My First Pregnancy
The Journey to Meeting the Love of My Life
I am sitting on my couch looking at this amazing being. She is 7-months-old. When did this happen? Why has time gone by so fast. Just seven months ago she was born. Just a year ago she was a tiny bump inside me. Just a year and a half ago, she was a thought. A beautiful thought. What would it be like to be pregnant? Would it be a boy or a girl? Would she look more like me or her father? Will she like The Muppets? Will he be named after my father?
There are so many questions you ask yourself when you are thinking about becoming a parent. First and foremost is "Can I do this?" It seems so easy. Yes. I can do this. I will carry a baby and then poof, I will be a mom. There are so many things that never come across your mind. And they honestly won't until you hear the words "you are pregnant."
It was May of 2017, I was experiencing sharp pains in my side. I pushed them off as period cramps. I mean, it was coming up soon anyway. Two weeks pass by and this pain begins to hurt worse and worse. I go to visit the doctor and I hear those words. "You're pregnant."
It was actually a pretty scary thought. I am pregnant. My fiancé and I had been trying. But, to hear those words. I was scared. I was also so happy. So very happy. I went home and told my fiancé. I practically wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
However fast forward to two weeks later and there was still a sharp pain in my side. Pregnancy wasn't supposed to hurt like this already, was it? Two days later, I took a trip to the ER. They told me it was one of two things. I either had a cyst on my ovary OR an ectopic pregnancy. I prayed, "Please let my baby be in the right place. PLEASE!" And then there she was. My little speck (what we called her at the time). She was safe right where she was supposed to be. And there was a cyst on my ovary. It would go away in time and there was nothing to worry about. I have never been so sure in my life that if I had lost her I would have been someone different in this moment.
Fast forward through morning nausea, I was lucky not to actually get sick. Through the growing pains. The smells that make you want to hit someone because they dared to bring it into the house. The craving of Pizza and Taco Bell.
One fateful ultrasound day we find out we are having a baby girl. Will she be a Claire or an Olivia? What color will her hair be? Why does her ultrasound look like she is driving a car? Thank you, Fiancé, for that image. All I can think is that she is beautiful, even as she hiccups while we are watching the picture. It is the cutest thing. "You will have my heart," I tell myself.
We land about four months into my pregnancy. I start experiencing a pain in my chest. It feels like something is stabbing me under my right rib. I go to the ER and they say it's acid reflux, but the baby is fine. I go there two more times throughout my pregnancy and each time (including an overnight visit) ends with the diagnosis of reflux. However, my baby was fine and that mattered the most to me. Now I will make another more in depth in the future, BUT—and I cannot say this enough—if you experience these pains make sure that you get a better diagnosis than I did. I went through the rest of my pregnancy and then two more months without knowing that I really had gallstones and they broke off and were in my pancreas, causing an acute pancreatitis that could have killed me and my daughter.
Then, one wonderful day—and I mean this both sarcastically and not—two weeks before my due date, I woke up at 5 AM with period-like cramps. I thought nothing of it until they continued for the next six hours. They were never consistent, just a tad painful until they were VERY painful. I was nearly convinced by three of my family and friends, two women and one man, that it was just Braxton Hicks contractions. There was one really painful contraction that had me telling my fiancé we were going to the hospital. They checked Olivia (my wonderful baby girl) to see if she was on her way and sure enough she was! They gave me an epidural. Which if you want it, I say get it. It has not affected my baby in any way. She is beautiful and wonderful. Why make something painful when we have the technology to take the pain away? Six more hours and I was holding the most beautiful baby. She was the cutest newborn I had ever seen and she was all mine. I got to take her home! I was overjoyed!
This has led to an even bigger journey. Motherhood. I am a mother now. A year and a half ago she was a thought. Now she is here. I can hold her and kiss her. I can hear her laugh. She truly is the love of my life and it all started with a thought. "Can I do this?"