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Octomom had already delivered her babies and Sully had landed his miracle on the Hudson. I was watching all of that unfold on the news in January while pregnant with our third baby boy. After delivering two previous preemies, I had finally been granted bedrest at 21 weeks. I remember the letter from my OB which included the words " . . . to improve positive outcome . . . " Wow. I was home with my other two littles, ages 3 years and 18 months old. Just as I was handed the bedrest letter, my long-time and trusted OB told me that he is being let go due to the economy! I was transferred to someone who had absolutely no business taking care of me. I knew it when we met her. I had that little voice that told me to run and I didn't listen. At that point, I was 26 weeks along and didn't really know where to turn.
I had two appointments with her on 2/5/09 at 26 weeks and again on 2/19/09 at 28 weeks. Those were the last two times I would ever hear our son's heart beating. At the second and what would become my last prenatal appointment ever, it was the OB's birthday. She turned 40. At that appointment, I told her nurse, who didn't know me, that I was feeling very swollen and very tired. I was concerned. There were at least 3-4 urine samples in the collection bin when I left mine that day. I relayed those same concerns to the OB. She was distracted by the kids or thinking of her birthday plans later on that night. No ordering a test to do a 24-hour protein screen for a patient with a history of severe preeclampsia, no scheduling me to come back next week, no suggestion of seeing me weekly to keep an eye on me, nothing. I was unaware that she was a part-time OB and lucky me, she had kids at home roughly the same ages as mine! My next appointment was scheduled more than two weeks out. I was being scheduled based on her availability. I never made it to that next appointment on Monday, March 9th. No, I would be at home that day, rubbing my stomach of where our son once was, laying on the couch with ice packs on my breasts to suppress my milk production, awaiting 1 of 2 daily Lovenox injections from my husband, and staring at my bruised arms from the multiple attempts to start an IV several nights before.
When I had gone back to her office to get my staples out, my stomach churned when I entered her desk area. There was clutter galore and it just struck me again. This person didn't have a clue. Why was I even surprised that she didn't know how far along I was when I called that one late afternoon, that I was a French teacher on leave, a high-risk patient, etc. Urgh! One couldn't find a darn thing in that office. I don't know how or why I trusted this person, this stranger, to hold my health and my most precious treasure in her hands. In some ways, I hoped that the details would have become foggy by now, but they are still there, just as fresh as the day they happened. One doesn't get over a loss, not this kind. I am still angry at the circumstances, the carelessness. I have cried a lot this past month. I welcome the tears as I know they need to come out.
All that time ago, I couldn't even fathom this many years out. To be just a few weeks away from year 10 is unbelievable! It's year 10 for many of my angel mom friends whom I've met on this journey. So, here I am almost ten years later. I am so grateful to be a mom to three beautiful babies. I just wish that I wasn't loving one of them from so far away. I sometimes think about what life might be like right now with boys ages 13, 11, and 9, but I already know that answer. WONDERFUL!
Speaking of boys, they are both definitely as tall if not a bit taller than me and growing more each day. My oldest answers the phone and it's surprising because it sounds like there's a man in my home. It's gone from little boy to grown man voice. Where's the transitional high pitched cracking voice we were expecting? My "middleman" T is actually taller than his older brother D, which bothers him slightly. I can't believe that D will be a Freshman this Fall. That's how fast time goes, how much life happens in a decade! One moment, I've got an early preschooler and a toddler. The next moment, I'm buying deodorant for four people!
Next month, we celebrate 17 years of marriage and 24 years together. I couldn't be doing as well as I am today without the support of my husband and our kids. These guys have loved me through all of the good days and plenty of the bad ones. They make me laugh, remind me to smile, and tell me not to worry (too much). When Naethyn died, I vowed that I would do my best to live a full life and love these guys at no end. While my heart is still a crumbled mess, I remind myself that life is still good. I'm going to be reliving the upcoming weeks and cry more strong tears. We're going to honor our little one on his angel day and just be together.
I just watched a program recently called "Pregnant in America." Boy, do I have a few things to add to that documentary.
It's amazing how grief and pain can seem so fresh and those days when you're really in it can last forever and yet time passes in the blink of an eye and suddenly 10 years have gone by! Hugs to you and your little men. My own boys were reminiscing about meeting yours at ShareUnion :-) Pregnant in America sounds interesting... netflix by any chance?
10 years. It's such a tough milestone. Last August was 10 years for us. I shed more tears than in other recent years, but that was what I needed. I will be keeping you and Naethyn close in my thoughts these next weeks.
Sending hugs and love,
P.S. Do we still get to be in charge when everyone towers over us? ;)
I miss you dear friend! Thinking of you with so much love!
Hugs and love to you as you remember your angel. Will be 12 years for me this year. Does and doesn't get easier.
Sending hugs and love.
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
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