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Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Birth Story

The Discovery Health Channel is one of my favorites. I am intrigued by medical procedures, facts and information. I can recall watching shows about pregnancy and birth long before I was pregnant and of course Discovery Health was one of my sources for information. I still occasionally watch birth stories and next week is a perfect time for viewing because it is Discovery Health Channel's Baby Week. Here is the line-up:

Twins By Surprise Sunday, June 14, 8P e/p
Little Parents, Big Pregnancy Monday, June 15, 8P e/p
Births Beyond Belief Tuesday, June 16, 8P e/p
Obese & Pregnant Wednesday, June 17, 8P e/p

You can also see video clips of the stories on YouTube.


Last week I was asked to share my birth story to participate in Discovery Health's Baby Week. Of course every story is different and mine has some interesting twists and turns. Today I share my story with you.


I have only been pregnant twice and the first time I was clueless. It happened two months into my marriage when I jokingly said to my husband - "let's make a Valentine's Day baby." Having never been pregnant before I figured the likelihood of that happening to be minimal. I never guessed that I could be so wrong. Three weeks later with a bit of spotting but no true visit from Aunt Flo I decided to call my doctor in New York, as a recent Georgia transplant I did not have a doctor yet. I was advised to take a pregnancy test and I called back immediately when it was positive. I was both elated and disturbed by the news because my doctor told me to immediately go to the hospital.

The week that followed was like a roller coaster. I was pregnant but my hormone levels were low and nothing was visible in the ultrasound. Levels were rechecked, another ultrasound and a heartbeat was seen - devastating, because it was not where it should have been. An ectopic pregnancy, unviable, and the loss of my fallopian tube inevitable. The next day I underwent surgery - at 7 weeks my pregnancy was life threatening and time was of the essence. What followed was months of mourning and hope that when we tried again everything would go smoothly. After five months of healing we received the go ahead and by the second month we were pregnant again.

I discovered the pregnancy before I missed my period - before the test at the doctor's office was positive, but after five home pregnancy tests I knew the truth and a blood test confirmed the pregnancy. It was vital to determine if this pregnancy was ectopic because I only had one fallopian tube left. I found a doctor that was willing to give me a sonogram to check everything- waiting was not an option for me after the numbers on my hormone levels were suspiciously low. Thankfully everything was fine and my pregnancy progressed nicely for the first 20 weeks. I was high risk for a number of reasons -age, ectopic pregnancy, fibroids but visits to the perinatologist and my ob/gyn did not predict preterm contractions.

I was in pain one day at work and walking around thinking that the baby was in a bad position but a former nurse on my staff said that I did not look good and everyone suggested I call the doctor. I ended up in the hospital on meds to stop the progression of my contractions. That was the first of at least five visits to the hospital. I recall the Dr informing me that we needed to keep my baby in until certain weeks - 26, then 32, each milestone week I reached was cause for celebration. For the duration of my pregnancy I worked from home but the stress of my job followed me and to this day I attribute many of my pregnancy problems to that stress.

I was working against my doctor's wishes and finally was forced to stop working when I was 37 weeks. At that point my blood pressure was so high I was at risk for stroke and immediately placed in the hospital. Amazingly, when I let go of work my blood pressure returned to normal and after a few hours of observation I was sent home. Of course, ever the Queen Bee, I was in the midst of preparing for a move into our new home in the midst of all of this. Although, to clarify, I did more directing than anything else, my husband was responsible for packing our things. We closed on our house and five days later I had my scheduled c-section (I had some fibroids removed in 2005 and therefore a natural childbirth was out of the question).

My husband and I awoke at 5 am that morning in preparation for our 6 am arrival time. We were late and although the nurses gave me a little flack I was there with time to spare in preparation for my surgery. We waited in the triage room to be taken down to the OR, my husband and I exchanged light banter and the time quickly passed. I was whisked away and given my spinal block which was the scariest part of the entire surgery. I flinched a little when I felt the fluid from the injection and of course movement is dangerous. The crisis was averted and while we waited for the medication to start working my husband was summoned to join me. The rest went by in a flash, my son was born in about five minutes and the doctor called out for my husband to have the camera ready.




