Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17, 2015... due date #4

Well here we are again, another due date. Today is, what should have been, due date #4. It seems a bit weird to think about. This due date is different though.

Each due date has been different than the others. This time, I am 19 weeks pregnant with a little girl. I never knew the gender of the first 4 babies. I never got to see their heartbeats or see them wiggle on the ultrasound. It was heartbreaking to know everything that would never be with each of them.

My 4th pregnancy was actually my shortest. I found out before I was even 4 weeks, that I would be miscarrying. I remember that phone call from my doctor vividly. The call that my numbers were dropping and she expected that I'd begin to miscarry in 2 or 3 days. Right on time, the bleeding began.

It was after that 4th loss that I seriously began to wonder if I would ever be able to carry a pregnancy to term. Would we ever see a heartbeat, get good news from the doctor, see our baby move on the ultrasound screen, feel the baby kick inside my belly... would we ever bring a baby home? I wasn't sure, but I did know that it all had to be for a reason and that one day, everything would be okay. One day I would heal.

Now, I'm not saying that since I am pregnant again, that I have forgotten the pain and loss of our first 4 babies.... I remember every second. But I sometimes feel that knowing that sort of pain, has made me appreciate this life so much more. At the same time, since I am now experiencing those moments that I missed out on with the first 4 babies, I now KNOW what I missed out on.

I don't for a second doubt that they are all in a better place. A place where they will never know pain or heartbreak. None of them will ever know the grief that comes with living on earth. All that they will ever know is joy and happiness, and for that... I am thankful.

I would have loved to have each and every one of them here with me for more longer, but I can't change the past. There is nothing that I could've done to change what has happened. It also doesn't hurt to know that this little lady that I am carrying now, has 4 guardian angels looking out for her.

The Bible verse that gave me the title for my blog, rings more and more true each and every day.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Not the week that we had expected

We arrived in Seattle early Saturday morning. Spent the day hanging out with family and taking naps on and off due to no sleep Friday night. Sunday we checked into our hotel and went on over to the hospital for an MRI appointment. They told us at check in that it would take an hour and a half... It took 4 hours. 4 very long hours. Thankfully, my mom was with us and we spent the time wandering around the hospital and even spent about an hour outside by the lake (University of Washington Medical Center is right on the lake).



We then went to PF Changs to make up for poor Isaiah being stuck in there for so darn long. Monday was an early day. We got to the appointment and were told by the doctor that there was good news and bad news. *horrible thing to say to already worried pregnant lady whose husband has cancer* He said that the good news was that he had looked at the scans from Sunday and it looks like there wasn't any significant growth, thank goodness. Bad news... Surgery was being postponed. Seriously?! I didn't been know that was a possibility. 

Apparently there will be quite the large group of doctors working on this surgery and the spine surgeon that was supposed to be apart of it, was called out to Chicago last minute for some emergency. The doctor had been making calls all morning to find a replacement but there was one doctor in the process of moving, another on medical leave, and others were scheduled for surgeries in another state. As of right now, we've been told that surgery will be postponed 2 weeks to August 28th. Nothing is confirmed yet though :(. 

I am choosing to look at this as a good thing. If this is the worst news we get, I'll take it. I hate that he's been in pain since mid March and will now have to wait another 2 weeks. This was still not a wasted trip though. He had quite a few appointments this week that will not need to be repeated whine we come back. We were also given a lot more detail about the surgery and after. 

This surgery is going to be a big one. We did know that but we didn't really know how big. It will be at least 8 hours. He will have the main surgeon, a neurosurgeon, a spine surgeon, an anesthesiologist and each of their teams. He will probably lose his entire blood volume during the surgery and will receive multiple transfusions. They will need to go in, remove the tumor from the pelvis and try to save as many nerve endings on his right side as possible. He will have a spinal fusion, practically rebuild his entire right side of his pelvis. They will do a bone graft to fill the large hole that will be left in his pelvis from where the tumor will be removed. 

Due to the large amount of blood loss and the sheer length of the surgery, it is almost guaranteed that he will have to stay in the ICU for one or two nights. So glad that they told me in advance so I don't panic when they tell me he's in the ICU after surgery. He will stay in the hospital for 7-10 days and will be on crutches for quite awhile. Then of course there is the 6 month recovery.  We also expect that he will need physical therapy for awhile. 

This was quite the frustrating trip to get here only to be told it is postponed but at least it wasn't a total waste. We got a lot of appointments out of the way, saw a bunch of family, did some shopping for me, baby, and Isaiah. A friend of Isaiah's actually gave us Seahawks tickets while we were here so that did cheer him up a bit as well. 

