Meet an old friend of mine, Jessica Harris! We actually went to high school together and we’ve both become moms together within the same 6 months. We’ve kept up via Facebook and she is seriously the most amazing mom.
I love her birth story because she was such a wonderful advocate for both herself and her sweet little girl, Abigail. She is absolutely adorable.
Abigail’s Birth Story…
I am ready. I am born for this.
I have always been surrounded by children. I was in the industry for over 5 years. A lot of the “surprises” new mothers/ mothers-to-be have were known for me. I found out I was pregnant with my first child on a vacation to Vegas, NV. I already knew. It was an itching feeling in the back of my head. Once I got home I did the mental checklist of things I needed for my new baby to have the best start possible. Vitamins, the best food, music.. the list goes on. If I was to be a mom, I was going to be the best mom possible.
Neal and I waited over 3.5 months to tell friends and family. Working in the industry I knew that sometimes things don’t go as you plan, and protecting my friends and family from a roller coaster of emotion was the main priority for me. We received an overwhelming amount of support after our secret was leaked.
I’ve always had high blood pressure. My dad’s side of the family struggles with that and high cholesterol. So, with any pregnancy that is “at risk” I was monitored twice a week from 20 weeks until delivery (three times if I had a checkup that week). Knowing that I have always suffered from high blood pressure, and medicine does nothing to help it, I fought with my doctors and nurses to keep me off any medicine. I won that battle.
Around 30 weeks at one of my appointments, while being monitored, they noticed I was having contractions. Every 5 minutes in fact. YIKES. I was pumped full of medicine to stop the contractions. I was 1 cm dilated. Then, bed rest for a week. Not my idea of fun, I am a very busy person. I was already done with work, as the stress I could tell, was keeping me from eating, sleeping, and maintaining the schedule I wanted. I followed the doctor’s orders, and kept my feet up.
After that, things moved faster than I can even remember now. We did birthing classes, parenting classes, visited baby gyms, and got the little girl’s room ready. I felt ready. I was 37 weeks and 6 days on a routine appointment. I hated my doctor by this time, but figured my hormones were to blame. I went into the appointment angry, upset, and not ready to hear what he had to say. He said since my blood pressure was just getting higher, the baby looked developed enough, it was time to think about inducing labor. GRRRRR… I knew how much brain development occurs within the last two weeks. I went 37 weeks and 6 days, I was determined to complete my pregnancy. I left the office in tears.
The next day I had an appointment to monitor my blood pressure. I almost rescheduled to Monday (I woke up late, from a night of tears and frustration from my doctor appointment). While being monitored, if you aren’t within a certain range you have to stay until it goes down. Still being flustered from the night before, my blood pressure stayed high. Neal usually attended these appointments with me, but I figured he could sleep in (our days were numbered). I texted him saying I would be there for a while. I sat back relaxed. I ate some crackers and drank ice water.
My nurse had put a call into my doctor filling him in on the status of my blood pressure. An ultrasound tech came in to look at the baby. He didn’t say one word to me. My nurse came over and told me that I was going to be having my daughter today. I went to immediate rage. I felt that I was being set up. I walked into a new room. I ‘ve got to send a text to Neal… and my phone dies. Ahhh. I thought I was being induced. I knew I had awhile. I didn’t want everyone sitting for hours; it would just stress me out even more. A new nurse comes in at 1:55pm and says, “Ok, great. So you will be seeing your baby in about one hour. C-sections are quick”. Umm what? I was being admitted for an emergency c-section due to low fetal movement and fluid. Neal left work immediately, sending a mass text to everyone that Abigail was on her way. He came into the room to what appeared to be calm. They gave him papers to fill out, and I saw how bad he was shaking. If he was nervous, I knew I should be too! I started crying.
They got me up minutes after Neal arrived, and I ran into my mom in the hall. I lost it. I cried and cried. I was terrified. They told Neal to wait in the hall. I was given a spinal epidural. Neal was brought in, and Abigail Elizabeth Rose was born at 3:39pm.
I never had that moment of connection with my daughter that natural births seem to have. I was shaking from medicine, and blood loss. I have a very clear memory of Neal saying, “It’s a girl. She is perfect.” That was enough for me. The first time I saw her wasn’t what I imagined. I couldn’t hold her since I was still being operated on. About 35 mins later, I was sitting up skin to skin with my daughter. That was a moment of pure bliss. Two hours of just Neal, Abigail, and me, the mom.
I always heard people saying that their children changed their lives, but it always seemed negative. I can proudly and positively say that Abigail has changed my life. She has showed me how lucky I am to have such a patient, kind, gentle, and understanding man by my side. She has also put a wonderful perspective in my heart. I see beauty because of her.