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Exactly four months after Jacob’s birth, I became pregnant again. From the minute that I found out, I was torn between being completely thrilled and filled with more fear than I ever remember. I had gone into my first two pregnancies completely oblivious to the fact that anything could or would happen to my baby. I strolled through pregnancy with my only fear being the pain that I would possibly endure during labor. However, when I found out that I was pregnant this time, every possible scenario of something going wrong went through my mind and I questioned how I would make it nine months and still maintain my sanity. I was just convinced that I would not make it to the end with a healthy baby in my arms. When Brian and I told the boys that they were going to be having a brother or sister, my youngest son, Brendan, walked over to me, put his head on my shoulder and asked, “Is this baby going to die like Jacob did?” It broke my heart and I told him that all we could do is pray that this one would be born healthy.

I had my first OB appointment when I was exactly four weeks along. The urine test confirmed that I was indeed pregnant and to verify dates, my OB requested an ultrasound. Afterwards, he advised that it appeared that I could possibly have an ectopic pregnancy because all that he could see a large mass on my right ovary (which apparently is indicative of an ectopic?). I was in tears thinking that I might have to deal with the loss of another baby and I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope. I cried all the way home. At the request of my OB, I had blood drawn for the HCG numbers and he advised that if they doubled in 48 hours that it probably wasn’t ectopic, but if they decreased or barely increased that it very likely was. If the numbers at least doubled, I was to return to his office the following week. After the longest 48 hours of my life, he called me to tell me that the numbers had more than doubled and it looked good at this point. The following week I returned to his office and had another ultrasound. We immediately saw the gestational sac, but it was too early to see anything more. He explained that the mass near my right ovary was probably an ovarian cyst and are quite common in the early stages of pregnancy. It had decreased in size in less than a week, and that combined with the fact that we now had a gestational sac gave me hope that maybe everything would be OK. I returned again at seven weeks to verify a fetal heart tone and my eyes filled with tears as we watched the heart thumping away on the screen.

When I reached my tenth week I decided to rent a fetal Doppler. I had made several trips to my OB in only three weeks out of paranoia and needed to have some reassurance that everything was OK with my baby without having to run to him every time I got scared. I was able to hear the heartbeat starting at about the 12th week and listened to it every day from that point on. It was my only way of reassuring myself that my little one was still alive since I could not yet feel any movements. When I started feeling movements near the 20th week, I felt even more relieved and yet if I felt no movements for an extended period of time, I would panic. Thank God for the Doppler! At my 18 week appointment, we were scheduled for another ultrasound with the possibility of finding out the sex if we wanted to. Brian and I had decided that we didn’t want to know, but just wanted confirmation that everything was OK with our baby. However, when the tech asked us if we wanted to know, we looked at each other and at the same time we both said “yes”. When she said that our baby was a girl, I couldn’t believe it. After having two boys, I doubted whether I would ever experience the joy of a little girl. She confirmed that everything was perfectly healthy with our little girl and I felt so relieved. Not only was my baby healthy, but I was having a little girl. She was to be the first girl in our family and her name would be Erin Victoria. My brothers and I have six boys amongst us and my Dad had long awaited his first Granddaughter. On the ride home, Brian and I called everyone that we knew to tell them the wonderful news. When we told the boys that they were having a sister, they were both thrilled. They each carried a sonogram picture of her to show all of their friends.

Although stressful, the rest of my pregnancy continued with absolutely no complications. I didn’t have a single day of morning sickness. I never complained about the typical symptoms that we have when we are pregnant because I knew how incredibly blessed I was to be carrying this baby and to be making it as far along as I was. I cried nearly every day in fear of something happening to my little girl. On December 3rd, 34 weeks into my pregnancy, I was hit by another vehicle while driving to lunch. The impact caused my seatbelt to tighten on my belly and I began cramping immediately. I also wasn’t feeling any movement from my little one. I was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital, where after a thorough examination and ultrasound, it was determined that the baby was perfectly healthy. I was told that during trauma, most babies in utero will become very still. I was so relieved when we saw her moving around on the ultrasound. I was only a month away from my due date and I just continued to pray that we would make it through the weeks without any problems. I walked on eggshells.
At my 38 week appointment, my OB advised that if I had started to dilate by 39 weeks, he would induce me if I chose to be. I had been induced with Brendan and swore that I wouldn’t go through that again. However, as the next week went by and my due date approached, I became increasingly paranoid and worried that something would happen to my baby. I told Brian that I was going to allow the induction. If I didn’t, I wasn’t sure that I could make it to the end. I felt like I was going insane. At my 39 week check-up on January 2, 2003 at 4:30pm, my OB advised us to go home, get the bags and carseat and come back at 7:00pm that night. Erin was head down (and had been since I was 31 weeks) and I was nearly 2 cm dilated.

After arriving at the hospital and being checked, the nurse advised that she didn’t think that the baby was head down. I told her that she was because I had just been told so earlier that day by my doctor. She advised that she was going to have another doctor from my practice come in and check me to be sure. In the meantime, she started the Pitocin. At 11:00pm, another OB came in with a portable ultrasound machine and verified that Erin was no longer head down, but had turned transverse with her head on my right side. She immediately ordered the Pitocin to be stopped and told Brian and I that we would stay overnight and allow my OB to decide the following morning whether to attempt to turn her or perform a c-section. We slept until he arrived at 7:00am on Friday, January 3rd. When he checked her position, she had turned completely to the other side and her head was now on my left side. He asked us what time we wanted to have her and I looked at him and said, “What?”. He advised that she had come completely out of the birth canal and the risk of a cord accident was high due to her movements. I became hysterical (due to the fact that I lost Jacob to a cord accident) and shouted for him to get her out immediately. I was immediately prepped for the surgery and wheeled into the operating room. I never imagined that I would be having a c-section after successfully delivering my two sons vaginally, one of which weighed 11 pounds at birth, but at that moment, the only thing that mattered was that they got Erin out and she was OK. At 8:49am on Friday, January 3, 2003, Erin was born-screaming and sneezing with her cord wrapped twice around her neck!!! She weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz. and was 21.5 inches in length. When they brought her to me, I couldn’t stop crying and wanted so badly to hold her. I just couldn’t believe that she was here. She nursed for the first time about 45 minutes after her birth, and it was a beautiful experience. Brian and I spent the next three days in the hospital just looking at her and memorizing her every little move. She is absolutely beautiful and has already brought so much joy to our lives. Being pregnant with her was the hardest and longest 39 weeks of my life, but I would do it again in a second to get to where we are today!



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Last Updated March 4, 2003 2:24 AM