On to the rest of the story…

Standard

Yesterday I left my tiny person on the floor, playing on her back. I had to run to the other room to grab a few things. The TV was on… some stupid reality show marathon that I had on for hours as background noise. At that moment on the show, the woman was in labor… and I, obsessed with birth (not in a healthy way), stood there watching. I wanted to know if she would end up in a C-Section. I needed to know. I do this with all birth stories now. I compare them to mine. I mull over my birth story. I question what I could have done differently, so that I could have avoided the scar that is now forever on my belly, like an unwanted tattoo. I’m obsessed. And… its not ok. I’m not ok.

She didn’t have a C-Section. I believe her exact words word “1 and a half pushes and he was out!” I rolled my eyes. Shook my head, also trying to shake off the emotions I felt. And I returned to the living room, where I stared, in awe, open mouth and all.

My baby had rolled over. She was now happily on her tummy, smiling and bobbing her head. Joy over this mile-stone… clouded with sadness that I missed it.

It hit me. It hit me hard. I have got to let go of my birth trauma… there is no changing it. Its done. And because of my obsession about the past, I quite literally missed out on the NOW.

I have got to let go… let go of the Pre-Eclampsia, which I had no control over… let go of the 26 hour labor, after being unwillingly induced. Let go of the fact that the baby was never in risk, so maybe I should have tried longer… or tried harder…  I’ve got to move past the ER trip, the 2 subsequent hospital stays due to complications. The everything… Just. Stop.

I can’t take it when people dismiss my birth story and the sadness around it by saying how healthy and beautiful my baby is, or how at least my lady parts are still neatly intact. These things are true… But, I have a right to my feelings. I’m sad about it. I’m overwhelmed by it. I’m angry about it. My feelings are real and they are ok. BUT, that’s enough. I will not let my feelings about my baby’s birth make me miss out on any more of her life or mine.

I will remember the mantra I adopted mid-labor… This was not my plan, but it is my story. Now, on to the rest of the story!red brick collage 2

On disappearing and come backs

Standard

So… I didn’t blog for the last trimester.  It was chaos. Birth was chaos… I didn’t know quite where to start, once I stopped.

But… Today I decided there’s no time like now.

We did it. We made a baby…. A girl. We NAMED a person!  She was born in July…Two days after my birthday.  And, today, I just thought I would share some very late pictures.

I will post about the birth later. I’m still recovering- mentally. In the meantime… TwoMoms2Be no longer seems like a fitting blog name…. 🙂

image

image

image

image

image

The “perk” of being high risk & other silver linings

Standard

I am high risk… but despite this, besides a few hiccups, I would say my pregnancy has seemed pretty unremarkable.  And that’s a good thing!
Tomorrow, I have a 22 week appointment with Dr. C who was the one who ran that incredibly upsetting blood work. I forgot to update after that appointment, by the way… but let’s just say that the first thing out of his mouth when he saw these 2 upset mommies was “I’m sorry.” He said he would never run blood work without being explicitly clear about it in the future. By the time he got done apologizing, we were a little less angry.

We discussed options for further testing and eventually I went to my high risk to further discuss, but after lots of thinking and talking, I really don’t have a desire to test anymore. The only sure-fire way to diagnose this baby is to deliver the little one. Or, for a 99% accurate diagnosis,  we could do amnio. I will not do amniocentesis.  But I will eventually give birth to my sweet little guy or girl and we will love that baby no matter what. So, who cares what may or may not be. We get the baby we are supposed to get.

So, until then, I will enjoy the “perk” of being high risk. And that is getting so many chances to see my Mini during my pregnancy!
image

I had no idea (until recently….) that regular pregnancies don’t get this awesome opportunity!  Now, that is a silver lining, I’d say!

Against our wishes

Standard

It has been a while since I posted. Lack time and not much going on has been to blame…

…But yesterday,  was a rough one. So, here I am.

We have opted out of every test we knew of that checks for Down Syndrome.  We chose this, because being Special Ed teachers, E working with the handicapped population and, me, working with emotionally disturbed kids, we don’t really care if our child comes out different. But we don’t want to spend the whole pregnancy stressing over it.

I had been waiting on blood test results to check my levels. I had complained about extreme exhaustion. And the migraines… days on end. I was told the “routine” check would test for all of that. So when I arrived I threw my arm is on the table and like a trooper, allowed the nice nurse to take 5 vials of blood.

Here’s what I didn’t know… The other test in the “routine” screen was a quad screen. The quad screen checks for defects and Down Syndrome.  Despite our conversations with Dr. C, he ran the test anyways. And, over a week of repeated calls, trying to figure out why I have been feeling so bad, and hoping it’s actually just a rough pregnancy patch… I got a call from the doctor himself.

I missed the call… and he was gone for the day. I know me, and I knew this weekend was going to be a rough one, not knowing why he called me himself.

And then, in the middle of one of my classes the phone rang. I answered. Dr. C again… calling personally, again. I had only left a message for his nurse, who had not called me back in a couple of days.

