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Monday, November 16, 2015

Three Years Ago Today

Three years ago we experienced our first ever loss of a baby. It was shocking after having Sofia. Many tend to believe miscarriages and stillborns happen to other people not them, especially if they have had a healthy living child. I found this especially true in the green organic naturopathic communities I belonged to at the time. And then it happened to us. It was about 6am, Rick and I were sleeping in bed when I felt warm blood pour out of me. I immediately woke up and said, "Rick I think I am having a miscarriage." He instantly started screaming, "NO!, NO!, NO!" His response was so raw, real and heartbreaking. 

We ran to the bathroom. While sitting on the toilet bleeding I instinctively asked Rick for holy water and then baptized our baby who we did not see with our naked eye. Using the holy water I made the sign of the cross and said, "as your parents we baptize you in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit." This was something we felt a responsibility to do as baby's parents. It was also all that we could do in that moment. We could not save him or her which was such an awful feeling. We told baby that we loved him or her and really wanted him or her and are so sad and sorry that he or she was gone. 

I ironically had a Doctor appointment scheduled that morning at my PCP's office as I was going to get my vitamin D level checked and I was sick with a cold/ scratchy throat. My PCP's office was probably not the best place to be that morning as she called my OB with our news and in a panic sent me down to imaging for a vaginal snd abdominal sonogram. By this time I had been bleeding heavily for 3-4 hours so I knew baby was gone. I refused the vaginal sono from a male sonograher I had never met and who did not actually work in an OB office. I allowed the abdominal sono to which he told us he did not see the gestational sac which was no surprise to us given the amount of blood loss. I then had blood drawn to check on my HCG levels which came back extremely low at a 4 signifying a completed miscarriage. 

After the commotion at the Doctors office we went home and cried. The only people that were really aware of our second pregnancy and loss were our immediate family and a small handful of friends as things happened so quickly. That night we decided to name our baby Sam Frances.

We then had a very quiet Thanksgiving with three of our single friends and after dinner we walked over to the Chapel to pray which ironically was closed. ;) Our wedding anniversary on the 30th was rather somber but we went through with plans to celebrate with dinner at Hotel Saint Germaine which was quiet, beautifully decorated for Christmas and delicious. For Christmas we went to Florida where only my immediate family and a couple of friends knew about what we were going through. It had taken us four-five months to get pregnant with our second baby, our longest time ever TTC and then our baby died. :( We were quietly sad. Grieving but yet determined to try again right after the New Year which we did get pregnant on the first try... It wasn't unti we lost our third baby, Christian, that we began talking about pregnancy loss. It was hard not to since everyone knew we were pregnant and I was starting to show. 

An old middle school friend made a comment to me recently on how we are so open with our losses and it hit me... Would I/ we have been open about pregnancy loss and then repeat pregnancy loss if it were not for losing Christian??? Carrying Christian for 17 weeks and 2 days and then birthing him is what led me to be open and what led me to MEND. If all my losses had been earlier before I heard heartbeats or physically delivered, saw, held my baby I am not sure how open I would have been. Would I have suffered in silence? Would I have broken the silence? Would I have become an advocate for pregnancy loss awareness? Would I have spoken about grief? Spoken about post traumatic stress? Spoken about pregnancy after loss? Would I have joined support groups? I don't know... but I am sure glad I did. 

I know that being open has helped me, helped others and has really helped us now three years later in my sixth pregnancy with Baby Girl Macias who had an awesome 28 week sonogram today. Pregnancy After Loss (PAL) juggling joy, hope and grief. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Up at 3:30am

What to do when you are up with pregnancy related gas and back pains at 3:30am??? Catch up on blogging of course while drinking Miralax and sitting up right on your sofa. ;) Oh what a night!

On one hand this is all good. I am officially 27 weeks pregnant today and in the third trimester. I have not seen the third trimester in five years so this is a HUGE milestone moment. Praise God! And I know the discomfort I am experiencing early this morning is because of the enormous amount of progesterone I take per NaPro Technology, it literally slows down my entire gastrointestinal system to a point I have never experienced in my life. But hey I am 27 weeks pregnant!! I just really need to do a better job with my diet (Smashburger last night = a bad idea), staying on top of my fiber supplements (Miralax, colace, magnesium), water intake and walking. So much to do and right now my sunshine baby has a virus so we have been homebound. 

I haven't blogged in what feels like forever. I wanted to do an update at 20 weeks/ at the half way point around the time of baby girl's anatomy scan but I got sidetracked. 

Baby girl is doing so well. I was so anxious about her anatomy scan but everything went well. Thanks be to God! We got to see every inch of her precious body and even got to see the four chambers of her heart in color: red and blue. It was amazing! I teared up and squeezed Rick's hand. Rick did not cry this time, his eyes were on the screen the analyzing everything. He even asked the sonographer a strange question about if they baby had enough room to grow. I guess that was a concern of his??? We definitely both have some extent of PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). We learned that the "bubbles" one sees in the sonogram are actually the baby's umbilical cord. It took us six pregnancies to learn that. ;) We also saw baby girl moving her hands and legs which is such a blessing. Through our various support groups we know how important the 20 week anatomy scan is and we have so many friends who were crushed by devastating news during their scans. So our nerves were running high. Our sonographer at the time was wonderful and also brandnew to us so we told her our pregnancy history at the start of the scan. That part is hard, having a new sonographer for each sonogram thus far and updating them on our history. I wish we could have just been permanently assigned the first sonographer who prayed with us during our eight week sonogram. 

