Simply Real: My Pregnancy & Labor/Delivery Story for Chloe

For the most part I had a really good pregnancy.  I was lucky enough to not have any morning sickness (a side from some queasiness if my stomach got too empty in the first trimester), no real aches or pains, no food aversions, and I wasn't too emotional (which I think Thomas was thankful for).  I knew that for the duration of my pregnancy I wanted to do as much as I could to stay healthy.  Thomas and I had already gotten into the habit of going for daily walks, nothing too hardcore just walking around the mall or neighborhood for an hour or two.  This new daily routine had actually helped me drop almost twenty pounds (I wasn't eating as much starches too... Thomas doesn't have the same love for Italian food as I do) and  I wanted to continue this healthy change into my pregnancy as well as after our baby was born.

When I found out I was pregnant one of the first questions I asked my doctor was "What is a healthy amount of weight that I should be gaining during my pregnancy?"  He said ideally for the height and weight I was at at that time... 20-25 lbs, 30 max.  But he said good luck with that.  I took that as a challenge.  Like I said we had gotten into the habit of going for daily walks and those walks continued on throughout my entire pregnancy all the way until the day Chloe was born.  I also worked until I was almost 8 months pregnant.  I worked as a supervisor in a restaurant which meant I was moving around quite a bit which also kept me active.  For the most part I ate pretty healthy.  One of my (healthier) cravings I had throughout my entire pregnancy were cold vermicelli noodles with pork, spring rolls, and lots of sriracha and garlic chili oil (yum)!  I also ate a lot of salads, fish, and chicken whenever I worked.  Some of my guilty pleasures were ice-cream (and a LOT of it), mexican food, and loco mocos (rice, my favorite was kim chee fried rice, topped with a hamburger patty, brown gravy, and eggs, normally sunny side up but I like mine scrambled).  My eating and exercising habits remained pretty consistent all the way to the end of my pregnancy.

Some of the absolutely DELICIOUS food that I enjoyed eating while I was pregnant... 
My due date was August 28 and that day eventually came and went.  Over the span of two weeks I didn't dilate more than 1 centimeter.  I happened to have an appointment right on my due date so one of the topics discussed was the possibility of having to be induced.  At first I wasn't sure I wanted to go through with it, but after we thought it over we decided to schedule to be induced a week after our due date.  I had an appointment the day before I was scheduled to be induced and I decided to ask the doctor to try and jump start my labor by "stripping" my cervix (see the link to see what that means but due to the nature of the topic please be aware it may be TMI for some) since I still hadn't dilated that much and I wasn't feeling any contractions...  Our doctor's appointment was around 1:30 in the afternoon... by 4 pm I definitely could feel contractions starting, nothing too uncomfortable but definitely noticeable.  

Fast forward a few hours, Thomas and I arrived at the hospital around 2:00 in the morning.  I had dilated one more centimeter since I had left the doctor's office the night before (and I'd like to note that at my final weigh in before baby was born I had gained 30 pounds on the money!).  Up until this point I was doing pretty good with dealing with my contractions.  I had found a way to breathe and motivate myself through each contraction.  Around 7:00 am I noticed that my contractions seemed to be coming a lot more frequently (almost one on top of another) and they were also a lot stronger.  It became very hard for me to focus through them.  When the nurse had checked me I was still only 4 centimeters dilated... the same as I was five hours ago.  At this point I hadn't slept for almost 24 hours and it was becoming harder for me to focus through each contraction.  I made the decision that I would take the epidural even though I had originally set out on trying to have a natural birth.  I had changed my mind because if I still had 6 more centimeters more to dilate and then having to push after that... I knew I would be too tired.  After receiving my epidural I tried to sleep for the rest of the day.  Peanut (what we were calling baby since we weren't sure if we were having a boy or girl) wasn't responding too well to the pitocin.  Baby's heart rate dropped several times through out the day.  Eventually the decision was made to break my water bag, which later turned out to just stress baby out even more.  

Finally, around 4:30 in the afternoon my doctor decided that it was best for me and the baby to have a c-section.  Having a c-section definitely wasn't easy for me.  I wasn't emotionally prepared to be having major surgery performed on me.  All I cared about was making sure our baby was okay and after a few of those scares with baby's heart rate I knew that this was probably for the best.  Even though you are numbed, you still (in a weird sense) feel everything.  You don't feel pain necessarily, but instead pressure so intense that it was painful?  After they pulled baby out Thomas said, "It's a girl! She's beautiful!"  He went to go see our daughter and the anesthesiologist administered morphine to me while the doctors finished up... I totally knocked out after this.  

By the time we were settled into our room it was after 9:00 pm.  Luckily I got to see Mom and Uncle Paul briefly while in the recovery room and they had a quick chance to see Chloe getting cleaned up even though visiting hours had just ended.  By this point I hadn't had anything to eat for over 24 hours, on top of that I was pretty woozy from the morphine which totally made me nauseous.  I tried to drink the (very delicious) broth they had, but I couldn't keep it down.  Thank God, I was able to keep it together long enough to finally meet my baby girl.  It was so amazing to see how at peace she seemed with everything.  
It's funny because I did as much as I could to try and prepare myself for the day Chloe would be born.  I read so many different websites, books, I asked people for advice.  I honestly never would have thought that I would have ever given birth to my baby via c-section but in the end I have to say it was a good decision.  My doctor did say that there could be the possibility of delivering our next baby vaginally but that we could discuss it more when the time came.  All in all, my labor and delivery definitely wasn't what I expected but I wouldn't change any of it.  In the end we have our beautiful baby girl and Thomas has been the best dad and husband.  Stay tuned for my blog post about healing after a c-section.  Have an awesome week!

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