Monday, July 30, 2012

The Journey

The past 2 years have been filled with much sorrow and heartache for our family as we have lost three babies.  Back in March 2010, we found out that what we thought was going to be a healthy pregnancy was nothing more than an empty sac.  For reasons I didn't understand at the time, I was not able to bond with that baby early in the pregnancy and then to find out that the baby was not there, I realize it was God's way of protecting my heart.  My body was not passing it on its own so we scheduled a D&C at the hospital.  It was March 19th, Steve's birthday.  The grieving process for that was very different because my Dr. said it happens sometimes that there is something wrong with the DNA and it just doesn't form a baby.  So instead of mourning over the loss of a "baby" it was more the sadness of a loss of expectation.

We moved on and continued to try to have another baby after healing from the surgery.  We became pregnant again and I started bleeding this time.  At our 6 week ultrasound, the sonogram revealed 2 sacks this time!  We were pregnant with twins.  Our anxious excitement at the thought of having twins turned to disappointment as we saw that once again a sac was empty.  Although we were perplexed on how the same thing could happen twice in a row, we rejoiced in the fact that one of the babies looked very healthy and had a good, steady heartbeat.  The Dr. and the sonographer couldn't see any reason or explanation for the bleeding so I was put on extra progesterone.  The bleeding continued for several weeks and still the ultrasounds showed that the baby was healthy and growing.

(The sonogram above shows the empty sack on the bottom and the healthy twin in the top sac)

One morning as I lay in bed, I felt a sharp pain and went to the bathroom.  My body had passed the baby and it lay lifeless in the palm of my hand.  Words can't even begin to describe the pain in my heart as I looked at my child.  I could see his hands and feet and eyes.  It was the most painful moment of my life.  The hope that we had that this child would survive had died.  It was Feburary 18th, 2011, my brother's birthday.  Months of mourning and sorrow followed his loss. Even though it was too early to detect his sex, we felt in our hearts that it was a son.  The Lord gave Steve the name Elijah because God came down from Heaven to take him away to be with Him. We buried him on our land under two beautiful oak trees and had a small ceremony with our daughters.  We didn't tell them that it was a burial but that it was just a way of us saying goodbye.  I knew they wouldn't understand at this time why.  I sang "Be Still" and "Amazing Grace".

"Hide me now, under Your wings. Cover me within Your mighty hand.

When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm.  Father you are King above the flood.  I will be still and know You are God.

Find rest my soul, in Christ alone.  Know His power, in quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm.  Father You are King above the flood.  I will be still and know You are God."

The next month I was sent to an infertility specialist, Dr. Allon, who sent me to the lab to have 16 vials of blood drawn. The testing revealed that I had some blood clotting disorders.  There are many, many different factors that help your blood clot.  My disorder specifically was that I have an elevated Factor 8 and low protein C.  This disorder tends to appear more after you are 30 years of age which is why I had no problems during the pregnancies of my two daughters.  My cousin also went through several losses before finding out she has the same condition as I, just a different mutation.  After I was diagnosed, 2 of my other girl cousins underwent testing which revealed they too have blood clotting disorders.  So out of the 5 of us girl cousins, 4 of us have undergone testing and all tested positive for the same condition.  My maternal grandmother had a late term miscarriage/still birth which I believe may have been caused by the same condition, although we'll never know for sure.  My mother had my brother and I before she was 29 so even though she was tested recently and shown to also have the same condition, it didn't effect her pregnancies in her youth.  Dr. Allon instructed me to notify him as soon as I had a positive pregnancy test and he would prescribe for me to take Lovanox injections daily (a blood thinner) and that I should take a low dose aspirin daily for the rest of my life to help my blood flow.  It was strange, knowing that this was the cause of all three losses and it was like I had to go back and mourn the loss of the other two children since I knew now that it was my body that had killed them and not just some DNA mistake.  My body had treated them like a wound and the blood flow through the placenta clotted and prevented them from growing and surviving. That was April.

All while this was going on, we were building our home on our land.  On November 23rd, 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, we finally were able to close on the completion of our dream barn house.  And that morning I had a positive pregnancy test!  I called Dr. Allon's office immediately and he had the prescription filled by the end of the day.  Steve and I prayed in the car before we left for the Title Company.  He prayed that God would watch over us and continue to bless us as we begin this new chapter in our lives, to which I added, "and this new chapter of having a new child."  He looked up and said, "REALLY??" We both were ecstatic and little anxious as well.  On Sunday, my oldest daughter, Kylan, accepted Jesus into her heart!  It was a week of great rejoicing and Thanksgiving indeed!  I went in for HCG levels testing on Monday which showed promising results.  Continued blood tests and sonograms showed a healthy baby.  And no bleeding this time.  I guarded my heart a little because I was afraid of another loss, but I had to pray continually that the Lord would allow me to open my heart to love this little life.

At 16 weeks, we went in for another monthly ultrasound and found out that we were having a Baby BOY!!!!  We were SO excited and my fears began to subside, although it was months later until I stopped checking myself for blood every time I went to the restroom. 


God was so good to continually give me reassurance.  My Dr. didn't believe me, but I felt him moving at NINE WEEKS.  I felt the girls at 13 and 12 weeks so I knew it might be possible, but certainly unlikely.  But God gave me that gift to give me peace.

Months went by and he grew and grew.  We anxiously awaited his birth and couldn't wait to hold this healthy breathing child in our arms.  Here is the story of his birth...

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