I am closing a chapter here on the blog with writing two final posts about my sweet baby Mays! My birth story and then early mom advice that I have learned. I have enjoyed sharing the whole journey with you all, what a year it has been! I didn’t know when I started typing our story just over a year ago to share on here, what it was going to lead to besides allowing me to share my feelings. Almost 100 girls reaching out to me that they were in the same trial of infertility. My words spoke to them. MY words? Wow, what an honor that God used my words to connect us together through fellowship in our trials. There are so many opportunities to choose the dark path of self pity and negativeness rather than joy in a trial like infertility. Not only have I loved encouraging others to choose joy but I have loved learning more from and leaning on these women on how to do it myself. It will always be a part of me to network, pray with and love on other women in this walk. PLEASE feel free to reach out to me if you are feeling alone, lost or negative through infertility. I am always more than happy to pray with you, connect you to other women who may share a similar experience, or simply have someone to talk to through it all.
OK! Here we go…. my BIRTH STORY! Oh my goodness is it a story. I am going to try to keep the scary stuff as short as possible because it can be daunting to read for those who have not experienced child birth yet. If you don’t know what something means, just google it or text me. I feel like we experienced the whole dictionary of child birth. One thing I will add in my child birth prep I learned is not to focus on the bad stories from others but keep a positive heart and open mind for the birth plan you would like! It is possible! No matter how much we prepped…which we did a lot… nothing prepared us for what ACTUALLY happened besides an open heart and trusting God. I would always pray that no matter what he had in store for us that he made it special as can be and let us know he was near. Remember this thought.
Toward the last weeks of pregnancy (I only made it to 38) my body went into complete override. I could hardly eat without my food trying to come back up. I gained 20 lbs in the last few weeks of fluids. Heartburn and indigestion made it impossible to sleep and if you didn’t happen to see my many posts on my swollen feet well here you go….
One night after putting up Christmas decor when I was 35 weeks pregnant (on 11/11, oops yup that early but we wanted the house to be READY for Mays) we noticed my right leg was swelling lots more than my left. After google told us the many precautions of that during pregnancy, we called into our OB. I was told to come in right away. Since we live in the woodlands and Texas Children’s is downtown Houston, we decided to go into the Woodlands Memorial Hospital ER instead. Figuring, if we were to be admitted for whatever reason we could then drive downtown, since it was already pretty late. We packed the hospital bag, prayed and headed that way. Everything ended up being fine with the baby, my blood pressure and no blood clots so we were able to go home! It was a great dry run for us to mentally prepare being calm and collected. It was an experience that I actually cherish as our first step toward meeting Mays.
During these next few weeks my swelling only got worse. My feet would go numb sometimes and my toes burned from the pressure but we kept being told “it’s just pregnancy” and to keep checking my blood pressure at home to make sure no signs of preeclampsia.
Fast forward 38 weeks pregnant I had some just crazy God like situations start happening on that Sunday. Remember above when I prayed for him to let me know he was near? My favorite bible verses during pregnancy happened at Church including a special moment with Jeremiah 29:11. My Grandma called me and sang a nursery prayer over the phone which was just incredibly emotional and not like her. I had a strong urge to go get my nails done and relax as much as I could. I told Austin, I’m supposed to get my nails done today for some reason. I had a beautiful moment during worship of a memory of an old friend of mines Mother who taught me the joy of worship in middle school. I wanted to reach out to her that day to have her tell her mom how much it means to me this many years later and I found out that her mom actually passed that morning from cancer and they surrounded her worshiping while she met Jesus. I’m not sure what it meant, or what connection it had with me at the time then but it was special and all combined it was beautiful with his abundant presence. It made me start thinking… God….is this it?
