Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Preeclampsia Video from Action on Pre-Eclampsia

This is Rebecca Black, an obstetrician at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England. Mike Rich of Action on Pre-Eclampsia posted this video on YouTube. It is a 7 minute video, but is only part 1 of 6. The other parts are not posted on YouTube yet, from what I can tell. Enjoy the educational overview of preeclampsia.

Click on the movie twice to view it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What he gives you

Last weekend, my family went to an 80th anniversary celebration at the church that my husband attended while he was growing up. We got married there, and his parents still attend this same church. It was like a Homecoming and women who'd grown up there, but now are married and living elsewhere, all coming back and catching up with old friends. There were many small children there too, and everyone was ooohing and aaahing over them, remarking how much they look like their parents, etc.

After the church service, they had a potluck lunch in the building next door. We went and stood in the long line to get our fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and green bean casserole.......

Slightly ahead of us in line was a family my husband had known from "way back". A man he'd known from high school, and a lady who'd grown up in that church, and they're both about our age. With them were their 4 little girls, who looked to be around ages 1, 3, 5, and 7. The mom is pregnant again, too.

As the line crept forward, someone near the pregnant mom asked her if this new baby would be her last, and the response just struck a chord with me. She replied, "Well, we don't know yet. We'll just have to see what he gives us."

I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, truthfully. For quite a while I've known the old saying "God doesn't give you any more than you can handle". In this day and age, 4 (soon to be 5) children is certainly a lot, and I can't imagine caring for them all---either emotionally or financially!

But that's not what got to me about her comment. Instead, it was the old, nagging, irksome feelings that haunt many women who are survivors of preeclampsia........why was THIS what he gave me? That woman was the picture of health, could be on the cover of "Beautiful Pregnant Woman" magazine, and has 4 healthy perfect girls already. Pregnancy is a breeze for her, or so it appears. And she's just going to keep on and see "what he gives her" in terms of how many easy pregnancies she'll get to have.

Meanwhile, there are women all over the world who suffer from preeclampsia each and every time they are pregnant. Women who've lost a child, or more than one, to the disease. Women whose own lives were lost as a result of PE. I've never had one easy pregnancy, never one easy delivery, never one time to take home a chubby, healthy baby on the same day I go home from the hospital.

And I never will. That's what he's given me........and if I were to be pregnant again, it would be that way again. And again. And again......the constant fear, overanalyzing every little twinge or symptom...........being petrified to get my BP taken, or worrying if the headache I feel is THAT kind of headache.

So I'm left to wonder why and to never truly know the answer of why some women have preeclampsia and some do not. Why my body just doesn't "do well" with pregnancy, and others breeze through. The only way to keep on coping from day to day, I guess, is to look down at the two precious miracles that stood by my side in that lunch line at the church......and to know that every bit of what I suffered while pregnant, and after, was worth it to have those 2 boys here with me today. After all, he gave me them as well...........

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Birthday Meghan!

My daughter Meghan's 3rd birthday is today. I hope you enjoy this post where I remember the day she was born. You'll see that magnesium sulfate was putting me into a case of sensory overload, and how that influenced my experience of meeting Meghan for the first time.

Jen, mom of Grace & Meghan

PS: Happy birthday to Ariana too!