We found out we were pregnant on October 3, 2004 by a positive HPT test. It was a Friday morning and I was getting ready for work. John was still asleep and I thought, "How can I tell him the fantastic news?" Instead of being original, I burst into the room and said, "Do you want to see what a positive HPT looks like?" Sleepily, he looked at me, as if he was wondering what in the world I was talking about. Once he woke up a bit, we hugged each other in such an amazing moment!
Later that day, we decided to wait to tell our parents until our good news was confirmed at the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the doctor until the end of the month. At the appointment, we had it confirmed that I was pregnant. Dr. Farmer did an internal exam, took family history, weight, and blood pressure. From there, I was sent to the lab for blood work. That day we told John's and my parents the excellent news. Both sets of grandparents were excited, and thrilled with knowing that they would soon have a beautiful grandbaby.
My first trimester went extremely well. I was so overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a mom that sometimes I didn’t know what to think or where to begin. My husband was extremely supportive and attended my entire prenatal exam, which made me feel more confident.
The only symptom that I felt during the first trimester was being extremely tired. It was strange how little I would do and then become worn out. The second trimester also went well. I continued to stay healthy and began to have more energy. During the second trimester, I began to feel that my husband and I would make excellent parents although I knew that having a child would change our lives forever. I just didn’t know at this time how our child would change our lives.
I continued to work at the Courier-Journal until the end of February. At this time, I developed sciatica. Basically our baby was lying on my nerve, and that caused a great deal of pain in my lower back. I started attending physical therapy about twice a week. The massage and exercises really helped with the level of pain.
As I moved into the last trimester, I continued to battle with the sciatica but luckily didn’t have any other problems. The last few weeks I became miserable. It was time for this child to be born! My legs and body began to swell. On May 12th, my blood pressure was high and I had protein in my urine. At this time, my OB/GYN put me on limited bed rest. I had to collect my urine for 24 hours and have it tested along with a blood test on that Friday. Luckily, the tests came back fine on May 15th so I waited until my next appointment, on May 21st. Since the estimated due date was May 26th, I figured that there would be some sign of effacement or dilation at that point. Unfortunately it wasn’t until May 24th that I was told that the cervix had thinned some but I was still not effaced or dilated.
Since it was becoming so close to my due date without much progression, my OB/GYN scheduled a biophysical profile for the next day. The profile showed that our baby was breathing, kicking, and the fluid level looked good. When I called the doctor’s office the next day, my doctor said that if the baby didn’t come this weekend on its own that I would be induced on Tuesday, June 1st, 2004.
By the end of the weekend, there was no baby so we knew that I would be induced on Tuesday morning. We were told to call the hospital at 5 a.m. on June 1st to make sure that there was a bed ready. When we called, they told us to be at the hospital at 7 a.m. Of course, we didn't get much sleep the night before and didn't know what to do with ourselves till we had to leave for the hospital. We got up at 4:30 a.m. and were ready to head out the door at 5 a.m.. So we watched Making Room for Baby on TLC until it was time to leave for the hospital. John was able to eat a small breakfast while the cats wondered why we were up so early. They must have thought we were going on vacation!
We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 a.m. Luckily, we had pre-registered so there weren't too many additional papers that needed to be filled out in admissions. After the paperwork was complete, we made our way towards the Labor and Delivery area on the second floor. Once we arrived at the desk, they told us that I was to go to room 14. There were several women in active labor so I was told to change my clothes and someone would be with me soon.
After twenty minutes or so, my nurse introduced herself and began my IV. At this time, my doctor arrived and did an internal exam. They began the pitocin and hooked up all the monitors needed for Elizabeth and myself. Every few hours, my vital signs were checked by a monitor and every few hours I was given an internal exam to see how we were progressing with labor. Also, the level of pitocin was being increased every so often. Around 11 a.m., I was given my epidural. It certainly provided much relief. I didn't feel the contractions until around 4 p.m. At this time, Elizabeth's head was pushing further into the birth canal although I still wasn't dilating as quickly as I should have been. My OB/GYN decided that her large head wasn't going to be able to fit through the birth canal. Therefore, at 7 p.m., we opted for a c-section.
Things moved very quickly at this point. The anesthesiologist came in to numb me more for surgery. The nurse had me drink some terrible mix to reduce the acid in my stomach. She insisted that I chug it and it was a wise decision to do so! After I was prepped for surgery, I was wheeled down the hall for the c-section. I was transferred by several medical staff from my bed to the operating table. I remember feeling short of breath, so I was given some oxygen. The anesthesiologist continued to support me and tell me what I should be feeling at each point of the operation. John got suited up in scrubs and squeezed my hand in support while the operation was taking place. He said that he came in the room about 7:35 p.m., and Elizabeth was there at 7:46 p.m.
John stayed with Elizabeth while she was being checked and I was being sewed back together. Afterwards, the nurse handed Elizabeth to me as we were wheeled to the recovery room, where I stayed for about an hour. At this time, John was able to share the good news that mother and baby were doing well after such an amazing day! I remember asking John in the c-section room if Elizabeth had all of her toes and fingers. With relief, he said yes and showed her to me as he held her tight in his arms. I felt such an overwhelming amount of love pour out of my body while holding Elizabeth Leigh Chism for the first time. I now can’t remember what our lives were like before she was born. She is a true joy to our lives and we love her unconditionally.