And Just Like That I was a Mom.

Throwback Thursday – Life Before LCA.

I knew I was pregnant before I saw those pink lines. I don’t know how but I just did.

I was only 18. I was on birth control. I was in university and living with my parents still. My relationship wasn’t the most stable and I wasn’t sure how he’d react but I knew what I wanted to do the second the thought popped into my mind.

I remember taking the test upstairs in the bathroom during my youngest sister’s birthday dinner. It didn’t look like anything was there so I threw it out. When I came back later to really get rid of it so no one saw, there looked to be a second line. And even though the box says to disregard anything past 10 minutes, I knew I shouldn’t.

I waited a couple days and decided to take another test. This time in the university bathroom right before my statistics final. It was a blazing positive. And although I really had thought I was pregnant, my mind was spinning. I couldn’t focus at all and I ended up walking out of the exam.

I told my boyfriend at the time and his response was mostly denial. Even after I saw a doctor at the University he didn’t believe me. For some reason he thought we couldn’t be “sure” until the 12 week ultrasound they had booked for me that was still weeks away.

Photo of Melissa laying on her back showing the profile view of her pregnant belly. There is a gifaffe stuffed animal resting on her stomach.
Baby Bump.

He begged me not to tell anyone and went on living as though there was nothing to worry about. Luckily I wasn’t that uninformed and I made sure to take care of myself and not do anything that could be harmful. But I let him pretend that there was nothing going on, I don’t know why, looking back I think it was to save myself the headache.

I went to the 12 week ultrasound alone. Everything I had done at that point had been alone. I had cabbed from work and made up some excuse to my dad who usually picked me up. And then had made plans to meet my boyfriend after work at a restaurant.

When I slid the picture across the table you would have thought I never uttered a word about the possibility of a pregnancy. He was honestly shocked. I can’t help but laugh at that image in my mind now wondering how he could really be so naieve.

After that things got stressful. Not physically. I had barely felt any nausea or really any symptoms at all. But emotionally things were hard. He wasn’t particularly excited about the situation and he was very clear that it was to be kept a secret until a decision was made. Although I made it very clear from the start that my decision was already made.

The next couple months were full of secrets. I had to sneak out of work again to go get my 18 week ultrasound. I could only share the news of finding out I was having a girl with my best friend. It was a lonely and confusing time.

Then around 20 weeks I remember sitting on the couch and my pajama shirt riding up a little. My mom made a comment about me looking a little bloated and tried to touch my stomach. I all but jumped out of my skin. Terrified the baby would kick at the exact wrong time.

Knowing that the jig was almost up I told my boyfriend it couldn’t wait any longer. I was starting to show and it was getting too far along. His first response when I said I was going to tell them was that he should just leave town back to his mom’s since they’d be so mad (sometimes I wish I told him to go but I know that is selfish). After some thought he decided to stay but he came up with a story that I was expected to follow. To keep the heat on myself. I was to tell them that I just found out a few weeks before and that I had just told him that day. And because I felt like I had no choice and I didn’t know how to explain why I’ve been hiding it for 5 months, I told the story.

When I told my mom I was pregnant she said “Are you sure?”. Oh yes I was sure. But from the very first night I told them, they were supportive. They never tried to make me feel bad or like I was disappointing them.

The following months were fairly calm. When my seasonal job ended I started working at a maternity store that gave employees a big discount. I was in university and still attended classes. I celebrated my 19th birthday quietly at home. And I did what was needed to prepare to bring home a baby. My parents never pressured me to move out or drop out of school. They helped me rearrange things in the house so that we would be able to mainly have the basement space as our own. I bought a TON of baby gear during baby days at Toys R’ Us and my mom threw me an amazing baby shower where people really spoiled us.

photo of Melissa cradling and looking down at her baby bump smiling.
Baby Shower Day!

For that period of time it seemed as though everyone (including my boyfriend) was on board and excited for the new arrival. I was starting to feel prepared.

I was due on December 22nd but I really didn’t want to be in the hospital for Christmas. One because that didn’t sound like a great way to spend my Christmas and two because I didn’t think sharing your birthday with Christmas would be very fun.

But nine days before my due date I remember slightly waking up to a weird popping sound just before 6 in the morning and as I laid there for a minute I started to feel the gushing. My water had broke.

Being my first baby, and being 19, I had no idea what to expect. I thought your water just breaking was really only a thing that happened in shows. Everyone I had known made it seem like there was hours of contractions before their water maybe broke or that the doctors had to do it for them. So when I woke up to that with no previous signs of labor I definitely went back to feeling unprepared.

I still remember how much water it was. I never thought it would be SO much. And I remember being confused about where the pain was. Oh those innocent 15 minutes before my first contraction hit haha. I was changing in the bathroom telling my mom I didn’t really feel anything when I got the first one. It hit me out of nowhere and it was long. I started having contractions 5 minutes apart and 1 minute in length from the very first one. Since I was struggling and my water had already broke we decided to head to the hospital pretty quickly.

I had to stop several times in the hallways to fold myself into a ball and struggle through the contractions. When we finally got to the right floor they told me to go change and then they would check how dilated I was. Since I was only 38 weeks and my doctor was pretty hands off I had never had a cervical check before. The nurses face when she checked looked so confused I started to feel embarrassed. All I was thinking was that here I am this little 19 year old folding over in the hallway in unbearable pain and I’m probably not even dilated yet and am about to be sent home to wait.

But I definitely misread that confusion as my triage bed was quickly rolled down the hall and nurses were trying to set up so quickly they were dropping the sterile tools on the ground in a panic. I was dilated to 9 cm.

I was scared because my mom was still downstairs registering me and I wasn’t prepared to have a fully natural delivery. Luckily I was saved that fear when the OB came and checked me and told me that we were gonna be awhile since the baby was facing the wrong way. So even though I was already 9 cm I was allowed to receive an epidural and we weren’t in a hurry.

After that things were pretty calm for being in active labor. The epidural made the contractions barely noticeable. It was a few hours until I was told I could start pushing. It was just the nurse, my mom, my boyfriend, and me. When I was close to delivering they brought in the doctor (and six interns) and I was still pretty heavily numb. The epidural caused some struggles with delivery because I couldn’t tell when was the most effective time to push (during contractions) but soon enough she was here.

On December 13th 2013 at 2:23pm, Hailey Olivia was born.

Photo of newborn Hailey swaddled in a pink blanket laying in the hospital bassinet.
Hailey Olivia.

And just like that I was a mom.

Thank you for following our journey!

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