The purpose of this blog is three-fold. I started it as an efficient way to keep friends and family informed about T, myself and the baby; to provide information and support to other pPROM moms; and to document my thoughts and feelings during this pivotal moment in my life. Having said that, I don’t feel I’ve been completely honest about what I’m feeling or the kinds of things I’m REALLY thinking about. It’s time to fess up — for my benefit — and be real about what the last six weeks have been like.
So many of you have commented on my positive outlook. It’s true, I choose to be mostly positive because I believe that’s the only way I’ll get through this. My husband helps; he’s the most half-glass-full kind of guy I know. I, too, have surprised myself with just how positive I’ve been. Anyone who really knows me, knows that I’m a pessimist and can be quite negative at times. I try my best to keep those thoughts at bay, but in the quiet hours by myself, my mind sometimes drifts to the dark side of this experience.
The topic of a baby shower has come up a few times, most recently this morning. I have not allowed myself to think about having a baby shower or do anything else to prepare for this baby. Because I fear coming home from the hospital empty-handed, I cannot plan for a nursery, think about what we’ll need when baby arrives or even read books on how to care for a baby! And I feel guilty about that. Like any other first-time mother, I should be using this time to plan for my labor and the day when my baby will come home. I haven’t been able to do that, so not only do I feel guilty, I feel resentful.
I resent the fact that the innocence of being pregnant for the first time has been taken away from me. This isn’t my first pregnancy, however. We lost one pregnancy in November because it was ectopic, meaning the egg implanted in one of my fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. When we got pregnant again and finally saw a heart beat inside my uterus, we both cried. I remained cautiously optimistic until I hit the 12-week mark, when the chance for miscarriage drops to 3 percent or less. Finally, I could enjoy my summer feeling great in the second trimester and prepare for my fall baby. I never imagined that six weeks later I’d join a very elite (1 percent) group of pPROM women who MUST support one another because the medical outlook is so grim.
I hate that if we ever decide to have another baby, I will never lose the fear of this happening again. I hate that this experience could very well change our plans for having more children of our own.
I can’t help but feel sad when I go to my appointments and see other pregnant women in their cute maternity outfits, but I quickly remind myself that people may look one way on the outside, but you never really know what they’re dealing with inside. That reminds me of a man I rode in the elevator with at one of my appointments. He was a cute old man with a walker who insisted that my Mom and I get into the elevator before him. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he commented on the sunny day, told us we were “two pretty ladies,” and that every day is a blessing when you’re 80 years-old and have brain cancer … That was a humbling moment for me. I’ve since thanked God every day for blessing me with a wonderful life and have asked God to watch over my friends, family and that man in the elevator.
That man has me asking, why do shitty things happen to good people? I’m angry that women who don’t take care of themselves during pregnancy end up with perfectly healthy babies, and other women who are perhaps overly cautious during pregnancy encounter problems. Why is it that couples who don’t plan for or want children can get pregnant so easily? Why do women who can’t take care of one child go on to have three or four?
I know that thinking these things and especially saying them out loud is counterproductive. But in addition to all the hope and excitement we have for this beautiful baby, these feelings are part of me.
In closing, someone sent this to me today. Thanks, Laura!
A Child’s Angel
Once upon a time a child was ready to be born.
The child asked God,
“How am I going to live on Earth when I’m so small and helpless?”
God replied, “I’ll choose an Angel to watch over you.
She’ll be waiting on earth when you arrive.
“She will sing for you and will also smile for you every
day. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.”
Again the child asked, “But I won’t know the language there.
How am I ever going to communicate?”
God said, “Your angel will speak the most beautiful and sweet words
you will ever hear and, with much patience and care, will teach
you how to speak. And she will use her voice to sing sweet
lullabies as she rocks you to sleep.”
“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?” asked the child.
God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you
how to pray. She will teach you that prayer is the best way
to talk to me, not just in times of need, but in happy times, too.”
“I’ve heard that on Earth there are bad people. Who will protect me?”
God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking her life.
She will instruct you in the things you need to know to live
life joyfully and safely.”
“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”
God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach
you the way to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.”
At that moment there was much peace in heaven.
The child’s journey was about to begin.
The child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now,
please tell me my angel’s name.”
God said, “Her name is not important.
You will simply call her MOTHER.”