MaterniT21 Results

When I went to my 11 week OBGYN appointment, I had blood drawn for the MaterniT21 test. Many of you know that this test checks to see if baby has chromosomal abnormalities. It checks for the three most common trisomies, Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 21. The test also looks for anomalies in the X and Y chromosomes, and thusly will tell you the sex of your baby.

I’m always uneasy when I have ultrasounds and tests, and this was no exception.

On Monday my OB nurse called and said she had my test results. The results were:

1. Baby tested negative for chromosomal abnormalities. This does not mean that baby doesn’t have chromosomal abnormalities, but it does mean that baby does not have the ones mentioned above.

2. Baby is a… GIRL! So BG will have a little sister!

I’m very pleased that baby is healthy and I’m pleased that BG will have a sister–my own sister drives me nuts but I’m glad I have her, especially since our parents are now deceased…all we have is each other. I hope BG and her sister have a much more harmonious relationship than my sister and I. Being 4 years apart might help their relationship. My sister and I were only 1 year and 9 months apart, and statistics show that age gaps of this length breed sibling rivalry, but shorter or longer age gaps have less issues. Here’s hoping.

In other news, I’m feeling better and suuuuper excited about Fall! I have already started cooking and baking up a storm, even though it’s still hot here in the South. I made chili, cornbread, and a homemade from scratch peach crisp (peeled the peaches myself) on Friday. Had guests for dinner last night and made a cobb salad bar with fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, bleu cheese, freshly grated cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce, mixed baby lettuces, ranch dressing and bleu cheese dressing. And meat choices of grilled steak or chicken. So everyone could build their own salad. It was so.freaking.good! Salad tends to clog up my ostomy bag, which is annoying, but this salad was 110% worth the inconvenience. And there are leftovers today, yay!

I also contacted Mr. MLACS’s trainer, who is actually a friend of mine, and told her we need to get him back on track. So she’s going to get with him and have a “state of the union” talk. We need to get exercise equipment for home. We are leaning towards a stationary bike. I’m curious about the Peloton bike. Anyone have any suggestions about what to buy or where to purchase? I don’t want to spend too much money because I have a lot of business expenses related to my inheritance and Mr. MLACS made a pretty huge mistake on our taxes so we owe the IRS everything in our mutual savings. I should have money coming in but not for a month or two. So, looking for a good deal on a stationary bike.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

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Appointments

Well, I’ve made it to 11 weeks! The nausea has slowly been subsiding and I am just an eating machine now–some of it is bad–nutella on gluten-free graham crackers and ice cream. And some of it is good–I’m so happy I can eat salads again!

I had my 11 week appointment on Wednesday, and obviously it went well or this post would have a different tone.

First, I got to hear baby’s heartbeat on the doppler. It took my OB a minute to find it and I was nervous, but when I finally heard it my heart melted and I turned to look at Mr. MLACS with a huge smile on my face.

Then we talked about doing an NT scan and the Harmony test. Apparently new protocol is to do one or the other, whereas in 2014 when I had testing on BG the protocol was to do both. I was perplexed because I wanted the Harmony test, but I also desperately wanted to see my baby on the ultrasound. Honestly I needed that ultrasound, to make it feel real and to believe that everything is ok. So I told my OB how I was feeling and he said he’d make up a reason for me to go have the ultrasound, but without the NT scan. So Mr. MLACS and I went to the ultrasound techs and told them the deal, which they were totally cool with. And one of them was practicing to be NT certified, but unfortunately the baby didn’t cooperate for measurements, which was fine. But baby looked great! Like a real little human with head/body/arms/legs! It appears that I am carrying a healthy baby and I pray that in a few months my BG will be a big sister ❤

After my appointment (which took forever) Mr. MLACS and I went to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant–my choice. I was happy that skeptical Mr. MLACS really enjoyed his lunch, because I loooove Vietnamese food and I want it to be an option for date nights.

After lunch, we had to go see Mr. MLACS’s Cardiologist. This is always nerve-wracking for us because we never know what he/they are going to say. The news was not bad, but not good. He still is not cleared to drive for another month. Which is not a huge deal, but it would make life easier.

