Thursday, 10 January 2013

Journey to Isabel

One year ago, I lay on my couch with my abdomen gigantic. I wondered whether I would ever feel normal again. After a night of throwing up and a quick trip to the hospital and an emergency c-section, Isabel was born at 6:30 am. Four weeks early, which put her in the premature category. After a brief photo op, they whisked her away because she had some weird rash. I was not doing very well and had a fever. The next bit of time was a bit of a blur. Isabel was off somewhere and I wouldn't get to see her until I had recovered from the surgery.

Once I could move my toes, I was taken to see my baby in the ICN but I didn't get to hold her yet. She had
an IV, :( , and was hooked up to all kinds of sensors.

It was a difficult journey to get to this point. I remember thinking when I was young that all I wanted to be was a mom. So I continued on with things until I could get to the point when I could fulfill my dream. Sometimes it takes forever to find a good mate, I didn't expect I'd be 27 when I got married. I am blessed to have John as my husband, definitely worth the wait. I figured we'd wait a year or two and then start having babies. After two years, we were told don't get pregnant yet your blood sugars aren't good enough. We spent eons (slight exaggeration) trying to perfect sugars. I gave up waiting for that to happen and we decided to try to get pregnant (while still working on diabetes control). It was then we found out that my body wasn't working right for getting pregnant for no apparent reason. A few more years passed. Now I'm getting more anxious because now I'm 35 and diabetic resulting in more high risk potential for pregnancy.

Then for some inexplicable reason, my body started working better. I had an ovarian cyst removed in December 2007. In early 2009, I was pregnant. We were very excited and scared. But it wasn't to be, 7 weeks in and I miscarried. Then it happened again, and 8 weeks in we miscarried. And then again, but this fetus wasn't viable and 8 weeks in we miscarried. That was 3 miscarriages in 12 months.

I had a kazillion tests and there didn't appear to be an explanation for the miscarriages. Apparently, nothing medically wrong. We didn't quite know what to do. Try again? Adopt? Give up? Be childless? We felt that we didn't want to be childless and started to look into adoption. It was an emotionally draining time. Many people around us were having babies. We were happy for them but it still hurt. It was especially hard to hear about pregnancies in women who didn't deserve to have babies in my judgement. That is a bit of a harsh statement but that's where I was and I realize the wrongness of the judgement.

We became excited again in early 2011 and everything seemed to be going well. An ultrasound at 9 weeks however showed that there was no heartbeat. It took about another 3 weeks to miscarry. I didn't bother going in to the hospital. This miscarriage was complete with labour pain. There is nothing worse than going through that kind of pain knowing that in the end you get nothing. The enduring of labour pain is made possible with the knowledge that in the end you get to hold your baby in your arms. Well that's a bold statement but it's true in my head. This was a devastating experience. We allowed ourselves to become hopeful when things seemed to be going well. Then all hope was dashed against the rocks.

To my great consternation, we were pregnant again in May. I was so angry. I didn't want to go through the pain again. And yet a little seed of hope was trying to grow. I decided that I wasn't going to do any of the things I was supposed to like take vitamins, give up my tea, take progesterone. At 8 weeks, I had an ultrasound. It was astoundingly positive. The seed of hope sprouted. A few days later, I started spotting. Really, really, not again! Nine weeks another ultrasound, again it was good. The spotting stopped. And hope grew and so did I. (I also started taking vitamins but I never gave up my tea)

At 19 weeks or so, we felt confident enough to tell people. By 7 months, I felt huge. At 8 months, I thought how is it possible that I get any bigger. It was a bit of a relief that Isabel came early. She had to stay in the hospital for 11 days until she learned how to eat. Her weight dropped from 6 lbs to 5 lbs 6 oz in the first week but she grew steadily after that.

Now my little girl is 1 (tomorrow). Happy Birthday, Isabel! We are so blessed to have you.


John Hanley said...

What a wild and emotional journey!

Happy Birthday Baby! Daddy loves you!

Very proud Papa!

Jeremiah Burns said...

So profound with such an amazing happy ending! Happy birthday Isabel!

BrackenBurns said...

Love reading this! inspiring!

Amy Lauree said...

Mikaela, thank you for posting about this journey. It brought tears to my eyes to read of the difficulty you and John endured during that time. Your courage and hope is inspiring.

rachel said...

:) what an amazing journey Mikaela! And what a tough time you were going through when we were attending the Canopy together. Have you guys found a new church home?