We had a baby!
I realize I haven't posted since my miscarriage last year, so I figured I'd give an update. We ended up getting pregnant again in June and it was a surprise. Even though it's what we wanted, I had really mixed feelings at first when we got that positive pregnancy test. It was terrifying because I knew what could happen, but as soon as I saw that positive test I got an immediate thought in my head that said "she's strong." It was so strange, and I don't know how I knew it would be a girl right away but our 16 week elective ultrasound confirmed it, we were having a baby girl due in March 2019.
I had a great pregnancy and I loved being pregnant. I didn't really have morning sickness, I didn't have food aversions or cravings, no mood swings. When I would hear other women complain about being pregnant, I just couldn't relate. Everything was great until my 32 week appointment when I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia, but even then I still enjoyed being pregnant. My Preeclampsia diagnosis meant that I would have to be induced at 37 weeks, so our March baby would turn out to be a February baby. After my diagnosis I had to go for weekly ultrasounds, non-stress tests, and blood work. I used to be afraid of getting my blood drawn but after this pregnancy I am a pro. It was a lot of office visits, but I didn't mind and I had Luke by my side at every appointment, he didn't miss one.
At my 36 week appointment we got our induction date: February 13th. Our hospital bag was already packed, and the car seat was in the car. We were ready, but I was not excited to give birth. It's scary! I've never had any kind of hospital stay before, not one stitch or broken bone. The idea of giving birth really freaked me out but obviously I knew it had to happen. Luke and I went out to breakfast at our favorite place, we had been treating ourselves to our favorite restaurants for days knowing we wouldn't be going out to eat for a very long time. At 10am we got the call to be at the hospital at 11:30am. When we got to the hospital we were escorted up to the "high risk" section of the labor and delivery floor due to the Preeclampsia. I was given four doses of Cytotec 6 hours apart. It was a long, boring process and my back was killing me from laying in an uncomfortable hospital bed for hours on end. I couldn't even get up to walk around because I had to be on a monitor the whole time to monitor the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. By the time my 24 hours of medication was up, I was 3cm, up from a fingertip dilated. They were ready to move me to the delivery room but apparently it was a popular day to have babies because every delivery room was occupied, all 16+ of them. I had to wait a while, but a room finally opened up and we were moved to a huge, intimidating delivery room. They started me on Pitocin and broke my water. Once my water was broken, the contractions were intense. On top of that, I had horrible gas pains in my ribs/below the breast area which made the contractions almost unbearable, I swear those gas pains were more painful than giving birth and if I didn't have them I would have been able to go without an epidural. I ended up getting the epidural, which really creeped me out but it wasn't painful. The anesthesiologist hit a nerve and my leg kicked violently, but it ended up being okay. After the epidural everything was great. I hated the fact that I couldn't move my lower half, but it was better than having to deal with the pain. I went to sleep and when I woke up I was 9cm dilated. My midwife had to perform a c-section on another woman, and she told me by the time she got back I would be ready to push. When she came back, the baby was more than ready to come out. I pushed for only 3 sets of contractions, about 10 minutes total before she arrived. I had a second degree internal tear that was stitched up, but other than that everything was good.
Maeve Emmelene Evers arrived at 5:10am on Friday, February 15th. She weighed 6lbs 1oz and was 19 inches long. She had a full head of dark brown hair which was so surprising! She's a sweet baby and we love her so much. She's a pro at breastfeeding and doesn't cry much. We can't wait to watch her grow.
The first couple of weeks after giving birth were hard. I injured my back from the hospital beds which caused my arms, legs, and hands to feel numb and incredibly weak. I even had trouble holding my head up. I struggled putting my contacts in and my hands wouldn't do what I wanted them to do. When the back pain was bad, my numbness was bad. I spent countless hours googling and asking other people if they had experienced the same thing, and I got nothing that matched exactly what I was experiencing. I felt so alone. My doctors never gave me an answer as to what could be causing it and I feared I'd be stuck that way forever. I had no idea how I was supposed to care for a baby when I couldn't even function normally. I had blurry vision, and I still notice it some days. My swelling was insane, I hardly had any swelling during pregnancy but they pumped me with so much fluid at the hospital I felt like the Michelin Man for over a week. I was struggling mentally and I still don't know if I have Postpartum Depression/Anxiety or if it was just the "Baby Blues." I remember getting home from the hospital, we had people over and I went into a full panic attack. I curled up in a ball on our bed sobbing, shaking, and struggling to breathe. I didn't care who heard me. Luke took me into the shower and sat with me while I just sobbed until the water went cold. I cried constantly for the first week and a half. All Luke could do was look at me while I was crying, nothing anyone said or did could make me feel better. I felt so alone. I couldn't bond with Maeve and I missed my "old" life desperately. I wanted to run away. After that week and a half, I started to feel so much better. I can laugh at things now, I'm relaxed (most of the time), and generally just feeling more myself again. I still dread night time and get anxiety when Maeve is fussing, but I know it will get better and I will get used to this new life. I had a lot of emotional support from Luke, friends, and family the first few weeks. I was not afraid to open up about how I was feeling, which I know is a hard thing to do for a lot of new mothers. It's okay to talk about how you're feeling, and it's okay to get help. I have been open with my OB and even considered medication to treat my anxiety, but I feel okay enough now to not take that route. However if things change, I'm not afraid to do what I have to do to feel better for myself and my family. At my last OB appointment my doctor told me I looked like a different woman compared to those first weeks. I feel like a different woman. Not the same person that walked into that hospital, but not the same one that walked out of it either.
No amount of research or advice could have prepared me for how much work it is to take care of a baby, but I know it's worth the lack of sleep and the stress that comes from being a parent. We're all still getting the hang of things, and Luke has been absolutely amazing and I know I could not do this without him. I'm thankful for my life, my husband, my family, and our new little one. <3