I had given a lot of thought since finding out we were expecting if I truly wanted to share my journey with my readers knowing this is a high risk pregnancy and there could be a lot of ups and downs. After a lot of thought I decided to share my journey with you all as maybe some of you have been or are currently high risk and can relate!
In this post I wanted to start by sharing some background on me, my previous pregnancies, what has led me to be high risk today with this pregnancy when I had two previous risk free pregnancies and what has happened in the first 11 weeks of my pregnancy. Strap yourself in it is going to be a bumpy ride!
In 2001, at 19 years of age I found out I was expecting my first child. Now I won’t get into my wild teens but lets say I was one bad-ass teenager! I had a choice at that time to continue on with the pregnancy or continue on with my “bad-ass” ways and honestly there was no match. I knew at that time if I didn’t change, if something didn’t change I might not be around in a few years. I made the right choice for me and chose to have the baby. My pregnancy with Abigail (now 11 years old) was beyond easy; no morning sickness, no stretch marks even though I did gain 68 pounds and my delivery on May 11, 2002 although 48 hours in length of labor only took 5 minutes and two pushes with not a single tear to have my baby enter this world! I stayed in the hospital for less than 24 hours as I truly do not like hospital settings and let’s be honest you have just given birth, more likely than not haven’t slept in hours and who the hell wants to listen to 20 other babies screaming? Ya didn’t think so, I took my precious little 6lb 2oz angel home. I can honestly say at this point in my life (31 YIKES) that Abigail saved my life and I don’t mean that lightly, if I had made a different decision I honestly believe I wouldn’t be alive today. Every time I look at my daughter I know how special she is to me and just what SHE did for me. Abby was an easy baby, she rarely cried, slept amazing and made me want to have a whole pack of children!
After having Abigail I went for my post-natal exam and a few days later my doctor called, you know when the doctor calls it is never good news! My tests came back and I had “abnormal cells” on my cervix! 20 years old, brand new baby and this news I was devastated to say the least. When I went for my appointment to get these cells tested my worst fears came true finding out they were indeed cancerous. In an instant my life flashed before me, would my new baby have to grow up without her mother, would she remember me, how did this happen etc. Of course at this point my brain was nowhere near a functioning level and the doctor told me they would have to do what is called a loop incision surgery to remove the cancer cells. After the procedure was complete they informed me for a couple of weeks I could not life anything more than 10lbs, I was angry, did they not know I just had a baby! Now I worried how I would take care of my infant while her father was at work since I could not lift her. Somehow I managed, ok truth be told I lifted my baby, I held my baby and I really didn’t listen because I mean what else was I to do, I was a mother and had to care for my child there was no alternative! After I think one year of clear pap tests I was allowed to return to my normal doctor for exams and my cancer was a thing of the past!
Fast forward to 2004 when we found out we were expecting baby #2. Now after having the surgery to remove my cancer I was told I would have a 50/50 chance at a natural child-birth, this worried me but I put it out of my mind and focused on having a healthy pregnancy and being hopeful to deliver naturally. This pregnancy was much like my first; very easy, no morning sickness and with a 55lb weight gain still no stretch marks. On February 19, 2005 labor began. I labored at home for about 6 hours because after the first I knew not to go too early or risk being sent home. Once my contractions were strong and constant we left for the hospital and by the time I arrived at the hospital my contractions were overlapping each other – I should have been fully dilated if not extremely close. Sadly when the doctor checked me I was not even a fingertip dilated, we instantly knew what this meant. The doctors tried their best after giving me an epidural they used these metal, cone-shaped tools each end larger than the other to get me to dilate but nothing worked. The baby needed to get out and emergency c-section here we came. I was scared, I mean I have never had major surgery up until this point in my life. I could only bring one person into the surgery with me and without hesitation I told my partner to go wait in the waiting room that I wanted my mom with me. As vain as this is going to sound when the doctor arrived who was going to be performing my surgery I looked at him and said “Listen, I have seen scars from c-sections and they are not pretty, I wear low-rise jeans and I would really like if you could cut me as low as possible because I don’t want to see the scar”. They laughed and he said I will do my best and he did (thank god). At 5:05 am on February 20, 2005 Hailee was born at 6lb 5oz. Now when they said “It’s a girl” I asked them if they were sure because my whole pregnancy I was told she was a boy! Even funnier now at 8 years old my little Hailee is the furthest from a boy, ever since she was able to talk she has wanted dresses and high heels, make up and her nails done! Again with this delivery I didn’t stay long, I was home by 1pm that same day doing laundry and cooking! My recovery was easy and I have to say after having both natural and c-section child births I found the recovery from the c-section less painful and quicker.
In 2006 I left the father of my children and became a single mom. In 2009 I was in a relationship and found out we were expecting, at just over 3 months pregnant I was assaulted by another female. I began to miscarry a few days after the assault and I went to the hospital. I was told I would not be able to miscarry naturally due to the scar tissue on my cervix from the cancer surgery and their attempt to get me to dilate during my second daughters delivery and that I would have to have a D&C. Not only was that the most painful thing I have ever been through – yes more painful than child-birth, but it is something I will never forget. That surgery led to even more scar tissue on my cervix from them prying it open which has since caused me a lot of trouble. I do not have regular periods, I mean they come like clockwork but after it ends a few days later I will start to bleed again because it is hard for everything to come out as with a normal woman. I was also told that trying to conceive would be even harder now as the work a sperm would have to do to get in there through the scar tissue would be extreme. At this time I went back on Depo Provera and continued on with life.
