a horrible day in itself, but I felt like we would really turn a corner in the road to successful breastfeeding after that. I was so wrong. My son already had nipple confusion and would no longer nurse at my breast, even with the silicone nipple shield. I began to HATE breastfeeding. At one point in time I remember almost screaming at my son to just f***ing eat. Not one of my finer moments. I was crying every time we sat down to nurse, and I was beginning to even resent my poor sweet perfect son because he couldn’t eat “right”, and I began to hate myself for feeling this way as well as hating my body for failing me. It was at that point that I set up an appointment with the same LC again to try any last options we hadn’t already exhausted. Again she was amazing. She told me it was okay to stop breastfeeding. It was okay to stop because my son needed ME more than he needed MY MILK. She also suggested I talk to my OB provider about possible PPD treatment. So I stopped breastfeeding. Gave back the hospital grade pump I had been renting from the hospital, shoved the boppy in the closet, and threw away those damn nipple shields. We had almost no trouble with formula, thank goodness. I began to enjoy my son and spending every day with him. He was simply amazing. At 2 1/2 years old he still is. He never ceases to amaze me and his smiles, hugs and laughter are all I need to turn a bad day around. I am as I previously mentioned currently pregnant with my 2nd child, a little girl, due in December. This pregnancy is similar to my first, I have the cervical shortening (although not as severe) and am still at risk for preterm labor. I had JUST lost all the weight I started my 1st pregnancy with about 2 months before finding out I was pregnant…and now I am gaining it all back again. I had a bought of preterm labor at 28 weeks and was in the hospital for 3 days. Thankfully it did not cause any major cervical changes and I do not have to be on bed rest or any hormone shots. I am gaining the weight a little slower this time, desperately trying to keep it under control and to the 25lb maximum my provider says is “okay” for an “obese” woman. I see my pregnant belly in the mirror and sometimes I hate it. I feel fat. It’s squishy and flubby feeling at the bottom. My thighs touch and rub together 24/7. My boobs have stretch marks, sag, and are nowhere near where they were before I was ever pregnant. But then my son pats my belly and says “bee-bee shh-sssyyy” (baby sissy) and smiles and laughs and everything is okay. I feel okay with it all when I see how my son loves me and when I feel my daughter kicking. They are worth every ounce of extra weight, and every single stretch mark all over my body.

Mother of Three (Amerie)

2 pregnancies; 3 children; 3 months PP

I have lived 27 years. I have 3 beautiful children, a 3 year old boy and 12 week old identical twin daughters. I have an adoring, sexy husband whom I love. We have a healthy and whole relationship that makes me proud and happy.

I grew up with severe body issues. I was born with cleft lip and palate. I also had 2 open heart surgeries for a congenital heart defect by the time I was only a year old. I’m no stranger to body insecurity. I am used to being self-conscious and hyper-aware of my scars. After having my son and gaining 51 lbs on my 5 ft. frame during my first pregnancy, I thought my body was destroyed. It took me a full year to lose the weight and another year to get fit and in shape. 3 months after that? I was pregnant again. I went into this pregnancy a little disheartened, thinking that I had just got my body back and it was about the be put through the ringer again. Surprise! I was pregnant with twins! Total and complete shocker. The pregnancy was incredibly hard on my body and my mental faculties. I was put on bed rest at 24 weeks, hospitalized with the flu and pneumonia at 30 weeks, diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis at 31 weeks, and finally delivered with an emergency c-section at 35 weeks, 5 days. My body was a wreck. My girls were both in the NICU. *I* was a wreck. Thankfully, they had no issues bar learning to eat on their own, so they were out within a couple weeks.

Obviously, I want my son to treat women well, to hold them in such high esteem and regard and to never make a single one feel shamed for their bodies. But it wasn’t until I had my own daughters that I realized that *I* was going to be responsible for something. Something huge. I will show my baby girls what it means to be a woman. What it means to be self-confident and what it means to really love yourself and the skin you’re in. Or I will show them how to tear themselves and other women down. I will give them the tools to cry while looking at their bodies in the mirror and wishing that what they saw was different. It was all left up to me, completely my choice. I made it without hesitation. My daughters will have a Mother that is strong and capable, one that has embraced herself, ALL of herself. I will teach them how to stand tall and to mean it; and I will speak to them of the absolute importance of uplifting others.

First? I had to begin to walk the walk, so to speak. I have been working towards just that. Clean eating. Healthy living. Working out. Being active. Being better for my children and our family. For myself. I still have a ways to go, as I am only 3 months PP. I also have a 3 inch diastasis recti separation that I’m not sure what to do about at this point. But I’m not really worried about it. I am embracing myself, all of myself. And it feels good. :)

Pictures L-R: 2 months PP and then 3 months PP (before/after with one month of extremely hard workouts and dieting). My beautiful girls. My precious little boy.

Not Quite What I Expected! (Anonymous)

Age: 21
Number of births and pregnancies: 2
Age of my children: 3 yrs and 18 months.

At the age of four I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or JRA for short. At the age of twelve both my parents and I were told that I would never have children. They said that my body could not handle the extra weight and extra pressure of carrying a baby to full term. At that age you don’t really worry to much about having kids. Your still a kid yourself. But as I got older it really bothered me.

