Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marvellous Monday: Wednesday edition

Sorry I'm a few days late with this one. It was (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend and I was out of town visiting family. I barely got on the computer, and when I did, it was too late to post anything coherent. :-)

In honour of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I'd do a gratitude post with a twist. Everyone always talks about how thankful they are for the good things in their lives, but I want to something a little different. Not that I'm ungrateful for the good stuff - bring it on! My life is definitely filled with wonderful friends and family, a husband who works hard, and children who are healthy and happy. However, some of the greatest blessings in life come from our trials, and that's what I want to talk about.

I'll be the first to admit that I feel like I've led a prettty charmed life. I will also admit that this is extremely easy for me to say because I'm an optimistic person, and even when things aren't that great, my mind turns the situation into something positive. I'm a very logical person, and my universe has very little room for bad things. Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow, therefore, bad=good.

Am I weirding you out yet? Okay, good. I just want you to keep that in mind so you don't read the rest of this and go "This chick is a nut job". (Well, you might think that anyway, but whatever. At least I'm a happy nut.) It's using that logic, that I want to share one of the things for which I'm most grateful. I hope you'll forgive me for getting a little up close and personal.

When I was twenty-five, I was pregnant with our third child (a boy). We had a precocious 2 year old, and a one year old with some developmental delays (to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly thereafter). It was a little overwhelming to tote those little ones around, and I remember praying that our 1 year old (who could finally sit up on his own) would learn to walk by the time the baby was born. Yes, that was a little ambitious, but I prefer that my optimism dictate my reality and not the other way around...

At the end of the second trimester, we discovered that our incredibly active little baby had a condition known as anencephaly where the skull doesn't form completely. Basically, he had a hole in the top of his head, and only part of his brain was there. When the time came to have this little one, we wouldn't be taking him home from the hospital. It was devastating news. We were told that these babies generally don't trigger labour, and rarely even survive the birthing process. When they do survive, it's for a very short time, and there was no telling how much baby would suffer before dying. On top of that, they can bring a lot of complications for mom during delivery.

Since I was already high risk (I'd had a c-section and a forceps/vacuum delivery already, as well as going 42+ weeks with the first 2), we decided to induce labour a few months early. Really, it would be no different than inducing my other babies - all but one were induced, and even that one was 13 days overdue - and anything that could make it easier on me was a good thing.

It was just over a week between the diagnosis and the induction, and I was literally sick with grief during that time. I just kept thinking that these things only ever happened on TV or in books. I was too young for this (as if there's an age-appropriate time to have your child die...) and wondered why it had to be this way. It was pretty surreal. Even the hospital stay was crazier than it should've been. The doctors and nurses were baffled when it took so long to get my labour going. Anyone who came into my room said "It never takes this long". Meanwhile, this baby was busy kicking up a storm. It gave me hope that we'd get to hold him while he was still alive...

I hate to cut it off right here, but this is getting pretty long, and I've got to run. I'll post the rest of it tomorrow. Stay tuned...



cleemckenzie said...

That's a story to tear a heart into pieces, Tracy. The fact that you can write it is amazing to me. You do have a charmed life because you've lived through and accepted the tragedies and focused on all that's good.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, Tracy! My heart is breaking for you. I really, really hope your story has a happy ending. I'll be back. (((hugs)))