After our wonderful 20 week sonogram I was in shock for quite a while at such good news after everything we have experienced. Incredibly greatful but in shock. I even asked my MFM's partner for her thoughts on why does she think this baby is healthy now??? She was taken back and asked me what did I mean. I asked her if she had a theory or some sort of scientific explanation to which she said, "we don't know." I guess we will never really know what if anything has made all the difference all we do know is that if I were to get pregnant again for a seventh time I am going to have to do everything I did this sixth time which the thought of is extremely exhausting. A NaPro Technology pregnancy is a whole lot of extra work and cost. 

Shortly after the wonderful news of baby girl's health I got lectured on my progesterone supplementation by my Dallas MFMs. They apparently feel I do not need to be supplementing and are concerned about me getting constipated because of the extra progesterone. I was even warned about the possibility of getting impacted and needing a procedure to physically remove my stool. Talk about a scare tactic! ;) I was also told that progesterone supplementation could cause one to go past their due date, have a failed induction (I've been there before with Sofia although unrelated to progesterone) and needing a CSection because of said failed induction. My main MFM was harder on me than her partner who basically said, look I have not experienced your losses and if this helps you get through this pregnancy then I understand. That right there was so comforting! Houston of course wants me on progesterone until further notice which feels like forever! I hope to come off supplementation around the 33 week mark. We shall see. 

For some reason I was really nervous about my 24 week sonogram. My MFM scheduled me out for four week sonograms for a few weeks, then every two weeks and then every week. This is standard when seeing a MFM. Some moms have even more frequent sonograms. I made the mistake of drinking a chai tea latte before my 24 week sonogram and therefore was really jittery. We had yet again a new sonographer who was all business. She was so quite when taking baby girl's measurements that I began shaking from the waste down. So then I explained to her why I was shaking and told her our pregnancy history. She started to talk a little bit more after that. We then saw our main MFM and she gave me some homework. She told me she wants me to "enjoy" this pregnancy. To basically worry less and enjoy more. I want that too! It's just so hard/ scary after everything I/ we have been through. That afternoon I decided to "enjoy" by videotaping Sofia's reaction to baby sister's 24 week sonogram photos. If I knew how to upload a video from my iPhone to my blog I would do so in the space below. ;) A photo will have to suffice. 


Anyway, please pray for me to "enjoy" more. I have done little things that have helped but also kind of tug at my heart strings. We all went to Buy Buy Baby and got a new education on carseats and strollers. I have bought a few cute little outfits, some with matching outfits for Sofia. I bought a couple of crosses for baby girl's wall of crosses. I splurged on AG maternity jeans and a couple of dresses for the upcoming holidays. I booked our Christmas Card Photo Session set for this Saturday afternoon. I have researched birth photographers and narrowed it down to one. I am still in the process of researching and interviewing doulas along with newborn photographers. Some of that is more overwhelming than enjoyable but I am forever greatful to be a point in pregnancy where I can do these things. 

Please keep all of us in your prayers this third trimester and if you have any ideas on how we/ I can enjoy this pregnancy more please share!! I think family photos is a biggie. 




Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Little Math Before Tomorrow's Appointment

I drafted this up today as I reflect on things before my 16 weeks 3 days appointment tomorrow where I pray Baby Girl Macias' heartbeat is beating loud and strong! :)

- 4 Pregnancy/ Baby Losses (Who combined I carried longer than Sofia)
- 2 Catholic Funerals (1 Burial for Christian and 1 Mass for Jude/ All) 
- Countless Number of Blood Tests on Me, Rick and Baby Jude (our fourth loss)
- 3 Saline Sonos by 3 Different Docs
- 4 Uterine/ Endometrial Cultures
- 3 Surgeries (uterine polyp removal, D&C for testing of our fourth loss, exploratory laparoscopy for endometriosis) 
- 2 Visits to Houston NaPro Technology OB
- 3 REs
- 4 OBs in Dallas
- 1 MFM
- 1 Naturopath
- 1 Chiropractor
- 1 Immunologist
- 1 Geneticist 
- 1 Acupuncturist 
- 2 Therapists
- Shingles (not sure if that counts but feels related ;))
- Antibiotics for Rick & I 
- 3 Support Groups
- The Annointing of the Sick for Rick & I Before Concieving Baby Girl
- Countless Prayers 
- ~ 20 HCG Shots for Baby Girl
- ~ 20 Progesterone Shots and Counting for Baby Girl
- ~ 14 Progesterone Suppositories and Counting for Baby Girl
- Countless Handfuls of PreNatals, Vitamins/ Supplements, Low Dose Baby Aspirin Daily and Counting 
- $$$$$ ;) 
- 2.5+ Years of Our Lives, Emotions and Minds 

Come on Rainbow Baby! Grow, grow, grow! :) We can't wait to feel your kicks!! We love you sooooo much and can't wait to look into your eyes and hear you cry! In Jesus' name, AMEN! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Baby Macias #6 is a GIRL!! :)

On Saturday we had our first ever gender reveal party. It was so last minute as baby's gender results arrived the afternoon before and were shared with my MEND friend Kimberely in New York. It felt a little strange to be having a party so early, earlier than the point in which we lost Christian but it also felt important to celebrate this baby's life with a few dear friends who understand loss and pregnancy after loss. We celebrated over Bubba's chicken and cake! ;) In attendance were three other MEND families and one family from Church who have all been by our side after we lost Christian, Jo and Jude. We love them dearly. 

Rick and I with our rainbow gender reveal cake and balloons. The black balloons held colored stars that revealed our baby's gender upon popping. 

Sofia was so excited to have a party in our home. She couldn't wait to find out if baby was a baby brother or a baby sister.

A collage of our party. Sofia was afraid of the noise of balloons popping. ;)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today's Checkup

Thanking God for another good appointment today. We had our 12 week checkup a day early and baby's heartbeat was 170! Baby is alive! Praise God!

