Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And just like that...

As I write this, I am ignoring my children bouncing in their cribs in the other room. They have been extremely naughty today and have refused to nap. I have decided that some "quiet" time is what we all need. Apparently, I am the only one who gets what quiet time means, and I am using mine wisely.

As I near the end of my pregnancy, I seem to be cracking more and more jokes about being "ready" and "done". I know this little guy will come in his own time, or on November 4th at 9 AM, but I really do feel as though I have cracked and will not be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I am weary, both physically and mentally. I love my children dearly, but their liveliness is exhausting and draining for me at this point. I have become someone that I do not recognize. The ugly mommy who screams and yells because nothing else seems to work.

I know that they are testing me because they know that I am worn down and slow, this only serves to frustrate me more. And then, just when I think it can't get any worse, just when I think I can't take anymore, just like that, something happens that puts all that I am feeling in perspective.

Without divulging too much information, someone I have known nearly all my life was pregnant with twins. Sadly, one passed away at around 23 weeks due to complications which were not compatible with life. She was delivered and the hope was her sister would be able to bake for several more weeks. Yesterday, that sister was born at just over 24 weeks.

I hear stories like this and somehow, my frustration and discomfort seem SO very insignificant, so very small compared to that which others are being asked to endure. I hear things like this and I am forced to pause and reflect upon how grateful I am to have my little ones running around, as crazy and naughty as they may be.

The bottom line is, there will always be someone somewhere who has it worse than I. There will always be someone who seems to have to endure more hardship and pain than I could ever fathom. There will always be someone who is being asked to enter into the darkest days of their life as I am just beginning to sense the sun again.

The next 8 days will be trying, no doubt. A friend of mine pointed out today that 11/4/11 adds up to 4/22, Adler, Boe and Cameron's birthday. Having that connection and carrying with me the knowledge that not too far away a little baby girl was born far too soon and fights for her life will be the fuel I need to make it 8 more days. And just like that...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Journey's End

I am 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant, the most pregnant I have ever been. We have scheduled a c-section for Friday, November, 4 at 9 AM. I know, now, that in two weeks or less, I'll be meeting my last child and holding him for the first time. I have tried so hard through out this pregnancy to not complain, for I know there are so many women who long to be in the position which I currently find myself.

Yet, here I am, full-term, and I am SO ready for this journey to be over and the next leg to begin. These past 37 weeks have been some of the most trying of my life, both physically and emotionally. Physically, one would think that the burden of carrying 3 children at once would be far harder than carrying one. Such is not the case (at least for me). This pregnancy has been the most physically trying I have endured. Perhaps it is because I now have the little one growing inside of me who depletes my resources and the 3 on the outside who use me as a jungle gym, cuddle spot, warm blankey, etc... all needing me in their own way. My hips are sore, I am tired, I am always thirsty and hungry, I can't breathe, not to mention, I feel totally unlike "ME". I am swollen, slow and see a tired, sad face staring back at me when I happen by a mirror.

Emotionally, these past 37 weeks have been like the world's craziest roller coaster. There have been moments of excitement and joy, there have been moments of fear and anxiety, moments of anger and frustration, and moments of great sadness and worry. I am in a place now where I am excited to meet this little being, whoever he may be.

In the past, my husband and I have always had everything ready well before our babies were expected to arrive. Not this time. There is no crib in the nursery yet, no pack-n-play next to our bed, no sanitized bottles, no car seat in the car, my bag is hardly packed. We figured, why bother? We have always been so prepared, and look where it has gotten us. This time, as hard as it has been for both of us, we've been winging it. Now that the moment is nearly upon us, we are taking a wait and see approach on this little one's arrival. We don't even have his name picked out. We are going to just wait and see what he looks like when he comes out, pink and screaming.

In the final days of my life as a pregnant woman, I try very hard to savor every kick, move, hiccup and contraction I feel. They will be the last I experience. Nothing about my journey to become a mother has been "normal" or "textbook", and I am at peace with the fact that I will never have that as a part of my story.

As this journey comes to a close, I can look back over the last 3 years, and especially 37 weeks, with both great joy and great sorrow. Fortunately, for me, the voyage has had way more joy than sorrow. The sorrow will be something that I carry quietly with me forever; however, I am certain that it will only serve to make me a better mother, wife and person. When our little boy finally enters this world in the next 2 weeks, he will open a new chapter in our life. God willing, it will be a chapter filled with much joy and happiness. A chapter that will give us and those around us hope that even after the darkest of days has been upon us, the sun can shine again. Its light can warm our hearts and minds so that we can openly and unabashedly enjoy the life which God has intended for us all along.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Retracing Steps

I am 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant. This is 3 weeks farther than I made it in to my triplet pregnancy and 3 days less than I made it in to my pregnancy with my daughter, Libby. The good news is that my cervix has not begun to dilate (I was already 1 cm dilated with Libby by this point), my weight gain is very good, and my blood pressure low. The baby's head is down and it is just a matter of time.

The bad news is that my doctor wants me to begin fetal monitoring because I am AMA. Advanced Maternal Age. I know most women would be ecstatic for the opportunity to "look in" on their bun; to see him/her cooking, little heart beating, little limbs moving, etc., most likely inspires joy and the anticipation of meeting their little one. I am not one of those women. Having to return to Fetal Diagnostics at the hospital fills me with dread and sadness. It is the last place and time that I saw Boe alive.

Will I be able to walk in to that office and possibly see one of the same nurses again? Will I be able to look at my baby on the screen and separate him from my memories and recollections of that last time I was there? Will seeing him float around in my belly inspire the excitement and joy that I WANT to feel, or will it only amplify the sadness I still carry over Boe's death?

When my doctor told me at today's appointment that he wanted me to start doing this twice a week for the remainder of my pregnancy, I held it together and made my appointments. It wasn't until I reached the elevator with my husband that the tears started to flow. He knew right away what I was thinking.

I know that Boe is watching us from above and that he and God want us to have this baby since we can't have Boe here with us. I hope and pray that this little Baby, whoever he is, does not think that he will always be a reminder of or a substitute for Boe. He is his own little person and will forge his own way in this world.

I am certain that when he arrives, it will be on his own terms and all the angst and fear that Adam and I have felt over the last several months will melt away. Having this new baby will never undo Boe's death, but I do believe that he will bring some joy and some light to a place that has been dark for far too long. I will probably look at his face when I hold him for the first time and think about how silly I was to be worried over something as silly as revisiting the last place I knew Boe was alive, but until then... what do I do?