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Sawyer Joshua Brown

    Preeclampsia Robbed Me

    Today, June 22nd, is the first anniversary of the worst day of my life.

    On June 21st, 2015, it was Father’s Day. It was an extra-emotional Father’s Day for my family because my own Father, was leaving the next day on a 10 day mission to Iraq. I don’t know if any of you have traveled to Iraq lately, but getting there, and staying there, is currently quite dangerous. There is a lot I can’t say in regards to his trip, but my family and I were quite nervous for his safety. Regardless, he felt called to go, and we knew we had to let The Lord use him. That night, we went out to dinner and then dessert, gave him his gifts, and said our goodbyes.

    My dad hugged me a final time before going our separate ways “Don’t have that baby while I’m gone!” he said. “I won’t. I promise.” And I truly meant it. I was only 35 weeks pregnant after all.

    The next day, I would be hospitalized.

    The next morning, we woke up and Kurtis drove me to my 35 week appointment. Everything looked good except they were concerned that my blood pressure was a little high. They had me stay late for extra monitoring to make sure everything was okay. Thinking everything was fine, Kurtis stepped outside to get on a conference call for work, while I sat in the doctor’s office alone, listening to the baby’s heartbeat.

    The doctor came in 20 minutes later, and by the look on her face, I knew something was wrong. Kurtis was still outside and I was alone and terrified. She told me based on my blood pressure and protein found in my urine sample, they were officially diagnosing me with preeclampsia. She told me what preeclampsia was. That my body was basically rejecting pregnancy. That this could result in heart attack, seizure, stroke, and even death. She told me that I should go home and rest and gave me a list of signs to look out for and told me if I had any of them to go to the hospital immediately, and the baby would then have to be delivered. One of the signs was severe headache, that would not go away after taking tylenol. I felt a knot in my stomach and told her I had had a horrible headache since that morning and had taken tylenol hours ago to no avail. I watched her face fall as she told me I needed to get to the hospital right away, and that she was going to call them immediately and tell them that I was coming. I was still alone.

    I wandered out into the parking lot, choking back sobs, searching frantically for my husband. I finally saw him around a corner, yelled his name, he lifted his head and his eyes met mine. He took one look at me, barked into the phone at his boss that he had to go and ran to me. I told him what happened through tears and we headed for the car. He prayed over me and the baby and we sped to the hospital. We spent hours in triage while the monitored my blood pressure, trying to decide how to treat me. Eventually, they admitted me.

    In the 3 hours since I had arrived my preeclampsia had progressed from mild, to moderate, to severe. They took blood. They took urine. The hooked me up to machines and poked and prodded me. Kurtis called my mom to come stay with me while he went home to get us clothes and other necessities. I wished more than anything my Dad could be with us too.

    In the next few days my blood pressure would go up and down, eventually resulting in the emergency delivery of our son via c-section. Preeclampsia robbed me of so much.

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    (The above image was made using Little Nugget. A photo editing app for parents to capture milestones such as this one. It is available now in the app store!)

    Preeclampsia robbed me of my father being present to meet his grandson after he was born. Preeclampsia robbed me of having my father by my side during the scariest event of my life. Preeclampsia robbed me of a labor experience. Preeclampsia robbed me of a birthing experience. Preeclampsia robbed me of a newborn experience.

    I am a Mother and yet I have no idea what birth feels like. I have never felt a contraction. I’ve never dilated. I’ve never pushed.

    I do know what it feels like to recover from abdominal surgery. I know what it feels like to monitor your blood pressure at home. I know what it feels like to obsess over every little symptom, wondering if it could kill you.

    I am a Mother, and I could have died while becoming one.

    I am not the same person as I was before June 22nd, 2015. I have never dealt with more stress, more devastation, more disappointment. I was broken. I was weak. I was depressed. And I was sick. So sick, anxiety ridden, and terrified.

    But in the year since, I have recovered. I have survived. I am stronger. I am happier. This horrible experience resulted in the greatest blessing. An extra 5 weeks as the most wonderful role on the planet. Sawyer’s Mom.

    It took a huge toll on me both mentally, emotionally, and physically. For so long I longed for a normal birth experience. To go back and re-do that horrible week in the hospital. That horrible day I was diagnosed. Is there something I could’ve done differently? Something to prevent this horrible disease from threatening mine and my then unborn child’s life?

    There is nothing I could have done. And I am so lucky. I am so lucky to have made it out with my health in tact. I am so lucky that Sawyer was born with strong lungs and no major health concerns. I am so blessed. So blessed.

    I thank The Lord every day for taking care of me. For watching over me. For his hand in the whole thing. I wasn’t supposed to go to the doctor that day. It was supposed to be a week later, but something came up and I had to reschedule. It makes me sick to think of what could’ve happened if I hadn’t rescheduled and my blood pressure had continue to climb all week without my knowledge. We could’ve lost Sawyer. They could’ve lost me. I know it’s no coincidence we had to reschedule and I thank The Lord every day for intervening on my behalf. Kurtis wasn’t supposed to be with me. I was supposed to go to the appointment alone, because he had to work. He was able to switch his shift at the last second and come. That was no coincidence either.

