It's high time that we had a Christmas fireside chat.
Grab your lattes, your cappuccinos, your warm milk, your hot cocoa, your Monster drink, your Gatorade, your Diet Coke, and your Mountain Dew and settle in with me for a nice winter's chat.
It is time to tell the miracle of my son.
Yes, THAT son.
He was (and still is) most certainly a miracle.
We have to go back a few years.
SEVEN, effective five days ago.
Yes, that screams, "Happy Birthday, J A K E!"
But we have to go back seven years and eight months.
It was April of 2004.
Reilly the Red was almost two, and was out of diapers.
We had been trying to have another baby.
Remember, my body doesn't typically cooperate with me and what "I" might want, expect, or NEED it to do.
I had stopped my Remicade treatments for about a year, to safely prepare my body for a pregnancy.
You see, we didn't know WAY BACK IN 2004 that Remicade was safe for pregger mamas.
Well, allegedly, they know it N O W!
Alas, it wasn't happening.
And I had rolled the dice, and started to get sick-er.
As I had stopped taking most medicines, save one or two, I was playing with God, but against time.
I only had so much time until we would have to give up our hope of having a second child, hopefully a boy, before I would have to resume my life-maintaining treatments again.
Lo and behold, on the first of May, I discovered I was pregnant!
Grandmothers were alerted, bosses were notified, two year old daughter was prepped.
We started to get ready, and we started to get excited, and well, a second time Mama starts to 'show' a HECK of a lot earlier than a skinny minny first time Mama, so we couldn't hide it very well, even if we wanted to!
In mid-may, we decided to take Reilly the Red to her first trip to Disney's Magic Kingdom.
Since we're locals, we used our connections, got in for free, stayed for three rides and the requisite Disney tantrum, and headed home for a nap.
It was a good day.
I was feeling really good.
So good in fact, that my Team(s) of doctors opted NOT to mark my Obstetric file as "HIGH RISK".
SHOCKING!, I know!
For Memorial Day, we traversed the state to visit with my parents in the Gulfa Mexico.
It was a great weekend, as always.
On our way home, I noticed a few bug bites on my chest.
The Gulfa Mexico is where mosquitoes go to breed, and where people go to die.
But by the time we got home, I was feeling really, really......B A D.
And not 'pregnancy' bad.
And not 'Crohns' bad.
Something else 'bad'.
But a friend of ours was in the hospital, recovering from a near catastrophic accident involving a chain saw, a tree, and a shoulder. We were gladfully obligated to make a quick visit.
After we left the hospital and headed home, my 'condition', which I had since decided was either West Nile, Avian Flu, the Ebola Virus or the Plague, worsened significantly.
I had two options.
Option one - call Dr. House.
That didn't work out so well for me, well, since HE IS NOT A REAL PERSON! I keep forgetting that one.
Option two - summon Old Mother Hubbard's Medical Encyclopedia.
I needed a PHOTO of what my skin was starting to look like before I called my previously NON-HIGH-RISK Obstetrician and caused him to break out in pustules simply from the stress I continued to cause he and his entire practice.
I knew what I had.
I had know idea how I got it.
But Old Mother Hubbard confirmed it.
I had chicken pox.
Stop right there.
In answer to your questions -- HEATHER?? HOW THE HECK, I MEAN WHO THE HECK, GETS CHICKEN POX AT THIRTY FOUR AND WHO THE HECK GETS THEM WHEN THEY ARE PREGNANT AND WHY DIDN'T YOU HAVE THEM BEFORE AND DOES REILLY HAVE THEM TOO?
Well, thank you for asking.
The obvious answer is quite simply, only Hurricane Rojo gets chicken pox at thirty four and pregnant (remind me, I should call Lifetime for their "I'm Pregnant - And I Have the Chicken Pox" show) and considering the incubation period I most likely got them at Disney, so said Dr. Crop, and when my 'little' brothers got them, well, I was all grownsed up and 'away', and well, Reilly had successfully been inoculated, which gave her pediatrician absolute G L E E.
Which was worse?
- self-diagnosing (correctly, I might add, and yes, I should have been a doctor, RUMSPRINGA.)
- alerting my OB
- telling my husband
DING DING DING!
Telling the husband is the big winner here.
Cuz the OB screamed at me to go directly to
So I did.
All forty miles, thinking I might be staying, well, awhile.
Once there, he isolated me and gave me a room with a TV and a bed and several anti-viral infusions/injections and we waited.
Several hours later, he came back and shook his head and said, "You are seven weeks pregnant and you have the chicken pox."
And I said, "Yep."
And he continued to lament, "WE HAVE NEVER SEEN SOMEONE YOUR AGE HAVE CHICKEN POX SO EARLY IN THE PREGNANCY"
Might I add this dude was as close to Dr. House as I could get, AND he was the Director of Obstetrics for the entire HOSPITAL?
I was in deep doo-doo.
He tried his best not to scare me.
The following words will resonate in my mind forever, ".........we cannot even begin to predict the effect this will have on the baby.............what he/she will look like..............if you will go full-term........................if there will be scarring of the baby............."
I left the hospital, out the back door, the same way I came.
For the next two weeks, with the frightened support of my employer, I SUFFERED through the chicken pox.
They say it's worse in grown ups.
It just plain - - - S U C K E D.
Miraculously, I don't have a single pock-mark or scar anywhere on my body. I have no idea how that happened. Maybe God was given me some cheese with my whine?
Two weeks later..............
I'm pock-less, still pregnant, and returning to work.
Two months later..............
I'm pock-less, still pregnant, still at work, and CONTRACTING every FOUR to SIX minutes.
It is now July, 2004.
My due date is January 9, 2005.
HA HA HA.
My weekly ultrasounds showed a healthy baby boy, albeit a very SMALL healthy baby boy.
There was some concern about his lungs.
And this elusive and alleged potential 'scarring' issue.
We named him right away.
And he was a mover and a shaker, no big surprise there.
He let me AND the whole world know that he was done being in 'there'.
On Monday, December 20, 2004, I visited my high risk OB for my twice-weekly ultrasounds.
It's so much fun to have TWO Obstetricians and to have TWO appointments every week of your pregnancy. Fun, fun, fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The ultrasound tech said the baby boy looked fine.
The doc came in.
Asked me if I had felt Jake move as usual.
I think I was more stunned than he was, when I said, "Come to think of it, I haven't felt him move since Friday."
High Risk OB goes into freak out mode.
He says the BOY is moving fine, but, um.................
"You're having this baby...........................
.....................T O D A Y."
W H A T?
The news just got worse from there, far before it got better, since y'all know I have more than a healthy baby boy.
Billy met me at the hospital, Grandma was on her way, Reilly was in safe harbour with the preacher's kids.
At 641pm, after MANY gory complicated details that belong nowhere but in the abscesses of medical infamy, Jake William Fallon arrived.
He was little.
He was jaundiced.
He was early.
He needed a teeny little bit of help breathing.
He had no scars.
B E A U T I F U L
P E R F E C T.
Don't you dare tell him I said that.
Ladies and gentlemen:
May I share another miracle of my life, yet again?
This miracle is my baby boy, my Christmas miracle:
Thanks be to God...........
PS - Happy Birthday Jake!