This is the Ninth and final segment of my ‘series posts’ catching everyone up on my Journey to my Miracle Baby. I had no idea there was so much that happened during my journey…thanks to everyone who’s following along, I really appreciate your input and support! If you’re a new reader and you want to start at the beginning, feel free to go read them here:
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been reading and following along – I know that most people prefer posts to be……not so long winded…heh, heh! So my heartfelt thanks to all of you who are reading along and commenting – you really touch my heart with all your kind words and support.
Finding out I was pregnant when I was already 5-1/2 months along was quite the shocker. I like to plan for things, have all my ducks in a row and be able to relax. Only having 3-1/2 months to prepare for our little Miracle’s arrival was daunting at best. We went full speed ahead buying all the things we needed for the impending baby. I started making lists – crib, stroller, changing table, clothes, diapers, baby stuff, stuff, stuff.
We were living in a 2-bedroom townhouse at the time, I had commandeered the second bedroom for my desk and computer – and so Mr. Right and I would have our own bathrooms… each bedroom had its own attached full bath. That way I didn’t have to worry about random whiskers in the sink, toothpaste on the faucet or messy toilets – it was his job to maintain the bathroom connected to our bedroom, and my job to keep my own bathroom sparkling… 😉
The second bedroom also housed stacks of boxes of ‘stuff’ that didn’t get put in the storage unit. I was warned not to do any heavy lifting or I would find myself relegated to bed rest, as formerly warned by my original OB so many years ago. Luckily our bedroom was large enough to add a crib against one wall – I liked that idea as it would make easy access for midnight feedings.
As I started to prominently show during my pregnancy, I started having trouble sleeping. I usually slept on my tummy, but of course that was not an option. My back started giving me issues, so I bought a wonderful invention – a Pregnancy Pillow:
I had a pink cover for mine, and used it like you see in the bottom two pictures above – behind my back for support. That thing was a life saver for my back! Poor Mr. Right, though, had to deal with it between us in bed… 😉 I got much better sleep at night, and didn’t have to worry about moving into the ‘wrong’ position during the night. 🙂 I went in for monthly checkups, everything was progressing just fine.
The doctors were keeping a close eye on me, based on my past history. Because of the surgeries in the past to eliminate the cervical cancer, my cervix is considered ‘incompetent’. I did experience some spotty bleeding at one point, so they put in a couple of stitches to make sure the baby stayed where she was supposed to for the remainder of my pregnancy.
I had finally broken the news of my pregnancy to my family in Seattle – they were all excited for me – my brother’s wife had given birth to twins about 10 months before, so she and my brother had a lot of helpful advice. My parents were a little concerned about the fact I was pregnant out of wedlock – which I expected, but after a passionate email exchange between my dad and I, they were supportive of my decision to wait to get married until after the baby was born.
We had originally planned on getting married that fall, but when I found out I was pregnant, I decided to hold off on the whole wedding/marriage thing until after the baby was born. My reasoning was that I wanted it to be perfectly clear that we got married because we wanted to, not because we had to. If Queen B hadn’t been so meddlesome, we would already have been married for a couple of years by then. But I digress…
As my due date approached, I kept reminding Mr. Right that he needed to put the crib together so it would be all ready. I had the bedding purchased and washed, ready to go, but the crib was still in its box. I got ambitious one day when I had a day off and he was at work to put the crib together myself. Of course I got a lot of grief from my co-workers about doing that, but at least now I could rest easy that the crib was put together! 😉
Two weeks before my due date my co-workers threw me a surprise baby shower. It was so much fun and everyone had a great time. They were generous with their gifts – they were spoiling the Princess Nagger before she was even born! You’ve seen this picture before, but this is immediately following the shower – I’m 8-1/2 months pregnant, counting down the days for the Miracle arrival:
My actual due date was a bit confusing – one doctor declared November 13th to be the due date, another declared November 20th. I decided to focus on November 13th as the due date so I could start my Maternity Leave that week vs. the following week (HR was really picky about the dates for the paperwork), and that way I could finish up all the last minute details in a timely manner and have technically an extra week to do so.