    In the past year The Lord has taught me so much. About myself, about strength, about trusting in him, and about Motherhood. Preeclampsia is part of who I am. It made me a Mother to the most beautiful little boy. I am filled with joy at the things it’s brought me. It made me a Mother. Kurtis a Father. Our Parents Grandparents. Our Siblings Aunts and Uncles. I would do it all over again, in a heartbeat.

    Thank You, Jesus, for this precious gift of health, of life, of family, of love. I am speechless and humbled at the thought of it.

    But he said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.- 2 Corinthians 9-10

     

    xoxo.

    Month 10

    How is this happening?

    When I look at Sawyer I see a little boy. Not a baby anymore. He’s grown so much just in the last month or two. You would never guess he used to have weight issues. He’s huge.


    He’s standing and cruising, taking assisted steps, crawling, talking, and playing all day. He and Bennett have become best of friends, it’s so fun to watch them play.

    Read more…

    Month 9

    What.

    Just..what.


    How can this be happening? I can’t believe 9 months have already come and gone. Every day he looks less and less like a baby and more and more like a toddler. We’re starting to think about his first birthday and have to start baby-proofing the house!

    Last time we checked, Sawyer weighed 15lbs. We haven’t had his 9 month check up yet, so I don’t know specifics, but he seems to really be growing. I would say he’s at least 17 lbs now. We’ll see. The doctor’s were still concerned with his weight gain at his last check up, but I think when we go back in, we won’t have any more problems. I just have this weird feeling like he’s grown so much in the last month. All the formula and solids probably have something to do with it…

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    I’m “Just a Mom.”

    I am just a mom.

    I didn’t finish college.

    I put my career on hold to be home more.

    I got married at 21. Pregnant by 22.

    I haven’t seen the world.

    I’ve never even lived by myself.

    But I am accomplished. And I want my son to know, that I have nothing to be ashamed of. There’s nothing I wish for  more than I wished for him. I have no regrets.

    If…

    If I never go back to school

    If I never travel the world

    If I never advance in my career

    If I change diapers everyday for the rest of my life

    If I spend the next 15 years driving you to baseball games, birthday parties, and play dates

    If I never lose the last 5 lbs of baby weight

    I am complete. I am happy. I accomplished everything I wanted to in life, because I had you.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t have goals and aspirations. I hope one day your father and I travel. I hope one day to do what I love to do and have a successful career. I hope to go back to school.

    But if I don’t. If for whatever reason those things don’t happen for me. Know this, the joy of being your mother is all I’ll ever need. You and any future siblings we may give you, are my biggest accomplishment.

    You are the best thing I ever did.

    If being your mother is the only thing I ever “amount” to, know that I am the happiest, most fulfilled woman on the Earth. I truly know joy. Because I have you.

    If “just a mom” is all I ever am, I’ll take it. As long as I’m your mom.

    Xoxo.

    Month 8

    Month 8 is here already! (in fact, we’re almost to month 9!) A few weeks ago we passed the mark where Sawyer has been out longer than he was in! I can’t believe I’ve now been a mother longer than I was pregnant (because pregnancy felt like 5 years, and motherhood has felt like 5 seconds). It’s a bummer that pregnancy drags its feet so much, and then your babies grow in the blink of an eye!

    Sawyer is 15 lbs even and 28 in long.

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    His last weight check didn’t go as well this month as it did last month and they had to run more tests. We took him down to get more blood work done, and it was awful. Apparently he wasn’t hydrated enough and they couldn’t get enough blood (he wasn’t hydrated enough because we didn’t bring and extra bottle because we weren’t expecting a quick weight check to take 2 HOURS). They tried in both arms and when they couldn’t get anything, told us to come back later. We haven’t been back yet. Only because it’s really rough to see them stick your baby with needles so I refuse to go without Kurtis, so we’re waiting to go back until there’s a day when we’re both off!

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    Month 7

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    I can’t believe we’re over the hump of his first year! He’s closer to 1 now than he is to a newborn. However, he’s so much fun right now! I was joking with Kurtis the other day and asked “when we have a second one can it just come out at 6 months old?” It’s so fun to see him laugh and play and interact with us. The only downside is that he needs to be entertained pretty much all the time now, and that can be exhausting.

    He’s starting to experience a bit of separation anxiety when I leave the room. Which is also exhausting, but sweet. He loves his daddy and is obsessed with our dog, Bennett. He things he is hilarious and wants to pet him all day long. He’s rolling everywhere, his favorite thing is too just lay on a blanket with some toys and just roll and play. He was pretty behind on his head control, finally got the hang of it around 5 months, and now he’s trying to sit up! He’s kind of behind on that too, but since he was born prematurely, we just let him hit milestones at his own pace. We think he’ll be there in another few weeks. He’s also trying to crawl!

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    Christmas 2015 Recap

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    Hello all!

    It feels so great to be writing again! I decided to take the month of December and focus only on my Holiday Gift Guide, and the business side of my blog. It was a great chance to get caught up on all the technical aspects of my writing/blogging/business. I then took the whole week of Christmas off to be with my family. Now that I’m all caught up, it’s great to be back!

    We had a hectic holiday season. My husband is a Department Head at Dillards, and, obviously, the holidays are an insane time for him. He was working 10 hour days, 6 days a week, all month long. Christmas day was the first day we had off together the whole month of December. But, we tried to make the most of Sawyer’s first Christmas by doing fun, holiday things on days when he was off early (“early” meaning 6:00pm).

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