Baby of mine

I have debated for several weeks about whether or not I should share this.  I still don’t know.  But there’s this longing in me to share my story.  Maybe for personal healing.  Maybe because someone out there needs to know they are not alone.  Maybe there’s no reason.  But alas, here it is.

For the past seven months, I have expected this baby would not make it.  This is my story…

I was crushed when I found out that I was pregnant.  Heartbroken.  Angry.  Discouraged.  Ready to give up.  I told God numerous times that I could not handle this.  I could not walk this road.  Literally the past 5 months had been filled with suffering – physically especially.

A few months prior I had been unable to walk for weeks – at least not without extreme pain.  Lyme disease took over my body.  My body seemed bi-polar as I bounced back and forth between fever and chills like a really intense game of Pong.  There were times where I could have sworn my joints were on fire.  I spent many nights crying myself to sleep due to pain shooting through my body.  Before my diagnosis I was convinced I had to be dying.  The pain was so fierce.  Unrelenting.

But the biggest pain?  That came from the looks on my kids’ faces as I had tell them over and over, “No…mommy can’t hold you….  Mommy can’t play soccer….  Mommy can’t take you to the playground.”  It was horrid.  Humiliating.  Painful.  Hopeless.  Guilt-ridden.  (self-imposed…)

Enter depression.

And more extreme loneliness.  (Let me admit – this is definitely in part my fault.  But the truth is, few people came.  Or called.  Because…I didn’t tell people.  I felt awkward writing some sort of “So…I have Lyme disease” email And…I don’t think a lot of people know how awful and debilitating it is.)  I put on the good old, “I’m okay.” face.

I was a liar.

I wasn’t okay.  I was lonely. I was in pain.  I was convinced I was the suckiest mom ever.  I was still trying to process nearly losing my mom a few months prior.  I was hurting.  I wanted to know I mattered and I was starting to feel like I was only worth the pictures I took to people.

And I didn’t say anything.

Probably not the best idea.

People can’t help when they don’t know and you don’t ask.

And I did no one any service by walking through it all that way.  But…it’s what I did.

Then came the month when I committed over-booking suicide and felt crazy burnt out.  Again – bad idea.

My body was still in pain.  And so I decided I had to take off.

That’s when I found out I was pregnant.

Enter initial heartbreak.

Literally, I physically could not fathom doing this.  Not now.  Not with all this pain.  And not without maternity coverage.  (minor detail, right?)

I was broken.  Bleary-eyed.  I went to a clinic to see if everything was okay.  I’d been having very little morning sickness (not normal for me!) and I was convinced this baby wasn’t doing well.  But – he was there and okay.  I was mildly shocked

Then it started.

Bleeding.

And a decent amount of it.

At this point in time, I didn’t have a doctor because I hadn’t found one we could begin to afford.

I called a doctor-friend in our church after 3 days of bleeding.  One of her colleagues agreed to give me a free ultrasound.  (still beyond grateful for this…)

There had been so much blood and the sickness was gone at 8 weeks.  I knew this little one couldn’t be there.  There was no way.  As I sat on the tan cushy chair and stared at the tan walls I contemplated how I would handle it when I heard those words, “There is no heart beat.”

But there was.

He was there.

But the complications didn’t stop.  It actually got worse.  I became convinced there was no way this baby could make it.

Every 2 weeks I would go in to see if this baby was still alive.

Every 2 weeks I arrived convinced this little one was gone and I would have to say good-bye.

Every 2 weeks he was there.  Alive.  Okay.  Growing.

But I wouldn’t let myself get attached.  Because I knew too many people who had miscarried late.  And my body seemed bent on not carrying this pregnancy through..

Finally at nearly 20 weeks it stopped.  Or at least mostly.  I started to think maybe – just maybe he’ll survive.

And yet more complications came.  An issue showed up in the ultrasound which left me spinning.  And again wondering if he could make it.

