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Our little miracle: The birth of Zoe

Written by: Elizabeth June 24 2012 We found out we were pregnant on my mother's birthday, August 12th. After two years of going to an infertility doctor and trying to conceive on our own, we were finally pregnant for the second time. Though thrilled to be expecting, we couldn’t help but think back on the...

Written by: Elizabeth

We found out we were pregnant on my mother's birthday, August 12th. After two years of going to an infertility doctor and trying to conceive on our own, we were finally pregnant for the second time. Though thrilled to be expecting, we couldn’t help but think back on the rough road it took to get us here. In June, we had found out we were pregnant for the first time after countless rounds of fertility shots, metformin, clomid, and even an ultrasound to flush my fallopian tubes. We were excited but my progesterone levels never rose high enough for a viable pregnancy and that pregnancy ended in July. So, we were very surprised to be pregnant in August because that month, the only medicine we could take was metformin due to an imbalance in hormone levels. I just had that feeling that something wasn’t quite right that month. It wasn't normal for me to skip a period because I was also on medicine to control that. My husband, Matt, talked me into getting a test to check just so we would know. So we went to the store, bought a test and sat in anticipation for the results. I gave the test to my husband Matt, because I was too scared to look. I would be upset to see a negative test for the millionth time but I knew I would also be scared to see a positive result. I didn't even believe him when he said, “It’s positive.” I had always thought I would tell him in some cute way that we were pregnant, but that didn’t happen. We were so ecstatic but obviously cautious, because we had been in this very position before and knew the process. We had to wait all weekend to see the fertility doctor to see if we were indeed pregnant.

On Monday, I think we were at the doctor as soon as she opened. The doctor did an ultrasound and we were five weeks pregnant and far enough along to hear the heartbeat. Hearing my baby’s heartbeat was the best thing in the world and made me feel so relieved. But to damper our excitement, we found out that my ovaries weren't producing any progesterone. We were told for the next three months that we would be taking shots to give myself progesterone until my placenta took over. In the back of my mind for three months, I was afraid to love the little baby growing inside me. I just knew that I would wake up one day and it would be another miscarriage. I kept feeling like I was doing something wrong to cause all of these problems, but my doctor kept telling me that it wasn't my fault. I even told my husband that if this pregnancy didn't work than I was done. I didn't know how much more I could deal with. As we neared the three-month mark I started feeling better and getting excited about what my little baby might be.

When we went in for our three month checkup we found out that due to a reading on our second trimester screening that we would have an ultrasound every time until we had our baby. I kept thinking, “What else is going to go wrong?” but thankfully, the second trimester was perfect. Matt and I were so excited that everything was going so well and we found out the day before Thanksgiving that we were having a baby girl. The first thing Matt said was, “I’m going to need a shotgun,” and I was elated to have a little girl that I could take shopping for pretty dresses. We were finally feeling good about our pregnancy until we entered the third trimester.

We hit another obstacle at 32 weeks pregnant. Our little girl was growing too fast and I hadn’t passed my glucose screening test during my 24th week of pregnancy. So, we were sent to a high- risk doctor to learn more about gestational diabetes. There, I was put on a strict diet and learned how to take my levels before a meal. I also learned that due to my infertility problems, I have a high risk of being a type II diabetic. This news lead to more worrying and fears that I could have done something to keep this from happening. After a few weeks, my doctor finally decided that she would induce me, though she said she didn't like to induce anyone before 39 weeks.
The scheduled arrival of our daughter Zoe Katherine wasn't at all what we had planned or expected. We were scheduled to be there at midnight to start the Pitocin and the antibiotics needed for Strep B (I tested positive.) I was highly nervous about going in at midnight. To keep my mind off the anticipation, I cleaned the house for company, washed baby clothes, finished grocery shopping and packed the last bit of our toiletries. The closer the time came, the more anxious I became. I rocked in Zoe's room and walked the floors, and finally at 11 p.m., it was time to take the ride to the hospital.

It was finally midnight and I was ready to see my little girl for the first time, but once the process started, I got hit by a good slow dose of reality because it would take lots of pain and many hours before we would get to meet her.

When we arrived I was only 2 cm dialated and 80 percent effaced, so even after hours of Pitocin, I wasn't dilated any further. At 9 a.m., the doctor came in and broke my water. It felt like the ocean opened up, and I just knew little Zoe was going to slip out. I wish I would have gotten my epidural for this because it was not very pleasant.

When the time came for the epidural, I was very lucky to have my husband there to help me and to hold my hands. Getting an epidural between contractions is difficult. After my epidural was put in, we learned that my pump wasn't working, so after a few hours of waiting on the anesthesiologist to come fix it and after feeling every contraction, my doctor came to check how far along I was and sure enough, I was 10 centimeters and she said it was time to start pushing. I freaked out because my husband had gone downstairs with his mother and sister to get breakfast. I was so scared that he would miss everything and I would be alone. I called him on his cell phone and told him to hurry up that it was time. Within two minutes he was upstairs and trying to suck down his starbucks coffee. It was time to push and I asked if she knew if I looked like I would tear. I was told the doctor would determine that when she came in to the room. When the doctor finally made it, there wasn't time to examine, because Zoe was already on her way out. She came out so fast that the doctor almost dropped her.

Our daughter was born at 2 p.m. on April 20th. So after 14 and a half hours of labor, we were finally able to meet our daughter. She was beautiful and perfect. It’s like time stood still and we were the only ones in the room. As he cut the cord, and they laid her on my belly, I was instantly in love with her. She was so content lying on my belly and getting lots of loving from Matt and I. Then in a split second, I was hit with one of my greatest fears since I learned I was pregnant. I had a level 2 tear, and the walls of my uterus kept tearing and wouldn't hold the stitches. After an hour of sewing the stitches, the nurse let me breastfeed my daughter. Zoe had the best latch for the first time and was eating well. Then, I started getting dizzy. I told the nurse I wasn’t feeling so good. She took my blood pressure and it was 45/26 and she called a rapid res
ponse. My husband says that I was turning white to blue when everyone ran into the room to take care of what was going on. I had lost so much blood during the delivery that my blood pressure wouldn't raise. The only thing I can remember is hearing my husband yelling that he was O positive and that he could give me blood. My husband was a nervous wreck and was crying. (I’ve only seen my husband cry one time the whole time we have been together.) He later told me he was afraid he was going to lose his wife and best friend. I was kept in recovery for a few hours to keep an eye on my blood pressure. Then by 7 p.m., I was taken to the baby unit to spoil my little girl, see family, and start our recovery.

My daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is my little miracle baby and through all the obstacles and challenges it has made us love her more and appreciate life. That is why we named her Zoe Katherine, because her name means pure life. Matt and I love every minute and second of each day that we get to share with her. I wouldn't change one moment in my life that brought us to this very spot. I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my little Zoe Bear.

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