Have you been perusing our website and noticed our Antepartum Support Package? Our guest blogger, Melissa Beck, paints a great picture as to how we can help even before baby arrives!
“When Kevin and I got married we knew we wanted kids. A couple of months after we were married we found out we were expecting and to our great shock at our first ultrasound there were not one, but two tiny babies in there! I had a dream pregnancy; maybe 3 days of morning sickness, but otherwise I felt pretty good. I worked about 20 hours a week and had no issues at all!
Then, came the morning of April 6, I woke up, ate, laid on the couch with my husband and around noon I went to take a nap. I woke 4 hours later to what I can only describe as period cramps. Nothing crazy painful, but they were consistent. I talked to my mom and she told me to call the doctor, which I did after about an hour of cramping. These cramps were about 5 minutes apart and lasting for a minute. The doctor told me to take some ibuprofen and lay down and if they didn’t stop in an hour to go in to be checked out. An hour and a half went by and I decided something wasn’t right. I went in and found out I was dilated to almost 7 cm, I was only 27 weeks 6 days pregnant!
They put me on magnesium to try to stop the contractions and gave me a steroid shot for the babies’ lungs. About an hour later they checked me again and had progressed to 8 cm. These babies were coming, a NICU transport team was called and they arrived a couple of hours later. I was wheeled to the operating room and was able to vaginally deliver my sweet little Ellie, weighing in at 3lbs 3 oz. and Jack who weighed 2lbs 10 oz. It was a long road in the NICU, but 3 months later we had both babies home with us!
When the twins were about a year old I started feeling like wanted another baby. Towards the end of July I found out I was pregnant and we were so excited. 9 weeks rolls around and I get in to see the doctor, the ultrasound showed an empty sac. We had lost the baby before it had even really begun to grow, my body just didn’t get the memo. Fast forward to October, I found out I was expecting again, this time I was a little more apprehensive having already lost one baby. 8 weeks comes and we go in to see the doctor, there was a baby, but it was measuring a little behind and had a week heartbeat. Our doctor told us to not give up hope quite yet and to come in the next week, we did and the baby was gone. Two miscarriages is not unheard of, and I had a relatively normal pregnancy with the twins so we had no real reason to suspect anything was wrong with me.
In February, I found out I was pregnant again and was a huge ball of nerves, my doctor wanted to see me at 6 weeks this time. We went in and could see a sac, but the baby was still too small. She asked me if I’d be willing to have a blood test done to check for a genetic mutation that could be affecting my ability to stay pregnant and I agreed. I got blood drawn and went home to wait for my next appointment. I got a call from the doctor reporting that I tested positive for a genetic mutation called Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase or MTHFR. Many women suffering from MTHFR have a clotting problem which clogs a placenta and doesn’t allow a baby to grow.
I was put on Lovenox a daily blood thinner injection and monitored closely in my first trimester. I had talked a lot with my doctor about my concerns with preterm labor again and we came to the conclusion (since my previous doctor with the twins didn’t give me any explanation) that the twins coming early may have just been because they were twins. We had no other reason to suspect I would have an issue. My cervix was nice and long and I didn’t have any other signs that would indicate it would be an issue.
At 26 weeks pregnant with this baby I starting have lower back aches and cramping; nothing consistent, but because of my experience with the twins I called my doctor. I drank lots of water and laid down the rest of the day until I got a call that evening asking me to please go in Monday to be seen. The rest of the weekend I had cramps on and off. Monday when I went to the doctor, baby was doing great! My blood pressure was great, nothing in my urine. They did a vaginal ultrasound to measure my cervix and it had shortened. I was still having mild cramps so they decided to hook me up the monitor and see what my uterus was doing. The monitor showed a small contraction every three minutes. Bed rest was ordered for the remainder of my pregnancy and I got put on Nifedipine every 6 hours to help keep my uterus calm, terbutaline as needed for strong contractions that wouldn’t go away and weekly shots of progesterone.
Now, bed rest with 2 year old twins, one who has mild cerebral palsy and can’t walk yet, is rough to say the least. Thankfully, my husband is self-employed and has a very flexible schedule, but is also currently helping on the family farm every morning. So my mom and Kevin’s mom take turns coming in the mornings to get my kids out of bed and fed all while I sit helplessly on the couch. Then my husband comes home, does a little work in between entertaining our kids makes lunch and friends and families usually bring in dinner. We’ve been so blessed with all the help it’s made the first week and transition for my kids a lot easier.
One thing I do wish though is that I had people who would just come and visit with me. Which is silly because now I always have someone with me, but sometimes I crave having a friend come over to chat or even eat junk food with. Only 3 months to go before our October 31 due date. If the first week and half is any indication of how the next months will go we will get through it easy, just wish there was a fast forward button.” -Melissa Beck
For those pregnancies that don’t go exactly as planned there are always ways to reach out! Family and friends are great resources, but what if they have hectic work schedules or they live out of town? Enter your Antepartum Doula! The doulas here at Green Bay Doulas can make life just a bit more comfortable as you patiently (or as patiently as possible) wait for your little one to arrive! Please take a look at our variety of doula support packages at www.greenbaydoulas.com