By Guest Blogger Erin Gildner
A Baby Story (part 2)
Read PART 1 HERE
When I found out I was pregnant it probably wasn’t the best timing because I was still trying to finish college, unmarried (I was married by the time I went into labor), didn’t have private insurance (just Medicaid) and wasn’t really back on my feet yet (no pun intended ;-)). But I did the deed and now had to do my best to make it the best pregnancy I could. My husband Ryan and I had talked about marriage many times before the pregnancy news. I knew he was the one, but this sped things up a little bit. We are still happily married over ten years later, so there is a happy ending to this story.
If you are reading this and you’ve been injured a while and have or had Medicaid or Medicare, you might understand that the care I received may have been adequate, but I wasn’t visiting the Obstetrician of the Year. I was letting newly minted residents look up my lady bits and letting them try to figure out what was going on. You can sure as hell bet that they didn’t receive a lot of training on how to handle a pregnant woman with spinal cord injury (or any person with a SCI, probably)… but we muddled along. To tell you the truth, I had no idea that they had no idea how to handle a SCI pregnancy! I was naïve and assumed that all physicians knew about disability and how paralysis might mean the experience would be different. I had been injured for less than two years so I didn’t really understand my new paralyzed body. Now I am fully aware of the disparities in healthcare especially between persons with disabilities and those without- now that I’m twelve years post injury.
10 Weeks-So we muddled along and got the shock of our lives when we went to our 10 week appointment. I have to preface this part with cluing you in about my Dad’s family; his parents had two living sets of twins, one set of identical girls, fraternal twin boys, and my Dad’s twin miscarried early in pregnancy; their oldest daughter was a single pregnancy, and they buried several sets that were stillborn. All in all my paternal Grandparents had six living children. Growing up I always had a feeling I would end up having twins; to my knowledge I’m the only one in my family that ever did… Well I just blew that surprise! So I’m guessing you can probably figure out what came next that was so shocking. I looked up at that ultrasound machine and saw two little round blobs. I knew right away but my husband had no clue what he was looking at. So I silently freaked out, hoping it wouldn’t be true. But it was. So, two broke, almost married, kids are going to have twins, yay!
Bad news for Baby B– Several weeks later we got even more shocking news, baby B, our little girl, had a congenital birth anomaly called gastroschisis, which meant that part of her intestine was out her body. Do me a favor; don’t look up the condition on Bing or Google because it shows some pretty disgusting pictures. We went through genetic testing and counseling, and were assured that this condition could be corrected after birth and that she could lead a healthy and productive life, but sadly that would not turn out to be the case. Overall, my pregnancy was not too difficult, but I did get constant UTI infections, and no one thought to put me on a prophylactic antibiotics.
20 Weeks– At 20 weeks I had a high fever and felt horrible, I knew I needed to go to the hospital because this wasn’t a regular old UTI. Turns out I had a severe kidney infection and spent several days in the hospital, and thankfully was sent home with antibiotics.
I’m not exactly sure what caused what was to come next.
To be continued…