Almost 1 Year Later“

Wow! I haven’t been on here in a long time! I have been working on Zack’s story. It has been a lot harder to write and more time consuming than I expected.

Levi is coming up on his 1st birthday, August 21. He is going to have a safari themed party and hopefully the weather holds out as it is a cook-out.

Zack loves his baby brother and has been so good with him. One of our prayer requests was that Zack would bond with the baby and not resent him. What a blessing to see the love between the two of them. Levi lights up when Zack is around. He thinks anything his big brother does is hilarious! It is so cute to watch them.

Another prayer request was that Zack would not remember Mommy being sick. We had thought he forgot until a few days ago. Zack has recently been talking about when Levi was in Mommy’s tummy and coming to the hospital to see his baby and Mommy. This week he surprised me when he started talking. He told me that I used to be really sick and it made him sad and he cried a lot. He was quite insistent that I not get sick again because I am healthy now. I asked him when Mommy was sick. He got upset, put his hands out, like when stopping something, and very sternly kept saying, no no no you can’t get sick again!

I did not want to upset him anymore so I let the conversation go. It was hard to hear that he still does have some memories of that time in our lives. He was only 2yrs 9mons old when Levi was born.

Levi was diagnosed with a severe case of Reflux (GERD) just before he turned a month old. Talk about LOTS of laundry! The 1st few months he and I could each go through three outfits in a day. He’s doing much better now and only taking his Zantac a couple times a weeks. We have done research and talked with Levi’s Dr and speech therapist and it doesn’t appear to be related to the HG at all.

He eats like a champ. We are pretty sure that is his favorite activity. 🙂 My body can’t get pregnancy right thanks to HG, but at least I have been able to feed my baby well. In fact things have been going so well that I have been able to send 80lbs of milk to a donor bank where it will be used for NICU babies. https://www.hmbana.org/

It amazes me that after everything we went through with HG, both boys seem to have no issues. They are both healthy, happy, smart, and growing as they should. I have also found some great HG groups on Facebook that have been a source of comfort for me. It is nice to have a community of fellow HG Survivors who understand and to be able to help someone else. I wish I had found them while I was going through my pregnancies. I had prayed for a way to help others through my experiences and God has given me an outlet.

I am continuing to work on Zack’s story to share and will update after Levi’s birthday celebration.

Our Miracle

Our 2nd miracle arrived on August 21. Levi Benjamin arrived at 8:18am weighing 8lbs 4oz and 19 1/2in long.  The cutie pie has lots of dark brown hair and beautiful blue eyes like his brother.

We are relieved to be through our final HG pregnancy.  I did end up having to get another prescription before Levi arrived.  This time the insurance denied the Zofran.  I had already tried reglan and phenergan with Zack and had bad results so the Dr had me try compazine this time.  My last dose of Zofran was at the hospital, through my IV, while we waited for the C-section.

I went into the OR feeling sick and 1/2 an hour later my amazing baby was here and the nausea was gone. It’s strange how this disease works. You are so sick, without a break, for months and the instant the baby is delivered the disease is gone.  I was so excited when I got to my room and the nurse offered to order me a “liquid diet” tray.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted so she ordered one of everything for me, I ate it all!  In fact that day I had two “liquid diet” trays and a huge tray of real food that night. It was wonderful!

But back to Levi’s arrival.  Jason was convinced we were having a girl!  He had a look of confusion when the Dr showed him a boy baby. 🙂  That was quite a surprise to him.  After Levi’s vitals were checked I was able to have him right away in the OR.  It was such a difference from when Zack was born and I briefly saw him before he was taken to the nursery while I went to recovery.  The hospital (RMH) changed it’s policy and no longer separates mom and baby after a C-section.  We were able to start bonding as a family right away.  I even got to give him his first bath that night.  The nurse put a little tub on my bed so I could bathe him.

Levi has been a perfect addition to our family. Zack loves his baby!  He has been teaching him about Thomas trains, I keep finding them “snuggling” Levi.  Zack has also learned to help burp him.  He’s always concerned about were his baby is.  They are going to have so much fun growing up together.

The boys are keeping us busy!  Life is very different with two.  We’re loving all the new things Levi is doing and watching Zack become a “big boy”.

