Friday, October 12, 2012

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

Thank you for your kind words and thoughts! You all are amazing! What a beautiful thing for us to come together through our struggles.
It was brought to my attention that my link at the bottom of my last post wasn't working. :/ Sorry about that! I decided I would just copy and paste so you don't have to go anywhere but here.

I am not writing for sympathy, but simply because it feels good to let it out and keep record of such an amazing/amazingly hard trial. 
September 25Th (the day before my Birthday) I found out I was pregnant. We were thrilled! Me and my big fat mouth could hardly contain this new big secret. So much so that I told my whole family the next day. Stupid..I know I know. But I was thinking " How cute would that be to open up a present from the baby and that be how I told everyone!?" Perfect timing I thought. Plus both of my sister-in-laws were pregnant at the time and I thought it would be fun to enjoy it with them for at least a few weeks. I had called the Doctor and scheduled and appointment and they told me to come it even though I would only be 6 weeks. Weird? Whatever, they know what's best right? So I am feeling great! No sickness..which is a total 180 from Kamden, and to be honest it made me nervous.
My first appointment rolls around and I go in to see Karen McBride. I sit on the table (alone because Kyle couldn't leave work...that's ok. I've done this before and he's seen it before. No Biggie) Karen comes and and as she's prepping the "Texas Tampon" I say to her, " I'm just worried that your look and there won't be any baby". (Insert awkward little laugh)Can you guess what happened? She looks and there is a yoke....but no baby. My heart sunk...lower than I possibly thought it could. Using all my strength to hold it together I asked, "so what now?" She told me that sack didn't look healthy and that I could expect a miscarriage probably that weekend. If not, then I should come back in for a D&C. BUT...don't give up hope (hope...that's all the word I needed) because stranger things have happened and I just might have come in too early for the embryo to show up yet. I was actually only FIVE weeks when I went in. I call Kyle....I go home, got to my room, shut the door, cry, and I don't move until Kyle comes home to make me. (Kamden was at my parents)
So big deal right? Almost every woman has a miscarriage or an unhealthy pregnancy. 50% don't even know it. So why was I devastated? I tried to tell myself that...the tears just kept coming. I asked Kyle to give me a blessing. I am so thankful to have the priesthood in our home. In the blessing there really was no answer either way. Just a comforting blanket for my mind and and an odd piece of information that was, " We are so blessed to live in this day and age and to have the medical technology to help us." Uh ok? So is the baby going to be ok with the help of modern medicine? I didn't get it and I didn't give it another thought.
I made it through the weekend. Phew.
The next week comes too slowly and I got to thinking. "Why are they not checking my hormone levels? I would think that would be a key bit of information to know what is happening with this baby. I call the Doctor. They say "Sure! Come on in." With more confidence after have making it through the weekend I go in to have my blood drawn. I'm talking with the nurse and she says "Didn't I just barely draw your blood?" Yes, I said." I'm in here to check my levels and compare them to the last draw." "Ok, let me check. Hmmmm.... I don't see them? We should have the results by now. I'm trying to rack my brain to figure what happened. OH YA.....You came in last Thursday right? (me-yes) And Karen had a delivery right? (yes) Now I remember. She told me to go ahead and discard you blood work because it wasn't worth sending in.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? What do you mean MY BABY wasn't worth it? Are you kidding me? What type of %$&^%$&#&$stupid#&$%@&%ignorant$#*^%$(&%^$!? 
Just in case you were wondering what was going on in my head.
I left. On my way home I called Circle Of Life and changed my Doctor to Dave Bier. 
I called the nurse the next day to see what my levels were.
 "Hi this is Sheena LaRose. Can you tell me my levels from yesterday please?" "Sure! 1,700. What are we doing this for? You're levels look great!" she said. I explained what had happened and she put me on hold to talk to Dr. Bier. When she came back she told me to make an appointment for tomorrow as soon as possible because something didn't sound right.
So I did.
 This time Kyle came with me because I didn't think my mental state would be able to withstand another blow by myself. I am shaking. He comes in and started the ultrasound. Scared to death to look at the screen, I do. There is my baby :) yoke, sack, and embryo. He looks for the heartbeat. There it is. Slow...but none the is THERE! He said everything looks fine! I looked at Kyle with tears in my eyes and nodded my head. There was our "not worth it baby". I took everything in me not to march over to Karen and show her the pictures and ask "Was this really not worth your time!?" 
That week I got sick. Sicker than I was with Kamden. I couldn't keep anything down. I couldn't get off the couch. But all in all...I WAS sick. That is a great thing right?
 The doctor had told us to come back in in 2 weeks to make sure everything was still on track because he knew we had been worried since it had gotten off to such a rough start. 
Two weeks pass. I'm now 9 weeks and sicker than I have ever been. I go to my appointment. The doctor whips out his trusty sidekick, The Texas Tampon and has a look. Baby-check-yoke-check-heartbeat??/- slowER. Hmmm. Then he proceeded to tell me that the baby should be larger by now and we should have seen some limb growth. He is concerned. I'm not giving up, don't you give up he says, stranger things have happened. Come back in a week and we'll see see if it makes good progress.
I digress.
What do I prepare myself for? A loss? A high risk pregnancy? I felt like my body/mind were in a sick game of tug-o-war. I didn't know how to feel. Hopeful? Angry? Sad? Mourn? So I became numb. Numb to either the outcome.
The next week was weird. Kamden was more attentive than ever. On multiple occasions he would come up to Kyle or myself and give us a big hug and say" I'm sorry momma/daddy". Us-"It's ok! ha ha. You didn't do anything honey." Later this would all make sense.
I was STILL sick. So I had that going for me. It was time to head to my next appointment not having a clue what was to come. I was alone this time. Kyle had an important work meeting and I assured him I could handle it. I go it..say hi to all the cute nurses. We were on first name basis by now. I get undressed, I knew the drill. Screen comes up, I look. I knew. No heartbeat.
Dr. Bier says. "I'm sorry. I just don't see a heartbeat............................................................."

