Thursday, May 8, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Second Time I Was Pregnant.

Addison's first photo shot. I love this shot, I pictured her doing this every time something scary would happen in my pregnancy.

   After the passing of Isabel, Mark and I were not thinking straight and thought that if we were blessed to have another baby, it would be okay. I struggled with infertility before Isabel and our doctor thought we would probably need fertility drugs to get pregnant again, so we decided that we would forgo birth control and start fertility treatments again in June, just 6 months after Isabel's birth. 
   Then in May, when the numbness wore off and grief really sunk in, I realized that we were nuts to think about having another baby so soon after such a traumatic pregnancy and I decided that I should continue on the path that I was on to heal, both physically and mentally from my last pregnancy. I was working out 5 times a week and really starting to take care of myself (or work out all my demons from Isabel's hard life). But I was too late. I started not feeling great at all and after a blood test to figure out what hormones were making me sick, we found out I was pregnant again.
   It was shocking. And then, to add to the stress of worrying about one baby being healthy, my hormones suggested something was wrong with the pregnancy. We had an urgent ultrasound that actually confirmed I was pregnant with twins! Now there were two babies to worry about. I was very sick with morning sickness and worried about getting two babies out alive and healthy and Mark was panicking about  how we were going to afford 2 babies. It was a very scary time.
   Then, a couple of weeks later, I woke up not feeling sick at all. I knew something was very wrong and called my doctor. He said unless I started spotting, there was nothing he could do until my next appointment, which was 3 days later, and to take it easy. I thought for sure I lost them both and was angry with myself for ever doubting wanting either of them. It was awful, to say the least.
   It wasn't until my doctor's appointment that I had learned that I was still pregnant with one healthy baby. Addison's twin had passed and was no longer there at all. Apparently, vanishing twin syndrome is very common and my doctor told me that he had reason to suspect that it was going to happen in this pregnancy. I didn't know how to feel about the loss. I was relieved that if something was wrong with the baby, like anencephaly again, that I didn't have to carry to term again. This was easier on me that another funeral would have been. But I lost another baby. And I was, and still am, sad and disappointed. What is wrong with my body? What does it have against my kids?
   The pregnancy progressed with all sorts of problems. At my 16 week appointment, we couldn't find a heartbeat with the doppler and had to do an ultrasound. Luckily, Addison was just being super active and we were able to confirm that she was healthy with a large round head and, in fact, a girl. Then at 20 weeks I developed Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction, or SPD. I was in so much pain all the time and forced to live in the recliner. I couldn't sleep in bed anymore. Most car rides did me in, let alone the pain of getting in and out of the car.  I would do the dishes and not be able to walk the rest of the day. It was terrible. 
   Then, at 32 weeks, Addison's large size again worried my doctor and we were sent to the specialist to see if there was something wrong, specifically with her head. The doctor reassured us she was fine, but was measuring a little large and was in the breech position. GREAT. My doctor started really pushing for a c-section at this point, but I worked hard to get  her back int he right position, which happened at 36 weeks. Thank heavens! I also started to have contractions when she flipped and continued to until she was born just over a week later. 
   The labor was very slow going. By the time we got to the hospital, I was only 4 cm, but contracting every minute and with dangerously high blood pressure (probably from all the stress!). My doctor insisted we do this and that and threatened we would have a dead baby if we didn't listen, so we did what he said, scared to death of what would happen if we didn't. After breaking my water and adding pitocin and this and that, my labor stalled and 20 hours later, my doctor came in and said "It is time for a c-section. I want to go home, and you wouldn't want a dead baby, would you?" 
    What can you say to that? We had ALREADY HAD A DEAD BABY. We wouldn't want that again. So I was wheeled into the surgical room, panicking and begging that they wouldn't do this. My anesthesiologist actually told me to "close my eyes and go to a happy place" and "pretend this isn't happening." Seriously. I have heard that these are common things rape victims are told. Then they started the surgery and my anesthesiologist reminded them to get my husband, who wasn't allowed to stand and support me. Then they pulled Addison and rushed her out, showing her to me from across the room, never bringing her to me. Why did they do this? No one knows. While in the nursery, Mark asked if there was something wrong with her and they told her no. That is just how they handle c-sections. Meanwhile I was full on panicking and wanting my baby.
   I didn't get her for 2 hours after her birth. Mark took plenty of video to prove they were literally dinking around with her in the nursery. Meanwhile, my blood pressure remained high and I just wanted my baby. When Mark finally was able to bring her to me and I was able to nurse her, my health totally returned. Imagine that. The whole thing was a horrible experience.
   I know, deep down, that I run to erase the pain of both my pregnancies and birth experiences. I have to prove to myself that my body is capable of all those things my hospital staff insisted it couldn't do.  If I can run half and full marathons, then I can have the birth I always wanted, with minimal interventions. And with a doctor that believes I can do it.  But while I work up the courage to go through all of that again, I look back on the couple of happy times we had with this pregnancy. These pictures remind me of those happy times.

I can't even imagine having this belly again. I am so glad I got a picture of it.

Me and my little girly. I was about 32 week pregnant

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