Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Have you suffered from HELLP syndrome or had a pregnancy complicated by an underlying disorder? Discuss your concerns here
jdd
Registered User
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 08:04 pm

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby jdd » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:05 pm

One year ago today my OB sent me to my maternal-fetal for an emergency appt to discuss my blood/urine tests. (I was already on complete bed rest for high BP.) I was told that I would have my baby early, that I needed to see my OB twice a week and my mat-fet twice a week and bring my hospital bag every time. I naively thought if I actually packed the bag and brought it, nothing would happen. I would hit 38 weeks and all would be fine. I made it to the next mat-fet appt and delivered my daughter at just over 35 weeks. Not too early, but still early.
I look at my daughter and thank god every day for her (and that I remembered by bag because I apparently needed it).

jenprzygoda
Registered User
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 08:06 pm

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby jenprzygoda » Tue Jun 08, 2010 09:10 pm

I am so often amazed at how many of us feel like we are reading our own stories as we share "listen" to each other. This forum has made me realize that its "not just me". Audrey's post was so reassuring to know that it does get better and that it does take a while but it is something you will think about forever - even for those bless with both a mom and baby in the end. You all give me so much strength. John's birthday was full of emotion for me, but I was so proud to get through it and I have this forum to thank. While my husband and I always wanted 2 or 3 kids, I am starting to feel that John may be an only child. While I can make it through the day without thinking about the day John was born, I still have flashbacks on a regular basis. So glad I have this forum for those bad days.

User avatar
audrey s.
Registered User
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2003 08:06 am

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby audrey s. » Wed May 19, 2010 10:31 pm

For my daughter's first birthday, I actually wrote a series of real-time letters to a mothers' group I belonged to on-line. I actually started a few weeks before, sort of a "this is what I was doing last year at this time" thing. In the end, I wound up writing 70+ printed pages! Her first birthday was still a wistful one. I'd been in the hospital for about two weeks prior to her birth, and still from what I hear hold the record for the most amnios (for lung maturity) in a single pregnancy; they came out with the studies on steroids and premies that summer but it wasn't appropriate for us anyway. I have no recollection of the crash c-section that came after 38 hours of induced labor; I was completely out. My DH, who is a neonatal and pediatric respiratory specialist, was there for my daughter's birth and for him it was more traumatic than anything that happened in two tours of duty in Vietnam; he doesn't talk about it much either. My daughter was born blue, floppy, and the best Apgar they could give her was a 5 -- he thought they were being generous at that.

She wound up at 37 weeks in the NICU for 7 weeks, thanks to too-early feeding she developed NEC and had surgery at two days of age to remove her entire large intestine. At six weeks, she had surgery to get rid of the bag; came home at 7 weeks and went right back in within 48 hours for another week with meningitis. Even though I'm also a pediatric specialist (cardiology), it was still quite traumatic.

Every year since and during ALL milestones, it's been a day of roller-coaster emotions: wistfulness that we were deprived of what should have been a joyous experience, anger that things worked out the way they did, relief and joy that she is here with us now. Her bat mitzvah, on her birthday nearly two years ago, was a specially emotional day for us all as my dad had passed away just months before and was not sharing this day with us.

However: this year, she decided to take advantage of Disneyland's program of free admission on your birthday (no longer available, BTW). Her birthday this year was spent figuring out how we were going to get her and six of her nearest and dearest friends there and back. I noted the time she was born, 7:34 p.m., but at that hour was more concerned with texting her to make sure they knew where to be for pickup! She is now nearly 15, an honor student who is also incredibly active in her semi-pro theater group and volunteer activities. We fight about all the normal teen stuff: homework, room-cleaning, computer time. Almost none of her friends are aware that she has had these three surgeries or has problems with them still (occasional partial bowel obstructions, the most recent while on a trip to Washington D.C. with her religious school group and one chaperone), and she prefers it that way. I have encouraged her, however, to "use" it when it comes time for college applications. She has some differences in learning style that aren't to the degree of learning "disabilities" but do show up now that she is doing demanding high school honors-level work, and it is likely due to two extended anesthesia runs during those early weeks of life.

