Something I failed to mention in my About Me introduction is I consider myself a present shaker. What I really mean by this is I hate surprises. I hate the anticipation of a surprise. I hate the surprise of the unknown. And a “good surprise” isn’t actually good if it causes anxiety and allows my mind to wander to the depths of worse case scenario, which it always does! This trait is difficult for me to understand because I am also quite impulsive and typically dive face first into things just because I think it’s great RIGHT NOW. This obnoxious dichotomy is what got me into the mess of motherhood.
Although I claimed finding out I was pregnant was a “pleasant surprise,” what I really meant was “F*CK F*CK F*CKEDY-F*CK MY LIFE!” WAY more went into the reason for this reaction but I will save that story for another day and give you one very important nugget.
I didn’t want kids. No really! I went through phases of maybe wanting one someday when the stars aligned and pigs flew and there was world peace. Then, I always went back to “nope, definitely not.” Alas, there I sat alone in my beloved studio apartment with blood work results in hand telling me I was indeed with child.
Do Dreams Really Come True?
I remember the same night my husband (then boyfriend) “spent” together, I had a weird dream. I dreamt I was home alone with a baby when a group of masked men broke in. The baby was a girl and she was mine. This was the first time I’d ever had a dream about a baby. I felt this overwhelming need to protect her. The weird part was everytime I looked at her, her pink blanket slowly turned purple then blue and her face changed into a different baby. The me inside my dream didn’t think it was weird that this baby girl kept morphing into a boy. The fear and peace I felt looking at my babies was indescribable. When I woke up, I knew that dream would be one to stick with me for life.
One Surprise After Another After Another
In the spirit of accepting the pregnancy, I read every book and article on how to be the best mom on the planet. I was gonna be the most educated and well-prepared woman in the history of moms. Can we take a moment to laugh and laugh and laugh at the old me….and YOU! (don’t lie)
Like many women, I spotted since the very beginning of my pregnancy. I was 8 weeks along when the normal spotting turned to full on bleeding. I was home alone and crouching in the shower in pain. It was obvious what was happening. I changed my clothes, got in the car and drove to the E.R. My mom was in town with my sisters and was able to get to the E.R. just minutes after I did.
My First Ultrasounds: Life & Loss
A middle-aged woman with a cart navigated around my mom and was quick to get several vials of blood. The very young looking sonographer finished up an uneventful transabdominal ultrasound. She explained she needed to do a transvaginal ultrasound to get a better view. I was tapped out for blood, feeling even more whoozy, when she added that it’s not entirely uncommon to not hear the heartbeat this early. I knew she just didn’t want me bombarding her with fifty emotional questions she wasn’t allowed to answer.
Within moments of beginning the transvaginal ultrasound, I could hear a quiet and consistent “thwarp.” I asked my mom if that was the heartbeat. She couldn’t answer. Despite having 8 kids and half a trillion grandkids, she’d never heard a fetus’ heartbeat! The sonographer turned up the volume, looked at her screen and surprise washed over her face. Minutes later, she had the doctor in the room listening and looking at the fuzzy gray image on the screen.
He turned the screen toward me and was quick to point out the tiny gray blob near the bottom of a black oval and said, “that’s your baby and what you hear is a strong sounding heart.” Before I could question what was happening, he slid his finger across the blackness, that was my uterus, to another gray slightly flattened blob. “This,” he said “is the baby you’re losing.”
Several weeks later, I was hit with yet another surprise and big decisions. I was diagnosed with placenta previa, which is a rare condition when the placenta covers the opening of the cervix either partially or entirely. I was told this was likely caused by originally carrying twins. This caused continued bleeding and contractions through early in my third trimester.
I was ordered to stay off my feet as much as possible and not lift anything heavier than my purse. I did need to unload some things. Luckily, I had partial placenta previa and as my uterus grew in the last weeks, the placenta pulled away from my cervix.
It was also during my second trimester that amniocentesis was discussed and gender reveal was offered. Although, an amniocentesis is a common procedure, there are risks. The most concerning was having a miscarriage. Given everything this tiny human has gone through to this point, it wasn’t worth the risk. I declined without hesitation or further conversation. Nope. The end.
Without question, I NEEDED to know the gender! Not only because I’m a present shaker, remember, but my dream was constantly playing out in my head. Especially since knowing I was carrying twins and lost one. I was confident I lost my girl and my little warrior was a boy.
Planning for a Boy
Immediately after leaving that appointment, my boyfriend and I, headed to a department store to buy up every cute outfit claiming “mommy’s little man” and “daddy’s little slugger.” The baby room was painted and decorated like a baby jungle. Now I had a name to call my tiny human.
With only a few months of pregnancy remaining, I researched what to pack and how to prepare for the hospital. I wrote down a birth plan and rehearsed it in my head. The first part of my plan was to Stick to the Plan.