Friday, August 22, 2008

From sorrow to (double) happiness

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. In my dreams of the future as a child I always pictured 4 children, because that was the size of my family, which I thought was perfect. Speaking of perfect, that was how I saw my mother. As I imagined myself as a mother, I pictured myself exactly like her. As I grew up my mother saw it too, she predicted that I would be the first child to give her grandchildren, even though I have 2 older brothers.
In 2002 I fell in love with my best friend, in 3 years he preposed, of course I said yes. By this time, my mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and I balanced my time planning a wedding and traveling to my hometown for doctors appointments.
My amazing mother passed away in March of 2006, 4 months before our wedding. It was hard to focus on a wedding, in fact I truly wanted to put it off, or cancel it and go to Vegas. When we lost mom, my siblings and I became even closer, family became my world. My soon to be husband and I determined that we would start a family as soon as possible, we actually began to "not not try" before the wedding.
Our wedding was the start of our new life together, and we tried to think of it as the beginning of a new happiness, a child would be the perfect start for this happiness. We began to really try right after the wedding. I began taking my temperature, using ovulation predictor kits, and a month after the wedding, I was overjoyed to find out we were successful. Unfortunately, I miscarried early on. I was heartbroken, but wanted to try again as soon as we could. It was easy the first time, why shouldn't it be again?
Months go by, negative test after negative test, charts, ovulation predictors, all saying I'm normal.
Eventually, I begin seeing a reproductive endocrinologist, who determines that even though it appears that I ovulate, I really do not ovulate every month. After a few more months of tests and treatment, we did IUI with an injectable medication-gonal-f, and after a year and a half of trying we found out we were finally pregnant! At our first appointment we saw something I could not believe..3 heartbeats. We were beyond thrilled, and a little scared.
I immediately began seeing a maternal fetal medicine doctor, and so started the steady stream of doctor visits.
All of this time, it was difficult going through this excitement and worry without my mother..just about every day I wished I could call her and ask if things I was feeling were normal. I wished so much I could have talked to her when we found out at our 12 week ultra sound that we had lost the third baby.
The rest of my pregnancy was so surprisingly easy . I loved every second of it, feeling them kick, hiccups, I loved my huge belly, and I felt sadness in a way that soon I would have to share them with the rest of the world.
At 28 weeks I was put on modified bedrest, due to braxton hicks contractions. Then at 29 weeks I was hospitalized with pre-term labor, after a couple of days they were able to stop my contractions and send me home. The next day they started up again, with a new complication, I was having trouble breathing. Back to the hospital, where I spent 12 hours in triage with my mother in law. After being told maybe I am just having anxiety, the babies are probably just making it hard for me to breathe, and that I will just have to get used to the contractions, finally there was a shift change and a new resident came in. He actually listened to me. We did a ct scan, found fluid in my lungs (a symptom of HELLP), then did blood work and discovered that I had severe pre-eclamspia and HELLP syndrome and would need to deliver immediately.
My boys were born on mother's day. Ronald weighing 3 lb 3 oz, and Joseph 3 lbs 1 oz. I was not allowed out of bed to see them in the special care nursery for 2 days.
They were in the hospital for 3 weeks, and it was an emotional roller coaster. We dealt wit ha PDA for Ronnie (which closed with medication) and all of the apnea, bradycardia, and reflux issues common to preemies. I stayed in a hospital hotel room for 2 weeks, and spent every waking hour with the boys.
We were shocked when they discharged the boys so early..they were just 4 lbs and it was 7 weeks earlier than they estimated for me. They were just doing so well! It made me feel great when the docs credited my presence and especially kangaroo care with the boys doing so wonderfully.
Since the boys have been home, I have never been happier, more exhausted, more challenged, or felt more content.
They are now approx 11 lbs each and already on the term baby growth chart.
I was afraid the entire pregnancy that I wouldn't know what to do, and I wouldn't have my mom to call, somehow though, most of the time I just know what to do. I credit her with that, I have no doubt that she is there to guide me.
I also find myself so extremely lucky to be a part of such an awesome community of women, every question I have had during pregnancy and after giving birth has been answered by these ladies, no matter how silly or embarrassing. I feel like these women are truly friends, thy know more about me than most of my family! HaHa
I wish the boys could meet my mom, but sometimes when I see the boys looking at what seems to be nothing and just smiling and cooing, I like to think they have already met her.

4 weeks old

3 months old

this post, like everything I do is dedicated to my mother

No comments: