Monday, November 29, 2010
During ectopic pregnancy, aggressive exercise, like running, makes it more likely that you will have a rupture. Women who are treated with the shot, like I was, are not supposed to exercise until they are certain the pregnancy is over. My doctor didn't tell me this, but I have even more to thank God for.
See, my appointment, that i almost cancelled, was on November 15. November 20 I was scheduled and signed up and registered to run my second 5k. Had i missed that appointment, I would have run that 5k, and I would have been pushing myself the week prior to improve my time.
Now, my doctor didn't tell me not to exercise, but I just felt to yucky to do the race. Then, I was too far behind on my paying work to run last week. I would have, though, had I not been so far behind. God was protecting me once again.
Today I talked to my doctor about the financial end of things and got some good news. First, she said they would back date my bills to charge the maternity coverage when I get it, and if that didn't work they would work with me to get a discount or something. Second, she assured me that they would take my maternity plan when and if we have another baby. This was something I was worried about too, because I like and trust my doctor, but I didn't have any certainty that she would take the maternity plan we use because they only do sometimes.
I had some periods of sadness towards the end of the weekend. I've decided that I'm just going to be sad sometimes, and that's OK. I will make it through this, but I will be sad. But I am so thankful for the Lord sparing my life so providentially. It makes you stop and think about how much you are truly serving him with your life when you face a potentially life threatening situation like this.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
(Sharing some sister snuggles before Mommy and Daddy got up)
(Miss M said, "More?" at this point - she wasn't so sure about the way the tree looked :) )
(Can I just say she looks way too grown up all of a sudden? Love this kid)
But two things are going to haunt me, probably for a long time.
First, did I do the right thing? The doctor never saw the pregnancy, even inside the tube. My numbers were high, not low which is typical for ectopics. Something was wrong, since the numbers were so high and they never saw anything, but how can we be sure we did the right thing?
Second, when going over my risk factors for ectopics, my doctor asked me if I smoke (never), drink (never,) have had pelvic infections (nope), and have had c-sections (check!) Megan's birth was via c-section, and honestly it was elective. I had my doctor's advice about it, and she said after seeing M's size and position that it was the right decision, but she was head-down and I could have tried a natural delivery. So, if the c-section caused scar tissue that blocked baby's trip down the tube, in an indirect way, my choice caused this.
It could happen again. That's also scarry. But, I have two healthy children, which is more than many women, so even if I never have another baby, I am blessed beyond measure in that regard.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Last night I dreamed that the doctor made a mistake and, by some miracle, my babe was still growing inside me. It was a beautiful dream, and waking to the reality that it was just a dream was, well, painful. I am ready for this to be over, ready to get the go-ahead to move on and start planning the future.
On the other hand, knowing that I am at an increased risk for this happening again (about 25 percent) gives me pause. Tim and I will need to pray and discuss the realities of our future.
I'm also very (VERY) worried about the financial aspects of this. To make a long story short, we do not yet have maternity coverage. That should be in place by mid-December, when I would have needed to go for my 10-week checkup. But all of these blood draws, ultrasounds, and the actual drug, our insurance probably will not cover. I am VERY concerned about seeing these bills when they start coming in. I think the hospital will post-date and bill our maternity plan when it comes, but the doctor will not, which I know for a fact from when I was pregnant with Megan. So on top of my hormonal state, I am very, very concerned about upcoming financial issues. I am glad to be alive and you can't put a price tag on that, but it's a very real concern.
Monday, November 22, 2010
- I kept my checkup on Monday, even though I almost cancelled it since I was pregnant. If I hadn't gone to the checkup, I would not have found out about the ectopic until it burst and my life was in danger.
- My little girl, sensing my emotional struggle yesterday, threw her arms around me and said, "I can tell you are having a tough morning, Mommy. I love you very much."
- My friend had invited my children for a sleepover last month. The date - this past Friday. The day after the big day, when I was an emotional mess, my kids were at someone's home having fun and being loved on by someone who had the ability to do so.
- A gal in my church has also had the medication they gave me, and she was able to help me know that I am not crazy. The drugs made me crazy but it won't last.
- We hadn't told Miss N about the baby. So there was no need to explain about the baby. I think that would have been too much for her to understand.
- My pastor's wife was able to help me on the darkest day last week.
- My husband has been a rock for me through all of this. I am sure he doesn't understand my emotions, but he hasn't made me feel bad about them and has been there for me.
- I didn't have any huge work deadlines looming this week, so I could take a few days off, and our finances are fine in spite of that.
- My baby never suffered, and he or she is in heaven where I will see him again.
God is good, even in the midst of a very difficult time. I am thankful. I am also doing much better today and am able to approach life with joy and laughter again, even spending some time wrestling on the floor blowing raspberries on my little one's tummy.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The intensity of the grief I have been feeling has surprised me greatly. One minute I'm fine, and the next some thought comes into my head and I am reduced to the hugging my knees to my chest on the couch, sobbing giant tears. I told tim, "I'm a blubbering mess" and he said, "Don't say that, it makes me think of fat whales. Whales have blubber." He's been so good to me and so strong and I love him so much.
