From almost dying to giving birth. (Literally).

OK…another unexpected post, but a long time coming after last week.

ICYMI, things have been quiet on the CUR front because they’ve been a swirl of sheer ~chaos~ on the family front.

First thing’s first: on behalf of the entire fam, THANKYOU so so much for the absolute outpourning of prayers, support, kindness, + lovelovelove that so many of you rushed to share + show in the hours and days that passed since last Friday’s Bumpdate post. I’ve finally gotten to catch up on most of the messages, comments, + outreach, and I’m just absolutely overwhelmed by it all. Really, so many of the personal stories that so many of you shared were so instrumental in getting me through so much personally. And the prayers that you sent for not only me, but for J + the baby and our entire little family were absolutely THE KEY that have brought us to where we are now.

So where are we now?

Backing up, is where we are.

To Friday’s update, when I shared that I had been hospitalized because of a “small baby and crappy placenta.” Things started pointing towards the problematic, but the eventual decision – after fetal monitoring, an ultrasound, etc – was to go home, book all of these tests for every week thereafter, and be prepared justincase things change quickly (which they can + do). In Friday’s update, I had said…

“We were told that if/when something looks odd on any of these twice-a-week tests, it could mean needing to go into labor, like…right then.

I’M SORRY WHAT.

P.S. This all gets ironic really soon, folks. 😉

So we went home, and we got our ish together REAL fast. We went from we’re-having-a-baby-in-December to we’re-having-a-baby-in-maybe-November to we’re-having-a-baby-and-we-have-no-idea-when.

We did the weekend.

We rallied the troops and Amazon Primed like no tomorrow.

And we were told there would be no way we make it past 37 weeks; goal was to get to at least the 35-week ultrasound to reevaluate, with 2-3 weekly tests leading up to that and the possibility for anything changing before then.

Tuesday, October 16th:

On Tuesday morning, we split up in separate cars to go in for the 8 am NST (non-stress test for fetal monitoring). As we were leaving the house, I started feeling a bit woozy and mentioned to J, “I feel like I’m blacking out a little bit.” Granted, obvi not the best choice to get behind a wheel then, but the hospital is 5 minutes away and I wasn’t actually blacking out – I just felt off and light-headed.

Turns out…my blood pressure was through the roof.

And fetal monitoring was showing what it had showed before – her heart rate would be A-OK, and then for a hot sec would decelerate…and then come back up. But decels are big deals, so they made the call to admit me to the hospital then + there, with a decision to schedule delivery for 34 weeks, which would’ve been October 25th.

In the meantime, I’d just be in the hospital on bedrest, still being tested daily justincase.

Wednesday, October 17th:

My mama woke up to this text from me:

At least I still had my humor in tact? HA. 😉 #ButFirstCoffee

Aaaaaaand this is where things got REAL bad REAL fast.

After blood work, they put me in for an ultrasound to check out amniotic fluids and my placenta again, to get status. While things looked OK enough (to me) from the ultrasound, once the tech was done, she had to get the doctor…and it was maybe a solid 45 minutes to an hour that I was waiting in that room for a doc to come. So I figured, this can’t be good.

The Diagnosis:

A doctor from the Maternal Fetal Medicine unit came in to break the news.

“You’re sicker than you feel.”

The diagnosis: Severe Pre-eclampsia.

“You’re at extremely high risk right now of a stroke, a seizure, or both. And at this point, we’re more concerned about your health than the baby’s. If we wait, the baby might be OK…but you might not be.”

Wednesday morning’s blood work came back showing declining liver and kidney function, platelet count lessening, red blood cell count dropping…and my blood pressure was 176/101 at one point, 181/about 122 another measurement. I had no clue, at the time, what that meant other than not good – but apparently anything higher than 180/120 is considered a hypertensive crisis and calls for immediate action because you’re on your way to a stroke.

“We need to deliver.”

