In August 2002 I learned that I was pregnant with my first child. I was
In August 2002 I learned that I was pregnant with my first child. I was working a tedious job in theatre and quit to work a more "stable" job. The job ended up being a nightmare and ended only after 2 months. The day I came home from that miserable job was the day I started to feel not well (much of my story will not match up with the stereotypical preeclampsia story). My mother had preeclampsia/toxemia with both of my sisters, I am the middle child.
So, the holidays approached and I could not keep down any food. I was ill 24/7 and losing weight. I called my doctor and told her how I was feeling, she told me to take tylenol. A week went by and after downing a bottle of tylenol and living in the bathtub (this was around New Year's) I called my doctor because my mucous plug came out. She told me no big deal, since I was so early it should rebuild itself in a matter of days. By January 7, 2003 I called and said nothing is rebuilding, I am feeling pressure and pain and I felt like I needed to come in. I went in to the hospital and after looking at my history, the high-risk specialist was bought in. He carefully and calmly examined me and checked out the baby. He smiled patiently when done and calmly said, "there is no fluid around the baby, your blood pressure is dangerously high and it looks like she needs to come a bit sooner." Naively I thought okay so a little earlier. He saw that I was confused and said, "today Aebony." I panicked and after calming me with oxygen and a pep talk. I was "ready". Unfortunately the hubby and I did not have cell phones at the time so my mother in law was the only witness to the birth of my 2.6 pound baby girl Selah Camille born at 31 weeks gestation via emergency c-section. Selah stayed in NICU for 2 months exactly and was for the most part healthy. Her stay only required her needing to eat from the bottle, breath on her own and gain weight which she finally got the hang of. Selah is now 6 years old and absolutely the most gorgeous intelligent little girl I've ever met.
Fast forward 3 years. Baby number 4. Oh yes number 4. Contrary to Selah's pregnancy I was healthy, eating, feeling beautiful! 6 months in to my pregnancy one night I just felt awful. Just crampy and achy. A strangely familiar feeling. My husband took me to the hospital immediately. The doctor there was new to the practice, did not know my history and frankly was not concerned with it. After a few test they had summed my "sickness" up to be food poisoning. We found out that my sister in law and mother in law, whom I had gone to lunch with that day were sick as well. It was a hidden blessing because getting the food poisoning revealed that I was ill. Nevertheless the doctor short of sending me home ran other ridiculous tests. He looked at my heart, my gallbladder, I think even my big toe ( mind you he had not yet checked my urine). Then the blessed shift change! Another doctor who knew me well said, "uh uh, I know this one, let's check the urine." Sure enough, all the bells and whistles started to sound and within an hour I was admitted and hooked up to all sorts of machine namely a Mag Sulfate drip. I had HELLP syndrome.
They tried to keep me on for 24 hours with no food or water and right before I completely lost the taste they allowed me to have breakfast. Pancakes that had to have tasted like a sponge. I preferred the ice chips that I was sneaking-shhh. My parents live in Japan so un-benounced to me my sister had the doctors send a note through Salvation Army telling my parents that my condition was pretty grim. I, always being the light hearted one never even allowed the information to process fully. So shortly after my sponge breakfast my doctor tells me by lunch I needed to have an emergency c-section. So on the afternoon of May 24, 2006 (in my 29th week of pregnancy) I had my 3rd little boy named Aslan Shepard weighing in at 2.11 pounds. Ironically Aslan stayed in NICU for 2 months exactly just like his big sister. He struggled just a bit more than she with reflux and had to come home on a heart monitor which he stayed on for 6 months. They considered doing surgery to tighten his sphincter to end the reflux but tried thickening his food with rice cereal first, it worked!
Through all of the nurses, doctors, therapy. It has been quite a road. Aslan is a healthy 2 year old. He deals with occasional issues with asthma and eczema but overall is a fun-loving, energetic "okay please stop praying that he grow strong because if he rips up another piece of furniture or stuffed animal.................."
I am a busy sah mommy and live with arthritis pain sometimes daily . Nevertheless, I keep it moving and take care of the family. If there are any other issues because of the pregnancies/deliveries I just pray them away because I certainly don't have time to feel any discomfort. I am just blessed to have 5 lovely, happy children.
After surviving a very traumatic first pregnancy with a nightmare delivery (30 hours of magnesium-induced hell, ending in an emergency c-section) and even more debilitating recovery, one would think I was DONE having children. Let's be ...