Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Allyson
Mom to Baby Jackson
October 14th, 2009
Missouri City, TX

Matt and I got married on July 15, 2006.  We started trying to have our first child just shy of our 3rd anniversary.  I wanted to try sooner since I was already 35, but we decided as a couple to wait and enjoy being married for a little while.  On June 28, 2009, I had a pregnancy symptom and decided to take a pregnancy test.  It was positive!!!  Matt didn't believe it, but a line is a line, so I went to the drug store and bought a digital..."Pregnant"!!!  My parents were visiting that weekend and told them over lunch right before they left.  We told our immediate family and closest friends right away.  We were all so excited and was going to have the first grandchild on both sides of our family.  I love kids and wanted to be pregnant for as long as I can remember.  I even pursued a career to only work with children.  I called the doctor the very next day to make my first appointment. 

My first appointment was at 7 weeks.  I felt really good...no morning sickness, and my energy level was pretty good.  Since I worked nights, I was tired all the time anyway.  At my first appointment my OB saw something on the ultrasound, but was unsure of what she was seeing.  She sent me next door to the hospital to have a radiologist to look at it.  They wouldn't tell me what was concerning my OB, but they showed me the baby and it's tiny heart beat.  They told me everything was just fine with the baby.  I was so excited.  Since we saw a heartbeat, my miscarriage percentage had just dropped.
 
My next appointment was at 11 weeks.  I was able to talk Matt in to going with me even though he is very uncomfortable with anything medically related.  The nurse found the baby's heart beat right away.  Matt was pacing around the room.  Then my OB came in.  She told me that I have several large fibroids.  Then she started drawing pictures of what a normal uterus looked like and then what my uterus looked like.  I had either a Bicornuate or a Septate Uterus.  She then started telling me the complications: small baby, premature labor, having to have a c-section because the baby doesn't have enough room to flip.  There are many, many women with this that have healthy babies every day, but as a pediatric and neonatal intensive care transport nurse I knew what all these complications meant.  I started to cry, but believed God was in control and everything would be ok.  My OB sent me to a High Risk OB due to these complications.  I announced our pregnancy on Facebook and starting telling everyone since our miscarriage percentage had dropped even further and I was almost to my second trimester.  "The Jackson 3, coming March 2010"
 
We decided to go ahead and do a NT scan since the High Risk OB would do it, I had to see him anyway, and our insurance covered it.  Also, it was just a good reason to see our baby on the monitor again.  I was 13 weeks.  Everything looked good on the NT scan.  All the measurements were in the normal range.  Right before he was done, he said, "do you want to know what you're having?"  I wanted to know soooo bad, but I was alone and Matt wasn't with me, so I decided to wait until our next visit.  They gave me 2 pictures of our baby to take home to show Matt and our family and friends.  Then I went in for blood work at two separate occasions for the screening.

In October, 2009, at 18 weeks,  me, my mom, and my best friend took a trip to Canton, Texas...home of one of the largest flea markets in the world.  On the way there, I got a personal call from my OB with my blood work results....she never calls herself...the nurses do...I started to get worried.  She told me that I had a 1:10 chance of our baby having Down Syndrome and a 1:20 chance of our baby having Spina Bifida.  I've never heard anyone with percentages like that!!!  She told me that since both of those came back so high she thought it was something going on with me and was almost certain everything would be fine.  I called Matt as soon as I could.  He calmed me down and told me everything thing would be ok and we shouldn't worry until we knew for sure.  I couldn't help it....I cried myself to sleep...I prayed several prayers...I told my poor baby how sorry I was, but I still believed God was in control and everything would be ok.  I also held on to what my OB told me...it was me, not our baby.  She told me we should make an appointment with my high risk OB to have an amniocentesis.  We wanted to be able to plan for our child's future, so we agreed to have the amnio.  They couldn't see me until the next week. 

My parents surprised us and showed up to the amnio appointment for support.  Matt and I went in the room and my parents waited in the waiting room.  There was a big monitor hanging on the wall so both of us could see our baby well.  Our high risk OB starting the ultrasound in preparation for the amnio.  He would freeze the screen quickly and make measurements, but I could see something was wrong...our baby did not have a heart beat and our baby was not moving.  I said, "is it not moving?"  He scooted back from the ultrasound machine and said, "I'm so sorry, but your baby is gone."  I broke down crying.  That is an image I will NEVER EVER forget...our baby not moving with no heart beat.  We were brought in to another room and given some paper work.  Matt went in the waiting room to tell my parents what was going on.  The paper work was to bring to the next floor to another doctor.  We walked out of the waiting room to my parents...I was crying uncontrollably.  I pretty much ran out of the waiting room full of pregnant women.  We still hadn't found out what we were having.

