Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fear, The Truth & Toxoplasmosis

Eight weeks from tomorrow (if all goes as planned) we will be meeting our new baby boy.
I couldn't be more thrilled for several reasons. Obviously to meet him and finally hold him in my arms and kiss his little face.
I'm excited to have a summer baby too. My first 3 are all winter babies, so I went right from the hospital to bundling them up in the frigid cold of Wisconsin winters. Bundling kids up is one of the worst things about winter I think. By the time you get them all wrapped up, you're good to go for a nap.
Our plan is to deliver on Tuesday, May 27th...the day after Memorial Day. After 3 csections, we will be scheduling this one at 38 weeks, because of a high risk condition called "your skin and muscles have been stretched and cut too many times and we don't want you to burst."
Ok, I don't actually know what it is called, but my doctor told me he was out of town one time and one of his patients wanted to wait to deliver until he got back in town and she was 40+ weeks and you could actually see the baby's head through her skin. Eeeeesh. Don't want that. So 38 weeks it is!
With 2 of my 3 kids, I developed high blood pressure and preeclampsia so I ended up delivering one at 36 weeks and one at 37 weeks...I'm not completely opposed to go slightly earlier if I have to, but I'm not banking on high blood pressure. I'm keeping an eye on it though. I went in today because of some unusual swelling and it was slightly higher than normal, but nothing dangerous at this point.
Obviously the longer he bakes his buns in my oven, the better.

This pregnancy has been a journey of faith from the day I found out I was pregnant. Having 2 miscarriages behind you always can cause a slight array of emotions when you find out your are pregnant again, but I've also had 3 healthy full term pregnancies so I know the faithfulness of God. Then last summer, I had another miscarriage (or chemical pregnancy) so again, fear wanted to jump in the moment I found out.
There is the weird place of trying to contain your excitement and trying to control your fear when you have a sad  and uncertain history behind you. And I was just trying to remain calmly in the middle. The day after I found out I was pregnant with this little guy, I started bleeding. And I continued bleeding on and off through my 17th week of pregnancy. I have never had happen that before and the only times I did have it, I miscarried. But each time I went in for another ultrasound, they couldn't find a reason for the bleeding. I remember my Aunt Carolyn telling me "Don't base your faith in your history, but in what God is able to do in your future."
That stuck with me. My faith isn't based on what has happened before...

By the 3rd-ish ultrasound, I was getting tired of dealing with this feeling of being up in the air all the time, not really knowing why this was happening, but at the same time I was like "well I guess it's just one of those unexplained weird pregnancy things."

Between dealing with the continual bleeding and also severe ulcer pain, horrible nausea, a wretched eczema breakout covering my entire body, an injured back where I had to bend over to walk and just feeling sort of too old & decrepit in general, the beginning of this pregnancy was really a rough season for me.
So much so that it took me that long to tell people I was even pregnant. I finally asked for prayer from several people including confiding in the gals from Thrive Moms in on what I was dealing with and then my whole facebook friends list. I didn't really give the detail what was going on through facebook, other than I was going through a lot and it was one of those moments where I didn't have the strength to fight this on my own. I craved the prayers of others to stand with me. I'm not usually one to ask for prayer. I like to stand in faith and trust God on my own. But I was really at the end of myself and I needed someone...
anyone to agree with me.

At my 24 week appointment, I was feeling much better. Every other symptom I was previously dealing with was gone thanks to everyone's prayers, but something new came to my attention.
Right before I got pregnant we bought a pixie bob kitten. And despite all the warnings from books and people, I was the main person to take care of the cat and change her litter box through the first half of the pregnancy. I started getting frustrated, that when I asked for help from my family I felt like I was nagging constantly and if I didn't just do it on my own, the poop would sit for days...
So I just did it.
I knew there were dangers in it and I tried to be careful, but in the back of my mind I was wishing I wasn't the one doing this.

