In the past weeks, I had been having this funny feeling and my period had not come. A day after April Fool’s day, I quickly went to the dollar store that was near me to buy a pregnancy kit test. In my mind I was thinking it was not possible for me to be pregnant, so I purchased two just to be sure.
I went home and took the test; I was in shock because I saw two lines! This must be a joke, this must be wrong. All sorts of thoughts had come to my head; it was unbelievable. I was panicking so I took the other test and it confirmed the same thing. I started crying because I had just completed an accountability program at the gym and got down to my smallest and could fit into my size six pants. I only had two more accountability program to complete before the year; I was devastated. This pregnancy was not planned. I had started taking swimming classes to train for a triathlon I wanted to complete this year. I always believed; I could not get pregnant because of my fibroids. More so, I was not trying to get pregnant at this time. My mind was racing and in a state of shock.
I called my friend who was also my colleague and told her about the results of the test. She started laughing because it was the day after April Fool’s Day. She thought it was an April Fool’s joke. I told her I was serious and began to cry. I said I am not supposed to be pregnant and I can’t be pregnant. She asked me was I crying because I made this shrilling sound. She told me to come to her house. I picked her up and we went to the store, I bought two more tests. She told me that most likely I am pregnant because there is a hormone that the pregnancy kit tests for. So she said it doesn’t matter how many tests I take it will be the same results. She also stated that it made sense because at the job, I had been snacking a lot for the past couple of weeks. Then, I was scared to call my fiancé to tell him I was pregnant. This seemed a lot for us because we were planning our wedding that was coming soon. I remember texting him that I needed to talk to him and to call me on his break. He called me and asked me what was up. I told him that I was pregnant and I took 4 pregnancy tests. He was very excited. I even sent him a picture of the pregnancy test strip. He told me his co-workers were asking him what was wrong because he was crying. He just told them nothing because he didn’t want to reveal any information about it yet. So the following day, we discussed baby’s names. We agreed on a child’s name for the baby despite us not knowing the gender since it was a unisex name. My fiancé is Nigerian and they name children based on situations that surround the pregnancy. I wanted my child to know about his heritage.
Then I began to call to my family and friends. Everyone was excited. Afterwards, I called to set up a doctor appointment to take an official pregnancy test. Fast forward, I had an appointment with a midwife she congratulated me on being pregnant and gave me a folder with information for new moms to be. She asked me did I want to be part of the centering for pregnancy. It is prenatal care that includes a regular health check-up with a healthcare provider and additional time for learning and sharing with other women who have similar due dates. I was looking forward to this because it seemed like a support group for pregnant women. I would meet every Thursday, with a midwife that would check my vitals and the baby’s heartbeat and the nurse would take my weight dreadfully. It was very informative and great to be around other pregnant women sharing our experiences of being pregnant while learning about what to expect during pregnancy. I learned about breastfeeding, how to swaddle a baby, and possible threats that would require immediate medical attention. While attending these classes, I had not told anyone outside of my immediate family I was pregnant because of my husband’s culture. They don’t believe in sharing pregnancy news at the early stages perhaps because they don’t want people to wish harm on the baby.
After a visit with my OBGYN confirmed that I would be having a caesarean for this child and for future deliveries. The reason for this procedure because I had a myomectomy, it would not be safe for me or the baby to have a vaginal delivery because my uterus would erupt and it would be catastrophe for both me and the baby. This kind of broke my heart because I wanted to have a natural birth. Maybe because of the stories I have heard in the past about the trauma and complications that occur with a cesarean such as having a mommy pooch or the abdomen muscles needing time to repair. I was considered a high-risk pregnancy and had to have 5 ultra sounds to check on the size of the fibroids and if they were affecting the baby. I enjoyed seeing my baby develop from a little embryo to its full features. During the ultrasound appointment, the gender of the baby was revealed: It was a boy. He was very active during the ultrasounds and would be kicking or hiding, it was too cute! The doctor stated that I would have the baby delivered at 37 weeks instead of the normal 40 weeks because he didn’t want the myomectomy scar to rip.
In addition to everything that was going on, I celebrated another milestone with pregnancy and being married with in the same month.
I never really had morning sickness. At some point, I had a serious head cold, which landed me into an emergency room. Also I was dehydrated. The doctors really couldn’t do a lot for me since it was very early on in my pregnancy. I had several headaches/migraines. The doctor informed me that I could take Tylenol extra strength for my headaches. The doctor had me set up an appointment with a neurologist to make sure it wasn’t something serious. The neurologist told me not to keep taking the Tylenol because recurring headaches would occur and that’s what was happening to me. He recommended me to get Vitamin B-2 400mg and Melatonin 1mg. After about 4 months, they eventually stopped. I experienced round ligament pain that is a sharp pain or jabbing feeling in the lower belly or groin area on one or both sides. That is the worst pain, I tried walking it off to no avail, I had to eventually just go to sleep. Also, I would experience this sharp shooting pain in my back and in my leg, which was my sciatic nerve since the baby was putting pressure on that nerve. I had to sleep on my side with a pillow in between my legs to help me sleep better. It became difficult for me to bend down and tie my shoes. Or the constant going to the bathroom every second, the baby was siting on my uterus; I carried my son very low.
Eventually my pants wouldn’t fit and I thought of purchasing maternity clothes, but I decided to go to goodwill to get bigger pants to fit around my waist. I didn’t have any strange cravings such as eating chalk or tissue paper. However, whenever I took my dad grocery shopping, I would get three tacos at the store. I would be so hungry; I would eat them in the car before even pulling out the parking lot. I don’t think I really had cravings from the baby; it was I wanting to eat. Then again, I couldn’t tell the difference. I remember one time getting a 2 piece special from Popeyes with two extra wings, a biscuit and a side of red beans and rice. Or the time I went to Burger King and ordered two sausage croissant sandwiches with tater tots and orange juice. Then everyone was trying to feed me, I guess that is a common thing for people to do with pregnant women. I was always out at some restaurant eating well and I am a foodie lover.
I remember my doctor visit in April to May I had gained 16 pounds. The doctor had informed me that I needed to slow down because I started at 156 from the last accountability program. The doctor stated that the baseline of my weight should be 160 and I should gain no more than 25-30lbs extra and I should only be eating 200-300 extra calories. He warned that he didn’t want me to have gestational diabetes. I was out of school for the summer and I thought I could let go and enjoy myself since I was pregnant. Before delivering my son, I was up to 220lbs. I gained a lot of weight in my thighs. Boy, they spreaded like Popeyes chicken thighs! To try to maintain my weight, I never stopped working out and even did a competition at the gym. While working out, I would modify my exercises such as not lifting as heavy as I would before. I worked out up till 35 weeks until my muscles were tight. I had to stop because I would wake up experiencing some pain and I didn’t want to risk the baby coming early.
Despite my weight gain, my tummy was still kind of flat, as people would not easily notice I was pregnant. I thought of changing my job and I started applying to different jobs. At first I felt I didn’t have to tell them I was pregnant during the interview. On second thought, I chose to be transparent and tell the truth and I was hired anyway to a new job. I found a better job with better pay and accepted me being pregnant. I worked at my new job up until I was 36 weeks before my scheduled procedure and for maternity leave.