Posted in Motherhood, Rainbow Baby, Uncategorized

My Pregnancy & Birth Story – Part 2

Like I said earlier, I had tons of trips to the hospital and lots of ultrasounds. We had lots of scares, baby wouldn’t kick or move, had Braxton Hicks a lot, and still more bleeding, which confused everyone because I no longer had the Placenta Previa. Another ultrasound showed that I had uterine and cervical fibroid. Ah, okay, that we can deal with. Anytime I had to do a kick count, I would chug cold chocolate milk and blast music, that got baby moving almost every time. Especially Something Just Like This by Coldplay & Chainsmokers, haha.

At my 36 week OB appointment, my OB asked how I had been feeling and I said “fantastic except, my hands and feet are feeling a bit itchy”. Next thing we know, I’m back in the hospital to get blood work to check for Cholestasis. I’m sorry, what the hell is that?! They explained what it was and told me that it could lead to a ton of complications including stillbirth. We were so scared. I received a call from my OB’s office, she was away but I was going to see her on-call doctor. Great, this can’t be good. This was an appointment my husband couldn’t make it to because it wasn’t planned. Thankfully, my mom was able to come with me. Sure enough, I had Cholestasis. What the actual fuck is going on here. She assured me that taking a certain medication would help but I would have to be induced around 38 weeks. She also said “your baby is measuring at a healthy weight, they’ll likely be over 8lbs.” Home I went. Explained everything to my husband and tried not to worry.

At my 38 week appointment they did the swab got Group Strep B to test if I was GBS+ or not. She swabbed from one end to the other, if you know what I mean. Well, that was not weird at all. Then she did a stretch and sweep of my cervix to try to start dilation. OMFG. That was horrendous. She did warn me “it may feel like I’m reaching up to your throat because I am.” She was not kidding. I’ll never do that again. Oh and sure enough, I was GBS+, but that just meant I would need IV antibiotics when I go in for my induction. Easy peasy…or was it?

At 39 weeks, my husband and I went to my last OB appointment. She said to my husband “you go into work this afternoon and tell your boss that you’ll be having a baby and will be back in a week” we were so nervous but so excited. 9 pm that night, we went in for me to have a Foley Catheter placed to start the induction process. Holy fuck. That was the worst 12 hours of my life. We came home and I just threw up so much, I was sweating from every single part of my body, I was having contractions, it was absolutely painful. The next morning, we went back to the hospital to have the catheter removed and have a baby. Unfortunately, they had no available nurses that day (you have to have a nurse with you the entire time while being induced) so they told us to go home and get some rest. We slept for 13 hours.

At 7 am the next day, the nurse called and said “come on in, you’re having a baby today!!!” Holy shit, it’s happening. This is really happening! I had a quick shower, we snapped our last selfie before we were parents and we carefully made our way to the hospital. They hooked me up to an IV with Pitocin and the IV antibiotics. I should also mention that I’m very allergic to a ton of antibiotics but I had never had the one they were giving me. While that was happening, we watched all the hospital videos you need to watch when having a baby. During that, I looked at my husband and told him my brain was on fire. I was having a major allergic reaction to the antibiotics. Of course this was happening, haha. They gave me some Benadryl and that thankfully helped. My husband said I looked like a tomato.

The OB came to check my cervix around 5 pm and I was still only 4cm. She said the baby was up very high and that I might not progress much more than that. She then broke my water. ahhhhhhhh. She had to insert a catheter for my bladder because the baby was up so high so they didn’t want me standing up at all. Then my contractions start. You know, I have endometriosis and thought I could handle pains. Nothing prepared me for this. I couldn’t breathe, my husband kept a cold cloth on my head and neck the entire time. I kept refusing an epidural. They came to check me and nothing was happening despite how bad my contractions were. They said “you’re probably going to need a c-section.” Nope. Not going to happen, I thought.

At 9 pm, I hadn’t dilated any more and the contractions were so horrible. I looked at my husband and said “I want a c-section right now!!!” He said “babe, are you sure?” And I said “yes!” Next thing I know, I’m on an operating table getting a spinal tap and my worried husband was being brought in to sit with me. He was so scared. I was too but I couldn’t feel my body so I was feeling a bit better, haha.