Finally, I broke down crying one night after seeing a mouse in our house and watching my cat sit for days in front of the area the mouse had made it's original appearance, just waiting for it to return. Generally, I don't always like to find out what google has to say about everything, but for the sake of being careful, I looked it up and learned that toxoplasmosis is a parasite that cats can get and shed in their feces... if they kill an animal or eat raw meat. It does little to no harm to children or adults, generally nothing more than flu type symptoms. But if a mother gets it during pregnancy, it has a 30% chance of being given to her unborn baby and can cause anything  from learning disabilities to blindness to seizures to still birth.

I broke down in frustration because I just wanted someone to take this seriously as I was...
I wanted someone to offer to help.
But in that moment of frustration, the Lord reminded me of a scripture...
In Mark 16:17-18 where Jesus says "And these miraculous signs will follow them who believe...and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not harm them..."

I thought surely that goes for if they touch any deadly thing, it shall not harm them, as well.  
Knowing full well, I wasn't purposely testing or tempting God, but if for some reason Nova (our cat) did kill an animal and I did somehow catch some sort of parasite from her, that it would not affect me or my child.
I would not let it. Because after all I believed. And I am heir to all of God's promises.

I went into my doctor appointment soon after this and I told my doctor about our cat and the mice we saw her chasing and I asked him to test me. The next day I received a phonecall from his office and the report I received was that I, in fact, tested positive for currently contracting toxoplasmosis.
In that moment, I could have freaked. I could  have feared all the possibilities of what may happen and there was a part of me that wondered why I was so calm. I let the nurse finish telling me that they would retest me at my next appointment and see what happened and we would take it from there. I turned around to my husband and told him point blank "I tested positive."
A few hours later I went to my mom and dad and started crying. It was weird, the scare and shock of it had me in tears. I'm an emotional person to begin with, so anything will make me cry. But at the same time, I told them "I still have peace. And I believe at my next appointment that everything will come back negative."

My parents listened and agreed with me in prayer. We took the scripture from Mark 16:17-18 about how any deadly thing will not harm me or this baby and we took God at his word.
I was also aware of a high rate of false positives with this test.
Either way, I was done playing around with all this fear and worry garbage throughout this pregnancy.
I had had enough, to be honest. I wasn't going to let the devil destroy my joy. I wasn't going to spend the next 4 weeks worrying about what my next test results would be. I'm not saying the thoughts didn't solicit me, but when they did, I would change my thoughts to something else. I would tell myself, Nope. You are not dwelling on fear or worry or the negative. You have a promise from God far greater than what some test says. You have the truth.

I even started getting the flu and started wondering if those were the signs of toxoplasmosis finally showing up. Seriously, it took everything in me just to remain calm and at peace during those four weeks. I didn't tell ANYONE because I wanted to remain confident in what I knew to be true. God's truth is the only truth I know. And absolutely didn't want anyone speaking words of doubt or fear over my situation to me or behind my back. I only wanted words of life spoken and I felt responsible to make sure that happened.   I can't control other peoples tongues, but I can control mine. And I continually thanked God that 'the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead, gives life to my body (and my baby's body)' -Romans 8:11

God is so good though, you know.
He reminded me of another time, 13 years ago when I got a false positive of a fatal disease. Yes, this has happened to me before during my very first pregnancy 13 years ago with another disease.. It was the scariest week of my life I think, but in the end after seeing a specialist, my results came back negative. And remembering back to that gave me an additional boost of hope throughout this current situation.

Anyways, last week I went in for my 29 week appointment and we originally had to go in to do an ultrasound to check on the baby's stomach, because at my anatomy ultrasound at 21 weeks, the tech said it looked small so they weren't sure if he was swallowing correctly. And we also did a blood test for toxoplasmosis. I checked my website eagerly and hourly for the next two days waiting for the test results.
I am happy and ever so thankful to report & testify that it was a lie! It came back completely negative. Whether it was a false positive to begin with or whether whatever parasite that was growing was killed, I had complete peace and confidence that it would be negative despite my then current positive status. I wasn't even expecting a positive test result whatsoever the next time I went in. I kept telling myself that everything that has a name HAS to bow to the name of Jesus. He is the name above all names, afterall.
That includes parasites and diseases, right? Yep.

Not only that but, the baby's stomach looked good and healthy. Nothing scary to report there. Even if there was, I wouldn't report anything but what God says in his word.

Our little guy is measuring in the 79th percentile at this point,so we are doing one more ultrasound to track his growth. My babies were always in the 5th percentile, so that's a big baby for me. I remain confident in the character and promises of God concerning the remaining 8 weeks of this pregnancy, our baby's health and mine.

I'm excited to finally reveal our little guy's name:
We are naming him Wyatt Cash.
Wyatt was a favorite name of Jeff's since Wesley was born. Those two names were a toss up when we were thinking of names with our first son. At the time, I wasn't crazy about Wyatt, but I do have a deep place in my heart for the movie Tombstone. Haha. Seriously, I love the Wyatt Earp story, so yes, that is where his name came from. And as for 'Cash' I wanted something cool and "westerny' or 'country' to go with Wyatt, so we were going over famous cowboys or famous country singers and we think Johnny Cash totally rocks, so his middle name is after Johnny Cash himself.
Nothing sentimental from family or scripture, just a name we love and think is pretty cool...

Eight weeks to go, people, until our final baby is born. I can't wait!
After that, we have discussed the possibility of adoption of one more older child, believe it or not.
We will see where that path leads us in the coming years. Yikes!

On a side note: Yes, my husband has taken care of the cat along with some help from the kids every single day since that first result. I haven't gone near it. =)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

20 Facts About Me & Being Pregnant

1. I have three kids and have never gone experienced going into labor on my own.

2. With 2 out of my 3 pregnancies I had to deliver early due to pre-eclampsia.

3. With my first baby, I was induced at 36 1/2 weeks, in labor for 36 hours and wound up having a c-section after two hours of pushing with nothing happening.

4. The epidural did not work for me.  I could feel everything depending what side I was laying on. The medicine seemed to rest on whatever side I laid on and would move if I was flipped over.

5. With all three of my kids, I took progesterone suppositories throughout the first trimester (yes suppositories, fun) twice a day.

6. After both a first and a second trimester miscarriage, I asked to have repeat progesterone tests done with all my kids. And with all my kids the first test came back with good numbers, but I made them do a follow up test, in which my levels dropped so I was put on progesterone.

7. I had good levels with my current pregnancy again, but after explaining my history,they give me progesterone for my 'peace of mind' without even testing a 2nd time. I only took about a months worth though throughout the 1st trimester.

8. I gained between 55-70 pounds with each of my pregnancies.

9. I lost all my weight with each pregnancy within 6 months.

10. My children's birthdays are now scheduled, thanks to repeat c-section. Of course the scheduled date only happened once, since I went in early the other time.

11. My smallest and tiniest child now, was actually my biggest child at birth. Jada was the only one delivered on the date she was supposed to be.

12. I have morning sickness until about 17-18 weeks. With each pregnancy, the extent of the morning sickness wasn't as extreme as the previous time.

13. I never lost weight due to morning sickness, because in order to avoid the nausea, I ate to keep my stomach settled. So I ate every 30 minutes, but rarely threw up.

14. Every pregnancy I gained 20 lbs by 20 weeks.

15. I developed carpal tunnel in my right hand/arm/wrist with 3 out of the 4 kids (4 includes my current pregnancy). Most of the time it wasn't painful, just numb, but some days I woke up in extreme pain from my elbow down to fingers.

16. I grew some sort of a blood blister on my side with my 3rd pregnancy that wouldn't stop bleeding if it was uncovered. I was told it was due to the increased blood flow and would leave after I had the baby. Thankfully, it did.

17. I couldn't fit any shoes when I delivered any of my kids, because of extreme swelling.
My feet were literally 'humped" after I delivered. It was horrid and funny at the same time.

18. After I gave birth to Jada (my 2nd baby) I felt like I had been punched in the gut for about 2 weeks and was so winded. I am guessing it had to do with organs getting shifted slightly during the surgery. It scared the heck out of me and I thought I'd never be able to exercise again.

19. I breastfed all my kids past six months, but my daughter Jada lasted 14 months and quit on her own. I was so sad when she refused the boob. Haha. She never had a bottle and went straight to the sippy cup.

20. Probably in thanks to my excessive weight gain, I suffer from 'excessive skin" syndrome. Although I lose the weight, only a surgery to remove the skin will fix my tummy. It has taken a toll on my confidence at times. Clothes are always better after you have kids =) 
At least for the majority of us.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Have You Heard???

I've been anxious to share my news on the blog for a long time now & I swore once I start 
blogging if I ever had another baby, I would document the full pregnancy on my little online space here.
Well, that didn't happen. In fact, the majority of you didn't even know I was preggers until just this moment. Those of you who are facebook 'friends' of mine were surprised with our exciting news around 4 weeks ago...and if you follow me on istagram, you may have been slightly shocked about 2 weeks ago. But I was waiting for my 'official' blog reveal until this very day.

First I will fill you in on a few of the details some of you have asked if you you already knew 
about the bump...

Were you trying?
Yes. For about 6 months, since about April 2013. I specifically planned to take my family to Disney in the spring and immediately after we would begin trying. Which we did. I had a chemical pregnancy in early July and in September we decided to 'take a break' for a month because I knew I was taking a NYC trip for my first time in October and wanted to avoid morning sickness during our trip. Of course, September is the month I got pregnant! Wouldn't ya know? I just had to relax ;)

How far along are you?
Today, I am 20 weeks 4 days. My ultrasound (that I had today!) measured the baby at 21 weeks 1 day.

Morning sickness?
Yes, through about 17 weeks. It wasn't horrible, but I was dealing with other physical issues which made it feel horrible.

Weight Gain?
Ugh. More than I should. The average is 8-13 lbs. I've gained 19 lbs. It's not a surprise to me. 
I always gained 20 in the first half of  all my pregnancies. And all together between 55-70 lbs with each child. 
I was hoping to do better this time, but no go so far...
I always lose it fast though. Within 6 months tops.

Baby Movement?
Yep, lots of it. I started feeling 'bubbles' around 16 weeks, but the last 2 weeks or so have been obvious. 
My son even got to feel a kick, although he is the only one so far besides me.

Cravings/ Aversions?
Neither really... I've been stopping by Wendy's alot latey for fries though... =) 
That's not helping to my weight gain.

It's been off an on. Once I started packing on these past 6-7 lbs, I started getting 
uncomfortable and needing back support (already? I know!)

What are you looking forward to most?
Of course, meeting my baby. And a tiny baby butt. =) And snuggles. And nursing. I LOVE nursing.
But also this is my 4th baby, but my 3rd child in which I am pregnant WITH my sister being pregnant as well. Our first kids are 7 months apart. Our second kids are 3.5 months apart...and now this time we are about 3.5 months apart again. It's fun having babies with people you love.

Baby Gender?
Well, as you see above, we are having another boy!! I am beyond thrilled.
This is the first time I am announcing it to anyone, with the exception that I told my family a few hours ago! We all wanted a boy. The kids all wanted a little brother. I wanted another boy. My first baby was a boy, then I had two girls... Jeff seemed happy either way, although he was convinced it was a girl, because the chinese gender chart said it was a girl and it was right for the other three kids!

Birth Plan?
Yep. I'm not completely sure of the timing yet. But I just talked to my doctor today. I have had c-sections with all three of my kids so another one is in order. Generally they plan it about a week before the due date, which would put me to deliver around June 1st.
However, I reminded him that with my last baby, he made a note that my muscle and tissue being thin where the cut is made and he said at that time if I had another one they may have to go a week earlier even. So my very wonderful doctor who delivered all three of my kids will be looking at his notes and records and letting me know when we can plan on delivering. My guess is the last week of May.

I don't have a set full name yet, although I do have a first name which we have had since Wesley was born. But until I figure out the middle name I will keep it a secret (to most of you).

I'm sure I will be updating occasionally with more details. I feel so blessed. This is our last baby, that is for absolute sure. Something permanent will have to take place, probably with me when I have the csection. But I am trying to enjoy and savor every moment of this pregnancy and will be doing the same when the baby is born, knowing it is the last time I will be doing this...
Sniff Sniff...
I love babies...

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