It took me one week and a day to complete this.
On August 25th at 10:26AM by planned C-section, I gave birth beautiful girl named Joy Mary Julie. She has a double middle name. The name Mary was my mother’s name and a name of multiple family members. My mother had several relatives with the name of Mary. My husband’s family owned a popular small business store locally for many years that’s part of the name was Mary. The store was abandoned since my first daughter was born. Whoever brought the building started tearing it down this year. It reminded me how important the name Mary was to both sides of the family. My mother would have been angry if I chosen her middle name.
The name Julie is the name of my dance school teacher’s name. She was Hope’s dance teacher as well. She almost died from cancer as a teen ager. As an adult, she had cancer a few times. Her dream was to open a dance school. As her dance school open, she was diagnosis with breast cancer. She did not gave up her dream. A few years ago, she was diagnosis with terminal cancer. She went to work up until a week before her death. When, I was diagnosis with breast cancer, I decided to take tap lessons. I found the article about her studio. The day, I had chemo, she took me out to coffee. She was my inspiration during cancer treatment. A few days before the C-section, I had emailed her husband to let him know if it was a girl, part of the middle name would be for Julie.
Joy weighed 9 pounds & 1 ounce. She measured at 20.75 inches. I am a brunette. My husband is a dark blonde. She is a darker blonde than my daughter Hope was upon birth. It was another blonde. My soul is filled with rejoice for her life and good health.
One of the topics I think about sometimes is how the family’s diagnosis of rare disease is going to effect Hope as she gets older. How is this going to impact her decision to have kids? Will she marry someone who is going to stand be side her if she needs fertility treatment? My goal has been I want a baby. When I started this embryo donation cycle, although I am agnostic, I asked for God to decide, which gender was best for the family. I am very happy she is here, please don’t get me wrong. However, I have noticed since coming home having sad feelings about having fertility treatment for years and I feel that I have been mourning the loss of my boy babies, were lost due to second trimester miscarriages.
People are coming out of the woodwork now. My in-laws completely stopped talking to me about 3 years ago. They did show up to care for Hope in the lobby. I did get to tell Hope about the baby being a girl. Hope cried some semimetal tears through the visit at the hospital. My husband and I over the past year see puberty coming soon for Hope. In this past year, I have heard her seriously doubt herself. So, I was able to say to her that Joy’s birth reminds us all how special each one of us are. I had little opportunity to speak to my husband’s parents. They were allowed a special visit. Joy passed the glucose testing within the first day. Her first number was off by 4 points. Then, she repeatedly tested over 40, which the doctors wanted. It was a thin line sometimes, because nursing is a challenge for me as a breast cancer survivor. After being a gestational diabetic, I realized how fragile glucose levels can be. Sometimes, I would choose formula for her, because I wanted the glucose levels to stay normal. My husband and daughter stayed at a hotel over the border in our state. The staff was supportive, because I was by myself during the nights.
One other problem cropped up as a breast cancer survivor, I was born with small veins anyways. One of my veins collapsed in the right arm. I have some spots in my arm that hurt if I lean on them. The IV fluid caused the arm to swell, so bad that the hospital bracelets needed to be cut off. I had 13 lymph nodes removed during cancer. My left arm can not be used for any injections or high blood pressure readings or I could develop a condition called Lymphedema, which is the treated arm becomes swollen with Lymphatic fluid. The swelling in the legs caused by the pregnancy came back and worst the next day. Even with 2 swollen legs and a arm, it was the best day of my life.
When Hope was born, her birth quickly stopped about being about her. I did not realize the hospital I chose was the worst one to pick due to several staff members with bad boundaries. The staff knew people that I didn’t realize like my former boss and my brother. I also want to be cautious about stating it was the whole hospital staff, because it was 3 or 4 of the people, who had the issue. I had learned to hard way to trust my gut instinct. My husband and I have been planning this for months. We said nothing to my family about the scheduled C-section date. The last day, I was there, I called and announced it to my Aunt and I wrote a post on the Facebook account with access from a number of relatives. Then, I allowed the church to post her birth.
My aunt only wants to see me reconnect with my sister. My sister told planned to see me and decided not too last second. Her name is Julie too. I was telling my aunt about how my daughter was named, when she told me that she planned to tell my sister about me naming the baby for her. It made me angry. This woman, my sister, no showed her own little sister for breast cancer. So I explained the baby had a double middle name. What happens is…. No one will most likely ever see the second name, because there is one space for one initial. I told my Aunt not to make her angry with a lie, because many knew my dance school teacher and many people know Joy was named for her. I told her to only let her know the middle name Mary was picked to honor our mother. From the messages I am getting from other relatives both my brother and sister are telling people that they don’t care. I did hear my oldest niece is so excited. I may try to plan something with my aunt and niece.
My sister in law visited the hospital once. They seemed respectful of understanding we didn’t want the large crowd of people. Actually, my sister-in-law is terrified of elevators. The hospital allowed security to escort her to the maternity floor. No one was allowed regular access to the stairwells for the safety of the babies. My husband did try to wake me before she came. I awoke to her in the room. She was there for a short time. Sunday, my in-laws invited the whole family over for lunch. The conversation was basic light conversation. I started crying after we left. I can’t hit them over the head again for choices. I have said my peace at this point. I want up not down. All I want is for us to have a functional relationship. I am very cautious, because my brother and sister just showed up at the maternity ward for Hope. I trusted them. At 6 months all hell broke loose. The one annoying thing was both my sister-in-law and mother-in-law kissed my cheek. I have barely heard from them in three years. Hopefully, we can get to a functional level and maybe over time, trust can form again.
Overall, I am doing okay on Advil. I never needed the other medication. I was able to avoid it so I can drive Hope to school this week. My husband went back to work today. Hope started school yesterday. The swelling in my legs is going down. Only one foot is too tight for shoes. I am very overtired. I am so gratefully to move on to other goals in my life like looking for a new job and saving up to move away from my city. I never quite saw how much I gave up to have fertility treatments. It was 8 years of my life. We have to pay down the bills from traveling out of state for embryo donation. I am starting to look at other jobs and think about other goals in my life. Even the morning of Joy’s birth, it felt like my body was in agreement with the date picked. I threw up and I had regular cramps. Thankfully, my husband’s assertive driving skills were on. We left 15 mins late. I started throwing up with little warning. Every jay walker and sideswiping car came out. It just reminded me, we really need to move. My goal is Hope and Joy right now. I am hoping we get to move before Joy enters kindergarten. When we finally got to a national food chain coffee shop. The women’s room was out of order and the men’s was flooding. We got there and they were able to accommodate us. I want to remain in both the rare disease and infertility community to give back. I feel so grateful to be alive right now.