Moreover, he still needs to lose a good 50-60lbs before he is elligible for any type of life-saving surgery. This is scary, because if his heart started to fail tomorrow, they wouldn’t operate on him due to his weight/BMI. And he would certainly be too weak to do anything about it at that point. So he HAS to lose more weight. He has plateaued lately, due to not paying attention to eating (skipping meals/snacks and eating too much later in the say) because he has been working non-stop and has not been making it to the gym since we got back from Hawaii. I feel bad, because I have needed his help since I’ve been pregnant/sick and BG and our dog desperately want his time and attention, so he is spread very thin. I cannot help him–he has to tell work to f*ck off but he won’t. I told him to walk–I have money (although health insurance is a thing) but he persists. We are looking at a job opportunity, but they are not offering a competetive salary (in fact the offer was insulting) so I don’t know if it will be viable.

Plus BG just started preschool here and loves it. I have mom friends and a great babysitter. We love our house. We have great doctors. And I’m about to have the chaos of an infant and a toddler. So staying put for now would be so much easier. And there’s no promise that this next job would suck less than the current job.

So I’m happy, but still stressed. I am having PTSD because we are approaching the 1yr anniversary of Mr. MLACS’s cardiac arrest–the worst day of my life. And we still don’t have resolution or reassurance that the worst is behind us–maybe it’s not. His arrest happened at THE worst possible time (when I was deathly ill and awaiting surgery). His first heart failure hospitalization/diagnosis/near death experience happened at the other most vulnerable time of my life, when I was 32 weeks pregnant with BG. So if history repeats, he’ll probably drop dead since I’m pregnant and have a small child. I know I’ll be ok if the worst occurs, because I definitely considered all the “what if’s” before TTC (I have anxiety so I’m a pro at conjuring worst-case scenarios).

Lately I’m trying to pray for and imagine what I DO want, instead of all the scary/awful things I don’t want. Basically I’m trying to harness the power of positive thinking, which is actually really hard for me because of my anxiety and PTSD. But I’m trying.

XOXO,

MLACS

Update

I am so dim right now that “update” was the only title I could come up with.

I’ve been battling extreme fatigue, nausea, dehydration, and to top it all off…bronchitis!

I basically lay on the couch all day and do as little as possible. BG is bored and frustrated and I feel bad but I literally have to force myself to do basic things, like feed everybody (BG and pets) breakfast. Part of my sluggishness comes from taking Zofran and Unisom + B6 for nausea, which apparently a side effect of these meds is extreme apathy and diminished ability to do basically anything.

I haven’t been showering much. I have to force myself to brush my teeth, do my lovenox shot, my crinone applicator, and my canasa suppository, and then take my vitamins. It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago I was in Hawaii going for runs along the ocean and eating low carb/lots of salads. Because now I have to psych myself up to walk from the couch to the bathroom and I eat ALL carbs, pitifully little fruits or veggies. I look at other moms I know on facebook, unreservedly announcing their pregnancy before the pee stick is even dry, posting pictures of the kale smoothies they are drinking, and I am envious and highly annoyed.

Tonight I had to choose between having Mr. MLACS home and resting, spending time with BG after a long day of work…or sending him into town (an hour round trip) *in a thunderstorm* to get me the specific gluten-free pizza I’m craving (my nausea only permits me to eat what I crave at that moment; anything else is disgusting).

Naturally, he is on his way to get the pizza.

I had to take poor BG to the doctor on Monday because she has bronchitis too and she was wheezing so badly that the pediatrician gave her a breathing treatment at the office–she hated every minute of it and infact I had to call Mr. MLACS to meet us there after work because she said she needed to jold Daddy’s hand. I was at my wits end after begging her to just DO IT, and I was all out of patience. But he was a hero to both of us, showing up in the knick of time, holding her and soothing her while she did her treatment. And now BG is on Prednisone (aka “the devil”) for 5 days and it makes her highly emotional and unreasonable (ordinarily she is a peach). Which I understand, having been on “the devil” myself, so I’m exercising patience and giving lots of TLC.

Mr. MLACS is urging me to see the doctor about my bronchitis, but what can they do?? I’m pregnant and nauseous. The last things I want are antibiotics and I just weaned off prednisone. I just want it to go away! Mr. MLACS has it too (a few days behind us) and I worry how it could affect his heart. He still doesn’t have a PCP here either, because every time I’ve had an appointment scheduled something comes up. Uhg.

So I wish I was eating kale and basking in my pregnant-ness. I wish my legs were shaved and my laundry folded. I wish I could enjoy a trip to target or make a home cooked meal. I wish I was taking BG to the pool, the children’s museum, or to playdates.

