2011… Never before have I experienced a year more full of extreme highs and lows. I was so very blessed with the experience of pregnancy and spending the last three months gazing at my beautiful daughters. As I reminisce the events of this year, I smile as I remember the shock and elation of my first beta, the amazement of seeing those two gorgeous heartbeats at my first ultrasound just before Valentine’s Day, and then thanked my lucky stars daily as my pregnancy continued with no complications. In mid-April, many family members joined us as we found out we were expecting two healthy baby girls–one of the happiest days of our lives.
Then the first rough part of the year commenced. Just before Memorial Day, I fell in the shower and injured myself quite badly–three fractures, two dislocated kneecaps, and subsequent knee surgery while 21 weeks pregnant. My bone condition, dormant for many years except for some knee issues, had returned with a vengeance. It felt like karma had returned to bite me, since I had been so lucky the first few months of the year. I spent eight days in the hospital and the next seven weeks confined to a hospital bed in my living room, requiring a bedside commode (translation: a seat with a bucket that my husband or mom had to clean out–humiliating!). It was quite a circus getting me to my baby showers in a wheelchair, and when I was finally able to use a walker to go very short distances, that actually seemed like an accomplishment. My husband and I went through our first-ever rough patch, as he struggled to work full-time and take care of our house and me (and deal with my mom living with us, because I literally could not care for myself), while I felt frustrated by my injuries and lack of progress, grieved the loss of my independence, and tried to tolerate the pain I was feeling. It was a very, very long summer, to say the least, and feeling the flutters of my babies was just about the only thing that kept me from sinking into a major depression.
Things improved a thousandfold in September, when we welcomed our long-awaited daughters right on schedule. They had no sign of my bone condition (osteogenesis imperfecta type I), and we were on cloud nine. The day after our babies were born, I realized that the pain in my body had lessened in a major way. It seemed that my body, no longer having to devote resources to growing two babies, had accelerated its healing process. Little did I know that I was regaining my independence so that I would be able to care for two babies with one fracture after the other!
You can read the brain dump in my first post on this blog to see how things transpired with our daughters’ bones starting October 7th. It has been another rough time in our lives, but thankfully, my husband and I are handling it as a team and have been able to lean on each other. Thanks to a wonderful parents group on FB, I learned about an OI clinic and a medication that was not available to me as a kid. An OI parent in North Carolina (who is also a physician) helped us to secure a quick appointment with this clinic, and our girls received their first treatment at the end of October. Since then, each baby has only suffered one fracture each–quite an improvement! They are thriving and becoming more interactive with each passing day. I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more and thank the Lord every day for them.
So as I say “good riddance” to my infertility struggles and medical issues for both my babies and myself, I welcome 2012 with open arms. I suspect it will be a year filled with pride watching my girls achieve milestones, and I am so looking forward to seeing what is in store for us. Despite the rough times of this year, I feel like the luckiest girl alive. I am walking pretty much normally again and hope to start walking daily for exercise in the spring, and I have two gorgeous babies who are growing and causing me to love them more with each passing day. I am blessed!
Happy New Year!