February 7, 2012


Since I had Monkey almost 2 years ago, RoadTripDaddy and I have said we were done having kids. That decision is based on a few key factors.

When I was just over 6 months pregnant with Monkey, I got sick. I had horrible pain in my abdomen and a fever that wouldn't quit. It ended with me in the hospital for 4 days and almost won me a trip to a different hospital in the city for more testing. The diagnosis ended up being an infection. However, over the course of 4 days I saw just about every doctor/specialist, had an MRI and an amniocentesis. The result of an MRI showed on one single image the possibility of a blood clot in my ovary. The amnio showed no infection and the news that I would not be delivering that day. I learned later I was also missing a protein in my blood that could lead to clots.

Fast forward to my delivery with Monkey. What started out as a normal delivery turned into an emergency c-section when his heart rate fell to 48. I was very nervous during the c-section, especially as I heard the doctors quickly count through all the medical supplies to ensure they could get him out ASAP. My Monkey was not only face up, he had the cord wrapped around his neck and he was holding onto it. The doctor had to pry his hand off it. But all was well, when I heard him cry. I feed him before I passed out from the medication and then Monkey was taken to the nursery to get checked out and I was put in recovery.

When I was conscious again, Monkey was brought in for a second feeding. It didn't go well and I told the nurse to please feed him. I wasn't upset. I just wanted my little guy to get feed. I was told all c-section babies spend their first night in the nursery. I was exhausted and agreed.

A nurse returned shortly and told me there had been a problem feeding him and a doctor would be right in. The neonatoligist arrived and explained that Monkey had a dusty episode. Basically he had trouble with the feeding, choked a little and turned gray/blue. He was doing fine now, but they wanted to check him out. After checking his sugar levels, then following up 30 minutes later, his levels fell in half. This was the opposite of what they were supposed to do. The neonatoligist attacked me with a barrage of questions (while I'm sure he wasn't really attacking me that's what it felt like and that's still how I remember it).

Was I diabetic? (No) Are you sure? (Yes) Did you have gestational diabetes? (No - didn't I just answer this?) Was I sure? (Yes) Does anyone in my family have diabetes? (No) Are you sure? (Yes) Does anyone in your husband's family have diabetes? (No and I'm sure) Are you positive? (Yes - in my head: Are you effin kidding me? How many times are you going to ask this question?) One more final check to see if I was a diabetic and off the doctor went. I was told by the nurse that Monkey was being admitted to the NICU and he was going to be checked out.

Over the course of the next four days, Monkey stayed in the NICU. I stayed in my room, alone (by my choice. I told RoadTripDaddy to please stay with Sweet Pea at home to keep her in a routine until we were home. I figured there was no point in him missing work while I sat in a hospital room with no baby. Everytime I thought we would get some news about Monkey being released the NICU doctor had another concern. From a slow resting heart rate to the possibility of blood on his brain, Monkey had a rough start. The doctor ever told me she wanted to keep him for one additional day, after we had 36+ hours of no issues, just in case. This would have kept him at the hospital after I was released. RoadTripDaddy and I discussed this, spoke to my OB and Monkey's pediatrician. I told the doctor that if Monkey was fine on that Thursday morning, I wanted to take him home. We had plans to see the pediatrician that Friday. I said if there were any concerns by his pediatrician or any issues at all that we would come right back to the hospital. Thursday afternoon Monkey was released and we all went home. The final diagnosis was Monkey was adjusting to a traumatic birth. And that diagnosis pretty much stuck for RoadTripDaddy and I as well. It was traumatic for all of us.

Looking back now, I can clearly see that my postpartum depression started in the hospital. But it was 6 weeks before I was diagnosed and 8 weeks before the medicine and counseling started. At 6 weeks, Monkey had an upper GI and was put on medicine for acid reflux. He had heavy spit up or threw up after every meal for the first year. We all had a traumatic start after Monkey's birth. And it took time for us to get things figured out.

I was able to stop all medication three months before Monkey's first birthday. I still see my counselor but the conversations have changed. The conversations of late have focused on decisions. Going though postpartum and being diagnosed with the possibility of a blood clot that could threaten any pregnancy or me, has put us in a position where we are usually comfortable saying we are done having kids.

We have two beautiful, happy, wonderful children. Sweet Pea, who is all girl with a side of sass and Monkey, who is all boy with a smile and hug that melts our hearts. But at the same time, as we have gotten closer to making our decision permanent, both our doctors have interceded. As my OB told me today, I have about 14 more years where I could have another child. (In my head that number is actually about 4 more years.) She reminded me that I am young and we are talking about something that is permanent. I brought up that any pregnancy would be high risk and she agreed. I would have to be careful as that pregnancy could be harmful to our child as well as me. And that's where fear steps in. I know most people are uncomfortable with the unknown. But this scares the crap out of me. I don't want to make a decision based on fear. So at the end of the day, I feel like we are back at the same point. We are taking this one day at a time. Not ready to close the door on another child. A place I thought we walked away from almost 2 years ago.


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