I am overwhelmed with emotion this week. My baby girl turned 4 last week, and the lil' guy will be one in 10 days. The birthday emotions are hard to explain to others. Yes, I am excited and happy for my children to be growing up so beautifully. But birthdays take me back to memories of how they came into this world. This is something I've been able to discuss with other moms who have suffered from pre-e, we all have this thing that happens to us at birthday time. Other people just don't understand, and simply can't.
I am overwhelmed with emotions. I turned to look at him in the back seat this morning on our drive to the walkathon. He gave me this huge grin and tears immediately began to well up. He is so beautiful, and my children are so precious to me. To think things could have turned out differently is something I may acknowledge briefly, but mostly I deny myself to think about.
I sit here writing this and tears are rolling down my face. I am creating a photo montage for Phoenix in celebration of his wonderful first year. To see how he has changed over the past twelve months is absolutely breathtaking. They grow so fast this first year. I want to capture every smile, every pout, every gut-busting giggle in my mind and remember them forever. I see how his big sister loves him so much and while she may pound on him occasionally, she loves to give him huge hugs. I am so proud of my children.
I am overwhelmed with sadness. Sadness that this baby time is ending. To see that my oldest is going to enter school and she is more grown-up each day. Sadness that not every mom gets to cherish all the memories with their child. Sadness that a son or daughter is without their mom tonight. Preeclampsia steals something from us and it saddens me.
I am overwhelmed with anger. I am angry that my body betrayed me. That I had to change my vision of what my birth experience would be like. I am angry that we lose babies and mom's to preeclampsia every day. I am angry that people don't take this condition seriously. Angry that I cannot be naive about having another child, and had to give so much consideration to actually taking the step to become a mommy again.
I am overwhelmed with fear. Fear of what, I'm not sure. I just know it's there. Fear of the small chance that we may decide to have another baby in a few years. Fear that someone I know will lose their child or their life to this awful thing called preeclampsia. Fear that a cure will never be found. Fear of the possible long-term consequences we don't know about yet. And the ones that we do, namely my risk of cardiovascular issues has risen even further after developing severe preeclampsia.
I am overwhelmed with love. The love of my husband who was witness to my suffering, who loves me unconditionally, and is the greatest partner and father I could ever ask for. The love of those precious bundles that I get the honor of tucking in at night. The three of them are so amazing, and they are mine. So much love my heart feels as if it will burst. The love of family & friends who support us and are simply there for us when we need them.
I am overwhelmed with kinship. There were 4 of us today, standing shoulder to shoulder representing the thing that connects us, preeclampsia. It has touched each of us in different ways. For one it was the loss her child, and then the development of PE again in two more pregnancies. For another, the recent birth of her second child gives us all hope and the blossom of wanting another baby. For another, the knowledge that she gained this week about her health and what it could mean for future pregnancies. Our stories and experiences are all so different, yet so alike. We've all suffered from the destruction of hopes and dreams. I love those ladies, and all the others I've met through the PF. I don't know what I would do without my PE sisters.
I am overwhelmed with guilt. The guilt that I was faulty somehow. The guilt that my firstborn wasn't able to feel her mother's arms for the first day of her life. That she had a bit of a rough start. Guilt that I made the choice to get pregnant again. Feeling I was selfish to want another child so badly that I was willing to risk everything to do so. We knew the odds were in our favor, but the fear and guilt were always present. I feel guilty that my body is not the perfect place for my babies. The one thing I should be able to do as a woman, to carry my child safely.
I didn't want to face alot of this over the past year and honestly have been in denial of most of it. With the birthdays, the feelings rush to the surface whether I like it or not. I mentioned in a previous post that I haven't written up Phoenix's birth story yet. I'm scared to remember the more fearful parts of that day. I remember the excitement and happiness of the day clearly. But in the dark recesses of my mind and my heart is the fear that I felt when they thought I was having a placental abruption. I knew what that meant and how emergent things could become. But Jason didn't. So I chose to be strong so he wouldn't freak out. I know I didn't have to be strong, but that is how I deal with things. I go internal and buck up. It's what I do.
Overwhelmed. I feel like all these emotion are a crack in my armor, the stronghold I create to protect others and myself. But the flood gates are open, and I cannot stop the river of emotions raging through my body. I am in awe that I can feel this much at one time. Overwhelmed that I can.