Pregnant moms rejoice.
This blog is probably right up your alley.
I wish it contained some helpful advice, but really, it’s just a piece to provide some solidarity. **insert Katniss here**
We are now a family of almost 8!
I have been through the wringer with this that and the other since my first “unicorn” pregnancy.
Today I really want to drive home the need to advocate for yourself.
Keep reading to see what I’m talking about.
The Uncomplicated Pregnancy
My first pregnancy was the unicorn pregnancy.
I had ZERO symptoms.
I was the pregnant lady that everyone hated.
I didn’t throw up. I didn’t feel like crap. I didn’t even really get a belly.
I was normal.
Okay, sure if I worked a 12-hour shift, my feet would be swollen, but who’s wouldn’t?
I was blissfully going about my life without a care in the world.
I would frequently walk to the library and nerd out to anything pregnancy or sustainable parenting-related and then trek back with a full bag of books and documentaries.
I was on my game.
Until the Second Trimester
Later on, in my pregnancy around week 20, you know the anatomy scan it was found that my baby boy was “small”.
They were going to keep an eye on it.
Okay, I thought nothing of it.
Then week 26 rolled around and I failed the glucose test by ONE! Yes, by one. They had me in MFM (maternal-fetal medicine) so fast.
The MFM doctor was honestly, surprised to see me.
I had no history of diabetes in my family nor did I have any risk factors.
Anyway, they get into my scan and see that our little boy is still in fact, little.
I’m diagnosed with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and put on a diabetic diet.
I lost so much weight.
Seriously, it was unhealthy how much I was losing and no matter what I actually ate, my blood sugars were freaking perfect.
Yep, I tested it with a whole can of Coke. No freaking change.
But the baby was still “small”
The Third Trimester
Baby boy is still small, but the doctors are no longer concerned, because “well you and dad are relatively small”....Ya think?
Yep, by now I’m just salty and feel incredibly mismanaged.
I’m the new mom.
I should be worrying about the nursery and what diaper bag I want - not having to go ham on researching everything going on.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t research things- you should, but your health providers should be on the lookout.
No, not that labor day.
The day I was induced due to my “diabetes” and “IUGR” day. I wanted to wait a week.
My non-stress tests (NSTs) were clear, my sugars were totes fine, and our boy wasn’t actually IUGR.
No dice. UGH.
Isn’t this why we switched to midwives?!?!
Anyway, we’re at the hospital and start trying everything to really get labor started (I was already 3cm dilated when we got there!).
Nada. After a few hours, I gave in. Okay, let’s get the Pitocin rolling.
I had watched “The Business of Being Born”.
I had researched all about doing this naturally without interventions.
I was dead set against what I just agreed to.
I felt crushed. Completely, utterly crushed.
I had intense active labor. I threw up, I couldn’t get comfortable in the labor tub, and finally said okay!
Drugs, please! That anesthesiologist was my best friend.
Bye-bye birth plan. I can’t do this anymore.
After hours, yes hours of pushing our son was born.
He wouldn’t descend. That stubborn SOB didn’t want to actively move down my birth canal….thus, the hours of pushing.
The Fourth Trimester - The Recovery
Our son had a week's stay in the NICU due to labored breathing (he had some fluid in the lungs), sepsis, and Jaundice.
Poor guy was hooked up to all sorts of wires, had a nasal cannula, and just looked - sick.
It was pure hell. Can I say hell? I’m going to say it.
It was the most traumatic thing I have experienced (at that point anyway).
My only concern was him. I pumped day and night. I stayed at his side most of the day unless I had to eat, pee, or sleep (which meant a one to two-hour nap).
I wasn’t taking care of myself.
I thought it was normal to have incredible pain while peeing after birth - even though I read every single book on pregnancy.
This later turned out to be an incredible kidney infection.
I had informed the hospital staff of the pain and they heard me literally screaming, but no one checked????
Ya. This was my own personal hell.
This wasn't what was supposed to happen.
I was supposed to be snuggling my bundle of joy in the comfort of my own home.
I was supposed to be able to heal, relax, and bond.
Once our son was breathing room air and his bilirubin levels started to decline we got to go home!
YES! FINALLY!!!! It was the most amazing feeling.
The hospital and NICU had felt like a prison.
No more weighing every single diaper.
I could nurse in my bed or on the couch. I could put my little “pumpkin” in his crib and he could see the nursery for the first time.
You know, all those things you anticipated doing since you found out you were pregnant.
We were about to do them.
It was beautiful.
I think it took me a good three weeks to get my groove down and feel somewhat normal again.
Minus the kidney infection that had me in the ER a few times….
Our pumpkin settled in as well and we were off just being a family of three.
Putting on Your Advocacy Hat
I didn’t really fight for myself with my first pregnancy and I feel like we could have had a much better outcome if I had.
If you are feeling this way, try your hardest not to blame yourself.
It won't do any good and IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT!
In my second pregnancy, I had a new doctor in a new city and we ran through everything.
She agreed (by the time I had my glucose tolerance test) that I didn’t really fail.
I was again, one point over, but only at the 2-hour mark.
She said it was likely that I didn’t truly have GD with my first either.
I was told I have "benign abnormal glucose in pregnancy"
Oh, and this baby was on the smaller side too!
But, this doctor was not concerned at all.
I tested my sugars for two weeks on a normal diet just as a precaution and again- totally fine.
We did another growth scan which showed the baby was on a normal curve.
Again, totally fine.
We didn’t have any interventions! WHOO!
Conclusion - Surviving Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing.
I’m on team, beautiful, but sucky. I have been misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed, and everything in between.
This led to unnecessary interventions and interventions that didn’t take place.
This isn’t to say ALL interventions are bad or unnecessary.
I have had some very much needed extra monitoring and interventions with my other children.
If something feels off to you - or you feel like there should be more tests done to confirm something-don’t feel like you can’t ask!
You can! And should!
Doctors, nurses, and midwives all work FOR YOU!
You are paying THEM.
If they make you feel like you’re not in charge of your own health, go forth and find a new provider.
Take care of yourself during pregnancy and more importantly, afterward!
Healing from having a baby on zero sleep is draining!
You've been pregnant for ten months - you're healing from that too!
It’s important to remember that you are not just mom, you are still YOU!
Check out our pregnancy and postpartum collection to take care of yourself.