1. the state of being a parent and the responsibilities involved.”high rates of single parenthood”
3. childrearing, motherhood, fatherhood, child care, parenting “parenthood is the toughest, most rewarding job you’ll ever have
Garry and I have really never been around many babies or newborns, the closest we were to parents was to our two fur babies Kona and PJ. Kona was our first baby we got her when she was 5 weeks old and we got PJ recently to help socialize Kona and be her baby for when we brought ours home she would have a companion and wouldn’t feel left out or replaced. Kona and PJ are related, Kona is technically PJs Aunt. Once we knew we were going to join the elite club of parenting a child we were a little nervous. We’re we really ready?! Honestly you’ll never be ready financially or emotionally it will all change you for the better. ❤
At our first pre-natal doctor visit we weren’t given a standard 8 week ultrasound/scan to set gestational age doctors felt the dates I gave them were enough I guess. Part of me wishes we had that cute little gummy bear picture of our growing blessing. At our 12 week appointment the doctor had some extra time for a quick scan and that’s when we saw our active little wiggle worm for the first time…Garry swears he saw the fetus break dancing LOL
I had the weirdest symptoms at the beginning of pregnancy, things like brittle nails, elevated heart rate, dizziness. Overall I was just mostly tired and knew it was just part of the pregnancy rollercoaster I liked to call it. My immune system sucked during pregnancy. Weeks went on during the worst cold and flu season EVER and of course I had to catch every single bug that came around! Being pregnant and sick is seriously the worst you can’t take anything and are so helpless and miserable! Of course I worried being a “worry wart” (my dad calls me that, but so is he) that illness would effect our growing baby. Luckily I always recovered from every germ I was exposed to. We were still weeks away from finding out the gender but I wanted to know what was growing inside of me so bad! Boy? Girl? So I read about all the wives tales that hint towards gender. I swear we were having a boy! I was like 85% sure of it! I really should have kept all my predictions to myself but I even had a dream we were having a boy, granted it was sort of a nightmare because they scanned the head of our baby and it smiled and I saw teeth! Like big ol’ chompers/pearly whites like Jim Carey in the Mask teeth
Really glad it was just a dream when I woke up because I’ve heard babies can really be born with teeth! Scary! Every weird wives tale was a lie in my case.
Here’s a few examples:
1.) I hated sweets and only wanted salty foods. (Meat and potatoes, yes please!)
2.) I had little Morning sickness
3.) Chinese prediction calendar said boy
4.) Freezing feet
5.) Rapid hair growth
6.) Very dry skin
7.) Key test
8.) Ring test
Garry of course was excited that he may be getting his boy! Weeks went on, everything was still going pretty smoothly and I still had 1 more appointment to get through until our gender/anatomy scan. Finally I hit 20 weeks and it was Valentine’s Day and we had our anatomy scan that morning we took our Moms with us to find out the news…it was a bouncing baby GIRL! 🎀 We were completely shocked, Garry even asked the ultrasound tech if the baby could be “tucking it away” omg I died laughing! The ultrasound tech could have refrained from mentioning she was thankful for her 2 boys everyday…geeze, thanks lady way to rub it in… poor Garry. Everything looked healthy except she was just measuring a little bit behind about 2 weeks or so. Placing me really at 18 weeks…the doctor noticed she also had some choroid plexus cysts in her brain which usually that’s normal for this gestation and clears up by week 30. I was also given my quad marker screening during that appointment. Would take a day or two to get the results back. It’s a blood test they give you to rule out chromosomal abnormalities. Being Valentine’s and we just found out of the gender I wanted to share the news with my family & co workers so we ordered cupcakes from our favorite baker who did our wedding cupcakes and placed little markers with the gender on top of each one to share, she also gave me a cute crown to wear around that day at work.
