The Conclusion Around Experience with Destynee’s Pregnancy

18 Months So innocent!
2 Years Old What a DOLL!

As the months went by, I became more and more at peace with what life had to offer me. Of course, I had my bad days, but they became more rare and with less intensity each time. I stopped living in the past and future, and started living right here in the present! My heart is full of tremendous happiness with my more than amazing husband, Gordon, and my piece of heaven on earth, Destynee Noel. She has and will continue to teach me all that I need to learn from her. I believe our children have much more to teach us then we could ever imagine teaching them. We just need to listen and be willing to learn from them.
2 1/2 Years Old Destynee & Mommy!
3 Years Old The Love of Our Lives!!!

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Different Perpective/What a Gift.

Writting about¬†my experience of Destynee’s pregnancy has been very theraputic for me. I’ve had to take every part of my being back to those experiences. I couldn’t believe how much of it, I chose to forget. It was just too painful….

Looking back has given me a completely different perpective on it. I am getting to observe, as a learner, rather than being so stuck in the experience and pain, to get much of anything out of the experience. What a gift to be able to move forward and see things differently.

Ah-ha Moment/A Refreshing Ray of Light

I have a few friends and family that were able to help me realize some very important concepts for me to accept my new life and how to make the best of it.

I had one of those ah-ha moments, that gave me access to the key that could unlock all the possibilities of my new life. I realized all the miracles I was missing. I would like to share how it came about.
Destynee was about nine months old, and had an eye infection that wouldn’t go away. I had her on antibiotics, and changed her pillowcase everyday. I thought that maybe the cause wasn’t being addressed, so I decided to look at the emotional aspect of it. I was discussing it with my Aunt Bonnie. She told me that a bacterial eye infection represented fear of not wanting to look at something.
As I explained my struggle to fully accept Destynee being my only child, she intuitively suggested to me, that my longing for a “baby”, while I already had a baby, confused Destynee. I was continually focused on how to get my next baby, which made her wonder why (or fear that) she wasn’t good enough. She WAS my baby!!!

It broke my heart, when I realized the impact my struggle had on her…..

Aunt Bonnie saying that to me, was like a lightning bolt zapping my brain back to normal….It pulled me out of the gray funk I had been in since my daughter was born….It felt like the last missing piece to my puzzle. It was the exact thing I needed to hear at that moment, and I was ready to hear it.

I realized that I had been missing Destynee’s life and everything that came with it. I was missing all the joys of being a mother, the innocence of my miracle baby, the experience of everything I had been waiting for…I wanted desperately to take back those nine months and do it over again.

For once, I was able to focus on the positive side. I didn’t want to dwell on the past and how I hadn’t been there for her. I had been experiencing that for way too long.

As I looked down at my beautiful daughter, who was teaching me so much and waiting so patiently for me to get it, I was overcome by the pure Love of Christ…. I saw the possibilities of how I was NOW going to enjoy life with my baby. If she was my only child, then I was going to make it a damn good experience for both of us. I felt like a new mother…Like now I knew what I was doing and how I wanted it to look.

From that moment on, I focused on what I had and how grateful I was for it. I was literally able to remove the idea of having more children from my mind. That obsession would haunt me no longer…….PHEWWWWW!

Moments of Acceptance

As time went on, I slowly began to accept pieces of the reality. Everything happens for a reason, right? I started trying to discover why it had happened, in hopes that I could accept it on a deeper level. The process was gruelling and impossible to explain. I would love to feel that anybody could relate to me. Anybody???

Gordon and I discussed other options, like adoption, surrogacy, maybe caring for an unwanted baby of somebody we knew, and then the hardest to accept, the fact that maybe we weren’t suppose to have any more children.

I was determined to learn how to accept this, but I had no idea how to go about it….

Small Quantities of Joy

Although I tried to accept the reality of it all, I continued to be consumed in the darkness that haunted me. I didn’t feel like myself, and I didn’t know how to get me back….

My sweet baby girl brought me alot of joy. I was so grateful to have her. I thought about how it would feel to experience the loss empty-handed, without any children at all…The moment I allowed myself to be lit up by Destynee’s presence and love, I was tragically reminded of how I ruined her life as well. I couldn’t seem to stay on top.

My loving, supportive husband stood by my side like a strong anchor. He continued to reassure me with what I did give our family and all the things I sacrificed to get Destynee here. He never once mention anything negative that had come from it. He always told me how grateful he was that we were both alive and here with him.

Coping/Grieving/Hysterectomy

The first several months of my baby’s life, I was consumed by the grief from the hysterectomy and how I was possibly going to have more children.

There are five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, & acceptance. I went through all of them, and through them and then through them again. It was very difficult, because more than not, I didn’t know what I was going through, I just knew I was struggling.

I told Gordon, “maybe I still have my uterus since I don’t remember them taking it out. Lets see if we can get pregnant. I’m sure I can.”. I struggled with the reality of it.

I was very angry with myself (like I felt responsible for what happened), and with God (that He could take something so special and important to me). I was put to sleep to have a baby, and woke up with my world turned upside down. I never got a choice in the matter. It was not fair, and it didn’t make sense to me.

I had a very hard time being around pregnant women. I would stare and get lost in what I could never experience again…..I found myself bargaining with God, “If I could only change what happened, I would do anything”. I couldn’t make sense of it, because so much happened while I was unconscious. I tried to figure out what I could have done differently.