I feel him. I feel my heavenly father wrap his arms around me. I feel warm, assured. I feel relieved? I was not alone. He was there, and I knew it. I did not cry. I held my head high. Thanking my merciful Father in Heaven for ending this earlier rather than later. Before it had a gender, a name. I was lucky. I was going to be ok. Kamdens remarks all of a sudden became to clear to me. My pure little boy who is so close to the Vail knew of our loss before we did. He was comforting his mommy and daddy.
Dr. Bier then explained to me I would need to undergo a D&C. Otherwise it could stay inside me for upward of even a month and I would continue to feel sick. I agreed. It was scheduled. 
The D&C was a quick process. Not as scary as I thought and I was out for the procedure. Immediately after all sickness and discomfort was gone.
I close my eyes, "Thank You".
The doctor then assured me he would examine the embryo to see if anything was more wrong with it and if I would need to take any precautions the next time we tried to conceive.
A week or so goes by and I get the call. "Sheena the doctor would like you to come in for an appointment now." Ok. I'm sure it is standard for all to have a check up after a D&C to make sure everything is gone.
I go in ready to go through all the steps we as woman do in a gynecological visit. The nurse takes me me back and tells me to have a seat and the Dr. will be in in a moment. Huh? No gown? No getting undressed? Doesn't he need to check me? What the?...
Dr Bier: Hey Sheena, I have a student here today. Do you mind if he comes in with me? 
Me: Sure?
So they come in and he proceeds to inform me: 
The reason I called you to come in is because I would rather tell you this in person than over the phone.
(huh? Isn't that normally a bad thing? What is going on here?) 
After taking a look at your embryo I was surprised to find that you had something that is called a MOLAR PREGNANCY.
A molar pregnancy is where two sperm enter the egg and for a super baby.
(HUH?)Meaning a normal human has 23 pairs (46) chromosomes and your baby had 69. (what the?)
It creates triple the amount. This is why you were so sick and your levels were so high. It causes a woman's hormones to sky rocket.(huh...)
Typically a woman's body will recognize this and abort it immediately. You actually had a PARTIAL MOLAR PREGNANCY, which is not as common, as yours did grow an embryo and a heartbeat. 
(Of course I did)
He then says to me (word for word)
"THANK GOODNESS FOR OUR MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY THESE DAYS because this could have been a lot worse for you."
(light bulb..DING! I should never underestimate the power of revelation)
Molar pregnancies can be very dangerous for a woman because they continue to grow and grow. Under a microscope they look like masses of grapes. Without our technology it could have continued to grow and grow ultimately resulting in a potentially fatal incident. Molar pregnancies happen about 1 in every 1,200. Now you will need to come in once a week for as long as it takes to get your levels back to a zero. Last time we checked them they were about 7,000. After that, once a month to make sure everything is still fine. Absolutely NO trying to conceive until I give you the go ahead.
( :( ) 
This is very important because it is possible that if there is any piece of it left in you it could regrow into another molar pregnancy or potentially turn into tumors and become cancerous.
(again with the "what the?") 
My levels are now a 3.

