Saturday, April 2, 2011

Georgia on my Mind

I was really excited for my husband, because this was a great career move for him. He is that type of person that has a lot of drive and works hard for his achievements. He knew what he wanted to do from the time he was 10 years old and he did everything to get there. I wanted to see him succeed and I knew he would. The other good thing was that this job would transfer us back to California, where I am from. Yeah!! I had endured quite a few hard winters in the midwest and was longing for some sunshine. The hard part was that I knew that trying to get pregnant at a distance was going to be a challenge.

Johnny flew down to start his training in Georgia in September. At this point I started my count down toward ovulation. My plan was to try to fly down for a week every month if I could time my ovulation right. Boy, was this a challenge. I had never experienced exactly how this worked. I started out with ovulation test strips. The lines on the strips have to be a darker color than the test line and it was all a bit confusing.

I did this for a few months and then decided to get an ovulation monitor. With this machine I was able to tell with a bit more advance notice when I was going to ovualtion. Needless to say, there were some expensive last minute flights to Georgia. It was incredibly stressful, because I would definitely put him on the spot. It was a timing fiasco.

After about 4 months of flights, hotels, rental cars, and much stress, I got a positive pregnancy test!!!!! My friends joked that I should name this baby George or Georgia. My husband and I couldn't believe it. After all we had been through, we were pregnant!!



Till Next Time,

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Clock is Ticking

Now, by this time, my clock is really ticking. I am 39 now. Also I wanted the focus off of people pitying me for my loss and start being happy for me. I don't want to sound crass, because not a day goes by that it doesn't hurt, but there is something hard about living in a sense of doom and gloom. I needed happy news finally!

I decided I was going to do everything right to get pregnant, but I was starting to really get worried. Maybe something was wrong. It had been 8 months since I gave birth.

Getting the news that my FSH was high was devastating. I called the Fertility Specialists office for my results and they said I should come in and talk with the doctor. At that point, I said I would, but that I wanted to know the results first. The nurse tells me, "Well, all of your levels look good, but your FSH is high, so you will need a donor egg." I was so taken off guard at that moment. I tried to ask her how that could be if I had just given birth 8 months ago. Of course, she reverted back and just said I had to talk to the doctor. I was in shock and at that moment decided that they had to be wrong.

In my research I found that having a high FSH level does not preclude you from getting pregnant. It does mean that you would most likely not respond as well to fertility drugs. There were plenty of women that had elevated FSH that got pregnant. Pheww!! I was almost convinced.

Next step was getting my body as healthy as possible. I bought a juicer. I started doing yoga to get the blood circulating in my body. I started taking baby aspirin, drinking lots of water, taking some green vitamin concotion from the health food store, vitex, and a few other indications found in my desperate search.

Then my husband drops the bomb, he wants to accept a job in federal law enforcement and had to start training which would last for the next 9 months. He would leave for Georgia for the next 5 months and we would be apart. Ugghhhh, how are you suppose to get pregnant when you are in two different states???




Till Next Time,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On a brighter note.....

I want to say on a brighter note, we did survive the tragedy of losing our son. We will never forget, but we did move forward. I started to think about getting pregnant again. I actually become a bit obsessed with it. It took many months for my body to get back to normal, but eventually we decided to start trying.

Actually, I think the first month I had possibly been pregnant. I had a really faint line on the pregnancy test and went to the doctor. He did an ultrasound and said all he saw was a lot of blood flow through the uterus, but it could be still early. They sent me for a blood test, but the levels were at like 4. The next day my home pregnancy test came back negative. It might have been a very early miscarriage or just didn't take.

Now my cycles were really out of whack still and I wanted that cleared up NOW. I had something like 45 day cycles, so I asked for Clomid and the doctor agreed. Probably a big mistake for me. On the one hand it got my cycles regular, but I wasn't getting pregnant. I decided to start the process of looking into fertility treatments. The doctor did an ultrasound of my uterus and ovaries and told me that my lining was super thin, caused from the Clomid. I decided the next month that I was going to stop taking it, but still I didn't get pregnant.

