I'm not exactly sure why I picked now to start this blog. I mean, I'm sitting in Rochester, MN at the Ronald McDonald house, on the bed, attempting to pump breastmilk and type all at the same time. For mom's who have had to pump, you understand what I mean. For anyone else, pumps are these little devices that are used to be able to harness breastmilk for use later on in a bottle or whatnot, great idea right? The downfall is that you usually need to apply continuous pressure to the suction pieces just to get it to stay on! Otherwise you get drips..which is annoying and slightly gross.
However, I have been thinking about one of these for a very long time. My family has an interesting story to share. I will do my best to keep this up-to-date so all those interested can keep following our little boy's progress, but I also want to do both of my babies justice so I'm also going to do my best to tell the story of our little girl too. I never thought I'd be the person with the advice or know-how for such a big part of life, but here I am and this is a snap-shot of what I've experienced in the last two years.
At 23 and still filing taxes as single, getting pregnant wasn't exactly in my plan for life. I was hoping for the wedding and house first. However, in May of 2008 two little pink lines in the shape of a "+" drastically changed that. I was pregnant. Honest first thought? "Holy shit, this can not be real". But it was and for the most part the pregnancy only brought joy and happiness into my life. My relationship with my now husband (then boyfriend) did almost a 180 degree turn around and we became the best friends we are now, my body was handling the weight gain great and the worst pregnancy woe I can really attest to is that I had morning sickness maybe three times. And as I quickly found out it was because of me not keeping enough food in my tummy.
The first trimester flew by since we didn't even have a doctors appointment until around 10 weeks, the second trimester brought about an engagement ring and many baby showers and into the third and final part we forged, trying our best to get prepared for a baby, expected sometime around the turn of the new year. However, as God often does, his path was not what we expected and on December 1st, 2008 I delivered our amazingly perfect, yet still, little girl, Madison Elizabeth. It breaks my heart now to just type that. She was 36 weeks gestational age, 5 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 inches long. In another situation, she would have been born a healthy, fully developed newborn as no known cause for her death was discovered. We laid her to rest on my husband's parents land in east-central Wisconsin on December 20th, 2008.
Just three short weeks later, after setting a wedding date for six months out and already ordering the Save-the-Dates, God's plan twisted unexpectedly again. Those darn pink lines were back in the shape of a very faint but very distinct "+" sign. Pregnant again. Just six weeks after delivery. Honest first thought "Holy shit, this can not be real. Is this the universe's form of a joke?" It took a blood test and then a subsequent ultrasound for me to believe it all. But yes, indeed we were pregnant...again, due sometime in early October 2009. Two deliveries in 10 months...and the wedding was set for June 20th. Yikes. My now husband (then fiance) and I decided it best to keep it hush, hush since even though we heard a heartbeat with the ultrasound, we both still felt that an early pregnancy loss was a possibility since it happened so close to the delivery. But as our wedding approached and my belly started to grow, and I moved into the second trimester that situation was looking less and less likely. We really needed to start planning for this little guy or gal.
We told everyone the night before the wedding (even though I know a lot of them already had figured it out), I was 24 weeks pregnant. Everyone was shocked but excited and finally I was starting to feel the excitement around being pregnant again, but never really letting that joy sink in. If stillbirth can happen to me once, I did not doubt it could happen again, even though the statistics are low. If I had learned anything, it was that you can't really bank on those statistics.
But just 9 weeks later, God's plan AGAIN turned! You'd think we be too dizzy from all these twists and turns to even know whats going on. But at 33 weeks along, I went into pre-term labor. Nervous the cramping I was feeling was a repeat of events, I was extremely stressed and anxious about the situation. But upon admission into the hospital, they strapped a heart-rate monitor onto my belly and a very strong beat of around 140 was registered. That noise was the most comforting sound I think I could have heard and I was soothed through contraction by that "thump, thump, thump" noise. The baby was alive, early, but alive and that was all that mattered. It could have an arm coming out of it's forehead and I wouldn't have cared. After 25 hours of feeling contractions and only 10 minutes of pushing, our son, Keller Resop Reilly was born at 2:30PM on August 23, 2009...screaming his tiny little head off. There had been a chance he wouldn't be able to breathe on his own right away and almost a 100% chance that he'd be struggling with it even if on his own. We got the best situation with that cry, his lungs could handle air. He was 4 lbs. 5 oz. and 17 1/2 inches long. Almost the same size as his sister.
So here I am, after 69 weeks of pregnant life and 6 days after delivering again, down in Rochester at St. Mary's hospital, watching my little man get stronger by the day and just waiting for the day we get to bring him home. He is breathing room air on his own (and has been for a few days) and really just working on increasing his food intake and gaining weight. I'm hoping breast feeding can be established soon and the pumping can start to slow down and eventually not be needed!!
We also closed on our first house yesterday, so even though it is out of order, I did get my wedding, house and baby! And although it feels like huge stressing parts of life have been checked off of life's list, I know that when Keller comes home, it's a whole new ballgame and I'm sure the turns and twists are no where near over.