Sunday, April 24, 2005

A textbook pregnancy

Once I became pregnant I prepared myself for the typical first few months of morning sickness and general uncomfortableness. But thankfully, I had none of that. I had one morning, about 2 or 3 months in, that I did get sick. But that was it. I was able to walk throughout my entire pregnancy and basically had a pretty great 37 weeks (I'll get to that later).

The very first thing we did (after the gynecologist, of course) was to visit a nutritionist. I wanted to follow a vegan/whole foods diet, giving my baby the best start I could, considering we weren't starting out with the best of conditions. The nutritionist had no problem with my plan. I just had to make sure I ate plenty of soy products and other nuts so that I got the necessary amount of protein in my diet.

At about week 6 I did experience a little bleeding. We went to have an ultrasound ("to check for viability" I heard the doctors and nurses say to each other about my case). The baby was just fine, though, and we continued on. I just had to take it easy for a few days.

At 16 weeks I had another ultrasound - a Level II. This checked very closely for any signs of disability. What we saw on the screen was the most beautiful, perfect spine I have ever seen. Not a defect in sight! This satisfied our worries so much that we decided not to test further for disabilities. We also found out at this appointment that it looked like we had a little girl on her way. Yay! No more fighting over boys names!

Things continued on as normal until about week 30 or so when we went to meet with the anesthesiologists about alternative means I could use during delivery (I already knew I couldn't have an epidural due to the location of my defect on my lower back). Instead of a simple, quick meeting we were instead informed that this hospital did not feel comfortable delivering my baby and that we should go to a teaching hospital in one of the larger cities nearby (if you call an hour or more drive away nearby). We were devastated, as we were told very early on by my gynecologist that this local hospital could certainly take care of all my needs. With her away on maternity leave herself, I had the other doctors in the practice trying to help me out to enable me to stay with this hospital. But, long story short, it didn't happen.

Basically, the hospital was not comfortable delivering my child (even though my doctor - who would be back by my due date - was certainly comfortable and capable. I also showed no signs at all of any ensuing difficulties) And by this time, quite frankly, I was not willing to go to a hospital that basically didn't want me. I ended up delivering 3 weeks early at the teaching hospital 2 hours away from home with wonderful doctors who I can't say enough good things about. I was even able to have that epidural - just higher on my back than for another woman.

About delivering 3 weeks early - I started to develop signs of pre-eclampsia. So when I went up to the hospital for the first time, simply to meet with the doctors and see where I would be, they decided to keep me overnight for observation. My gynecologist back home had also seen just the day before that I was 2 centimeters dialated already. So, to keep myself and the baby out of harms way, I was induced and had my baby girl 37 weeks into my pregnancy. I had a relatively easy vaginal delivery and only had to push for 30 minutes. She came out a little small - 5 1/5 lbs - but otherwise in perfect, healthy condition. We've been a happy, healthy family ever since - with lots of fun, learning and interesting experiences along the way.

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