Bad Mama


Excuse me
August 7, 2007, 5:14 am
Filed under: Peanut, Pistachio

Pistachio is hiccuping on a daily basis.

This is supposed to be comforting, right? The predictable, rythmic reminder that all is well, and a chance for Peanut to feel her sister move (her hands are so tiny it’s hard for her to be touching the right spot at the right time). It should be, anyway.

 Instead, I have some trauma to work out.

When I was pregnant with Peanut, when it began her hiccuping was a great joy. It was the first concrete movement I felt, a chance for me to fully relax. Obviously all was well, even if I didn’t feel the same somersaults and kicks other moms did. My baby was just quieter. I felt swishes and little tickles here and there, but nothing really clear until the hiccups, which happened multiple times a day. It was then that I was first able to really bond with her, to believe I actually had a kid in there that would be my child in a few short months.

She was hiccuping madly as the doctor sat across the table and wrote “thanatophoric dysplasia” on a piece of paper, where he’d also made a crude approximation of the size of her heart vs. her rib cage to demonstrate her lack of lung development. She hadn’t moved for over an hour of ultrasound testing, but now, now I felt those regular tickles nonstop.

All I could think of was how she was fine inside me, but they were saying she would die when she was born. She was fine, but when I gave birth to her I would kill her.

Every day over the next 9 days, I took a warm bath to help my sore back. Every time I did, she would hiccup. And I would cry. All those months of wanting her to be born, those last weeks of discomfort and wishing she would just get here, dammit, I’ve been pregnant my whole life, were done. Now all I could do was pray and try not to think about her practicing lungs she would never get to use, because being born, being outside of my body would kill her. I made her this way, and now I would be killing her, in a way that would require giving her morphine to make it tolerable.

I was able to be in denial about the whole thing except when she hiccuped. It was only then that I was reminded of how safe and well she was right there, and how that was ending soon. I was torn between wanting it to just stop and clinging to it, the only way I’d get to feel my daughter alive.

She hiccuped once the morning of her birth, briefly, and then stopped. By that day, I had steeled myself. I had to believe she would be okay, I had to, or I wouldn’t be able to make it through. And I convinced myself that if her lungs were as bad as they said, she wouldn’t be hiccuping so much.

I was right.

Even though it turned out ok, that stressful time is so linked in my mind with baby hiccups that I’m having a hard time now, with a kid whose idea of being quiet is hiccuping. She kicks and punches and rolls with such vigor the book I rest on my belly bounces up and down with her movements. Her last ultrasound showed her smack in the 50th percentiles for all measurements, not even a single iffy sign. The doctor herself comes in every time and essentially re-does the scan, making absolutely sure that what we are seeing/not seeing is accurate (it helps, I think, that we said in the beginning “we don’t trust you people, and we have a damn good reason for it”).

I will get through this, and learn to appreciate it, I know. That time period is over, they were wrong, and I have a beautiful girl who brings me great joy every day. She loved me enough to keep reminding me that she was there and okay, even though everyone was telling me otherwise.  Now, she sings her favorite lullaby to her baby sister and gives my belly a hug every night.

And giggles and tells me she is “hiccing up” at the slightest burp.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I don’t know what to say……… except I loved this post.

Comment by Jen

I read your post and felt so overwhelmed. Being a new reader of your blog, I did not know the story about Peanut. I followed the links and now see the journey your family has traveled. One thing is for sure…She is one tough little cookie!

Comment by NaeNae

i think you totally get to have ptsd about baby hiccups at this point. completely allowed.

how long until pistachio pops out?

Comment by betsyl

This was a very moving post. It still amazes me what your family went through with your pregnancy and delivery with peanut. She is a little sparkplug she is. When is pistachio due?

Comment by Meredith




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