I’m writing this with my little Lincoln (3 weeks and 4 days old) nestled between me and the Boppy pillow with my laptop on it, so cozy, and feeling so grateful, after 31 (almost 32- oy vey) years of waiting for this moment, to be a mom.
Dom and I have both wanted kids for, forever. We love kids, and were so excited to start our family. Like many other women I was on the pill for years, starting in high school for painful cramps. Having been on the pill for 15+ years, I wasn’t sure what to expect going off and trying to start building our family.
When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 27, I was immediately referred to a fertility specialist to discuss options and the type of chemotherapy that I would be receiving, and its potential impacts on my future family planning. I was so lucky that it was pretty well documented the drugs I would be given would not impact my fertility in the future, so I elected to not take the time to freeze my eggs.
After about 6 months of trying to conceive to no avail, given my history, I revisited the fertility clinic to make certain there was nothing impeding our getting pregnant. Luckily, both Dom and I checked out great, but the waiting game continued. After about 11 months of trying, and a period that still had not fully returned to normal after going off birth control, we decided to try a round of IUI. We are both first born, type A people, who hate waiting, and thought, why not?
The IUI started with me taking a couple days of Clomid (which gives you the potential of releasing more than one egg, increasing your odds for a successful pregnancy, and also marginally increasing your odds for multiples), and then going into the clinic to check on my eggs and uterine lining, which has to be a certain thickness for implementation to be successful. My body produced 3 eggs, which was great. The not so great? My lining was not as thick as they said it needed to be for a successful implementation. They gave me the option of skipping the IUI transfer that month as they thought it would be unsuccessful, and trying a different drug the next month that wouldn’t have the same effect of thinning my lining, like Clomid can.
I had been seeing a fertility acupuncturist, and she assured me that she could help thicken my lining between the time of that ultrasound and when implementation would actually occur, and low and behold, just 10 days later, I was pregnant!
Remember how I said I was type A? I couldn’t wait a full 14 days to take a test, and I had heard that often when you are pregnant, an ovulation test would turn positive. At 10 days post transfer, I took one, and it said I was ovulating. Then I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive, we were thrilled! That same night, at 9p we drove first to my parents house to tell them, and then to Dom’s parents house, we could not wait.
Days later a blood test confirmed my pregnancy, and my HCG levels were nice and high; which either meant a very healthy singleton pregnancy, or potentially, a multiple pregnancy.
Five weeks after conception, we had a scare. I was going to the bathroom and passed a large blood clot. My mind immediately went to the worst case scenario, we thought we were having a miscarriage. Another HCG text the next couple days showed my levels were still high, so my doctor ordered an ultrasound. It turns out we very likely had twins, and one was not viable, and seemed to be making its way out, hence the blood clot that passed. We had mixed emotions that day, but ultimately were so grateful we still had one healthy singleton pregnancy.
The rest of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful, until it was time to take my 1 hour gestational diabetes blood test, which I failed. Don’t get me started on this language, failing a blood test? I was sure I would go onto pass the 3 hour test like so many people do, and then I failed that one too. I was shocked, how could I have gestational diabetes? I’ve always prided myself on being healthy; I had no family history of diabetes, I wasn’t overweight prior to pregnancy, I had gained a healthy amount thurs far in my pregnancy, and I ate healthy; before and during. Turns out gestational diabetes doesn’t care about any of those things, that while they can be factors, ultimately it depends on how your body reacts to your pregnancy hormones, and your placenta.
Luckily I was able to fully control the gestational diabetes with diet, and pricking myself 4x/day, after meals and fasting. I learned a lot throughout this process, how to pair carbs with protein, and overall eating habits that are valuable for everyone, not just someone with gestational diabetes or diabetes in general.
Things remained uneventful from this point forward to the time of delivery. Because of gestational diabetes, my doctor recommended I get induced at 39 weeks. Luckily, little Lincoln didn’t wait until then.
My water broke at 38 weeks and 1 day, at 12:30 in the afternoon. I was with our little dog, Charlie, at a new dog trainer’s house when I felt a tiny gush; I thought I had peed my pants a bit, something that apparently becomes a thing when you are that far along in pregnancy, the joys. When I stood up, the gush didn’t stop, I couldn’t believe it, my water broke, on her chair, SO embarrassing. It was serendipitous though, because in addition to her being a dog trainer, she is also a nurse who works 2 shifts a week at the hospital we would give birth at, and happened to be working that night. She told me I could leave Charlie there for a week (we were planning to board all of our dogs for the first week after we came home) and to bring her food to the hospital that night, that she would pick it up from our birthing suite– it couldn’t have worked out better.
I drove myself home, got ready, and we headed to the hospital about an hour and a half later. Unfortunately I was no more dilated or effaced than I was a week prior, and contractions were not happening, so we had to make the decision, after giving my body until 6p to see if it would pick up on its own, to start Pitocin, and let the contractions and pain begin. Shortly after, the contractions started getting very painful, and I decided to ask for an epidural. I had decided before that my birth plan was to not have a birth plan, that I would decide what I needed in the moment, and I was pretty sure I didn’t want to suffer through birth just to say I did it naturally.
Unfortunately it took about an hour and a half before the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural, she was called into the OR for an emergency, it was great timing, of course! It was an extremely painful wait, as the contractions got stronger and closer together. Once I got the epidural in, they did a cervical check, it turns out in the hour and a half of Pitocin and shortly after the epidural I had gone from 1.5cm dilated and 50% effaced to 10cm dilated and 100% effaced, no wonder it was so painful.
It was time to start pushing, and it is all kind of a blur from here. I was naive and thought getting an epidural meant a pain-free delivery, and boy was I wrong. Unfortunately, I had a LOT of lower back pain, and pain going down my left glute, it felt unbearable and excruciating. I think the pain started about an hour into pushing, but I don’t really remember. I ended up pushing for a full 3 hours, and I truly thought I was going to die, I’ve never been in so much pain in my life. The epidural did a good job of combating the uterine pain, but it didn’t touch the back and glute pain. About 2 hours in they manually pushed Lidocaine, which gave me minimal relief. I still had a lot of body control, and we would rotate between my sides, and even my hands and knees constantly, trying to find relief, which I didn’t end up finding; even between contractions and pushing, until finally he came out. Of course he came out right at 3 hours (at 4:03am), the point at which they told me they would have brought in OB intervention, if he hadn’t come on his own. I didn’t think I could push another second (or for the last hour even, and I’m not sure how my body did it!) It was the hardest and most painful 3 hour workout of my life.
The second they put Lincoln on my chest, he was WIDE eyed, staring at me and looking around, so curious. I don’t think I fully soaked in that moment, or the moments in the days following, as I think I was in a bit of a shock/recovery mode, it was surreal and I was absolutely exhausted. The next 24 hours in the hospital were hard, I felt like I had adrenaline constantly pumping in my veins, and though I was so tired, I could not sleep a wink. It was just the beginning of the most important and special time in our lives with little Lincoln Domenic. Though the next few days (and weeks) were void of much sleep, they were all worth it.
If you are reading this one day, Linc, we love you SO much!
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments
add a comment