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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween And An Amazing Mini Vacation!

First we had a really great Halloween. Normally the 31st we're hanging at home not doing much. This year we went to church!

First we of course painted pumpkins (Rob was supposed to melt crayons with me but he was a party pooper this year so I was the only one who did it) on the 25th.

They had a Jamboree (because you can't call it Halloween of course) and the kids were allowed non scary costumes. Jensen picked out what the 3 of them would be months ago and a very talented friend of mine made the costumes for them. They were Jake, Cubby, and Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. They jumped in the bounce houses (a pirate ship, what else?)...

... and rode on a hay ride, ate cotton candy and hot dogs, and we sat for a children's service that Jensen is still talking about to this day lol.

Then Saturday afternoon the kids went to their grandparents house and we were on the road to Baton Rouge!

The concert was amazing. It was in a Church and I have to say it was really wonderful to start out the concert in prayer, thanking God for the blessings in our life that allowed us to go. I was so excited.

I chose the worst seats I could have. First Rob didn't think he needed to download the app the tickets were on, he though the confirmation email would be enough and neither me nor another lady could explain in a way he'd understand that the tickets needed to be scanned. We didn't bring coats and it was freezing waiting outside for that darn app to download. It was pick your own seating so of course, the whole down stairs was packed by the time we finally got inside. We went to the balcony in sat down where I thought we'd have a good view of the stage, paying no mind to the fact that we sat down behind 8 teenagers (their parents on the other side of them). Also not noticing the 4 eight year old boys in front of them.

Now let me tell you, I am so afraid of heights I can't even stand on a chair, and this view had my heart racing and palms sweating. I knew by the time the music started I'd get over it, but until then I was a wreck!

So the music starts and the teenagers in front of us will NOT SIT DOWN. The people next to us ended up getting so upset they left! Then the whole concert the little boys in front were on a mission to be as loud and disruptive as possible, though I do think just from over excitement. The mom shushing and yanking on clothes for them to sit down and stop climbing on the balcony happened a lot lol. We also had to deal with a toddler screaming  a row over next to us and the mom refusing to walk out with her. I don't understand why people bring little children to loud concerts anyway but maybe that's just me.

All those distractions aside it was amazing. We laughed a lot, I cried as well, and we both sang as loud as we could.

We left there sponsors to a little girl in Africa. Because of us she will now be able to go to school and her whole family will be allowed to participate in special events. She was waiting 8 months for a sponsor and the moment we saw her we knew we had to be the ones. I will be doing a more in depth post but for now if you would like to learn more or sponsor a child please click here.

We spent the night kid free in a hotel and it was wonderful, if not a little rough trying to sleep with an a/c on the fritz. Rob woke me up in the morning with breakfast in bed!

I am so so thankful for such an amazing husband who went above and beyond for us to have some fun and relax after some really stressful past few weeks!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DEFINITELY Re-thinking Unromantic!

You all remember this post right?

Well it's continued.

Last week my husband told me November 1st we had plans in Baton Rouge! He's not one to arrange dates very often, it's more a mutual decision between us, so I was pleasantly surprised.

He wanted to keep what we were doing a surprise but this man is the worst at keeping secrets. Last week we were driving along, it had been all of 2 days since he told me we had a date, and he said, "Well I guess you figured out what we are doing now huh?"

I was confused. Apparently the radio station I had not been listening to had just played an ad for what we were doing and Rob thought I'd figured it out! He then admitted he was dying for me to know and could he tell me. I said yes of course lol.

It's the first time I am going to concert that is NOT with my mom to a band my mom wants to see! I am SO so excited, so amazed he planned this out for us, and so thrilled to be going on a date with my husband kid free!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When Pregnancy No Longer Means Having A Baby

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Those of you who have been reading my blog through the years or even just gone back and read old posts know of the importance of today.

Obviously this is one of those things that hits close to my heart.

I wish I could say recurrent loss is something really rare that hardly anyone ever goes through. Sadly that's not true. I am not the only one of my friends to deal with recurrent losses, I haven't even had the most losses. And more then one of my friends has had a still birth or lost a child in their first year of life. Something I can't even imagine.

It's a hard situation to get through.

Every single time I have been pregnant someone has said to me, "This is it, I know it's it."

Last time it was almost everyone, including my own father.

And our baby died anyway.

I know it has nothing to do with it, but hearing those words has become a curse. As soon as someone says it I can't help but think, "There it is. You just killed my baby by jinxing my pregnancy."

As if there were such a thing.

I know it's not fair, I know nothing is meant by it but reassurance and support. But it's one of those things that really gets to me. Don't make me promises like that. Only God knows which pregnancy will make it and which will not. You being sure has no meaning to me. Not any more.

I meet this October 15th with the profound realization that to me, pregnancy no longer results in living children. Pregnancy is a break from trying, a time spent holding my breath and wondering when the unbearable pain will start. A child resulting from pregnancy? Now that's a strange concept.

I spent my last pregnancy telling myself to enjoy every moment, focus only on the positive news. That's what they say to do right? I really believed that would make a difference. But it didn't.

I wish I could come to you today with hope, but I'm not there yet. I'm still in the waves of grief and doubt and fear.

But I want those of you who never tell me they are sure, but instead tell me they will hope where I cannot, I appreciate you more then words can say.

Tonight I light my candle for my children, and yours. And my heart aches for those of you reading this going, "I know exactly what you mean."

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