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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Before the Birth Story

The day I wrote my last post, I also had my 36 week doctors appointment.  Little Girl and I loaded up the van and drove the two hours to Charleston for, what I thought, was going to be a routine appointment.  I was actually wondering how I was going to convince my midwife to let me schedule my next appointment for 2 weeks instead of the recommended one.  

And then, everything changed.  
My urine test showed elevated levels of protein.  
My blood pressure was unnaturally high.

At first I thought it was just a fluke.  
I was frustrated and figured that hanging out with a 3 yr old had caused a little bit too much stress.  
But then my midwife uttered the word Preeclampsia.  
And I was floored.  There was a name for what was going on with my body.
She mentioned "hospital birth", and I fought back tears.
I agreed to go home with instructions for modified bed rest and twice daily blood pressure readings. 

And of course, I googled the crap out of that word.  
THAT didn't help my blood pressure.

Hubs and I spent the next two days in a "rest but scramble to get all of the last minute things done because this baby needs to come out sooner rather than later and who knows whats going to happen"  state.

Two days after my appointment (a Saturday), my blood pressure was consistently staying around the 140/90 limit my midwife gave me.  Reluctantly, I called into the oncall midwife under the assumption that she would just tell me to lay down and rest.  
Instead, she insisted I check into the hospital to be put under 24 hour montioring.  

shock.  tears.  anxiety.

I felt like everything was spiralling out of my control.  And, it was.
My amazing husband packed us up and thankfully, my stepfather was already in town to care for Isla June.  

The car ride down there was strangely calm.  
I think I was actually enjoying this one-on-one time with my husband that we so infrequently get.  

When we walked into the hospital, it was eerily quiet.  
The labor and devlivery nurses were already expecting us and set me up on the monitoring system, took my blood work and instructed me on how to collect my urine for the next 24 hours.  (Yay.)
We put a football game on the large flat screen in my room and I practiced my deep breathing to try and trick my blood pressure to return to a lower state.
Once my blood work came back as normal, the baby showed no signs of distress and my blood pressure was keeping consistent (though elevated), we were moved to the recovery wing.  

At this point, it was kind of like a vacation.  I wasn't allowed to leave my bed except to pee.  All I could do was read or watch TV.  I didn't have to chase a 3 yr old around, worry about laundry or cooking dinner.  I was actually, almost enjoying it.  As long as I didn't think of the long term scenarios.
Most of the nursing staff told us we would probably be going home the next day under orders for bed rest.  I was anxious to hear that from my midwife and get home to my little girl.  

Unfortunately, that's not the news we ended up getting. 
The protein in my urine was off the charts.  My midwife scheduled an induction for the next morning.

I was so strangely calm about this news.  I began texting and calling to organize care for Isla June and to let our family and close friends know what was going on.  
And, I asked for prayers.  Lots and lots of prayers.  
I knew that was the only way I was going to make it through this.  
Knowing we were being lifted up in prayer helped keep me calm.

Just before we were given the news of my induction, I wrote the following post.  
I never published it because I was having crazy pregnancy brain and couldn't decide if I had actually written a coherent sentence or not.  
I'm still not sure if it's any good, but it's what was on my heart that day.  

When All of your plans change......

Alternatively titled "the post I never thought I would have to write" 
"the post I almost never wrote because I just don't want to talk about it."

But then I realized that, like so many things in life, this is an opportunity.  
Boy, does God like opportunities.

You see?  I'm currently in the hospital under observation.  I am possibly a "high risk pregnancy".
crazy talk in my book.

All of my years and years of research have allowed me to sit in my little corner of the world, look out, and continually tell myself, "that won't happen to me".  
Sheer determination? Or naievete?
I'm not sure.  

But, like I said, God loves an opportunity;
And He LOVES to humble me.  

I can't even count the number of times I have had a fleeting moment of superiority and ended up tripping and falling flat on my face.  literally.
Took a little while, but I learned my lesson on that one.  
God will always give me opportunities for humility.

And here I am again, being humbled.

All of my research and diet and nurtrition couldn't stop my blood pressure from creeping up to unnaturally high levels.  There is no rhyme or reason to this.  I'm not predisposed to the condition, I have no risk factors, I eat the diet reccomended to prevent this condition.

This is God.  I know it.  

There may have been times, in the past, where I sat in my corner and thought "that won't happen to me" when women told me about their preterm baby, or their labor induction, or c-section, or fetal monitoring, or extensive lab work.  I didn't try to judge, I just always felt like that was someone elses problem.

Now I believe we are all warriors.  Bringing a child into this world requires strength and determination.
I don't care how you do it.
Our bodies are our armor and we fight.  We fight for this little person we haven't even met yet.
That takes courage.  And sacrifice.

I see that now.  I see it in every mother I meet.  The strength she has to give up herself for her child.  We may all have a different story, but they have the same theme.

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. ~2 Corinthians 11:30


  1. Beautiful Megs. You are so strong and resilient. I know I cannot for one second imagine what it was like to receive that news. It is so easy to know you're doing your best for yourself and family and so hard to realize (or be reminded) that it's not all up to you. I'm so proud of you. What lucky girls to have such a wonderfully aware momma.

    1. Oh Alex! Your words are too kind! Thank you for your support and encouragement, my sweet friend. :)

  2. You have proved lady that there is nothing which can’t be done with lots of confidence and blessings of god. You are really strong. Your husband and your children will be proud of you. Your family is so lucky to have such an amazing person like you. The time before birth of a child is not so comforting for every mother, some have to face severe nausea and head ache which is very annoying at the time of pregnancy. But by taking proper precaution we can diminish the effect of these pregnancy problems.


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