Try and try again…?

The doctor advices us that IF we are going to try again, we have to wait at least two menstrual cycles but no more than three (two due to the thinning lining of the uterus-this might happen again- and three due to my old age!…). I can’t even think, my head is spinning ( I wanted THIS one!) but my husband starts talking about having another one right away in the car. He claims this was a sign that we definitely should have another one- a FOURTH!!!
Was it? Or was this a hint that we definitely should NOT have another one?

I struggle with this…

I always knew I wanted a big family, I love having kids and being a mother (I truly do, despite its challenges). I however haven’t had the easiest deliveries or newborns and I already have THREE kids. Three wonderful, happy, healthy blessings! I always wanted three, I can handle three and yes I’m completely happy and satisfied with three! But I can’t deny that I wanted this fourth one so badly that I was aching for her. This experience completely sold me on having yet one more, I can handle it I thought, I go to specialty doctor (a team that will do anything to prevent preterm labor and/or any complications), I’m in constant and excellent care, everything went great with my youngest and wouldn’t it be amazing to give my daughter a sister!?

I also knew that we had to “strike while the iron was hot”. If we were going to do this-we were going to do it now (well in 2-3 months). To say I had mixed feeling was an understatement…

We continue with life like nothing ever happened  (I embrace the busyness of having three children with all their needs and activities). But of course something DID happen.

I continue to get reminder letters in the mail for weeks-reminders for ultrasounds (even the big 20 week autonomy scan reminder is already in our mailbox). When they call to ask to schedule my six week check-up after delivery I finally had enough. I yell at the poor, clueless receptionist that the delivery happened alright but the fetus was smaller than the palm of my hand and I don’t need a six week check-up darn it!!!

At least my outburst seemed to work, no more letters or phone calls and as soon as the doctor cleared me for physical activities, I stopped bleeding and stopped taking (positive) pregnancy tests (pathetic I know), I start waiting for my “real” period instead- debating our decision back and forth.

My husband is so pro trying again that he surprises me. I don’t remember him being so adamant about number three…

My period lags behind which the doctor warned me about and I enjoy irregular bleeding for my first month after the loss instead! (Fun times…)

Spring is over in a haze-I’m really not much for socializing, I feel weary, weepy and weak. Besides-it is way to hot! I really have to pull myself together for the kid’s birthdays. I can’t muster up much joy- the only highlight being my brother and his family coming to stay with us for a few weeks, coinciding with my little one’s first birthday!!

The summer is fast approaching. I can’t believe my oldest is graduating kindergarten. I feel old yet panicky about how fast time flies and how precious life really is.

If we want another baby, shouldn’t we just go for it?

I know that deep down I really want to go for it- but I’m scared. It’s hard to stop thinking about our “failed attempt” and to start thinking about pros and cons- what happened, my age, my history of preeclampsia, preterm labor and the Down syndrome scare- first of all. Something could go wrong, something unexpected this time-that is clearly and constantly on my mind.

Secondly there is the pregnancy, delivery and actual newborn phase to think about. Am I willing to go through it all again (because this is in ME-nobody else). The aches and pains, the sleepless nights, the exhaustion. I also constantly think about my three kids and their need for attention love, time and devotion.

All of these are worth it I know- the aches and pains. Who am I kidding, I don’t mind being pregnant and even though the delivery is excruciating everything disappears in an instance once the baby is in your arms and even the lack of sleep (clearly the worse part) is worth it. I know I might be spread thin as a mom, but I love my kids tremendously and I know we can make it work.

My husband seem almost desperate (even offering to take more time off and work less…) at times to sway me to agree to just try for another baby (we even put a time limit-if we don’t “make it” this year, he will have his surgery and we will stay happy with the kids we have and never talk about this again). He knows deep inside that I do want to try. He listens to me patiently night after night argue against it, all the fears are being brought up time and time again. It feels like this loss but also the conception just “happened” to us- there was zero planning before…

It’s a big decision and I feel like I’m drowning in it. All I know is that I don’t want to go through this ever again or worse-that’s the fear-that “next time”, we won’t be as lucky…

By June, I’ve had two consecutive “real” periods…

 

The pleasure and the PAIN…

I haven’t talked or singed to you yet, I haven’t felt you kick or gotten huge (but I did pick out a name-of course I did-that is like one of my favorite parts, and I did picture you and planned for you…and I longed for you – we all did).

Again my heart breaks for women who are further along, who might have experienced all of these things. A miscarriage happens if the loss happens before 20 weeks of pregnancy but a loss after 12 weeks is very rare…

I research (mostly by fanatically googling) miscarriage at week ten, eleven…and twelve. Surprisingly and I would say shockingly there is not much information. Especially not from healthcare providers and medical professionals. There are a mostly anecdotal stories from some brave women (that frankly scare the s*it out of me). Had I not talked to my very candid doctor I would not have known what to expect at all…

I have had losses before, very early losses that were more like super heavy periods-somehow I thought this would be the same (especially since I already experienced my heavy bleed because of the internal hemorrhage-preventing us from taking that much needed family vacation…). Women usually experiences the loss early one, right after the positive pregnancy test or even before-not even knowing about the pregnancy OR the loss. In these cases it IS usually like a very heavy period and even if that is also incredibly sad-especially of course if they knew about the pregnancy-these cases are the most common of the “1 in 4” . I still feel at a loss for the lack of documentation of miscarriages in the later weeks of the first trimester.

The personal stories are sometimes horrific and they are all so so sad.