It was a nerve racking appointment though... The nurse started the doppler portion without gloves, then after a first attempt to find baby's heartbeat said, "let me get more gel," then after a second attempt to find baby's heartbeat said, "let me put on gloves." Somewhere between the first and second attempts she said to bare with her as it can take her a while to find heartbeat. I closed my eyes, prayed, braced myself for the worst, could feel myself starting to get upset but not sad/ teary more pissed/ angry at the thought of there possibly being no heartbeat yet I kept praying and trying to breath in and out. I also kept squeezing Rick's hand to get him to look at me and he would so not look at me. After a third attempt the nurse finally found baby's heartbeat. I asked how many beats before being ok and she said "170." Thank God! I have got to the point where I know if it is significantly low, like low 100s or under it is not a good sign. I then looked up at Rick and he was wiping away tears!! I was surprised as I did not know he had been tearing up, maybe that's why he didn't look at me. ;( We have been through so much repeat trauma. These Doctor appointments are so intense and draining for us. I am on the sofa now trying to recuperate. Oh what a day!

Now we await to receive our Maternity 21 results which will hopefully arrive this week, latest next Tuesday. Lord, we pray that Baby Macias #6's chromosomes are perfect.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baby is alive! Heartbeat: 174! :)

Today is our 11 week appointment where the nurse checked baby's heartbeat with a doppler and where we are awaiting to have my blood drawn to check baby's chromosomes.

We just met my MFM's nurse, Sam, for the first time and we quickly told her our story. She warned us that it may take her a little bit to find baby's heartbeat with the doppler. She then began to check on the left side of my lower abdomen and after a minute asked to take my pulse which scared us given our history. I prayed and clutched Rick's hand with both of my hands. The nurse then moved the wand to the middle of my abdomen and baby's heartbeat was loud and strong at 174! Praise the Lord! Tears and hugs!

Today, July 21st, also marks the two year anniversary of the due date of our second baby, baby Sam. :) Baby Sam, nurse Sam... God wink??? ;) 

Thank you Lord for good news today. You know what we have been living through the last 2.5 years with RPL. You knew our fears about this morning and how we prayed that today would not be a double whammy of grief and sorrow. Instead today is a good day! Thank you Lord for today! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Update on My Progesterone

My progesterone results came in today and I am still in High Zone 2!! Woohoo!! :) 

Let me tell you I have been so worried for the last 24+ hours waiting on my results as they took longer than usual. I hate worrying so much while pregnant. :(

As I learned in MEND, "today is today" and I am grateful for my results today. Thank you Lord! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

10 Weeks Today!

We are 10 weeks pregnant today with baby Macias #6. :)

Yesterday afternoon I was diagnosed with GERD per my Maternal Fetal Medicine OB. I have been having crazy gag reflexes when trying to swallow my pills that are worst at night and often followed by vomiting. :( Everyday I feel like something like food, a stick, a piece of mulch, etc. is stuck in my throat and it drives me crazy! ;( 

Anyone else ever have GERD? In the first trimester? How did you treat? Doc has prescribed me suppositories. Fun times! ;) 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Happy at 9 Weeks

We hosted a backyard sprinkler party this morning/ early afternoon and afterward I realized that I am happy at nine weeks pregnant and praying that this feeling does not end. Come on rainbow baby!! I also realized that keeping busy, hosting, hanging out with friends helps me relax, distracts me from worrying. I'm an extrovert so afterwards I feel recharged/ reenergized. And right now I can use all the extra positive energy I can get. ;) 

I'm nauseous as anything though in the late afternoons until I fall asleep. Gagging and sometimes vomitting on my slew of pills. Pray for me y'all it is imperative that I swallow and keep down all my pills especially my mega dose of Folate and Low Dose Naltroxene. Luckily my baby aspirin is tiny and thanks to a friend I found some yummy prenatal gummies.

My next Maternal Fetal Medicine OB appointment is in two weeks. I will be 11 weeks pregnant then and the Doc will have my blood drawn to check baby's chromosomes and gender. :) I pray all goes perfectly!! The nurse will also use a Doppler to check baby's heartbeat if I am up for it since my Doc will be out of the office but seeing me the following Monday at 11 weeks 6 days for a thorough physical exam and sonogram. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Good News at 8 Weeks!!

Our baby is ALIVE! Measuring 8 weeks with a heartbeat of 175! Praise God!

Before Sonogram


Right After Sonogram, We Had Been Crying, Praying and Holding Hands... My first thought when the camera went on my belly was, "Jesus you are my ROCK!" Because I honestly did not know how things were going to go and no matter what I needed Him and Him alone to be my rock. Our sonographer Holly was the best! The technonlogy at a high risk Maternal Fetal Medicine office is amazing!  




Baby Macias #6


Please continue to keep us and baby's health in prayer. We have a long way to go but Baby Macias #6 is off to a great start! :) 

Monday, June 29, 2015

8 Weeks Tomorrow

We will be eight weeks pregnant tomorrow and headed to our first ultrasound for Baby Macias #6. Praying that Baby will be measuring the right size and have a strong healthy heartbeat. 

We have had some gut wrenching, life shattering ultrasounds and are just praying that tomorrow's goes wonderfully well. The three of us already love and have bonded with Baby Macias #6. We are really yearning for his or her arrival in late January 2016. We have done everything our NaPro OB and Maternal Fetal Medicine OB have asked of us. We hope they are on the right track in this guessing game. 

Please keep us in prayer tonight and tomorrow morning as our anxiety, nerves, post traumatic stress may come into play. Thank you! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

OMGosh!

