I never thought I’d look down at my over-sized round belly with so much love. But looking around this hospital room, a hospital room I’ve called home for a good 18 days and counting, looking down at my big belly is the only thing keeping me grounded.
Pregnancy is hard. Like really hard. But most people don’t tell you that. You expect the birth to be hard, and even the first year, but the 40 weeks that you spend actually making a tiny human – no one tells you just how hard those weeks actually are.
As a first-time mom-to-be you get a lot of ooohs and aaahs when people realize you’re expecting. They tell you how beautiful you look, how much you’re glowing (but you know you’re just sweaty), and how amazing it is that you’re having a little one. You get a lot of questions about your plans, as if you’ve got a clue, like what will you name them, do you have a birth plan in place, will you go back to work, etc. Lots of questions. Questions you can’t even wrap your mind around because A. you have no idea what to expect, much less what to plan for, and B. if your pregnancy is anything like mine you’ve just managed to pull yourself away from the toilet just long enough to even participate in human conversation.
For me, I waited to have a baby until I got to where I wanted to be career-wise, and while the pregnancy wasn’t exactly planned, finding myself pregnant at 30 was a happy accident. I’ll do my best to leave out anything too gross in terms of my birth story and the many other stories I plan to share, but it’s definitely not without a few bumps, bruises, and lots of mood swings.
When I was first admitted to the hospital I had no idea I’d be staying here until my little one was born. I was just over 33 weeks along, it was the day after our baby shower, and as we headed back home I had a terrible headache that wouldn’t quit. Fast forward to the ER and I had a BP that was through the roof and enough protein in my urine for the doctors to warn us that we may be meeting our little bundle of joy the very next day. Ensue panic.
Luckily my numbers stabilized and after several varying opinions and a lot of back and forth between the docs at the hospital, it was decided they would induce labor once I reached 37 weeks, as long as I remained stable.
At first, the thought of spending a month stuck in a hospital room and on modified bed rest felt like a nightmare. After all, we had just had our baby shower and I was looking forward to some extreme nesting over the next weeks. I complained, I moaned and whined, but still, here I stayed. To be honest, I was a total brat about the whole thing. I didn’t realize the importance of letting baby stay in as long as possible or the importance of 24 hour monitoring to make sure her environment remained safe.
It wasn’t until a few nights ago that I was a little dehydrated and went into a false labor that I realized just how important all this really was. As I experienced pretty intense cramps and started to freak out because, well, I wasn’t ready for it, it turned out baby wasn’t ready either. My little one was freaking out as much as I was. Although she been pretty comfortably low for quite a few weeks, she was now lodged firmly under my sternum and her heart rate was super elevated. It seemed neither of us could calm down, luckily we were here, in the hospital, and the nurses quickly inserted an IV and the cramps subsided.
After that, it was pretty clear that this was the right place to be and time was exactly what my little one needed, what we both needed.