Thursday, October 4, 2012

What what supposed to be an exciting time was the scariest moment of my life.

So since I have been a terrible blogger, you all missed out on the scariest moment of my entire life.  Let me give you a little back story first.

Being pregnant for a 2nd time was SO exciting.  This was a chance I never thought I would get and I was just so thankful to be given this opportunity to bring another child into the world. 

I received my results of my initial BETA (blood pregnancy test) a day late so I was scared to death for the first 24 hours that I wouldn't have even been pregnant in the first place.  Anyhow, I had great numbers throughout and my first ultrasound was perfect.  However, a few days after that I had some slight bleeding which scared the living daylights out of me.  It was only a small amount but since my Reproductive Endocrinologist was in NYC and the monitoring doctor was in Ohio, it was like pulling teeth to get someone to check me out to make sure the baby was still ok.  Anyhow, things were perfect and the bleeding was most likely linked to a condition I was diagnosed with at my 20 week ultrasound with my OB.

At the ultrasound my OB said that my placenta was a little bit low and that I may have a mild case of Placenta Previa.  She decided to give it a month to try to heal and do another ultrasound at my next appointment to see if I needed to see a high risk doctor.  A month later it was still low but she seemed to think it wasn't bad, but wanted to have a high risk OB check me out just in case.

I went to the high risk OB and was pretty excited to get a nice long ultrasound session with my little miracle, London.  All in all, the high risk doctor gave me an official diagnosis of Placenta Previa.  He gave me the risks and explained to me what it was.  Basically my Placenta was covering my birth canal which if I were to have a vaginal delivery, it would pull the placenta down causing me to hemorrhage severely.  He wanted to see me again in a month to see if it had fixed itself at all (by "fixed" itself, I mean to see if the placenta had moved up, meaning that the birth canal wasn't covered anymore).  He informed me that if I had ANY sort of bleeding that I needed to be admitted into the hospital because generally the first bleed that I would have would be minor, and it would be the next one that would be scary.  He basically made it sound like I would definitely have a bleed and I was lucky that I hadn't already.  This was scary but I felt confident in that I would be okay because I had been fine the entire time.  He also said that they would likely do a c-section around 37 or 38 weeks and that a vaginal delivery was out of the question at that point in time.  He also said that there is another condition that they would check at my next appointment to ensure that I wouldn't lose my uterus..because apparently that can happen.

Things were fine for so long, I was feeling great and still felt so blessed to have another miracle inside of me.  We had such a long and emotional journey to become parents that I wanted to soak in every moment I could.

However, at 32 weeks that all changed.

On July 4th, I had been feeling pretty crappy.  I was feeling contractions but they weren't consistent so I just chalked them up to be Braxton Hicks contractions.  We spent the day at my mother-in-laws and cooked out and went swimming..though, I didn't swim.  I told Ross that I just didn't feel well enough and just wanted to hang beside the pool.  We watched fireworks and went home.  I went to work the next day.  The girls asked if I wanted to walk downstairs for breakfast and I asked them for just a few minutes because I was having a contraction.  Once it was done, I went downstairs.  The rest of the day was the same, random contractions and just overall feeling like junk.  That night, I got in the jacuzzi to see if that would help.

On July 6th, I got up like usual, and went on a Starbucks run before work for some ladies at work.  I was super excited about getting Starbucks because I hadn't had it in awhile.  I got in the car and started driving to work, all of a sudden I felt a giant gush.  I wasn't sure if it was blood or my water breaking but I headed to work so that I could go into the bathroom to see what it was.  Either way, I knew I wasn't staying and I was going to the hospital regardless.  

It was blood.

I felt slightly panicked but I just knew I needed to get to the hospital regardless and hopped back in my car and called my OB.  She told me to head to the hospital (as I already was) and that I would likely be there for the rest of my pregnancy.  I got to the hospital, walked in, and they literally just sent me straight back to the triage area.  They were expecting me and there wasn't time to waste.  I got changed and they immediately started monitoring me.  London was fine.  The on call doctor came in with an ultrasound machine and checked me out.  She said that I wasn't "actively bleeding" however, I begged to differ.  I could still feel it coming out, and that was a disgusting feeling but my mind was calm because London was okay.  

