I had seen this survey going around on Facebook the past coulple of weeks. After reading about 10 of what I would consider pretty “vanilla” stories (apologies in advance--I know every mom's birth story is exciting and unique to them), I really debated posting my results this survey. I didn't have a typical birth experience. But I decided in the end that wanted to share, to show that even though things don't turn out the way we would have planned or hoped, they can still be OK. Evan is pretty impressive evidence of that.
1. WAS YOUR PREGNANCY PLANNED?
Sort of…one month of not not trying
2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?
Disbelief at first. Most of my friends and/or family took several months of active trying to get pregnant.
4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
5. HOW OLD WERE YOU
6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
Two home tests (plus one Jeremy took as a “control” because the results I was getting did not look like either “+” or “-“ on the back of the box—thankfully, he was not pregnant…).
7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX?
9. DUE DATE?
September 11, 2005
10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?
More afternoon/evening sickness
11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?
Subway and tacos
12.WHAT IRRITATED YOU?
After Evan was born, women who complained about being pregnant for “so long” and wanting their pregnancy to be over.
13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX?
14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
At first I wanted a girl, but early on I just knew we were having a boy.
15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY
At one point 58 lbs., and then lost 10 lbs the week before Evan was born.
16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?
One was planned for the last week of July, but I postponed and later cancelled it.
17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?
I knew—I made the invitations!
18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
Just a few…
- A false positive for toxoplasmosis at 10 weeks—bad reagent at the lab, I was told. I declined all the optional tests (including the quad screen) from then on.
- Polyhydramnios, which is too much amniotic fluid—who knew the amount of fluid the fetus is supposed to be drinking would throw things so off balance?
- Really bad peripheral pitting edema
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
- Suspicions our baby had some type of syndrome, based on polyhydramnios and U/S findings at 30 weeks. I will never forget the silence in the room during our last 2 U/S—it spoke volumes.
- Preterm birth at 31 weeks and 5 days
- Evan was diagnosed by the NICU doctors with CHARGE Syndrome at 10 days old. He spent a total of 7 weeks in the NICU and 7 weeks on “the floor” in two different hospitals and had to have major abdominal surgery (3 combined procedures) before finally being able to come home with us.
- D&C 2 weeks after birth to remove “retained products of conception” (left over piece of plancenta).
19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA
20. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL?
Jeremy drove me to Kittitas Valley Community Hospital the morning my water broke at 7 am. I was too early to deliver there, so I was transferred by ambulance to Swedish at 9 am. I was given meds to slow labor, and the plan was to be admitted to the antipartum unit at Swedish, and try to buy some time with total bed-rest. I happened to know the EMT who rode in the back of the ambulance with me—I jokingly asked him how many babies he’d delivered. He said “None—and we’re going to keep it that way.” Evan had other plans—he was born 2 hours after we were admitted to Swedish.
21. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Jeremy, the attending OB, 2 residents, the Labor & Delivery nurse, the anesthesiologist made a brief appearance, and the NICU team (I think there were 4 of them—the neonatologist, 2 NICU nurses, and a respiratory therapist).
22. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION?
Natural, but vacuum assited
23. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
No. By the time the doctor’s realized how far into labor I was, there wasn’t enough time for an epidural. Then Evan went in to fetal distress, and they had to get him out. The OB resident was nice enough to tell me they’d put “something” in my IV—thankfully the placebo effect is pretty powerful.
24. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?
25. HOW MUCH DID THE BABY WEIGH?
3 lbs 1 oz
26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN
July 15, 2005 at 1:38pm
27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?
Evan David Storrs
Our family was blessed with a happy ending—Evan is the most beautiful, active 3 ½ year old little boy, and does something to amaze us every single day. He will always have challenges due to CHARGE syndrome (he is Deaf and has some developmental delays). His early arrival did not do him any favors, but he managed to avoid some of the many problems associated with premature birth. Not all babies are so lucky.