35345809_10156490569217973_7943983025488920576_nMy name is Deby Ciui (pronounced Chewy, hence the name Mama Chewy) and I am a new first time mama.

But I feel as if I should share my story because if I had not gone through this experience I don’t know if I ever would have started Mama Chewy.

It all started on the car drive home.

My husband, Joshua, and I were driving home from a weekend in Atlanta. I was 28 weeks pregnant and we were talking about the weekend and what we weren’t able to do while we were there (I really wanted to go to the hotel pool but we never had the chance). While he was driving, and I had my feet elevated on the dash board, we were actually planning and discussing having another weekend getaway and going to the beach for a few days for a last minute baby moon.

On that drive home I had developed a headache so when we got home I went straight to bed. The next day (Monday) I still had the headache so I called out of work thinking it was likely just exhaustion from the road trip. But then when Tuesday came around and the headache still had not gone away I knew something was wrong, headaches don’t last 3 days. So I went to my OB/GYN and they took some tests and then immediately came and told me that I would have to go to the hospital because they believe I may have preeclampsia.

  1. a condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria.

This is not something any pregnant woman wants to hear. Especially one who is as terrified of doctors and needles as I am. But I did what I was told, had my nephew drive me to the hospital, texted my husband and told him what was going on and prepared myself for the doctors I was about to see.

When there I went to the Emergency room and told them what was going on. They drew blood and gave me 3 different medicines to get rid of the headache. The doctor comes in and tells me that I do have preeclampsia but that it is mild and they just want to keep me overnight for observation and then will talk about what actions need to happen after that. Somewhat a relief.

Well, as I learned early on, things rarely go as planned. That night my blood pressure skyrocketed to the 190s/100s and was in critical levels. They had to immediately put me on magnesium and it quickly went from staying overnight for observation to staying until you deliver and the goal was to carry until 34 weeks. Because one thing you may not know, I didn’t know until I was diagnosed, preeclampsia can only be ‘cured’ by delivering the baby (and the placenta).

So from that point on my whole future and pregnancy ‘plan’ changed. For the next two weeks we struggled with keeping my blood pressure under control, having blood drawn every 6 hours, all while monitoring the baby to make sure she was ok. In one week we had maxed out on the dosage allowed for one type of blood pressure medicine and started adding a second medicine to the mix. In the following days they maxed out this new medicine as well and my blood pressure was just barely staying level. So it was starting to look as if we might be able to carry on until 34 weeks. But it was too good to be true because one morning I woke up with excruciating stomach pain and was vomiting uncontrollably despite having nothing in my stomach. At this point the doctors came and said the baby had to come out.

I was 30 weeks

I was really hoping to deliver naturally, someone scared of doctors is definitely scared of surgery. I was induced early in the morning and was also given epidural early on because my platelets were dropping so I would not be able to get it later. However, I was also on magnesium. So with magnesium + epidural, I was not allowed to move and had to stay in bed the entire time. For 36 hours we tried to deliver naturally, the contractions would come and get stronger and stronger but once they became intense my little girls heart rate would drop, so then the IV was stopped, the contractions would stop and we would let her heart rate get back up. Then we would try again. But after 36 hours with no results, it was decided the best route would be to have a C-Section.

Other than the fear I had about the C-section, and the fear for my baby, the thing I remember most was hearing a feeble little cry when they took her out. I had prayed to be able to hear that cry, hearing it made me feel as if I knew everything was going to be ok.

Anastasia Maria Ciui was born on:

March 23rd, 2018

Weight: 2lbs 15oz Length: 15 1/4 inches

The road after this was probably even harder than the whole hospital stay. The day I was discharged from the hospital was not a happy one as it is for most new mama’s, because although I was finally able to go home after being in the hospital for two weeks, my baby had to stay there. For 84 days, and 5,000 miles worth of driving Anastasia was in the hospitals NICU department. There were ups and downs, sometimes we would make a step forward, only to make two steps back. It was hard, recovering from a C-section, trying to pump milk, all while being home alone and having to be separated from my baby. The hardest part I think was trying to stay positive, to try and keep the baby blues and postpartum depression away, and some days were harder than others.

The day we brought Anastasia home, was the happiest day of our life, and in truth Joshua and I give GOD all the glory for Anastasia’s birth and growth since then. Our little girl came home healthy with absolutely NO health issues. But it wasn’t until we brought her home that we learned what it truly meant to be parents.

The time after pregnancy has put a lot into focus. I am constantly learning how to navigate this new road called parenthood. How to take back control of my life and body and get to a new healthier me. I make mistakes, achieve milestones, and just have fun along the way. But I wish to share all of this with you. So without further ado, I give you Mama Chewy.

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