September 2018: 3 days of Labor, 1 Foley Bulb Induction, 1 Caesarean Section, 2 Swollen Feet & Ankles, 2 Pulmonary Embolisms, 2 ER Visits, 6 Day Hospital Stay, and most importantly... 1 Beautiful Babygirl!
Grateful just doesn't seem like a strong enough word anymore. Honestly, I haven't let myself fully grasp the brevity of everything that has occurred this month because I know I will break down and be out the game for at least a couple hours in my emotions and my mom-to-a-newborn self does not have any extra capacity for extra emotions. I did take some time to get deep enough in connecting to give the Lord a good praise and my spirit felt so at peace afterward. Yes, every mom has their own unique story. No, I am not any more special than anyone else in this club where you brush death to give life...The Mom Club!
I have to begin about 10 years ago when I underwent a LEEP procedure. Basically, a biopsy of my cervix showed that I had cells that were abnormal with a high chance of cancer forming, so part of my cervix was lasered off. It was my first and only procedure where I had to be put under with anesthesia in order to have it done. This procedure is considered to be routine and would not hinder my chances of baring children in the future.
Fast forward to August 31st; I'm 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant... I've been in labor since Thursday, August 30th unbeknownst to me. I had been having contractions but since I never had a contraction before I didn't realize that I was already in labor. My bff had Facetimed me and had been timing my contractions which were 20 minutes apart. The initial contractions were just a small amount of pressure and literally no pain. Anyway, I go to my scheduled appointment on Friday and get admitted immediately after. Yes! It's time! I would only dilate 1 cm on my own and would never fully dilate.
Total dilation was 5 cm and every one of those centimeters were hard fought for! After taking a long time to get my little 1 cm of dilation, my doctors inserted a Foley Balloon into my cervix to help move things along. The procedure lasted about 15-20 minutes and the pressure was so intense that it is now the Top 3 most painful moments of life (contractions come in at number 4). To get the balloon inserted, the doctor had to use her finger to make a little more space for the balloon to fit in my cervix and stretch out the dilation. I played my go-to comfort song, "Jesus is Love" by the Commodores", over and over in my head until the procedure was over. The doctors offered to give me a break if I needed, but I just toughed it out so that it could be over as soon as possible - I hope my experience doesn't freak anyone out!
The truth is that when the baby is coming you will do whatever it takes for the baby to enter the world safely. Pain becomes irrelevant. It's present for sure, but your mind just goes to a totally different place. Speaking of pain, the contractions were everything I had heard about them. The worst, recurring cramps of life. My mom helped me to stay focused on breathing because my natural response was to grab the side rail on the bed and hold my breath (don't ask my way I kept trying to hold my breath!).
After three days of labor and trying multiple things to increase my dilation, it was time for a c-section. Two emergency c-sections popped up right when it was time for me to get in the Operating Room. One emergency c-section was normal and two was considered a very rare occurrence. I was on the clock since my water had already been manually broken and it took a lot of patience and trust in the Lord to not freak out over the possibility of new issues popping up.
My mom had dreamed that the baby would be born at 5:51 (no designation of AM or PM) and the official start time of my surgery was 5:51 AM. My baby girl was born on Labor Day, September 3rd weighing in at 9 lbs. 3 oz. The synchronicity of it all seemed to be confirmed with the date and weight being the same numbers! We would remain in the hospital for two more days and I would receive one unit of blood due to blood loss during my operation. Eventually, we were homeward bound and I could officially add "Mom" to my title.
Read Part 2 to find out what happened after we got home.
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