August 19, 2016
Hey loves and welcome to my very first blog post! Since my blog will talk a lot about motherhood, I thought it fitting to do my pregnancy journey followed by Rylie’s birth story as my first post. My pregnancy started off pretty rough, with all day and all night morning sickness for the first 18 weeks. It really should be called 24/7 sickness because that’s definitely how it went for me. Anything and everything, including social media and my favorite phone games made me feel sick. Foods, drinks, and smells would make me gag. It was the worst feeling in the world and I really wouldn’t wish it upon the least liked person I know of. I have to give a huge shout out to Chris, because he was the real mvp throughout this journey. At one point during my pregnancy, he was going to the store every day buying different items I needed to remedy my sickness. From getting me ginger candies, to watermelon, to gatorade, to preggie pops..you name it, he went out to retrieve it. What a good baby daddy already! As I started to enter my 16th week, the all day sickness became a little more manageable. I was able to actually eat a little but still felt extremely nauseated at certain times during the day. I forced myself to return to work, but had to carry what my girlfriend and I called my “party” cup everywhere I went. This party cup is your typical red plastic beer pong cup, that held a napkin and collected all my excess saliva, GROSS! I was so disgusted by this, but being able to spit my excessive saliva out during the day, prevented me from actually throwing up. I got this idea from my mom’s sister who did the very same back when she was pregnant with my cousin. She called it her spit cup. I thought calling it my party cup hid it’s actual use better 🙂 In fact, while shopping in Bath & Body Works one day, a worker commented that she loved that I was drinking out of that cup and the fact I was already in party mode at 11 AM. Ha! Little did she know what was really in my cup, ew! By my 18th week of pregnancy, my sickness had finally subsided and I was completely back to my normal self enjoying most of the things I did before falling pregnant, minus the exercise and outdoors activities. I always thought I’d be that preggo girl who does yoga and stayed active during pregnancy however, I was the complete opposite. Pregnancy made me feel really exhausted and I started to experience braxton hicks contractions pretty early on. Because of this, I never did any type of yoga nor did I do anything involving sweating or using my muscles. By the end of my pregnancy I had gained about 28 pounds total. I was a little concerned about my weight gain and bodily changes, but tried to remind myself that my body was doing something very incredible. It was growing a little human that we couldn’t wait to meet!
At my 20 week anatomy scan (the scan they do to make sure baby is developing okay), the ultrasound tech found a bright spot on Rylie’s bowel calling it echogenic bowel. Now this would be the first time I got to see my little bean pretty much developed and in 3-D so I was extremely excited. I had no idea what an echogenic bowel was or what it meant, but once my session was over, I learned it could either be nothing or something very serious. Chris couldn’t get off of work that day, so my Mom was with me and I am so thankful she was there! I couldn’t really take in anything that was said after the word serious, because all I could think of was that something would be wrong with my precious little baby I’ve been thinking about and talking to for the past 4 months. At my next scan a few weeks later, I would find out she still had an echogenic bowel and that I had a low lying placenta. If my placenta didn’t move up by the time I would give birth, I’d be ordered to have a c-section. This completely freaked me out since the thought of being cut open is like something out of a horror movie (although it’s totally not and is a very common and normal surgery lol). Like, what if the numbing medicine doesn’t work? What if I happened to be allergic to any of their medications since I’m already allergic to like 5 different ones? What if I bleed out and they can’t get it to stop? Also, what if I’m in so much pain I can’t hold my baby and feed or take care of her? I was left feeling so worried and stressed. At my next scan another few weeks later, I was told Rylie was measuring on the smaller side and that it is concerning. Seriously? Will I ever hear good news!? Okay well on the positive side, Rylie showed a lot of movement, she was practicing her breathing, and she had a good heart rate. Those were all good signs of a healthy baby. Despite all the bad news I would get at these ultrasounds, I was happy to be able to see Rylie on screen more often than I normally would have.
