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Monday, February 28, 2011

December 2007: Birthday

it's sunday -- exactly one week since i was released from the hospital.  i've been using the anti-contraction medicine all week and it's been fairly effective.  i feel awful though.  no one ever told me that pregnancy feels this terrible.

finally on sunday night the contractions just got too bad.  i tried taking the medicine and it just wasn't having an effect.  i called the hospital and they told me to come up.  we went up there, and they told me that i was going into labor.  i was only 34 weeks and a few days, so i just barely missed the cutoff for delivering there.  they needed to send me to the hospital that's over an hour away that's able to handle a preterm birth.  they also had to start me on magnesium sulfate...used to try to stop labor just long enough to be able to get a steroid shot or two in.  these steroid shots are supposed to help the lungs mature quickly so that hopefully the baby won't need too much respiratory support once it comes out.  the midwife told me not to worry too much.  she said that i'm not extremely preterm, and that boys tend to do better.  jay and i looked at each other and said, "well i guess we're having a boy".  we hadn't known up to that point...we didn't want to know because we were too scared.  the midwife apologized profusely for spilling the beans.

thus started the ambulance ride from hell.  of course we were in the middle of a really bad snow storm and the roads were terrible.  jay called my mom from the hospital to tell her that we were going to a different hospital.  he asked her if she wanted to come up too.  i didn't know he was going to do this and didn't really want him to, but what's done is done.  so my mom came right up to the hospital and she and jay followed behind the ambulance.  the magnesium they started SUCKED.  it made me so damn hot i thought i was about to jump out of my skin.  my contractions were getting worse and worse, and i had to pee worse than ever before.  it's amazing just how painful having to pee can be.  it took over two hours to get to the hospital because the ambulance had to go so slowly because of the bad road conditions.  i didn't think we were ever going to get there.  when we did get there i begged them to let me go to the bathroom.  they were shocked that my local hospital had started magnesium and not put a catheter in.  thank you local hospital.

we met with the doctor when we got there and did all the usual shit....monitors, dilation check, etc etc.  i was just in the very beginning stages of labor.  several hours later when the staff came back on i had to have an ultrasound to see if they could find out why i had so much extra fluid.  they told me that i was bigger than someone at 40 weeks because the polyhydramnios had gotten so bad.  the doctor did the ultrasound and said that for some reason the baby wasn't swallowing the amniotic fluid like it was supposed to be.  he said that it may be due to a cleft palate, but he couldn't tell.  jay said that he could see the fluid shooting back out the baby's nose.  thinking back, this makes me want to die from devastation.  my poor son...was he suffering?  was he in pain?  he couldn't swallow.

i was feeling completely out of it from the magnesium.  i had a horrible headache and i could barely keep my eyes open.  the anethesiologist came in and went over all the different anesthesia options.  i barely remember this.  jay said that he couldn't believe they actually had me sign because i was barely coherent.  a little while later they came in and stopped the magnesium because i had reached toxic levels in my blood.  thanks guys.  they also said that someone from the neonatal intensive care unit would come talk to us to tell us what to expect, but no one ever did.  they also finally diagnosed me with preeclampsia.  between my high blood pressure and elevated liver enzymes, they said that i had preeclampsia, and in order to try to prevent full blown eclampsia and seizures, they needed to start the magnesium again, but just at a very low level. 

at about midnight the next day (now making it over 24 hours of labor), i stood up to try to readjust my position.  after a couple minutes a nurse came rushing in -- she had seen out at the desk the baby's heart rate monitor go way down.  a bunch of doctors stormed the room and within about 2 minutes they were breaking my water.  i was dilated about 7 cm and had had no pain medicine as of yet.  i'm a very small girl, and i was screaming in pain.  it hurt so badly, and then he had to put the monitor directly on the baby's head and i thought that it was nearly going to kill me.  after breaking my water the contractions started coming much faster and MUCH more painfully.  i told them they better get me an epidural, and fast.  the anesthesiologist came in and had me lie on my side.  they didn't want me sitting up because that was when the baby's heart rate had decelerated.  he tried the put the epidural in, i screamed in pain, it didn't work.  he tried again, i screamed, it didn't work.  on the fourth try he said he had gotten it.  thank god.  then he did something and i felt a shooting tingle down my leg.  "oops, i missed again".  fifth time was the charm.  apparently i have very little space in between my vertebrae.

