Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ending this more babies

   Since I started my blog, I'm happy to say that not only did we get pregnant again, but in February 2014 we had a healthy baby girl!
   I've avoided my blog page for quite some time as it was only a reminder of where we had been in the journey to become parents and how hurtful that journey was.
   It is time for us to begin a new chapter in our lives and although it is a well thought out, difficult decision, not a lot of people can understand why we are calling it quits on future children. I hear time and time again "you have such a beautiful daughter, don't you want another?" or "you can't just have only child?". Well...yes, everyone...that is what we really have decided to do. Say some prayers for my husband as he takes the plunge in a few days to (ahem) "remedy the situation".
   I can tell you with absolute certainty that this was not without tears and heartache and I am sure we will have our gauntlet of questions from our daughter as she gets older. She is not an only child in our eyes. She is one of five children and the last of those five. With 3 miscarriages and 4 losses before her, all with their physical and emotional tolls on myself and my husband, we cannot venture down that road again...I cannot. Each pregnancy took a physical toll on my body and were followed by D&Cs which were physically and emotionally awful. Being well versed in medical knowledge, 10 weeks along in each miscarriage, forensically I am fully aware of what was involved. That leads to the emotional toll of loss. Dan & I had opportunities to watch our babies grow, move and hear heartbeats followed by devastation. I still don't quite know what to do with the ultrasound photos of the babies we have lost. I endured months of counseling and was left jaded and unable to feel the joy I should have for the first half of my pregnancy with my daughter...always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now that we have had the opportunity to physically hold and love like no other love, we (I) can not fathom nor endure the physical and emotional loss if it were to happen again. We are grateful for our miracle baby, our rainbow baby after many storms. We are done. I know many more people will ask, a few will insist that we must have another, and more will just never understand the road we traveled to get where we are. For those that never had to travel a road of loss like ours, I am so happy for you and pray you never do. For those that have, I'm sorry and I pray for you too.
   So as this chapter in our life ends...should I make my husband franks and beans, meatballs, or polish sausage for dinner on Friday as he sits on ice?

Monday, February 25, 2013

John 16:20-24

John 16:20-24

New International Version (NIV)
20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Surgery Day: Hysteroscopy

February 18th, 2013
1 year after losing our first pregnancy (twins)

Surgery Day
Today I had a hysteroscopy. The procedure lasted about 45 minutes total and the doctor not only performed the diagnostic scope to "look around", but also removed a few uterine polyps. I was under general anesthesia, so obviously remember nothing about the procedure. Immediately post-op there definitely was pain, but not unbearable (4 to 5 out of 10 for me) which the RN treated in the recovery room with IV & oral pain meds. My biggest complaint was the nausea.
My doctor placed a uterine balloon with a catheter which will stay in place for at least 5 days to prevent scar tissue from forming. I won't lie, it is uncomfortable having plastic tubes capped off and coming from your Vajay-jay. Pain throughout the day today has been minimal for me and I haven't even needed pain meds since I was discharged from the hospital this afternoon...hoping this continues.
Follow-up appointment scheduled for next week

The following is a link to a medical article explaining the nature of the balloon and it's use after hysteroscopy:

Fat & mad at the world

The title says it all...
In the course of a year, we have gotten pregnant 3 times, had 3 miscarriages, and lost 4 babies. I gained 35-40 lbs total by time we endured our third miscarriage. I needed a break mentally, physically, and needed to lose some weight before I could even consider trying to get pregnant again. I wear scrubs daily which are generally forgiving in the weight gain department...within reason. I now found myself rotating through the same 2 pair of extra large scrub pants because that was all that would fit. Out of work, I had 1 pair of jeans that I could feasibly wear...and that was it.
I was mad at the world! Mad at God, mad at myself, mad at any and all of my friends that were getting pregnant or having babies and I felt like life was passing me by. At 35 now, I am young, but from a medical perspective, there really is a ticking clock. I avoid most work & friend conversations about pregnancies, babies, etc. because it is just too hard to listen, knowing "it should be me too".
So mad & tearful, my husband & I went to our follow-up doctor appointment. Gritting my teeth, angry and with tears streaming, he told us our various options which included surgery...the hysteroscopy to "look around the uterus" and the surgical "fix" of any anomolies that may be causing our miscarriages.
"When do I get scheduled...ASAP please".
In the mean time, I began a weight loss program and am happy to say that as of today, I am 14 lbs lighter and continuing to work hard at losing the weight.

