Things Were Happening
Six years ago things were happening. This little blog of mine was moving right along. My snicker’s brownie recipe was everywhere. It’s an older photo which I should probably update, but it’s kind of nice to see how much I’ve improved too. A few of my projects were being featured in magazines (here’s one example), and I had recipes winning contests and was even getting to see them in print. I had two amazing little boys, my husband who is a rockstar, and we were expecting our third baby. It was fun and exciting and I was feeling really good about where things were headed…. And then things got messy, scary messy. I ended up in the middle of a high risk pregnancy. The baby was measuring really small and the measurements were getting worse each time. I was feeling just awful, way beyond pregnancy awful. I was diagnosed with placenta previa. Since my doctor was concerned with the baby’s size he referred me to a specialist who suspected that I also had placenta accreta. I’m not sure how much you know, if any of you even know about placenta accreta, but makes delivery super complicated and can be pretty dangerous for both mom and baby. I was being closely monitored and after two weeks my daughter crashed during a NST and I landed in the hospital 180 miles away from my family. Things got real. The baby was struggling to grow. The flow through the umbilical cord was restricted and even stopping at points which meant I needed to be somewhere that I could get to surgery as soon as humanly possible in order order to potentially save my daughter, and my own life as well. At the time I had a first grader, and a 4 year old. Being miles away from them was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But we didn’t have a choice. They needed a mother and it was my best chance to make sure that I saw them through elementary school, into their teenage years, driving a car, graduating from high school, choosing a college to attend, dancing at their weddings, at hopefully holding my grand babies. My world changed. We went into survival mode. And everything else came to a stand still.
I remember my dad visiting the hospital and wheeling me down to the gift shop to see if the magazine featuring one of my projects was on the shelves or not. That’s about all I could do. Besides being wheeled to my ultrasound checks, I wasn’t allowed to leave my ward unless I was checked out and in a wheel chair. I wasn’t allowed to leave for more than 30 minutes and had to stay on hospital grounds. The nursing staff got a little nervous if I was gone for even close to 20 minutes. That’s just how it was. I wrote letters to my boys every day, lived for the weekends when they could come visit, and tried to stay positive in a world where I was constantly reminded of the precarious situation I was in.
I had more nurses than I can count freak out because I didn’t have an IV in place on shift change. They wanted instant access to my veins because in their words, “I was a ticking time bomb.” Other nurses were more concerned with making sure I had good veins for my upcoming surgery. I wasn’t sure if I was coming or going. I toured the NICU where I prayed we wouldn’t have to spend any time, but was forced to face the reality that it was exactly where we were headed. I learned to decipher the numbers and readings on my NSTs, ultrasounds and cord Doppler studies and knew without being told when we were hanging in there and when things weren’t looking so good. I gained a whopping 4 pounds. I was at a teaching hospital and was the nurses favorite patient to bring students to because they could see things they didn’t normally get to show students. You could see where my abdominal muscles split apart. You could literally see the baby. It was a crazy adventure that I could write many many posts about…. actually, I could probably write a entire book about the experience. Who knows? Maybe I will.
The week before my very planned surgical delivery date things went from bad to worse. My fluid was virtually disappearing, tests were showing that we were barely hanging on, and yet the doctors felt it was necessary to push through if at all possible because they wanted the team they had prepared to be present for the surgery. They said it was our best chance at survival. How crazy is that? I’m not sure how we made it, but we did. I remember waking up after surgery and thinking, “I made it, but did she? Did my baby make it?’ It was a question that I desperately wanted answered, but was terrified of finding out all at the same time.
I count my blessings every day. She survived. We have a beautiful daughter. Somehow we all made it. My husband, my boys, my parents, his parents. We all made it. We spent some time in the NICU, which is it’s own chapter, but we survived. Unless you’ve experienced NICU, I’m not sure you could truly understand what it’s like to be NICU survivors. I swear we all experienced different degrees of PTSD – again, probably another chapter. In a different reality I might have been able to share all of this with you a lot sooner, but it’s taken this long for me to get to a place where I could share even this much. You might be thinking why now? Why share this story 6 years after it all happened? The truth is that I’m not all the way sure. I guess I’ve finally healed enough that I can breathe a little. It’s taken this long to convince my heart that we actually made it. That we are out of the woods and there isn’t some freak aftermath just waiting to explode. Part of me wonders if any of you might benefit in some way from my story. Part of me feels terrible that I disengaged from JCD so much. That you’ve been hanging around dealing with the quiet crickets and inconsistency that I left here. I don’t know, I guess I’m hoping you’ll understand and forgive me a little as I gear up and try to move in the direction I once was headed. Part of me wanted to thank those of you who are still here, for your support as life changed and evolved as it has. Thank you so very much.
New things are on the horizon. You might have noticed my new site design. It’s a work in progress, but isn’t it great? I’ve been working on building my design portfolio. I’ve opened an Etsy store that carries some of my gift items, and even started carrying items in my own shop here at JCD (more items are on their way). These are just a few of things that are happening. I’m working on new content and tutorials to help those of you who have been asking how to build your own blog business do just that. I’m so glad you are here. Thank you for all the support and love you give. Hopefully I can give the world back just as much as it gives me. That’s my goal, to appreciate this crazy beautiful life…. to simply celebrate this life that I’ve been given. Welcome to this new chapter of my journey.