As soon as my husband and I discussed having a second child, doubts started to creep in. My oldest daughter, Wryen, had just turned 1 years old on July 12, 2013, and I wasn’t ready to have another baby on the way.
I had lost all my baby weight, started dancing for a local basketball team, which I had to stop during the first pregnancy, and most importantly, I had finally adjusted to motherhood with one child.
So my husband, Wes Steele, and I decided to put baby No. 2 on hold. But as the saying goes, if you aren’t preventing, you are trying.
The art of trying, but not trying to get pregnant
We had been passively trying for one year and four months, when the vomiting started.
It was during the start of basketball season in November of 2014, and our family was preparing for a big move from Indiana to Tennessee. I couldn’t have been more excited.
One night I made a roast for dinner, and six hours later I started vomiting. It lasted the next 24 hours. Initially, I figured I had food poisoning (considering I’m not the best cook), but Wes and Wryen were fine.
Three days later, I was still vomiting like crazy. My current excuse was the stomach flu.
A few weeks passed, and I was still finding myself in the bathroom sporadically throughout the day. It’s not in the morning, so it can’t be morning sickness, right?
Baby on the way: the truth behind the morning sickness
Still, I needed to talk to someone. Who better than the person who helped me come to terms with my first pregnancy? I once again called my friend, Abby, and asked her to come over.
It doesn’t hurt that she always has a pregnancy test handy.
This time was no different. So as soon as she arrived, I took the test. Wam, bam, I’m pregnant again.
I blamed Abby. She is the pregnant fairy and has sprinkled her fairy dust on my soul.
I’ll admit I was irrational, but Abby understands me and laughed it off. She gave me a warm encouraging hug as she left, and I went up to my bathroom and called Wes to tell him the news. He was speechless before he could get out:
“Wow, that’s great, and it explains why you’ve been so sick and mean.”
Needless to say he was no help, so I decided to retire for the night.
Planning a cute pregnancy and childbirth
After weighing in at 200 pounds in my first pregnancy and having to have a caesarean birth, I decided this pregnancy and birth were going to be different. I would not be 200 pounds. I would have a vaginal birth, and I would be cute doing it. Otherwise, I knew to expect complete misery, and misery is what I got.
I hated being pregnant the first time, and I hated being pregnant this time even more. My back hurt. I could not sleep, and my unborn child had dropped at 6 months old. I could no longer walk like a normal person.
I was not only miserably pregnant, but I was miserably pregnant with a toddler. It was hard playing with Wryen because I was so tired. I fell asleep on her quite a few times. When she wanted to be held, it was a struggle picking her up, and I wish I could say I only had to deal with the physical limitations.
Balancing being a student mom with a baby on the way
I was finishing up pre-requite classes for pharmacy school, preparing to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) in July and planning to apply and interview for pharmacy school in October. The baby, by the way, was due in August, but my concern at that point was getting a high enough score on my PCAT to get into my school of choice in Nashville.
Needless to say, my stress level was through the roof. I wasn’t sleeping. I was hot. Despite my best planning, I felt fat at 190 pounds, and I had to pee every 10 minutes. How was I supposed to get a high score on this exam? I didn’t.
My score was so low, I cried once in the car and spent days depressed. That naturally turned into eating. I mean I was already 200 pounds. What harm could a 1500 calorie pecan Cinnabon do?
So I ate and ate, but I didn’t have much time to sulk.
Wrylee was coming soon, and I had to get out of this funk and focus on my baby.
Going into labor
I arrived at the hospital at 5 a.m. Aug. 3, 2015 for labor induction, which is required for a vaginal birth after a caesarian. This birthing experience was completely different from the first.
The hospital wouldn’t feed me anything but popsicles, so I ate 50 of them. I started collecting popsicle sticks as a fun game sitting in the hospital bed.
Even though I had gotten my eyelashes and pedicure done the day prior to delivery, by 10 a.m. the next day, half my lashes had fallen off. I sent Wes to the store to buy lash glue.
He was not too happy about that. I vaguely remember something about him going to miss the birth of his daughter for lash glue, blah blah, blah. The point is, he went. When he returned, I was still pregnant, and he had to hold the mirror while I put on lashes between contractions.
Will I have to have a c-section?
At hour 12, I was starving and only 4cm dilated.
“What would you like to do,” the doctor asked.
“Cut her out,” I said. “I’m over these popsicles, and I want Jimmy Johns.”
“Ok, let’s prepare for a C-section,” the doctor said.
After a traumatic experience with my first C-section, I was mentally preparing for the shakes, coldness, a trip to the intensive care unit with the baby and the bright light at the end of the tunnel.
To my surprise, the whole thing took 10 minutes, and Wrylee was here. No shivers, no bright light and no baby ICU scare.
I heard her first cry, and tears started running down my face.
Once I was in recovery and held my baby girl, I saw she had dark ears and dark nail beds. We knew she would be our little chocolate drop.
All of the pregnancy pains and pharmacy test fails didn’t matter. I had a second little girl, and I was in love once again.