Thursday, April 24, 2008

Things that I worry about

Every. Single. Day. It’s stressful being mama.

-My daughter being hit by a car. This might be an every hour item, really.

-Getting kidney stones from drinking water out of water fountains. I didn’t say these things made any sense.

-Whether I unplugged/turned off the flat iron. The sad thing about this one is that I only straighten my hair 2 or 3 days a week.

-The cat getting out of the house and being hit by a car. Yes, I have a thing about cars.

-People staring at my eyebrows because they are too thick. This is why I sometimes have gaps in my eyebrows – I pull on them unconsciously. In my saner moments, I understand that the gaps are much more conspicuous than the thickness.

-My son not developing his baby skills on time. This is universal among parents of infants, I’m sure.

-That I am working outside the home too much.

-That I am not doing enough at my outside-the-home work.

-Roaches taking over my kitchen. This is not as crazy as it sounds – the roaches really are on the offensive at my house.

- David Cook losing American Idol because in the finale, they are going to make him sing some corny song and it will sound terrible. This one is a short-term issue.

-Getting a traffic ticket. Every time I see a police car, I start having conversations in my head explaining to the officer why I did whatever I imagine he is going to ticket me for doing.

-Whether anyone will hang around to read my blog after another day with no posts / after reading the post I wrote today. Then I convince myself that it really doesn’t matter if anyone reads it anyway.

Something that we do

Consistent blogging. Yeah. I’m not getting there. Now we have addressed the obvious, so let’s move on.

These days I just don’t feel like myself. Is it post-partum depression? I don’t think so, but my OB/GYN does. I think it is something more like grief, more like struggling to accept with my heart a decision that I’ve already made in my in head. Most people who read this blog can probably guess what that’s all about, but for the rest, I don’t mean to be vague but I just can’t see it in writing yet.

I love being a mother and I love my babies, but the fallout of being gloomy and exhausted is that I don’t always feel that affectionate towards them – or anyone else for that matter. These days, about a third of the times my daughter wraps her arms around my neck for a hug or smashes her face into my cheek for a kiss, my internal reaction is “please oh please just back off,” and not the rush of warm fuzzies that I am accustomed to feeling. I am careful to smile at her and give her a squeeze, but she knows something is not right. In case my heart was not broken enough at not being able to embrace her affection, she seems to have drawn the conclusion that if she hugs me more, I will feel better.

We have our good days, good times, happy moments. She still falls asleep in my arms at naptime and runs to be scooped off her feet when I pick her up from preschool. Yet I realize that even though it may be years away, the day is coming when she won’t want every hug I have to offer and every minute of my time I find to give. Realizing that my time to hold her is limited, I know that love needs to be something that we do rather than something that we feel. I know that I need to kiss away every tear and smile after every temper tantrum, read the same story a thousand times and pretend to be Daisy Duck until Micky Mouse Clubhouse is no longer in style.

Still, I can’t enjoy the goodness that is so fleeting and every moment I miss just makes the need to get better more desperate.

**If this post made you teary, don’t go listen to this song**

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Short of it

I’ll spare you the long.

For the past 3 months, I have been collecting my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to tell the story of everything that happened around Isaac’s birth. The result was a little epic for a blog, but in writing the long version out, I made sense of it for myself. The heart of the story is what follows here.

On Saturday, November 24, I started bleeding- like A LOT. Hubby took me to the hospital in a panic, and I was quickly seen by my doctor and the ultrasound team. Baby was fine, but it appeared that my placenta had started to separate. There was a bunch of confusion around the ultrasound specialist’s report, but after a few hours, everyone seemed to agree that the abruption was “stable” and that I needed to stay in the hospital on a fetal monitor and full bed rest. I still wasn’t allowed food for awhile in case I needed emergency surgery. At the time, my doctor thought we would have to deliver the baby in a couple of days.

Everything started to look good, and I was unhooked from most of my attachments and allowed to move around the room a little bit. My doctor talked about keeping me for a week and then possibly sending me home on bed rest. On Tuesday, I started having labor, and the whole thing changed. They put me on a magnesium sulfate IV and tried to stop the contractions. I had a couple of injections of something that was a “smooth muscle relaxant” that made my heart race, and they got things back under control. My doctor called me a time bomb and said that the goal was to get to Monday (35 weeks) and then deliver the baby. Over the rest of the week, I had a few more scares and a few more shots of the heart-racey stuff. I lost count of shots, IV pokes, and blood draws around 25. My husband took care of Natalie all by himself, and he and my parents worked to make sure she got to come see me every day. It was all a blur to me because of the magnesium.

At one point, a very sweet friend from church who is an RN came to visit and was alarmed by my mental state. I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, but she apparently had the nurses check my magnesium levels, and found out they had gotten too high. They fixed that, but then I had to have more of the heart racey shots.

What I remember most about that time is being confused about whether I was making good decisions. I couldn’t differentiate between what was good for the baby and what was a risk for him but better for me. It was all very confusing, and I am thankful for my doctor coming to see me every day and helping me stay calm about it all.

Early in the morning on Monday, December 3, I was prepped for c-section delivery. It was very different than what I remembered with Natalie, and I was scared. I just didn’t know what to expect little baby Isaac to be like. I didn’t know whether I would see him and hold him right away, whether I would hear him cry, or whether he would be whisked away by the army of pediatric specialists in attendance.

When he was born, it took about 15 seconds for him to let out a terrific cry. They did take him away to the next room and put him on oxygen, but we could all hear him wailing the whole time. I just cried and cried in relief that his lungs really were working. It wasn’t long before my husband got to hold him and show him to me, which was great. I remember mostly thinking how different he looked from Natalie.

Soon, he went to the NICU and I went to my room. I was sick from the morhine in my spinal anesthesia, and he was getting fed by IV and under an oxygen hood. It took him about a day and a half to get the magnesium out of his system. I did get to go see him Monday night, and I also got to hold him. I could go see him every 3 hours. The nurses had gotten a little attached to me since they don’t usually have any patients longer than two days and I had been there nearly two weeks, so they were happy to wheel me down to the nursery whenever I could go.

We didn’t know then how long Isaac would have to stay in the NICU, but most of the staff thought it would be about a week. I was just in shock at not being pregnant and having this baby that I couldn’t bring home. I had spent most of pregnancy in fear of preeclampsia, and now it was done and I was left with more questions than answers. My doctor said we would probably never know what caused the abruption. Although preeclampsia can cause this to happen, I did not have high blood pressure or protein “spilling” this time. I did have several of the other symptoms of pre-e (unusual amount of swelling, pinwheel spots in my vision, and pain in my rib cage) that I had while pregnant with Natalie in the weeks before my blood pressure got out of control, but it’s just not a complete picture.

In my heart, I believe the complications of both pregnancies are related, but I’m not sure exactly how the pieces fit together. I’m not sure there is a way to answer the questions or whether it would make any difference, but I do know that I am blessed to have two beautiful, healthy babies and the rest of my life to enjoy them.