Jason and I wanted kids desperately. We planned on starting right away and were sure that it would be easy. I decided to go off the pill shortly before our wedding and then Jason had his ladder accident and focus went from planning our wedding and starting a family to getting Jason healthy and back to work. Needless to say I was so busy and distracted I never got around to going back on the pill. In September of 2008 I got pregnant. I was totally oblivious to this and didn’t even realize I was pregnant until I was about 6 weeks along. I had a cheerleader come to me and tell me she was pregnant, and as she was telling me this, I thought to myself, “hmmm when did I have a period last?” I went home that evening and took a test and sure enough, it was positive! I was nervous and excited and scared. We were poorer than poor and had no insurance. I wasn’t sure how we would afford this; we couldn’t feed ourselves and we were sometimes choosing to feed the dog over us, but I wanted that baby. That baby was the first positive news we had had in 4 months and I needed positivity. We told a lot of people about this pregnancy, when we told Jason’s mom she cried and said, “I can make it to June to meet that baby.”
It was mid October when I found out I was pregnant the first time and at the 7 week mark I started my period. I freaked out, I called the clinic and I rushed in. I took a test and they came in and the doctor very bluntly and kind of rudely told me that I was not pregnant and if I was then I am no longer and that I was experiencing a miscarriage. I was devastated. I didn’t understand why this was happening and was struggling with having to tell Jason’s mom that she wasn’t going to be a grandma. I became jealous of women who were pregnant and obsessed with baby shows. I wanted to be a mommy so bad, and I wanted to give Cheryl (Jason’s mom) the grandbaby she so wanted before she passed away.
Our financial situation settled down shortly after the miscarriage and things were great, so Jason and I started trying to have a baby. Again we assumed it would be very easy…after all, it was the first time. We tried for months and months and nothing. Cheryl began to get very sick and soon after hospice came in. At that point Jason and I decided to stop trying and live our lives childless. I was going to go back on the pill in July when our health insurance kicked in. I was having some minor health concerns and went to the doctor in early July. I had some blood work done and made an appt for a gyno exam in August. My blood work came back and showed that I was a type II diabetic. I began dealing with this new development and taking glucophage for my diabetes as well as changing my entire diet. Cheryl passed away at the end of July. To this day my biggest regret is that I couldn’t get that baby here for her to meet. I know she is the reason we have Eyan now, but it digs at my heart to know that she barely missed it.
Me, Jason and Cheryl at our wedding about a year before she passed away
Chapter 2: The Surprise
We were so busy dealing with such a devastating loss, my diabetes and the fact that I was about to start my 1st year teaching. I didn’t even realize that I missed my period. Jason and I had decided to get away and go travel Europe the following summer so I began planning that trip. I got home from my 3rd day of orientation at my new job and sat at the computer researching our trip and getting ready to purchase tickets. Something reminded me that I might be late on my period, so I went into the bathroom and took a pregnancy test that was pretty old. The two minute wait seemed to take forever! Then as I looked at the test, it said pregnant. I was floored, excited, scared, and nervous, very nervous. I sat upstairs for a few minutes trying to figure out how to tell Jason we were pregnant, again. We were supposed to be going to Mexico in May with Jason’s family for his grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. So I marched downstairs pretending to be pissed off and sat down in our chair very dramatically. I said “I guess we’re not going to Mexico!” Jason was startled and looked at me and said “WHAT!?!” Then I tossed the pregnancy test at him. It took a few seconds for him to realize what he had in his hands, then he looked at me and hugged me. We were both happy and nervous now!
Apparently the Glucophage I was on messes with a woman’s cycles…that is probably how I got pregnant
Chapter 3: The First Trimester
We decided to keep this baby secret for the first trimester only telling a few people since it was so incredibly hard to un-tell people the first time. The very next day (August 5th) I started bleeding. Devastation. I called the doctor just to confirm, and possibly get some answers as to why this was happening…again. My doctor did blood work to follow my HCG level over the next few days. The urine test showed I was still pregnant and so the blood work 3 days later would confirm a miscarriage or pregnancy. I stopped bleeding after a day or so and had more blood work done. My HCG levels had increased, I had NOT lost this baby. I was so happy! They sent me for an ultrasound just to make sure everything was ok and see if the baby had a heartbeat yet. The didn’t see a heartbeat, just a little circle.
About a week later I began bleeding again, same emotions, same blood work, same ultrasound…baby was still holding strong but looked like a little peanut…WITH A HEARTBEAT! I was about 7 weeks pregnant at this point and the heartbeat was a good omen.
