I feel I owe it to those reading to keep you a bit abreast of what is happening. I don't know how much longer I will keep this blog going as we have managed to get everything we ever wanted, but for now there are still some things to say. I realized partway through my bedrest situation that I will eventually pull this blog offline and put it into some kind of book format (God bless those lovely websites that do those things for you) because I want my daughters to have some kind of record of the journey we took to have a family. The likelihood of my children having some form of MTHFR or any kind of thrombophilia disorder is pretty good (although they may be lucky enough to have a recessive or single copy, unlike my double dominant copies), and I want them to understand that they can still have a family. I also want them to truly understand the love that brought them both here in the first place. They are both such strong fighters that it continues to amaze me every day.
I sit and hold Hope or I play with Katie and, honestly, the one thing that keeps running through my head is how incredibly lucky we are to have either of them. We fought so hard to keep Hope healthy and to make sure that she was safe when we delivered, but with Katie...it's so hard to think about now. To think about all that she fought through that we didn't even know about and how little medical support and intervention we had at that time. It's absolutely amazing that we even had her in the first place. It brings tears to my eyes to think about how strong she was to even be born.
Right now, we're settling into life and trying to figure things out. Brian has simply stepped right in and is doing very well. Nothing about having two children fazes him at all. He takes it in stride and does everything wonderfully - it's both amazing and frustrating to watch. I find it a bit overwhelming when it's just me and the two kids (and one of them isn't even mobile yet!), but I know I will start to get used to it. I love to sit and hold them and just watch them together. Katie just adores Hope and it's so wonderful to see them together - I'm so glad they will be able to grow up with each other and have someone else in their lives.
I'm still having a harder recovery than with my previous pregnancy. The good news is that the bleeding from my incision finally stopped a couple of days ago (thank goodness!), but it's still open in several areas so I have to keep it bandaged and change and clean the incision several times a day. I also have to see the doctor weekly until it is fully healed (normally, I wouldn't have to go back until six weeks post-partum, so this is a bummer. The doctor thinks it's funny). The fact that I have to be careful about tearing the incision further makes moving about harder for me - especially getting up out of chairs or bed, and I'm still very slow walking and going up and down stairs, but I'm getting better. I just had such a lovely and quick recovery the last time that it's a bit frustrating to not bounce back as easily this time.
Mentally, I'm doing pretty well. I have a bit of the weepy-ness that comes after birth, but mine isn't sadness. I look at Hope and I look at Katie and I realize how quickly the time will go, so I'm really forcing myself to stay in the present and to enjoy each moment. I seldom put Hope down during the day because I know there's only so long that she will let me hold and cuddle her, so I'm going to enjoy each moment. There is a bit of a sense of loss that comes with the realization that my tubes are tied and I'm really completely done having children. I know that it was the right choice; the doctor was concerned that a future pregnancy would not only be hard on the baby but could be life-threatening for me after these complications, so we knew we had to do it. It's just hard to know that that part of me is done (isn't that weird - I don't like being pregnant at all, but I mourn the fact that I won't be pregnant again? I'm a very strange person). It's just a very...I can't think of the right word...hard? Strange? Conflicting? thing to think about. But then I cheer myself up by thinking we can always adopt if I really need more children :)
Katie is very happy to be back to her regular routine of school and dance classes. She did very well on her progress report and loves to dance for Hope whenever I hum or sing for her. On weekends, we let her sleep in our room and "help" with Hope at night (she never wakes up, but it makes her feel important), but I think she's really just ready for Hope to get up and play with her. That'll happen soon enough.
Hope is still quite mellow and even-tempered. She has periods of being extremely fussy and it's difficult to figure out what she wants, but I find that I'm a much calmer parent the second time around. With Katie, I would panic when she cried because I didn't know what to do. Now I know that we'll figure it out or she just needs to cry. She's slowly opening her eyes more each day and starting to get her days and nights figured out (thank goodness!). Brian is back at work, so I'm starting to figure everything out on my own and so far, we're doing well. Thankfully, she enjoys listening to me read People magazine to her :)
To make a long story short, we're doing well. We are happy and healthy and I couldn't ask for anything more. I feel like I'm living in some kind of fairy tale where the heroine's wishes all come true - what more could I want? I'm blessed and thankful for all we've been given and all that we've survived this past year and I'm loving every minute with my family.