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    Posted December 4, 2012 by
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    How did pregnancy change you?

    More from Rlamb517

    What didn't change?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Rlamb517 can't think of anything that stayed the same after she became pregnant with her son. 'Everything changed. My body changed, my way of thinking, how I felt, activities I did, foods I ate. Nothing stayed the same,' she said. She struggled with gestational diabetes. Instead of going on insulin, she opted for moderate exercise an hour a day. Besides the physical changes, she also said she thinks hard now before cutting off a car. She has another life to be responsible for now.

    The 47-year-old has a piece of advice for couples who are thinking of having a baby: 'I would also tell couples not to wait to try to conceive. Time is precious. Being an older parent is not so easy. Now that I have my child, I wish I had him 20 year ago sometimes, just so I had more energy.' How did pregnancy change you? Share your story here.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    Everything changes when you are pregnant. I don't think anything stays the same, at least it didn't for me. I can remember the anticipation as I waited for the results from the at home pregnancy test. Those few minutes felt like an eternity. When it came back positive, I didn't believe it at first, so I took another test just to be sure. Then went to the doctor. Yep! He's in there!!


    I didn't know it was a boy at the time, but just knowing that someone was growing inside of me made me feel special. I was part of a living a miracle. Life was growing inside of me!! I know, it happens everyday, but this was happening to me. A little person was feeding off of me, breathing off of me, a baby was developing inside of me. I felt blessed. I tried for 5 years to get pregnant, so I truly felt special. I wanted to shout it out to the world, but didn't at first. Wanted to wait for those three months to pass. During that time, my biggest fear almost came true....I was bleeding and almost lost him. But thank God, I didn't. It was then, when I had the risk of losing him, that I knew how badly I really wanted this child. The thought of losing my baby was just horrible.


    When I finally started showing and was able to share the news, it made things a lot easier. It's funny, because without even thinking about it, I would often times just hold my tummy, or rub it. My arms so wanted to hold him....but he wasn't ready!


    Everytime I thought I felt something inside move, I would think "is he kicking, or moving?" And then he kicked. Really kicked! Ah....that's what it feels like! He would get really active when I played music, or ate something sweet. And when he stretched, my bladder would be in pain! 7pm - 10pm was his active time, like clockwork.


    And then I started to wonder....what will he look like? Will he have dark hair or light? Brown eyes or blue? Will he be tall or short? Big or small? Will he be an easy baby or a difficult one? What kind of mother will I be? Will I say and do the right or wrong things? Will I know what to do with him when he cries? How will I know what he wants if he's still fussing after the obvious feeding, changing and sleeping? Will I be able to breast feed? Will I be able to leave him to go back to work? That was the hardest thought. He wasn't even born yet, and I'm wondering WHO will I trust to care for him while I work. Had to push that thought aside. I'll deal with it later.


    And then the thought of child birth entered my mind. I kept pushing that thought away, too. Didn't want to think about it. It scared me to no end! I took classes, read books, looked on the internet, and heard endless HORROR stories from other women. I swear, when I was pregnant, every woman decided to tell me their horror story!!! Scared me even more!!! How in the world is that baby going to come out of me without killing me?? I kept saying that my faith would pull me through. I kept thinking....if it were so bad, people wouldn't go for seconds or thirds, right?


    I do have a horror birthing story and share it with folks....but I NEVER tell a pregnant woman my story. I always offer her this: "Just go with the flow, and have an open mind. Expect the unexpected and you'll be fine". See, I told myself that I wanted NATURAL child birth. No pain meds. Not because I'm a hero, but because I don't do well with meds - always have a reaction to them. And I told myself no c-section. I read a book in high school called "Birth without Violence" and I kind of thought my giving birth would be like they explain in that book. A dark room, no crazy bright lights, nice and calm, lots of support around, and nice music playing in the background. HA! My thought was a fantasy.


    I had no support system. My now ex-husband was anything but supportive. I went through 21 hours of labor pretty much alone, only to have an emergency c-section. When I finally couldn't take the pain they gave me the epidural I so did not want. My heart rate and blood pressure went so far down, they had to give me epinephrine, and the baby stressed. So, I had an emergency c-section with bright lights, no music, and no photos! So, all the breathing classes I took, and all the birthing plans I made were useless. Out the window. Gone.


    The best part of child birth....that anticipated CRY! Oh, thank God, he cried. And what a cry! He was singing!!! His voice was so loud and so strong, he sounded older, not like that newborn cry. My son was 9 lbs. 11 oz and 21.5 inches tall!! He was a big, healthy baby!!


    Our first touch was his cheek on mine, as I was too weak to hold him, and was getting put back together. The nurse wrapped him up, and put his face up to mine. His cheek was the softest skin I ever felt in my life. I talked to him. Tried to smile for a photo. When I was strong enough to hold him I counted all his fingers and toes. His little fists held onto me so tightly. He had a full head of dark hair and the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen! My little Michael was born. I was now a mother. A mom!! His birth made me a mom. Something I wanted to be since I was 5 years old.


    My life has forever changed. I remember my mom telling me when I was pregnant to enjoy my quiet time now, because my life would never be the same again. She would tell me this when I would tell her how I couldn't wait to see him, hold him, love him. She was right. It does change. Some things are very difficult, but the joys outweight any difficult times. As a new mom, I was exhausted with baby feedings every couple of hours, and he was colic. My ex worked crazy hours and I was alone.


    Deciding on whether he should or should not get shots, and then how to administer them was another issue. I, personally, would never give him 4 shots at one time! I'd go to the doctor four separate times to receive four separate shots. I wouldn't want to have four shots at once, why should he have four at once???


    I also think twice about cutting off that car, or speeding now. I started to worry about germs like never before, too! I always want what is best for my child. For me, I now have someone else's life in my hands, and always think "how will this decision impact my son's life?".


    I think about death more now too. I lost my mother in my 40's and it was the worst experience of my life. I can only pray my son will be older when I go....and then...where will he go? Who will raise him? How will he be? Can anyone else love him the way I do?


    Oh, but the joys!! The joys of that fist time he said "Mama" when he was a baby!! I was busy in the kitchen and he wanted to come out of his activity center. With arms up in the air he said "ma ma" very clearly! Of course I dropped what I was doing and went to him! And the first time he walked, talked, drew a photo, swam across the pool, passed a tae kwon do test, and so on. As a parent, I feel more joy sharing his life with him that I could have ever imagined! It truly is a blessing to have a child. A gift. One I am thankful for every day!


    Yes, pregnancy and child birth changed my life forever. For the better.


    Blessings to the future royal baby and family. May they experience all the wonderful joys of parenthood!

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