Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Adrienne Berry's Pregnancy Memory



Last year my husband Brian and I felt it was time to start trying for number 3. Knowing that I am on bed rest for the first half of my pregnancy made it one that I had to gear up to (and my husband, as he became Mr. Mom during that time). Soon after we started trying, we were successful in getting pregnant and I was in bed from week 6 (first of October) through December. From the beginning I knew baby #3 would be a boy. I could feel him fluttering around so early on, it was like a constant reminder that he was letting me know it was all going to turn out fine. I often had thoughts of how blessed we were to be bringing another little boy into our family as I lay there in bed and let my man do all the work.


As I was sick, I started to notice my 4 year old son David was not getting better from a fall cold. It went from cold, to flu, to cold, to flu, to strep. Many days we lay in bed together feeling rotten, but giving lots of snuggles. Then one day he started wetting the bed again. Rancid bad breath ensued and I couldn't put the energy into this change in angry 4 year old behavior. David became aggressive and lethargic. ER visits provided no comfort. Pediatrician visits seemed fruitless. After months of both of us being sick, I told my husband we needed to start having blood tests done on David. At this phase, baby #3 was all but a growing bump in my belly.

On December 1st, I was laying on our front couch making an appointment with our Pediatrician again, requesting blood work to be done and urine tests as well. My other line beeped in and I ignored it. Then as my husband's cell phone rang I was transported into a de ja vous. I knew my dad was calling. He was telling my husband that my mother had suffered a severe stroke. I knew she was near death. As he hung up the phone, I said "She had a stroke didn't she?" This dream had happened all throughout my pregnancy, you know those weird dreams that you have that you just ignore?

Within hours I was in the car driving to visit my mom in the neuro ICU 300 miles away. Brian was to take David to the pediatrician for the blood work.

I thought about my mom, possibly not being able to hold baby #3 or comfort my other two children like grandma's always do.

As I arrived to my mom's bedside, I received a call that David was being rushed to the ER: prognosis Type 1 Diabetes, DKA: Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes that occurs when sugar (glucose) is not available as a fuel source by the body and fat is used instead. David was about 24 hours away from death.

Suddenly anger and fears of caring for another child stemmed and I wasn't sure why I had the crazy idea to grow our family. How could we care for a diabetic child, a toddler and a new baby?

With the prospect of burying my mother and son in the same week, I had to make a decision. Thankfully my mother stabilized after about 12 hours and I was able to turn around to drive back home to David.

As I got to the hospital where he was admitted I was blown away with the information that I had missed out on. IVs, insulin therapy, injections, and my sick little boy - in a yellow hospital nightie. As soon as I saw him, I snuggled up to him on his bed with my now protruding belly. He then rested his hand on my tummy and told me, "Mom, I'm going to be the best big brother when I get feeling better."

There in a hospital bed, I felt two little boy spirits — one so close to death, the other so close to life — and I couldn't help but regret my feelings of anger and inadequacy. No love lacking, my sons taught me a valuable lesson that day.

Sometimes our biggest trials are a blessing in disguise.


4 Generations of boys, 4 generations of girls!

We have learned to live happily with Type 1 Diabetes. Pregnancy gave us something to look forward to, and not dwell on the past few traumatic months. My mother miraculously recovered and since Charlie was born he's been our little ray of sunshine for 2009. Happy and cheerful, he reminds us that, "When life gets you down, Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming swimming swimming!"

From Adrienne of Dingbat Press.

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Note: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting stories about pregnancy, childbirth and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here.


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15 Comments:

Blogger Debbie Brough said...

I love these thoughts on pregnancy. I started reading your blog for all of the fun and beautiful things you find, but I am loving each of these new thoughts. What a treasure from each of these women -- thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 3:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Artfulife said...

Couldn't help but cry on this one. My daughter was diagnosed with type one diabetes at age 4. What a blessing that the Dr. was able to help her son in time. Thanks so much for sharing all of these touching stories of motherhood.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 3:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger rookie cookie said...

Visualizing a sweet, sick little 4 year old boy promising his mommy he would be a good big brother just made me bawl like a baby. But it is all so close to me. I am newly pregnant with number 3 and I have a 4 year old. Thinking of things going wrong is so scary. You had better bet I will be holding my big baby 4 year old closer as I tuck him in tonight.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 4:09:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Becki said...

I bawled my eyes out. Life is so fragile, precious, unpredictable, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this story.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 4:20:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautifl! thanks for sharing, it was just what i needed!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 5:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger tyler said...

these stories are so heartwarming. the fragile, precious and comical moments of motherhood. thank you for sharing and warmest wishes to you! i'm due in about one month with baby #2 and hope to be wiser and more peaceful this time around. i love the sisterhood you've captured here.

thank you for the kind mention last week of my collection. i'm honored to be in this lovely space.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 9:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Heather said...

Wow! What a story! Congratulations on your son, and your lovely family. I'm glad your mom is ok as well.

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 8:56:00 AM EDT  
Blogger s g said...

yeah, this is my awesome COUSIN. nice post Ade...and your family is so adorable, I am amazed at your strength after all you have been through. That is a great pic of your fam with the grandparents, I am jealous!

sara g.

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 11:58:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Matt Moench said...

gosh those were some of the hardest times for me, being so far away from the family. A lot of tears from me a few states over. I'm grateful we're all still here.

One of the greatest blessing for me was to see how Mom and Dad's relationship changed as he cared for her every need, even down to installing a million stabilizing banisters all over the house. And then, when mom unscrewed them all and took them down after her hasty recovery, we knew that woman with all her personality was not going anywhere :). Love you

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 1:14:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Wow! Thanks to you and to Adrienne. Beautiful. This is why we have kids. They slow down time and are a constant reality check. Beautiful story.

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 2:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The Other Martha said...

Beautiful story, beautiful family, beautiful life. Thanks to my one and only daughter for so sensitively writing about our family's private traumas. After spending ten days, and the following nine months recovering from my stroke, I've learned what truly matters--the heartfelt love of family and dear friends. Really, nothing else matters. Let the rest blow away with the wind and be grateful to deeply drink in life's next breath.

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 5:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous andrea scher said...

wiping my tears... so moved by your story Adrienne.

thank you for sharing it!
andrea

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 5:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger mames said...

beautiful and wrenching story. oddly enough my twin 2 year olds and i are just finishing the watching of 'finding nemo'.

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 5:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lisa Paulsen said...

Adrienne... you so eloquently shared this story I am so grateful to know you... such poise and grace... I love you!

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 11:18:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous The Dingbat (Adrienne) said...

You guys are all too nice, it has been such a learning experience in my life and I feel so lucky to have survived it! Thanks for all of your kind comments :)

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 11:37:00 PM EDT  

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