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Five C-Sections

Being pregnant for your fifth time, with your sixth baby, with just three little boys at home…makes for some complicated conversations! And being pregnant only four months after loss, makes for a complicated and extremely emotional pregnancy. The last thing you want to be is pregnant with another baby…you want to still be pregnant with what you lost and nothing else. All you can think about is how devastated you are, how much you hurt, how your happy little life feels gone forever and wondering how on earth you can truly be fully happy ever again. Except you’re still a mom and a wife, and one thing you know deep down, is that you want more children. Even if we hadn’t lost the twins I’m POSITIVE I would have wanted at least one more. You don’t feel ready for it yet, and the choice is different for everyone, but for us, we still knew we needed to have another baby as soon as possible. Since the c-section had gone great (it was my fourth), our doctor had no reservations on why we needed to wait more than a couple of months.

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There was a part of me that didn’t want anyone to know because I knew telling people we were pregnant again would bring relief to them, though it had brought none to us, so I wanted to avoid all the “happy” conversations of how wonderful it was to be pregnant. It’s not that I wasn’t happy to be pregnant, but that’s all we were, happy that another baby was on the way, happy that the growth of our family could continue. Other that that, everything was status quo in relation to the twins. If anything, things had gotten worse. Nothing like grieving and then adding first trimester symptoms to that grief? I don’t know why, but it took until four months into the pregnancy that I realized, wow, that last four months was ridiculously hard!! And probably mostly because I was pregnant! Though at the time, I thought it was just the grief, and it made it seemingly impossible to feel like life was getting better instead of worse. And as a result, made us doubt that even getting pregnant so soon had even been the right choice! Wondering if I was even fit to be the kind of mom this new little baby deserved.

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But finally those terrible months ended, and I started to feel better about our chances at being good parents again at least. Ha. One of the best things I did was started buying a few more new pieces of maternity clothing. Everything I had reminded me of the twins, which was good and bad. I have this inherent crazy strong need to be reminded of them, no matter how much it hurts. It feels natural to hurt and unnatural to hide their reminders. Kind of like when you have a bruise, and you push it periodically just to see how painful it still is or isn’t…or is that just me? Hmmm. But at the same time, having some new things to wear did loads for my outlook on this pregnancy, and really helped me look forward at least some of the days instead of doing nothing but always reflecting backwards on the pain.

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And the exact same is true in relation to buying some new things for the baby. One day I came across a cute little idea for a baby blanket (promise to share when it’s done), so I went out and bought the material for it. I couldn’t figure it out, but I just felt better that day. I realized later it was after I’d bought the material that I’d felt so much lighter…making those preparations, even so small, helped me feel like things were going to somehow work out with a new baby in the family. It isn’t easy knowing if your heart can handle it all. It was in a sense all ready creating new memories and fresh things to remind me of the new, fresh life that was on its way. Even shopping online for possible things I was thinking about depending on whether it was a girl or boy helped! For the first time, I considered putting up a different pattern of wallpaper. I had never gotten around to ordering from the sample I’d decided on for the twins…after this day I thought to myself maybe it would be great to have a new pattern in there. And I still had the sample to do something cute with to remind me of the twins too, but it felt like such a big step for me, separating myself from that wallpaper. Maybe too big of a step. And then I ended up in the hospital shortly afterwards, so it’s all on hold again anyways!

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And honestly, one of the worst things I’d have to say (for me anyways!), was trying to think of more baby names for this sixth babe. We barely got by with two darling names I loved for the twins, how could I possible think of ANOTHER possible boy name? The answer is I couldn’t! Nothing was good enough, it didn’t matter what I thought of, I just kept thinking, “it’s not near as cute as Shepard and Deacon.” I couldn’t tell if it was just because their names had never had a chance to wear off or even really be spoken much in our family, that nothing was ever going to sound as cute, or if it was just because nothing else I was thinking of really was even cute! Our hearts just weren’t in it, and it was really stressing me out. Thinking about it was super upsetting. We even came extremely close to finding out the sex of the baby for the first time, just so that we could at least find out if it was a girl, then we could save ourselves the heartache of thinking of another boy name so soon. We also felt knowing the gender may help us “bond” with the new baby better too, since the ultrasound was just after the first trimester abyss, and we were having a really difficult time focusing on the future little one.

