Posts tagged what the baby books don’t tell you

Violet’s Story

Today we are going to hear Violet’s story. This is how the drive for the Victory for Violet fundraisers was born. Be prepared with a spare tissue just in case. 

Violet’s story as told by her strong mama; 

Finding out that I was pregnant with Violet was a surprise. We were not planning for another child, as our first daughter together was just a year old, and my husband has a daughter who was 12 years old at the time. None the less we were extremely happy! Violet was due to arrive the day before Halloween, 2010. My water broke almost a week early and Violet joined us via C-section on October 24, 2011 at 4:03pm. She was a healthy 8lbs 9oz and 20 inches long. She looked just like her big sister Ember. We took her home 3 days later. 

From the moment we arrived home, Violet cried. She cried all day and night. She went to her pediatricians’ office several times, and they said she had colic, changing her formula a couple times. At one of these visits a pediatrician told us to “put on Mozart and turn down the lights.” Still nothing seemed to help. On November 19th, my husband brought her back to the doctors hoping for some answers. 

The doctor who saw Violet this visit was pleased with her weight gain, up to 10lbs 3oz, and once again changed her formula continuing to say it was just colic. As my husband was leaving the office, the doctor noticed as he put Violets coat on that her arm fell limp. The Dr then asked if Violet was always this limp. Truth be told we were so tired we hadn’t noticed she was weak until the doctor mentioned it. My husband then called and asked me if I had noticed her weakness. I had noticed the previous night that her cry seemed very weak, but I figured that was because she had to be so exhausted from crying. The doctor decided that Violet needed blood work, and scheduled an appointment for that afternoon with a Neurologist. 

Violets blood work was normal. So, I thought that everything was going to be ok. Then my husband took Violet to the Neurologists appointment. He sent me a text message not even 15 minutes into the appointment telling me they were going to admit her to the hospital. 

At that very moment my heart sank and I knew, I just knew, it wasn’t good. 

I was home with my 23 mo, as we both had fevers. I held out hope that this was just a virus. The hospital would not let me visit her because I had a fever, so I stayed home feeling very helpless. The Neurologist called me to explain she had an idea of what condition Violet had; she said it was either Guillain Barre Syndrome, Botulism, or a genetic disorder. I asked her what the outcome would be, and she said none of them would be good. A specialist preformed an EMG test and about 2 hours later my husband called and said they wanted me there right away. 


I arrived at the hospital to get the news that Violet was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 1. Basically they told us she had 6 to 12 months to live; there is no cure, no treatment. They went over the options, ventilator, bi-pap, G tube, all of this was foreign to us. No matter what we decided to do she would not survive. 

We decided immediately that we would not be doing anything invasive. We asked for Hospice, and wanted to take Violet home as soon as possible, yet she had to stay overnight for observation. No one we knew had even heard of this disorder. I did as much research as I could that night while in the hospital. Nothing I read was good. 

We left the hospital on Saturday morning feeling confused, lost, scared, and sad. We knew what the end result would be. But what would the journey be like for Violet, and us? What would we tell big sister Ember?

Then we met the most wonderful person, Violets hospice nurse, Jen. 

From our first meeting I knew we were in great hands. Jen never had a patient with SMA, but she did have lots of experience with kids. I also looked at information the nurses gave me at the hospital and decided to place a call to Families of SMA, the Massachusetts chapter. I received a call back from another mom who had lost her son to SMA in 2002. Laurie became a great support and source of information for us. I learned more from her than what any doctor had told us. 

In the days to follow we received oxygen, a suction machine, morphine, and a lot of information. Violet was still holding her own, but we would need these things in time. We now definitely noticed just how weak Violet really was. She had basically no muscle in any of her extremities, and what we couldn’t see was that she didn’t have any muscle inside. 

Violet would breathe from her belly, never her chest, and she worked hard for those breaths. She could hold your finger if you put it in her hand, but never lifted her arms or legs. The hardest part was that, she always cried. I was the only one she would let hold her. She was beginning to smile and laugh, which were bittersweet. Violet continued to smile until the day before she passed.

We skipped Thanksgiving, being newly diagnosed; it was too hard to face many people. The first week of December came, and Violets crying seemed to increase, and I really believed she had reflux. Jen, our nurse got Violet prescribed Zantac, and that seemed to help somewhat. We also changed her to a different formula. I learned more about the different nutritional needs of SMA children, from another SMA mom, Liz. 

Even with the formula and the reflux medicine Violet was still not happy. One night, out of desperation I googled SMA and reflux. I found an article about motility issues in SMA children and some medications that might be needed. My nurse got us a medication to help with that. Then finally Violet was happy! 


Laurie put me in contact with another mom, with a son, Coby, a month older than Violet who was diagnosed with SMA Type 1 also. Lori, Cobys mom and I became friends fast. We have a lot in common, and we have been support for each other in so many ways. Coby, you see, is Violets boyfriend, and we know that they are together in heaven.


We decided to have a big family Christmas. Since this was going to be Violets only Christmas, we wanted her to celebrate, even though she was only 2 mo. We had about 15 people coming over on Christmas Eve, and Violet decided that she was not going to have a good day. She began crying, and when Violet cried she turned blue from lack of oxygen. Christmas Eve was the very first time we had to give her morphine. It was one of the hardest things I had to do in my life. Thank goodness my husband was stronger than I and knew it was best. She was then comfortable, and slept peacefully, probably for the first time ever. 


After Christmas, Morphine became just another daily staple in Violets life. Our mission was to keep her pain free, and comfortable. As the new year came, we knew Violet was having trouble swallowing, so, on New Years Day, Jen placed a NG tube so we could continue to feed Violet. We also began using another medication, to help with her comfort. We got used to feeding with the NG tube, but could tell Violet was getting weaker. 

On January 24, 2011, at exactly 3 months old Violet passed away peacefully in my arms. 


My husband and I believe that we did the best thing for our daughter. We believe we kept her comfortable and pain free, until it was her time to leave this Earth. I do not have any regrets in keeping her home, and taking care of her. I truly feel blessed to have had such a wonderful Hospice nurse, and now friend in Jen. The people I have met in the SMA community are amazing. Someone said to me that the SMA family “is the nicest group of people you wish you never had to meet”, and that is the best way to describe it. I know my angel is watching over me, and her big sister Ember whom she just adored. 

Ember has told me she has Violet “in her hands”, and that Violet is “a happy girl now”. I think maybe Violet is a lot closer than we think.

So much emotion, and struggle. As parents we have to make tough decisions every day for our families. 

I am asking you now, to make another decision. The decision to help, so that maybe this won’t have to be another mom’s story. Give. Just a dollar or two. Or buy a T-shirt to show your support. 

If neither of those options fit you, use the buttons on the bottom of this post and share. Then it might find someone who is able. Sharing is caring!!!

Gwen

What is SMA?

To be honest three years ago I had no clue what SMA was, or why I should care.

Then from afar, I watched a mother loose a battle, and choose to begin a new one. SMA took her baby from her arms early, but left behind a drive to educate, encourage, and help others. 
This year I have decided to partner up and help with her annual fundraiser. But first let me answer the question of what SMA is.
My own research has helped me to understand that SMA actually represents a group of diseases that effect the motor neurons specifically in the spinal cord and brain stem. Muscles that are controlled by motor neurons are used for things like breathing, crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. Pretty important stuff. Muscles will become smaller (atrophy), without proper activity from motor neurons.

I have found varying information on how often this occurs, but the number of one-in-6,000 to one-in-20,000 individuals are effected world wide. Infants, children, and adults are effected by this disease. Research has been able to determine that individuals effected receive one gene from their mother and another from their father. If both mother and father have the gene there is a 25% chance one of their children will inherit the disease. Between one-in-40 and one-in-80 men and women carry the gene.

