This post has been sponsored by Pampers. All opinions are my own.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I held my breath. Difficult pregnancies tend to run in my family, and I was more than aware of the many complications that can occur between conception and delivery. As I entered my third trimester, though, I finally began to relax a bit, convinced that perhaps my fairly uneventful pregnancy was going to turn out all right.
I mean, sure, I was exhausted – but wasn’t that normal?
And yes, I’d had to buy new shoes to fit over my marshmallow puffy feet – but again, normal, right?
Nesting began in earnest as my type-A tendencies took over my life, and the familiar relief of making lists and crossing off tasks erased most of my anxiety. I was headed into the home stretch. Everything was going to be fine.
And then I gained ten pounds in nine days. Already overweight when I got pregnant, I’d kept a close eye on the scale – and was proud of my limited weight gain (despite the fact that I doubled down on my love for all foods Mexican, especially queso). So such a big jump in a short amount of time was alarming – and even more so when combined with a small increase in my blood pressure.
Over the next few weeks, both my weight and blood pressure increased until my doctor looked at me and said, “Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to the hospital. NOW.”
I was put on bed rest on a Tuesday, and then, when that did not work at all, I was sent to the hospital on a Friday. My due date was still almost two months away, and as I complained to my doctor, I hadn’t even taken a birthing class yet! But my body didn’t care about my lists and my plans and my calendar. It was too busy pushing my blood pressure through the roof and trying its hardest to keep my liver and kidneys from failing.
For two days I stayed in the hospital, being poked and prodded and shot up with all kinds of medications. One drug prevented early labor (and seizures), while another attempted to start labor. More than one war was going on in my body, and on Sunday night the on-call doctor and all the specialists she’d consulted agreed: we needed to deliver my baby to save my body. To save me.
I think I remember being relieved that we had a game plan, although that whole time is pretty fuzzy. It got even worse late Sunday night. My parents and the doctor had gone home, and it was time for me to sleep a bit before my scheduled, early-morning C-section.
Then in an instant, the world suddenly turned blurry and orange and so, so painful.
And who did my increasingly panicked husband call when my pain suddenly spun out of control?
My nurse, Kristina.