Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Baby Story

With each of the girls, I've written a story about their pregnancy, labor and delivery, telling about the scary moments, the exciting moments, the happy moments.

This baby is going to have one big story.

I’d say it starts back to last January/February, when we had a miscarriage. That further affirmed that we were ready for one more addition to our little family.

Fast forward to July, when baby ran his/her first race. I was just a bit pregnant when I ran the 5K Color Run in Kansas City. I knew it, and took it easy and drank lots of water because of it.

Fast forward to August, when we had a big scare. While on vacation in a cabin at a park in Nebraska, I woke up to a big bleed. I thought for sure the pregnancy was over, and per our doctor’s orders, went to the nearest ER for evaluation. I couldn’t see the screen while they did the ultrasound, but Jay could, and his face lit up as he recognized a little heartbeat. I was diagnosed with subchorionic bleed, which thank goodness stabilized. It meant I needed to take it easy, no more running for sure, and just relax. It was kind of nerve wracking for a few weeks, but then things calmed down and I thought that was the worst this pregnancy would throw at us.

October we had our ultrasound and left the appointment confidant and happy. The baby looked to be fully developed, everything where it should be. But, later that week, we got the call that there was a questionable spot on the baby's heart. Oh, and we won't be able to do a good follow-up until January. But, doctor thought the spot was just due to baby's movements, wasn't concerned. I tried to relax, but it was scary. Definitely scary. The January follow-up ultrasound proved doctor right, and baby does in fact look, in Mary Poppin's words, "perfectly perfect in every way."

Then, December 4, contractions started to come closer and closer until they were every 2-3 minutes. I tried drinking water, taking a bath, walking, laying down, all the usual tricks. Then, I headed to the doctor’s office, then to the hospital for monitoring. We got the contractions slowed down, and I headed home. The next day, more contractions, another trip to Manhattan, more drugs, but again successful… as long as I stayed laying down.

And that began a very long ten weeks, most of which I spent laying down on the couch or in the bed. Thank goodness for friends and family, for helping Jay with the girls. Thank goodness for Procardia, for weakening the contractions I was having. Thank goodness for a doctor and nurse who were patient with me, reassuring, calming. Thank goodness for donated books and the iPad, for entertainment. Thank goodness for AFLAC and retirement, to get us through what would become 4 months of no paycheck from me.  Thank goodness for an employer who understands and is holding my job for when I return.

At 36 weeks gestation, the meds stopped and the restrictions were lifted. I think we all thought the baby would come shortly after. But, no. I progress at a snails pace. I am ahead of the game compared to the girls’ pregnancies, progressing at 36 weeks where I usually am at 38 weeks.

Now, at 37 weeks 4 days, dilated and on the edge of true labor, we had a snow storm. A big one. An expected snowfall of 22+ inches, at one point. We debated back and forth for days about whether I should go to Manhattan and stay in a hotel to be closer to the hospital, knowing Jay would need to be here to take care of the girls and his garden. Contractions picked up Wednesday and other symptoms made me think things were close. And so, I spent a quiet, expensive night in a hotel. Then, I spent a nice day with my cousin at her apartment, also in Manhattan. Then, I looked at the roads and the radar and actual snowfall (more like 6-8 inches) and forecast and the slowed contractions, and I drove 45 miles to get back home to my family…just in time for the next snow band.

Now, things feel normal. After the drive home, I’m confidant Jay can get me back to Manhattan if need be. The roads were really not that bad, and even a few extra inches would make it a difficult trip but not impassable. Contractions are about every 15 minutes but nothing to call about. I’m not even breathing through them. And I’ll be able to make Natalie’s birthday cake tomorrow, for her big day Saturday, and enjoy watching the girls play in the snow tomorrow.

You see, this is the third time they’ve had the chance to play in the snow, but the last two, I was stuck on a couch. This time, I might even get to bundle up myself and get out in it, help make a snowman or snow fort, truly enjoy at least one day of this winter.

Maybe Natalie will share her birthday with baby. Maybe the next big low pressure system (Monday?) will bring baby. Maybe I’ll be pregnant in March. We don’t know. But for now, we are the calm IN the storm.

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