“The scary part is SMA kills more babies than any other genetic disease.” Fight SMA Website

So why am I talking about it and what am I asking you to do today?

Give a little (or a lot) with me in support for Families of SMA. From their website;

Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy is dedicated to creating a treatment and cure by:– Funding and advancing a comprehensive research program;
– Supporting SMA families through networking, information and services;
– Improving care for all SMA patients;
– Educating health professionals and the public about SMA;
– Enlisting government support for SMA;
– Embracing all touched by SMA in a caring community.

Ways YOU can participate.

Donate a dollar or two here.  Really just a buck adds up. If each one of you donated just a dollar our goal would be met before the end of the week. One candy bar, one 20 oz soda, one coffee at Starbucks, just one  George Washington …. or two or three, but start with just one.

If you want to get when you give you can buy one of our Victory for Violet T-shirts here.

This is what they will look like. Just $17.35 after shipping, and it will come directly to you! They are also in ladies shirts, I figured that would be best as it is a quite feminine design. 100% of the proceeds will go to this fundraiser, and be combined with our other donations. They will not print any of the shirts until we hit our goal of 20, just an FYI. If we do not sell 20 shirts no one looses anything. If we do, then we raised more for FSMA, win win.

Or you can always attend the live in person fundraiser event;

August 3rd in Southwick MA they will be hosting a Fundraiser Poker Run. If you are near enough by I encourage you to join in the fun.

Please take the time and offer your support however you see fit. We will keep our fundraiser open until August 3rd after that time you can still show your support and donations directly thru the FSMA website
If you don’t have any dollars to spare please consider sharing this post (the buttons at the bottom make it easy).
Gwen

The Tap Has Not Run Dry

Still. The milk tap that is. Even thought I have not nursed my son since May 30th. The afternoon of the 30th to be specific. And yet my body is still producing milk.

It is not the quantity that it was a week or so ago. I do not leak randomly in the afternoon, or anything, but it’s still there. I pretty certain that my son can still smell it. He tries to pull my shirt up occasionally when he sits on my lap. He does pleasantly drink milk from a cup, but still requests the tap. Most often after what he considers traumatic events. You know like falling down, or having his sister steal a toy from him.

The fact that my body is still putting it out there, makes me feel like I should just give it up and let him have it. On the other hand I like the freedom. My body is (almost) my own. Again, for the first time in four years.

I am not in any pain from the lingering milk supply, just annoyed mostly.

My neighbor and a few other mama friends asked me if I have tried cabbage. I haven’t. Honestly the thought never crossed my mind. I thought that cabbage was for soothing painful nipples, but apparently it will help dry you up too. Now that I have this information I should put it to use, right?

Maybe not. It’s strange. I feel a little sad at the thought of cabbag-ing myself. It’s as though I am really saying goodbye to baby-hood. In a way it’s silly to think like that. I mean I haven’t nursed my son in 19 days already anyhow, and I have a toddler, not a baby. Still I can’t really explain why, but the thought makes me a little teary eyed.

I have been told that it can take my body up to six months to figure things out. That sounds a little crazy to me. Especially considering that he was only nursing once a day at the point that I stopped. I was very much convinced he was not getting any milk, and that it was just for comfort. I really thought drying up would be super fast. Based on the lingering milk, it is looking like I was wrong.

So, to cabbage or not to cabbage, that is the question? What would you do in my situation?

Don’t forget to join our discussion on Tanglewood Plantation, and enter for a chance to win a Kindle Edition of the book!

Gwen

The Decision To Stop Breast Feeding

Ahh, such a tricky topic. Why? Well because everyone has an opinion, and really they should, it just doesn’t mean that their opinion is worth sharing, but they do anyway.

