I was pregnant in October of 2007 and at our 10 week ultrasound there was no heartbeat. My OB and I decided to recheck in a few weeks just to make sure the dates weren't wrong. So I carried our first baby for two more weeks and went back to get a second ultrasound. My Dr. had warned me that things probably were not going to change, but there was always that glimmer of hope. Once the image came on the screen we all new that there was still no heartbeat. We opted to try a medicated miscarriage since my body was not having one on its own and we wanted to try and avoid a D&C. I took the medication and had a 'mini labor' at home and passed everything over a period of about ten hours. We had gotten over our first hurdle and just had to wait for my body to recover.
So we waited. and waited. and waited. Over a period of ten weeks my body was still not back to 'normal' so I went back. The ultrasound looked good so we were given the ok to start TTC. It didn't take long. I got a positive pregnancy test in March 2008.
We went in for the first ultrasound at 8 weeks and we were so nervous. I had horrible morning sickness so my intuition told me everything would be ok, but I was still nervous. The minute our baby came on the screen we saw that amazing flash of a heartbeat and the whole room breathed a sigh of relief. We discussed logistics and set up the next ultrasound that would include a down syndrome screening.
We arrived at the 12 week ultrasound nervous and excited. We went in and they squeezed the warm gel on me and our baby popped right up. It was amazing. We had one of the most cooperative children as every shot was easy to get. They even allowed some students to attempt to get some images because our baby was that good! Little did we know our journey was about to go down its first hill. When they came in to give us our results we were told that we were at an elevated risk for the baby having Down's Syndrome by two points. Only two points!?! Freak out number one. I am a teacher and I am well aware that a diagnosis of Down's Syndrome is not the end of the world, so this was new I could handle, I just wanted to know. This required another test. And so it begins.....
We received the results of the test and it came back back with a lessened risk so it was most likely the baby was negative for Down's, BUT my pregnancy proteins were extremely low. The genetic counselor went on to explain that there has been evidence to show that a pregnancy with low proteins may lead to intrauterine growth restriction and stillbirth. Freak out number two. We were told that we would just be having extra ultrasounds closer to the end to monitor and make sure we induce if things start to look bad. OK I can handle that too.
Fast forward to week 24. Time for the glucose screening. I drink my DELICIOUS sugar drink and happily drive to my appointment. I am feeling good, morning sickness has passed, we are being well monitored for IUGR and I could feel the amazing child growing inside of me. The appointment goes well and I am told to wait for the call by the end of the week. The call comes in and I failed. Bummer. Oh well, I know many people who have failed and didn't have Gestational Diabetes, so no big deal. Time for another test....
I show up to my three hour test and sit around reading and doing crosswords, pausing for ten minutes every hour to give more blood. After my fourth poke, I am free to go. "Call your doctor's office after noon for your results" Ok, sounds good. I go about my day and make my call. "Well Jamie, you failed the first by four points, passed the second, and failed the third by one point. Since you are only allowed to fail one, you are positive for GD" What!?! I am 5"2' and I was 117 pre-pregnancy, I don't have diabetes. One point! I failed by one point! Freak out number three. I love my child and this amazing gift I have been given so I accepted the task and attend my classes climbing the next hill in this pregnancy journey.
At 29 weeks I went shopping and took my usual trip to the bathroom as I had to in every store ( yay for pregnancy bladder). When I got in there I realized I was spotting. Hmm, strange. I hadn't done anything out of the ordinary. I decide to go home and rest and see what happens in the morning.
I wake up Saturday morning and there has been no change. OK time to call the doc. She asks me some questions and decides I need I head down to labor and delivery. Ok, no biggie, they will just check me out, and everything will be fine. The triage resident came in and began to do her exam, and immediately stops. "Please wait one minute while I get another Dr, I am just not used to seeing that much blood" Uhh, ok. Freak out number four.
After many tests it is determined that I am in preterm labor and I am dilating without contractions. I had to stay in the hospital three days and given a prescription for complete bed-rest. As we climbed the next hill my husband stepped up to take care of our little family so well. He cooked me perfect gestational diabetes meals, and cleaned the house daily.
As I reached my goal of 34 weeks I went to the doctor to be checked again. She said my body was responding to the bed-rest amazingly and my cervix had actually closed back up and had grown a new mucus plug. What??? That's possible?? The things we are learning on this journey.
At 35 weeks I am given the go ahead to go back to work. I am only half excited. This means I now have to step foot into one of the germiest places ever....a toddler classroom. To make matters worse, we had two positive cases of H1N1 in our building. hooray.
Well I was a religious hand washer and classroom sanitizer and doing my best to avoid the dreaded swine flu. I went to get my vaccine and was feeling a little better about the situation. I returned to work on Monday and in walks our first child "he has a little bit of a cold" his mom tells me. Umm Hello!?! There is a swine flu pandemic, do you realize your kid has all the symptoms. So I wait until his fever spikes and send him home sick. The next day three kids go home sick. The diagnosis...H1N1 virus. Great. Freak out number five.
Two days later I start coughing. uh oh. I hope its nothing and push through for another day. Then I get the aches, and the fever follows. I call my OB and she directs me to labor and delivery once again. I show up and get changed and sit in triage and wait. They come in and take my vitals. The lovely nurse takes my blood pressure and says "hmm, have you had high blood pressure at all?" well, no. "interesting, your BP is 158/98." Wow. She takes the swab of my nose and decides to take some labs to check for protein as well. She also tells me that I might have to get induced that night. Oh my. Not the expectation I had. Freak out number six. My labs came back ok so I am sent home with a prescription for Tami-flu and a jug to collect my urine for 24 hours over the weekend.
My 37 week appointment was scheduled for the following Monday so I show up with my "Jug o' Pee" and proceed to don my H1N1 mask and sit humiliated in the waiting room. I am called to the back and I sit down on the table while the nurse checks my BP. 150/95. Crap. So my Dr. comes in and skips the exam proceeding to tell me she is concerned I have pre-eclampsia. Now I have to drag my Jug o' Pee down to labor and delivery to have more tests....
As I sat in triage in labor and delivery waiting for all of my tests to come back, Ryan and I started talking about all the what-ifs. We always new the baby coming early was a possibility, but never really thought about it as a reality.
The nurse came back in. "well your labs came back and you were two points over for protein. That means you are pre-eclamptic and we are going to induce you." Two Points!! This pregnancy has been all on the edge. We were officially admitted and we began the journey of our baby's BIRTHday!!