Ross came after he dropped Avery off at the babysitters.  My OB told me that I would likely be there until I delivered London..which at this point was around 37 that meant 5 weeks in the hospital.  My heart hurt.  I knew that it was best but I was SO sad to be away from Avery and have Ross take care of everything on his own.  I went ahead and told Ross just to go to work because there was no sense in him staying since they said everything was fine and that he would need to use his days later.  My mom came and kept me company anyways.  They gave me a shot of steroids as a precaution..that was kind of painful.  I continued to feel some contractions.  They gave me a med through my IV to get the contractions to slow down.  They slowed down for about a half hour.

Every room was full so I had to wait a little bit for a room.  Once I got into the room, I had some other family come to visit.  Though by this time, I was really feeling contractions again and they were a little too close together for my liking.  I asked the nurse if this was normal and she looked at me and said "no".  Since the meds stopped working, they put me on the wretched Magnesium.  This was AWFUL.  I felt like I was on FIRE.  I was so hot and I felt like my skin was burning from the inside out.  Since I was on Magnesium, they had to put a catheter in..which was awful as well.  At this point I felt HORRID.  I mean, absolutely horrible.  I can't remember a time I felt as horrible as I did at that time and I had visitors. I felt bad, but I just couldn't focus on anything besides how terrible I felt.  

Even with the magnesium I was still contracting.  I told Ross that I really felt that he needed to come back to the hospital and he arrived quickly.  I had been prepped with another IV as a precaution for if they needed to take London that day.  I was wheeled to the high risk OB to get another ultrasound and to see what his thoughts were.  He just kept saying "our goal is to get to Sunday (this was a Friday) so that the steroids can do their job and his lungs will be mature enough, if we can get further than Sunday, that's great".  I just wanted to scream that it wasn't going to happen because I was having some SERIOUS contractions.  I knew deep down that I wouldn't last until Sunday.  He was estimated to be about 4lbs so I felt okay with that.  

I was taken back to my room and since I was in so much pain they gave me some pain meds.  That was AWESOME.  I finally felt like I could relax and sleep a little bit.  I rested for a few minutes but then got an overwhelming feeling of nausea.  I sat up and said that I was going to get sick, and as I began to vomit..that's when it all started.  The pressure from me vomiting caused me to hemorrhage again.  This time?  It was much worse.  

There was blood completely filling the bed I was in.  As it was happening I yelled that I was gushing blood and my mom ran out to get anyone she could.  I tried to get everyone out of the room but I think they were in shock as much as I was.  A whole team of people came running in.  The on call doctor from earlier pulled up the blankets and said "yepp, this is it, we have to go".  I was taken immediately from my room and wheeled into the operating room.  I was given general anesthesia and Ross wasn't allowed to be in the room.  

London Xavier was born at 5:59pm weighing 4lbs 3oz at 32 weeks gestation.  8 weeks early.

Ross had to wait in the recovery room.  He said he watched my OB literally run in from the parking lot.  However, she didn't make it in time, but she was able to sew me back up. The nurse came in and told him that London was a fiesty little guy and was kicking and screaming.  

I had to have a blood transfusion.  As I came to in the recovery room, I was in an immense amount of pain.  I was never in this much pain with Avery and I had a c-section with her.  I remember thinking, "yepp, certainly I lost my uterus, I wouldn't be in this much pain otherwise".  I was moaning and groaning and just kept saying "ow".  They kept shooting me up with pain meds and it wasn't even touching it.  I was finally put on a morphine pump.

It ended up being that since I was put under general anesthesia that you don't get something that you do with a spinal or something.  Either way, it was terrible!

Once I came to, my immediate question was to ask how London was.  They said he was doing fine and was on a CPAP (oxygen mask) but was healthy, just a bit small.  I then asked if I had my uterus and they said yes.  I required 1 unit of blood but they were prepared with a 2nd just in case and were going to monitor my blood levels for the next 24 hours very heavily.

I made sure Ross went down to be with London and during that time, Avery was able to meet him for the first time.  I am still pretty sad that I missed out on that opportunity..but I guess it goes along with the territory.  I was in the recovery room for about 2 hours and the hospital staff was nice enough to wheel me through the NICU on our way back to my room so that I could see my tiny boy.  He was tiny alright, but he could have been SO much smaller.  I was only able to see him for a few minutes before having to go to my room.

