I had a horrible pregnancy, and I can't wait to try again!

November 20 | Guest post by Staline Combdon
Worth all of it.
Worth all of it.

A lot of women I know talk about having the perfect pregnancy, the perfect birth, the perfect baby. I was one of them.

In the beginning of my pregnancy, everything WAS perfect. I was healthy, my growing baby boy was healthy, my hubby, Devin, was amazing, our families were thrilled, friends were ecstatic, life couldn't have been better.

Since everything was going great and my doctor told me to continue to do the same things I would usually do when not pregnant, minus anything harmful to the baby, I went ahead. I'm a tomboy (always have been, always will be) so naturally, when my brother-in-law needed help repairing his cement front stoop, I obliged.

I would normally be in there digging and using the jack-hammer to break up the old cement, but since I was pregnant, I decided I would take it easy and just pour the cement. Upon further recollection, this was immensely stupid of me.

As I was pushing the cement mixer, I felt a cramp travel across my belly. It hurt a bit, but I assumed it was because of the burritos I had for lunch, and thought nothing more of it. Throughout that night I experienced cramping, but again, everything was going fine with my pregnancy and What To Expect When You're Expecting told me everything was fine.

Even when I began to leak a clear fluid, I consulted the book again, and it plainly stated that it was normal. When I went to work the next day, my cramps became worse and I began leaking a lot more fluid, to the point that I had to wear a pad.

At that point I thought I was in labour, called my hubby and he brought me to the ER. I was admitted and examined right away. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant (28.5 weeks).

When I told them my fears, they didn't quite believe me because going into labour at 28.5 weeks doesn't happen a whole lot (unless you do something really stupid, like move something heavy).

The on-call Doctor did a litmus test to see if I was fact leaking amniotic fluid. The test was positive. The moment it came back, they began attaching monitors and IV's, taking blood and urine, more amniotic samples, medication to stop my contractions, steroids for my unborn son's lungs, and other drugs.

There were nurses and Doctors rushing around me, and with every needle prick my dream of a perfect pregnancy broke a little, until the Doctor told me I couldn't leave the hospital. When she said that, my whole dream shattered.

I was placed on strict in-hospital bed-rest until my son was born (I'm in Canada so this was free, thank Jeebus). I was wheeled up from the E.R. to the Maternity ward and placed in a four bed, one bath room, with one window, curtains separating the patients bed, and no air conditioning.

I stayed on strict bed rest until I was eight months pregnant, at which point they allowed me to take walks and placed me on a list to be induced.

I had been planning on a natural, no drugs, no-nothing-but-Devin-and-a-doula birth my whole pregnancy, but at that point I was happy to let them do almost anything to get him out, minus a c-section and epidural.

When I was nearly nine months along they told me that my name came up on the induction list. It was my turn to go to the Birthing ward, it was finally my time to give birth.

My induction was a long, difficult process. They gave me too much pictocin, too soon. The pain was intense, and I broke down and got an epidural after six hours. Then, I wasn't progressing quick enough for them, and they gave me more pictocin. Then, more morphine for the epidural because the pain was too great.

The morphine turned out to be too strong and my contractions stopped. More pictocin, again. They began to lose Sam's heart-rate, so they attached a monitor to his head. I'd been laboring for 27 hours at this point.

Sam's heart rate began to go up, and we found out his head was stuck at an odd angle. Thats when we started discussing a c-section. The nurses said they'd give me two extra hours, to see if anything improved. It didn't.

It took them an hour to prep the OR, another 30 minutes to prep me, and then, at 8:15 am, August 9th, 2008, Samuel Jacob Garry Combdon was pulled out of me. He was 7lbs 4 oz, and perfect.

Can't wait to do it again!
Can't wait to do it again!

Three days later, we took him home. In the end, I realized that there is no such thing as a perfect or ideal pregnancy. My pregnancy opened my eyes to many, many things, namely that there is no such thing as a perfect pregnancy or birth.

Devin and I are planning on another one in the next year or so. Everyone who knows what we went through are calling us insane to try it again. And I would have agreed with them before I gave birth, but now I realize that having a healthy, happy child is worth all that pain and so much more.

