During the procedure follow up as I spoke with my Doctor; he explained with the type of HPV I have it was very likely the abnormal changes could return and require future procedures. Of course with our plan to have a child my question was how this and further procedures would impact having children. My Doctor recommended if we were in a position to have a child that we should. Sooner rather than later. I was scared that waiting any longer could lead to us not having the opportunity to be parents. But I was fearful we weren’t fully ready and we were going to rush in. My husband and I sat down and decided that we would stop using birth control and just wait to see what happens; if we became pregnant great, if not we were happy and content just the two of us.
My second trimester started out just like the first, everyone was growing fine and we found out we were having a girl; my husband’s dream!! Just a few weeks into the second trimester I began to have leg swelling. The swelling was mainly in my left leg which my OB chalked up to normal pregnancy due to carrying so low. I had a gut feeling it was a sign that worse was coming. My mom had toxemia (pre-eclampsia) when she was pregnant with me and I was born 2 months early. I did speak to my OB about this concern; she stated I was low risk because of my age, my blood pressure was good, my weight gain was not out of control and all my blood work was amazing.
I recorded them twice a day at work; when I went in for a normal visit I went over the pressure readings with my OB. She was now getting a little concerned. The readings were getting high, she wanted me to continue to watch them and notify her if they got into the hypertensive range; my labs continued to come back great. As I continued monitoring, the readings climbed; they got high enough where they wanted me to come in for a non-stress test (NST) to check on Natalie. She was amazing, there were no issues with her and my blood pressure began to decrease while I was in the office. I was sent home but told to continue to monitor my pressures, being I was in my 34th week she did not want to give me blood pressure meds and mask any issues that may arise. My OB didn't tell me, but I knew in my gut we were watching for any pre-eclampsia signs; she continually told me to watch for vision flashes and be diligent in monitoring my blood pressure.
A week later, August 16th. I had planned to pick my mom and sister up at the airport, as I pull on to the freeway, for several seconds I have flashes of light in my vision. I knew immediately it was exactly what my OB had told me to look for. When I got to the airport I had my mom drive home and I called my OB’s office. They asked my blood pressure reading, and immediately wanted me to come into labor and delivery.
At 36 weeks and 5 days my husband and I went into the Emergency department at St Joseph Hospital; we were quickly taken to labor and delivery where they did labs and a urine test. My liver enzymes were elevated, and I had protein in my urine. Of course my OB had a scheduled vacation when I have complications so I was in the care of the on call; the on call OB came in and said they were admitting me; we were having a baby! I was immediately put on magnesium to prevent seizures since my blood pressure was so high, and they started me on a 9 hour course of medication to soften my cervix. This process had to happen even before they could induce labor, my labs and blood pressure were continually monitored, and someone was required to be in my room at all times; family or nurse. Three hours in (after I already sent my family home) the on call OB came in and told my husband and I that my platelet count was 117 and she did not want to do surgery if platelets dropped below 100; she told us we could decide if we wanted to do a C-section now, but would force the decision in the next 30 min if my platelets dropped any further with the next blood draw. I chose C-section.
As I was prepped my husband excitedly called my parents (who of course just got to sleep), his parents and anyone else he could get a hold of at 2am! My anesthesiologist came in and began explaining how everything would work, he stayed with me as we went to the operating room (OR). Finally Justin was able to come to the OR, after I had my epidural and was hooked up to all the monitors. He sat down next to my head, held my hand, told me to breath and was my calm. As we went through the C-section, my anesthesiologist talked to us about what was happening and what they were going to do. The anesthesiologist began explaining they don’t have the spouses stand up until after baby is out. He quickly asked my husband if he gets queasy, when he said no the anesthesiologist told him get your camera ready and quickly told him to stand up.