It doesn't make sense - I have walked the path of pregnancy loss before and I was fine. one day of crying, and it was done and I moved on with my life, we got pregnant with Megan, and our hearts were full. I rarely think of that pregnancy and that baby.
Is it because I have such a deep longing for another child right now? With Megan, I knew it was a good time to add another child, but it wasn't such a deep longing.
But this is different. For ways I understand but do not wish to write, and also because of my body. My hormone levels were very high. They injected me with chemotherapy. Physically things are happening that affect my emotions.
In spite of it all God's hand is still seen. Yesterday I could barely function. after googling my condition and finding some pro-life sites that said a few painful things, I had convinced myself we had done something horrible. Google is a dangerous tool when you are dealing with a physical health issue. Everyone has an opinion.
I managed to get three press releases done for clients, but that was all I could do. About a month ago a friend from church with girls my girls' ages invited them over to sleep over, and the date was last night. this was before we knew of the pregnancy or anything. God knew what was coming, and He knew I would need a quiet house in which to grieve.
My pastor's wonderful wife came over and listened to me and assured me we did the right thing. She hugged me and helped me understand what my body is going through. Then she cleaned! I don't know if she will ever know how much that helped me - coming home last night to a liveable kitchen and living room just really made a big difference in how I was feeling.
Tim and I went out last night. We watched a stupid movie and ate at Olive Garden (we had a gift card). I had fried lasagna. Can we say probably the most unhealthy thing on the menu? But it was good. It was the best thing I had tasted all day, and I refuse to feel guilty about it. I did eat salad - doesn't that help?
I am going to be reading Psalms for a while until my heart stops hurting so intensely. Revelations, which I had been reading before Monday, just isn't cutting it right now.
Will you pray one thing? Pray that I don't have to have that shot again. I want my body to get back to normal, and if my levels haven't dropped enough on the Monday after Thanksgiving, I will have to have it again. Both my doctor and the nurse at the hospital told me it was a possibility, which makes me worry that it is a strong possibility.
I don't think I've ever been through the grieving process like this before. I have lost grandparents, but this is so different. Maybe because I expected them to pass on? I don't know. Grief is intense and hard to understand, but God is good and I will rest in that as we enter this season of life. I know one thing is true - Thanksgiving is going to be bitter sweet for many years after this one.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Did I do the right thing? Was my doctor right? SHE NEVER SAW ANYTHING. I trusted her, but was she right?
Lord, you know my heart. You know I was trusting in my pro-life, Christian doctor. Please, forgive me if I did something wrong. You know I wanted my baby. You know my heart.
Will this feeling be part of me for the rest of my life?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I was shaking the whole way to the town where Tim works. In the back of my head is the "what if" because she didn't actually see the tubal pregnancy. The protocol for this is to inject you with a drug to terminate the pregnancy so that your body will reabsorb the cells before the tube ruptures and has the potential to kill you.
I took the girls to Grandma's, got Tim, and we went over. The doctor confirmed that it was an ectopic pregnancy, even though they couldn't see it yet. She said that what the ultrasound tech thought was a sac was not and that with the numbers I was having with my blood work, they needed to deal with the ectopic pregnancy today or risk a rupture and internal bleeding and a life threatening situation.
While I completely understand that medically there was no chance for that baby to survive, it didn't change the fact that it was my baby. It didn't change the fact that the shot that saved my life also stopped the growth of my baby. I lost it when that realization hit me. I was signing my consent for my baby to be killed. I think that was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I am so thankful that I am fully confident that my doctor is pro life and that she wouldn't have told me to do this if there was any chance of an actual viable baby being in there. But it still hurt.
After I got over that somewhat, we were able to see some humor in some things. I think part of it was nerves, but the nurse was surprised how calm we were. I can't say that I was happy about it all, but by the time (over an hour we were waiting) the shot arrived, I was over most of my tears and was able to calmly accept the medication. I will say I had to force myself not to think about what the drug would do when she was injecting it, and I started to feel a little dizzy, but I did OK.
In spite of all of the negative emotions I am feeling, I have much to be thankful for. I almost cancelled my appointment on Monday since I knew that we would be going in at 10 weeks, and I figured that they could just do the annual exam then. If I hadn't, there is a good chance the rupture would have occurred next week when we would be out of town. God protected me by giving me the desire to go ahead with that appointment.
I am also thankful that Tim asked me not to tell many people about the pregnancy. When I had an early miscarriage before Megan, that created a few uncomfortable situations with people not knowing and saying something that was uncomfortable.
God is good, but I am still hurting. I now have two babies waiting for me in heaven, assuming the chemotherapy shot I got today did its job already. we will not be going out of town for Thanskgiving, as sometimes people need to have the shot twice for it to work, and if the baby is still growing in the wrong place in spite of the shot, I need to be here near my doctor.