When I was 17 I went to a party with some friends and ended up drinking a little. Little did I know that, that night would change my life forever. I don’t remember much after a little bit and had later come to the conclusion that I had something slipped in my drink. The next memory I have is being taken to my father by a police officer. Of course being 17 and going out without my dad telling me I could, I was in BIG trouble. But it hadn’t quite hit me yet what had happened that night. I didn’t really talk to many people over the next couple of months.

Four months after the fact I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was still in High school. I had no idea what I was going to do. Needless to say I had my first baby at 17. I had a normal pregnancy and a great delivery with no complications at all. I went into the hospital at 7 pm and had him a little past midnight that night.

But with my second child, everything was completely different. In the beginning I assumed I was pregnant but was quite for sure yet. A few days after realizing that there was a possibility I was pregnant, I ended up in the ER. I was having severe cramps in my lower abdomen but knew I wasn’t on my period. My boyfriend and I sat in the ER for 7 hours for them to confirm what we already knew. We scheduled an appointment with the Pregnancy Care Center for a few days later. After they confirmed I was pregnant once again, they scheduled an ultrasound to measure just how far along I was for the following week. My assumptions were right. I was about 4 weeks and a few days pregnant. I was excited, I was having another baby after being told I would never have children.

The following weeks passed with doctor appointments and more ultrasounds. I had started my new job. Unfortunately my job was about an hour drive from where I lived. The drive didn’t bother me unless morning sickness decided to kick in while I was on the road. With my first child I was barely sick at all. At about 9 weeks into my pregnancy I started cramping. I though at first it was just the normal cramping when your uterus is expanding. I was getting ready to leave for work and the cramps were still there. They didn’t hurt that bad and they didn’t bother me to much, so I thought nothing of them. I got to work and got to my desk and was putting my stuff up when an unimaginable amount of pain shot through my entire lower abdomen. I immediately told my supervisor that I needed to leave that something was wrong.

I called my boyfriend and told him I was on my way home and that he needed to take me to the ER. I could tell he was worried. The entire drive home was terrible. I was cramping the entire time and to top it off I was stuck in traffic. This day couldn’t possibly get worse. Little did I know it would. I got home and one of our friends was going with us while her boyfriend watched the kids. We rushed to the hospital as fast we could. We got into the ER and got signed in. They got me triage and with in a few minutes they got back into a room. The nurses immediately get me hooked up to all the necessary machines. I had tubes and cords everywhere. With in a few minutes the doctor came in and asked what was going on. I told him that I was having severe cramps. Of course being early in the pregnancy he told me that they could be from my uterus stretching. But said that they would check everything just to be sure.

The doctor checked my cervix and told me it was still closed. So he ordered an emergency ultrasound. About 30 minutes passed and the nurse came and got me for the ultrasound. I was nervous and upset about the fact that my boyfriend could not go back with me. They got me back to the room and got me up on the chair. The nurse began the ultrasound and of course I am worried out of my mind about my baby. The nurse had the screen turned to where I could what was there. Half way through the ultrasound the nurse moved the screen to where I couldn’t see anything. Finally she was done and they wheeled me back to my room.

It took about 20 minutes and the doctor was in to tell us the news. He looked at both me and my boyfriend and took a deep breathe. Just by looking at the doctors face I could tell everything was not okay. Finally he looked at me and said “I’m sorry but you have a partial placental abruption.” All I could think was what did he just say, what does that mean? My boyfriend squeezed my hand and asked the doctor what he meant. He told us that the placenta that kept my innocent baby alive was pulling away from my uterus. That was what was causing my pain. He told we had about a 50 50 chance of keeping the baby and that there was nothing they could do except put me on bed rest.

All I could do was cry. Was this what my doctors at age twelve was talking about? Was this what they knew would happen? I had so many questions and no answers. So I sat there and cried while the nurses got all the machines off of me and put everything away. The nurses never looked my way never even offered an I’m sorry. My boyfriend just held me and told me everything would be fine. But what if it wasn’t?

The nurses gave us my discharge papers and sent us on our way. We got home and I went straight to bed. I slept the rest of the day and night. I didn’t want to move in fear that I would lose my baby. The next few days went by and I returned to work. Still worried that I was going to lose my baby, I tried to be strong. I had a doctors appointment with in a few days. And he would tell me how I was doing.

We went to the doctor and he said everything was healing nicely. He said that the immediate risk was over and I could stop worrying about losing my baby. He said that he would keep a close eye on me and that I should rest much as I could. So i did as he said and rested with my feet as much as I could. So much as that my work let me have an extra chair to prop my feet on while I was working.

Everything went back to normal except the fact that my morning sickness was all day long now. I couldn’t eat anything with out getting sick. It didn’t matter what it was. So I went through the rest of my pregnancy normally. The weeks passed and we found out we were having another little boy. We were so happy.

More weeks passed and the time for him to make his arrival was getting closer. We started going to more doctor appointments and started getting more anxious. Finally it came time to make a decision on when my doctor would induce me. We went to an appointment and my doctor told us that today’s appointment would decide if he was born the next day and the next week. So he did an ultrasound and was checking the water levels around my son. He got done with the ultrasound and left the room for a minute. He came back in and said ” You need to go to the hospital. The water levels around the baby are low and he needs to be monitored for about 45 minutes to an hour.”