epidurals are awesome.  i started laughing because it was the first time in months that i wasn't in excrutiating pain.  it felt so good.  finally, about 34 hours since i first went into the hospital they told me that i could start pushing.  i worked so hard.  i tried so hard and did everything they told me to do.  at one point i looked over at jay and he looked like he was going to pass out.  i asked if he was okay -- he said yes, but the nurse must have seen that he looked pretty pale, so she got him a chair.  he recovered fairly quickly after that.  i was exhausted.  finally, the head came out, but then i knew the baby was stuck.  he got to his shoulders and just stopped.  i pushed and pushed with everything i had left in me, and he just wouldn't budge.  the attending came in and said that he wanted to do a forceps delivery.  i said this was fine, i just wanted the baby out.  i was so worried about what all this trauma might be doing to him.  the resident got the forceps and had no idea how to use them.  then the attending had to tell him that he was holding them upside down.  first day on the job?  then, with one last push and the attending with the forceps, our son was born.  our beautiful son. i started to cry.   he looked so grey when he came out.  he wasn't crying.  i couldn't hear anything.  the NICU staff had been there for the final moments of delivery and they immediately took him and started working on him.  i couldn't hear anything.  jay was over with them and i kept looking at him to see what was going on.  why isn't he crying?  is he okay?  when can i see him?  meanwhile, the doctors were trying to stitch me up, and the anesthesia was starting to wear off. i kept begging someone to tell me what was going on with my baby, but they just kept working on him.  it felt like i was laying there for hours.  FINALLY, the NICU docor brought him in to me and let me just barely see him.  she held him up in front of me and said, "here is your baby, nice pink color".  i smiled at him and said "hi baby", and i touched his little face.  and then she whisked him away, up to the NICU. 

they told jay that he could go up to the NICU in about an hour.  he went up there and after a while came back down to tell me everything.  the baby had to be intubated and was on a ventilator because he wasn't breathing when he came out.  the doctor said he just didn't really seem interested in breathing.  they think that he has mechonium (baby's first stool) aspiration, which is basically he swallowed shit and it got into his lungs.  he doesn't have a cleft palate as was feared, but he has some other anomolies...a horseshoe shaped kidney (rather than two separate kidneys, only one that's shaped like a horseshoe), his feet are a little deformed, which may just be from the way he was positioned inside me...we don't know.  all of this is too overwhelming.  i don't know what's going on, but i start to cry.  i just cried and cried because i was so scared for my little baby.  i wanted to hold him.

they wheeled me into the room that i'd be staying in for the next few days.  it's a private room.  thank god.  i don't think i could handle having a roommate that has a happy little baby with her.  this isn't fair. i want to be with my son, i want to hold him.

holy shit i'm in pain.  this is pretty awful.  they tell me that i have fourth degree lacerations from the birth, which is apparently the deepest level.  no wonder i hurt so badly.  they tried to get me up to go to the bathroom, but i passed out just as i was getting to the toilet.  jay said that i started shaking, which now looking back i'm afraid might have been the seizure they were trying to prevent.  i vaguely remember coming to and just shaking violently.  thanks assholes at local hospital for picking up on that preeclampsia...great job.  your competence is impressive.

oh god, there's so much more to all this, but i can only endure so many painful memories in one night. i've been trying to get through at least until the day after birth, but it's just taking too much out of me for one night (actually, this post is more like 3 nights in the making).  the rest of it's going to have to wait...