Last night I dreamt I was having my first sonogram and I saw three babies and I said to the Doctor, "triplets?!?!" And while moving the wand she said, "actually...seven babies!" I was like WTH?!?! Then we discussed why on earth did I take 50mg of Clomid for three days per my NaPro Doc in Houston (the answer is to raise my estrogen PostOvulation). Then I stood up and I was commenting on how are we going to do this, the cost of living, car situation, Rick and I will be way overwhelmed... Then I asked, "are they the right size and heartbeats?" The Doctor said, "yes!" they all looked great. We hugged and she just held me until she had to go into surgery... I have never ever had a dream like this!!! I could see all seven babies as clear as day in the sono. I doubt I am pregnant with seven babies but what a wild dream!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One Day at a Time

Today is today and I am thankful for this day with Baby Macias #6. I am trying to enjoy each day but fear, worry, anxiety do creep in from time to time. Last night's MEND Subsequent Pregnancy Meeting reminded me to enjoy each day with baby. I got some great tips from Moms who have been through subsequent pregnancies on what to do when the waves of anxiety arise. Now I just need to put those words of advice into practice.

Sofia is so very excited about Baby. She already proclaims her love for Baby and lays her little hand on my belly and says, "a charming wonderful beautiful little prayer" every night. I pray God will answer her prayers and she gets to hold Baby in her arms with us come January. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Biggest Pregnancy Craving

Mango Agua Frescas! 


I need to start making these bad boys as they are costing me $5+ a pop and of course when I buy one for myself little Miss Sofia wants one for herself so multiple that cost by 2! ;) 

Seven Weeks Today!!

We are seven weeks pregnant today and praying that this little baby Macias #6 is our miracle rainbow NaPro baby. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen!

Three out of our four angels stopped developing before seven weeks but I carried them for up to nine weeks so we pray that Baby Macias #6 is alive and well! Come on rainbow baby!! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Good News!

My NaPro OBGYN's office in Houston just called and told me my Progesterone is in High Zone 2 at 22.4 for 6 weeks gestation. Praise the Lord!

I was anxiously awaiting to hear what my Estardiol and HCG looked like but the nurse informed me, after the fact, that I did not need to test for these any longer since I am supplementing and the numbers are skewed/ "not helpful." :( So annoying as I will be billed for these two tests from the lab and disappointing as I was hoping they would give me insight into baby's development. A mama like me really wants to know if her baby's HCG is doubling every ~24 hours. ;)






Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Fitting Prayer

This beautifully fitting prayer was shared with my Mom in regards to me and Baby Macias #6.

O Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Your tender Mother, Our Lady of La Leche, who bore You close to her heart during those long months before Your birth, I place my baby and myself entirely in Your Hands. Free me, I beseech You, from useless and consuming worry. Accept the sacrifice of my aches and pains, which I unite to Your sufferings on the Cross. Above all, most merciful and loving Jesus, protect this child You have given to me from all harm, bestowing the health and vigor every baby needs. Implant in my heart and on my lips the words and prayers of Your Mother and mine, our Lovely Lady of La Leche. All this I ask that my child and I may live to praise forever Your Holy Name. Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Progesterone Shots

Rick and I now have a new form of bonding on Mondays and Thursdays. Per my NaPro Technology OBGYN in Houston Rick nervously injects a huge needle filled with bioidentical progesterone in my rear end. Fun times! 😜


Waiting on Blood Test Results

I just had my blood drawn this morning and now I wait... Waiting to hear what my HCG, Progesterone and Estradiol look like. I am praying that they are sky high for six weeks. It will take days for me to get my results as my blood is drawn in Dallas, then FedExed to a GenPath Lab in New Jersey that my NaPro Technology OBGYN in Houston works with since the lab is "calibrated" for analyzing blood the NaPro way. HCG is HCG wherever you go but NaPro calculates Progesterone and Estradiol a bit differently. Praying that I am at the high end of the range! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Pregnancy Symptoms Thus Far

I am 5 weeks 4 days along and my first and most prominent pregnancy symptom has been constipation. I feel like it literally started right after conception. No kidding! It was the first headsup that I might be pregnant. I rarely get constipated usually only after surgery, when pregnant or for some reason when I travel to Bogota, Colombia, maybe it has something to do with the altitude. 

My second symptom was very sore breasts at night when changing into my pajamas. 

My third symptom right before I tested positive was frequent urination during those crazy rainstorms we had in May. One night I was up going to the bathroom like every five minutes. ;)

I tested positive for pregnancy on Tuesday, June 2nd and since then I have had a couple of moments of sudden nausea, fatigue, drooling/ excess saliva and my uterus/ belly feels all stretched out particularly at night in bed when I turn from one side over to the other side. I have also had little twinges/ pinches here and there which make me pause and wonder if everything is ok. That is the million dollar question, "is everything ok this sixth time around?" ;)


Thursday, June 11, 2015

RPL & Anxiety

googled staying calm after Repeat Pregnancy Loss and this blog entry was the first to pop up: http://themiscarriageblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/what-its-like-to-be-pregnant-after.html?m=1

I appreciate the author's honesty! Anxiety was constant for her. For me it comes and goes in waves. I hate it. And like her with each pregnancy after my third loss, Baby Jo, it has become more intense. One thing that is kind of helping right now is that I have only had two blood tests the first HCG and Progesterone and the 48 hour HCG check. With my last pregnancy with baby Jude my blood was being tested like every other weekday which was intense. My numbers looked great but Jude's heartbeat stopped after two vaginal ultrasounds anyway. I have learned that it is all about baby's heartbeat. Sure it is good to know you have high Progesterone and your HCG is doubling those first six weeks of pregnancy but after that it is all about baby's heartbeat. 

