A Tale of two Sisters Continued

Long roadtrip with sleeping baby and quiet kids= lots of time to reflect. I was thinking back to almost a year ago today. I was nearly 8 months pregnant and just found out that my sister was pregnant as well. It was a really big surprise. They wanted another baby and Vince, their son was a year and a half years old, but they weren’t going to try for awhile and it was a really big surprise especially for them. I was thrilled that for that short time Cally and I would be pregnant together. I feel like it was quite by accident and miracle really if you knew all the specifics that we were pregnant at the same time. Not only were my sister and I pregnant, but we had 4 cousins on the same side of the family that had babies in 2010. I had Samantha in May and she was the second baby born in ’10. It is very poignant that Cally had baby Tyler in December and he was the last of the babies in the family to be born last year. God knew that Cally was going to have the hardest time of all of us with her pregnancy and delivery. She was going to need to have us ALL healthy and recovered so we could be there for her and Matt and the boys. My sister and I had opposite pregnancies and labor/delivery experiences, but had our own difficulties as well. I have had 2 healthy pregnancies and babies, however, with Tanner’s birth things got a little complicated. I labored all damn day without an epidural (stupid) and that boy did not want to come out. My body finally gave in to the pain after about 7 hours of hard contractions and I got my epidural which was the best invention ever in my opinion. Good thing I did too, because before I knew it, Mike was throwing on scrubs, 20 people, or so it seemed came running in my room and I was being wisked away into the operating room. I was terrified don’t get me wrong, but exhausted was more like it and before I knew it, Tanner was born via C-Section at 11:59pm on July 18, 2006. I do remember asking the Dr. if she was sure the time of birth was 11:59pm because that’s the difference of a birthday, and was it according to Sprint time or the clock on the wall because I will lay awake at night wondering if my son’s birthday is the 18th or the 19th every night until the day I die. The one thing that sucked about that day, I guess not the only thing, but a really big one, was the fact that Cally lived in North Carolina at the time where Matt played ball. She was my one crutch I knew I could count on to reassure me that everything was going to be okay, besides my husband (although poor Mike should have been given an epidural just for having to go through everything with me). She’s a nurse and I knew she would be asking all the right questions, making sure things were done correctly, but more importantly I knew I wouldn’t die if she was there, but I could if she wasn’t. This is how my brain operates. I’m the hypochondriac of the family and having a baby is no exception for my hypochondriacal ways, and everything you go through during labor I felt so vulnerable, so exposed. Your body isn’t yours anymore. It has another little person in there and your whole system gets out of wack. You realize laying in your hospital bed or on the operating table in my case, that so much can go wrong. It took me a good 3 years to get over Tanner’s delivery and emergency C-Section to decide that yes, I could try to do it again. Cally on the other hand had horrible pregnancies both times. The sickness got worse with the second one and she would get sick, really sick all the way up to Tyler’s due date pretty much. She always seemed to lose 10lbs or so in the first trimester or later. Vince (her first) was a hard delivery for her. Things were eerily similar to my experience with Tanner. However, everything turned out perfectly in the end, and mom and baby were healthy. I knew that I wanted Cally in the delivery/operating room with me my second time around. She was still having sickness from her pregnancy when I went in to have Sam, but she made it and having Mike and Cally there was the most comforting thing in the world. Now we had to wait another 7 months to meet our other little niece or nephew. We just had no idea that a semi truck was going to hit us head on. Our family has been through scary, tragic and trying times before, most of them being in the past 4 years, so it is hard to shock us out of our system. 3 years ago in January, Mike’s sister, Jennie was pregnant with their first baby, a boy that they already knew his name would be Caiden Michael. It was just a few weeks coming out of the holidays and I got the call that Jennie’s water had broke. That would be exciting, if Jennie was due, however, Jennie wasn’t due until the middle of April. This put her at 26 weeks. Ironically enough, Jennie and Mike live in Chicago, us in NE and my in-laws in VA. Not to mention her parents had just moved over to live in the UK while her dad was working on a project over there. I don’t even think my mother in law’s plane touched down in the UK yet before she was basically on another one coming back home. I flew out the second I got the news to be with Jen and Mike and to make a long story longer, with Jennie on complete bed rest in the hospital they were able to keep Caiden in her for 5 more weeks. It was reassuring to me and I think the new parents to be that Cally is a NICU nurse. They had an amazing support system at the hospital they were at and it was no surprise that Caiden would most likely spend some time in the NICU after he was born, but it was nice to hear from a family member who this is her job to take care of sick babies and nurse them to health. Feb 23, 2008 Caiden was born and weighing only 2 lb. 15 oz., he was so tiny but so determined. My sister once told me that babies fight harder than adults do to live. Caiden is a miracle, he’s our miracle and seeing that we are now arriving in Chicago to celebrate his 3rd birthday tonight, it brings tears to my eyes. It feels like so much time has lapsed yet time is standing still at the same time. Every milestone is important to us with all of our kids and tonight is a night to celebrate, sing Caiden happy birthday, and watch him open all of his presents. It’s also a time to reflect on how far he’s come since his first little breath on this earth. Things don’t ever go as we plan them, but we can take what miracles God gives us and celebrate them. More later…TO BE CONTINUED>>>

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