Being Pregnant… And Having Babies

I’ve only been pregnant twice, and I only have two children (for now), so I am no pregnancy or child-bearing expert, but I can tell you plenty about being pregnant and giving birth.  Don’t worry! This won’t be graphic post telling you all the gross things that babies do to your body.  I had very easy, healthy pregnancies and I am one of those people who actually enjoys being pregnant!  I was enormous, though I was teaching group exercise classes several times a week, in addition to my own workouts, I gained 60 pounds with each child.  In fact, it took me about 9 months to lose the baby weight with my first and I found out I was pregnant with my second a week after I got down to my pre-pregnancy weight!

Both my children were ten days late and neither of them wanted to evacuate without some help.  I was induced at 41 weeks with both children, but my birth experience was vastly different for each child.

I was admitted to the hospital to be induced with Kayla, my daughter, on Christmas.  After several rounds of medication, lots of pushing the button on the epidural machine and ALOT of pushing, she was finally born on December 28.  And yes, when she is older I will certainly be telling her how I was in labor for over 60 hours so she better appreciate me!

I was also induced with Derek and was in labor for more than 40 hours before getting a C-section because the umbilical cord was around his neck.  I never thought I would need a C-section, I don’t know why, but I skipped the C-section sections in baby books and scrolled right past information about C-sections in pregnancy apps on my phone.  One of the forms I was given at the hospital asked for my birth plan.  My birth plan was simple:1.EPIDURAL 2. No C-section

I don’t remember holding Derek for the first time.  My husband told me the nurse injected something into my IV as soon as the doctor pulled the baby out, the last thing I remember is asking why he wasn’t crying.  Then I woke up in the recovery room, extremely tired and fighting to stay conscious.  It turned out I was hemorrhaging and over the next few hours I was given eight bags of blood.  I would pass out, wake up to scream at the nurses to bring me my baby and some water, then pass out again.  I ended up having a second surgery to stop the bleeding that night and then spent several days in the ICU.  Fortunately, I delivered both babies at a Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, so Derek was allowed to stay in my room, and he was perfectly healthy.

After having Derek, I was extremely angry.  I felt like I had been cheated out of my birth experience.  I was upset that he was not allowed to nurse immediately, I was sad I couldn’t remember the doctor putting him on my chest after the C-section, I was mad because I was in so much pain.  Everyone told me to just be grateful that the baby and I were okay…and that would upset me more than anything.  It took a year for me to realize that there is nothing wrong with grieving the birth experience I missed out on.  Yes, it could have been worse, but even if Derek and I were healthy, I was allowed to be upset.

So after my pregnancy and birth experiences, I have learned 2 important lessons:

  1. If you are pregnant with your first child, enjoy every second of it and pamper yourself.  If you have any more babies, you will be chasing around the older ones and will never get to relax.
  2. Even if you have no expectations for giving birth, you may be surprised or upset by your birth experience.  And that is fine, though having a baby is joyful, it is scary and painful and maybe even traumatizing.

What was your birth experience like? Do you enjoy being pregnant?

Newborn Kayla
Newborn Derek