I think us announcing that we were expecting again was more of a surprise to people the second time around than the first. After navigating all of this with Camden as well as building a house and living with family (yes, this really did happen) most people would consider this crazy; but I have to say, #2 has been the single best thing we have done for Camden. Not only did we have a lot going on, but Camden’s birth story, as well as our pregnancy journey was quite eventful as well.
We were living in Traverse City when we became pregnant with our first baby. Craig had been traveling Monday – Friday for work as well as completing his MBA on the weekends down in Grand Rapids. Like every new parent we had no idea how much our life was about to change. We did have some foresight into parenthood though and knew that Craig traveling all week for work was not something we wanted to continue once we added to our family. Our plan at the time was to live in Traverse City until we had the baby and then try to figure out something once we were settled into our new family of 3. After all, ‘they’ say you should never make a big life decision when you are pregnant.
We settled into pregnancy in Traverse City. We found an amazing OB and began going to all of the exciting pregnancy appointments and eventually the 20 week ultrasound. We chose not to find out the sex of the baby as we wanted it to be a surprise. My due date was June 29, 2014. My pregnancy up until this point was great, I was feeling well, no morning sickness, and no cravings. Late in January of 2014 Craig was offered an opportunity to move to Boston with his company. This was an opportunity to get us to the same place and progress his career but it would take us hundreds of miles away from family and friends. After all ‘it takes a village’. After visiting Boston and considering the opportunity we knew it just wasn’t right for us at that time. They may or may not have known this wasn’t going to happen when I cried at the dinner table in downtown Boston when they asked me how I felt about relocating to Boston. I know, I know, very professional……hey, I was pregnant…it was the hormones.
Upon returning to Michigan Craig’s company offered to relocate us to the Detroit area to get our quickly growing family to the same location. It just so happened that my company also had a position open in the vicinity so it seemed as though all signs were pointing us in this direction. This was our opportunity to get to the same place, progress careers and live by family and friends. This was a win win win….right? After a lot of contemplating and many many tears we decided that this was what was best for us; after all, all of the stars were aligning.
At 27 weeks pregnant we moved down to the Detroit area. I obtained OB care through the office my Sister-In-Law saw since I did not have time to search OB’s out myself. We moved in with my parents until we could sell our house in Traverse City and find a house downstate. At 35 weeks pregnant I began to notice my feet and ankles swelling but thought this was just one of those ‘things’ that happen during pregnancy. I started to become more concerned with it as the week went on and as my feet started to resemble those of Fred Flintstone. My friend Kate encouraged me to call my OB office, which I did and they had me in the next day. It turns out the swelling was a result of preeclampsia. Up until this point in pregnancy everything had been smooth sailing.
We officially moved out of our house in Traverse City that weekend and got everything set up in my brother’s house where we had planned to stay once the baby arrived. They had a fully finished basement so we were able to have our own living space which we thought would be best once the baby arrived. Later that week on June 5th (36 weeks pregnant) I went in for my weekly checkup, Craig in his work clothes thinking he would be headed to work after our appointment. Little did we know at the time but we were sent from that appointment over to the hospital for some testing to check in on the preeclampsia. We had an ultrasound and everything looked great with the baby but they admitted me for a 24 hour urine test. I was getting ready to begin the test and the Dr. walked in to inform me that they were going to induce me instead.
To spare all of the details, the induction did not go well. I ended up with such a severe headache I couldn’t see, which is not a great sign when you have high blood pressure from the preeclampsia. I ended up in a C-section the day after they started the Pitocin to induce labor. I don’t remember much from the delivery because I was so out of it and in a lot of pain with my headache. Camden William MacMillan was born at 2:17pm on June 6th, 2014. His Apgar score at 1 minute was 8 and at 5 minutes was 9 which would indicate a healthy baby boy.
The night of his birth through the following couple of weeks I was extremely lethargic and out of it. This was not as a result of sleepless nights with a newborn baby. The night we had Camden they kept me on my magnesium IV which they require when you are in labor with preeclampsia. It was explained that they keep you on it for 24 hours after delivery. I woke up in the middle of the night in the hospital and I knew instantly something was wrong, I felt faint and even worse than I felt earlier in the day. I woke Craig up to tell him I didn’t feel well and he pressed my button to call the nurse in. Craig would be better at explaining what took place after that but from what I remember and what I have been told is that my blood pressure plummeted. I typically have blood pressure that is on the lower end of normal; with the mix of typically low blood pressure and the magnesium IV it caused my blood pressure to crash. Within a couple of minutes there were several people in the room, they were trying to stabilize my blood pressure and draw blood. The days and weeks that followed were a blur. I barely had enough energy to walk up the stairs. I was unable to go to Camden’s first Dr. appointment out of the hospital. Craig really was Mr. Mom and was thrown head first into parenthood.
Camden had zero interest in eating in the hospital, he lost quite a bit of weight and was kept until he started eating. The nurses would tell us that he would let us know when he was hungry but that time never really came. We would fight to try to get an ounce in him, we were dealing with milliliters. In the end they kept him an extra day and we were headed ‘home’ as a family of three on June 10th 2014.
We were unaware at the time that what we experienced in the hospital and through the delivery process was not a typical experience. As we navigated through the weeks and months that followed a lot of questions from Camden’s medical team centered on the pregnancy and delivery. When we became pregnant with #2 it was hard not to worry that this entire experience may repeat itself but we were confident in living out our dream of expanding our family.
On April 14th, 2016 Camden’s best friend and little brother Crew Gregory (after my Dad) MacMillan was born. After a perfect pregnancy with zero complications and a completely different delivery we were able to experience what most new parents do when they first welcome a baby into their family. It is all relative, but having a healthy thriving newborn was quite the breeze.
Until next time –
3C’s and a K