The Friday before I was to start my Maternity Leave, I had some clear leakage, so my boss sent me to see my doctor. Since neither my selected OBGYN nor the midwife I’d been seeing was available (the midwife having recently given birth to a baby herself), I had to see a doctor I’d never met before. He needed to work on his bedside manner, but assured me the leakage was nothing to worry about.
The following Monday marked my first day of Maternity Leave, so I spent time finishing up getting everything ready for the baby. I took care of assembling the ‘Pack’n’Go’ playpen/changing table combo that I set up in the living room so I’d have a handy changing table on both the first and second floors, put together the musical swing, and got everything ready for the baby.
I had my overnight bag already packed and ready to go, a small bag packed and ready for the little Miracle, and the townhouse was spotless – talk about major ‘nesting’! 4 days into my maternity leave (Thursday night/Friday morning) I woke up about 1:30 a.m. with contractions. I kept an eye on the clock and noticed they were coming about 5 minutes apart. Since I had a few bouts with Braxton Hicks over the past couple of weeks… I had a feeling they weren’t Braxton Hicks because they were only 5 minutes apart – the previous contractions had been no less than 15 minutes apart and went away after about 45 minutes. I decided to do what I had been advised previously… I got up, walked around, checked email, then went back to bed.
The contractions didn’t go away. I watched the clock for another 1/2 hour, still 5 minutes apart. I nudged Mr. Right awake and asked him to time the contractions with me. He agreed…and then promptly fell back asleep. So I watched for another 1/2 hour, got back up, walked around, double checked my overnight bag and the baby bag, then went in put on a little bit of makeup and curled my hair…I knew it was time, I wanted to look nice… 😉
I went back in and woke up Mr. Right, who was a bit discombobulated as expected, so while he was getting dressed, I took my overnight bag and the baby bag downstairs to wait for him and called the hospital. After getting grilled about the timing of the contractions and realizing that it had been almost 2 hours with them not letting up, they told me to come in to get checked out.
The drive to the hospital felt like the longest 20 minute trip ever. When we got there, we had been instructed to come in through the Emergency Room and we’d be escorted up to the Maternity Ward. The ER was busy, so after Mr. Right parked the car, we decided to head up to the Maternity Ward ourselves. Luckily we had gone on a tour of the hospital a few weeks before, so we sort of knew which direction to head, but we still went in circles for a while. Finally a nice intern walked us to the Maternity Ward where it looked like a ghost town…no one was there. Luckily we only had to wait about 5 minutes before the doctor on call for that night came in to examine me.
The doctor was a short, slight man – and being such, you’d think it wouldn’t be painful to be examined based on the smallness of his hands. Not so much. I was clutching Mr. Right’s leather jacket tightly, I think I even emitted an ‘Ow, ow, OWWWW!’ immediately before I felt the rush…the doctor’s roughness had accidentally broken my water. His reaction? A shrug and “I guess we’ll be admitting you, now.” Uh, ya think? There was a flurry of activity while I changed into a dry hospital gown, and Mr. Right went to move the car from the ER parking to ‘regular’ parking and fetch the overnight bags.
I was moved into a birthing room – the hospital had recently remodeled that section to make it feel more ‘homey’ instead of hospitalish. Yes, sometimes I make up words as I go along… 😉 At any rate, the bed in this room had the traditional stirrups – you know what I’m talking about – though these are the ones that fit under your knees vs. the heels of your feet. And guess what? One of them was broken! I asked if it was possible to be moved into another room, but the nurse seemed a bit flustered and scatterbrained and mumbled something about not being possible. I’m not a complainer, so I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Heh, I was wrong about that as you’ll see later.
