Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Out of Order, little bit of an update

I'm stepping out of order a little bit today.  I think it's time for an update on my Rainbow pregnancy. Everything is going pretty well.  The babies are growing right on target, around the 65th percentile.  Baby Gracie is transverse, laying across the top of my tummy.  Baby Bekah is breech, with her face in her sister's belly, legs going up my right side.  I have a biophysical profile every week, and starting at 34 weeks, add in a non-stress test on Mondays.  I'll be dragging my belly out of the house a whole lot right at the end!!

  I found out a couple weeks ago that I have Gestational Diabetes.  Great. Since I wasn't high risk enough?  This goes so much deeper in me than just "aw, crap, I can't eat cake or cookies any more."  This takes me to a place of pure fear.  When Landon was born, and was so sick, then died, I wanted answers. ANY answer would do. We still, twenty months later,  have very few answers.  I do know that a couple doctors, and nurses, too, have commented to me about placentas looking as bad as his did, usually come from moms with out of control high blood pressure (mine has always been great!)  or going overdue (my baby came at 38weeks, 5 days)  or uncontrolled diabetes.  I had the standard glucose tolerance testing at 28 weeks, and passed the first one. 

When I was pregnant with Aidan, I failed the first one, but passed the second.  With Landon, I passed first time around.  This time, I failed both.  From the moment I got the test results, every bite I've eaten, has been coupled with the thought "I hope this doesn't kill my babies."  Irrational, probably. Understandable?  I hope so.  So, I was given the glucose monitor, prescription for test strips, and pills to increase my insulin production.  A small sample diet, and guidelines.  I found that following the guidelines, my sugars were still way high.  So, I started eating half of what was suggested.  Sugar would still be 5-10 points high, but better than 25-30.  After 2 weeks of that, I finally had a meeting with a dietician and diabetes training nurse.  Apparently I've been going at things all wrong.  The dietician gave me a very deatailed description of what I"m supposed to eat every meal and snack of every day, and told me to eat it, and if my sugars are bad, my doctor would have to adjust my medicine.  There's a lot of food on that list.  More than I desire to eat.  And, just following her guidelines for meals, my sugars have been crappy.  Yesterday, after lunch, after following exactly the guideline, it was 173.  It is supposed to be 120 or less 1 hour after a meal. 

This is freaking me out.  All I can think of is Landon, and what IF this is why he died.  Dr. Little told me that there's no way that's what it was, I would have had a lot of diabetic symptoms for it to have been bad enough to do that to him.  But, once you are the mommy of a dead baby, anything that reminds you of any circumstance, real or possible, or even imagined, of your child's death, is going to be tough to deal with. 

This training was a classroom situation, there were three other pregnant women.  The lady was questioning me about why  I felt like I had to eat to please the meter, rather than eat what I was supposed to and get the meds adjusted, I told about Landon. I ended up breaking down and sobbing and boo-hooing. I felt so stupid.  What pregnant woman wants to hear of a worst-case scenario that REALLY happened, to the woman sitting in class with them?  I apologized.  The girl to my left leaned over and told me she understood, she had a 32 week stillborn son 7 years ago.  That helped me a little, but I still felt sorry for the two who had never been touched by the loss of a child.   I was apologizing for breaking down, explained that doesn't happen a lot (which, it really doesn't. I do really well keeping it together) and the instructor lady asked how long it had been.  "Twenty months" was my reply.  Not a year and a half.  Not acouple of years. I was very specific.  Twenty months.  To be even more exact, it had been twenty months and one day since he died. 

When will I give generalized timelines rather than exact? I don't know.  I don't tell people that Aidan is 33 months old, I just say, "He'll be 2 in June." 

Losing a child, is something that will always be a part of me.  I'll never forget it,  I will never not include my littlest son when someone asks how many kids I have.  I hate seeing people's faces fall in sadness when I mention him, but ten minutes later, they'll forget about me and Landon.  I, on the other hand, will live the rest of my life with a part of my heart and soul missing.  I really thought when he died, that he took the best part of me with him.  Now, I know, he only took part of the best.  Aidan Henry brings out the best every day.  Sometimes I let myself get excited about the baby girls' arrival, and feel the best of me coming out to play.  Hopefully as more and more time passes, I'll get back more and more of who I used to be. 

I love my husband and our children.  They are my life. They are who keep me going, when the sadness makes me just want to sleep my life away.  They deserve the best of my love, and I'm doing everything I can to ensure that they get that, but also, I'm trying to make sure that nothing takes away from the love I feel for Landon.   The sadness I feel for him, is a completely separate entity from the pure joy I feel from being Aidan's mommy and Larry's wife.  I thank God every single day for the roles he has given me in this life.  Even the role of Mommy to an Angel.  Yes, my baby died.  But, I'm still thankful that I,  LORI, was the one chosen, out of all the millions of other women, to be that tiny creature's mommy.  I also know, for sure, that Landon never knew anything in his life, other than love. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's finally reality

May 31, 2008

I woke up, feeling sort of crampy.  I had, by this point, decided that my first child was never coming out. I was having visions of a teenager, still perfectly content in my womb. So, I didn't think a whole lot about the cramping.  Larry was on midnight shift, so he slept all day.  When he got up, we went over to my brother's house, to see my little nephew.  We took foot  long hotdogs and buns, and Todd grilled them for us.  Valerie wasn't home, I don't remember now where she was.  My mom was there, so we had supper aroud the table.  I was having very timeable contractions, every seven minutes, by this time.

The contractions didn't hurt too much, and they weren't very strong, so I was brushing them off as Braxton-Hicks.  My nephew was 10 months old, and I spent a lot of that evening in the floor playing with him.  I couldn't pick him up that night, though.  I tried to get him up on the changing table and had to holler for my mom.  We had a very enjoyable evening, and Todd prayed for my baby to be delivered safely and soon. 

Larry and I headed home, so he could get ready for work.  He, for whatever reason, gets to work exactly one hour before he has to clock in,  so he left the house at about quarter til ten.  I called my mom, the contractionswere getting worse.  She was able to tell when I'd have one, and was timing them. (I was still in denial at this point!)  Every four minutes.  She finally talked me into calling the doctor.  I just didn't want to make Larry leave work, only to be sent back home.  So, I called in, and Dr. Patel (whom I'd never met, but she'll play a big part in later entries) was on-call.  She told me to go on in.  I went in, and was making no progress.  They were getting ready to send me home, when Aidan's heart rate started decelerating.  So, I was admitted at a little after Midnight, to be given pitocin starting at 5:00 a.m.   

Larry had clocked in at 11:00 p.m., and back out at 11:10.  He still laughs over that.  

At 5:00, the nurse broke my water and started the pitocin.  They had been offering the epidural all night.  I knew I wanted it, but I also wanted to wait as long as I could, I wanted to know what labor really felt like, in case  I never got pregnant again.  Once the water was broken and the induction drugs started, I thought someone was ripping me in half.  Holy cow, was I ready for that epidural!  So, anesthesia came in and put it in and left.  It only worked on my right side.  That, in turn, made everything happening hurt 500 times more on my left side.  Anesthesia FINALLY came back, and gave me a stronger drug.  I was so numb! It was wonderful!!!

The progress was slow going (in my opinion, anyway, I just wanted my baby!)  At noon, I was dilated to 6.  By this time, my  mom and mother in law, brother, sister in law, dad, and his girlfriend were there.  Dad and his girlfriend said they were going to go get lunch and would be back.   When I was checked at 1:00. I was complete, ready to push.  So, they turned the epidural way down, to try to let me feel something.  I started pushing at about 1:30.  By this time, there were about 30 people lining the halls, wating for Aidan.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, friends.  I pushed a few times, and the nurse realized that Aidan was sunny-side up.  She wanted to put me on my side to rest for 45 minutes, and come back and see if he had flipped.  She came back later, I believe close to 2:30.  I pushed just a few times, and she said, "I need you to stop pushing now."  And started calling for help.  Her face was panicked.  She was pushing that button on my bed, calling for my doctor NOW.  Well, Dr. Patel was no longer on-call,  it was a doc I wasn't too crazy over.  I was sad, and a little angry.  This woman just gives off the vibe that she has better things to do.  I had one prenatal appointment with her, and was not impressed.  She didn't do anything but listen to the heart beat.  I had questions.  She ran out before I could ask them. 

