Monday, June 12, 2017

Olivia | Pregnancy

So pregnancy. It's waaaaay harder than I expected.

Josh and I have been married for 7 years, we got married when he was 21 and I was 20. I had always said I wanted to be 25 years old or be married for 5 years before we had kids.

Well, when I turned 25 we were living the dream. Josh was making $80,000 a year. We decided there was no better time than the present to have kids. We began trying, then one dark Wednesday we got an email. "You will receive your last paycheck on Friday you will need to contact your supervisor to determine if you need to come into work for paperwork today and to clean out your desks."

The company Josh was working for shut down with 2 days notice. I was finishing up school so I didn't have a job. We were jobless and all of that combined put a halt on having children.

Josh decided/was called to go into ministry. During the first two years we made $12,000 a year and lived in a trailer with a roommate. Definitely not the time to have a baby.

Our third year we got a raise and moved into a house and decided it was time to start trying for kids again.

At this point I was 27 and Josh and I had been married for 6 years. We had always joked that since we weren't quite in a place financially to have kids that we would get pregnant really quickly or get a surprise baby. Well, we started trying. 6 months later....we began to wonder what was taking so long.

At 9 months, I got worried. I casually mentioned to a friend who is a nurse that we had been trying for 9 months with no success and she said I should come in to get some blood work done. I went and had blood work and $400 later we were told everything looked normal so it was time to take steps to get Josh tested.

We paid off our $400 bill and we were sitting at a year of trying at this point. It's easy for a woman to get tested by the way because she has yearly visits with a specific doctor who can also help with reproduction. Men on the other hand, don't have that luxury. So it took some searching to figure out who might do tests on men involving reproduction.

Once we found a doctor we were going to schedule an appt. Josh usually does personal phone calls, like bills and insurance stuff on Fridays so on August 5th he was going to call and make his appt.

Now, for me, every month was emotional. I don't usually express my emotions publicly but I had gotten to the point where every month when I would start my period I would just stay home and cry.

Well in August, I was late. I had been sick with a cold so I figured that might have messed me up a little. I was supposed to start on a Friday but nothing happened. Saturday...nothing. Sunday...still nothing so I started thinking I needed to get a pregnancy test but I was dreading it. I knew it was going to be negative.

On Monday I went and bought two tests, but I read that you were supposed to take them in the morning so I missed my window and I wanted everything to be by the rules just in case. Well, Tuesdays are praise team practice and I couldn't face everyone knowing I had gotten a negative test so I put it off. Same thing on Wednesday, I had to go to church that night and just didn't want to be sad so I kept the test boxed up in the drawer.

Thursday, August 4th rolled around and I had nowhere to go and no people to see. That was my day. Josh told me he wanted to be awake with me when I took the test and unfortunately I woke up at 5:45 really needing to go to the bathroom. So I woke Josh up and went to the bathroom. We waited 2 minutes...pacing the bathroom floor. The timer went off and we looked. 2 pink lines!

I was pregnant! After a year of trying though I didn't believe it (hence the 2 tests). So I said, we're not going to get too excited until I take the second one the next morning. However, that evening I felt AWFUL. I was so nauseous that nothing sounded good. I just laid on the couch.

Friday morning I felt fine and I took the second test. 2 minutes later...2 pink lines! Friday afternoon...sick again.

Saturday...woke up sick and sick all day.

This continued for 5 1/2 months. But we'll get to that.

So I scheduled my first doctor appt for 2 weeks later when I was about 6 weeks along.

I went to my doctor's appointment and my doctor wasn't actually there so I just had an ultrasound. While she was giving me the ultrasound she kept the wand near my right side. She mentioned that I had an odd shaped uterus and she was going to put that in my chart to have my doctor look at.

I scheduled my next appointment for a month later so I was 10 weeks along at that point. About 2 weeks before that appointment I noticed a hard spot the size of a plum on my right side near my hipbone. I read about it and chalked it up to my uterus getting hard prepping for baby. When I went to my 10 week appt I mentioned it to my doctor and she felt it. She said it felt like a hernia, but she wanted to see it on an ultrasound. So I walked over to the ultrasound tech and she looked at it again. She didn't know what it was so she called my doctor into the room and she looked at it. She couldn't tell exactly what it was, but said it looked like a mass connected to my uterus. She said she was going to send me to a maternal fetal medicine specialist in Jackson to get a second opinion.

