Pregnancy

My Journey Through Pregnancy – The Third Trimester and the Arrival of a Precious Bundle

The Third Trimester…

The home “stretch” FINALLY arrived! Literally what I felt – stretched and ready to pop! – I felt like I had swallowed a watermelon and had a nice round belly. The last 6 weeks of the second trimester were the best ones of the whole pregnancy!  My morning sickness was finally gone, no more ligament pain, the heartburn subsided, I wasn’t quite as tired, and I was able to eat anything and was always hungry.

But once we hit the 3rd trimester and week 27, the heartburn came back with fury and continuously plague me. Apparently heartburn is a sign that the baby will have hair and in one of our ultrasounds we saw the cutest little fuzz growing on her sweet little head! (My heart melted and it was worth it to see that sweet little fuzzy head of hair!!<3)

We were still continuing our twice weekly trips to visit doctors and check on baby’s progress, as she was staying in the 1% for her growth and weight. She was continuing to cooperate and stay put though, and for that we were SO THANKFUL!!

As the week progressed I became more and more uncomfortable. The cute waddle was getting more and more exaggerated, my back was always hurting, my little peanut was a constant kicker and wiggler, and was always getting the hiccups which made resting/sleeping difficult. I was ready for this baby girl to be out!

A date was schedule for inducement at 37 ½ weeks and I would give birth at the hospital connected to the clinic that we had been traveling to all these weeks, and our baby’s surgeon would be there to do an operation on her as soon as she was born. We had a tour of the birthing center and NICU and all our documents were signed and in place.

Now the wait began.

 

GROWTH…

The last trimester is all about growth. Everything is formed, it just needs more time to develop and grow, and for the baby to pack on the pounds before its debut into the real world.

This is a growth chart of how much a baby show grow every week. My little peanut was a little rebel and was constantly staying about a 3-4 weeks behind in growth, but this would be her size every week if she stayed on track…

Week 27 – Rutabaga

Week 28 – Eggplant

Week 29 – Acorn squash

Week 30 – Cucumber

Week 31 –   Pineapple

Week 32 – Cauliflower

Week 33 – Cabbage

Week 34 – Butternut squash

Week 35 – Coconut

Week 36 – Honeydew

 

THE UNEXPECTED…

August 9th, 2017 – A Thursday. I was 36.5 weeks along. The day had nothing to special going on. House work, cleaning and organizing, lots of work to do as I was starting to plan the next dance school season. My husband came home from work and I was working on finishing up an email to send out to my dance families. Leftovers were on the menu as supper time was already upon us.

Then, the unexpected happened. Sitting on my couch, my water broke!

This is one of the weirdest moments of my life and the oddest of sensations. I felt a little snap and then second later I was “peeing” myself.

My husband freaked! I will never forget that moment after I told him, his eyes were wide as he ran and grabbed his shoes and keys. I asked him what he was doing (he was clearly not thinking straight) and he said he was going to start the car. (lol)

Now at this point, we hadn’t figured this into the equation as our scheduled inducement date was in exactly one week. It never crossed my mind that this would happen and we would be having our precious baby girl early!

We were NOT READY! No bags packed, or plans in place “just in case”, we didn’t know if we should go to our local hospital or travel that 1.5hrs to the hospital we were supposed to give birth in. We didn’t know what to do! This is when the reality once again hit that we were having a BABY and we had no idea what we were doing!!

For some reason they never had us go through any birthing classes, make a birth plan, or even talk through what the birth would look like for us. I guess we were so concerned over what would happen to out baby and making sure she was going to be ok that I never really thought about the fact that I was soon going to be going through one of the most physically painful times of my life and I had no idea what I was doing!

“Were we ready?!” Well, ready or not, we were in for the ride of our lives.

I was a little panicked but God gave us peace! We made some calls and because I was not having any contractions at this point, they said it should be safe to travel the distance before the baby would probably show signs of coming.

Bags were hurriedly packed, I took a quick shower, and we grabbed our stuff and dashed to the car. The trip was pretty uneventful besides the fact that every time my husband would make me laugh, it felt like I was peeing myself. Such an awkward feeling!

 

A BABY IS COMING!!!

We arrived at the hospital about 9pm, checked in, got the baby monitor on (one of the most obnoxious things to have to wear while in labor and delivery!), and settled into our room. No sign of the baby coming yet. They let me eat some supper thankfully as I was starving (Yay for an in hospital Subway!), and then started me on some Pitocin at about 10:30. Not long after, I was starting contractions and they were getting closer and stronger pretty quick so they stopped the Pitocin after about an hr as my body was already starting the labor on its own. The hours went by slowly and uncomfortably. Every couple hours I was checked but dilation was slow and I had only made it to 2cm. Then about 5:30am contractions were really getting hard. They checked me and I was dilated to 6cm!

