Monday, January 25, 2010
Memory Lane: Not quite the Autobahn, but a wild enough ride.
I remember the pregnancy well,I still wear those pajama pants, and I don't think I look all that different than I do in this picture, but it seems like a lifetime ago. Sure, it was Noah's lifetime, but it seems like a long time. More than five years.
Some moms look at pictures of themselves pregnant and think " where did time go?" and " it seems just like yesterday that I was feeling you move and kick me from inside." I am not one of those moms. Maybe I will be, someday, but now? No. When I think back, I think to all the work, all the challenges, all the wonderful days, but I can feel the difference between the mom in that picture and the mom I am today. It's a big chasm.
Noah is our 3rd and last child. I was days shy of my 42nd birthday when he was born. The line we give is that perimenopausal means " you can still get pregnant". But I knew I could still get pregnant. Although the chances were slim that I would, we didn't do anything to stop it. The truth is that was the second pregnancy within a year. 7 months before getting pregnant with Noah, I had a miscarriage at 10.5 weeks. On Thanksgiving. After cooking, and serving the family meal.
I had found out I was pregnant with that child the day before I was scheduled to go in to get my tubes tied. The same doc asked, upon confirming that I had lost this baby, if I wanted to get that done. I couldn't. In my head I could not go from pregnant to never being able to have another child, although we did not plan on having any more.
The other line we give is " once we found out where all these babies were coming from, we put a stop to that!". This is entirely true. When Noah was delivered I did have my tubes double knotted. I KNEW this was the end of the baby making for me. While my sweet OB hummed as she worked on my fallopian tubes, my newborn son was struggling for breath. He was born with premature lungs, an easy fix once he got to the right hospital, but we didn't know that at the time. We just saw another baby heading to the NICU unable to get a breath. We saw another child whisked away from my arms, unsure of what was wrong with him but having a sickening feeling of deja vu.
Luke was born that way 6.5 years before Noah. He had a very rough entry into the world. For medical reasons, he couldn't be held until he was a week old. Actually, Bekah even did a NICU stint after swallowing a wad of meconium. Then Noah. Three babies, three trips to the NICU. Two of them via ambulance to Childrens Mercy Hospital. Cut, knot and hum away Doc. We are done. We are grateful for what we have, but we knew the challenges ahead of us. Or rather, we knew the challenge of uncertainty that was ahead of us.
The mom flashing a goofy smile in that picture, she didn't know what her next few weeks would feel like, look like, or how they would play out. She had forgotten the feeling of nursing, and sleep deprivation and the tug of her heart when a newborn makes eye contact. She could not know what it would feel like to have her first and middle child bond so deeply and so quickly with the newest member of her family. She couldn't foresee the triumphs and challenges of being a mom at such an age. She had no clue as to the joy and hurdles that would lay ahead of her and her family. But she can now. In her rear-view mirror. And those five years have been a long and curvy road.