Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Swelling = Baby?

When my ankles started swelling 23 weeks into my first pregnancy, I didn't think much of it. Sure, it seemed a little early, but I felt fine otherwise and the only problem at that point seemed to be solved by a trip to DSW for a couple pairs of flats in a bigger size.

Little did I know that was the first sign that I was developing preeclampsia/ HELLP syndrome, a condition that would ultimately (after 6 days bed rest at home and 5 days bed rest at 2 different hospitals) result in the delivery of my son at 25 weeks 3 days gestation on December 1, 2006.

Fletcher William (it took us 3 days to settle on a name... what can I say, I was expecting a March baby and had just started my list) was born at 10:45 am weighing 1 lb 9 oz and measuring 13 inches in length. Midway through my stint at hospitalized bed rest, I was transferred to a hospital with a level-3 NICU in order to accommodate such a young little guy, and Fletcher has certainly taken advantage of the facilities. Despite the two steroid shots I was given prior to his birth, his lungs just did not have enough time to develop and he was immediately put on a ventilator and rushed to the NICU. I got a quick look at him on his way out, but I had delivered by c-section and was still on the operating table, so it was hard to get a good look. Trevor followed him up to the NICU and took this picture when Fletcher was just 2 hours old.


Sar said...

Happy one month birthday Fletcher! James and Evan send very very clean and gentle hugs. More posts! More posts!

Angela Weltin said...

Happy New Year, Fetcher! I hope this is your best year yet. Erin, I know this is a roller coaster ride of emotions. You are doing great. Much love being sent from the Weltin Family.

angela sweeney said...

Welcome to Holland...

When you're going to have a baby it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Colosseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may even learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After a couple of months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pick up your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland".

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there has been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never had met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going to Italy, and they're bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never go away, because the loss of a dream is a very significant loss. However, after taking some time to mourn the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may find yourself ready to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things of Holland.