"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Real ... a baby update

Five babies were relatively easy.  I really didn't think much of it. But after my fifth, I got a not so great report card at an annual exam resulting in a phone call using the words irregular, cells and cancer.  There was a surgery and then another before I got a clean bill of health.

I hadn't expected that we might be finished growing our family until two consecutive miscarriages scared me into the realization that I was so much more lucky than I'd ever imagined to have the five I had.  Regardless of my will, and love for all things baby, I might just be looking at game over.

As I've mentioned before, Eliza — my six baby — was a surprise.  I'd moved to the country.  I'd changed doctors due to the distance and I'd already begun to hang up my "I Heart Babies" t-shirt. It wasn't easy.  I couldn't let myself get excited.  I don't think anyone who's had a miscarriage and finds themselves pregnant again can help but sit on pins and needles waiting for the tell-tale signs that this too, will be a failure.

But she wasn't.  Born early enough for a NICU stay, she was otherwise perfect in every way and we celebrated the chance to get to do this one more time.

And then I felt content to call it good and put myself through a two and a half year baby-love rehab program.  Perhaps I could survive this world without the wonders a little one brings to a family and simply drink this last lovely child in.  I'd at least try my best.

So this most recent discovery ... that's the real surprise.  A seventh?  It's like crack to an addict, I tell ya.

I've still not been able to help myself, though. I've held the excitement at bay.  I've been that girl standing with positive pregnancy test in hand, seeing my future with tiny fingers and toes only to find myself on a hospital curb stunned by familiar pain minus the joyful new baby car seat buckling rituals.  How can seven times possibly turn out great?  Aren't the odds stacked against us?  It sounds really pessimistic, but I've been in self preservation mode these last few weeks simply because being blindsided is really no fun.

I visited my doctor. She gave me a "congratulations".  I gave her a "we'll see".  And then she proceeded to discuss risks.  Risk this and risk that, but no real information because she'd really not been my physician through and through.  Just the one birth.

I left feeling uneasy.

And woke up in the night with a clear, "Go back to the city to see your old doctor."  To hammer it home, Newel woke up simultaneously at my fidgeting and said, "I think you'll feel better if you go see your old doctor for more information."

We did just that and it was like going home.  We walked out thoroughly informed, clear headed and moving forward.  We learned that the surgery he'd performed in the past limited a baby's ability to stay put, hence Eliza's early arrival. He'd done the work and he knew the extent of what we were looking at. A second baby to follow would have even more difficulty but a simple sewing up surgery would tighten the seat belt.  Most assuredly a 25 to 28 week delivery without it, but we were in the right place now.  I found myself a little frightened by the "what ifs" of not having listened to those midnight promptings.

And so ... tomorrow being the moment of truth, I lay awake much of last night reviewing the risks of undergoing surgery while pregnant, rethinking the farm-out of kids, making lists for preparedness while I'm down, thinking on blood tests and ultrasounds showing that all is well despite my fears, mentally realizing that regardless of my arms length efforts, this has now all become very real.

There is actually going to be a baby to add to our family.  The kids excitement at the prospect is really going to be validated. I'm really going to have to slow my otherwise active lifestyle. I'm really going to have to plan a far different summer.  We're really going to have to reshuffle rooms for an addition one way or another.  We really aren't going to fit into our car any more.

And we're really going to get to do this one more time ... again.


  1. I will keep you in my prayers and pray that all goes well!

  2. Wow! We will keep you in our prayers as well! Because I can tell you, 28 weeks is not anything you want to experience, esp living where you do!

  3. Congratulations Marlowe. Keep us posted. I'm sure everything will work out fine. You cracked me up when you said, "five were relatively easy"! I had a full on panic attack just trying to imagine it. So happy for you. I will share your baby love with you through your blog,

  4. You have a true mother heart. Keep us posted!

  5. I ditto what Meg said. Are we sisters now? ;) I love you like a sister you know. You and your family are in our prayers for a perfect surgery! And peace and faith for you and your family! Love you girl!

  6. You've brought back so many memories of my pregnancy with Grace. I didn't let myself truly believe I was going to be blessed with another little one until I heard her take her first breath. And then the reality came washing over me and I fell apart. I hadn't realized until that moment how truly worried I'd been. That was a good day-one of the best.
    You'll be in my prayers and in my heart. Wish I were closer and could help. Hang in there!
    Love you!

  7. You are such a 'good' person, I can tell! Praying for you, I had two preemies... one trying to come at 26 weeks. I can wait to meet baby #7... in blogworld anyway!