OMG! Please not again. All I could think was, God please don’t do this to me again. We are so close to having him please don’t take him now. We have come this far. So we went home and got our bags and headed for the hospital. When we got there they admitted me and got me to my room. They got me hooked to all the machines and got my baby’s heart beat on the monitor. A little over and hour and the nurse came in and told us I wouldn’t be going home tonight.

The nurses said that they didn’t feel comfortable letting me go home with my sons heart beat dropping like it was. So we got settled in for a long night. Not only were they keeping in the hospital over night but the next morning the were inducing my labor. So we tired to get as much sleep as we could. 6 o’clock came fast and they were hooking pitocin up to my IV line. I went back to sleep and woke up a few hours later. The nurses came in to check me and said that the pitocin was doing what it should but they wanted to increase the dosage. Everything to be going normal.

At about 11 o’clock my doctor came in to break my water and check me. He said that I was dilating normally and that everything to be fine. What I didn’t know was that everything was not fine. At about 1 o’clock my boyfriend and one of my friends that was going to be in the room with me came in. My friend had tears rolling down her face and was bawling her eyes out. While I was up stairs getting ready to have a baby my best friends (my sons godfather) grandfather had passed away. I was so upset and didn’t know what to say to him. But I knew that I couldn’t over work my self because I could put my baby in distress.

About that time I got my epidural and went back to sleep for a while. The next thing I remember is waking up to this sharp pain in between my legs. I ignored it for a while, thinking that it was just the pressure of him moving down. About two hours later the pain was still there only worse. I finally told my friend that a nurse needed to come in here and check me. She went and got a nurse and the nurse said I was only at a 4. She had the anesthesiologist come in and check everything. Everything was fine but they ended up giving me the medicine they use for a spinal tap. So I dealt with the pain for a little bit. Finally I had had enough. They gave me an epidural as well as medicine for a spinal tap and it was supposed to numb all the pain, not cause it. So I called the nurse and she had the anesthesiologist come in and check out my epidural line once again. She checked my line and said that everything was fine. I told her everything was not fine. But being that i was in pain she did an ice test on me. She ran an ice cube across my stomach and down both legs and asked me each time if I could feel the ice. And each time I told her I couldn’t feel anything. So she finally put the ice right in between my legs and asked me if I could feel the ice. “Yes that is cold!” I said to her. She simply told me that I had what they called a hot spot and they couldn’t do anything to help it.

So basically their stuff was not working properly and I had to deal with it. WOW! So I dealt with the pain. After about an hour I called the nurse again and told I was feeling a lot of pressure. She checked me and said that I was only at a 5. She left the room and about 30 minutes later I was calling her back in. She checked me once again and this time I was at a 7. I was so close and by this time the pain was so bad that I was screaming. I had never felt so much pain in my life. It honestly felt worse then the actual contractions. About 3 minutes later I was calling the nurse to come and check me.

The nurse refused to come and check me and told my friend that she was not going to check me every time I felt a little bit pf pressure. Needless to say My friend ended up getting the nurse to check me one last time. This time to her surprise I was at a full 10 cm dilated. She told me she was going to call my doctor. She had been gone about 3 minutes and I was yelling over the intercom that my baby was coming out right now. I knew I needed to push and wanted to so badly. But the nurses had other plans. Instead of me pushing they had me wait until my doctor arrived to deliver my son. Well my son as well had other plans and was trying to be born right then and there. So instead of the nurses delivering my son they put their hand over his head and held his head inside of me until my doctor arrived, which was about 5 minutes later. Finally my doctor showed up and was getting his gear on. He looked around and couldn’t believe that the nurses hadn’t deliver him yet. Finally my doctor sat down in front of me ready to deliver. I looked at my doctor and asked “CAN I PUSH NOW?!”. He laughed at me and told me yes. It took me one and a half pushes to get my son out.

With as many problems as I had during his pregnancy, my son came out to be perfectly healthy. I can honestly say, he pregnancy and birth was not at all what I expected. I guess it’s true when they say every pregnancy and birth is different.

How Quickly it Can Change (Anonymous)

After my second pregnancy I was told to wait at least 5 years before I have another because while on the table in a emergency csection I had a partial uterine rupture. I ended up getting pregnant 3 years later. So you can imagine the fear when the ept said pregnant. We got in for a emergency ultrasound and our little butter bean seemed to be doing well!

I called the Ob who delivered my first two and was in exactly two weeks later. I was starting to get excited about the miracle we had on the way (I was told I would never have kids and this would be my 3rd!). My excitement was shot down fast when the Ob walked in introduced himself and immediately went into my risk with going through with the pregnancy. “after reviewing your history I’m letting you know right away you are high risk, you have a 20% chance of repeat uterine rupture and that will make you lose the baby. It could also possibly kill you. With that said you also need to understand as you get farther along your risk will increase. You should probably think about if you want to continue this pregnancy. You have 2 other children and a husband to think about.” He said. I was in tears. Why? Why me? Why can’t I have a normal pregnancy? I cried through the rest of the appointment.

