Monday, December 15, 2014

Due In A Few Weeks?

Had a doctors appointment today. Rainbow is doing well, heart rate was 155.

First appointment where my doctor didn't rush me for an ultrasound over a minor concern. He actually seemed pretty positive we would have a "rest of the pregnancy" this time.

After looking like the nausea was leaving after the first trimester ended it's come back with a vengeance. Hyper emesis gravidarum again. They want me to try a new antinausea med, they're hoping whatever I am allergic to in Zofran isn't in this one.

Rob had his blood draw to be sure he is not also a carrier for the genetic condition we just found out I carry. We won't find out until next year though, they said the holidays usually slow it down.

I am still under my pre pregnancy weight by several pounds. BP remains good. I had more blood work today for things I was already tested and cleared for at the start of this pregnancy, but my OB didn't want to request it from my old OB.

Lucky me, after the first vial the woman at the lab got distracted and stabbed through my vein into my arm while reaching for another vial. She then made me move my arm with the needles still in it, and dug around to find the vein again, swearing in my ear the whole time. I can't straighten my arm out, and it's swollen and filled with blood around the area where she stuck me. Fun times.

Wasn't all about needles today though, I got my entertainment in too.

When I first walked into the exam room the nurse showing me in asked if we'd completed the nursery yet.

She thought I was due in a few weeks.

Not quite, though I can't say I blame her for thinking that...

Taken Sunday the 14th.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving And Beyond

The 2nd kind of overshadowed everything else in my life for a bit there. Yes I am beyond thankful to be pregnant right now. But that doesn't mean I don't still desperately wish my baby was in my arms instead of in Heaven. That our family wasn't still 5, but 6 for Christmas.

To make the 2nd even harder we got the results back of our genetic testing. I am a carrier for a very serious disorder that can cause permanent disability in our children. Blake already shows signs of having it but it may be as simple as he's a preemie and they are also prone to these kinds of issues (though not as severe). Rob is being tested on the 15th, and if he is a carrier all our kids need to be tested.

Other then that stress, things have been a roller coaster of good and bad. I made the bad mistake of Black Friday shopping. But first, Thanksgiving.

Normally Thanksgiving is drive through style at Rob's grandma's house. It's too small to hang out in so people go, pick up food, and go home. This year none of Rob's family is talking to each other and his grandma has been in the hospital a few months. We didn't think anything was going to be done but last minute Rob's mom decided she did indeed want to host Thanksgiving. I was originally going to make green bean casserole but I woke up Thanksgiving morning and could not stop throwing up.

Rob's family also usually serves Thanksgiving dinner at 10 am, so they waited a whole hour on us to arrive at 11 and I just wasn't up for a meal but I tried. It was a pleasant stay even if I was the worst company (I could barely get off the couch). The kids got up to as much trouble as they could, including sticking their fingers in the cake, getting into the construction tools, and in general ignoring me and Rob lol.

I took a total of 0 pictures of the kids and our family that day. Rob forgot my camera and also for those who don't know Rob's parents are living in a house they've been working on for 5 years. They finally have walls and a ceiling but there are no finishes, no flooring, and no doors. I try to never take pictures of their home or if I do, not publically show them because it is a touchy thing with them to have the house in the state it's in.

The Black Friday shopping was fine until Target. They had the most ridiculous maze system set up that blocked off some of the things we needed completely, and had us walking almost an hour just to get in and out of the store (we went for one item, a new tree). By the end of the 40 minute line to get out (which by the way almost all the lanes were empty, the maze took the longest part because they only let so many people out at a time regardless of how many items they had or how long it would take, and waited until all lanes were empty again before allowing more to go through) my back hurt so bad I was hunched over the cart barely moving while Rob applied counter pressure at the end. I was pretty sure I was about to punch the next smiling attendant who asked how we were doing in the line, I had to keep reminding myself it was my own fault for choosing to do this, not theirs lol. Ahh hormones.

The tree as worth it though, and we only made one return from our Black Friday loot (they didn't give us the sale price which we didn't notice at the time, and which was the only reason we bought the item, and wouldn't adjust it after so we just returned it - Toys R Us by the way, not Target).

It looks very festive and nice having the whole living room decorated. We got some great Hobby Lobby finds for 50% off this year, including that picture on the wall:

Unfortunately from all that shopping me and the kids managed to catch a cold. Shouldn't have been a big deal but every coughing fit left me throwing up. By today I've lost 7 lbs in 6 days, making me 15 lbs under my pre pregnancy weight. Baby doesn't even to seem to notice. They've started to kick so hard my belly shakes (they made sure daddy got to see it too by doing it right before he left for work! <3 again="" but="" cold="" don="" emesis="" from="" gravidarum="" have="" hoping="" hyper="" i="" it="" m="" mend="" on="" p="" pretending="" s="" stop="" t="" the="" think="" though="" time="" to="">
I don't know how much longer I will keep blogging to be honest. I just don't have a lot of time to sit down and do anything here lately. Hard to say goodbye to this place after all these years though. But I think that's where I am leaning.

