I'm so excited to share with you Part Two of Stephanie's story today! If you've been following our blog for a while, you'll remember that Stephanie is the second oldest person in the United States with Harlequin Ichthyosis and the first woman EVER with HI to give birth! And we were so blessed to be able to meet Stephanie and her family over the summer! Last spring, Stephanie shared about her pregnancy here, and today she writes about her birth story and life as a mother...
Friday May 23rd was one of the scariest days of my life.
Since the beginning of October 2012, we had a birth plan, which was to have my baby via c-section because no one knew how my skin would stretch. I was fine with that! Less pain, right? But things changed two months before my due date. Since the baby and I were doing SO well and hadn't had any problems at all, my OBGYN wanted to do a natural birth. I was so nervous, but I was up for anything that would get my sweet man here!
On Thursday May 23, the plan was to go see my doctor at 4 p.m. to let him "check things out," then be admitted into the hospital around 10 p.m. to be induced since it was one week past my due date. After my 4 p.m. visit, the doctor sent me right over to the hospital around 5 p.m. After we checked in, we started induction immediately.
Everything was great the first few hours. My husband, mom, grandparents, momma, sister, step-dad and best friend were all by my side. We were beyond excited! After a little bit of pitocin (inducing medication), contractions were steady and painful, but we just weren't making progress fast enough. I got an epidural (that happened to only work on my right side, by the way) and we waited... And waited...And waited longer.
My room was always full of family and friends and doctors and nurses. FINALLY after me begging "can't we just do a c-section!?" on Saturday May 25, the doctor finally said we could do a c-section, but since my epidural only worked on one side I had to be put under.
After the surgery, which lasted two hours, my baby boy was here! Eventually I woke up from surgery, and about 1 a.m. the nurse brought me my PERFECTLY healthy angel, William Curtis-Drake Turner – 7 lbs, 14oz and 19 inches. Big brown eyes, little nose, beautiful lips, perfect complexion... All I could do was thank God over and over for blessing my life so much. Willie instantly became my whole life.
On that following Tuesday, we were able to go home. My incision was healing great. One of the main problems was that I couldn't take an actual bath because of the incision wound; I could only shower. If you know anything about ichthyosis, you know that in order to get our old skin off, we've got to take a bath, soak and wash. Skin was soon building up on my legs since I wouldn't give them much water which was very uncomfortable and made me self-conscious on top of just having a baby.
Another problem was I wouldn't just "sit around" like the doctors told me to. As soon as I got home from the hospital, I went walking with my little sister while Willie napped with my momma! haha! I'd stay home with Willie and clean. I'd try to play-fight with Curt... I'm just hard-headed I guess :) Luckily my incision didn't tear! I had no problem healing! You can barely see a scar now!
Many people ask if I was going to breastfeed. My answer was always "No, I'd lose too many calories which I can't afford to do." Just so happens I guess that’s what God was thinking because my milk didn't even come in! So Willie drinks formula instead.
Being a mommy is absolutely AMAZING. I've always wanted to be a momma, but I never expected it to feel like this. How can something be so stressful but so wonderful at the same time?
Willie and I have gotten into a little routine now. He sleeps from 9 p.m., wakes up about 4 a.m. and then will sleep till 8 a.m. He eats, we get up, he sits in his jumpy chair and hangs out patiently while I talk to him and take a bath and get ready for the day. That’s our morning routine!
I can't explain how blessed my family really is. Willie changed my life. Not just as a mommy but as a Christian. He taught me that just when I think I couldn't get anymore blessed than I already am, God says "Watch this!"
Willie has taught me to be thankful for the little things in life. He taught me that when we pray at night to not only seek things from God but to thank him and to NEVER EVER underestimate him. He's always got something up his sleeve! ;)