We have been so blessed with our two miracle boys!

Thank you for joining us on this journey.  Please check out http://www.helpher.org and learn more about HG.  CIMG4457

Light at the End of the Tunnel

We have made it to the final few days! Thank you to everyone who has stood by us through this long journey! We appreciate all your prayers, help, and encouragement.

I am still dealing with some symptoms of the HG. Though the last 2 weeks I have been able to finally reduce my Zofran and today took my last one. Hopefully I won’t need a refill. The dizziness is still quite present, sometimes accompanied by faintness.

I’m looking forward to getting back to normal. We know I will have some recovery time from the C-section, but it will be a piece of cake compared to HG. I keep thinking of all the things I will be able to do again. Scrub the bathrooms is one that I am most excited about. Cooking with chicken or other raw foods, going to more than one store. And most of all being the wife and mother I used to be!

 

We are so ready to meet this little blessing. God has brought us a long way as a family and individually.

Zack is finally getting excited to meet “his baby”. He has been snuggling baby clothes this week. Sometimes he stops playing to give the baby a kiss or lay his head on my belly. He jumps and gets this silly surprised look every time the baby moves. It’s so cute. 🙂  

I will be sure to share our little one with you all once baby is here!!

Blessings

I have been trying to focus on the blessings that are coming out of this experience.

Probably the biggest one that I can see right now is all the time I have had to snuggle with Zack before the baby arrives. He can be quite an active toddler, but he is so loving too. Even before Zack was born he would settle against my hand when I would touch my belly. Anytime he gets upset or feels frustrated he will tell me he needs snuggles and than everything is okay again in his world.

Friends from my past have gone out of their way to send cards and care packages. I could never express to them how much their thoughts and prayers have meant to me and to our family. Their kindness and creativity has given me ideas on ways to help other HG moms and families once we are through this.

Zack has been able to spend a considerable amount of time with several of his grandparents. Anytime someone comes to the door he assumes it’s a grandpa or grandma coming to see him.

A dear friend of ours was coming over weekly to run errands, straighten up the house, play with Zack, and visit with me. Knowing she was coming forced me to accept help which was so greatly needed at the time. And having someone visit that I could talk to during the weeks that I was down because of the Placenta Previa was wonderfully uplifting.

My sister, Jason’s aunt, and our friend made grocery store trips and kept us stocked on food so that Jason could focus on Zack when he was home.

I couldn’t even begin to count how many loads of laundry my parents and Jason’s mom have done for us in the  last few months. That is on top of all the meals that they put in our freezer so our family didn’t have to eat fast food so often.

My placenta has moved and is not a concern anymore!

Since we have already been down this road before Jason is more prepared and knowledgeable about what to expect. He has been very supportive and understanding. Which has been helpful because he will tell me I can’t do things when I think I should be able to. It saves us a lot of problems later. Sometimes I want to push myself farther that I really can and that leads to days of being extra sick.

It’s good to look for the positive things in any situation. It seems to make the negative a bit more bearable. I know we have been blessed in more ways than what I have listed here, I just can’t think of them all right now.

I am looking forward to the day when I can be a blessing in someone elses HG pregnancy the way that so many people have been to us. It will give some purpose to this awful, dark time in our lives.

Only 12 more weeks to go!

What does OK mean?

People often ask how I’m doing and my response is usually that I am ok. Jason and I have realized that “ok” leads people to think I’m feeling better.  When I’ve said that I was having a bad day or needed help I have gotten the response of “But you said you were better”. Jason thinks I need to clarify what my version of “OK” means.

The reason I can say that I’m doing “OK” when I’m around people is that I only see people when I’m not vomiting or sick to my stomach. I might appear to be doing well in the moment. I can assure you that if you see me once I got home it would be a different story. All of my energy goes into being a “normal” pregnant women in public. It takes me roughly three hours to be able to make it out the door. Most of that time is spent trying to eat and keep food down while resting because I’m so dizzy I can barely see.

So the question is…What does “OK” mean to me?

For me it means I’m not in pajamas, I ate some breakfast, and made it out of the house. It might even include putting on make-up (which I try really hard to not leave without, I look way to pale and sick).

What does “OK” not mean?

It does not mean that I’m feeling better. The nausea is gone. I’m not dizzy/lightheaded. I have energy. Or, that I’m having a good day.