He starts with… So, I know you spoke with my nurse. No, haven’t been able to speak to anyone. Well, you saw my message on the health portal, right? No, again,  I have tried telling your staff I am locked out of the site, they just keep saying it’s “broken.” Oh, I see… well, we ran a test….

…All that he says word for word at this point becomes a blur. I remember these words, (mostly because I had grabbed a marker and started taking very scattered notes, while trying not to scream and cry)… High risk. Down Syndrome.  1 in 250. Yours is 1 in 35. Amniocentesis.  Further testing.

He spattered off the name of the additional tests… at some point I broke. He could hear it in my voice. I was scared. I was angry. I was completely surprised. I just kept saying I didn’t understand because we said we didn’t want that test. He said he was sorry, but he felt it was important.

I panicked.  I had no expectation of having this conversation… I was overwhelmed. I rushed down the hall, desperately looking for E. Finally, I found her. She was so calm and reassuring that it was going to be ok. She was not saying our baby wouldn’t possibly have Down Syndrome… She was saying that if our baby did, we would be fine.

I know that. But,  no one wants their baby to be special needs. Ya know?  Once calm again, her words meant so much to me… they reassured me in ways that no one else’s words could have.

I am mostly just very upset that the test was ran, without our understanding and against our wishes. These tests (I found out after much research) are highly inaccurate and there us only one way to really get a diagnosis in utero… The amniocentesis… which we will not do. So, as we had already stated to the doctor once before, what’s the point?

We have a doctor’s appointment first thing Monday morning to discuss what all of the results really mean. All I know is that we have a 1 in 35 chance that our sweet baby has Down Syndrome,  which translates into a 97% chance that our baby is fine. Monday also happens to be our 1 year wedding anniversary.  Not the best conversation to have on such a happy day. But, in the goal of finding the silver lining… Monday also marks the halfway point in my pregnancy.

Either way..  we get the baby we are meant to have. And that baby will have two mamas that couldn’t love it anymore. But Doc, rest assured, I will be asking twice the questions I already ask from here on out! So get ready!

Half excited

Standard

E and I are pretty different. She is laid back. I am high strung. I am an over-sharer… She is private. I’m talkative (which is how I end up over – sharing regularly) and she can sit quietly for hours.

One of the things that make us complete opposites is our level of response to situations. Right now… I am talking about excitabilty. When planning a vacation… I narrow everything down for her… then give her the options.  (I am a planner,  she is not) I pour extensively over every little detail.  I weigh options. I play out scenarios.  She can decide on what she wants before I even finish reading my narrowed down (to probably about 3 choices) options. I should add, this is also how we picked our donor.

As far as preparing for our trip, I spend the months prior making arrangements,  shopping, discussing, all well in advance. She takes on the mentality that if we need it and forgot it, we will just buy it there. (I’ve been to Vietnam, where i couldn’t find a single pair of shoes in my size !) So, while I am stressing over the tiniest detail, she gets to remain stress free. This, I often find myself completely jealous about.

I can say that I have gotten better… we have taken some spontaneous trips. Actually,  our honeymoon was pretty on-the-fly. E started out so surprised and happy with that… but I think by the end, as we were purchasing clothes from the dollar store, she secretly missed my style. And I, in turn, grew to embrace her style a little more. But the point is, I am a planner and a thinker and E gets excited right as we board the plane.

All of the hours and tears I spent on the wedding (as well as the jabs from her and the “It’ll be fines”) were so worth it when she realized my vision that very day– as we got to the venue. Our wedding ended up on the Style Me Pretty Blog, which next to getting married and getting pregnant, pretty much made my year!

But imagine these qualities playing out, when the easily excitable, planning one gets pregnant and the laid back, plans free one is her partner. I talk pretty much excessively about the baby… and the “whens,” and the “should we’s,” and the “what ifs.” I design the baby room in my head. I mull over names, even though we have already chosen them (just in case?) I randomly ask myself questions like “Do we really have to use organic wipes?” I research.  You get it… I am all in all very excited. I do my thing.

E… well E listens.  She rarely comments and I can’t think of a time when she brought anything baby up on her own. It’s hard for me. It makes me want to stop talking about it all together.  I somehow feel like I am overwhelming her with my incessant baby babble. I offer to stop bringing up baby or how I feel (mostly physically). I try to suppress it and inevitably fail, when we sit in silence long enough. I am at a point where I question what we have in common, because we can’t find anything else to talk about. But in actuality, despite our complete personality differences, we probably have too much in common.  We work together, we live together. The truth is, the story about how the cafeteria got evacuated because there was a bat flying around is not fascinating,  because she was there.

I am trying to figure out what I really expect of her, knowing full well that anything other than forced excitement would require her to completely change who she is. But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel a little bummed about feeling like the only one who is excited sometimes.

I do believe that when I start really showing her excitement will increase a bit. At least I hope. She said listening to me is how she stays connected to me and baby. I wish there were something more I could do though, to really make her feel like she is part of this experience with me. I hate that people always ask how I am or how I feel… She is expecting too. But I am sure an expectant father rarely gets asked about himself either.