K2 in action at 14 months old (today his is 18 months old)

I truly believe that deciding when to stop breast feeding is a personal decision. Yes of course it is good for you to offer breast milk for as long as your child drinks milk.  We are the only mammal that not only continues to drink milk after weaning, but we also will drink another mammals milk. Because we as humans are weirdo’s, but we have long ago accepted that. So the idea of drinking breast milk forever is pretty much crazy. In comes the personal decision part of when to wean.

I think (this is all just my opinion not fact) everyone could use support for breast feeding and that there could/should be more over all exposure. Both of my children had latch issues. It is possible that if I was more comfortable around breast feeding in general, it would have been a less stressful time in baby hood. I actualy never saw anyone breast feed until I was trying to do it with my daughter. She was also preemie and in NICU so this had to happen on a schedule, not when nature thought things would work out.

With K1 I never actually decided to stop breast feeding. My children are 19 months apart. When K1 was 11 months old I started baking K2. I had to have a cerclage placed for both of my pregnancies. Breast feeding is not allowed once those stitches are placed, because nursing causes contractions. Bad times for everyone. So, a few days before my surgery, I stopped nursing her. With K1 it was a fairly easy transition. We had stored BM (Breast milk) and I was working at night, she was used to taking a bottle of milk from daddy anyway. Yes there were times when she asked, but all was pretty smooth sailing.

With K2 there is no pregnancy to mandate the stopping of breast feeding. He also never took a pacifier. He  pretty much never took to a bottle, and instead went right to water in a sippy cup. My son loves his mommy. There really has been no end in sight. It’s has only been a mild frustration because he depends on that to go to sleep at night (not at nap time).

Wednesday I decided he was done. I have no idea why, it just felt like the time. We have only been nursing once a day, at night. Thursday I had my final and wouldn’t be home anyway, so I decided to quit. As with K1 there is stored BM for him, and it will last a good while, at least 3 months.

Every night he cries and screams for milk and mommy.

Tonight was the first time that I had to put him to bed, alone, with no one else in the house since I decided to cut him off the tap.

Tonight I got the same cries that I heard every other night. When I went back in after letting him cry for 5 minutes he said “mommy no milk” and cried his little eyes out, repeating it a few more times. Way to break my heart little guy. For real, that’s just not fair.

Add to that the fact that I never really went through the whole “drying up” business before. The last two days my body has been expelling milk in the afternoon. Really? I was fairly certain he wasn’t really drinking any milk, and this sort of leaking business is less than pleasant. Ugh.

While I decided it was time for us to stop breast feeding I am not certain my son agrees. I am thinking/hoping he will come around to the idea. Thoughts?

Why did you decide to stop breast feeding? How did it go?

