TRIGGER WARNING: infertility, miscarriage, NICU
The struggle of infertility is really painful. Let's start all the way to four years ago when I got diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) I wasn't having regular periods, or periods at all for that matter. At that time, I didn't really care about it because to me it was a guarantee I couldn't get pregnant. 2 years later I had gained 30 lbs and felt horrible. I hated myself. I was getting sick ALL. THE. TIME. I would feel so tired after I ate. Me being in nursing school didn't help at all because all we did was sit and study all day and all night. I knew Todd and I would want to have a baby soon, so once we started trying and nothing happened I was so worried. Finally I got pregnant and it ended in a miscarriage. Then again. A few month later I went to see a doctor at EVMS. She ran a lot of tests. Some were painful, some were easy, some were so long. ALL of them were expensive. Everything looked "normal" on a lot of them. The only thing that was seriously wrong was that my hormones were through the roof. They were so messed up what was supposed to be high was low and vice versa. By this time I had had 4 miscarriages. I was an emotional wreck. What was wrong with me? Would I ever be able to have any more children? I was depressed to see everyone around me happily having babies. I was happy for them, but I wanted it to be my turn. After 4 treatments we FINALLY got pregnant. I know some wait years and years. I know some never have children. This, however, is my personal struggle. When you want something so bad it's hard to see past what you aren't getting.
I had to give myself these AWFUL thick progesterone shots for 19 weeks. I got them 2x a day. I was so happy to finally be done with them at 20 weeks. I stopped and 4 days later I woke up in a pile of blood in the middle of the night. Great. The worst day of my life. I felt like I already knew what happened, I called my husband at work (he worked night shift at the time) and told him to meet me up at the hospital. I had to wait three hours. It was the longest three hours of my life. Some how by the grace of god when I went to get an ultrasound, there her heartbeat was. Perfect. My progesterone was dangerously low though so back on the horrible shots.
The next 10 weeks were pretty much easy. Then at 30 weeks I got 2 kidney infections one of which sent me into early labor. I had to stay in the hospital for both but the last time they noticed my blood pressure was getting dangerously high. I had to get labs for preeclampsia that came back the doctor said I needed to be on blood pressure medications. Wonderful. Then at 35 weeks my blood pressure was so high I felt sick. I went to Norfolk General and my blood pressure was dangerously high. They came in 30 minutes later and said they were inducing me.
About 24 hours later Madison was here. Even though I was early, I had already dilated from going into preterm labor so it went pretty fast. When I was in labor she got lodged under my pelvis bone. It was probably super painful judging by the bruises on her head but that epidural was working pretty darn good at that point. When she was born she had TTN, which means pretty much she was in respiratory distress. She was pretty blue and struggling to breath so they took her right to the NICU.
She was so bruised it was terrible. Her eyes were swollen and blood shot. All those cords hooked up to her tiny body was heartbreaking. I'll tell you one thing, NICU moms are some of the strongest women ever and NICU nurses are some of the bravest women ever. I can't imagine that job and how tolling it is, but also how rewarding it must be in the good moments. Maddie stayed 5 days and it felt like an eternity but after seeing my sisters twins being in there for several weeks.. I won't complain.
FINALLY, we got to go home. She's been thriving ever sense and we are so blessed for our perfect angel. Its been a heck of a year Maddie Rives!