So, we are given the green light to start trying to get pregnant 3 months from our June 9th surgery. So, in early Sept we give it a go. It's funny, but I just KNEW I was pg after the first time. That sounds crazy, but I was just sure. And sure enough, I got a PPT on the 1st day of my missed period. I was so excited. I thought I could put all of the last nightmare behind us and focus on the new life forming inside of me. For each of my 3 pregnancies, I have had a lot of nausea for the first 3 months. I don't actually get sick, but I constantly feel on the verge of it. It is draining, and tiring, but of course it is for a good cause, so who cares, right?
We call the midwife right away and go for an early dating ultrasound. Everything is great! EDD is May 31st. Spring. Perfect! Things progress as usual, and the Doc. recommends that we put in the cervical cerclage at around 12-13 weeks. So, end of November I go in to the hospital for the cerclage. That whole procedure sucks, but it is meant to hold the baby in and avoid preterm labour, so you do whatcha gotta do.
It doesn't take long to recover from this procedure, so the next day I feel good and go back to regularly scheduled programming.
Two weeks later I start experiencing some cramping and light spotting. I call midwife right away, but can't get in to see her so I go see a Doc at the clinic. He thinks he can see some infection in my cervix so sends me down to the city to see my regular OB for confirmation and treatment. My OB is away so I see his partner, who can't see any infection, but recommends anti-biotics anyways to be on the safe side. He says that hopefully this isn't an infection because if it is the infection will continue throughout the pregnancy and could result in fetal death. Yikes! Sounds pretty serious. I start taking the pills and start to feel better right away. I get a follow up check up and all looks good. Phew! I continue on my way, and see the OB ever 2 weeks and the midwife every 4 weeks as usual, and everything looks good and normal. I am gaining weight and getting big, and am very happy.
I start feeling the baby move. So exciting!!!!!! I love this part of pregnancy, when you really start to get the connection with your baby and it really becomes real that you have a little person in there - that you aren't just getting fat! I signed up for prenatal yoga, and took my first class at 21 weeks, on the Monday. The class started at 7:45pm, and it was dark and cozy in the yoga studio. I realized that this was the first time my baby and I were doing something just the two of us! Usually my son is with me, and when he is in bed my hubby is around. This was the first mommy/baby thing I did for this baby. It was exciting and made me feel closer to my little nugget. The yoga instructor told us to take it really easy because our bodies were changing so much and we should not push it. I had a pain in my back on my left side that I was hoping would get worked out during this yoga class. By the end of the class it hurt more than when I started, and by the time I went to bed I was in some pretty serious discomfort. Damn. I overdid it.
The next morning, Tuesday, I decided to take my son to Squamish to do some shopping. I took some Tylenol before we left for my back pain, and off we went! We had a great day, went for lunch, and then headed back home in time for my son to nap in the car. I noticed that I was having Braxton-Hicks during the day, and when those pains would come on, the pain in my back would disappear for those few seconds. Weird. Oh well..
When we got home, I put all the groceries away and fed Avery. When my hubby got home I told him I was going to quickly put Avery to bed and then go lie down on the couch. I felt worn out, had pressure "down there", and just felt like I needed to rest. Hubby had two buddies over for a beer, so I went about putting our little man to bed and hit the couch. I was watching Glee when I realized that the B-H contractions just kept coming. Hmmmm... Maybe I should time them just to be sure that they are random. Fuck. Every 4 minutes. Without fail. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck... Okay. I didn't want to tell hubby yet b/c his friends were still here, and I wasn't sure what was going on. I went to the bathroom to pee and saw bloody discharge. Super fuck. Heart thumping terror. Fuuuuuuuuuck. Just then, hubby comes into the bathroom to see what is going on. I tell him about the 4 minute contractions and the blood and say that I am going to call the midwife right away. I start crying because I can just tell this is not good. The midwife calls back and I fill her in. She says the words I was dreading: Preterm labour.
We ask Andy's buds to stay put and watch Avery while we book it to the ER in our town. By this time I am bawling because I am terrified for our baby. I know that at 21 weeks, it is too early for the baby to survive if it is born now.
The Dr on call (this is a very small town, so the Doc only comes in if the nurse on site call's him, and then only if he wants to) decides to come in and check on me. He doesn't really do much, but says that yes, it looks like preterm labour. He says I can either go home and get rest and go to the city hospital in the morning, or I can go now. My choice. Our midwife says fuck that, get to the city now. She calls the hospital and let's them know I am coming. So, we throw some clothes in a bag, grab our son, and hit the road for the two and a half hour drive to the city. We hit the road at 11:30pm. Avery is tired. I am scared. Contractions are now 3 minutes apart.
We drop Avery off at my sisters at 2am and head to the hospital. We check in and they send me to Labour and Delivery. I get into the lovely gown they give me, and get into the bed. I keep trying to tell the nurses that I am having contractions and all of my symptoms, but they don't sound too interested. I thought they would have hooked me up to the baby monitors, but they don't. They take my vitals a bunch of times, and basically leave us alone, telling us that the Doc will see us in the morning.
My OB shows up in the morning and says there isn't anything we can do until we get our ultrasound. It is scheduled for 11:15am. I find this out at around 7am. The ultrasound seems like it is an eternity away. I am still having contractions at around 2-3 minutes apart at this point. Not too painful, but just enough to make me make a face, or concentrate on breathing through it. But not awful at this point.