Alas, I am utterly useless.

XOXO,

MLACS

Survivors Guilt and The Dreaded 1st Prenatal Appointment

*Trigger Warning* for IF and RPL friends

Well, it’s been a long couple of weeks since I pee’d on that stick.

I only tested the one time, because I just didn’t want to know if things were going sideways. And I had no reason to think anything was wrong so I decided to leave well enough alone.

My neighbor friend is a “fertile” and found out she was pg with her 2nd child a few weeks ago. I was glad she told me immediately, so I had time to process the news in private. I was happy for her! But it made me wish I was pg too.

Little did I know…

So when I found out I was pg, she was one of the few people I told. I thought how great it would be, if we could do this together. But of course my thoughts turned to *unless I miscarry…*. I told my friend that due to our history of loss, we wouldn’t be sharing any news for awhile.

And then the unthinkable happened.

She went in for her first US and prenatal visit on Monday at 11 weeks, and there was no heartbeat. Measurements were all off (measuring 7 weeks). Needless to say, my friend was shocked and devastated. They scheduled a D&C for Tuesday.

I felt AWFUL. I didn’t know what to do, so I looked at my old blogger friend A Calm Persistence ‘s “What to do when your friend has a miscarriage” list. I decided to take her dinner and offer childcare and a shoulder to cry on. She took me up on all of it, and I felt a small sense of relief that I could help.

Obviously, that made me feel a lot more insecure about my first prenatal appointment today, at 6 weeks.

I won’t keep you in suspense–good news! The bean is measuring at exactly 6 weeks and has a heartrate of 121 bpm! Mr. MLACS and I were on pins and needles, and utterly relieved to get good news.

My friend had asked me to let her know how it went, so I texted her that everything looks good so far. It was very strange for me to be in this position, as I am used to being the “bad news” person. I want to be so gentle with her.

But of course, I’m thrilled! I’m nervous! I’m…already eating weird foods and popping the occassional Zofran to keep from puking (which new OBGYN said is perfectly fine).

With BG I saw Dr. Angel every week in the beginning, but this time I won’t return for several weeks, until I’m 11 weeks. So I just have to keep calm and carry on (FYI: I suck at that).

XOXO,

MLACS

Miracles Happen

*Trigger Warning for IF and RPL ladies*

 

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My menstrual cycles have been irregular ever since my illness and surgery. What seemed especially odd and unfair is that I was *more* regular while I was sick/anemic. After surgery and weaning off steroids my body skipped periods or had 40+ day cycles. I worked hard to recover after surgery and weaning off steroids–I was really struggling mentally and physically–so I wasn’t ready to TTC. I also still have PTSD about Mr. MLACS’s health issues, and felt I couldn’t have another child unless I was fully prepared mentally/physically/financially to be a single mother to two young children. And for awhile, I was in mourning because as much as I wanted a second child, I didn’t think I could handle it on top of everything else.

But then my father passed away in March, leaving me half of my parents’ estate. This made me far more financially stable to care for BG and another child, should anything happen to Mr. MLACS. And moreover, I realized how very important it was for me to have my sister (strained/complicated as our relationship is). I also realized that *fear* was the only thing holding me back from my dream of adding to our family, and a religious friend kindly reminded me that God doesn’t want for me to live in fear–that is no way to live.

I had promised my IBD Specialist that I wouldn’t TTC until after she performed my ileoscopy in April. Her findings were that my upper GI tract was “clean” and healthy, but my rectum was/is still inflamed. Her recommendation was to have the protectomy surgery (rectum removal) ASAP, but she conceded that from a fertility perspective it is better for me to TTC and give birth prior to the protectomy. Still, she cautioned me to have the protectomy done ASAP after that. And I thought to myself ‘Lady, it could take years for me to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy’ but I just nodded at her and said “Ok”, like sure I’ll just run along and pop out a kid and then I’ll be back here in a year to permanently sew up my butthole (aka”barbie butt”). Sure….

Meanwhile, I started taking my preconception supplements and I decided to do an 8 week nutrition/workout program to lose some weight and feel my best prior to our Hawaiian vacation and my upcoming 20th highschool reunion. I tried using OPK’s but never got a positive, yet I had signs of ovulation so we TTC’d in May and *no dice*. I started my period on June 4th and went to see my OB on June 8th to ask him to help me with my fertility. He offered Clomid to help get my cycles on track–I said *hell no* to Clomid, but agreed to take Letrozole instead. I had hoped he’d let me start in June since I was only CD4, but he declined and told me to call him when I started my next cycle in July. I never once got pregnant on a medicated cycle though, so I was already starting to consider IVF.