It was a blur as I was rushed to the labor and delivery room. I was wheeled into a large, stark white room with lots of bright lights pointing toward the single bed in the middle of the room. There were people everywhere and a lot of commotion as everyone was prepping. It was a bit eerie as the room fell silent and 20 pairs of eyes locked onto me as I was wheeled into the room. Contractions were getting so bad I couldn’t talk or think. I could barely move as they hit hard and were killing my back. Standing and arching back was the only thing that I would do to make it bearable. And I wasn’t allowed to move from the bed that I was to stay in until the baby came. (Not fun!)

We had never had any birthing classes or told how the birth would be with a high risk pregnancy and a baby that was high risk as well. I had no idea of what to do or how things were supposed to go, and no idea what I was doing beside what little knowledge I had from being at a couple births and seeing some on movies (Thanks ”Call the Midwife” for the birthing education! Lol!).

I was miserable. My back was breaking, there were literally more 10+ people in the room staring at my most unbecoming side, and there was nothing I could do except try to “push” when they said to, and keep breathing. Unfortunately all of this was happening at shift change. More people entered the room (just my luck! -_-) and the doctor was ready to go home and probably had me pushing too early. My eyes felt like they were “popping” and I was literally bursting blood vessels in my eyes, face, and neck and this point and felt like my eyes were going to pop out. A cool cloth helped and I was able to keep up with the pushing with each contraction. It felt like an eternity. Apparently the little pipsqueak was coming out “sunny side up” (face up) and was rocking back and forth as she was trying to get past my pelvis bone.

Then finally, after over an hr and a half of pushing, that searing burning feeling came and I knew she had made it out. Her head was out and one more push, and at 7:36am she was here!! The pain and contractions instantly stopped and all I could do was sigh with relief and try to find out how my baby was doing.

The cord was wrapped 2x around her neck and she was a dark purple but she was ok! My husband was able to cut the cord and for a brief moment the doctor showed her to us. I could barely see as so many blood vessels in my eyes had burst I was seeing double, and my vision was so blurry that I could only made out a tiny purple alien-headed blob. She didn’t cry by just looked around was curiosity as she surveyed the new world she had just entered and then she was rushed away for assessment and surgery.

Moments later we heard a cry from the other room and it broke my heart not to be able to comfort and hold my baby, but she was here! She was safe and alive and they said she would be fine!

 

OUR BLESSING IS HERE!

After getting cleaned up, getting some breakfast, and trying out my first pumping session (yay… -_-), we got news that our precious little baby was doing well. The hole in her belly was about the size of a 50 cent piece and most of her large and small intestines were out as well as part of her bladder and even a little fallopian tube. They thought it might take some time (perhaps a couple days) for everything to fit back into her tummy as it was developing for most of the pregnancy without everything in there and wasn’t probably big enough to fit everything. But miracle of miracles, everything just slipped in within a half an hour. And, to top it all off, they had recently been starting a new technique for closing baby’s bellies with this condition. Instead of stitching them up, they would cover the hole with a portion of umbilical cord and it would heal over just like skin, and then the muscle wall has a chance to try and heal on its own, which is so much better and safer for such small babies!

I was so happy my little bundle was doing well! I was so anxious to meet her! We had to wait several hours though as they were still working on her and had to establish a PICC line to be able to give her nutrients. Her little veins were so small that they were having a hard time trying to get a line in. They poked her in both feet and couldn’t get it to work, so they had to make a port in her chest and send a tube up through her neck that went directly into her heart. This all took time and it felt like forever waiting to be able to see her.

Finally we were able to!! I was still seeing double (which wound up lasting a few days), but she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!! In that moment all the long months of pregnancy difficulties and the painful labor just melted away… I cried with such joy! She was bigger than we expected and was 4lbs 15oz and 18″ long! Such a miracle. A precious gift. The most beautiful child – so perfect and so loved!!

 

HOW GREAT IS OUR FATHER’S LOVE

It was in the first moments and days of being a mother, and parent, that really opened my eyes to a new kind of love. The unconditional, self-sacrificing kind of love. I would give or do anything to take care of this precious little child that God blessed me with, and entrusted into my care. I loved this little person more than anything and there wasn’t anything she could never do to make me love her any less.

This new found love gave me a glimpse into the incredible love God has for us, His children. But the love I had for my daughter didn’t even come close to comparing to the incredibly love God has for us! I was so blessed to have this glimpse and was in awe. I was reminded many times of these beautiful lyrics… “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only son, to make a wretch His treasure.”

His love is SO vast! There is nothing I could ever do that could ever change the wondrous love He has for me, and for YOU too!! What a beautiful thing. Something we should never forget – no matter what we do, God will always endlessly love us. For we are His children and are BEAUTIFULLY and WONDERFULLY made – in HIS image!

 

Romans 8:39 “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

1 John 3:1“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

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