as of the end of this day 3 years ago, jay and i were parents to a baby boy in critically unstable condition in the NICU...4 lbs, 11 oz.  his name is Charlie. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2007: Contractions, Dilation, Polyhydramnios, Elevated Liver Enzymes

things haven't been going well at all.  it seems like i feel worse by the second.  i keep trying to talk to my midwife, but she keeps blowing me off.  i told her that i was feeling absolutely huge.  she said that i was a bit bigger than normal, but that she wasn't worried about it.  she said she could tell though that i was nervous so she would schedule an ultrasound (i never made it to that because i was in the hospital).   i guess this is all just normal...i've never been pregnant before, how the hell would i know?  the pain in my side is unbearable.  i've actually cried several nights because it hurts so much and i just can't sleep because of it.  these gas pains are getting so bad too.  i was walking around at work a couple days ago and i just felt horrible....horrible.

on thanksgiving night i couldn't take it anymore.  my side hurt so much that i wanted to die.  jay said that if i went up to the hospital they would probably just tell me that it's normal pregnancy (what they've been saying all along) and send me home.  i decided that i wanted to go anyway...there's got to be something they can do about this pain.

i went to the labor and delivery floor.  they said that this would be better than going to the ER.  i saw the midwife and told her that the pain was just unbearable and i tried to convince her that i wasn't just being dramatic about it.  she said to me, "well, unfortunately pregnancy sucks and we all have pains".  (this is the midwife i mentioned earlier that told me to just go have sex and get know the one that got arrested for d.u.i.).  after a while of being on the monitors she came back in and said that i was contracting quite a bit.  it was like a light bulb went off -- oooooohhhhhhh, so THAT'S what those gas pains are.  i feel pretty stupid now that i didn't realize it before, but like i said, this was my first pregnancy and i had no idea what i was feeling.  so if those pains are actually contractions, i've been having a lot and for a long time.  after checking me, she also said that i was dilated 1 cm.  so they had to keep me overnight for monitoring.

i spent the next three days in the hospital.  i was still contracting so much, but i wasn't dilating, so they said i wasn't in labor.  everything is a blur from this time...i don't know what was wrong with me, but i just remember that i felt like i just wasn't comprehending things well. they would talk to me, and it was like i just didn't understand.  i don't know if it was because i was in denial about the fact that something was wrong, or if all the problems i was having really was affecting my mental capacity.  they ran a bunch of tests and told me that i had elevated liver enzymes, but they didn't know why.  they said that i had polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid), but they didn't know why.  they said i was contracting, but they didn't know why.  i finally saw an actual doctor.  this was the first doctor i had seen throughout the entire pregnancy.  she told me that she would schedule a 3-hour glucose test for the following week to test for gestational diabetes, but she didn't think that that was the problem.

i was finally released three days after going in.  i left there with no answers, extremely little information, a prescription to stop contractions, and scared.  they told me that if i could make it up to 35 weeks that i could deliver at my local hospital, but if i went into labor before that they would have to send me to a hospital an hour and a half away that was able to handle a preterm birth.  i needed to make it a week and a half to get to this 35 week mark. 

i know it's selfish, and yet just another reason i'm going straight to hell, but i just want this to be over.  i don't want to be pregnant anymore.  i'm in so much pain that i just can't take it anymore.  i just want this baby out and healthy so i can get back to normal and start being a mom. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

October 2007: Pain

the pain in my back has moved to the front. it's right under my rib cage and it hurts so f***ing bad.  it's unbearable.  i had another monthly visit to the midwife today.  she asked what my pain was on a scale of 1 - 10 and i told her a 9.  i told her that i've barely been able to sleep at night because it hurts so much.  i haven't slept in the bed for several weeks.  the only place that i can get any sleep at all is in my recliner.  i can't even describe to her how much it hurts...and she doesn't seem to really care either.  she just keeps telling me the same thing over and over...i'm young, i'm healthy, everything is fine. 

i've also started to have what feels like sudden gas.  i have no idea what this is, but that's just what it feels like.  i've been feeling the baby move for several weeks now.  it's such a weird feeling...something moving inside of me. 

why does this midwife keep brushing me off?  i keep asking her stuff, bringing up concerns and she just keeps telling me the same thing...i'm fine.  today my blood pressure was around 120/80.  this is really high for me.  i'm usually in the 90's / 50's.  i tried to tell her this and she said that 120/80 was normal for a woman my age and that she wasn't concerned.  i really hate how stupid she makes me feel every time i talk to her.  she just isn't taking me seriously.  this pain in my side is so horrible, and she just doesn't seem to believe me.  i'm so discouraged...i just feel like i'm not going to make it through three more months of this.  