The couple of weeks leading up to our Hawaii trip were frought with mental illness for me. Or maybe it was grief bubbling to the surface. I was morbidly depressed and anxious. It came in waves, especially at night. I was SO sad and angry. I sought out my EFT guru and had a tapping session, but I was still struggling. I felt alienated from people, unloved and unwanted. I fought through my mental illness but it was a very bad episode.

Finally, thanks to EFT, I started to feel somewhat better just before we left for Hawaii. And off we went on our island adventure on June 29th!

I went running. I walked a lot. I played on the beach with BG and Mr. MLACS and our friends. I ate lots of fish. I drank some wine and had some mai tai’s. My soul felt free and happy! It was joyous! Mr. MLACS and BG shared my state of bliss and contentment. It was just exactly what we needed.

So…my AF was due July 4th, not that that meant much since my cycles had been irregular. We had DTD June 19th and 20th because I was pretty sure I was ovulating, but I didn’t use OPK’s this time. I had not given much thought to being pregnant because it seemed so unlikely. I had Mr. MLACS pick up a couple FRER tests, mostly because I thought I might drink on the 4th of July. But then I forgot to use it. And drank half a bottle of wine.

However, I became suspicious when I woke up from a vivid nightmare early the next morning. I never have dreams/nightmares *unless my progesterone is high* like after I ovulate or when… I’m pregnant… ?

So I pee’d on a stick on July 5th and had this blazing positive appear before the control line and darker than the control line. I literally said aloud “No f*ing way!”

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I was stunned.

I still can’t believe it.

I called and had my OB send scripts for Crinone (progesterone) and Heparin (blood thinner injections) to Hawaii.

I definitely feel pregnant. Nauseous/aversions to foods, tired, thirsty, and my boobs are big and sensitive. But I’m not obsessing over every symptom/feeling like I did with BG. I am worried I will need Zofran again though (for acute nausea/vomiting) and that the OBGYN won’t give it to me b/c it’s now frowned upon in the first trimester. But I can’t puke like that with an ostomy–I’ll get too dehydrated. So I am nervous about how that will play out. First OBGYN appointment is July 18th, with a new OB because my current GYN stopped doing deliveries a few months after I established with him, much to my chagrin. So far I like the new OBGYN’s nurse, but we will see.

Can you believe it?! After EVERYTHING that has happened… it’s an absolute miracle.

Oh and for friends that read this blog (Katherine ❤) feel free to holler at me in a text or PM on social media to discuss, but keep it a secret for now please 🙏

XOXO,

MLACS

 

 

 

 

 

Mahalo

Mahalo means “thank you” in Hawaiian.

Thank you, to my friends that have been here for me through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As you know, I’ve struggled recently with my mental health. It’s only natural to be anxious and depressed after a *world series* of unfortunate events. And I’m no ‘Mr. Rogers’–I’m raw and unedited and I don’t leave you with warm fuzzies when I don’t have any to give. I won’t quote the bible or post inspirational meme’s–I’m nobody’s spiritual leader or security blanket.

But you accept me as I am.

Mahalo.

Currently I’m getting ready to take my family to Hawaii. *No, we’re not going to the Big Island where the volcano is erupting, we’re going to Oahu “the gathering place”–people give me these looks of panic when I say Hawaii but there are SIX other islands so…chillax*

I lived there for 7 years and graduated from HPU. I’m excited to see my island home–my “wings”–as Missouri is my “roots”. I always felt safe on the island, like I belonged–that I was wanted. And going back feels akin to running into a mother’s embrace. I’m excited to see my friends and their kids. I’m excited to show BG my *happy place* (which is also Mr. MLACS’s happy place) and make beautiful memories.

I’m still fighting anxiety and depression, and I wish I wasn’t. But I feel better. I have my ups and downs but I’m pushing through. I’m taking good care of myself. I can feel the sunshine on my face again. I feel the warmth of BG’s embrace.

I feel the potential.

I feel the Aloha Spirit.

Will let you know how it goes.

A hui ho!

XOXO,

MLACS