When we found out we were pregnant with our second child, we were not all that surprised. We had just moved from Chicago to the east coast and thought about adding to our family. We already had a son, AJ, who was just nine months old when I got pregnant this time around.
The day after I took the test, I started bleeding. I called the doctor, went in, and had an ultrasound. There was no heartbeat, and I was told I was miscarrying. The doctor said I could have a D&C or wait until everything passed. I didn’t want a D&C because that meant they would put me under and I would have a tube down my throat, and that scared me. I was upset, confused, worried, and went through the next three weeks bleeding and dealing with what I thought was a miscarriage. I remember all the while still feeling nauseous and just ‘not right’ and I thought it was unfair that I was still feeling yucky symptoms when I was losing the baby.
The doctor wanted to check my hCG levels (which is the pregnancy hormone), to make sure the miscarriage was over, and when I went back a few weeks later to have them take blood, they discovered that my hCG levels had risen, not gone down, as is the case with a miscarriage. I was shocked, didn’t know what my body was doing, and secretly hoped that this was really a viable pregnancy.
They sent me for an ultrasound and unbelievably, there was a strong beating heart right there on the screen! I hadn’t miscarried after all! I was cautious throughout the pregnancy, but after that scare, things progressed normally. Well, as normal as a pregnancy can go while you’re also dealing with your first baby and his erratic sleep habits at the same time! On May 2, the day after my due date, I started having contractions that were pretty regular and strong. Even though they hurt, they felt good because I knew that meant my baby was on the way! It was early, early morning, and my husband, Scott, told me he was going to shave before we left but then decided not to, which was a good thing because there was no way I was waiting for him to shave! He also wanted to make coffee before we left for the hospital. I guess since this was my second pregnancy, he thought it was no big deal and he should shave and have some coffee before we left! We got to the hospital at 4:30 AM and were admitted into a room. The nurse checked me and I was only about one centimeter dilated which made me very discouraged. My doctor suggested we do some walking, so we tried, but then I wimped out, and by 6:30 AM the IV was in and the drugs were pumping through my veins. They took effect immediately and I was loopy and happy. Around 8:30 AM, we called my mom and she came to the hospital with our son, AJ, who was now 18 months.
I was checked again and was happy to see I was six centimeters. I received my epidural and felt pretty good and relaxed for the next few hours. My mom and AJ were in the room with us for most of the time and then when I was checked at noon, I was dilated to 10! It was time for action! We sent mom and AJ outside to wait.
So, now the pushing began. I had had a C-section with AJ and was hoping for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) this time around. The pushing was the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, trying to get my baby out into the world. Pushing was exhausting and not very rewarding at first. My husband was terrific, although I wanted him to count to 10 faster because it was a long time to concentrate! After an hour of pushing, I was so tired and I was getting very discouraged. I was at the point where I didn’t even care if I had another C-section. Thank God I was the only patient that morning because my doctor was a great motivational focal point. He kept saying how he was amazed at how well I pushed and that he had never had a patient concentrate and push so well. (While I believed him then, now I am sure he tells all of his patients this to keep them focused!) Around 1:15 PM, my husband and I were both getting so discouraged and frustrated. It was at about this stage of pushing when I was in labor with AJ when it was decided that I would have a C-section. I was certain I would have to have another C-section.
But something happened and I got really focused with the pushing, and then I started feeling the head, like a bowling ball, breaking through. During this time, my doctor asked me if I wanted to reach down to feel the baby’s head and I said, “NO!” For some reason I couldn’t do that. I was able to see what was happening through the reflection of my doctor’s glasses though. It didn’t look too pretty.
My doctor then said he was going to give me an episiotomy, which I didn’t care because I just wanted the baby out! Then all of a sudden, my husband is yelling that the head was out and the doctor was suctioning the mouth and nose. My doctor said, “Look at your baby,” and then he plopped the baby onto my stomach, all greasy and slimy and so beautiful! At first, I could swear I saw a penis, but none of us knew what sex the baby was, so my husband asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?” The doctor answered, “Definitely!” What kind of answer is that? Then he pulled up the baby’s leg, and announced, “Indoor plumbing!” It was a girl! I completely lost it. I was so ecstatic because I wanted to have a daughter so badly since I already had a little boy. McKaelen Flynn was born May 2, 1999 at 1:46 PM, weighing nine pounds, four ounces, so plump and red and adorable! She is still my precious little girl, almost eight years later!