At this point we decided it was a good time to let my parents in on the secret. I really needed the support and advice from my mom. Those previous two weeks were such an emotional roller coaster and doing it all without telling my mother was very difficult. We went to my parents house, my sister happened to be home visiting from college. Jason and I gave them this ridiculous story about how Mia was going to need a temporary home because we were moving to Europe to explore and enjoy life and we would be back in a year. Then as my dad began to get really pissed off, I said, “just kidding, were pregnant!” They were overjoyed!
We thought we were in the clear, usually a heartbeat is a good thing and means the baby will be a baby. Then at almost 10 weeks, I began bleeding again, I was sure that I had lost the baby this time. I rushed to the hospital, more blood work, an ultrasound and pelvic exam later, I was still pregnant baby was fine, my cervix was just irritated. The rest of the first trimester was normal. I lost about 27 lbs from morning sickness and my diabetes, but other than that everything was good.
Chapter 4: The Second Trimester
The first day of my second trimester I totally expected the morning sickness to completely disappear, but nope, I enjoyed another 3 weeks of that wonderful stuff! My baby bump showed very quickly and the baby was very active. My co-workers joked and called him a ninja basically because all he had done was kick my ass literally from day 1. I felt him move a lot and was ready to find out if he was a blue ninja or a pink ninja. At 20 weeks I went in for my ultrasound. Everything was great, baby looked wonderful, but the umbilical cord was blocking the money shot. They ultrasound tech said she was guessing it was a boy, but couldn’t be completely sure. Being the super impatient person I am when it comes to surprises, I found a place that did 3D and 4D ultrasounds and made 2 appointments! We went to the first one the Saturday after Thanksgiving; just Jason and I. It was amazing, all the little details you could see and FINALLY we got the money shot…A BLUE NINJA! I was super ecstatic! (I have always wanted boys…even if I got pregnant again I would want another boy, I just don’t think I would be a good “girl” mom.)
Blue Ninja at 20 weeks 4 Days! 3D is not recommended before 24 weeks
The second trimester was easier and I really enjoyed feeling the baby move around! I wasn’t sick near as much and I was just really enjoying being pregnant. My sister and I diligently worked on the nursery and finished it over my winter break. We traced the babies blankets and turned them into overheads and projected them onto the walls and then just painted by number! The rest of my 2nd trimester I just continued preparing for our little ninja to arrive.
Chapter 5: The Third Trimester
I got HUGE in my third trimester, I ate all the time and my co-workers and I had tons of jokes about the baby being twins and how I had 1st lunch and 2nd lunch and could eat for an entire hour and a half. What did I care, I was starving and baby wanted food. Never ever let a pregnant woman get hungry, you will regret it.
38 weeks pregnant
I spent the last trimester nesting. My sister and I put the finishing touches on the nursery, I cleaned all the time, I went to birthing classes with Jason and toured the hospital. I read as many books on babies as I could manage too and I tried to spend as much time with friends as I could; for I knew those times would be few and far between when baby got here. I also got my 2nd 3D ultrasound. We invited my family and Jason’s family and boy o’ boy was it so cool!
Eyan 27 weeks 4 Days gestation
We chose a name, Eyan! Jason and I spelled it non-traditionally as a way to honor his mom. I remember having a conversation with Cheryl and Sharron (her twin) about how Cheryl wanted to put a Y in Jason’s name but Jason’s dad didn’t want to. She loved how her name had a Y in it and Sharron was being silly trying to figure out how to spell her own name with a Y. We had a super hard time coming up with his name. I wasn’t ever one of those girls that just knew what I would name my children and Jason and I never really talked about it. We could never decided on a name and finally one night I went to sleep and woke up and had “Ian” on my mind. I told Jason and that was it, we changed the spelling so it could have a Y and were happy with that choice. To this day I think Cheryl told it to me in a dream or something. We decided to keep the middle name a secret from pretty much everyone, promising to reveal it after he was born.
In February, many of the people closest to me threw Jason and I the biggest baby shower EVER! Well over 100 people were there and we opened gifts for 2 hours. (Disclaimer: to anyone reading this that came to my shower, you have no idea how thankful I am for you, but I learned my lesson and I will not open gifts like that and torture you again.) My shower was a blessing, I was blown away by the outpouring of love and support for this baby that hadn’t even made an appearance but had clearly made an impact. Jason and I truly have some of the most amazing people in our lives and we could not be prouder to share our lives with them.
Chapter 6: The Swelling and Bed Rest
The morning of my baby shower I woke up feeling very sick. I was nauseous, I had a head ache and I just felt terrible. A few weeks earlier in January I had gone in for a routine check up and they had found some protein in my urine. That is not usually a good thing. The next checkup the protein was gone. I was also experiencing some very severe swelling. My feet were so incredibly swollen that my ankle was eating my foot and I could no longer wear shoes. I spent the last several weeks of my pregnancy in a pair of men’s slippers.
