Sunday, January 23, 2011

So blessed

A little bit of sleep always helps me to have a better outlook. My last post was written in the early hours of the morning. I have been so tired and exhausted and of course that taints the way I see things. One of the comments I get most is how much people are impressed that I have shared everything about the experiences I have gone through. My last post, albeit whiney and complaining, was still part of that. Yes these things that I am complaining about are quite little things in the grand scheme of things, but it is still the way I feel. And I did think about making that last post. I just needed to get it out of my system. Perhaps I would have been better to just write it on a piece of paper that nobody would see. I had thought about that. But I figured if I shared it here, people would get a real sense of what this WHOLE experience is like. The roller coaster and ups and downs... the REAL experience of the good and bad.

Now, with that said, please don't think I am unaware of ungrateful for the many blessings that I do have in my life. I work to make certain every day while I go through some of the struggles and emotions to acknowledge and give thanks for the many amazing blessings.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all four of my little girls. I know how truly blessed I am. I really do. After Riley was born, my heart was changed forever. I used to wonder how people who lose their children could ever go on with life. Then I found out. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't let my girls know how much I love them.

I am simply amazed by Kiari. First, she was an utter surprise. And given the state of my ovaries when she was delivered, it was quite the miracle that I ever conceived in the first place. Then I dealt with the early contractions. With the simplicity of which my uterus opened when the doctor was delivering her, it is amazing that it held closed as long as it did. Then there was the Rh Antibody. It was SOOO strong and aggressive. God truly blessed me with knowing that something just wasn't quite right and gave me the courage to push it and we were able to save her life just in the nick of time. I was blessed with a pregnancy length long enough to resolve the hydrops that had formed. Babies born with hydrops really struggle and some don't make it. She could have easily been one of those babies simply due to the severity of her hydrops. By having the hydrops resolve inutero, it removed those challenges all together.

Because we were doing all the monitoring and testing, we were able to see the early signs of preeclampsia, and while not ideal, by delivering Kiari so early, I didn't suffer from my body going into preeclampsia. Then there is preemie Kiari. She is simply amazing. There was no PDA (hole in the heart) No lung issues, that weren't easily treatable anyway. No retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP.) She is growing like a weed. She is extremely healthy physically. Just a pokey eater.

I am grateful for the over abundance of milk I am able to produce. I hate that it will go to waste. I had checked into donating it, but becuase of the blood transfusions I am disqualified. My husband, and some of the nurses and I joke that I should make some "super foods." And sell it as a delicacy. :) HAHAHA Just think of the antioxidants and antibodies that are in that milk. HAHAHA

I am so grateful that my husband is smart and loves me. He works hard so that I can stay at home with our girls. He is very supportive of me in my artistic ventures and even encourages some of my quirky thoughts when it comes to tools and such. Heck, he just bought me a sand blaster for Christmas. :) You should see the studio he helped build. We are fortunate to be in the tough spot of having a house that needs to be sold. It is a beautiful home. We hope that someone else would like to have this beautiful home, but if not, we have been so blessed to have it and been able to do the things we have with it.

I am grateful for Riley. Right now we are headed in to the tween years and that is proving difficult, but what mother of a teenage girl hasn't been there? I know I put my mother through the wringer and I guess turn about is fair play. Even with all that said, Riley is amazing. She got me through some very difficult times when Kelsi passed away. She doesn't care much for Kate but she helps to make sure Kate is taken care of when I am sick or she knows I need sleep.

My family is so blessed to have Kate. Kate is the biggest ray of sunshine. She knows no malice and is full of love and happiness. Even if she is upset, she does it in such a cute way that it is still full of love. She is always happy, bouncy, dancey, singy and just a plain joy. Her facial expressions are hilarious. You always know her true feelings because she wears them on her shirtsleeve. She is full of life and spreads happienss and sunshine wherever she goes.

We were blessed with Kelsi. Like Kiari, she was quite the surprise. In fact, it was kind of interesting the parallels between Kelsi and Kiari's pregnancies. Kelsi was a tiny little miracle. She was born alive despite a very hostile environment inside of me. She was born screaming - which was amazing. She lived for 2 1/2 days despite her health issues. I honestly believe she did this for me. I asked her to wait for me when she was born. I think I knew all along we would lose her, and I wanted to make certain I was able to at least see her alive. But she did wait. She fought hard. I got to see her, talk to her, and when I reached in for the first time to touch her hand, she tightened her tiny hand to hold my finger. While her death was awful and hard, it too was a blessing. The life she would have lived would have been difficult and painful. Through her death, I have met some of the most amazing people and been involved in amazing events that bring hope and help to others.But most of all, she has helped me to see all of the really truly important blessings in my life.

I really one of those people that *seem* to have it all. But more than that, I AM one of the ones that DOES have it all. Yes my morning hours rant was full of small and petty complaints, but it is how I felt at the moment nonetheless. They are the true emotions of a mom going through the NICU. It is all just part of the roller coaster I guess. It is just so much more difficult to see how great life really is when you are currently on one of the lows of the roller coaster. Just wait until I make it to the top of one of the peaks again. :)

Thank you for letting me share and moreover, thank you for the notes and messages of love and encouragement. That is part of why I put my true feelings here. It is a cry for love, validation and support. I am grateful for this little outlet here too. I really do have it all, and I am grateful for the wonderful, blessed and privileged life I have. God has been better to me than I deserve.


  1. (((Melissa))) What a wonderful post ... it is amazing all the things that have happened in your life and the experiences, both happy and sad. I am utterly shocked at all the updates of Kiara. She's already bigger than Henry when he came home and almost as big as Sofia when she came home full-term! I think of you daily and say little prayers often ... Alice

  2. I think that was beautifully written. Life is hard and wonderful and I am glad that you are willing you share yours with me.

  3. You are amazing, Melissa. I hope you can see that, even through the fog of sleep deprivation! What you're handling right now would be hard for anyone ... and you're doing it with more grace than most people I know would. I don't think anyone would accuse you of not being grateful, and yes, in so many ways, you are blessed. But you also deserve some time for yourself, to restore yourself, to renew ... when your energy is sapped, and you become tapped out, it's hard to give anything more to anyone. I'm glad your mom is coming in, and I wish it were sooner ... I wish, too, that I could be among the community helping to take care of you and your beautiful girls right now. *hugs* to you ... remember to breathe, even if sleeping is hard.

  4. I have always been of the opinion that you should never apologize for how you feel in the face of true adversity. You are handling a very difficult situation with as much grace and poise as you posses, and sometimes you are being tested beyond your limits. But you always pick yourself up, square your shoulders, and take each blow as it comes.

    I have learned so much from you, by watching you, by being your sister. I don't think you have any idea how much you influence me. Your strength is sometimes what keeps me going. Remember when I moved into my house and you called when I was thinking of you and crying because my new kitchen was a total piece of crap? lol!

    Because of you, I determined before I headed into the land of infertility that no matter what life handed me in that department, I wouldn't let it beat me. I wouldn't let it ruin my life. I would share my struggles and help educate others. That was all because I had you as an example. I'm not just saying that either. I have credited you for my strength all along.

    God knew what he was doing when he blessed us by putting us together. I would not be the person I am if it were not for you. I don't know if you realize just how much I have always looked up to you, but I really have. I am so excited to have you living by us. You have no idea.

    I love you so much Beanie.