Injecting HCG and Progesterone on Mondays and Thursdays helps calm me down. I have actually got to the point where I want to do my injections as soon as I wake up, most do them at night when their hubby gets home from work. Rick has just been going in late, not sure how long we can keep that up. ;) The injections calm me down I think because they make me feel like I am doing SOMETHING to help baby. Taking my LDN before bed helps me feel that way too. Man, I hope they are really helping Baby Macias #6. The injections are not easy, pain, blood and bruising accompany some of them. I pray they will all be worth it 32 weeks from now. 

Certain Bible verses, talking to other RPL Moms and my new Subsequent Pregnancy MEND Mom friend helps too. Knowing that we have Priests, family and friends praying for us and Baby Macias #6 this early on is comforting. 

Knowing that NaPro is running blood tests on me every other Monday helps especially between ultrasounds. They will be checking my HCG, Progesterone and Estradiol. They may add additional supplementation if my numbers are on the low side of the range. I pray they will all be on the high end. 

Staying busy or hanging out with friends when Rick is at work helps distract me which is very nice. Anyone up for a weekday playdate or daytime Mommy date? ;) 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Complete Stranger Just Said, "Congratulations!!"

So Sofia and I were sitting outside of Starbucks this morning and a complete stranger, referring to me, said, "and she is expecting #2! Congratulations!!" with a huge smile on her face. This led to another Mom at a nearby table congratulating me. I said, "thank you." But man I was thinking WTH?!?! I must be FAT!! Or glowing... ;) People have nerve man. Can you imagine if I was not pregnant? That has happened to me before but never outside amongst strangers and so loudly/ enthusiastically. I just avoid bringing up the pregnancy topic to strangers after everything I have been through. If the comments/ conversation had kept going I would have told these strangers my truth that yes I am expecting BUT for the sixth time and I am only 5 weeks 1 day along and the belly you are seeing is probably from weight gain after my third and fourth losses, post three surgeries and two rounds of prednisone (which I hate by the way). Can you imagine how the tone would have changed?!?! My how much have the three of us been through and how AKWARD and tricky it can be for us in random social settings like Starbucks. #lifeafterrepeatpregnancyloss


Friday, June 5, 2015

Good Results

Praise the Lord! My 48 hour results just came in and they are great! My HCG more than doubled. Checkout the note too. :)




Thursday, June 4, 2015

Waiting on 48 Blood Test Results

Waiting on 48 hour blood test results sucks especially when for whatever reason my Maternal Fetal Specialist/ OB did not post by close of business today. I am hoping the lab or she were just backed up on work.

For me pregnancy after (multiple) loss bounces back and forth between excitement/ hope/ joy and jittery fear/ worry/ terror. 

This pregnancy I am trying to quote scripture for such a time as this. Fortunately I have a lot of ammunition from two of my support groups: Shiloh and Moms in the Making. Thank God I started attending those groups during my break before this pregnancy. 



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pregnant for a Sixth Time

Yesterday we found out for sure that we are pregnant with Baby Macias #6! I kind of can't believe it although I knew it. I am so so grateful for every life/ every child God has cocreated with us. We are blessed to at least know we have been able to cocreate six children, we are now officially a family of eight!! Half of us Macias' live on earth and the other half live in Heaven. The later part of that truth has been a very heavy cross for us. There is comfort in knowing at least my four children in Heaven are perfectly healthy and WELL taken care of by God the Father. I pray that this sixth baby of ours is healthy and will continue to live with us on earth. In Jesus' mighty name! Amen!





Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What If Anything Did You Do Differently?

"What if anything did you do differently?," is a question I often ask bereaved Moms who have gone on to have a rainbow baby. Some say, "nothing" and I think wow how lucky! Others have a list.

Here's my list of what I have done or will do differently after our fourth loss, baby Jude. I am the kind of Mom that has to feel like she is doing something/ anything possible to help her baby make it. 

1) I had an exploratory laparoscopy on October 28th to check for and remove any visible Endometriosis. "Minimal" Stage 1 Endometriosis was removed. 

This makes me feel a little better like I did something proactive and cleaned up my insides/ the areas outside of my uterus for optional pregnancy conditions next time. However, my NaPro OB in Houston made a comment or two on how she likes to do the surgery herself and she may have checked in a few more locations. Talk about not helpful. Her words just put more fear and worry into my head that maybe my Dallas Reproductive Endocrinologist did not see and remove all of it. I went with my Dallas RE for the surgery as he was doing my first D&C right before so two back to back surgeries with one recovery time in Dallas where we live made sense to me as my Mom was flying in to take care of Sofia while I was in surgery and afterwards for a week. If a NaPro OB had been in Dallas of course I would have gone with them for the two surgeries. Time was of the essence as I needed to have my D&C stat for the baby to be tested which unfortunately yielded inconclusive results, aka no answers.

2) I have been taking 4.5 mg of Low Dose Naltroxene (LDN) every evening before bed since January. 

At first I was very weary of taking something I and most other people I talk to have never heard of, so I did a lot of research. Well, after four losses and reading this flyer, watching videos by Dr. Boyle in Ireland and finding LDN users on Facebook I decided to just swallow it. ;)

The first few weeks on LDN were rough with very vivid dreams. I felt like I was going to the movies and seeing movie after movie at night. I was dreaming about high school, college and all sorts of random stuff every night. I hated it as I did not feel rested in the morning but I stuck with it and the side effects have subsided. The only side effect I really notice now is dry mouth when I wake up.

3. I have upped my Folate intake to 10mg of 5-MTHF. My Maternal Fetal Specialist suggested 5mg at a minimum in efforts to prevent neural tubal defects, I actually took 5mg  in my pregnancies with both Sam and Christian. In my research I found out women in Mexico often take 10mg and well since Rick is Mexican and has cousins with neural tubal issues I figure why not take 10mg myself. Folate is water soluble so I will just urinate out any extra Folate that my body does not use.


