Friday, July 27, 2012

Catch up...

So I posted a few drafts I had saved up from when I first found out i was pregnant. I realize I haven't blogged in an ETERNITY...but they are there for your reading pleasure or not. :0)

I think the last one was early on and so I will give a BRIEF update on the pregnant life of Kelly. I promise for no goury details or too long of a story (which Mikey says is impossible for me...we'll see about that!).

Made it safely through the first trimester! Had weekly ultrasounds and LOVED them. With each one the nervousness growing less and less. We celebrated the victory of making it through 13 weeks and moved on to our next "milestone"...24 weeks...the week where the baby has a 36% chance of living if it is born in that week.

I thought it interesting in these times how different Mike and I's comfort levels with our situation. We were never on the same page...and this was ok. It was actually perfect. When he felt less sure and more anxious that something was bound to go wrong. I was steadfast in my feelings of it being perfectly ok. And of course the other way around...It was great.

We sailed through the second trimester passing the glucose test with flying colors. One snafu though that we recently encountered after seeing my high-risk doc (who is literally one of the most comforting and detailed people i've ever met in the land of doctors...beside the great Dr. VL who literally saved my life). Anyway more on that in the future. Dr. Humphrey's (said high risk doc) had some concerns regarding my blood clotting disorder that was diagnosed early on and was being treated with a baby aspirin a night. Did the tests...came back with less than stellar results. I not only have 1 clotting antibody present in my body causing issues...but i have 2. Anticardiolipin antibody and Lupus anticoagulant (no it doesn't mean i have's just what they call it). What that means in short is...i have more of a risk in normal life to develop a blood clot. In pregnant life, this means more of a risk of the baby (sorry for the upcoming harshness) dying because i develop a clot in my placenta that cuts off oxygen and nutrition. order to combat this seemingly "common" thing. I have to give myself Heparin injections twice a day. The Heparin makes my blood less "clotty". This will help me and the baby stay safe against these antibodies my body produces. So...i've been doing this now for a few weeks. It's gotten easier. I've accepted it after a little pity party involving bouts of "this is so unfair".

Now we are at 33 weeks today and I'm super pumped about it!!! I have to be induced because of the clotting I will go in in 5 weeks and have this baby!!! WAHOO!! I can't wait to meet our little guy/gal on Sept 4th!

Baby stats are great...little bug loves to cover his/her face at every.single.ultrasound. No lie. Last time I drank some caffeine...still face was covered...haha! 3 weeks ago the babe weighed in at 3 lbs. 6 oz. So next week when I have my monthly ultrasound and checkup I'll update the stats. The leg bones are in the 95th percentile for height...gee i wonder where that came from. I'll have a nice long baby for sure! Things that are super positive from this...people who have my blood issues...the baby might be not getting enough nutrition due to a clot on the placenta cutting off life. So a bad sign would be small baby with bad blood flow. The ultrasounds always show...great blood flow and, according to Dr. H, a "a VERY healthy sized tall baby".

Other things of note in the pregnancy so far...
1) We all got to see a 4D ultrasound of our little was most fabulous. And wonderfully shared with my family and Mike's...I'll post pictures later.
2) Had an amazing shower with friends and made my heart happy.
3) Nursery decorating is so fun! And it's almost done...
4) I LOVE names...and i think one of the most fun parts of not knowing the sex is I get to think about names for both!!
5) Worst part of not knowing was definitely the picking out bedding...So hard!
6) Little babe LOVES worship at Grace lie. Kicks the crap out of my stomach every single sunday. Also...loves Coldplay. :0) Didn't move once for the amazing (insert sarcasm here) Robyn (the opener at the Coldplay concert...remember her show me love song?!).
7) The bug is now so big that I can see when there is movement...butts and heads and elbows and heels...they all go scrolling across my belly. It's wonderful. Mike loves seeing it and feeling it as well.
8) Am having occassional freak outs regarding our life being so drastically different after Sept 4th.

I think that's it for now. I know it sounds long, but give me a break...I just recapped literally 6 months of life! haha!

Things to keep in your mind and prayers today...I have an appointment with the Hematologist...Dr. determine what my treatment for my blood disorders will be after the baby is born and then also when I'm not pregnant what will I have to do. Worst case scenario is shots forever. Best case is just a baby aspirin a day. Of course...we're hoping for the best. :0)

Monday, February 6, 2012

I promise I won't update with weekly ultrasounds...