Again, I know I’m lucky in so many ways. Number one of course being having three incredible, amazing, wonderful and healthy children already. My mind goes to women who are trying for their first child, and women who are experiencing this over and over again…
How absolutely devastating…

This is not my first baby (or my second…) I am not further along…
I have amazing doctors and amazing support. I have knowledge and help and healthcare and resources.
I know in my gut that this is absolutely for the best, that something is wrong with the baby and that she wouldn’t have survived anyways (but my heart…)

When the bleeding starts up again, I do exactly as my doctor advices me to. I dump the kids on my husband and lock myself in our bedroom.

I read stories online and cry (okay maybe not the best plan but I tell myself it is “for information only”). I read these terrible stories, especially remembering one about a woman who miscarriages in the shower at 11 weeks describing the pain as unbearable and delivering what actually looked exactly like a tiny baby.

Here is the thing, I did not know miscarriage would look or feel anything like this…

My doctor explains that it feels just like the beginning stages of giving birth. To miscarry at this week in “the game” means contraction-like beginning to mid-stage contractions-and they will hurt. You just have to “power through”. She suggests curling up in bed, trying to get as “comfortable” as possible, riding through and breathing through the pain.

The other thing I was clueless about was what actually comes out of you. It is seriously awful and there is no way to prepare…

The blood I could deal with and even explain away. I mean as women, we bleed every month, and then when we give birth, and don’t get me started about afterwards…

Talking about afterwards (disgusting TMI- do not say I didn’t warn you..) you know the chunks that come out of you…yes, this happens during this stage of miscarriage as well…only this time it will be bigger chunks and clots and eventually the fetus and all that comes with it.

Best idea is not to focus on that and take a “nature gets rid of what is not meant to be” approach. There is not much that you can do other than hoping that God has a better plan in store (or whatever you believe).

I start bleeding heavily in bed, curled up with one of my favorite movies on TV. When I stand up the blood is trickling down my legs.
I cramp exactly like a contraction and limp crunched over to the bathroom. What comes out of me is truly crazy and huge compared to the clots. And then something smaller but very different. I really think that is the worst part and that it is the fetus and that I’m pretty much done.
Please stop reading now if you had enough!!!

I was asked to take pictures by the doctor (please don’t throw up…or think less of me), so I now know that was the placenta…and the sac…

The “fetus”, still tiny of course a not yet a “baby” of course (nature, nature, nature), looks completely different-feels different, is of different consistency and color (think grey…). It has the shape…you can totally see it-it is beyond heartbreaking…
I know I shouldn’t have looked…but it’s pretty much unavoidable…besides I was asked too…

The after clots and chunks keep coming for the next hours, then getting smaller and smaller over the last three days but the bleeding lasts for another two weeks…
There; TMI finished!

I make it back to bed with one of those giant diapers for old people inserted in my mesh underwear (I knew I would somehow need them again…) and catch the end part of the movie…

“My best friend’s wedding” will never be the same…
There, I ruined one of my favorite movies…
Julia Roberts is so beautiful in this one too and Cameron Diaz so young a fresh faced…
And who doesn’t love the music…

My husband texts me for updates…and I send him the pics (come on doesn’t he deserve to be part of this experience…he is saying he can never unsee that and is actually extremely emotional…in a way that I have never seen him before).

The next day he takes off of work as well and drives me to the hospital where they confirm for the first time that the fetus is gone, I am no longer pregnant and everything including the placenta has passed. This is apparently great news…and I did it all on my own and should be very “grateful”…

Now; see it’s like I was never pregnant in the first place…

A follow up with the option of couple’s counseling is scheduled in two weeks…

 

No more perfect destination…

 

Only a couple of days before the safety of the second trimester I’m rushed to the hospital, it’s also the day that we are supposed to go on our vacation (bags packed, dog at grandma and grandpa’s).

At my last ultrasound they discovered-not only the lack of a heartbeat but-several centimeters of blood in my uterus. It’s an internal hemorrhage.

This could have been a disaster if I had gone on the trip apparently…
Think bleeding out on a plane unable to land, or anything happening on a location where the healthcare wouldn’t have been like it is here..

I spent the night in the ER. The nurses and doctor are extremely nice. The eerie thing is that the fetus is still there (whole and there…) but with this much bleeding they can’t send me home until morning. They take every precaution necessary and I’m very thankful.

My discharge papers still don’t say that I miscarried. I stare at the “pregnancy weeks” on the release notes. The diagnosis is internal bleeding/uterus hemorrhage.

I talk to my Obgyn specialty doctor, who is amazing, from my ER bed. She shares that she herself suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks that shook her so much she won’t consider going through pregnancy again (she has a healthy daughter). She describes her experience in detail and tells me what I can expect (even if every case and woman are different). I’m beyond grateful that she is so open and honest (brutally so…this WILL suck!).

I will loose this baby-because that is the “BEST” case scenario…

Since there is no longer a heartbeat, she most have stopped growing along the way (even if this started as a normal pregnancy…as the others…with no signs…no bleeding…nothing “abnormal” at all).
She says to come in on Monday and if nothing happened before then to schedule the surgery…to remove the fetus (my baby who I now have to think about as just one of nature’s mistakes and hope that my body will take care if it naturally…).

I’m a very level headed, logical and grounded person and I must admit I can understand the whole “logical reasoning” that “it’s not a baby yet”, “it’s for the best”, “it’s natural for nature to get rid of the unhealthy” but somehow it’s extremely difficult to wrap your head around all of that so far along when you were so excited about the actual real live baby ahead…

My insides are playing Darwinism at its finest…this one is damaged and won’t survive…

It seems cruel…

So the waiting game begins..

