Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Year Ago...

By this time last year, we had learned that it can indeed happen to you.

A year and 5 days ago, we were the typical family with the typical problems. I was nearly 6 months pregnant, Kaitlyn was doing great and a normal, happy, healthy, smart 2 1/2 year old who liked to kiss my tummy at night, and Dusty had a cold. Our biggest problems were that I liked to go to bed super early and we still had to empty out the computer room to get Matthew's room ready. The pregnancy was pretty normal with just a couple of minimal problems, but I was gaining weight like a champ and so was he!

Last night was a familiar feeling. Around the same time as June 3, 2007, I woke up in a puddle. This time there was no question about it, my water couldn't have possibly of ruptured, my bladder is easily controllable and I had a preschooler sleeping with me after 32 ounces of gaterade before dinner!

A year and 2 days ago, that all changed to drastically and what seemed so innocently. I'll never forget the sense of urgency I felt when I woke up in a puddle of fluid. I of course freaked that it could be something serious, but convinced myself that I was just over exaggerating and really going to the hospital was just for peace of mind.

Even while we waited in Labor and Delivery, we joked, kidded around and I tried to get a little bit of rest because I was exhausted and the "leaking" had stopped I thought. Then, in literally an instant our life wasn't normal anymore.

All of a sudden we were part of 2% of pregnancies who have membranes rupture before 37 weeks. Of that 2%, most ruptures occur after 34 weeks.

Our outlook was grim, our doctor was blunt, and our options seemed few. We were told over and over again that we were just hanging out until I developed an infection and delivered. It would more than likely happen within the week.

I felt so sick, the magnesium sulfate was terrible, I couldn't eat and I was being poked, prodded and checked every couple hours for a sign of infection.

What was never discussed was the probability of infection not occuring. I understand why, within 24 hours, 50% of pprom pregnancies end in birth, within a week, 75% end in birth and within 12 days, 90% of those ruptured pregnancies end in birth. The thought that we held on for 9 weeks and 2 days is astounding, amazing, a true miracle.

It's amazing how much has changed in the year. Rather than cancelling plans for the summer, we're making as many as possible. Rather than planning how to juggle the needs and demands of a 10 month old (tomorrow) and a 3 1/2 year old we are instead facing the road of recovery for a grieving 3 1/2 year old and visiting the cemetery to visit a 10 month old.

Everything that happened a year ago still feels so surreal. It feels like a distant dream, a terrible dream. There are so many things that I am grateful for.

I am incredibly grateful that we made it 9 weeks and 2 days in the hospital. Even if it meant that I had to be stuck in a terrible bed around the clock watching the world go by around me while watching 4 channels on TV. Those 9 weeks and 2 days were 9 weeks and 2 days longer that I had with Matthew than any doctor or nurse gave me. I am grateful that Matthew was born with few premature hurdles to jump and that we did have 10 wonderful and memorable weeks with him.

I learned so much in that time. I learned more about my body, what it's capable of and what feels normal. I can feel where my ovaries are, know what's a cyst, what's normal and what's not. I learned what amazing family I have and what an amazing and capable, loving caring husband I have. Dusty spent EVERYNIGHT and the world's most uncomfortable bed, stretched his schedule in ways I don't think he could ever imagine and dropped everything to be there for me, Kaitlyn and Matthew.

A year ago, things were so perfect, it is amazing what an instant can do.

Kaitlyn's Anxiety

I know some people have noticed Kaitlyn having a slightly different personality lately, so why not address it all at once.

Kaitlyn is normally a VERY independent little girl. From the time she could say "me" and "do" or her own form of it, everything was a very stern "me do" Kaitlyn prefers to do everything on her own, like a big, big girl. She isn't shy, loves to play with everyone and in her opinion, hasn't eer met a stranger.

Over the past month or so, Kaitlyn has lost a lot of her independence. The first incident started at school. Kaitlyn LOVES school. I mean, her punishment for being bad was no school. All of her reports say how independent and "strong" she is. Even when she sliced open her ankle, she didn't cry, when Torrey pushed her off the bikes, she didn't cry, when kids take toys from her, she doesn't cry she just finds something else.

I went to pick her up from school and the teacher told me she had an "incident" where basically out of no where she started sobbing hysterically. She cried for 45 minutes before she could be calmed down. You have NO idea how livid I was that I wasn't called like say, 10 minutes into the crying when it is so out of character for her. Much of the crying, I was told was about her missing her brother, wanting him back, wondering why she can't have him back and basically dealing with the fairness in the world on a 3 year old level.

When it's so hard to explain or understand as an adult why others get to keep and enjoy their babies, we had to say good-bye to a very loved little boy at 10 weeks is hard. Watching your friends and cousins be big sisters and big brothers to little babies has been a lot harder on her than I thought it would be.

The next day, she didn't want to go to school. Since it's preschool, a year early than necessary, she's done with Speech Therapy I didn't push it. She went back a day or so later and did great.

In the meantime, Kaitlyn started having bad anxiety outside of school. I cannot leave her side for more than a minute. She cries hysterically that she'll miss me too much. It takes hours of talking up a place, promises of prizes, and a bit of coersion to get her to go even to her favorite places or with her favorite people.

The following week, she was so eager to go. It was her last week of school and she went on Tuesday. I explained to the teacher how bad her seperation anxiety had been outside of school, how emotional she had been and instructed them to call me at the first sign of tears.

Not even an hour later I got a call. She had been crying for about 45 minutes. The teacher left, a sub filled in and no one was instructed to call me. When I went to pick her up it was the most pitiful site. She was sitting at the arts and crafts table with all the kids who were having fun. She was sobbing hysterically still, her face was swollen and bright red and her face was covered in tears and snot :( We left.

That was the point where I kind of knew that she needed someone to talk to and someone to help far more experienced than I am. So, the phone calls began.

I took Kaitlyn to her last day of school and for the first 2 hours we were joined at the hip. For the last hour, she played, as long as I was in plain view. Gymnastics I had to practically force her to join her class, even though I was right there watching. She won't go to the gym play area or stay with anyone.

We've called 10 therapists. 7 are not accepting new patients, 1 does not accept children under 5 and 2 haven't called back. So, hopefully we'll find someone soon who will have some good advice, OR it will turn out to be a stage and she'll out grow it. I know a lot of it is being unable to express what she's feeling and wanting to be in a comfort zone.

If you know any good therapist in the Sacramento area that do talk to kids, don't hesitate to let me know :)