Present Day: Grateful

ah yes, the 4:30 in the morning "i can't sleep" routine.  why not make a post?

as part of my early-morning-can't-sleep-what-do-i-do-with-myself routine, i was just on the website of someone i know who lost a baby when he was i believe six months old or so.  her baby was born extremely prematurely...23 weeks.  he was so tiny.  she has several pictures of him on there...from the very beginning when he was just over 1 pound, right up to the end when he passed away...much bigger, but still just unable to survive the complications of being born so early.  i want to tell her how sorry i am. i want to cry for her. 

mostly though, i just want to hold and kiss my living son.  i'm only at the beginning of my story in this blog, but to sum it up i have four children, only one that is living.  my living son is a every way that you want to look at it.  he has saved my life.  he's saved jay's life.  we have a reason again to wake up in the morning.  we have a reason again to smile.  nothing will cure our pain of losing our three other babies, but our living son...every day i want to cry because i love him so much and i just can't believe that he's here and healthy.  sometimes i'm just so overcome with emotion.  sometimes i feel like i can't handle how much i love him. 

so after looking at my friend's website, i went into my son's bedroom, checked on him and gave him a kiss...even if it did wake him up.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

September 2007: Things may be looking up

i had my last appointment with the fetal cardiologist today.  he was an old guy, which made me feel pretty good because it made me feel like he really knew what he was doing and knew what he was talking about.  my mom went with me because jay couldn't miss any more work. 

the cardiologist was really nice.  i might just be saying that because he told me what i wanted to hear, but either way, i thought he was nice.  he watched the baby's heart for a long time, and he said that he saw no evidence at all of an irregular heart beat, and that the bright spot didn't resemble a tumor at all.  he said that he's seen a lot of tumors throughout his career, and he is pretty confident that this bright spot is not a tumor.  he said that the potential hole doesn't look any different from a normal, healthy heart, so he's not too worried about it.  i asked if we would need another echocardiogram after the baby is born.  he said that he didn't think it would be necessary, but if it would put me more at ease he could do another after birth. 

i was thrilled.  my mom and i walked out of the office and i jumped up and down (as best i could being pregnant), and i gave her a high-five. 

i've started to have a pretty severe pain in my upper back.  it's gotten really bad.  i tried to talk to my midwife about it, but she didn't seem too concerned.  she said that back pain in pregnancy is extremely common.  i tried to tell her that this pain is in my upper back, not my lower back where i have heard and read that most back pain happens.  she doesn't really say anything and refers me to a physical therapist.  i went to the physical therapist and he did an ultrasound treatment.  it didn't help at all.  he wanted me to come back every week, but it's $40 to do that!  i just can't afford that. 

about a week later i got back the results from the amniocentesis.  they were negative for the disorder that causes heart tumors.  i'm relieved that the results are negative and i'm relieved by what the cardiologist said at my last appointment.  but i still just can't shake this fear.  i'm still worried that something might be wrong.  i don't know why i feel this way, but i do.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

August 2007: Please...

the day after our fateful ultrasound i was a wreck.  i can't think, i can't concentrate at work. i have to somehow pretend that everything is okay because i don't want to tell anyone what is going on.  i don't even know what is going on, how am i supposed to tell anyone.  by the time i get home from work i lose it.  i was crying, i had barely eaten anything all day because i was so sick to my stomach with fear.  jay is trying so hard to keep me from having a breakdown.  he made spaghetti because he said i needed to eat something.  he said i'm still pregnant and that i can't give up on this baby.  i got down only a few bites, and then i got sick and threw it up.  i'm just so scared.  i've literally made myself physically sick with worry. 