Might I point out that I could have been at a white sandy beach right now…sipping a pina colada (fine; virgin colada…wrestling three kids in the white sand…)

I know I’m lucky though, even if I planned and hoped and dreamed and thought I reached the safety zone-I’m not THAT far along…

I’m so much luckier than many others, I’ve yet to have a noticeable baby bump (even though the bump IS already there and WE can totally already tell…) or felt our baby girl kick yet…

The day before my appointment to schedule my surgery it happens and after googling AND talking in depth with my doctor, I’m prepared!

Or sort of…can you ever be prepared for something like this?

 

The “safe zone” of pregnancy…

It’s a girl…or was a girl I guess…

They think she just stopped growing. But she was there, actually she still is there-everything that is “supposed” to be there is there- I have the picture as “proof”. The grainy baby shaped white “blob” against the black background. She looked just like the other ones. Just like the other “pictures” I saved (to some day make the kids each a baby book-like the one for my firstborn…).

Everything was perfect…but then it wasn’t. All the tests show positive right away (the pink plus signs, the two parallel lines, the word “yes” and the actual word “pregnant”) with the first drop… and continue to do so…even after…

There were no tell tale signs or bleeding and everything looked completely normal…until it didn’t.

I just never expected this…everything started like it did with my other beautiful healthy children. I have lost pregnancies before-when we were trying and then succeed…but then I ended up with a heavy bleed… but I have never been to a doctor’s appointment before where the baby had no heartbeat.

How could it be fine and all there and progressing and then not?

How could you go weeks and weeks expecting, hoping, planning- happy, excited, involved. And then the nothingness…

Lots of women go through this everyday-most before the “safe zone” of 12 weeks (1 in 4 they say), but many even further along, and then there are the few who have to suffer through the unimaginable devastation of stillborns and infant loss.

We went weeks, months actually still hoping, praying for a detectable heartbeat and growth-it was there-and then it wasn’t…

We planned room arrangements, a new car, we found out the gender…

Perhaps everything was planned prematurely but we were so close to the safety zone…

I ordered a “gender reveal” princess cake…
A cake we never picked up…

I had lots of hopes and dreams for this child…a child that will now never be…

You can argue that it was still a fetus, that there had been signs (for example there was no severe nausea in the first trimester like with the others). That there was no “baby” yet. That nature got rid of a “defected” fetus…

But try telling a pregnant momma that-a momma who has known about the pregnancy from week 5…

Then the bleeding started…so close to the second trimester and the safe week. The doctor even said light bleeding does not necessarily mean…

But I knew…

But hope is a funny thing…

I had borrowed a heart monitor from a friend…it was pink and promised that you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat from week 10 (but you could try from week 8). I felt pathetic trying to locate my baby girl’s heart on my own-when professionals hadn’t been able to at our last appointment…

The dread when you feel the ultrasound technician’s fear, worry and sympathy is excruciating. I like being prepared, and even though you can never prepare for something like this, I was in complete and utter shock and disbelief.

Anything but that…I just wasn’t expecting it – at all…

We were supposed to go on vacation. We had been excitingly packing…now this.

My doctor said not to loose hope-that it was still “50/50”. We planned to still go on the tropical “all inclusive” vacation. We needed it. I needed it.

We hadn’t told the kids yet (but I think our oldest might have been suspicious). We were going to tell them that weekend…before this happened.

There was no blood the day before our trip, we hadn’t told anybody…

A baby for Halloween THIS year. A baby coming with us home for Christmas-everyone who knew were excited…

I told my hairdresser the baby had stopped growing…that there was no heartbeat…

I might be walking around with something dead inside me…

I felt uncomfortable, down, awkward, sick, like a failure…

This is how being in “limbo” feels”.

She encouraged me to go, to get away, to think about something else (even though the thought of “her” were all consuming).

Everybody encouraged us to go…
The white, sandy beaches, the sun, the food the service- it would be good for me-for us.

The kids were excited, they packed their own little backpacks-everything was done and ready to go…

Then my body started to betray me- the beginning of the end of this journey started…

 

After rain comes sunshine!!!

After the appointment, I am completely drained. Driving home after an entire day at the hospital with our young daughter yet again in a bed hooked up to IVs, is like a fog. The baby boy sure hated the experience as well. But with no childcare available I had to bring him. What an absolutely exhausting experience. Entering the freeway I’m pretty sure I hit an innocent squirrel- just pile it on right (I really really hope I didn’t but am afraid I did).

This whole winter/early spring has really not been the best, as far as springs go. I have had better starts of years…
I know I’m an incredible lucky and blessed person so I try to look at the positives, and look forward. I really am!

My brother comes to visit in late spring with his family and his brand new baby boy (first time auntie over here holla!!!) and makes it to my littlest’s first Birthday party. We have a ton of fun, I haven’t seen my brother in so long and to see him as a dad is truly special. I have a busy schedule during the weekdays with my kids but we manage to meet up with my brother and sister in law for dinner everyday. We also grab the occasional coffe or lunch and make a couple impromptu shopping trips. We cook together, drink wine on the patio, share stories, splash in the pool and enjoy the kids-the sweetest little cousins!

Since my three kids all have birthdays in a row-the spring pretty much disappeared in some semi-chaotic (but totally fun) party planning and execution!

