Lilah's story begins with an ongoing discussion between Jake and I as to whether or not we wanted to have another child. More truthfully he was sure he did and I was not. Being uncertain about this is strange to me now as up until about two days ago (when we found out the big 'v' had indeed taken) I was not sure if I could live without having a fourth.
Jake always felt that he wanted a family of the same size as he grew up in, as he is one of two children, he felt he should have two children. Given that Cait is from my first marriage and 18 years older than Izzy I understood where he was coming from. Me on the other hand, I was scared about the prospect of raising two children at the same time. I knew how to raise one, and I had gotten her to 18 without too much trouble, but two...could I manage that? Did I want to? In the end we decided to leave it to chance certain that our ease of getting pregnant with Izzy was a fluke and that it could take a while or not happen at all, I was after all getting older.
Jake an I got married in early September 2008 and late that month, on my birthday actually, I felt as if my whole being was unraveling. I remember saying to Jake that I was either pregnant or having a nervous breakdown...I was pregnant. Jake and I were having a honeymoon baby. I was surprised once again at how easily I got pregnant. thinking back I shouldn't have been, right from the word go it was evident that I was a fertile being; I got pregnant with Caitlin the first time I ever had sex, pregnant with Izzy the first cycle after coming off Depo Provera, and now pregnant with Lilah mere weeks after stopping the pill.
So here I was pregnant and I am ashamed to say now that I was not too sure how I felt about that. Surprised was the first thing, and then I had to settle into the idea...and I had to tell my mom. My mom had many times voiced her feeling that we should not have any more; she wasn't sure she had enough love to go around she said. She could not imagine loving anyone as much as she loves Izzy and Caitlin. Caitlin figured it out right away and was happy for us all, and she would be part of my plan to tell my mom. We decided to all go to Ikea one morning for their dollar breakfast...it was the plan to tell here here in the crowded cafeteria so as to limit her reaction...her reaction would be that of joy and happiness...and surprise that I was afraid to tell her.
The morning sickness that plagued both other pregnancies was present for this one as well and once that was behind me it seemed it would be smooth sailing...but it was not. One night at around 13 weeks after having been to the doctor for a check up I had some spotting just before going to bed. As my appointment had included an internal, we thought it was of little concern. At about 2am I woke in pool of blood, and I was consumed the the fear that I was having a miscarriage. Jake jumped into action and away we went to the hospital. Thankfully we only live about 3 minutes by car from the hospital as so from the time I woke to the time I was on a gurney being examined was probably less than 20 minutes. Unfortunately they could not tell me much. the heartbeat was not evident yet but that at this stage of the pregnancy meant little. They examined everything looking for evidence of a miscarriage but again could not find anything and again this meant little. Being in a small town hospital is great, but it has it's drawbacks...no overnight radiology. And so we were sent home to wait for an appointment for an ultrasound.
This would not come until the following day. To say that the day spent waiting was agonizing would be an understatement. Not knowing if you were losing your baby or not was worse than knowing I think...at least at that point it time it felt that way. The bleeding continued during this time, though it did slow, but I spent that day grappling with my emotions. Here I started this pregnancy unsure of my feelings and now it was very very clear that I had grown attached to the life growing inside and it may be taken from me. Everything became very concrete for me; the knowledge that I loved and wanted this child and the guilt at having been so unsure at the beginning. I promised myself that I would embrace this pregnancy fully if I was lucky enough to continue with it. As I walked the hall of the hospital going into the ultrasound suite alone (they would not let Jake come in with me) I had to steel myself for whatever news may come. I laid on the table belly bared and held my breath as the technician made her initial passes with her wand...and then she said words I will cherish for all of time...'there is a heartbeat'. Everything came back to life for me and I know how very lucky I am. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a child to miscarriage, but I know the fear of not knowing.
It would be diagnosed as a uterine tear and I was told not to worry about it, as it would repair itself, and the baby was fine. The bleeding continued but slowed to spotting until two days later when I had another gush of blood soak me. Jake hurried home from work, and this time I went to hospital alone. Luckily, one of the doctors that runs the prenatal clinic I receive my prenatal care from was in the emergency department that evening, and he was intent on getting to the bottom of this. He even called the radiologist back to the hospital so we could get an ultrasound immediately...bless his heart for this let me tell you. Again the ultrasound confirmed that the baby was okay and again the diagnosis was a uterine tear but this time in a different location. The doctor explained the situation to me and I was told no heavy lifting, no snow shoveling, and no intercourse. If I followed these directions everything should repair itself and be fine...and it was.
Because of the bleeding there were many ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy, but in none of them would this baby reveal it's gender to us. This time I needed to know, so we went for a 3D ultrasound. I did not want to see the baby, and I think the technician thought I was nuts. I honestly just wanted to know if it had girl bits or boy bits, so we stipulated that we were not to be shown the face or anything else, just the bottom half. Even for this ultrasound the strong willed nature of this child would be apparent, but after some prodding we discovered that we were indeed having another girl. Being a planner this made life much easier, we had all we needed by way of clothes and everything, the only thing we needed to purchase was a crib, as Isobel would only just be 18 months when Lilah was born we did not want to rush her into a big girl bed.
Labour would begin again in the wee hours of the morning, and progress without too much excitement or stalling. Again I made the stipulation of no drugs and a quiet delivery, and again I was the one making all the noise. The pain was a bit more with Lilah as she was sunny side up, but with a little perseverance and a few pushes she joined us weighing 6lbs 14oz. Caitlin would again be present and she would again cut the cord. Lilah was jaundiced and needed a few days in hospital under the lights before we could bring her home, but once home she was welcomed easily by Izzy, which was a relief.
Lilah is my blond hair blue eyed angel with a will stronger than both her sisters combined. Now that she is two it is becoming more and more difficult to manage but she is also the sweetest thing full of love and hugs.
I look at her now and cannot imagine life without her and have had to give myself permission to let go of the guilt of being uncertain about her pregnancy. The reality is I would not have a life without her and I am so glad she is the baby in my brood of girls.
Happy Monday all!