Thursday, January 17, 2013

Forty Weeks

Today is Dylan's due date. I've got just about the oldest 40-weeker around!

As the due date has approached and my day to day worry about Dylan's health has lessened, I've begun to process some of what I've been through.

I have flashbacks to the night I went to the hospital. I know now the hospital so well, but that night I was bleeding and crying and I had no idea where to go. L&D is on the 4th floor of the north side of the hospital. But I had never been there before. Luckily a pregnant lady bumped into me and led me to the right place.

Throughout this journey my circles keep getting smaller and smaller. First, I was excluded from all of the "normal" people who get pregnant when they want to. But it was okay because I found an amazing online community of infertiles and I belonged. Then, as many of these same women got pregnant, so did I, but with multiples. As my pregnancy became traumatic, I joined a smaller circle of women who have undergone reduction. But even many of them still get to experience normal birth. Now my circle consists of me and one other blogger who is in my exact same shoes.

I'm bitter. I'm human. I compare myself to others and I don't think it's fair that I haven't had one aspect of this experience happen the way it is supposed to.

And I want everyone to understand. When the next wave of pregnant bloggers hit 23 and 25 weeks, I wanted to say, "Can you imagine going to the hospital today or having your baby today?!" I don't want anyone else to experience what I have, I just want them to get it.

Dylan was born during the SECOND trimester! I don't even know when the third trimester starts because I was never there. I've heard that the best part of pregnancy is feeling your baby move and bonding with them in the womb. I was only feeling flutters by the time I was hospitalized and when I did feel movement there was always a bit of fear. I will never get to experience those feelings and sensations. I didn't get to have fun planning his nursery. After he was born I completely avoided it for over a month because I truly didn't know whether he would make it. My shower had a somber overtone...people cried.

And I want there to be a reason for all of make it have a purpose. The only thing I can come up with to make it feel more worthwhile is to try to help others. I know I've done that a bit through this blog. I got an email last week saying, "I was just reading about your NICU experience and now I'm here." And I'm glad to help. But even more I feel the need to connect with real people. I've tried to reach out in my hospital, but it's hard. I talked with the dad of a 27 weeker the other night and it was so nice to tell him that I had been here for 3 months and that we are okay. And that the first month is by far the hardest. I want to show Dylan to these people to show them where they will be.

A 25 weeker was born last week and it makes me almost choke up to walk past her room. With Dylan I was in the moment and just made it through, but looking at that other baby brings out all of the emotions I was holding at the time.

I will never get to experience what I missed out on and I'm sad and angry about it.

But today, I am happy. I honestly love my life - even while we are still in the NICU. Dylan looks into my eyes and I kiss his forehead and his chubby cheeks. (I can't get enough kisses these days.). I would totally change how all of this happened, but my baby is here and I love him so much it makes me cry a little to write it.

It will never be "ok" that this happened. I will always be upset about what I missed out on and why it had to be me to go through all of this.

But this guy makes it better.


  1. I think you've done more good than you know by writing it out, for you, for Dylan, for anyone who happens to be in a similar situation. The emotions would be tough, especially seeing other mums having their 'due date bubs' around this time, and seeing how different their journey is/was to yours. But you know - your little man is incredible, he's here, he's doing so well, and you've done an amazing job getting through. It's ok to wish for something different, and to be bitter about what you didn't have - but the end result is the most important thing. He's your BABY. You're on the other side, and he's beautiful. Lots of us are still on that journey, and hoping we get there in the end too, even if our stories might be slightly different. :) xxx

  2. You've truly been through the wringer. And I'm so sorry that there was no part of this experience that wasn't tainted in some way. But I think you touch on an important point: the best way to change the views of an experience is to talk about it.

    Too often, NICU parents don't talk about the emotions of all of this. That they are scared, angry, sad and dealing with PTSD. A lot of this has to do with the fact that people are uncomfortable and fall back on the don't-say-anything-because-it-will-upset-them mindset. But just lie infertility and loss, you need support. You need people there to celebrate the wins with you as well as help you through the scary times. So thank you for sharing Dylan's story. I can only believe to imagine how hard this is, but with each passing day it's clear that all of you are making huge strides.

  3. You have been through so much. You are doing SO well. And I understand how you feel about being bitter that you couldn't experience how things should have been. I feel that way about losing my twins in the second tri after IF. It was horrible to see others go on with normal pregnancies.
    I am so happy that you and Dylan are doing well and that you are reaching out to others. I am sure you are helping more than you know.