Our baby boy gets a big jungle celebration (just like his brother did when he turned one) with jungle music, decorations, cakes, cupcakes and fun gift bags! We have a bouncy castle, yummy sandwiches and tons of snacks…and bubbles…plenty of bubbles. Our baby loves himself some bubbles after all (second to food only). I can’t believe he is one, how did this happen? Stop robbing me of precious baby time already (why do the years get shorter not only the older you get but apparently the more kiddos you have?).

Our princess just wanted her birthday with family, a low key day playing with her new toys (first barbie and first lipgloss-did I mention the years are rolling by way too rapidly) and then dinner, ice cream and balloon animals (flower) at her favorite restaurant. Only three years ago, I was terrified that she would be okay and just look at her now! A smarter, more charismatic, pretty, little decisive three-nager you may never see!! The following day is a Minnie Mouse theme day, spent with grandparents and a BBQ and princess cake very fitting for our very special sassy girl!

Our big boy is turning 6 (did I mentioned somebody messed with the time..turning the dial onto rapid…I know I did and I know it’s cliche BUT how IS he six?). He has requested a “creepy crawler” party and the NAT (Natural History) museum gets to host us and 12 of his classmates plus six other friends and a handful of siblings. All these kinder kids were so great for about 30 of the 45 minutes planned lecture about lizards and snakes but then they decided (apparently telepathically) to hit the dessert table, run into the projector screen, and draw on the white board-all at the same time. No worries though, after a dessert break (having dessert before sandwiches) we got to pet some live (gasp) animals, play some games (competed crawling in snakeskin anyone!?). Then we sang for and had cake/s with the lucky six year old. Excitedly he told us after the party that he made “a new awesome best friend”. Thinking it was a classmate we asked him whom this might be as he proudly announced that it was the museum employee that had helped with the party!

Summer is fast approaching (what happened to spring? But as I said the winter months leading up to spring were arguably sucky…I will share but am just not quite there yet…) so moving on feels now kinda great!

We have some graduations coming up after all our birthdays! And then our summer can officially start!!

An adventurous week; difficult news

IMG_7161IMG_7160IMG_7162I can’t believe that we are back here…to the hematology department at Children’s Hospital. The flashbacks are acute and many.

I don’t know how they do it, I really don’t. I ache for them-these parents. I feel embarrassed to be here somehow and yet…I know I have to, we have to. Something IS wrong for real-just not as wrong, or as real as for most of these people here. The reality of what is going on on the third floor of this hospital for kids is devastating. I AM embarrassed to even feel sad because it seems I don’t have the right to somehow, and they don’t need my pity, and there is literally nothing I can do to help.

I praise these doctors for doing what they do, for pushing forward, for trying their very best, for smiling…
But the real heartbreak are these strong, brave little people who are just getting the toughest childhood imaginable…and their poor parents.

I have been dreading this appointment since my daughter was 18 months old. We found out when she was 11 weeks old, (just shy of 3 months) and cut her “tied tongue” to be able to breastfeed, that she had some kind of bleeding issue. She would not stop bleeding no matter what the tongue specialist, her pediatrician and the ER doctor did. She was loosing so much blood she had to have emergency surgery right away…

This tiny little preemie baby girl who had already been through so much in her very short life…
It was one of the worst days of my life. Seeing her bleed uncontrollably in the backseat when I rushed her to the ER is an image imprinted in my brain forever…

My baby girl was in surgery for hours, her little pale body and all that blood. Afterwards she was groggy and swollen in my arms. I felt awful. She wanted to eat so bad but was too hurt to feed. Seeing her in so much pain was agony.

We spent 3 days at Children’s Hospital before the 4th of July weekend and she still refused to eat. I didn’t sleep at all and was a wreck. Grandma and auntie were home with big brother because dad had to continue working (even though I’m sure that was extremely hard on him).

I remember the nurses trying to help squirting my pumped breastmilk into baby’s mouth with a syringe- it finally worked enough to get her off the IV. She was this little girl in a huge bed surrounded by rolled up baby blankets with wires and monitors…
It was utterly terrifying.

On day two we saw a couple of doctors from the hematology department. They drew a lot of blood to test our baby girl for a bleeding disorder. Since she was so tiny yet-still on the preemie scale, they couldn’t take too much blood from her little body-so we had to come back for a follow up.

The follow up was on the third floor of Children’s Hospital a week later. Baby girl had gotten her color back and she had finally started to nurse again. My mom was thankfully able to accompany us this time, having flown in on the 4th of July withstanding delays and cancelled flights. It was such a support to be able to lean on her as we entered what must be one of the most depressing places-full of sick-really, really sick kids.

My daughter had lost too much weight to be able to draw the required blood panel for the full spectrum of blood disorders so the doctor sent her home with a liquid that makes blood clot in the event of blood trauma.

The tests came back negative for any of the more severe blood disorders…and for leukemia. I have never prayed harder for these results..

Then again the unfairness of it all, seeing all the other kids and their parents. How do they do it? how do they live and breathe when their insides must be breaking.
These caregivers are incredibly strong that goes without saying but…these kids…I don’t have words, little superheroes who just deserve way better lives.

Hoping for them as I’m standing here at the hospital with my two (big brother is in school) happy, healthy (for the most part) children, is the same for them, that they will beat this, they will get better and this will all be a distant memory…

The reality though is a punch to the stomach and the embarrassment of even feeling like this when I’m fine and my kids are fine is raw and present.

