Dark Days of May – Part II

Thankfully, on the home front, by June of ’99, Nicole was sleeping from about 8 P.M. to 3 A.M. Yes, this was huge. I started feel quite a bit better, just from having more sleep. She was nursing in under an hour too, which made a big difference. Unfortunately, things were still bad with respect to my Dad’s health. We decided that she was healthy enough that we could attempt a trip home. I wanted to see my parents and we thought they might like the light relief of meeting their newest granddaughter. In the ‘before time’ I could drive home in about 11 hours. Ha, ha, those days were gone.
Early in July, we headed to B.C. UGH. What an awful trip. Normally it takes 3 hours to get to Calgary from here. It took us over 5. We had to stop twice to change the baby and clean her car seat because her poor little bowels just exploded repeatedly upon being scrunched up in the car seat. We spent that first night at my brother Neal’s house in Calgary. The next day we went all the way to Rossland and a 7 hour trip took about 12. Oh well. My parents had recently moved (another part of the upheaval) to an apartment from their home so we stayed at a hotel. I was very glad that we went home. Dad was heavily drugged and really struggling with the dialysis but he knew who we were and enjoyed seeing the baby. Ron had to get back to work (he didn’t have much vacation time left) so we only stayed a couple of days.

Nicole continued to improve and we were all doing much better. I weaned her in November then took a quick trip home with Neal in the fall. I was glad to see my Dad feeling better and off the heavy psych drugs. He wasn’t doing that well with dialysis though because the congestive heart disease he’d had for years, made it hard for him to pump the machine.

At the end of November I went back to work, 75% time. Luckily, Canadian women get a humane amount of maternity leave. I had been off for about 9 months. In early December I discovered I was pregnant again. This was a surprise because we had required fertility drugs the first time so I just assumed we wouldn’t get pregnant again. Never assume anything when it comes to sperm and eggs!!

One good thing about having an established reputation with your employer is that they tend to give you more trust in how you manage your time. I really appreciate how flexible my boss and work group were. Ron and I didn’t want to use a babysitter in the beginning so I worked 3 – 10 hour days in a scheduled opposite his so that one of us could take care of the baby all the time. This was great in a lot of ways but hard too. As my pregnancy progressed, I felt quite well but there were a lot more physical pains and discomforts than the first time around.

My Dad had several more crises during this time. His shunt plugged off and they couldn’t get another one installed. Finally, the got one into his carotid artery but it was a close thing. He was still strugglng with the physical exhaustion due to the dialysis and a lot of mental strife due to resistance to the radical lifestyle changes required. I wanted to go home again so we planned a trip in June.

Our trip home in June was poignant. Because I was at risk for early labour, my doctor had a lot of tests done on me before we left. I had no problems during the trip, except for being really uncomfortable. This dang baby was always laying sideways. The ultrasound I had before we left showed a head under the right side of my ribs, a bum in the middle, and legs up the left side of my ribs!

I have quite a few good pictures from that trip home. We were happy to see my folks and they were happy to see us. It was sad though. I think my Mom really missed being involved in my ‘new parent’ status. She had wanted me to have children for so many years (and, I think, had given up) that it was quite the thing to see me as a ‘mother’.

When we left Rossland that day in July, I was pretty sure it was the last time we’d see my Dad. He was on oxygen all the time, due to the extra strain of breathing and he was tired, fed up, and discouraged.

A few days later, we were home, Ron had gone to work and I woke up and started labour. I was only 30 weeks along and was scared to death! I phoned Ron’s work and left a message. The phone rang a few minutes later. I thought it would be Ron, but it was my Mom. Dad had fallen down in the kitchen and was badly hurt. They had taken him to the hospital. I told Mom I was waiting for Ron to come and get me and Nicole and I’d call her later.

At the hospital, they confirmed that I was in labour but hoped it would stop. The doctor tried to reach the Ob/Gyn on call in the city to determine what kind of risk the baby was at. I really didn’t want to have another premature baby. Time went on, and Ron and Nicole stayed with me. Nicole was only about 15 months at this time. She needed to go home for food and a sleep. This is where we learned a hard lesson about who you can lean on in tough times. He phoned his Mom, who had taken care of Nicole for us occassionally when we both had to work. She wouldn’t come. It was a nice day and she wanted to get the laundry out on the line. That was somehow very devastating. He was hurt, and I was just so terribly disappointed that someone could hurt my sweetheart so badly. Anyway, Ron took Nicole home and I waited. After lots of waiting, the labour stopped on its own. Thank God! Later in the afternoon, they released me and I took a taxi home.

