I found out I was pregnant for the second time after having a miscarriage six months earlier. I was very happy and not worried at all even though people kept asking me if I was. I decided it was in God’s hands.
I had already been very nauseous and thought I might be pregnant, but I put off taking a test because my husband didn't think I was (and he predicted the first pregnancy). When I finally took the test, it was positive!
My morning sickness (all-day sickness) lasted throughout my pregnancy. It was very difficult since I worked a stressful job. My working environment was not kind to pregnant women or mothers. I was so sick, I missed a lot of work or was late and left early most days. I didn't want to ask my doctor to take me off work; I thought, women work and have babies everyday. I was just being a baby. I should have gone with my gut instinct.
Around seven months I found out I had gestational diabetes and it was a hard blow for me. My husband gave me daily insulin shots because it's very hard to make your own hand push a needle in your skin. I went on a diabetic diet and only gained six pounds throughout my entire pregnancy. I was so tired and stressed out from work that I started showing signs of pre-eclampsia in my 28th week. My wonderful doctor watched my blood pressure very closely and knew better than me when I started swelling.
Finally, at 36 weeks my doctor took me off work. I was so happy! It was heaven getting to rest and not worry about work. The next week I went for my check- up and my doctor told me my blood pressure was seriously high and she needed to induce my labor. My brother had taken me to the doctor so he could hear the heartbeat, so he took me straight to the hospital. I was in the bed hooked up to Pitocin within 15 minutes of walking in the front doors. I called my husband and told him the doctor said he didn't need to come right away and it was going to be a long labor. He didn’t listen, thank God, since the contractions started right away. It was scary and wonderful all at the same time. I was hooked up at 11 AM and throughout the day my husband would film and say into the camera (talking to the baby), "You'll be here any minute!" because my contractions were so strong. The doctor and I tried to tell him it would be a long labor, and at about 9 PM, my husband started to believe us.
My doctor told me not to try to be a hero and ask for the epidural when I needed it. I held out until the pain was constant and I never got a break from a contraction. I got my epidural at 9:30 PM and I was so thankful for it. I was mad at myself for waiting for so long to ask for it. At about midnight, my birthing nurse wanted me to try to start pushing. I did, but nothing was happening. The nurse said maybe she should turn down the epidural, afraid I wouldn't be able to push, but I begged her not to, and promised to push as hard as I could. I kept my promise, and at 2 AM, my doctor came in, and without telling me what she was doing, manually turned the baby so the nose was facing up instead of sideways–that's why my pushing was doing no good! The turning hurt a lot, even with the epidural.
I started pushing, thinking, Wow, this is so easy. Then the head crowned and I thought I was giving birth to an alien, it was so painful. I remember that a friend said that after the head came out the rest was a piece of cake, so that was my goal. The doctor got the vacuum, thinking I'd be too tired to push from such a long, hard labor, but I had promised to push if my nurse didn't turn down my pain relief. I pushed the baby's little head right out and the doctor told me to wait because the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck.
Finally, I pushed my baby out, they took him to a table, and got him cleaned up and checked out. My husband went with the baby–that was our deal, that once our son was born he'd watch out for him. Meanwhile, I thought I was having another baby; I didn't realize the contractions would keep coming until the placenta came out. It was a very hard 16½ hours (I won't give up the half hour, it was then I worked the hardest!) but I got such a wonderful gift–my baby.
As they say, hindsight is 20/20. I should have told my doctor what a rough time I was having trying to work and cope with my pregnancy. I should not have worried what coworkers would say, or think (each time a women went off work for pregnancy it was said she was milking the system). I should have done what was best for me and my baby and I would have gotten to hold him in the first two days of his life but instead he was monitored because he was born early. Listen to your instincts when you are pregnant! That is why God gave them to us.