Until then, I am another week pregnant today so I will leave you with my weekly bump picture!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

You Should Have Been Here

You were due today.

When I found out about you I was in shock. No way, after all this time, did I just get pregnant on nothing but supplements.

But I did.

You were so strong baby. The test lines so dark.

Maybe if I had been stronger, been able to speak up more, I would have made my doctor take that second look at my progesterone results, and maybe you could have been saved.

When daddy and I saw your heart beat, daddy told me it was one of the best days of his life.

It flickered so fast, even though they told us your heart was beating so slow.

Thank you for holding on long enough for us to see that.

You should have been here, our family was supposed to be complete for Christmas. Your brother and sister turn 3 in a few days. You would have loved seeing your siblings run around crazy on a sugar high.

Today is hard baby, so hard. Because it should have been one of the happiest days of my life.

I miss you Josiah, more then words can express.

"Your absence has gone through me like a thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with it's color."
- W. S. Merwin


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Some Details

Well, I didn't quite intend for the month to slip away from me like that.

If you haven't read my last post you should scurry on over and be sure to read until the end.

This might be a long post, as I want to tell you all about the last several months of my pregnancy. Wow, several months. Pregnancy. That whole sentence still feels absurd.

#1. I found out I was pregnant at 1 am, 9 days past ovulation. I had seen a maybe line the day before but wasn't willing to believe it. But at 1 am I couldn't wait any longer. There were 2 lines. I'd show you a picture but you won't be able to see it. Infertility eyes and all that, allowing me to see the very faintest of faint pink coloring.

I cried. I woke Rob and we both sat in disbelief. We laughed. And I cried, a lot. So grateful. So amazed. God had shown me what to do in that dream in July and here I had done it, and I was pregnant. All on my own, after 2 1/2 years.

#2. By 11 am that morning I was having my blood drawn. My beta was a 9. Anything over 5 is pregnant. I literally found out I was pregnant about the moment that baby started putting off HCG.

#3. 2 days later my beta needed to be 18 in order for the pregnancy to be viable. In order for them to give me the progesterone my body desperately needed to keep this baby alive. It was 35. Damn near quadrupled.

#4. My OB admitted to me then he knew little about progesterone. They wanted it at 25, would accept 14, and mine was 6. The RE we'd been waiting to see was called and asked to speak to me about it and monitor me further.

#5. A few days later I sat for over an hour as the RE explained to me that my levels were not viable levels because they weren't over 100, she refused to believe I ovulated as late as I did, and when confirming I had PCOS began to tell me all the ways that my eggs sucked, that I would not be able to get pregnant and not miscarry, and that in her belief, low progesterone was a sign of a sick baby, and they weren't worth saving if they were going to be sick. She even had diagrams, a slide show, and drew pictures.

I began to break down finally, after holding it together for over an hour (and if I may say so, I'm quite proud of myself for not punching that woman in the face). Seeing my tears she sighed and said, "I'll prescribe you progesterone if you really want, but there is no baby in there. Your HCG will be 0 in a week."

She ordered labs and wrote all over my file, NOT PREGNANT. She told me if I did manage to stay pregnant there would be something wrong with the baby. But that the odds of me staying pregnant were 1%.

I cried. I barely could drive home I was crying so hard.

It was over. Our miracle baby was another loss. It was over.

#6. A week later my levels needed to be in the 500 range. The RE expected them to be 0. They were 873. They continued to always be higher then expected. When my doubling time should have slowed to 72 hours, they were still doubling every 48.

#7. Then I was hospitalized. They kept me 5 days out of fear that dehydration would kill this miracle baby. We had our first ultrasound there. One baby, in the uterus, measuring spot on for my ovulation date.

#8. I've now had 5 ultrasounds. I am labeled high risk until all our genetic testing comes back. My OB is still not sure this baby will make it. I had to go to a high dose of progesterone when my body remained stubbornly resistant to it, and I am on daily aspirin. A few weeks ago I began bleeding and we thought it was over. Turned out I had a SCH, subchorionic hemorrhage, likely from my uterus growing so rapidly.

#9. I have lost 11 lbs, and the start of this week my fundus was measuring 24 cms. That is to say, my uterus is measuring 24 weeks. I am not 24 weeks pregnant. Or even really close to it lol. Every single ultrasound they have checked for a hidden twin (all 5), and every time a new nurse asks how much I have gained they actually double check my chart when I say I have lost. This was my belly on Saturday:

#10. I feel baby moving, and have the last 2 weeks. Still just flutters and not every day, but it's always such a surprise. It's still very much hard to believe we're pregnant, and we don't often actually talk about it. It's hard to even imagine that pregnancy results in babies. I guess we'll just be very surprised when a baby falls out of me sometime this spring/summer.

