Topic Launch at More Cowbell: Risky Baby Business

Many of you know that I’m working on a memoir about high-risk pregnancy, but you might not know very much about it beyond my ROW80 and Life List Club goals. Starting today, the topic here at More Cowbell each Saturday will be BABIES.

The new Saturday column is called

Risky Baby Business:
forty weeks of fearful nights 

I’ll share something with you: Having a baby was some serious risky business for me. Though I wouldn’t change anything because I did get a fantastic daughter out of it, there are pieces of information that I wish I’d known much earlier.

Pregnancy is a beautiful, natural thing – at least it should be. I know women who could get pregnant on a coffee break. They think, “Maybe I want a baby” and POOF! That’s awesome stuff. All you Fertility Vixens make gestating look easy and fun.

Then there’s the rest of us who maybe had a different experience. The mommies who spent some or all of their pregnancies wondering things like:

“Will I get to keep this baby?”
“Will this baby be OK?”
“Will I die?”
and my big question:
“Where’s my damn book?”

We devoured What To Expect When You’re Expecting and found fun sites like Baby Gaga but, after we finished reading what they had to say, we still had questions. Big ones.

How is a high-risk journey different?

Pregnant women in the high-risk category most likely:

  • Visited fertility specialists
  • Had spooky procedures or treatment
  • Had two O.B.’s  – a “normal” one and a “high-risk” one
  • Went through vast amounts of genetic testing
  • Experienced multiple miscarriages
  • Underwent monthly or weekly monitoring
  • Were told they couldn’t have babies
  • Gave themselves shots or took serious meds
  • Had an increased risk of death with pregnancy
  • Went on bedrest early in the pregnancy

Whatever it is that makes impending motherhood detour down the high-risk path, it stresses a mom out! (Ditto for their pregnancy partner.) The worry level is higher and, often, the questions are life threatening.

If you are in that high-risk category where you are worrying about your health, and that of your baby, I’m hoping Risky Baby Business will be a calming resource for you. At the very least, I hope to make you smile each and every Saturday morning.

If you just like reading about pregnancy, I hope you’ll come add to the conversation each weekend. If it’s not your interest, I hope you’ll recommend Risky Baby Business to your friends, family and co-workers. I’ll still be up to my normal More Cowbell shenanigans the rest of the week, but Saturdays are now reserved.🙂

Next Saturday’s kickoff post is “The Most Important Thing To Know About Pregnancy.” See you then!

Have any of you either experienced a high-risk pregnancy or been close to someone who did? In retrospect, what do you wish you (or they) had known?

Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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24 Responses to Topic Launch at More Cowbell: Risky Baby Business

  1. Laura Drake says:

    The only high risk PG I’ve been close to, Jenny, was yours.
    Not for the weak-of-heart, for the family or those who love them.
    Looking forward to your posts.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      When everything was all said and done and I was out of the woods, I was completely surprised how hard my pregnancy was on everyone ELSE. Thanks for hanging in.🙂

      Like

  2. {{hugs}} You’re right this is a long overdue need. Glad you’re here to share it.

    My only “high risk” was age…not very high risk at all and I can laugh at that label now. That being said we did have worries with #4 beastie when a routine ultrasound showed Down Syndrome markers and sized-wise seemed to be 2 to 3 weeks older than my due date or his development indicated. Just shy of 10 pounds at birth (6 days early), he’s fine and starting kinder on Monday🙂

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Raelyn. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter when the high-risk presents itself, it’s always scary to a mom waiting for her baby. I remember those Down Syndrome tests well. We had genetic markers, but thankfully not ultrasound markers.

      I’m sitting her totally impressed that you birthed a 10 pound baby!! (And so happy he’s doing great. :-)) I’ll bet you get a little weepy when you drop him off on Monday – that’s such a milestone.

      Like

  3. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    I took fertility drugs to have my first child. The pregnancy wasn’t considered high risk, but I suffered from preterm labor and got pre-eclapsia at the end. The second pregnancy same preterm labor, but got toxemia, which puts it into the high risk category right at the end. My doctor’s were great, but I had a aunt who was a nurse in the navy and very no nonsense, when she heard I had toxemia she told me how she had seen a couple expectant mother’s have strokes and die. Which was not so comforting. I also had two miscarriages along the way, which were heartbreaking. One of which ended so badly, I could never have more children. My baby is fifteen now, but pregnancy is such an emotional time. I’m looking forward to your Saturday series and know it will help so many women out there.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dang, Jillian…you went the route! Why do people think they’re being helpful, scaring the pants off a pregnant woman? I had people tell me the most awful stuff.

      Of the 10 bullet points above, I had 8. I did not have the heartbreak of multiple miscarriages – mostly because we knew about my blood clotting disorder in advance of the pregnancy. I so feel for you.

      I would have loved to have another baby too, especially when I was all high on new baby hormones. My husband looked at me when I mentioned it and said, “Are You INSANE? We used all our luck on this round. We’re done.” He was right, but I *really* wanted one more.

