My First Pregnancy was No Big Deal. Until…

by HEATHER MANN, Dollar Store Crafts

Million Moms Blogger

During my first pregnancy, everything went great until six weeks before my due date, when I found out I had a freak pregnancy condition that was attacking my liver. It wasn’t a big deal except it increased the chance that my pregnancy would end in stillbirth. You see, the baby depends on the mother’s liver to cleanse its blood while in utero, so if mama’s liver isn’t working, the baby suffers.

One day, I was happily experiencing the joys (and agonies) of pregnancy, and the next day I found out I might become a mother six weeks earlier than I planned. When you know your world is officially going to turn upside-down when the baby’s born, losing your last month of prep time is quite a shock.

After my condition was diagnosed, the doctor monitored the baby closely, and when the baby reached 36 weeks, the decision was made to induce early labor. Anyone who has had labor induced knows that it can turn into “the worst moment” in your pregnancy! Being pumped full of artificial hormones to force your body to give birth is quite traumatic.

But the worst moments of my pregnancy were when I was close to giving birth. I was in the “pushing” stage. There was a monitor attached to my son’s scalp so they could make sure his heart kept beating during the labor process. As I would push, his heartbeat would stop. As soon as the doctor noticed that the baby’s heart kept stopping, she told me that they had no other recommendation but to rush me to surgery and give me a c-section. The umbilical cord was wrapped around my son’s neck.

The very process of giving life to my son was taking his life away. As I pushed him out into the world, he was being strangled.

In a dramatic scene worthy of E.R., I was rushed into the operating room, attended by a dozen doctors and nurses. Remember, I was in labor already, so my body was trying to give birth to the baby as I was trying to stay still and get prepped for surgery.

Thankfully, through the miracle of modern medicine and technology, the baby was safely delivered. He was healthy, I was healthy, and though the birth process was traumatic, it was safe and successful.

Many times during the days when I was in the hospital, I marveled at the miracle of technology. How amazing that doctors can monitor babies heartbeats, their development and readiness for birth. The incredible level of care I received all throughout my pregnancy allowed the doctor to discover a problem that could have led to the stillbirth of my baby. Once I was in labor, the heart rate monitor told us when the baby was being strangled in his own umbilical cord, and because of technology, an alternate method of delivery was possible. The miracle of a c-section surgery allowed both mother and child to live through the birth process.

We are so blessed to have all the medical resources we have here in the United States. I am so thankful that I can still look back on my pregnancy and think, “it was no big deal!”

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. Contest and prize details here.

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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.

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