At 9:35 pm, the OB says “Dad, you ready to announce the gender?” My husband stands up, the OB says “it’s a…” And my husband, through tears and a surgical mask says “GIRL!!!” OH MY GOD. He brought her over to me, she was so beautiful, my husband’s little twin. 8lbs 3oz and 21 1/4 inches long, a head full of beautiful dark hair. Her cry was like music to my ears. My husband snapped some photos while they weighed her and they stitched me all up. They placed her on my chest and wheeled us to recovery. She instantly latched and nursed like a champ! We were very lucky. In fact, I’m still nursing almost two years later. So blessed.

It was a long, exhausting, rewarding and beautiful road to becoming a mother but there is not a single thing I would change. I loved every second of being pregnant, even through the scary stuff. I loved imagining who this tiny baby would be. I feel so incredibly lucky to have our sweet rainbow baby and am so proud that I get to be her mama. I fall more in love with her and my husband every single day. She keeps us on our toes but keeps us laughing as well. We are so thankful for all the support from our family and friends along the way as well and my amazing OB that told me years ago “I will make sure you have a baby one day.” She made sure that we never gave up hope. And we never did.

To whomever is reading, if you are trying to become a parent, are a parent and have babies here on earth or up in heaven, I wish you all the best and want to thank you for reading our journey.

xoxo

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Posted in Motherhood, pregnancy, Rainbow Baby

My Pregnancy & Birth Story – Part 1

I’ll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant, we were back from our Honeymoon and my friend Jess and I were getting together that morning for brunch. I remember feeling kind of off that morning. After brunch, I said “Jess, I think I need to pick up a pregnancy test on our way back to my place, I just have a feeling.” We got back to my place and Jess said “I am NOT leaving until you take that test!!” It was the longest 3 minutes of my entire life.

I came running out of the bathroom in tears and yelled “HOLY SHIT JESSICA! I’M PREGNANT!!!!” I couldn’t believe it. Two pink lines! OMG, we are going to have a baby!!!

I had to think of a way to tell my husband when he got home from work. We just happened to receive a bunch of wedding gifts that afternoon so I grabbed a tiny gift bag and a card. I told him someone left it in our mailbox while I was out. Inside the card I wrote “Hi Daddy, I can’t wait to meet you in nine months. Love, Baby K” I’ll never forget the look on his face, it was full of shock, excitement and so much love. This man is seriously incredible. He is my best friend and I always knew he would be an amazing father. I couldn’t wait to see him become a father. It was something we never thought would happen. I had miscarried twins the summer before and we were terrified but so excited.

Because I was high risk right from the second that test was positive, I had three blood tests done, each 72 hrs apart to make sure my HCG levels were doubling. Thankfully, they were! So we had my first ultrasound, we were so nervous. The Ultrasound Tech was so sweet, she said “Hun, look at the screen, that tiny little flicker is your baby! I’m going to grab your husband, I’ll be right back.” Oh my god, that is our baby! I just started to cry. My husband came in, he was in awe, it was the most beautiful little flicker we have ever seen. I’m crying just thinking about that moment.

(Just a quick reminder, this is OUR personal journey that I want to share with whoever is reading. I don’t want to sugarcoat anything and just because these things happened to me, it doesn’t mean it’ll happen to you. Every person, pregnancy and baby is completely different! I loved every single second of being pregnant, in fact, I’ve never felt more beautiful or more excited for anything in my whole life.)

At 7 weeks, I woke up soaked in blood. No, not again, this cannot be happening again. He rushed me to the ER, by the time we got there, the bleeding at stopped almost completely. They came to take me down for an ultrasound, my husband waited in my room while I walked down with the porter. While I was waiting in a chair to go in, I fainted. They brought me cold cloths and a bed. In I went for my ultrasound. The ultrasound tech at the hospital was an angel, she was so concerned and so sweet. She talked to me about my miscarriage I had the summer before, she talked to me about Ireland (my most favourite place in the whole world) and then she said “I’m not suppose to do this but you have been through so much and you’re having a bad day. I’d like to cheer you up” she turned the screen towards me and said “that is your baby and your baby had the strongest heartbeat! Everything looks great so far!” I bawled my eyes out. Thank God, thank you, thank you, thank you! They wheeled me back to the ER in a bed, tilted upside down, haha! My husband was so confused, I was walking the last time he saw me, haha!! The doctor came in and said that I had a Subchoronic Hemorrhage but that the baby was totally healthy and strong. This should clear up on it’s own and it did just that! But I was placed on bedrest by my OB just in case.