This is the 4th time here seeing her hematology doctor. When we saw him when baby girl was 18 months old we still didn’t get to do all of her testing, because of her low weight. I was informed that in order to complete everything we needed to admit her to the hospital for a few days to monitor her while drawing the required amount of blood for the full panel of blood disorders. I declined these tests knowing that she didn’t have the more serious ones and signing papers that I declined treatment was really difficult-was I doing the right thing?

I promised (myself and her doctor) to keep a close eye on her, knowing full well that you can’t bubble wrap your kids (no matter how much you want to).

Fast forward until now, there is no more denial. Every time she bleeds from simple cuts and scrapes it is way too much- abnormally so. Her new pediatrician ordered more labs at her 3 year check up and testing confirmed without a doubt that our daughter does have a bleeding disorder. He sent us straight back here again…so here we are.

This has truly not been the best week..

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Lumber jacks,being outnumbered and best comment after pushing a human being out of your body..

imageimageSirens are wailing and I don’t know if I should start panicking or what? I’m pretty drowsy after you know a “little bit of childbirth” (besides, I’m starving) and the nurse looks around at the big guy who is maneuvering the enormous bed towards the elevator. He is actually laughing asking her “what, are you new here?”‘ I don’t get it? What in the world is he smirking about? What kind of alarm is that?

The nurse looks so ashamed as she quickly types something on a stationary computer near the delivery wing’s exit doors at the same time as she hurriedly whispers something in her walkie talkie phone. We back up, me and my brand new son get wheeled backwards through the exit door again in the giant bed. I don’t get it until I overhear her apologizing about it. Each newborn gets an alarm around their ankle (their very own ankle bracelet…not very fashionable by the way). My nurse has totally forgotten to disarm the “low jack” (not the lumber jack which I later call it, creating some confusion with my husband.)

We have a long night ahead. Baby is unusually “aware” for just being born, already refusing to sleep alone and crying a lot…
I couldn’t have made it without the nicest nurse (opposite from the old nag who I get the next day-trying to tell a mother of three -that’s right!-what to do with her baby)
This one lets me go to bathroom (because I really have to go and my catheter is out) even though my epidural hasn’t worn off completely yet (I swear I can feel everything-this is a piece of cake…) She half carries me to the toilet even if I insist I can walk. Then she lets me sit there for an hour (honestly) because the thought of my acid urine coming anywhere close too…well you get the point…terrifies me! She even gives my tiny boy a bath while I sit there squirting warm water with a plastic water bottle in my neather regions to make me pee “comfortably”.

The next day the two siblings can’t quite contain their excitement as they come tumbling into the hospital room. Their daddy tries and mostly fails to keep an eye on them as they both want to hold THEIR baby NOW! Big sister keeps screaming MINE. Grandma is there to help me keep them from pushing buttons, not sitting on me (ouch) or grabbing their quite defenseless little brother from his plastic see through crib (he won’t have it easy with these two as siblings).

We take tons of pictures (I look pretty darn awful in most-if not all of them) and the proud big brother (“mama, I tooold you it was a boy in there”) and the curly haired big sister with the huge innocent blue eyes (let me tell you:not so innocent that one) get plenty of cuddle time with our new addition!
When the newness wear off, it’s back to stealing my hospital food (I finally got some!), pushing buttons, trying to sit on me (not my lap!!!!) and the very funny curtains by the door (let’s see how fast we can open a shut them by running like maniacs!).
It’s about that time-goodbye time (now if they could only bring the baby too so mommy could get some sleep! Ha ha:kidding!!, sort off…eh…)
As they leave (and I hate to admit I’m relieved to get another night of alone time and care to recover some more- but I realize that it’s also good to have time to allow myself to get excited about starting life as a family of five- mommy being very outnumbered- TOMORROW!!!)
My big boy exclaims “eh, mama, if the baby is out, how come you are still FAT?
Best comment after pushing a human being out of your body-EVER!!

I forgot how much you bleed and how much having stitches hurt, how little you can do (lifting stroller out of car, carrying car seat, lifting toddler-sitting on a chair: all definite no nos) and how big the freaking pads have to be in your sexy see through mesh hospital “underpants”. The celebrity that recently said “I had no idea you have to leave the hospital in diapers just like your baby” (or something like that) was spot on – didn’t mean to be funny there-because none of this is fun really except of course the “getting to take home a real human baby as a price for your efforts” so that’s pretty worth it and you need to see it that way, and remember that, otherwise it’s easy to get extremely emotional (you will anyways-totally unavoidable btw) and a little swept away by the total messiness that is blood and mucus and clots (“as long as they are smaller than golf balls-trust us, you are completely fine- totally normal!”) and regurgitated sour milk and blow out yellow seedy poop and you know cracked, bleeding and sore nipples, leaking boobs (that if brushed against something like any piece of clothing for example will make you suicidal… As well as homicidal should someone come near you) and the fact that you cannot pee without crying…

I’m not sure I would have survived without my own mommy! She literally does everything and more!
She cooks and cleans and organizes and decorates and washes and soothes and wipes and …well you get it. She takes care of our house, and our dog and our kids AND me!

Baby boy is now already 4 weeks old, it’s insane- these weeks have flown by. The more kids you have, the faster they grow I guess because a month seems like days. So far he is a pretty easy going little guy, sweet and good natured (not at all like the other two) he has however inherited his siblings’ intensity and lack of patience, if he wants something, he wants it RIGHT AWAY! (That “something” is usually food!! Meaning ME)…
I know that the “honeymoon phase” with baby has also worn off,  and not sleeping at night is getting old (really old, I’m too old for this dang it)! It’s not as charming to be feeding this little (very lovable during the day) creature every single hour during the night and watch him sleep like a good little boy during the day (sometimes for hours at the time). My littlest one sure turns from human baby…to something else entirely during the night (I won’t get into how frustrated I can get but don’t worry he still gets plenty of attention, kisses and yes MILK-seriosly: don’t you worry) but somehow I manage to still keep him close and full-despite the three hour cry attacks at 2:14 am where nothing helps (not even food-gasp!)

