July 2, 2006:
Imagine my surprise when I took three pregnancy tests this morning and I turned out to be pregnant. I wasn't trying. I wasn't
on drugs. I wasn't even sure I wanted more children after adopting my daughter, who is now 16 months old. I had lost 30 pounds
since October 2005, and my period starting coming regularly after the first ten pound loss in January 2006. I didn't think
I was ovulating too. I'm really in shock. I think I'm happy, but I'll wait until it is a proven viable one. My first gyn appointment
won't be until July 17. I hope I can stay cool, calm, and pregnant.
March 4, 2007
My pregnancy ended up being more complicated than it already was. In August of 2006 during my 13th week, my ob/gyn put in
a cervical stitch (a.k.a cerclage) to correct my short (a.k.a incompetent) cervix and prevent premature labor, which was the
cause of my second miscarriage (or stillbirth at 20 weeks) in February 2002. I was then prescribed modified bed rest for the
remainder of my pregnancy. I could do small things like fix myself something to eat, shower, and go to my many doctors’
appointments throughout the month. (My doctors’ appointments included visits to the hospital to have a sonogram & see
the prenatal specialist; visits to my ob/gyn; and visits to my psychiatrist who kept me knee-deep in antidepressants as to
prevent me from falling into a deep depression.) I also had to administer a daily shot of Lovenox because I had a clotting
disorder that prevented enough blood to travel to the fetus, or this is how I understood the diagnosis to be. Usually, there
has to be a history of miscarriages for Lovenox to be prescribed. Lovenox is considered safe during pregnancy.
I had horrible morning sickness up until the 18th or 19th week of pregnancy, and had trouble eating. Luckily the baby continued
to grow although I hardly gained any weight. Even in the middle of my 5th month, I wasn’t showing and had only gained
about 5 pounds. My doctor didn’t seem to think this was a problem. When I reached my 22nd week, my doctor and I rejoiced
because it was a milestone. It was the longest I had ever carried a baby. During my 24th week, I was given a steroid shot
to develop the baby’s lungs quicker in case I did go into premature labor. It was administered over two days in my hip
and hurt like hell. When I reached the magic number for me to reach was 29 weeks. According to my ob/gyn, the survival rate
of an infant born during the 29th week had a 95% survival rate.
However, this pregnancy was all about self-sacrifice on behalf of my husband and me. We had to make do with one salary, one
health insurance carrier, and no physical intimacy (a.k.a no sexual intercourse). My husband had to do all of the household
chores including taking care of our very active 18-month old daughter. I had to learn to entertain myself without daily human
interaction, and figure out how to get over feelings of being useless. When it came to the point that we had to hire a nanny,
I felt completely displaced. Masturbation and take out food had basically replaced me as a wife to my husband, and now a nanny
had replaced me as a mother to my daughter. In my mind, I was pretty much good for nothing. It was at this point that I reached
out to http://www.sidelines.org, who matched me up with an e-mail pen-pal/sponsor. She had gone through bed rest and several
miscarriages, and was a link to the outside world for me. She was also like a therapist to whom I could vent and basically
understood everything I was going through—especially the things that my husband couldn’t understand. It was a
blessing. Babycenter.com also had some message boards and live chats that helped.
When I reached my 30th week, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and now had to add bi-monthly trips to a nutritional
counselor to my list of doctors’ appointments. She helped me control my blood sugar (I received a free monitor from
my health insurance carrier) through diet. I was basically on a very low-carb, high protein & vegetable diet. The baby gained
weight and I topped out at a total of 13 lbs gained during the entire pregnancy. Between the nutritional counselor, my ob/gyn,
and me, we decided that the onset of the gestational diabetes was caused by my inactivity (a.k.a. bed rest) and my Polycystic
Ovarian Syndrome. They say in 2-3 months after birth, I should return to normal. However, the possibility of developing type-2
diabetes later in life will be higher. (It will even be higher for me because I am an overweight African-American woman with
PCOS and a family history of diabetes.) I became very emotional around this point as I broke my addiction to carbs and learned
how to take my blood four times a day. I was crying more often, and started to become a little depressed. How much did I have
to go through to have a successful pregnancy?
By the 32nd week, the prenatal specialist and my ob/gyn agree that I need to have a C-section because I have some kind of
vascular growth below/behind my cervix that is holding a lot of blood. The sonogram picked it up around week 24. They thought,
originally, that it was a cyst but it continued to grow. They told me that if I went into natural labor that I could bleed
out, and they wouldn’t be able to suture where this vascular thing was. My ob/gyn tells me not to worry, and that it
is probably something hormonal that will shrink 6-8 weeks post-partum. In the meanwhile, it isn’t harming me or the
baby. That’s all that matters. Eventually, a C-section is scheduled for my 38th week. Soon all of this will end.
February 20th, 2007: At 9:43 a.m., I give birth to a 6lb 3 ounce baby girl via C-section. My little string bean is
beautiful and healthy, and VERY loved by her parents and sister. She is and will be my only biological child. My husband and
I have decided to use a permanent form of birth control (a.k.a surgical). I don’t want to have to go through this again
no matter how big this blessing. There are no guarantees for a next time, and I know I will not have the emotional or mental
stones to get pregnant for a sixth time.