Three weeks ago, it hit me though.  Even if I lose him – wouldn’t I rather know that I gave him all the love I could?

As I drove down the road, tears in my eyes, I told him we’d get through this.  And that he might have to be strong and brave and be a fighter.  I placed my hand over my belly and felt him move.  And I told him I would fight for him.  For all of his life.

And I cried.

Because this little man?  He’s a fighter.  And no matter how many days he has, I will give him all of me.  Because holding back is stupid.  And he’s a blessing.  A blessing that came at a beautiful time even though I was convinced that it wasn’t.  And I am grateful for this little man.  And I could not be more excited to hold him in just a few weeks…

 

(And for clarification, he’s doing well and though we’ll know more in a few weeks – we’re both doing well!)

  • Sandra Mjolsnes - May 7, 2011 - 7:25 pm

    My husband, Ed, suggested that I read this. It was good to share your story, both for you and for others. You may know that our second child was born 9 weeks early after a high risk pregnancy involving a lot of bed rest. Although our stories are not the same, I can relate to much of what you write. I’ll keep you in my prayers as you continue on to your baby’s birth. By the way, our high risk baby turns thirty next fall.

    SandyReplyCancel

  • Kathleen Burlew - May 9, 2011 - 8:05 pm

    I saw your sweet post on Gina’s blog. Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I love this story as it not only relates to carrying a child, but as you mention “Because holding back is stupid”. Go get em’! Prayers to you and you little fighter!ReplyCancel

  • Gina - May 10, 2011 - 1:34 am

    The brave soul you have Amy. You are one of the most caring and loving individuals I have EVER met. It is in your soul your being. YOU radiate LOVE. I am so immensely proud of this post these emotions and I know. You know. That you are the PERFECT MOTHER for this little guy. NO MATTER THE circumstance.

    You are meant for this baby and this baby is meant for you, no matter the length of his life. Cherish the absolute blessing that he is. Give and continue to literally hand over the stress of no maternity coverage and problems and watch the FATHER work. HE will.

    Amy I love you with my whole heart. When are you due? I would love to try to make it to Chicago……ReplyCancel

  • Joyce - May 20, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    Oh Amy honey, everyone needs a little help now and then and it’s okay to ask! Glad you and the baby boy are doing well. Miss and wish you and your family all the best,
    JoyceReplyCancel

  • lately… » Amy Paulson - July 27, 2011 - 2:07 am

    […] I never thought would make it…made it.  And I could not be more grateful.  (you can read HERE for a slightly better […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachael Earl - August 6, 2011 - 2:45 am

    I came to your blog to find out more about you (as you just won our contest), and am overwhelmed by this post and the strength that you have. What an amazing miracle your little one was (and will continue to be)!ReplyCancel

  • Gabi Bruno - August 31, 2011 - 3:24 am

    Amy-
    I have read this post over and over again, and it never ceases to bring tears to my eyes. I don’t think I have ever been moved and inspired this much by a “piece of literature.” You truly have a REMARKABLE and AMAZING soul. You are, no doubt, the strongest person I know, and you deserve the best of everything. Your three beautiful, little angels are so lucky to have such an extraordinary mother.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlyn Williams - November 12, 2011 - 1:07 am

    Sometimes God lets you know the reason for things. This time it’s bittersweet. Thanks for sharing this Amy. Remembering this was one of the few things that gave me hope this morning at 5:45.ReplyCancel

  • confessions » Amy Paulson - November 18, 2011 - 2:33 pm

    […] I’d look for smudges in the paint.  And I’d wait for the ultrasound to see if the baby was still alive.  Truth be told, I felt like I had caused it all because I hadn’t wanted this […]ReplyCancel

  • sweet baby boy » Amy Paulson - July 10, 2012 - 8:15 am

    […] truth?  I thought I’d lose you.  I thought I’d love you and lose you and never be able to heal.  (Even though I know now that God really could heal me)  And for the […]ReplyCancel

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