As many of you know, I had a baby! His name is Caiden and he is the sweetest little thing I have ever laid eyes on. His journey into this world wasn’t exactly easy and I wanted to share with you all what happened and why I have been MIA for so long.
Since the beginning, my pregnancy was difficult. I had intense pelvic pain for about 4 months to the point I was put on sick leave 3 months before my due date. I was violently ill the entire time and was on a sh*t ton of medication. I suffered from perinatal depression and anxiety throughout my pregnancy and for the longest time didn’t know what was happening (FYI: According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 10% of pregnant women will experience depression and anxiety during their pregnancy. The American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society estimates that it is closer to 14-23%. Recently, the Lois Hole Hospital for Women has created a province wide initiative to help pregnant women. Click this link to find out more).
Side note: I wrote a story for the website Sick Not Weak when I was about 24 weeks pregnant about my symptoms and what I was going through. If you are interested, check it out here.
Then on December 16th my world got rocked even more. I was driving home from the grocery store and blacked out. Luckily, nothing bad happened. I blacked out for about 2 seconds but it was enough for me to be pretty terrified. I pulled over into the first parking lot I could find and called my husband. I ate an orange and took a break before feeling better and driving the rest of the way home. As scary as this was, I figured I was just low on some blood sugar so I had a nap and some lunch. I woke up to check my blood pressure and it read 169/119. I called the Grey Nuns Hospital and they advised that I come in ASAP.
Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I can’t describe how unbelievably terrifying this was for me. Preeclampsia is an abnormal placenta that cuts off or limits the nutrients and oxygen that go to the baby. The World Health Organization estimates that it affects 2-8% of pregnancies worldwide. It is a dangerous condition but with proper medical attention, the moms and babies can survive and live healthy lives. Unfortunately, “in developing countries, a woman is seven times as likely to develop preeclampsia than a woman in a developed country. From 10-25% of these cases will result in maternal death.” Check out this link for more info.
I spent the next 2.5 weeks, over Christmas and New Years, in the hospital surrounded by the most amazing nurses. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about the nurses that attended to me in that time. My husband visited daily and we watching movies, I caught up on some reading (I highly recommend Born a Crime by Trevor Noah), had friends and family visit me, and I even was allowed a day pass on Christmas Eve (when I asked for another one, the doctor laughed at me)! Nevertheless, it wasn’t exactly pleasant. I knew I was in safe hands but I was frustrated. Preeclampsia is a day by day, hour by hour condition. I was told to prepare for a baby any day. The goal was to keep the baby inside me for as long as possible without risking either of our lives. This didn’t exactly help the perinatal depression and anxiety.
We persevered and the doctors let me come home on strict bed rest with daily visits from a nurse, I was back in the hospital a week later for 3 days and then back home for about 2 weeks. Then my blood pressure spiked again but this time I was on a shit ton of medication. For perspective, I was on the highest dose of medication available to me and my blood pressure on January 20th was 165/120. So basically the same as it was pre-medication. Brutal. This time when we went in to the hospital I was induced and put on a magnesium IV. 3.5 long days later, my beautiful baby boy was born only 5 weeks early! It really was a miracle that we made it this far.
The hospital room was full of the best medical staff a girl and her baby could ask for! Plus my amazing, wonderful husband who was the best birth-cheerleader through the whole thing! Caiden was born on January 24, 2017 at 4:27 a.m. weighing in at 4 lbs 11 ounces. He was early and really small but healthy-ish. We got really lucky and not a day goes by where I don’t mentally thank the wonderful staff at the Grey Nuns.
As healthy-ish as he was, he was too small and weak to come home. The first two weeks, there was nothing we could do for him so we would stay at the hospital all day and come home to sleep at night. Leaving my baby in the hospital every night was the hardest thing I have ever done. Our last week in the hospital, Caiden was a changed kid! He was finally able to nurse and keep his eyes open, it was amazing.
Caid is now 3.5 months old and so so healthy! He eats like a piggy and is growing like a weed. Thank you all for your patience the last few months while I have been MIA from everything!