Most of my friends started their families much younger than I. My siblings even younger than that. I didn’t even think I could have kids. At 42, Surprise! You’re pregnant! At 43, a new mother of a little girl.
It was an interesting ride.
I was put into a “Late Gestational Age” program at Mount Sinai. It wasn’t mandatory but highly recommended to do the amnio. I was watched closely throughout my pregnancy and I did decide to do the amnio. My amnio came out pretty positively. I had the uterus of a 15-year old.
Sometimes I felt like I had a target pinned onto me. At 6 weeks, I was in a minor fender bender. At 8 weeks, I started hemorrhaging. A trip to the Emergency Room revealed the baby was doing just fine.
Sure. Initially, I wanted beef. That is what tipped me off that I may have been pregnant. I don’t eat beef. I can’t eat beef. I can’t digest it. It makes me sick. I wanted it and most particularly, I wanted a Lick’s hamburger. I got myself a turkey one instead and went through a brief phase where I wanted turkey burgers. Once that passed, I wanted popsicles. My husband kept bringing me the wrong frozen treat. Finally, I said to him, if you bring me popsicles, I will stop asking you to get popsicles. One popsicle was all it took. Craving over. For a good part of my pregnancy, I wanted spaghetti and Ragu sauce. The most common and consistent cravings were for strawberry milkshakes. Some friends, who had a family restaurant nearby, prepared many strawberry milkshakes for me. Free of cost.
What I couldn’t stomach was rotisserie chicken. Not Swiss Chalet rotisserie, but grocery store rotisserie. I couldn’t set foot into a grocery store that sold rotisserie chicken. The smell would hit me the second I walked through the door and it made me nauseous.
At 12 weeks plus 1 day, we were T-boned in my little ‘04 Pontiac Sunfire by a pickup truck at an intersection. We were on our way to work. The baby was okay. I had a concussion. The car was written off, but the insurance company agreed to fix it.
We needed a bigger place. We moved around the 6-month mark. I took on too much. I went from being all baby in the front, hard to tell from the back to blowing up the size of a truck. My limbs swelled up that very day. My sister arrived to help us out in the evening. She took one look at me and made me sit out the rest of the day. At the time, I didn’t know I had a mild version of the blood disorder Thalassemia. I learned that many years later and I figure that was a contributing factor of developing complications for the remainder of the pregnancy.
I developed gestational hypertension. At 35 weeks, water would gush from the pores of my swollen legs when pressure was applied. My ankles had swelled up so much that the skin was splitting. My Ob-Gyn ordered me to bed rest and on that very day, I missed the surprise baby shower that was being thrown for me at a local restaurant by friends. My husband went in my place. He was a good egg about it. He let the ladies bedazzle him with ribbons and bows as he opened the gifts, and the men sitting at the bar out front, plied with him loads and loads of sympathy Scotch.
At 37 weeks, I was induced. Twice. The pain came on fast and intense. Pain management wasn’t forced but highly recommended. They were very concerned about my blood pressure. My doctor reserved some pain options. I was given some narcotic options and the epidural. I didn’t want any of them but I can see they were concerned. I wasn’t into getting my baby all drugged up, but I wasn’t into having a needle pushed into my spine either. I have heard other mom’s stories about the epidural and the back pain they suffered for months and years after. I opted for it anyway. I didn’t want my baby drugged up and it turns out I made the best choice.
Breathe, push, push. Baby is out and straight into the incubator for a week.
She wasn’t adapting to room oxygen and the amniotic fluid wasn’t absorbing into her lungs. After that issue, she developed jaundice but at least I could hold her.
It was Thanksgiving weekend and we received a phone call. It was the NICU calling to have us spend the night on the unit. We would spend the night and get her home the next morning. Throughout the week, she wasn’t thriving. Too much harsh lighting, too many sounds, very little of Mommy’s touch. It was a harsh environment. She was losing more than a normal amount of weight and she was already a lightweight premmie. We spend the night and readied her up the next morning to take her home. She lost more weight. We were told that she would have to stay. I said no. She is coming home where she belongs. They agreed under the condition I return the next morning for a check-up and weigh-in. We did just that and all her vitals substantially improved and a little weight gained.
Mama knows best.
Now she is a smart-alecky 7-year old and I wouldn’t have it any other way.