Later on at home my husband and I looked up abortion places. The doctor was right I can’t keep going when my risk will only get worse. I can’t leave my other two precious babies without their mother. We Looked up info and discussed it for a couple of weeks. The tears I cried were endless. I wasn’t happy with what I was told. I can’t end my little baby’s life. She/he has a heart beat.

I called my parents to tell them my I made my mind up. after all they needed to know, i was going to need all the support I could get. They weren’t happy with what I had decided no one was. But I was and my husband was thats all that counts. Eventually every one else will come around and accept it. Even though they constantly tried to change my mind, I stood my ground.

At my next Ob appointment I told them what I had chosen and it was done. No one could change our mind.

MY BABY wasn’t going to be aborted. I couldn’t do it.

I ended up switching obs. But not after having two more ultrasounds. One was a emergency ultrasound to check on “baby butter bean” after having contractions at 16 weeks. While in the ultrasound we were told baby bean was a Girl! We were happy! Announced to our friends and family as soon as I was discharged from the hospital! Three weeks later we were told our little girl wasn’t a little girl but a very PROUD little boy! The first ultrasound was wrong! I guess better to know now then wait until he was born and have all the wrong color stuff!

My high risk Ob was wonderful! He has been in practice for longer then I have been alive and even as taught a few years of school. I had ultrasounds every week to show early signs of rupture. If my uterine scar started looking thin he was going to take me to the OR.

After 2 rounds of steroid injections and making it past 32 weeks we scheduled the csection. It was coming close. My doctor didn’t want me to carry last 37 weeks and I was put on meds to stop contractions for the rest of the pregnancy. We were almost there!

On a Thursday morning we arrived at the hospital. This was it! I made it all the way soon my little boy will be in my arms and I can stop the worry!

I was prepped for my csection and off to the or we went! My blood pressure was a little elevated but other then that everything was great! We were there. The day that almost never happened! Then I got into the or….

We went through the normal stuff and then came time for the spinal. They had me straddle the table one leg on each side with a pillow to my stomach. “this isn’t how I did it with my other two I need a nurse in front of me and both my legs need to be on one side of the table” I said. The assured me it was fine. They are trained in this do they should know. The first injection went in perfect very little pain. Then came the second. That one hurt! I jerked a little but then they laid me down and finished getting ready. My Ob walked in and asked “how are you doing?” “I’m fine” I responded. He then went to his spot talked to his nurses and then started getting his things ready. He asked if I felt him touching my legs which I didn’t. Then a huge amount of pain overwhelmed me. I looked at the nurse next to me and said “as he started?” after looking over the drape she replies “yes” I looked to my side my husband wasn’t there. “where is my husband!? I can feel this where is my husband! He needs to be in here NOW! I can feel the doctor cutting me”. The nurse yells out “where is the dad?” a nurse runs out and get him. While she was gone I kept telling the one had my head I could feel the pain. She said I felt pressure I couldn’t feel pain. I’ve had 2 csections before this isn’t normal I thought. About that time my husband came in. He asked how I was doing and I told him I could feel it and started telling him what side I felt the doctor on. About that time I looked at my husband and said “something isn’t right”. He told the nurse I could feel it to do something but she blew him off also.

A few seconds later I look at my husband and say “here he comes” I felt my son slid out of my stomach. Immediately he started crying. Instantly I was relieved. He is fine. I told my husband to go don’t worry about me and he went to take pictures. I knew complaining anymore of the pain wouldn’t help. I focused in my little mans cry and dealt with the pain. Then I saw him. Love at first sight all over again. After about 3 minutes they took him to the nursery and my husband went to.

My focus was gone. The pain still there. I again told the nurse I could feel it and started calling sides to her. She still didn’t believe me. I gave up I fond a new focal point. The monitor, I watched as my blood pressure stayed above what it was when I went in. The anthesia makes blood pressure lower, it also will rise when your in pain. And the blood pressure was up it hadn’t gone down. Why didn’t they believe me? Your supposed To trust them.

I felt everything. I knew hen he was finishing, I felt every staple go into my skin. I was sent to recovery where I was welcomed by another nurse, my husband, son and mom. I took my son and just held into him. This day may not have been possible. What if I needed the pregnancy the look on that amazing face was worth every ounce of worry. Every tear was all worth it in the end.

Doing recovery I was asked how I felt. I had awful pain on my right side. Never have I experienced pain like that after a csection. I told the nurse about the pain and her response was “you just had a csection your going to hurt”. I looked her dead in the eyes “I know I will feel some pain. I’m not stupid I’ve done this 2 times before. But this pain isn’t normal SOMETHING IS WRONG”. But again I was blown off. Okay fine maybe I was over reacting. Every pregnancy is different so every recovery is different right?

I was sent to my room for the next few days a hour later. We spent time with family enjoying our new miracle. Our blessing. He was perfect. When my older two came to see him they were ecstatic! Everyone was over the moon! I DID IT! I beat the risk I made it through he was fine. My children still had their mother and my husband still had his wife.

On the third day which was discharge day my husband started getting things ready. We were getting to bring our son home.

The nursery was ready to discharge. Just waiting on final word from my Ob. When he arrived I told him how excited I was to get home. He checked me then gave me that look I only saw one time before from him. I knew something was wrong. Last time he gave me that look was when at first it looked like he would be delivering at 33 weeks until he rechecked my scar tissue measurements. My hopes were dashed. He said I wouldn’t be going home today.