a few days later we went for the amniocentesis to test for the condition that causes heart tumors.  it will take a few weeks to get the results back.  in a few short days, i have completely changed.  i don't want to know the sex of the baby, i don't want to see it on the monitor, i don't want to feel close to it because if i get too close and attached i won't be able to handle it if something happens.

two weeks later, i had another appointment with the fetal cardiologist.  the story is still pretty much the same.  he doesn't seem as worried though.  he said that he still doesn't see any sign of an irregular heartbeat.  the bright spot still doesn't look like a tumor to him, and the potential hole he won't know anything more until it is born.  he reassures me, and says that things are looking fairly optimistic.  he has me schedule one more appointment for a few weeks later with his collegue.   

so now it's just a waiting game.  waiting to find out the results of the amniocentesis, waiting for the next appointment with the cardiologist, waiting.  waiting and waiting.

i really hate waiting.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

August 2007: The day my world changed

i have my second ultrasound today.  we're really hoping that they will be able to tell us the sex.  after the appointment we're going to go to target to go baby shopping!  i don't even really know what we're going to need.  a crib i assume, clothes, diapers, a swing maybe, a car seat.  ugh, this could actually be pretty expensive.

something really bad happened this morning at work.  when i got there, there was an ambulance in the parking lot.  when i got into the building they told me that one of the older guys that worked there had had a heart attack and died.  i was shocked.  i can't even imagine...his poor family.  it really really upset me, even though i didn't know him that well.  it started out so bad, and it really made me think...there is death, but there is also life.  this man died today, but my baby is in me and kicking around.  there is a new life in there.

we got to the ultrasound and the tech started doing her thing.  this was the first time that jay has seen the baby.  he was amazed.  she scanned me for a while, then she went and got the doctor.  at that point in my journey, i didn't know that going to get the doctor meant that there was something wrong.  the doctor came in and started scanning me.  he was extremely quiet, so i finally asked if everything was okay.

"there may be a problem with the baby's heart."

that was all. he didn't say anything else for what seemed like hours.  what an asshole.  you're going to throw out that statement and then just let us sit there for 10 minutes while you play with your equipment and not say a word to us?  finally jay got pissed off and asked what was going on.  the doctor seemed annoyed.  but, he started to tell us what he was seeing.  he said that he was seeing an irregular heartbeat, and that he saw a "bright spot" on the heart which may be a tumor. 

please no.  please don't let this be happening.

he started telling us a few theories as to what it could be, all of which seemed to have bad outcomes.  he said that if there was a problem with the heartbeat that the baby might need a pacemaker by the time it's 5 years old.  he said though that it would probably still be able to run and play and lead a semi-normal life.  he didn't know about the bright spot though.  if it's a tumor, the baby could have a rare disorder where there are tumors on the heart.  i don't even remember if he said that it could survive.  he said that if we wanted to end the pregnancy that they would do that for us.  i'm 20 weeks now, and i only have up until 24 weeks to terminate.  why does he seem to be so eager to do this?  but first we needed to go see a fetal cardiologist.  we needed to see someone who specialized in this. 

he left the room and i went to the bathroom to clean off the ultrasound goop.  i came back out and jay was crying.  i've never seen him so scared.  he just said, "that's our baby".  i felt sick to my stomach.  this can't be happening.  i don't even know what's happening right now.  the nurse came back in and said that she was actually able to get us an appointment with the fetal cardiologist now, so we had to get over there fast before their office closed.

