The Ups and Downs of Pregnancy

I have three kids, which means I’ve been pregnant at least three times (doesn’t take much math for that one). One would think three times makes you an expert. However I am here to say that each pregnancy is unique and different, no two are alike. Sometimes when you think you have prepared for everything life throws you a whopping curve ball.

My first son, born August 3, 1997 was a case book pregnancy. I craved ice cream and french fries and he had the hiccups every day. I loved the hiccups because it let me know he was still there maturing in my growing belly. Despite my own anxiousness to bring him into the world he decided he wanted to hold on just a little longer and finally arrived almost a week and a half late. Just for the record walking when you are not in labor does absolutely nothing but work out your legs, especially if you live in hilly Virginia and walk up and down the large hill in your neighborhood thinking labor will start any minute.

While the pregnancy was text book right down to the labor, his birth was anything but. After a half eaten breakfast I went into labor around 12pm on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. My contractions started out immediately 3-5 minutes apart and within the next hour and a half we found ourselves lounging (laboring is a much better term) in a hospital bed. After the epidural was administered (another post for another time) and my vitals were checked, the nurse found an unusual thing. Buddy was positioned in what they call a face. He was trying to come out forehead first.

Within seconds a form was shoved in front of me to give consent for a c-section. I was whisked down the hospital hallway in true E.R. fashion. I was told I would be under for a short period of time but that everything would be fine. I had no time to even call my mother to let her know her first grandson was about to arrive into the world.

Thankfully things seemed to calm down when we entered the operating room and I was able to stay awake with my husband by my side. At 3:34pm my 8 lb 8  and 1/2 ounce baby boy came wailing into the world. He was healthy and the tension in the room was swept away with emotions of love and gratitude for the doctors and nurses that had quickly assessed the situation and took action.

My proceeding two pregnancies and labor had similar twist and turns. From gestational diabetes diagnosed in my last two months with my youngest son to a condition I for the life of me cannot remember with my daughter that required monthly ultra sounds. My second son was planned as a v-bac and like my first he had his own ideas regarding his birth. His head was just too big and thankfully this was discovered before any hard labor took place. Therefore, he was also delivered via c-section. My daughter followed in her brother’s footsteps with the choice removed from us because of the previous forms of birth.

Pregnancy, labor, and birth is all that you expect and everything that you do not. The ups and downs are part of each unique birth story. Embrace yours and share them with us. Everyone loves a good labor story, well usually us women do.

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.

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