For now, we are sitting at the airport waiting for our flight to go home for about a week and a half. Guess this was our trial run. I know that my mom is really disappointed that she will not be able to come back with us next time to be here with me during and after the surgery but we made the most of this trip and I will still have Isaiah's mom and all of my extended family to keep me company next time. Mostly, I just want to get this surgery over with. Get Isaiah on the road to healing and put this all behind us. I want to get back home before my parents go on their trip to Italy, or I know my mom will be worried the whole time that she is gone. 

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers while we go through this time in our lives. 

Oh and as far as baby news, she has clearly been growing because according to my mom and Isaiah, my belly seems to be continuously growing haha. I am still feeling her wiggles here and there but nothing very consistent at this point. I can't believe that I will be 19 weeks tomorrow! So surreal. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's a.....

We went in for our anatomy scan tonight. I think that I was driving everyone around me crazy counting down the hours and minutes until the scan. I'd been a little nervous for the appointment because I've been feeling movement on and off for the past two weeks, but hadn't felt anything for the last two days after feeling tons of activity on Saturday.

Today really felt like it went on forever, but finally it was time for the appointment. We all arrived at the office (my mom, Isaiah, and his mom) a few minutes early, but after filling out just one form, we were ready to go! Instantly we could see movement. That really made me feel so much better.

The first thing we could see was legs spread wide open haha. Baby was prepared for this scan and knew what we needed to see. After looking around a little bit, the tech confirmed... It's a girl!

Baby Audrey Elizabeth was very active and is actually measuring 4 days ahead. I'm so thrilled to have completed another step that I seriously began to think I'd never get to experience.

After a year and a half, 5 pregnancies, 4 miscarriage, dozens of scans and tests, and what feels like hundreds of vials of blood, we are FINALLY expecting a little baby girl! It is so surreal. We are so excited! And sure enough, since the scan, I've felt her moving around a bit. All that worrying for nothing. :)

Please continue to keep all 3 of us in your prayers. We will certainly need them in the weeks and months to come! :)



Friday, August 1, 2014

More updates on travel plans and an ultrasound appointment

Isaiah talked with the people in Seattle again and got more details as to the schedule when we get down there.

He will have his pre-op appointment on Monday, the 11th. Additional appointments Tuesday and Wednesday. After his appointment Wednesday he will be admitted to the hospital with surgery to start on Thursday morning. He is SOOOO not looking forward to another hospital stay. So far, the 2 times he's had to stay in the hospital, he threatens to just walk out. He doesn't exactly enjoy (or even tolerate very well) his time spent in the hospital... understandably so. He's already been saying how he will give them 3 days and 2 nights but then he is out of there. Well.... that might not work out the way he'd hoped. He asked how long they thought he'd be in the hospital after surgery. He was told 7-10 days. Uh-oh.

Since they've told us the typical recovery time for this surgery is 6-12 months, but that due to his health and age, he will likely be more like 6 months. Maybe that means he'll only be in the hospital for 5 days? Either way, I know he will be more than ready to get out of there and get home.

As of right now, we fully expect to be in Seattle for about 2 weeks this trip. It will be interesting. I just hope and pray that they are able to easily remove ALL of the tumor with no issues and he is able to come home and begin to heal.

And in other news... since we OBVIOUSLY will not be back in Alaska by the 18th, I had to find somewhere either here before we leave, or in Seattle that would be able to do my anatomy scan. After a TON of difficulty, I finally found somewhere!!! I am getting my anatomy scan this coming Monday at 7:30pm. :) I'm so excited.

There are so many things that over the course of the past year and the 4 losses that I stopped imagining. I stopped thinking about our child growing up. I stopped thinking about bringing hone our newborn, giving birth, going into labor, what it would be like to feel the baby move, having a baby shower, finding out the gender, and even finally being able to give our baby a name. A real name. I want to call the baby something other than "the baby". That is something that we will finally get to do. We will know whether the baby is a him or a her.

I've been feeling the baby move. What an incredible feeling. A few months from now we will be having a baby shower. Heck, we even bought paint this week so that we can get the nursery started (neutral paint color). It is so surreal.

We have been so incredibly blessed in so many ways by SO many people. The outpouring of love, support, and prayers... it's amazing.

Again, don't feel like you need to give money by any means because prayers are ALWAYS accepted, but if you feel so inclined, or if you just want to look at some of the updates for my husband, you can visit the gofundme page that a friend set up for us. I will try to keep the blog and the gofundme page all updated while we are in Seattle. :)

http://www.gofundme.com/IsaiahandShelby