Friday, October 03, 2008

Photo Story Friday-My Season of Challenge

This is my own special version of Photo Story Friday meets Writing Prompt by Octamom.

Photostory Friday">
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


Octamom's writing prompt this week calls for a retrospective about a season of challenge.





My most vivid season of challenge is finally beginning to fade into lighter shades of memory.
My season of challenge found me living away from my family in a (debateably) sterile room, in an institution that never slept. I had my own bedding, pictures tacked onto the walls that my girls drew, plants that I wasn't allowed to care for on my counter, toys in a drawer for the kids to play with when they visited, and a view of the parking lot outside.
I "lived" in one of the largest suites in my unit. I was assigned someone to care for me 24/7. I had a nutritionist, a social worker, a whole slew of doctors, innumerable nurses and the constant digital company of my babies beating hearts.
I had so much, yet I didn't have many of the things I cared for most.

I didn't have my family. More than that, I didn't know how the separation was going to effect all of us. I didn't even know from one hour to the other if I would eventually deliver two live babies.
It was a time of challenge AND reward.
I was glad that I was in the hospital doing everything that I could possibly do for my babies, yet I worried constantly. I gratefully stayed on my back for 23 hours of every day. I felt like I was a horse being saddled 24/7 with heart rate monitors. I endured needle pricks every third day. I gave up any sense of privacy; yet doing all of that didn't give me the peace of mind I craved.
I missed my family. So much. Some days I just wanted to walk out the door and never come back. Some days (OK, so I'm exaggerating, there were only 2 times in 10 weeks) against doctors orders I went outside and dared them to say a word to me. Some days the nurse I was assigned bugged me so badly I wanted to take all of my frustrations out on her. Some days I just cried all day long. But most days I didn't feel that way at all. Some days I was just plain grateful that I had gotten to that point.
I had a crude hand made calendar that I used to count down the days until delivery. Beginning a new day was a huge accomplishment. Completing a new week was almost grounds for a party. Hitting gestational milestones kept me sane. Hearing the beat, beat, beat of their hearts calmed me.
And terrified me. I became expert at knowing what was normal for my babies heart rates and when they deviated it sent me into a panic.
I didn't sleep at night because I was afraid that a nurse would miss a deceleration. I didn't sleep during the day because there were too many distractions. I had a lot of time for reflection.
I reflected on the sanctity of human life. Of the miracle of birth and the great privilege we had been granted to be stewards of our children.
I thought constantly about what would have happened if the egg split a few days earlier (two
amniotic sacs), or even a day later (conjoined twins). I pictured in my mind their two cords knotting tighter and tighter with each movement. I replayed in my minds eye one of the babies almost dying right before my very eyes. I couldn't remove the image that represented the scariest moments of my life, and still can't, really.
I had time for soul searching and reflection on the divine. I had the opportunity to see how strong of a man my husband was and how willing he was to sacrifice everything for his family.
It probably sounds like purely negative experience, but it wasn't. It was a literal season of growth and development for me and my babies, it was a time to define who I was and to know without doubt my Saviour's love for me. It was a time that dragged by, yet flew quickly at the same time.
It was a gift that I gave my babies. It was a season of challenge, but it was also a season of abundance.
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49 comments:

Robin said...

I can only imagine how an experience like that sears itself indelibly on your psyche. Thank you for sharing it.

Hug those beautiful kids of yours for me, too.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

What a beautiful post. What a challenging time.

Amy said...

What a precious memory, with such a positive outcome. I am inspired by your prospective!

Sarah C. said...

:-)

stefanie said...

Wow.

Melissa said...

You must have had such a celebration when both boys were born and healthy.

Beautiful post.

the schirano triplets said...

wow angie, so well said. it mirrors my reflections and feelings about my days of bedrest. they definitely left me a changed woman...

Elaine A. said...

Amazing post Angie. Thanks for sharing this with us. And thank God for your beautiful babies and family! : )

Rhonda said...

