Monday, February 15, 2010

Baby and Beyond

"OK, so you're pregnant. Where do you go from here? Sit down – take a deep breath – and "veg" for a bit. Squelch the urge to panic. Give into the excitement and joy. Scream if you need to. But above all, give yourself a chance to assimilate the news. You have plenty of time for planning – the baby won't be born for nine months or 40 weeks, give or take a few days or weeks."

Thank you There was definitely much excitement and joy on my part and a good deal of screaming (all good might I add). However all the planning in the world couldn't have prepared me for what was to come.

To start out I had morning sickness. Big deal right? Most women get morning sickness at some point during their first trimester. Unfortunately mine lasted all day and ALL pregnancy (and a few hours after labor to boot). This was a clear sign the baby was healthy. That is what I continued to hear over and over again. I calculated that I probably threw up over 700 times during the 9 months that I carried Senorita Chub Chubs. I spent hours over the toilet. I remember having to plan things around throwing up. Would there be a bathroom close by? Was there a plastic bag as a backup? Did I have enough saltines and granola bars in my purse to hold me over?

I loved the tips I received from people. "Have you tried saltines" (no, what in the world are those?? I have never heard of such a thing!), "what about ginger ale?" (you mean there is an ale beverage that contains ginger? Tell me more!), "did you ever consider sipping on some ginger tea?" (you speak as though ginger has some famed tummy calming benefits.), "have you tried eating small frequent meals" (actually I have been shoving my mouth full of KFC chicken thighs and mashed potatoes amongst my dry heaving, is that a bad idea?). According to most of the population, their morning sickness can be all but cured by munching on carbs and ginger (in any form) throughout the day. This was not the case for me. In fact even after being given a prescription for my nausea so that I didn't lose so much weight that I dehydrated, I still was throwing up an average of 4 times a day and nothing, absolutely NOTHING sounded good. Meat was the biggest culprit of all along with milk as a close second. Nothing was my friend. As Frodo says in Lord of the Rings (yes I am a huge nerd) "I have forgotten the taste of strawberries, the taste of bread..." I had forgotten what it was like to enjoy food. But it was all worth it.

At right about 30 weeks my fundal height was measuring small. Just to make sure everything was alright, my OB performed an ultrasound. I was assured it was probably not a big deal, everyone carries differently. As the ultrasound tech took measurements she was fairly quiet. Then finally at the end said "Well, they aren't going to like this. The baby is measuring 2 weeks behind." This was the beginning of an IUGR diagnosis that eventually lead to a 37 week induction due to risks of a failing placenta and a stillborn baby. During my final 7 weeks pregnant I had dozens of NSTs, ultrasounds and check ups. Our baby continued to fall off the growth curve. Not many women can say that labor was the easiest part of the entire process but for me it was. I was in labor for about 20 hours, but when she was ready to come I only pushed a few times and 10 minutes later we welcomed Senorita Chub Chubs into the world.

She was a perfect 5 lbs, 17 1/4" long. But she entered the world with several blisters on her that caused concern and we were quarantined into our room for the rest of our visit in the hospital until they could figure out if they were bacterial or viral. Then she had a choking episode that turned her blue and almost caused the nurse to hit the code blue button. She recovered on her own but left us scared out of our minds to bring her home the next day. A few hours later she had another issue breathing and was admitted to the NICU. After further observation the nurses were convinced she was having seizures. We were told she had one of 3 things: A stroke in the womb, bacterial or viral meningitis, or herpes. There was apparently no way any of this was benign and so she was rushed to Children's Hospital where we lived for the next 2 weeks on pins and needles not knowing if we would ever take her home with us. In the end, all tests came back negative (and yes, Michael Scott, in this case a negative is considered positive) and we brought home a sweet chubby bundle of joy on December 3rd sporting the cutest nasal canula.

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