Originally posted over at Mommy's Recess.
I know, I know. This should be a no brainer. But for moms, it's not. We often put ourselves (and our health) on the back burner. And we shouldn't. I have to remind myself of the instructions on a airplane. "In case of a lack of cabin pressure, put on YOUR oxygen mask first, and then help others." But I failed to do that.
As you know, I'm involved in politics. And the Iowa Caucus? That's like the Superbowl for us Iowans...and it only comes once every four years. Between moving in November, hosting my six year old's birthday party and Thanksgiving, a house warming party, preparing for Christmas and the caucus, I've been busy...and been having low back pain. But I put it off. "I'll get it checked out after the caucus" I kept telling myself. And being tough, I refused to take anything for it. That was probably a good call on my behalf.
On New Years Eve, an Uncle of mine unexpectedly passed away. They scheduled the funeral for the day after the caucus. On caucus day, we had the Huffington Post follow us around and get the point of view of caucus attendees. You can watch our caucus experience here.
It was a whirlwind day. Interviews, caucus, victory party...and I was named a Washington Post Reader Favorite Top Iowa Political Tweeter (you can follow me on twitter @bowmama, and our blog is also on twitter @mommysrecess). At our caucus location I spoke on behalf of Rick Santorum...in front of about 1200 people and a slew of reporters. Did I mention I had to follow Rick Perry (himself) and Ann Romney (wife of Mitt)? Yeah, no pressure there. All the while, I had to mentally prep myself as I was doing the readings at my Uncle's funeral mass the next day.
Our boys spent the night at Grandma and Grandpas (thankfully) because we didn't get to bed until after 1AM and had to get up at 6AM in order to make it back to the funeral in time.
I made it through the readings without crying, but after I read, I saw my mom crying and, well, you know how it is when your mom cries...you cry. So I cried. At the luncheon after the cemetary, we learned that my great aunt had been in a car accident and was being life-flighted to Omaha. She had two collapsed lungs, broke her C2 and C3, compressed disks, etc etc. The remainder of the week was spent checking in with mom to see how my Great Aunt was doing, and trying to get back into a normal routine.
And then Saturday night happened. My husband worked on Saturday. When he got home, we had dinner. At dinner, I stood up to get a napkin and started bleeding. Heavy. Fast. I raced to the bathroom and even my medic husband was concerned. I called Mercy Nurse and she told me to come in. I explained the back pain and we both thought an ovarian cyst had ruptured (I have a history of cysts). My husband dressed the boys and called his parents. We rushed them over and went to the ER. The nurse took my vitals, asked for a urine sample and took blood. They hooked me up to an IV because I was dizzy from all of the blood I lost. And then it was time for an ultrasound to see where the cyst had ruptured.
But there was no cyst. There was, however, a strong heart beat. And a 7 week 5 day baby inside. Surprise.
The first thing I said? "Holy CRAP! There's a baby in there!" Not the most eloquent thing I've ever said but I was in shock!
My husband and I were both so surprised. And so was the ultrasound tech. And the nurse. And the Doctor. The amount of blood I lost, we had prepped ourselves for the possibility of a miscarriage. But like his/her mom, "Noodle" (what my oldest has nicknamed the baby) is strong.
They did find a bleed and called it a subchorianic hemorrhage. My instructions were to take it easy and monitor the bleeding. I go to the doctor today for a check up.
Long story short? Listen to your body. Had I gone to the Doctor when I had the pain weeks ago, this probably couldn't have been avoided but at least I would have known.
I've had enough drama in 2012 to write a whole Christmas letter. You hear that 2012? No more drama. And I've learned to listen to my body. Don't put your health off. And be sure to put on the oxygen mask first, and then assist others.