Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Life is what happens...

So, I've been jotting down notes in Word ever since I found out I was pregnant. I thought about going back and doing some posts retroactively, but to be honest, it's a litany of me getting sick, missing work, getting sick, going in the hospital... you get the point. I'm going to just throw in some back knowledge, and a little bit about why we're going here and then I'll start from there. I'm a 33 year old mom to two beautiful little girls, and wife to one crazy red-haired British dude. That's what my Girl Scout troop calls him: the crazy British dude. Kevin is my rock. I want to make that clear from the get-go. Because I'm sure in one or two or all of my posts, I may rant or grumble or whine or plain out bitch - and it may seem like I am ungrateful. And I don't want for any given point in time, anyone to ever mistake the love and appreciation I have for my husband. He is our foundation, and without him, I cannot imagine how our lives would be. That being said, there are times when a simple shake of my head, nod and smile, yes honey - any of those... are entirely appropriate.

I am presently 25 weeks pregnant with our 3rd (and last) child. As luck would have it... we're having, you guessed it - ANOTHER GIRL! Poor Kevin. Of our 2 daughters, both were born premature, each pregnancy worse than the one prior. Laurel Leah (DD#1) is now 9, and was born at 32 weeks. Elora Sage, aka Ella, (DD#2) just turned 2, and was born at 31 weeks. Her birth resulted in a TIA, or a minor stroke, for me and had her hanging out in the NICU for just over a month. So let me just make it clear, each birth has been progressively worse. While Laurel was early, she did not require a stay in the NICU. She was big (7lbs and 6 oz) and I was on insulin with this pregnancy and aside from being a little jaundiced, she was healthy. I was induced, had her naturally, and recovered relatively well, albeit a bit worn out. Ella, on the other hand, had us going from the beginning.

First of all, John Lennon sure knew what he was talking about... we went and made plans! Kevin and I were newlyweds, having married on the 4th of July that year, and planned on waiting for the immigration process to finish up before extending our family. In September, we discovered we were young, misguided fools - and I was pregnant! I managed to escape the insulin beast, but what I didn't get there, I more than made up for. Ella's pregnancy had me passing out left and right, my heart wasn't up for the extra load. Apparently neither was the rest of me, since I ended up with a TIA. I went in to one hospital and woke up in another with the doctor telling me, "You should let your parents know you're having a baby." To which I replied, "Oh they already know." And he chuckled and said - "NO - you're having one in about 2 hours" and so began the saga of Ella.

It was more difficult than anything I'd ever dealt with before. Leaving your baby in the hospital when you go home from giving birth is a disappointment like no other. We recently acted as our local March of Dimes Ambassador Family, and when I spoke, I referred to the varying emotions you feel as a parent that first time you drive away from the hospital with your child in the NICU. We had no real option, as we still had a little girl at home. And yes, we had jobs if we wanted to still be able to provide for our family. It was rough. My husband and I sat on the side of the road that first time, and cried together. We were in varied stages of guilt, grief, anger, frustration, disappointment and yes, we still had that sliver of joy because we DID have a baby. And for all intents and purposes, she was healthy and whole. But we felt incomplete - and we knew we would until the day we could bring her home. Ella's progress was much like many babies in the NICU, and also different from so many others. She was a strong little fighter, and jumped through hurdles faster than they anticipated. Every obstacle or goal she was to meet, she met and then moved on to the next one. She was a happy baby (still is) and loved to be cuddled. Wasn't fussy and irritable and the nurses loved on her all the time. We met our favorite NICU nurse, Jenn, at Winnie Palmer - and she left such a lasting impression on our hearts, that we continue to keep in touch with her today... even if she did move several states away *grumble, grumble* from us!
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
-John Lennon 

But that experience left a mark on us as well. We tendered the idea of having another baby and ultimately, we decided we just weren't going to try for another. I'm by no means on the shelf, but I was getting older. It had already been proven that my body just wasn't capable of carrying a baby full-term. And despite people telling us that "every pregnancy is different" - we also had experts that said that the likelihood of having a repeat experience was very high (especially since we're talking about the same father) - this is why you'll hear me say, "It's all Kevin's fault" so often. Kevin and I arranged for him to have a procedure done (the dreaded V) in late March. Unfortunately, we'd had some issues with our current BC plan, and then I went on traditional BC, aka the Pill, while being sick and on antibiotics. At this same time, my heart started doing these weird fluttery things again, and I was passing out...again. So lo and behold, I went to the cardiologist. When he told me my heart was working for 2, I felt a little stupid. Okay - I felt a LOT of stupid. I work in a doctor's office by the way, so the fact that it did not occur to me that antibiotics and birth control are not good team players... well, like I said, I felt a LOT of stupid.

We don't believe in the alternative, so Kevin and I immediately got over the shock, cried, laughed, told our families, cried some more. Fast forward now to mid July - my thyroid has given up the ghost, my blood pressure thinks it's in an express elevator, and now my blood sugar thinks EVERYTHING is cake, with icing, on top of icing. After a few days stay in Winnie Palmer, which sometimes feels like a vacation were it not for the needles and rationed meals, my perinatologist has deemed me unfit for work. I'm officially on bedrest at 25 weeks, and slowly going nuts. Okay, maybe not so slowly. The next few weeks will chronicle some of the struggles, maybe flashback to some of the health issues, and since I'm 90% positive I won't go to term with baby Paisley - her journey after birth. On the bright side, I have plenty of opportunity to notice that the tops of the walls in my bedroom never got painted. Oh yeah, and it's all Kevin's fault. Thanks for reading!