Sunday, October 26, 2008

2



Vivie is two today. Her birthday gets to me in a way Sydney's never does. I think some of it has to do with her being my last baby. I also think a lot of it has to do with the circumstances in which she was born.


Two years ago I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia and put on complete bedrest at the 29th week of my pregnancy. I mean complete. I wasn't even allowed to shower or go to the bathroom unaccompanied for fear of my blood pressure spiking and going into seizure. The bed rest didn't really work and soon I was so swollen I had feet that looked like this.

(Yes, those are flip flop impressions)


One day, at week 32 I couldn't feel my daughter moving anymore, so I went down to the doctor's for a check. They immediately admitted me into the hospital for what I thought was observation only to find out I wouldn't be leaving. I delivered my daughter 24 hours later.



About 20 hours after delivery, I went into liver failure. More specifically I went into a rare and serious condition called HELLP. My husband was told not to expect his wife to live out the day. HELLP has no cure. There is no way to prevent it. For most women, it comes on before the baby is born and the only remedy is to deliver the baby and hope that stops the onset. For some of us very lucky few, it happens post delivery, there is nothing to do but wait. Luckily, my body responded and healed itself (albiet VERY slowly) and luckily my baby received the care she needed and spent only 2 weeks in the NICU before I brought her home.



Believe it or not, I do feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Many of my close friends know the entire ordeal I went through to get Genevieve here. In fact, we joke about it quite often in a way that only I can do. However, what I don't really talk about is just how scary the whole thing really was. I think it's too much to actually talk about sometimes, but I have also realized that I never really did. I spent most of those terrifying hours sedated and medicated due to the severe pain, but when I was lucid, I knew deep down just how grave the situation had become. I remember on several occasions just praying to God to let me hold my baby or let me see my Sydney.

Vivie taught me something before she was even born. I learned that no one on this earth should ever take having a child or having an easy pregnancy for granted. (So for those of you who have easy pregnancies and easily conceive-- count your lucky stars every day!) I also learned that you can love someone else so much that you can quite literally fight death off knowing that that person is waiting for you and needs you. I also learned that my capacity for loving my children is larger than I ever thought possible, that if my husband, my girls and I could make it through that horrible ordeal, we can figure out how to make it through anything. I remember this when she's tested my limits to the very end on any given day. I remember this when Sydney begs for one more round of princess tea party. I TRY to remember it when my "sweet little angels" are screaming and fighting over each other's my little ponies.

Today, I just want to say how happy I am so have my Vivie. She makes me smile every day. I love when she wakes up in the morning and I love when she gives me snuggles and kisses at night. I even love her during the day when she is secretly plotting world domination (seeing as how she is such an evil genius.)


I love you Genevieve. Happy Birthday.

11 comments:

Abi said...

Thank you, Vanessa.

joanna said...

Happy Birthday to Vivi! I hope your pumpkin patch celebration was fun! The time goes so fast, it doesn't seem like its been two years since all of that happened. I didn't even fully comprehend how serious it really was, until last time I was down there and we were talking about it. Reading this helps me put my little pregnancy complaints in perspective...

y0hmama said...

Vanessa - you're just awesome! I got a little teary reading your post...(shhh, don't tell.) I was in Nursery yesterday with Summer and Vive came and sat on my lap. I sang her a quiet little Happy Birthday and she was just beaming and cracking up. Although, it may just have been my voice - it really is that bad :)

The Krolak Family said...

Vanessa! Oh my goodness. I had no idea that you were all put through that. I'm glad that everything worked out. I started crying when I read your post. Well, Happy Birthday to your baby girl! She is absolutely gorgeous.

~Nicole

Amylouwho said...

Oh Vanessa,
Next time I am in O'side we are going to go to lunch and discuss. My eclampsia (and liver on the verge) were all post-partum. I think I have a pretty good idea how you felt. Sort of in so much pain you want to crawl under a rock and just never come back. I identified with so much of what you wrote. Especially the part about needing to pull through to take care of the baby. I swear Alison saved me, just by existing.

I'm glad you are well, and know that I get it.

Celia and Scott said...

What a sweet tribute to your baby girl. She's so darling, I mean seriously, how could you NOT love her? Maybe I should have this post saved as my homepage so I could read it every day when my children are so close to putting me over the edge ... I think I just might ....

Sara Walker said...

Ah, now you have this prego girl all teary. That is so sweet. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Debbie said...

Happy Birthday little Miracle baby and you too!!!

Erin J. said...

Love ya girl. I prayed a lot for the two of you and I'm glad Heavenly father decided to let you both stay.

allyn said...

okay-put me in to tears, whydontchya. it was chaos and you all acted like it was just another day. the part that gets me, really, is that the tiniest baby was smiling in her pictures that were taken 2 weeks later.
i am so glad that vanessa is still here and that her beautiful evil genius is here to prove to the world how big she is.

heartheartheart

The Guiness Family said...

I am catching up on my blogs today and yours is the only one that made me cry and I have heard this story many times. That's why I need friends like you who increase my faith everyday. Vivi is a staple in our family! go vivi! she is a giant for such a little thing...