One Grateful Mom!
I recently completed one of those Facebook “gratitude challenges.” I groaned out loud when my sister nominated me as i’m not always a big fan of “Facebook fads.” But how could I say no to something so inherently positive? So I reluctantly began the challenge, taking a few moments each day to reflect on what I was grateful for. After just the first day I realized how blessed I am. I could go on and on and on for much longer than 5 days expressing my gratitude, especially when it comes to my son!
I had a pregnancy that one could only describe as a nightmare. When I think back on it now, i’m not sure how I got through it. It must have been God, as only a higher power could help someone through such trauma. I must admit, i’m terrified of ever getting pregnant again even though I love my little nugget more than anything in the world.
I always wanted to be a mom and couldn’t wait to get pregnant. In fact we didn’t wait too long at all! My husband and I started trying soon after we got married and before we knew it, the “peepee” stick was positive! We were thrilled and didn’t waste any time in sharing the good news with our family. However, it wasn’t long before that joy turned to worry. At 6 weeks the unexplainable bleeding started and lasted well into the second trimester. My doctor gave the pregnancy a fifty percent chance of survival and I was a mental wreck, thinking that a miscarriage could happen at any minute. At around 15 weeks the bleeding finally stopped and I started allowing myself to enjoy the pregnancy!
We couldn’t wait for the 18 week ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby and we were even planning a Mother’s day gender reveal for our family. The ultrasound started off great! Our little one showed off his stuff right at the beginning! We were surprised and excited that we were having a boy! But soon the tech got quiet and seemed to be having difficulty seeing what she needed. After a while the doctor was called in and gave us the dreadful news that no parent-to-be ever wants to hear! Our baby was sick, very sick. In fact the doctor said that he might never walk or talk or see and we should consider terminating. There are no words to describe how crushing that moment was!
From that day on we were on a whirlwind of medical tests and my stress level was through the roof. Most days I just wanted to scream and cry all day. I wanted to be alone because no one understood what I was going through, or could say anything to make me feel better. But at the same time I couldn’t stand being alone. The news only got worse as we learned that our baby also had a heart defect that would require open heart surgery at birth. I think it was this news that truly broke my heart as I couldn’t imagine my little baby having to go through such suffering.
At 30 weeks I went in for my first weekly ultrasound and was sent straight to the hospital. I thought that for sure this would turn out be nothing and I would be back home in a few hours, but that wasn’t the case. It turned out I had pre-eclampsia and our baby was already in distress. I was not leaving the hospital until he was born! With 10 weeks left, this could mean quite some time. At least we hoped it would be some time. But three days later my blood pressure skyrocketed and suddenly I was being prepped for an emergency C-section. It was the most terrifying experience of my life up until then. I never had surgery before and was expecting to have a natural birth. I still remember the extreme relief I felt when he was born and I heard him cry! He was alive and he was breathing! It was all so surreal!
We went through months of struggle after this day and still have challenges, but I have my beautiful little boy at home with me. He is meeting all of his milestones and almost everything they told me when I was pregnant turned out to be wrong. In some ways I am even grateful for all of the struggle as it makes me appreciate a million little things that I may have taken for granted otherwise. It has definitely made me a stronger person and maybe even a better mom than I ever would have been. Of course it has also made me a crazy, over protective, beast of a mom! I’m glad I decided to suck it up and jump on the “gratefulness fad.” Some days are rough, but when I stop to think of how far he has come in so many little ways, I feel pure joy and appreciation and my day gets a whole lot brighter. Even though the challenge is over, i’m going to make it a habit to spend just a few minutes a day thinking about what i’m grateful for! I guess Facebook fads aren’t always so bad after all!
© Nicola Rios Nogales and ispeakmom.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicola Rios Nogales and ispeakmom.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.