Tag Archives: pregnancy

Something That I Don’t Talk About

28 Mar

Aggghhh….Okay. This is the post that I didn’t really want to write. I didn’t want to write it because it makes me really sad. Which actually says a lot.

People have asked me to talk about what I felt like once I became pregnant again. What happened to make me decide to have another baby once I knew all that I knew about Oli.

I’ll start by telling you that it wasn’t an easy decision. Especially after we learned that Oli had a genetic deletion. It was something that could affect subsequent babies, although the likelihood was only 5%. 5% feels pretty huge once you already have an affected child. Any percentage above 0 feels like an enormously stupid roll of the genetic dice.

You want to know how I felt when I looked down at that little white stick and saw 2 pink lines appear?

I felt terrified. I felt scared and selfish and happy and overwhelmed.

I felt like I had probably just sentenced this tiny little miracle to a life of blindness. A life of doctors, therapies, and disabilities.

I didn’t have a whole lot of time to process learning that Oli’s condition was genetic. I found out about her OTX2 deletion and then found out I was pregnant just a few weeks later.

Many scenarios ran through my head once I knew that I was going to have another baby. One thought, which I really really HATE to talk about, was maybe I shouldn’t have her. Maybe I shouldn’t go through with this pregnancy.

I don’t like to talk about that thought because the idea of my Ginger not being a part of my life literally brings me to my knees with pain. It sends a stabbing knife of sorrow straight through my heart and makes it hard to breathe.

My baby girl. My little Ginger. I had seriously thought about not having her.

See no one really talks about this.

I was raised Catholic and abortion is something that you are never allowed to even mention let alone talk about. I never thought it would be something that I would ever consider. Because I never thought that I could do it. I always thought that if I got pregnant then I got pregnant and it was my responsibility to take care of that baby. Abortion was never an option.

Well…right at that moment…it became an option.

My views on abortion have always been more pro choice. Mostly because I don’t believe that I ever have a right to tell YOU how to live your life. That goes for my beliefs on everything. Religion, marriage, abortion… You name it. I don’t feel like I have a right to tell you what’s right for you. I’ve never lived your life, had your experiences, dealt with what you have. I never would feel comfortable telling you what to do. I don’t believe that anyone really should. Just because something may or may not be right for me does not mean that it may or may not be right for you.

So anyway…I struggled with what the right thing to do for me, my family, and my unborn baby might be. I did a lot of crying and a lot of praying and pleading that nothing was wrong with this baby. Eventually one night I was lying on the couch late at night. I remember lying there thinking, I have to make a decision before it’s too late. I tried to picture myself going into a doctor’s office and having the procedure. I tried to feel what it would be like to not know that anything was wrong, but choose to play it safe and not have the baby. How did it make me feel? Could I live with myself terminating a baby if I didn’t know that she was blind? What if she was blind? Was it really that bad? Even if she had other disabilities or something else happened, was it really better to never have been?

The answer I came up with that night was…no. No. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t end a life based on the fact that it might be hard for her. I couldn’t not have her because it might be hard on me. It was going to be scary, but I just couldn’t terminate the pregnancy. I decided that it would be way worse to NOT give this child a chance at life, then to just have the baby born blind. I chose blindness as a possibility for this child over death.

I’ve never made a more significant decision in my life.

I went to the doctor and then called the Albert Einstein Medical Center to see if they could do genetic testing on the baby before she was born to find out if she was missing her OTX2 gene.

It was scary. I was scared the entire 9 months that I was pregnant. Even after the amniocentesis came back and said that she was fine…I was scared. Because what if something else was wrong? What if they missed something? They missed noticing that Oli’s eyes were small before she was born, what if they missed noticing something with this baby?

It was scary because I continued to wonder if I had made the right decision.

Another baby was going to take time away from Oli. She needed so much more time because of therapy and doctor appointments and she just needed more help with everything. It was going to take time away from Kekoa. He had already had so much of his time stolen away by Oli’s disability. Another baby was going to take more. And the baby. What about the baby? Would I have enough time and energy or even enough emotion left for this baby? Would this baby get enough of what she needed?

Was this the right thing to do?

Could I do it?

I had all of those questions throughout my pregnancy.

And then Ginger was born.

I laid my eyes on the most beautiful baby girl. This little baby looked at me with eyes that said “Just love me. I don’t need anything else. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just love me.”

