Sunday, September 18, 2011

half way

i really can't believe that i'm already half way through this pregnancy. i think our busy summer helped the first half go by so fast, and i'm pretty sure the craziness of the holidays, which will be here before we know it, will help the second half to fly by too. at least i'm hoping that to be the case.

i know that i complain. a lot. john would be more than happy to vouch for that statement, i'm sure. it seems ridiculous to even utter one word of complaint when we've been trying for, and hoping for, and crying for, and praying, praying, praying for, this pregnancy for four and a half years. but i guess maybe since it's been over 5 years since i've had a baby, i seem to have forgotten how horribly uncomfortable, and miserable, and tiring, and nerve-racking, pregnancy can actually be. i mean the nausea, the throwing up, the sleepless nights, the anxiety, the lack of energy, the varicose veins (yep this has actually happened to me this time around), the cramping, the diarrhea (oh, you don't get diarrhea during pregnancy? oh...uh...neither do i), the heartburn, the swollen body parts, the weight gain, the smells(oh the smells), the food aversions, the loss of dignity, the embarrassing surgeries (yes. hanging naked, upside down in the or, while your doctor stitches up your cervix is embarrassing. it is, trust me). and besides all the discomfort, if you're anything like me, you worry your guts out about your baby...until he's placed safely in your arms. and even then, you don't stop worrying.

i don't tend to be a super anxious person in general. but pregnancy turns me into a complete basket case. especially after the loss of our sweet baby isaac at 23 weeks. i worried my way through the entire 9 months with ruby. my doctor put me on klonopin, which is an anti-anxiety medication. it helped me to at least be able to sleep at night...but i worried nonetheless.
i'm on klonopin this time around too. and again it takes the edge off, allows me to get a somewhat decent night's sleep, and helps me to at least be able to function well enough to care for my other children. sort of. poor john. he picks up so much of the slack.
again, with this whole incompetent cervix thing that i've been diagnosed with, i just worry. despite the fact that i'm all stitched up...i still worry. i worry i will dilate too early, and the reinforcement of the stitches will be compromised. i worry i will be placed on bed rest like i was with ruby (three months was way too long then, i cannot even imagine what it would be like with two other little ones to care for). i worry that i will overdo it and put too much pressure on my cerclage, and that the stitches might just tear right through. i don't even know if that's possible? but i worry about it. i worry that out of the blue one day, jude's heart will just stop beating, and i'll have to deliver a stillborn baby. pretty morbid thoughts, i know. just trying to get my point across. pregnancy turns me into a worrier. an unhealthy worrier.

i had my mid-pregnancy ultrasound on Friday, you know...the one where they check over the entire anatomy of the baby. and, well, i guess now i have one more thing to add to my list of worries. i figured something may have been a bit off when the sonographer left (mid ultrasound), and the doctor came in to pick up where she left off. he proceeded to explain to us that our baby has what's called echogenic bowel. right now, in the 2nd trimester, it's a bit early to tell what that could actually mean...but here's what we do know: echogenic bowel is basically a bright bowel. through ultrasound the abdomen should appear to be grayish in color...our baby's is white. like the same whiteness as his pelvic bone which could easily be seen in the same scan. echogenic bowel could indicate a few things, namely, down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, some sort of infection that the baby has contracted, a blockage - which would require immediate surgery at birth, the baby could be swallowing some blood which is showing up bright on ultrasound (more common if there was a threatened miscarriage early on in the pregnancy), or, within the next few weeks or months, it could clear up on it's own, with no explanation as to it's cause...or cure. next week i will undergo a series of tests, screenings, and lab work, which may rule out (or indicate) some of these possibilities. and then they will continue to get ultrasounds (on top of the cervical length ultrasounds that i'm already having done every two weeks) of the baby to more closely monitor, and determine, the severity of the problem. right now my doctor said it's about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10, but that they will have a much better indication in the third trimester. now, for me, it doesn't matter either way. of course, you never want to see your child suffer. no doubt you want them to get here safe and sound, and perfectly healthy in every way. but, on the other hand, i know, and have witnessed, and felt, the beautiful spirit of a special needs individual...their sweet child-like innocence, their perfect, God-like love. they are so special, and so close to their Heavenly Father. i would be honored to be given such a gift. a perfectly flawless spirit, housed inside of an imperfect, flawed body. i know that with that would come many many tears, and heartbreak, and pain, and worry (i may have to be on klonopin for life), and money, and sacrifice. lots and lots of sacrifice. but if that was Heavenly Father's plan for our family, how could i ever want or hope for anything different? the love i feel for my baby jude is indescribable, and i haven't even met him. i cannot imagine how that love will deepen and intensify when i get to see him for the very first time, and hold his tiny body (broken or whole) in my arms. nothing will compare.

even though it doesn't matter either way to us - because we know that we are in the Lord's hands, and that He has a perfect plan for our imperfect family - i guess i'm still just asking for your prayers of faith in our behalf. that our hearts and minds can be at peace...whatever the outcome. and also that maybe i can stop worrying...just a little. at least about the things that are outside my own control.

we would greatly appreciate it.


Whitney said...

We can definitely send prayers your way! And if you need anything else (not just saying it, i really mean it) then I'd be happy to watch your kids so you can go to your appointments or bring by dinner, seriously I would in a second. I appreciated your words and admire your courage and strength.

natalie eve said...

i will pray for peace for you nicole. i'm the same way when i'm pregnant. i worry the WHOLE time and am in triage more often than i would like to be. we can't help but worry as mothers. but worrying is not productive (i wish i would listen to this when i am pregnant). you definitely have the right attitude. Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for you and your family. no matter what the outcome with your sweet baby jude, he is a special gift for your family and you guys will be fabulous and adapt no matter what.

love you girl.

Teagan said...

I am so happy for you!
and thats a pretty awesome artistic picture!! Love it!!
MIss you

Travis and Teresa Wilson said...

Haven't stopped praying for you guys and little one. Love you and think the world ofyou.

Kelly said...

stay strong Nicole. No one can do this better than you can and you set the most perfect example for every other mother in the world. Your spiritual connection and intuition and just everything about you is amazing to me. xoxo you are truly one amazing, incredible momma.

Lacking Productivity said...

You are in my prayers, you incredible woman, you.

Hello my Name is Rachel... said...

You're in my prayers sis! I love you more than words can express. No matter what the outcome is, you will be the best mom around!

The Sorensens. said...

that is such an awesome picture! hope everything goes smooth and you will feel peace.