New Year’s Eve 2015. We had just returned from a family trip at a beautiful cabin for Christmas. To be honest cabin isn’t really the right word when it boasts cathedral ceilings, full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, many bedrooms and a gorgeous living room that overlooked the northern lake surrounded by coniferous trees and elms – it was breathtaking. There we had a chance to relax, play games and play some hockey (which I hadn’t done in about 10 years – it turns out it’s a skill you need to practice).
After arriving home, we were getting ready to go to my in-laws house for New Year’s Eve dinner when I sent my husband on an errand – I gave him 45 minutes to drive the 30 km into the city, go to the pharmacy and return home. That was probably unreasonable of me but when you think you might be pregnant, you’re not always reasonable.
We had started trying for a baby in December so I wasn’t exactly expecting a positive result but those two solid lines appeared in no time! We were excited but we decided not to tell anyone until I went to the doctor to confirm. I saw the doctor the next week and we determined that I was about 6 weeks along. We went through the usual process: we told our families the good news but kept it from everyone else until that magical 12 week mark had passed.
At school, my vice principal guessed about 2 days before I hit 13 weeks because she said I was either dying or pregnant. I missed a lot of days of work in those first weeks as my morning sickness was a bit confused and thought that morning meant anytime the sun was up…or down for that matter. I was sick every day, all day for about 3 months and then I lucked out! My morning sickness learned to tell time and I was only sick in the mornings! Lucky me – I only endured throwing up once a day for the next 3 or 4 months. Then to my utter shock – a miracle happened! I was able to go about 2 days in between being sick – and those days were glorious.
Other than the sickness, my pregnancy was quite normal – I had many doctors’ visits, blood work and 3 fetal ultrasounds – all was well. I was consistently measuring at exactly the right size and my blood work always came back perfect. Let’s just take a moment to talk about ultrasounds… if you have ever been pregnant you know that there is nothing worse than the words:
“if you have to you can let out a little…”
– those people behind the front desk really know how to kick you when you’re about to pee your pants. The ultrasounds were normal and not honestly too exciting because we chose to keep the gender a surprise.
September 2nd, 2016. My due date had finally come – by this point I weighed about 500 pounds and walked like a hippo trying to hold a balloon in between his knees. Oh, and now when my morning sickness showed up, I peed a little at the same time! Being pregnant is pretty glamorous business. When this day passed I was less than pleased but it gave me time to clean a bit more so I persevered. By the time the 8th came though, I was less than impressed. I had an appointment with my doctor and she said if the baby wasn’t coming on its own then we’d have to induce on the 10th – 8 days past the due date is her magic number for a smooth induction so this way I’d be 8 days by the time the baby actually came, which would more than likely be the 11th.
September 10th, 2016. We had everything packed and ready to go but somehow we still ended up being rushed out of the house… probably because my husband barely knows his own name in the morning– it takes a good hour for him to function properly. I, of course, am amazing in the mornings and have never been late for anything (or so I like to tell myself). Good thing this baby didn’t decide to come in the middle of the night!
We got to the hospital for my appointment at 10:00am and were ushered into the lovely 2 foot by 2 foot waiting room that had something like a crib-sized bed for me to sit on. There, they planned to give me a pill to begin labor but when they checked I was already a bit dilated so instead we were ushered to a birthing room and I was hooked up to the drip. This part was pretty boring so I watched the first half of the football game while I waited for something to happen. After a few hours I could feel some pretty relaxed contractions and I thought this whole birthing thing was going to be a breeze!
A few hours after my contractions started they broke my waters and then I have to say – my earlier opinion on birthing changed pretty quickly! I immediately asked if there was something they could do and was given an epidural – wow. If you didn’t have an epidural I feel so sorry for you because I’m fairly certain that needle is filled with magical little fairies that spread pixie dust and make you feel like a million bucks…until the baby is ready to come. It turns out a baby’s head is large enough to block all of those beautiful fairies from actually reaching their destination so welcome back the excruciating pain with open arms because there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it!
At 02:54 on September 11th, 2016, my beautiful baby girl was born. She was pink and crying and perfect. It’s amazing how something so amazing can make you forget that someone is stitching up your lady bits. I have to admit that I always thought newborns were kind of gross but this one wasn’t – she was stunning. We named her Laura Grace after Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Little House books. I was able to hold her against me for about an hour before they took her to be weighed – 9 pounds, 12 ounces and 22 inches long. I suppose all that extra baking time really helped my girl get to a healthy weight!
Stick around for part 2 🙂 – the diagnosis!