we went over to the fetal cardiologist's office.  we didn't say a word to each other the entire card ride.  we got there and he did the same scanning.  he watched the heart for a very long time, then he took us into his office and told us what he saw.  he said that he couldn't see at all the irregular beat that the first doctor had seen.  he said he watched it for a good 45 minutes and never saw it, so he wasn't convinced that there was an irregular heartbeat.  he said that he did see the bright spot, but at this point it doesn't look like a tumor to him.  he said it might just be a calcium deposit.  he said it's a little early to tell because things are still quite small on the screen, so in the meantime i should have an amniocentesis to test for this disorder that causes tumors in the heart.  then he said that there may potentially be a hole in the heart.  again, it's too early to tell.  he said that there is naturally a hole in the heart during development, but then once the baby is born the hole closes on its own. 

he told us that we need to come back in two weeks.  he said that it's amazing how much more he'll be able to tell then because it will just be bigger. 

i feel sick.  jay thinks that it doesn't sound as awful as the first doctor made it sound, but i don't think i can handle this.  i can't wait two weeks to find out what's going on. 

i'm scared. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

July 2007: NT test

well it's been three months.  i made it past the first trimester!  i should be out of the woods now.  i went in the other day for the NT test.  i was really nervous about it.  i've been feeling so weird lately.  it's almost like i'm feeling "too good".  i haven't had any nausea or vomiting at all.  i really haven't had any pregnancy problems.  until i had that NT test, it was almost like i didn't really believe that i was actually pregnant.  so when i saw the little thing right there on the ultrasound screen, it was so amazing. i actually said to it, "so you really are in there huh?".  it made it all that much more real.  i could have watched that screen for hours.  it was moving all around and at one point i swear it looked like it was pounding on my stomach.  i can't feel any movement yet.  they said that i might start to feel some flutters in another month or so. 

i got the results of the NT test back and they were perfect.  they said that everything looked great so i'm going to start telling people now.  the first will be my parents and sister.  then jay will tell his family.  this will be the first grandchild for my parents and the first niece or nephew for my sister. 

it still just feels like it's so far away.  i think of all the things that have to pass between now and january...jay's birthday, my birthday, halloween, thanksgiving, just seems like it's still so far off. 

i go in another 5 weeks for my next ultrasound.  i wonder if they will be able to tell the sex then???

Friday, February 11, 2011

May 2007: It's positive!

it's two days before mother's day, and i just took a pregnancy test.  positive!!!! positive, positive, positive!!!  i called the ob office right away.  of course, they won't accept the results of a home pregnancy test so i have to go in for a blood test.  i don't go until monday.  how am i ever going to make it through the weekend knowing that i'm probably pregnant, and just need confirmation?  plus, mother's day is on sunday.  am i technically a mother now?  do i get to celebrate?  it's going to be so hard not to tell people. 

three days later....yup, pregnant!  i just got off the phone with the doctor's office and they confirmed it. my due date is january 15.  okay, so it's not before christmas, but it's close. maybe it will be fun to be pregnant at christmas.  we should get tons of gifts for the baby right?  i thought they would want to see me right away, so i was really surprised when she said that they don't do your first ob visit until 8 weeks.  she said that things are so touch and go up until then that they always wait.  i know miscarriages happen, but i'm young and healthy, so it shouldn't be a problem.  i'm not worried.  i still won't tell anyone though.  we don't plan to tell anyone until 3 months.  that's standard procedure right?  don't tell anyone until you're through the first trimester because that's when most miscarriages happen.

8 weeks later.....i just had my first ob visit! the midwife said that everything looked great.  god, i can't believe this.  i'm pregnant.  i'm going to have a baby.  this is just so bizarre.  am i really ready for this?  what if i suck at being a mother?  i've actually never really been good with kids.  i always feel awkward around them, and it seems like they don't like being around me.  jay is great with kids.  it's actually kind of annoying.  they always gravitate toward him, and then they look at me like i'm from another planet....then they start to cry.  what if my own kid feels this way about me?  why do kids like jay and not me? 

