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  • Erica Livingston

David’s Birth Story

Before I go into further detail of Autism, let me share David’s birth story like I said I would in my mental health post.


It was a long journey for us to get our sweet David. I have PCOS, which is the number one cause of infertility in women. I had suffered a miscarriage after trying for a year to get pregnant. This led to a severe decline in my mental health, so we took a while before we decided we would try one more time, no matter how it ended. The miscarriage was an incredibly traumatic event that led to a lot of bleeding all over the hospital floor and a great amount of pain, physical and emotional. I’ll spare you the details, but it was one of the worst days of my life.


A few years passed before we decided to try again. It took about six months, but we finally conceived again. Pregnancy anxiety struck me like a ton of bricks. I was miserable my entire pregnancy, terrified of something happening to David. My husband was on and off of underways the entire pregnancy (Mini deployments basically), and actually left for a deployment toward my third trimester. Once my third trimester hit, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This broke my heart and terrified me because I thought I had not eaten healthy enough or did something wrong. Ladies, this is not the case. I worked out my entire pregnancy. I was very healthy. My placenta just could not handle sugar, leading to gestational diabetes. Also, hormonal issues, like PCOS lead to an increased risk for this. This made my pregnancy high risk.


I was told I needed to induce before my due date of April 1st. Fate and every positive force in the universe aligned and the Navy was actually able to get my husband home the day before I was set to be induced! This was a huge relief, but we were both terrified. March 29th came, and we checked into the hospital. They instantly inserted a cervix softener and a balloon to help the process along since I was not dilated at all. I’ve heard many women say this was the worst part for them, it was not that way for me. It was uncomfortable, but nothing major. They did expect me to sleep with that thing in, and that did not happen 😂.


In the middle of the night, when the balloon fell out, they began the induction drugs on me. Now, labor sucks in general, but induction is not my idea of fun. The contractions start out incredibly painful, there is no real gradual increase like in natural labor. They broke my water and we were off. David’s heart rate kept going up and down, they believed he was just moving around a lot and didn’t seem too worried.


As the day progressed, I did too, very slowly. I was having back labor, which was the worst pain I’ve ever felt. I got an epidural eventually, which also was incredibly painful. The epidural worked for the most part, but when that went in, they lost David’s heart rate. I ended up on oxygen and they had to have me lay in a very uncomfortable position to keep his heart rate steady. I know most women want a natural labor, but as this point I was beyond ready for a C Section just to get him here.


A few more hours pass and I feel it’s time to push. I pushed and pushed for 2 hours. They then began playing tug of war with me trying to propel this baby out. I was beyond exhausted and my body started to shut down. I spiked a fever after a third hour of pushing and they finally let me stop. I was given an updated dosage of pain killers and prepared for a C Section. At 8:54 p.m., March 30th, David was finally here at 9 lbs 8 oz. His size really explains why he wouldn’t come out 😂.


I was finally relaxed and nursed David. They took him to the nursery since I had not slept in days. I was awaken to a woman coming in there waking me, explaining David is being transported to a children’s hospital. He threw up green liquid and they thought he was septic. They finally brought him in to see me before he left, but he was in an incubator, covered head to toe in cords. He had a feeding tube, breathing tube, and the works to check heart, etc. I had to say goodbye to my baby like that, not knowing if I would ever see him again.


The hospital discharged me about 16 hours later, 24 hours exactly after I gave birth so I could see him. We drove the hour to the hospital that night to see him. They couldn’t give us any answers and we pretty much were told to go home and rest, and they’d call us when they knew something.


We drove an hour home and slept. Right after we woke up, we returned to the children’s hospital. All this traveling fresh out of surgery was no walk in the park, but I would do anything to see my baby. The NICU nurses were great, but all we wanted to do was take our baby home.


A few days after he was admitted, he was finally sent home. We never really received any answers. They never told us anything. They pretty much just observed him for days, waiting to see if he was going to crash.


His birth was incredibly traumatic for me and left me with a severe fear of germs due to the protocols we had to go through to see our baby, as well as an even bigger fear of ever having to leave him. NICU mommas, you are hero’s. My baby was only there for a few days, but it felt like an eternity. I know many of you would have given anything to have your child only in there for a few days. Y’all deserve a fully paid vacation and all the awards in the world for surviving that. All moms do.


But yeah, that’s my story. I’d love to hear some of y’alls birth stories! Share them in the comments!

-Erica

This is the first real photo I saw of my son, his daddy got to go visit him while I was still in the hospital. It is blurry because the phone had to be in a plastic bag to protect him from germs.


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