I am here to say that it really DOES take time. I did not have therapy available to me, but it may also have been easier as I had years of NICU experience as a provider and got sick really early (25 weeks). Physically, my kidneys did take a hit, especially now that I'm middle-aged, but other than that, we are living normal happy lives. It took that time, and I will probably always be teary-eyed for milestones, like high school graduation, etc. Since I was 40 when I had her, and had had a miscarriage and a horribly complicated ectopic pregnancy, it was clear that I was only getting that one chance at birth. I'm sorry I didn't get to experience the joy of pregnancy and so on, but I get to experience the joy of seeing my daughter on-stage, arguing over how short her skirts are (lol), seeing good report cards, and hearing people tell me what a kind, intelligent, beautiful and thoughtful teen she is -- after which I get to go home and nag her once again about doing her homework and chores.

It truly takes living a "normal" life, I think, to attenuate those memories. They never go away -- but the pain of them, eventually and with help, does.

jenmatt1
Registered User
Posts: 566
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 04:10 pm
Location: Florida

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby jenmatt1 » Tue May 18, 2010 07:28 pm

Your story is extremely similar to mine. I felt off, called the doctor, they had me come in, then before you knew it I was at the hospital with an emergency C-section, could have no epidural because of my low platelet count. My daugher's heart started racing in utero and my husband was in another state where we were planning to relocate to for his job. Not my idea of fun. Even though my daughter turned out perfect and had no complications except a small hole in her heart that closed on its own once born (only monitored her in NIC unit to make sure heart was ok for a few days), I felt overwhelmed. I too had to have 2 blood transfusions and had severe HELLP.

She turned 2 in April and I still feel overwhelmed by the fact that we both could have died. Sometimes I find it terrifying. We are pregnant again (after 2 miscarriages) and I am fearful everyday that I am putting my life at risk. So much so that we decided this is our last pregnancy no matter what happens.

I think your feelings are normal. This forum is a wonderful place to find women who share the same feelings as you. It made me realize that I wasn't crazy, but have only been through a traumatic experience.

jenprzygoda
Registered User
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 08:06 pm

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby jenprzygoda » Sat May 08, 2010 05:01 pm

Thanks so much ladies! You have made me feel so much more comfortable about being nervous today. We cuddled together (mom, dad, and baby) this morning and then took John to a small nearby zoo. It was great to spend the time enjoying our little man and watch as he smiled at the animals.
At 5:00 one year ago we were told that I was going in for a c-section under general anesthesia in about a half hour. I didn't know what HELLP was, but I figured it was bad when they said they wanted to wait for the blood and platelets to be in the OR if needed, but said they wouldn't wait longer than a half hour and risk "problems." A year later I have learned so much about this awful syndrome and the wonderful, strong, courageous women who have survived it. When I first came home from the hospital I felt alone and confused about what happened. I found very little information about HELLP and felt like the only woman who had been through this. Then I found the PE forum. Thanks for sharing, listening, and most importantly caring. No woman should ever have to find this forum because she has been effected by HELLP, but until we find a cure (and a cause) I am so happy to be here with you - We are some Strong Women!

tree
Forum Moderator
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 01:55 pm

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby tree » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:03 am

My daughter's first birthday is today. I would like to be home with her, but we had a nice day yesterday. We celebrated with some close friends and watched her have her first cupcake. It was really nice, and we are going to have a nice evening. I think I spent the week leading up to it focused on the dread and the bad part, and I have been just enjoying her for the last few days. I know it doesn't work out this way for everyone, but it is nice to know it can happen.
The rest of the day might not go so well. I will take that as it comes. I hope you are able to enjoy your son's birthday. I spent more time thinking about her time at home and all of the things she has learned in the last year than the crappy day she was born.

angelr
Registered User
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:31 pm

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby angelr » Mon Apr 19, 2010 08:11 am