Finally 11:15 arrives and we are taken to the ultrasound. The baby looks good, moving lots, still lots of amniotic fluid. Measuring, measuring, measuring, GUSH. My water broke on the table at 11:45am. All hope is lost. The ultrasound tech is trying to reassure me that there is still a lot of fluid, and it still looks okay. But I know it is over. I can feel it in my bones.
We are taken back to our room. With every contraction, more gushing. I am surprised how much liquid there is. I am terrified at the thought of having to deliver our baby. I am horrified that all of this is happening at all. Just horrified. And devastated. God, what words to you use to describe the horror?
Andy's sister arrived at the hospital to show us support. At first I was pissed that she came because we handn't asked any family members to come. But after a while, it turned out to be great that she came. She went and got Andy some food (he hadn't eaten all day), and she just hung out with us and talked, and distracted us from what was really going on. She was a great support and I loved her for knowing what we needed better than we did. She stayed a couple of hours and then left when Andy's parents showed up.
Again, uninvited, and again I was P.O.'d. But, again, it turned out to be wonderful that they came. I was in and out of consciousness throughout the process, so they were there to give Andy support. It was great, and I realized again how lucky I was to have such a great in-law family who knew what we needed.
The OB needs to remove my cervical stitch to allow the baby to be born. They give me some nitrus-oxide to help with the pain. Yeah right. I scream in agony as they tug and pull at the stitch. Finally the Doc comes to his senses and decides that I should have an epidural for this procedure. I could have told him that! So, the anesthesiologist comes and administers the drugs and hits the nerve in my hip. That freakin' hurt. Then the drugs start to kick in, but they don't kick in properly on my left side. I feel the contractions in all their glory, because I am pg in my left uterus and that is where the pain is. Finally they come and top me up and the pain goes away, and I sleep. Not long after that, they take my vitals and see that I have a temperature. It doesn't take long for the temperature to ramp up to 103 and I am shaking like crazy. I have never experienced this before, but I could not control my body. Every muscle in my neck, back, and arms would seize and shake and cramp every few seconds. As it went on and on, I started to get really scarred that I was actually going to have a seizure. I could feel every muscle in my back seize, and it was making me really tired. I was getting really worried, but my midwife stayed by my side the whole time and held my hand and told me to try and relax and just let the shaking happen. Apparently trying to control it makes it worse? I don't really get it, since it was impossible to control the shaking. It just happened, and took over my whole body like I was possessed.
They gave me some Tylenol, and the fever came down enough for me to stop seizing, and then I slept. I don't know how long I slept for (it only felt like minutes, I think), but I was quickly awoken by the sensation of having a contraction, and then the baby slipped from my uterus into my vaginal area. The midwife checked me and could feel the baby there. With the next contraction, she was out. A girl. Just like I had thought it was. And she was beautiful.
My husband and I were pretty apprehensive about seeing her and holding her, but I knew I had to. Especially after my midwife had explained to us that the baby would be born alive and would know my voice and my smell. Well, that did it. Of course I had to see her and hold her and cuddle her.
They first brought her over in a blanket and a medical "bowl" (for lack of a better term), and I held her in the bowl for a couple of minutes. Once I realized that she was not some scary alien, but my beautiful baby girl, I asked if I could hold her just in the blanket. They took her out of the bowl, and gave her back to me, and I covered her in kisses. I looked at her face, her beautiful lips, her sweet hands, her cute little legs, and small perfect feet, her ten fingers, her ten toes, her button nose, her bald head, her cute belly, just everyting... She was just perfect!!! But too small. She was warm, and I tried to smell her to see if she had a smell. She was soft, and so fragile.
My husband cried and said that now he knew what it felt like to have a truly broken heart. We were so in awe of her, and falling head over heels in love with her.
I kept calling her "love": you are so beautiful my love; oh love, you are so sweet; hello my love, I'm your mommy and this is your daddy!; I am sorry love, that you can't stay with us;...
I asked Andy if we should name her. Originally I don't think we were going to, but now that we saw her and realized that this was our daughter, whether we take her home or not, she needed a name. Andy suggested "Love". Not only was it the word we kept using her when talking to her, but it was also Andy's great-grandmother's maiden name. It fit perfectly. Love. Our Love.
Love was born at 11pm on January 19th, 2011. She was with us for 57 wonderful minutes. At 11:57pm, she was gone. Three minutes later, her big brother turned two. Both of my children were born in the same room, almost exactly 2 years apart. But with very different results.
The nurses took pictures of Love with a disposable camera, and put together a "memory box" for us. When we were ready, they took Love from us. And then it was just Andy and I (Andy's parents were in the hall for the delivery and afterwards).
It was late, and we were in total shock and denial of what had just happened, so we decided to get some rest for the night. Throughout the night, my fever wreaked havoc on my body temp. I would flip flop from being freezing cold and shaking all over the place, and then I would be burning up, and would need cold cloths rubbed all over my body to cool me down. This went on ALL NIGHT. My temperature hovered around 103 & 104 degrees.
The next morning, the question surrounding why this all happened was answered. It turned out that I had a staphylococcus aureus infection throughout my whole body: in my blood, urine, in the amniotic fluid and in the amniotic sac. It was everywhere. They think it must have happened when my cervical cerclage was put in. Then I had the cramping and possible infection a couple of weeks later, and I was given the antibiotics. These drugs got rid of the infection just enough to hide the symptoms, but it must have stayed under the surface until it reared it's ugly head with the premature birth of my precious little girl.
I was put on IV antibiotics right away via IV to fight the infection and was moved to the maternity ward.
There is more to the story that I will post later, but this has made me extremely tired. I will finish the story on a later post.
Thanks for reading the story of Love's short life.