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But the day of the 20-week ultrasound when I asked the tech to include the information in the chart, the second I did, I felt disappointed inside. We’ve always lived for the surprise…and not just a little bit, but a LOT. I just love it, and I’m also one of those planners…I like to have everything just right, but no amount of “excuses” (ha ha) makes sense to me when it comes to planning. Seriously, buy a few awesome 0-3 month stuff for both a boy and a girl and you’re good to go! Everything else can come later, nothing is worth ruining that surprise and getting to immediately hold said boy or girl after hearing what you’ve had. Again, personal opinion. I just knew that I would be sad if I let our hurting hearts give in and find out before it was delivery time, so when I got to my doctor, she smiles and says, “so I get to tell you what it is today!”. She seemed momentarily confused when I said, “no!” Ha ha. In the end, I am happy we didn’t find out…though Derick still wanted to. Ha ha.

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And it was in this follow-up visit with our doctor that we learned of the complications with this impending fifth c-section, so the focus has pretty much been on a healthy delivery ever since. I was carrying placenta previa, meaning the placenta had formed completely over my cervix instead of higher up in the uterus like normal. It’s really common, but in most cases, the placenta moves out of the way by delivery and isn’t a big deal. Not so for us of course. Since I’d had four previous Cs, my doctor explained that I had a really high chance of the delivery ending in an emergency hysterectomy, (don’t get me started on the emotions of hearing that news), the need for me to be delivered in the Foothills Hospital, the best place for high-risk deliveries, (twins were born in the Foothills, as soon as she mentioned the name I started to cry), and how placenta previa often ends in premature babies due to the high risks of having bleeds early in pregnancy, (the only thing worse than going back to the Foothills was having to spend time in their NICU again). That was a crappy day.

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On December 14 at 30 weeks I woke up at 3am with a significant and scary bleed. After a 911 call and a looong terribly worrisome night that reminded me all too much of the day the twins were born, we were back in the Foothills Hospital. I’m still pretty shocked that that bleed eventually stopped, and I didn’t end up delivering that day! And thankful! I stayed in hospital until 32 weeks, and for the last week, I shared a room with two different moms who were carrying high risk twins. I had originally been so happy this baby was due in February, so I could focus on the twins in January, knowing it would be a hard month, and then look forward to some new beginnings in February. And now here I was, in the Foothills, a floor away from the NICU, hearing the heartbeats of two babies at the same time being monitored twice daily just a curtain away. Answering a billion times about my medical history, the twins, over and over. Why on earth do they bother writing it down anywhere if they’re just going to ask me every time all over again!? Read the chart!! (I may have quoted that last sentence to a resident. Ha ha.)

I was so thankful to be cleared for release just in time to spend Christmas with my family in a hotel in Calgary. (I’d had no more bleeds.) It felt ridiculously good to leave the hospital and be with my boys again. I was at a breaking point, no doubt. Now Derick is back to work, Van is in school, Baker stays at my parents’ during the day, and I’ve kept Boston in Calgary at my sister’s house with me, just to keep from getting completely homesick! I’m happy to be able to stay with family, and I know I need to be here in Calgary so I can stay close to Foothills. I’m also working from here, trying to earn enough hours for another maternity leave, so at least that is distracting me a bit. Right now the goal is to deliver on January 31st when I’ll be 37 weeks. My doctor seemed doubtful I’ll make it that far! Guess we’ll see. I’m so happy I’m far enough along that the baby really should be great, it’s all ready almost six pounds and has hair they said! But I sure would like to keep my uterus and avoid anymore traumatizing life experiences.

And of course, easy guess who took these maternity pictures for me. :) I literally ruined 95% of them (I know, I weeded out the terrible ones myself). I’m by far Leah‘s worst client she’s ever had…and unfortunately for her I’m her most common repeat customer. Ha ha. I really wanted to document this pregnancy, I’m so worried inside it will be my last one. It’s not a fun feeling.

 

January 11, 2014 - 9:19 pm

Julie Kelso - I can imagine the pain and fear you have been going through. The uncertainty of our future with Kenny’s cancer has certainly thrown us for a loop this past year. It is a far different fear, but I know how fear can grip you so hard that you can’t even breath sometimes. Having to share a room with moms with high risk twin pregnancies just seems utterly cruel on the part of the hospital. My heart goes out to you. Glad you are able to have at least one of the men in your life with you at your sister’s. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

January 14, 2014 - 2:12 pm

Micah - I am in tears. You are so brave to write down all of your feelings. I imagine its helpful for your heart to reflect and write it all down. You are an incredible mother and I am inspired by you in everything you do. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your darling family.

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