I think the most common feeling related to pregnancy for most women is worry. When we are intent on becoming pregnant we worry if it will happen. Once we are pregnant we worry about things like will my child be healthy? And in my case, I worried about if I would carry my baby to full term.
I had a difficult pregnancy, early on I experienced pain as my muscles stretched, the year prior to my pregnancy I’d had a myomectomy (the removal of fibroid tumors) and the scar tissue was uncomfortable as my baby grew. And around week 24 I experienced something that I will never forget, while at work I began pre-term labor. I was the top administrator in a public health position and many of my staff members were medical professionals. When I was talking to a former perinatal nurse, I experienced what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions – perfectly normal. But, the contractions affected my ability to walk and everyone who saw me expressed concern. I was content to pass it off as Braxton Hicks and continue my workday but a friend stopped by my office and told me to immediately call my doctor because she suspected I was in pre-term labor. I immediately burst into tears – not professional but I could not keep it together.
I drove myself directly to the hospital and I was indeed having contractions. After being given terbutaline to stop the contractions I was discharged, told to drink lots of water and take it easy. When I followed up with my doctor I was put on modified bed rest and advised to stop working. We were trying to keep my baby in my womb until at least 26 weeks. And the waiting game began.
Worry. I was almost overcome with it. Especially since against doctors orders I continued to work. Yes, I worked but working from home was the only option to ensure I qualified for my full maternity leave. Subsequently, I ended up visiting the hospital an additional four times before my son was born. In hindsight, if I had to do it all over again, I’d probably do the same thing. As a very career minded woman with a high profile position, it was important for me to keep working.
The difference now is as a mother, I personally would never take on that type of position again. Both my health and the health of my child is more important to me than any job will ever be. My experience during pregnancy convinced me that working for myself was the best option for me. Over the past 3 and a half years, I have been able to successfully build a business that keeps me both busy and extraordinarily happy while I raise my four year old.
Even though I worried during my pregnancy (with good reason), my son was born at 38 weeks perfectly healthy in every way. Although worry is a natural inclination during pregnancy, my belief that everything would be alright carried me through, and prayer helped too!
Becoming pregnant changed my life, and I’d love to hear more about your best or most difficult pregnancy moments. By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs September 19 to October 16, 2011. A random winner will be announced by October 18, 2011.