That night was filled with getting barely any sleep.  I was just so worried about London and the fact that he was 8 weeks early.  I never had any idea this would happen..I thought I was going to be lucky.  

My OB came in the next morning and said that I was basically in preterm labor and that is what caused me to hemorrhage.  I was shocked by this.  Preterm labor caused this?  I thought all along it would be the Placenta Previa alone to cause issues..not preterm labor!  Avery was a week late, how could I go into preterm labor?  I guess it just proves that every pregnancy is different.

Anyhow, I was able to go down to the NICU the next day once I was off of all of my wires.  I was lucky enough to have my friend come in and photograph that amazing moment.  I'll add the pictures at the end of the post.

To skip to the end, we were told that London would likely be in the NICU until his due date (8 weeks!).  Do you know how long he was actually in there?  20 days.  20 DAYS!! That was IT.  He is such a fighter.  He was only on the CPAP for about 3 days and went straight to room air.  This guy was serious, he wasn't going to stay in there any longer than he needed to.

So that's it.  The scariest moment of my life.  I feel sad from time to time that it ended that way but I am constantly reminded at how lucky we are.  London is amazing and I love him so much.

I'll leave you with pics of my little guy in the NICU :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Well, a LOT has happened this year!

Well, I feel like a total jerk.  I haven't posted a blog post since right after I found out I was pregnant!  A LOT has happened.

We welcomed a BEAUTIFUL baby boy named London Xavier on July 6th!  He was born at 32 weeks gestation (2 months early!) weighing 4lbs 3oz and 18.5 inches long.  It is a crazy delivery story so I will make a separate blog post for that..but I am just SO thankful he is healthy.

Avery has been an AMAZING big sister.  I won't lie, I was a little nervous at how she would handle not being the center of everyone's attention..but she is so sweet.  She calls him "baby brother" almost always and rarely calls him London.  London thinks she is pretty cool too, it is amazing to already see the bond that they have.  She will walk over to him and talk to him and he will turn his head to look at her.  Every morning she makes sure she says "Good Morning baby brother" to him.  I LOVE it.  I am just SO thankful that we are a family of 4.  It is crazy and hectic at times but I certainly wouldn't trade it for the world!

I know I say it all of the time, but I am really going to try to keep up with this.  You can all hold me to it!

I'll post about my pregnancy and the crazy delivery next, but for now, here are some pics of my beautiful kiddos:

London's newborn pics:

Avery's 2 year pictures:

Avery 2 1/2 & London 2 months:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A second miracle is in the making!!

Yepp!  I am pregnant!!  Our frozen embryo transfer was a success!!  To be completely honest, I am pretty shocked.  I was preparing myself for the moment they told me it was negative.  I just haven't had any distinct symptoms like I did last time.  

I actually didn't get the call until today because for some reason they never received the fax yesterday.  I was sick to my stomach about it but refused to take a urine pregnancy test because I knew that since it had only been 7 days since my transfer that it probably wouldn't register on a HPT.  

I accidentally left my numbers at home but I do know that my hCG was 31 (anything over 25 is considered a pregnancy.  My hCG was 26 with Avery on the same day) and my progesterone was 30 which she said is great.  My estrogen was also in the 400's, I want to say 419.  All of these numbers are higher than they were with Avery, so I am praying for another healthy pregnancy!!!  

The amount of support has been INCREDIBLE.  This news is out in the open as we had SO many people supporting us, and I just couldn't expect them all to wait months to find out.  Not to mention, I believe in prayer and the more prayers we have, the better.  

I will go on Friday for more bloodwork to make sure my numbers are going up.  What an AMAZING Christmas miracle!!!

Thank you everyone!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Transfer is complete!

This has been SUCH a busy week for us!  Though, I will say that it is better this way.  It makes the 1 week wait a lot easier.  

