Friday, May 17, 2013

Remember When...

Remember when God gave us Russell?

I think it's easy to see that Caleb was a miracle baby.

But sometimes 8lb 5oz babies are miracles, too.

Nate and I always thought that two years was a great gap between our children.  I don't know why.  Maybe because that's how everyone else seemed to do it.  So shortly after Caleb's first birthday we started praying and thinking about how to go about having another baby.  Looking back, it seemed so early.  Caleb was 13 months, but as far as milestones he was only 10 months.  And his health and eating was so poor.  We really had a lot to worry about with him at that point.  But I started "doctor shopping" anyway.  I saw two doctors (neither of which I actually ended up liking).  One gave me a prescription for the same high dose of fertility drugs that was required to get pregnant with Caleb (200mg of Clomid).  The other said that our bodies change after having a baby, so it would be wise to start with a lower dose (50mg) and work my way up 50mg at a time until I got pregnant.  That's how I did it for my first pregnancy, and it took five rounds of Clomid over the course of nine months.  That's a lot of time.

Nate and I prayed about it.  It was scary to think about our chances of having multiples if I took the higher dose, especially since we had no way to know if I would deliver early again or not.  If I could only carry one baby to 27 weeks, how far could I get with two?  It was a scary thought.  Our prayers were answered and we felt confident that I should take the higher dose of fertility drugs.

I didn't get pregnant on the first round.  The medicine made me really sick.  I remember telling Nate that I wasn't willing to take it a third time if I didn't get pregnant on the second round.  I just couldn't handle deliberately making myself that sick.  That we'd have to take a few months off, and take our time.

Then Caleb was put in the hospital for five days with RSV, a stomach virus, and an ear infection.  He was so dehydrated that the IV fluids made him gain a whole pound in one day.  He was 16 months old and only reached 17 pounds because of the fluids.  He looked like a different baby.  And we had to postpone the scope that would ultimately diagnose him with an eosinophilic disorder because he had a respiratory virus and couldn't go under anesthesia.

Then I got pregnant, after only two rounds of Clomid.  We were very happy.  It was all part of our plans.  Just what we wanted.  Our second baby would be born just one month after Caleb turned two.  Perfect.

Then, not more than a month later, Caleb was diagnosed with eosinophilic enteritis.  I was about eight weeks along, and scared to death.  It's hereditary.  Caleb would need a feeding tube.  He would have needed one even if he hadn't received this diagnosis.  What if I went on bed rest?  What if I had another dangerously early preemie?  All of the what ifs just seemed like too much to handle.

I kept thinking that if I hadn't gotten pregnant when I did, I would have put it off without hesitation.  Truthfully, I resented my pregnancy for a while.  It was such bad timing.  We should have waited until Caleb's medical conditions had stabilized and we had all adjusted, which I sometimes feel may never happen.  We may have been a family of three indefinitely; always feeling as though something is missing, but not having the courage to act on it because of our previous and scary experiences with Caleb.

The one thing that gave me comfort during my pregnancy was the knowledge that Russell would be part of our family because God wanted him here.  It certainly wasn't a risk that I was willing to take.  If I hadn't taken the higher dose of Clomid, if I hadn't gotten pregnant on the second round, if Caleb's scope hadn't been pushed back...then I would have chosen to not have another baby.  God chose to give us Russell--failure to thrive, blue eyes, bald head, silly little personality, unknowns and all.  He was meant to be in our family, so God made it happen just when it needed to happen.

And I'm so glad it happened how it did.


MeganandClaudy said...

I honestly wish I would have gotten pregnant before knowing everything too, because I just don't know if I have the courage to do it myself.

Alice Anne said...

Awww, little Russell!