Monday, April 11, 2011

Parental Perusings

While I deal with what can only be the craziest period in my life, people often either think what I'm going through is unimaginably easy or incredibly difficult.  Both are right.

We are in the midst of a 3 bedroom tiny apartment, waiting to close on a new home.  After having a son diagnosed with bipolar disorder over a year ago, we have started seeing the medication not be as effective.  So, not so much trouble, but I was pregnant with twins so we needed to put our 2 year old in daycare.  Okay, not a big deal - except either between the apartment's condition (only known after living here) or the daycare environment, he's constantly sick with fevers and some array of accompanying side effects.

So again, not too much to handle, then shortly after our move and while still unpacking the necessities for our apartment, I needed to go to the hospital.  At 23 weeks, my babies were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  They were so far along, they were hours from death.  Basically, one twin (the donor) was being sucked dry of his blood and nutrients by the other (the recipient).  Donor had no fluid around him to process, so he was suffocating slowly, could not digest and his bladder was almost gone and he was stuck to the uterine wall like he was shrink wrapped.  The recipient, for lack of better description was drowning in too much fluid and his heart was starting to beat backwards.  I was whisked away to Miami for a surgery by a world-renowned doctor.  Any other time or place in my life, I would have lost them because I could never have made it in time.

(More after the jump)

The surgery, that I went to alone by necessity, was a success at first glance.  From then on out, it was strict bedrest as I had went into active labor and I had dilated.  They tried to admit me in early November, saying delivery was imminent.  I chose to go home to relax, since I wasn't far from the hospital.  I didn't deliver.  Each doctor appointment, they'd keep telling me "We'll schedule your next appointment next week, but you probably won't be pregnant!".  Weeks went by.  I modified my bedrest to include a shower - had to be done.  I needed my sanity.  The babies began to even out.  Late December, back to the hospital, possible labor - I was laboring, but not progressing, back home for me!

Then came January (and there went that tax break :) ).  I passed 34 weeks and we scheduled an amnio for January 11th at 36 weeks.  No dice.  The induction was scheduled for the 17th but that same day, in the afternoon, I began to labor on my own.  These babies weren't going to let the doctors tell them anything.  We watch the mandatory epidural video (already predetermined because I suffered from Symphasis Pubic Diastasis).  I make fun of the woman who says "Gee golly, when I saw him the first time *chokes up* I cried and want to cry now thinking about it".  What a wuss, right?  They were born so easily - 11:37pm I pushed twice and Noah came into the world at 5lb 10oz.  I heard him cry.  No time to wait, the next contraction, two more pushes - Nicky popped into the world at 11:41 5lb. 9oz.  That was it.  No tearing, no sweating.  Then Nicky cried.  I turned my head to the two basins in the OR (delivered there in case of emergency C-section) and saw my beautiful children after this long, tired, winding road and cried.

They were here, they were crying and they were healthy.  I kept thinking, they weren't supposed to be here to begin with.  They weren't supposed to make it this long.  They weren't supposed to be this healthy.  Yet, here they were - no rushing around like mad as if there was a problem.  They fixed me all up and I was back in my room 10 minutes later.  They did so well that they stopped the process and followed behind my gurney and finished bathing them in my room.  A few minor concerns with me but that was it.  Here they were.

Now, people would think that was harrowing enough.  And it was.  With all the commotion, my grandmother came during the surgery time to help us and one of my mothers had come down during Thanksgiving to cook us dinner and did it without ever asking for anything in return to keep normalcy for the other two boys.  Other than those about 3 weeks total, it was all us.  In fact, it was mostly my husband, the primary breadwinner, parent, maid, cook and caretaker.  Because his job was pay to work, no work, no pay - I went to all my appointments alone.  I had 37 ultrasounds, dozens of tests.

We got home, Noah had jaundice - for the next week, it was several tests for him.  A few days after he came home, he ended up in the ER for jaundice check and constipation.  The day we got home, my oldest was extremely sick and throwing up everywhere.  A lovely time to keep them all separate.  Last night, both babies start crying and within 30 seconds, I hear the 2 year old - who's sick... again.. with a fever, sore throat and cough.

We are doing it alone but we are doing it.  Now for those two groups of "outsiders" I mentioned.  Yes, it's hard - and I wouldn't trade a thing.  Except maybe a babysitter for a few hours.  :)  I'm getting back in the game, adjusting to interrupted sleep and splitting my time between my four wonderful boys and can't wait for my first outing that's not to a doctor or hospital in almost 6 months.  It was hard.  But when you don't have help, you don't have options but to be strong.  My kids and my life are teaching me humility and unimaginable reserves of strength to be there for my kids and my husband.
I started this post a couple of months ago.  I didn't get around to finishing to publish.  It's now April 11th and I read it and feel just as strong about it all.  We've finally got into a house and spread our wings.  Yesterday, after having to wait a month to get out of that little apartment and my getting over the start of flu, transitioning to strep, thrush, ear and sinus infections and what turned into pneumonia, my 3 year old finally got his birthday party!  We got to swim for the first time in our pool.  Is life easier?  Well, no.  But.. the colic has started to go away!  Hey, when you've got as many boys as I do, it's the little milestones that matter most!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Ahhh Mary.. it really is true that what doesn't kill us somehow makes us stronger!

It's insanely nuts the way we figure out a way to draw from reserves of strength that we weren't even aware we had when push comes to shove. I do believe that when we start to see the silver linings and blessings that come from the chaos we gain more strength and crystal clear vision. Well at least sometimes it's all crystal clear. It sure is easier to understand why we have to go through some things when we start counting the blessings anyway!

I'm "following" your blog and looking forward to reading more! :) I'm a blog junkie!