I am strong because at 28 weeks I kept going into preterm labor, but managed to keep my baby in until 38 weeks. I am strong because I wanted a completely natural delivery without medications or any intervention from doctors, nurses, etc. (especially a C-section)! I am strong because I went into labor on September 14, 2007 and my doctor didn’t want to come in because he had been drinking and was at a bar mitzvah. I received medicines to slow and stop the contractions and medicine to make me sleep until 8am the next morning. I am strong because at 7am, I got up, put my make up on, and was ready to deliver my son as an 82nd birthday present to my Omi. I am strong because I endured two days of contractions, with a restful, “contraction free” night in between with absolutely no pain medication, no epidural, or spinal or any other meds, and managed to keep my pain levels around a 4 during contractions as long as everyone around me ignored the contraction and continued our conversation while I calmly breathed through it.
I am strong because while being checked and found to be at 7 cm, my son, Jacy Austin, decided to stick his hand out of my cervix and play with the nurses fingers (he’s been a goober ever since)! I am strong because that L&D nurse lost her cool, turned pale, and ran out of our room with our sons heart monitors alarm screaming and no explanation we stayed calm because we knew it was best for our baby.
I am strong because when the doctor finally came in (after not wanting to the night before because of a party), I kept my cool and let him push my son’s arm back up into my uterus. I am strong because after several more hours of labor, pain still more than under control at a 4 with no medications, we found out he wasn’t descending because his arm was on top of his head preventing him from passing through the birth canal and he was in grave danger with more and more heart decelerations.
I am strong because, after watching my birthmother deliver my baby sister at home and having my only dream being to deliver all naturally shattered by all the crazy unplanned things happening (which for a woman with Obsessive compulsive Disorder and ADHD planning and sticking to that plan is everything). I had to stop and realize that a c-section was the best and safest way I was told he could be born. I am strong because when they prepped me for my c section, my epidural medication went to my brain instead of down to numb the belly and lower extremities and I started losing consciousness. I bounced back after several shots of epinephrine and was immediately taken to the OR.
I am strong because my doctor insisted, even after the epidural going up, that I would be numb and kept poking my toes and legs with needles to test for numbness and I told him exactly where he stabbed me precisely each time. I am strong because even after me telling him I felt every sharp needle poke he decided to make the first cut into my abdomen… And I felt the scalpel slice my very pregnant belly from left to right several times before he actually listened to me when I told him it was pain not pressure I was feeling (and I knew for sure because I have been awake for two major surgeries before so I knew the difference!).
I am strong because the anesthesiologist told me, “I’m sorry we are going to have to put you under general, you will sleep through everything. Your husband can’t be here by your side or see the baby until he is in the nursery.” I was then not strong and cried as they administered the medications and I fell asleep. Our 7lb 5.9oz 21.5in baby boy was born on 9/15 @10:16pm and My husband got four amazing bonding hours with him before I even got to see him.
I am strong because I had told the nurses he was strictly to be breast fed and at 2am they took me to my room and handed me my son for the first time. We are strong because he latched on perfectly and ate and slept like a champ! Even the lactation consultant was amazed at how well we were doing. But there was a problem… My milk wouldn’t come in! She knew I didn’t want to do bottles, so we taped a tube to my breast and poured pumped colostrum and milk supplement in while he breast fed for the first two weeks until my milk finally came in. We were strong, and we were weak at times, but our family of three came out of that hospital having learned so much more. That helped us prepare for baby number two and three.
After our son, Jacy turned 5 months old, I was working out at the gym with my work out buff husband daily and eating well to try and lose the baby weight. After gaining 14lbs in one week we kind of figured something was wrong. Then I got very sick. But I was strong; they found two large masses the size of tangerines on my right ovary and on my husband’s 25th birthday I was rushed in for emergency surgery in excruciating pain and fevers of 103.9+. They successfully removed the two large dermoids and kept me in the hospital for almost two weeks. I was strong because I fought to have my 5 month old son with me day and night in a pack-n-play to sleep or play, but mainly so we could continue breast feeding and help my husband who worked full time.
Baby number two a girl, Jayli Christy, who only had a fourth degree tongue tie (that greatly hindered feeding, but was corrected/clipped at 8 days old and she never had any other issues) and is the happiest, craziest toddler I know!
And baby number three….
Baby number three was great. I was never sick, until 7.5 months when we found out that I had multiple kidney stones that were stuck in the ureters and couldn’t pass because Baby J (I say baby J because we waited to find out the sex at delivery)was squishing them and had them trapped! I was strong because I endured excruciating pain and doctors trying to force me to have procedures done that might compromise Baby J’s health. I fought for the safety of my baby and through the pain.
At 38 weeks I had a c section that went wonderfully! I even teased with the doctors about giving me a quick tummy tuck while they were down there and had me all open anyways. Everyone got a good laugh out of that one! She was a 7lb 15oz 19.5in baby girl! JayLynn McKenna and then the problems started. She was in respiratory distress. I got to kiss her quickly before the nurses and my husband rushed her to the NICU to get her set up on a CPAP machine and a feeding tube with direct orders that nothing went into that tube but my breast milk.
I am strong because I nicely demanded to go be with my baby while I pumped and pumped 40ml the first try! I pumped in my room every chance I could and built up a large supply (enough that we had to take more than half of it home!). I wheeled/walked myself there every three hours to hold her skin to skin while they fed her my milk through the tube. When she finally got the feeding tube out we had a very difficult time latching. We found out she too was tongue tied like her big sister and after that was corrected we connected perfectly!
I am strong because I went and fed my newborn every three hours day and night after a c section and I overcame the dreaded spinal fluid headache! The nurses and doctors told me that since I just had a spinal (not an epidural) that it was nearly impossible for it to be a spinal fluid headache and it was just decongestion. I was strong because I told anyone who would listen that every time I laid down perfectly flat it would go away, but instantly upon my head rising above completely flat position, the massive headache would return.
Finally a nurse listened and told me that it was a spinal fluid head ache and I would need a spinal block. I am strong because I had an epidural placed, 20cc blood drawn from my hand and immediately placed into the epidural. I was instructed to lay flat for one hour and when I got up, the pain was gone! The blood patch worked! That same day JayLynn was released out of the NICU and with me for a few more days. After an 11 day hospital stay I finally got to go home with our healthy baby girl and introduce her big brother and big sister!
April, 6 2013 I was strong because at just 27 years old I was told that I had abnormal paps again. And this time it was worse than the other four. I needed a complete hysterectomy and a right oophorectomy (ovary removal). All of this while I was raising our three kids on my own since my husband had been in training for the Army since August 2012, and we didn’t know when he would be back.
I am strong because I went through all the tests, getting the results, the diagnosis, and going through major surgery that would forever change our lives, without my best friend, the love of my life, my husband by my side. I am strong because I made it on my own, after a week of assistance from friends and family, raising a 1.5 year old, a 3.5 year old, and a 5.5 year old, all while keeping the house clean, laundry done, cooking, dishes, etc ., while healing and waiting for the Army to give me back my husband.
We are a strong family and all this has only made us stronger and love each other even more!
Now, I am strong because since August 21 [the day my hubby left for boot camp, ait, & airborne] I have worked my bum off and ate right and lost 66lbs! Now after clearance to return to my working out, I will be strong and lose the last 56lbs I need to lose so I can be here and healthy for the amazing husband and wonderfully crazy kids I have been blessed with! I know that there will be many, many more times as a parent that we will have to be strong… and we will be prepared!