In April of last year, I learned that I was pregnant. A new adventure was blossoming within me. We were so far beyond ecstatic. Around week twelve, genetic test results came back with the news we were hoping for. Our sweet little jelly bean was a girl!
Deciding on a name was hard before I knew what we were having. I thought I was set on a girl name and I was no where close to deciding on a boy name. When we got the news that our baby was a little girl, I instantly knew. Presley. I chose the name for her Nana, who is a huge Elvis fan. To keep in theme with her Elvis-driven name, I decided on Presley Gracelyn as her full name.
My pregnancy with Presley was by far my hardest. Maybe it was my age. By comparison, I had my other three children during my early twenties. Being in my thirties made a big difference. Around week twenty, I started having issues with hypertension. My blood pressure was crazy and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what triggered spikes and what didn’t. It was insane. Not only had I completely blown up (I looked super pregnant within a week of finding out I was pregnant, at seven weeks), but I hurt all the time. My hips and pelvic floor seemed to absolutely hate me.
By twenty weeks, I could barely make it through an eight hour shift at work. Walking hurt. Standing after sitting down for more than ten minutes hurt. Changing positions in bed hurt. Everything I did seemed to hurt. It was okay, though, because I knew Presley was worth whatever I endured.
Around thirty-two weeks, I failed my three hour glucose screening. Ugh.. The glucose screening. The one hour screening was a breeze, even if I failed it. The three hour screening, though? Not so much. I went to my original appointment to do the screening and didn’t even manage to keep the orange drink down for a full five minutes. The second time was easier, but I got tired of being a pin-cushion. I’d already had a few other blood tests that week and then had to deal with blood being drawn four times the day of my glucose test.
At week thirty-four, the doctor started discussing inducing because of gestational diabetes and hypertension. Without a doubt, we would meet Presley by week thirty-eight. My doctor started having me do twice-a-week non-stress tests during the second week of December. The first two non-stress tests went great. On December 17th (the end of week thirty-five), I went in for my third. Within a few minutes of being strapped up to the TOCO monitor, her heartbeat dropped. It only slowed for a couple of minutes, but it was enough to get the nurse’s attention. My doctor ordered an ultrasound to see what was going on. A few minutes after the ultrasound technician left my room, the nurse came in and asked “What do you say we have a baby?” My husband was sent downstairs to register me to be admitted and I was transferred to a Labor & Delivery room.
At just after 3:00 that afternoon, they started inducing me. Between the excitement and stress of the whole situation, I couldn’t relax. Not a bit. By the third day of being induced, I was tired, irritated, and still not making much progress. I was told I could opt for a Cesarean section if I chose to do so, but decided that I wasn’t giving up until my doctor did. On the evening of December 19th, my mother-in-law asked the nurse to give me Benadryl because I was incredibly itchy but afraid of bothering the nurses.
Flash forward about two hours after the Benadryl was added into my IV. I woke up in pain despite a really well-placed Epidural. I had relaxed enough to allow my body to do what needed to be done and woke up to very strong contractions. Ten minutes later, it was time to push. Of all the babies I’ve had, she was the easiest. Within four and a half pushes, she was out of my tummy and laying on my chest. She was beautiful and tiny, weighing only five pounds and three ounces.
We stayed together in the hospital for three days. She spent twenty-four hours under the Bili light and I had tubal ligation done. We came home on December 21st. Her original due date was January 18th.
She has been here with us for a month and we could not be happier. Everyone went out and got her Christmas presents to celebrate her first Christmas. She is very alert for being so little and tries hard to hold her head up (she can do it for a good few minutes before getting tired). She’s a messy eater, makes some of goofiest faces I’ve ever seen, and loves being snuggled.
Presley Gracelyn Evans.
Born on December 19th of 2019 at 11:18pm and worth every ounce of the pain-in-the-butt pregnancy that I had. She is a blessing.