That Tuesday 11/27, I had my checkup appointment with my OB, a non stress test and ultrasound on Mays that morning. All looked ok besides my intense swelling. My doc told me to come in if BP rose anything over 140/60. That evening, Austin and I were watching tv, about to go to bed, and all of a sudden I felt TERRIBLE. He asked if I was going to vomit and I said no, but I just felt awful. I knew I needed to take my BP so we got out little machine. It read… are you ready for it? It read 165/99. NOT GOOD. Especially, since my BP has always been a good 120/60 through pregnancy. We took it a few more times hoping it was just a glitch and they were all pretty high, so next we took Austin’s BP. His was high too. Not THAT high but high. Ok. Whew. It must be the machine. By now, I started feeling better and the reads came down into 140/80 range, which was still high but “better”. At this point Austin went to bed because he had a big day at work the next day. I decided to wait up relax, eat something and check my BP again in 30 min. Something told me it wasn’t the machine…. Next read was 157/99. I woke Austin up, had him check his and his was normal. We did mine ONE more time and it was just as high. Time to go in. Again, we thought lets go to Woodlands Hospital, IF anything happens we can always just leave and go to Texas Children’s or way the option of where we are at. At the road split to go LEFT toward Woodlands Hospital or RIGHT toward TCH, Austin and I both had an odd feeling to go right and make the hour drive despite it being 10:30PM before his “big day” at work. (He actually had gotten promoted that day to a manager position!)
When we arrived at triage my BP was still very high, confirming we made the right decision. After my BP came down to the 140/80 range, the OB on call told us we would prob go home since we seemed ok but would have to come in daily for check ups from here on out to monitor BP. Insert eye roll here. BUT, my actual OB was on call down in labor and delivery so he was going to call her since she knew the details of my pregnancy and see what she wanted to do. He came back 5 min. later, while we were basically putting our shoes back on and said “Ok, she wants to induce you immediately. Since your cervix isn’t prepared yet (I had been checked that morning) we are going to start off with a cervix balloon. We are gonna wheel you on down in about 30 min.” Wait. WHAT?! That is the EXACT opposite of what you said 5 min. ago. This is about that time where we both started back peddling. We had the nurse hold off on putting in my IV port because we wanted to speak with our OB personally first. “We cannot be forced to do this. This is still our call. What do we do? Should we ask to wait a week to let my cervix prepare more? An hour drive every day isn’t that bad. I can monitor my BP at home often too!” We stopped and prayed and took some time to… CHILL. God whispered to both of us, it was not worth the risk to Mays to go home with all that was going on and then gave us abundant peace in that. We were about to start our very unprepared birth plan and Austin’s big day at work wasn’t going to happen at all.
Rewind. I’ll just insert this here. Stacy’s birth plan= all natural, labor >6 hours, pushing >30 min, hypnobirthing (essentially meditating to ignore pain) with help of our amazing Doula.
From here on out, things were pretty blurry. Blurry in a sense of medication, no sleep or food for 2 days, no advancing in dilation, Cervadil for 12 hours, that dreaded cervix balloon for 12 hours after that, amazing 2 min a part contractions for over 12 hours, then painful painful contractions, epidural, water being broken, cervix checks that almost made me faint in pain, many nurse shift changes, two maxed out doses of 40 mg of Pitocin and then 48 hours later a beautifully perfect c-section. Well, perfect but accompanied by the worse nausea and chest pain of my life (Apparently that’s a thing in some patients). We are very very lucky and blessed that during that whole process Mays did absolutely great. It was my body that wasn’t willing to budge but in the end he was born almost three days later on the evening of 11/29, perfectly healthy. We couldn’t help but make the connection of Jeremiah 29:11 our bible verse we hung so tightly to during the whole pregnancy and already had the God sign when the embryo was transferred on March 29.
The doctors told me my body was ready to be done with pregnancy but not ready for birth. Funny how that works out! The chaos didn’t stop there. From Mays having too much amniotic fluids in his lungs causing vomiting and choking for two days, to my iv port vein bursting and all my meds filling in my arm, to my legs swelling even worse… haha yes even worse. We sure did have a crazy ride but it was a journey that I’ll cherish forever and almost miss because my husband was never farther than an arms reach from me helping us and encouraging us every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without him and his love. We went home on Sunday Dec. 2, five days after our arrival in triage.
We learned so much in this process. Number one, trust God’s plan no matter what and lean on him for strength when you need out of this world strength. Number two, don’t EVER EVER EVER get a cervix balloon, after 12 hours of Cervadil, with added Pitocin, without an epidural. Listen to those words and just get the epidural asap. I am glad to have experienced that pain because I think it increased my pain tolerance in comparing everything to that. But, would I repeat it ever? Heck. NO.
Thank you for praying with us on this incredible journey toward parenthood. We love Mays so much and are so thankful for the trial. It grew us in unimaginable ways but challenged us to grow in faith even more. He is one special special boy.