Gwen

It Takes A Village

My neighbor is awesome
Well really all of them are. I live in a building of five apartments, and there are ten apartments in our “complex” total. The buildings are back to back, so basically I never see the neighbors on the other side. I consider the five in my row my neighbors. They are all awesome. They are the kind of neighbors you never think you will meet.
They say it “takes a village” to raise kids, but who really has that? Unless you are close to your family the village idea is a joke. Sure you have friends, or mommy acquaintances who understand, but will they be able to just stop by when your child has a fever at , and need help? Most likely not, of course there are exceptions, but over all not, so, much. For most of us, the reality is that in our village we end up with the guy who always takes your parking spot, those people who have a party every weekend, those with the messy front everything that our kids just have to get into, or just noisy and unfriendly in general. Never mind them not having kids, or not understanding. Not exactly village material.
Back when we were apartment hunting, the people showing us the apartment, we would later move into, said “we love kids and family’s”. I thought to myself, yea yea, of course because the alternative is wild parties. I didn’t really realize they were almost all family’s, or members of other residents family’s living there. My neighbor’s mother lives in that row behind me. That’s kind of cool.
It’s random, and awesome that on either side of me is a little girl who is within 6 months of K1’s age. They are all the best of friends. Seriously. When it is warm we have kiddo block parties in the morning. We give all the kids snacks together, without a tally or score sheet listing who gave what when and who’s turn it is. They party and play right up until lunch/nap time. That is great for everyone. But my neighbors are more than that. They are here for me, if I ever need them. Forgot to buy rice at the store, they got me. Need to take Scarlet to the vet as an emergency, they got my kids. No, they are not in a superior financial situation than we are, they are just willing to help each other out. Thanks to my neighbors church members, we get hand-me-downs for the kids. In turn I have started adding our outgrown kids clothes to the bag, instead of taking them to the used baby good store and trying to sell them. They also have helped to collect the materials I needed to make my self watering planters, so there was no cost to anyone, just labor. I really can’t even begin to list everything.
I am just thankful. I feel like I found my village. Here. Of course I am sad because this is no ones forever home, and at some point we will all move away. For now though, it is amazing, and I will take it.
Earlier this week my neighbor’s oldest child was having a fund raiser for 6th grade camp (it’s a CA thing). I didn’t even know what I was buying I just said yes. That day, I had the $5 to spare, sometimes I don’t. Knowing all they do, I would have just given $5 for noting in return. Instead I get this awesome loaf of maple pecan bread, that is super tasty and now I need more of.
So if you will excuse me, I have a half a loaf of bread to go eat, toasted with butter of course. 

Gwen

Hello Morning

I am a night person.

I can get up in the morning, if I HAVE to. Electing to get up, well, that is a different story. It requires the right amount of motivation. What is the right amount of motivation? Since having kids, I’m still trying to figure that out.

Sun popping out over the nearby lake

That being said the morning routine has pretty much always started when one of the kids gets up. Someone is awake or crying, (that’s pretty much the same thing, right?) then I get up.

My routine after that kind of looks like this;

Got to the bathroom
Get dressed in case someone knocks on the door
Collect clothes for the kids
Open curtains/blinds upstairs
Turn off heater and/or humidifier (seriously someone is always congested)
Say good morning to the kids, maybe sing a song depending how I feel
Collect the little guy from the crib
Remove the gate and herd downstairs
Put K2 down hustle K1 down the stairs
Open blinds, and put up gate at the bottom of stairs
Turn on coffee maker, and start homemade oatmeal on the stove
Change K2’s diaper
Feed dog, and give Scarlet her meds
Brew coffee that I wish I had an hour ago
Wash dishes for kids to eat breakfast out of
Finish making oatmeal
Pour kids water, add cream and sugar to my coffee
Put yogurt and oatmeal in bowls for kids, give them their water
Go outside to get table for breakfast
Smell coffee on counter wishing for a sip
Put highchair in living room
Finally get oatmeal off counter and deliver to screaming kids.

After all that I then feed K2 his oatmeal, because I would rather do that than clean oatmeal off the carpet. If we have bananas then I get to drink a sip or two of coffee in between bites.

After breakfast I get them dressed into those clothes I collected earlier.

If I am lucky all that takes place in just under an hour. That also depends on how many times K1 tells me she wants a snack, or if they are standing behind me in the kitchen, and I trip over them.

This whole routine business would go a little more smoothly, with a lot less tears if I just got up before them and took care of me. Then all that getting dressed and coffee business would be out of the way. Maybe breakfast would even be ready when they came downstairs. Crazy talk I know.

Actually the one day I got up early and took the dog for a jog before S left to work went pretty smooth. Well, the morning did anyway.

My favorite mug. 

There are always other things that come along and throw a wrench into things. Like, daddy being home. You would think it is easier, right? Not. So. Much. His needs are different. He’s not so excited about oatmeal for breakfast. Of course the kids love whatever different thing he suggests for breakfast. Then, he wants to talk about the rest of the day before I have even wiped the crust out of my eyes. I can’t help but think at that moment, “I just want to sit here invisible for three hours. That is what I want to do for the day.” While he does help, there is just no longer a routine. Things get missed or forgotten. Like taking someone to the bathroom, a diaper change, or someone’s water. Apparently in the morning, I need the routine. Who would have thought that I Gemini would like routine?