4. I am taking an additional 15mg of Zinc per my NaPro OB as Zinc has been shown to help with the overall health of eggs, hormones and the development of babies in utero. My prenatal vitamins have always had Zinc in them but I am now taking a separate Zinc pill as well.

5. CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) which some in the medical community believe helps egg quality, overall reproductive health and inflammation. My former Acupuncturist and Dr. Weil (more on him later) was a fan of CoQ10 so I am giving it a try. 

6. P+3, P+5, P+7, P+9 HCG Injections (P=Ovulation, P+3 signifies Three Days After Ovulation) Unlike my last pregnancy with Jude I am now injecting HCG into my abdomen before I even know I am pregnant in efforts to nudge my ovaries to produce more estrogen after ovulation. No Doctor other than my NaPro OB has ever been interested in my post peak/ post ovulation estrogen levels. According to my NaPro OB my estrogen after Jude has been a little low/ could be higher after ovulation thus the HCG injections. Who knows what my estrogen levels looked like in my previous pregnancies, no one bothered to check! :( Doctors would just monitor my Progesterone which was always high. My NaPro OB prescribed HCG injections in my last pregnancy as a precaution because of repeat pregnancy loss but only after I knew I was pregnant which was after P+9 so essentially going forward I will have had four HCG injections before I even find out I am pregnant. 


7. Amoxicillin Rick and I have both been taking antibiotics since March after my NaPro OB found two very common Bacteria in my uterus and endometrial lining, Ecoli and Enterococcus Facaelis. We started out with taking amoxicillin for 21 days straight, yuck! ;( Now we take it every cycle, cycle days 1-10 until we are pregnant again for up to six cycles. No one knows when we got these two bacteria in our systems or if they have anything to do with our losses but as a precaution NaPro is trying to blast them away with antibiotics. 

8. Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammation Diet suggested by my NaPro OB. This is by far the HARDEST change. Pray for me! I have barely done it (Shingles, Easter and travel got in the way) and we are soon headed to an all inclusive resort in Playa Mujeres, Mexico for a much needed getaway. I am thinking the diet won't really go into full effect until we get back from our getaway. ;) Lord help me. 



So it looks like I have done, am doing or will do eight different things. I think the Low Dose Naltroxene is the biggie. My laparoscopy was big too. May  God work through all of these changes in helping us co-create with Him another healthy living breathing baby that will live with us on earth. 

*In addition to the above I am taking my usual: prenatal vitamin, B6, B12, D3 and low dose aspirin (after implantation).

**It's amazing how I took none of this BLEEP and had Sofia. I just swallowed one purple prenatal vitamin a day from the drugstore and 37 weeks later there she was healthy and alive with us on earth. My how life has changed. :( 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Two NaPro Stats on RPL

Slides from a NaPro Technology Presentation. First Slide Frustrating... Second Slide Encouraging... ;)


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

6 Months Out

Yesterday I was "six months out" from losing baby Jude. And well, it was a full circle kind of day. At 9AM I had a gallbladder ultrasound in the same room, probably by the same tech of the ultrasound that confirmed my first pregnancy loss. Rick was with me, Sofia was at school this time and I was strong. No tears, although I had some flashbacks, especially when the tech asked me to change in the bathroom. I could see the blood from years ago even though it was no longer there. Post Traumatic Stress...

I was fortunate to have conceived baby Jude with Rick and God through the natural procreative act of marriage. I was gifted to have seen Jude's healthy heartbeat in our first ultrasound. That was all quickly followed by devastation to see Jude's heartbeat dropping in the second ultrasound and his or her body measuring behind. I watched the ultrasound screen helplessly. I just wanted to scream and do everything in my power to save my baby/ keep him or her alive. Hell, I wished we could use paddles like those they use on TV to restart someone's heart. :(

We have been on a vicious cycle four times in a row for the last two and a half years. We go from joy, excitement, calculating baby's due date, telling our families, hope, planning for the future, envisioning baby, thinking about gender, mentally editing a gift registry, picturing the nursery, brainstorming announcement pics, contacting my doulas, thinking of a birth plan, bonding with our unborn baby in my womb, etc.. to total and complete utter devastation...find myself anxious today to never again be on the cycle of pregnancy loss. 

I am currently in both the acceptance and bargaining stages of grief. Accepting all that has happened and not knowing why/ what is killing my babies or making them sick and then die. Bargaining with God since the time we have tentatively planned to try again is quickly approaching. I am so grateful I took a six month break from TTC/ being pregnant again/ more on that later... Getting Shingles also made the six month break firm, the ER Doc said, "do not procreate on these Shingles meds." I was crazy fertile the night I wound up in the ER with Shingles. Kind of funny. Begging God to let the next baby we conceive with Him to be healthy and live with Rick, Sofia and I for a long lifetime on earth. Begging God to spare the three of us any more new pain and suffering in this area of our lives. 

Philippians 4: 6-7
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayers and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.

Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eggs: Quantity & Quality

With eggs all around this past Lent and current Easter season I have been thinking about my eggs.

I've been wondering if I have quantity but not quality and that thought scares me! :( I obviously have eggs, I get pregnant rather quickly, on average in 2.6 months. Thank God for that much... Although, I would have rather it taken longer and not have had any losses or had a rainbow baby a whole lot sooner. I've been pregnant five times BUT my last four babies have died and appear to have probably died due to nonhereditary chromosomal reasons. Unfortunately, there is no way to test the quality of my eggs and each egg released each month is different from the last. We have been able to test my "quantity" also known as ovarian reserve (FSH, AMH, follicles) and things looked great/ right on track. So it makes me ask God and myself, "do I have a lot of eggs but not so strong and healthy eggs?" And if that's the case will I just keep getting pregnant only to lose my babies yet again and again? Hopefully not anymore! ;)

If quality happens to be my unexplained issue Lord, I pray for quality eggs in my next pregnancy, ironically as I prayed for in my last... ;(

Trying to focus on this Bible verse I picked as my mantra/ for memorization one week in Shiloh. 

