Journey to a Rainbow
13 Weeks To Go
There were still 13 weeks to go in my pregnancy and so much to do! We needed to get the crib together, wash his clothes, pack the hospital bag, get the car seat in the car and plan our baby shower- all during a pandemic. I was going to doctor appointments alone- not able to share the joy of a sonogram with my husband.
At 12 weeks gestation, I was diagnosed with low PAPP-A which can cause low birth weight, early births and still births. I scheduled extra ultrasounds to check on baby boy. He was growing right along- bigger than a low PAPP-A baby should be; so we were on track and happy!
During my 35 week ultrasound, they were estimating baby boy to be 6 pounds and 19 inches! He still had five more weeks to bake and the doctors were worried that I would not be able to give birth vaginally if he continued to grow quickly. I scheduled another ultrasound for week 38 and went on my way.
During week 36 we went on a much needed family vacation. My mother-in-law and mother were adamant that I take the car seat and hospital bag, “What if you go into labor on vacation!?!?” Luckily, I did not; and I was able to relax and enjoy my family time.
Excitement & Anxiety
After getting home we went into full baby shower planning mode. The day was amazing! We had our friends and family stay, visit, eat and chat with us as we opened wonderful gifts for baby boy. I washed the rest of his clothes, sterilized my bottles and pump parts, and began to get anxious.
The old guilt and anxiety came flowing back and I worried that I was still going to lose this baby too. Pregnancy after loss is so difficult. Every single day I was riddled with anxiety, but also relief that I went another day without losing my baby.
I had my 37 week check up- 1 cm and 50% effaced! WOOOHOO! My mom goes “Oh, you’re going into labor early. I’m coming to live with you.” OH! Oh boy! What a fun few weeks that was!
38 week check up- 2 cm and 75% effaced! Woohoo!!!! But not enough dilation to think baby was going to come early. My appointment was on that Tuesday and I remember calling my husband crying because I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. I was tired, hot and exhausted- all the normal end of pregnancy feels!
On Thursday, I woke up at 4am, feeling like I had to poop- slight gas pains. They went away so I actually got back to sleep. My husband- who on that day was going to work in Bethesda, woke up, made us coffee and went to leave. (Side note- we live in northern Carroll)
The gas pains were back but nothing too crazy. I used the bathroom-OH! Was this my bloody show? Eh, googled it, “labor could still be weeks away”; I shrugged it off and started working from home. Then the pains got worse and I started timing. However, they were so sporadic- 30 seconds of a contraction then 7 minute break, 1 minute of a contraction and a 3 minute break and so on. Nothing consistent and no pattern; I wasn’t super worried. And then HEY! I pooped- pain subsided and I kept working.
Around 10:30 am, the pain got worse again and I had just gotten out of the shower. I thought a shower would help- it only made things worse. I called my husband and asked him to come home. Nothing to worry about, I said. Then I called him back; “hey, if I am in labor, can you get cheeseburgers? I’m hungry!”
If I had waited until 11 am to call him, he would have missed the birth. He gets home, I’m in downward dog yoga position on our couch; he changes his clothes, we hop into the car. Get to the hospital, get our temps checked, they check me and go “Oh, well it’s time to go. You’re at 10 cm and I can feel the baby’s head.”
Welcome to the world rainbow baby!
My husband fills out registration- his check in time said 12:15 pm; I was wheeled to the maternity ward; they did a COVID test, put in an IV, broke my water and in three pushes; here was our rainbow baby. He was born at 12:40pm- 25 minutes after getting into the hospital. My OB didn’t even make it from her office; the on-call doctor delivered him. He told us, if Jaxson’s arm had not been above his head, my water would have broken at home and he would have been born in the basement!!!
Watching my husband hold my son; snuggling my son; seeing my older son’s face light up when we video called him- all of the pain of my 3 miscarriages disappeared in that moment. I hold Jaxson tightly and told him he had three angel siblings watching over him.
Katie and her sons.
Transitioning From One To Two (To Three!)
We got to go home a day later and then the fun really started. Transitioning from 1 child to 2 is not as easy as I thought it would be. I felt this immense pressure to keep being “super” mom and doing everything. I wanted to spend time with my oldest and make sure the baby was taken care of.
I ended up getting diagnosed with PPD and made the decision that I needed to take care of me and I have started therapy. It’s the best decision I could have ever made.
My children are my saviors and they are why I continued to push forward every day. I always knew I wanted to be a Mom; and while my first pregnancy was a miracle; my second pregnancy completed my life. Watching them bond is beautiful; my oldest was the first one to make the baby smile and laugh. He adores his bigger problem.
It’s been amazing watching my little family grow and while I will never forget my angel babies; I don’t have to grieve them as hard anymore.
Baby #3 on the way!
Author: Katie Hood
Katie is a mom of “almost” 2, married, 32, loves to cook and write. She is a special education and IEP coordinator for Sheppard Pratt; and an educational advocate. Katie is a proud member of Cool Moms of Frederick County.