The nurse, Jenny (who will also play a big part in later entries, remember her name!)  was calling for help.  Yelling at me to NOT PUSH! (I wasn't, I swear!!)  Nurses came flooding in.  Jenny was standing there, and Larry looked and said he saw the baby's head.  I freaked out.  Ten years working in nursing homes, I saw quite a few people who were severely handicapped due to being held in at birth, tto "Wait for the doctor."  I was having NO PART of that.  I said, "I don't want you to hold my baby in!"  Jenny said, "Well, I don't want you to push."  

I swore I wouldn't, and I wasn't.  At least not on purpose... But, at 2:59 p.m.,  I became a Mommy.  My little man flung himself into this world, and I've not been the same since.  I didn't get to hold him, Larry did, Mom did, and Larry's mom did,  but I had to wait til the doctor came in to see the damage and sew me up.   That dingbat doc walked in and said, "Are we ready to have a baby?" 

I pointed over to the corner, where my husband was holding him and I said, "The baby's already cleaned and diapered!"

Doctor's reaction?  "Oh, shit.  Again?" 

Again? Seriously? This happens often?  Ugh.  Well, she finally sewed me up and finished her part, and fled out the door.  I FINALLY got to hold my son.  The child I had spent my entire adult life praying for.  He was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.  The first thing I said when he was handed to me was "Thank you, God!"   Every day since then, I've fallen a little more deeply in love with him.  We all have.  He's such a blessing to me, to Larry, to our marriage. My whole family is crazy over him.  He's such a sweet kid.  I'm such a proud Mama.   

I don't know how I would have survived his brother, if not for my Aidan Henry.

                                                         Meeting my Son

Aidan Henry
June 1, 2008
2:59 p.m.
7lb, 13oz

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why wait?

So, I was pregnant.  After so many years of believing that it would be impossible, or at least require medical interventions, I was pregnant by surprise.  I don't know how anyone in the world could have possibly been any happier than Larry and I were.  I wanted to wait a while to tell people, mainly because we weren't married, and I knew that my mom would be less than thrilled at first.  But, he had told everyone he knows before the pee even dried on the test stick.  So, we rode over to my mom's house to tell her.  I was right, she was not a happy Grammy.  She got silent, then started in about what people would think.  I said, "Mom.  I don't care what people think.  I spent so many years thinking that this would never happen, and regardless of the circumstance, I'm thrilled.  I am thirty years old, not 16."

She sat over by her computer with her back to us.  A little bit later, I swear God had a hand in this, her doorbell rang.  It was my brother, sister in law, and baby nephew.  Mom is insanely crazy over her first grandbaby.... all over her grandbabies, but at the time, Gavin was the only one she had.  She was holding my nephew, and I said, "Just think, in 9 months or so, there'll be another one of those, only you don't love my baby."
My brother and Nephew

She had a sudden personality change, and that was the last time she ever acted even remotely upset over my pregnancy.  She was a little put-off that my brother was so thrilled about my news, and my aunts, and everyone in my extended family were all thrilled immediately.  She just didnt' see how they could be so thrilled right off the bat, knowing I was unwed.  But, no one else ever mentioned my marital status.  It was fine. 

My baby was to be the fifth great grandchild on my mom's side.  All were boys.  Even knowing that, I still hoped for a son.  In the middle of January of 2008, we found out that, indeed, we were having a son.  I don't think I stopped smiling for the rest of the pregnancy.  Before the scan, I had said that either way, the baby's name would be Cameron.   Boy or girl.  Then I saw my BOY on the screen, and all of a sudden, his name was Aidan.  Aidan Henry.  I had him named before we left the ultrasound place. 

I loved every second of being pregnant with him.  I cherished every kick.  I was obnoxious, talking so much about my pregnancy, every milestone.  You would have thought I was the first person to have ever gotten pregnant.  By February, we had his room ready for him, and an entire walk-in closet full of clothes.   I stopped working at the beginning of April, and that was when I really, really got to enjoy the rest of the pregnancy.  I would sit on the couch and just watch in awe as my belly jumped and wiggled.  Larry and I spent a lot of hours just staring at that. 
Somewhere around February, a bit past halfway.