During the 8th month of pregnancy, my blood pressure measured slightly higher than normal at my routine check up and I had quite a bit of swelling in my feet. My feet would get so swollen that I could press on it and it would create a dent that would stay for a while. I did my part and drank a lot of water, stayed away from all salty foods, and kept my feet elevated. Oh and I also got frequent foot massages! I can’t forget those. Thanks again to Chris for being my awesome masseuse. Throughout all of that, my feet still remained swollen. These symptoms were pretty normal for a pregnant woman, but since my blood pressure is normally very low, my Dr decided to test me for preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a potentially life-threatening condition. It can be very dangerous to a mom and her baby if she proceeds to full term during pregnancy, which is why doctors would have her deliver early. So for 24 hours I collected every drop of my urine in a large plastic jug, that I would later drop off to the lab for testing. Can I please tell you, it is NOT easy to collect your pee when you have a huge belly in the way! I may or may not have dropped a little on my own hand during pee collecting. Ew. Anyways, it turned out that I did not have preeclampsia, but Rylie was still measuring very tiny for her gestational age. Because of this, I was ordered to have a twice weekly NST scan to monitor Rylie, and was taken out of work and put on light bed rest. At all of my appointments with my obgyn, he always assured me that he really felt Rylie would just be a tiny baby since her dad and myself are not big people, but we were taking every precaution just to be safe. I seriously cannot thank my Dr enough for being so on it with all my symptoms and concerns. He was real, and made me feel safe in my pregnancy and this is really the type of relationship you want with your Dr. If you ever feel like your Dr is not listening to your concerns or just brushing it off, please get a second opinion because pregnancy can be a scary nervous time, and I found it so important to have professionals I could trust my baby’s and my own life with.
When I reached my 38th week of pregnancy, I had my last anatomy scan to see the location of my placenta, the size of Rylie, and if she still had an echogenic bowel. Much to my surprise, my placenta had moved high enough where it would be safe to have a vaginal delivery and Rylie no longer had an echogenic bowel. I felt completely relieved. However, she still hadn’t grown much since her last scan, so my Dr ordered me to get induced at 38.5 weeks which would be in a few days. He felt it would be better for Rylie to be out soon so she could start getting the nutrition she needed to grow, since apparently my placenta was not providing enough. I was fully ready for this. I had my hospital bags all packed and ready to go, along with our carseat, stroller, and crib set up. I was so anxious and excited. The time to meet baby Rylie was finally here 🙂
The night before my induction date I could NOT go to sleep. I had so many thoughts running through my mind and kept googling what happens when you get induced at 38.5 weeks. I would google and come across different experiences to make sure I knew exactly what to expect, so that I wouldn’t be freaking out. I finally told myself that I really need to rest because if being induced goes quickly, I will be extremely exhausted and look horrible in my birth pictures (which I kind of did anyway haha). So I went to sleep and several hours later I had to wake up. It was a rainy morning which was funny because we live in Hawaii where it hardly rains and the weather had been really nice that week. The same thing happened for my baby shower. Perfect weather the whole week and BAM, pouring rain the day of my shower. Little miss Rylie sure loves to make her special days memorable.
On November 7th, 2015, we got to the hospital at 6 AM and checked in. They were really busy that morning with a few other babies being born so we had to wait a while. This worked out great for me since I was starving and was basically told I’d be having breakfast in bed. Being the fatty I am, I ordered eggs, bacon, a bagel, a few jellos and juice, for what I thought would be my last meal as a preggo. After a couple hours, they were ready to get me started. I got hooked up to the baby monitors, similar with what I did during my NST scans, and was given Cervidil, which helps to dilate the opening of my cervix. I went in dilated at 1 centimeter and had to get to 10 before I was able to start pushing. Thinking this would only take a few hours, I got really excited when the Dr came in to check how much I had dilated. “You’re still at 1 cm” he said. What! I haven’t progressed at all since they first inserted it!? Omg, just how long will this dilation process take!? Anxious, I took to google to find all possible outcomes of being induced. That was probably not the best idea since google is so broad and I came across a bunch of different responses from induction going really quick, to induction taking several days long. I was completely bummed and getting even more anxious to have this baby. Desperate to know, I asked my nurse what would happen if the Cervidil doesn’t help with opening my cervix. She said I would most likely be sent home and would have to come back later to try again. Oh. My. Gosh. I was feeling so stressed and a bit frustrated since we had already gone through all this waiting and nothing had progressed. Sigh. But trusting my Dr, we went on with the day and continued to wait. Nothing happened throughout this time except I got to eat 2 more meals. Physically I did not feel any different from when I first arrived.
