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What It’s Like to Have a Difficult Pregnancy

Lauren Caruso is the Site Director at STYLECASTER.

A first-time mom shares her scary experience with pregnancy complications

In our new series Pregnancy Diaries, we ask expecting women to jot down every pregnancy-related detail of their lives for a week. (Special thanks to New York mag and Refinery29 for the inspo.) Work-related conundrums, struggles with IVF and a whole lot of nausea ahead. For the sixth entry in our series, we have an editor in her mid-thirties who’s 31 weeks pregnant with her first child. She’s had a difficult pregnancy to say the least.

Due Date: May 2017

Occupation: Editor-in-chief

Relationship status: Married

Number of kids: This is our first!

Any other details relevant to your pregnancy? I hope this doesn’t sound cliché, but being pregnant is truly proving to be one of the most interesting journeys to date in my life — one full of unexpected twists and turns, leaving me excited, overwhelmed and scared all in the same breath.

When we found out we were pregnant in the early fall, it was a semi-surprise, but also something we welcomed with open arms. My first trimester was fairly uneventful. I worked out almost every day, had very few cravings (I actually lost weight!) and outside of some serious heartburn and a newly heightened sense of smell (I could literally smell someone’s breath from 4 feet away and that is not OK), my body was feeling really good. That all changed one Friday about 14 weeks into the pregnancy when I awoke in the middle of the night bleeding quite heavily out of nowhere. Two days later, I was rushed to the hospital because the bleeding had become so heavy they thought I was losing the baby (imagine 3 times as strong as your worst period day along with frequent golf ball-size blood clots). After several hours and a really scary ultrasound of waiting to hear the baby’s heartbeat, the doctors told us all was fine, I had a low-lying placenta, had possibly passed a polyp (keep in mind how frustrating it is to hear that it could be any of these things) and to go home and take it easy for a few days.

Fast-forward exactly that, and I decided I was fine to return to work because the bleeding had subsided to the point of light spotting. Wrong! I ended up hemorrhaging in the office (luckily my boss found me huddled over the toilet in the communal bathroom and got me into an Uber quickly) and I was back in the ER with the attending doctors telling me ‘not to worry, I could try again soon.’ It was fucking scary and awful — there are no other words for it. That said, it came to light during my second visit to the ER that in addition to the low-lying placenta, I had developed a hematoma on my placenta that was causing the hemorrhaging and I needed to just chill out or I was going to lose this little guy.

I was immediately put on bed and pelvic rest (yep, no intercourse!) and just like that, my life was turned upside down — I spent the better part of a month moving from my bed to the couch, only getting up to eat and use the bathroom (not fun, people — not fun!). Fortunately, the bleeding slowly subsided and I was given permission to return to work only if I monitored myself and took it really easy, meaning if I felt anything uncomfortable I was to immediately rush to the doctor.

Sort of puts the fear of God in you that any sudden move could cause things to erupt again, but today, at 31 weeks, I’m thrilled to say the bed rest was successful. The bleeding has fully stopped, the placenta has moved to a place where it’s nowhere near the cervix, and I’m back on my feet exercising a bit. I’m even trying to still wear cut-out dresses (tip for all mommas-to-be: Go to Rent the Runway and sign up for its unlimited program — I have managed to successfully rent clothes this entire pregnancy, and it’s been amazing not having to buy stuff I’ll never wear again!). I also transferred to a new high-risk doctor — I call her my angel — by the name of Dr. Annette Bond, whom I see every two weeks to check all vitals of the baby and monitor the internal bleeding. Not sure if it’s just luck on my part, but I feel so thankful to be moving and know this little guy is OK — that said, we’re still day-to-day and will continue to be that way through the remainder of the pregnancy.

I’ve also learned in all my online research that many, many women experience these same types of episodes — what so many people don’t tell you is that every pregnancy is wrought with unexpected moments that shock and scare you, but ultimately are preparing your body (and environment) for this little one that’s about to grace the world. I promise that good energy and strength will ultimately carry you through anything, as freaking scary as some moments may be.

More: The First-Time Mom Who Got Her Dream Job While 7 Months Pregnant

Day 1

I am craving milk in the strangest way — specifically organic skim/lactose-free. It’s super-hard to find, but my Whole Foods carries it, so I buy in bulk (the checkout person always sort of stares at me, I’m convinced). I would say I’m drinking four to six large glasses a day alongside maybe a few Oreos (double-stuffed naturally).

Day 2

I went to Stew Leonard's (let’s just call it the Disney World of grocery stores) specifically for their homemade sesame bagels — I bought 12 just so I knew there would be tons in the freezer and could eat one (or two!) a day. I’m really loving them lightly toasted with Smart Balance butter and sometimes a soft-boiled egg. I used to eat hot sauce (I have a steady rotation of Sriracha, Crystal and Cholula) like a madwoman, but since the pregnancy, I’ve chilled a bit with it and have been relying on my longtime condiment Marie’s Chipotle Ranch. If you haven’t tried it, run to the grocery store and buy every last bottle unless, that is, you live in my neighborhood, which would mean I would fight you for them. (Not kidding on the fighting bit.)