Never in my life had I heard of such a thing. I was happy to hear it wasn't anything I could have prevented but also terrified to hear I am more susceptible for happening again. Overall this experience had been a HUGE testimony builder. I see how much I am loved and how AMAZINGLY thin the line is between our young children and Heavenly Father. Also the power of revelation through priesthood. How amazing that My husband was able to translate word for word what I would soon hear from my doctor? God is merciful and loving and I will never forget that and let it go without a humble heart. I appreciate my son more. He is all the children I'll ever need should we not get the chance to have another in this life. He IS a gift..not to be forgotten. ( Not that he was "forgotten". I just took advantage of how precious and hard to come by they are. Expecting that we would easily have more) I love my family. No matter the size. Sure, we would love to have another. But if we don't, I will be ok. WE will be ok. Heavenly Father has a plan. I trust him. He was and always will be there for me. For us.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 15th

October 15th is national Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day. In honer of awareness I figured I would make this post as it seemed to be very fitting for our life right now.
Losing a child hurts. Some events are more tragic than others, but that doesn't change the fact that a loss is a loss. It doesn't matter what the facts say it is hard not to feel responsible, it is my body, my created habitat. I know every story varies, and many women have their own. This is one of my 3.
 It is sad that because of technology we are able to find out we are pregnant so early and what would normally be such a beautiful time in ones life, becomes an emotional roller coaster. We simply are able to find out we are pregnant way to early these days. Before technology women wouldn't find out they were pregnant until they are a couple months or more. One might say, "don't take a test". Ya right. If they had a test you could take the day after you conceive I would surely buy it. And my guess is most of you would too. It becomes an obsession.  The problem is that about 50 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage and 10 to 20 percent of KNOWN pregnancies end in miscarriage, and more than 80 percent of these losses happen before 12 weeks..  if it weren't for those early pregnancy tests we would never know of the loss. We would most likely chalk it up to a bad period.
Had I not started taking tests I would have just though I was 2 weeks late for my period. However I am human and as soon as I start asking myself  "Wait, am I peeing more than usual? Did my left boob just hurt? Oh I'm cramping...could my uterus be growing!?" Seriously. I start the test taking process.
"Honey can you see this line? If you squint with one eye and hold the other open you might see it! Don't blink! It might disappear!" " Is that a positive? Or is it an evaporation line?"
 Ahh google, the place that diagnosed me with cervical cancer when I researched "bleeding while pregnant"  and "low HCG" levels.

