Friday, September 19, 2008

Where There is Hope...

I feel like I'm going into that dark area again, where my thoughts are dark and my day dreams are nightmares of every bad scenario imaginable. I know why, and I debated posting this, because it turns other peoples suffering into all-about-me. But, darnit, this is my blog, my therapy, and nobody's probably reading it anyway! So...

On Sept 2 my cousin delivered a little girl at 29 weeks gestation. She is named Hope. In addition to being premature, Hope has a rare birth defect that caused only 25 percent of her brain to form. She is able to breath, suck, look around. But she has a life expectancy of 6-12 months.

On Sept 3, a friend delivered a little girl at 28 weeks gestation. Her name is Ellie. She is doing well, but every day comes with the struggle of breathing and eating, digesting and pumping that little heart.

And these are just the two babies struggling right now. Two of thousands going through similar struggles, I am sure, but two that I know. Add to that list the babies born to friends/family in the past two years who have had fatal heart defects, abdominal wall not formed and organs outside the body, born at 26 weeks gestation, and a mitochondrial-related disease that prevented brain growth. Add to that Lainie's scare last January.

All that is background to say I'm scared, nervous, worried, prepared and maybe expecting the worst with this pregnancy. I have had this feeling from the get-go that something what not right. We made it through the first ultrasound, and baby had a heartbeat. We made it through 3 1/2 months of cramping with no spotting, and I'm still pregnant. I'm dealing with the sharp pains I get routinely now, hoping they are just strategically placed kicks. But, man, I'm dreading that ultrasound on October 8. I'm dreading it, but I need it. I need to see on that screen a fully developed brain, closed abdominal wall, thumb-sucking, 4-chamber heart, and everything else as it should be. I do not need nor want to see if it's a boy or girl -- that SO doesn't matter to me.

And I know that even if everything is okay now, it could still turn sour and there is nothing I can do about it. It's out of my control. I even considered calling Doc today and begging for an earlier ultrasound, but if something is wrong, what good is it going to do to find out now instead of 3 weeks from now? What would that change?

A friend of mine once said they were done after their son was born because she was so scared that they wouldn't be as lucky as to have a perfectly healthy baby if they tried again. She said it'd be selfish to ask God for another miracle. I didn't understand that rationale, then, but I sure do now. This is our last, for so many reasons, but also because I am too too aware of everything that can go wrong and too aware of how fragile and how lucky I am to have three beautiful healthy daughters. I'm just hoping and praying for a beautiful healthy little baby...just one more.

1 comment:

Tara said...

Thinking of your cousin, friend, and everyone who is going (or has gone) through such difficult times. :(

Sometimes the more you know, the worse it is... I struggled with some similar worries during my last pregnancy too. Send me an e-mail if you want to talk or vent more.