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

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!

Here’s where we’re at

This pregnancy started out much better than the last. I was convinced that God had chosen to spare us from the horror of HG. When the nausea and weight loss started at six weeks I told myself it was just good old morning sickness. After a week of that my sister convinced me to call my OB for Zofran, just in case. I’m so thankful she did and we were able to do something before it was out of control. Early intervention is key with HG. As the weeks went by I needed to keep taking more and more Zofran to make it through the day. But, I kept telling myself it would not last like it did in my 1st pregnancy. I was sure it would end with the 1st trimester. Oh how I looked forward to that day.

Than came week 13.

My HG seems to be progressing from a mild case to a moderate case. That was quite a depressing realization. Not only have the last 10 weeks been physically difficult, but as my HG progresses it is emotionally draining as well. Try to imagine having stomach flu or food poisoning for week after week after week. With the flu you know an end is coming. With food poisoning you know it’s just a matter of getting the yuck out. With HG, vomiting only makes you vomit more, it is a vicious cycle. There is no relief afterward. My facial muscles tense up like I am vomiting even when I am not. My body is so conditioned to heave. Fortunately this time around the Zofran is controlling the vomiting but not the nausea and heaving.

Though the HG has started slower this time it is not any easier to deal with. This time a precious little boy is being affected. Jason and I are thankful that Zack is only 2 years old and we are praying that he is young enough that he will not remember mommy being sick. It broke my heart the other day when we pulled into the pharmacy and he announced “parmcy, mommies medicine”. He has days where he is very loving toward his baby and will pat my belly or blow the baby kisses. Then there are days when I can’t do anything with him and he will try to hit the baby or say “no baby mommy”. We want him to be able to bond with his sibling and not hold resentment for taking mommy away.

The hardest part is when I am so sick that I can not even take care of my own son. Days when my parents have to come and play with him or, like right now, I have to let him go stay with grandpa and grandma. He enjoys his time with them and I know it’s good for him to get away. I am so thankful for grandparents who can step in and help care for our little boy. I don’t know where we would be without them.