Thursday, April 7

To Be or Not To Be

I was just thinking the other morning that we are so blessed to have so many wonderful people and organizations to turn to for help and support. Bryce's preterm birth was catastrophic, it was at once the single best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. It tore my heart into tiny pieces and nearly two year later I'm still struggling to mend it back together.

But let's face it, I'm no spring chicken and if there were another baby in our future it sure seems like that better be the not so distant future.

This is a topic that weighs heavily on my mind. On any given day that you ask me if we plan to have another child (and seems that I am asked almost daily) I might give you a different answer.

The truth is that I don't know. And furthermore, I don't know what the right answer is.

I am an only child. It's got its perks, to be sure. But I'll never know what it's like between siblings, that person who's known you your entire life, seen you at your worst (i.e. braces, junior high, bad hair) and your best (mother hoood). The one person who you don't mind calling at 3 a.m. when your freaking out over this, that or the other. I see it with my friends and their siblings. I see the struggles and the tension as well, but it's the unbreakable bond I envy most. It's that bond that I can't quite understand that I want for Bryce.

I want to be able to give Bryce a partner in life. A partner who looks out for him, pushes him to be his best, a partner in crime and family for after we're gone.

It's funny, because just as I'm searching endlessly for answers to this burning question I come across the Hand to Hold newsletter in which the article, "Pregnancy After Preterm Birth or Loss" is conveniently placed.

It's a lot of information I already had but it's also some new insight. And all in one neat little package that I can really sink my teeth into. Thank you Hand to Hold, for continuing to surprise me with your support and resources.

Of course, the decision involves many more factors than any article could possibly address. It's a very personal decision in the best of situations. It's a decision in which a black and white right or wrong can never be.

And then there's the financial aspect. Individual health insurance policies, like ours, are ridiculously expensive. But the only option for those of us who don't work for corporate entities with the large numbers of employees necessary to offer a group plan. You'd think for the steep premium they'd offer maternity benefits but oh no, pregnancy is, after all, a "desired" state.

With a pregnancy history like mine (going from lowest of low risk to highest of high - literally over night) there is simply no way we could ever afford to pay out of pocket to have a second baby. There would be a likely cervical cerclage to begin with, followed by steroid dosing before we were even clear to begin trying, then cervical monitoring every couple of weeks from the beginning, progesterone supplementation after only 16 weeks, and well, the list goes on and on.

What will be will be. But it sure helps to vent to the world about it. And it doesn't hurt to remember how lucky we are to have our little miracle with us today. The first time I saw Bryce I could only think that he wouldn't make it, that there was no way he could survive the turmoil of his birth.

But look at him now!

Monday, April 4

Another First!

Today Bryce finally found the proper motivation (trouble) to pull himself up.

Mind you we've only been working on this for about a year now. We've actually been coaching him for months on how to pull himself up onto the rail of his crib. We work on it daily, often many times a day.

He's always proud when he gets there but he rarely really does all of the necessary work. Don't get me wrong, it's not his fault. His right hand (aka "Righty") stays clenched into a tiny, fisted, balled up mess of fingers and tension whenever he's struggling to do something. It's pretty hard to pull up on things one handed.

But we've learned that if an object is far enough away that Bryce has to fully extend his arm to reach for it he's more able to get his right hand fully open and to then close it onto the object.

And today the stars all aligned in just the right way so that Bryce was able to leverage off the ottoman a little, the couch a little, reach way up to the top of Mommy's scrapbooking bin while pulling his knees up under him and then getting all the way to his feet all by himself.

And as if that weren't enough - his Occupational Therapist was here to see the whole thing. Because otherwise I'm pretty sure there would be some skeptics in the family.

It was an amazing, unbelievable sight. I small "step" for an average boy but a remarkable achievement for this extra special boy!

And I even had the opportunity to snap a couple of quick pictures:

And here he is already thinking about all the other things he can get into from "up here!"