Another wrench are the days that K2 decided it’s cool to be up before the sun. Love those. I try to cheat and nurse him back to sleep. However, I am only cheating myself into thinking it will work and I will get more sleep. Hah. It never works, gah!

What does your morning look like? Do you get up before your kids, or with them? Suggestions on getting up earlier? See anything I can change to make the morning easier?

Gwen

What the baby books don’t tell you

Warning, lengthy post ahead.
It has taken me a long time to share this story and this is only part of it.

life rearranged

What the baby books don’t tell you …… I think I could write about four blog posts dedicated to this statement alone. However I will focus on just one part. Probably the part the was the most traumatic for me.

THE PREGNANCY

I mean everyone talks about PPD, (Postpartum Depression), because it is common. How about the depressed prego mama’s? I am getting a bit ahead of myself though. Let’s get to the why.

I thought that people just got pregnant and had babies. That’s it, cut and dry. I know/knew people had miscarriages, but the weight of it didn’t hit me, didn’t make sense.

I didn’t know there could be REAL problems, real complications. Never mind more than one in a single pregnancy.

Enter roller coaster pregnancy #1. I was healthy and fit. I mean, I went to the gym 5-7 times a week, and ate super healthy (little did I know that was the end of that). Apparently too fit. Who ever heard of problems from being IN shape? At 4 weeks I found out I was pregnant, because I was in a great amount of pain. Apparently most people don’t know that soon, so no dr wanted to see me. They decided verbally that I needed to go to the ER, because they thought I was having an ectopic pregnancy.

A what?!

Again I just thought people got pregnant and had babies. During my visit to the ER the nurses shared that I was likely just having a miscarriage and that 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage. Really? That many? I hate how casually they said it too. I only knew one person to have had a miscarriage at that time. The ER visit turned out to be $900 and 3 hours of time wasted. They were “inconclusive”. It also resulted in a blood draw every day for 4 days and a dr’s appointment every other day for an ultrasound. This would become the beginning point of my ultrasound flip book for my daughter.

It took about a week to determine that I was pregnant, it was not ectopic, and I was not miscarrying. Yay for not accepting a shot that would have flushed out my baby.

The baby books tell you to carefully select your doctor. I was forced into a doctor, because of the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor hated men. Let me rewrite that, the doctor hated men. What that means is every appointment that S went to, the Dr was rude, rushed, and unfriendly. We didn’t change DR’s because I was changing medical insurance in the new year which was at about 19ish weeks along. So we sucked it up and waited it out. S felt cheated out of hearing our daughters heartbeat for the first time, because the DR was in such a rush she caught the sound, and moved right on, super quick.

Then next 10-12 weeks went by great. That WAS in the baby books. I still lifted grills, didn’t tell co-workers about my coming baby, met people in the soon to be extended family, snowboarded (yes pregnant), purposely didn’t talk about names, you know the normal stuff.

Then came the insurance change. A new DR. We actually saw a mid wife. They exist? That was what I thought. She was great. Detailed doesn’t begin to cover it. We were excited because we had not had a real ultrasound yet. You know, where you get to decide if you want to know what your having? That type. We thought that was coming next. Nope. Not. So. Much. Go to the ER. Go directly to labor and delivery. Do not go home. Do not stop for lunch. Go straight to the hospital. Really? I mean AGAIN? I had to work at 2, was it that important?

The midwife thought that I had a thin cervix. She said that she might be wrong, but better to check.
She was not wrong. Even with the L&D doctor saying how someone shouldn’t be pressing on my cervix, and, why did she do that? She was right. It was thin, very thin. Do not go to work today, or the next two days, come back and see us again, kind of thin. They said I needed to be on bed rest. Bed rest? Like take the day off from work and hang out at home? Okay.

