A year ago today, I was admitted to the hospital. As paranoid and worried as I'd been throughout my pregnancy, I was oddly unworried when my OB sent me to the hospital with my blood pressure at 150/90. I knew I'd just had a meal and it would come back down. And I was right. As soon as I got to the hospital, I was down to 110/70.
They wanted to keep me overnight for observation. My doctor thought I could go home the next day as long as things stayed down. They were checking my blood pressure every 4 hours. At that next check, I was still fine. I knew I was going home that next day. But at the middle of the night check, it was up again, around 160/90. Well shit. Turned out I was there for the duration.
I have mixed feelings about this day. Charlotte's doing so amazingly well, it's not fair to feel much sadness for that time. I've lived through enough prematurity complications with Robbie to know that Charlotte is practically a termie. But when I'm facing yet another terriversary, I can't help but have a few pangs of regret. I really would have liked more kids, but I remember quite well scrambling for childcare for the kid left at home. And how sick I ended up getting. We made the decision to be done for good reasons. Today I am reminded of them.
On the other hand, I also met a lot of amazing people while I was on bed rest. Some of the nurses were amazing. And the other moms on the floor that I got to know a little were awesome. We'd visit a little in a group room. We were a pretty cheerful group most of the time. We were all so glad to be out of our rooms even for an hour, that we were usually happy. But there was one day when my nurse tracked me down for my vitals and of course, my blood pressure was disgustingly high. It really killed the joy in the room. I can remember sobbing "I feel like such a failure." and all the other moms jumping right in to agree that they felt the same way and commiserate.
None of them tried to get me to focus on the positive or dismissed my feelings. No one promised me the baby would be fine when they couldn't possibly know that. They just accepted my feelings and passed me a Kleenex for my tears. Such a small thing, really, but it meant a lot to me. We all rooted for each other and asked after each other and prayed for each other. I wish we had all kept in touch, but sadly I got rushed out unexpectedly (to me!) w/o the opportunity to get their info. I just hope they're all having as good a first year with their babies as I am with Charlotte.
In the end, I don't know that I can sum up my feelings on today. And maybe I shouldn't try. Life is rarely all good or all bad. Sometimes it doesn't have closure or sensible conclusions. It's gray and brown and orange and mixed up. It's good and bad and happy and sad and ending and beginning all at the same time. I think it might just be enough to reflect on the day as a milestone. It was a day that changed our course. We went from hoping for a full term baby to preparing for a less than term one. It was a day we'd feared would come but hoped wouldn't. We got through it. Along the way, we smiled, we laughed, we raged and we cried. Let's face it, it was just a little glimpse of what parenting really is.