I haven’t been writing much. I guess because sometimes it feels like no one is listening. I am almost 24 weeks pregnant with my rainbow baby boy. He still does not have a name.
I can feel his kicks, tiny, but mighty all the same. The miracle of life. I realize what a blessing this pregnancy is, and I hesitate to complain at all, for I know SIDS moms who have lost their first baby, and who have been unable to conceive again. That being said, I realize with this pregnancy that I feel a sense of completion. He will be my last. With prior pregnancies I always felt a melancholy that this might be the last time that I felt a baby kick within me. But with this pregnancy, I don’t feel that sadness. I just feel thankfulness to the Lord; that I have reached such a state of happiness despite an emptiness that can never be replaced. That I no longer cry every day, and feel hope for the future. And I feel the toll that 5 pregnancies have placed upon my 38 year old body. My legs cry out in pain, as sciatica caused by pregnancy and a pelvic shift send hot pokers down my leg. I couldn’t be any more high risk: post thyroid cancer treatment, no working parathyroids, blood clotting disorder, and now a placenta previa, diagnosed when he was 20 weeks gestation. Yes, he will be my last.
He will be my last, not only for the reasons mentioned above, but also I feel that God is telling me that it is time to stop. I pray that he will survive. For the most part I have faith, and lean on God, and feel that he will survive. But then worry and fear sometimes eek in. It’s hard to keep them at bay when you have been through such a dramatic loss as we have. It’s only human to fear it happening again. I know that it does happen twice, but rarely. But it doesn’t matter how rare, if you are the one who lightening strikes twice. But Dr. Kinney and Dr. Goldstein, some of the most prominent SIDS researchers in the world, have assured me that he will likely be ok. That we should proceed with the assumption he will live. I am trying to keep the faith.
Other than just praying that he will be ok, we are taking as many steps as we can to assure that we avert anything preventable. Upon his birth, he will have an EKG performed, which we may also repeat about 3 days later, as long QT syndrome is not always evident at birth. Full genetic tests are already done by my state, and Dr. Goldstein said that Washington State testing is more than adequate. Also soon after his birth we plan to have full hearing tests done, beyond just the normal pass/fail, as there are studies linking slight hearing deficits in the right ear with brainstem issues. I hope everything will be normal. I also plan on some type of monitor for my peace of mind, although I know these don’t stop SIDS.
On top of all of this, we are still proceeding with our annual SIDS 5k, Strollin’ to Fight SIDS on June 13th. Perhaps I am a bit crazy for continuing, but I cannot forget the event honoring my daughter. I have been very active in promoting SIDS research both via my walk, and also by supporting other researchers, both locally and those in Boston. I pray that our event will garner the support it needs to make it successful. I am still hoping to find some volunteers as I will be very close to my due date when the event takes place. I have a feeling that I might end up with another June baby. I am not sure how I feel about this, but everything will be as God wills. I feel nervous about the idea of him sharing a date near Anneliese’s birth date, and for nearing October at the same age as she was when she died.