My husband got a text from his sister saying something along the lines of, “I had a dream Kelcie is pregnant, so if she’s not already pregnant she’s going to be soon.” We had both decided it was a good idea to wait to have another child, if ever, and definitely after we both were finished with school. My husband, Nick, and I took on a lot, as students, as it was. While in school, we had already [both] worked full-time, planned a wedding, gotten married, moved states twice, had a baby, and became homeowners. It just wasn’t in the cards. We had just purchased our first home, a home big enough for the 3 of us, and we wanted to be in something bigger before we expanded our family. It was November of 2012, 7 months after we closed on our house. Nick was working on homework as he showed me the text. He disregarded what his sister said, but I did not.
I immediately looked at the calendar and thought to myself, “there is NO way, is there?” BUT I, also, KNEW she would be right. I knew because I wasn’t the first person she had dreams about. I didn’t tell Nick I was heading to Walgreens, but I loaded up our toddler and set out to buy a pregnancy test. I bought 3. When I got home, I took a test. Negative! My husband was relieved. Not at all the sense of excitement he expressed when I found out I was pregnant with our first. He disregarded his sister’s text, but I didn’t. A few days later, I took another test. Negative. No matter what, it would’ve been too early for me to tell and I knew this, but I just KNEW my sister-in-law was right; even if the tests were not telling me. A week after the dream, I took another test. POSITIVE!!! My husband and I called his sister immediately to tell her she was right, and I joked she got me pregnant.
A few weeks later, the nausea started. Unbearable nausea. It lasted for almost my entire pregnancy. I wasn’t able to cook because the smell of food made me absolutely sick. I also experienced horrible pregnancy insomnia. I was prescribed Unisom and B6 by my midwife; it helped eliminate some of the nausea, but the insomnia was constant. Because of the differences of my pregnancies, I knew deep down, I was either going to have a girl or I was going to have twins. There was NO WAY I was having a boy. At my 20 week ultrasound, I decided I would find out what I was having…. Only to tell my husband I was right. I was. We changed my son’s room so he would have a roommate. I negotiated with my son, who could understand what I was saying, but was very delayed with expressive speech, “If you want a sibling, you need to go to the bathroom in the toilet.” I kid you not, it worked. My son, who never wanted to be wet, was potty-trained before he turned 2.
As I reached my due date, my 39th week of pregnancy, my mother-in-law came to Minneapolis to help with my son in case I went into labor. I tried walking, acupuncture, pedicure, you name it. I was ready to be done. I was really hot, every day, and I needed my daughter to come out while I had help to watch my son. Since nothing was working, my mother-in-law booked her train ticket to go home the next evening. My mom would be arriving in 2 days, so I would have someone around; it was going to be the weekend so my husband would also be home. The next morning, at 39 weeks, 6 days, I woke up at 6:00am. I knew what it was like to have my water break to start labor, but I was going to wait it out before I told anyone…I needed to be certain. My husband laced up his running shoes, unaware of what I am feeling, and says, “I’m going to go for a longer run than usual today since my mom is still here.” This was a perfect time for me to clean the bathroom and get things organized before we would need to head to the hospital. Contractions started to get about 4 minutes apart; I texted my husband, “I think you should probably run home, I think we need to go to the hospital.” I then told my mother-in-law I would be having a baby that day. She told me she’d cancel her train ticket.
With my water breaking I knew I would need to go into the hospital and not wait it out at home. I called the nurse to see how soon I needed to go in. I was very terrified of having a baby in the car. I had mentioned this to my sister and brother-in-law about 7 months prior. My brother-in-law’s response was, “people don’t really have babies in cars.” He thought this, until his very pregnant wife had a baby in a car, roughly 5 months before I was going into labor. The nurse told me to head to the hospital. We got there, got checked into a room, met with the midwife who was on call to discuss any birth plan. The only thing I said was I would like to do it naturally if possible.
The midwife at the hospital checked on me frequently. One time, she walked in the room and said, “You’re still smiling, I’ll come back later.” Pitocin was given to me, and upped a few times because I honestly wasn’t even feeling the contractions. Then the contractions came with a vengeance. The midwife checked on me and said I finally looked like I was going to have a baby. I had been at the hospital for 14 hours, at that point, and in labor for over 16 hours. I asked for an epidural. She told me there wasn’t time, and I had to be checked; I was dilated to a 7. 30 seconds later, I told my midwife I needed to push. She asked if I was going to have a BM. I told her I was absolutely having a baby. In 1 contraction I had gone from 7cm to 10cm, and sure enough they got ready really fast for me to have a baby. Nick blasted Social Distortion. He was told to turn it down. I think the midwife expected me to want something more soothing. I did not. I felt like I was running a marathon. Meanwhile, I told everyone I really didn’t want to do this and would like to go home. After 4 pushes and less than 10 minutes, while holding my daughter, I exclaimed, “She looks just like Caleb,” her brother.
I was infatuated with my daughter. She was the sweetest baby. My mom drove in from North Dakota, and father-in-law came from Nebraska. Everyone was so excited to meet our daughter, the completion to our family. My mom stayed the first week following my daughter’s birth, and my husband was given 2 weeks paternity leave by his employer, so I had help with the day to day stuff. However, I started experiencing extreme sadness. When I had my son, I asked the midwife about Postpartum Depression, but since my son was born in an evacuated hospital, she attributed my sadness and anxiety to having a baby in a natural disaster. I knew I was experiencing something serious, but I was afraid to speak up. The questionnaire I filled out, 2 weeks after having my daughter, mostly asked if I wanted to harm my child; I absolutely did not. I wanted my daughter to have the best life ever. But I was so lost in my own head, I didn’t know if I could dig myself out of the misery I was feeling. I experienced depression, Postpartum Depression, for almost a year. Once my hormones started balancing themselves out again, I felt back to normal. I was really reluctant to even tell those who are close to me because I didn’t want people to judge me. You know what, when I did finally tell them, they felt really awful that I had felt so alone and wished I had spoken up sooner. So now, I speak up, because I am in a really good head-space and I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did. I’ve been taking extra measures to take care of me; I even went back on birth control (to help regulate the hormonal imbalance). My daughter turns 5 tomorrow, she is the sweetest little girl, and I am so happy I took the necessary steps to take care of me so I am still around here for her and my son.
**According to the website Postpartum Support International, 1 in 7 moms and 1 in 10 dads experience Postpartum Depression. If you are a mom seeking help: 800-944-4773. If you are a dad seeking help: 800-944-4773.**