My Husband and I have gone back and forth on whether or not we should have another child. We pondered, prayed, and ultimately decided we would leave it in the Lords hands. What is meant to be will be. Let the games begin.
 I still find it fascinating that people can accidentally get pregnant. Obviously it is possible, it happens all the time. (Well, with us not meaning to. Because with God, there are no mistakes, but you know what I mean.) There is so much that comes into play with conceiving a child. All your ducks need to be in a row and the stars need to align..and all that jazz. It is crazy to think that on one side of the world there is a one night stand while on the other there is a woman taking ovulation tests, taking her temperature, charting symptoms, standing on her head, and everything else she can possibly to to get that positive result.
While at Disneyland I was having the best birthday ever at the happiest place on Earth and silently daydreaming about walking over to the gas station to get a pregnancy test while on our vacay. I was supposed to start the 23rd and it was now 2 days past. TWO DAYS!! WOO HOO! We will pretend that I didn't take 3 tests before we left and before actually being late. (Like I said, if there was an earlier test, I would TOTALLY take it.) I kept waiting for all those "signs" we look for and and they never came. I just told myself that this pregnancy was different because maybe my little girl was finally coming and maybe thats why I haven't had tenderness, or nausea, AND I was craving pickles after all. That never happened with my boys.
I took a test 7 days after my missed period. An EPT brand. Negative. What? I am not usually this late and I am still sure my little girl is coming. Two days later I took a dollar store test. A FAINT line. The test said not to look after 5 minutes but 5 minutes is about when it appeared. Are you a positive line or an evap. line?
*QUE GOOGLE* Evaporation Lines
I took another test the next day. Same result. So I called my Dr. and they said my first mistake was taking a dollar store test. I laughed out loud a little because those babies have confirmed every pregnancy I've had to date. Whatever. Anyway, they said I could come in and have them draw my blood to get a HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin or pregnancy hormone level) quant test to tell me my levels (if I had any) and also how far long I was. I went and the results were 19. They informed me that they were low and I was about 4 weeks along and that I probably ovulated later than average. BUT, I WAS pregnant! WOO HOO! I called my Husband and told him and he and his engineering self told me, "Okay, now remember statistics show that every other one works out for us so lets try not to get our hopes up too high."Uhh... man I am so thankfull for your smarts but really?!! ha ha Got to love him! That night he gave me a beautiful blessing for comfort. So that puts my due date around June 5th. Perfect! She will look so adorable in her little infant swimsuits and that is past RSV season.
The night of the 6th I started to spot. Let the dark clouds roll in. They still had a silver lining though. People still spot or even have full periods while pregnant right? I never bled with any of mine, but every pregnancy is different right? The next day I spotted again.. on and off all day. The morning of the 7th I think I knew. But my heart wouldn't let it be so. I woke up with horrid cramping. I tend to have bad cramping with periods anyway, but this was way worse. I was going into labor, I knew it. But my heart still didn't. I was checking everything that came out for a baby. Examining each clot/tissue.
*WARNING TMI* Oops. I guess I should have stated that earlier. Its all about Honesty here my friends.
I swore i had not seen my baby yet. Hope. The cramping worsened so I got in the bath. It was too hot and I thought I was going to throw up. NAUSEOUS! I hadn't felt it yet. Could everything still be ok? Nausea is a good sign right? I decided to jump in the shower. The pain was shooting up my back and I had to drop to me knees. I was going to pass out. Fear immediately took over because I was thinking about my two boys. Hudson was screaming in his crib because I couldn't watch him and I needed him some place safe and Kamden was downstairs watching TV. What if I pass out here in the shower? What would happen with my boys? Would I wake up when the water went cold? Would Kamden find me? Would he know to call 911?
I sat there and hugged my knees. Holding my breath and wishing that if i sat long enough that the pain would stop and if  I didn't let anything else come out that it all would magically repair.
The pain finally eased and I called the DR. They told me that bleeding can be normal but if I was miscarrying there was nothing they could do. "I know" I said.  They told me to come in and have another HCG quant test done and if they were raising then we would go from there and if they lowered, well, then I would know what "that" meant too.
This whole time I thought is was odd that I never had the desire to tell my family or anyone that I was pregnant. Some are probably finding out through this. Normally I am bursting at the seams.
I got myself together and took K to school. I called my Dad and asked him to ride with me and stay in the car with H while I got some blood drawn. I still hadn't cried.
On the way my dad unknowingly asked "Why are you going all the way to this office to get your blood drawn? You know you can go to any IHC clinic to get blood work right?"  Silence. "You didn't know that? ha ha." Silence. "What? Are you pregnant or something?" he said.  I lost it. Right there in the car in front of my Dad. Poor guy. He had no idea what was coming when he agreed to this.
They drew more labs. The woman's tune changed dramatically when she read my orders as to why I was having it drawn. I hate that. I hate that sympathetic look. But I guess it is a natural reaction and I would rather that then cold and callused.
She put the most adhesive lined tape she could find (okay that maaay be an exaggeration) and sent me on my way. It would take a day for results.
I laid on the couch as much as I could the rest of the day to continue to do everything in my power to help her environment. I felt pretty numb emotionally at this point.
The following morning I called promptly at 9am to hear my results.
"Your levels are 4" she says. Four. Okay.
My levels were 19 and now 4. Reality finally booted me in the rear. She didn't make it. Obviously I didn't know the baby's sex yet. But the heart wants what it wants and that is the image I had dreamed up until I could know for sure.
My heart is hurt. I'm not angry. But I am sad. My friend asked me if I saw the baby come out. Maybe. Maybe not. I was holding on to every ounce of hope that I wasn't losing it. I probably did examine it in my hand. Looking at something was wasn't quite perfected enough to continue its path. I'm glad I was blinded at the time. I'm sure it made it easier.
 I know my Heavenly Father has a plan and that not everything is on mine or my Husband's time. But there is a spirit to factor in the matter and for whatever reason the timing wasn't right. Maybe it never will be. Will we try again? I don't know. Right now my emotions are so high that I don't want to go through something of this kind again. It certainly wears on you. I feel confused. Not knowing what happened sucks. I want to march over through the vail and ask "What's the hold up?"
If nothing else. I have 2 beautiful healthy boys. I may never have my own little girl and that is ok. I'm sure my boys would look cute in bows ;). Everyone tells me I need a little girl. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. But one thing for sure is whether or not I have one is already mapped out. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father and my answered prayers of comfort. As much as I love instant gratification, everything happens for a reason. It is not up to me. I have to be okay with that and I will be. Just not today. Today I am allowed to mourn and be sad. But not for too long. I have two funny boys that wont let me. Today I ditch the water and have a coke.

My heart goes out to all those who have experienced any type of child loss. Some of you have dealt with way more than I have and you are amazing. It was nice for me to wright out my feelings. I already feel better. Thank you for reading.

*If you want to read about my Molar Pregnancy (loss number 2) you can do so HERE.*