My stomach was swollen, red and tender to the touch on the same side I had complained about and been blown off. I was told not to breast feed for 24 hrs given a pump to dump all milk for the next 24 hrs.

The pain was bad but I had given up on complaining. Maybe now they will listen? I was sent for a CAT scan which showed I had a bowel obstruction. I had to get a n-g tube and lots of other interventions to “unstop” me. I couldn’t hold my baby. The pain was enough to make the strongest person break down.

After 3 days they said I was better and sent me home. I was extremely happy. My family was going to be together again! We got home and settled. I was still weak walking up the porch steps made me out of breathe. I felt like I couldn’t move. But I had to keep going. I’m getting better.

After I few days my condition had not improved. It had worsened. I didn’t do anything. I could barley breathe without hurting. My husband had to do it all. I only did night feedings. It was so painful breastfeeding wasn’t possible.

Then it started, I was extremely hot but freezing. Okay great just the after baby sickness. It was about time my son was 2 weeks old. I took my temp and was shocked when it said 104.6 I don’t think I ever had a temp that high! I took some tylenol and my husband made me take a cold bath. To me it felt like I was jumping in water that was frozen! The next day my temp was still high nothing was bringing it down and my pain was so bad I was taking the pain pills to sleep. I called my Ob and was seen as soon as I got there.

He checked me “Ob side” I looked to be healing great from birth! I had lost a lot of weight but some people lose it fast. But I wasn’t eating. In fact I had a little bit of broth every day cause I had to get something. By a little bit I mean 2-8 spoons of it.

My Ob was concerned because of the barley eating and drinking, also the red swollen spot that had developed over my belly button. It was tender to the touch. He sent me to the general surgeon that saw me after I had the baby. He. Checked me out and said I had cellulites (skin infection) put me in antibiotics and secheuled and appt with the gastrointestinal doctor that saw me in the hospital. The appointment wasn’t until Monday of the next week. It was only Tuesday. So we went home and started treating my skin infection.

My husband seemed to be getting frustrated because I wasn’t eating or drinking like I should I only wanted to lay on the couch. I didn’t want to hold my baby. I didn’t want my other two to bother me. I honestly wanted to die. I was giving up my fight I’m not strong. I can’t do this anymore.

The time came for my appointment with the gi doctor. I still had high fevers even though I was taken my antibiotics as I was told. He took one look at my spot and said it wasn’t cellulites. I needed a ct to make sure it wasn’t a hernia but he knew it wasn’t cellulites.

The earliest I could get a ct appointment was a Wednseday. So we went home and waited. I was getting worse. To make matters worse the pain meds I was using just to be able to lay down and sleep at night were stolen! My husbands aunt took over 20 pills right out from under me! While I was laying on the couch telling her how bad my pain was. She did that while my husband was gone getting my other two from school.
The day of my ct we dropped the kids off with my grandmother and told them we would be back in a couple of hours. Gave kisses and hugs. My grandfather looked at me with Hirt in his eyes. I could tell he knew how much pain I was in. No matter how hard I tried to hide it. He kissed me on my head and said he would see me in a little bit.

When my husband and I arrived they made me drink more barium. That stuff is awful! I was actually thirsty for real drink after it. For the first time in days I wanted a juice! They gave me a blanket because I was freezing and had me wait cause they needed to call the doctor and have him look at it. They wouldn’t give me a juice though. I was highly upset about that.

After about 30 minutes they called is to a corner of the waiting room that no one was in and said I had to get to the hosptial. No going home and getting things get there ASAP! No answers as to way.

We got to the hosptial and I was admitted. Still no answers. I watched my nurse pour a huge cup of water down the drain because the doctor said I couldn’t eat or drink. I may be having laproscopic surgery but they are seeing if they could do it then. But why? We didn’t know. It wasn’t until 930 at night FIVE hours after we were admitted I was told over the phone I would be having surgery in the morning I had a little bit of infection in my pelvic area.

We didn’t know what to think still. We had no answers and I still had nothing to eat or drink! I wanted to go home and come back in the morning but they wouldn’t let me. I wanted my babies.

The next day at 200pm I was taken to pre-op gave hugs and kisses to my mom and husband and I love yous were exchanged. After that I was out like a light. I don’t remember much. My next memory was waking up and seeing my husband, my step daughter, my husbands exwife and her husband in front of my bed talking. I looked down to see I had the dreaded N-g tube again. Great! And passed back out.

My next memory was sometime the next day. I woke up to extreme pain. My nurse came in to change my dressings. I got enough strength to look. “what happened? Why am I like this” I was cut from under my breast all the way to where they did the csection. I was in tears. MY BODY WAS RUINED!

My surgeon came in a few minutes later and asked how I was feeling. “jerk how do you think I feel!” was what went through my head. I replied “I was fine till I saw what you did to me!” he then offered to do plastic surgery for me later on I’m the future. Yeah he just confirmed he is a jerk. I had cuts, bandages, staples and tubes all over my stomach. But why?! What is going on.

He later explained that the spot on my stomach was actually my colon. It had died and my body was trying to reject it. I was leaking infection into my pelvic area which my body was trying to protect myself against by forming a barrier around it the size of a softball. My stomach was full of infection and I had mrsa.

