Thursday, July 12, 2012


Being busy is good.

When I am busy, I don't have to think. I can just flip on autopilot and get through my day.

I get up. I go to class. I do homework. I study. I parent my two-year-old. I run errands. I visit my newborn in the NICU. I go to clinical. I come home, eat dinner, go to bed. And then tomorrow I do it again.

But sometimes, idleness sneaks up on me. And usually I am not even idle, I am just doing something that doesn't require me to use my brain much (like driving or taking a shower), and my thoughts catch up to me all at once.

It's in those moments that I realize I am scared.

I think that a lot of people expect this to be easy for us. If I am honest, we have had considerably less support this time around. Yeah, we have done this already. Yeah, we know roughly what to expect. But, damn if it isn't hard anyway.

If you asked me if I was overwhelmed, I don't know that I would say yes. But if I really think about it, I would say that the reason I am not overwhelmed is because I simply don't have time to be. Good or bad, that is what it is.

Still, I am losing a lot of sleep these days. Not bringing your SECOND baby home with you is just as hard as the first time. Maybe harder even, because you prayed every night and you wished on everything anyone ever considered lucky to wish on that your other babies wouldn't have to go through all the tough things your first baby did. When you realize that it isn't going to work out how you wanted it to, your heart breaks all over again in all the familiar places it broke before. And my heart is breaking in new places to think there may not be babies after this to pray for.

Let me tell you... my heart really, really hurts.

Thank God I am busy.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Round Two

Here we are. Again. And I cannot begin to tell you how much it sucks.

I was at the hospital for my Pediatric Nursing clinical when I got the call.

"Mrs. Hileman, this is Jennifer from your OB's office. Your test results came back. Your liver enzymes are extremely elevated. We need you to go to labor and delivery. Now."

I was only 32 weeks pregnant.

This is not a new phone call for me. In fact, it was nearly identical to the one I received a little over two years ago. Something about that just isn't fair.

After a few days of back and forth and doctors trying decide the best course of action for us, it was determined that our baby would need to be delivered. I was hoping to have a similar experience to the labor and delivery I had with Spencer, but the cards were just not in our favor. After my little bean flipped from head-down to breech (not once, but twice) in a matter of 24 hours, my OB told me I would need to have a c-section because she just wasn't a "stable lie". Sunday July 1st at 10:30 am Sydney Leigh was born. 3 lbs 14 oz, 16 inches long, and every bit as beautiful as we thought she would be.

I have to tell you that this experience really made me feel out of control. I wasn't ready yet. I really believed that I was going to carry this little bean to term with no problems, and then that dream was ripped away from me with virtually no warning. The itching started and three days later I had a baby. Via c-section. I almost felt like I was completely disconnected from the whole experience.

 After having delivered a baby vaginally in the past with fairly few complications, having a c-section is almost... unsatisfying. I don't know if I can really explain it. I don't feel like I did the appropriate amount of work to have birthed a baby. Though, I can assure you that the amount of work that is in my future will make up for it.

Now, I am being hounded by relentless inquisition about my future baby plans. Everyone wants to know if we plan to have more. Some people just assume that we will be done now. "A boy and a girl! How perfect, since you are done!," they say. And yeah, part of me wants to agree. I have two healthy babies that are perfect. Sydney is obviously in the NICU, but she is healthy and strong. And Spencer is this amazing two-year-old who is more than anyone could ever ask for in a kid. But, a part of me isn't ready to face the prospect of being done having children at 22. Part of me thinks that more babies might be exactly what I want. Every where I have looked this past week, families surround me and they all have more than two kids. And, to be honest, it hurts my heart a little bit.

I had a truck full of boys this afternoon. Spencer and Mark's three youngest brothers. They were laughing and playing while I drove and I couldn't help but imagine what my life could be like with a few more kids in it. Something in me aches a little bit to have that big family. And at the same time, I know that I can't be that selfish. I can't put another baby through this. I honestly don't know if my body can go through this again. I don't know if you all know this, but you kind of need a liver to live.

I think my plan for now is to give it to God the best that I can. To love Spencer and Sydney as well as I can. I graduate in 5 weeks. Sydney will be home by then and then our family can begin to really be a family. And if it is only us for the long haul, so be it. I just have to remember that nothing is too big for my God. And that what I have is beautiful, just the way it is.