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.