Trying again (3rd time). Pros/cons to announcing 1st trimester

Fast forward to September 2012
Baby making trial #3

My husband can just look at me when I am ovulating and I get pregnant. I know this is not the case with some people, but we have never had a problem getting pregnant...they just don't want to "stick".

So, the end of September, 2012, we tried again and got pregnant...we told no one.
This time, the fertility doctor wanted to keep an even closer eye on my pregnancy. I had my first ultrasound at 6 weeks where we saw the exciting! They printed us a picture to take with us and scheduled another ultrasound for 2 weeks later (8 weeks). I began progesterone suppositories, prenatal vitamins, and a baby aspirin to guard against any clotting issues that may have previously been a factor. "Morning sickness" showed it's face again, only this time, I welcomed was the ONLY sign I had that I was pregnant.

8 week check up and hubby had to work a new job so he wasn't able to make it to the appointment. Ultrasound exam went well and baby not only had a heartbeat, but was wiggling around. Smiling & crying, I shared my ultrasound pictures with my husband immediately because baby was growing. 10 week check up was scheduled.

Then I started to feel "good" again...the morning sickness was subsiding and I was getting scared. I called my doctor the day before Thanksgiving and asked for another ultrasound because I felt that something was wrong...I shouldn't be feeling good. I also felt like a crazy person asking for an ultrasound because "I felt good"...really, who does that?! They got me right in at about 11am and the ultrasound tech was silent...stopping and freezing the images, taking pictures...and then she said it..."I'm having a hard time finding the heartbeat, I'm so sorry, let me get the doctor". It was happening again! I broke down on the exam table awaiting the doctor's arrival, knowing the outcome...another miscarriage. He confirmed it & found a doctor willing to do a D&C immediately (the day before Thanksgiving). We had picture frames poised to announce to our families we were expecting via ultrasound picture on Thanksgiving Day...another hope shattered.

What was worse, we not only had to break the news to our families that we WERE pregnant, but that I was having surgery the day before the holiday. Everyone has their pros & cons to announcing in the first trimester, this was one case that it would have been better to let family know prior to the devastating news of our loss.
The day OF surgery we had dinner with my husband's family for the holiday in the evening...I was in shock, so I got through it OK. The day AFTER surgery was Thanksgiving Day...dinner with my family and my worst day emotionally.

Ready to try again? (round 2)

May 2012 (3 months after the loss of our precious twins)
Timing, ovulation tests and intimacy...
The above words don't always go together well.
We had the "all clear" from our doctors to be able to try again. I was excited and scared to try again, but I wasn't messing around. I wanted to know when I was ovulating so I knew exactly when I was getting pregnant and keep better tabs on my progression. (anal retentive, yes...perfectionist, yes...type A, yes...I am all of these at times).
We took a vacation to Washington and Oregon, staying in Vancouver, WA during this time...and I kid you not, it is also the same time I began the Fifty Shades trilogy (which coincidentally takes place in this area). If you have read the books, you understand that the storyline can definately help in setting "the mood" for baby making :)
Within two weeks of this vacation, my pregnancy test came back positive. I was again excited, but now even more cautious. My OB/GYN set an earlier appointment for us, wanting to see us at our 6 week mark and I began a prescription of Progesterone suppositories...I never made it to that appointment. I began very heavy bleeding at 5 1/2 weeks and watched my beta levels drop before my eyes with my early lab draws. It was happening again...
I couldn't understand. I did everything I was told to do and it happened again!
I didn't need a D&C this time as my body was miscarrying on it's own, but it was still devastating.
Our doctor wasted no time and scheduled us both for a TON of blood tests. 13 vials from me, 9 from my husband...then again for another 11 more vials from me a few weeks later...everything came back "normal".
We also were referred to a fertility specialist who had my husband's sperm count/motility/quality checked (came back "better than normal") and I had a HSG (hysterosalpingogram) which showed a "mild abnormality in uterine shape" and then a saline sonogram which showed a similar result with some "shadowing" on the right side of my uterus.
We were presented with 2 options...try to get pregnant on our own again, or have a hysteroscopy to see what the anomaly is, and fix it if necessary now. Both options had risks, but we chose to try on our own one more time.

Hard to admit, harder to overcome

I can't believe this happened to us! Why did our babies get taken away from us!
Everyone needed to be told and it was going to be even more devastating to tell them. Against most people's advice, we had spilled the beans on our pregnancy to everyone by the 8 week mark (family, extended family, friends, work, facebook...). Now, everyone needed to be told that our hearts had been crushed. We started with family and let them help in spreading the news to extended family, then was work and facebook. Unfortunately, I was literally and figuratively "a mess". My husband bore the burden of delivering the horrible news to most people while I sobbed uncontrollably in bed, on the floor, in the top it all off, my parents were out of town on vacation & I just wanted my Mom.
I awaited the call from the Dr. as to when I would be scheduled for a D&C (it would be immediately scheduled the following day).
I arrived to the hospital (where I work) and am told to provide a urine sample to make sure I'm not pregnant. (Normal routine for ALL procedures that a woman is having, except when having a D&C for miscarriage...the nurse hadn't looked at my procedure yet, just proceeded with normal procedure). I just stood there in shock, shaking my head slowly...and then faster, while I couldn't choke back the tears...they just flowed. Embarrassed, she looked at my chart again and apologized. An aide escorted me to the pre-op room and helped me change. She then closed the curtain to maintain my privacy as many "work" familiar faces kept walking by.
I kissed my husband goodbye as they wheeled me back to the O.R. I found out later that our hospital played the lullaby (for newborn babies) just as I was wheeled away from him, and he lost it, sobbing.
The pain and bleeding after the D&C was rough. I had an average of 4-5 out of 10 pain with bouts of 9 out of 10 at times. I'll share the gory details with those that inquire, but will spare the majority of my blog audience.
Thank goodness I have a great personal counselor and a supportive husband to help me get through the following days, weeks, and months...
Flowers & cards began to arrive because no one knew what to do or say...I put them in the dining room (away from the living room where I spent most of my recovery days). Then I began to pitch the cards. I couldn't look at the flowers without crying...not just tearful reflection, but falling on the floor sobbing at times. It was just a shrine to me...of a loss that I was struggling to overcome. I asked my husband to take them away...some of them were beautifully expensive, but I just couldn't look at them anymore. He had his Mom take them to a hospice center (I think)...I just wanted them out of the house.
My poor he was trying to deal with the loss himself, he was also desperately trying to help me put the pieces back together. He was a nervous wreck. Not knowing what TV program, movie, or spoken word would send me into a devastating spiral of emotion. He was working with my counselor and so was I. We argued about when to "try again". One doctor told us "wait 1 period" another doctor told us "wait two". I chose the "wait one" answer, he chose the other. I wanted to get pregnant again to help me get over the loss, he just wanted his wife "better again". When we were able to be intimate again, having a baby was all I could think about...affecting the "mood". I wanted to steal all of his condoms and sabotage them...I wanted a baby! It took a few months to "get over my obsession" and lots of counseling for both of us.
The doctors were unable to tell us what the problem was and why we miscarried, but said we would try some blood testing and other techniques for "next time".