But just wanted to say...that we got yet another great view of the little booth today. We decided that we don't like saying him/her all the time...or we will call the baby Buddy. Buddy the Elf. :0) Or little buddy...whatever we feel like. So we saw little buddy today and everything looked marvelous again. We have the very best ultrasound tech EVER. She isn't normally supposed to say anything to us about what she sees, but she knows what we've been through and she knows we know a lot more about what should be...than most. So she talks to us...and I love it. Today the heartbeat was 166 BPM measuring .5 inch at 7 weeks 6 days. AND...she pointed out the beginnings of the umbilical cord. Which we have never seen before!!! So now...we wait for next week's appointment...this appointment is fairly large for we have have before been past 8 weeks. So we continue to trust the God bigger than my past realities. We continue to pray for our little buddy that he hangs on grows strong so we can love him for the rest of his life. Each week we get closer to the end of the first trimester, and each week our hope continues to build. At this point...we are allowing that. We are allowing ourselves to be excited. No, we aren't talking about names and picking out nursery decor, but we are excited every day that I "feel pregnant" and rejoice in knowing that God's faithfulness to us through the last 2 years is amazing...something we don't deserve...but something he grants us freely. He welcomes us to be a part of who He is and His plan and I trust that explicitly.

Ultrasound and the return of nervousness....

So today was the first ultrasound and I found myself sitting in the waiting room of the ultrasound place with the return of the nervousness...the anxiousness of the first look. So many expections are wrapped up in the first appointment...will there be little baby there, will there be evidence of anything at all, will there be many things to think about. But in the midst of the anxiousness, we bravely walked into the room together and saw our little guy's (or gal's) heartbeat!! It was pure magic. We saw it instantly and instantly i was connected. All the nervousness melted away and I found myself verified in all the symptoms I had been feeling over the last week. All those times where I felt little twinges meant that it was "normal". I don't know normal. I have never known what normal is in terms of pregnancy. I can only find myself comparing it to what I know to be abnormal...which for me is normal. So there was a lot of relief for me today in regards to what is considered "normal". I now know that at least for me...what i've been experiencing can be categorized as normal. We saw the little heartbeat beating so strongtly at 122 BPMs and measuring less than .25 inch at 6 weeks 4 days. It was awesome. And so now...we press on to next not in fear of what the future could hold...but in trust that God of this universe hold the future.


So we got the green light from the doctor on December 22nd right. On January 5th at 3am...i had to pee. So I did what every logical trying-to-get-pregnant-and-have-it-work person would do. I peed on that stick regardless of what time it was! And at 3 read...PREGNANT!!! WAHOO!!! So i woke up Mike and told him. We prayed...then went back to sleep.

The next morning I called Dr. V to make sure that my current regimen wasn't going to affect the baby. He told me what to do and I did it. I then immediately called the OB/GYN that he referred me to and booked my appointment, called the old doctor and had my records transferred. We did this for many reasons...but the biggest being. We wanted a fresh new start. We wanted doctors that didn't already do the "I'm sorry head tilt". Dr. B's office had great intentions adn they were great for the season that we were in. But now we are moving on to other things...Dr. S knows Dr. V and she knows how he practices medicine. This makes me very comfortable. This means that unlike the other doctors I've encountered...she won't look at me like I have 3 heads and have sprouted horns when I tell her my miscarriage issue might be related to gluten.

So we wait in anticipation for the first ultrasound!!! Yay! :0)

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's not ALL bad...

There are days where I look at what we have gone through and I think to myself...are you kidding me?! There are times where I can look back and remember how hurt and sad we were. I don't dwell on those moments for sure...but I definitely know when I touch the part of my soul that remembers what that feels like. It's a sting...with the knee jerk reaction to pull away and close the door. And then there are moments where I think to amazing and how thankful am I!

How amazing that we made it through the last 2.5 years as better people both individually and as a couple. We know more about how to handle difficult situations than we ever thought we would know. We know how each other reacts to difficult situations. We know what the other expects and needs during these hard times. We know when to hold each other and when to allow each other to scream and yell in anger. I'm sure we would have figured this out eventually. But we figured it out now...and I'm thankful.

How amazing that we have the love of a God that holds us through this and at the same time allows situations like this to be used for His glory. I cannot tell you the number of times where when I share my story I have the opportunity to tell people in a very real way HOW I made it through. I have learned sooooo much about suffering and its purpose in my walk with Christ that it is amazing. I know that trusting him through these hard times only makes the joy on the other side that much greater knowing that there is no way I would have made it through this without His arms wrapped around me. And I can tell someone now that the only way to bear the burden of loss is by resting in the love of Christ. And because of what I went through...people believe me. I know it's not always the obvious situation that is what it's all about. Yes, we lost babies, and yes that is sad. But think of everything we have gained in strength along the way...think of the other people's lives that are impacted by knowing HOW we made it through. When you think about's amazing...and it's not all bad...and I'm thankful.

How amazing that while there are still those deep pockets of hurt; there are also those moments where I look back and can smile. Sounds odd..I know.

