It was around April of 2016 that my partner of 2 years and I decided we wanted to try to have a baby. Like many other couples we debated at first, is this really a good time”? “How different will things be adding a baby into our already sometimes complicated relationship”? — but we loved each other and that for the both of us was enough, so it was decide we were going to try to have a baby.
Pregnancy was nothing new to me as I made a few poor decisions in my late teens, early twenties that resulted in 2 abortions and a miscarriage that would have most likely resulted in an abortion as well. —- I was so ignorant, I was never taught abortions were not a form of birth control; I learned the hard way. About three months into “trying” still nothing, I became worried. I wondered, “Were those abortions finally catching up to me”? — maybe I can’t get pregnant. I thought maybe God was punishing me for what I did. My partner had 2 kids from a previous relationship so in my head that ruled out any problem on his end, I was so sure it was me. I became obsessed with getting pregnant, I downloaded multiple ovulation trackers, encouraged healthier lifestyles for my partner and I, hell I even had him wearing looser boxers (now tell me I wasn’t going crazy) I read somewhere looser boxers allowed for better production of sperm… long story short I was becoming consumed with trying to get pregnant. Having a baby became a job. Carefree, passionate lovemaking turned into scheduled sex, and each month yet another disappointment, a negative pregnancy test.
November of 2016 came and that was the month I decided, “Maybe it’s not meant to be right now” …I was drained with trying. My sister, my mother and I were headed to Guadeloupe for our annual ‘girls’ trip’ and ironically enough it was during my supposed ovulation days, and for the first time in months, I was ok. I went on my trip with a clear head, no stress and ready to relax… I had a chance to miss and appreciate my partner again. The night I returned we made love for the first time in a while, it was like we were back to being us.
December 5, 2016 something told me to take a pregnancy test, I did, and it was positive. I couldn’t believe it—- we were FINALLY pregnant! I was so excited, I was waiting for this moment, it was finally happening. A few days passed, and I started bleeding… my temporary high quickly turned into a low, “Was I miscarrying”? We rushed to the Emergency Room where we were told I was experiencing a “threatened miscarriage “and because I was only about 7 weeks along there was no real way to tell. The doctor sent me home with instructions to take it easy, I continued to bleed for about a week, each time my heart broke more and more— I was so worried. Finally, the day came, and it was time for our OBGYN visit, my baby was alive, we saw the smallest bean and heard the strongest heartbeat— it was amazing. My high was back. Weeks passed I didn’t share the news with anyone, only close family and friends, I couldn’t stand another disappointment if anything were to happen, 12 weeks was my goal… just make it to 12 weeks and everything will be ok. I was about 11 weeks 3 days when my next doctor’s appointment rolled around, I was so anxious to see how much the baby grew, and to hear how things were going. We had our first real ultrasound, and the doctor seemed troubled. — that low feeling returned. He left for a brief moment then returned with a diagnosis of my baby having ‘amniotic bands’ — I thought, here we go again. For those who are unaware of what Amniotic Band syndrome is, Amniotic Band Syndrome occurs when the unborn baby (fetus) becomes entangled in fibrous string-like amniotic bands in the womb, restricting blood flow and affecting the baby’s development. Amniotic Band Syndrome can cause a number of different birth defects depending on which body part(s) is affected. If a band wraps tightly around a limb, the limb can actually be completely amputated. The baby may be born missing fingers, toes, part of an arm or leg. If the band is across the baby’s face it can cause cleft lip and palate. In a large number of cases, the baby is also born with clubfeet. ABS is also the cause of numerous miscarriages, such as when a band becomes wrapped around the umbilical cord. ABS occurs randomly. It’s not genetic, nor is it caused by anything a pregnant Mom did or didn’t do during pregnancy.
After having to hear that heavy ass news he also suggested we stay off the internet, so we didn’t stress ourselves out. (Wow) I left that appointment in disbelief, probably like most mothers I just didn’t believe anything was wrong with my baby, I just didn’t …
I wanted a second opinion, so we made a follow-up appointment with a high risk especially at one of the best hospitals in Boston. The waiting game began again. Three weeks later we arrived to yet another appointment hoping to hear better news, we were greeted by one of the most beautiful, young, fun-loving doctors ever … I already felt at ease. At that point, I already knew I was having a boy, an accidental slip up because of my mom who clearly can’t hold a secret. I told her what happened previously she did an ultrasound and it turns out the “band” the other doctor was seeing was a scar on my uterus, most likely from a previous abortion—- I knew they’d catch up to me. Most important thing was my baby boy was okay, we decided to keep her as our OBGYN going forward. Pregnancy after that became a breeze for me, I loved being pregnant, I was happy, I was excited it was a beautiful time in our lives. Overall, I gained about 55 pounds and it was not until the end did I start experiencing difficulties. I worked two jobs until about 38 weeks— I’m crazy I know. 38 weeks was around the time my doctor warned me I was having a “good-sized” baby, basically she was warning my 5 foot normally 125 lbs. that I’m about to have a big baby. Regardless I was ready, 40 weeks rolled around I had been walking endlessly… no sign of Carter making his arrival, most of my days consisted of laying by the pool and eating I was growing anxious. 40 weeks 3 days I had my membranes stripped, not as painful as most described at that point it wouldn’t have mattered if it was I was ready for him to be ours. Later that day after my appointment, I swam in the pool for hours, the next morning I was awakened around 4 am with the sharpest pain, that sharp pained turned into more Sharp pains…
I called my mom, she arrived at our home and we were off to the hospital. We arrived it was confirmed I was in “active labor” I got hooked up to a monitor and about 20 minutes later Carter decided to have a bowel movement inside of me — such a gentleman. I was confined to the bed with a bad under me that his dad was changing, I guess he was preparing for those poopy diapers ahead of time. The doctors let the bowel movement run its course only downside to that was I wasn’t able to walk around, my entire birth plan out the window and what a waste of that $225 birthing class, I was upset but I tried not to let it ruin my experience. I was quickly started on Pitocin, about 4 hours later the contractions got the best of me … I need an epidural at that time I was only about 1cm dilated and I know getting an epidural so early on isn’t the best—- I didn’t care I couldn’t take it. Hours passed, multiple nurses came and went still I wasn’t dilating. 24 hours in and I began to feel those pains again, this time more intense… my epidural failed. After being given pain medicine to helps the doctors came in to let me know I would need to have a cesarean section, Carters heart rate was dropping, I developed hypertension and my body just wasn’t responding to labor well. I was so scared. All geared up to go I was rolled to the ER room with Carter’s dad by my side, they gave me another epidural on the emergency table and about 10 minutes later I heard crying and saw my poop covered baby—- no words can describe that feeling. I think I cried more than Carter.
Those 33 hours of labor were so worth it, my heart was full. I was in excruciating pain the next couple days, but my heart was full. Day 2 in the hospital in a sleep-deprived daze I discovered there was a mouse in our room. For the past couple days physically, I was limited with the stitches, but I’ll tell you I never moved so quick to get my bag and my baby… I was READY TO GO! We were able to move rooms but of course I was on high alert for the remainder of my stay (I’m still traumatized— gross). In total I spent 4 days in the hospital and we were finally cleared to leave. My blood pressure never came down and I stayed on medicine for months following birth. Getting home with the baby was an adjustment to say the least but with help of family and friends’ things got easier. I experienced a bout of post party’s depression following the birth of Carter, talking about what I needed of my partner and getting into a regular routine helped. — it took time, but it got easier. Having my son has made me such a stronger woman in so many ways and I am forever grateful. So many hurdles were faced and as most of us mothers would say, “I wouldn’t have changed a thing”.