Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How am I doing?

I have mostly just put updates about the babies on here. I will be posting another update on the babies next. People are always asking me, "So, how are you doing?" I usually just say something short and simple like "good", "pretty good", or "hanging in there" because I'm not sure if they are really asking me how I am or just saying "hi" as in "Hi, how are you?" Besides it would take much too long to really say how I am doing. So, I thought I would blog it instead. That way, if you actually want to take the time to read this long post, you can, and if not, skip to the next one about my sweet babies.

How am I doing? Well, I'm feeling so many contradictory feelings that it is quite a complicated answer. So here's how I am feeling. I'm feeling:

Thankful - I am thankful that my babies are alive and doing as well as they are. I must remember to give thanks for all they have already overcome.

Weak - I don't particularly like the phrase, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." Who would want to handle this? Why would God give me (or anyone for that matter) this to handle in the first place? He made it so that babies are supposed to stay in the womb for 40 weeks. He didn't make babies to be ready to come into this world at 24 weeks. I don't want to handle this. I don't want to be strong. I don't want to be the one to tell some other unfotunate mother who delivers way too early in the future that we have been there and understand what she is going through. I want to be weak sometimes. I want to cry sometimes.

Angry - I feel angry. You can't help but ask, "Why me?" (not that I would want it to be anyone else either) I've learned that pre-term labor can just happen. I did everything right. I don't drink or smoke or do drugs. I took my pre-natal vitamins. I went to my appointments every 2 weeks. I ate well. I exercised appropriately. Etc. Etc. Etc. And, it makes me feel really awful when people say maybe I was doing too much. I wasn't doing too much. My doctor assured me that regular activity/exercise was good for the pregnancy.

Disappointed - I am disappointed that I have lost the dream of what my twin pregnancy was supposed to be like and the dream of the delivery I wanted. I dreamed of carrying my twins for a long time and having a beautiful birth resulting in two healthy, big babies that would come home with me shortly after their birth.

Hopeful - I am hopeful that everything will turn out beautifully. I am hopeful that they will have few to no complications from their very early arrival.

Worried - I worry about them every day. I worry about their days ahead in the NICU as well as any long-term complications.

Conflicted - I feel conflicted about spending my time in the NICU and spending my time at home with Brenna. They need me, but she does too. When I'm there, I feel like I should be with Brenna, and when I'm home, I feel like I should be with the babies.

Loved/Supported - All of our family and friends have been so overwhelmingly supportive. I want to thank everyone of you who have helped us with donations, selling raffle tickets, organizing fundraisers, bringing meals, watching Brenna, and so much more. We feel very loved and supported by all of you.

Joyous - I feel joy when I look at my sweet, precious babies and think of what miracles they are.

Speaking of miracles, it drives me crazy when I hear new moms say their baby is such a miracle. (By the way, I did the same thing with Brenna.) It's only now that I have realized the true meaning of that word. Brenna was a beautiful blessing. All babies are blessings sent from God, but only some people get to be miracles. People who have survived brain tumors, cancer, other serious medical issues, or in their case, babies born prematurely. Unless your life has been at stake and you have overcome insurmountable odds, you just don't get to be called a miracle.

Surreal - I feel like my entire life is surreal right now. I often think this can not be real. I want to wake up and be pregnant still. I see the maternity clothes I had bought for my last trimester still hanging unworn in my closet. I still get the pregnancy e-mails that tell me what my babies look like and are doing inside my womb each week.

Exhausted - I feel completely exhausted, physically and emotionally. I am tired of pumping all day long. Even though I love going to see my babies, I am tired of driving to and from the hospital every day. I am just exhausted!

Traumatized - When I think of the twins' birth day, I feel traumatized. I have never experienced anything as traumatic as their birth. When I watch Grey's Anatomy and see them rushing someone in a hospital bed down the halls yelling, "Prepare the OR", I think that was me in that bed not that long ago. I read that some women who have experienced a traumatic birth can actually have post-traumatic stress disorder, especially if they felt at any time that their life or their baby's life was in danger. I don't feel like I am that traumatized, but I definitely feared for my babies' lives.

Peaceful - There is no greater peace than holding two precious preemies on your chest skin to skin. I feel like I am holding two little pieces of heaven. They are just about as close to coming from heaven as you can get on this earth.

Blessed - I feel blessed to be given Cade and Camdyn. What precious miracles from above sent for me to love and cherish!

So, next time you see me and ask me "How are you doing?", I'll most likely just stick to "good", "pretty good", or "hanging in there". It's just so much easier.

3 comments:

Ellen said...

Michelle:

My dear sweet niece...I've been anxious about you and Jimmy and Brenna and yes, know when asked, you say "fine" or "good" or "okay." We understand you must do this to try and keep your sanity. I'm sorry you're having to go through this ordeal and know that you must stay strong for your sweet little babies. We continue to hold you in our prayers - not just the babies - but all of you. We love you bunches and bunches...

Aunt Ellen

Karen said...

Michelle -

You are so incredibly articulate about your very real feelings. As a pastor, I have to say woo-hoo..way to put it all on the table. Absolutely, anger at that phrase "God doesn't give you any more than you can handle" is justified. (By the way, that phrase is not biblical...it's crappy theology.)
I am amazed at the incredible inner strength God has given you. That is a gift...a blessing.
I love the way that you are able to articulate your feelings...whether they are spoken outright or whether they are tucked into your prayers. And your prayers are incredible and inspirational. I admire your relationship with God - open, articulate, and extremely deep. You are so amazing! Your children - all of them - are going to be as equally amazing - all because you are a very REAL mother. May God continue to bless your lives with strength and courage...Pastor Karen

Bridget Brandt said...

Sis--I started to write soemthign sweet here, but that seems to be covered and you already know I love you, so mabe if you hadn't taken that sky-dive things would have turned out differently.

Lots and lots of love!