Friday, July 17, 2009

Pregnant and Anxious in Ptown

*Caution* Ramblings of a hormonal pregnant woman ahead. Read at your own risk!

HokieHubby and I decided some time ago, back when HokieGirl was teeny, that we might want to expand our little HokieFamily. We knew this wasn't necessarily going to be a popular idea. HokieBoy was a 32 week preemie and spent a month in the hospital, then came home on a heart monitor. When he was about 5 months old I was diagnosed with post-partum depression. HokieGirl was a 34 week preemie whose main issue was she was too tired to eat to get rid of her jaundice. (By the way, you wouldn't know it the way she's been eating since then!) With my medical history, why risk it when others could be premature as well? We had one of each gender, so why would we want more kids? More kids mean more expenses and I'm a stay at home mom so would I go to work? HokieHubby and I carefully considered these things and decided that yes, we do want more children. So, we did... *ahem* get pregnant.

The first two pregnancies were pretty easy. I had no indication that I was going to have preemies until less than 12 hours before they were born, and even then we were trying everything to get them to stay put. I loved being pregnant. Sure there were parts I could have done without: heartburn, difficult sleeping positions, having to use the bathroom all the time. Labor and delivery weren't terrible, although there were moments I'm sure I have forgotten. Recovery sucks: ice packs, sitz baths, and having a hard time sitting or using the bathroom. Oh, and pumping milk for a preemie 8 times a day is killer on your nipples. I'll only briefly mention the agony of walking around and seeing pregnant women everywhere and my baby was in the NICU, fighting for life. (I think I have a very small grasp of how women who miscarry must feel in public. A very, very small grasp.)

This time around, I'm a little older, and yes there is a difference between being 25 and pregnant and being 31 and pregnant. I've been rather surprised at that. My body is handling this one much differently. I needed maternity pants from the second month. My back aches differently and my uterus seems to sit lower from having been through this twice before.

Mentally, I'm a basketcase. I try to rely on God all the time, praying that he will take the anxiety from me and help me to let him keep it. I don't think I ever had Braxton-Hickes contractions with the other two, but I've been having them every day for over two weeks now. I was in the hospital once already because they got regular instead of random. I'm 28 weeks pregnant, which means we still have 4 weeks to go until I know roughly what to expect with a preemie and 6 weeks until my doctor says he's okay with me delivering. What I want more than anything, though, is to make it another 10-12 weeks so this HokieBaby can be full-term. I'm afraid of failing again. I know it's not my fault babies don't stay the full 40 weeks. (I also know there are plenty of women out there who wish their babies would be born a little early.) I don't want to leave my HokieBaby at the hospital again. It almost killed me to leave the first one, but I spent hours everyday at his side. The second one wasn't as bad because I had HokieBoy at home who needed me and HokieGirl wasn't nearly as sick as HokieBoy had been.

Each week that passes and I am still pregnant is a huge relief that I didn't even know I was waiting for. I have prayed, and others have prayed for me and this baby. God knows what my desires are, and I know that He has plans for me and baby. I know that He will use all things in my life for good because I believe in Him. Is it terrible that my prayer is that He allows me to have a perfectly typical birth rather than allow me to suffer through another premature delivery? Use me in my joy as a testament to God, that He hears our prayers and grants miracles!

October 9th is a long time away. I feel as though I have been in a mini-goal mindset forever. 24 weeks, then 26 weeks, now 28 weeks. Each week is a blessing. I know this, and I am so thankful that I can get and stay pregnant when some of my friends struggle with infertility or miscarriage.

If you are a Christian, please pray for me and my little one. Please pray that God will continue to take my anxiety even when I keep taking it back. Pray that I'll be able to leave it with Him. I know that Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow, but I am human and prone to thinking I can do this on my own. Please pray that this little one is born in October, healthy and full-term, but that if He should allow otherwise that I will rely on His strength at all times.

If you are not a Christian, I appreciate your friendship as much as my Christian friends and welcome your warm thoughts for my family. There is room in my life for caring people of all religions or no religion.


Cheryl in VA said...

I send you all great energy, love, and faith I am capable of sharing and sending. I wish the light of faith, protection, and health surround you and the little one, as well as the entire Hokie family. There is always great positive energy with women who are growing little humans, just look inside and you will find that strength within and will be able to tap into it as you need it.

BuBBle GuM KniTs! said...

Hi Valerie:
Just checking in to wish you well on you pregnancy journey. I wish you a smooth and healthy path to the day of your third little one's birth. May you feel bliss at knowing that all the aches and pains are part of a wonderful reward in October.

Your HK Summer swap parner.
ps. I sent you an email through Ravelry.