Two sons. Two c-sections.
That is where the similarities between my two pregnancies end. One birth in my teens, one birth in my 30’s. One broken relationship, one strong marriage. One birth while I was in college, one birth during a global pandemic.
I was 18 years old when I found out I was pregnant with my first son, Jaden.
It was definitely a shock as I had just recently started dating his father. I was a basketball player and he was a football player. We had met at a party hosted by one of my teammates. He was from out of state and returned home after the 2nd semester when I was about 12 weeks along. After that I moved home with my parents to have more of a support system. I had 3 younger sisters who were still living at home too. I was very reluctant to tell friends and family in the beginning, but as time went on I became less worried about what others thought. When it came to my big milestone doctor’s appointments my mom stepped up and would take off work to join me. Unfortunately, there were many appointments I went to solo. I felt so embarrassed walking into my doctor’s office, I was very young and very alone. I remember sitting in the waiting room looking around at all of the couples waiting on appointments and longing for that for myself.
I was 30 when I found out I was pregnant with my second son, Callum.
I took a pregnancy test the day my husband Alex, my son Jaden, and I got home from our familymoon, 2 weeks after our wedding. I was shocked again but this time, it was because I wondered, how could we get pregnant on our first try? We were elated and took so much joy in sharing the news with our family and friends. I met Alex when I was working as a car salesperson, he also sold cars. On a night out with coworkers we started chatting and just clicked. From there our relationship progressed from him meeting jaden and forming a relationship to moving in and purchasing our first home. A couple years after that we got engaged and then married. My husband went to every appointment with me at the beginning of pregnancy. I think about the first appointment when we were sitting in the waiting room. I felt so much peace as that is what I had wanted so badly the first time around.
Walking into my 20-week anatomy scan the first time around I was accompanied by my mom.
When the tech told us I was having a boy, my mom and I looked at each other with a bit of confusion. She had been raised with 3 sisters and I also had 3 sisters. We had no clue what to expect with a baby boy. Either way, we were happy to hear he was a healthy baby. From that 20 week appointment, time seemed to drag along. I was in school full time while also working and I swear the bigger I got the slower time went. I was pretty active throughout my pregnancy, spent time hanging out with friends and attended classes up until my induction day at 42 weeks.
Walking into my 20-week anatomy scan for my second pregnancy I was accompanied by Alex.
We weren’t planning to find out the sex until birth so we were just hoping for a healthy baby and to get some cute ultrasound pictures. Little did we know this would be the last appointment Alex was allowed into with me. See, that appointment was in late February 2020. A couple weeks after that appointment, the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was moved into a home office in our dining room, Jaden’s school closed down, and my baby shower was converted to a drive-by shower. In the beginning we had such little information on Covid that the stress and worry surrounding protecting my baby and myself was overwhelming. We were basically in quarantine from March 2020 until the end of June when we went in for my scheduled c-section.
When I went in to be induced with Jaden they put me on pitocin right away.
I was at 42 weeks and barely dilated so they wanted to get things moving. Things did not get moving, after 12 hours of hard labor my doctor finally approved the epidural, I was only dilated to a 4. Fourteen hours after the epidural I had only dilated to a 5, so they took me for a c-section. My mom suited up in the scrubs and sat through the surgery with me as we welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world. When we got out of the recovery room my sisters and dad were waiting for us in my hospital room. They all welcomed and embraced me and my sweet new baby. We had many visitors over the next few days. As the first one of my friends to have a baby, everyone wanted to meet him.
With my second, we scheduled my c-section a week before my birthday and kept our fingers crossed that Alex would remain Covid free for the next 7 days.
My anxiety was probably the highest during that last week. I was so fearful that I would have to deliver the baby alone if he tested positive. Luckily, the last days came and went and we both tested negative on our preliminary tests. It was going to be just Alex and I at the hospital because of all the restrictions. Everything went fairly smoothly in the beginning of surgery. When they pulled the baby out, Alex got to announce to the whole room that it was a boy. We were both overjoyed. By now, I had learned that I adored being a mom to boys.
Unfortunately the rest of the procedure did not go as smoothly. Shortly after Alex’s announcement, I started to feel a small pinching feeling in my lower abdomen. Within about 10 minutes, my Spinal had worn off completely and I could feel the full pain of what was being done. The doctor tried to hurry through closing so they could get me more meds but by then, I was feeling every stitch. I felt so bad for Alex as he paced back and forth across the room, holding our new baby, helpless as the doctors and nurses spent the next 4 hours trying to get my pain under control.
I didn’t get to hold the baby until about 5 hours after my c-section. It was agonizing having to wait so long but I was relieved when he was finally placed into my arms by his proud daddy. With Covid, we had no visitors over our 4 day hospital stay but we had many facetimes with big brother and he was the first to find out the baby was a boy.
After giving birth to Jaden we went back to my parents house.
Recovery was very slow and very rough. That long labor plus a c-section had worn my body out. I had no idea that I wouldn’t be able to sleep normally in bed for days, that stairs would be nearly impossible, or that the pain from laughing and sneezing would almost end me. I was not prepared for all of the extra issues that come from having a c-section. Those first few weeks at home were a real blur, my entire family pitched in throughout the day but at nights I was mostly alone. I felt like the night time was when I would let myself breakdown. I had anticipated being a single mom was going to be difficult but I had never imagined how hard it actually ended up being or the overwhelming feeling of loneliness.
When we came home from the hospital with Callum our house was ready for me.
I had learned a lot after my first c-section and was determined to have a smooth recovery this time around. We had a rocking comfy recliner set up next to the bassinet for me to sleep in, I was three feet from the bathroom, and I didn’t have to worry about stairs. Alex and Jaden were literal rockstars those first few weeks at home, they waited on Callum and I hand and foot. I felt so much love and support from them both, I was so lucky. Alex and I got into a routine that gave us both breaks and allowed us both to get sleep. It was pretty magical watching Alex be a father to our new baby. He had already been an amazing dad to Jaden the last 5 years but I didn’t know what to expect when it came to a baby, and I was not disappointed.
I reflect back on both of my pregnancies and smile at the vast differences. I feel like I have lived two lives in one lifetime.
I was and am so blessed by the love of my family and now the love of my husband. I want those who read this to know that just because your life is a certain way right now does not mean that it will be your life forever. I can say Jaden and I found our happiness as a family of two but I always felt like there were pieces missing. Now with Alex and Callum our family feels complete.