My doctor told me that if I wanted to hang on to this pregnancy I should stop work and get some help so I didn’t have to do any physical work. Sounds good eh? Well, not so easy. However, lucky me, had a beloved to sister to call on. You’ll meet my sister Mary in the next post!

This entry was posted in Adventures in Parenting, Dark Days of May, Depression, Family. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Dark Days of May – Part II

  1. Brian says:

    Good morning,
    I hope it is a good morning inspite of the nature of these last two posts. As a fairly newcomer to your blog, I find myself playing catch up a lot. I do feel very grateful that you have welcomed me, and as a “new” friend, I would like to tell you that you have my deepest respect and empathy for your ordeals. I am not a parent, and as a man, Hollywood non withstanding, I cannot give birth, but I can feel for your experiences. Emergency rooms I know all too well. My wife usually arrives by ambulance, but the one time we walked in, she got seen quickly because she passed out on the floor. The worst time was when she spent 48 hours in the ER while waiting for a room. I hope this comment helps in some small way.

  2. Barngoddess says:

    interesting reading, I like hearing about others lives, yours in particular. So true:
    “This is where we learned a hard lesson about who you can lean on in tough times”

    its always the same people we can truly count on isint it? I have very few ‘close friends’ and several buddys, my close friends-I know I can count on them in any kind of situation… my buddys are not so reliable… I feel bad for your hubby, in y’alls case, it being his mother.

    I am looking forward to the next post!

  3. Barb says:

    Wow!, Looking forward to the next post.

  4. Jenna Howard says:

    Holy moly, chicky! What a rough journey. I’m on the edge of my seat for what happens next.

  5. Miz BoheMia says:

    Wow! I just read the first part and now this…

    I think your answer lies in these posts… the stress of those times is enough to last you a lifetime and you probably are gonna need some years to heal through it completely… that’s what Mama E used to tell me! I understood the reasons for many of my problems and stresses and yet I would still have breakdowns and depressions every so often. She told me that after practically a lifetime of repression this would be normal and that it would take years for true healing to occur. She was right. I notice myself better with time.

    Baby steps.

    There is so much I can relate to! My children weren’t premature but they both had problems when it came to breastfeeding that caused me a lot of heartache. It took years for me to be able to look at a breastfeeding mother and not break down and even still if I see a newborn child my breasts literally ache for the feeling of a baby at the breast!

    My son had colic for two months where everyday he would start to shriek for 7 hours nonstop… I would not wish that on my worst enemy!

    My in-laws made my first pregnancy absolute shit and in my second one more drama ensued that caused me to have uterine contractions due to stress. My stomach literally tightened up so much it physically hurt and remained that way for a number of weeks. After that I had to be really careful and just steered clear of anyone that could cause me stress… to this day I have a lot of strong emotions associated to those vulnerable days and healing, 3-6 years later, has yet to occur…

    I think we are so vulnerable, going through so many life-altering changes (transitioning into motherhood, a new body, a new us is simply no picnic) that we really do not have the time nor the peace of mind to process things clearly and efficiently and therefore need time and conscious effort to truly heal.

    The month of March, around my birthday and Christmas time would really have me down…. I am now getting better but as for my in-laws… they are still like nails on a chalkboard!

    Sorry! I didn’t mean to write a novel here but I just wanted to say I feel for you sweet Laura and can relate to so many things you say! 6 more days left and May will be over! Keep writing and in the meanwhile, here’s a huge hug and kiss from a crazy bohemian who just looooveeees you!

    You truly are an amazing and strong woman and thank you for sharing such hard memories with us!

  6. Kyahgirl says:

    Brian-thank you. Your compassion always touches me.

    Barngoddess-I see we are alike in some ways. There is quite a bit more to this story so more posts are coming!

    Barb-thanks, You are a sweet and attentive listener.

    Jenna-thank you, I appreciate your words. Pretty good birth control eh? 🙂

    Miz B, you are welcome to write a novel any time. Thank you for sharing with me. ♥

  7. logoâ„¢ says:

    wow, hon, whadda lot to handle.
    You are a very strong woman, sis.
    Can’t wait to hear the rest.