The transfer was on Tuesday.  We left on Monday afternoon after visiting our dear friends calling hours.  The drive was fairly easy and we didn't run into any traffic at all!  We only made 2 stops, one was to eat and the other for gas and a restroom break.  We made it there around midnight however we didn't get to the hotel until about 12:15.  Let me tell you, the roads there are CRAZY!  Thank goodness for our GPS!  We literally had to drive passed the hotel about 4 different times on 4 different roads to get there, it was the strangest thing!  This time we stayed by the airport because a great friend was able to bless us with his friends and family discount.  Once we got there, we got settled in and went straight to bed. 

We woke up and it was our 8 year anniversary!  Perfect timing, eh?  We went downstairs for breakfast and got ready.  We were able to catch the hotel shuttle to the airport, we then had to catch the train from there.  We got off at our usual stop, New York Penn Station.  We usually get on the subway there to head to the clinic but we decided to just go up and walk for a bit.  It took us right around Times Square and we were able to see the huge Macy's!  We had originally planned on having an early lunch at our favorite diner there but since we changed our plans, we didn't really have enough time.  We just grabbed a donut and bagel from a cart along the street (SO GOOD!) and went to the clinic.

We arrived a little early but I was taken up and had to change into the gown, booties, and hairnet.  I had to wait quite awhile because I guess there was some sort of emergency situation holding the doctor up.  There was one lady ahead of me.  Once it was my turn it was super quick.  I got into the room, got on the bed, put my legs in the stirrups (seriously, I haven't had any modesty for about 5 years), and they showed me our little embryo on the screen.  I had to verify that my name was correct.  The doctor came in and told me what a beautiful embryo it was.  He thought I had a normal delivery however I told him I had to have an emergency c-section and he said that it could potentially lower my chances of conceiving due to the scaring from the surgery.  

He inserted the speculum, put the ultrasound want in, and it all started.  It was amazing to watch them take the embryo in the catheter and put it into my uterus on the screen.  The technology is incredible!!

Afterwards he told me that he "expected me to get pregnant".  He was incredibly nice and he was actually the same doctor who did my transfer with Avery.  I got off of the table immediately after and went and laid back in a chair for 30 minutes.  After that, I received a shot in my buttox of HCG. The nurse also commented on what a beautiful embryo it was.  She told me to continue my medication (1 Estrace pill per day and 3 Prometrium suppositories per day) and to not make myself bedridden for the next week and that walking is the best medicine!  

I will be having my blood test on Tuesday.  Which is now only a day and a half away!  Being so busy has really helped keep my mind off of it, which is good.  Tomorrow might be a little harder because it is back to the usual routine of work.  It was awesome having the last week off.

Anyhow, after I was done there we went to our favorite diner to eat and went back to the hotel.  We rested for awhile and then later ordered in dinner and it was SO good!  It was a pretty amazing anniversary if I do say so :)

Thank you all for your prayers along the way and PLEASE keep them coming!  

I'm not really noticing any symptoms but I'm not worried about it. I'm feeling crampy on and off but that could be from anything.  When I was pregnant with Avery the only symptom I really noticed myself was a metal taste in my mouth the day before my blood test.  Ross noticed a few different things on my chest last time but I won't mention those, LOL.  This time he claims he does..but he's always the positive one!

I will post on Tuesday once I know something! Thank you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tentative Transfer Tuesday!

Yepp, you read it!  Things have progressed perfectly so far and I am tentatively scheduled for our embryo transfer on Tuesday!  This is provided my blood work Monday is okay.

Tuesday is going to be an incredibly special day.  First off, it will most likely be our embryo transfer.  Secondly, it is our 8th wedding anniversary!!  Is that not crazy timing?? Amazing.  It will certainly be a special day.  The only thing that is bothering me about the day, is that we will indeed miss the funeral for someone very special to us.  
I have tried to think of people that could possibly just go with me so that Ross could stay back (as he was asked to drum for the service).  I haven't had any luck..I mean, really it is short notice and people DO have lives! :o)  I even asked Ross if I could just go alone..but he definitely wasn't for that.  

I will start 2 medications tomorrow:  Progesterone and Estrogen.  The Progesterone is going to break me in the bank.  It is almost $300 for what looked like only 20 days :(  It will be worth it though, it's one medication that can really help keep a pregnancy.  
So, that is it in a nutshell.  We will probably leave Monday evening after our friends calling hours.  Please pray that my blood work comes back as it should and that we have safe travels.  Also, please pray that the transfer goes well!
Thank you ALL!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Your prayers and kind words are appreciated!!