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  4. Two high-risk pregnancies for me; reading this post was like reading my diary from them both. I’ll be following your posts every weekend. I’m glad you have your beautiful baby girl. I have two healthy boys, thank goodness, but it sure took a lot to get them here! *big hug*

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Wow, Elizabeth! Fertility treatments tax your emotions, your marriage, and your pocketbook. It’s like the Trifecta of Angst. But then I hear about brave moms like you who get TWO gorgeous babies out of it. Congratulations!

      Like

      • Well, thank you, but I wasn’t all that brave. I had all ten bullet points with the first son, then showed up pregnant again when he was eight months old (“um, I’m infertile, right?”), so I only scored 6 out of 10 with the second son. They’re 19 and 18 years old, by the way (how is that possible??)

        Like

  5. amyshojai says:

    No pregnancies, no babies but friends who went the whole fertility route and then were ultimately blessed with adoption . . .your book will be a wonderful resource! I will of course recommend this blog.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Miss Amy! If you read Laura’s comment, it isn’t a walk in the park for the friends either. That’s awesome that they found the baby of their heart out in the world.

      p.s. You are always the bomb.🙂

      Like

  6. Linda Burke says:

    Sounds like a terrific book although I’m sorry you had to go through so many bad things.

    I was one of those Fertility Vixens. My only problem was with the first son and being in hard labor for over 24 hours, nearly didn’t make it, had to have a couple of pints of blood. Scared everyone else more than me because I was in la-la land from twilight-sleep. Do they still use that?

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Linda…you Vixen, you!🙂

      I believe what’s common now (at least this is what they did for me) is push morphine through your IV and change around your epidural, if you have one, to block the area’s pain receptors. I’ll bet you scared the crap out of your husband.

      Like

      • Linda Burke says:

        After three children, I figured out what caused the problem. Have eight grandchildren ranging in age from 26 to 4.

        I can’t use morphine; another allergy/sensitivity, along with Dr. Pepper, aspirin, codeine, gluten, and dirt.

        Like

        • Jenny Hansen says:

          Whoa…you’re allergic to dirt? That takes life to a whole other level. I have a friend with serious drug allergies and i’m always afraid the paramedics would accidentally kill her if she ever had to ride in an ambulance. It, of course, will seriously affect her delivery too. I’ve finally just about talked her into wearing a medic alert bracelet.

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  7. My pregnancy has been very difficult. Gained 30+ pounds and been carrying it for years. . . . Oh, wait, that’s not the same thing you ladies are talking about. Fortunately, neither my daughter nor her mother had any trouble with pregnancies, although my daughter’s 10 lb 6 oz firstborn made me afraid her belly was going to pop open.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LMAO, David! If it feels any better, my husband gained more weight than I did – I gained 7 lbs and he gained 12 lbs. (Before you all start wigging, I had an extra 20+ lbs of my own to use.🙂

      Like

  8. K.B. Owen says:

    Hi, Jenny! Good for you for starting this topic. You’re going to benefit a lot of folks.

    For me, I’ve been lucky: 4 pregnancies, 3 terrific outcomes. It was a shock to miscarry the first time; that’s when I found out how common that can be (1st trimester). Even though it was early, it was still tough.

    2nd and 3rd pregnancies gave me 2 beautiful boys, with just a few scary pre-term labor/bed rest/meds for the short-term, but it all worked out fine. That’s when I learned that my ice-crunching/non-weight-gain/fatigue was pica. Sounded like a rock formation to me, lol. Probably killed my tooth enamel.🙂

    My 4th pregnancy/3rd boy really scared us, though – I was 38, and they threw every test in the book at me. I had more ultrasounds with him than the other pregnancies combined. Then they found these chorionic holes (brain) that weren’t closing, and we got really scared. It can be a sign of severe genetic disability, where the baby won’t live beyond a few weeks. We brought in a priest from our parish. I got weekly sonograms. And then, miraculously, the holes just closed up by themselves. We now have a fabulous 10-yr-old boy who can talk the hind leg off a cat, and is bright as a penny.

    All in all, we are very blessed. These experiences have shown us how tough it can be for others – the ones who don’t have happy endings.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dang, Kathy…you certainly did have your own scares. I had to look pica up of course and it looks like ice was the best thing you could have chosen to eat! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pica_(disorder)

      I’ve had two friends get the diagnosis for the chorionic holes in the brain and thankfully both of their babies had the holes close on their own too. I’m so glad…and i love the image of your 10 yr-old shining bright as a penny!

      Like

      • K.B. Owen says:

        In my case, it was an iron deficiency, and cleared up after a few weeks of supplements. Thank goodness I didn’t crave any of that other stuff, lol.

        Like

  9. I am really looking forward to your new Saturday series. I have been blessed that no one close to me has been diagnosed with a HR pregnacy, and to be honest, I get anxious thinking this could happen to me because I’m pushing 35 and we haven’t started a family yet. I’m even starting to have pregnancy dreams. Anxiety!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Tiff,

      As you’ll see in next Saturday’s post, the anxiety doesn’t help so I talk a lot about how to manage it. We all kind of get what we get on the baby front.

      The medical pros don’t help us feel better though with all their scary facts. Plus, they’ve got labels like AMA (advanced maternal age) and Mid-Life Mom (not kidding) that they put in your chart when you pass the tender age of 37. It’s annoying.

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