Thursday, December 31, 2015

Resolutions...

I've never been big for resolutions.  Sure, there are the standards, lose weight, spend more time with God, eat better, and such, which I always try to do, not just January 1 each year.  But last year, I decided instead of really setting a resolution, I would just make myself be more "proactive".  Some people adopt words to live by for the upcoming year, which is probably what I did with proactive.  I decided that when it came to my health, and mine and Dusty's future, I would be more proactive, and I have to say, I am so glad I did.

I got off to an early start with my "proactive" stance.  In January, I had what originally was thought to be a chemical pregnancy or even a fluke, with the very low beta.  I didn't really agree with my local ob who said that, and instead, felt like I was going behind her back, and emailed the APN at my RE's clinic, and asked her for another opinion.  She immediately ordered the saline ultrasound which my local ob did, and which eventually led to figuring out I still had some placenta from Chandler and Paisley in my uterus.  I am so glad I took the step of what, to me, felt like going behind Dr. P's back, and asking another doctor.  I was pretty proud of myself for not shying away from that, especially given the end result.  

Then when we had our failed FET in May, I pushed the doctor, and although there weren't really answers gained, I knew I wasn't left with a what if feeling.  Dusty and I asked the hard questions, and took the steps we needed to feel ok with what the end result was.  

And most recently, I don't think I could have been more proactive once we learned we were having twins again.  Immediately upon learning there were two babies growing, I started calling my ob, basically asking what we'd do differently.  I have to say, I love Dr. H, but as I've posted, I wasn't happy with the "wait and see" approach.  It isn't his fault, of course.  He isn't an MFM, and there aren't many studies on what could possibly help with a 2nd twin pregnancy, however; since I had been proactive, I knew there were options.  They were pretty new and not common, but there were definitely options out there.  I pushed for a referral to the local MFM, set up an appointment with one in Tulsa, and asked for a referral to another in Tulsa.  At the end of the day, none of them had anything else to offer, so Dusty and I made the easy decision that we would make the 3 1/2 hour drive to consult with an MFM that I learned of through a friend online who could offer something more than wait and see.  And that has been the best decision we could have possibly made!  

Do we know if the outcome will be better this time?  Not yet, but we certainly have faith that God is protecting us this pregnancy, that God arranged the path to this MFM, and is guiding us.  As I sit here only a couple of days away from the point where I had Chandler and Paisley, I'm still scared, but I know that God is with us, and I know that God has given me the confidence to be proactive this year and to not settle.  And for that, I am so thankful.  

So what will be my resolve for 2016?  I don't know yet.  I've been thinking about that a lot today, and haven't come up with anything yet, but I'm sure something will come to me.  I do know that I will continue to rely on God more than I ever have before, and I will continue to be proactive.  Once I figure out my new "word", I'll share with you all.  

Here is hoping and praying 2016 is the best year yet!  God bless you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Test of Faith

I so want to blog more about this pregnancy.  But I'm so scared.  And now, I realize, as I'm typing this, that me being scared is showing my lack of faith that God is going to carry me through this pregnancy, which I truly believe he will.  

I've only shared this with Dusty, but I truly feel God's strength this pregnancy.  My body feels stronger.  I feel a confidence that I know I only feel because of God's hand protecting me, and encouraging me, and most importantly, strengthening me.  There are so many people praying for us, and I wish I could tell them all that it is working!  I feel your prayers.  Please keep them up!  

Now, does that mean I never have scared moments?  Heck no.  I wish it did.  Honestly, this pregnancy has been the scariest thing I've ever done.  And these next 4-8 weeks will be so critical, and with that, so scary.  But, I'm going to continue to trust in God. 

How can I do that after what has happened to me?  Well, honestly, I don't know.  It's having faith.  It's knowing that even with what we've been through, God is good.  Even with all the anger I had with God for taking Chandler and Paisley from Dusty and me, I can hold onto hope and faith that he is going to see us through this pregnancy.  It's purely blind faith.  And there are many moments where I falter, MANY moments.  In those moments, I ask Dusty to pray for me, or I stop whatever I'm doing, and I pray, or I reach out to my friends from small group that have continually lifted Dusty and me up for over a year, and I ask them to pray for me.  I stop looking on google or facebook for strength, and I ask God for it.  I stop scaring myself with stories I read online, and instead, ask God to write my story, and please let it be a good one!  

I've held onto this song as well.  We started singing it in church over a month ago, and I have to admit, the first time I heard it, I had a bitterness in my mind, and I thought, what kind of "good good father" takes away my babies?  And I immediately felt terrible for even having that thought.  I can say, I didn't want to listen to it, I didn't want to sing it.  I didn't feel it in my heart.  Somehow, over about a week's time, that bitterness left me.  I've felt healing, and now, this is my song I go to when I'm having doubt, or fear, or just need to calm my anxiety.  God truly is good.  We will never know why he took Chandler and Paisley, but, we are going to see them again.  That is one of the good things, God prepared for us Heaven, and we will be reunited with our sweet babies, and we will see them, and spend eternity with them, and that is so much better than anything we could have here on earth.

Chris Tomlin - Good Good Father

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sharing Some Pics

I'm sorry I haven't blogged too much about this pregnancy.  Honestly, the thought of it brings on some PTSD symptoms.  I think it's because last time, I was so happy, and loved blogging about every single second of my pregnancy, and this time, I'm just so scared.  It's very hard to get excited this time.  Once my pregnancy passes a couple of major milestones, I think I'll feel better.  

