Definition: The state of being a mother. Reference: Merriam-Webster.
Recently, my mother has mentioned several times that a family member keeps bringing up the subject of grandchildren. She made the following statement this week. “You will never have any grandchildren of your own.” So, by this statement you would deduce that I am not a Mother.??
Can you help me to understand this statement? I really am at a loss.
It appears lately she has been fixated on the fact that most of my female cousins do not have children. She cannot get past it and keeps bringing up the subject to my mother. Given that my sister got married a year ago, now the competition is on again. I mean who keeps tally of such a personal thing as this?
Only two of the 7 cousins have given birth. One cousin passed away before marriage. One had several miscarriages in her early 30’s and has not tried again. One had a full hysterectomy at 27. One does not want children.
I have one full sibling. She married last year and has not had any children yet. I have 6 step-nieces and nephews, making my mother their Nanny. She is also Nanny to our son C.
Ummm….I did not fill out a survey when my son was born indicating how many days I would like him to be with us on earth… I did in fact conceive him and gave birth to him. Yes, I remember all to well the drive to the hospital in labor, as well as the following 10 hours leading up to his birth by emergency C-section.
So, her rationalization is that my son’s death erased his existence and therefore, my Motherhood?
I have been tossing this information around for a few days and weeks now. I can say that I am completely angry. I am in shock. How could someone in my own family be that hurtful? How could someone be that.. what is the word…uneducated. Umm, perhaps not the correct term but you know where I am going…
All I could stammer out to my Mother was the following:
Perhaps, you could inform her that I have already won the competition, 3+ years ago. I have a child. I am the one that held him as he took his dying breath. A life, I might add that I would have given my own for. A life that I begged God to spare.
…..Here is the rest of the story. Or well I will back track a bit. As many of you know, any number of things can happen with the birth of a preemie. They can be born with brain bleeds, etc. C was born, infection free, and with no bleeds. All of his blood and skin samples came back ok and his ultrasound, that was completed within hours of his birth, was clear…
The day we found out he was sick….
I had gone into the NICU with milk at 5 am. I went to sit and visit with him for a while. Preemies very commonly have apnea. In less than 2 minutes he had apnea 5 times. I asked what was going on. They said they were talking about intubation him but were waiting on some tests. I said absolutely not. I want it done now. He was too tired to wait one minute longer.
My husband and I went back to my hospital room and waited, as the Doctor asked, while they intubated him and ran more tests. At 9:15 am, the Doctor finally came to speak to us. She said that it could be Ecoli or Staph. It was very normal to pickup either of these during labour and birth. The following day we found out he had a heart murmur, which is very normal in preemies. More x-ray were ordered and another ultrasound……several hours later the original cultures came back and we found out he has Serratia. To be honest the best thing at that point was the ignorance factor as A) we had never even heard of it and B) had no idea, whatsoever, what this could possibly do. The answer to this question is far worse than anyone can imagine.
Warning… Things get MUCH worse from here. I will just briefly share what happened. The details are far to many. Truthfully, having lived them they are much more than I would wish to burden someone with.
The following day as I was sitting at his bedside. The nurses dry-tapped him and 20 minutes later we noticed blood in his intubation tube. They put the peap up and were able to stop the bleeding. He largely had a good and quiet morning.. Later that afternoon. He had a GM seizure. He was extremely agitated. They gave him a shot of medication hoping it would calm him down. It had the reverse effect. No chest movement so they had to break peap and bag him. They tried a second med a short time later. They had to break suction which caused the pulmonary bleed to start again and they had to bag him a second time. The Doctor sat at his bedside for 36 hours. She is a wonderful woman.
The following day another Doctor called us in, to speak with us. They ordered a lumbar puncture and another ultrasound. Both came back positive. The Serratia had eaten his platelet count down so low that he could not fight off Meningitis which caused the GM seizure and a grade 2 brain bleed. At this point we were told we were facing developmental problems. We informed her that we are a family and he is our son. Regardless.
Over the course of the next 9 days our son fought for his life. Bags and bags of plasma and platelets were given, meds upon meds. He would get a transfusion and his platelets would go up to 18 and then 3-4 hours later they would be back to 2 and 6 and 8. Blood work every 4 hours, 3 IV pumps, 6 lines T into 2 shunts. At points the shunts were in his right arm, leg, left arm, head. He fought. He is my son and he fought to live. Femeral stabs to check liver function, Kidneys shutting down. He gained over 2 lbs of fluid during this time as it went into the third space and the meds would not work to reverse.
Nine days later, as I rocked him, and he and his father held hands, he took his last breath. Our son was gone.
2 hours later we drove home, alone. Never in my life did I dream that I would give birth to my most precious gift and not be the one driving him home. Never, did I think that 3 weeks after he was born would I be standing at his grave listening to my husband read him his last bedtime story. Never did I think that I would be waiting for his headstone to be placed at his grave before the day he was due.
I am most thankful for each and every minute of the 19 days of my son’s life and the 28 weeks that I carried him. He is the best parts of my husband and I and was born out of love. He was most wanted. He is the single greatest gift we will ever know. We are the blessed ones, as we are his Mommy and Daddy.
This is how I became a mother with empty arms.
In my last post I talked about defining moments and events in life. All of us have had many.
First kiss, first love, graduation, the day I met my true love, the proposal, our wedding day and November 15, 2011. The day I got the BFP! Each of these events and many many more have shaped and changed my life in many ways.
In my very humble opinion the most defining moment of my life was becoming a mother. Hearing his heartbeat for the first time. First ultrasound. Hearing his most beautiful cry at 12:03 pm on April 27, 2012. He was here! 12 weeks early. Delivered by emergency C-section as he was breech. Feisty and weighing in at 1442 grams. 39 cms long. The most beautiful baby every born. (I know this as I am his mother.) Hahaha…
We settled in for a stay in the NICU. Most likely 8-12 weeks. He was doing well. I was pumping milk, he was active, eating well, thriving and gaining weight. My husband was living at the hospital with us. Our family of 3 was together and doing what we could. Breakfast in the morning, spending the day by his bedside, baths, feedings, diaper changes, and bedtime stories.
Nine days later something was wrong. Bloodwork was done, meds were started, shaved his hair for IV’s. He was sick. One of the scariest things any parent can hear.
Sending out good thoughts for the weekend!