Thursday, July 21, 2011

Expectations and Disappointment

Well, we had the amnio bright and early this morning. It was uncomfortable, but that's to be expected when someone sticks a long, thick needle into your belly and wiggles it around for a few minutes. Everyone expected great results--so great that we pre-registered, had all of my blood samples drawn in advance, went over the schedule, and the nurses even sent in breakfast for me so I could have a nice meal, since I wouldn't get to have one tomorrow morning.

My husband and I knew better and looked at each other with worry. Then we joked with the nurses that this was way too nice and easy.

And it was.

After waiting all day by the phone for test results, we were finally faced with a difficult (yet not difficult) decision. The numbers for full lung development were to read 2.4 or greater. Ours came back just above a 2.3, which made it right on the line of acceptable. We could still go on with the section tomorrow if we wanted to, but we weren't 100% in the clear.

I was getting mixed signals from the doctor, who felt terrible about having to deliver the news. First, she said that some doctors are trying to do away with amnios as accurate lung tests, because they are unreliable and give false negatives and positives all the time. Second, she didn't expect any problems with our baby, and she consulted the high risk specialists, who agreed that my pain levels and lack of physical function right now would qualify me as approved to deliver. It has gotten that bad.

But worst case scenario, the baby would need an oxygen tube, and essentially that would be my fault. I get sad when I see pictures of little babies with tubes up their noses. Even worse is when they need even more respiratory assistance, and the ultimate deciding factor for us was that our hospital wouldn't be able to provide that, so if the 10 percent chance we had for some really bad lungs occurred, our baby would have to be transported to another hospital to get help. All because I couldn't suck up another week of bed rest and neuro pain.

It was a no-brainer for us, but I have to admit that telling the doctor we would wait it out was harder than I expected. You know how when you're in labor, they tell you to pick a focal point and put all of your energy into that one thing to get you through the tough contractions? Lyme disease is a f*%&$*# never-ending contraction, and July 22nd was my focal point. These last weeks have been horrendous, especially this past week when my help canceled last minute and having my husband working extra hours. But I don't need to get further into symptom woes--you've been down that road. For me right now, it's just magnified and very intense. I chalk most of that up to stress and anxiety, but who really knows why the pain is picking up?

So I sobbed for two hours straight. I couldn't even talk about it with my husband. Honestly, I felt morbid. Not because I have to wait a week. That's fine, my baby needs that. I think 36 weeks of focusing, being optimistic, and keeping a sense of humor backfired. It's hard work to not get depressed about Lyme Disease, and sometimes the blow is too hard to keep positive. This was one of those hard blows, and I finally ended up having a meltdown. Actually, mini-meltdowns keep popping up, so I'm not even sure I'm done with them yet.

Over the last couple of hours, we've had to tell the family the news, have my out-of-state inlaws cancel hotel reservations and reschedule the trip, make new doctors appointments, have my parents reschedule vacation time that was hard to take in the first place, try to get my nanny to cut her personal vacation time short because I need her after all, reschedule the photographer who offered to take newborn photos for free, the list goes on. On top of that, I have a raging systemic candida infection that is wreaking havoc on all areas of my body. And I mean all. I can't treat it until I deliver. But all of this is trivial in the long run.

I think the worst part is the overall disappointment of having to go through all of this in the first place. With Lyme we learn to get rid of all expectations because we never know what we'll get on a day-to-day basis. I also try to take a Buddhist approach to all things, however, I was unable to avoid expectations and suffering this time around. Why? Because I really freaking hurt. I'm tired. I feel like a shitty mother because I can barely chase after my first baby and now I'm struggling with a second on the way. I've spent the last week crying tears of frustration because I am weak, exhausted, and basically stuck in bed, when all I want to do is enjoy the experience of pregnancy and birth and not worry about my health or my children's.

This post was not intended to be whiny or self-indulgent, though I realize it kind of turned out that way. I just want to be truthful and share the dark times as well. Because if you're symptomatic, there will be dark days. And we will all get through them--it just doesn't feel that way when you're deep in it.

Tonight I'm grieving the loss of my old self. Well, a healthier self, anyway. One that would not have to put all of her focus and energy on a specific date in order to survive the day-to-day crap without losing hope. I'm over this Lyme nonsense. I hate even typing the word.

They gave me an Ambien at the hospital to take tonight so that I could be well rested for surgery tomorrow. I'm taking it anyway to catch up on some rest, and hopefully I'll wake up in better spirits. I have to. It's my son's first birthday, and it wouldn't be fair to feel so down on such a wonderful day.

I'll check in again when I find out when I'm really and truly going to have a baby.


  1. Oh, Sara, my heart is hurting for you! I was on total bed rest for a several months with my first pregnancy (I know now that the reason for the bed rest was from undiagnosed Lyme!). I remember the exact end in site, when I was to be allowed off bed rest and in the clear to deliver my child in a birth center and not in a hospital where he would be considered preterm and taken away immediately.

    I remember that goal vividly, and I poured everything, EVERYTHING, I had into getting to that date. That was such an intense experience and I can only imagine your broken heart!

    You are a superwoman for all you've already fought through to bring this baby into the world. Being a Lyme parent is SO difficult. It's hard to feel like a good parent when you're sick and stuck in bed, but in reality, we are actually raising caring, empathetic, kind, loving children because of our illnesses.

    You have earned every single right to bitch and moan about how badly this part sucks!!! But you are almost there and in a very short while you're going to be looking into the eyes of your sweet baby, and then Lyme brain will probably kick in and make you forget you were ever pregnant! :)

  2. Hang in there!!!! Thinking about you.

    I completely understand the disappointment and frustration, and just the disgust of the word "Lyme," and being "over" the whole thing. I feel like that sometimes, when something should be easy, and because of how we's not. It sucks!

    Hoping this last week goes as smoothly as possible for you. I can't relate to your situation, but I can relate to all the frustration on days that should be happy (like your son's bday), and we really just keep trying to suck it up as best we can. Best of luck, and happy birthday, Wyatt!


  3. I am SO sorry. You're such a strong woman and someday when your Lyme journey is over, you'll look back and realize just how strong you were.
    I am praying for you and I just hope you can feel a little bit of encouragement even though you're in so much pain. You're so close to the finish line of this pregnancy! Keep on going, Mama!

  4. Thanks, ladies. Your comments and support truly made me feel a whole lot better, even just knowing that I'm not alone in this. None of us are. It's tough, but it's worth it. Thanks for picking me up a little! xo