I will never get a chance to meet you in this life. I only knew of your existance for two short weeks. For some reason God wanted you with Him instead of here on earth with me. Even though you were a surprise, I wanted you very badly. I cried when I knew I couldn't have you yet. I know God is in control, and I know you will be waiting for me someday. Until then, please know that your momma loved you very much for as long as I knew about you. Hug your brother or sister that I never got to meet for me, and I will see you some day.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I wasn't expecting any call back from my doctor's office today, as they need two separate blood draws to make any conclusions from what I understood. However, she did call today. She said my numbers were really good, as in high. She said that this means they should have seen something on the ultrasound. I saw the nurse practitioner, and so she went to the doctor to see what to do. The doctor also said something should be visible based on the numbers in the blood work.
So, tomorrow (wednesday) I go back in for another ultrasound and more blood work. According to my hormones, I am pregnant. According to the ultrasound on Monday, we don't know.
I am feeling a bit anxious. I want to know what is going on - is my life in danger or is there a baby in there that's just too little to see? It's hard to concentrate on work today. I am thankful I have a Heavenly Father I can turn to in prayer when my heart starts to get anxious.
I am also thankful. First, I am thankful we discovered this potential problem before we leave town for Thanksgiving. I am also thankful for friends. I needed someone to watch my girls during the appointment, and I contacted three friends, and all three were more than willing. It is such a blessing to have friends who are willing to help you out in a crunch!
Monday, November 15, 2010
I went in today for a routine appointment with my OB, but since I was there I mentioned the positive test. During the exam I had some pain she thought was odd, and I was explaining some other pain I was having. She opted to do an ultrasound. I was excited. According to my calculations I should be about 6 weeks, and at that time they can often see the heartbeat via an ultrasound.
The ultrasound was inconclusive. They didn't see much at all, except the potential for a gestational sack.
My doctor is concerned about a possible etopic pregnancy. So I had blood drawn and will return Wednesday for another blood draw. If my levels are doubling nicely, then that means I am most likely pregnant and just not as far along as I thought. If my numbers are not doubling nicely it is possible it is an etopic pregnancy, which is potentially life threatening. She didn't say what the steps would be after that. I know what the traditional line of thinking is on etopic pregnancies, and that is the removal of the pregnancy.
I don't know what ot think or feel. Regardless of what is going on inside me, it is more waiting. I am not good at waiting.
I am writing this all down and not telling many people. When I miscarried about three years ago, it was hard to tell everyone after telling them I was pregnant. I don't want to cause my family undue stress as they are going through a stressful time. If it is etopic, the good news is we are o nteh right path of figuring it out before it ruptures and creates an emergency situation. If it is a baby, then I am very happy, although a bit surprised and wondering what will happen in several areas that were the cause of us waiting a little longer.
Please, next three days, pass quickly!
Friday, November 5, 2010
I just took a pregnancy test.
It came back positive.
I am not ready to announce this to the world yet. Last time I did that, well, we miscarried.
I'm not sure when I should tell Tim. See, this wasn't our "plan."
But, I've had the "baby bug" for a while now.
It's not going away.
And, well, knowing it was a possibility this month made me a very happy, albeit nervous, woman.
Now we shall see if this little babe sticks.
Whew, our house is going to be crowded if it does.
Crowded, but full of love.
So many thoughts. I guess I will just save this for now and see what comes. . .
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The last few days she has been getting goosebumps. The first time it happened she was warm as toast in her fleece sweat suit, but she was covered in goosebumps. No fever, no draft in the room – it makes no sense. Now, a normal child would probably grab a blanket and cover up and be done with it. Not my sensitive one. She had to cry and call me. This has happened at least four times in the last week – unexplained goosebumps that bother her enough that she has to point out to us.
I just called the nurse and they didn’t have any “red flags” from the goosebumps, but they did say I can “bring her in” if she is really bothered by it or if I am worried.
I don’t want to be “that” mom who is always bringing in her kids. I often feel like I am.
And when you have a hyper sensitive child, it’s hard to know when an issue is a real issue, or when they are just being sensitive. I don’t want to change her, but when there is something going on it’s hard to tell. Like she fell yesterday and has a NASTY bruise on her knee (landed right on a rock) and she will limp like crazy, then run the next second, so it’s hard to know if that’s really hurting as bad as she says.
Then, she has been waking up dizzy – at least three times this week. Dizzy and cranky. Usually after she eats it gets better, so I chalked it up to blood sugar. Well, I mentioned that to the nurse on the phone, and she said a four year old shouldn’t be having such a drop in blood sugar that she gets dizzy, and that they would be concerned about the dizziness. She didn’t say I have to take her in, but she did say it is a concern. So if it happens again I will take her in, I have decided.
But see, these kids are also very badly due for a chiropractic adjustment. Usually this crankiness goes away after a trip to the chiro. But we don’t have the funds for a trip to the chiro right now, so I have been putting it off. I don’t prefer to go to the pediatrician until I have ruled out an alignment issue.
All of these dilemmas are exasperated by the fact that she’s so sensitive! Tim thinks I worry too much. Maybe I do. But I don’t want to miss something that is wrong and can or should be fixed. Not sure why I’m writing it all, just to get it off my chest I guess.