We got in the car after that appointment and immediately Josh turned to me and said, "I need to be real with you for a minute."

I looked at him knowing exactly what he was going to say.

He said, "You know what I am going to say, but I want your opinion before I say it...what do you want to do if this is cancer?"

I just started crying and said I didn't want to think about that right now. I just wanted to see what the doctor said.

My doctor put in the notice to the specialist and they called me two days later to schedule an appointment. A week later in the beginning of October we headed to Jackson. I was a nervous wreck.

It took us 2 hours to get called back and another hour sitting in the room before we saw the doctor. We had an ultrasound and the doctor took a look and determined the lump was a Uterine Fibroid about 4cm which was the size of a plum. He asked if I had experienced any pain or if the lump hurt. I said no, I wasn't in any pain. He sadly informed me that would probably change but there wasn't much I could do about it. Take warm salt baths, use a heating pad, and take tylenol.

We went home with happy news overall! Fibroids were fairly common and depending on how big they got was to how easy they were to deal with during pregnancy. Mine was fairly small, anything under 5cm was "easy". Anything from 6-9cm was "more difficult" and anything 10cm and up might cause "complications". So I was good!

At 12 weeks we announced our pregnancy to the public...which was really nice because I was tired of lying to everyone about why I was so sick...although I'm sure everyone knew.

About 2 weeks later at the end of October on a Sunday night as we were getting ready for bed something didn't feel quite right. I went to the bathroom to find blood. I told Josh and he immediately said we have to go to the ER. At 11:00 we left the house and went to the Emergency Room. We were there for about an hour when a girl came in and said she was there to do my ultrasound. She wasn't an ultrasound tech but she knew how to work the machine so all she really was there for was to find the heartbeat. She easily found it within just a few seconds and said everything looked good however I should rest until my next doctor's appointment (which was in 3 days)...that was also our gender appointment!

Wednesday, Nov 2nd, we headed to the specialist in Jackson to find out the gender of our baby and maybe find out what had caused the bleeding. We were there for 3 hours but we finally got called back and they started the ultrasound. Within minutes she knew what we were having and asked us if we were really really sure we wanted to know. I said YES WE NEED TO KNOW! Then she announced, it's a girl! Our sweet little baby that we had prayed for for so long was going to be a little girl....y'all, my husband was ecstatic! He wanted a girl so bad! We didn't get any specific answers about the bleeding, but our doctor said everything looked normal. In fact our little girl was so perfectly healthy!

We continued with pregnancy and still holding strong with the morning sickness even though it had gone down to every other day instead of everyday.

By Thanksgiving I began having back pain on my right side toward the end of the day. Every evening I would have to lay down with a heating pad. I still wasn't really showing. I had a tiny bump but it was barely noticeable.

My next appointment was with the specialist in Jackson on December 15th. By then I was having significant back and rib pain most of the day. It hurt sitting in the car and it hurt sitting in the doctors office. We got called back and they started my ultrasound. She said everything looks great with our baby girl, but the doctor needed to come in and talk to me about my fibroid.

About 15 minutes later, the doctor came in and said, "well everything looks perfect with your baby girl. However, your 4 cm fibroid is now a 10 cm fibroid and it grew very rapidly in a month and a half."

There was nothing they could do, as everything was still very healthy, but I was now considered a "high risk pregnancy" and I just needed to take it easy.

Christmas this year was on a Sunday, so Josh and I got up and went to open the church like normal. We had praise team and I was scheduled to sing that day. I helped Josh set up the church, then stood during praise team practice, stood during the service, then after service we cleaned up and locked up the church. My ribs were killing me! I had to have Josh help me in the car because I couldn't bend over. We got home and I laid on the couch and cried. I couldn't move without pain in my side. My parents left my sister's house in Alabama that afternoon and got to our house that night to have Christmas with us and spend the night so they could continue their drive home to Texas. I ended up going to bed because I just couldn't get comfortable. At 4 o'clock that morning I woke up to Josh getting in and out of the bed. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I'm pretty sure I'm sick."