Philippians 4: 6-7
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I definitely need some mind boggling peace that surpasses all understanding. ;) 

Love These Shoes!

It's Spring! And well that means it's time to update Sofia's wardrobe and shoe collection. Yay! Shopping for Sofia is definetely one of my favorite Mom jobs. 😉 Although buying clothing is a size 5T and shoes in a size 10 has been pulling on heartstrings. 😢 I really hope I get the opportunity to do this all over again and am so greatful that I at least got to/ get to do this for Sofia.

Anyway, I just learned about the shoe brand Native and decided to order Sofia a pair of their Jefferson Iridescence in Pink. These shoes are waterproof, washable, shock absorbant, odor resistant and animal free! They totally appeal to the green girl in me. 

Today is the first day Sofia has worn them and she LOVES them! :) They are kind of like a Crocs, jelly and sneaker rolled into one. I am thrilled that she will be able to slide them on quickly, wear them in water, at the beach and that I can easily rinse them off in the sink. Hip hip hooray for Native shoes!

Jefferson Iridescence Kids

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Remembering Baby Jo Today

In anticipation of today, the one year anniversary of the day I "delivered" baby Jo Frances, our fourth child who we conceived in love, and our third baby we lost, I bought beautiful yellow gerber daisies. This morning while cleaning the house I lit his or her butterfly vanilla bean sweet orange scented soy votive candle from Hip & Hippie. This afternoon after running errands I saw that MEND had remembered Baby Jo Frances too! Just a simple white rose with a purple ribbon, the signature color of MEND, and forget me not flowers means so much to me, it touches me deep within my soul that someone other than Rick and I remembers. Tears came to my eyes in the garage and I held on to my sunshine baby, Sofia, ever so tightly. I told her, Mommy misses baby Jo and all our babies in Heaven. She knows... She then just loved on me, made me smile and laugh. I apologized to her that all our other babies are in Heaven and that we don't have anymore babies on earth and she said, "but we will." Oh to have The Faith of a Child! That's my wish Sofia, that's my wish...




Sunday, March 22, 2015

Well Said...

“We get learning from books, but we get wisdom from suffering.” - Pope Pius XII

Easter Basket Ideas

It's Palm Sunday!! Just one more week until Easter! I have really enjoyed shopping around for treats to put into Sofia's Easter basket this year. Last year I custom ordered a fancy one from our local toy store, Toys Unique. This year I already have the big basket, grass and cellophane wrap from last year so all I need to do is fill it up. My goal has been to purchase beautiful items that reflect Spring, the beauty in God's creation and the true meaning of Easter, the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Here's a look at what I have bought so far. The books and toys are all available for purchase on Amazon. 

Giggles and Lollipops Church Tote

Christian Easter Book


Christian Sticker Book

Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement 

Wild Hog Bunny Popper


Peeps Giant Bubble Wand

Aurora PopUp Bunny Puppet

Book

Feel free to comment with your suggestions for spiritual Easter basket goodies.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Our Baby Boy Died Two Years Ago Today

We received a special delivery this morning from MEND. 
May God bless MEND for remembering our sweet baby boy. 

Today, March 21st marks the two year anniversary of when we heard the words no expecting parent wants to hear, "there is no heartbeat." Our world shook like an earthquake and has never been the same since. 

Christian, we love and miss you terribly. We wish we could have somehow kept you alive and well but as far as we know it was out of our control. :( The only comfort is knowing that you are alive and well with Jesus in Heaven. We miss you son! On April 19th we will celebrate the second anniversary of your birthday. Keep an eye out for your balloons. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Super Cute Mass Bags

Could you use a lovely tote for your kiddos Church books/ supplies? Look no further! I just found one on Etsy at Giggles and Lollipops! Available in a variety of colors and patterns. Makes for an excellent Easter basket present! :)


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Favorite Healing Music

Below are five songs that have helped bring healing to my soul on my journey. If you are in need of comfort, inspiration, faith, healing I pray that these songs will help you too.

1. "I Will Carry You" by Selah


2. "Need You Now" by Plumb



3. "Oceans" by Hillsong



4. "Lord I Need You" by Matt Maher



5. "You Make Me Brave" by Amanda Cook & Bethel Music



"Grief Will Find You"

In MEND I have met some very wise Mothers and I have gained little bits of wisdom from them. One of which told me about her journey during which she said, "grief will find you." You can run from it, ignore it, avoid it, not deal with it, act like whatever happened didn't really happen, move on but eventually it will find you.

Related to that note I saw the title of this article last night on yahoo, "Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson's Son Had a Delayed Reaction to Her Death."  The title caught my eye so I had to click on the link and read it. Liam and Natasha's story moved me when I first heard of it years ago. Natasha died from a skiing accident at the age of 45. She was merely engaging in a leisurely activity with her family. Every time I see Liam on TV, in interviews, I think of his late wife Natasha. I think about what he and their children must be going through without her here on earth. Last night was when I caught a glimpse of what it has been like grief wise for their son who was 13 years old at the time, now 19. Here's the article.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

11 Months Since a Post, 4.5 Months Out from Our Fourth Loss & Shingles

It has been 11 months since my last post and now I have shingles. ;) I can't believe either has happened.

