A Baby Story

Birth Story!

Lets just make this the whole shebang and go for a WHOLE pregnancy story. I found out I was pregnant in July, 2005. It was completely unexpected. Steve and I had been together for six year already. We had always planned on getting married and having a family. Just… in a while. I remember taking two pregnancy tests, even though I already knew. I wasn’t late (yet) but I knew. I just felt pregnant. I don’t know how to describe it. Steve came home from work, knowing I had taken the test, and as soon as I told him, I broke down into tears. I didn’t think we could do it. We weren’t married. We weren’t ready!!!

A few weeks later I started to get sick. And not just morning sickness sick. This was a terrible, all consuming awful sickness. I couldn’t escape it. The doctors don’t normally see pregnant women until about the 10th week, but I had already been in the ER twice (maybe 3 times) at that point. When I finally did go in for my first exam, I was given Zofran. It worked miracles but was expensive (like $1200+ for a month supply, with insurance!) so we tried something else. In fact, we tried everything else. Too many medications to count, over the counter, prescribed, naturopathic… I was due April 4th, 2006.

I was in and out of the ER, 8 times total, for dehydration, hyperemisis gravidarum(HG). I was admitted twice, once for three days. I had been poked and rehydrated more times than I could count. Once, when trying to take my blood, the nurse had such a hard time getting enough from me. I was so dehydrated that my blood was thick and gel like.

I was always hungry and could never eat. The second food would hit my stomach, it would start to turn. I lived on peanut butter sandwiches, chicken noodle soup and (as required by my doctor) one banana a day. I weighed 95lbs by the end of my first trimester.

My doctors wanted me to get on home health since it would be the cheapest way to provide care to me but it required a PICC line in my arm and I refused since we had planned our wedding for December. I think my wedding day was one of the few days I wasn’t sick. But a week after the wedding, I was on home health, getting weekly visits from my nurse. IV bags and IV meds and I almost fainted the first time she inserted the PICC line. I still have a scar on my arm from where the line went in.

I don’t remember much from my pregnancy but I remember when I took my glucose test. It was the worst experience of my pregnancy. Like I said, I was sick. Nothing stayed down. Nothing. The nurses knew this, but we all know how the glucose test goes. You have to drink this nasty syrup with the taste of orange soda. I struggled to keep it from coming straight back up and then struggled the next hour to keep it down. And I really mean struggle. Have you ever had a fight with your body? I have, and I lost. But I kept it down long enough for the nurses to take my blood. I was queasy, I was nauseous, I was so happy to be done. But the nurse must have noticed my distressed state because she asked me if I was okay. She told me I would have to sit until I felt better. I told her I had to puke and she told me they couldn’t let me leave. So I forced myself to seem better. All the while, the nasty orange syrup was churning in my gut. Finally, she let me leave. I sprinted my pregnant ass to the nearest bathroom and hurled up every last trace of orange. I still can’t drink orange pop. BLECH!

The rest of my pregnancy went “smoothly” and by smoothly I mean no other problems other than HG. Once I got to about week 30, I was in Labor & Delivery at least once a week for preterm labor. The dehydration was making me have frequent and painful contractions. I was told to drink 64oz twice a day. I couldn’t even keep down a cup. That was until about week 36, when babies are no longer considered preemie. They would no longer admit me to be rehydrated. The contractions got worse and I was miserable. My doctor agreed to induce me around the end of March, provided I passed an amnio confirming the babies development.

We went into L&D for the amnio on the 21st of March and were told that it was full. I was devastated. I mean, really really crushed. Finally my end was in sight but now… just a dark tunnel. I know its melodramatic, since it really was 2 more weeks. But honestly, two more weeks was more than I could take. And apparently, it was more than my body could take as well.

It was 3am on the 22nd, I woke with contractions that were different than the Braxton Hicks I had felt before. Sharper, wrapping all the way around my back. I got out of bed and sat in front of the furnace, wrapped in my favorite quilt. Molly (my sweet old dog) rested her head on my big belly. She knew what was going on even if I didn’t.

