Monday, August 5, 2013

My Story - Endometriosis: Part III - A Baby Story

We were pregnant.

It was unexpected. It was ... holy cow - it was nerve-wracking.

I am a natural mother. I've mothered my siblings as long as I can remember. I mother my students. I am why 'mother' is a verb. I knew there was an exciting, frustrating, fun-filled life ahead of us. Steve was more pragmatic and wanted to start budgeting immediately. But by the end of the first week after finding out, we were both looking forward to our bundle of joy and anticipating what that joy would consist of. Besides, for the first time in YEARS I didn't hurt. I didn't ache. I wasn't nauseous. You heard me - nary a symptom of morning sickness did I have and I have only recently realized it was the just rewards for dealing with endometriosis my whole life. Karma finally said "Give her at least 9 months of freedom." It was heavenly.

Other factors were uncomfortable. Mind-numbing leg cramps that made me sit up in bed like a gunshot were fun. Steve got very adept at deep muscle massage in his half-sleep. And my muscles in the back were strained (it wasn't sciatica, but very similar from what I understand) b/c the full weight of Syd was in the front. But in all, I had the most peaceful, pleasant pregnancy I believe I've heard of - to the point where when, sitting in the doctor's office waiting for my check-ups and overhearing the other expectant mothers sympathizing with each other, I just kept my mouth shut.

My beautiful boy was breach. The entire time. He was and still is quite stubborn. This was demonstrated when the ultrasound technician was trying to get a measurement of his neck. I was 33 and I have a direct cousin with Down Syndrome - the Nuchal scan measures for extra fluid around the neck which Down Syndrome babies tend to exhibit. Every time she zeroed in on him and was ready to snap a picture so they could measure, he flipped sides. He went from right, snuggled up to me, to left, back to right. She finally had to move on and check some other things before trying to measure him again.

The good news? The Nuchal measurements were within normal standards. I was thankful that I wouldn't have to have an amniocentesis, which would be the next step. The bad news? He was a hairy baby. You could see his hair. By the last ultrasound done, he had an inch of hair on his head. And I was a poster-child for the old wife's tale that hair = heartburn. I chugged Tums like they were candy, walking around the classroom, chomping in between answering questions.

The auspicious month arrived and we were as set as necessary for a newborn. We had one last scan to see where his head lay; it had not moved in the last 6 weeks. I was doing swimming exercises to encourage the baby to turn, etc. The doctor, Steve and I decided a c-section would be the safest way to deliver our Sydney baby. We didn't know gender. We only knew name. And we were overjoyed to meet our son on that morning.

I healed well - as quickly as any c-section survivor could. The doctor, while she was "in there," took a look at my ovaries to check for any cysts, etc. I have often experienced direct pain on my right side, but she said it all looked healthy to her.

I had also heard that sometimes, the pregnancy hormones can, in fact, help endometriosis - reduce the lesions, sort of turn back the clock, and that symptoms are much lessened after a baby is born. I was hoping, praying, pleading that was the case - especially since she said everything looked healthy for the time being.

Alas, that was not to be. And Part III is over.


  1. Wow, Dionne- this is quite a story. I've known that you suffer from Endometriosis but I've never known the extent to which you've suffered. I'm pretty upset with that male doctor you had before you got pregnant- do you still have him? I'll be eagerly awaiting the next segment and I hope and pray you've had a little relief from your endometriosis now that you've had Syd and everything. Love you, sis!xo

    1. No! I forgot to include that with the third installment - He used to include obstetrics in his practice but had stopped the summer before we got pregnant. When I called to make my initial appointment, pregnancy hormones going full strength, he pleasantly told me I could visit his company's sister office. I decided to break ties with him at that point and Steve, God bless him, did research and found our current Ob/Gyn. I was in a hormonal panic and he calmed me down, made the appointment, etc. We've been pretty happy w/ our Dr since. :-) Love you, too!!