Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Second Birthday Julianna!!!

You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face.Ian Fleming

Today is Julianna's second birthday. I can't believe she is two already! She is awesome and the light of my life. I think back to the day she was born and I am thankful that we both survived it. Despite the bumpy road that fighting breast cancer has been, I have not been anywhere near as sick as I was just before and just after Julianna's birth. Even with four surgeries in rapid succession I have not had any pain as severe as the pain I had when my liver was failing and the capsule was stretching almost to rupture. This all pales in comparison.

Pre-eclampsia is Greek for "before the lightning". It comes on as rapidly as lightning and can be just as deadly. I had kidney, liver and heart failure. I had cerebral edema, loss of vision, uncontrollable hypertension, DIC, hemorrhaging and extreme hyperreflexia. The pre-eclampsia was about as bad as it can be and it progressed to class 1 HELLP syndrome. I was what we say in the ambulance world, CTD (circling the drain).

It took a year for me to get pregnant with Julianna. I had every type of fertility treatment available. The odds were overwhelmingly against me having her. She was a determined little fighter from the very beginning. She is nothing short of a miracle and a complete gift from God.

I was trying to have another. I went to a specialist who said I could do it, but my odds of it all happening again were 40%. She said she would never let it get to the point it did with Julianna and she would deliver immediately if there were any sign of a problem. She said the biggest issue could be a baby with extreme prematurity. I tried for almost a year and got pregnant once but that ended with an early miscarriage. I had to stop trying when I was diagnosed with the breast cancer.

I often wonder if the breast cancer was God's way of saying, "Do not do this again. It will not end well".

It is amazing how having a child changes you. Everything now is, "How will this effect my child?" When I found out about the breast cancer it was all about her too. I need to be here for her. What is her risk? Could she, God forbid, be the fourth generation to get this? What can I do to get this over with as quickly as possible so we can go on to have our lives back?

People ask me all the time if it is harder fighting this with her in my life. No, of course not. Everyday she gives me energy and purpose. She fills my heart with joy.

Happy Birthday to my little miracle!!!!!!!!!!

Julianna in the NICU under the bilirubin lights. 3 pounds 8 ounces.
Julianna the day she came home from the hospital. She was four pounds.

Julianna at Christmas. You've come a long way baby!!

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