Friday, September 15, 2006



~:3 5 W E E K S & 4 D A Y S:~

I'll explain my latest post in a minute. First, let me tell you how dark it's been here.
Like you guys don't already know that. Up and down up and down. I have never felt so unstable. So unpredictable. So wretched and unlovable. I wept so hard at group yesterday, that I was afraid of going into labor. Everyone was so sweet. No one pitied me or tried to change what was happening. They just encouraged me to cry more. I feel as if the ugliest side of myself has surfaced and I am amazed that people still want to be with me. I have never been here before. My one hope, other than of going home with my baby as a prize, is that I know that there will be some grand kind of growth in store for me. A person can't go through something as intense as this without growth. It just isn't logical to think that I won't be a better person for having endured this. Ya know? Every time I've hung in there and done something hard, an epiphany shows up soon after. And I'm not talking about Ambien. I'm talking about real spiritual experiences that change your life. Guess I'm talking about God.

I have considered that maybe that epiphany will show up in the OR as they reach for Bimp and pull him out of me. Or maybe that comes with the territory of simply being a parent, and especially since I've wanted to be one for so long.

Today I am able to cry more and ask for help. Doug stayed with me longer this morning for another ultrasound (see picture above) and then took me outside next to the fountain out front. It is a beautiful day. Cooler in the shade as the sun shines brightly. I missed the sun. I missed just plain wanting to go outside. That is how ridiculous bed rest and depression is. It robs you of yourself. Your life. Your natural desire for improvement, for peace and the energy needed to just to REACH for sunlight. Is that not INSANE? It sounds insane to me as I type it. It sounds like someone else. Someone else's life. Someone I do not wish to be.

I've interviewed 2 doctors here so far about the "passion" thing. The effect was somewhat soothing for me, but not as much as I had hoped. I still felt out of control and disconnected from any kind of power or ability to sooth myself. Not that people's stories were not interesting. It's just that the joy of listening and absorbing someone's story other than my own runs parallel with my own pain. I experience them together and one doesn't negate the other. Same old story. I want a band aid and there is none. I am simply stuck here and am forced to go through the stuckness.

But something has helped today. I hope it lasts and I hope I feel the same way tomorrow and the next. We got a visit from one of the maternal fetal specialists this morning who has helped us form a plan for Bimp's arrival. A real PLAN. And I'm beginning to think that the long 3 and a half weeks so far of "we don't know and we'll have to wait and see" has been a major contributor to my depression. It makes sense that it would.

So here's the plan:

Next Friday the 22nd, anywhere from 7:30 - 9:00 in the morning, they will do an amnio right here in my room. Dr. Eller will do it and Doug will be here to hold my hand. And I promise not to look. And I think it will be OK, though this IS one of the medical procedures that I am afraid of. I have had countless women tell me it was no big deal, that the fear was larger than the real event and that there is no pain, just a bit of pressure.

Later that night they will call with the results. If Bimp's lungs have developed enough for him to breathe on his own once born, then they will move to step two, which is the planned c-section the very next day on Saturday the 23rd at 9:30 in the morning by Dr. Carrol. If the lungs are NOT developed enough, then they give Bimp another week to mature and plan the c-section the following week.

So by the end of this month, Bimp will definitely be here. And we've got a real birth date planned here, which makes me feel far more at ease. Of course, all bets are off if I don't remain stable. If I had another major bleed or went into labor, they'd do an emergency c-section and have Bimp out in less than 5 minutes. Amazing. They'd put me out while on the way to the OR in the fucking hallway and cut Bimp out (once inSIDE the OR) before he got any of the general anesthesia. This is pretty amazing stuff.

One of Doug's coworkers said to him this morning, "this could be your last weekend of not being parents! " which is quite a neat thought. We hope to celebrate this weekend and I hope I don't get too nervous as the dates draw nearer.

Pray that I remain stable and that some larger, more mature side of myself takes over no matter what kind of procedures we end up doing to get Bimp here. I want peace and calm and hopefulness.

Back to the explanation of the last dreamy post. I had a dream the other night:
Doug bought a horse. The stable was in our bedroom closet. I was amazed at how he managed to get a horse to fit in our house. This was a big beautiful shiny brown horse. It was magnificent.

"Let's go for a ride" says Doug.

"OK" I reply.

And we get on the horse together and ride down the street of our neighborhood in Dunwoody. I can't remember if it was me or Doug leading, but we were hugging closely and it was amazing. Then the horse transitions from trotting to galloping, then jumping. I'm uneasy until I get the hang of it and realize I'm not gonna fall when we take the big jumps. Up and down, up and down, up and down, each time up is higher and higher.

Just as I'm getting the hang of it, both Doug and the horse disappear and it's just me flying in mid air, up and down, up and down, higher and higher up. I fear for my safety again, believing I can't possibly keep this up, going higher and higher without falling and crashing. But I gain confidence and get the hang of it.

Then I have this really smooth stand-up landing and land on my feet. This woman approaches - a brainless Dunwoody housewife with puffy hair and highlights, long salon nails and some stupid outfit on. She offers me a really tacky trinket, and I decline.

"I can't really use this gift, but thank you."

