Thursday, December 17, 2009

Still grateful

I was thinking about some things before I went to bed last night, and was planning on writing about it during one of these middle-of-the-night pumping sessions.  I spent the last two sessions looking up researching some stuff on the La Leche League page and got too distracted...which leaves this last pumping session.

Looking back on yesterday, I think I ended up crying over something five or six times.  Sometimes it was over something rather stupid, and sometimes it was over something that was pretty reasonable to be upset over.  Blame it on hormones and utter exhaustion.  And stress, of course.  Cause, heck, I got tons of that.

But despite the stress, would it be odd to say that I'm rather lucky?

These last few months have been...well...I wouldn't recommend them on anyone.  Bed rest is pretty rough. I had a lot of comments from people:  "Oh, enjoy the rest now!!  You'll be missing it later!!"  Or, "wish I could spend the day in bed like that"...  Sure.  But lets forget WHY I'm actually on bed rest:  because if I don't keep my ass in bed I'm at risk of miscarrying or (post 24 weeks) delivering early and having to deal with children who possibly will have severe physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties.  I could get up once in awhile and under my doc's supervision allowed to leave the house once a week.  But restful?

Sure...bed rest is great.  Was great watching my husband do everything and seeing him get more and more stressed over time.  It was lovely spending weeks in the hospital being unable to do anything and having nothing really to look forward to (it isn't until you are in the hospital like that do you really start to appreciate the simple more than two options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day).  And I particularly loved watching my son be confused and over-emotional because while he doesn't have the capacity to understand what is going on, he understands enough of the basics to know that something is going on...and that he doesn't like it.

Oh, and of course experiencing pre-term labor is just a joy in of itself:  lets not forget the wonder of being on magnesium sulfate and how it feels to be unable to move or see for 24 hours.

It was a fun two months.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, eh?

But, I do have to say despite all of that, I still feel lucky.

A friend told me the other day that I was lucky to marry such an incredible person.  She's right.  And unfortunately, he doesn't get the credit he deserves.  He was a single dad for two months and not only had to work full time, but had to do all of the child-care (minus when Zev was being watched by Nicole), house care, and watch his sick wife to make sure she didn't do anything stupid.  We had friends who did help (thanks for the dinners!!), but obviously nothing can take away the stress of having to cope with all of that responsibility.  I have always thought that he was a remarkable husband and father:  while on rest I would often talk to women in similar situations and listen to them ask about how to explain to their husbands the seriousness of the situation - it seems their husbands would still refuse to help around the house, watch their children, etc.  And then there was mine...who yelled at me if I picked up a sponge.  Or, I would read questions from wives/mothers about how to get their husbands more involved in the childcare, which is something I never had to worry about:  I could go away for a week and have no concerns about Zev's well-being.  Jason isn't a 'helper', he is a 'parent'.  He doesn't 'babysit' Zev, and I find wives that say that they let their husband 'babysit' their children to be condescending.

So I'm lucky.  I'm lucky to have found someone who was able to cope with such an incredibly stressful situation so well and jump to the task that was at hand.

And Zev...well, he's almost two.  The 'terrible' twos.  But...again, I'm pretty lucky.  Zev is, well, abnormal.  He has his moments, like any toddler.  But they are few and far between.  He's an excellent sleeper, a pretty good eater, has a beautiful sense of humor, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times he has really thrown anything resembling a true temper tantrum.  Provided he is well rested, he is a joy to be around.  I usually joke that Jason and I are in big trouble now...we were spoiled with him and don't even know how to handle a 'typical' infant/toddler, never mind one with higher-needs.  We just have to hope and pray that the girls have his temperament.

And the girls...did I want them to come early?  Of course not.  I know it isn't my fault that they did, and luckily only one person has even insinuated that I played a role in that...which I decided to just brush off.  But for being born at 30 weeks gestation, they are actually doing quite well.  Some of that is probably due to the 1.5 rounds of steroids I received while I was pregnant:  I'm sure that played a role in their early lung development.   And I know some of it is just luck:  we haven't had to deal with any brain bleeding, any infections, any heart abnormalities, or any real 'major' problem.  Granted we have a long way to go, and I'm sure once we get into learning how to eat we will come to some major challenges...but so far so good.  I do a lot of reading on preemie development and talking to women online who also have preemie children, and I read about needing brain shunts places, blood transfusions, diagnoses of CP, problems with Early Intervention, marriages falling apart due to the stress, difficulties in working with the NICU nurses, etc.  None of these problems I have to deal with, at least at this moment.

So I feel lucky.  I feel lucky that I have such a supportive and loving husband.  I feel lucky that I have an adorable two-year old who manages to make me laugh in the midst of all this stress.  And I feel lucky to have two beautiful daughters who continue to do well despite entering the world 2 months early.

Jason asked me how I was coping with things, and I said I just don't expect anything.  I've learned not to think past this moment, because if I try to think about all the possibilities:  infections, health problems, cognitive delays and emotional problems, needing early intervention, future $$ problems due to needing a lot of extra care...well, my brain would just short-out and I would be immobilized.  So, for now, I feel lucky with what I have at this moment.  And we'll just leave it at that.

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