The most beautiful sound hit my ears at the moment, my son's cries were far from plaintive, he had a very good set of lungs and used them! After all of the appropriate tests were taken my baby was brought over and after a kiss from me, Daddy and son left the room while my surgery was completed.





I rejoined my family a couple hours later and I was a bit lonely in the room until they arrived but once we were together it was heavenly. My son was immediately placed on my bare chest and we snuggled quietly before he nursed for the first time. And the rest as they say is history.






My birth went off without a hitch but the journey was filled with twists and turns. I am blessed to have a healthy child and the complications leading up to his birth were worth the pain- every time I see his lovely smile I am reminded that he is truly a miracle to behold.



32 comments:

Banteringblonde said...

I always love a story with a happy ending! We all have such different experiences and it is alway interesting to hear other's stories!

mannequin said...

Aw... and what a miracle a newborn is.

I don't believe I've ever seen a baby wail with such gusto! What an introduction.

Stef said...

Yay, I love birth stories!

Jewelry Rockstar said...

Nice story I will have planned c-section this time. I feel weird about baby not picking his own birthdate.

laughing808 said...

Thanks for sharing your story.

Fishy Fish said...

This was actually a tear jerker as im here sitting at my desk at work reading it. i'm glad you were finally able to have your precious little boy and enjoy the wonderful life he has ahead of him.

CaraBee said...

What a story! I can't imagine how hard that must have been on you to lose that first pregnancy! But how lucky you are to have such a wonderful little boy now.

Christine Anderson said...

How beautiful!! I know the misery of an ectopic pregnancy and the amazement of giving birth. Congratulations and hold strong to that memory! If for no other reason, you will need it when he is driving you crazy!

Blessings

Naomi said...

That last picture is just gorgeous. You look so beatific.

anymommy said...

I adore birth stories and yours is so compelling. Those beautiful pictures and the beautiful truth at the end.

Kathleen W. said...

What a beautiful story! And such gorgeous photos. I can't believe that's Mekhi...so tiny!

I also have one fallopian tube (after an ovarian cyst removal in my 20s), so I was surprised how quickly I got pregnant. How wonderful that everything turned out well in the end, and you have that sweet little boy.

Victoria said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I LOVE birth stories! Both of my daughter's were conceived by IVF after many months of disappointment, etc. You've inspired me...Maybe I'm going write down my birth stories for my daughter's...
-Vicki

Jennifer said...

Oh, oh, oh! I loooove this post so much! Thank you for sharing your birth with us! I always love to hear about other mommies experiences!

ChristiS said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal part of yourself with us! You truly are blessed with a miracle!!

Christie-A Work In Progress said...

Aw! You look so beautiful! And what a story! I do remember a little of this from one of our conversations...but it is nice to hear it in your writing voice. Gosh, in my delivery pics, I look like death warmed over! LOL! You as always are stunning! Thanks for sharing!

Petula said...

The miracle of conception and birth as well as our differences and experiences are amazing. I enjoyed reading your birth story.

sian said...

Congrats! How are you finding time to blog is beyond me! Can't wait for your next post!

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

What a beautiful birth story! It makes me relive mine again and brings a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing yours.

Ms. Bar B: said...

We women are so incredible. I love baby stories. Like you said, everyone's experience is different and unique and beautiful. Our children are such a gift.

VDog said...

Wow, Renee...I'm so glad you told me a little on the phone so I knew to come looking for the deets...

Pre-term labor, like me!! Only I didn't have the contractions -- my water broke.

Congratulations on a healthy, handsome son. WOW. What a story.

xoxoxo

ParlinMom said...

I just found your sight and I saw the picture of your son when scrooling through the site. Reading your story was almost like reading my own minus the ectopic pregnancy. I thank God for my daughter and everything I went through for her to get here. Thank you for sharing your story.

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