To say that the last several months have been interesting would be a gross understatement. It started with me losing almost 20 lbs and going off of my daily migraine and anxiety meds after completing a 30 day estrogen cleanse. This led to me passing my Air Force PT test, reenlisting and finally being eligible for upgrade training so I can be promoted. Everything was going according to “my” plan. But the problem with our plans is that they don’t necessarily coincide with God’s plans. And I’ve decided that God has a sense of humor.
It started with my being a couple days “late.” I took a home pregnancy test, but it was negative. Ok, I thought, my body is just being irregular again. It had been very regular since completing my cleanse, but I wasn’t necessarily surprised that my body had apparently hit a glitch. Then a few more days went by without a visit from “Aunt Flo,” so I took another home pregnancy test. Again, it was negative. Ok, don’t panic. It’s not the first time I’ve been over a week late. A few more days go by and I’m 2 weeks late. I took another test and no lines showed up. Then I started to panic. What the heck is wrong with me, I thought.
I went to my doctor, assuming the worst. I wouldn’t even let pregnancy cross my mind, not because I didn’t want it, but because I was so tired of disappointment. We’ve been trying to conceive since my miscarriage two years ago. Every month, I’ve cursed the return of my regular visitor. Several people around me announced pregnancies, while I silently kept my jealousy and despair to myself. I was beginning to think that it just wasn’t going to happen. I had begun to reconcile the fact that Henry was going to be an only child. So when I made the appointment with the OB, I wasn’t thinking pregnancy. I was thinking cancer or early menopause, anything but pregnancy.
The receptionist asked if my visit was routine or for pregnancy. “You tell me,” I laughed. I did my ritualistic peeing in the cup, then went back to sit in the waiting room. The receptionist called me up a few minutes later. “So, you are pregnant,” she informed me quietly. “Yay,” I said sarcastically. Silently, I was thinking, Oh no, I’m going to have another miscarriage. Fear consumed me. Every visit for the next several weeks brought anxiety. I was convinced that something would go wrong and the pregnancy would end as suddenly and unexpectedly as it had begun. I kept the news to a very small circle of friends. I didn’t even tell my parents right away because I didn’t want to have to turn around and tell them I had lost the baby. It didn’t occur to me what I would do if I did miscarry and no one had even known I was pregnant. I had gone into self-preservation mode and logic didn’t necessarily apply.
While dealing with what should have been celebrated as a blessing, I was also coping with extreme fatigue and nausea while also caring for a farm and 3 year old. I barely had any nausea with Henry, so the daily struggle of not wanting to eat because everything made me queasy, but then getting queasy because my stomach was empty really threw me for a loop. Anything not absolutely necessary went on the back burner. Laundry didn’t get done until we had run out of clean underwear. We started eating a lot of takeout and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was miserable. If Henry and the animals didn’t need fed, I think I probably would have stayed in bed for 3 months.
During this time I also made the switch from an OB to a midwife. Since I had a cesarean section with Henry, it makes a vaginal birth this time around a bit more complicated. Not impossible, mind you, just complicated. Thre is a very small risk of uterine rupture associated with a vaginal birth after a c-section (VBAC). For this reason, a doctor must stay by my bedside through the labor once I reach the hospital. Most doctors and hospitals simply don’t have the manpower to spare a person to stay with me for what could potentially be several hours. We do have a hospital in our area that is also a teaching hospital and allows VBACs because they can assign a resident to stay with me, rather than my doctor or midwife. They are the only hospital in the area that will allow VBACs, so my only other option would be a birth center or home birth. I just don’t feel comfortable doing a home birth and I like my drugs, so I’ll be going to the hospital. The other trick was finding a doctor or midwife who would take my insurance and perform a VBAC at this hospital. I got very lucky and found a great midwife group that does. I’ve heard only good things about these midwives and this hospital, so I’m confident that I’m in good hands.
As I moved into the 2nd trimester, the nausea only subsided slightly. However, it was replaced with frequent and severe migraines, which come with their own brand of nausea. If I thought I couldn’t function before, I was completely incapacitated now. I spent days in my bed with the shades drawn and ice packs on my head and neck. Thank goodness Henry’s old enough to do a lot of things on his own. My poor husband was having to pull double duty, taking care of everything around the house and farm while also going to work. Luckily, the worse of my migraines happened over the 4th of July weekend while he was home. The bad news is that I ended the weekend in the ER with an IV in my arm. I couldn’t take any of my usual migraine meds because I am pregnant, but the ER doctor worked with my midwife to prescribe pain and nausea meds that I could take. I had a few more migraines over the next few weeks, but the meds did their jobs and I was able to manage the pain. It was still difficult to get a lot done, but I was incapacitated for hours instead of days, which was its own kind of blessing.
Things are finally starting to get better physically and emotionally. I passed the 20 week mark last week and I’ve come to the conclusion that holy crap, I’m actually going to have a baby in January. I did find out that I’m having a girl, which is pretty exciting. And I think Henry is finally beginning to understand that I have a baby human inside my tummy and not a baby chicken. The fatigue is pretty much gone, but I still struggle with a little bit of nausea. I have gotten better at managing it though. The migraines are less frequent, but I need to get a refill on my pain meds. I had another one this week, so I’m definitely not out of the woods yet. I am starting to have more back pain, so I’m having to force myself to stop trying to be Superwoman. I still pick Henry up even though my midwife says I shouldn’t. I’m his mom and I refuse to not give him that emotional support that can only come from physical touch. I do limit how much I carry him around and use my ring sling when necessary to help distribute his weight. I also lift the occasional 50 lb bag of feed, but I try to let Hubby do that for me as much as possible. I also visit my chiropractor every 4 weeks for a prenatal massage and adjustment. I don’t think I could walk without it.
Unfortunately, while all of this had been going on, the blog had to take a backseat while I focused on my health and family. It doesn’t help that it is unbelievably difficult to focus enough to write when exhausted or dealing with a migraine. I can barely form spoken sentences while suffering from a migraine, so yeah… The good news is I’m back. Henry has started VPK (preschool) so that gives me 3 hours every day during the week of uninterrupted time to just write. I have some giveaways planned and will be getting back on schedule with the weekly newsletter. If you aren’t signed up yet, please enter your email address in the form to the right. I promise not to overload you with emails and I will never sell or distribute your personal information.
Thank you for all of your support. I look forward to taking on this next adventure with all of you.