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How Do You Know???

Are you worried about your partners pregnancy? Has your partner already had preeclampsia? Do you have advice for other dads who could be going through similar experiences as yourself? Post here!

How Do You Know???

Postby emmasdaddy » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:32 am

by emmasdaddy (54 Posts), Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:32 am

Okay, dads ... I am hoping someone can help me out here. How did you guys know when you were ready to try to have another baby? For those of you that don't know my wife and I had our baby girl, Emma, last Aug. 22. That was the best day of my life and I will never forget the first time I got to see her. She reached for me as soon as she heard my voice and I will never forget the first time she held my finger (the best moment of my life). Although, Emma was born 1 pound 6 ounces she grew and got better for 5 months, 6 days. She had a few problems from HELLP and my wife having severe preeclampsia which included having a blockage in her bowel causing her to have surgery and short gut syndrome. Anyway, on Jan. 28, she had to have surgery to remove a hemangioma from her left temple/eye area. That was the day our baby girl went to meet her great-grandparents and Jesus. She now waits in Heaven for us. However, my wife would like to try again. I am not saying today but they told us we could try as soon as August. I know I am not ready yet. I feel like having another baby would only be trying to replace Emma. I do not want to replace her. I think she would have liked to have had a brother or sister and someday I may want to try again but I don't know when that might be. My wife worries because she is 30. To me ... I think we have time (I am only 28) but maybe I am wrong. I know I am not ready to spend months in the NICU again. I know housrs driving to Pittsburgh an hour away don't seem appealing again yet and of course I know the outcome could be planning another funeral. I don't have it in me right now ... How will I know when I am ready? I guess ... how did you know? Am I just being a glass half-empty person instead of a glass half-full? I know I thought I was going to loose both my wife and my baby girl the night Emma was born because there were red lights flashing and 13 doctors and nurses in our room in a matter of seconds following an alarm. I don't know what I would do if I would have had to choose one or have lost them both. I don't think I can handle all of that again. We are going to get some bloodwork done and see what that tells us. If that comes back good ... I might be more considerate.
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Re : How Do You Know???

Postby annes » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:08 am

by annes (2527 Posts), Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:08 am

I know I am not a dad, but I am a mom who is now pregnant again after losing my son two years ago. I'll be honest, my dh knew right away that he wanted another child, I took a little longer to realize that I did also. Then once that decision was made we started talking about the how. We looked into adoption a little, and I also got into better shape and had some health issues that I did not know I had cleared up. Then we found a new high-risk doctor, met with him, did a bunch of blood work, took a deep breath and here we are, I am due in the end of July. That took almost 2 years. Meeting with the high-risk doctor was a big step for me, I like to have a plan. I cannot tell you that this pregnancy has been a breeze or as much fun as pregnancy should be, and I can tell you it has been just as hard on my husband, he is worried all the time. He tries to shield me from his stress as much as he can, although I tell him not to, we are in this together! He does not post here, but I am sure he would be happy to chat with you about his experiences, let me know.
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Re : How Do You Know???

Postby gordon k » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:30 am

by gordon k (113 Posts), Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:30 am

Hi Ryan,

I'm not even going to pretend that my experience with preeclampsia was anywhere near as traumatic as your experience must have been. In other words, I won't tell you that "I know how you feel"...I don't, so all I'm offering is a dad's perspective.

Based on what I read in your post (and I could have interpreted it incorrectly), your wife is telling you she is ready to try again, but you are definitely not in the same place.

Talk with your wife and find out where she is in the recovery process. I know that she says she is ready again, but try to understand her underlying rationale for trying again. What she says may provide some great input into your own healing process. Then, be honest with her and let her know your concerns. At the end of the day, BOTH of you need to be excited by the possibilities of trying again, not just grudgingly "ready".

As far as determining when you're "ready"...that is really a very personal decision. We each deal with grief differently and I can, again, only speak from my point of view.