I got the results from our quad marker test back 2 days later…she was showing an increased chance of having trisomy 18. A deadly chromosomal abnormality. The doctor wanted me to make an appointment with the fetal-maternal specialist right away. So I did. They squeezed us in the next day. Reading about the quad screen I saw it could have lots of false positives. Once again being a worry wart I had to look up this condition they were saying our baby had 3 markers for. Measuring behind, the choroid plexus cysts, and a positive quad marker. Worst thing I could have ever done. I was so nervous and just wanted to weep all day long luckily I was off work when they gave me this awful news. Trisomy 18 is deadly…IF our baby made it through the pregnancy they would be born stillborn or die within the first 24 hours typically. I just couldn’t understand why God would bless us with this gift only to take it away from us. So that night before the specialist appointment all I did was pray. I found some bible verses that really helped put peace in my heart.
Life was stressful for us during this time. Our cat Kona kept getting UTIs requiring lots of meds and vet visits, Garry got laid off of work and now we get to deal with a possible life threatening condition for our unborn child?! Why us?! Poor us?! We really could be in a worse situation I guess… Tried to count our blessings anyway.
I had to work the next morning but my employer was fine with me taking a long lunch to make it to my appointment. It was finally time to see the specialist and Garry went with me. I felt like a science project so many different scans and tests. Luckily I brought the ultrasound pics we had of our little one from our 12 week appointment. The specialist reviewed those and measured it compared to what he was seeing now. He says that there’s no way I was 12 weeks along in those first ultrasound pics we had he said that was the size of a 10 week old fetus. Everything he saw looked normal to him but he wanted me to get one more advanced DNA test done to rule out any problems or chromosomal defects, so we had more blood work done. Those results felt like they took an eternity to come back. I got the call…everything is normal! She doesn’t have trisomy 18! Omgsh I praised God in that very moment and was so thrilled! They also confirmed we were definitely having a girl…sorry Garry but you can’t deny DNA! We were both just so happy we had a healthy baby growing still! So they gave me a new due date since we now know the dates were just off a little bit. Instead of a July 2nd baby we were looking around the 22nd for a due date! We still we’re gonna have an awesome cancer baby (my favorite horoscope sign, my Mom and Garry are both cancers)
Alright we thought we just have a little more time to prepare for our bundle of joy! We had one more scan and she was still on track for her new due date and the choroid plexus cysts were gone! My doctor put me back into the “boring” pregnancy category now. We took a long time to share our news with any social media group. We wanted to make sure everything was healthy and officially know the gender before we spilled the beans! We finally did in March.
Everyone of our friends were excited for us! Many of our friends already have kids so it felt awesome to finally get to join the club! My baby bump was growing nicely
I was staying active by working A LOT! I am a nationally certified pharmacy technician aka “legal drug dealer”. Hah! I work four 10 hour shifts during the week. I would only get swelling in my feet after really long hours of standing but it would go away with extra fluids, rest and elevation. By about week 25 the swelling from the waist down was getting ugly! I couldn’t even recognize my own legs and it would hurt to walk almost, some days were worse than others. I had a prenatal visit with my doctor coming up in a week so I decided to just tough it out since everything else seemed totally fine. My appointment date was here this was the appointment where you have to take the dreaded glucose test! Honestly it wasn’t that bad, I worked myself up for nothing! (I passed thank goodness) but my weight was up A LOT! My previous visit 4 weeks before I weighed 118lbs this visit I was up to 138!!! That’s a 20lb increase in 1 month! Where my doctors goal was to gain a total of 30lbs my whole pregnancy! The doctor came into the exam room and didn’t like the swelling she saw. I looked like someone put my bottom half into a fat suit like Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal. LOL She checked the results of my urine sample you leave at the beginning of every appointment that’s where the protein was discovered. My Blood pressure was totally normal. So she decided to have me rest at home for the next week and limit my sodium intake. The goal was to try and keep her in and growing strong until week 34. That would mean 6 weeks on bed rest?! So now unexpectedly after 8+ years at the same company I had to let my work know I have to take time off, my maternity leave was starting way sooner than I wanted. I never take time off of work except for an occasional vacation day here and there. The doctor wanted another ultrasound done that next week and a follow up visit also. She ordered a 24 hour urine screen to check my protein levels. Results showed elevated rates. She said just keep my appointments, see you soon. I rested up as much as I could and got the scan done early in the week everything still looked good and my Dr. visit was later in the week. At that visit when I finally got my BP check the nurse said uh oh that’s pretty high…Ugh! Really? now my blood pressure is up?! Why?! I was 28 weeks exactly. She said I developed pre eclampsia and my doctor can’t handle high risk cases like this. She sent me back to the fetal-maternal specialist right away. Garry went to EVERY baby appointment with me! He’s such a good involved husband! He was my rock through everything and kept me calm. We waited and waited to see the specialist and finally got our scan done. That’s where they said baby girls head was fully down into my cervix, which is now shortened. He decided it would be best with all my preeclampsia symptoms and baby looking ready to go that I get admitted into the hospital for observation. I’ve never been admitted in my life! I was so nervous! Luckily he said I could go home first and grab some things and just make sure I check in between 3-4pm. So Garry and I grabbed lunch since I had no idea how long I would be hospitalized and have to eat hospital food. We started to pack my hospital bag that we didn’t have anything for! We still had 12 more weeks to prepare! Talk about being thrown into a whirlwind! We got to the hospital and finally checked in. Now is the fun part you get hooked up to all kinds of machines and monitors! Yipee!
