Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Pregnancy Journey:Part 1 - 8 weeks

Today I am 8 weeks pregnant. That may not seem like a lot, but for my pregnancies, and the unique type of drama that accompanies them, 8 weeks is a long time.  It has been 5 weeks of hardcore anxiety, surprise, fear, delight, and sickness. 

Oh, the sickness.  Pregnancy is like being drunk.  Every single second of the day is that hungover feeling where your head is pounding, totally dehydrated, thirsty, and the all-consuming need to vomit.  However, this vomiting brings NO relief.  I simply throw up everything - which is often only stomach acid & bile because I'm too sick to eat - and have it coming out my nose and getting stuck in chunks at the back of my throat.  

I've lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks (where were those results when I actually wanted to lose weight?!) and feel completely dehydrated and weak.  It's causing headaches and there's this unending feeling of nausea. All that extra saliva cannot be swallowed or I'll throw up.  I can hardly breathe (my nose is always plugged but now mouth breathing is vomit-inducing). 

All of this complaining to explain why the last 5 weeks have felt so LOOOOONNNG - and that we are already so invested in this pregnancy.  The anxiety has been mind-blowing.  I had a couple days of spotting (and one day of heavy bleeding and cramping) but was too early for the ultrasound to show anything.  

I did blood hcg and progesterone tests every other day for 2 weeks.  The hcg (pregnancy hormone) levels were rising appropriately but at first my progesterone was low.  This means that either I was miscarrying or that I will because there is not enough progesterone to support the pregnancy.  This is typical for me and after 4 days on the prescribed supplements my levels were in the safe zone. 

The last couple ultrasounds DID show a sac in the uterus - which is very important because I have had an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy in the past. So one big hurdle past! At 6 weeks 1 day along I had an ultrasound at the high-risk perinatal clinic. (They took fantastic care of me during my last pregnancy, with Bruce.)  They dated me at 5 weeks 4 days (not scientifically possible) and were unable to obtain cardiac activity.

So I usually measure behind - the babies are smaller than their due date.  So I guess I shouldn't be overly concerned, but how can I not be?  I have lost NINE babies - including an ectopic (with emergency surgery where I also lost my tube), a 2nd trimester loss (with a very painful delivery) and a vanishing twin (Bruce's pregnancy).  There is fear there.  Anxiety is high.

Due to a weeklong vacation we were taking for my grandparents 50th anniversary I scheduled my next ultrasound for over 2 weeks from that last one.  So it's this Thursday. I'm waffling between petrified there is no heartbeat (no, being this sick is NOT a guarantee the pregnancy is going well.  I have been this sick with a dead baby in my belly before) and this supernatural peace that God is in control.

There's something important I learned after Bentlee died: all my children are His.  I surrender all my children to the Lord, both those living on earth and those in Heaven.  God can be glorified in all things and I'm trying to focus on glorifying Him in this - despite sickness and anxiety.  

So in a couple days I will be able to confirm this is a viable pregnancy and that the baby is in the sac, in the uterus, with a heartbeat, as all should be.  Then the REAL work begins. Right now I'm taking baby aspirin but I will need to begin blood thinner shots.  It's a daily injection of Lovenox into the abdomen.  It's all totally worth it, but definitely painful as I become more and more bruised from each shot.

Each persons response has included a "wow." Accompanied also by many questions.  So here's some answers to save myself some time.

It's not really relevant if this pregnancy was planned versus unexpected because Baby is here now, and that's a blessing. Our birth control methods are our business and not up for discussion.  I do trust God with our family size and believe this pregnancy and this child is a blessing.  And yes, I will probably close up shop after this, if all works out, but for now that's still one of the few things I'm keeping private.

Yes, it's pretty scary to go through all of this again. I'm sick, anxious, and totally exhausted. My house is a massive mess.  I am so blessed to have a really great support system (especially my hubby, great - & responsible - kids, and the PCAs the kids have). 

No, my life is not at risk.  There is a very real possibility of the baby dying, bu not of me dying.  Blood thinners do come with a set of risks, but most of this is discomfort to me, not danger.

Yes, I've tried essential oils of various kinds, ginger candy, and peppermint tea. I'm limiting my use of Zofran due to some evidence of harm to baby (and it doesn't really help much).  I'm taking Reglan but it doesn't do much - sometimes stopping the actual vomiting but not eliminating the nausea. I'm eating tiny amounts and not drinking and eating in the same meal. I've tried Sea Bands acupressure. Hyperemesis is beyond all these methods.

Yes, my hands are full. And my my home. And my heart. And my days. And my cup. My cup is full - it runneth over.

No, I do not plan to stop breastfeeding Bruce. If my doctor has given me the thumbs up then I'll still follow through on my plan to let Bruce lead the weaning process - for now.

Yup, I know I'm already crazy fat and pregnancy with bedrest will make it worse. I'm trying not to obsess about it. 

No, I don't have a preference between boy or girl (although the kids want a girl) and I don't have any name ideas.

My due date is February 23rd, 2016.

Yes, it is all worth it, regardless of the outcome.

Last pregnancy I had some moments of intense depression - fear, anxiety, being sick and on bedrest, having life be in utter chaos and my home a disaster.  But I did have an opportunity to rely on God daily - to trust in His plans and to give me strength.  I was also blessed to have lots of prayer warriors.

So I'm hoping this time that blogging - taking you on this journey with me - will help with the sanity stuff (whining about being sick, talking out my fears, sharing my joys) and garner some Prayer Warriors along the way.

So please pray for the safety and life of this unborn baby, for the sickness to lighten up a bit, for my family and those around me who have to put in extra work, and for me to give my anxiety up to God and surrender my thoughts to Him.

Oh, and I feel compelled to share this: