I just hooked myself up to my hospital-grade breastpumping machine as I do now every 2-3 hours. I’m starting to get enough of a hang of it that it takes me under 30 minutes… it had been taking me 45-minutes to an hour just to get a good 15 minutes of pumping on each side. This expediency is mostly due to this invention which allows me to pump both sides “hands free.” It doesn’t help lessen the un-naturalness of breastfeeding a device instead of a baby though.
On April 1st, I couldn’t get to sleep because of pain in my right shoulder. For some reason I decided to take my blood pressure. It was a random thought… I hadn’t been taking my blood pressure regularly and I only had the monitor because I had been concerned about my blood pressure a month ago. The doctor had me send readings for a week and told me it was nothing to worry about and told me to keep eating well, exercising and to meditate. On this random night though, I pulled out the monitor again and found that my blood pressure was dangerously high. We went to the hospital at 1am. They did some blood tests, some urine tests, some ultrasounds of my organs and determined that I had HELLP syndrome and the baby would need to be delivered via c-section the next day.
It happened way too fast for me to process anything so I’ve been trying to process this since it happened. The birth of my son was the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to me. I feel guilty about a lot of things- including the fact that I just wrote that previous sentence. A social worker told me I’m grieving over the loss of my last two months of pregnancy and that I missed out on the birth experience I had envisioned. I’m stuck in this weird limbo… my son is in the NICU and I can’t be there the whole time. I feel like I should be trying to Get Things Done while I Have This Time even though I don’t really have any time. I go back and forth between the hospital and home and being asleep and awake and hooked up to this machine and having to get back to be hooked up to the machine.
I tried to restart my homework and which unfortunately taught me that cerebral palsy in premature babies is caused by lesions to the periventricular white matter. That sent me off down a google rabbit hole which led to studies linking HELLP syndrome, IUGR and cerebral palsy. It’s a more heightened risk… not a sure thing. But who cares, oh my god…?
I try to find comfort in the fact that all these Medical Professionals have told me that my son is Normal and developing as expected. But then that comfort gets ruined by the creeping reminder that I was also told my pregnancy was Normal for seven months- and then I almost died and had the baby 2 months early.
I can’t predict the future. Any number of horrible things could happen to me and/or my child. There is absolutely nothing I can do about that right now. Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet just causes unnecessary suffering. These are things I try to tell myself. It used to work. Since I was put on bed-rest, though, it’s become increasingly difficult to calm myself down.