Wait mrsa? I didn’t have that 3 weeks ago going into the csection. I was healthy! How did this happen?

Turns out the bowel obstruction never really healed. I have my theroy of how the mrsa happened. Remember the nurse left to get my husband. She left the or to get him. When she came back she went back to her spot next to the Ob. She wasnt gone long enough to scrub back in and she touched the door. She never changed her surgical gear. I’m pretty sure that caused me to get it.

I spent 2 weeks in the hosptial recovering. I was told another 24 hrs I would of been dead. What saved me was my age and the fact that they took the my son before he was ready. My body fought like lt was still pregnant.

We celebrated Easter and my daughters birthday in my hosptial room. Not the best but I wasn’t dead so that counts.

I was on antiotics the whole stay. I ha to have 48 hours of Iv nutrients before I was allowed to eat real food since I hadn’t eaten in awhile. I was also given 2 bags of blood.

Now its been a little over a year. I’m still here. I’m not as healthy as I used to be but my kids have me. I fight self esteem issues sometimes but it’s gotten better. I will wear a two piece to the beach, pool, or lake. The stares don’t bother me as much anymore.

My scar is proof I am strong. My stretch marks are proof of love/life/hope/ and miracles. I am a fighter. Even when I wanted to give up I kept going. No matter what was thrown at me. But it goes to show How quickly things can change

Trying Really Hard But Losing Hope (Sophya)

Age: 33

Number of pregnancies/birth: 2

Age of children: 6-year-old daughter and 7 months-old son, 7 months post-partum

I’ve been visiting SOAM for the last four years since I had my daughter and I wish to thank warmly all those wonderful women who’ve had the courage to post their stories and voice out their fears. You have all been truly inspirational and sometimes, reading these stories was the ONLY thing that kept me from plunging into despair after I had my baby girl. I have always been overweight (I had to be fed low-fat milk as a baby so as not to put on too much weight), and the “thinnest” I have been in my adult life was 64 kg, which I managed to reach before my wedding in 2003 by following a horrible diet and abusing a bit on laxatives. I had my baby girl in 2006 and put on 27 kg during the pregnancy and was absolutely devastated at the state of my body after that. Over the next four years, I managed to lose 25 kg through on-and-off diets and religious exercise. I was very scared to have another baby for fear of what it would do to my body and my health again, which was fine because by that time, my marriage had somewhat broken apart and my husband and I were not having sex. Then, after a wonderful holiday in December 2010, things got patched up and we decided that having another baby would not be a bad idea, and I quickly fell pregnant in January 2011. But I had a very difficult pregnancy…I started bloating at 2 months, was anaemic throughout the pregnancy, my husband had to travel when I was 4 months along and we got robbed while my daughter and I were alone in the house, I lost all my wedding jewellery and a lot of money, had serious car problems…all that stress made my blood pressure soar and I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and had to undergo and emergency c-section at 33 weeks because my placenta had started tearing apart from the high blood pressure. After the operation, my BP still wouldn’t go down and I had to be put in ICU for 48 hrs. I felt like hell after the op. But my baby boy was in the incubator and I had to go to the clinic to try and breastfeed him everyday. After I finally came home, I had to learn caring for a premature baby (plus dealing with my 5 year old) and had no time or energy to care for myself. I started dieting and exercising about 3-4 months pp and managed to lose 9 kg in 3 months (I put on about 15 kg with this pregnancy), again by following a hell of a protein-only diet and forcing as much exercise on me as I could possibly handle. Despite all these efforts, I still feel heavy, bloated, and look like I’m still 5 months pregnant. My gynae says that my body went through major trauma during the op, my tissues are all mushy inside, my uterus is badly ruined (he’s been practically screaming at me NOT to have any other babies), so that’s why I will take more time to recover than if I had a normal delivery. I’m now running out of strength when I see that fat, massive 5-months-preggo-looking belly of mine. I don’t care about looking good again or about the stretch marks (I know I’ll forever have the pouch…it doesn’t bother me because my marriage is on the rocks again and I don’t think my hubby and I will ever have sex again, so there’s nobody to see me naked again), I just want to STOP feeling so huge. I know I have to be strong for my children, but after all these efforts, still having this massive weight to carry around is starting to bring me down. I am now 7 months PP and I’m starting to think I’ll never be my ‘normal’ self again.

The pics are me 7 mo PP and my daughter (she just turned 6) and son.

Baby Fever is Real (Serenity)

Picture 1 is me and baby #1 at 1 month
Picture 2 is me and baby #2 at 6 months
Picture 3 is me and both boys baby #2 is 1 wk (not a great picture, but one I am proud of)
and finally Picture 4 is an old family picture.

Good morning.

I am a mother of 2 wonderful little boys (2 and 4) I haven been pregnant twice, but lost a twin in my 2nd pregnancy. My first pregnancy could not have gone better, along with my delivery, my body knows how to make big healthy babies. I had a few complications during my 2nd pregnancy, started with the miscarriage(Moderate blood loss), then early labour at 25 wks, had an aneurism burst on my placenta at 30 wks (low-moderate blood loss), and then I was pre-eclamptic from 32 wks until 6 weeks post partum. The worst part was the blood pressure, but was able to control it with medication, and have no issues now (24.5 mnths pp)

Despite any complications, I took it in stride, and loved my pregnancy, I was told just a couple weeks ago that I handle pregnancy very well with minimal complaining.

