Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Our journey continues...

Well let's just put it out there the last few months have been HARD.

I got my milk in, my boobs have continued to leak, I bled until early September which I felt like was way too long, had some stinky discharge so I went on an antibiotic because I had some kind of infection had some severe cramping and a few days later passed a piece of retained placenta, (probably why I was having those other symptoms), been incredibly emotional and on edge...I have leveled out quite a bit since stopping birth control and changing up my antidepressant .

My sister had her sweet daughter Reese Maci  2 weeks after Maci and Neal's sister had her sweet daughter Naomi Jewel August 31, my older sister got sealed to their sweet adopted daughter Remi, my nephew got baptized and Reese  and Naomi were blessed. These have been things that have happened which are joyful moments but also a little hard for me as well. I had a good breakdown one weekend-- ok let's be honest I have had a lot of good breakdowns the last few months. Some I had to get up and leave sacrament meeting for, others in the car driving home, to my visiting teacher and some just as I feel asleep in bed, just to name a few.

I met with Dr. Denson who said my options moving forward would be to do an abdominal cerclage or a gestational carrier (a surrogate who would carry my babies for me). I figured since my deductible and out of pocket are pretty much met that I would go ahead and do the abdominal cerclage just in case I ever wanted to even consider trying to carry one of my babies again.

An Abdominal cerclage is pretty much the same thing as a cervical cerclage except they go in through your abdomen and are able to place the stitch much higher up on the cervix. The stitch is permanent and I would have to have a c-section anytime past 14 weeks.

I saw Dr. Conway ( my IVF doctor) who also said that my two options were the abdominal cerclage or gestational carrier. She said she would give us a discount on the biopsy of our embryos to have them tested so that we have the best chances moving forward. She said she would have the person in charge of their genetic carriers be in touch with me so I could find out all the info needed before making a decision.  She said to ask Dr. Denson the efficacy of the abdominal cerclage in a case like mine as well.

I had an u/s early September to see if I had any more retained placenta pieces since I had still been bleeding and wouldn't you know the day I go in is the day I stopped bleeding...figures.

I met with Dr. Denson again beginning of October to what I thought was going to be to schedule the abdominal cerclage procedure when instead I was told that from my u/s in September my cervical length is only 2.5cm  which is shorter than most. He told me he'd be willing to do the procedure still but that we would only be getting 1/2 a cm higher up than the stitch that was placed when I was pregnant with Maci, which he felt might not give us the more time we would need and may end in the same outcome as with Maci. He said if my cervix we 3-4 cm it'd be a different story but he feels that with what happened last time that we may not get the few extra weeks we'd need. Of course it's up to Neal and I if we want this done and Dr. Denson would be willing to do it but now that I know this I'm a little shattered and feel even more broken. It's hard knowing it's my body that has caused my children to not be able to stay here longer. I'm not beating myself up because I know I can't control or help this and  I know Heavenly Father has a plan for my warrior children and us. IT was always to be this way, I truly believe that. But that doesn't mean it's easy.

Hearing this news made me know deep down I would never be carrying my own babies inside me again. If I want to give my children the best chance of getting here and staying here it will not be through me. THAT HAS BEEN REALLY HARD TO TAKE IN. It seems so final but how grateful I am that we still have our 10 frozen embabies and still have a chance to have biological children just not through me carrying them.

Although we were already considering gestational carriers as I means to get our babies here-- I now know this is the only way to get our kids here. I'm emotional just thinking of the sacrifice it will be for someone else to carry our baby. It's a hard thing to ask of anyone. It's the ultimate in love, charity and selflessness. So to whoever our gestational carrier ends up being please know we are praying for you, we love you, and we are eternally grateful beyond what any words can express.

So now we will save and save and save all the money we can to have our embryos tested ($5,000) and to have some angel  woman carry our child ($13,000-$40,000 depending on certain things). I'm sure it will be a process and I'm guessing it will be awhile before we can do anything due the whole $ thing. But we will keep trusting, believing, and moving forward in our knowledge that there are no coincidences and miracles still exist, sometimes not in the way we usually think of miracles but they are miracles nonetheless.

From this last general conference Elder Rasband said:
Dear Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin spoke of an occasion when President Thomas S. Monson said to him: “There is a guiding hand above all things. Often when things happen, it’s not by accident. One day, when we look back at the seeming coincidences of our lives, we will realize that perhaps they weren’t so coincidental after all.”7

The Lord’s hand is guiding you. By “divine design,” He is in the small details of your life as well as the major milestones. As it says in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; … and he shall direct thy paths.”2

and Elder Halstrom:
defining a miracle as “a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand”2 gives an expanded perspective into matters more eternal in nature. This definition also allows us to contemplate the vital role of faith in the receipt of a miracle.