 The pregnancy was so long.  I had found out before even 4 weeks, so I had a long time to wait.  Factor into that, how long I had wanted a child of my own, and I really thought he'd never get here. 

I used Holidays and celebrations to help me get through.  First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, onto Christmas, etc.  He was due June 4th.  I was really hoping that Memorial Day would be his first official holiday on the outside.  Memorial Day came and went and no baby. By that point, I was having visions of him still being in me at his high school graduation!! 

He was born June 1.  I became a mommy on June 1,2008, and it was a good day.  The best. 

Hook, Line and Sinker

This is one of those times where I know for sure I'm where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm meant to do, and I know that I'm going to be ok.  I'm happy.  I'm not as happy as I was 20 and a half months ago, but I'm happy.  Larry and Aidan are in bed, sound asleep.  They look so much alike, even in sleep, there's no doubt that Aidan's a little mini Larry.  My whole world is wrapped up in there in our bedroom.  Yes, Aidan sleeps with us.  Someday he'll be big and not want to.  Until that day comes, he's welcome to co-sleep. 

I want to take this stolen bit of quiet time and tell about meeting Larry, and how perfect it's been, from the beginning til now.   I mentioned how we "met", on Myspace.  Our first face-to-face, was one of those "wow, is this real" kind of moments. He had worked the 3-11 shift, and this was after he got off work on a Saturday night.  It was late, but I was working all sorts of mandatory overtime, and that night and the next were my only 2 nights off for a while. 

I walked in, he met me at the door, and introduced himself to me.  We got a table, and sat and talked.  Within the first ten minutes, we had each shared that we had a brother and sister-in-law.  Both of our sisters-in-law  were expecting the first grandchild.  Too weird. We talked about wanting kids, both of us had a strong, burning desire to be a parent.  We talked about work, and life, and everything and nothing.  It was the first time I can ever remember being in a crowded place and not noticing anything going on around me, because I was totally focused on the person I was with.  It was fantastic.  I left feeling like I had known him my entire life. 

From that moment on, we were together for at least a few minutes, of every day.  I was working 12 hour night shifts, he works swing shift.  So, for the string of overtime nights I was working, Larry would get up early and meet me for breakfast.   The first day/night we had off together, he cooked me a steak dinner.  I can't remember how long we had been seeing each other, when we were sitting on the couch and he asked if he could kiss me. Nobody had ever asked before.  Wow!!  He's just a good guy. 

We knew fairly early into our relationship that we wanted to get married.  My family was, and is, crazy over him.  My brother treats him like he's his very own brother.  Larry was at the hospital when our nephew was born.  He saw him within the first half hour or so of his life.  Stuff like that's important to me. 

Larry is so good. I wish I could find words to tell just how good he is.  Yeah, he gets moody when he's worked too much, he doesn't always listen to exactly what I've said (he hears half of it, fills in the blankfor the other half)  but,  he's still an all-around great man. 

Several months into our relationship, I started feeling whoopsy around 3 a.m.  (working night shift)  Several nights in a row.  Pregnancy was the furthest thing from my  mind, as I thought I was infertile.  Well... on a whim, on my way home the morning of Sept. 21, 2007, I stopped and bought a 3 pack of pregnancy tests.  I went home and took one, and it was positive.  But, the directions said to take it with first morning urine, which for me would have been first afternoon pee.  So, I didn't hold out too much hope.  When I woke up later that day, I took another one.  Holy cow!  It was positive. I was pregnant.  For real?  But, we weren't married yet.  What would people think/say? 

We decided that we wouldn't run right out and tie the knot, and give people something to gossip about.  We decided to wait til later in the pregancy, so there would be no reason to gossip.  There's no need to do the  math when a full-term baby is born a month after a wedding.  Ok, there's another reason we waited so long. I wanted a spring wedding.  We got married April 26, 2008.  One of the best, happiest days of my life.

I've never regretted it, never looked back.  I'm Larry's wife, that's who I'm meant to be.  The man still has me, hook, line and sinker. 

Our small little wedding.
My brother was my maid
of honor!!