These last few weeks have been nothing short of truly charged with everything possible under the sun!
In winding down for the tail end of this pregnancy, things seem to have been winding up instead. The nesting instinct has kicked in and I have spent nearly fifteen hours thus far completely reorganizing the basement and the plethora of various children's clothing sizes (from Melina's pre-teen hand me downs to the newborn clothing awaiting our newest addition)! We have been cramming in as many visits with friends and family as possible and annual doctor's appointments (as I am concerned things will be too hectic over these next six to twelve months to be on top of these things).
In addition to the great increase in activity, I have no longer been able to sleep at night. I now make unnatural sounds when attempting to shift from one side in bed to the other... and yes, sometimes I need to ask Duane for a shove. My bladder is holding up very well with this pregnancy so I am only getting up about once or twice in the night. And the dreaded anticipated end-of-the-road swelling has arrived. The numbness in my hands keep me up and any attempts at cooking or handling the kids (even just pulling up pants) feels so strange without sensation in your hands! Yik!
But worst of all has been the heartburn! Never in my life have I experienced anything like this! It feels as though I have gargled with Drano and it keeps trying to come back up. The reflux causes a great deal of coughing which results in the occasional bouts of vomiting.
Aint pregnancy a pretty picture??
But I am convinced that this is all part of God's perfect design to have a pregnant so bloody miserable by the last month of her pregnancy that she WELCOMES the pains of labour and birth in order to finally put an end to it! Quite brilliant, really.
Let's just say I am quickly getting over my anxiety about welcoming our fifth child!!
My health is not the only one to discuss at length in this post... Anika has been complaining all week that she is sick and needs to see a doctor. She was not exhibiting any symptoms (no fever, diarhea, etc...) so I did not feel right taking her in to see someone and say "I don't know... can you just charge us for guessing?" A few days later, she woke up with her face completely swollen. I have yet to do research on facial swelling & possible kidney issues but we figured perhaps an allergy to whatever has been blowing in the air lately. Either that or she was being overly empathetic about MY swelling!
Tuesday morning, the little ones and I ran a bunch of errands only to return late for lunch at which point my father arrived to babysit the kids so I could attend an apt with the OBGYN. By the time I returned from that, Anika was lethargic on the couch and exhibiting the beginnings of a fever. The night before, she had woken up twice in the night to pee in a panic (one of which was an accident... very unlike her). Let's hope it's not another bladder infection!
Well, by supper, her fever was at 104 so we gave her some tylenol in hopes that she would have a better night. No such luck. Up again at midnight in a panic about peeing and then once more at 4:00 a.m. This time, she was alarmingly hot to the touch and her temperature read 106.
Off I went to Children's Hopsital Emergency with my Anika...
Thankfully there was no one else in the waiting room so we only spent about three hours there. Anika's preliminary urine tests came back positive for every negative thing under the sun including puss and blood. Off we go with a prescription for antibiotics.
Normally, we let her body rid itself of these on its own, but there are times when it is evident that her body needs the extra help... especially given that a back flow of infected urine to the kidneys could cause permanent damage!
I have since been in touch with her pediatrician to see where that referral for a VCUG & kidney ultrasound is at. We should have some appointment dates within the next couple of weeks. So given that this unborn baby has the kidney issue that he/she does, I am beginning to think that we have a structural issue with our Anika, too.
Why can't we give birth to perfectly healthy children anymore?? Is there even such a thing? Seems like every new mom I talk with has a health issue of some sort with their child. Are we just that hyper aware now? Or is something happening to our world, our food, our environment that is costing the well-being of our children? And if so, what will it finally take for CHANGES to be made??
So Anika has gone nearly two days without eating, with fluctuating fevers and restless nights and the occasional bouts of vomiting. Last night at a peak of her fever, she looked up at me wearily and said that her sibbling within my womb was opening a gate for her...
She was quite convinced of this! So finally I just went with it and said, "maybe this baby is opening the gate to HEALING and LIGHT so your body can get all better!" And she seemed peaceful with that explanation and went back to sleep.
Whether real or not, the idea of a little soul looking out for its sibling really IS beautiful and reassuring... I think I may have to hold on to that one as a gift in the realm of the inexplicable.
There is much, much more to tell (including a house invasion last while Duane was gone working a night shift)... but the time is not right just yet given some additional details to be shared. Just know that our lives have hit a level of chaos I was not expecting BEFORE the arrival of our baby and that we hope peace will quickly ensue.
Much love to all of you out there and here's hoping that the Lord has embraced you in your own hectic lives and that you are at peace with events that surround you at this time.