All I heard from expecting mothers was, “I look so fat” or “this baby is kicking me, it’s so uncomfortable”. Everytime I turned around, I was hearing negative things said about something so beautiful and wonderful. I couldn’t stand it!!!

I knew nobody could fully understand what I was going thru, so it was hard to talk to anybody about it. When I did talk about it, people would say things (trying to help), and completely trigger me. I couldn’t believe the things (called advice), that they were giving me. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, about anything!

I felt completely alone…..

Destynee Overcoming Great Obstacles

Over the next few months, things started to settle down a bit. Destynee was off oxygen when she was 3 months, and after five months, she got over her colic and reflux for the most part and started sleeping better. We had an occupational therapist come work with her once a month to monitor and assist with her development. The doctors still didn’t know the effects of not having enough amniotic fluid, and were still unclear as to if she would walk. She progressed normally, infact, she was a little ahead of schedule compared to a full-term baby. She had overcome the complications that she was born with, and was a healthy baby.

She became a very happy baby, and we were able to fully enjoy her. She is the light of our lives and the little piece of heaven that we strived to get. I wonder what we ever did with our lives before she came. I can’t imagine life without her.
Gordon is the most amazing daddy anybody could ask for. We both adore her, and she knows she has us both wrapped around her little fingers.

The Crazys/Adjusting & Grieving

Destynee was severely colicky, had acid reflux, still on oxygen (which she hated), and had a very hard time sleeping. I didn’t get to recover in bed with my baby for two weeks, like most moms. I was busy traveling back and forth to the hospital while she was still in. Because of the antibiotics I was on, I threw-up for a month. I didn’t sleep for weeks. While she was in the hospital, I was pumping my nipples inside out every two hours trying to get any milk I could, and when we were home, she cried most nights from the colic. The damn oxygen alarm would go off every time she moved when she was asleep. To put it simply, I still had the crazys.

I was so worried that my baby would have to go back to the hospital and be taken away from me again. It was also around RSV season, so I struggled letting almost anybody hold her. I was a basket-case. I didn’t know how to be a new mother, deal with the crazys, and grieve my loss at the same time. I still struggled with the thoughts of leaving Gordon, so he could find someone better. He reminded me that leaving was not the answer and would not fix anything. He continued to support me in ways that cannot be measured.

I can’t begin to explain how I felt about myself and my life. I didn’t feel like a woman, but I certainly didn’t feel like a man. I didn’t know who or what I was…..My whole life I had wanted only one thing, a big family. I couldn’t see past that. That is all I have ever known…My family and siblings are where my friends and support came from…. And now I could never give my precious angel, Destynee, one of the most important gifts in my life (siblings). I could not see or even dream of my future…. Or Gordon and Destynee’s……I shattered my whole family’s hopes and dreams. I took it all away….I was the defect. It was the biggest burden I had ever experienced. I felt responsible for ruining their lives.

Destynee’s Coming Home!!!

Destynee came into this world struggling, and fighting for everything she had. She came with such strength and determination, and it paid off.
She came home January 17th, 8 weeks later. She was still on oxygen and had a hard time nursing, but she was home!
The first day home, we stared in awe at our precious angel. She really was our baby, and now we felt it. We are finally parents!!! There was a peace that came over both of us, as we relaxed into our own environment.
We soaked up every second with her, and engulfed ourselves in her sweet spirit.

Postpartum/Depression

Before I was discharged, Dr. Draper sat my husband and I down. He explained, that after everything I had been thru, I had a 96% chance of having severe depression, not just postpartum depression. He gave us specific signs to watch for, and instructed Gordon to watch me very closely. When someone goes into depression that fast, they can’t tell that they are acting or being any different, so it’s important that someone who knows them really well, be aware of subtle signs.

I was cautious and aware of my thoughts and actions. Once a week, a very special social worker would come to the NICU, and talk to me about how I was coping with everything. I was determined to stay in good health for my new baby and my husband. I talked to her about everything, I mean everything…As the weeks went on, I felt less and less okay….

I would spend several days constantly crying. It didn’t matter what I was doing or who I was with, I would cry from the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed. Half the time, I couldn’t even figure out what the hell I was crying about…It was exhausting beyond belief!

I had been in the hospital for three months, still had a baby in the NICU, lost the dream of ever having more children, and recovering from an intense surgery. I felt like I lost my womanhood. I wasn’t sure who I was, and I was very sure that I was crazy…

I often wondered if I was really a mother, if she was MY baby, and what I was still doing there…..I had decided that Gordon deserved a real woman, one who could have more children for him and build his family. I decided that the best thing for them, was me leaving so Gordon could find someone better….I knew that I would have to leave my whole family and never come back…I contemplated it for several days. Inside, I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but more times than not, my right was overruled by the crazys….There was a few days, that I would drive past the hospital. I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew I was going. Several miles past the hospital, I was redirected by God. I was confused as to what I was doing, but my better self knew that my family needed me. My sweet angel still in the NICU; I couldn’t leave her NOW….

When I was having a good day, I knew it was important to tell the social worker and Gordon the thoughts I was having and the actions I had followed through with. The social worker told me that she was actually relieved to know what I was thinking. She said it was a good sign, so I kept telling them. Gordon, on the other hand, was more freaked-out than ever.