Me still being sorta shell-shocked and thinking I had ANY semblance of control in the situation asked, “Deliver, like…can we do tomorrow?

HAHA. As if this is a conference call to get on the calendar. What the heck, E.

“We need to deliver today. Like, as soon as we can.”

I had eaten breakfast, so the initial plan was to wait 6-8 hours to be on an empty stomach for anesthesia and C-section. I called J (who had gone to work for a few hours before we knew how immediate the situation was) and said we’re having the baby today. His response was, “Can I call you back in 10 minutes? I need to process that.”

“Sure thing.”

*J calls back*

“OK, we’re having a baby today. I’m coming now!”

Meanwhile, I called my mom with the update, and she started spreading the news – my parents left work and started coming. Luckily, my aunt had already been on her way before all of the updates started coming, just to spend time with me while in the hospital. So I called her up to let her know that by the time she’d be there, plans were a weeeeee bit different.

What a blessing that she was able to be there, though.

Because the next step was a LOT.

Step 1: Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium Sulfate was an IV for the next 24+ hours because of my high risk of seizure throughout the process. It was to be a high-dose delivery for half an hour, followed be a lower dose throughout surgery and the rest of the drip. Before retirement, my aunt was a badass nurse practitioner, so she knew all about Magnesium Sulfate already; she sat next to me praying the Rosary as its effects starting hitting, which ended up being the absolute best blessing to kickoff Baby Girl’s grand entrance.

Sidenote: I really like (+ need) medical professionals to tell it like it is. I don’t like being babied or sugarcoated – I just want the blunt truth of a situation, so that I can process accordingly. TOTALLY a personal preference on my end. So it wasn’t sitting too well with me when everyone kept sympathetically saying, “You’re going to be on Magnesium Sulfate…” as if I was about to go on a date with Darth Vadar.

But I guess they did that because it was more like going on a date with the entire Sith crew.

Magnesium Sulfate feels like getting hit by a bus and then being soaked in a poison from something out of a Marvel comic book. One of my best girlfriends has been on it, too, and likened it to chemo treatments she had from when she battled (+ beat) cancer. On top of that, I wasn’t allowed to eat, I couldn’t sleep (I had nurses coming in and testing being done every hour, so it just wasn’t feasible), and it was nearly impossible to physically open my eyes. I lost all strength, could barely speak, and was just hooked up to every IV and monitor under the sun.

It felt like being on the edge of a hell-ish limbo, waiting to pass through to the other side.

I wouldn’t wish those 24 hours upon anyone.

Step 2: Catheter

Totally a normal step here, but SO NOT my cuppa tea. I mean, is it anyone’s?!? HA.

But this was a particularly painful/uncomfortable step being pregnant, since Baby Girl kept putting the pressures on my bladder.

Step 3: Cardiac monitor, Pulse ox monitor, Spinal block anesthesia, Oxygen

All otherwise normal, procedural steps here. I wasn’t going to be fully under, so we ended up not needing the full 6-8 hours after eating – just needed an open operating table, which ended up coming around 1:30 pm. I was shaking profusely + uncontrollably this entire time – still not totally sure if it was the drugs, nerves, or all of the above – but I distinctly remember thinking that this could not be good for surgery purposes. I’ll spare the details of a C-section. 😉 But I will say, for anyone like me who had never been under a knife before – there may be no odder feeling than not feeling the *pain*, but feeling the *pressure* of a surgeon cutting you open. Especially when you hear the surgeon say, “We can put her uterus back” and you’re like “WAIT WHERE DID YOU PUT IT?!” Ha.

And there IS no GREATER feeling, than hearing the cry of your baby coming into the world for the first time.

In that moment, everything changed.

SO.

All that to say.

Our daughter was born on October 17th, 2018 at 2:34 pm.

Weighing 3 pounds, 0.6 ounces.

And we could. not. lovelovelove. her. more.

Part 2 coming tomorrow.

With what happened next + what’s happening now.

OH, and her name. 😉

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