Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Beginning of Beckett's Story

The Beginning
My husband and I decided to have a baby.  This was my second marriage and my husband had no children of his own.  Three children from the first marriage was an obstacle to overcome.  I had had a medically irreversible tubal ligation at age 28 after my third child. Upon weighing options we decided to take a chance with in vitro fertilization.  After initial testing and under ideal conditions we proceeded with the regimen of injections and the stressful hormonal ups and downs of IVF.  Then, one happy day, we were very delighted and excited to learn that of 3 implanted embryos, 2 of the rascals had made it.  We were doubling the fun and having TWINS!
During the pregnancy we had several frightening experiences of losing them.  I prayed that God would protect my babies and keep them healthy and bring them to full term.  On bed rest for 19 weeks, I held on with them until the C-Section at 36 weeks and 6 days.  My baby boy was 6 lbs. 13 oz. and my baby girl was 7 lbs. 2 oz.  Both were healthy and to prove it they exercised full lung capacity upon arrival.  We were deliriously happy about the new additions to the family.  Although, the first week was incredibly stressful, as I was rushed to the hospital 7 days later to discover that I was in liver failure.  Turns out I had an infected gall bladder with a large gall stone the size of a marble blocking the bile duct.  Admitted immediately, the ER doctor ordered tests to ensure that my pancreas was not also infected, otherwise I would be need emergency surgery to save my life from the toxicity of the infection  Thankfully the tests came back normal – relief  –  but “I would not be going anywhere!” I began to cry, not so much for me but for my husband who was left stranded at home with the newborns.  I wasn’t as nearly concerned for my own life as I should have been even though the doctor said I was very lucky to be alive.  Still, my focus was concern for my babies and my husband who needed help and my two extra hands. The worries would have to wait however because over the next 10 days, I underwent 3 major surgeries.  Had my gall bladder ruptured I would have had only 25% of recovery because of the toxic infection.  After four more days on the mend, I finally got to go home to my babies.  Looking back on those harrowing days, I now know that God kept me near for a larger purpose.  I just had no idea at the time what it was. 

The first year was an eye opener to say the least because I was unprepared for the challenging path that lay ahead.   Raising young children, a mother hopes and prays for a natural growth and progression of the infants.  Baby milestones mark progress.  The first few months of the baby’s lives I didn't think much about these natural milestones. Possibly, because of sleep deprivation and maintaining a full-time work schedule.  But a few months in, I noticed that my baby girl, Pyper, was right on target with milestones as she sat up, crawled eagerly, and took a keen interest in toys.  Whereas, my baby boy Beckett could not hold his head up or sit up on his own without being propped up by a pillow.  Mental notes I started taking of the odd behavior he began to exhibit; like screaming during baths and an inability to focus on toys or to hold them. His muscles became rigid, yet weak and limp. He would lie stiffly on a changing table during a diaper change.  Very soon, these disturbing patterns began to tug at a mother’s instincts.  Something was very wrong with him.  My suspicions were confirmed during a 6-month check-up when the pediatrician expressed concern. Thus began a journey any mother or father dreads embarking upon.