Today I testify of miracles. Being a child of God is a miracle.9Receiving a body in His image and likeness is a miracle.10 The gift of a Savior is a miracle.11 The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a miracle.12The potential for eternal life is a miracle.13
While it is good to pray for and work for physical protection and healing during our mortal existence, our supreme focus should be on the spiritual miracles that are available to all of God’s children

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Maci Graveside...

We went and dressed Maci and placed her in her casket on Friday. Grayson brought her a stuffed animal to bury her with and my sweet friend sent me and Maci matching bracelets one for her to wear and one for me.

It was our final goodbye while here on Earth and it was a special time for us to be together as a family.

We had Maci's graveside on Saturday 07/01/2017 @ 10 AM our Bishop, Rick Barton officiated and did such an amazing job and shared some quotes I had never heard before. My dad dedicated the grave and Neal's grandpa gave the opening prayer. Then we released pink balloons to Maci.

Because they will receive a celestial inheritance, they will come forth in the first resurrection, President Joseph F. Smith said: “Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’ There is restitution, there is growth, there is development, after the resurrection from death. I love this truth. It speaks volumes of happiness, of joy and gratitude to my soul. Thank the Lord he has revealed these principles to us.” (​Gospel Doctrine, ​pp. 455–56.)

We have  received so many thoughtful gifts, mementos and flowers, cards, and plants we are so humbled and our hearts warmed by all the many people who have reached out to love and support us.  It's hard to repay or tell you all how much we appreciate these kind acts. We are beyond grateful, we are truly eternally grateful.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Maci Jayde's birth story...

I've been wanting to write this down for awhile but it's still a little raw.

Our sweet angel girl Maci Jayde was born at 21 weeks and 1 day on June 26 at 1:50pm and lived 1hour 40 min.  She was 12oz and 10 in of perfection❤️ Too perfect for this Earth.

On Wednesday 6/21 I went in for my weekly progesterone injection with Dr Denson and everything was fine. This was the first week I wasn't seen at maternal fetal doctor's since things had been pretty stable.

On Thursday 6/22 I started having a little tan/ brown spotting that was mucusy I thought it was maybe just thicker discharge from having a cervical stitch put in like the doctor said might happen so I mentioned it to Neal but wasn't worried about it.

6/23 I still had that weird tan brown mucus discharge but had not been cramping or anything so I just didn't worry about it.

6/24 the discharge continued and now I was getting little concerned it had lasted so long and looked like snot.  so I asked Neal if he thought it might be the mucuous plug...but it didn't seem like it since I'd had more bleeding with Jayden's mucus plug. We had my sister and her hubby over for dinner that night so he could help Neal with some framing in the basement and I started having this heavier feeling in my belly and tried to lay down and just take it easy.

6/25 still felt heavier in my belly but didn't have any pain or anything so I told Neal I was going to just take it easy and nap after church. I had ward council that morning came home and then got Grayson ready for church then we all went to our church meetings. I had Neal take a picture of my baby bump since I didn't have any yet. Neal made dinner while I rested for the rest of the afternoon.
That night I started having contractions... They were more like cramping that would come and go so I told Neal let's just wait and see if they continue or stop since it didn't seem they were coming consistently. We put Grayson down for bed and they started getting more frequent and stronger. So I started timing them on an app because I still wasn't sure if they were really contractions or just cramps. Neal asked if we should go to ER. I said let's just wait and see after I time them a little longer. So he put a show for us to watch and keep my mind off things. But after an hour of timing they were coming every 2-3 minutes and I could tell they were contractions I think I was just in denial earlier and didn't want that to be the case.

So I decided to call Dr Denson's on call number. They put me through to him and I told him what was going on. He told me to go to labor and delivery and he would call over and let them know I was going. I had Neal give me a blessing and he blessed me that my angels would continue to attend us and that we would know and be able to make the right decision. I felt at peace.

By now it was 2am. I called my mom bawling letting her know I was having contractions and to see if she could take Grayson and Jasper so we could go to the hospital. I'm amazed she answered in the middle of the night. We grabbed Grayson and his suitcase with things and Jasper and headed out.
We dropped them off to my mom and headed to hospital. The main entrance was locked so we had to walk though ER entrance to labor and delivery. We got there around 3am and they had me get in a gown, pee in a cup and started an IV. They gave me a bag of fluid and hooked me up to contraction monitor. They gave me a shot of tributaline to stop the contractions and then another bag of fluid. Neal and I were able to sleep a little during this time.