#11. Speaking of the due date, we're not giving any details. No weekly updates, nothing.

First off it's still hard to talk about. Telling people you are pregnant after infertility and loss is one of the hardest things to do. You want to share your joy but then people expect frequent updates, and what can I say? I had no idea what was going on. I was pregnant for an entire week with my baby dead inside me and didn't know it, how could I possibly ever assume things would be ok after that? I would get emails asking me how baby was doing and all I could do was stare at the screen. How the hell was I supposed to know?

On top of that by LMP I am due in April, by ovulation May, and the doctors (new ones because no way was the old one managing another of my pregnancies) believe baby will come in June. I hope not, I always wanted a May baby.

#12. When the results of my blood work come back, we'll not only know if we have proved the RE wrong yet again with a healthy baby, but we will know the gender.

#13. We are very, very, scared. And stressed. I cry every single day not knowing what the future brings. The RE completely ruined my happy bubble of peace. I haven't been able to get it back. It doesn't help when my doctor freaks out on me, like on Monday, when he couldn't find a heart beat on the doppler. The ultrasound tech, for the ultrasound he rushed me into, told us the doppler didn't work because baby was curled into a ball, sleeping.

#14. We are very, very, thankful. We love this baby so much. We want this baby so very much. Boy, girl, cephalopod, we want them. We pray for healthy, we pray for life, but even if we don't get those things, we just thank God for the miracle He has performed for us. And for being with us every step of the way this journey.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

As Winter Turns Into Summertime

What do you do when you don't get better
Strong arms get too, get too weak to hold her
Oh God give me just enough strength to make it through

I used to pray to God so often on my journey to have another child. At first for a healthy child, then to just ovulate, then for the fertility drugs to work. And then it turned into, please just take this pain away. Take away this desire for more kids. Let me move on and get over it all.

So many friends and strangers would tell me and Rob how strong we were. How they wished they could have our strength when faced with all we went through. But let me tell you, it didn't feel like strength. It felt like taking the road that hurt the least. The road that had hope, instead of the road that had none.

Mostly I wasn't sure I was going to be able to survive it all. Turns out I was given just enough strength to make it.

Sleepless this madness is walking me out to the ledge
And stands there beside me shivering out on the edge
Oh God all I, all I ask is a little relief
Just a moment of peace
It felt like insanity. Isn't that the very definition? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? We were trying to have a child and our outcome was always, always, miscarriage and heart ache. We questioned our sanity so many times. We questioned God.
My prayers were now: please, please just give me a break from the pain. Make it stop. I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want this to be what my life looks like.
This thorn in my side, though it cuts and stings me
 Has opened these eyes, I've never seen so clearly
And oh God I thank you, cause you bring me to my knees
Back on my knees
A few months ago, I would have slapped you if you suggested I could ever be thankful for what I went through. Who on Earth would ever think what I went through had a positive message? A meaning? This was meaningless!
Turns out He wasn't on Earth.
Josiah was not going to live. He was not going to be born. But he didn't leave me with nothing. With his death I knew I could no longer do it on my own. With urging from my father and husband we nervously took our first steps towards building a relationship with God. We found an amazing and supportive Church that has blessed us in more ways then we could have dreamed with some very amazing people.
Now I see meaning. I don't for one second believe God caused my miscarriages. I believe we're living in a broken and sick world and death happens. But now I see the ways in which God was always with me through these things, and He has shown me that He always will be there. And that He indeed sent me that dream over the summer, and the message that if I let go and trust in Him, He can heal me.
After losing Josiah in April we immediately started trying again. Nothing happened, in fact even with forcing lots of supplements my body was even worse then it had been before. Conception was not going to be possible.

We were hitting the end of our rope, not sure if we go back to fertility drugs or give up. Then we got that dream in July, but even then we weren't ready to let go right away.
Come August we decided we were. We stopped all fertility drugs, supplements, and vitamins.
Nothing happened.

We made a new plan. An adoption plan.
A week after the decision was made and the research had begun, my period was late...
I heard a voice from the other side singing,
Hold fast, love lasts
As winter turns into summer time singing,
Hold fast, love lasts
 I heard a voice from the other side singing
Hold fast, love lasts
As winter turns into summer time singing
Hold fast
So let's dance a little
Laugh a little
And hope a little more
Yes let's dance a little
Laugh a little
And hope a little more
We announced with this on Halloween. 4 ultrasounds later, this high risk and eventful pregnancy, looks like it might actually result in a baby after all.

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