my heart is so sore

I’m a mom. The twins will be 3 months old next Tuesday, and I have a 5 year old as well. Maybe that’s why this story is hurting me so much, I dunno.

Yesterday I was told that one of my colleague’s wife had a baby on Tuesday. She was 2 months premature, as the mom’s blood pressure had sky rocketed, and the little one wasn’t getting enough blood in her womb, so the doctor’s opted to deliver her early, essentially to save her life. So this precious little girl was delivered 2 months early, weighing a mere 780g. But apart from being in the NICU, she was ok. Weak, but ok.

She died last night.

She didn’t die because she was weak, because she was 2 months premature. She died, because there was load shedding (for those of you not living in South Africa, our power utility is a piece of crap and can’t keep the lights on, because they don’t know what maintenance is, thus they cut off our power anywhere from 2 to 4 hours at a time. They’re called ‘planned outages’ but they themselves don’t know what a schedule is, but that’s a story for another day) and the incubator that she was in, did not have an adequate power supply. There is an investigation into what exactly happened, but from what I’ve been told, the generators kicked in about 3 minutes or so after the power went out, and there was no UPS (uninterrupted power supply) keeping the incubator going in the interim.

Maybe if the little one had died from natural causes, it would be ‘easier’ to take in a sense, but this was preventable. Yes, she was 2 months premature, but premature babies pull through all the time. And what’s even scarier in a sense, is that this happened at the very same hospital that I had the twins at 3 months ago! I experienced load shedding 2 out of the 4 days that I was in hospital (yes, they even load shed hospitals) and what if my twins were in the NICU, in incubators? Would I even have twins now? I am so very grateful that I gave birth to healthy babies that didn’t require any medical assistance, but it doesn’t make my heart any less heavy and sore right now.

May that little princess soar above us in peace, knowing that she was loved for every second that she lived.

G

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and the craziness continues

Last week was the last of my maternity leave. 4 months, gone just like that. So of course, Murphy had to get in on it, and have some fun.

2 Friday’s ago, I started having some pain in my right lower abdomen. Nothing too serious, so I didn’t worry about it. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the pain was unfortunately far more significant, and I was battling to move, sit, stand, walk etc. This continued, and finally on Sunday night I told my husband. He wasn’t too happy, and poked and prodded me to see if it was appendicitis. The pain, even though presenting in the right area for appendicitis, wasn’t acting like appendicitis pain, if that makes sense. Eventually on Tuesday, I made an appointment to go and see the doctor, as it was really unpleasant, and it was hindering my ability to take care of the twins, and to just do normal things! My GP wasn’t happy with the pain, and sent me off to the general surgeon at our local hospital. I was told that he would only see me on Wednesday morning, so I was admitted into hospital, where the nurses promptly gave me supper. 20 minutes later the surgeon arrived to assess me. Thanks Murphy, thanks. After assessing me, the surgeon agreed that it was appendicitis and that if I hadn’t had supper already, he would have operated that night. He said that an ultrasound would be scheduled for the Wednesday morning, followed by key hole surgery to remove my appendix. Yay. Night one away from the twins was now well under way. Thank goodness for my amazing mom, who spent both nights that I was away at my house, taking amazing care of the twins.

At about 11pm the nursing staff came through to setup a drip, as the surgeon had prescribed antibiotics, for ‘just in case’.

The first drip site that blew, 5 days post hospital.

The first drip site that blew, 5 days post hospital.

I left hospital with 4 different drip sites, as the first one blew, the second one was removed during surgery for the third one to be inserted, the third one also blew and the fourth one held until my discharge. So I was really the human pin cushion!

I awoke on Wednesday morning, and apart from my body demanding that I breastfeed the twins (thank goodness for breast pumps – and I actually remembered to pack mine!) I was feeling a bit better, until I decided to get up. I went for the ultrasound a few hours later, and it was determined that something wasn’t right, but that they couldn’t see what. Oh yay. My surgery was then scheduled for 1pm.

Just before 1pm, I was told that the surgery had been postponed to 3pm. Ok great, another 2 hours of waiting. Once I arrived at the waiting area to be taken into theater, I was told that my surgery had been postponed again, to 4pm. Eventually I was taken in, and awoke an hour or so later in recovery, completely high on whatever drugs that had me on. It took me 2 days to figure out why my backside was so sore, until I realised that when I was back in my room, they had jabbed me with more pain meds! Because the surgery had been rescheduled for so much later in the day, I had to spend another night in hospital, but luckily was discharged by 8am on Thursday morning. When the surgeon came to see me on Thursday morning, he explained that yes, my appendix was inflamed and infected, but the main cause of my pain was actually my right Fallopian tube, as it had formed an abscess from my previous surgery back in February (I had my tubes tied during the c-section) and had stuck to my abdomen wall. Yeah, not cool at all! So he removed both the tube and appendix.

