I did not dream of being a mother. I am not that girl. I have started to love children in college when I started teaching Preschool at Trinity Catholic School because it paid more. In fact, that is why I ended up with an Elementary Education degree. I guess that is why people assume I love babies. I don’t. No offense. I am sure your baby is lovely! I am just enjoy children more. When they can talk. I am not making this any better, am I? I did want a family though. I wanted 2 children. I loved the childhood relationship my brother and I had, 18 months apart. When Travis wanted me back after I was sober for a month, I was thrilled. He then said he was “ready.” That meant he was ready to have a family. He wasn’t. I wasn’t. We knew that, but we were excited that we made it through one of the most difficult times in our marriage. I had always thought it would be hard to become pregnant because it was for my mom, my OBGYN had said it would due to some medical issues and to be honest we hadn’t really been “not trying” all that hard before. You know that it wasn’t hard though. Three months after my sobriety date I was preganant. It was a shock. I took the test in the bathroom at my work. I just didn’t know what to say. We were planning on me getting back on birth control as soon as my first period came. I was pregnant instead. Travis had knwon. He had said it. I just didn’t believe it. I don’t think I really grasped it until months after she was here.
We didn’t have a big gender reveal. I wanted to know. I wanted to bond. I admit, I am selfish. I honestly don’t know if I would have had children if it hadn’t been her right at that moment in time. It was truly God’s perfect timing. I was worried about being healthy enough for her because I was newly sober. Before that I was dangerously close to death because I was not eating, just drinking. I made sure my doctors knew about everything. It is slightly painful to hear all your past dredged up every appointment you go to. Still drug free? Yes. The list goes on and on. I know it is for our good and I know many women can’t honestly say yes. The first trimester I was exhausted. I couldn’t sleep enough! ALWAYS tired. It didn’t feel real. I thought the baby was a boy because I thought Travis wanted a boy. I loved that he was excited to have a baby. I knew, I always knew, that he was going to be an amazing father. We went tubing and talked about baby names. He thought said things like, “river, tree, leaf,” I said no to those. I didn’t have any sickness in the beginning months. I did feel hungry! which was new for me.
I ate and ate. I had never experienced hunger like that before. I know, everyone hates when I say that, but it is the truth. However, I didn’t really know what do with my hunger. I became obsessed with eating “all the food groups.” I did justify my chocolate pie as dairy. I wanted to make sure I had enough for my baby to eat! We always had a pie in the refrigerator. Looking back, that was not good. I would not do that again, but my appetite was insatiable! Poor Travis. He gained as well because that was all I wanted to do!
As time went on and I got heavier, the pregnancy became much harder. The doctor said my weight was just fine. He had wanted me to gain more weight because of how low I had started. I remember finding out she was a girl! It was such a mixed emotion. Now, I can’t imagine having a boy! I was worried how Travis would feel! He was overjoyed! He said that as long as she could hold a fishing pole he didn’t care! He likes to make me smile and laugh. I knew I wanted her name to be Vivienne almost immediately. I have always loved that name. The spelling was tough. I wanted it to be pronounced correctly. It is funny how hard that was! I wanted her middle name to be Annette after my mother’s middle name, to honor her. So the two “nns” together seemed to make sense. I thought it looked and sounded beautiful. I started to get excited about having a girl, Vivienne. Imagining her. That is such a hard concept to wrap your mind around.
As I entered the 3rd trimester, things began to get more difficult. My blood pressure started to increase. I had trouble breathing. I had heartburn and couldn’t sleep. It seemed as though the Sahara desert was in my mouth, always thirsty. So I always had to pee! None of my clothes came anywhere near fitting. Maternity clothes are a joke for short, skinny people. No I am not petite. It was getting cold, well to this Floridian and it was difficult to dress for work or life. I was just all around uncomfortable. I couldn’t concentrate for 2 minutes! Then the PUPS came. It is a rash brough on by pregnancy on your belly. WHOA, awful. Nothing helps. Travis tried to help, but what do you do? Feed me?
I was put on bed rest and had to monitor my blood pressure. We lived a minute or so from the hospital, so I wasn’t too worried. I was just ready to get it all over with and meet my Vivienne! I knew that once she was born things would get harder. I knew that. I was terrified to have a newborn. I was at home, basically just worrying because I couldn’t focus long enough to do anything else. I did manage to get her room ready! I loved it! Jewel-toned fairy tale theme! No pink.
I had been admitted to the hospital because something about my blood platelets weren’t right, I think. I am horrible at remembering technical doctor stuff. So they wanted to monitor me. They were going to slowly get the induction process going because I wasn’t dilated. I was 37 weeks pregnant. Two weeks before my due date. Travis came with all of our stuff. He even brought a clump of Sophie’s tail fur for me because I missed her and he says it has magic in it. (It does.) We watched movies and ate (cooked) sushi. We were told it would be a long process because I wasn’t even close to being ready. My plan was to wait for the epidural until 5cm. I had decided that after the birth class. I was hooked up to all sorts of machines. They were beeping and giving the doctors data. Nurses would come and check on us. I got to see my family. I was excited! I was going to meet my angel! Then contractions started slowly. Yea, I lasted for a couple hours. Those hurt. I wasn’t going to have a natural birth, so I quit trying to be brave and asked for the epidural. Travis started to does because I was finally comfortable. I was up talking to the nurses. I noticed a change in their behavior, but they didn’t say anything. They kept asking me to turn over, back and forth. Then they said the doctor was going to come talk to me, things weren’t right. I was panicked. She said the baby is not responding to the contractions well and is losing oxygen. They have to take her Cesarian. What?
That was not the plan. It wasn’t up to me. I had no choice, but I trusted them. I called mom and told them to rush. They came in and prepped me immediately. I didn’t have time to think about what that meant. It meant I would’ve lost her.
In the operating room, it was cold. I remember that. Cold and bright. I remember the sheets. I remember wondering wear Travis was. He came in and held my hand as I breathed. I didn’t know how to handle this. I was shaking. They said that was ok. Then she was there. My baby was there! Screaming her little lungs out! She was alive! Very alive!
Turns out there was a tear in the placenta. If I hadn’t been admitted and been monitored, things could have gone very wrong. The doctors made all the right decisions. If I hadn’t gotten the epidural at that time, it would’ve been too late and I would’ve been knocked out. I wouldn’t have gotten to hold her. If Travis hadn’t come out of the room, they would’ve forgotten him because they were so concerned with me. This was all God.
She is truly a miracle baby. Every time I tell that story I get tears in my eyes! It could’ve gone either way. We trusted God and he provided! I wouldn’t want to change one thing!