And I knew that I had made the right decision.

It was the right decision for me. I look back and think about what if things had been different? What if something had been wrong? Now I know that it wouldn’t have mattered.

It would have been a different road, but it wouldn’t have mattered. She would have been perfect anyway.

Because Oli is too.

Oli has taught me that life doesn’t always lead me down the nice, friendly, easy path. It’s not always sunny and clear. And that in my life I have received gifts that I never would have looked at as gifts. But that’s exactly what they are. If my last child had been born with a disability then she would have had a disability. She would have been different. And that’s okay. Different is just different. No more, no less.

I would have gotten through it.

Just like we all do when life hands us something that we are not expecting. We hate it, are angry with it and scream at it. We deny it and argue with it. And then we get through it.

And we move on.

Because really?

What else can you do?

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I Suck At Being Pregnant

10 Mar

My baby, Ginger turned 3 years old yesterday. 3!! I can’t believe she’s not like 20 by now! It’s almost hard to believe there was a time in my life that I didn’t want one more baby.

The day after we found out that Oli was blind, I turned to my husband and said “Well that’s all folks! We have hit our limit! Time to turn in our baby making equipment.”

It’s hard to remember a time when Ginger wasn’t just hanging around the house, laughing, singing, and trying to be the center of attention.

When your baby turns 3 I hear that a lot of people get asked “Are you having any more?” I only hear these things because I have NEVER been asked that question. Rather, my family pleads, “Please. For the love of God. Pleeeeaaaase don’t have any more!”

You think it’s because I have Oli right?

Nope.

It’s because I suck at being pregnant.

I mean I TOTALLY suck at it!!

I’m uncomfortable and sick and my back hurts and I’m grouchy and then I’m happy and I cry a lot and I’m tired and I’m paranoid and then it starts to feel like things are going to just fall right out of my girl parts and then I just start bitching at everyone.

Every once in a while (like maybe once every pregnancy) I love it. When the baby kicks I think “Wow! This is the coolest thing ever!” But, then I get kicked in the ribs or down in the no-no region and it feels like a foot is going to poke through down there and then I’m back to “Nope. This is horrible.”

I know that there are going to be some moms that read this and think “Well, I just don’t understand what she is talking about. I love being pregnant.When I’m pregnant I feel like I’m floating on air and riding on a unicorn surrounded by butterflies. I don’t even mind being sick and when I throw up I think that it’s amazing because it’s like I’m throwing up a little bit of heaven wrapped in nature’s love.”

Blahhhh….

Those moms might want to stop reading this post at this time because I’m about to bitch about it a whole lot more.

And then…then… you’re expected to give birth to them. Like being pregnant wasn’t torture enough, then you have to get them out of your body.

Oh. My. God.

It’s like something from a gruesome horror, alien, science fiction movie.

I had my 3 babies naturally. And by “natural” I do not in any way, shape, or form, mean that I had them drug-free. Oh HELL NO!! That’s just crazy talk. However, there did not seem to be enough drugs in the world for me not to feel completely mortified each and every time.

I mean that my doctor forced me to have them come out of my…you know where. (I hear that a C-section sucks even more so I’m glad that I didn’t have to do that.)

Before I had my first baby I was hoping that there was a way that I could get my doctor to just knock me out completely, do whatever he had to do to get the baby out without my knowing how he did it, and then just wake me up with a beautiful little baby in my arms.

Apparently they no longer birth babies this way and my doctor was in no mood for accepting my sobbing pleas or my attempts at bribery.

Soooo….I found myself at 38 weeks pregnant with my first child, lying on a hard table with wings attached to it, my legs propped up in the wings, exposing my nether regions to the entire audience, with a big Ziploc baggie thing under my bum, staring terrified at my doctor who was wearing a pair of safety goggles, SAFETY GOGGLES!, and a big hazmat looking plastic mask.

OH MY GOD!

Just WHAT is about to happen?

I vowed right then that I was NEVER going to do this again.

But, I became a mom moments later so my forgettery kicked in. 17 months later I found myself in the exact same position thinking the exact same thing.

I’m never doing this again. How did I forget this part? This is awful!

It’s a good thing that childbirth comes with a quick forgetter when it comes to that part.

Otherwise my son would be an only child and I would be missing the other 2 absolute best, most wonderful parts of my life.

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