I have always wanted to be a mom, I’ve known that since I was a small child, I took on the mother role for my 3 siblings very young, and I always wanted 4 children, and wanted to be finished having kids by 26. ( I am now 24)

I was diagnosed with endometrioses at 15, my mother also had it, started having symptoms at 24, and needed a hysterectomy by 34. With the amount of scar tissue being removed yearly, my doctor wasnt sure what the likelihood of healthy pregnancies would be. Menstruation was becoming a terrible experience. Like I said my first pregnancy couldnt have been better!! Delivered a 8lb 8oz baby naturally with 6 bearable hrs of labour, and 2 pushes. He was born Nov 07, and my period didnt return until Sept 08, it was wonderful. The periods I was having were irregular, and not overly uncomfortable, and then we got pregnant again the end of Jan/beginning of Feb 09, Gave birth to a healthy baby boy Oct 09, and period came back about April 10, and the last 3 months have been devastatingly painful again.

At the beginning of our relationship I was very upfront with my husband in letting him know I wanted 4 kids, and want to start tomorrow (i am lucky I’m not still single) and here we are 5 yrs later, arguing about #3. He all of a sudden has no interest in anymore children, and I am in a very tough place to be in. I want another baby, and am having physical “symptoms” I have been on the pill since Jan 2011, and was completely “dried up” in Feb. I have recently started lactating (after increasing the dose of the pill) I get emotional at the announcement of a new pregnancy, I am becoming bitter toward women who complain their husbands want more, and they’re done, and that is not the person I am. My uterus aches (literally) at the thought of pregnancy. I am fearful the longer we wait not only is it going to be harder on my youngest, but the new baby will be left out alot, since the first 2 are almost exactly 24 month part, and have an amazing bond. I still have all my baby stuff, and have even started purchasing baby girl items (Yes I know this is Crazy, and I question myself about it, and yes my husband knows) I am not one of those women who would consider “tricking” my husband into having another baby, I dont want him to resent me, or the new baby, but I really feel my clock ticking, and dont want to lose the opportunity to have another baby, because I am not sure I could forgive my husband for that.

If anyone reading this physically cannot have a baby I truly pray my post doesn’t offend you, I do truly love and cherish the 2 beautiful children I have, and of course would be happy if thats all I was given. But I am literally aching for another baby. I have done my best to project that to my husband, and just not sure what else to do.

Thanks everyone for listening, I dont have alot of people in my life to talk to openly, I am always having to guard myself, and filter my words.

I was supposed to be happy… (Anonymous)

~Age: 23
~Number of pregnancies and births: 3 Pregnancies, 2 births
~Children: Two sons, 3.5 and 10 Weeks

My oldest son is three and a half years old. I got pregnant and married right off the bat at 18, and he was born when I was 19. He was an 8 Pound 10 oz miracle, and he blew my mind. He was strong and healthy and amazing. Although I gained 70 pounds, and went up 10 sizes, I eventually went back to normal.
My husband and I originally wanted a very large family, and lots of children. After my first was born I was using Depo for birth control. When we decided to try again we were told the Depo can take a very long time to wear off. As it turned out, it was over 18 months since we decided to try again before we finally got pregnant. A year and a half of tears, frustration, fertility testing and ovulation calendars. During that time I discovered my husband was involved in a long affair with my ‘friend.’ It brought to light a myriad of insecurities I thought I had overcome. Somehow it seemed to justify every self-loathing thought I ever had. It was a very dark time.

We became pregnant this time last year. I was thrilled, I cried, yada yada. I was convinced he was a girl because of how different the pregnancies were. At 20 weeks they told us he was a boy, and I was surprised and pretty relieved. Another boy would be so much easier. They also noticed bright spots of calcium buildup in his heart. These by themselves didn’t mean anything was wrong, but they decided to refer us to a perinatologist just to get a second opinion. That day Rocked my world.

After a long echocardiogram of his heart, the doctor came in to look at some images, and the technician and doctor spoke in a bunch of medical jargon we didn’t understand, and then we had a conference in his office. There we were told our son’s heart was “majorly deformed.” The doctor showed us diagrams, and although it’s been a long time since high-school biology, it was clearly wrong in some obvious ways. He said he could not make the diagnosis himself, but we would have another such exam at the cardiologists office from seattle. I was told I would have to deliver across the state, and if he was born here he would have to be airlifted immediately. He didn’t know how many surgeries he would need, if he would survive infancy, if he would survive childbirth, and what his life would look like if he had some major chromosomal disorder. He outlined some of the conditions associated with a chromosonal problem, including but not limited to physical disability and mental retardation, and said the medical recommendation would be to an amniocentesis. He also delicately explained that the procedure most likely would cause miscarriage, so we needed to know if saving the baby was our priority. He was basically telling us that we could abort him this way. We both said ending the pregnancy was not an option.

In later months we learned he had ‘double outlet right ventricle with transposition of the great arteries and a ventral septal defect.’ Thats a long winded way of saying his plumbing backwards, misplaced, and he has a hole in his heart.