“OK” is a day I can handle. We still have a long road ahead, at least 16 more weeks. I can hardly wait to meet this little person.

On a positive note for today, this is one very active baby!

What’s next…Placenta Previa

I started my post on Tuesday by saying I was hesitantly optimistic. Apparently I was right to be hesitant. We had our 19 week ultrasound yesterday. The baby was super active! The technician had a hard getting pictures because the little one kept moving on her. 🙂 I already knew we had an active little one in there. This baby can flip around for hours in the evening! Good thing it’s still tiny enough not to cause mommy any pain.

Everything seemed to be going well until the ultrasound lady went to get the pictures and came back saying she needed one more. I’ve had enough ultrasounds between Zack and this baby to know the abreviations for cervix and placenta. When she left the room I knew something wasn’t right. Jason kept telling it was, she probably just forgot a picture. When she came back with the pictures she wasn’t smiling, it was like she forgot and reminded herself to put on the happy “everything’s fine” smile for us.

So, just when I was thinking I might be getting back to more of a “normal” life with the help of the Zofran, something else comes up. The Dr informed us that I have Placenta Previa. One of my first thoughts was, can’t we get a break!? Now that my nausea and vomiting was getting under control and I was starting to be able to play more with Zack it was been taken away again. The Dr said I can only lift him in/out of his bed and car seat when needed. I also have to take it easy and not lift things.

I’m realizing today that it is much easier to be down when you physically feel horrible, but it is really hard when you’re body is finally feeling somewhat better. Zack has had many breakdowns today because he wants to be carried. He still loves to be held. Daddy’s arms are going to be full when he gets home tonight.

We have another ultrasound in a month to see how things are going. I looked up a few articles on placenta previa today and they all said this was an uncommon pregnancy complication. So, add that to the rarity of HG, and elevated liver enzymes from Zofran. I do not think my body likes pregnancy.

Only about 20 weeks left and we get to meet this little one!

The End of Akalooland

Well, the last few days have not been great. I rested a lot last week in hopes that we could do something over the weekend. Saturday I made it to the mall long enough to get new cell phones and then sick all the way home. 

Sunday may have been my last day in Akalooland, our churches children’s program. I didn’t feel well at all before we left, but of course told myself I was fine and went anyway. Ten minutes into the morning I had to leave. That was a huge bummer! Jason had been asking me the night before how much longer I really thought I could do it. My answer, until the baby is here! Again, thinking I could do more than is really possible. I made it a whole month longer this time than I did with Zack. So, that’s a blessing.

I sure am glad the church lobby has couches! It made a comfy spot to lay down and wait for Jason to come find me.

Sunday afternoon was spent sleeping and laying around. Followed by Monday of laying on the couch as much as possible with a 2 year old wanting to play. I woke up so sick on Tuesday Jason had to go in to work late so he could take care of Zack while we waited for my dad to come. Zack had a fun day. He helped Grandpa do laundry (which hadn’t been touched since Jason’s mom helped last week). Have I mentioned what a blessing grandparents are?

More HG specific update…The dizziness and faintness seems to be starting. I don’t think it was this early in our 1st pregnancy. The scary part is, last time it led to blackouts and being homebound for months! It also led to lots of tests by my midwife. The medication, Zofran, had been causing me to have elevated liver enzymes. Because my liver was being affected from the HG my midwife and GI Dr decided I needed to be switched to an OB for the rest of my pregnancy. That was a hard switch, I really liked my midwife and trusted her. The Dr I was sent to came highly recommended, Jason’s aunt had seen him for 2 pregnancies. He is who I am seeing again this time. 

I tried several different medications last time in hopes that something else would work and I could stop the Zofran. It didn’t. I have been trying to take only two doses instead of three this time hoping to avoid any liver issues. While doing more research I have read about Unisom and Vit B6. I plan to ask my Dr about that next week. I honestly do not have high hopes of it working, but maybe it would help some.

I also am trying to accept the fact that I need to let go of the housework, laundry, and cooking for now and focus any energy I do have on Zack. Being a mom you think you can do it all. Sometimes you just can’t. So for the sake of Zack and this baby it is time to let go and ask others for help. Please pray for me with that!