  4. i was thinking about you today and just came on here to see how everything was. i can't relate, but i do try to imagine what you are going through since our due dates are so close together. my little one just arrived last week and my heart breaks that you haven't been able to bring dylan home yet, but i know it's so close! i wanted to share this story that i read passed on from another blogger via alpha mom (follow that?!). even though i can't relate specifically to what you're dealing with, i too have/had a lot of expectations about ttc, pregnancy and being a mom and it's totally natural and normal to mourn the loss of those expectations, whatever they are. i hope this helps in any way:

  5. You are amazing. I just want you to know that. You made it through what would destroy most women. You are an inspiration. Thank you so much for being so candid with your story. Having been in your circle of infertiles, I've been cheering you on and knowing that you had the strength and grace to make it through this.

  6. i'm in tears at work. this is a really heart-felt and honest post. i'm sorry for what you've missed out on and what you've had to go through. really, seriously, sorry.

    but i do thank you for sharing your story and continuing to share your story. every step of it, even before mr. d. was born.

    you've been through a huge amount and so has your little guy. he is looking great though. and i'm sure it has a lot to do with the time and care and love you are putting in. best wishes.

  7. Well, you've helped me, just by writing about your experience. I only missed out on ONE month of pregnancy, and I'm struggling with feeling cheated, like I didn't get to experience it all (I experienced it the first time around, and I know it's nothing to be jealous of). It is amazing how much support other NICU parents can give, and how many are out there - an old high school friend, my son's preschool director, a friend of my husband's... However, I've noticed that when I'm in the hospital itself (my daughter's in Special Care now), the parents don't really talk to each other. I have a couple I say hi to, but that's it. I don't know why that is - there's a huge opportunity to support each other.

    But it is just as you said - you have your baby, and that's what matters most.

  8. Our due date was 1/16 five years ago. I have two funny, smart, sweet, and happy boys in the bedroom down the hall, but I still thing about it all from time to time. The 100 plus days we spent in NICU were among some of the hardest days we've experienced.

    I used to be angry about it all and felt so misunderstood by everyone. I wanted them to "get it." I realize now that for them to understand, they'd have to live it, and I just hate the idea of others having to go through this experience.

    Anyway, I wrote about our due date here if you're interested:

    All the best to you. These last days until discharge were so hard for me. I would fantasize about snatching my boys up and running for the doors all the time. lol.

  9. One thing I have learned in my life is that no one will ever "get it" unless they have to go through it themselves. This goes for anything other than "normal" life. They just won't, so really it's pointless to try. If you're helping others in the same situation that's great, but don't expect anyone else to "get it". Take that weight off your shoulders.

  10. I understand where you are coming from. My advice would be to try to look at the bright side. Your baby is alive. Because of the knowledge today's doctors have your little boy will be going home with you sometime soon.

    I carried a triplet pregnancy to 34-1/2 weeks. All three of my babes were born healthy with apgars of 9 and 10. The NICU doctor screwed up and didn't properly diagnose a complication of the PICC line and one of my babies died. I only took home 2 of my 3 babies. Your situation could be way worse. You get to take home your baby. There are so many parents who deliver early and go home empty handed.

    You have a lot to be thankful for.

    Years from now the pregnancy won't matter. The time with your little one is what will matter. Multiple pregnancies are never normal, regardless of whether or not you reduce. Its just a fact of life. But what we give up on the front end, we gain when we take our babies home.

    1. I am so sorry about your baby that died. I cannot imagine how horrible that would be! I do look on the bright side all the time. I really do feel lucky and I know it could be so much worse.

  11. What a milestone! Congrats on little Dylan making it to 40 weeks! This post had me in tears because I do know those raw feelings. Those memories keep running through my head from Henry's first month in the NICU. Those days were the scariest of my life by far. The fear that you may not take your child home was ALWAYS there. Here, coming up on day 75 for us, that fear is still there but it has lessened greatly. Every few days I check your blog to see if you made a post saying "HE'S HOME!" We're both in the long stretch.... FEEDING! We will make it through this and when our little ones come home we will wonder how we ever got through such a crazy experience.

    I don't know about you but I know that we talk to MANY NICU parents while we are here. We are currently room mates with a family who had their daughter at 25 weeks, 2 weeks after Henry was born. It is nice to be able to help out with questions they may have that we have already been through. I've made so many connections with NICU moms. I just pray that Dylan is able to quickly figure out that he needs to eat every bottle every time so that you can make your way home!!!

    PS: I'm pretty sure the blogger you mentioned was me! :)

  12. Oh my gosh I could have written this post word for word. I so so so get every nuance of everything that you're feeling. I'll make you a deal, you get Dylan to talk to MB about breathing and I'll send MB over to talk to Dylan about eating and both our boys will be home in no time! If it's any consolation, they're not joking about it being an "all of a sudden" thing with the lightbulb so you never know. You may walk in tomorrow and it'll be on! Cheering you all on and looking forward to celebrating his homecoming with you! PS what adorable big eyes he has!

  13. Thanks for this post and for sharing how your experience has made you feel. Happy 40 weeks to Dylan!