Friday, June 21, 2013

Reuben's Birth Story (pt. 1)

It may be 4 months after the fact but, honestly, I'm thankful it's taken me this long to sit down and write all of this out. It was sweet then, but it's extra sweet to look back on it and remember it all now. I want to remember as much detail as possible so instead of making it one super long post, I'm going to break it up across the next couple of weeks.

Ok. Here goes...

It all started Tuesday night. My upper back/shoulder area had been sore on and off since we took my maternity photos the week before. Amelia took awesome photos, but it was a lot of twisting, holding, stick-outing, and just straight-up moving for a 36 week pregnant lady.

I was pretty sure this photo alone was responsible for the discomfort, but I didn't really care too much because I love it so much.

Moving on...

Stretching had proven enough to make my muscles relax the first couple of days and then the pain died down. Tuesday at work it started up again and I figured my belly was just getting big enough to put serious strain on my shoulders. Stretching wasn't doing a lot, but the pain was bearable so I just lived with it. Somehow throughout my pregnancy, I bought and lost 5 bottles of tylenol and I was just too lazy to go buy more.

Fast forward to 1:00AM... the pain in my shoulders woke me up. It was constant, stabbing, so-bad-you-can't-breathe pain. I tried changing my sleep position. I tried on each side, flat on my back, on my stomach (as much as I could with a belly that big), with my head where my feet go, on the floor, on the couch, on the recliner-- nothing worked. So around 3:00AM I asked Clint to rub my shoulders and even his firmest grip wasn't doing much to relax the pain. Sweet, sweet husband that he is, he left to go buy our 6th bottle of tylenol. I got in the shower and turned the water as hot as I could handle and just stood there, praying that God would ease the pain. Clint got home with extra strength tylenol, I popped as many as were allowed, and I finally fell asleep around 4:00AM. I got up with Clint the next morning and decided I was staying home from work that day. I laid on the couch all. day. long. popping tylenol the second the four hour mark passed. The first half of the day wasn't too bad, but around dinnertime, I noticed the tylenol was wearing off closer to the three hour mark instead of four. By the middle of the night, I couldn't even tell I had taken anything about 1.5 hours after taking it.

Cue another night of trying absolutely any sleep position, no matter how ridiculous it felt, to no avail. By 5:00, I had just resigned myself to being up for the day. I got in another scalding hot shower and cried, still begging God would make the pain stop. I had already decided I was going to work for the day. I had to save my sick time for after Reuben got here, plus it was Valentines Day and I wanted to go on a date that night. When I was in school, if I stayed home sick, my parents wouldn't let me do anything that night. Their thinking was if I wasn't well enough to go to school, I wasn't well enough to do anything fun. So I still kind of stick to that mindset in grown-up life. I "got ready" by throwing on a man's undershirt, the biggest hoodie I could find, and throwing my sopping wet hair on top of my head. I didn't even put on makeup. Ain't nobody got time for that.

So basically, I was a hot mess.

I sat on our recliner, waiting for Clint to get ready (we work at the same church, so we ride together), and I bawled. I couldn't handle feeling like this for another three weeks. I told God right then that I needed this baby out of me.

And He said O.K.

Part 2   Part 3   Part 4


  1. Stopping by from the breastfeeding diaries! I've never read another birth story of someone who had HELLP. You might have actually read my story - I was the 3rd guest post last year. Anyway I made it full term but was diagnosed the day I went in for a scheduled induction and felt very similar to what you did - knew I was sick but didn't realize how bad. The whole thing scared me a lot - you sound so much braver about it all!

    1. Oh, I may sound brave on here, but it was easily the most terrifying day of my life! They were telling me I was getting worse and the only way to make it better was to get the baby out but they couldn't figure out how to do it safely. It was a lose-lose situation in my eyes! haha Thankfully we're both here and 100% healthy. Thanks for reading!


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