My husband was able to watch Natalie be removed from my belly and take pictures of her birth; something I thought I would not get being I was having a C-section. I heard her first cry, she was born August 17th 2015 at 4:57 AM. Everyone in the room telling me how beautiful and perfect she looked, as my husband clicked picture after picture. All I wanted to do was to finally see her; she was on the table next to me as they checked her vitals. I could see my baby girl. Finally they laid her skin to skin on my chest and she immediately stopped crying. She just looked up at me; it was the perfect moment, I had both loves of my life with me. She was beautiful; 7 pounds 3.3 ounces and 19 inches long.
Due to not being able to get out of bed, and my weakness from low platelets Justin did EVERYTHING for Natalie. Being in a labor/delivery room and having to be so highly monitored there was no sleep for me, Justin or Natalie. People were constantly in and out of the room. He changed diapers, soothed her and held her to my chest so I could feed her. He was my saving grace; for the first 3 days he did it all.
In the hospital we began breastfeeding, since she was born at 36 weeks and 6 days they considered her premature. Even though she was born at a full term weight and had it been one more day she would have been considered full term. This small technicality led too many more issues. Natalie had lost 9% of her body weight from birth causing me to not only be bombarded by the nurses asking when she had last ate (even though they gave you a sheet to fill out with every feeding and diaper change) but every nurse had input on my breastfeeding. I had flat nipples, we tried different positions, a nipple shield and continually latching but Natalie also had a bad latch. Breast feeding became difficult, it was so painful, I bled, I cried and Natalie cried. It was a mess. I decided to exclusively pump, not only because of the pain but to make sure how much she was getting since I was now (thanks to my nurses) afraid my child was not getting enough. With the amount of weight she had lost it was now recommended we supplement with formula.
The on call Doctor ran my blood work in the late morning; an hour later it came back and I was allowed to be discharged. It took the nurse 6 hours to finally finish the discharge paperwork and activities. The nurse would come in to complete the discharge paperwork, she would quickly leave stating she ‘had to help the new moms with breastfeeding’ or ‘I need to get some documents”. Finally, I was discharged with medication to manage pain but nothing for my blood pressure, only being told I need to monitor it closely. As well I was told that I had to feed her every two hours and if she was sleeping I had to wake her or she wouldn’t get the sustenance she needed. I went home in fear; I feared that I wouldn’t be able to care for my child, that I wouldn’t be able to provide what she needs and that I was going to fail as a mother.
We were home, being self-employed my husband had to go back to work the next day. I set alarms to wake up every hour and a half because she woke up to eat every 2 hours. I would pump, warm up what I pumped the last time, make a bottle, feed Natalie, burp her, put her back to sleep, and clean my pump accessories. I maybe got 30 minutes sleep at a time before the whole thing started all over. We tried this for a week and a half, and all I did was stress. I felt like I was a bad mom because I couldn’t produce enough milk to feed my child, I began to be irritated with my child because I was never able to sleep, I felt like a bad mom for feeling that way towards my child. I stressed because my blood pressure was still high probably from stressing. I had to do something, I sat and cried to my husband I couldn’t understand why so many other women were able to breastfeed and I couldn’t. I was angry at myself for feeling animosity towards my child’s eating schedule. He was calm and told me that if I wasn’t taking care of me, I couldn’t take care of her, and if I wasn’t happy she wouldn’t be either. Together we made the decision to exclusively formula feed, it took a huge weight off of me, I was able to take care of me, give my daughter everything she needed.
It’s amazing to see the medical advances we have access to, knowing that had I not lived in a country with these medical advancements myself, my child or both of us would not be alive today to enjoy our lives together. C-section was not my plan but it allowed me the best possible outcome. My family of 3. I would have never made it through those first few days without my husband or my mother and I will never be able to thank them enough for their support. And I am happy to say after having my little girl I realized she was really my angel. I had to have HPV for years, but after my pregnancy it was gone. My little girl was a gift I feared I might not be able to have, and my little girl saved me from further cervical issues. I would not call myself religious but there was obviously a plan and a reason for everything.