Just The Facts
Posted by Mishi Methven on Oct 22, 2011
Just the facts
We are exhausted. I want to update the website, but I'm afraid I don't have it in me to delve into all the complex emotions vibrating through our lives, so I decided to write a post with "just the facts" of the last few days.
I apologize in advance that the order of the facts may be a bit skewed, we are working on very little sleep and emotions are at an all-time high so I will do my best...
The first fact is that, our perfect son was born on October 20th at 6:05am. As planned, Aimee went in for a scheduled induction the morning of October 19th at 7:30am and laboured well all day and night (with epidural). Then, almost suddenly, our son was born! I actually think we might have set a record for the amount of people in a birthing room at Toronto East General Hospital…there was Aimee and I and our "best-midwife-in-the-whole-world" Christie, an Ob-Gyn, a nurse, Aimee's mom, dad, stepmom, sister, sister-in-law, best friend plus my dad. It was a circle of love, excitement and emotion. Truly a beautiful moment in our lives.
October 20th at 6:05am: Samson John Bruner-Methven: 7lbs 7oz
At 3:30am on October 20th, my phone rang. It was my (pregnant) sister Heather calling to check-in on Aimee's progress. I told her Aimee was 7cm dilated and would probably be pushing in a couple of hours. She laughed and said she was also on her way into the hospital---her water just broke! I just started to laugh hysterically. We had been joking for months that it would be absolutely insane if Heather and Aimee both went into labour the same day…so, of course, they did! Heather ended up labouring in room J15 and Aimee was in J13 so it was hilarious with all of us going back and forth between the rooms. Heather's son was born 20 hours after ours.
October 21st at 3:39am: Xavier Daniel Pellet-Methven: 9llbs 10oz (ouch!)
Stella named her brother. We had another name picked out, but way back before Stella ever got diagnosed with a fatal brain tumour, she had been a fan of the book series Stella and Sam. In the books, Stella is a mischievous redhead just like our own girl, and Sam is her younger brother. When we told her we were going to have a baby, she insisted from that day on that Stella had a brother named Sam. When in the space of a few weeks we got the news about Stella's brain cancer, and the ultrasound confirming a boy, we decided he was destined to be a Sam. When we realized our initials (S=Stella A=Aimee M=Mishi) spelt his name, we never doubted the choice once. We can't wait to tell Sam how his big sister named him.
The change to Samson (but he will be known as "Sam") was a last-minute decision three hours after he was born when we decided a longer, more elegant first name would flow a bit better…plus Samson was a strong man in the Bible, and we figure our son is going to have to be super-strong to get through the emotional turmoil that is consuming our life at the moment.
How are we doing?
Well…not too well, to be honest. So much information this fact has to be split into a Secion A and Section B, Aimee and Mishi category:
Fact #4A (Aimee)
Aimee was a champion pusher during Sam's delivery. Unfortunately, because the epidural numbed her completely from the waist down, we were unaware until several hours after Sam's birth that Aimee had suffered from a separated pelvis.
This injury is completely excruciating for Aimee. She cannot bear any weight AT ALL and is completely bedridden. It takes two very strong people to shuffle her slowly to the bathroom, and she is in horrific pain the entire time. Her pelvic bone has separated so she can't stand unassisted, sit up straight, breastfeed, change a diaper, etc. The recovery time from this type of injury is estimated to be about 6 weeks. For the time being, Aimee is completely incapacitated and in pain. Adding to the turmoil is Aimee's fear that her injury will outlast Stella and she will miss these next precious weeks with our daughter. I sit on the couch with Stella and she has to stay in the bedroom lying down, so it is extremely trying for her.
Fact #4B (Mishi)
During the labour and delivery of Sam, I held up emotionally fairly well. I was able to be present and was genuinely ecstatic when he was born. A few hours later, however, I experienced a terrible anxiety attack. I think the total lack of sleep from the night before coupled with not taking my meeds (so I could be alert for delivery) as well as the actual delivery itself, were all contributing factors. All I know is that I was standing in the hospital room next to Aimee's bed while she cradled Sam and I suddenly felt my heart turn to ice and my legs give out from under me. I ran out of the room and experienced an anxiety attack that left me sobbing uncontrollably in the hall of the hospital, curled in a ball while my father cradled me in his arms. I cannot explain how severe this attack was, except to say that the entire world went black. I could neither see nor hear anything, and could only feel the most excruciating physical pain you can imagine radiating through my body as I once again faced the reality of Stella dying. I was clinging to my dad's shirt for dear life and kept repeating, "please…please…". At the moment, I didn't know what I was begging for, but now I know that I was pleading for my life. The pain of that moment was so intense and so bleak that all I wanted was to die because to have to live through the loss of our other baby felt too utterly cruel to survive. It was absolutely terrifying, and now I feel thrown back into the emotional pain and turmoil of those first few days after Stella's diagnosis, trying to figure out how to survive the pain enough to just wake up in the morning.
These two facts have led to the one big issue which is that neither one of us is capable at all of looking after Sam. Thankfully we have an incredible support group of friends and family who have stepped in to help. We need a bare minimum of three people sleeping over each night (2 for Aimee, 1 for Sam) and this is all assuming that Stella's condition doesn't worsen at all in the next few weeks.
We are still moving forward. It would be easy to think that the universe is simply cruel for contenting to inflict challenges on our family and testing the love and devotion we all have for each other. However, we continue to fight to be together and to live our lives as full of love and joy as humanly possible. It is a very difficult time right now, but we cling to the ultimate knowledge that "this too, shall pass", and with our community behind us, guided by the principles of making the most of each moment and putting love above all else, we can only continue to get stronger.
Thank-you all so much for your support via this website, for dropping off treats and gifts, for your donations, kind words, wishes, hopes and prayers. As we move into this next series of challenges, we are buoyed by your faith in us.
Aimee, Mishi, Stella & Sam