Not a Cankle more like a Thankle (thigh/ankle)
As the weeks wore on my blood pressure began to go up and the protein started showing up in my urine more and the swelling became even worse. The picture above was take on March 3…I didn’t deliver until April 17th…Imagine the size then! My doctors were watching me VERY carefully and I would have appointments sometimes 3x a week. I was adamant that I would not deliver Eyan until April 16th after 2:30pm. (Stupid me calculate 6 weeks from the end of the school year just so I didn’t have to go back to work and I was determined to make it). My doctors honored my ignorance and plain stubbornness, as long as I agreed to go on bed rest. I pushed this out as far as I could and managed to make it to within 2 weeks of my due date before I was confined to boredom. I spent the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy laying on my couch reading, eating, sleeping, watching TV and freaking out about delivery. I went to the doctors every couple of days and surprisingly the bed rest was helping, the swelling was going down slightly, the protein was almost gone and my blood pressure was a little lower. Bed rest sucked, but whatever I had to do to keep baby and mommy safe and make it to my chosen date, I was game for!
Chapter 7: Labor & Delivery
Before I delve into the chaos that is my labor and delivery I just want to state that if you are pregnant, my story is probably NOT the one you want to focus on, maybe you should avoid reading it. It’s super crazy and just like anything that Jason and I deal with it is totally out of the ordinary.
My actual due date was April 13th. I made it to that day and rewarded myself by going and watching my old cheer team perform before I had to go to yet another doctors visit. My visit to the doctors went well and they started to talk to me about induction and I decided (out of fear) that I wanted to go into labor naturally and that I didn’t want to be induced. I basically told my doctor that I wasn’t going to the hospital unless I was in labor and he wasn’t going to make me (super immature, but hey, fear, hormones and 2 weeks of bed rest messed with my sanity). He then told me to come back on Friday for another check up. Friday was April 16th, the date I was shooting for and the date my doctors were very aware of. I had my appt at 10am that morning. The swelling had increased, my blood pressure was up and of course the freaking protein was back! My doctor said to head to the hospital for a non-stress test and being the smarty he was, he convinced me that I would probably be home to sleep in my own bed, but just in case to pack a bag. I left that appointment feeling tricked and scared and hungry. I headed to Santiagos for a yummy burrito, for I knew that would be my last meal for the next several hours, little did I know it wouldn’t be hours it would be days. Around 1:00 I headed to the hospital, they hooked me up to all the machines and about an hour into the NST the nurse came in and said they were going to start inducing me. The pitocin went in on April 16th at 2:33 (sly doctor…really sly!).
Throughout my labor, my blood pressure was increasing and I knew I was having preeclamptic symptoms. I had read a lot on everything prior and being a science teacher who took a medical terminology class I was very aware of the terms the nurses were using and what they really meant. They told me I was experiencing some pregnancy hypertension initially and that I needed to have my room calm, dark and quiet. Shoot I knew that meant my blood pressure was up a lot higher than it was supposed to be! They also hooked me up to some Magnesium Sulfate! This would be the vein of my existence for the next several days!
A short time into labor my contractions began to get intense. I went into labor firmly believing in the power of drugs. I wanted all the drugs possible. The nurse came in to check on me and I asked for some pain meds (not the epidural just something to relax me a bit). She told me that she had already ordered the epidural and the anesthesiologist was already on his way up. At this point I knew something wasn’t quite right, I was pretty sure I was supposed to request the drugs. The anesthesiologist was in the room about 10 minutes later, the epidural was not very painful at all. Basically it felt like a bee sting for about 3 seconds and then just a lot of pressure, then comfort. After all was said and done, the pain subsided for a bit and then returned. See, I learned in birth classes that some women can have what they call a “window” where the epidural medicine does not work…my window was pretty much my whole body except for my lady bits and part of my right leg. I felt all the contractions and they were strong; back labor was HELL. I told the nurse the epidural wasn’t working so they ordered another one. That’s right folks, I got to go through that wonderful procedure 2x in a matter of a couple hours! The second epidural took OVER AN HOUR to get in, with the anesthesiologist poking that giant needle in my back over 20 times and my contractions being the strongest they were going to get. My husband said that by the time the anesthesiologist was done, the needle was crooked and my back was bruised. I didn’t care, I wanted relief…and sleep! But guess what! The window was still there, so unbeknown to me, the nurse sedated me. She came in, told me that I needed some rest and then shot some medicine into my IV and I went to sleepytown. I found out later that my blood pressure was skyrocketing and they needed me to relax and since I was adamant about my birth plan and NOT having surgery this was the only option.