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    • Hi Leah
      As a paramedic in Canada who has delivered many newborns I do not feel that the doctors "screwed" her over. The hospital staff did their absolute best to keep both Mom and baby alive and healthy through out the pregnancy and birth. I realize that this situation was certainly not the ideal but those Doctor and Nurses do an amazing job. Hopefully Staline's future pregnancies will be at home and go as planned but in the event that complications arise it is wonderful to know that there are trained professionals there to care for us Mom's and our children.
      Thanks for considering this.
      From someone who has been on both ends of the table

      2 agree
  1. Im glad Im not the only one whose kid's head was at a funny angle. I too planned the perfect natural birth and after 20 hours found her ear to shoulder, not the optimum birth posture. You did a good job, mommy.

  2. wow! i had a similar experience regarding the pitocin. the nurses gave me too much too fast and then they went into a staff meeting, by the time they came back & the doctor arrived, she was pissed at the nurses for not carefully monitoring me! they had to vacuum my kid's head out, and i had to have surgery "down there". very not fun. and there are a few nurses in my family, and when i spoke with them about my experience, they were infuriated for the poor treatment that i received.

  3. The last sentence you wrote is so inspirational and really puts everything into perspective on the difficult days of pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. Hahaha, hormones in overdrive!!
    Thing is, your experience is your experience and whatever it was, you had a result. I have had four wonderful births (and pregnancies, though I rate them lower simply because I didn't enjoy them as much). All my prev kids have been to see the next one born. Except for the last. Different hospital, different rules. Kids not allowed to experience the miracle, which in turn meant a frantic runaround for my old boy to find someone to watch them when we discovered this rule as I was about to drop. Me being the quick producer that I am, it meant that no one was with me. Result: a beautiful baby. Dad and siblings able to see her just afterwards. Special bond with me and my youngest doing it by ourselves.
    Not what was planned, but who cares. Gorgeous family. Huge appreciation for new life by all. Screw what happened prior.

  5. But, see, you can't just say "Screw what happened prior". What happened prior shapes you're whole opinion of pregnancy, birth and motherhood, especially if something goes very wrong.

    4 agree
    • I understand what you're saying, but if we focus too much on what went wrong, then there is a very real chance of missing what is happening now! Good on you Staline for getting ready to go again! Your son is gorgeous.

      1 agrees
    • AND changes the way your doctors treat you. AND means that they're going to do everything short of poking you with a cattle iron to keep you tied to a bed for most of your pregnancy.

      1 agrees
  6. Throw away that What to Expect book! I swear that is the worst resource out there!!!

    Your son is adorable and in the end everything turned out okay and that is what is important. Good luck with your next pregnancy.

    1 agrees
  7. I didn't have a horrible pregnancy but I did have a less-than-ideal birth at the end and I know the feeling of wanting to try again. I was planning to have more than one kid anyway but I really, really can't wait to have another shot at this whole birth thing! Maybe I'll get to do all the work myself next time! 😀 Congrats on a beautiful baby and yes, wishing you luck for a VBAC!

  8. This made me tear up! My pregnancy was going very smoothly until last week, when I was put on bed rest for cervical issues. I'm up and about again, but it was a good reality check. The perfect pregnancy is the one where you end up with healthy babies.

  9. Congratulations on your HEALTHY little man! Our son (my second child, his first) came to us after a wild and crazy ride as well – my membranes ruptured at 22 weeks, and stayed that way until he was delivered over 3 months later. Pure hell. He's now 5 1/2 – and severely autistic. Nothing to do with his scary entry into the world, I might add. And he is AWESOME – we're actually going to – *gasp!* – try for another one with the help of fertility treatments. We tried for 3 years after he arrived, and gave up after too many miscarriages for my mental health, and people think we are INSANE, but they're our babies and our bodies and our lives! Best of luck to you guys in the future of your family and the pursuit of the next little one!

  10. Wow what a story! Good luck with your next one. You can always try for that natural birth this time. VBACS are possible!! Check out ICAN. Goodluck

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