Last Thursday was the Annual Holiday Potluck for our local Moms of Multiples group. I'm a pretty active member in our local group and really do enjoy it, but there are times where it can be challenging to hold my tongue.
Over the years there have been many instances where I've wanted to cry, leave or just scream, but haven't. You see, Moms of Multiples LOVE to talk about their pregnancy, particularly how HUGE they were at 39 weeks pregnant begging their doctor to order their c-section. Or they like to talk about having 2 babies in their hospital room with them when all they wanted was a little bit of rest. Or about how difficult it was to nurse two newborns at once.
If I let myself be sensitive (or am just having a hard day), I can find these moments a bit hard as I didn't get to experience this. It's hard to listen to them complain about what I wish I had had.
But I deal with it. Mostly because I look around the room and make eye contact with the other moms like me who delivered early and don't get to complain about these "seemingly" mundane things. Instead, when we get together (on our own...away from the moms who delivered full-term twins), we complain about NICU stays, not getting to hold our babies until they were days or weeks old, and how difficult those early days were. And some of us go even further, we "complain" about kids who don't walk, or talk, or eat on their own.
But...like I said...we keep these conversations to ourselves. Not because we're weak, but because usually there are pregnant moms at these events and really there is no reason for them to know what we've had to deal with with our twins. Not yet anyways.
Well...last week's event was different. I didn't keep my mouth shut. In fact, I'm afraid that I did a bit of ranting. And I didn't mean to rant. But I just couldn't keep quiet anymore.
I met a new member that night. She's a very nice girl who is 29 weeks pregnant with twins. Let's call her Sally. A few months back Sally met another local mom who was also pregnant with twins...and only a few weeks further along than her. And they connected. Let's call the 2nd mom Jane.
Well...Jane ended up delivering her twins last week by emergency c-section at 32 weeks. Sally and Jane have chatted via facebook and texted since Jane had the babies. And according to Sally, "the babies were doing great and they were going to be fine."
Hmmm. I thought to myself. At this point, they are still only at 33 weeks. And yes, they may be fine, but at this point, there is no way to know that for sure. But...I held my tongue.
The conversation went on. And then she said it again.
"The babies are going to be fine."
Well. I couldn't help it. This is probably the ONE thing that drove me the most crazy after I had the boys. Everyone kept looking at stats and concluding that because they were 30 weekers, then the stats were good. It was very likely that they were going to be fine. So. Therefore. My boys were OK. They didn't have to worry.
Well. That's not the way it turned out, did it? Ben and Daniel spent 8 weeks in the NICU. And yeah, even though they didn't have the worst NICU stays, it certainly wasn't all sunshine and rainbows either. Ben had 2 collapsed lungs, spent 4 days on a ventilator, and many more on CPAP. He had a Grade II brain bleed and PVL. He had an infection and multiple blood-transfusions. He stopped breathing more times than I can count. He even had a positive screening for cystic fibrosis. Pretty scary stuff. And people kept saying "I'm so glad to hear that they are doing so well".
Huh? Doing well? What part of my email update said that? It totally ticked me off. And by the time Ben was diagnosed with CP, I almost felt like yelling to the world "I TOLD YOU SO!!!".
Anyways...back to last week. So after she said that the babies were going to be OK two or three times, I finally stopped holding my tongue and said "I'm sorry to say this and I don't mean to scare you, but do you realize that they may not be OK? And it's pretty likely that they won't know for sure that they're going to be OK for months or even years?"
I really didn't want to scare a pregnant mom of twins at just 29 weeks, but I just couldn't hold it in.
And so I went on to explain what the NICU days are really like. That every morning when Jane goes in to visit her babies, the nurse or doctor will meet her to tell her what went wrong over night. The babies will have trouble breathing, maintaining their temperature and eating. And THOSE are just the MINOR things that occur in a NICU.
I, of course, went on to explain more of the things that happened to us in the NICU. I even went on to tell her that my son has CP (I usually don't tell pregnant moms these things). Yeah. I ranted.
I feel bad that I ranted. I'm glad I said something but I shouldn't have gone on like I did.
In the end, I think it was OK though. Sally seemed to take it all really well and was even grateful that I told her what it's REALLY like to have preemies.
Hopefully I didn't scare the pants off her.
So what about you? Does this stuff happen to anyone else? Or is it only me that goes off on a pregnant woman?