Life After the Second Line

Thursday, April 19, 2007

For Peyton and Ethan

Happy birthday, babies.

You're two years old today, and I can hardly believe it. The day you were born was scary for me. You were only 33 weeks gestation, and you were twins, of course, so I didn't know what condition you'd be in when you arrived. I only knew that the doctor said he had to take you, that it was more dangerous for you on the inside than it would be in the NICU.

By the time your daddy made it into the operating room, Peyton was already on her way out. We got to see her for only a moment over the blue sheet, so tiny, yet so perfect. Crying as forcefully as her little lungs would allow her. Ethan came next, and he was smaller still. He didn't look like a tiny baby so much as a very small, very old man. We'd never seen a baby so thin -- we could count his ribs, and we saw his little chest indent with every breath he took. He was trying to cry, too, but it was more of a soft mew. It was heartbreaking. Then, just like that, you were both whisked away to the NICU. I didn't see you again for more than eight hours.

I don't want to dwell on the time we spent in the NICU, though, other than to say that when I saw those tiny, fragile babies in their isolettes, I never could've imagined the beautiful, busy, thriving toddlers you would turn out to be. You run, you jump, you climb, you give big hugs and kisses, you make huge messes and get in loads of trouble, but you do it all with smiles on your faces. And how can that not make me smile, too? You love to play, with Daddy, with me, with each other, with the dog, with anybody who comes around, really. Neither of you knows a stranger. When Daddy or I ask, "Who does Peyton love?" you say "Mama?" or "Dada?" depending on who posed the question. Smart, smart girl. Ethan, you don't say much yet, but I know you're working on it. And you've got most of the important ones ("vrrrrroooom", "uh oh", "no!", "boom!", and "night niiiiiiiiight") down already. And that smile -- that smile just lights up the room. Both of you seem to have caught on to the fact that there's a little baby on the way, and when we ask you where he is, you push each other out of the way trying to get to my belly to kiss it. I know you're going to be a fantastic big brother and big sister. You've set an awfully high standard for the new little guy to measure up to.

There have been some hard moments, but these two years have been the fastest and best of my entire life. The two of you make my bad days better and my good days wonderful. Every day I wake up excited to be with you, to love on you, to see what you're going to do next. And ok, maybe, since you're two, you're not *really* babies anymore. But you'll always be MY babies, and I'll always be waiting for you with a big hug, or a kiss to make an owie better, or a shoulder to cry on, or whatever else you need. No matter how old you are.

Love you guys.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Danger Zone

31 weeks, 1 day today. Exactly three days before I was admitted to the hospital with P & E, hence the title of this post. I am trying to shake the feeling that this is all going to go to hell in a handbasket any day now, but it's tough. I just can't quite wrap my mind around the idea that maybe this reproductively challenged body of mine could get it all right this time.

I saw the doctor on Tues., and everything is more or less ok. The blood pressure was fine and there was no protein in my urine, so preeclampsia doesn't appear to be on the immediate horizon. That's the good news. The indifferent news was this: there is a trace amount of blood in that urine. Of course I freaked out when the tech told me this, even though she assured me it was, in fact, only a trace, not visible to the naked eye, and that such a small amount is totally normal for some pregnant women. The doctor then told me the exact same thing, adding that it was not the first time my urine had tested positive for a trace of blood this pregnancy; it was just that no one had mentioned it to me before since they don't consider it a cause for alarm at this point. She said they will continue to monitor it post-delivery, and if it persists past my six week postpartum appointment, THEN she will send me to a urologist, but not before. You probably just have an irritable uterus, she said. I then came home and consulted Dr. Google, who assured me that this can be normal and may be no more than a side effect of the baby aspirin I'm taking to ward off blood pressure problems. After all that, I was somewhat reassured, but I'm still hoping it disappears by the time I go back in three weeks.

In other news -- I have a C-section date! The big day will be June 1, assuming I make it that far. I was really hoping for a May date, just so I could say right now that the baby is coming next month, but June 1 will do. That's five days prior to his edd, and it's a Friday, which will be nice for anyone planning to visit while I hang out in the hospital for three days with the little guy. He's still nameless, by the way, but I think we've got it narrowed down to three. We'll just have to find out who he is when we finally see his gorgeous face in eight weeks and one day. Not that I'm counting or anything . . .