i wonder what kind of a mother i will be.  i wonder if i'll be strict, or if i'll cave in all the time and end up having a kid that walks all over me.  i wonder if this baby is a boy or a girl!  jesus christ, 9 months is a long time!  i can't believe i have to go through 9 months of being pregnant.  that's like almost a year!  what the hell am i supposed to do for almost a year?  it's the only thing that occupies my mind.  i can't think about anything else, i can't focus at work, all i can do is wonder about what it's going to be like to have a baby. 

i have so many plans in my head.  i already know what sports i want it to do, what instruments it's going to play, how i'm going to dress it, what i'm going to try to teach it.  i want to be a good mom so badly.  i just don't know how.  i don't know anything about this.

anyway, i have an appointment at the beginning of july for an NT test (neucaltranslucency...but i have not idea how to spell that..NT sounds good).  i guess this is an early screening for neural tube defects. i don't plan on telling anyone until after i get the results of that test. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

December 2006: Am i the only one taking this seriously?

i'm baaaaack!!!! it's been three months since i've been off the pill, i'm on my way to the ob office to check in. i've been taking my vitamins, i'm ready to get my green light and have a baby!

when i get there they tell me that the midwife i had seen last time is out on some kind of medical leave, so i'm going to be seeing a different midwife.  whatever, that's fine.  i'll need to meet them all at some point because you never know who is going to deliver your baby.  i wait in the office...a little nervous, anxious, excited...

so the new midwife comes in and this is how the conversation goes:

midwife:  "well, none of us can figure out why you're here."

me (shocked and taken aback):  "when i came in back in september the midwife told me to come back in three months to check in after i had been off the pill and taking my vitamins.  sort of to get the go ahead signal to start trying."

midwife:  "well, you really don't need to be here.  just go have sex and get pregnant."

we talked for a little while longer and at the end of the appointment she had made me feel so stupid.  she basically told me that i was being overly dramatic and overly anxious.   fine...the overly anxious part i'll give you.  i've always been an anxious person, it's just my nature.  but i left there with steam coming out the top of my head.  i was so mad.  here i was, thinking that i was being a smart, responsible person...not just impulsive and saying "oh, i think i want to have a baby now".  i was trying so hard to do the right thing, and she made me feel like an idiot.  she kept telling me that i was worrying for no reason.  i was young, healthy, didn't drink, smoke, do drugs, etc and so everything would be fine.  i wish i had had the balls then to tell her where to shove it.  side note...about a year and a half later i read in the paper that she got arrested for drunk driving.

i hope no one is bored with my story so far.  please keep in mind that i've got four years to cover here.  these first few posts are just the way the whole thing started out.  "whole thing" being the past four years of my life...four babies, only one living.  

i've learned so much in the last four years.  i wish i could go back to my young 24-year-old self and give myself a good slap for being so ignorant and naive.  i want so badly to know if i'm the only idiot out there.  i certainly knew about miscarriage, my mom had had one in between my sister and me.  but once you get through the first trimester you're golden right?  babies used to die back in the 1800's and whatnot, but not now...we have modern medicine.  a NICU?  what the hell is that?  i've never heard of it. 

am i alone in my ignorance?  please, somebody tell me i'm not.  even if it's just a lie to make me feel better, i just don't want to feel so stupid.  was my ignorance justified?  i never saw anything on tv or in the movies about a baby dying.  the midwives never even mentioned that it was a possibility.  the entire time i was pregnant with my first son they told me the same thing over and over..."you're young, you're healthy, everything is going to be fine".  that is verbatim what they said.  did other people know not to pin all their hopes and dreams on the baby they were carrying?  did other people know to be cautious? 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

September 2006: The very beginning

i feel like my life didn't even really start until september 2006.  i had gone to and graduated from college, did a little bit of grad school, but ended up dropping out, got married, had a couple of odd jobs, but now looking back....yeah, i really did nothing of importance. sometimes i feel like i don't even remember what life was like before i started having kids. 

in september 2006, my husband, jay, and i decided that we wanted to start a family.  i was only 24, which by today's standards seems a little young to start having kids, but we had been married for three years at that point, both had good jobs, and so we felt the time was right.  we both wanted kids, and we wanted to be really good, responsible parents.  so i went to the doctor to see how i should go about this.  i just wanted to get checked out physically to make sure that everything was okay, and to find out what i needed to do in order to give a baby the best possible start in life.  