It doesn’t help that we work at the same school and, as I start showing, more kids question me, which can be fun. She works with severely handicapped kids who probably wouldn’t even notice she was nine months pregnant, except maybe to poke her belly or tell her she looks fat. And, we keep our relationship private with kids, so while some kids know we live together, she doesn’t get to do the fun part of telling kids she is going to be a mommy. She also coaches a lot of the kids I teach. One of the funniest moments was when one of the athletes asked me if E knew I was pregnant… and another asked if she was the first person I told. I can’t help but feel like she is being robbed of some of these experiences… but knowing her, the private one, they would probably feel more painful than fun.

I asked her if she would be more excited if it were her egg in my belly. She said no, of course. But she did say it would be different,  if she were the pregnant one. I can see that. All of these things and changes are happening to me. The only bummer is, if she were the pregnant one, I would be the same ol’ me… planning and chatting my ass off.

I hold on to moments where she shows her excitement in her own small ways… like agreeing to go look at paint colors for the baby room. And then insisting that I be no where near the paint, when we finally pick a color.

My favorite moment was right after we found out I was pregnant and she fell asleep with her hand on my belly. I will cherish that moment forever.

Playing catch up

Standard

I’m a bad blogger. It’s not like nothing is going on. So much has gone on in the past couple of weeks… so much. But I just haven’t taken (or had?) the time (or motivation?) to write any of it down.

If I am home, I’m sleeping. And I would be lying if I didn’t say I squeezed a couple of naps on the papasan chair in the corner of my classroom from time to time…. on my off period of course. There was also that 30 minute nap in the corner of the library.

It’s not even lack of energy… If I am being honest, I hit a bump in the road I never expected after wanting this baby so very badly. I got depressed.

Let’s play a quick game of catch up:
●Erica’s Tourettes ramped back up after Christmas, but she stopped the new meds and she has since settled
●I had my pre – op appointment and asked about alternatives (which I felt guilty for)
●The surgery date was set
●I went to my regular OBGYN who told me my surgery was unnecessary
●I felt even more overwhelmed by conflicting advice
●I got a 2nd opinion, which made the matter feel worse, since his advice was to skip the surgery
●I overwhelmed my best friend with multiple calls per day
●I worried nonstop about the decision to have the cerclage or not
●I cried all the way home from work the day I called to cancel
●In an attempt to be supportive,  my mom yelled at me for crying… then later admitted she cried when we hung up
●I called to cancel my surgery, then played the worst game of phone tag ever with my high risk doctor
●I finally got to speak with Dr. B about canceling and he was supportive of doing Plan B

Which brings me to now:
Yesterday morning, prior to eventually speaking to Dr. B, I felt that there was absolutely no way for me to feel at peace with either decision about the surgery. But the new plan and the fact that Dr. B fully supported it (despite my getting a 2nd opinion) has me feeling more confident in my choice and in him. Of course, there is a risk, so I can’t say yet that I am completely confident… but I can say I made the best decision given the information I had at the time.

So, the new plan is aggressive monitoring of my cervix by sonogram, to check for changes. This means weekly appointments with Dr. B starting at 18 weeks. Should I start to thin or funnel an emergency cerclage is only an option up to about 25 or 26 weeks.
My regular OBGYN,  Dr. C, agreed he would monitor my cervix each appointment,  as well. So this is some pretty frequent cervix checkin’. That should help us catch anything bad.

As a side note, I am thankful to have a team of people working with me. I have had soooooo many ultrasounds and was actually surprised that I didn’t get an ultrasound the other day, because I was so used to it. I have never been a huge fan of pictures on the fridge… but a new exception has totally been made. 🙂
image

Can’t Control it

Standard

I’m pregnant. I say that at least once a day, it seems like. Usually, I am trying to convince myself. It’s surreal, still. After 3 ultrasounds it’s just still so very surreal.

But every now and then when I say to myself “I’m pregnant,” it’s with a much different tone. A scared tone. A panicked feeling.

I’m pregnant… and I have Ehlers. And I am high risk. And Erica has Tourettes. 

Right now, Erica is in the middle of switching meds. Her other medicine was just ok… we wanted more progress, less tics… and I am afraid to say, maybe we have already maximized our options.

She started the new meds about 2 weeks ago, after tapering off her other ones. The new meds are serious stuff. But we took a deep breath, trusted the doctor and moved forward with the new plan.

Except, Erica got confused and started taking her medicine way too quickly. She started out with too much and bumped it up again… way too fast. Yesterday, well really the past 4 days, have been awful. She has hardly gotten out of bed and when she does she cries, she has violent tics and she is pain.  All of this creating a deep depression in her. And me.

We went to the emergency room the day after we realized she was taking too much of her meds. They literally looked at us and told us they had no idea how to help her. They became agitated when she couldn’t keep her arms still enough to get a blood pressure reading. They kept saying, “please try to keep your arm still!” I lifted her shirt sleep and showed them the muscles, that were twitching and pulling, “and explained that she was not in control of it.”

She can’t control it. Something I have to remind myself of constantly. But in these moments there feels like so much I can’t control. Anger and fear. And frustration.  I cannot control it.

I’m pregnant. And I am scared.