Thursday, July 25, 2013

Supermom! How I birthed my baby -- Part 15

Today, I'm happy to share the story of two births, written by a friend of mine. Jennifer Cormier is currently a stay-at-home mom to a 2 year old and a 3 ½ year old. She has experienced much in her very short life, but her outlook on life has remained positive.In her free time, she blogs about parenting and her experience with child loss. She is currently looking forward to embarking on the new adventure of being a working mom and a move from southwestern Pennsylvania to Staten Island, New York. You can follow Jenn on her blogs -- Angels & Rainbows -- Jenn's blog on child loss and miscarriage, and Sweetpea Fairie -- Jenn's blog on parenting and life in general.

I am a 32-year-old mother of two beautiful, sweet, caring little girls. My husband and I cannot have any more children. This is not how we had planned for our lives. However, life threw us some curve balls. We've gradually adapted to our life now as parents of two very active little girls.

We consider ourselves very blessed, because both my husband and I were both told we would never have children. In fact, I was told to not even try to get pregnant . . . ever. When I was just 24-years-old, I was told that my body would not allow me to carry a child to term. Because by this time I had already had three miscarriages. By the time I met my husband, we both knew, if things worked out between us, we wanted to try to have children of our own.

About six months before we got married, my then soon-to-be husband went to have a fertility test done. The results were 99.99% that we would never have any children of our own naturally. We tried on and off for a little over a year to have children. In December of 2008, I was feeling sick, along with being tired most of the time. By my birthday, we were fairly certain I was pregnant. We were so excited and elated about the thought of being parents. While I was at work two days later, I began to miscarry. I immediately called my primary care doctor and left work early. I went home to rest, try to relax, and let nature take its course. My husband came home early that day, and held me all weekend long as I cried.

One month later, in January 2009, we took an at home pregnancy test. It was positive -- I was indeed pregnant. This time, we headed straight to my doctor who sent us directly to a wonderful OB-GYN. The entire pregnancy was closely monitored. As the time came near, we went and toured the hospital where we were going to have our child. While I had a very detailed birth plan, I can honestly tell you that nothing fully prepared me for the delivery process.

While I labored at home, I focused all my attention on a picture of my late mother on my dresser, I wound up crying because she would not be there to help me have my child. I looked at my husband's nightstand and saw a picture of his late mother. Trying to relax and breath, I began to feel overwhelmingly alone, despite my husband's constant loving touch. He helped me in and out of the bathtub, up and down while lying down and sitting down. He was my constant, and I surprised him because, despite the amount of pain I was in, I did not swear at all. He told me I could yell at him and scream if I needed to; however, I don't remember doing so. Our oldest daughter's birth is a bit of a blur and a haze as I ended up needing an emergency caesarean. Our oldest daughter’s delivery was not as I had planned or had expected it to be. 

Fast forward to early January of 2011, when we are expecting yet again. This time I wanted to try to have a vaginal birth after a c-section (VBAC). As the time neared, I started having contractions. However, they weren’t consistent, so it is chalked up to being Braxton Hicks. The next day, we headed off to an ultrasound to check on the position of our little one, only to find out while still experiencing some labor pains, that our sweet bundle of joy was transverse breech. The ultrasound tech called the doctor to see about scheduling a c-section that day. However, my OB declined and advised we set up an appointment with him the first thing the next morning. So I went home where I continued to experience labor. I lacked an appetite, so I did not eat much. Every time I did manage to eat anything, my body quickly rejected it. So I stuck to water and ice chips at home all night long until we headed off to the OB appointment the next morning.

We were brought in quickly to see our OB, who explained that he would prefer to wait until the baby's lungs had developed more, perhaps another 2-3 more weeks. After much discussion, we ultimately agree to have our little girl that very day. It wound up starting out as a slow admitting process, but sped up when my contractions became increasingly constant and steady. Both of my OBs and their intern wound up rushing from lunch to the Operating Room. My husband was there the entire time, calm and cool as a cucumber. I remember my youngest daughter's birth more clearly, but bits of it are still hazy.

I am so thankful for modern medicine, because without it, I would not be here to tell you my birth stories. I would not be here to be the mother I am to my very sweet girls. My birth plans didn’t pan out as I had thought they would. But I was blessed to have two wonderful rainbows after experiencing more than a lifetime of loss. I wish both my mom and my mother-in-law would have been in the delivery room to coach me through the labor process. But my husband and I feel that they both sent us our very sweet girls. Thank you for reading my birth story and I hope if you've experienced a pregnancy loss that you, too, will be able to someday have a birth story of your own.

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