Thursday, September 14, 2017

all things baby #4 - part I


This pregnancy has come and almost gone!  I have taken few pictures and written no things.  There are several reasons behind that...and now that I'm to this point...I hope I don't regret it!  I have debated coming back to this space for the greater part of this year...and I'm not sure what exactly is holding me back.  Mostly time, I'm sure.  But also trying to figure out what it will look like now.

The answer?  I'm just going to wait and see.  I don't have to have it all figured out right now.  But I know I want to get some of these things in writing (just for myself!) before the baby arrives TOMORROW!)


Just to back track a little (ok, a lot)....two years ago, in May 2015....we lost our "baby #4" (it's like I'm not even sure how to number them?  it was my 5th pregnancy, and second loss.).  I carried that baby the full first trimester...and if you want all of the details I'll let you go on and read them for yourself, but I won't rehash it all here now.  :). Because it was a partial molar pregnancy...I had to wait about year to be able to try again.  Once the year was up...I had some major dental issues...then Geoff and I took a 10 year anniversary trip to Mexico (cannot wait to do this again!!!)...things that just kept us from trying again right away.  Summer of 2016...we began to try for our last baby.  Friday, September 16, 2016...I took a test "knowing" I was not pregnant (because I had taken some tests early that were negative)....and turns out...it WAS positive!!  I couldn't believe it!  Well, the next day I started bleeding.  Knowing again, that I was miscarrying for a 3rd time.  I called my ob that following Monday...they fit me in right away.  He did a sono... and sitting right there on the screen was a little empty sac measuring 4 wks, 6 days. (a sac at 4 wk, 6 days would normally be empty...but because I was bleeding, I just knew I was losing it).  Which was exactly how far along I expected to be.  I felt mostly numb, yet just so thankful that if the Lord was taking this baby...that He was doing it then...early...not 13 weeks down the road.  I asked my doctor if we should do any blood work.  Progesterone?  Anything?  He told me no.  That they usually don't start doing blood work until you have 2 early miscarriages like this in a row.  And that I had carried 4 babies through a full first trimester so he didn't think progesterone was the issue.  Well.  At this point, I had lost 3 babies.  And while the 2nd baby I had lost was for a completely unrelated issue... I didn't want to lose anymore babies!  I never even got bloodwork to follow my HCG levels to 0.  I tested at home every other day for about a week until the tests returned to negative.  Oh if I could go back I would have demanded bloodwork!!  Even just to follow the HCG to 0.  It had been my decision to just do the tests at home because I didn't want to keep going back to the dr.  There was no easy answer, but thankful it was over when it was finally over.

Fast forward to November 2016.  I took another pregnancy test one Friday evening and there was a very slight positive.  I expected it to be a faded line because I expected to be early along and it was also taken in the evening.  But then the next morning, the test was negative?!  Surely a mistake!  I took another test that afternoon...another faint positive.  Something wasn't right and I felt like I was probably going to have another miscarriage or chemical pregnancy.

I don't remember all the details and my thought processes...but I felt like if I called my dr...he would just tell me that it was a false positive, or something, and not really hear me that something was going on, that I kept losing babies, and that I didn't want to lose any more!  After much prayer, I decided that I was going to go see the doctor here in town that I met when I had my second D&C after the miscarriage back in May 2015.  They had me come in for HCG blood work that day...and when I got the results, my levels were 0.  Which means...I technically wasn't pregnant and didn't have another loss....but I did keep it in the back of my mind bc I did get 2 positive pregnancy tests at home just a few days before.  They set me up with an appointment in December with the doctor to discuss all that had happened and what was going on.  We had a lengthy discussion about all that was going on and she ended up doing all of this bloodwork to try to get to the bottom of it all, and if anything, rule certain things out.  She was going to do her best to figure out why I was having these miscarriages and not let them happen again. It just felt so good to really and truly be listened to.  To be heard.  My original doctor was great, and served me well for a time.  But now I needed something different... and maybe just a little bit more in the emotional and relating department.

All of my blood work came back normal and we set up another appointment for me to come in and discuss what we would do next.  And then....

