Counting My Blessings.

There is really very little I can say in this post, that I haven’t already written about in Baby Baby Baby and One Pink Line. Since developing Proliferative diabetic retinopathy during pregnancy, and losing a lot of my sight, it has appeared unlikely that I would be able to have another pregnancy without risking complete blindness.

However, earlier this year, my husband and I made the decision that we would like to try and have another baby. It is something that we both want, and it appeared that perhaps my condition was improving. My left eye that had been operated on last year appeared stable, and although there was still residual blood spots in my right eye, we were hopeful that if the same operation was performed on that eye, there was a chance that the risk of blindness from a susequent pregnancy may be much lower than originally thought.

If we prepared for this pregnancy, knowing all the risks, under strict monitoring, we really believed it could be done. Perhaps even start trying towards the end of the year. We were excited, hopeful.

Just over a week ago, I went back to the eye specialist, all prepared to talk to him about our plans to try and conceive, and the possibility of scheduling an operation on my right eye. We went through the usual process, drops in my eyes, testing the sight, then he looks in them with his fancy medical equipment. He sits back in his chair, and writes his notes. And he tells me that there are further hemorrhages in my left eye, on the outer sides, that’s why I can’t see them yet, and I will need further laser to try and prevent more bleeds. My left, operated on eye.  My right eye has grown more abnormal blood vessels, in the centre of my retina, despite the copious amounts of laser therapy I have had. They just keep growing. The Dr explains that there is only so much laser he is willing to do, as every round of laser causes scarring to the retina. It’s a balancing act, between the laser getting rid of the abnormal blood vessels and trying to minimise the damage the laser itself is doing to my eyes. He tells me that if the vessels are not hemorrhaging then it might be safer to leave some of them there, as opposed to risking permanent damage from the laser.

And I know.  I ask anyway- “So, if I was to get pregnant again, the vessels would hemorrhage?”   Without a doubt. And I know.  The time has come that I need to be realistic. My body, my eyes, will not handle another pregnancy. My condition has deteriorated even without the stress of pregnancy. The specialist is not sure how much more laser my eyes will take. Hopefully, enough that I will regain enough sight back to be able to drive. Enough sight to be able to lead a normal life, to be able to see my daughter grow up.

As much as I want to wallow, and cry, and lament about how unfair it is, (and trust me, I have already, a little!) I need to count my blessings. I have a beautiful, healthy daughter. I am a mother. I am more blessed than many women, who are desperate for a child and are unable to conceive, or who have carried a child, but not been able to bring them home.

I am not blind, despite it having been a real possibility when I was pregnant. In fact one specialist said that I probably would have lost my sight if my daughter hadn’t have been born two months early. Now there was a real blessing in disguise!

I am sad, desperately sad, that I will never carry another child, that I will never have another baby. However the only way I can move forward, is to not let the sadness blind me (pardon the pun!) from the fact that I am truly blessed. Not let the sadness be stronger than the gratefulness I feel for all that I have in my life. I will count my blessings every day, every time I look at my daughter. xx


18 comments on “Counting My Blessings.

  • Rachael , Direct link to comment

    Hi Jane,
    That was beautiful. So many of us take what we have for granted. It puts my day of negotiating with a rebellious toddler in perspective.
    (dec 10)

  • Elisa {With Grace & Eve} , Direct link to comment

    I can only imagine the heartbreak you must feel, but I admire the way you have focused on the wonder, beauty & joy in your life. Gratitude is such a wonderful thing. Your story is so beautifully expressed too xx

    • Hesitant Housewife , Direct link to comment

      Thank you Elisa. I do feel the heartbreak, but focusing on the positives really helps me feel better. And I do have so much wonder and joy in my life, it’s not too hard to feel blessed :) xx

  • Brooke Elmer , Direct link to comment

    I have been reading your blog since very early on and have much admiration for your dignified approach to life and the positive perspective you choose on learning from where you’ve been. I love your open & honest writing style. My heart goes out to you Jane, this is sad news for your to bear, but you choose to celebrate what you do have rather than wallow on what you don’t, but of course greiving for the loss of your dream is ok too xox

  • Sonia Life Love Hiccups , Direct link to comment

    Oh Jane, you have been through so much and I can just feel through your words the extent of your heartache and I am so so sorry. I too was forced my a medical condition to call and end to my dreams of more children so I sympathize with you Hun, really I do. I always try to tell myself that everything happens for a reason, somedays it makes me feel better and other days it just makes me blah, but every time it makes me go and hug the children I am so blessed to have.
    Let the tears come lovely, they are therapeutic and you are allowed to grieve for your dreams. I wish I could say something to take away the sting.. Just know I am along with so many others are sending so much love your way xx

    • Hesitant Housewife , Direct link to comment

      Thank you Sonia. I so hear you, some days it is easier to accept the “reasons” than others. I’m so sorry you have been faced with similar circumstances. Thanks for the love xx

  • Rebecca Lyons , Direct link to comment

    Stay strong Jane. I beleve everything happens for a reason. It might not be clear now but in the future. You may need to be available for a child that’s already here. Keep an open mind & you might still be counting the blessings coming your way.

  • Elephant's Child , Direct link to comment

    Such a hard decision to have essentially forced upon you. Hurting for you, hurting with you. And super impressed at the way you have chosen to move forward.

  • hayley - happyhousewifey , Direct link to comment

    So heartbreaking, yet inspiring at the way you’re counting the blessing of the daughter you have and hold. It must have been painful to write about – thankyou for being brave in sharing with us. It has been such an encouragment to me today and reminder to count my blessings.
    Hayley xx

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