While Mr. Right was out moving the car, he made a few phone calls – the obligatory ‘you better call or else’ call to Queen B, and to a few of our close friends. By now it was getting close to 5 a.m., Mr. Right was fidgeting like crazy because he hates hospitals. His mom died of cancer when he was 18, so he understandably has an aversion to hospitals…and it showed. When Queen B and her fiancé arrived about an hour later, I couldn’t have been less thrilled. I had secretly hoped that she would opt to stay home and hear the details later, but she insisted on coming to the hospital and immediately started barking orders at the poor nurse and me.
Luckily I had an IV with something to ease the pain, so I was able to doze off and on and do my best to ignore her ginormous presence. Her fiancé, in typical form, was slinking around the room making me nervous. When the nurse came to check on me, I asked him to leave the room. I was not comfortable being ‘on display’ for him nor for the Queen B. Luckily she decided that was a good time to step outside for a smoke, so I was left in peace.
Queen B’s DIL and I had started to become friends in the prior months, particularly since she was pregnant at the same time as me, and had delivered her baby boy just 3 months before. She had asked during one of our limited visits to Queen B if she could come to the delivery room on the big day, and I agreed. I was so glad that Queen B actually called her that morning to let her know it was ‘the day’, since she had refused to give me her DIL’s phone number for whatever reason. (Later we’d find out it was because of all the lies she had filled her DIL’s head about myself and Mr. Right and vice versa).
Mr. Right and I kept waiting for the room to be bustling with people – after all, we had spent the better part of the last few months watching TLC’s ‘A Baby Story‘ self-educating ourselves on what to expect during the final months of pregnancy and about the delivery. The show always showed a slew of people in the delivery room, lots of commotion, lots of people putting you at ease, and the doctor in constant attendance. That was not even close to what was going on in our room. Crickets were chirping.
The room was empty save for the occasional irritant of Queen B (who finally, after a few hours of hanging around, decided that she wasn’t up to sitting around there and we should call her when it was over and she’d come back the next day to see the baby). Once she and her fiancé left, it seemed as if the whole room lightened up. It was just me, Mr. Right and Queen B’s DIL, Christy. Once in a while the scatterbrained nurse would come in and check on me, but for the most part we were left twiddling our thumbs and waiting for the Miracle to finally take place.
During the quiet lull and in between contractions, Christy and I started to talk. Really talk. We exchanged stories that we had been told by the Queen B, and were shocked at how vicious she had been, attacking our character behind our backs – to each other – for some reason to keep us from becoming friends. Very bizarre. It was quite an interesting exchange, and from that, we realized that we could have been friends for the better part of 5 years had Queen B not been such a huge meddler. I was thankful Christy was there – especially since she was the only one there besides Mr. Right. Another of my friends had planned to be there, but her daughter came down with chicken pox that very morning, so she of course was unable to be there.
The contractions were coming faster, the pain level was increasing, so I opted for the Epidural – it had been hours and I had stalled on dilating, so I wanted something to combat the pain. Too bad it only worked on one side… I did doze a few times, still waiting for the magical dilation. The scatterbrained nurse came in to check on me, and brought another nurse who was even more scatterbrained than her in with her to introduce us. Apparently these two nurses were going to be the extent of the ‘crew’ for the birth.
Finally I was dilated enough to start pushing – Christy and I kept joking that I had to push that baby out of there before 7:00 pm, because Queen B had made a parting shot when she left earlier that day she bet that I would not give birth until sometime after 7:00 pm because I was opting for the epidural…her guess was 9:00 pm or later. It was a challenge if I ever heard one! The television was on in the corner of the room running the gambit of talk shows…I wasn’t paying much attention, it was just background noise to me. The two nurses, however, couldn’t take their eyes off the screen. Especially when Jerry Springer came on at 6:00 pm.
