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Flashbacks

My wife spent the past day and a half in the hospital. She had been feeling under the weather for a few days before it all came to a head. There was nausea, dizziness, headaches and vomiting. I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t scared. The whole scene was a flashback to our first pregnancy.

When Diana was pregnant with the boys we had a fairly smooth pregnancy until the very end. Twins are expected to come early, usually around the 38 week mark. Throughout the pregnancy everything went well. The boys grew at a good pace in their womb for two. Diana was, well, exhausted but she was healthy. Other than normal first time parent jitters we were smooth sailing into a happy, healthy family.

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On March 30th, 2013 Diana began to feel absolutely awful. She had a splitting headache, so bad it affected her vision. Apparently inside her body was a disaster. Her blood pressure had skyrocketed to dangerous levels, putting strain on everything. The doctors don’t tell you about HELLP syndrome, I assume because of the amount of fear it could instill and it’s slim likelihood, they don’t want you to worry about it.

HELLPS wreaks havoc on your body. Red blood cells rupture, your platelet count plummets and your liver enzymes begin going haywire. It usually occurs during the later stages of pregnancy and is life threatening. When Diana went into the hospital they told us she was fortunate for catching it early and coming in, that a few more hours would have been her life.

IMG_6371.PNGFrom American Pregnancy

I’ve already talked about losing her briefly during the emergency C-Section so I won’t recount every bit of our first experience. What I didn’t tell you was those weren’t feelings I had shared with Diana, ever. I have always felt a need to be a rock, being strong for the both of us, for the good of our family.

I still feel that need.

When Diana began to get sick a few days ago we dismissed it as the common cold. Our boys had just gotten over not feeling well and we just assumed they had transmitted their illness like the jerks little kids are. Then came the puking. She couldn’t hold down anything, even water. Off to the hospital we went.

At the hospital they set her up on IV’s, hooked her and the baby to heart monitors and began observation. Diana was having contractions due to being dehydrated. Now while this incident wasn’t exactly the same as our first go around, the same fear creeped back.

Here we go, again, before our projected due date. Here we go, again, with Diana feeling terrible.

Here we were, again.

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Flashbacks began immediately. I saw her pulse dropping. I saw the color and life leaving her face. I began to get scared, no, I began to get terrified. They hooked Diana up to her forty different things and i braced myself for another nightmare delivery.

The doctors probably think I’m some sort of sociopath. In situations like this I get super calm. I will let my insides rage, but I will not betray my emotions by showing them. They stay hidden, for I am the rock, I am strong for my family.

I didn’t sleep hardly at all the night before last. My bed felt unbearably empty. I continuously checked my phone. Was the ringer on high? Had I zoned out and missed a call? I should probably be upfront. I can’t stay in hospitals. I get uneasy. Diana was on a sleeping pill and we live five minutes from the hospital so I was at home, taking care of the dog.

I gave up on sleep around 2:30 in the morning and began doing odds and ends around the house. The doctor had said Diana would be free to go in the morning, I was still terrified. Morning rolled around and Diana was still sick, so they decided to keep her. My insides raged, my voice remained calm and collected.

“Better safe than sorry”

Around five in the afternoon they released her. Emotionally and physically drained, I took the night off from work. I have been saving my personal time since news of our latest addition, so I have about 100 hours dedicated to bonding with my son and building that paternal connection. Having my wife home, still sick but feeling better, I needed last night. I’m excited for our newborn son, but I want him to be full term when he comes. I don’t want to relive having a wife in ICU and a child in NICU.

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The past few days have been a reminder of our first childbirth. From that experience I got two handsome boys who have taught me so much more about being a man than anything else. I also gained a phobia for when the time comes, a fear of loss. As flashbacks to the first time play through my head I begin to feel the full impact and gravity of what’s to happen very soon.

How were your pregnancies? Were there complications? Do you or your significant other feel the need to stay strong during such emotional times?

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