For now, I'll share a couple of the bump pictures that I have taken.

Here is 14 weeks...



Here is 17 weeks...

And lastly...here is our gender reveal picture!


We were very glad to find out we are having another boy and girl.  That is what we wanted.  We feel very blessed, and we hope and pray every single day that we get to bring these babies home in car seats this time!!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

So Far...

I have started to update my blog on what I've done so far this pregnancy, but for some reason, I've really struggled.  I haven't been able to sit down and make myself write.  I think it's leftover anxiety from last pregnancy.  

First, pregnancy after loss is nothing short of HARD!  I've met several amazing women and watched most of them go through it, and they talked about how hard it was, and I thought, yes, I'm sure it is so hard, but I didn't realize just how hard it is!  Every little twinge, every off feeling has me just shy of a panic attack.  I had no idea how hard this would be!

That being said, back to what I've done this pregnancy.  After learning we were having twins again, I called my OB and expected to be seen pretty quickly to discuss next steps.  Well...that didn't happen.  It seems like my OB, whom I absolutely love, didn't really have options for me.  Since it's twins, a cerclage isn't a great option, and really progesterone injections aren't either.  So...as so many women have heard, the first option presented to me over the phone was, we'll start weekly checks around 16 weeks.  That was absolutely not good enough for me.  No way was I going to do this, wait and see thing, this time!  So I asked for a referral to the local MFM (maternal-fetal medicine specialist, or, in other words, high-risk ob).  I got the referral and the local high-risk ob set up my appointment...for 15 weeks.  Again, not good enough.  

Besides my appointment being so far away, I also wanted a second opinion to discuss different options, so I did a google search, and found an MFM in Tulsa, OK, which is a couple of hours from here.  I called, explained my situation/history to the person who made the appointment, and she said I'd need to come over for a nurse's interview, and actually got me in within a couple of weeks.  I was pretty excited about this!  I was ready to get a game plan!

In the meantime, I found out a girl from my high school who also lost twins last year was pregnant again, with a singleton, and also lives in Tulsa.  My mom talked to her mom and got the name of the high-risk ob she was seeing, so I made an appointment with that doctor too!  Couldn't have too many opinions, right?  

The day came for our MFM appointment in Tulsa, and boy, was that weird!  Apparently, it was more of a walk-in clinic (with an MFM???).  The questionnaire I had to fill out asked things like, was I happy about the pregnancy, did the baby's dad know about the pregnancy, was he happy about it, and on and on.  I looked at Dust and apologized and said I had no idea what I had gotten us into!

Anyway, it ended up being a long and rather funny story, that hopefully I will blog about so I don't forget, but, at the end of the day, we figured out that office was not the place for us.  There was basically a huge mix-up and I was set up as a new ob patient, rather than a patient coming over for a consult with the MFM.  The next week, the MFM actually called me herself and apologized several times about it!  I talked to her on the phone and asked her what she could do for my pregnancy.  I didn't get much of an answer.  

The thing with twins after twin loss is, there just isn't much out there.  There aren't a ton of things that can be done that have been shown to really help.  However; I had been doing my research as well, and knew there was a device called an arabin pessary, which has been used in Europe (developed by a German doctor), and has been shown to have success in twin pregnancies.  I asked the doctor about it, and she'd never heard of that, but said she'd look into it, and also said she'd discuss with the other MFM that I had an appointment with in a couple of weeks.  A few days passed, and she emailed me and said she couldn't find a way to get the pessary in, and that the other MFM (a friend and colleague of hers), had no experience with it either. 

Well, that pretty much settled it for me.  By this time, I'd met a girl online through another online friend who lost her sweet twins last year, and had recently had a successful subsequent twin pregnancy and had 2 month old twins at home.  I found her, and we began emailing and texting back and forth.  I learned that she saw a doctor in Kansas City, and that doctor did the pessary for her, and has lots of experience with it.  So, at that point, I decided that was the doctor I needed to see.  We didn't care about the 3.5 hour drive to KC, or however many subsequent trips it would take.  

I truly believe that God orchestrated the connecting of me to my friend Nickie.  She has been so helpful, sharing tips and things that got her through her pregnancy and such.  And the comfort I feel knowing I am being seen by her doctor helps so much.  Now, I say all of this and know that every single person and every single pregnancy is different, but, I also say this knowing that God has a plan, whatever it is, and has led me to this doctor and this friend!  

I called the office in Kansas City to ask about coming up for a consult.  I explained my situation and history, and they set me up with an appointment the following week!  That was awesome!  I couldn't wait!  

Dusty and I headed up to KC on October 16th, just over a month after learning we were expecting twins again.  We had an ultrasound and got to see our sweet babies, and then had a consult with a resident and the doctor and it was amazing!  The resident remarked about how educated we were about the options, and left the room to get the doctor to finish up the consult.  When the doctor walked in, she was funny, as she said, I've been hearing a lot of buzz about you!  Not sure what that meant, but we found it funny!  We concluded the consult with a follow up appointment to have the pessary place, yay!  

I'll blog more about the pessary.  Please keep us in your prayers, especially over the next 6-8 weeks, as we are really entering the critical time of the pregnancy, and quickly approaching the point where we lost Chandler and Paisley.  Thanks so much!!