I have been a mother for 16 months and 24 days. Vincent Xavier Romanowicz is the light of my life. Truly, I have never loved anyone or anything this much. It truly hurts and is terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. Truth. Sometimes it is the most awful thing on the face of the planet. Judgy assholes can stop reading right now because this is going to get brutal. (Vincent, if you ever read this when you are older... I love you and you are the best thing that ever happened to me.)
I found out I was pregnant after a long weekend of getting
super drunk. I cried for hours. Not of happiness. I didn't want a baby. I knew that I had to have the baby because I couldn't validate not having the baby. I was married, we were financially stable, we loved each other, and we were not some irresponsible teenagers. I was angry that my entire life was going to have to change forever. I was going to have to grow up and be responsible for someone other than myself. I referred to the baby as my parasite for a very long time. It was my way of acting like it was not happening to me. It wasn't real. Although I was anti-baby, I obeyed all the doctor's rules and didn't eat lunch meat, sushi or drink caffeine. I didn't drink alcohol or smoke. I didn't take my Klonopins, get my hair colored or go into the steam room at the spa. Fucking terribly boring. Ugh.
As you know from my other blogs, I travel for work frequently. I had to take a trip to Minneapolis with another co-worker, and at this point I had not told any of my co-workers about the pregnancy. I got off the plane and had to pee. I hopped into the airport bathrooms (which I hate since they are disgusting,) and when I was in the stall, I noticed that I was bleeding. My heart sank, my stomach rose into my throat, and I started to cry. Being the compartmentalizer that I am, I sucked it up and headed out to get my rental car knowing that I was going to head to the emergency room as soon as I got in the car. I told my co-worker what was going on, and he was so calm and collected about it for me. He was very supportive, and I will always be grateful for that. I got into my rental, called my mother and best friend and headed to the hospital. Long story short, I was okay. I also realized that maybe just maybe I wanted this baby. No more parasite.
My pregnancy was hard. I had gestational diabetes,
heartburn so intense that I would throw up at night, and I was a "high risk" pregnancy due to my ripe old age of 35 and being overweight. (These baby doctors are not as kind as you would think.) I had to be monitored much more than a regular patient. I remember when the nurse told me that I was going to have to go from weekly monitoring to twice a week. I had an epic meltdown in the office. I was actually crying, in front of people, openly angry about it. They looked at me like I was crazy... Well?
I constantly thought that I killed the baby. I didn't understand my new addition of keg abs and ran into shit all the time. I was convinced that he was going to come out with a dent in his head. Then of course, the doctors tell me to monitor for movement. If he doesn't move a certain amount of times in an hour, then call the doctor. Do not do that to a hypochondriac like myself. I had a lazy baby. He slept a lot and did not move often. I would often have to press on different parts of my belly to wake him up so that he would move. Maybe that is why he gave me such a hard time...
Fast forward to the day.. I went in for a 38 week ultra sound and they discovered that I barely had any amniotic fluid left, so they wanted me to head to the hospital. Today was going to be the day! No it fucking wasn't. I was stuck in labor for forty hours!
I had an episode at one point that scared the fuck out of me and my husband. During a cervix check, you know when the doc sticks their entire fucking hand inside your body to check how dilated you are? Yeah, well I started to feel terrible and like I was going to pass out. All I remember was the nurse saying something like, "Her blood pressure is 30 over 60!" Then the room flooded with teenage girls. After I came to, I joked with the nurse that I guess when all the young girls come into the room you know that shit has gotten real. She told me, "Yeah those are the doctors." Fuck my life.
I had to be induced, I was numb from the waist down for over 24 hours. Larry would just laugh at me because I would ask him if my legs were on the bed, and guess what? I would have a leg dangling off the bed because my body was so numb that I couldn't even tell! It was insane. I started to get so uncomfortable from being numb for so long.
Back to the Future trilogy. Still no baby. Some terrible bulb inserted in my cervix and pumped up like a bicycle wheel. No baby. I had never wished for 10 cm in my entire life. I pooped, but no baby. You have got to be kidding me. I felt like a failure. Why could I not push this baby out. I had watched Kourtney Kardashian gently push her baby out of her vag into her arms. What was wrong with me? Four hours of pushing. No god damn baby.
This dude doctor comes in and tells me that it is probably going to be a few more hours... I lost it. "You are going to give me a fucking c-section now! This is my body and you will do what I want now!" Bedrails up, rolling into the room for surgery. Why had I not done this earlier? More anesthesia, curtain up, and now I am throwing up while laying down.
I feel like there were tons of doctors in the room. They are cutting me open and all I can think about is how fucking thirsty I am. They pull out the baby and take him away. I didn't hear a cry, I didn't see him. All I remember asking was if he was a ginger. (Which is totally ridiculous since neither Larry or I have any red haired genes. Just shows you how out of it I was at the time.) Things are really foggy for a bit, but all I know is that I had not seen my baby. I woke up. No baby. Did he make it? What was going on? We did not know. No one seemed to be willing to talk to us about things. I was devastated.
Nurses came in and out administering meds to me, adjusting some fucking pump things on my legs, and bringing me everything except my baby. After 8 hours and 1 season of Rock of Love, I finally had a nurse tell me that she was going to let us see our baby. We had to go through a process that reminded me of what you see CDC workers go through when they need to be sanitized so that we could even get into the NICU. I was pretty impressed.
There he was. He was perfect and beautiful. He was also hooked up to IVs, monitors and all sorts of scary shit, but he was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I was so scared because I couldn't touch him. He was in a plexiglass bubble.
No one would tell me if he was going to be ok. I would ask, "So he is okay right?" I never got an answer. The doctors talked about blood sugar levels, heart and lung things. I could not follow along. My husband had stayed with me every moment sleeping in 30 minute increments in a chair, so I finally convinced him to go home and sleep in a bed for the night by asking him to bring me some things from home.
I could not sleep. That night I went to see Vincent. It was about 1AM, and it was so quiet in the NICU. All you could hear were the monitors beeping. I sat with him and told him secrets, stories and prayed. I am not religious, but I prayed. I will never forget the nurse that came in to Vincent's room that night. He asked me if he could do anything for me, and I said that I just wanted to know if he was going to live. The nurse proclaimed, "Oh my god. He is going to be fine. He just needs to be monitored for a couple of days." Then he pulled Vincent out of his bubble and let me hold him. It was a moment that I will never forget. Also, what the fuck! Why did no one tell me this? Why did they let me worry so much? I couldn't be mad because I was so overjoyed.
Finished second season of Rock of Love. Saw all the Harry Potter movies (except the one that HBO has the rights to, come on!) watched the New England Patriots win yet another Super Bowl and finally got released, but not Vincent. I had to go home without my baby. It was the worst. I felt helpless and sad. I remember being scared because I had never felt that way before. This was what depression feels like. I had never felt it before. I also felt disconnected from Vincent. I never had that fucking special moment you see on television. I didn't get to have his gooey blood covered little body pressed to my chest for skin-to-skin contact. My baby was taken out of me and not seen for over eight hours. Put that on television.
Luckily we got a call letting us know that they were going to release him the very next day. It was as though a switch was flipped in me. No more helplessness. No more sadness. It was go time. It was time for me to prove to everyone and mostly myself that I was ready to be one kick ass mom.