Surprises can be both good and bad

December 10th 2011
My wedding day in Vegas with the love of my life, Daniel. It was a 2nd wedding for the both of us and as we matured in life, we realized the only thing that ever mattered in our love, was the two of us. So we hopped on a flight to Vegas and made it official after only a few months of dating, after my recent divorce from my first husband and after Dan's 8th grade crush on me that carried on...21 years later. A majical day for the two of us. We hoped to start a family soon (within a few months) and live our happily ever after.

December 31st, 2011
I'm pregnant! I'm scared. The test is positive. I'm at work. So much for our plans for New Year's Eve because I'm now not drinking. I don't know if I should throw up, cry, be happy, be scared...this is what I've always wanted...but WOW, so quick! I race home and put the test into a box & give it to my husband as a gift...he's just as shocked. We are both happy, but extremely I cry.

January 1st 2012
My husband decides to tell everyone in his immediate family and then proceeds to tell mine (with me present of course). Everyone is overjoyed...and equally shocked.

January 6th, 2012
Morning sickness begins with a vengeance. I belch, I feel so sick, I'm soooo tired I can barely drive home most days. When I do get home from work, I'm done for the night and unable to accomplish laundry, no dishes, I'm so tired I have to force myself to bathe!
the nausea is all day, but worse at night...Why do they call this "morning sickness?"

January 9th, 2012
First blood test at my primary care doctor's office...CONFIRMED...yes, I am pregnant and my beta levels are pretty high...good sign. I'm put on an Iron supplement because my hemoglobin levels are low at this point (as if having a bowel movement weren't difficult being pregnant already, add iron & now I don't think I'll ever poop)...the "morning sickness" & fatigue continues...Horrible!

February 1st, 2012
I can't fit in hardly any of my clothes and 'm only in my first trimester. My first OB/GYN appointment isn't until February 15th (I should be about 11 weeks by then). EVEN MY SCRUBS ARE TIGHT! I'm quite sure I'm starting to "show" at this point, but everyone else says it is just gas and bloating. I must be really bloated and need to have a bowel movement...the Iron supplement isn't helping matters.

February 11th, 2012
OK, I really am not fitting into any of my clothes and my stomach looks like there is a baby in there...not kidding! I have my husband take a picture, but he still shrugs it off and tells me that "all of his friends felt the same way and it was probably just bloating". (I was thinking 'bloating my @$$'). Morning sickness is getting better...almost gone! I am starting to have more energy again and actually feel "GOOD". Went bowling with my husband, his brother and brother's wife. First night I've felt up to a date night in a while.

February 14th, 2012
Our first Valentine's day as a married couple! What a great day. Dan made me dinner, bought me flowers and we finished the night with some intimate relations. I was feeling so poorly recently that sex took a back seat, but this night was a good nausea, no fatigue...moving forward.

February 15th, 2012
Our first OB/GYN appointment!!! The labyrinth of paperwork, the long wait in the waiting room, the building excitement. We were called back, my blood pressure taken, my weight, my history. The doctor came in, calculated my possible due date with my last period and had me lay down with my pants at my low hips. He took out a doppler and began to listen. The excitement built as we awaited our baby's heartbeat...I hear mine, but nothing else. He tries for a few minutes, shrugs it off and has us go down the hall for an ultrasound after telling us "he hasn't heard anything with the doppler on any of his patients today, and not to worry". We are escorted to the ultrasound room and the tech almost immediately begins with a trans-vaginal ultrasound. Then I see it, or should I say...I see them! HOLY CRAP...THERE ARE TWO BABIES! My husband sees it too and asks the tech about it. She says the two most shocking and devastating phrases I have ever heard in my life...
"Yes, there are twins...but I'm sorry, I'm not able to see a heartbeat in either of them."
In seconds, my own heart was destroyed...
I not only wept with my husband, I hyperventilated, I choked, I was crushed, in that world ended, my hopes shattered, my faith tested.