Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Miracles Aren't Free

When I meet or talk with other survivors of preeclampsia, they often refer to their children as miracles. Occasionally, survivors say that it is a miracle that they survived preeclampsia/eclampsia/HELLP, too.

I certainly feel like magnesium-sulfate, as much as I hated dealing with its nasty side effects, is a miracle drug. If not for that drug, I would most likely be dead along with my babies. Yet another miracle of science…

Yesterday, I was watching one of my favorite television shows, and an otherwise innane character said “Miracles aren’t free” as part of her dialogue. I sat there stunned as I had just had an epiphany. First of all, a television show, which is really quite soapy, led me to a realization. Yes, a television show. Well really, it was the writer of that show. That in of itself makes me laugh a little, but I’m feeling a little more enlightened, which is why I’m sharing here.

Preeclampsia robs.

Preeclampsia can rob women and babies of their lives. It robs moms of a “normal” pregnancy, birth, and recovery experience. It robs survivors of stress-free, subsequent pregnancies. It robs fathers of worry-free experiences. It robs babies of vital growth time in utero. It robs preemies of important brain development time, which can affect intelligence and self-esteem. It robs families from taking those beautiful, glowing pictures of everyone gathered around mom and baby at the bedside, while siblings look on. It robs us and our babies of what we deserve.

So, yes, miracles aren’t free. Ask any preeclampsia survivor. They’ll testify that achieving their miracles, in whatever form, came with many costs.

Costs that can’t be quantified.
Costs that are emotional.
Costs to our mental and physical health.

Miracles certainly aren’t free.

Jen, mom of Grace & Meghan

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