It's not all bad. I mean the situation as a whole is, but there are parts of it for which I am thankful and happy. The other day we were making milkshakes in the kitchen. We love vanilla ice cream milkshakes with chocolate syrup mixed up. And as we were making them; I smiled. Not because it brought me back to miscarriages and in some twisted way this made me smile. But rather.. in that moment I knew that enjoying those milkshakes brought back a memory that ONLY Mike and I share. Only the two of us know that our comfort food during the last miscarriage was vanilla and chocolate milkshakes. No one has this association. And in that moment I looked at Mike and thought...there is no one in the whole world I would rather go through life with than this man. In that moment I smiled because, oddly enough, those milkshakes represent something that strengthened us. I never thought for a single moment that I would ever look back on our past hard times and think anything good. I always thought that all the associated thoughts would be of sadness, hurt and brokenness. But in that milkshake moment...I realized that there was a lot to be thankful for and that it's not all bad.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 naughty little culprit

Gluten...the cause of all my issues. I am...Gluten Intolerant. Hi, my name is Kelly, and I have a gluten issue.

The back story. So as you remember from the last post, we found the wonderful Dr. VanLue. He gave me a spit test for hormones and sent me for blood work. Four tubes of spit and nine vials of blood later...we have results!

We went in for the appointment and we were super excited and ultra anxious all at the same time. On the way in...walking through the hall...we did our normal praying as we go in to the doctor. "Dear God, keep us strong for each other, keep us brave and courageous to follow Your guidance, and keep the doctor wise to help us fill out Your plan. God you are bigger than this. And we love you more each day."

The next half hour is something I'll always remember. Even if the plan we are following now doesn't end with us being able to have kids...I will always remember THAT appointment. Years down the road when I'm covered with grandkids...I will ALWAYS remember THAT appointment. As we sat down in his office, a contagious smile spread across Dr.V's face and he could hardly contain his happiness. He started with "So..." He was so excited that all I remember was him fidgeting in his chair and smiling like a tech junkie at an Apple convention. He said, "I know what's wrong...and while I can't make any promises...I KNOW that this will work. I knew the moment we spoke on the phone that God brought us together for a reason. I got a good feeling in my soul about the partnership that we were going to have." He paused for a moment, still smiling, but this time I thought he was going to cry. He was so happy for us...that he was tearing up. Seriously...I will remember that day because it was the first time that I sat in a doctor's office and felt like the doctor understood. I fel like he was interested in our outcome, interested in our emotions, and excited about fixing an issue that is way more complicated than just being "unlucky". He said that when he picked up the file with my test results in it that the nurse gave him...he prayed that the results would be obvious and that he would be able to see clearly what he needed to do to help us. And when he opened the file...he knew exactly what to do for me. This is why he was excited...this is why he was almost in tears. I will remember that day always. And not just because of the results, but because God brought us together for a reason. He was orchestrating his plan long before we lost our babies. When you think back about the events of the last 2 years that statement becomes even more amazing. We could have chosen a lot of different churches in the Central Florida after NewSpring closed. But we chose Grace Orlando. We could have kept trying and kept failing. But we didn't. Good and bad, happy and sad situations of the past...led us to exactly where we are now. Sitting in the office of a man dedicated to Christ, dedicated to using his gifts to bring glory to God, and determined to see us have kids and make healthy choices. I will never forget that day. My heart was happy that day. The discussion in that appointment was something that brought a smile to our face and not tears of disappointment and anger.

So the results...the result is...I have a Gluten sensitivity. Gluten reeks havoc on my insides and causes problems that in the end are affecting my ability to have kids. For a very short lesson in gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It's a little sticky substance that some people have an "allergic" reaction too. In normal people, gluten is digested. In people with sensitivity issues the immune system freaks out and responds in crazy ways to gluten. I don't have Celiac disease which is more severe of a reaction to gluten where the intestines are actually destroyed by the gluten. But I do have a sensitivity...which causes my entire body to scramble to control the immune response to the gluten I put in body. My body is working overtime and dedicating all it's efforts on fighting the stress that my insides are feeling when they encounter gluten. It is unbelievable the things that gluten is affecting my body. It is causing all my hormones to be used to fight stress inside, it's causing my intestines to improperly digest vitamins and the good things from my food, it's causing my thyroid to under produce hormones, it's causing my progesterone to be low because my thyroid is underproducing...all of these things affect pregnancy and my body's ability to carry a baby. So my body's reaction to gluten is multiple miscarriages. Something i would never have known until I started trying to have kids. But i know now... I also haven't had a headache since August! Which is unbelievable.

So there you have it. I'm gluten intolerant. I haven't had anything with gluten in it since August and I feel great! I feel more energetic, no headaches, and happy that I know more about my body and am one more step closer to finding out if my body can handle little ones of our own. I have learned a lot of new recipes, a lot of things to avoid, a lot of things I can adjust and a lot of ways I can be creative with my new found sensitivity.

So the future plan...I will get my blood tested again at the beginning of December to see how my levels are and then have an appointment with Dr. VanLue and he'll give us the go ahead if everything looks good! Mike is, as always, my rock and my biggest fan. He is eating gluten free with me and putting up with my new ways of doing things. I don't miss it...breads or soups, doughnuts or pastries...every once in a while I wish I could gobble up the cupcake in the bakery window. I will give up anything to know that my little people will be that much healthier because of a little adjustment I have to make to my diet.

It probably seems like a big adjustment to anyone reading this...i mean seriously...nothing with flour in it! me...this is my sacrifice for our family. Giving up gluten in exchange for being able to see the little eyes of our babies staring up at us. It's an easy sacrifice.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not gonna lie...this update is a little long...

The last blog post left off with my toxic liver. So at the beginning of July we started the plan. The plan included a new food plan and a bunch of nutritional medicines. The point of the food plan was to detox my liver and give it break from processing the crap. I know that detox sounds super trendy, but the reality of it is is that my liver was on overload from the crap of my body. And in order to get rid of the crap, I had to do two steps. One was to take the nutritional medicines, which are like vitamins except whole foods, so it's like crushed up brussel sprouts in a pill form. The point of this was to help heal my liver as it was getting rid of the toxins. The food plan portion was to give my liver a break from processing the crap.

Mike, being as awesome as he is, agreed to do whatever I had to do. So we embarked on the new food plan journey together. No refined sugar, no dairy, and no carbs. At the end of a month I was supposed to have some tests done to compare my beginning results to the end ones. doctor friend from Iowa and I had some issues getting my blood results across state lines. I literally tried everything. I won't bore you with the hairy details...but they included many phone calls to insurance company, random doctors office, my OB/GYN, my specialist, and a past doctor I'd seen before. All told me the same thing...they didn't want to be the "satellite" doctor. They didn't want to partner up with genius doctor friend at all because they don't really see the point of doing all these tests for miscarriages. So for several weeks I tried and tried...nothin, nada. We were so super frustrated and had no idea where to go next. So we prayed that God would provide the right steps and show them to us. And just like always...He came an unbelievable way.

I kept searching for doctors like my doctor friend here in Florida. And I stumbled upon one we had seen sometime before, but had no need to switch doctors at that point so we passed it up. I went back to an option I had seen before and didn't need at the time called Everything Well. They sounded perfect! The doctor was a functional medicine doctor like genius doctor friend. So I gave them a call up and had a conversation with the patient care coordinator...the fabulous Polly. We chatted and set up an appointment during lunch to chat with Dr. V. Mike and I were super sounded like everything we had been waiting for. So we waited for our phone call appointment the following week with the doctor. The conversation was amazing...he was warm and kind....he understood...he wanted to help. After a conversation about what was going on, I found myself answering questions more related to how Mike and I were handling the hardships of multiple miscarriages. I found myself discussing the mottos that Mike and I have held fast to this whole time. The two fundatmental things...1) we will not let this define who we are...we will not allow the miscarriages or the process of finding out how to have kids define who we are. We are still Mike and Kelly who have been together for more than 5 years, have a blast laughing together, love each other unbelievably much, and love travelling and friends. We are NOT just Mike and Kelly who have been trying for 2 years to hang onto our babies, or Mike and Kelly who have been pursuing tirelessly the options ahead of them for a family. We do not allow this to define us. And 2) we are strong in this situation because of our God and nothing else. Our marriage has flourished during this time because of Christ and his unfailing love for us and trusting the plan He has for us. And this where it gets super awesome. He goes to our church!!!!! He has been going there since it first started!!!!! And the fabulous Polly...she goes there too!!!!! At the end of the conversation he prayed with us!!!! NO lie! I couldn't make this crap up! The following Sunday we found him and met him and he hugged us like old friends and said he was going to help us. And that is how we found our new fabulous doctor!

He gave me orders to go have my blood taken to compare to the results from genius doctor friend and another kit to test my hormones through my spit. I did both of those around labor day and now we just wait for the results. They should be ready sometime next week! And then we'll go in and talk to him and see what's next. What he suspects and what I think i that I have a gluten sensitivity as well as some sort of auto-immune problem! We have continued to eat healthy according to the plan for the most part. No gluten at all, limited amounts of dairy, and no refined sugars. And I LOVE it! I feel great! When I do eat anything with gluten in it my stomach blows up like a balloon and I burp constantly. It's pretty attractive i know. HA! We'll continue to eat this way. I've learned all kinds of new ways to cook and eat. Mike is putting up with it...even though he says he puts up with a lot of my "greenness". We like being healthy and taking care of ourselves...not just FOR ourselves, but for each other and for our future grandkids and our families. It's a lot easier to make the right choice in health..when you think of it as affecting more people than just yourself.

And that's the latest update. Hopefully I'll have some more updates about our progress in another week or so!