In December of 2011 just around Christmas time I fell ill. I thought I had the flu because it was flu season after all and the symptoms were there. I felt sick to my stomach, got sick to my stomach, had pains, fever, chills etc. I started to feel better and attended my annual family Christmas party on Christmas Eve. Christmas day came and I was still feeling better. On Boxing day I woke up and went shopping, about halfway through I started to feel sick again. I went home and rested because we had one more Christmas party for my partners family to attend that evening. When I woke up I felt a bit better so we went. I was sluggish and didn’t eat much during the party as I was still not feeling great. Nothing could have prepared me for what I would face the very next morning. On December 27, 2011 I woke up around 7am in the worst pain, pain so incredible I could not walk. I knew something was wrong and I dragged myself down the hall to our bedroom where my partner was sleeping (I had slept on the couch that night) and cried out to him I needed to go to the hospital. Arriving at the emergency there was a full waiting room but because I could barely talk to tell the nurse what was wrong with me, my name, date of birth etc they rushed me in. After hooking up iv’s and running tests they told me I had an ectopic pregnancy and it was serious, it had ruptured my tube and I was bleeding internally. They called for an ambulance “lights and sirens” to take me across the street to the hospital that could deal with this. You know it is pretty serious when they are calling an ambulance with lights and sirens to go across the street! When I got to the other hospital they had me fill out transfusion forms in the case I needed blood as well as resuscitation forms. After the surgery to remove my fallopian tube that had ruptured the doctor came in and told me just how serious the situation had been, he told me had I not come in that morning to the hospital I would have bled to death at home that afternoon.
Fast forward to June 2013. With one fallopian tube, massive scar tissue and Depo Provera injections one would think the likelihood of getting pregnant would be slim to none right? WRONG! I am one of those that still gets their period on Depo and when my expected period date came and went with no signs of my period I knew I was pregnant. Well really I knew days if not a good week or two before as all the pregnant signs were there but I guess I was in denial. I took the test and I was SO pregnant that the minute that stick hit my pee it was like Las Vegas Slots ringing … okay not really but those double “You’re Pregnant” lines instantly blew up on the test! I knew immediately I would be high risk due to everything that had happened in years past and didn’t waste much time telling the better half and calling my doctor to get in for an appointment. I had two days where I had light brownish spotting which of course worried me due to the past issues and after googling found it to be pretty normal as long as it wasn’t bright red or accompanied by cramping. Even though it is said to be normal I was still a little worried of course.
On July 11, 2013 I had my first ultrasound and the baby was moving, growing as should be and the heartbeat was great, this certainly eased my mind about the earlier spotting. The very next day (Friday) the phone rang and it was my doctor’s office, again you never want them to call because they only call when things are not good! My doctor informed me that the radiologist noted “Trophoblastic Tissue” on my scans that she reviewed. He wanted to get me in to see my OBGYN asap as this tissue he said is normally not found in a viable pregnancy so it could be nothing or something more serious. Of course doctors never really tell you much and hearing that term sent me right off to google, I really should be banned from the internet and google it does no good in situations like this. Now after googling I found NOTHING good about that term, everything I read was non-viable pregnancy, have to have pregnancy if viable terminated and CANCER. Yup that nasty little word sent me into a frenzy, I was bawling my eyes out and thinking all those horrible thoughts that come with the word cancer. I called my doctor back because at this point I was freaking out, he assured me that he had sent an urgent referral to my old OBGYN and to try to stay calm. Of course the whole weekend I stressed out, barely slept and my brain would not shut off. Monday came and went with no call from either doctor and on Tuesday afternoon with still no call I picked up the phone. Clearly upset that such an urgent matter had gone ignored for two days (I was not counting Friday) I told my doctor this was not acceptable and if my old OBGYN couldn’t care to deal with such an urgent matter that I wanted a new referral as this was causing me a lot of stress which is not good on the baby especially in my already high risk state. My doctor called me back around 4:00pm saying he was going to stay after hours and get their on-call OBGYN to check the scan as he had not heard back from the referral request, he would call me back as soon as the doctor reviewed the scan. What seemed like forever passed and the phone finally rang, it was my doctor. I took a deep breath and he said “everything is fine, the so-called Trophoblastic Tissue was not that at all, it was your placenta!” Of course relieved but immediately angry, how does a trained radiologist make such an insane error? How many other pregnant mothers has this radiologist done that to? We had a quick chat about the fact that this radiologist’s boss needed to be spoken to because that kind of mistake can cause unneeded stress on a mother which then causes unneeded stress on the baby.
Thankfully at this point a lot of that stress that I was carrying for 5 days which felt like 5 weeks is gone and I can continue to enjoy my pregnancy. I am hopeful that within my next few appointments I can be given the green light to return to my normal work habits and activity as my doctor has wanted me away from my desk and resting as much as possible during the first trimester due to my high risk nature of this pregnancy.
Leave me a comment below and share your experience!