At the end of mom’s stay I’m squeezing in a haircut (beyond necessary) and a much needed girls’ brunch! I’m so grateful to my mom I can’t describe it with words and now she is leaving in a week…however will I handle my life…?

 

 

VENTI decaf Java chip Frappucino!!!

“Is HE okay” I keep questioning as I can’t get a good look myself while they are working away in between my legs- there is quite a bit of blood and apparently some sewing and cleaning up going on. Catching my breath after the great delivery I silently pray that nothing is now wrong! Please God!

We have worried for months now (ever since that terrifying twenty week ultrasound) I just want to know at this point, please, please!!
I’m panicking slightly as my mom stalls with the answer…

I need to know!

“As far as I can tell…he is PERFECT!”
As sigh of relief!
His face?
“I think so…”
“Think?”
“Yes, most definitely yes!”
“The rest of him?”
He looks great, he really does, crying, red, BIG…
Perfect
The emergency people keep dropping off, leaving the room one by one.

A successful delivery if I ever saw (more like experienced) one! There are tears of joy in my eyes as I finally get to see him up close, holding him tight, cradled to my chest! He immediately stops crying his eyes big and dark, dark blue. Then he starts rooting, searching for milk. Such a good sign I just want to laugh with pure happiness. I just can’t believe how healthy he looks…and feels. Nobody has taken him yet, they haven’t even cleaned him, but he seems pretty clean, alert and yes big, I can’t believe how big he seems compared to my other two. They were both whisked away before I could hold them. This is my dream delivery, the one I wished and prayed for. The one I was “due” to have and deserved!
And my mother got to experience this all with me.

Instead of stealing him away they wrap him up in the standard stiff blanket with the little pink and blue baby footprints while he is still laying on me. My legs start to feel wobbly I can now completely feel my right one again. The doctor is finishing the stitches sewing away (my mom later tells me she ones drops the needle exclaiming “ops!”) and although I can feel some pain, the warm feeling of an amazing delivery of our beautiful baby boy overshadows everything else. My mom tells me “good job” smiling and beaming as we both laugh over this awesome shared miracle experience.

They haven’t even weighed or measured the baby’s height yer but this time I’m not nervous, not in the least because I can tell there is nothing to worry about. Baby boy is breathing fine, his color is great, he is the perfect size and so sweet, resting after being in such a hurry coming out and then getting to exercise those lungs (screaming: check!)

This is when his daddy decides to show up, opening the door and then the curtains to the baby already in my arms. Not a lot of things shocks or surprises my husband but his voice says it all, he really can’t believe it!!

“Wait what??” “You weren’t kidding…I thought you meant the baby is coming…as in its coming in the next couple of hours”. I smile serenely from the bed snuggling with our brand new family member and my mom giggles.
“Guess what it is” the nurse asks him
“Hm”, my husband steps close to my bed to get a good look at the baby and guesses loudly (and proudly) “a BOY!”

It is not even ten o’clock at night when baby has been toweled off, weighed and measures (biggest baby at 3 kilos), I am all cleaned up, the towels (rags) have been counted (so gross but necessary so that they don’t, gasp! Leave one behind; you know as INSIDE you) all the pictures have been taken of baby with mama, with daddy, with both (and without) and of course with grandma! and my food has been ordered when I tell my mom and hubby to leave. They will be able to go home and get a good nights sleep after all, and come to think of all of our discussions on who would be taking the night shift with me while I would (obviously right!?) still be in labor, who would stay over on the uncomfortable couch (sad excuse for a bed) thing and who would take over in the morning. What can I say; I like to get my boys out there fast (and they like to vacate in a hurry!), my daughter- not so fast but then again, she wanted to come eleven weeks early! Luckily settling on six!

How ever much I marvel at how it’s all over and how lucky I am to have another miracle baby in my arms…I am also starving (and shamefully hoping someone…anyone will please take this baby for just a couple of minutes so I can rest and eat something).

Unfortunately this (very sweet calm and really great under pressure, great gender guessing) nurse is about as good at calling for food as she is the anesthesiologist, meaning; not at all…

All I keep thinking about is that decaf frappucino I will be getting in the morning. And it better be a VENTI (extra chocolaty!!) I soo deserve it!
There will only be crackers and strawberry yoghurt for me tonight and hours later.

I flip on to the huge traveling bed with wheels like a pro (it really helps that I regained all of the feeling in my right leg and the left one is already tingling and responding to my directions (move!).

They do that pressing on the tummy thing so that the stomach will contract and blood and goo come out, sorry about that vivid disgustingness- before they roll me out towards recovery!

This is when an alarm sounds so loud it’s even startling my sleeping baby, shaking the entire hospital floor…

Close your eyes or you’ll see it…

We make it to the hospital (even if hubby has to parallel park, leaving the passenger side car door wide open). When security asks where we are headed we both yell “triage” and when he asks if it’s an emergency we answer “YES” at the exact same time.
I can barely walk, between the contractions coming every few minutes and the constant excessive leaking it’s fair to say that I’m a complete mess. I laugh one minute (slightly hysterical) and cry the next (more of a moan really). The elevator floor gets wet and I leave a trail behind me as we first enter the wrong floor. Despite of all of this, I’m only four centimeters dilated when they check. There is no questioning whether what I’m leaking is amniotic fluid however (the whole thing has now definitely ruptured) and since the contraction are so strong and close apart I get bumped up on the list to get a room. I tell my husband to hurry back to the house to get my mom as I wait on the narrow bed alone with my frequent contractions.