By this point I was beginning to understand that some people, Do Not, just get pregnant and have babies. For some people it is a lot of work.

Two days later they admitted me to the hospital, where it took them two days to decide that they could and should place a cerclage. A what?

Baby books tell you to beware the epidural. What does that say about a spinal? A spinal which is necessary to just give my baby a chance to live. A spinal that does not guaranty life, just the chance. A spinal that does not guaranty health, just a chance for life.

After being offered a shot “that would flush out an ectopic pregnancy”, and refusing, choosing to wait it out and see ….. I was going to choose the cerclage, even if it was scary. Who thought that pregnancy was scary? I didn’t. I thought it was a happy time. I had yet to be excited about my baby.

I felt like an alien, carrying an alien, who was very problematic. Next came bed rest. No no, real bed rest. Only get up to go pee, not up for more than five minutes at a time. Don’t cook, don’t clean, don’t do anything other than sleep, eat, and be pregnant. I was so sad. I dreamt that I was gonna be that pregnant lady who worked until they were in labor. Nope, not. so. much.

Six weeks of bed rest, 4 doctors appointments, and several 4 hour shifts of monitoring later I was hospitalized again. At 26 weeks they found that I was contracting. What an overwhelming day. A neonatal nurse came in to tell me all of the problems my baby would have. Being born blind, eye surgery that may or may not work, cerebral palsey, unable to keep warm ….. nothing, any book prepared me for.

Next came flu shot, H1N1, and steroid shots, because now they were certain my baby would be premature. Everything they were trying was just to cook her longer. I’m pretty sure this was my breaking point. I cried every day, more than once a day for the next two weeks while they kept me on hospital bed rest.

If you ever know someone stuck in the hospital for more than one day … GO. Visit. Them. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Stop. By. They will appreciate it, trust me.

They found I was contracting and gave me stuff to stop it. Kept me there to “be sure it was working”. At 28 weeks I went home to continue bed rest. I just wanna say I didn’t “cheat” on my bed rest. The lady in the bed next to me went out to go to the bank and pay bills and such ……. Me? I just layed there. All. day. Every. day.

By this point on my roller coaster I was afraid of going to my doctors appointments. Why? Because they kept me, every time. Mostly for 4 hours of monitoring, and lastly being hospitalized. At my 33 week appointment I was tachycardic. That meant no more terbutaline ….. the pill that was stopping the contractions. It also mean time for NST’s.Which means two more appointments a week.

At the first NST, two days later they saw that I was contracting, but chose not to do anything about it. I had another appointment two days later.

I didn’t go to another appointment.

After 14 weeks of bed rest my water broke and my baby came. NICU nurses were waiting to whisk her away.

Baby books don’t set you up for the possibility of not wanting to hold your baby. Of looking at her seeing her coughing/choking and wondering why the doctor hasn’t taken her back yet. The 10 seconds I held her I was afraid she was going to die in my arms.

No I’m not lying. I couldn’t make that up.

It wasn’t until 12 hours later when I got to see her that I felt like it would all be worth it. I mean up until that wheelchair ride down to NICU this whole pregnancy was pretty crappy. It wasn’t until she was crying in my arms, and suddenly stopped, laid her head down on my chest and looked up at me, and just stared, that I knew it was worth the depression, stress, and worry.

But these, these are what a friend of mine would call “First world problems” ….

There are mothers out there who cry, because all they have to feed their babies, is dirty water. Can you imagine? I mean, we walk to a faucet, and get clean water, no worry, no questions, it is just there. That is why Jeannett at Liferearranged started a fundraiser to build a well, or wells. So that babies can have clean water, so that their mama’s can save their tears for another worry. Please stop by and drop in a dollar or two, just to help out a few mama’s in need.

Thanks for reading

Gwen

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