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.
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.