Finally at around 10 PM, I was checked again and had progressed to 3 centimeters. This would mean it is time to be given Pitocin. Pitocin is given through your IV, and helps to start labor contractions. My Dr scheduled me to be given this at 11 PM which left me about an hour to walk around, take a shower, and get myself ready before I take on these labor pains (Yikes). Pitocin worked fairly quick for me. I was starting to feel those nagging cramps, which turned into full on contractions, that only got stronger with each one. At one point I felt this huge gush of liquid down there, later to find out it was my water that broke. My contractions were getting pretty intense as time kept passing. Contractions for me, felt like a bad tummy ache intensified by 10. Each contraction was starting to last around a minute long, and each minute felt like 5 minutes. My nurse and Chris would have to remind me to breathe during a contraction because for some reason my body’s reaction was to hold my breath. I also felt the urge to push and it was getting harder to resist. That’s when I said screw a natural labor, GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL. That was the best decision I had ever made. The process for the epidural was a tiny bit uncomfortable but nothing compared to the pain of contractions. Once they got it going I was in complete heaven. My only thoughts were, contractions? What contractions? I really don’t know how some women do it without an epidural. They are seriously beast and I give them so much credit.
Once given the epidural, I was able to relax and finally fall asleep. I got it around 3 AM, and slept on and off until 8:30 AM which was when the nurse woke me up and said I had to push! My cervix ended up dilating to 10 centimeters while I was sleeping, so I had to start pushing immediately. What a serious wake up call. All I could think about was where is my mom and sister!? I really wanted them to be in the delivery room while I gave birth and was so nervous they wouldn’t make it. Chris called both of our families to let them know I started pushing and that little Rylie could be here at any moment. Luckily it was a Sunday morning, so there was no traffic. My family got there within the last 20 minutes of me pushing and Chris’s shortly after. Pushing was pretty easy for me thanks to the advice I was given which was to take a big deep breath, hold it, and push like you’re having a bowel movement. This was the best advice given to me because when you’re fully numb from your waist down, you can’t tell if you’re pushing or not. So having that reminder in my head, along with the support and guidance from my Dr and nurses helped so much. I had been pushing for about 40 minutes, when Rylie’s heart rate started to drop and she wasn’t getting much lower. My Dr told me that if her heart rate continued to slow, he would have to use this vacuum extractor to suction her out. This completely freaked me out, especially as he was going over the possible risks of using it. I felt so helpless and really didn’t want her to be vacuum extracted. My mom and sister just so happened to arrive at this time, so with my next 2 pushes and having Chris, my mom, and sister by my side encouraging me, I gave it MY ALL and was successful at pushing Rylie out, no vacuum needed. I’m pretty sure this caused me to have a 2nd degree tear, but hey, I avoided the vacuum!
On November 8th, 2015 at 9:23 AM, Rylie Emi Suzawa Siew entered this world. She weighed 5 lbs 1 oz, and was 18.5 inches long. She was the tiniest and cutest little newborn ever! We were so thankful she was healthy considering all the scares and bad news we would get at her checkups. I am also very thankful to both of our families for all their support and to my mom, especially, for attending every ultrasound appointment with us. I couldn’t imagine going through this whole journey without them. Rylie is such a blessing, and has changed all our lives forever!