One year ago today we welcomed our 3rd and final baby into our family. John (Jack) Mitchell was born at 7:33 am and as ecstatic as we were to welcome him into the world, he brought forth some deep and painful memories for my husband. The abuse he endured as a son himself was horrendous to put it gently. Upon discovery that baby #3 would be a boy, my husbands life was just short of being turned upside down. Would he become the evil father he had been raised by? One year later, after hours of therapy, terminating his relationship with his toxic parents as well as lots of medication for anxiety, my husband is finally free of his past. He is of course, an amazing father to both of our girls as well as our boy. And one year later, looking back, we've had one tumultuous year. Oddly enough though, I greeted today's 1 year anniversary of the birth of our third child with tears and the blues. Jack had been an amazing baby. So easy going, so sweet and gentle-natured, so calm. He cried if he was hungry or had a dirty diaper. That was it. If he was sleepy, he'd just doze off where ever he was. He simply could not have been an easier baby. He was much like the younger of his two older sisters, Ana - a very dream-like, happy baby. I relplayed years of baby memories over and over in my head all day long as Jack's birthday marked a huge milestone for me. Our baby years were over. They slipped away so quickly. And while enveloped in my grief of letting go of our baby years and the difficult year we had just completed, it suddenly occurred to me, while thinking back on all three of my kiddos baby years, that never in my life had I been so happy to celebrate Ava's 1st birthday. Wow - what a difference between the first year of her life and the first years of her siblings lives. We should have just known, from the very beginning with her - we did know but at the same time, we knew no different. We were just as naive as all first time parents. And hindsight is 20/20.
I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy with Ava, outside of severe nausea and gaining 60+ pounds to my previously tiny stature. At 37 weeks we took a belly shot/picture and within a flash of a camera, my life was never the same. The flash from the camera was the catalyst to a strange sort of migraine headache that day. Which turned into seeing spots and then led to me having trouble speaking. We called my OBGYN immediately and went directly to the ER. 24 hours later I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and Ava was delivered via c-section at 8:32 pm November 9, 2002. My preeclampsia was treated with Magnesium for 48 hours and so the first two days of Ava's life is quite blurry for me as Magnesium provokes a sort of high - not a good high though. We brought her home to our small apartment and cuddled with her in bed. All three of us snuggled together, it was wonderful. Ava was your average newborn until about 7 weeks of age. Then began the crying. The non-stop crying. Colic was an understatement. Our poor child had gas like you would not believe. Her poor tummy was so often distended and no amount of baby gas drops did a thing to help. I recall one 3 day stint where she cried, non-stop for those 72 hours. We trudged through those days and nights knowing it was craziness but also knowing we had no choice but to just get through it. There was NOTHING that calmed her. Not my breast, rocking, swaying, sleeping, patting, bouncing, singing, nothing. We even had one pediatrician who prescribed a light sedative for her! I'm sure this was more for our sanity than for her health as he looked into the crazed sleep deprived eyes of my husband and I as we asked, "WHAT is wrong with her?!!!" We used it once and quite honestly didn't see much difference. She was a bit more calm, a little less crying, but nothing significant. Then one day by chance, we ran a bath for her and she stopped crying instantly. We turned the water off. The crying returned. Turned the water back on. The crying stopped. We had a heck of a water bill that month until I found a CD online that contained the recording of running water. By the end of her 4th month I could not believe that that CD was not too worn to from the repeat button on that CD player. Once Ava hit about 5 months old she was the happiest baby around. Big huge smiles and big belly laughs. I feel like the only time in her life she's had peace was between 5-27 months. Then 2 years old really hit. Like a ton of bricks. And issues began to surface.