Saturday, June 16, 2007

Progression

I've been living with H and the babies at my parent's house now for almost a month. It hasn't been easy for us or my parents, as you can imagine, but all things considered we are making the most of a difficult situation. My Dad and I are more laid back about everything, so I think it's affected us less than my Mom and H, each who like things "just so" and tend to get a little on edge when they don't have complete control over their living situation. I know you're thinking, "But, Emmie, you're a self-admitted total control freak!" Well, I'm really not when I know that there's nothing I can do about something, and logic dictates that I need to accept my situation rather than fight it. I need to be taken care of right now, and much as it sucks and much as it means being gracious about things that would normally drive me nuts, I know when it's time for me to let little annoyances slide off my back. Even if it means having to eat carrot cake or something. I wish H could be as understanding. He lets every little thing my parents do get to him, then he vents to me, and quite frankly, I'm sick of hearing it. Yes, we'd rather be in our own home doing things our way, but that just isn't an option right now.

While I still want to fill you all in on the rest of my hospital adventures and a better breakdown of my medical condition, today I'd like to write a little more about the emotional aspects of all this.

When I was in the hospital, I found it hard to listen to people tell me all about the babies. I just couldn't focus for one thing, and I was in so much pain. I wanted to know the babies were okay, and that's about it. It hurt to hear from other people what my babies were like...I should have been the one telling people these things. H had a priest visit me the Sunday I arrived at the next hospital, and I was able to talk about all of my feelings to him. It helped a lot. I felt my illness was a punishment for me wanting to do everything myself for the babies without my parents' and in-laws' help. Here I had gone out of my way to ensure I wouldn't need their help, and suddenly I'm so sick that not only do I need them to take care of the babies, I need them to take care of me, too.

When I was released from the hospital, I was still in very bad shape. There was really nothing more the doctors could do for me in the hospital though, so it was decided that my recovery would be better at my parent's house. In order to leave I had to prove that I could climb a flight of stairs, get in and out of bed, and step in and out of a shower. I demonstrated each of these things just once before being discharged. When I left, I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to function at home yet. My mind continued to be preoccuppied by how I would accomplish the simplest of tasks. The whole way home I repeated my plan to H over and over: "You pull the car up as close as you can to the door. Tell my Mom to keep the babies upstairs. Help me inside to the bathroom. I'll go to the bathroom. Then get my pillows and help me sit in a chair. Once I'm sitting then bring down the babies." I kept repeating this over and over, terrified that I wouldn't be able to make it to the door, that I wouldn't be able to control my bowels during the hour-long car ride, that I wouldn't be able to climb the stairs to go to bed that night. These simple tasks literally took all of my energy. Being able to stand in front of the sink and brush my teeth and wash my face on my own was a huge accomplishment that night.

So of course, being in that shape, the most I could do with the babies at first was hold them while I sat. When I first held both of them in my arms after getting to my parent's house, it was wonderful. The three of us sat there for 2 hours. The next few days though, I couldn't help but feel extremely detatched from them as I watched H and my parents care for them "their way." I felt like a complete stranger to them. I wasn't their mother. And there was nothing I could do to insert myself into the situation. I just had no strength. H would offer me a baby to feed, and I'd have to decline. I worried that I didn't have any feelings for them. I didn't have any feelings at all. I was an empty shell...a deformed version of myself. I couldn't kiss them--I had a cold sore on the paralyzed side of my face and there was concern that I could pass on a viral infection.

As my mind slowly started to come back I couldn't help but feel bitter looking at pictures that were taken the day the babies were brought home from the hospital..Mother's Day...a day I was so sick I don't even remember it. In the pictures I saw my in-laws and H, laughing, smiling, holding my babies in my house without me while I was fighting for my life in the ICU. Oh, the bitterness. I even felt angry at H.

to be continued...

13 comments:

Motel Manager said...

It is totally understandable that you would have all of these emotions given what you've been through. I hope things are improving now!

Michelle said...

It sounds as though writing about what happened is therapeutic for you - a kind of catharsis. I hope that's the case, anyway, and that you're getting all the support you need to process what you've been through. You are incredibly strong, that's for sure.

Isabel said...

I'm so glad you're on the road to wellness and with some great babies! Babies, babies, amazing babies.

I'm sorry things didn't go in the ideal way. Sounds pretty rough. IF really sucks the remaining joy out of any experience, I think, and makes bad things worse.

Here's hoping better days arrive quickly and DH takes it as it comes now and again!

GLouise said...

Wow- I am still amazed at everything you have been through, and how you are handling it with such grace.
I hope your DH lightens up a bit! Venting to you does not help you one bit! Grin and bear it, DH!

What a traumatic time....please don't be afraid to get involved in some counseling or group support. Your feelings are valid, and you have been through so much in a relatively short amount of time.

Anonymous said...

Emmie - I find your honesty so refreshing. I think every emotion you mentioned is normal given your situation. The end of your post gave me chills; your way with words emits such strength and placement, as if I am a participant. Considering and sharing these thoughts I believe is healthy and cathartic and will enable you to continue on your path of healing. Thank you for sharing this difficult time. Wishing you peace as you continue on this difficult yet necessary journey to reconciliation about what happened and if I may go as far to say, maybe someday closure. Take care ~Lisa

seattlegal said...

I just want to echo everything everyone has said here already. I can't believe all you've gone through and your feelings are completely understandable. It makes me so sad that this is how your start to motherhood began.

Take care!

Jacquie said...

I have to commend you, after all you have been thru you seem to holding it together pretty good. You have had such a fight.

My BFF has a cold sore when her DS was born and he caught it and it reaked havoc on that poor little guy, it wasn't pretty. Good for you and keeping your guys safe.

A, B & C said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time, but just as a lurker. I had to comment about all this. I'm amazed and what you've been through and how well you can speak about your feelings. You express yourself so well, despite so much turmoil in your life right now. Concentrate on getting better and doing the best that you can with the babies. It will all work out, just give it time.

Sunny said...

WOW reading your journey just breaks my heart. I wish I could just give you a HUGE hug!

Stacie said...

Emmie -- Is it OK if I add your blog to my blogroll? Your blog is so personal I wanted to ask before risking sending people over here that you may not want. If it's OK, let me know at http://fertilitylost.blogspot.com/ and I'll add you.

~Denise~ said...

I found your blog through a Google Alert I have set for HELLP Syndrome. I am so sorry to hear you developed HELLP, but happy to hear you and your babies are alive. I had HELLP in 2003 with my daughter. I didn't understand the complexity of HELLP for months afterwards and it took a long time to heal emotionally. It has changed my life and how I look at things. Friends and family could see how it affected us to some extent and were great support, but they truly never "got it" and how serious HELLP is.

I wish you well, and may you have many happy days with those precious bundles. Take care.

Knock Me Up said...

What an amazing journey. Thank you for sharing all the details.

Bella said...

Oh, that's so awful. I can empathize as much as anyone who hasn't gone through it can. I'm so sorry. I look forward to hear how you're doing with your boys as you get more and more independent.