Strike One, Strike Two, Strike Three
Updated: Nov 16, 2022
My entry into motherhood wasn't sunshine and daisies. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was scared. And I remained scared for 36 weeks and 6 days.
When I was diagnosed as a Type I Diabetic at 16 years old I had sworn off motherhood and proudly, loudly announced that I would never have a baby. I was terrified by everything I had heard about high-risk pregnancies and deemed I wasn't strong enough to go through it all. After lots of discussion with my husband and doctors we decided it wasn't as traumatizing as I had heard it can be.
Even though my pregnancy wasn't the shitshow I had heard about on the Maury Show when I was a teenager, it was far from a glowy, comforting time in my life. There was not a time during my pregnancy that I felt like my body knew what it was doing and that it was protecting our daughter. I was constantly stressed and concerned. And, scared about having a baby with no limbs (thanks, Maury). The very beginning of a global pandemic is also a very interesting time to have your first child.
There were lots of doctors appointments, lots of concern about her growth and heart thickness, lots of issues with regulating my blood sugars and maintaining my Diabetes, and lots of terrible bedside manner by my fetal/maternal specialist. I never felt like I was the safest place for my daughter, but being told my womb had become toxic and we needed to be medically induced felt like a blow I wasn't ready to hear. I had tried to do everything according to my doctors but my body was rebelling and no longer cooperating. It felt like "strike one" being told that I couldn't carry my daughter because it was too dangerous.
"Strike two" came 13 hours after my induction began. A long, slow, painful day of contractions. My OB proudly announced I had made it to 3cm during a cervical check, but then kept digging. And digging. And digging. Then the L&D nurse was by side holding and rubbing my hand. Then the portable ultrasound machine came in but my doctor was hovering over my ribcage even though my daughter had been in the perfect position 13 hours earlier. "Everything has changed. If your water breaks it will be fatal. We're going to the OR now."
I'll never forget the pain of being wheeled past a delivery room and hearing a mom successfully birth her child. As I was being told I couldn't do the same. We got a few short minutes together as a happy family of 3 before she was whisked away to the NICU for "critically low blood sugar". I was struggling with the drugs and aftermath of a c-section so I had to stay in recovery while my husband went with our daughter. The second I could no longer see her I started vomiting and didn't stop for about 18 hours until I could hold her again.
Feeding tube, weight & blood sugar concerns, and bili lights meant I couldn't hold her as I wanted and eventually led to us not being able to connect and breastfeed. Strike three.
Today, over 2 years later, she is the happiest, sassiest, most beautiful human being on the planet and I am so proud to be her mom. We've both grown so much since she entered our realm and I can't get enough of her. But, the idea of putting my body through everything again gives me severe anxiety. People tell me I'll change my mind, but I know deep down that I cannot survive another pregnancy. It's not just the pregnancy, either. I'm still working through PPA and trying to remember who I used to be prior to becoming mom. I lost so much of myself during my pregnancy due to fear and stress.
Plus, my body can only make so much cute and our daughter emptied the reserves!