I think after we lost Baby Jo, our fourth pregnancy, who we thought per the first sonogram and hormone levels might have been twins, rainbow baby twins -  I just couldn't blog about life after a third loss. Talk about going from a very high high of possible rainbow baby twins to a very low low yet again. The explanation, "blighted ovum" kind of helped in a way because I had heard of it happening to other women and I thought, "ok" blighted ovums are somewhat common and usually only happens once in a women's lifetime. So I pushed myself to bounce back rather quickly. I tried not to skip a single beat when it came to our social activities like playgroup (my actual physical miscarriage started at the end of a playgroup), moms night out, the Palm Sunday Easter Egg Hunt at Church, a visit from my brother and his new girlfriend, etc.. I definitely pushed myself too hard to be out and about right away and didn't take the proper time to be alone, with Rick and grieve/ let my feelings flow. It hit me really hard a month later during my first menstrual cycle after loss. It was ugly, with Rick, in our car, out of town and unfortunately in front of my sunshine baby, Sofia.  Grief sucks! Life after loss is a real monster. Fortunately, from that Sunday in May on I grieved Baby Jo more thoroughly and slowly things got better between May-September.

Sofia then turned 4 years old in September and I was right back where I was at on her 3rd Birthday thinking of her sibling that should be there with us at the party celebrating. Instead we were in the TTC stages and found out about three weeks later that we were pregnant for a fifth time! Five times! I can't believe I have been pregnant FIVE times! On October 15th the three of us saw our sweet Baby Jude's heartbeat! Tears of joy. Was this our rainbow baby??? No... A week later Baby Jude was measuring behind and his or her precious heartbeat was beating slower. A few days later Baby Jude was pronounced dead. The next day, on October 28th, I underwent my first D&C to test Baby Jude for answers but there were no answers, no explanation as to why he or she died. Just a hypothesis that it must have been something chromosomal (non hereditary chromosomal). I decided rather quickly since I was going under anesthesia for the D&C I wanted my RE to also perform a laparoscopy to check for endometriosis since NaPro Technology believes that 85% of unexplained repeat loss is caused by endometriosis. I did not have any symptoms other than repeat loss. My RE agreed to check and found Minimal/ Stage 1 endometriosis that looked like tiny white spider webs. Severe endometriosis looks like black spots. Mine was so "minimal." But who knows maybe it was causing me repeat pregnancy loss. The good news, the endometriosis is out and I did all that I could do for me and I tried to get answers as to why Baby Jude died for him or her, us and any of our future babies. I tried...

The loss of Baby Jude, our fourth pregnancy loss, hit me really hard. Once again I pushed myself to go right back to Mass and not miss a Sunday. I seriously need to learn that it is ok to miss Mass when I am "sick" and that I can have a Eucharistic Minster, Priest or Deacon bring me Communion. Why do I forget to tap into that gift/ ministry? I told Rick to remind me going forward. There are times when one is just too raw/ fresh with grief and does not need to be in certain social situations. I learned that lesson the hard way when just a week out from losing Baby Jude. A former friend, who was very visibly pregnant and who I had not spoken to since our fourth pregnancy with Baby Jo, walked up to us in our pew before Mass like we were old buddies. I could not believe she was coming into our space at such a heavy time in our lives. I then had my very first public anxiety attack in that moment and had to walk out of the Church. Rick and Sofia followed shortly. We regrouped rather quickly and went back in because you know we don't like to miss Mass ;) and I just cried and cried in the pew. I have been amazed at how inconsiderate and absent minded people can be to those dealing with loss. Please take a moment and think of the broken-hearted before you act or say something to them. Pause first, try not to put them in an even more painful position.

The journey of pregnancy after loss and pregnancy loss, after pregnancy loss is hard enough for the couple/ family dealing with the heartbreak and then you add in outside factors and people and ugh it can be down right torture. Salt on our wounds.This fourth loss also came at a time when Sofia was at an understanding, an age where she knew what was going on, had questions, had comments, drew pictures, all related to life, death and grief. It has been a heartbreaking challenge to see and help Sofia through grief. We fortunately asked for guidance on how to help and talk to her. She wants a baby, "in our house, not in heaven!" As do we...

In early November I found myself back in the large MEND meetings for those with recent losses. Thank God for MEND. In December I started seeing a therapist recommended to me from a friend who also had a second trimester miscarriage. I sought out a therapist because after a fourth consecutive loss I have experienced Repeat Trauma with closely spaced pregnancies, Post Traumatic Stress and Anxiety to a variety of things related to pregnancy. I even got to a point where I felt like never letting myself get pregnant ever again. That was a new thought for me as I had been on that let's try again for a rainbow baby train after Sam, Christian and Jo. After Jude things changed. The only way I know how to protect myself from yet another loss is to not get pregnant again, basically to abstain when fertile since we practice Natural Family Planning. I really did contemplate coming to peace with never trying again and focusing on what life might be like with only one living child. Then I ovulated and got baby fever. ;) Oh how the days of a women's natural cycle influences her thoughts and feelings on sex/ bonding and babies. Father Marco, yeah we talked to a Priest about all this, and Rick definitely don't think I should hang up my fertile years and abstain indefinitely. I know they are probably right. I also know that I needed to wait more than our standard three month waiting period between loss and TTC again. I need more of a BREAK! I have had four losses, three surgeries and now shingles in less than two and a half years. I am worn out and exhausted. God, can I get a break?!?! ;) I want to feel stronger, healthier and more ready for another pregnancy. Being back at Jazzercise and Body Sculpting is helping. Reading books such as, "Barren among the Fruitful, Navigating Infertility with HOPE, WISDOM, and PATIENCE" by Amanda Hope Haley is also helping. MEND helps, my Plano support group of women dealing with infertility and loss helps and my new support group called Shiloh, hosted by Watermark will probably help too. I have never been so grateful for my Protestant Sisters and the support groups they run. My hope is to one day help run a group specific for my Catholic sisters dealing with loss and infertility.