Tuesday, March 22, 2011


<I realized that this was cut off at the end, so I fixed it and reposted>

We found out I was pregnant on Valentine's Day.  We always thought it would be difficult for me to get pregnant, since I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21.  We weren't trying, so it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

My pregnancy was relatively easy and trouble-free.  At every appointment, everything measured exactly right - no morning sickness, no high blood pressure, no gestational diabetes, only gained 18 pounds.  All the genetic testing came back clear - less than 1/40,000 chance of Down Syndrome, despite family history.  We had a small scare in July; I started having cramps, so they brought me in for monitoring.  A short time later, they told me I was just dehydrated, so to drink more water.

The baby was very inset in my abdomen, so I barely looked pregnant, though I felt it.  Unless I told people, they could not really tell I was pregnant until around 8 months.  I still wore many of my regular clothes and could never make maternity clothes fit properly.

We heard a perfect heartbeat at 10 weeks.  We saw our first glimpse on ultrasound at 12 weeks; a little bug bouncing up and down and all around.  At 20 weeks, we learned we would have a daughter, though I had felt sure for weeks that we would.  No boy names ever felt right, blue clothes never looked right.  I was always meant to have a girl.  

In June, we chose her name: Scarlett Grace.  No special reason, we just loved the sound of it.  Chris was adament that we choose a name that was less common than his; he did not want our child to always have to use her last initial as he had - "Chris W."

As my due date approached, I slowed down a lot.  I stopped working on September 29, when my sister was admitted to the hospital.  Once maternity leave began, I was not sure what to do with myself.  I puttered around the house, folding clothes and blankets over and over to make them just right.  I walked the dog around the block every day to try to jumpstart labor.

At 37 weeks, I was 1 cm dilated.  At 38 weeks, still 1 cm, my OB/GYN told us that we were looking at a big baby, at least 8-8.5 pounds.  She suggested we could induce as early as 39 weeks if we wanted to.  At my 39 week appointment, after my sister lost her baby, we asked to please induce just to have a plan.  We didn't think we could stand the stress of waiting and rushing around, and wanted the family to be prepared and calm.  The midwife told me again I was carrying a big baby.

On Friday, October 15, I was scheduled to induce, planning for delivery the next day, right on my due date.  That day, as I waited impatiently, trying to rest, I talked to my sister on the phone.  We were discussing contractions, and then I suddenly had one.  It was pretty mellow, so I just took a nap and waited.  At 7pm, I called the hospital to see if they were ready to induce me.  I expected them to say no, it's too busy, just stay home.  Wrong!  They said, "Come on in, we're ready for you."  We checked in, got settled and prepared to meet our dream girl. 

I was 3 cm when I was admitted.  They began Cervadil at 9pm and told me to rest, that they would monitor contractions I was already having and reevaluate in the morning.  At 9am, I was 4 cm, so they broke my water and began Pitocin.  There was meconium (baby poop) in the amniotic fluid, so the doctor said it was lucky I was there already.  As soon as my water was broken, the pain began.  I got an epidural shortly after; the first try didn't work, so I got a second. 

The baby started to show signs of distress.  They put an oxygen mask on me and made me lay on my side, turning me every hour; my legs were too numb to turn myself.  By 2pm, I was barely 5 cm, and the doctor was getting worried. We learned later that she had begun preparing for a C-Section just in case.

Suddenly, there was progress.  I was 8 cm, then 9.  The doctor said it could still take a few hours to be ready; I refused to believe that.  Contractions were tolerable but painful and I was tired and anxious.  I started to push on my own during contractions to get the baby moving.  It worked - the next check, I was 10 and ready to push.  Again, the doctor said, since it was my first baby, I might have to push for a few hours.  She suggested a "test push" to see how I did...as soon as I pushed, she flew, grabbing all the nurses, throwing on scrubs and prepping the room for delivery.

