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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family vacation

Marathon runner

I have recently come to the conclusion that bed rest is very similar to running in any sort of distance race, whether it be a marathon or a half marathon or whatever. I recently completed my first half marathon this past July. I trained for it for over 5 months. During that 5 months we learned to build endurance and speed. Those 5 months also required a lot of patience. Not only do you have to have patience to complete the distance but you have to have patience to complete the training. There are setbacks along the way. One or two missed training runs can cause a delay or make it more difficult to accomplish the goal you have set for yourself. Injury is also a big setback. You need time to heal and then try to make up lost time that you were not running due to the injury.

When it finally came time for the actual race itself, I was very scared. Scared that I would not be able to finish. Scared that I would end up being disappointed in myself. Scared that I would disappoint everyone else that I told about running in this race. I didn't want to come back and have to tell everyone that I could not finish. The morning of the race, the odds seemed to be stacked against me right away. It was so humid, I could hardly breathe. After I completed the first 3 miles, I became so nauseated I didn't know if I would be able to finish. When that happens, your mind starts to tell you to just give it up, it's not worth it. What glory is there in finishing anyway? About the 8th mile, it started to rain. Not just any rain but a severe thunderstorm and by this time I was at the very end of the pack. The police were behind me telling me that they would be happy to drive me back to the finish line. I was about two seconds from jumping in that car and saying "forget this!" Then a girl who was with me said that she was not quitting unless they made her quit. So amidst the rain, wind, lightning and nausea, I decided that I was finishing this thing come hell or high water!!

Well, I finished. I cried as I crossed the finish line. The rush from that accomplishment was awesome! And it was a lesson learned that I did not know I would use until now. (did I mention that a week later I found out I was pregnant? So not only did I run in the conditions mentioned above, I was pregnant too!!)

If I can finish a half marathon, I can do this bed rest thing too. The race was a lesson in patience and a lesson in controlling what my head tells me. My head tells me that I won't be able to do this without going stark raving mad! My head tells me that there is a high probability that I may still loose this baby especially since there is no chance yet that she can live outside my body. My head is telling me that my body is not a good home for this baby anyway. My head tells me that even if I make it, there still may be something seriously wrong with this baby in the end. My head tells me that all the odds are stacked against me.

My heart tells me that I can do anything with God's help. My heart tells me that God will not leave me. My heart tells me that even if something does happen, He is here to comfort me. My heart tells me that the prize at the finish line is so valuable that there is nothing that will stand in my way to get it. During the run, I listened to my heart and I knew I could do it and I did! Now, I am learning again to listen to my heart and I know I will reach the end and there will be a wonderful outcome and a precious little girl at the finish line. I know that with so many people praying for us, there is no way that God will deny us this child. He is just making us work for her. No one said it would be easy but it will be worth it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 17 of house arrest

Our latest trip to the doctor was two days ago. Every doctors visit includes an ultrasound, a visit with Dr. Grant and then a follow up visit with Dr. Moreton. So first thing was the ultrasound. It didn't show as much fluid as last week. There was a SVP measuring 11mm and another pocket measuring 6mm. The bottom of the range should be at least 10 mm. I don't know what it was last week, I think I was a little too freaked out to remember to ask. The baby still appears to be in stable condition. We could see her bladder and her stomach which means that she has enough fluid to swallow and for kidney function. Both excellent signs. We also watched her suck on her hand and move her jaw which means she was swallowing too. Good news! Dr. Grant came in after that to explain everything to us. He was slightly concerned that the fluid level was not as much but he said it would fluctuate. After two weeks of bedrest and finding out there isn't as much fluid is, to say the least, a little disheartening. Seems like you try your best and it isn't good enough although I know I am not in control of that situation. He also said that if the fluid consistently goes down or no more is made, they would check possible problems with my placenta. GREAT, another potential problem. But I know that is just something he has to prepare me for just in case. I am not thinking that anything else is wrong and I am going to drink a ton of water this week. Overall though, he gave us a good report.

Next was our visit with Dr. Moreton. He is my regular OB and since Dr. Grant has taken over my pregnancy, Dr. Moreton acts mostly as my counselor. He does his best to make sure that mentally, I am able to cope with things. Which, some days are better than others. He is also trying to get us set up with a neonatologist. He answers all of my questions, no matter how dumb I think they are. He has even called me at home to check on me.

I am lucky to have such wonderful doctors taking care of me. I truly feel like they care about me and about keeping this child healthy and alive. Not once did either one of them try to talk me into terminating this pregnancy which, I think is a wonderful thing. I could never do that. So they are trying to give her every opportunity to make it by taking care of me.

So, now we keep doing what we are doing and wait until next Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A fork in the road

I know I haven't blogged in forever but now is a new twist in our journey.

In July, I found out that I was pregnant with our second child. Miracle of all miracles! We wanted two children and now with Ethan getting ready to turn two, we figured we were ready again. We were still signed up for the adoption in case we could not get pregnant again. This is a true miracle that it happened twice! I had the usual pregnancy symptoms or the same ones I had with Ethan. Indigestion, nausea, fatigue, you know how that all goes.

On October 12, 15 weeks into the pregnancy, one of the worst possible things happened. My water broke. The medical term for what happened is preterm premature rupture of membranes or pPROM. It happened at 6:00 on a Tuesday morning while I was asleep. No symptoms, no warnings, just leaking almost all of the amniotic fluid. Frantically I called the doctor who told me to come in as soon as the office opened. The grim look on his face told us everything we already dreaded. He said that the baby was still alive but most likely in the next couple of days, I would go into labor and miscarry. We were devastated. My OB also called down the hall to an OB high risk specialist who agreed to see me right away. While in his office, he did two more ultrasounds and told me that if I heeded to strict bed rest, there was a chance that the baby may live to prematurity. Which means that as soon as they think the baby can live on her own, they will do a c-section and she will live outside the womb until she is ready to function on her own outside the NICU. Yes, we also found out that the baby is more than likely a girl.

So to make a long story short I have made it two more weeks on bed rest, and our little girl has hung in there right along with me. There is still some fluid but not a lot. There is enough for the baby to swallow and filter through her kidneys. These things are both crucial for the survival of our baby. And, we have hundreds of people praying for us. That is what helps the most. I have found a great support group online for women who have the exact same condition that I do. I guess you call it a condition. I have done more research on PROM than I ever imagined since I have never heard of it before. You see, it only happens in 1-2% of all pregnancies. So unfortunately, I am unusual. Maybe I should have bought a lottery ticket that day too. Seems like my chances of hitting the lottery would have been better than this.

There are many things that can go even more wrong down the road but we are praying for nothing short of a miracle in this pregnancy. After all, Ethan was a miracle so I believe in miracles. So for now, everything is stable and we just take one day at a time.

Until next time...