• Kathryn Bollinger

My Pregnancy Thus Far

I will be bluntly honest here but this is my experience and my life. My pregnancy is hard and I am not enjoying it much if any at all. Please do not judge me here as I know many people love to be pregnant. Please do not get the wrong idea either, everything I am going through is well worth it. I cannot wait to hold my little girl and have her here with me. I hope to read my story and understand how hard it really makes these 9 months.

I was not even sure I could have a baby but much more that if I did conceive again that I could get through a pregnancy. I have been through miscarriage, D&C, and abortion. Before all that I had a LEEP procedure as I have pre-cancer cells for cervical cancer when I was young. So with all this my cervix is very weak. I also have the RH- factor in my blood so depending on the father of the child it causes issues with my blood and the fetus. I have to get shots for this and make sure the blood does not cross through the placenta to the baby. Those are the main things I have worried about when it came to having a baby so it just was not in the cards. They told me it was a low chance I would get pregnant again.

Here I am 22 weeks pregnant. I have been married to my husband for 18 months. This was not planned and very unexpected. But it is a miracle. As I have said in my previous post we were very surprised and not sure what to do. The first semester was horrible. I have been on anxiety mood medications that were in the midst of being messed with all throughout last spring and summer. I was a mess honestly. I also take a long term migraine medication which I have been taking for about 10 years. Then I take Tramadol for back pain. I refuse to take Oxy or anything super hard with narcotics as I have always worked a lot and wanted to be able to have a life. But I have chronic back pain. There were other meds I took to help these 3 medical issues. I was worried that I am taking medications I needed and I already have complications so what do we do? Well my anxiety got worse the first few weeks until I could see the OB and talk to all my doctors. I was in this transition mess. My husband had no idea how to handle any of it. We were at each other throats literally.

Let me tell you once I heard my baby's heartbeat on the first sonogram at 8 weeks I knew I had to do everything I could to figure out how I could get through this. I spoke to the doctors about everything. All my history, the risks, my medications, my mental and physical health. They told me it was possible to get through the pregnancy but it would be hard. There would be risks but could be managed and I would see MFS and everyone would work together. They went over my medications and weighed out what was best to go and keep. Then changed dosages. I was so happy to hear that I was able to get through this because I wanted a baby.

The first trimester was miserable for me. Not because of morning sickness. Because I did not have that. I had food aversions and actually could not eat much at first. But never got sick. I felt like I had mono and felt out of it as if my body was giving up on me every day. I kept thinking my baby was dying or something was wrong like the baby was fighting my immune system back. Then cramping started a lot and it was bad some days. One night I started bleeding bad so I thought well here we go another miscarriage. I saw the OB and it was placenta previa. I was told it is early so there is time for the placenta to move away from the cervix. I was 12 weeks then. But that the bleeding is not good for me because of the RH- so I needed another shot and was put on light physical activity. After that I had to start seeing my MFS every 2 weeks and my regular OB once a month. They wanted to check my cervix and placenta and keep checking my moods.

In my second trimester now I can say I am for the most part doing better, mentally at least. The cramps got really bad few weeks ago but they were higher and making my abdomen tender. The OB said that nothing was wrong in the vaginal area organs. They were worried about my appendix. Since it was so painful but I did not have a fever or sickness they wanted to treat as infection before removal. They did bloodwork and found infection which they treated with antibiotics. I was very worried that it was going to rupture and I was going to need the surgery. Be in a hospital alone for couple days. This is already not the best time to be having surgery and to have it pregnant just was enough anxiety for me. Luckily I feel better from that now. I was on bedrest for 2 weeks. Now I am back on light activity as my placenta is finally moving away some. Things are starting to look up. I would love to have a vaginal birth if I can. If my cervix is not strong enough and I need a C-section then it is what it is. They have transfusion ready in case I need blood transfer during birth.

It is defiantly going to be a rough 15 more weeks. I feel like I have a good day but then wake up to something else wrong or bad days. I am glad the initial things we were worried about are getting better and that she is very healthy in there. She is growing great and all testing has come back so far normal. I am very grateful for this. I just feel that I am always feeling horrible in some way form or another. Sleep is something that has become non existent for me. I slept a lot the first few weeks and then it just stopped. She tends to be active at nighttime which makes it hard for me to get to sleep. Add that with being uncomfortable in any position. The past few days my spine has flared up. I think there is fluid in there causing this horrible sharp pain from my neck to the middle of my back on the right side. This makes it hard to mobilize my shoulder. I need to see my orthopedic spine doctor as I am not sure how much pressure my back can handle. My lower back is also aching from her which wouldn't be so bad to me if I did not have the other pain. It just feels like I now can't find a moment where I am not in pain or able to sit or lay down. This makes my anxiety sneak up. The anxiety is under control now but unfortunately it never just goes away. So being out of work and between bedrest or light physical activity makes it hard to keep the thoughts from consuming your head. I have had to find different ways to fill my day with productive things to do. Sometimes my mind will still wander off especially when I don't sleep at nighttime.

Now that I have explained all of this. I don't mean to paint a terrible picture. It has been difficult to say but more so bunch of obstacles. I feel that every time I get through one complication I know that I can get through any more that get thrown at me. I have started to feel her kick which is the part that makes all of it worth it. I can sit there and hold my stomach for those moments long enough to just clear my mind. Being able to see her on the screen since I have to go to the doctors so much is amazing. I get to watch her be weird and move around non stop. It is annoying to go to so many appointments but I look at it as I get more updates on her. I just hold on to the thought that I will be with her soon.

Just know that some people have easy pregnancies and glow throughout. There are things like post partum depression afterwards that women don't talk about. Pregnancy horror stories that women are too sad to talk about. But it makes it better to talk about all of our experiences. No pregnancy is the same. We all can have similar experiences though and find comfort from others. Whether good or bad we always get through them because we are strong.

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