Saturday, July 16, 2011

Then: Preparing for the next baby

When Joseph was about 10 months old, I was reading some old posts on a blog, and I came across this one, and, in that moment, that blogger did for me what none of my doctors, or anyone else, had been able to do:  she gave me a name for what happened to me when I was pregnant!  I was not crazy!  I was not being over dramatic!  I was not having normal morning sickness!  It had nothing to do with my attitude!  I had been suffering through Hyperemesis Gravidarum 3 of the 4 times I was pregnant!  I read this post and I cried because I understood the suffering that drove her to make that choice.

A few months later, I met another lady who was telling me that she got really sick when she was pregnant, and I was able to tell her that IT HAS A NAME and point her to the website!  When I went to visit her a few months later when she was newly pregnant, and she was lying on the couch looking just as miserable as I had the last time I had been pregnant, I was able to tell her, "You are dehydrated and can't think straight;  you NEED to go to Urgent Care and get an IV."  And she went and was able to get the medical care that she needed because someone was brave enough to share their experience with the world.
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Making the decision to get pregnant again was not done lightly, or without knowledge of the difficulty that was to be expected.  I was relatively content with how our family was at that point.  Joseph's favorite expressions were:  "NO, I'LL NEVER!" or "I'll ONLY do (thing X) IF you do (thing Y)!" and that was pretty tiresome the first minute it started by the end of the day.  He was old enough that he didn't need me every second, and he was finally potty trained!  I didn't have to take a diaper bag with me anymore!  He could buckle his own car seat!  I could sit at the park and watch the kids play instead of having to chase a little one who was going to climb something and fall!  AND I had made it through Joseph's babyhood without being sad about it passing because I hadn't thought he was the last one, so if he WAS the last one, I hadn't had to mourn the passing of all of the baby milestones!  Also, I was 99.9% certain (thanks to the HG website which informed me that hyperemesis got worse each time....nevertheless I just couldn't squash that 0.1% HOPE that if I had another boy, I wouldn't get sick because the last time I had two boys in a row I hadn't been so sick!) that I was going to get very sick 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant.  BUT.  The feeling that there was another baby waiting just WOULD NOT go away, and I LOVE my babies so very much, and I wanted that one too.  I can see, in my journal entries leading up to getting pregnant, that part of me knew there really was NO hope, and that this was going to be a very hard experience.

As much as we could, we tried to carefully plan the timing of this baby.  Joseph was nearly 3 years old, which was the longest spacing we'd ever had;  I didn't want to have a child so far apart from his other siblings, but I thought there was still going to be one more after him, and we really didn't have much choice about waiting so long, so I tried not to worry about it.  We needed to wait until after we had moved, and after we had settled in from the move, and then Husband had to go away for that 5-week training.  Also, if I could help it, I REALLY did not want to have another late summer baby, so that pushed it out a few more months also.

In an effort to gather my strength, I went to visit my friend one more time, this time for 2 weeks (LOVE that friend!!).  I knew it would be at least 2 years before I really had the chance to get away again, and my wonderful friend was happy to have me come visit again.  Also, I was trying to finish this project sometime before I died so I could get it out of the closet and enjoy it hanging on the wall, so I took it with me and spent most of my time working on that glorious cross-stitch that didn't argue with or talk to me or complain about anything or throw a screaming fit or wipe its nose on me EVEN ONCE! uninterrupted.

Despite having made it to our official "we're trying" time, opportunities were scarce with the threat of the deathly nausea looming 4 children and everything.  But it only took once....
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*Joseph was getting dressed one day, and I commented that he had picked out his star shirt (solid navy blue with one light blue star sewn on).  He looked at me very seriously and said, "Yes, but it doesn't have any Sneetches on it."

*Joseph was mad at me when I tucked him in for his nap, so when I said, "I love your face!  Do you love my face?" I was met with stony silence.  I went to lie down, but then I heard him crying, so I went back in to check on him.  As soon as I came back in the room, he cried, "I love your face too!"

*Joseph was very interested our friends' babies.  One day, I was holding a baby, and Joseph was looking at her and giving her loves.  Someone was teasing and said, "Joseph, are you going to take that baby home, so you have a baby at your house?"  Joseph looked THRILLED and looked at me hopefully.  He was very disappointed when I told him that we couldn't take the baby home because her mother would miss her.

*At Cub Scouts one night, the leader told Ian that they would be meeting at the park the next week to play soccer.  He said he'd rather play baseball.  She said, "We're going to be playing soccer."  He replied, "Well, all right.  But don't expect me to run.  I'm not one of those scamper around on the field and chase after the ball kind of players.  I'm more like one of those stand there and wait for the ball to come to me kind of players."

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