She is miffed, "Hrrrmmmph" and walks away.

I approach her with an alternative idea of selling the trinket on ebay instead of giving it to me.

"That way you'll make a little money on the side and will make some ebay buyer really happy."

She shrugs her shoulders and continues to ignore me. She walks to another group of women who look just like her and they all turn to scowl at me. For some reason, I'm not upset by suddenly doing the unpopular thing or offending her. I am able to say no and let her have her petty feelings.

And then the most amazing part of my dream comes:

I'm laying in my hospital bed. I'm sleeping. And I open my eyes and see my little boy's hands grasping the edge of the mattress. I can't see his face or body, but he is tall enough to stand up and hang on to the same thing that's supporting me. He walks his way around the mattress on three sides, inching his little fingers from side to side. All I see are his chubby little fingers and all I hear is his laughing and giggling. He's just so happy to be here and doesn't give a flip about being in this stinky room. He's just happy to be here to play with me. Once he makes it to the other side of my bed, he reaches one hand up and lays it on mine.

It was amazing. And I had forgotten for a little while why I'm here. Not just for me, but for the birth of this person. My little Bimp. It seems so obvious. But after a while you just start to feel like an anonymous pregnant patient who is high risk.

So that's my dream. I think it speaks volumes. When I told it to the psychologist, she actually sighed with relief. I am not as low as I could possibly be and recognize the promise of the very, very near future. Of course, when you're feeling your lowest, even a dream like this can't fix it for you. I think, though, that it was designed to be put in place alongside all the emotions and truths I'm juggling. My experience is just this much broader and more dimensional.

Bimp is almost here and I have almost made it.

6 comments:

Pack Rats said...

the ephipany is bimp. you will find continued peace at the simpliest things he will do and watching him explore and learn and grow. it's a treasure everyday. he is your peace and when he arrives you'll know why you went through what you did and you'll never regret a single minute. you will truly be a Mother in every sense of the word.

Doug Elser said...

that's a really great sentiment, barbara. no wonder you're such a good mom.

this has been a pretty wild trip so far. i, too, felt some measure of relief and...purpose...for the first time in a long long time today. been in limbo too damn long. after a long period of shades of gray, i'm glad to finally have some black and white. something reasonably concrete.

i think being a dad will suit me well.

anne, mh, you have been amazing to watch. and not just on the ambien altough that is a bonus. i've *already* seen great spiritual and emotional growth in you. it may take you a while to see it yourself, but it's there. i am so so proud of you. i love that you have learned to embrace use of the f-bomb. i'm glad you fired nurse marva, and i was proud of you for telling the student to get out of your room, because, although this may be a 'teaching hospital', you are not a fucking 'teaching human', thank you very much.

can't wait to kiss my boy.

Pack Rats said...

you know Doug, one of the most important parts of being a good Dad is taking care of and supporting Mom and you're doing such a great job. Many of us tend to forget about Dad in a situation like this, because so much of the attention is on getting Anne through this and back to her life. You have really stepped up to the plate with your love, support and how can we forget about your humor. Somedays, you may feel like it's not enough or you wish you could do more, but your presence and thoughtful jestures are just what Anne needs. I know you will continue when she comes home and begins to ease back into her life. I'm glad you've got some black and white in sight cuz once Bimp comes home everything goes back to grey! You know you guys continue to be in my prayers. Let's pray for a good week ahead!
Barb

SUhles said...

You are both rock stars -- not a term I throw aroung lightly -- and are going to be fantastic parents. I, for one, can hardly wait to see what kind of smart, creative and uncommon person the upcoming Elser will undoubtably become.

MCALDWELLC said...

You guys ARE both rock stars...can't wait to see how adorable the little Bimpster is...he's almost here!!! Oh, and, I have thought of a back-up plan for you career-wise if you decide design/teaching is not for you.

Planned Parenthood.

I'd be willing to bet if you'd let them publish your pregnancy blog, young women everywhere would either get on the pill or buy massive quantities of condoms.

Nonetheless, you guys are both amazing people who are going to have an amazing little boy. You already had so much to give, and now you have even more...more strength, love, compassion, depth. That is a beautiful thing.

Anne-Davnes said...

On Sep 17, 2006, at 11:14 PM, MCALDWELLC wrote:

You guys ARE both rock stars...can't wait to see how adorable the little Bimpster is...he's almost here!!! Oh, and, I have thought of a back-up plan for you career-wise if you decide design/teaching is not for you.

Planned Parenthood.

funny you should mention that. After mom had me and tommy, that was it for them.
Mom worked for a place called Zero Population. She had to quit once she got pregnant again and that's when they moved to Atlanta and gave birth to him right here.

I'd be willing to bet if you'd let them publish your pregnancy blog, young women everywhere would either get on the pill or buy massive quantities of condoms.

I wonder if it could be useful in any kind of way.
Nonetheless, you guys are both amazing people who are going to have an amazing little boy. You already had so much to give, and now you have even more...more strength, love, compassion, depth. That is a beautiful thing.

YAY!


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Posted by MCALDWELLC to A n n e P a g e s at 9/17/2006 11:14:30 PM