Now the waiting begins…they gave me another 24 hour urine screen to check my protein levels again. Results were ugly! I had severe preeclampsia. I was definitely sick but felt totally fine! Normal urine protein levels were around 150 I was measuring at 12,250!!! Wait? what?! Should I even be alive?! So my kidneys were having issues clearly functioning! My organ function lab work still was ok. I can’t tell women especially pregnant women enough, listen to your body and go to EVERY prenatal visit! It is so important! If I didn’t, I could have stroke out or have a seizure and lose mine and my babies life all together. Especially since I felt perfectly fine other than swelling! Talk about an eye opener! During all my monitoring in the hospital I was starting to have contractions. They weren’t that painful but my body knew something was up! They started Friday-Monday. Pregnancy wasn’t pretty at times but I sure was going to miss it, as I had to accept the fact my time being pregnant was coming to an end. It was a fast pregnancy from the start. I would miss all the belly rubs, baby kicks and wiggles I loved so much. We weren’t going to have a typical baby shower, no maternity photo shoots, belly painting or nursery to set up, I have maternity clothes I can’t even wear now (maybe next time around.) I wasn’t even uncomfortably pregnant yet! Yes I had terrible skin, heartburn, developed snoring, awful allergies, swelling, urinary incontinence. I would put up with it without hesitation if it meant I could keep our baby girl safely growing in my comfy womb! Silly Lilli had other plans though! She was determined to be created and she was determined to be born! She is destined to do big things! I knew we had a strong willed baby coming our way so it put my mind to ease knowing she was a fighter! I left my worries to God. This is all in his plan and he had it in his hands! I just needed to stay as calm as I could for my own health. I prayed for baby girl, strength, hope and peace to get me through this next difficult step. I don’t know how people who don’t have religious faith get through difficult times. I would be so lost without Jesus in my heart. I am so thankful for amazing nurses, doctors and modern medicine also! They pumped me full of steroids to give her lungs a fighting chance! I was also on a magnesium drip to prevent seizures in me and give her brain a chance to function better (That stuff is the worst) I am so thankful this was caught in time and didn’t get worse, other than my BP. Luckily I didn’t have to be put on BP meds YET. Which could harm a growing baby. By Monday night day 3 in the hospital I was done with hospital food I couldn’t force myself to eat spaghetti a second time. So my Mom brought me Hawaiian time of course with sriracha sauce, they weren’t limiting my diet probably to keep me as calm and happy as possible. I blame the food for what happened next…During one of the monitoring sessions her heart rate dipped for a good 5 minutes so they put me on a no food or drink restriction (not even ice chips!) and I had to be on the monitors all night which meant no rest! Garry was by my side through it all and the nurses made sure he wasn’t leaving. We should have known something was up. I tried to rest as much as possible but it was impossible because by now baby girl knew the monitoring routine and would swim away from them to check her rates but was continually active which is a good sign. So the nurses would have to sit by my bedside and get her readings. By 5:30am Tuesday I had 4-5 nurses and a doctor surrounding me saying she just keeps having little dips in her heart rate they don’t like to see which usually signals that the placenta is starting to fail and is not giving the baby as much blood flow as she needed to grow. We were going to meet our baby girl very soon whether we liked it or not.