They hurt and I do have to stop what I’m doing and concentrate on breathing but it isn’t worse than me managing to text friends and check e-mails and social media in between them.

I answer all the nurse’s routine medical questions, briefly re-living my two previous births and deliveries, sending a wish above that this one will be easier!
The nurses get a laugh from my “pink or blue, either will do” dress.
My blood pressure is just slightly elevated and all my vitals seem fine, so far so good!

The nurses let me know that since my contractions are picking up we don’t have time to wait for my husband to come back with my mom before we head to the delivery room. They actually run me there in a wheel chair, I am six centimeters and things seem to move fast, I’m actually in quite a lot of pain by now.

I get a Russian nurse who is so stern and matter of fact, it’s quite stereotypical and actually exactly what I need right now. She orders me around-go to the bathroom, undress, put on gown, catheter is next-and I just follow her barking orders in a blank pain induced haze trying not to think about how it will get worse before it gets better…

The Russian nurse smacks her lips shaking her head as she reads my pregnancy and birth history. She tells me if anyone deserves a good delivery it’s me (I couldn’t agree more)! My doctor made good on her promise to have an OR prepped even though the nurses checking me in actually tells me that the scheduled Caesarian hasn’t been changed in their computer system (I’m glad I’m able to tell them that the plans have changed and my doctor is able to back me up, I actually feel really good about getting to try another vaginal delivery), she also has a team ready should anything go wrong with my delivery (baby or myself).

I feel so much better when mom finally shows up! I can still talk in between contractions but am not able to once they hit. How come you never remember how bad they really are?
The answer must really be the cliche that then you would never have another baby…ever!

Mom, husband and I share some laughs and talk about boy names before it gets really bad and I return into my fog of pain and there is really nothing else I can focus on, gripping the side rails of the bed tightly as one contraction replaces another.
All I want is my friggin epidural- this time I am all in and I will NOT be denied one that’s for sure!!
The Russian promises that I am next on the list and that anesthesiologist is finishing up with a patient as we speak. Before there is a nurse shift change (I’m sincerely sad she is leaving) she exclaims loudly; “girl; you are BOOMING those contractions”.

Not sure what the word means but 100% agreeing with her I wait while she gets the new nurse (a pretty, petite, brunette American) up to speed, covering my previous pre-eclampsia, baby’s broken clavicle, premature rupture of membranes, premature delivery, baby’s Brady’s, premature lungs and kidneys, the recent hospital stays, leaking, heart palpitations, preventative shots…everything…

The nurse agrees that mom and hubby should eat now while we wait for the epidural and hurry back because the pressure is intensifying and she is guessing that this baby will probably show up before midnight (thinking we have a couple of hours only). She is betting the baby is a boy while my mom bets a girl. As my family leaves my new nurse heads out to check on the anesthesiologist- seriously what is taking him so long??

Turns out, he was waiting for my nurse to call him and he had been done a while ago, now he threatens that it might be too late for the pain meds I so desperately need. While my husband and mother are getting a quick bite my pain level has sky rocketed but luckily this nurse is in my side, apologizing profusely for not calling the epidural guy sooner and rooting for me to get the shot right away.

He mercifully agrees and as the medicine takes affect things calm down and I feel some bliss and a much needed break only now realizing how exhausted I really am.
I haven’t been checked in a while but it is the nurse’s opinion that the epidural slowed things down enough for me to rest some and for husband to go home and put the kids to bed.

Okay, so yes, she is wrong! I can tell that she is wrong (oh I can tell alright), the pressure even WITH the epidural is out of this world. I realize of course that I can’t remember my other two deliveries completely and that you forget, ignore and deny the pain but this is crazy, freaking insane pain. It has to be-must be the worst pressure I have ever felt, it feels like I’m being ripped apart. I can’t communicate, it feels like I’m going to throw up (or you know die..) shatter and break. I’m so pale shifting in green my mom actually gets worried, they give me oxygen and keep checking my pulse and pressure, I’m shaking like a leaf (on a particularly windy day; read hurricane warning).

So no, we don’t have a few hours, no hubby does not have time to go home (forget about saying good night to kids and then come back) we barely have a few minutes. I am ten freaking centimeters! The nurse rushes around prepping the room (my mom later tells me the far end of the room fills with “emergency people” should anything go wrong), the OR is called just in case and the doctor on call is paged.

The doctor barely makes it in time to “catch”, I’m talking three to four pushes here! Fastest delivery ever! I WAS due for one of those!

The baby is out, she expertly turns the shoulder so it won’t get stuck. My mom experiences it all-telling me later that it was quite extraordinary and completely amazing! The dad of this baby hasn’t even made it home as I text “the baby is coming” so naturally he misses it all.

I yell for my mom to see if there is anything wrong with the baby but all we both see at first is “IT”, oh yes there is no denying this…

I have just delivered a screaming, red and shivering baby BOY!!!

