Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th - The anniversary of my first due date

It is crazy how much can change in a short period of time. Recently I've been thinking about this a lot. Last year I wrote this post on October 15th. I wasn't even aware yet that October was pregnancy and infant loss awareness month or that October 15th specifically was pregnancy and infant loss awareness DAY. At this time last year I thought back to a year before, before we'd experienced a single miscarriage, before we'd even decided to start a family. We were working on buying a house... completely unaware of the joys and heartaches that the next year would bring. Now I look back at last year, before we had found out about my husband's cancer... I guess last year was really just preparing us for this year. We thought last year was tough, but we came out of it stronger and closer. Now after all that this year has brought, I know that we will come out of this year even stronger and closer than before.

Right now we truly do have so much to be thankful for. We are so lucky that his cancer diagnosis wasn't worse. It could've been so much worse. Though right now things are tough while we deal with his incredible pain and the healing after his 13 hours in surgery 6 weeks ago, we know that it could have been worse. What if it hadn't been caught? It could've been a much scarier diagnosis down the road. We also have this baby girl on the way to be thankful for. This time last year, I still wondered if I'd ever get to meet one of these little babies that I have been blessed with... I guess 5th time was the charm. Our little Audrey will be here in just a matter of a few months. That is just so surreal even now as I feel her kicking around in my belly.

Right now, our little family is dealing with quite a bit but I know this all must be for a reason. This baby appeared in our lives at just the right time to be a bright light in the darkness that cancer brings. So much has changed this past year and I can't wait to see what will be different for us next October.

Today I think about those 4 babies that we lost too soon and the one that we will get to meet in a few short months.  Today I pray for all of those women who are dealing with the pain that comes with the loss of a child or the pain caused by fertility struggles... That emptiness and sadness is unlike any other.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

27 weeks and finally back in Alaska

Alrighty, I will start out with what's been going on with Isaiah the past few weeks. Last I updated was week 3 in the hospital. Since then a lot has happened. On day 24 in the hospital, the doctors came through and decided they might need to keep him there another week. Part of his incision wasn't healing quite how they wanted to so they wanted to take him back to the OR, cut out the part that wasn't healing as well, and sew him back up again. Naturally, I whined a bit on Isaiah's behalf (I seriously don't think he could handle another full week there... he was already starting to go stir crazy) and was able to convince them to do the surgery the following day instead of waiting 4 more days like they'd initially planned.

Sunday morning, they came to get him and took him to pre-op. He was the ONLY case on the books for that day. Lucky us! :) The procedure didn't take too long and he was back in his room before dinner. MUCH better than the 13 hours he'd spent in the OR for his surgery 3 weeks prior. The surgery did make Monday a much more difficult day for him as he had the surgical pain added back to the nerve pain he was already dealing with. Physical therapy was made more difficult and he felt like he'd never be allowed to leave the hospital. It wasn't until Tuesday, September 30th, that we knew for sure he'd be discharged on Wednesday, the following day. Tuesday was a crazy day as I spent hours working on getting our flight booked, figuring out transportation, and making sure we had everything purchased so that we were as ready as we could be to take him back to Alaska.

Wednesday morning we got an early start, met with TONS of doctors and nurses to go through all of the discharge exams and paperwork. Then we were off to the airport. We took a "cabulance". It seemed like the most logical way to get him to the airport with as little pain as possible. With all of the nerve pain and the added surgical pain from only a few days before, it seemed to make sense to be able to leave him in a wheelchair for the ride to the airport. What I hadn't planned on was a driver who was not at all gentle, he slammed a bag into Isaiah's bad foot and didn't seem to care whatsoever. Then you add in the fun of the BUMPIEST ride EVER to the airport. He hit every pothole and continuously slammed the brakes and gunned it as often as possible. I just cringed every time we hit another big bump as I could see the pain all over Isaiah's face every time. Poor guy...

Thankfully, getting through security was probably the easiest and quickest part of the whole journey. I seriously think it took a whole 5 minutes... 5 minutes to get through security as the Seattle airport... that just doesn't happen! It takes HOURS most of the time. Then of course the flight got delayed over an hour while they did maintenance on the plane. Figures. When we went to board the flight we had to wheel him down to the plane on the wheelchair and then he had to stand up using his walker and attempt to "walk" onto the plane. After sitting up for so dang long and the meds messing with his head a bit, he nearly fell while getting onto the plane :( 2 Alaska Airlines workers were behind him and caught him before he fell completely to the ground. We did get him home... over 9 hours of sitting up, the most he's ever had to sit up at one time in one day since his surgery the first week of September.

Right now we are staying at my parents house because our house has stairs to get into the house and then MORE stairs to get up to the bedrooms and bathrooms. We've set up a makeshift bedroom for him in their second living room so that he can have a bed, bathroom, living room, etc. all on one floor.We aren't sure how long we will need to keep him here, but I really hope that we can get him to our home as soon as possible. I think just being out of the hospital, being back in Alaska, and being with family, has made a HUGE difference for his mental state.