I wanted to take some time to say thank you to all of you who have sent positive thoughts, kind words, and prayers.  You don't know how much they mean to us!

When battling infertility, a lot of people battle it alone or just with their significant other.  A lot of this is from keeping the battle on the down low and not being public with it.  We were very quiet about all of this for a good 3 years or so.  First off, it's rather embarrassing.  Not that it should be embarrassing, but you aren't really sure who WANTS to hear about that intimate part of your life??

We REALLY made this journey public when we started the clinical trial.  We had asked for prayers at church and shared our journey prior to, and our close friends and family knew, but that was really it.  I will never regret letting the world know that my female anatomy isn't up to par, because not only am I NOT embarrassed of it, you wouldn't believe how many people that have come to me who are/were battling it themselves.  To me?  That made it all worth it.  

I am so thankful that people feel comfortable enough with me that they can come to me and either ask for advice or encouragement.  I feel like God put this roadblock in front of me (us) for a reason, and by golly, I will make something of it!   

Really, that isn't the whole point of this post.  My point is how thankful I (we) are to all of you who have supported us along the way.   People we haven't talked to for years have chimed in with such nice things to say, people whom we are very close to, coworkers, etc.  All of these things have had a lasting impact on us.  Whenever we feel down or stressed, we have been able to count on all of you and we will forever be grateful.  

I know that so many of you are praying for us as we are on our 2nd journey to having a baby and let me tell you..your prayers are being answered!!  

Today, we realized we are hurting a little bit financially because a check (for a rather large amount, mind you) hasn't come that we were counting on a few weeks ago.  This check was to cover the majority of my monitoring appointments as we have to pay out of our pocket for everything.  We had planned on having 1 appointment to pay for this week, however it turns out I have to be seen again tomorrow..which means more $$.  Of course NOW my body wants to hurry up and do what it's supposed to ;o)

Our account is currently negative but we aren't going to worry about it because we know it will work out.  Our biggest concern was how in the world we were going to pay for my appointment tomorrow.  Was I going to write a check and hope that it didn't go through until Friday?  We had NO idea what to do.  Last I checked (which was about a week ago), I had $98 on my HSA card and our savings was down to $80.  This wasn't going to pay for my appointment.  So, Ross asked me to check how much was in my HSA account and what do you know?  We have the EXACT amount plus about $7!!  SERIOUSLY??  Our prayers and all of your prayers have been answered.  It just worked out like it was supposed to.  THIS is why we aren't letting ourselves get stressed.  This is costing us a lot of money, but we know (and hope and pray) that it will be worth it.  

Let this be a lesson that your prayers go A LONG way!!  Even just a few minutes of your time is a true blessing to us.  

Going forward, I ask that you pray for us emotionally (this can get VERY stressful at times and heartbreaking), physically (that my body does what it is supposed to do and the transfer works out), financially (that we don't have to do too many more monitoring appointments), timing (that we are able to be here for a dear friends funeral on Tuesday), and also for our safety (we have to travel to NYC for the transfer itself).  And of course, please add to the list if you feel necessary :o)

Thank you again to all of you who have supported us, talked about it with us, cared enough to ask about it, prayed about it, and who have just loved us.  I tear up when I think about how many people truly love us and are praying that this works out for us.  Thank you, and we love you ALL.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our 2nd journey is officially underway!

Ross and I have made our 1st trip of our second journey to New York!  This was for my Hysteroscopy that pretty much kicks this cycle off.  This was an eventful yet relaxing trip, and I can honestly say that it is my favorite trip there ever.  The hardest part was leaving Avery for a few days, but I know she was in excellent care and we called to check up on her every few hours.

We dropped Avery off Saturday evening and we hit the road early Sunday morning. It started out rainy but about 2 hours in, the sunrise was absolutely beautiful.  Not only was it beautiful, but it was almost calming.

The drive there seemed to fly by.  We arrived in Newark, NJ around 3:15 which was about the exact time we had planned on getting there.  We checked into our hotel, freshened up a little bit, and then head into the city.  We had made the decision to stay overnight because I was due at the clinic at 7am on Monday, and the thought of another driving through the night trip REALLY didn't sound appetizing.  