When I was discharged, my husband collected me. I got home, had time to unpack my bags, kiss my babies, and then I had to climb into the car (as in drive the car!) to go and fetch my eldest daughter, and then go down to the unemployment office about 30km away, to submit my April paperwork for my maternity leave. And it had to be done on the 30th, as the 1st of May was a public holiday, I started work again yesterday, and you can’t submit any paperwork once you’re back at work!

I had also planned to send my car in to be checked out on Wednesday, as I wanted to have everything ready for work on Monday, and didn’t want my car issues to interfere with my work. Well, thanks again Murphy, because I had to cancel the appointment for my car, as I was lying in a hospital bed, and reschedule it for today, when I’m back at work!

So Murphy, well, well played.

G

the twins are here!

Thursday the 12th of February 2015, our lives changed, FOREVER!

Alexander Philip Stander arrived at 08h28 weighing 3.51kg, and Madeleine Elizabeth Stander arrived at 08h30 weighing 3.1kg.

I cannot explain how grateful I am that we were able to leave the hospital 4 days later, with both babies 100% healthy. I carried them to 38 weeks and 2 days which I’m sure had a lot to do with their healthy state, although I honestly don’t know how I did it! I don’t think that I’ve ever complained so much in my entire life before! I might make strong, healthy babies but it sure does take it out of me! I’m still struggling a bit with ligament pain, especially in my lower back and middle of my back as things try and go back to their ‘normal’ size, whatever that maybe! – but 99% of the swelling is gone, I have feet and toes again and once the pain in my fingers goes away I’ll be a happy chappie ūüôā

My mom-in-law was here for the first 3 weeks and she left yesterday; yes I’m missing her! She was so much help; there’s nothing worse than having 2 screaming babies and not knowing how to appease both of them at once! I’m quite good at holding both of them, winding both of them and even feeding both of them, but it is still hard, especially when 1 of them just will not settle, and the majority of the time it’s Maddie!

I’m not going to attach any pictures to this post; if you’re so inclined head on over to my Instagram account the_wannabepoet as I post there regularly.

Hopefully I won’t neglect my blog anymore than what I have, but with 2 infants it does make it a little more difficult!

Chat soon
G

well i’m glad that weekend is over

Who the hell says that they’re glad that the weekend is over? ¬†Me, for the past weekend. ¬†Because it was one of the most draining, exhausting weekends I’ve had in a long while.

My wonderful weekend actually started on Thursday evening, when my daughter developed a rather high temperature, and wouldn’t settle. ¬†I gave her pain and fever medication, but she tossed and turned and was incredible restless until about 02h30 on Friday morning, that when I eventually went and lay on the couch, I got maybe 2.5 hours sleep, as she then came through at about 05h00 to lie with me, and as she was so damn hot, I couldn’t get back to sleep. ¬†This child had such a high temperature that I actually couldn’t touch her, because it felt like she was burning me. ¬†It was awful. ¬†I ended up dropping her at my mom’s, and she watched her for me on Friday whilst I was at work.

I contacted my mom just after lunch time, and she said that her temperature had dropped, but that she was still lethargic. ¬†I checked up on her throughout the day, and she was sleeping each time I phoned. ¬†When I went to fetch her, she was like a little rag doll; ¬†absolutely exhausted, barely able to open her eyes and just wanted to sleep. ¬†I took her temperature and it was sitting at 38.5ňöc which is very high. ¬†I gave her some pain and fever medication, waited 30mins and took it again; ¬†38.9ňöc. ¬†As the GP was already closed, I decided to take her straight through to the emergency room at the hospital. ¬†We got there just before 19h00 on Friday night, and when the admitting staff saw my daughter limp in my arms, they sent me directly to a bed with her, and a nurse was at her side almost immediately, taking her temperature, checking her blood sugar etc. ¬†The doctor saw her just after 20h00 and decided to put in a drip, as it was the fastest way to get both pain and fever medication into her, as well as an antibiotic. ¬†My poor princess knew exactly what was going to happen; ¬†they were going to ‘pinch’ her hand. ¬†They tried to put the drip in her right hand as they had pricked the finger on her left hand, but they eventually blew the vein as she kept moving, and after 2 attempts they decided to do it in her left hand.

It is one of the most awful things that a parent has to do;  intentionally inflict pain on your child for their benefit.  I ended up lying next to her, helping to hold her down, stroking her head, whispering comforting words to her, and she ended up not making a single peep when they inserted the drip into her left hand.  She pulled the most awful face РI almost ended up crying just looking at her, but the main thing is that they got the drip in and started the meds.