so i get to the doctor's office, and the nurse that i saw at first started asking me questions.  now...before i get too much into the story, i'm going to be very blunt about the fact that i hate this nurse.  i don't care how harsh i sound here.  she is the very definition of a pig.  she is rude, obnoxious, loud-mouth, and is wrong for the nurse profession in every way.  she shouldn't be allowed within 10 feet of a patient.  much further down the road you'll see what i am talking about and how disgusting she is.  a few times when i was at the doctor's office i could hear her gossiping about patients from all the way down the hall.  anyway, so she asked me about what i used for birth control, and i said that i had stopped taking the pill a few weeks ago because my husband and i wanted to start a family.  and she said "oh, so you want to get knocked up?".  i told her that that wasn't exactly the way i wanted to put it.  so then she asked me if i was on folic acid.  i told her no and that i didn't know what that was.  she said, "well it's very simple.  no folic acid, spina bifida.  folic acid, no spina bifida".  if i knew then what i know now, i would have been just as disgusted with this comment as i was with the "knocked up" comment.  i do not have any experience with spina bifida, but through all the other experience i have, i know that nothing is as cut and dry as she said.  i'm sure the parents of children with spina bifida would not appreciate her ignorance. 

so then the doctor came in.  correction...then the midwife came in.  the particular place that i was going has only a couple of doctors, and mostly midwives.  i asked about seeing a doctor, but she made me feel that i was insulting and offending her by asking such a question, and that seeing a doctor was completely unnecessary.  she was still fairly nice though and seemed to appreciate the fact that i was taking my future role as a mother seriously and wanted to do whatever was best.  she told me that i should be off of the pill for three months, eat healthy, start prenatal vitamins, and come back in three months to check in.  great!  i can do all that! 

so let's see....according to my calculations, i will come back in three months which will be december, she will give me the green light to go ahead and start trying, i should be pregnant within a month or two, add nine months to that, and by next christmas we should have a new little bundle of joy to celebrate with! 

how naive.   how naive.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ah, what the heck...

i really like to write.  i may be no good at it, but i enjoy it...i find it therapeutic.'s my first stab at writing.  i've been thinking for a long time about starting a blog, but like many other things in my life, i just think, rarely act.  so i decided to try something new...actually doing it.  maybe i should be like george costanza, "do the opposite". 

while researching how to start a blog, i read that one of the most important things about your blog is to write about something you enjoy and/or are knowledgeable in.  well, the main premise behind my blog is going to be the struggles and difficulties of pregnancy and motherhood.  that's right...i certainly have not enjoyed my pregnancies and some of the outcomes, but i've definitely become and expert at grieving and loss.  i titled this blog "no sugar coat" for a good reason.  i am so tired of everything i see in the media showing a glorious and hopeful outcome to pregnancies.  think about it...all the commercials you see advertising pregnancy tests and the woman excitedly tells her husband on the phone that they're going to have a baby.  let me tell you something sweetheart, getting a positive pregnancy test in no way, shape or form means that in nine months you're going to pop out a healthy baby.

so, this blog is for those of us mothers who have to live in the harsh reality of loss and grief.  that's exactly how i see and movies, not pregnancy reality.  my life...pregnancy reality.

a few caveats....i tend to be bitter and angry a lot of the time, however i'd like to think that i also have a softer and much more caring side to me. many people do you know that vent about how perfect things are???  i try very hard not to be negative ALL the time.  basically, i'll try to keep the negativity to a dull roar, but damn it life isn't always wonderful...there's "no sugar coat".  oh, i also tend to swear like a drunken's not something i'm particularly proud of but again, it's reality. again, i'll try to keep it to a minimum.  and i also never capitalize things...i don't like to think of it as being lazy...more like "energy efficient".

till next time.....