I never wanted children. I felt that I would not be a good role model and also felt that a child would tie me down. I had always been kind of a wild child and had no intention of changing. One week before I got married, I was diagnosed with brittle Type 1 diabetes. I was told that getting pregnant and carrying a child would be very hard on me and the baby. I was okay with that and it further reinforced my wish for no children. My husband was OK with not having kids for the latter mentioned reasons, but not the earlier mentioned reasons.
So, that was the plan. We were going to maintain our childless, married lifestyle and have lots of toys and do lots of traveling instead.
A couple months before our 5th anniversary, we found out that I was pregnant. Surprisingly, we were both excited about it, but also very nervous because of the warnings we had received from the doctor. Our general m.d. sent me to a perinatologist right away. His name is Dr. Watson and he was great! I was also being followed very closely by my endocrinologist for my diabetes. The first half of the pregnancy had absolutely no problems. We were very excited, thinking that perhaps we had beaten the odds. Then right at the halfway point, 20 weeks, I started having problems. My blood sugars were way out of control and I was requiring up to 5 shots a day. My endocrinologist put me in the hospital for a week to try to figure out what was going on. As it turned out, it was nothing that I was doing that caused the problems. The doctors solution was to put me on an insulin pump. I really did not want to be hooked up to a pump, but agreed to it - - just until the baby was born. The pump really helped my blood sugars and I began to carry on normally again - - for about three weeks. Then, I started having some pretty severe swelling. The perinatologist put me on bed rest at home. That worked okay, but I really kind of thought that it meant no work - not no shopping. The swelling and weight gain became extreme. Head aches developed too. He ended putting me on bed rest in the hospital until the baby was born, which was still 7 weeks away. I had developed pretty severe pre eclampsia / toxemia. In the hospital, I was only allowed to get up to use the restroom and to shower every other day. I got visitors on the weekends, but the weeks got long. On Christmas eve, Gary and our good friend Kevin came to visit. Kevin gave me a CD of Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits. I played it all night long. Gary was going to spend the night so we could be together on Christmas day. We had gotten permission to go out for Christmas dinner. We went straight to the restaurant to eat and then we went right back to the hospital so I could get to bed. Gary stayed for a little while longer and then left to go home because he had another work week ahead of him.
Then next morning at 8:00, my water broke. At first, I didn't understand what was happened and then it hit me - - oh my gosh, I'm going to go into labor. This baby was going to be born 3 weeks early. I decided to wait to call Gary until he was on his lunch break. When I called him, I told him that my water had broken and that he should probably start on his way to the hospital (2 hours from home) because I didn't know when the labor was going to start and how quickly it was going to go. Gary's only response was, "Can I eat my lunch first?" I laughed at him and told him to eat quickly and get on the road. He said OK and hung up. I called his friend Kevin and asked him to check on Gary cuz I just didn't think Gary was realizing what was going on or was in the phase of "oh my gosh, I'm gonna be a dad". Kevin later told us that when he found Gary, he was running around the house all scatter brained, so it was probably a good thing that I called him.
Gary got to the hospital around 3pm. Then it just became a waiting game. I was hooked up to the baby monitor and the baby was doing fine. My labor was progressing, but very, very, slowly. I was given a sleeping pill to try to get me through the night. The pill worked until about 1am, and then I woke up in pain. Somewhere between 1am and 7am I was given an epidural and then at 7am the doctor told me that I was fully dilated and was ready to push. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed for over 3 hours. Finally the doctor told me that they were going to try the forceps and if that didn't work we were going to go to the operating room for a c-section.
The forceps failed and away we went. At 11:02 am, our big, beautiful baby boy was born. At 3 weeks early, he weighted 10 pounds 2 ounces and was 22 inches long. I got to touch his foot and then he was whisked away because he was having some problems. They had taken him to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Evidently, he was having some troubles breathing.
When I was sewn back together, they took me back to my room and told me that I needed to rest because I had been up all night and because of the surgery. They told me that we could not see our baby for a little while anyway, so rest was a good option. We both slept for nearly 3 hours before we woke up. We called our parents to let them know the baby had been born, then Gary went to the NICU to see the baby. We had a video camera with us, so Gary would video the baby and then bring it back to the room so I could see the baby. This went on for most of the day. I was so sad because I wanted to hold my baby. At 9pm, my nurse came into my room and asked me if I would like to go see my baby. I was still not allowed out of the bed, so I wasn't sure how they were gonna do it, but of course I said yes. Within a matter of minutes, they wheeled me in my bed right up to my baby's bed and I got to hold him for the first time. I was so happy.
I had to stay in my bed one more day. Then I got to use a wheelchair, and finally I got to start walking again. After four days, I was dismissed from the hospital, but my baby was not. One of the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life was to leave that hospital without my baby. I cried myself to sleep on the way home, made many calls to the hospital to check on him, cried myself to sleep that night, slept fitfully and cried every time I woke up. We decided to go back to the hospital and stay there until our baby got to go home. The hospital set us up in the Ronald McDonald House. After spending just two nights there, we got to take our baby home. I was so happy!
For not wanting any children, I sure changed my song. I couldn't believe the love I felt for him and how strong my desire was to protect him. I was embracing motherhood quickly and wondered what kind if ride I was in for.
Today, Chance, our baby boy, is almost 14 years old. It has been quite the ride with him. He challenges me daily and sometimes drives me crazy, however, I couldn't imagine my life without him. I am glad that even the best thought out plans can change without notice!