Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mi Familia

I'm going to get my mind off the day I've had today. Despite being a beautiful, gorgeous day, it wasn't my easiest. Maybe tomorrow, it'll seem, I don't know, funnier.

No, actually, I wanted to talk a little about my kids. When I hear families who have children so far apart in age (mine are 8 years), I automatically think of three scenarios: 1. Infertility. 2. Accident. 3. Divorce and remarriage.

We're scenario number one, with a twist. Buddy was my 5th pregnancy. I had 3 miscarriages and one ectopic (tubal) before him and I lost my right tube. That made it even more difficult. But, we (I) continued to take Clomid (a low dose fertility drug) and hoped for the best. On our very last cycle of Clomid, I got pregnant with Buddy. If I had not, we would have been sent on to a reproductive endocrinologist for more invasive procedures - and I would have crawled through broken glass naked to have a baby, even if it meant a second mortgage on our house. Luckily, I did get pregnant before that happened. Unfortunately, Buddy was due in April, but arrived in January... 12 weeks before his due date. He weighed 2lbs, 5oz and spent 48 days (6.5 weeks) in the neonatal intensive care unit. He really wasn't expected to make it those first few days, but he was a fighter and we brought him home - weighing only 3lbs 12oz. Even the preemie clothes were to large for him. Trust me, you get used to "this" - caring for such a small baby and lugging around special equipment and pumping and feeding him every 2 hours around the clock and getting no sleep, etc. It's like a newborn X 3.

So, I knew I wanted two children. The Evil Twin was not so sure. He was worried that we'd have another preemie and things would turn out really bad. We had gotten so lucky with Buddy. He was not mentally or physically disabled - the only factor we had to deal with was poor eyesight, retinopathy of prematurity, which he had laser surgery on both eyes at only 4.5 lbs. He has worn glasses since he was 18 months old.

My OB had assured me that what happened with Buddy was a fluke thing and wouldn't happen again, but it took me 5 years to convince the Evil Twin to try for a second. It took me 2 years and 3 more miscarriages to get Sissy. It turns out I have a blood clotting disorder that causes me to miscarry. My chart at my OBs office has such lovely terms as "poor reproductive history" and "habitual aborter" on it. Then, by the time I got pregnant with Sissy, I had another term, "advanced maternal age", added because I was over 36. Needless to say, I am very high risk.

What I needed was blood thinner. Two injections a day, as it turns out. I also needed progesterone twice a day, 4 MG of folic acid and a baby aspirin. (I will have to take the baby aspirin every day for the rest of my life). See, with Lupus Anticoagulant, I run a higher than normal risk of having a stroke or blood clot - especially high during pregnancy. Oddly as it sounds, the great thing about being high risk is that I had ultrasounds ALL the time. I probably had 25 total during my last pregancy.

Sissy was my ninth pregnancy and I made it to 39 weeks with her. She was 7lbs, 5oz. Neither of my kids were accidents and both were intensely prayed for and much wanted. I wouldn't change a thing. Of course, Buddy was an emergency c-section and Sissy was a scheduled one. The funny thing is my OB wanted to section me at 37 weeks, but that was only a few days before Buddy's birthday in January. I really wanted that February baby (and the amethyst birthstone! LOL). So, I talked him into letting me go 2 more weeks. I said, unless it became medically needed earlier. I mean, I'm not stupid. I would deliver the baby whenever the OB thought it was the safest for the baby, but if she looked good and I was doing good, let me go a few weeks. Just so I could say, "I DID it!" I had a full term baby.

Oh! And if you're wondering, Buddy is a perfectly normal (and often annoying) 9 year old boy who is a straight A student and kind and gentle and loves his baby sister. He came home with the Bookworm Award the other day - that is, Father picks one child from each grade who is showing a dedication to reading. We're extremely blessed.


  1. There were six years between ours. The son was conceived without any effort and then nothing worked with the daughter. We both got tested for problems (mine was pretty funny, you can read about it here) and the loving wife didn't get pregnant until we stopped trying all the special tricks.

    The actual births were pretty easy (at least for me). Both were full term and Laura was only in labor for 14 minutes with the daughter.

  2. I liked the story! LOL. TET hasn't been back for his big V test yet, either, but he can do it at home and drop it off. (the doc had specific orders and I don't think I can help LOL).

  3. That is incredible!

    I only have one child, and can't have any more. Nooze was a surprise; we weren't really planning on having any - except "maybe someday".

    A couple that I know struggled with infertility. After 16 years of marriage, they decided that it wasn't meant to be - and bought a beach house and a boat. The wife found herself pregnant less than 3 months after the ink dried on the 2nd mortgage! The child (a gorgeous little girl) was born when dad was 45 and mom was 43!

  4. Renn, I hear stories like that all the time (which is why Evil Twin got a vasectomy last September). It always seems like the ones who really have to struggle and try end up with surprises later on. I had Buddy in my late 20s and Sissy at 37. I am NOT going for one child per decade (i.e. in my 40s). LOL. The Evil Twin was 46 when Sissy was born. We're definitely not spring chickens! Thanks for coming by and commenting! :-)