(Read part I here)For a while, things seemed okay. We thought we had gotten through the worst of things. I think that some part of us realized that this was the quiet before the storm.
After another routine check-up, my doctors discovered I had hyperthyroidism. Although ultimately this was not a threat to me, it was a threat to Jasmine. I was placed on more medication, and told to take it easy. Again. Still, I resumed my bi-weekly three hour trips from Charlotte to go home to see my friends. At this point I had been living in Charlotte for months, and not one single friend had returned the favor and visited us.
I still couldn't eat much. By this point I'd realized that I was being forced into vegetarianism. If I tasted anything that had even the smallest hint of meat in it, I'd get sick. I still wasn't gaining weight the way the doctors wanted me to.
James was my rock during those times. We would lay in bed for hours late at night talking about our future. We wondered how our daughter would look. Would she have my curly hair? Or James' blue-green eyes? We fought over her name. Eventually we settled on Jasmine Isabella.
Finally as the semester began to wind down, I got even more bad news, the doctors feared that I had developed Preeclampsia. After quite a few test, it was confirmed. Luckily, the day I found out was my last day of class for the semester. Despite all the craziness going on, I had gone to class every single day.
Much later a former professor pulled me aside and told me how he had to deal with students who had complained relentlessly about coming to class every day while I was struggling with everything in my life and had still managed to come to class and maintain my grades. He told me that it wasn't often that he met a student like me. Months later, when I started struggling to maintain my grades and my role as a mommy, I remembered what he told me and dug a bit deeper and pushed a little harder. I owe him a lot.
I had a doctors appointment on my final day of the semester. Because I had Preeclampsia, the doctor's wanted to induce me. James hated the idea. He knew most inducements ended in a c-section. Because of my low platelet count (which at this point was severely low) the doctors wanted to avoid cutting me in fear that I would bleed out. I was so scared at this point that I had decided to write a few letter to my daughter. Just in case.
For the next few days everything seemed to pass in slow motion. Still, not a friend in sight. Just a bleak outlook and a lot of sleepless nights. When it finally came time to report to the hospital I was barely holding up. James made one last ditch attempt to convince the doctors not to induce me. I was so tired and beaten I didn't put up much of a fight. In the end, it was decided that the best way to ensure the safety of me and Jasmine was to induce me.
And so they did. I don't remember much after this. My midwife gave me medication to help me sleep that night. She could tell how afraid I was. It wasn't until nearly a year later that James confessed that he was terrified that he was going to lose me and Jasmine that night.
They hooked me up to an IV and flooded my system with steroids in a last ditch attempt to increase my platelet count. Then they gave me the pitocin to induce labor. I think I slept most of the night. James never left my side. Even though he had finals to study for, he held my hand and kept a watchful eye over me. I think someway, even in my sleep, I knew he was there.
By the time the next day had arrived my midwife came in with bad news. The pitocin was causing Jasmine's heart rate to drop. Our worst fears had come true. The only option left was a c-section. I remember being wheeled down the hallway with James gripping my hand. I remember staring up at the white lights above shining into my face. I even remember the blue sheets that were placed over the lower half of my body. I remember feeling a slight tug near my stomach as the doctors pulled Jasmine from my womb. I thought "am I suppose to feel this? I thought I wasn't suppose to be able to feel anything? Something is wrong." That's the last coherent thought I had.
Hours later, minutes later, maybe seconds, I don't know how long had passed, I came to in another room and James was standing there holding this little bundle in his arms. She was so beautiful. I immediately reached for her. He placed her in my arms and I held my daughter for the first time. I finally felt whole. I no longer yearned for the friends who had left me. I know longer wondered if I would be lonely for the rest of my life. Right then I realized that I would never be alone again. I would never feel another moment of saddness over my past. This little girl was my everything.
That's the funny thing about becoming a parent. It puts things into perspective. It forces you to let go of your past and focus on your future. I knew my future was the little girl resting in my arms.
As a true believer of the statement "when one door closes another one opens," I choose to see the silver lining in all the friendships I've lost in the past few years. I think about all the wonderful friends I've gained in the process. I've become so close with some of James's friends that I've come to think of them as family. I may not have the same amount of friends, but I now realize that the ones I have now are the kind that will always be there for me and my family. Everyone else will be a fond memory that I reflect upon occasionally.
So maybe it's difficult to remember. Maybe it's sad sometimes to think about, but this story does have a happy ending. Her name is Jasmine Isabella, and she is my everything.
Read Pt I of Farewell My Fair Weather Friends Here
Photo cred: Briannedogdu