So first things first and Anna was my first. It doesn’t feel right for me to tell you all about Millie without including my pregnancy with Anna. They say pregnancies are not related, but I think that your past definitely guides your future.
Being pregnant with Anna was really easy. I worked the entire time I was pregnant with her and it was my first year as a teacher, so I was working really long days, nights and weekends trying to keep pace like a seasoned pro. I wanted to be the best teacher I could be. Also, I had to make a good impression because I had just moved jobs to a new school district and technically my job was not protected under FMLA because I had not worked long enough to qualify. I really needed to be able to go back to my teaching job after maternity leave.
Somewhere towards the end of the first trimester and beginning of the second trimester my doctor sent us to a perinatologist for a more detailed ultrasound to check for things like spina bifida, down syndrome, etc. During this ultra sound the doctor discovered that there was only a single artery umbilical cord (it’s supposed to have two). Okay, so I googled it and like most things it could be nothing, something, or fetal death. So ignorance is truly bliss. I decided that the Lord would not have allowed us to get pregnant so easily if he was not going to make it right. We kept going to this doctor once a month to do an ultrasound to check on her growth. Each time we went we saw this as an opportunity to see our baby more and every time she was growing on track. Having all these extra ultrasounds put my first time mom anxieties to ease and saved us money because we didn’t need to pay out of pocket for those fancy 3D ultrasounds.
Everything continued to go smoothly and she kept growing as she should. Spring break rolls around and my due date is approaching. My house is a mess because I haven’t had a chance to breathe with first year teacher mode, baby skills classes at the hospital, and birthing classes in the evenings. I was one tired mother! For spring break week my plan was to see my doctors one last time before meeting baby girl, cleaning, packing my hospital bag, and waiting for labor to start.
Well on Monday late afternoon we met with the perinatologist to see how everything was one last time. The doctor predicted that baby girl gained 3 pounds in the last 3 weeks, putting her estimated weight at 9.1 to 9.5 pounds. This concerned her so she took a closer look and said the baby had some built up fluid in the abdomen and her abdomen measurement was off the charts. She warned that the baby needed to come out sooner than later and also there was concern for the baby not fitting, or getting stuck at the shoulders. Went to Dr. W the next day for our regular scheduled appointment and he said basically with the other doctor saying something could be wrong with the baby that he felt we needed to be medically induced. So we went home to pack a bag and headed back to the hospital by 8pm.
Once we arrived we started our plan for natural childbirth. After an extremely long labor (30 hours) and baby facing “sunny side up” #backlabor and fears of her getting stuck an epidural was requested/given and about two hours later Anna was born weighing 8 pounds 14 ounces. The pediatrician did an ultrasound on her belly to check for abnormalities that we needed to worry about, but she was perfect. Everything checked out!
After delivery I lost quite a bit of blood and probably could have used a blood transfusion, but the blood loss was just shy of what is required for transfusion. Later, we found out that blood work showed I was anemic due to low iron which probably was the cause of so much blood loss. After being home about a week, postpartum depression started settling in and I continued that battle for about 18 months. Apparently, low iron anemia can increase risk of postpartum depression issues.