I had a TON of ultrasounds throughout my entire pregnancy. 9 weeks to make sure all was good and it was, our little baby was just wiggling all over. At 13 weeks, we got to hear that super strong heartbeat, it was the most beautiful sound we have ever heard. I should mention that my husband only ever missed two OB appointments. He was there for every hospital trip as well and trust me, there were plenty. But I will never forget the first time I felt the little flutters in my belly and when those flutters turned to full kicks and movements, what a truly incredible feeling. I can’t even describe it. There are some days I actually miss feeling those kicks.

16 week ultrasound came, everything was still looking real good. My OB was happy. Then my 20 week ultrasound came. They called me in and told my husband that they would call him in in about an hour once they were able to check me and the baby out. 20 minutes in and I faint and then start puking. They had laid me flat on my back and all the pressure made me pass out. My husband comes in to find me laying on my left side with a giant garbage can beside me. Thankfully, they were able to complete the ultrasound with me laying on my side. We got to see our baby, we both cried as usual, what a beautiful sight to see. My follow-up with my OB that week was a surprise. She said “you have a Placenta Previa, it is completely covering your cervix, if it doesn’t move at least 2cm then you’ll need to have a c-section” what! I was placed on bedrest once again, I wasn’t allowed to lift anything and I had to watch for all sorts of things, bleeding, cramping, contractions. She also mentioned that once I was 25 weeks along, I’d have to get steroid shots for the baby’s lungs just in case they come early.

At 25 weeks, I went to the hospital for my shots, I had to have two in 48 hours. After the second shot, I came home with my poutine and milkshake, obviously. I started to feel kind of funny and I went to the bathroom. Blood! Oh god! I called my husband at work and my best friend, she came to take me to the hospital. The OB came to see me, my husband was with me by this point and she said “I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep you here for a few days to monitor you and the baby and watch for more bleeding.” Cool, just what I wanted. I cried, I cried so much. My husband assured me that we were in great hands and that everything would be okay. I had visitors, watched a ton of Friends on Netflix, had to do tons of kick counts (not the first or the last for us). The nurses and OBs were amazing, my OB came to visit. I stayed two nights, on the third day, they wanted me to go for another ultrasound but they sent me to a fertility clinic across the street because they were better equipped with much better technology. When I got back to the hospital, they were excited to say my Placenta Previa cleared up and even moved 5cm!!! Yay! Home we go!

To be continued…

Posted in Uncategorized

My Endo Journey..

1 in 10 women suffer from Endometriosis, I am 1.

Where do I even start? I guess I’ll just go back to the beginning. I got my period when I was 11 years old, it was almost immediately that I started to faint from the horrible cramps, spend hours on the bathroom floor throwing up and changing my overnight pads twice an hour. No one told me this wasn’t normal. I started missing so much school.

When I was 14 years old, I remember fainting in the kitchen and screaming in extreme pain. My mom carried me down to our car and drove me straight to the ER, they said I had ovarian cysts and would need to go on Birth Control to stop them from coming back. This was all a “normal” part of being a girl. Thanks doc. These hospital visits and days/nights on the bathroom floor became my life.

At 18, I ended up in the ER for the millionth time, in comes McDreamy to tell me I needed to have a PAP test. Excuse me! I’ve never had one before, I was scared. The doctor was so angry that my family doctor knew I had a history of ovarian cysts, heavy periods and had been on birth control for 4 years already and didn’t think to give me a PAP test before now! Of course, this was another ovarian cyst. This doctor mentioned Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and said this could lead to fertility problems. Oh boy.

At 20, I met the most wonderful man ever. (Spoiler: this man is my incredible husband!) I knew he was special when he never hesitated waiting at my bedside in the ER, when I couldn’t have sex because it was excruciating, or when my periods were so heavy that I’d pass out in the bathroom or at work and need him to pick me up, again and again. FINALLY, when I was 23, my family doctor decided it was time for me to see a proper gynecologist even though he continued to assure me that my problems were “in my head” or “because I’m a woman”.

