As I was moving into the third trimester of pregnancy, I learned that I had gestational diabetes. With the challenge of such a restrictive diet, I found myself feeling so frustrated. The last few weeks of pregnancy were hard. I haven’t even mentioned that fact that I also had to give myself daily blood thinner injections for my entire pregnancy because of the blood clot I got after having Sweet Girl. And by the way, those injections increased to twice a day at 36 weeks. Awesome. So when I was already feeling emotional and miserable about my difficult diet, and the fact that I had to prick my finger 4 times a day, I got to add an additional shot into the mix. I’m sure I was a joy to live with at this point.
The light at the end of the tunnel was knowing that I only had three weeks to go. My C-Section had already been scheduled for 39 weeks, another annoying issue for me. Despite getting on the schedule as soon as possible, I got stuck with a terrible C-Section time – it was at 1:45pm, meaning that I would have to fast all day, and so close to Christmas that I would be stuck in the hospital on Christmas day. Oh, and it was not even with my doctor. I’m going to be honest about this – I complained about it to anyone that would listen. My doctors agreed that it was bad luck, and got me on a waiting list for after Christmas. Week after week went by, though, and I could never get moved. I finally accepted the fact that I would spend Christmas in the hospital and reminded myself that the most important thing was a healthy baby.
So, I planned to focus my final week of pregnancy preparing for the baby at home and to be out of work for several weeks. Most people would have probably been a lot more prepared by this point, but I am a horrible procrastinator, and I had convinced myself that going into labor was not an option. (Spoiler alert: as I learned with my daughter, my plans mean absolutely nothing.)
A week before my planned C-section, I fell asleep on the couch like I usually did during pregnancy. My husband woke me up around midnight to move to bed, and I went into Sweet Girl’s room to check on her and cover her up. And my water broke. At least I thought that’s what happened. I got cleaned up and told my husband that I thought my water had broken. It wasn’t the dramatic event that the movies often show, so I really wasn’t sure. I called my OB’s on-call number and was thrilled to find that my doctor was on call. I told her what happened and she told me to wait and see if it happened again. If it didn’t it was probably nothing. If it did, then I should come in and have a baby. (Insert husband’s slight panic)
Here’s the problem with having the baby early: our immediate family all lives several hours away, and we have no child-care for Sweet Girl in the middle of the night. I spent the next two hours trying to decide if my water had in fact broken, and trying to figure out who could come to watch Sweet Girl if it had. My husband spent the first half of this two hour period staring at me like I was going to explode at any minute. For the second hour, he apparently decided I was not going to spontaneously combust and laid next to me snoring. He’s quite defensive about this, saying that he knew he wouldn’t be getting much sleep for the next few days or weeks, so it made sense for him to get it while he could. I assure him that I have no problem with the fact that he went to sleep. It was much better than the jumpy “WHAT!? WHAT HAPPENED!? WHAT SHOULD I DO!?” every time I moved or made noise. But I digress…
By 2am I was sure enough that my water had broken that I decided to call and get some help. Thankfully, I have an Aunt and Uncle about an hour away who were so awesome to drive to my house in the middle of the night. So off we went to the hospital. I expected an unplanned C-Section to be chaotic and rushed. I had this image in my head of people running around frantically to find an open OR, but it was quite the opposite. I think my first C-Section, which was completely planned, was actually more hectic. With the planned procedure, everything was on a tight schedule, and there was an endless stream of people coming into the room to complete their perfectly timed task. Interruptions to that schedule (which, of course, happened with Sweet Girl) were obviously problematic as we had a specific time slot reserved in the OR.
This time was so different. Every person that came into the room was totally relaxed, they performed whatever test was needed, and then patiently waited to hear what was next, often stopping to chat and help us feel at ease. We finally got the green light to go into surgery around 6:30am. The surgery went smoothly, and Handsome Man arrived shortly before 7:00. After all of my complaining and worrying about my afternoon time slot, with not-my-doctor, that would land me in the hospital on Christmas, I ended up with a morning delivery, with my doctor, and was home before Christmas. Handsome Man had much better plans than everyone else!
And now the really good news – the gestational diabetes diet was tough, and I whined a lot. Really. A lot. But it was so worth it. Handsome Man was born just over seven pounds – almost two pounds less than his sister – which was the first good sign. Next, I was very anxious to get his blood sugar checked. Although the first reading was slightly low, it quickly stabilized and never caused him any problems. Lastly, I worried about jaundice and having to put him under those blasted phototherapy lights, but more good news! He had only very slightly elevated bilirubin levels and never needed any kind of medical treatment. I was (and still am) elated.
I’m sure every parent can relate when I say that the most important thing was to have a happy, healthy baby. Throughout the pregnancy when knee pain, or bruises from blood thinner shots, or being deprived of yummy food got me down, I had to remind myself of this. In the end, I look into the precious face of my sweet little boy and have no doubt that it was all worth it. We are so blessed to have not one, but two healthy, amazing children, and I would do it all over again for either of them!