So they ran some test. Some of you might know of the dreaded FSH levels. Mine came back at an elevated level of 16. I started researching this day and night. I got books from the library and read a million articles on line. This FSH thing is hard to decipher. They say it doesn't mean you can't get pregnant, but that you wouldn't be accepted as a candidate for IVF.

Now if there was ever a last resort it was going to have to be IVF, but that supposedly wasn't even an option at that point. I was starting to get really depressed.


Till Next Time,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Questions????

Now comes the questions of why, how, I don't understand why the heartbeat stopped. When my baby was born he had the cord wrapped twice around his neck and very tight. Still the doctor was perplexed. He told me he saw this often and it was really very rarely a problem.

The nurses had come into my room in the hospital and told me that they had noticed a crease across the baby's hand, which could be an indication of Down's Syndrome. I must say my husband and I were shocked. Noone had mentioned this before. Maybe there was a reason that he wasn't strong enough to survive the cord wrap. I think it helped to have some possible answers, but we didn't know much at this time.

My doctor said that he was going to run genetic tests on the baby and also run tests on me for Lupus, X-factor clotting disorder, and I'm not sure what else. I just know they took 25 vials of blood that day. The next 3 months I waited for the results.

I got a call one day from the office asking me to come down the next day. I think I had a panic attack right then. I had to know right away what they found. My mother-in-law called the office and they allowed me to come that afternoon to meet with the doctor.

All the tests for me came back normal, but the baby had Down's Syndrome.


Till Next Time,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In the hospital....

I'm continuing from the point where I was told my baby didn't make it. I held him and looked at him and wasn't really grasping the reality. I was taken back to my room and had many people coming in and out and checking on me. I was trying to be as strong as possible. My husband was beside me and wouldn't leave my side. He was the anchor that I needed right then. My connection and bond to him was somehow cemented in this moment. He was everything and all that I needed to get through this. He is an incredibly strong man and I really drew strength from him.

At this point, I'm sure phone calls were going out and people were rushing in to be by our sides. My husband's entire SWAT team and many people from his police force came. We had a 2 person guard outside our door for the next three days and that was 24 hours. I'm not sure exactly why that was, but I think it is their show of support. It was incredible. There were many officials that stopped in to give their condolescences and check on us and through it all I felt very cared for. I know that I am incredibly lucky to have had this sort of support in such a trying time.

I know my husband was hurting a lot. He had to be so strong for everyone. He was the one that saw the whole thing. I know it was incredibly traumatic to witness the c-section and the nurses and doctors working on the baby. To this day I know it haunts him.

We spent 3 days in the hospital recovering from my c-section. There were many visits, calls and emails, etc. I really felt like I had to be strong in a way for everyone else. It is a strange feeling that you don't want to let others feel bad for you. You somehow suck it up and let them know that you will survive, so they don't worry. In the back of your mind, you almost feel like you could break down if it wasn't for everyone else worrying about you. Just the look on peoples' faces when they came to see me. It was such a look of dread.

I eventually left the hospital to come home to a house full of flowers. All of this was such a strange situation for me. I just never understood the role of the person of grief. I did really appreciate all of the wonderful things people did for us. I almost feel like we heard from just about every person we ever knew. The cards were a process to go through each day. We sat and opened at least 10-15 each morning.

We planned the funeral for that weekend and I told myself that I had to get through this day. It was almost like being in a movie and playing a role. Just play the part and trying not to break down. I was strong that day for myself and everyone else. I then spent the next few months in such grief.

I visited his gravesite and prayed for him daily. Luckily he was buried very close to where we live. The things that helped the most were keepsakes that kept his memory alive for me. I was given a bracelet from a friend that held a little angel. I also received a necklace from my mother-in-law that had a charm with his name and birthdate and then on the back said "Always in our hearts". These things were special to me. We put an angel statue in the yard. My husband's team bought us a tree to plant in his honor. I never want a day to go by without his spirit near me.


