In Kelly’s Words – Any day now!
This is hopefully my last pregnancy blog! As I write this I’m within a week of my due date. Which has given me a focused minute to reflect on both of my pregnancies and what it means to be pregnant and a wheelchair user.
Everyone says that each pregnancy is different and that has certainly been the case for me! My first pregnancy with Dylan (who will be 3 in April) was different in so many ways than this pregnancy. I realized recently (after looking back through some of the blog archives on the KBF website) that I talked a lot about my first pregnancy but I really haven’t spent much time discussing this one. I guess it’s time to change that!
The biggest difference between the pregnancies is that I’ve progressed in this pregnancy (38 weeks right now) longer than I did with Dylan (she was born at 37 weeks). And most importantly, I have not had to spend any time in the hospital. For loyal, long-time readers, you might remember that with Dylan I was admitted at 33 weeks and had to stay in the hospital until I was induced for delivery at 37 weeks. This is a really nice difference for me!
Generally speaking this pregnancy has been smooth sailing medically. With Dylan I had a few complications that caused me to be admitted, but I haven’t had those same issues this time. I see the high-risk obstetricians because of my SCI but there really hasn’t been much that is different between my pregnancy and someone without an SCI. I have a few more visits and tests, but that’s about it.
While it’s been medically smooth, I still battle the typical pregnancy struggles: heartburn, swollen feet, not sleeping well, not being able to bend over (Zeke has been very nice about zipping up a pair of boots I wear often but can no longer reach to zip!). While this discomfort is annoying and maybe slightly exacerbated by my SCI, I know it comes with the territory and will all be a distant memory soon.
The biggest concern for both pregnancies as someone with an SCI is that I would go into labor and not know it. Because of that I will be induced at 39 weeks. I can “feel” contractions, which is a funny thing to explain because I don’t have sensation below my sternum. But there is something about the pressure it puts on my belly that I can feel or identify. I don’t remember this being the case last time. I’m either just more aware of what I’m feeling this time or maybe my body is having more contractions this time so I’m identifying them easier. Regardless, it’s nice to have some sensation of the contractions but they certainly wouldn’t wake me up at night. So I still have a fear that I’ll go into labor while sleeping and not know it. If I’m awake, I’m confident I’d feel, but it makes the nights more restless…
I’m often asked whether, and people often assume, I’ll need to have a c-section. The answer is no, the body can really do it by itself. Obviously a c-section is an option in the case of necessity, but I had Dylan naturally so I’m confident this time can be the same.
We know that we are having another girl and Dylan is very excited to have a baby sister! Recently the KBF staff gave us a few presents (thank you Jenn, Stephanie, and Whitney!) for the baby, including Skida hats with the KBF branding. They got matching hats for the new baby, for Dylan, and for me. Dylan was SO excited! She wanted to wear her hat to bed the first night and the next day refused to take it off at daycare so wore it all day there, both inside and outside! I’m not sure that Dylan fully understands what it will mean to have a new sister (how could any almost 3 year old) but I’m confident she will do great with the change.
We will update KBF social media with announcements of the birth of baby #2 so stay tuned! Thank you all for the love and support!