When I'm healing from a traumatic experience I don't have a "magic formula" to get my mind back on track. I just "know" when I'm ready to move forward. It's not some great epiphany but rather a combination of hundreds of mental/emotional discoveries and decisions. The "trick" is to know that you WANT to be ready to move on and then each time you are faced with decision, you are making a conscious choice to move towards healing. Don't put yourself on a strict timetable, but always remember what you are trying to accomplish. Some day you want a family and to do that you will have to take on the risk of your wife being pregnant.

In my case (and I know all scenarios are different), I'm a man of faith and I find great comfort in my beliefs. I do spend time in prayer and will talk to other members of the faith community. If you are so inclined, talk with your priest, preacher, etc. and let them know where you are in your healing process and your lingering concerns. You may find that your faith can carry you more than you ever thought possible.

Another thing that can help with peace of mind is to have a world-class perinatologist whom you trust, that you can partner up with during your wife's next pregnancy. The team of the three of you working together can help ensure that your wife and unborn child are having the best care possible, and you can play an active role in her care.

Finally, while you can't force emotional healing to conform to a date/time, there are some very real timeline concerns. Biologically (more her than you) pregnancy only becomes more difficult over time. Also, when you successfully have a child you are making a lifetime commitment. You want to make sure that you are young enough (really it is more about energy) to live up to that commitment. I guess the long and short of it...you can't wait forever.

Good luck with this journey and be strong. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you. Please feel free to send me an email.
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Re : How Do You Know???

Postby emmasdaddy » Mon Jun 09, 2008 04:34 pm

by emmasdaddy (54 Posts), Mon Jun 09, 2008 04:34 pm

THANK YOU for your thoughts. My wife and I are going to schedule some tests for this summer to see our likelihood of getting preeclampsia again. Also, we know that the doctors and ourselves can be more ready next time. We have already decided we will NOT be going back to the same doctor from last time. We feel that too often we saw a doctor's assistant instead of a doctor. The last appointment we had the doctor saw my wife's blood pressure was up but the doctor was leaving for a delivery so she didn't have time to look into it ... she told us to come back in a week. Needless to say, Emma was here in a week so we didn't need to go back. We did see the doctor at the emergency room but till then Chrissy was diagnosed with preeclampsia and we were getting moved to Pittsburgh. I think have a specialist would help us both feel better. We both know we want to have more children ... I am not just not sure when I will be ready. Talking the last few days has definitely helped.

Also, we are religious people. I have talked to the pastor about all this but mostly it is more about why good people who go to church, etc. could loose a baby girl they loved so much. I have spent alot of time in prayer and even spent some time mad at GOD but I would much rather have him on my side then against us.
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Re : How Do You Know???

Postby Dawn D » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:45 am

by Dawn D (504 Posts), Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:45 am

I am so sad to hear of your experience...
there is no advice I/we can offer up that can change your story, but there are many people who can relate. Hopefully you can find comfort in knowing others have gone through similar things. (frustration with drs, confusion about why?, subsequent pregnancy concerns, loss, etc.)

I see you mention Pittsburgh?....there are some wonderful people (dads too) here in PA who would be happy to talk more. Please feel free to contact me directly to connect with those of us locally.

best wishes as you and your wife further consider another pregnancy.
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Re : How Do You Know???

Postby gordon k » Tue Jun 10, 2008 08:01 pm

by gordon k (113 Posts), Tue Jun 10, 2008 08:01 pm

Sounds like you are already moving ahead and that is a really positive sign. Having a really good perinatalogist is very important and will provide you (as well as you wife) with peace of mind. My wife and I were extremely blessed with an excellent perinatalogist (and his entire team) that kept us well informed and took time to ensure we understood what was happening. We NEVER walked away from an appointment with an open question or concern and they all seemed personally vested in us having a positive outcome. I can't reiterate enough how important the medical team is.

Also, I'm with you on getting mad at God, but wanting him on your side. I've spent my time being mad at him but always find my way back.

Continued good luck and God bless.
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