Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1 .

Baby Love Part 4

I'm sure the title has confused you because nowhere on my blog can you find parts 1-3. Let me clear this up: they don't exist...yet. I'm starting with part 4 because my baby, my C4, is turning 2 today. I've decided it is time to write out her story.

I will admit that out three older kids were either total surprises, or very loosely planned pregnancies. This is not the case with Miss Caroline. In October of 2007, my husband and I decided we would try for one more baby. We wanted to be done with the giving birth to new babies part of our lives before we turned 30, and time was passing quickly. So, I set up an appointment with my midwife, had my IUC removed, and off we went... ;0)

This pregnancy didn't happen as quickly as our others, and two days before Christmas that year, our family was split up by life. PJ moved the kids and I back to Boise, but he still had to stay behind in Wyoming for almost two months to finish working. I don't know if you know this, but it's hard to get pregnant when separated by 700 miles.

When PJ finally arrived in Boise shortly after Valentine's Day, um, let's just say we put our plan into motion. On March 29th, we got our first positive test. Yea! Since our older kids had been born prematurely, I called right away to get an appointment with my midwife, but it wasn't set until my eighth week of pregnancy. Until then, I was hyper-sensitive to smells, nauseated, miserable. These were symptoms I hadn't experienced with my previous pregnancies.

Not long before our first visit to the midwife, PJ and I were talking, planning, deciding our baby's future when PJ realized he had just assumed all along it was twins. I panicked, of course, and called Katie. After all, she had twins. I knew she could tell me all about it. That phone call only confirmed that my severe symptoms could indeed be a sign of carrying twins...

The first visit went well, and I filled Georgianna (the midwife) in on PJ's suspicions, my crazy symptoms, and asked if there was any chance at a quick ultrasound. She figured we should know what we were getting into right away, and took us into the little ultrasound room. I will never forget the look on her face, the way she didn't turn the monitor toward me, the way she excused herself and came back with a doctor. After taking a look, they both left, and when she came back in, she described what looked like the beginning development of twins, but growth had stopped. She told us by the looks of it, she believed it may be a partial molar pregnancy. In other words, the babies weren't developing, and I would miscarry. I left her office in a state of shock. We had gone in with such joy, and came out devastated.

As it turned out, after six weeks of blood tests to make sure my hormone levels were dropping as I miscarried, Molar Pregnancy was ruled out. No one was sure what happened. As requested, we waited a few months for things to settle, regain some normalcy, and decided to try it one more time. Oddly, I felt a sense of peace through this whole time. I hurt. I cried. I wanted to lie down and give up. But underneath it all, I felt hope. It was like God was telling me our timing was bad, but He would make things right for us.

Once again, within a few months, we were pregnant. This time I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want to get my hopes up. I went in with low expectations and expected the worst because I couldn't handle my heart being broken again so quickly. Again we set up our first appointment, and waited out the eight weeks. We didn't tell the kids. We just tried to keep to our daily lives as normal as possible.

That first visit went much more smoothly than the last. Georgianna did an ultrasound again, and this time our funny little gummy bear was dancing, and we could see the heart beating. It was overwhelming to say the least.

The next several months passed and all seemed to be going well. Since I had a habit of going into early labor, she did my glucose tolerance test a few week early, and lucky me, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I took a class, met with a nutritionist, changed my entire diet...

It only lasted a couple of weeks, because at exactly 34 weeks, I went into labor. I didn't realize it because I didn't have contractions like with the other kids. The only reason I even wondered was because I had started bleeding lightly. In the wee hours of the morning, PJ and I went over the hill to the hospital where I was checked, admitted, and was too far gone already to stop labor.

My first three children had been delivered completely unmedicated, and this time I decided to try a little something. Since they had already put an IV in, my midwife suggested Stadol. (I don't recommend it. It did nothing to ease the pain, and really made me feel loopy and disconnected.) Just as my contractions were getting more intense, a nurse came into my room and told my midwife that the woman across the hall was about to deliver, and her doctor hadn't arrived yet. Georgianna ran over, and that's when I had the sudden need to push. The nurse panicked because Georgianna was delivering the other baby, and she kept telling me not to push. (If you've never had a baby before, please understand that when you need to push, your body does it on its own. There really isn't a way to not push at that point.)

Georgianna just made it back in time for the last couple of pushes, and than little Caroline Grace made her entrance into the world. At six weeks early, she weighed 6lbs, 7oz and was 19 inches long. Because she was a preemie, we had a whole NICU team standing by and they gave her a good once over. She was breathing on her own and doing fine, so they let my husband carry her up to the NICU.

The next two weeks were spent going back and forth over the hill to the hospital and then home. With feedings every three hours, and three kids at home who wanted attention, life was exhausting. It was RSV season, so the kids weren't even allowed into the hospital to see our new bundle. They had to just see the pictures we took on our visits. Finally, on her two week birthday, Caroline came home.

A lot has happened since then, but she is still our baby, our tiny princess. Today she turns two, and I can't help but look back and remember those miserable first months when all she did was cry, and when she met her grandparents for the first time because that was the first time she laughed, and her first steps, her first birthday, and so many other milestones. But at the same time, I'm looking ahead. I can't wait to hear her say, "I love you." She will learn to ride a bike, and jump rope, and sing her ABC's, but she will always be my baby.