Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting portions of my birth story. I’ve written my story before both privately and publicly but not like this.
After Orange’s birth, I didn’t second guess much. Yes, she was born a few days shy of full term and yes, she was put in the NICU but I had a very uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. I was very much at peace with her birth which I look back on and almost think of as easy. She came home from the NICU the same day I came home. And yes, it was stressful but not because there was anything to heal from. It was stressful because it was new. I had nothing to compare to so I had no idea of the extent that things could go wrong.
Following her birth, we had a loving nursing relationship for nearly 15 months. I went back to work part-time and pumped while I was away from her but every time we reconnected, she latched on and looking adoringly into my eyes, the same look I was giving her. I don’t remember a single bad moment. This peacefulness was what led Princess Daddy and I towards expanding our family.
And expanding we did. This time though, rather than not remembering a single bad moment, I can’t stop remembering them: the blood, the tears, the silence, the pain, the darkness. Really, the only thing easy the second time around was conceiving the babies!
So here it is, my birth story, in my words, from my memories, unedited for the whole world to see. There is no more sugar-coating it. I love Pink and Purple so much. It’s time to heal from the past.
At 24 weeks, 3 days I went to my normal ultrasound and OB appointment. There had been some conflict with scheduling so Princess Daddy couldn’t make it. I had planned on going alone but at the last minute, I asked my mom to go. I hadn’t been having any problems but I just had this horrible feeling about going alone. The ultrasound seemed to go smoothly. Both babies were measuring well, both head down for a change. We got an adorable ultrasound picture of them, side by side as if they were sharing secrets already. The tech saw what she believed to be placenta previa so she wanted to do an internal ultrasound to get a closer look. She took some measurements and never led on to the fact that she saw any major concerns.
We waited for what seemed like forever for my doctor after the ultrasound. It had never taken that long and oddly enough; the tech came back out maybe 30 minutes after we’d been waiting and said it would only be a few more minutes. That should have raised a red flag for me since that had never happened before either but aside from all the anxiety I had leading up to the appointment, I was calm waiting.
Dr. M didn’t waste any time once she came in. She didn’t comment on my weight or any discomfort or complaints. She went right to the point. My cervix was funneling. I was in preterm labor. I would need much more monitoring and she was referring me to a perinatal specialist. I could not work anymore. I was on bed rest. No lifting my daughter. No shopping. No walking. I was to stay in bed with my feet up, preferably at an incline so I was sitting at a 75 degree angle or less. I heard her words and just froze. I think my mom asked questions. Dr. M continued to explain she wanted me to report to L&D right away to be monitored to see if I was contracting regularly. “Any questions?” she asked. Surely, I responded but for the life of me I can’t remember what.
I walked out. Mom was there. We started walking down the hall. “Am I okay to walk there?” I asked Mom. “Do you want to call [Princess Daddy]?” she asked me. I did. He was at an important conference. I called him. And called him again. Texted him to call me right away. He did. I started sobbing. I don’t remember what I said. I just remember crying. L&D wasn’t as stressful as I had in my mind. They didn’t treat me like I was delivering or anything. I just hung out with monitors on. I declined the fFn test per the recommendation of my doctor.
They checked my cervix which I later realized I should have also declined considering they had just done an internal ultrasound and knew my cervix was closed on the outside. The ultrasound wand was much less invasive in my opinion. And definitely not as painful as some of the nurses and on call doctors than manhandled me. But I didn’t decline. I was frozen. The only thing that played through my mind was “I’m going to have babies FOUR months early.” And “I can’t have these babies now. They’ll never make it.”
They diagnosed me with an irritable uterus and sent me home. I was to follow up with the perinatal specialist again in one week. I saw my doctor again 3 days later also. She assured me that even though my cervix had shortened that I was still in good condition, to continue the bed rest but there was no reason to stress yet. That was easy for her say. My birthday was that weekend. She said as long as I was dropped off at the door that I could out; sit the whole meal with my feet up, in a booth preferably. I didn’t know it at the time but that was the last time I went out in public pregnant; the last time I went out to eat with my husband pre-twins; the last time life felt sort of normal.
So there is it, the first part of my birth story. There will be more. And hopefully the end result will be internal healing.