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Background: Kestrel

10 June 2009

Hawk and Sparrow, March 2008 (near Sparrow's Real due date).

In December 2008, Hawk and I started to feel like it was time to think about adding another wee birdie to our nest. As I've alluded to, my pregnancy with Sparrow was not the easiest thing in the world. I threw up constantly, (including to the point where I had to be in the hospital for my 21st birthday - bummer!) and my ear drum ruptured and I had a double ear infection because of the pressure from vomiting. To this day I maintain that an ear infection is more painful than labor.

In my 7th month of pregnancy, my blood pressure started rising. I had told my doctor that I was at risk to develop preeclampsia because of family history, but he ignored me. Silly doctor. Early one Sunday morning, I woke up with an excruciating headache and a blind spot in my right eye. A trip to the emergency room showed that my blood pressure had risen to 220/140, very very dangerous grounds. At 33 weeks gestation, my doctor induced labor. I labored all day but finally at 9 p.m. went in for an emergency C-section. They couldn't get the needle into my spine to do an epidural, so they had to completely put me under. After Sparrow was born, he was whisked away to a NICU 30 minutes from my hospital. I didn't get to see him until he was 3 days old.

So needless to say, Hawk and I were both nervous about having another baby. We went to see a high risk OBGYN to talk about a second pregnancy, and she recommended that I have my kidneys screened and see a cardiologist, since my blood pressure is still quite high (though controlled on medication.)

After a few months of testing, it was discovered that my pregnancy left me with a hole in my heart and a scar on my retina. If my blood pressure were to spike again, I could go blind and/or die. Neither of these are thriller options, so we sought a second opinion. A very prominent doctor here in the Salt Lake valley told me that were I to get pregnant again, I had a 70% chance of dying.

That's too much. So at the end of March, I had the Essure procedure done. Metal coils were implanted in my fallopian tubes. Scar tissue will form around the coils and leave me sterile. I go in for my follow-up appointment to make sure the procedure worked at the end of this month.

It's been a hard year. Very hard to come to terms with the fact that I will never have another child. Hard to think of Sparrow being an Only. I recognize that I am still grieving for the children I will never have. And often I feel like a failure as a parent, because I can't provide a sibling for Sparrow. (For personal reasons, adoption is not possible for our family.)

Sometimes it's a relief though. When Sparrow is ornery and teething and angry, and I'm tired and just want a nap I think of how grateful I am that I never have to go through this again! I never have to work with bottles, breast pumps, formula ever again!

And so that's a little bit about my background. It's been a crazy year, and while I think I will always grieve a little in my soul for the little girl or boy that is missing in our family, at least I have my Sparrow to snuggle with.

When he feels like it, anyway.

1 comments to Background: Kestrel:

LCannon said...

I understand the desire of wanting your only child to have a sib; my daughter actually has five. The three oldest (sons) are 15, 16, and 17 years older than she is and we never see her sisters who are 8 and 10 years older. It's been tough at times - but interesting. She is so much like I was at her age, it is almost frightening.