At a future routine checkup, they determined my fluids were dramatically low. They sent me across the street to the hospital to make sure my water was unbroken. I was 36 weeks along. I spent the night in the hospital. During which time, I began strongly and regularly contracting. They established that my water had not broken, and after shots and tranquilizers my labor stopped. They asked me if I would rather be sent home, or flown to Seattle. I of course voted to go home. That night, I went into labor again. I was on procardia to stop contractions, but they just kept coming. When my husband got home from work he drove me to the hospital. I was contracting strong and regularly again, and my plug was gone. They airlifted me to seattle and gave me another shot of hardcore stimulant to relax my uterus. I stopped labor while I was there. I was so frusterated after days of hospital visits and a fucking emergency flight just to be released hours from home. My husband was at home with our preschooler. I was alone that night, and alone when I was discharged. My dad lives in bellevue and drove to pick me up that morning. I stayed with him and my sister who was on leave with the family before her deployment. Two weeks hours from home, in labor on and off, and away from my toddler. I begged my husband to bring him up every chance he got, but the trips were hard on our little guy. My sister took me to appointments, we got to spend a lot of time together, which was a silver lining. At another monitoring appointment the contractions started again. The OB was sure this was the day. She stripped my membranes to save me another night in the hospital for no reason. Later, we went in. I was open 2cm since that afternoon, and admitted. Then, at 3.5 cm, it all just stopped again. My husband drove all night to be there, and my mother in law was in a hotel room with our son. I was sent home, AGAIN, frusterated to tears and in pain. I was 48 hours from 39 weeks, so they would do nothing to progress labor. I was like that for the next 2 days. They broke my water, and I was ready to push in 6 hours. We called my sister to come back, knowing that the delivery room was likely the only place she’d get to meet him before she flew off for deployment just hours later. However, I only pushed 5 minutes maximum. He was COMING, hard and fast. I panicked. Completely panicked. I realized that once they brought him out, he could just die. I was hysterical, but he was coming, and that was that.

…I never got to hold him then. I could hear him screaming, as a panel of neonatal doctors assessed him. They brought him to me for a quick kiss and a glance, then they whisked him into the NICU and that was that. I was exhausted, and devastated. After a few hours they brought me in to see him for a moment before shift change. Then when I was discharged I was able to follow him to Childrens, about 6 hours after I gave birth. As soon as we got to children’s the doctor was on the phone with us, and we had a conversation in the ICU about our son. Loken Mordechai. They said their initial diagnosis was wrong, it wasn’t DORV, but the arteries were transposed and the problem was that the VSD (hole) was not big enough to let his blood mix. Basically, as he breathed, hisbody just kept pumping the same old, oxygenless blood around his body and brain. He was suffocating, essentially. They told me they needed to do an emergency procedure to punch a second hole between chambers, or he would not survive the 10 days until his major repair. Then my husband left. Paniced, basically. Said he needed to be on the road back home for work, but he was running away. His mother was able to stay with me for a while, but I still felt crushingly alone.

In the end, things went great, all things considered. He shows no signs of chromosonal abnormalities. After his first surgery he was doing so well they moved him out of the ICU for a week before his big repair. The people at seattle childrens were incredible. That whole hospital blew my mind with how helpful they could be. They wanted to send him home with a feeding tube, but he was doing so phenomenal at nursing and pulled his own tube out. I’ve never felt so liberated as the day we drove him home. It took us 8hours to make it across the mountains, because we stopped to for every feeding, diaper change and medication, and at the time there was a lot. Eventually they took him off his medications one by one, and finally got his stitches taken out. The cardiologist says to ‘treat him like any other baby.’ It was music to my ears, especially after seeing the other families at the hospital. We were incredibly lucky, and my older son is overjoyed to have a baby brother. He keeps thanking me for him, like he was a gift I brought home just to make him happy.
The whole ordeal was a nightmare. I feel selfish for feeling so ripped off, but I do. I tried for so long, then when the time finally came I was terrified instead of overjoyed. I was alone instead of glowing. I was crying every day, sleeping every night at his bedside. Instead of dreamily doting on him as he slept, I watched his every breath, wondering if it would be his last. Nothing about labor went as it was supposed to. Nothing at all went the way it was supposed too. Now that I’ve come home, I fell changed somehow. Permanently altered in some fundamental, huge way that i can’t identify.

I’ll never be the same.

And I don’t want any more children. I have my two precious gems to hold onto. When my first was born I thought “I want to do this again, I want as many children as I can have! This is so beautiful and magical!” But after the scariest couple months of my life, I never, ever want to do that again. I gained 50 pounds. 30 fell off right away, but then just stopped. They put me on medication for the panic attacks I have now, which I can’t nurse with, so I’m not breastfeeding. I want to, so bad, but I guess it’s just one more thing that won’t be the way I wanted. The nightmares are awful. I hardly eat because of all my anxiety. I have turned to exercise as a comfort though. I always hated exercise before, but now I love it. I feel like a completely different person, and I have to get to know myself all over again. Do I love my body? No. Do I hate my body? No. But I want to make it stronger.

The first three pictures are me 10 weeks post partum with number two. The fourth is a picture of my son at home.The fifth is my two boys. the sixth is my son in the days after surgery: his chest was kept open for five days. The final photo is my son after they closed his chest.