We stayed up the rest of the night because as long as he was sick I couldn't sleep. Finally at 7 I heard my parents moving around and I went to tell them Josh was sick so we wouldn't be able to go to breakfast with them and they should just head on home so they didn't catch it. They were gone and I was left in the house alone with my sick husband.

We ultimately decided he should just stay in the bedroom and I should go to the guest room until he was better. Y'all...whatever stomach bug he had...lasted the whole dang week. We had to cancel all our Christmas plans and all church practices. I spent all week trying to keep the house clean so I didn't catch whatever he had. On top of all this, the rib pain I was having just kept getting worse. I couldn't do much of anything for more than 20 minutes without having to go lay down and take a break.

Finally, by Friday Josh got better and we were able to talk to each other face to face again. He helped me clean the house one last time then we went to the church on Saturday and set up for the Sunday morning service.

Our next doctors appt was here in Vicksburg on January 6th and that was my glucose test.  Of course, we woke up that morning and it was hailing outside! We were not giving up so we got in the car and very slowly made our way to the hospital. We arrived and everyone was really impressed we were there! They said that almost everyone had cancelled their appointments because of the weather. We got called back immediately and I was given my orange drink. It really wasn't that bad. We went back out to the waiting room to wait for an hour before I got my blood work done, but I got called back for an ultrasound. My ultrasound tech (who by the way is amazing) asked what all I had done so far and I told her I drank my drink and now I was waiting. She was impressed I was ok with getting an ultrasound, she said normally people like to walk around to take their mind off their gurgling stomach. I told her I actually wasn't feeling too bad. So she started the ultrasound and we were just chatting then she asked me if a 4d ultrasound would freak me out. I told her NO! We were planning on getting one but we hadn't made the appt yet. She said, well I don't have any other appointments today and they are about to shut down our office due to the weather, so if you want one I don't mind doing it. I was like oh yes that would be awesome!!

So I got a 4D ultrasound. Y'all...according to those pictures, my kid was going to be adorable! She had the cutest little cuppie lips and little button nose! I was so excited.

By February, I was finally starting to show but my pain in my side had gotten so bad I couldn't stand or sit for very long and I would have to lay down on my left side to be comfortable. I went to the doctor on February 2nd. I was 31 weeks pregnant and that morning I was having sharp pain in my side that came in waves. I told my doctor what was happening and she checked me. She said baby was growing great but my fibroid had shifted. I now had two dislocated ribs. I needed to take it very easy for the next few weeks. I needed to at least make it to 34 weeks. I was put on "partial bedrest" until after 34 weeks. I wasn't allowed to be out for more than a few hours at a time, and not do anything that could raise my blood pressure or cause me stress.

After that appointment Josh told me I was not to schedule myself on praise team anymore, I needed to reduce my responsibilities at the church, and no more photography. I spent the next three weeks trying to take it as easy as possible. Better said than done, but I made it to 34 weeks!

I had my baby shower when I was 35 weeks. Unfortunately I am 8 weeks postpartum as I type this and I am still working on Thank You cards...because well...I'm a horrible person. So if you are still waiting on a card from me...I promise it's coming.

After 35 weeks, pregnancy was kind of a blur. I was told for months that I would probably not carry full term and that I was a high risk pregnancy and would probably go into labor very early. So from 35 weeks on I kept thinking...any day now...any day now.

FYI, I went into labor at 40 1/2 weeks and that story will be for another blog. Do you know how slow time feels when you think to yourself "any day now" for 5 1/2 weeks????

I went for an appointment on March 27th and they did one final ultrasound. Everyone was great, but the fibroid was now 14 cm. The size of a grapefruit. WOAH.

It felt like FOREVER. People at church were constantly telling me, "I was hoping you weren't going to be at church today" or "you still haven't had that baby yet?"

My mom was planning on coming from Texas to stay with me for a month to help out and we had all gotten antsy about me going into labor quickly so on Wednesday April 5th my mom drove over to stay because the waiting was getting frustrating.

While my mom was here we tried everything we could to get the baby out. The term "walk it out" was taken a little too literally. I walked SO MUCH between April 5th and when I went into labor.

At my appt on April 10th I scheduled myself to be induced on April 13th.

FINALLY, on April 12th at 10:19 PM...I went into labor.

To be continued...

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