This is where my life changed, this incredible gynecologist knew right away that I had endometriosis, she didn’t even suspect it, she said she knew. I cried. I cried because she believed my pain, I cried because I was being heard, I cried because I KNEW this wasn’t NORMAL, I cried because she promised she would make sure that I have babies. She. Is. Amazing. She didn’t want to perform any type of surgery right away, she wanted to wait a bit until I was closer to wanting to try for babies. (Still had countless ER trips, hemorrhaging cysts, heavy periods, passing out)

When I was 26 (almost 27 to be exact) I started a new job, I had my own office, it was awesome, things seemed good. About 3 months into my new job, I started to get this horrible pain in my lower back, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t do anything. I blacked out in the shower. My boyfriend took me to the ER, the doctor there did an x-ray of my spine and said that was the issue, heat and rest. Well, I ended up back in the ER two more times in 48 hours before the third doctor said “Aly, it seems your issue is your endometriosis, I’m going to get the head of Gynecology to come and see you” meanwhile, they sent me down for an internal ultrasound and did a PAP test. Also, I should mention, my amazing gynecologist was on sick leave with no one knowing when she would be back. The head of Gynecology came to see me, he was so great. He informed me that I need surgery, he gave me his card and said “if Dr. Amazing isn’t back soon then I will perform your surgery but you need it as soon as possible”

I lost that job. They fired me for missing work (don’t worry, they weren’t the first, endometriosis took over me and my life long before this)

Sept 2014, I had my laporscopic surgery to remove any endometriosis they could find. All was removed except for the Endo covering my left ovary and left ureter because it was too risky and that ovary, somehow, was still working and healthy. I healed nicely and honestly never felt better. Dec 2014, I landed the most amazing job I only ever dreamed of having, my boyfriend and I planned a trip to Ireland for the following May and things were amazing. Came back from Ireland engaged and to our surprise, pregnant, with TWINS! Holy Shit! I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be able to get pregnant let alone with twins. We were on cloud 9, wedding planning quickly turned to baby planning. And then, the unthinkable happened. When I was 11 weeks pregnant, I ended up in the ER with extremely heavy bleeding, cramping and fainting. This cannot be happening. This isn’t how it was suppose to end. I lost the twins. They stopped growing at 9 weeks. We were devastated, gutted. What did I do wrong? Was this my fault? Nope. It wasn’t.

I went on sick leave, I was having some of the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had. I kept waking up from deep sleeps thinking I was dying. Little did I know, this was me grieving for babies that we will never meet. This lasted well into 2016. I tried going back to work, to clear my head. My first day back, a co-worker made a hurtful comment in front of me “you’ve never seen Grey’s Anatomy? It’s basically a show where everyone has miscarriages” who the hell says something like that. I had emailed our team to tell them what had happened. They all knew. She knew. I lasted 4 days. I lost that dream job. I couldn’t deal. Once again, my endometriosis was back in full swing and I felt worse than ever before. Anxiety had taken right over.

My fiance traveled a lot for work in 2016, so I put all my time and energy into planning our wedding. We got married August 2016, it was so beautiful, one of the best days of my life. We went on our honeymoon a couple of days later, oh my, what a trip! We had the best time ever. We came home and two weeks later, I took a pregnancy test. POSITIVE! panic and worry set in immediately but so did excitement. My pregnancy was emotional and worrisome, lots of hospital trips, subchorionic hemorrhaging, cholestasis, bed rest. I was induced at 39 weeks, had our sweet rainbow baby bird at 39 weeks, 2 days via c-section. And let me tell you, she is worth it all. I am so thankful everyday for my loving, caring, kind-hearted, hard-working husband, he is my best friend and the most wonderful father to our sweet girl. She is the greatest gift we have ever received!

Here we are, getting ready to plan her second birthday and my endometriosis is causing issues, making sure I haven’t forgotten about it. I’m lucky that from the minute I got pregnant with our baby bird until about a month ago, I hadn’t had many issues. My periods are lighter than ever with only one heavy day but the pains are back. I’m worried this will result in more surgery or fertility problems as we are hoping for a second baby in the near future. But I will not let the endometriosis win.