Sunday, 26 August 2012

Oh the Memories of a Month in Hospital with Elly

    Hard to believe but we are fast approaching one week until school starts.  I am not ready for school to start.  I am one of those mother's who actually likes having her kids around.  This September marks the day I have been dreading for almost 4 years, my last baby goes to school.  I can't believe it is already that time.  Where has time gone?
    It feels like it was just yesterday I found out I was pregnant with baby number 5.  Elly is a blessing.  She should not really be here.  If we still had Gabe, we would not have Elly.  It's a strange concept.  To have one child, would mean not having the other.  All my life I wanted 4 children.  I wanted two boys and two girls, in my dream I even had twins.  My dream came true, only to snatched away from me.

    I remember back in my days of blissful ignorance when I would see on television that someone who had lost a child decided to have another.  I always thought they were trying to replace the dead child, and what a terrible burden to put on a new child.  I was, as I say "ignorant".  After Gabe died, the world was an empty place.  The thing that kept Christopher and I going were the three kids.  I am honestly not sure what would have happened to us if we didn't have to go on for the other kids.  
    Gabe had been gone three years, when Christopher and I decided we would like to try for another baby.  We did not want to replace Gabe, there was no replacing Gabe, he was a one of a kind.  Three felt like the wrong number.  Four felt good, four felt whole.  It was already becoming increasingly obvious that three was not a good number.  Even at the ages of 6 and 3, the three kids would take turns teaming up, and leaving one of the kids out.  Four was a much better number than three, and so we began to try.   We knew that age was against us, we were 36.  After trying for 6 months and not conceiving we gave up.  For us, conception had always been as easy as deciding to try.  Infertility was a new concept to us.  We resigned ourselves to three children.  At around the point that we had resigned ourselves to three children I became pregnant.
    I discovered the hard way that pregnancy is for the young.  Pregnancy at 33 with twins, had been easy until the last month.  Pregnancy at age 36 / 37 was 50 times harder than pregnancy at 33 with twins.  Everything ached almost right from the beginning.  I had no idea how much harder it would get before it was finished.
    I had Placenta Previa with all of my pregnancies.  For those of you not in the know, Placenta Previa is where the placenta attaches on or near the cervix, instead of the wall of the uterus.  My Placenta Previa had always moved itself up just enough that it was not an issue.  I went to see my OB in Kingston about this time in August, four years ago.   I thought that I was having a routine check up.  My OB (Dr. Thomas, who I LOVED, and followed to Kingston when he left Belleville to pursue teaching at Queens University) calmly told me that I had Placenta Previa.  I was super calm, because as I say I had this with every pregnancy, it always cleared up.  I was due mid- November, it was no big deal.  When Dr. Thomas told me he needed me to pack a bag and come to the hospital the next day, he may as well have slapped me in the face.  I told him there was no way I was ready to check into the hospital.  He then informed me, with a note of panic on his face, that I could bleed to death at anytime, and it would kill myself and the baby.  If the first comment had been a slap in the face, this one amounted to an uppercut.  I had nothing prepared for baby #5, she was not due for almost two months, and I always went over my due date with every pregnancy (not so much with the twins, they were a month early, but for twins that is kind of late).  
    In the end I had negotiated, and told my doctor that there would be no way I could possibly come into the hospital in less than two weeks.  He shook his head, and tried to argue for me to come in sooner, but there was no way I could.  I had 3 little children at home, things needed to be put into place.  Dr. Thomas again warned me that I could bleed to death, and if there was any trouble I was to rush to the hospital.  I left the appointment sobbing.  The next two weeks were a blur of panicked activity.  Christopher had to take an unpaid leave of absence from work, it was less than ideal financially, but there was no other way.  I washed and then looked out a month's worth of clothing.  I did a month's worth of shopping.  I set up with my sweetheart of a hair dresser, Lyle Bechard, that my girls would come in and see him every morning before school.  Lyle opened his shop early for my girls, and then refused to accept payment, amazing.  It was a huge relief to me that my girls would look nice to go to school (Christopher took pictures of their hair and would show them to me when they would visit).  I could not be a part of their lives then, and it was tore me up.
  I spent a month in Kingston General Hospital.  It is about an hour and a half from our home in Tweed.  Because of the distance, and cost of gas I was only able to see my kids once a week.  When it was time for them to leave they would be sobbing, begging me to come home.  It nearly killed me.  It was a long month.  My friends lent me boxed sets of their favourite tv shows, the portable dvd player saved my sanity.  I made friends with some of the other "lifers" (that's what us placenta previa girls called ourselves).  Friends and family sent and brought care packages.  What kept me going were mind games.  I kept convincing myself that my hospital room was just like my dorm room at York.  I put up pictures that my kids had drawn me.  My door was decorated with pictures the kids had made.  I had a craft corner, which gave all the staff a chuckle.  I made my room as unhospital like as I could.
    In the end our little miracle was worth all of the hardship.  Out came this beautiful baby at 8 pounds even (not too bad for a three weeks early).  She helped to heal the rawness of my soul.   Elisha Gabrielle did not replace her big brother,  she completed us.  

It's hard to believe that was almost 4 years ago now, and that same little girl is going to school.  Where does the time go?

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