Well said Angie!

les_mason_curt said...

What a beautiful story. You are so strong and thankful. You have a beautiful family that you are truly thankful for. thanks for putting a tear in my eye this morning...

Lindsay said...

What a great story! I was in for 5 days, and that was long enough - I don't know how people do it for months at a time, especially with the rest of the fam at home.

Awesome memories and look at what adorable healthy children you have because of it!

The Pink Potpourri said...

what a great post. thanks for sharing this personal part of your life!

don't forget today's Free Giveaway Friday at The Pink Potpourri! Its a great prize, so hurry over and sign up to win!

mommaof4wife2r said...

i am so glad u shared this post. it's only been 8 1/2 months for me fresh out of birth...and many months in the hospital before with sofia's pregnancy. i, too, felt many of those things and was so scared and wanted badly to be with my fam too. i guess we're more alike than different as mom's huh?

Rhea said...

I was on bed rest and in the hospital for a couple of weeks with my second pregnancy, and that was torture! I can't imagine what you went through.

And I agree, being away from your family is the HARDEST part. :o(

AVT Coach said...

Very nice introspection. Isn't it weird how when we are going through something tough..the time perspective is so different. A very long and trying 10 weeks then now becomes a "season" to reflect on. What a gift it was for you and you spoke of it so well! Copy this post to your twins baby books. They will cherish your words!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Request:

When you post these posts could you please put a coupon for tissues because I'm pretty sure I went through all mine.

I can't imagine how hard this must have been for you.

Lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

Gotta go cry now.

Melissa said...

Love the post, what memories!

Jaime said...

Great post, Angie. I totally understand all of your feelings. You can always put your feelings into written words much better than I can.
I was only in 5 weeks and I was SOOOO ready to go home. I can't imagine 10!

Michelle said...

What an incredible testament to your strength and that of your husbands. And what a beautiful out come to your story.

Red heads rock! :)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Yeah, you ROCK is right!!! I won't get all sentimental right now because I need to take a break from it but you were definitely one of the women on my mind as I wrote my I'm Sorry post. Your strength & outlook amazes me!!!!

Rachel said...

Wow -- I can't imagine how stressful that was. It was hard enough waiting around the hospital when our birthmom was delivering our daughter.

My PSF is finally up!

Darla said...

Wow! I can't even begin to imagine...you did say 10 weeks, right? I have had bedrests at home...but only partial, and only 3 or 4 weeks the first one and 5 weeks the second. I did have a 12 day hospitalization after my 5th baby that was a little similar..I was diagnosed (then later learned it was a misdiagnosis) with a rare condition, was on IV heparin and 3 very strong IV antibiotics...needles, tubes everywhere. I had many days where I cried myself to huge puffy eyes..I needed my family so much. Same thing, I had the biggest room there, kind of like a suite, so I had plenty of room for my family when they came. I thought I would go crazy some days. At least I got to have my baby with me 24/7. I finally got to go home with a continuous IV of heparin going into my arm and gave myself IV antibiotics 2-3 times/day...only to begin hemhorraging two days later and going back into the hospital. I was afraid to sleep because I worried I would bleed to death and never wake up (I had substandard care that time...IV ran out, was bleeding...nurse came in two hours later and knew nothing about why I was in, never knew my IV was dry...it had alarmed so long and they had forgotten to plug it in after transferring me from ER that it died).

Sorry for such of a long post but I can't imagine the extremes your hospitalization reached. I can imagine how that would stay traumatically in your brain for a long, long time! I know mine did!

Have a great day!

Cecily R said...

I would like to think that given the same circumstances, I would have handled things as well as you (and my sister) did, but I don't know. Hearing stories like this reminds me of how strong that bond is between mother and baby (or babies) from the start. We protect them and love them no matter what.

PERFECT PSF and Octamom prompt. Perfect.

And YAY I can see your blog!

Angie said...

What a great post, I loved it!

Cheffie-Mom said...

