Romper's Trying project follows five women with very different stories through a year of trying to conceive. Where discussions about fertility often focus on the end goal, they'll document what it's like emotionally, physically, and spiritually before you get there — the anxiety, the hope, the ovulation kits, the tests. How do you function when getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term isn't a given? Read on for one woman's answer to that question.
Ambreia has a 3-year-old son and has been trying for a second child for a year and a half. This is the tenth installment of her Trying diary. You can read the previous entry here.
This was a month of health scares. My baby's size and status as a intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) baby put the doctors on high alert for an early delivery, which meant a ton of monitoring via non-stress tests and weekly ultrasounds. It wasn't fun blocking off so much time for monitoring. But it did give me the opportunity to have some time to myself without an almost 3-year-old running around. So, I wasn't not complaining too much.
My third week of testing caused a little concern when her heartbeat started registering high during our visit. Just to be safe, they sent me to the hospital to conduct some more extensive tests. Thankfully, things were in the realm of normal within a few hours and we got to go home.
It was a Friday and she advised that we get an induction the following Monday.
A week or two later we had a second scare where the ultrasound technician thought that she had an intestinal defect that would leave her without an anus. I spent a week crying waiting for some answers. But thankfully the specialist came in and told us that the ultrasound technician had misread the ultrasound. Her words were “Your daughter is going to have a normal butthole” — a humorous end to a terrifying health scare.
But the comfort didn't last. The visiting specialist noticed that in addition to Baby Girl's heartbeat registering high, my placenta wasn’t working at full capacity. Both of those factors together were to sustainable to risk it much longer. It was a Friday and she advised that we get an induction the following Monday. Needless to say, I was freaking the hell out.
Sure, I was days away from being 37 weeks and I had officially made it to the “early term” point of the pregnancy. But that didn't make it any less surreal that we had an official date that our lives were going to change and I would be a mother of two.
In my heart of hearts I really wanted to beat this induction like I had with my son.
Over the course of the next 72 hours, I scrambled texting friends and relatives letting them know that Our baby girl was expected December 3. My support system was awesome. My friend who was serving in the role of doula made sure that I had materials for the hospital. My mom and even some of my coworkers sent gift cards and close my way to make sure that Baby Girl had outfits to wear home. I cannot overstate how helpful these actions were because since she would be in preemie clothes and any newborn size outfit would have swallowed her whole.
I was nervous to meet her — but we had all the materials we could hope for. I spent those two and a half days on the yoga ball, because in my heart of hearts I really wanted to beat this induction like I had with my son. I was successful in losing my mucus plug and even got some early-stage contractions started, but none of that was enough to get her here before my 8 a.m. report time.
I read a lot of horror stories on line about inductions being one of many things that lead to a "cascade of interventions" and often c-sections. But my induction process was amazing. I was shocked at how loving and caring the nurses were at the local hospital.
Thanks to my doula, I got to walk around and be monitored intermittently. I didn't have time to grab a snack before we left the house, but the sweet nurse allowed me to have a few spoonfuls of peanut butter at the promise that I wouldn't tell anyone. The entire process probably took about six hours — my beautiful baby girl was here before 4 p.m.
Not only did I get to avoid the "web of interventions,” I shocked everyone including myself by having a completely drug-free birth. In full disclosure, I called the anesthesiologist, but by the time he was ready to help, I had already pushed the baby out. I was glaring daggers his way the entire time — he could have moved faster if he wasn’t talking.
Finally, I had my baby and my body back. Well, of course it wasn't in the same shape as it was before, but this will do for now. We're battling juggling a 3-year-old and a newborn. We’re tired as hell but happy.