Millie’s pregnancy was mostly uneventful until it was. I say mostly because the only thing I struggled with throughout my pregnancy with her was being iron deficient anemic. I still don’t know how I was anemic. In the early days before a pregnancy test could even register positive, I already had a suspicion because I was craving meat. I had to have it! Throughout my pregnancy I craved meat and ate a ton of it. I am not a huge meat girl, but oh I really wanted it then. Moving along in the pregnancy I took all the vitamins that were recommended, but I couldn’t handle the iron pill. I am horrible at swallowing pills. Doing my research on anemia I knew it increased the risk of postpartum bleeding and depression. I had both of those after having Anna and did NOT want to go down that road again. So, I tried a liquid version of iron from Whole Foods. YUCK! It was disgusting and I couldn’t keep it down. I tried some other smaller tablets and things and none were doing it for me. Finally, I found some gummy iron vitamins on Amazon and took a ton of them since their dose was so low. (I made it equal to the dose my doctor wanted me to take with my prescription iron pill.) My doctor kept monitoring my iron levels and they were not improving. He said if I don’t get my iron up I would need iron infusions at a cancer treatment center. I added additional doses of the gummy iron vitamins, started eating even more iron rich foods, but it wasn’t good enough.
I made the required appointment to see an oncologist/hematologist doctor. There they drew blood to check my levels and made recommendations for iron infusion. The doctor basically said my levels were terrible and I needed infusions starting today. She literally looked at me like she was wondering how I was functioning. I was exhausted, but just assumed that it was because I was very pregnant and a teacher at the end of the school year. End of the school year teacher tired is exhausting pregnant or not.
The nurse led me to the infusion room where they started the IV of iron with fluids and a few other things to help me not have an allergic reaction to the iron infusion ingredients (metals). It was so sad sitting there looking around knowing that the other people in the infusion room were getting treatments for cancer and fighting for their lives, meanwhile I’m getting to grow one. The nurses were so nice. They would bring you a warm blanket if you wanted. They had an assortment of snacks and hard candy, and an array of drinks for you to sip while receiving treatment. While the IV iron dripped into my veins I could taste the nasty metallic taste in my mouth suddenly. It was nasty, but sipping a juice drink always made it better. Sitting there I would daydream about the baby in my belly and all the things I looked forward to doing with her. What her life would be like, who she would look like, or if she would look like Anna, how Anna was so looking forward to having a baby sister….ALL the thoughts, hopes and dreams a mom would have for their child.
Millie was my second baby. My first baby, Anna, was delivered fine and I expected nothing less. I actually expected a better (faster) delivery. I had no new mom worries. I had no anxieties about never having gave birth before. The only fear I had was getting postpartum depression again. I had read that you are more susceptible to get it again, if you’ve had it before and I was doing everything in my power to not go there again. I would not wish postpartum depression on my worst enemy.
I went to the infusion oncology room, twice a week for all of the month of June, to get the IV infusion. Each infusion would last about 30 minutes. After the course of treatment, the hematologist rechecked my blood levels and everything was much improved. All I had left to do was go to my remaining OB appointments, put the finishing touches on Millie’s room, and wait for her to decide when she wanted to come and meet us.