Neal called his work to let them know he might not be in that day but would call and let them know after we saw Dr Denson. Dr Denson came in around 8:30am and said he just wanted to wait to get the results of some labs and then we could probably head home. He decided to do a quick cervical check before he left and he saw the water bag bulging with her little foot inside. They put me on antibiotics and put me head down in the Trendelenburg position. (Flashback to being in hospital with Jayden 8 years earlier)

You could see in Dr Denson face how devasted he was. He said he'd order an u/s so we could see what the cervical stitch was doing and that after the u/s we will discuss a plan of action. He said I must have a high pain tolerance as most people have quite a bit of pain and some bleeding when the stitch rips.

My mom and Neal's mom came over to hospital after Neal updated them on the situation. Of course we were SO devastated but we also felt heavens love and peace.

We met with a neonatal Doctor who told us the chances of survival at 21 weeks was pretty much 0% and that they just aren't developed enough. He also said even if they did make it they would probably have many medical issues and the quality of life might not be ideal. We knew these stats from when we were in hospital 8 years early with Jayden and I was 22-23 weeks with him. We asked him at this point how long I might last before delivering her. He said at most 2-3 days.

The u/s tech came in and it was Jennie (from maternal fetal medicine clinic) one of my favorites. While she was doing the u/s Dr Spencer came in (MFM doctor) so he was able to see as she did it. The water bag was bulging and her legs were hanging out in the canal. They could still see one of the cervical stitches and Dr Spencer said we would probably need to take it out so when I delivered the baby wouldn't get caught on it and cause more permanent damage to my cervix.

Jennie gave me a big hug before she left and they called Dr Denson with the results. Dr Denson came back around 12:30 pm and we told him what Dr Spencer had said about needing to remove the stitch.  He said it was up to us if we wanted to wait and see how long we could hold out or just deliver. As Neal and I discussed this we decided to just deliver that day and not drag it out since the outcome would be the same regardless since it was just too early. (we had been in the hospital 5 days with Jayden and didn't want to have that emotional rollercoaster again) . We had my mom and dad and Neal's mom call our families and let them know we would be delivering her within the hour and to head up soon if they wanted to come meet her.

We had our family leave the room while we removed the stitch and delivered.
Dr Denson called his wife who practices as an OBGYN with him to come over and help him take the cervical stitch out. They started prepping the room and supplies and when Dr Pam (his wife) got there her and the two nurses were all helping Dr Denson hold instruments so he could see the stitch and get it out  there were so many things in my whooha. It was crazy. As he was trying to get the stitch out I was in so much pain. It was awful. I was squeezing Neal's hand any breathing and closing my eyes hoping it would all end soon. The nurse gave me a shot of some pain med and I felt more relaxed after that but it was still way painful.

At one point all the ladies (Dr Pam and nurses) were panicking and trying to help and I felt this huge gush of water and I was like oh there's my water breaking but it was actually a folley they were filling with saline  to try and push the water bag out of the way for Dr Denson to get to the stitch. He remained calm the entire time and he finally was able to pull the stitch out. Now I know why they put you out to place the stitch in. 

Now it was time to deliver Maci and push. I had to probably push for 5-10 minutes. I felt like I didn't know how to push very well and the nurses were great to coach me on what to do and how to push. This part didn't hurt at all. It was slightly uncomfortable but not painful. Right before she was born my water broke. They cut her umbilical cord and laid her on my chest.

She was tiny and perfect and her little body was trying to breathe. We could feel heaven close.
They let our family in right after she was born and they were able to meet and hold her. We were able to give her a baby blessing and love and hold and admire her. Neal and I were able to bathe her and dress her and my sweet sister's did my hair and makeup quickly for some pictures. Amber Vest is in my parents ward and my dad asked her to come and take pictures for us. What a sweet sweet gift, one we will always treasure. 
Grayson was so sweet with her. Held her hand, looked at her tiny feet, and gave her kisses. He is a great big brother and we hope someday we can bring a baby home he can brother. He loves babies and trying to make them smile and singing to them. 
All of my sister's and Neal's sister was able to come meet Maci along with my parents and Neal's mom and our grandparents. I love that we got to share her with our family. That was always one thing I hated about having Jayden in California is not everyone was able to meet him. So I'm so glad we got to share her with our families. 
We held and loved and admired her until someone from the funeral home came. We said our goodbyes at the hospital and he took her body. It's so hard to watch them walk away with your baby. We would get to see her one more time on Friday to dress her and place her in the casket and say our final goodbye. 

Dr Denson said my cervical tissue was so soft and thin it had just torn through. He says it was like trying to keep a paper turned sideways sewn together.