Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day - My Long Road to Motherhood

I am so very grateful to the God above who blessed me with these two little girls. It was a long road I traveled to be able to give birth to them. I thought I would share a little of that road.

My husband and I married when I was 30 and he was 42. I knew that I would have problems getting pregnant, as I had been diagnosed with PCOS a number of years before. We actually started trying to get pregnant 6 months before the wedding. 

Once we were married we decided to go to the next level. My OB-GYN prescribed Clomid as a first step. When I say it made me homicidal is an understatement. I had hot flashes. I was a walking rash. It was horrible. I stayed on Clomid for 6 months with no results. My OB-GYN recommended we go to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. To say that least, we were unimpressed with him. He started out by telling us that I did not have PCOS. He put me on another useless cycle of Clomid. We decided we would not return to him.

For the next six months I tried everything I could holistically, in combination of adding Metformin to the picture. Metformin is a diabetes medication that has horrible side effects. I will not go into detail here, but will in another post. I cut out as much sugar and refined foods as possible. After going on Clomid in July of 2005, starting Metformin in February 2006, I started tracking my cycles on a website called Fertility Friend. 

In August of 2006, I had a chemical pregnancy. Along with that difficult time, we had a devastating accident happen to one of our immediate family members. It was a time where we couldn't think that anything good would happen in our lives. It was a month later that God decided we needed to be blessed. We got pregnant naturally with our oldest daughter Sarah. We were ecstatic.

One of the things I did to help get pregnant was taking a baby aspirin a day. I had researched that it would help with someone who had repeated chemical pregnancies. At 16 weeks my doctor told me that I could stop taking the Metformin and the baby aspirin. Two weeks later we had a horrible snow storm and we were stuck in our apartment for a few days. I sat on the couch a lot watching TV. I noticed that my leg, below the knee, was really sore. It started to feel like a hot poker was being inserted into my leg. After searching Google, I thought that I might have a blood clot. 

The nurse told me to come in, but was reluctant to tell me that I had a chance of having a blood clot. When I got there, I saw the Nurse Practitioner. I think God was once again looking after us, as she had just seen a patient with one and new what to look for. She sent me directly to get a sonogram on my leg. I was diagnosed with a 10 centimeter DVT (deep vein thrombosis). If I had stayed on the aspirin, I doubt I would have gotten it.

I was sent to a specialist and was diagnosed with having a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden. I only carry one gene, so the doctor was really shocked I developed a clot. After further testing they found out that I also have a metabolic disorder, it was like it flipped on the recessive gene. I had to go to the specialist every week for the second half of my pregnancy.

During the remainder of my pregnancy I had to endure shots of blood thinners (in my stomach) twice a day.  I had to be induced instead of being allowed to go into labor normally. Once I delivered I was changed over to an oral medication. Unfortunately, I ended up being allergic to it, so I had to endure 2 more months of shots. It was not how I wanted to spend my time as a new mom. 

We new we wanted a big family, so six months after Sarah was born, we decided to start trying to have another baby. I went back to the way I was eating when I got pregnant with Sarah. I took my medication and nothing happened. For two years we tried with no results. My doctor decided to send me to a new fertility specialist. We loved her. She immediately did a scan and told me our previous specialist was nuts, that I did indeed have PCOS. That first cycle we started shots and did an insemination. 

Unfortunately for three cycles we did not get pregnant. The fourth cycle we were blessed with a positive pregnancy test. It was the best 24 hours of my life. When you are on fertility treatments, you are required to come back for repeated blood work. Each time I came back, the numbers went down. It was confirmed 4 days later that I had lost the baby. I was scheduled for exploratory surgery and a D&C. Ironically, it was also at this same time that we had to put my beloved kitty down after a horrific illness struck her. My parents house was hit by lightening and burned. It was a horrible time.

For a year, we decided to recover from all the traumatic events in our life. 

It was in January of 2011 that we decided to go back to the fertility specialist and do two more cycles tops (mostly because we only got 6 cycles paid through insurance). We started our meds and on Valentine's day weekend I went in for my insemination. Two weeks later we found out that it worked. We were trying very hard not to get excited, after what had happened the last time.

I had sonograms and blood work every few days for three weeks. Each time, the doctor said to not get our hopes up. The baby's yolk sac was enlarged and most likely it would not make it. In the mean time, my beloved Grandmother passed away. We had to drive from Dallas to Chicago for the funeral. The whole time I was stressing over whether or not the baby was going to make it. 

At 8 weeks we were transferred to our regular OB. The yolk sac was still enlarged, we were informed that most likely the baby would not make it past twelve weeks gestation. So we waited and waited. Once 12 weeks passed and the baby was still hanging out, we felt like she would make it. But the doctor cautioned that she might have genetic abnormalities. She wanted to do blood work, however we were against it. We would not terminate the pregnancy, so we did not want to know. 

At 20 weeks, we had the anatomy scan. We were terrified. But God was looking down on us and blessed us with a perfect scan. Nothing at all showed to be wrong with our blessed baby girl.  It was like I was finally able to breath. I was finally able to start to enjoy the pregnancy. 

At 38 weeks I went in for my induction. Little Bekah did not want to come into the world. She reacted poorly to the induction, having deceleration's in her heart rate. An hour in, my water broke and there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. It was decided we would do an emergency c-section. 

After having the epidural, I knew something was wrong. I could still feel everything. I was wheeled into the operating room and kept telling them, but no one was listening. They gave me a catheter and started to shave me. I felt it all. Yet they would still not listen. Finally, my doctor came in and I told her. She took one look at me and told the Anesthesiologist to knock me out. My hubby came in and kissed me, then I was knocked out. An hour later I woke up to the most beautiful site. A newborn baby girl, who we named Rebekah. She was amazing. A true blessing.

So that is how we ended up having two beautiful girls. We tried the past three years to add to our family (naturally), with no results. We would love a boy. But in reality, it is for the best that we did not add to our family then. We were not in a good place at all. Now that I am a stay at home mom, we will work on getting healthy again and see if we can have another miracle baby. You never know.