What a beautifully written post and what a strong person you are. The pictures are amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Neil said...

Thank you so much, Angie, for posting that. You put into words what the rest of us that have been through exactly the same thing struggle to quantify or even say aloud. You know you're my hero, right? :-) I'm getting there, though ... slowing but surely (big thanks to you for that, too!).

Octamom said...

Beautiful--just beautiful. 'Season of challenge, season of abundance'--and I love how your dovetailed your writing with the collage.

Thanks so, so much for putting your heart on 'paper' (okay, computer screen)--your words seem to have given voice for such a large community of women who have been willing to lay down their daily lives and their time with their families to sacrifice and do all they can to give their babies a chance, whether just one baby or multiples--

love it~
Blessings~

Jen said...

Oh I so know what you are talking about. I felt the same way when I was hospitalized while pregnant with my triplets. I totally felt like that wanted me to choose between my children. Stay in the hospital for your unborn babies health or be with your live 2 year old child. Of course in the end, it all worked out great. But it was not very fun going through it.

Tracy said...

a post almost every momo mom could write - thanks for doing it!!!
blessings.

Aubrey said...

Oh Angie, that was such a great post! What an awesome story you shared with us today. Thank you!

Jori-O said...

Inspirational. Thanks for sharing such a tender corner of your heart. And despite the harrowing experience of it all, I'm so glad you had a happy ending with your sweet babies!

Kacey Randolph said...

What a wonderful post and a wonderful lesson of gratitude. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It was a season of challenge but boy did you get a fabulous reward!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

lovely post - and I don't know how your survived - well actually I do - you rec'd the best gift ever of two healthy babies. But o be away from the other babies - how horrid!

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

What a great post. And looks at those gorgeous brand new babies!

Chris said...

That was very well written, and causes me to reflect on the blessing of my own little family. Thank You.

WheresMyAngels said...

Beautifully said. I cannot imagine what you went thru. How hard the not knowing much of been. You have been blessed and may the blessings keep coming.

BoufMom9 said...

Fantastic recap! Although I was on strict bedrest with my twins for 6 months, I was so thankful I only was in the hospital for a few days. I can't imagine how much more stressful it must've been for you.
But, I completely understand where you are coming from. I hated bedrest while I was going through it, but looking back... it got me where I am, so how could I ever chose to change it?

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Wonderfully written!
I'm not even sure what I would write about this this topic.

Straight to Your Hart said...

The greatest challenges in life procure the best results in all aspects of it!! Thank you for sharing a difficult yet rewarding experience with us...

Cristin said...

I'd say I don't know how you did it... but then I think back to my months in the hospital and I don't even know how I did it...

Casey's trio said...

What a great post...challenge and abundance! So true.

Connie said...

Beautiful Angie...and rung so true for me...it's amazing how something so profound can fade so fast...

Mark and Kiss said...

Oh, Angie, I am amazed at how well you and Jeff survived that time. Both of you are amazing. I still can't imagine how incredibly tough that must have been to be away from the children. All of it was such a miracle.

jennifer said...

Angie, this was beautiful. I felt closer to the Lord for having read it and so thankful for each of my children.

Be blessed.

Jen

GoteeMan said...

Angie - you are amazing.... you are so very blessed... and so is your family for having you...

J/ (goteeman.blogspot.com)

Clark Captions said...

This is so beautiful Angie! The things we go though in life to build and strengthen us....I know that you have helped a lot of people through your experience. I love ya!

girlytwins said...

I can barely see as I type this my eyes are so tear filled. I love this post. It feels a little too close to home for me that I feel you are writing from my own heart. Your experience helped me get through mine. I am forever grateful. Challenges and changes make us stronger individuals. We are so blessed.

Laura said...

You already know how much I think of you for doing all this and coming out a stronger person. What a great example you are to me of a great mother. Someone who always puts her kids first. I love that about you!

Marie said...

What a beautiful declaration of your love that you remember the experience so beautifully!