My first pregnancy was a bit of a shock, since I was just 18 years old and just out of high school. I found out that I was pregnant in April of 1996. I was still living at home with my parents and wasn’t married to my boyfriend. I knew firsthand that my parents would be very disappointed with me but for the most part my mom was supportive. It was important that I tell them before they found out on their own, so I told my mom first. She said she had already suspected something but was glad that I told her the truth.
My Parents Supported Me During My Pregnancy
My parents were really good and helped me out while I was pregnant. They allowed me to live at home until I was near the very end of my pregnancy. I did marry the babies father but later divorced him.
Early Prenatal Care is Important
I didn’t have insurance for over half of my pregnancy because I couldn’t afford it and no one told me that there was help through social services. Social services provides help for mother’s who don’t have health insurance so that they can seek routine medical care during pregnancy. I waited until I had medical coverage to see the doctor on a regular basis. I finally was able to see a doctor around my 19th or 20th week of pregnancy.
It’s a ………
I got to have an ultrasound when I was 21 weeks pregnant, it was wonderful to see my baby growing. I found out that I was having a girl. It was an exciting time for me because in a few weeks I would be a mommy.
I didn’t take very many pictures while I was pregnant and no longer hung out with my old friends from high school. I was somewhat embarrassed because I was a teen mom. She was a blessing and a gift and I shouldn’t have been embarrassed.
I had an easy and uncomplicated pregnancy. I was anticipating and preparing for an all natural birth; however, the day came and all my plans flew out the window. I attended a Lamaze class so that I could learn how to manage my pain and learn how to breathe through my contractions.
False Run to the Hospital
As I was nearing my due date, I remember that I went to the hospital thinking that I was leaking water. I was disappointed to learn that my membranes were still intact and that my water wasn’t leaking. When I went to a doctors appoint, my doctor checked me for progress and stripped my membranes (of course I had no clue what he was doing until many years later). Having my membranes stripped hurt when he did it but the pain went away shortly.
On the 14th of December, we went out to eat for my Mother’s birthday. We ate at one of my favorite restaurants. Then I went shopping afterwards for some new items for my apartment. After settling down for the night, I went to lay down and bed. I felt a pop and then a huge gush of fluid. I immediately ran to the restroom so that I wouldn’t make a huge mess all over the house. I called my mom since I couldn’t drive myself to the hospital.
My Water Broke
She quickly came and took me to the hospital. I arrived shortly after midnight and on the way to the hospital my contractions had started coming. Much to my surprise the contractions hurt really bad already and it was just beginning. All I could do was to cry through them, my breathing techniques flew out the window. After arriving to the hospital, I made my way to the labor and delivery floor. The nurse confirmed that my water did in fact break. Since it was in the middle of the night, the doctor order me some pain IV medication so that I could get some rest. I was able to get a few hours of sleep.
Eviction Process Started
After waking up, they decided to start pictocin since I wasn’t progressing very quickly. I immediately asked for an epidural. Once they administered the epidural, my pain quickly subsided and I was able to get comfortable. By lunch time, I was ready to push. My daughter made her grand debut on December 15, 1996 at 12:33 pm. She weighed 8lbs 2oz and was 21 inches long.
Breastfeeding was Important to Me, Even as a Teen/Young Mom
I begun to breastfeed her shortly after she was born. I knew that I was going to breastfeed my baby before she was born. The reason I chose to breastfeed my baby, was the financial savings. Breastfeeding saves parents thousands of dollars alone in the first year of life. I wasn’t in a position to be able to afford formula and I wasn’t aware of the WIC program for low-income women, infants, and children.
Recover was Tough
I had an episiotomy when I was delivering my daughter. The doctor cut me so that I wouldn’t tear. This was the worst part of my recovery and I was in pain for a few weeks. It probably took over 6 months for me to completely heal.
Found out my Daughter was Born Deaf
Shortly after my daughter was born, she was given an infant hearing screening. She failed the first screening and was scheduled for a repeat test in a few weeks. I took her back to the hospital for a second hearing screening and she failed the hearing test again. I was crushed as a mom because my daughter was born deaf. I beat myself up and tried to remember if I did anything during my pregnancy that could have caused this. She had to have multiple hearing tests during the first few months of her life. We found out that she had a bilateral hearing loss in both ears and that she was severe to profoundly hearing impaired, basically this is a nice way of saying that she was deaf.