Right before the ride to sleepytown
I woke up 5 hours later groggy and being told I was pushing…I was SO TIRED! I remember thinking that I would do it after I got some sleep and that I didn’t feel like I needed to push.
I should tell you right now, that much of what I remember is slim after this point. The preeclampsia wiped me out and the only reason I have so many details is because my mom unbeknown to me videoed the whole ordeal. ERASED!
The nurse decided to turn of what little epidural I did have, she was a female dog and extremely rude and non-supportive the majority of my time with her. I told her that I was not pushing then, and what I remember is her getting pretty huffy puffy and walking out. Somehow I ended up pushing, I think my doctor came in or something, but I don’t particularly remember. Hours earlier when the nurse sedated me I remember feeling Eyan turn and it was kind of uncomfortable but I didn’t say anything because that female dog knocked my butt out! This proved to be an issue during delivery! I pushed for a little over an 1.5 hours. Eyan kept “crowning” then going right back in! Yay for me! The doctor then performed an episiotomy (look it up if you don’t know)…more yay! Eyan still wasn’t coming down. I was fading pretty quickly on the video I would push and push and push and as soon as I was done it was like I was sleeping and not even there. After an hour of that fun they asked to use the vacuum on him, I agreed. I was told that if the vacuum popped off Eyans head 3 times that I would need a C-section. Oh Hell No! Game ON! Vacuum went on, I pushed, doctor pulled and vacuum popped off once. Again, vacuum on, push, pull, POP! Last time, vacuum, push, pull, POP…my mom crying. Another doctor was brought in and asked me if I thought I could get him out, I said nope and some other stupid comments, she told me that it looked like I had room, but since the vacuum failed I was going to need a C-section. The pain at this point was unbearable and I was yelling for them to just get him out! They quickly prepped me for surgery and got Jason suited up. They explained to everyone except for me that since my epidurals were not working and I was so sick they might have to put me under for the surgery and I might not come out of it. It wasn’t good at this point.
Look how out of it I am in the OR
I was wheeled into the operating room and I remember waving to my family who were all crying and my dad saying something about, “you better come out of this!” They sat me straight up on the OR table to get a spinal (reminder baby was crowning…just stuck…imagine that pain for a second!) That pain was worse than any pain I had felt, from there I do not remember much. I don’t remember him being born, I don’t remember seeing him, I don’t remember them doing anything. I was awake for it, but not really. Eyan was stuck in my pelvis, perpendicular to my hips and coming out ear first. That is why he would not come out. Regardless, Eyan was born April 17th at 10:48 am weighing 7lbs 3oz and was 21.25 inches long.
You would think I would remember this right? Nope! SUCKS!
Chapter 8: Recovery & The NICU
After my C-Section, I was taken into a very small room where from what I remember, all my doctors, nurses and anesthesiologist were all just watching me. I remember shaking uncontrollably and then it stopping and telling them not to let that happen and to make it stop. I remember watching them all fill out paperwork but not really talk to me and just feeling very very cold. At some point they all filed out and it was just me and a nurse and then I was wheeled back to my original delivery room. I was placed in seclusion basically. No baby, no visitors, no TV, no food, no water. Just me and a stupid beeping machine and every once in a while a phlebotomist and one of my family members. I wanted my baby, I asked where he was and I was told he was having some trouble breathing and was in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). I asked to see him and they told me “maybe later” I needed to rest. I wanted to visit with family and they were all very short with me (not rude, just quick visits) and aside from the initial out of surgery greeting, no one really stayed in my room (because they were not allowed to) except for Jason, and I kept sending him to be with the baby.
I was out of surgery by noon on the 17th and later into the evening I was hungry and thirsty and wanted my baby. I was getting grumpy and mean because of all those factors. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours! I yelled at Jason and the nurse must have heard because she came right in with some ice chips, then later some jell-o (I hate jell-o) and eventually some chicken broth. I was just thankful for something. Jason left around 6 to feed the dogs and I remember the shift change and getting the nice nurse back. I asked her to see my baby and she said she would try. She did a good job because the NICU nurses wheeled my little man to me. He was hooked up to so many cords and tubes and so was I. I held him for about 5 minutes before the nurse told me that he had to go back. I cried and cried. My blood pressure was increasing and I was still in danger of having seizures or strokes so they had to take him back, plus it is not usually ok to take a NICU baby out of the NICU. That entire night sucked! I hardly slept because I was crying and worried and getting my blood drawn or my blood pressure cuff was going off or my machines were beeping, but by 11 am the next day I was FINALLY able to get out of bed, take off my oxygen and move to a postpartum room and eat!