Day 3

I started the day out with an indoor spin on our new bike — it was our Christmas present to each other — and am feeling really energized! I can’t push that hard, but the light spinning really made me feel alive and sharper mentally. I watched the Tennis Channel while I was on the bike and got excited at the thought of teaching this little guy to play one day — gosh, I hope he likes to play.

I had two soft-boiled free-range eggs for breakfast alongside a handful of raw almonds. Later in the day, I went crazy and ate Peruvian food, which consisted of fried chicken and rice — it was DELICIOUS!

Day 4

Spending the morning on Buy Buy Baby looking at all the odds and ends I might need — it’s overwhelming to say the least. We had a lot of fun picking out the crib and stroller (we went with the City Mini because it had manly wheels, of course), but every time we get around to the other stuff — like bottles and bibs and swaddlers and bounce-y thingies — I start to sweat a little (OK a lot). I know I can do this, but of course, I get nervous that I’ll buy the wrong thing or whatnot, and then end up having to spend more money buying this stuff again (between us, a lot of it feels really unnecessary and silly to me). I talk myself through it and throw a few more things on my registry and off I go to the office.

Today I’m wearing a rented Giambattista Valli dress with thigh-high boots from Stuart Weitzman, the former of which is from Rent the Runway. The boots have been the most comfortable for me as my feet have swelled a bit.

More: The First-Time Mom Who Got Laid Off While Pregnant

Day 5

It’s the weekend, so we slept in an extra hour and then had coffee in bed — yes, I’ve been drinking coffee the entire pregnancy, Café Bustelo if you’re curious. I only allow myself one cup in the morning, but it’s the BEST CUP IN THE WORLD AND I AM SO THANKFUL FOR IT! Did I tell you how much I love my coffee?

After a leisurely morning around the house, we decided to get properly dressed and go out to enjoy the delightfully crisp weather (read: 36 degrees F). We ended up taking a walk around Tod’s Point — the beach in Greenwich, Connecticut, is beautiful and this particular path is one of my favorites.

We stopped at Pinkberry — at my request, of course — for a medium-size cup of their new coconut yogurt with chocolate chips and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. So yummy!

Home for a nap and a relaxing evening of cooking and watching movies (I’m a huge sci-fi fan and love anything action, so we never fight over what to watch).

 “I ask myself if I’ll have time for this once the little guy arrives. I hope so!"

Day 6

Didn’t sleep super-well last night — I’m a back-sleeper and am having a hard time getting comfortable on my side — so I woke up a little tired. Probably good for me to get used to this sleeplessness, but it makes me a little extra-slow in the morning.

I decide to do a little workout video (still a fan of Tracy Anderson) and it helps me get my blood flowing and head out of the clouds. From there, I make us a big breakfast of thick-sliced bacon with biscuits and scrambled (organic free-range always) eggs and Philly cream cheese — I’m a firm believer in big Sunday breakfasts, and well, clearly I took that to heart today.

By the time we’re done and all cleaned up, it’s the middle of the afternoon, so I decide to head over to the nail salon for a quick pedicure (my feet feel really huge, so there’s that too) before coming back home and dedicating the afternoon to beauty maintenance — I have an at-home microderm machine, which I try to use every few weeks on my face and neck (that, along with regular facials and Skinceuticals CE serum have been amazing). Along with shaving, this whole process takes up a lot of time, so, well, there’s my Sunday, but it’s so fun and relaxing and it makes me feel fresh and ready for the week ahead.

In the middle of slathering my rapidly growing stomach up with oil, I ask myself if I’ll have time for this once the little guy arrives. I hope so!

Day 7

Back to work and I have to say it’s great — I love what I do and the girls I work with, so I feel pretty excited to get in the office and interact with all their wonderfulness.

I brought organic blueberries for breakfast and had them with organic Stonyfield vanilla yogurt (our office always has them in the fridge) and some Elizabeth’s Probiotic Granola.

I get stuck in a lot of meetings that day, so I end up having rice crackers with an avocado and two soft-boiled eggs at my desk for lunch,

It’s 4 p.m. and I’m STARVING and start wandering around the office like a zombie looking for any snacks I can find. Luckily, one of our beauty editors received a gift from a publicist, and alas, I have chocolate to carry me over 'til I get home and can make a proper meal. In bed by 9 p.m. watching Modern Family and couldn’t feel more tired or happier to have my feet up and my glass of milk to finish off the day.

Want to submit your own pregnancy diary? Email pregnancydiaries@stylecaster.com to get started.

Originally posted on StyleCaster.

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