Monday, October 17, 2011

The Birth Story

I've mentioned my pregnancy induced health problems before, but for some reason I felt tonight that I needed to touch on it again. Maybe sub-consciously I need the therapeutic aspect that "getting it out" can bring. And I started to write what is now this blog post as part of my bio page. But I quickly realized it was much too complicated and lengthy to be part of my basic bio. So, here it is as a separate blog post. On another note, check out my new official bio page! Click on the "About Juliet" tab in the upper left! :)

My pregnancy wasn't difficult, but it wasn't easy. I have a bad back and it exasperated it. But aside from morning sickness in the beginning, my back was my only complaint for about 7 months. Because I'm obese my ob-gyn was even thrilled that I LOST weight in the beginning and then stayed steady until about month 5 or 6. But gradually the weight creeped up, until about the 7.5 or 8 month mark where it exponentially added up. And around the same time I was gradually having more and more trouble with my breathing. Simply catching my breath at first but then not being able to breath if reclining at all. Exams and x-rays and hospital stays and further tests all occured but there was no fluid in my lungs, no super high blood pressure or other signs of complications such as pre-eclampsia or eclampsia.

At 37 weeks my son was delivered via emergency c-section due to bleeding (still unknown as to whether it had anything to do with all the other symptoms or my final diagnosis), and I experienced heart failure on the table. I was diagnosed with post-partum cardiomyopathy. It is a rare but life threatening condition in which the pregnant mother's heart expands and causes the mitral valve to not properly control the blood flow. And all my symptoms during pregnancy? Common symptoms of cardiomyopathy. But there is no clear testing guidelines currently in place to check for the disease because of it's rarity and unknown cause. It is unknown why any woman ever develops it. Why pregnancy causes it in any woman. I was an in-patient for three months. The first few days I was touch and go in ICU. I have no memory of the first two months due to heavy sedation. The silver lining? My beautiful, healthy, blessing of a son, Tybalt.

The First Known Picture Of Mommy And Son (I Have No Memory Of It)

Tybalt Visits Mommy (Again, I Was Sedated And Don't Remember)

Family Picture When Mommy Is Finally More Alert (And Allowed To Get Fresh Air!)

A Few Days Before Mommy's Discharge


Whenever anyone would ask how I, Romeo, or Tybalt were doing, my husband and I would only half-jokingly say that Tybalt was the one who came out on top. I was horribly sick; my husband was horribly stressed. Tybalt however, was healthy, happy, and had round-the-clock love and affection from his grandparents, my in-laws. And it took an additional three months of at-home (read: my mother-in-law's home where my husband moved us into during the whole hubabaloo) rehab once I was released from the hospital, but once I was back on my feet Tybalt probably thought he had four loving full-time parents between me, Romeo, Grandma, and Grandpa. This kid won the lottery when it comes to love and attention. Even then though, I spent as much time bonding with him as possible so he would know who Mommy was.

A Tradition Is Born! Tybalt and Mommy Kiss At 4 Months!

When Tybalt was 6 months old, I was able to be alone with him and take care of him all by myself, so Romeo and I found a new apartment and moved out of MIL's basement. Our "baby" is now 14 months old and I have been full-time Mommy for about 10 months. It feels...different. Wonderful but weird. Because while we have permanently and properly bonded at this point I still feel like I am playing catch-up to some extent. And I wonder if I always will feel that way because of the first months and milestones that I missed.

And now, just for fun, some more pictures of my beautiful baby boy:

One Of My All-Time Favorite Pictures. Look At Those Rosy Cheeks and That Smile!

Mommy And Tybalt Venture Out Into The "Real World" Alone Together

Tired Of Trying On Clothes!

My Son, The Flirt!

Crazy Towel-Dried After-Bath Hair

His New Specs!

"Hello, Mommy!"


  1. Wow, you truly are the definition of a warrior! Glad to see you pulled through, and your son is adorable. Look at all the mischief in his eye!

  2. Thanks! It hasn't been easy, but he's the reward!