On Monday, January 9th, 2017...I dropped the girls at school...made a trip to Wal-Mart for a test and few other groceries.  Positive!!  Positive, again.  I remember sitting on the couch after looking at the test and just praying.  I'm not even sure I said many words in my prayers...but just for this one to keep.  For it to be healthy.  But also for His will to be done.  Which wasn't always necessarily the thing that I would have chosen.

I called the doctor and made an appointment for that afternoon to come in for blood work.  I didn't tell anyone.  Just mulled over this news myself for a few hours.  Once Geoff got home from work, I told him I had to run some errands and ran up to get my blood drawn.  By the time I got home, I decided I needed/wanted to tell him.  There was no cutesy or fun way I told him.  At this point, I didn't take the positive test too seriously because I knew all too well that it didn't necessarily mean baby.  We were both hesitant to be excited.  He was like me...'excited,' but skeptical.  I just remember saying to myself a lot, "well...I'll just believe it when I see it."

Two days later I went in for follow up blood work (so that they could see if my levels had gone up).  I found out when I got there that my HCG from my first blood draw was at 15...which was VERY early pregnant (IF I was even still pregnant) and my progesterone was also 15.  The nurse told me that usually they like the progesterone to be greater than 10, but my dr liked it higher, so she was going to give me a prescription for progesterone.  My follow-up blood work came back the next day and it had more than doubled in the 2 days to over 60!!  This was (probably) happening!!!

And this is where this pregnancy was a little different than the others.  Geoff and I were both excited and grateful for this baby...but after all we'd been through...we were still trying to keep ourselves from getting too excited.  I started feeling exhausted and nauseous almost right away (I'm pretty sure the progesterone helped with that!)....which is supposed to be a good sign.  But with the partial molar pregnancy...I was also very sick.  And that baby died.

I was excited for my very first sono.  I was pretty confident about dates and knew that a healthy baby would be measuring between 7 and 8 weeks.

On February 26, 2017...the baby's first picture!  Measuring in at 7 weeks, 4 days with a due date of September 23rd.  Heartbeat was 150.  Seeing that baby measuring correctly and the little flicker was so encouraging!  But again...my head wouldn't let my heart get too far ahead until we came back for the 12 week appointment and were still able to find a heartbeat.



 Fast forward to 12 weeks....April 4th...the doctor wasn't able to find the heartbeat on the doppler.  This had also happened with Nolan..and everything was fine.  It also happened with the next pregnancy and there was no heartbeat.

But thank the Lord!!  This sweet baby DID have a heartbeat!  I believe it was in the 140s this time.  And this baby was moving ALL around.  Very active.  Which they say is a good sign of a healthy baby, but oh my goodness...even to this day I will say this is my most active baby in utero.  So I'm getting a little nervous about that,  ha!




Once we hit the 12 week mark, I know I was feeling much better about it all.   I let myself get more excited and tried to believe in my heart that one day we would have this baby earth side to love and to hold.

We told the kids early on at about 5 weeks that I was pregnant because I felt so sick...I was pretty much worthless.  I'd say that with each pregnancy the nausea and exhaustion got worse.  No, I never threw up.  But oh that nausea.  Debilitating nausea.  Funny (sort of) story....the movie Trolls came out during this time.  All the kids loved this movie, but especially Nolan.  We watched it many many many times.  I thought it was the cutest little movie.  But I have to tell you...it's hard for me to watch and/or listen to those songs/movie now without feeling nauseous.  Crazy (and dramatic, yes).  But it's true!!!!

I digress.

We told the kids at 5 weeks that I was pregnant, but also told them they couldn't tell anyone until after my 12 week appointment just to make sure everything was still good.  Parker really understood this the most...and after almost every following appointment (even now)...she would ask me if the baby was still alive.  But all of the kids did SO well and kept this secret for TWO and a HALF months!  I was SO proud of them!

We took this blurry picture one windy afternoon.  I was by myself and knew I also had limited attention span, so this was as good as it got.  But I love it anyways.  The girls requested that they tell their teachers & friends before I posted the picture anywhere, and so they did.  They were the sweetest and just over-the-moon.



I thought I'd make just one mega post, but this post is already pretty mega.  :)
So I'll end this Part I post here and continue with 'all things baby #4' in a few other posts.




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