Most women learn about their upcoming bundle of joy the traditional way — pee on a stick and watch the pink/blue icon appear that says to the mommy to be: surprise! This is not what happened to me. Let me share with you the journey I embarked on to welcome my first little monkey.
So it began in the middle of a cold winter’s night, I had woken up exhausted and I was in excruciating abdominal pain. I stumbled into the bathroom and collapsed on the floor. Too weak to speak in anything louder than a whisper I began calling my partner’s name. He couldn’t hear me, but my kitties Tiki and Timber sure could — they both came running to see what was wrong. Tiki sat by my head meowing her face off while Timber went running into the bedroom to jump on the bed and added his loud cry to the mix.
Luckily for me, they managed to wake my hubby who quickly came to see what was wrong. All I was able to whisper out was “Something exploded inside me” so he quickly carried me out to the car and off to the hospital we went. I had no idea my life was about to change.
During the admission process the doctor asked if there was a chance I might be pregnant to which I answered (to my man’s surprise) that I was four days late. A quick blood test later showed positive (yikes!), then a quick shot of morphine and I was rushed off for an ultrasound where I received devastating news — I had a ruptured tubal pregnancy and I was bleeding internally. If they didn’t operate immediately I could die.
This was a lot of information received in a relatively short period of time and was very hard to process, especially under the influence of morphine. All I could hear was I was going to be a mother, and then I wasn’t. I was quickly rushed into surgery, had a needle shoved in my arm, and I was out cold. I woke up in recovery and was taken to my room which was full of my nervous — and silent — family.
I knew something was up but no one would say anything, they made me wait for my doctor to share the news. The surgery had gone well but I was STILL PREGNANT! At my baffled look, the doctor went on to explain that I had had an ovarian cyst the size of a cantaloupe explode on one of my ovaries — they had misdiagnosed the issue.
She went on to say that technically I was still pregnant but that the follicle that had produced the egg had been destroyed and I wasn’t going to be able to produce any progesterone, so I should expect to miscarry shortly. She put me on artificial progesterone as a last ditch effort to save my pregnancy, and flash forward through nine months of an extremely high-risk, stressful pregnancy and we get to the long anticipated due date! And then: nothing.
Six days past my due date I entered the first stages of labour and made the first of what was going to be many trips to the hospital. Needless to say, being an 18-year-old in the final stages of her high-risk first pregnancy, I was a little nervous. I would go to the hospital, discover I was dilated 2 cm, and then go home. I had contractions all night, no sleep, and again would go to hospital in morning — no change — and be sent home.
On the fourth night I headed back to the hospital. I was now dilated one extra centimeter, but when they attempted to send me home again they got a surprise. I sat on the floor and declared that I wasn’t leaving and they couldn’t make me, and I won. I was admitted and the following morning my doctor arrived to induce labour (for anyone who is counting, at this point I was 10 days overdue) and “get things rolling.”
The nurses inserted the cervical gel, attached the baby monitors and started to leave the room, but they didn’t even make it to the door when I gasped. Apparently, I took a hypersensitive reaction to the drug and what I ended up in was transition labour, but I was still only dilated three centimeters!
My first contraction peaked and didn’t relax for an entire hour — they didn’t even know what to do with me. The nurses attempted to remove as much of the gel as possible but it was too late, and after that first hour my contractions formed a fast, intense pattern contract for 1.5 mins and rest for 30 secs. Needless to say it was a loooong day. I live in a community in which we don’t offer epidurals, so it wasn’t even an option if I wanted it.
I made it through this horror with the help of my husband who didn’t leave my side and a very helpful nurse in training (who I think I scared a little but she was great). Seven hours later and I was finally given the OK to push — but I didn’t know how to push properly. All of my classes had taught breathing and relaxation exercises but not one of them taught how to push. So I tried my best — and got nowhere.
After 2.5 hours of pushing and still no baby, all the sleepless nights and the brutal day came crashing in and I had no strength left. My doctor ended up helping with vacuum extraction and I found out why I hadn’t been able to get her out — I have an inverted pelvis and she had gotten stuck (at 9.1 pounds she was a big girl, too) and she came out with a huge gash along the top of her head where my pelvis had torn her skin off.
I felt like a terrible mom already — I had hurt my baby and she had just entered the world! At this point I was distracted by the doctor telling me that I had to deliver the placenta. In all the wonderful birth stories I’ve read no one mentions that they were surprised by the fucking size of this thing! No one had prepared me for having to deliver another child size object from my very sore and tired lady parts!
But I survived it all and had the best prize at the end. Bonus side note: the doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to conceive any more babies, but 13 months later I got to experience the pee-on-the-stick-and-the-second-line-appears feeling that I complained about earlier. But that’s another story, for another time.