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Birth Story: From Resentment to Elation

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Many thanks to Jami Kamp for openly sharing her birth story with us. We appreciate her honesty.

I thought I would breeze through pregnancy.

We discovered we were pregnant on my husband Jeff’s birthday on June 24. I immediately felt panic. What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to be happy or scared? I felt mostly scared. I started crying and saying, “We are really going to do this?” It caught me off guard, but I had no idea what was ahead.

On July 15, I was in the hospital due to hyperemesis gravidarum. It is the inability to stop vomiting. It wasn’t just food that would make me sick. If I felt influx of hot or cold, I’d be sick. Certain smells, movement or closeness would do it. If Jeff tried to hug me, I’d be sick. Even the texture of a blanket could do it.

I had four hospital admissions from the second week in July to August 9. In August, they put in a more semi-permanent IV so I could hydrate myself at home. At that time, we weren’t even thinking about our hopes and dreams of a baby. We were wondering how we would get through the pregnancy. During the day, Jeff would take me to my grandparents’ house. He’d load me into the car in my PJs with throw up bucket. It was a 20-minute drive. We had no family or friends close enough that someone could get to me quickly if they needed to. I’d lie on the couch and Grandma would try to force feed me eggs, oatmeal, whatever. And I’d just throw them back up.

It was affecting Jeff, me and my family in a negative way. I had guilt that I wanted my pregnancy to end. I couldn’t get from my bed to bathroom without vomiting 4 or 5 times. My husband would get out of bed in the night to get medicine and hook it up to my pump. I had a PICC line at home for12 weeks. During that time, it was horrible. I resented the pregnancy. I was so sick that my mind started to play tricks on me and I’d think Jeff was going to leave me. Why would he want to put up with this? He doesn’t deserve this. He was nothing but supportive, but it was me. I found an online resource that talked about emotions and feelings from women going through the same thing as I was and how other women had thoughts of their husbands leaving for no reason.

By November, I started feeling a little better. I had a lot of sickness and throwing up, and I lost about 25 pounds by that time. It was about 22 or 23 weeks before I could finally say I felt a little bit better. Then I failed my glucose tolerance test and I had to start insulin shots.

The original due date was March 4. Because of diabetes, they planned an induction. They would let me go to my due date, but not beyond. Every week I had an ultrasound and non-stress test, which was fun because we got to see the baby every week. It made me resent the baby a little less. I finally felt that by the end there was a person inside of me and not a horrible monster who made me feel sick all the time. By the end, I thought it was okay.

We scheduled the induction about 3 days early. I was scared to death. I remember telling Jeff I don’t know what I’m going to do. He said, “There’s nothing you can do. Just go with the flow.” They started the Pitocin around 11.  I really wasn’t feeling anything. Around 1, the doctor came in and said I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes and he was going to break my water. I could see the contractions on the monitor, but I couldn’t feel much. I sat in the rocking chair and did Sudoku puzzles. The contractions got harder after breaking my water. I called the nurse and said I’d take some pain medicine. They gave me a shot of Nubain and all it did was make my head spin. It didn’t help with pain at all. My plan was try it without epidural, but I also wanted to keep an open mind. I was starting to get grumpy. I remember being very annoyed with my mom and husband. I was concentrating and doing my Sudoku, while they were happily chatting to themselves. When they tried to include me in a conversation, they would just sort of laugh and say, “She must be having a contraction.” I just wanted to say, “Shut up!”

They checked for progress and I was at a 4. Being a nurse, I immediately began to wonder if I got an epidural, would it slow things down? I didn’t want to have one of these 18-hour-long labors. I went ahead and got the epidural around 4:30. My husband will swear to you it’s the best thing in the world. I do remember feeling better. I remember immediately going from grumpy to laughing, joking and saying we’re going to do this. It was a euphoric feeling. I was happy. I’m glad in hindsight that I got it. I think it made the actual birthing process, I was happy when he came. I wasn’t grumpy.

I was a 4 right before they put in the epidural. The anesthesiologist made me lie down. As soon as I did, I said I felt a lot of pressure. My doc checked me. In the 20 minutes it took to get the epidural in, I went from 4 to complete. I looked at Jeff and said, “We’re going to have a baby! We’re going to have a baby.”

When it came time to deliver, I remember I was in a good mood. I was very relaxed. We were just joking that we’re having a baby. We weren’t super-serious. It was like we do this every day. At the end, the doc looked at me and said, “One more push and he’ll be here.” Jeff looked at me and shook his head like she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It was one more push and he was here. Jacob was born at 5:57 pm. I pushed for less than an hour. It was a very easy delivery. I just remember when she put him on my chest I kept saying, “He’s here! He’s here.”

When my mom and mother-in-law walked into the delivery room an hour after I delivered, I was sitting on my bed cross-legged I had Jacob sitting next to me. I was perky. It was the best I had felt in 10 months. I felt like I had so much energy. I literally could tell I didn’t have a baby in me. It was an immediate relief.

I would call my pregnancy a nightmare. I hated it. Looking back, I wonder how I got through it. I know I couldn’t have gotten through without my husband. I still have guilt about wanting pregnancy to end. Once he came, I cried and cried because I couldn’t believe I ever thought that.

Read Jami’s second birth story. Will pregnancy #2 go more smoothly? Or will it mirror her first?

Want to share your birth, pregnancy, breastfeeding or motherhood experience with us? Here at Unexpectant, we believe that every woman has a story and that every story matters. We believe that through open dialogue, we can support and encourage one another through our motherhood journeys. So, what’s your story?

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