Emma Jean Franks was born on October 7, 2020 at 10:10 PM, weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz., 21 1/4 inches long. Absolute perfection.
Having gone through IVF, I was considered a high risk pregnancy. In my understanding, IVF puts the mother and baby at additional risk factors, however I was never too concerned as Emma’s heart rate and measurements were always on track and I felt great most of the time. In comparison to others, my pregnancy was a breeze. I had hardly any nausea after week 13 and felt amazing up until 34 or 35 weeks. I also slept great for the first seven months. Prior to reaching 36 weeks, my pregnancy was relatively uneventful.
At 36 weeks I developed gestational hypertension, unbeknownst to me. I just felt off all the time. My vision was blurry, my equilibrium felt shaky. I knew something was going on but had heard of this happening towards the end of term. I got the surprise of my life when during my weekly check up, I was admitted to the hospital for high blood pressure and additional monitoring for preeclampsia, which all tests came back negative. The following week, my OB decide to schedule me for induction after my blood pressure continued to
remain elevated. I had read horrible things about induction but the planner in me was a little excited to have an actual DUE DATE. The end was in sight and we were finally going to get our baby girl! At exactly 38 weeks and six days, my husband and I checked into the hospital and the induction process began! Medication was administered to speed up the process and start labor. For the first several hours, there was really no change. I didn’t feel like I was in labor, it wasn’t until I hit around 5 cm that the pressure and intensity increased as did the Pitocin level. I did not go into labor with a birth plan other than to be flexible and listen to my body, do what I needed to do for me. A very close friend of mine told me that no one gets a trophy for not getting an epidural. I took that to heart however I did want to see how long I could go without as I had also been told that they tend to slow the labor process down. But after hours on Pitocin, I quickly realized an epidural was eminent. My body was convulsing uncontrollably as I transitioned into different labor phases, forcing my body into labor when it wasn’t ready and the pain was excruciating. Overall, an epidural took the edge off and allowed me to rest.
Finally around 9 PM, just around the 24 hour mark since our check in, it was time to push! I had a wonderful experience birthing Emma. Active labor lasted just over an hour and she was here! We found out that she had gone to the bathroom in utero which caused her to have a short 4 Hr NICU observation. After we held her, they rushed her away for monitoring. It was then that the golden hour ended for us. The scar tissue from my previous surgeries throughout infertility had caused a wonderful place for my placenta to attach. Because of that, my doctor had to manually remove my placenta causing me to hemorrhage. After 15 to 20 minutes of making sure that all of the birthing tissue was removed from my body, they ordered an ultrasound and my husband and I were praying not to be whisked away for a complete D&C. Luckily all ultrasounds came back clear and we could be moved to our recovery room. On the way up to our room, we stopped by the nick you to see Emma and she was doing wonderfully. We were able to rest for an hour or two before she was returned to us in the recovery room and we have not looked back since. That little girl is worth every needle, every blood draw, every ultrasound, every surgery, every test... everything. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.