He was doing really well for the first week at home, but a few days ago his nerve pain really started to go crazy. On Friday we took him for a follow up appointment with the neurosurgeon here in Alaska. We expected that he'd check out the incision, maybe remove some staples, give us an estimation on when we'd be getting his drains taken out and we were also hoping to get his medications changed up a bit to better control his now out of control nerve pain. Boy were we wrong. The doctor hadn't received Isaiah's chart and had no clue as to why we were there. He checked out the incision and said it does seem to be healing well, but without his chart, told us that it sounded more like he needed to go see a pain management doctor... there goes our ideas on getting his pain meds changed up ASAP. With it being so late in the afternoon on a Friday, he was unable to get a hold of the pain management doctor that he thinks we should see, so that appointment will have to be set up on Monday, hopefully for Monday.

By the time we got him home last night from the doctor, he was in the middle of a MAJOR pain spike. He was shaking like crazy and could barely move. We got him into bed first thing and now 24 hours later, he has been unable to get out of bed at all. At 3am this morning, he was still awake and moaning in pain. This guy has a really high pain tolerance and has become very used to being in constant pain over the past 6 months. For it to be affecting him this bad, I know the pain has to be excruciating.

I tried calling the docs in Washington yesterday afternoon but with the time difference they had already left for the day. A note was taken to call me back this morning. After a long night of no sleep and intense pain, they still hadn't called by 9:30 so I called them. The best they were able to do was prescribe a lidocaine cream... gee when someones nerves are going absolutely CRAZY and it sometimes hurts to just have a sheet touch the skin... I'm sure rubbing on a cream will really do a whole lot to help after increasing the amount of pain that he's already feeling. UGH. I went and picked up the cream anyway thinking that maybe, just maybe, it will be useful someday. Worth a try right? WRONG... we tried to gently put a tiny bit on his foot earlier and I had to stop. It was hurting him too much and so far it seems like the cream did absolutely nothing. I'm so glad I hurt him only to have the cream do nothing for him. :(

So far today, I've left messages with the pain management doc again, a rehab doc, and his primary care physician here in Alaska hoping that maybe one of them was open today. No such luck. I figure at minimum, I will hopefully be able to get a hold of them Monday morning and get SOMETHING done to help Isaiah. His nerve pain has just been much more active lately and he's getting it in areas he hadn't had nerve pain previously. I think that with it covering so much more territory on his leg, it's just too much for someone to take, especially when it is this constant for this long.

Needless to say, we are still asking for prayers for Isaiah. He needs some serious healing, but he REALLY needs this pain to be under better control ASAP. No one should be in this amount of pain, ever. I've never felt so incredibly helpless than I have through all of this... watching him in SO much pain, all I want to do is hug him... but that would hurt him! So instead I just stand over him and pray... and pray... and pray... It is all that I can do for him right now other than calling as many doctors as I can. Thankfully, God doesn't take weekends off. Figures this would happen on a weekend. :(

Now to change gears a little bit... here is my pregnancy update... As of tomorrow, I will be 27 weeks! How crazy is that?!

•How far along? 26 weeks 6 days today
•Due date: January 11, 2015
•Baby is about the size of an eggplant (14 in, 2lbs)
•Symptoms: Have to pee all the time. By the way, no one ever mentioned how it gets difficult to wipe after you pee when your belly starts getting big! I did not expect that for some reason haha. Sore hips especially when I'm trying to sleep.Super sore ribs on my right side under my chest... it HURTS all the time. No position is comfortable and nothing seems to help. I'm seriously starting to think that I might have a bruised rib or 2.
•Cravings: Milk. Milk just sounds good to me all the time right now and I've never been a huge milk person, but right now I have a big glass at least once a day. Also fruit, but I think that has a lot more to do with the fact that I've been eating 3 meals a day for a whole month at a hospital. Fresh food and homemade food is just INCREDIBLE right now. 
•Bump? Yep! Baby bump is obvious now. My mom says she thinks Audrey doubled in size while I was gone haha.
•Maternity clothes: Heck yes! I can still wear some of non-maternity clothes but I can't stand anything even semi fitted on my stomach. And have you ever tried on maternity pants?! Those things are comfortable!!!
•Stretch marks: A few on my back where my muffin top would be lol.
•Belly button in or out: Not even sure anymore. It's not in, but it's not out. it's mostly flat and the top is starting to poke out.
•Kicks? Yep! Felt soft movement around week 15 and then a better "kick" around week 21. Not very consistent due to how far along I am and the anterior placenta, but I was thrilled that Isaiah was actually able to feel her kick twice while we were in Seattle.
•Gender: Girl :) Audrey Elizabeth
•Looking forward to: Stronger kicks (people keep telling me I'll take that back once it happens but it's great reassurance for me), getting Isaiah feeling better, and getting both of us back to our home.
•Sleep: Not super great... My hips are pretty sore when I lay down and my ribs hurt on my right side ALL the time, even when I'm laying on my left side... then of course you add in that I'm not sleeping well due to worrying about how Isaiah is doing and running downstairs to check on him.
•Miss anything: Real coffee, turkey sandwich, this amazing blue cheese salad at a local restaurant, and a local brewery makes a raspberry wheat beer and an apple ale... together they are delicious. All totally worth it though. 
 
And I'll end with a belly shot. I took this pic 2 weeks ago in Isaiah's hospital room since my mom was requesting one. :)