Being a new mom on this great adventure of motherhood is teaching me a lot about myself as I get to know this new person, my daughter. And despite experiencing an unplanned C-section, when she was born it was like butterflies and rainbows.
I was living in Texas when I found out I was expecting my first child. As a supervisor for child protective services I have a flexible, remote-work friendly job.
Because my family is in Lafayette and my partner, Dillon, is stationed here with the National Guard, I moved home to Acadiana for my third trimester and maternity leave.
Our daughter, Sage Christine, was born at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital on October 11, 2022.
Path to Pregnancy
Growing up in a military family meant that we moved often during my childhood. I’m from Louisiana and attended the University of Louisiana Lafayette for my undergraduate degree followed by a master’s in social work at Baylor.
Dillon is my best friend, and I couldn’t imagine doing this without him. I’m so blessed I’m with someone who’s excited about being on this journey too.
The night before I took a pregnancy test I’d noticed my chest hurting, which was unusual, and I’d been needing to urinate more frequently, which looking back was another clue.
During a morning walk I felt nauseous and had my first suspicion that I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test on a lunch break, and my results were a quick positive. Everyone was excited to hear the news.
Returning to My Healthcare Home
Francis Cardinale, MD, had been my gynecologist during college, so when I found out I was expecting I called him.
“I am expecting, and I trust you,” I said. “All of my family is there, and I can work from home in Louisiana.” And with that I was able to be near family and my support system, receiving quality maternity care close to home.
I cannot imagine having gone anywhere other than Women’s & Children’s due to the staff, the support, the knowledge and the resources.
Boy or girl, blue or pink. Two of my best friends planned a beautiful gender reveal party at Moncus Park that brought our families together to celebrate. After an ultrasound, we had our technician put the gender results in an envelope, which I gave to my friend planning the party.
We had already chosen Sage Christine as our daughter’s name to honor my late grandmother Christine who was also born in October. My grandma and I shared a love of the color green, which led to the choice of Sage’s first name.
The gender reveal party was also a special moment for us, as it was the last gatherings for my grandfather, who passed away less than a week later.
Physical Changes and Symptoms
Luckily, my first trimester pregnancy symptoms were fairly mild, without morning sickness. The weight gain and physical changes really set in during the second trimester, which led to some shift in my perspective.
The second trimester is when I really had to come to terms with oh, it’s not my body right now. I had to remind myself that I’m bringing a human into this world and this blessing is bigger than what my body is going through. The third trimester brought more changes and swelling, especially to my hands and feet.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine was a focus throughout my pregnancy. I made sure to regularly eat salads and fruit and was very mindful of drinking plenty of water. Although I didn’t have any specific food cravings, I did have some aversions including to oatmeal and bananas. Certain smells could also trigger my stomach to protest.
Being aware of my limitations was another way I maintained my health during pregnancy. When I was tired, I would tell people I’m done. If I was done for the day, I was done for the day.
Having limitations brought about some sadness throughout my third trimester. Even with my amazing support system and work team, I felt some loneliness. Some of the things I couldn’t do anymore, and a lot of times I’d be too tired or know I just shouldn’t do that while pregnant.
Preparing for Delivery
I worked with the hospital’s pregnancy navigator to get ready for delivery including a hospital tour, preparing my birth plan and taking prenatal classes at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital, including breastfeeding and baby basics.
For my birth plan I wanted a natural birth, but I was very flexible even when looking ahead to delivery. I’m all about taking medical advice, honestly, so I knew if that’s the route I needed to take, then that’s what I’d do.
Packing my bag for the hospital was taken care of in the third trimester, including Sage’s going home or “grand entrance” outfit.
Sage’s Birth Day!
In the weeks leading up to my estimated due date, ultrasounds showed my baby was measuring large. I prepared myself to likely need an epidural and possibly a C-section. Having a plan was important, but my health and my baby’s health were the number one thing when it came down to it.
On October 10 I was admitted to the hospital for an induction, and after 32 hours of labor delivered Sage via C-section. She weighed in at 9 lb. 12 oz. and sporting a full head of hair. Although it wasn’t my plan, I followed my doctor’s advice and had a safe delivery at the end of the day with a beautiful, healthy baby.
I would go to the moon and back for Sage, and I want nothing but to raise a good person who’s giving, caring and really thinks about others. I feel strong, and I’ve gained a whole new perspective on life since she’s been born. I feel like nothing is impossible at this point, and I’m stronger than I could have ever imagined.
With this new person who depends on me, and as a new mom, I’m learning to be a new me and loving myself again. I want to make sure I’m the best version of myself for her. I just take it one day at a time, and I know she’s 1000% worth it. I wouldn’t trade her for anything.
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