Pregnancy is a blessing they say and I totally agree because not all couples are able to experience this incredible journey. It is a gift of life, a miracle. Fred and I had no plans of delaying it so right after our wedding, we’re already trying our best, living a healthy lifestyle for a faster result. Months passed and there it was, the two lines we’ve been waiting for!
It was December 15, 2011 when we had a confirmation from my OB that finally we’re expecting. Due to our excitement, we had our first scan as early as 5 weeks, no heartbeat yet as I have probably ovulated late. Honestly, we should have waited for a couple of weeks more so we can hear the heartbeat in one scan, right? But I couldn’t blame ourselves that time, Fred and I would be first time parents and nobody trained us for that. Nobody warned us as well that pregnancy can be scary, dramatic and traumatic!
Terrible Morning Sickness
It was week 6 when my morning sickness started kicking in. There’s the terrible metallic taste in my tongue which resulted to food aversion. I started feeling very sick for the whole day, why do they call it ‘morning sickness’ again??? By week 8, I started vomiting which at first was exciting for me because I can really say that I’m indeed pregnant, crazy me right? But then, days later, it was no fun anymore. I feel nauseated, terribly sick that I had a feeling that my body didn’t like the baby inside me.
I forced myself to eat, drink milk and water. For two weeks, I was able to survive working in the office. WORK, EAT, THROW UP, SLEEP. Day-after-day this was my routine until January 13, 2011, I felt very weak that I needed to rest in our clinic. I never thought that was my last day of working in the office during my first pregnancy.
Day after Sinulog, January 16, 2011, it was the schedule of our second scan. Hours before we’re scheduled to see our baby’s development, we’re a bit excited already but something came up. I can still remember how difficult it was for me to tell Fred the bad news I’ve read from his phone. His close friend from high school passed away during Sinulog celebration. Fred was shocked, hurt and I was affected as well because I have met his friend and he was such a nice guy. We still proceeded with our appointment and we finally heard our baby’s heartbeat, so strong, so healthy. I almost cried, it was like every beat was telling me to stay strong, that what I was feeling were all signs that she’s alive and growing inside.
That day was a indeed very long for us. I had quite a long walk. Then there’s the mixed emotions we felt; happy because we heard our baby’s heartbeat but there was also the feeling of loss I saw in Fred’s eyes.
Night came and feeling tired already, I decided to take an early rest. As I was about to sleep, I suddenly felt pain in my lower abdomen. I felt scared because I knew something’s not right. I checked my underwear and there I saw red spots. Every time I move, there was blood coming out! Fred that time was in his friend’s wake. I knew how important it was for him to be there but I was already shaking, scared to death so I called him to come home.
When he arrived, I’m not sure if I was crying or what but all I know was that I wanted nothing but to save our baby. I texted my OB and her reply gave me a feeling of relief, even just for one night. In the morning, we went to my OB’s clinic, thankfully my baby’s OK! She then put me to bed rest for two weeks. She said I had threatened abortion. I honestly don’t like the term because never in my whole life would I do such a thing. Why abortion? I made some research and found out that technically, threatened abortion is the term used to describe vaginal bleeding that occurs in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some call it threatened miscarriage, so I am sticking to this one.
For two weeks, I was diligent in following my OB’s instructions and in taking my medicines and vitamins. Even though I couldn’t take down almost any food, I always try to hold myself from throwing up, even just for 30 minutes. Those days seemed endless for me, I started to feel depressed and hopeless. I felt so worthless as well because I couldn’t do anything apart from lying on my bed and throw up! I was thankful my husband, my mother-in-law and my siblings were there the whole time, supporting and taking good care of me. My parents paid several quick visits and it also helped me to cope up. The company where I worked with was also very understanding. I was able to still receive an income with the help of my leave credits and SSS sick leave benefit.
The medicine I was taking seemed to make my morning sickness worst. It’s called Duphaston and it contains synthetic progesterone. I was thinking this was probably how my body reacted with the pregnancy hormones which included me to the list of unlucky women. Poor me! Duphaston increases the level of hormones so I can maintain my pregnancy but as a downside, it made me sicker, more frustrated.
After 2 tiring weeks, I felt a bit of relief for reaching 12 weeks. I was so excited to see my OB so she could tell me I could stop taking the medicine, to wake up one day without the sickness and to be able to get my life back again. However, God has another plan for me. January 29th, Sunday, I suddenly felt a gush coming out from me. And there I saw, blood in my underwear. It was not just spotting, I was bleeding! Unlike before, I felt no pain but for God’s sake, more blood? It was terrifying! We hurriedly went to ER and believe me, I didn’t feel nauseated there. Maybe the fear and nervousness had taken all of me that I didn’t even feel a single pain.
In the ER, answering doctor’s questions were really exhausting and at the same time confusing. How come they still sounded very calm? There was another pregnant woman next to my bed and I heard the doctor telling her calmly that her baby’s gone. That moment, I felt more scared for myself, for my baby. The doctor checked my cervix, it was closed and then with a doppler, she checked my baby. The minute I waited while she’s searching for the heartbeat was by far the scariest moment of my life. What if she couldn’t find a heartbeat??? Fred was damned scared waiting as well. I prayed. I have struggled for weeks already, there’s no point of giving up!
And then, there was the heartbeat, still strong, so healthy and alive thanks to God! Fred and I felt so relieved. I stayed in the hospital for 9 days and put to bed rest again for more weeks. Findings this time – placenta previa, a condition wherein my placenta lies low in the uterus.
UTI and Yeast Infection
Our trials did not end there as I was hospitalized again for 7 days due to Urinary Tract Infection and Yeast infection. That time, no more bleeding but I was again scared to death for having a watery discharge. I was just 17 weeks pregnant and I thought my water broke already! Too many bad pregnancy stories I’ve read online came running inside my head but in the end, all I can do was pray for me and my baby. Thankfully, my baby’s safe and I was put to bed rest again.
Within all those weeks of bed rest, it turned out that I was not just experiencing a usual morning sickness. My OB told me I was having Hyperemesis Gravidarum – a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. Some say morning sickness is like having a hangover and hyperemesis is 10 times worst. Honestly for me, I felt like dying with cancer. But I survived! In 4 months of being very weak I lost 15 pounds, looking dehydrated and malnourished. At 22 weeks pregnant, this was how I look, so thin and I can’t even walk by myself properly.
Medicines, vitamins and hospital bills gradually depleted our savings. I couldn’t go back to work because of the complications so we’re left with utilizing only Fred’s salary and the sick leave benefit I had from SSS. But then again, this is just money. What really mattered most was the safety of our baby and a successful pregnancy. God is indeed good because months passed by, our most awaited day came! August 9, 2012, our bundle of joy came out through normal delivery, a healthy baby girl!
The moment I first saw her, all the struggles and pain were gone. Right there and then, everything felt right, Fred and I were finally parents!