Hi, I am right here with you. My daughter's first birthday is coming up June 17. I actually didn't realize why I had a vague sense of dread until I read your post. It's not only my daughter's firt birthday but the day I woke up vomiting, and seeing spots after 4 weeks on bedrest. After what seemed like an eternity at my local hospital with everyone looking at me like I was already a goner, I took a two hour ambulance ride alone except for my baby and the paramedics(to the nearest NICU and tertiary care center) not knowing if either of us would make it. It's the anniversary of my emergency C section at 33 weeks under general anesthesia within 20 minutes of my arrival at the next hospital and 10 days worth of me being out of it (with BP 190/100, electrolytes out of whack, kidneys on the brink) I had to be wheeled in the NICU to see my daughter, the first thing I remember is my husband crying. Then my BP stayed at astronomical levels despite tons of meds. I had a mortal fear of them taking it because the machine would make this ominous alarm that sounded like, "Uh-Oh." Then the cuff would pump up higher because it was simply too high to read the first time. Then it's the anniversary of my month long stay in a hospitality house near the hospital alone, while my husband went home 2 hours away to keep working and my mom came to stay and take care of our two year old who couldn't understand where mama was and why we couldn't take the baby home. Then the baby developed an umbilical line sepsis and we almost lost her. Nearly defeated by it all, I actually planned her funeral in my mind but then a strength took over from somewhere. I said, "She can't leave us. We need her!" I told her that every day as I sat in the NICU for hours on end just holding her tiny body and listening to her breathe. Told her to fight, please fight. And she did. So here we are about to celebrate a year's birthday.
She is my last baby and I was just recently thinking how I will never know what it's like to give birth in joy and expectation. I know how you feel about being cheated, like this was so not what you thought. I've had preeclampsia twice, this last time the worst of course. And I feel sad that both times I was destined to give birth in terror. But that's just how it went and I can't help but feel that I've gained some strength and insight from all of this, even though I could have done just fine otherwise :o)
So like you, I've a lot to be grateful for on this first anniversary. Even though w know that, there is a lot of other emotions attached to that gratitude because of what we have lived through. So be gentle with yourself and feel what you are feeling. I think it's a grand idea to have the big party on a different day and spend the actual day with your husband and son. A day of remembrance, reflection. Happiness and gratitude for what you have and sadness and pain for what you lost in the process. I guess it's always going to be mixed in there.
I am constantly amazed by the strength and insight of the people on this board and how we can comfort and validate eachother. I wish your son a great first birthday and I wish you peace, happiness and healing. Take care.

jenprzygoda
Registered User
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 08:06 pm

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby jenprzygoda » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:12 pm

Thank you so much! Just knowing that I am not a bad mom for thinking about what happened to me even though my son is fine (which is the most important thing that I am truly grateful for) makes me feel so much better. I feel ok knowing that I may feel this way every year, but that it will get better. I can't tell you how helpful this forum is. Just getting my feelings out and having them validated has been great. I feel like you help lift a weight off of me. It is hard dealing with something that is rather rare as I don't know other women who have gone through what my husband and I did. You all understand, Thanks! I am happy that my husband and I will be spending the day with our son. This will give us a chance to do something special for the day and enjoy the gift of life that both my son and I were given.

rebeccac
Registered User
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 09:20 am

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby rebeccac » Fri Apr 16, 2010 05:39 pm

My son just turned 4 and I've relived my HELLP experience every birthday so far. Unfortunately it is something that will be with us(HELLP survivors) forever but it has gotten easier for me to deal with, it has just taken time.

There is no right or wrong way to feel. The healing process is not only physical but also mental. Being a part of this forum has helped me greatly as I'm sure it will help you too. Enjoy your precioius son!

dohertyab
Registered User
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:08 am

Re : Nervous about Baby's First Birthday

Postby dohertyab » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:19 am

Hi, your not alone. It is hard. There is no silver bullet to make it go away. It will get better. There, all that said, I also had similar with the twins. I was awake for the birth but was on mag sulfate and have odd memories of the delivery. I'm still not sure what I remember and what I have incorporated into my memories from stories people have told me. Sudden onset HELLP sucks. Talk to someone, ideally someone who has some experience with these types of issues. I have found that time helps. Keep telling yourself that you are fortunate (it only sort of worked for me). I was resentful for a few years about the loss of a normal birth but as you are aware the outcome could have been so much worse. I had to keep telling myself that. It's also ok to feel sad on his birthday. For the first 3 years we celebrated 2 birthdays for the twins - date they were born and date we brought them home from the hospital. Every so often I still am resentful or wishful of their birth but as they grow there are so many new and hopeful memories that take the place of their birth so that helps. They like to hear how small they were when they were born. We tell them that if they overcame that when they were just babies just imagine what else they can do. So allow yourself to feel what you feel but try not to wallow since that can't change what happened and keep reminding yourself that you are lucky to have him and take lots of pictures of his smiling face when his friends are celebrating with him. Good luck.


Return to “HELLP Syndrome Survivors and Underlying Disorders”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests