Sunday, March 14, 2010

it's all a matter of perspective

it all started on december 4, 2007. we went to the OB for our first preconception appointment. she handed us some clomid and some specific instructions then told us she'd see us in 3 months if we weren't pregnant. knowing it isn't that easy, i took control of the situation and made an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. after a bunch of tests, a seriously disappointment discussion regarding costs, and a lot of crying, we got pregnant on our first cycle with the RE. not bad for only having a 10% change of conception. we were thrilled.

at our 20w appointment we found out the placenta was low and told that we might need a c-section if it didn't move. after all we had been through, i figured no big deal, right? the control freak side of me thought a c-section might be better anyways.

and then at 22w, it started. bleeding. and then more bleeding, and then more bleeding. until finally, at 32w6d, we delivered. at almost exactly a year, our infertility battle was over and another even more difficult battle was beginning. i felt angry. i felt disappointed, i felt guilty for not being able to carry my baby boy to 40 weeks. i hated the NICU. i hated the apnea monitor. i hated the synagis shots and the hand sanitizer and the weight checks. and on one level or another, i was carrying those feelings with me all this time. why couldn't anything just be simple?

and then today, it all changed. i read a story about another preemie. he was also born at 32 weeks (they don't count the days in gestational age, even though i insist on counting them because they were a long 6 days!) and had a twin sister. his sister was doing wonderfully, but not the little boy. he was 10 months and had a bunch of medical problems, none of which are uncommon for a preemie. he passed away a few days ago from complications from RSV, a serious "baby cold" that is even more serious for preemies because of their underdeveloped lungs and weak immune systems.

ryan had RSV a few weeks ago, despite our best efforts to keep him away as he wasn't approved for synagis shots this year (a monthly shot that decreases the effects of RSV). he didn't experience any breathing problems and our biggest hurdle were the high temps he kept having. but our baby boy came through without any problems.

today it hit me - i'm not unlucky, i'm the luckiest person alive. we got pregnant even though we only had a 10% chance. we made it to 32w6d even though we started having problems at 22w. it so easily could have been my baby boy that had health problsm, but instead we have a perfect, healthy baby boy. i get to chase and hold and snuggle and love my perfect baby boy every single day. and that makes me the luckiest, regardless of what hurdles we had to overcome to get to this point.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

god grant me the patience

ryan is, hands down, the most important thing in my world. followed very closely by michael, butler, molly, and the rest of my family and friends. being his mom is truly an honor and a responsibility that i take more seriously than i could ever have imagined i would. i once read a quote about how the bond between mother and child is so special because the baby is the only one to have ever heard the mommy's heart beat from the inside.

i understand mama animals now - i understand why the mommy animal tries to attack anything that comes near her fragile babies. and i think this feeling is special to moms. i know that my husband loves ryan as much as i do, but i don't think he has that same, for lack of a better word, maternal instinct to protect.

i think there's a very fine line between caring for your child and allowing your child to make mistakes and take risks that will eventually make them into the person they will grow up to be. it is the hardest thing in the world to stand by and watch as your child makes a bad decision. whether that decision is something as harmless as not taking a nap or as potentially dangerous as diving off the edge of a chair onto the hardwood floors.

given my love of control, i think i am finding this balance particularly difficult. i can't protect him from everything or everyone. i can't control how people treat him, how they feel about him, or how his relationships evolve. i want nothing but happiness and love for my little boy, but even i know that's unreasonable. he will be hurt. he will cry. he will know love beyond words.

but there's one thing that i can control - the fact that my son will never, ever have to doubt that i love him. even for a second. no matter what. and all i can do is hope that's enough. and all i can ask is for god to grant me the patience to accept the things i cannot change.