I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It’s an easy way to stay in touch with family and friends and for that very reason it’s wonderful. One thing I don’t like about it is that I feel like it becomes a competition where we display our seemingly perfect lives. I like to display the imperfections, the bumps in the road, the reality. My life is far from perfect. Our house is a mess, life is very hectic (we were two full-time working parents of 4), we can’t get perfectly staged photos-we are lucky to get all 5 kids in one picture.
There’s also times you see something that just hits, good or bad. This week it was a birth announcement that hit hard. Maybe that makes me bitter and jealous of others because they seemingly have it easy or at least it appears that way on Facebook. What hit me was just how hard and scary and stressful my last pregnancy was when I saw how perfect everything looked for this family. Thankfully we got a healthy precious miracle who has been perfect since he arrived in February but the months of fear and concern about his health and mine were incredibly hard. And I realized how hard and trust me I’m trying, it is to stay positive as this has all been so overwhelming and complicated.
It started with two inconclusive blood tests which then required an amniocentesis to confirm there were no chromosomal abnormalities with the baby. Chris and I broke down several times considering what we would do if there was something detected.
Next came the breast cancer diagnosis. The fear of my own health, having to answer the question yes we want this baby, the concern of undergoing chemo while pregnant, which required certain medications that were safe for the baby.
Then came concern at a 36 week ultrasound about fluid around the baby’s heart which required an echocardiogram with a CHOP pediatric cardiologist. Thankfully all was ok and continued to be ok with Bryce’s check-ups after his birth.
There was the constant monitoring of the baby, being monitored bi-weekly starting at 33 weeks and hoping the baby was ok each time. Bryce’s heart rate was often a bit high during the monitoring. He was just super active and would go kind of crazy during the non-stress tests. Thankfully each time it was ok and we didn’t have to deliver early.
Then there was the birth itself. None of my kids were on time and thankfully Bryce did not decide to come early.
So I was able to get half my chemo treatments in prior to delivery and had exactly 3 weeks to recover and get the chemo out of my system prior to delivery.
I was being induced and so worried about having the energy for the delivery but thankfully I kept myself in good shape and was able to muster the strength to push this baby out fairly quickly once I was finally fully dilated. On the back of my mind was the concern I hope I don’t need a c-section which could complicate my recovery and make resumption of chemo harder and thankfully we didn’t have to worry about that.
Despite all the monitoring and appointments we had indicating all was healthy with the baby, it was not until he was in our arms that we felt the relief and could somewhat relax. He was healthy and ok and just perfect. He gave us something so wonderful and positive to focus on during this difficult battle I have been going through. And he is truly a fighter and a miracle and we are so grateful.
And just 13 days after this beautiful miracle arrived it was time to resume my chemo treatments again. I felt like I barely had the chance to enjoy my baby and it was right back to the crappy and hard stuff again. No time to recover or relax.
The focus is now just on me and my battle. The surgeries, the remaining chemo treatments, the months of immunotherapy, the constant fear that the cancer is not shrinking or will spread or return. When you have your health you don’t have to worry about that. This is my new reality.
But as I have said multiple times in previous posts, one thing I have realized during my cancer fight is that the tough experiences I have gone through in my life have only made me stronger. They have equipped me to deal with all the blows I have been hit with. They have made me the bad ass I am.
Despite this strength and toughness, there are times it’s hard to stay positive and strong especially when you’ve been through a lot in such a short period of time. It’s hard when the stress seemingly doesn’t end and there doesn’t appear to be a break in sight.
So I apologize if any of this post came across as selfish, jealous or bitchy. I’m incredibly lucky to have 5 healthy, beautiful kids. This last pregnancy was just so hard especially emotionally that seeing others’ seemingly easy pregnancies and births is harder than I realized it would be.
I’ve been through a lot, an awful lot and I’m still not through it all yet. But I’ll just keep on fighting and trying to stay positive even when faced with a lot of adversity. It’s just not always easy to do. Because sometimes things just hit you hard.