We had decided to go to Times Square.  We had been there before but not for very long and we thought there would be a little more to see there.  It was amazing (as if it could be anything else)!  We went to Toys R Us, The Disney Store, American Eagle, ate at the Shake Shack, and finished up by going to Dylan's Candy Bar..or so we thought!  Right near Dylan's Candy Bar was this beautiful park set up with little shops, an ice skating rink, and a carousel.  It ended up being Bryant Park, which isn't a park I had ever heard of.  It was too cool!  Let me also mention that the weather was in the 60's and absolutely gorgeous!  Anyhow, we walked through the park and peeked into a few of the shops.  Ross insisted that I get a head wrap type thing that I had been really wanting so I did get one of those.  We didn't buy anything else except for a Mickey Mouse from the Disney Store with an I <3 NY shirt on.  I hope one day that little girl knows how special NYC will be to our family.  

We decided to try to make it back to the hotel rather early since we had to be up at 5am the next morning.  We knew it would take awhile to catch the train and Subways to the clinic.  We got back and were in bed by 10pm..which I thought was great! Right?! Well, it WAS great until I was woken up at 1am by an alarm going off in the hallway of the hotel and flashing lights outside!  We had to be evacuated from the the middle of the our pajamas.  This was lovely!  We were outside for about a half hour and we never really found out what the problem was.  It wasn't a fire or anything, but we were told something about a wedding party and some of the guests got into a room they weren't supposed to be in..who knows.  For the rest of the night, Ross and I were never really able to go back to bed.  5am came awfully fast!

We were quick at getting ready, we had JUST gotten to the shuttle right before it took off, and we caught the train into the city..all in great timing!  We navigated on the Subway like it was just yesterday that we were there for our first journey and ended up to the clinic about 15 minutes early.  I got signed in and was given a paper that I needed to be seen by billing before any services were provided.  I crossed my fingers that it wasn't something serious.  It just ended up being that I had to pay for the Frozen Embryo Transfer and the months since June for the storage fee.  I was then told that I WAS AT THE WRONG CLINIC!!!  The girl was like "you didn't know to go to the Columbus Circle office?", I was like "no, I didn't even know anything about the other office" and she proceeded to say that the person who scheduled it may have just assumed I was a regular patient there and just would have known.  Luckily she just called over and told them we were on the way and told us to get a taxi.  It didn't take long to get there and it was our FIRST NYC cab ride!  It was pretty uneventful (thankfully)!

We got to the clinic for my Hysteroscopy and I must say, it was beautiful! Much different than the other one we had always been to.  Not that the other one isn't nice, this one is just much newer and more modern.  I was called back, I changed into my gown, booties, and hair net and waited to be taken back.  The anesthesiologist then called me and walked me back.  I got on the table, and while she was putting my IV in the doctor was just talking to me.  Next thing I know, she told me to enjoy the Bahamas and I was OUT!  After that, I slightly remember getting shaken and then walked to the recovery area.  I was feeling pretty crampy.  She came back in to check on me and said I didn't look so hot so she gave me a shot of some sort of pain medicine in my IV and then I felt wonderful!  I was in recovery for probably 45 mins to an hour.  I got my paperwork and had my FMLA forms filled out and we were on our way!  We made it back to the hotel around 11:45 and checkout was at noon so we made perfect time.

The ride home felt like forever even though I slept for most of it.  Ross was a true champ driving all of the way home..granted I couldn't have even if I wanted to.  I was SO tired I could barely keep my eyes open.  The last time I had it, I was the same way.  The BEST part was picking up our Aves :)  She LOVED her Mickey!  

I am feeling okay now.  I have been bleeding pretty heavily which they said can last for 7-10 days.  I'm not cramping too bad but I have had a few dizzy spells, and earlier at work I felt absolutely horrid and sick to my stomach for about 45 minutes.  I'm not really sure what that was about but I'm thinking it could possibly be from the antibiotic I am on.

Our next step?  Monitoring this coming Monday.  We have decided to do the monitoring here so please pray that everything works out smoothly.  Also, they will especially be checking my endometrial lining to see if it is thick enough to proceed with the transfer this cycle or if we will have to wait for keep your fingers crossed that it works out! I will keep you posted!