Monday, July 16, 2012


Today as I was doing everyday chores I felt a rush of overwhelming love come for my sweet baby Jack. It made me feel calm and happy. I had to come write about it right away because while of course I have felt love for him since the moment I found out we were pregnant, I have not felt that calm peaceful love that I felt with Marc the entire time. Today I feel it and as I go about my chores getting ready for Jack I am thinking about how fortunate I am.

I am so fortunate.

Last year I endured the worst day of my life as I held my sweet baby Marcus in my arms as he slipped away from us. Looking back on the past twelve and a half months I really cannot believe where we are today. We are 28 days away from holding our second son. Today for the first time I have been able to envision Jack's birth and feel like it is going to be alright. After pretty much two years of being pregnant Marc and I are finally going to be able to experience all the things we were supposed to get with Marc. I think part of this new feeling comes from our decision to schedule a c-section for Jack's delivery.

A few weeks ago we discovered that I have low platelets, platelets are the blood cells that play an important role in blood clotting. Platelets stop blood loss by clumping and forming plugs in blood vessel holes. This is fairly common among some pregnant women and is called gestational thrombocytopenia but because we are being cautious we were sent to a hematologist. While we were there she asked about what happened to baby Marc and asked if we had an autopsy done, I told her we did not have an autopsy because we knew it was a double wrapped cord. I also did not have blood work with platelet results done late enough in my pregnancy with Marc to know if I had low platelets with him as well but I did know that I had low iron as I do now. She told us the reason she asked was because sometimes in rare cases when a mother has low platelets the baby can have the problem as well which can cause brain bleeds. She recommended that when Jack is born we get a simple test done to check his platelet level to ensure that he would not need steroids to correct the problem. I guess she must not have realized how telling me this would affect me, especially when I asked if we could check Jack before birth and she told us no. She basically just dropped this huge bomb that possibly Marc died from a brain bleed caused by low platelets and the cord could have been a secondary issue. I mean that could make sense because babies are born with double nuchal cords all the time and do not die. I could not help but start crying, overwhelmed by fear for Jack. Before this information I had fears of course but it was nothing specific and nothing that I had a real reason to fear.

When we met with my doctor the following Monday I asked if in the rare case that Jack does have low platelets would it make a vaginal delivery more dangerous for him. Her answer was yes and I felt a sinking feeling. When I asked if we should just do a c-section she could not make a decision for us of course but agreed that it was a tough decision because while it is very rare cases that babies have low platelets we really don't know. She said she would do whatever we wanted her to do.  Marc and I left and told her we would talk it over and think about what we wanted to do. By the time we got to the parking lot and to our car we were both on the same page, we would do the c-section. It may be rare but we have already lost one child and we don't feel like rolling the dice.

Having a planned c-section also takes away the fear of another cord accident and many other unknowns that come along with vaginal delivery. It is comforting to know what day I will be going in. If I was to have Jack naturally I was going to have a fetal heart monitor on at all times during labor, I know every time his heart dropped at all during contractions I would have had a panic attack! I feel like in general I can be better prepared and this decision has reduced my stress greatly so I really feel like it is the right one. I am nervous for surgery and recovery but Marc made the point that some women schedule c-sections because they are afraid of natural labor so it cannot be THAT bad and if I can go through a completely natural labor with no drugs then I can make it through this.

We saw our doctor again today and she had posed the question we asked her last week to the maternal fetal medicine specialist and he said that a c section was a good route in our case since we cannot know about Jack's platelets and how he might tolerate a natural birth. I will start a steroid 7 days before my c-section so that my platelets will increase and I will taper them off over two weeks after delivery. It is a good thing that I will not be working during that seven days before while taking the steroids she warned that I will be much more emotional than normal. Well those of you who have been 10 months pregnant and 7 days away from delivery or who have had to deal with a close loved one who is in that condition know that it is already an extremely emotional and crazy hormonal time. I thank those who have to be around me during that time in advance for dealing with what may be a very crazy Jena.

Which brings me again to feeling so fortunate because I have the greatest husband who I know will be there for me through this whole emotional process. I have great friends and family who are already offering to come over to help and make sure that everything is as easy for me as possible. My co-workers at Starbucks have been amazing this past year and my manager is being so helpful and extremely flexible with my leave of absence and concerns about returning to work after.

I miss my baby Marc so very much, I wish things could have been different and that I could have both my little boys here with me today. Since that is just not possible I know I have two choices. I can dwell on what I do not have or what I missed out on with baby Marc or I can choose to focus on what I have. I have a marriage that is rock solid, family and friends who are loyal and selfless, a workplace that is compassionate...much like a second family, and a large support group of other mommies who are dealing with the loss of their babies on a daily basis too.

Finally I have two beautiful children.

Marcus I carry in my heart and Jack will be in my arms in just 25 days.

Yes, I am a very fortunate woman indeed.
J for Jack & M for Marc Jr

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