10.17.2019 was my due date.
I truly thought I'd have another Libra on my hands.
I know due dates are estimated dates based on your last menstrual cycle, but we were almost a month off schedule. I guess you can say the universe had a different plan.
My symptoms had me going with old wive's tales.
I thought "this is what's supposed to happen....right?" "Maybe my palms are itching like this because I'm about to get some money!...Yeah that's it. We're gonna hit the lottery."
A week or so went past and everything went from "ok this is weird" to "OMG what's happening to me?!" I mean, this is my diary so I can be real & raw, right? Both of my palms itched to the point I was rubbing them on the rug and couch to soothe the itch. My back itched. My legs itched. My butt cheeks itched. The worst part was the bottom of my feet itching. Typically - if you run your finger on the bottom of my foot, I would laugh. So for me to dig my nails into the bottom of my feet to scratch my itch, was a huge red flag. My arms itched; and not long after, my face began to itch. Benadryl and various itch creams worked for the first ten minutes...then it was back to scratching.
The stage of "WTH is wrong with me" lasted a few days. Day & night, I googled my symptoms and read other people's mortifying stories.
".....could result in a STILLBIRTH"
I scared myself shitless, and cried for a full thirty minutes thinking of the 'what-ifs', 'what did I do', and 'is this my fault'.
I went to the doctor for a regular check up, explained my symptoms (the skin itching, the discoloration, the fatigue, etc) and asked or a liver function test and that my bile acid levels be tested. I was told the results could take 5-7 days. I nodded and said "ok", but inside I was screaming "WE DON'T HAVE 5-7 DAYS". My gut told me my test would come back positive, so I felt there was no time to waste.
My Doctor called with a full diagnosis and told me to get to the hospital and prepare for labor. "Due to your diagnosis and bile acid levels from the blood that was drawn, we have to prepare to take the baby today. Your levels were through the roof. If we wait we raise the risk."
I had been diagnosed with Cholestasis.
Cholestasis (during pregnancy) is like a temporary liver disease. It occurs when the flow of bile from your liver is reduced or blocked. Bile is fluid produced by your liver that aids in the digestion of food. There is no clear reason as to why this happens during pregnancy, but it is hazardous to an unborn baby and can result in health complication, fetal distress, respiratory issues and worst case scenario, a stillbirth. Symptoms typically don't appear until the third trimester.
I was excited to meet my little human, but not on these circumstances.
With my chakra bracelets + Himalayan salt lamps on deck and a birth plan on file, I planned for a ANTI•STRESSFUL labor. The four of us went into the hospital, excited, anxious and ready to meet our new addition.
The higher ups must have really got a good laugh because once I dilated 8.5 cm, that birth plan and anti-stress plan flew out the window.
"Ma'am, I'm sorry. I know you were against it, but we're gonna have to do an emergency c-section"
I immediately went into panic mode.
Let me first say - before this, I would applaud any woman who had a c-section because I'm terrified of surgeries. I had the typical vaginal birth for my two older daughters so I just knew the same would flow effortlessly for my third blessing.
Since I'm being honest, I cried. A c-section was not what I envisioned. It had nothing to do with my postpartum body, it had everything to do with my anxiety when it came to surgeries. To peel back another layer of transparency, I panicked initially because I had a dream I was told I would have to have a c-section and I died while on the operation table. So, you can see why this had me frazzled.
"OMG. I didn't finish my will."
"The girls and I didn't finalize their college choices."
"What if my new baby girl never meets her mom"
"What will happen to my daughters if I don't make it out alive."
"Oh crap, I didn't tell the dog bye".
"I'm gonna be stuck in the hospital for weeks."
My anxiety went into overdrive. My sister called and said a long prayer with me and the rest of the family in the labor room. My boyfriend promised me everything would be okay and he'd be right there with me. I tried so hard not to cry while looking at my daughters. I just told them everything would be fine and I'm about to leave and come back with their baby sister.
My nurses and doctor did any amazing job at talking me through the entire process.
As they wheeled me out of the original labor room, I closed my eyes and told myself
I'm going to come out a trooper.
That dream is not my reality but my fears taking over in my sleep."
I had already had my epidural so I couldn't move my lower body. They switched me from the rolling bed to the operation table. "Don't drop me", as if they were amateurs and I was the heaviest person (under 200 pounds) they had ever moved. As they had my boyfriend get dressed in his operation room gear, I tried to remain calm and not let them see me sweat. "So what we got going on here? How does this all go?" I tried to hide my fear behind conversation. One doctor must have noticed how tense I was as he kept making jokes in between narrating what was going on on the other side of the blue sheet.
"Can you feel this?"
"Do you feel me touching your stomach here?"
"Did you feel me pinch you?"
"Okay you're going to feel some pulling, pushing, tugging and pressure"
I'm not sure what happened, but I all of a sudden I started shaking. I thought it was in my head at first, but then I looked at my arms, which were laid out to the side of me, as directed by the doctor, they were shaking too.
My teeth were even trembling.
"I can't stop shaking." The doctor on my side of the curtain assured me that it was normal and we were almost done.
"You're doing great babe." My boyfriend was able to record the entire process and was watching everything take place. I was actually surprised. We had this standing joke that he'd be the one to pass out during labor. He looked calm, and I knew he'd try to stop anything from going wrong. So during the drilling noise, the pulling, tugging and pushing, I tried to remain calm by watching him.
[insert explicit language]
I was NOT prepared to actually feel the pulling of a seven pound baby.
[insert baby crying here]
Wow. She's here.
I met and kissed my baby girl.
Until next time,