My Pregnancy Stories: Three Babies, Three Pregnancy Lessons.
by Dolly Estrada
Pregnancy Stories: Three Pregnancies, Three Lessons
I always knew I wanted to be a mother. Even my earliest day dreams of my ideal adult life included a couple of children. First came school, then came marriage, then came a baby in a baby carriage! Today, I have three precious children. Each pregnancy taught me something valuable about pregnancy - the road to being a mom.
First Pregnancy: I Learned to Trust my Instincts.
I became pregnant just a year after marrying my husband. I took six different home pregnancy tests; it seemed too good to be true! In the weeks that followed I purchased at least a dozen books about pregnancy and I spent hours online learning everything and anything I could about this miracle growing within me.
The first few months were fairly easy; I had “all day sickness” which was what I called my morning sickness because it struck without warning at random hours of the day and night. The room would spin and I would lie down as flat as I could and cling to the bed. It felt like I was at sea! My husband would bring me crackers and it would pass after a few minutes.
Then during my third month I had a scare. I woke up at midnight with terrible pains in my abdomen. Frightened for my baby I called my doctor. He assured me that it was probably just one of the normal discomforts of being pregnant and reminded me that this was my first pregnancy so I shouldn’t worry about every little cramp or pain.
I hung up distraught, how could this be normal? I can only liken the pain to being hit in the stomach with a baseball bat perhaps; it was horrible. The pain went away that night but returned on a regular basis every couple of days, lasting longer and longer each time. My doctor continued to dismiss my concerns so I started to do some research of my own.
I discovered that I had the symptoms of someone with gall bladder problems, and that this was common in pregnant women because the pregnancy hormones aggravated the gall bladder. I suggested this to my doctor but he was not convinced and didn’t send me for testing as I hoped he would.
I ended up paying for an ultrasound in another clinic where the technician confirmed that I did indeed have a serious gall bladder problem. I had surgery in my sixth month of pregnancy; the surgeon said that if I had waited any longer the problem could have been life threatening to myself and my baby.
My beautiful baby girl was born completely healthy a few months later. Her pregnancy taught me that I had to trust my mommy instincts; I learned to be an advocate for my own health and that of my child. If something feels like it’s not right speak up and make sure your doctor listens.
Second Pregnancy: I Learned to Roll with the Punches.
I became pregnant for the second time while my little girl was still a toddler. I was elated
to discover that I was having a boy this time! This pregnancy was a walk in the park compared to the first one; my only symptom was general exhaustion from chasing after a three-year-old with my big, round belly.
This second pregnancy seemed to pass so much faster this time and before I knew it I was in my ninth month, huge and sweaty in July. I wasn’t really concerned about the birth, just anxious to meet my son. I had gotten an epidural to deliver my daughter so I figured things would pretty much work the same way the second time around.
On my son’s birthday I was awakened at dawn by a very strong labor pain. I shook my husband awake; the contractions were coming strong and fast, too fast! By the time we reached the hospital I was yelling, I hate to admit it.
I had never felt a strong contraction with my daughter and so I was completely unprepared. I wanted my epidural but they said it was too late. I was going to have to go natural.
I was frightened, “I can’t do this!” I cried. Luckily my mother was there at my side. She looked me straight in the face and said “Of course you can do this; women have been doing this since the beginning of time. Your body was made for this; you are going to be fine.” She was right and a short time later I held my baby boy close to my chest and cried those happy mommy tears.
I learned that I can’t control everything in life; nature is bigger than all of us.
Third Pregnancy: I Learned How to Take an Active Role.
I was surprised and delighted to become pregnant with my third child just last year. I decided immediately that I wanted this pregnancy (which was to be my last) to be the best experience to date. I savored every moment from the first fluttering kicks to the daily hiccups of the last trimester.
I sang songs for my baby, talked to her and ate a lot of fruits and vegetables (ok and a good amount of chocolate, I’m human!) I felt completely in tune with my baby and my body.
When it was time to meet her, I decided to go natural again but this time I was ready. When the contractions came I imagined they were ocean waves. I breathed deeply and relaxed my entire body, I wasn’t fighting it. I followed the cues that my body was giving me, changing positions as necessary. The contractions had a job to do and the pain was “good pain”, each one meant I was closer to meeting my daughter.
I surrendered to the process and was rewarded by a short labor, just a few hours from start to finish. Euphoric, I kissed my darling baby on both cheeks, “Welcome to the world, beautiful!”
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