Eyan’s end of this was a lot less eventful. He was born and breathing fine at first. Sometime in the delivery room he stopped breathing at a normal rate and the nurses took him to the NICU. The magnesium sulfate that I was on for labor can make babies “sleepy” and have a hard time breathing. In the NICU Eyan was hooked up to tubes and stuff. Jason told me that one of the devices sent a little shock whenever he stopped breathing to remind him to breath. Eyan spent 1 day in the NICU initially.
See the little bump on his head behind his ear…that is where the vacuum was being attached and yanked off.
All hooked up in the NICU
A short time after I was moved they let me have Eyan out of the NICU! I had him for less than 24 hours before he was put back in for jaundice. That sucked! During my short stint with him we spent quiet time with each other, started nursing, gave him a middle name (Troy after my dad) and let him meet some family and friends!
The night of the 18th I had Eyan in my room and all was great. The nurses offered to take him for a while and run some hearing tests and vaccination stuff. I agreed and grabbed a bit of sleep. About 4 hours later they returned him, I asked the nurses if I needed to wake him to feed him and they said no, he should be fine. 2 more hours passed, Eyan was still sleeping so I asked the nurses the same thing and they told me to leave the sleeping baby sleep, he would wake when he was hungry. He did wake about 30 mins later and I fed and changed him. By 8am the morning of the 19th, the nurses came in and looked at Eyan, he was yellowish and they took him for some quick blood work. They brought him right back and about and hour later around 9:30 they came in and said they were moving him back into the NICU. Eyans jaundice was a level 17 and any higher it would have started killing brain cells. He had to be closely monitored and fed on a strict schedule to flush the bilirubin out.
The second day in the NICU was tough on me. I had to keep getting out of bed and going into the NICU every 2.5 hours to feed him, and when you have just had major surgery, getting up sucks, but the payoff was worth it. On top of that they were still monitoring my blood pressure and drawing blood very regularly. Eyans bilirubin levels continued to decrease and I was able to have him back around noon the next day. All I wanted to do at that point was go home, I was tired of the nurses taking my baby and just ready to be home! The baby was checked and ready to go, but I didn’t think they were ever going to release me! Around 4:00pm on the 20th my nurse came in and I begged to go home, she took my pulse and blood pressure and they were still a bit high, so she did it again and they lowered just enough that I could be released to go home! We packed up and practically RAN out of the hospital.
We got to take Eyan home on the 20th too and all has been pretty well. My pregnancy and birth experience was interesting, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Eyan was worth every single minute of it!
First mommy/baby picture
Daddy and Eyan
Saturday 11th of January 2014
Hey Laura, just read this story. My mom had preclampsia with me - since it was the first week of 1970 they almost lost both of us. So glad there is a happy ending.
Sunday 19th of January 2014
Glad you made it out!!!!
Monday 4th of February 2013
I also had preeclampsia with my daughter and had to deliver 5.5 weeks early. I had a hellacious delivery as well and our baby was also in the NICU for 2 wks before we could bring her home. Pregnancy is such a miracle, but it is also soo scary! I am glad you had a happy ending!
Sunday 9th of June 2013
Oh no! I barely was able to handle the small amount of time Eyan spent in the NICU! Thanks for visiting!
Monday 10th of September 2012
Oh man oh man. Reading this made me think of my pregnancy and labor with my now 21 month old daughter. It was ALMOST exactly the same!
Strict bed rest from 25 weeks to 35 weeks due to preeclampsia. Induction at 35 Weeks, 6 Days. 36 hour labor, two failed epidurals and 2.5 hours of pushing ALMOST had to have a C-Section but thankfully I did not. Your actual labor when you were pushing with the magnesium sulfate sounds JUST like mine... thank god my family videod it. Baby had craZy jaundice.
All your details sounds sooo familiar. I'm not happy that it all happened to you but I'm glad that I wasn't alone.. because at that time in my life I thought I was the only one to experience all of that crap.
My fingers are crossed that both your current pregnancy and mine are completely different than our last ! :)
Look forward to following your blog!
BTW, I added that friend button ;)
Monday 10th of September 2012
Yay for the friend button :)
I am also SO glad someone else shares this experience. It was insane.
Hey There! We’re the Funk’s! We are a 30 something couple, with 2 awesome kids living our best life in Colorado. We enjoy life in Colorado, delicious food, and any DIY or home renovations that we can get our hands on. Follow along as we create this lifestyle while parenting in picture-perfect chaos.