Behind the Author

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Life Update: Trying to Breathe through Change and Loss

Ever have something happen so unexpectedly horrible, that it takes you nearly 7 months to write about it? Yeah, that was the last half of 2014. So, to you 2014, you can suck it!

I apologize that my last post left you all hanging..things just got so stressful. I feel like I can now, finally catch my breathe and recap for you all what has transpired. To summarize my last post, I talked about my husband getting ready for major back surgery and announced I was pregnant with another baby due Thanksgiving.

My husband was diagnosed with Stage 5 Spondylolisthesis,  Basically, the vertebrae in his back got severely out of order, his nerves were pinched and the only fix for his severity was a fusion from L-3 to S-1.  So on July 7th, my husband had his major life changing back surgery. He came through it with no complications and everything went better than expected! We were told about numerous complications that could arise, however,  my husband had NONE! Not only that, but all his nerve damage, has completely gone away. God is good.
Pre-surgery selfie
His back before..
It wasn't an easy road, but we've been getting through it. He spent 5 days in the hospital and another week and a half in a rehabilitation center building up his strength, and learning to live with his year long restrictions.

First time standing after surgery.
Coming home was a challenge. The boys had to get used to their "new bionic" dad. We also had to make accommodations for his new restrictions. We became equip with a wheelchair, walker, bed rail, tub seat, handicap toilet, and a whole kit designed to help him not bend twist or lift for the next year.
6 week post opp x-ray
Now 7 months out, he is doing so amazing! Still sticking to the restrictions. I don't think we (I) truly understood how much his back pain had just become the new "norm" for our family. Not to mention the mental toll it took on my husband, being in such severe pain for so long. The surgery literally gave him his life back! A life, pain free! We now are going out places we've had been avoiding because walking was just too stressful on his back. As hard as it's been on our family, especially, the early months after, as I was heavily pregnant during most of his recovery, it was worth it to see my husband happy and "alive" again.

I guess now would be a good time to mention, I had the baby! I'll do the introduction in another proper introduction post, filled with tons of adorable baby pictures, but for now, I'll do a brief recap..

At 20 weeks, while Tony was in the rehab, we found out we were pregnant with another beautiful perfect little BOY! It was a bit of a shock, because I swore up and down that I was surely pregnant with a girl this time, but nope! :) Needless to say, the "big" boys were thrilled!
Lots of people asked if I was disappointed, but nope,  I was more worried about what others were going to say, but screw those people who said, "I wish you would have had a girl." Because God knows best, and another boy was the PERFECT addition to our now complete family!

31 weeks and 6 days pregnant.. 
I sooooo wish I could continue this post straight into his birth, but tragedy struck my family, just 8 weeks after Tony's surgery on August 31st... My mom's birthday. A day supposed to be of celebration of life, turned into heartache over a death.  I got the call, merely a few hours after I left my parents house. It was my dad crying. He said, your mom is dead..

Have you ever got punched in the stomach so hard, it takes your breathe away? I have, and I can honestly say that's what that moment felt like..just in slow motion.

In that moment I couldn't speak, I hung up. Jumped back into my car (I just got home from dinner with a friend) and sped to the hospital. I made several phone calls on the way, no words came out really, just tons of screams of wailing. When I got there, I was met by my older brother and my dad.. they had told me what happened. Apparently, she had an asthma attack and basically, the lack of oxygen put too much pressure on her heart and it just gave out. The paramedics were able to revive her. Yet she was in critical condition and completely unresponsive. She actually had a pulse less heartbeat and in a coma.

Family and some close friends filled up the waiting room area that night...We were briefly let back to see her. I can't say for certain when exactly my mom passed away, but looking at her in the er, with her open eyes, she wasn't there anymore. Her once life filled eyes were empty, kept alive only by machines. I didn't give up hope then though, but I knew deep in my heart she was already gone. They spent the next two days trying everything in the their human power to heal my mom, but it was to no avail, she was declared brain dead on September 2nd and we surrounded her bedside and said our goodbyes.
Dominic and my niece, saying goodbye to their maw-maw

I thought I've been through painful times before, and I have, but losing my mom was a heartache I've never experienced before. My heart, literally hurt. And, honestly, 6 months later it still does. You only get one mom in life. Good or bad, there is only one and mine was gone. I was almost 7 months pregnant when she left. That was one of the hardest parts, knowing she would never get to meet my son, her grandson.

Words can not describe the gratitude I have for my closest friends, my husband, and my therapist. I don't think I could have made it through it all with out them. It was rough couple of months. September flew into October, and my aunt gave me an amazing baby shower, that my mom was actually planning for me. : /
 It was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I am just so thankful for the love that was shown to my little man! And then finally in late November, the day before Thanksgiving at 3:18 pm, our little guy made his debut! He was and is absolutely perfect!
Day 1, Thanksgiving 2014

I am so thankful that God brought this little guy into our lives. He truly has been the silver lining in 2014.  So, here we are, well into the new year, I'm slowly learning to take deep breathes and enjoy each good moment given, because one never knows what life will throw at you.