Before I discovered my first pregnancy, I had all the typical dreams of what I thought it might be like. Wearing all the stretchy clothes, eating whatever, whenever, reveling in my growing baby bump. It never, ever occurred to me something might go wrong. I was prepared for a normal pregnancy, but one of the things I wasn't prepared for when my pregnancy was labeled high risk was the emotional toll it would take. It was difficult to accept the undeniable fact that my experience would be vastly different than the dream scenario I'd always hoped for.
Having Polycystic Syndrome (PCOS) meant enduring painful cysts often, but my OB-GYN assured me I'd still be able to carry a pregnancy to term (as long as I remained otherwise healthy and took good care of myself). He was right. I did become pregnant with my daughter in early 2006, and in the beginning, things were seemingly "normal." I had the awful morning/noon/night sickness, massive hormonal fluctuations, and, yes, weird food cravings (this vegetarian wanted a hamburger!). Pregnancy, am I right?!
Towards the end, things started to change. My blood pressure ran so high, my legs and feet swelled every time I stood up. I was diagnosed with severe hypertension, labeled "high risk," and ordered to bedrest until a planned induction. Labor and delivery weren't atypical and once I had a baby in my arms, my body slowly recovered. It was almost as if none of the complications ever happened.
Awhile later, when my partner and I decided to try for another, we thought it'd go about the same way as the first. Then I suffered through two miscarriages and everything — everything — changed. The next pregnancy thereafter, with my son, was immediately labeled a "threatened abortion" because they didn't think he'd survive. By the next visit, when his heartbeat was still going strong (thankfully), they downsized my label to "high risk" and ordered me to bedrest with a slew of other conditions (which I followed). It wasn't easy and being "high risk" meant missing out on a lot to make sure my baby stayed alive (and me, too). With that, here are some of the things I absolutely wasn't ready for when they told me this pregnancy was "high risk."