The things we don’t talk about…
For some it’s being told you will never have our own biological children.
For a lot of women it’s a daily battle with the symptoms of pregnancy. In some cases landing them in hospital.
For some it’s carrying your perfect baby to term with no problems, only to be told it is sick or in the worst cases born a sleeping angel.
For me it was keeping the pregnancy. I have what the doctor refers to as an inexplicably irritable uterus. Basically what happens is that my wonderful life-giving uterus hates having a baby in there. It gets irritated and starts cramping resulting in contractions and preterm labour if I wait too long to get help. The worst part is the word “inexplicably”, there is no medical explanation for it, that is just how my body is. What we do know is that its aggravated by physical activity, which is logical since you are told to walk during natural labour.
With my son, the pain started at 20 weeks. As it was the first time I was having a baby and I didn’t know what to expect, I assumed it was normal Braxton Hicks. I thought the doctor would just say I was being a paranoid first time mom. So I waited… I waited until at 25 weeks I was having regular contractions every few minutes and had to rush to the labour ward. I was injected with steroids and told that I need to keep him in a few more days to make sure his lungs were more developed and give him a better chance at surviving. It was THE scariest and most emotional moment of my life. I was lucky though, medication seemed to calm my uterus down and after week in hospital, I was sent home to strict bed rest. The ordeal did not end there unfortunately, I was hospitalized twice more. At 30 weeks, amniotic fluid was leaking through a tear in the amniotic sac. I was given another steroid shot and told that if by Monday the levels had not improved, he would be taken out in an attempt to save him. My husband googled natural ways to increase amniotic fluid and the ingesting of coconut water and stevia began. It tasted terrible but my levels improved and I was sent home, back to bed rest! At 34 weeks, we discovered his heart was enlarged. After a battery of tests coming up negative, we were left emotional and wondering if he was ok. Born at 38 weeks and 5 days, we were very lucky to have a healthy, happy and chubby baby boy after all we went through.
I had such high hopes for my second pregnancy. I put it off for a long time out of fear, even though my doctor assured me not every pregnancy is the same and my chances of having a repeat were so small. When we found out I was pregnant, I was terrified… I had a job I loved, albeit demanding but I didn’t want my second pregnancy to land me in bed because I love my job and bed rest is so very boring. After suffering nausea and vomiting for 15 weeks (5 less weeks than my first pregnancy), I was feeling great! I had my energy back. Work was busy and I felt like this time everything was going well. Until the most horrific pain started at 17 weeks. Much more painful and intense than with my first and so much earlier. My heart sunk, I thought ‘this is it’, I am going to lose this baby. Off to the doctor we went and I was admitted. Just like with my son, this baby was fine, heart rate perfect and strong, seemingly not bothered by my body trying to kick it out. We were lucky! Once again modern medicine stepped in and saved the day. I am now 20 weeks along, still on medication and “limited activity”. I am being monitored closely and the battle is not over. I have to be very careful to make sure I give our baby the longest time I can to grow.