20 minutes later, Scarlett made her debut.  They were worried about the meconium, so they did not let her cry right away.  They laid her on my chest, but the blanket covered my face, so I didn't see her.  Chris cut the cord, even though he swore he wouldn't want to.  As soon as they cleaned her up, she let out a cry.  It was a huge relief to hear.  My sister took pictures of her as they cleared her lungs so I could see her.  

When they got her on the scale, she was only 6 pounds 7 ounces; what happened to that big baby I was supposed to have?  We laughed that we had been so ready for her to be big, we never considered she would be small.  She was finally placed in Chris' arms, as tears rolled down his face.  Just days before, he was sure he wouldn't cry, that he was prepared and knew how he would feel.  She was just that beautiful.


Anonymous said...

Your nine months will always be a joy in your heart. Your daughter is a gift to you, your family and everyone. Your story is touching on every level. God loves you and her more than you will ever know. I lost my 16 year old brother to cancer. It's heartbreaking to think a life can come into this world, with no guarantee's. It makes you learn to embrace moments, days, weeks and years. I hope you find peace in your heart and the courage to face the days as your parent skills and marriage skills are tested in ways you never expected. Love each other everyday. I hope your butterfly get's healthy so you can take her home. Much love- Christina

Jaclynn_kyuss said...

Where is it you live? I was born at Washington hospital and lived in Fremont most of my life till I moved to Livermore. Our babies are so close in age. Maybe we can schedule us some play dates when she's up for it :)

Jaclynn_kyuss said...

Oh and when I say play dates I mean mommy play dates! Coffee.. wine... haha

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog through The Bump. I'm reading through your story, and my heart goes out to you. I found out I was pregnant 2 days after Valentine's Day, my son was born 2 days after your sweet girl. I was also diagnosed with PCOS and didn't think we'd be able to have children. I haven't gotten any further to read more of your story, but this right here reminded me so much of myself, so I just wanted to let you know Scarlett and your family are in my prayers.

Lady Niblet's Mama said...

I too was diagnosed with PCOS and was told that I wouldn't have children. After a few years of trying, seeing a specialist and was about to do IVF, I got lucky and enjoyed a pregnancy for two whole weeks and then miscarried. I was devastated for months. I was told I had to wait three months to try again. I waited two but in three I got pregnant again and I now have an adorable little girl who celebrated her 1st birthday last month and isn't scared of anything. She's also VERY nosy. During my pregnancy, I had high blood pressure and in the last month I developed pre-eclampsia and had her two weeks early. They tried to induce me but it was going no where and ended up with a c-section. The one down side was I was the last one to hold her. I was also warned that I would have a big baby and she turned out to be 4 lbs and 11 oz. Also, in the beginning, I just knew I was going to have a girl. My mom and sister in law thought I would have a boy until we were told at 20 weeks that we were having a girl.

Rebecca said...

What a beautiful story!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story! You and Chris will have such a wonderful time telling Scarlett this story when she is 8, 16, 23 and when she is pregnant with her first baby. You and Your "little baby" will laugh at her growing belly filled with her butterfly! Keep fighting and continue to smile and laugh! Sending love and prayers from the Cozza's in CT.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story. I love the part about how Chris cried when he saw her. My husband did the same thing when he met both our sons for the first time. There's something so amazing about witnessing that moment. You'll love telling her about it when she's older, too.

We're always praying for you and baby Scarlett,
The Clawsons (in Denver, CO)

Sylvia said...

Oh Brandi, thanks so much for sharing that part of your story - it is just beautiful. Really tugs on a Mama's heart. Give that beautiful little fighter a big hug from all of us.

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely story. Scarlett is lucky to have such a devoted set of parents.

Anonymous said...

That story is so so sweet.
I think that your little girl is a wonderful, strong little fighter and you and your husbaand as her parents is just a sign that she is meant to be.

God Bless you all : )
Cafemom (Formerly Babycenter)
July 2010
Boston, MA