Sick princess - drip already in

Sick princess – drip already in

The meds needed 30mins to infuse, so they said that they would check on her in about an hour. ¬†When they checked on her, her temp had actually gotten worse instead of going down, so instead of going home, I was told that she was going to be admitted. ¬†Minor heart failure on my part! ¬†As there were no beds at that hospital, they had arranged for an ambulance to take her to the other hospital down the road where they had a bed in pediatrics for her. ¬†I think I was actually shell shocked; ¬†I couldn’t believe that she wasn’t responding to the medication and that she was going to be admitted. ¬†As it took a bit of time to arrange the paperwork and the ambulance, we were left alone for about another 30mins, and I noticed that she wasn’t so flushed anymore, and that she had stopped sweating. ¬†She also felt quite a bit cooler to the touch. ¬†I called the nurse and she took her temperature, and lo and behold, it had dropped by almost 2ňöc! ¬†We all agreed that the medication just needed some time to work its way through her system, and they let us go home. ¬†It was a bit of a scary drive home, as it was close to midnight, I was exhausted from hardly any sleep the night before, and it was a good 40km drive back home, and I could feel my eyes dropping. ¬†All I could think of was getting my daughter home safely, but I was concerned that I was going to fall asleep behind the wheel! ¬†Luckily we made it, and I collapsed into bed.

Saturday she woke up feeling much better, although she had a nasty, chesty cough. ¬†She and I stayed home the whole day and watched tv, and did puzzles as I didn’t want her over-exerting herself. ¬†It was such an incredible change from the day before; ¬†such a huge relief. ¬†In the afternoon we went through to the shops to buy her a little toy for being brave the night before and all too soon it was bed time.

Sunday arrived and it was time for me to go to my second job (waitressing). ¬†I had been asked to go in early due to a big booking coming in, and I did not stop the entire day. ¬†You know that pregnant women get lower back pain? ¬†Yeah well mine has hit really early, and by the time I got home yesterday I could barely walk; ¬†in fact my legs almost gave in under me as the pain in my back was so immense. ¬†I could also feel a cold coming on, and true’s bob, I woke up with morning with a full on head cold ūüė¶ It just makes my intense back pain so much more awesome ūüėČ

I’m extremely grateful that my daughter wasn’t admitted into hospital and that she’s on the mend, but I can’t do another weekend like this one anytime soon. ¬†What makes it even worse is that I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and the back pain is just making it even worse.

So I’m a huge ball of sunshine today; ¬†if you see me coming, best turn around and walk the other way ūüėČ

G

i don’t understand it all

When I fell pregnant with M-L in February 2009, it was unplanned. ¬†Well, unplanned on the husband’s part, semi-unplanned on mine. ¬†But the point is, we hadn’t discussed it and said RIGHT, we’re going to try for a baby. ¬†I fell pregnant after only being off contraception for just over a month.

This time around, with bambino number 2 on the way, again it wasn’t planned. ¬†Well, this time around it was semi-planned on both our parts; ¬†one can only tempt fate so many times (as the husband put it) but again, as much as we’d discussed a second child, we hadn’t decided to go and ahead and try. ¬†This time around, I was off of my contraception for about 2 months and then BOOM! ¬†The factory is open for business, as my GP put it!

What I don’t understand is this; ¬†the husband and I have been very fortunate in that we haven’t had any fertility issues, or conception issues. ¬†It’s just happened, as it is supposed to. ¬†We weren’t even trying for children. ¬†Why then, are two of my friends going through the most awful times, in trying to start and continue their families?

Friend “C”

C and her hubby D are high school sweethearts, have been together for 17-18 years, and have been married for the past 5-6 years. ¬†They want a child. ¬†They are ready for a child. ¬†The problem, is that even though C’s womb and ovaries are all hunky dory, her fallopian tubes are absolutely stuffed, and her eggs cannot make the trip down her tubes and into her womb. ¬†They have exhausted their savings, and are now even in debt from all of the medical procedures that C has had to try and clear her tubes. ¬†She will never fall pregnant. ¬†She will never carry her own child.

Friend “K”

K and her hubby have a beautiful little boy, who is their miracle baby. ¬†K was on bed rest for the last few months of her pregnancy, and they have a gorgeous, healthy boy today because K followed the rules laid out for her by her doctors. ¬†K has just had her 6th, or 7th or maybe it’s now her 8th miscarriage in a year or so. ¬†She has some sort of deficiency, that even though has now been properly diagnosed, keeps attacking the foetus. ¬†Last week she was 6 weeks pregnant; ¬†today she went in for yet another DNC because her doctor could not detect the baby’s heartbeat yesterday.

There are people out there, who are ‘parents’ to the most beautiful, scared, unloved children, yet 2 families, that any child would be lucky to call theirs, cannot conceive, or are battling to conceive. ¬†And then you get the husband and I, who didn’t even try very hard at all.

Yes, life is unfair.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on.

So much easier said than done.

BUT…

I feel guilty in a sense. ¬†I am no better than any of my friends; ¬†in fact they’re so much better than me! ¬†Yet life has shown them the proverbial finger.

C and D will most likely adopt, and they’re also considering surrogacy, of which I have offered them my womb, when its current occupant has vacated, which should be next February! ¬†But surrogacy is really expensive, as all of the surrogates medical expenses have to be covered by the parents, not the surrogate.

As for K and her hubby, I honestly don’t know. ¬†I’m waiting to see if K has the strength to write another blog post, like the one that she wrote last week, that alerted me to her situation. ¬†Because of how many miscarriage she’s had, her and her hubby tell no one that she’s pregnant, because ‘what if’. ¬†And I totally get that.

But I really just do not understand it all.

G