  8. neva says:

    these are mighty powerful memories you’re stirring up for yourself… and, as i said in the comment i left for “part 1”, i truly admire you for exploring and/or sharing these emotional demons with the rest of us. i won’t add to the wealth of advice/experiences you’ve thus far received, but know that i feel your pain… and will rejoice with you and/or for you in your victories, large and small!

    thank you for trusting us enough to take us *all* into your confidence… : D

  9. neva says:

    as usual… i intended to end with a “smile” : D sigh

  10. Whinger says:

    Poor you and poor Nicole and poor Ron and poor your parents.
    It’s all such a dark time. I understand why you need to get this out, and I really hope it helps.

    I love Blog Therapy.

  11. Yez says:

    It’s so chilling that both times (so far) you went to the hospital in labor, your dad had a huge coincident health problem =:o I’m a mom, so I can begin to imagine what all of this must have been like for you. (Begin to imagine; mine was a normal pregnancy except for the C-sec, but even that went really well.)

  12. FirstNations says:

    this is exactly what you have to do. your instinct to write all this out, weigh and measure it, is absolutely the correct path.
    we can midwife you through it.

  13. Christine says:

    Oh my.

    I followed you over from Whinger’s…

    Geez, when it rains, it pours. I think you’ve shown amazing strength through out, between the baby with cholic, and then another pregnancy, all while your father was sick and far away…I don’t know I would have managed at all without many anxiety attacks.

    I’m glad you’ve gotten through it enough to write about it. Here’s to happier times.

  14. IDV says:

    Hey there, KG

    What a saga. I can’t begin to imagine how you must have felt. At least you came through it.

    Sorry this is a bit crap – I’ve nothing to relate this to, luckily for me I guess.

    Looking forward to the next installment!

  15. Kat says:

    Wow, what a deep story. How sad your mother-in-law put laundry over your hubby. I have to make sure I come back for the rest of the story. 🙂

  16. kyahgirl says:

    Logo- thanks, there’s more.

    neva-I always like to see your friendly face. thanks for helping with my demons.

    whinger-yes,blog therapy=good!

    yez-I noticed the same thing. everything with my babies was tied to my Dad. there’s more of that to come.

    FN-thank you for the offer of midwifery through this. I will take you up on it.

    Christine-welcome, and thanks for the kind words. Sorry you’re visiting for the first time in a bit of a rain storm.

    IDV-I always appreciate just knowing you care.

    kat-welcome! yes, that was sad and dysfunctional. Please do come back.

  17. surly girl says:

    bless you, laura, for being so honest.

    i didn’t admit my post-natal depression until small person was four. i thought people would think i was a bad mother and worry that i couldn’t look after her. i still worry about that.

    having babies is such a HUGE upheaval and i personally didn’t find that any ante-natal advice really prepared me for it. there needs to be more education for expectant mothers, and more awareness and support networks for afterwards.


  18. Kyahgirl says:

    Thank you SG, that means alot. ♥

  19. mig bardsley says:

    It’s late and I’ve got lots to do but I couldn’t go without saying you’re a very brave lady and I don’t know how you survived such a relentlessly dreadful time. I feel honoured that you are sharing it with us.

  20. Kyahgirl says:

    Thanks Mig ♥ you are very sweet.

  21. frankengirl says:

    Thanks for sharing, Kayhgirl. Sending Good Thoughts your way – 🙂

  22. Terry says:

    I’ve been through somewhat similar times, albeit not as recent as yours. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of sand girl!

  23. g says:

    Somehow, I worked my way backward through your posts, but I gather from above that your first part of the story wasn’t any easier. And oh, how I can relate on so many levels – truly you find out who you’re friends are in life during times like these. And MIL’s – just wish it wasn’t a stereotype, but it does seem to be a self fulfilling prophecy. Something about having the attention diverted away from them – never mind what condition you’re in. As they say, to happier times. Your inner strength is just beautiful.

  24. Kyahgirl says:

    frankengirl-thanks for the good thought. much appreciated.

    Terry-its so nice to connect with people who ‘get it’. I like that saying ‘you’ve got a lot of sand’. Hope it means something good LOL 🙂

    G-thank you. Yes, MILs. I think you hit the nail on the head. My MIL was always kind of resentful that I took her son away. So sad.

  25. Pingback: Some things about your Brain | Mother Hen's Place

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