One nurse kept repeating over and over again ‘Strong and Steady!’ to me for pushing. If Mr. Right and Christy hadn’t been holding my legs, I would have been tempted to clobber the nurse in the head with the foot that still had feeling. Hearing ‘Strong and Steady’ over and over again was getting on my last nerve. To this day the phrase ‘Strong and Steady!’ is used by my hubby and Christy and me in appropriately silly or annoying situations…
Why were Mr. Right and Christy holding my legs? I’m glad you asked… Remember that broken stirrup? Well, because it was broken, Mr. Right had to hold my leg up since he was on the ‘broken’ side…and to keep it ‘even’, poor Christy had to hold my other leg up. The entire time I was pushing. For a couple of hours. Poor things! They were certainly troopers!
Christy mentioned that the next day her muscles were screaming in pain, but bless her heart she said it was worth it. Of course with the two of them ‘otherwise occupied’, that meant that the video camera we brought along to video tape the miraculous event went unattended on the night table next to the bed – the nurses were too involved watching Jerry Springer to take notice, though they were going to remind us when it would be a good time to get it ready.
At one point one of the nurses was insistent that I put a towel around the back of my neck, hold onto the ends of it in front of me to basically make me ‘hunch over’ in order to push successfully. Who was she trying to kid? I knew it wasn’t going to work – in fact I was certain of it and even said so, but while she was facing me and peering over her shoulder to watch Jerry Springer, she insisted. I knew what would happen. I had chronic acid reflux – I was on prescription medication for it that only lasts 24 hours, and it was well past the 24 hours since I last took a dose. Hunching over my pregnant belly in that awkward manner? I felt like I was going to throw up…so she placed a bed pan next to my head and told me to turn my head…so I did…and promptly upchucked into it…pretty purple barf. (I know, I know – Ewwwwwwww!)
Christy had been supplying me with ice chips throughout the day, and even slipped me a few sips of grape soda since I was starving and it seemed to help stave off the hunger pains…but the purple barf was kind of hilarious. I looked over at Christy – she had a look of panic on her face and both of us were hoping she wouldn’t get busted by the nurses…but they didn’t seem to notice. Thankfully the nurse abandoned her insistence on my using the towel for leverage. I was ‘allowed’ to push at whatever position was comfortable for me… Christy and Mr. Right kept exclaiming that they saw the head – apparently my little Miracle kept approaching the exit then moving back in a bit – usually when the phrase ‘Strong and Steady’ was uttered by the one nurse. Or maybe she was scared of the Jerry Springer noise, too, since the nurses had turned up the volume to watch…
Finally she was crowning sufficiently for one of the nurses to run and get the doctor – the OBGYN I had ‘selected’ for insurance purposes. I finally ‘met’ him as he spent a whole 5 minutes with me to assist the baby out and do his thing…Mr. Right barely remembers being handed the instrument to cut the umbilical chord, then in a flash the doctor was gone again. There was never a more beautiful sound than the sound of hearing my little Miracle crying. Mr. Right took a picture as they were doing the usual measurements – here she is at 3 minutes old:
Notice the time? Christy and I were jubilant she arrived before the 7:00 hour… 😉
Then Mr. Right took another picture at 5 minutes:
The nurses cleaned her up, put some sort of warm baby garb on her and handed her to me not long after that:
I was so very happy to finally meet my little Miracle. The Journey to my Miracle Baby was finally complete. Now the Journey of a lifetime was just beginning…
Thank you all for joining me each week for these segments – I really appreciate the feedback, support, comments and being able to tell my story. After surviving cervical cancer, followed by years of infertility and then having to go through situations like the cheating husband, the abusive husband, multiple miscarriages and everything else along the way, there was nothing as sweet as being blessed with such a beautiful little Miracle. I thank God every day for my little blessing – I hope you have enjoyed reading my story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. 🙂
This concludes the segments of the Journey to my Miracle Baby – I didn’t plan it this way, but how appropriate that there were 9 segments…as in 9 months of pregnancy? 😉