When I first got the news that I was expecting my second child, I was surprised, to say the least. My husband and I were both uncertain of whether or not we wanted to add a second child to our family, at least for the time being. When I was pregnant with our first child, our precious daughter Ella Catherine, who was born in December 2008, I developed hypertension pretty severely. It took several months after she was born to get my blood pressure back under control, and I was frightened that if I got pregnant a second time that I would have similar complications. As a result of the hypertension, the only birth control option I was given after Ella was born was to have an IUD (IntraUterine Device) inserted, because it was hormone-free and most other birth control choices are not. The hormones in birth control could elevate my blood pressure even further, and we most certainly did not want that. So I did my research, and the IUD seemed like a great choice. There was a 99.4% success rate at pregnancy prevention and no other major side effects, so I made the appointment and that was that.
Now, flash forward to October 2011. After more than two and a half years of starting my monthly cycle on time, just like clockwork, I was late. I had been dieting and exercising for a few months prior to this, so I convinced myself that they were the culprit and went on about my business. Besides, how could I have possibly gotten pregnant with the IUD still inserted? So another week goes by, still no period. By this time I was starting to get a little concerned, so on my way home one day, I picked up a pregnancy test and headed home to get some answers. Now here I am, sitting, waiting, watching the hour glass flash on the test stick and then there it was, the word I was in no way prepared to see…PREGNANT! A million things went through my head at that very moment. How did this happen? Was the test accurate? Was I going to be healthy enough to endure a second pregnancy? How was my husband going to react? How was my daughter going to handle it? Man, was I a nervous wreck!
I gathered myself and pushed back my emotions enough to make the phone call to my OB/GYN's office to get an appointment to have the HcG test done and to alert them that I was pretty sure I was pregnant with an IUD still inserted. This was going to be a bigger deal than I ever realized, with lots of possible complications to come. The next day I went for the HcG test, and sure enough my levels were elevated and I was pregnant. Now came all the news I didn't expect. Because of the IUD, there were several outcomes besides a normal pregnancy that I needed to be prepared to face. The first scenario they prepared me for was that the pregnancy had a great chance of being ectopic. If it wasn't ectopic, the embryo could have implanted in the wrong place in my uterus and the pregnancy would have to be terminated. Then, if I got past the first two scenarios and it appeared that I was going to have a seemingly normal pregnancy, they would have to go in and remove the IUD which put me at great risk for a miscarriage because of the disruption it would cause to my uterus while removing the device. Needless to say I was terrified. At this point, it seemed like all the odds were against me and this new little life forming inside of me, and all I could do was pray and hope for the best in the weeks to come.
A couple of weeks go by and I was finally far enough along to have an ultrasound to see if the pregnancy was ectopic or not, and if the embryo was attached in the correct spot. So there I lay, a big ball of nerves, waiting to find out if everything was okay. The ultrasound tech squirts that nasty gel on my belly, touches the machine to me and there it was…the most beautiful sight, a tiny little heart just beating away! I was so relieved! I had jumped over two hurdles and was so thankful that everything seemed to be okay, but now I had to have the IUD removed. They went ahead and performed the removal on me that same day and suggested I take it easy for a few days until it seemed as though I was going to remain pregnant. Those were the longest four or five days of my life. But I made it through them, no problems, no bleeding, no miscarriage! 🙂 I had done it! I had made it through what, in the beginning, seemed so impossible and I was officially going to have a second child. He or she was expected to be here June 19, 2012.
I'm sure you are all wondering how everyone else reacted to the news once we shared it with our friends and family. Everyone was thrilled, most importantly my husband and daughter. Even though we were so uncertain that we wanted a second child, it now seemed like a choice that we couldn't imagine living without. My pregnancy went off without a hitch, no sickness and thankfully no complications from my hypertension.
Now here we are, June 7th, days away from my scheduled induction. The day started off normal. I had a routine exam at my OB/GYN, didn't seem to be showing any signs of labor, so they sent me home and said everything was still a go for induction that following Tuesday, when I was going to be 39 weeks. Because of my blood pressure, they didn't want to let me go any further and risk it rising and developing toxemia/pre-eclampsia. So I went home, I was there spending the day with my daughter, my best friend and her two daughters when I went to use the restroom and noticed some blood. I called in to my OB/GYN to make them aware and they told me not to worry, it was probably just from the exam I had earlier that morning, but that if after a couple of hours the bleeding hadn't stopped, I probably needed to go on in to the hospital and be checked out again. My daughter had her very first cheerleading practice scheduled for that evening and I didn't want her to miss out on that, so I decided that if after the practice I was still bleeding, then I would go on to the hospital. And sure enough, practice ended, and I was still bleeding. At this point I was beginning to get a little stressed because my husband works out of town and was still currently four hours away on location. So I call a babysitter, have her come stay with my daughter and my best friend and I head to the ER. Long story short, they check me, decide to admit me and there we are, just waiting on some answers. Well, after nine months of my blood pressure staying controlled, it was really elevated once I got to the hospital that night because of the labor. After monitoring me for a couple of hours, the on-call OB doctor decided that since my pressure was still high, he was going to go ahead and break my water and get this ball rolling. Everything was happening so fast and I was a nervous wreck! I make the frantic call to my husband to get in the truck and high-tail it to the hospital because my water was broken and I was progressing quickly.
So while my husband was making the trip home, my best friend and I were hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, which was that the baby would be born before my husband could make it home, in which case, she was my fill-in hubby for the labor and delivery. And boy was it a close call! Over the next three and a half hours, I became fully dilated and started pushing. My husband walked into the delivery room at 2:46 am and our precious baby boy, Tucker Ian Smith, entered the world at 3:04 am, weighing 8
pounds 15 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. He was beautiful and 100 % healthy.
Nine months earlier, we weren't even sure we wanted to try for a second child and now here we were with this little miracle and we couldn't possibly imagine our lives without him now. He truly is a gift from God and I will always be grateful for all the protection God placed on my pregnancy. So much could have gone wrong, but it didn't. God is good!