The contractions didn’t really slow, I think they were at about 8 minutes apart so I called the doctor around 7 or 8 am. I had my weekly OB appointment later that afternoon, so L&D told me that unless my contractions became more frequent, to just go to my appointment later that day. Well, the contractions did slow considerably and I went to my doctor that afternoon. She examined me and determined I would probably give birth within the next week, but likely the next 48 hours.

So, we went home to wait it out. I remember the day lasting forever. And around dinnertime, the contractions came back full force. It was 9:20 in the evening. It was a Wednesday, right in the middle of LOST. It was the episode where Sun found out she was pregnant, but I missed that part. I watched it on DVR later.

Steve and I packed up and went to the hospital. We waited in admittance. The woman who helped us was a wonderful, grandmotherly Hispanic woman and so so sweet. She asked us the babies gender, girl. She asked the name, we told her our list. Olivia, Isobel, Sophia, and Gabriella. Then, she went on to tell us about how much she loved the name “Gabriella Elana,” (We loved Elana, but already knew a baby by that name) it was the name she picked out for her first daughter. Unfortunately, when she actually had a daughter, she went with a completely different name. She vowed to name her next daughter Gabriella but never had another. I remember looking at my husband at that moment. Could it be? Gabriella?

We were admitted and went to triage in L&D. They checked me and I was, in deed, in active labor. We didn’t have to wait long for a room. I got all hooked up to the machines and IV’s and then they gave me something to “take the edge off” whatever that means. It was probably 10:30 or so when the whole gang showed up. My mom, dad and mother in law. Really, I only wanted the moms there. I didn’t really want my dad to see me in that state, but I didn’t have the heart, or the energy, to tell him to leave.

At one point in the night, they had to break my water. A resident doctor was given the task and her inexperience showed as things proceeded to get her very wet and messy. The room erupted in laughter and she tried to hide her embarrassment. Then, the doctor checked my progress and told me I was coming along and that if I felt like pushing I could, or I could sleep. I was dizzy and nauseous, so I went to sleep.

I remember puking but they wouldn’t give me anything this time. It was almost over. At some point I got an epidural. Then at 8:30 am on the 23rd, the nurse woke me up and told me it was time. I couldn’t feel anything below my waist. The baby wasn’t quite in the right position so they had me get onto all fours. I remember how astounded the nurses were that I was actually able to get up on my knees, given my partially paralyzed state. But I was determined. I’ve never been so determined in my life. I wanted that baby OUT!

I pushed, three times. It took 13 minutes and at 8:43 am, my baby girl was laying on my chest. Steve and I looked at her and then at each other… Gabriella. Yes, she is. My Gabby Goose.

After that, I don’t remember much. Just being in a blissful, exhausted, confused state. In a quick moment, our entire lives changed. We became a family that day.

I often think about having more kids. Very often in fact. But I don’t think pregnancy is for me. I don’t think I can do it again. I know, its only 9 months, and it was completely and totally worth it and I would never change a thing but… I can’t do it again. For my families sake. I know every pregnancy is different, but I’ve done my research on HG (learn more!) and I know things are stacked against me.
So, our family will stay a family of three. At least for now, anyway. Steven and I have discussed the possibility of adoption or foster parenting but until we own a home, its all up in the air. I’m just very happy with where our family is right now. We are in a happy place. The three of us are so close. I can’t be disappointed. We truly are blessed to have a daughter as wonderful as Goose.


Heather said...

That was beautiful! :)

Julia said...

look at you little young'uns!!! so cute and what an awesome story!! and yeah for you for sticking together when others wouldn't.

love you!

Funky Mama Bird said...

Yowsa! I thought my pregnancy was rough, but this was amazing!

Kristen T. said...

Hello fellow HG/Zofran friend! There's someone else out there who bared through 9 months of fleeing from all forms of food!

It sounds like you had it even worse than me with the number of ER visits, but our diets sounded very similar. And the Zofran bills!

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