Till Next Time,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hard to write this....

This is a really difficult post, but I think it is good to get it out there. I am continuing the story of the point where I am about to give birth. I very excited to give birth to my first child. I started to feel light contractions, but nothing I hadn't really felt before. My husband gets called out at 1am to a hostage barricade of some sort for work. I could tell that maybe I was starting to feel something. It was pretty hard to sleep, but at about 6am I got up and decided to start packing and take a shower. They tell you it is going to be a while until you are truly in labor, so start timing them. I wasn't really able to tell if they were consistently every 10 minutes or what. They started to get stronger, so I texted Johnny that this is probably it. He told me to call his parents to drive me and he would meet me at the hospital.

I called them and got everything ready. They showed up and we drove to the hospital. When we got there the nurses hooked me up to some contraptions to monitor the heartrate and were having a hard time finding it. They kept telling me that he was probably hiding or the machine was broken. Shortly after they called the doctor in with the Ultrasound and he had a very bad look on his face. He then told me that they weren't finding a heartbeat. He decided to break my water and then indicated that he feels there was a faint heartbeat and they would need to do an emergency c-section.

At this point, my husband just got to the hospital and stood by me as they prepped me for surgery. I didn't really know what to feel, think, say or do. I think all I wanted to do was anything I could to assist them in a quick surgery to get the baby out. I was super still and did everything they said. Johnny held me during the surgery and after a lot of pulling and tugging they pulled the baby out. They whisked him away and started CPR behind me. I couldn't think or feel. Johnny was telling me he wasn't breathing and I was just holding all hope that somehow somebody was wrong and this wasn't happening. Everything had to turn out alright.

I don't know the point where they told me he didn't make it. I just remember them wheeling me out and shaking from the medication. A little while later they let me hold my baby in my arms. He lay still and quiet. I really don't think I knew what to think or feel. I was most likely a bit in shock. This was the worst day of my life.







Till Next Time,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We are pregnant!

Well, we are pregnant and that happened a lot sooner than we thought. We were both pretty shocked. Somehow we both just didn't think it would be that easy. We decided to move up the wedding. Of course, everyone to this day thinks it was an accident, but how do you explain that one. We were trying, but didn't realize it could actually happen so quick? Either way, we were thrilled. I think it just made us speed things up and in the long run it was what we both wanted. Johnny and I had a small ceremony and it was beautiful. I never wanted a big production of a wedding and this way I had a good reason to make it simple. We decided that I would move to the midwest, because with the baby on the way it might not be a good time to change jobs due to the economy.

Next step, move cross country with all my possessions while pregnant. That was an adventure. Driving in a u-haul with morning sickness is not the funnest. We made it through though and I started the new life of a midwest housewife. It is a LOT different from California single girl. Unfortunately, there is a lot less healthy restaurants or chic clothing stores, but what mattered was that I was SO happy. I was truly thrilled to have my own family. The next few months were somewhat hard without friends around. Somehow being pregnant and newly married at my age was not the norm in small town america. And I am talking small town.

My husband grew up in a town with about 1,500 people total. One, count them one, stop light in the whole town. Most other married couples in town where around Johnny's age, maybe later 30's or less. Either that, or retired folk. Everyone was super nice, but I just didn't have anything in common with them. I tend to think my husband thought I was being unfriendly, but I just had a hard time building friendships there.

We did attend church there and though we were the youngest by at least 20 years, they were wonderful people and a great support. Our pastor was a wonderful man and he was more than happy to bring younger people to his church. Johnny had been going here his whole life.

The pregnancy was progressing just great and we were getting ready to have a baby in February. We were having a boy and Johnny couldn't be more thrilled. I must say that I was super excited for a boy too!






Till Next Time,