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Rushed Delivery

Being 38 weeks pregnant is no walk in the park. I have never been this pregnant before and even though I logically know this is great and wonderful and “normal” and healthy and you know the biggest blessing ever, I feel absolutely awful. Apart from being (and feeling) huge I am crampy, leaky, moody, have terrible heartburn and indigestion, I feel sick to my stomach (literally) all the time and I’m also bleeding. I know that that triple dose of the hormone shot didn’t exactly help things since I’m basically in labor and have been for over a week now so I might experience slightly exaggerated symptom than the average 38 week pregnant woman. The ultrasound technician described it the best that one time (skip the next sentence or two if you are squeamish); the hormones create an extra layer (or several) of the mucus build up (creating that- let’s call it what it is shall we- disgusting mucus plug) creating a barrier between baby and the outside world! Baby (and the preceding contractions) have to work waaay harder in order to make its way out with that many (disgusting) layers blocking its exit way…
I do feel like I’m not allowed to complain however but I can’t help feeling miserable and heaven forbid like this baby should hurry up and make an appearance already, (hello miss or mr. Baby, time to vacate, it’s safe to come out now!!)

Anyways, it is Monday and I have just taken the big decision to schedule my c-section (no broken bones or babies preferred!!) when I get the phone call…

It’s my doctor calling me even though she is on vacation. She sounds very surprised about my scheduled surgery since that was never brought up with her and she had instead suggested a scheduled induction (since our little mystery baby decided to hang around in my belly until full term after all!). She asks how come her colleague (he might even be her superior since he started the clinic) has hijacked her patient and is now making decisions about my care? She sounds upset and rather animated.

I am shocked and confused that she is not onboard with the new plan and find it difficult to yet again switch my mind over to her going against the Cesarian. She is saying that it is major surgery and something she would never recommend for me, being a highly infection sensitive individual without the best immune system. She is mentioning the risks and highlights the part where they take out your inner organs before putting them back (neatly and in the right order I hope…). She focuses on the complications to the bowel and bladder I might be prone to (nice!) and almost scolds me for agreeing to another doctor’s advice (gee, thanks, I was only trying to do what I thought was best for me and baby with the threats of a lifetime in a wheelchair or way worse; hurting the baby or even the unimaginable happening…).
I explain the fear her male partner put in me and his comments about recommended the “C” if I was his wife or sister. She counters with mimicking his charm and coping his little “you are amazing and adorable and beautiful”. Okay, okay, I’m starting to get the picture-I think my doctor is legitimately upset here. I just went with another doctor and after seeing him one time (nor weekly for the last at least seven/eight months) I blindly trusted him and his advice (professional advice mind you paired with an impressive education, background, degree and okay I admit flawless bedside manners). She is saying that he does have a point and that she is agreeing with his red flags so IF (and she is not saying I should) I go with the c-section, she wants to be the one performing it (bumping it up to Friday night again). I’m trying to convey the fear I have of her colleague being right about my way to narrow pelvic bone…and what about my first delivery experience?
She understands completely but wants me to try a vaginal delivery with an expert team standing by in case ANYTHING goes wrong. She will be fully equipped and ready for the possibly that baby won’t fit through the birth canal and she will prep any other doctor too should I go early and her not being able to get there in time to deliver.

She tells me that she HAD to have a Caesarian and it wasn’t easy and the recovery was brutal and of course I rather have a vaginal delivery, like with the other two. She says I might need an emergency c-section anyways but at least we tried everything before having to go there. I promise to call her right back as I deliver the news of the change of plans to my mom. After the initial surprise, we both agree to go back to the original plan and what we both had hoped and planned for all along. I call MY doctor back and she schedules an induction for Friday night, urging me to “hold out” that long!

Less than two hours later my water breaks!!!

And when I say breaks, I don’t mean a little shy questionable trickle, I mean BREAKS!

Even if I have leaked and trickled before, there is definitely no denying this flood! My water is most certainly, all the way, completely broken!

It’s water everywhere (sorry TMI) as I call out for my mother who is always calm under pressure by the way, suggesting that I might want to call my husband! I do that stressing over the fact that he is 45 minutes away and there is traffic (but not before I text my friend “hey, water broke”, not entirely sure why I did that before anything else). Then I text my mother in law to come take the kids so that my mother can come to the hospital (I’m really hoping that she can experience this delivery with me! Last chance of that happening!!). I know MIL is at least an hour away so the plan is for hubby to pick me up, drop me off at triage and then head back to the house and get my mom since his mom will most likely be there to care for the kids by then.

I run around leaking, correction: gushing, like a mad woman but manage to put on my “pink or blue, either will do shirt” and to call my doctor back. In my manic confused state I tell her “thanks for asking instead of “answering” “(which makes her slightly confused, I’m sure), she laughs as she reminds me that she wanted me to wait until Friday and that there is no way that she will be able to get to the hospital until tomorrow. She promises however to call the hospital to let them know I’m on my way and to tell the doctor on call everything about my specific situation.

I roll the overnight bag to the front door with a four year old who can not wait to be a big brother again, a two year old attached to my leg and a huge, goofy golden retriever at my other side. I’m leaking through pads and two pairs of pants, agonizing over when my husband will get home.

He keeps texting “5 minutes” but is totally lying. Finally as my contractions are getting stronger, he shows up!

I feel a strange mix of anxiety, excitement and sadness as I see my mom taking the kids back inside, carrying my little one who is currently my baby, and talking to my little man who seems so grown up all of a sudden!

Even if there is traffic, hubby drives fast, swerving in and out of lanes, as I keep telling him to slow down and then speed up as I experience yet another contraction. We start to time them and they are now really close apart!

Then things go really, really fast…

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