This happened on a Friday.  The other doctor was to preform a D&E.  I went to see him as soon as we left my high risk OB, but they couldn't do anything until Monday.  I was devastated...1) how was I going to get through the weekend knowing my baby was inside of me and lifeless, 2) Matt was going to host a very popular national radio show that day.  I didn't want anything to ruin this opportunity!!!  But, there was nothing we could do.  I cried myself to sleep every night that weekend.  I layed there holding my baby and saying over and over, "I'm so sorry."  Matt would just hold me at night.  There was nothing he could do or say to make me feel any better.  How could this happen?  I loved and wanted this baby so much.  I did everything right. 

Monday my parents drove me to the doctor's to have a medication inserted to make my cervix dilate.  I also had about half of my blood taken out of me for labs (not really, but the vials lined up to be at least a foot long).  While this happened, Matt was doing his national radio show.  He was awesome!!!  Tuesday I had to go in again to have a new one inserted to help me dilate.  This hurt so bad I threw up with the pain.  My dad rushed a prescription of Vicodin down to the pharmacy, but that would take too long.  They gave me a shot of Fentanyl and Toradol in the office.  On the way home I took the Vicodin.  I immediately went to bed.  The pain was so bad I couldn't get out of the fetal position all day and most of the night.  I finally ate some cheese toast that Matt brought upstairs for me.

I never really wanted to be alone.  That was when I was at my saddest....when the room was quiet and it was just me and my baby.  I was in so much pain, both physically and emotionally.  It's not supposed to be this way.  I'm supposed to be over 35 weeks, going in to labor on my own...not the doctor giving me something to help me dilate...at home...at 19 weeks.  This was the worst week of my life.  My world had just collapsed. 

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 was the day our baby was taken from me.  I would have been 19 weeks, 2 days.  My sister drove in from Austin, my best friend, my mom and dad, and Matt all went to the doctor's office.  It was a horrible place....white walls, faded posters from the 80's, and only 8 chairs in the tiny waiting room.  When we got there, a young man and a lady were in the waiting room.  A little while later, this girl was helped out.  She had tape on her hand from an IV and she was shaking and could barely walk on her own.  I knew she was there for the same reason.  A few minutes later my name was called.  I hugged everyone.  Matt was the last person.  I didn't want to let go of him.  When I got in the cold, sterile room, I told them several times, "I want to know if we were having a girl or a boy."  They started an IV and I soon was sedated and knocked completely out.  I know it was very painful because I remember screaming and the doctor saying, "she needs more medicine."  I woke up and saw the nurse carrying something with a surgical towel covering it...I know that was my baby.  I said, "what was it."  It was a girl.  I never got to see her.  I only have those 2 ultrasound pictures and that image on the monitor of our still baby.

Later I found this girl and I had a lot of similarities...we had a special bond.  We were due on the same day, found out we lost our baby on the same day, and had our babys taken from us on the same day.  She had a baby boy.

Two weeks after our baby was taken from me, was my best friend's charity golf tournament.  The charity is for support and education for parents of children with Down Syndrome and other Special Needs.  While there, I got a call on my cell phone.  It was from the doctor who did my D&E and lab work.  The nurse said that I have a disorder (compound heterozygous MTHFR) that could have been the reason for our loss.  I really couldn't hear any more.  I raced back to the golf lodge as fast as I could.  I cried the whole way there, "my baby was fine...it was me....I caused my baby to die."

About 2 weeks later, 4 weeks after our loss, while running errands with my best friend (who has a daughter with Down Syndrome), I got another call from the same doctor's office.  The nurse said, "your baby's pathology report came back.  Your baby had Down Syndrome."  I said, "really, wow."  I hung up the phone and said to Kristy, "our baby had Down Syndrome."  She said, "SHUT UP!!!"  Two best friends would have had little girls, almost exactly 10 years apart, both with Down Syndrome.  I had an appointment with my OB that day.  She had also gotten the news that day.  One of the things she said to me was, "does knowing your baby had Down Syndrome make you feel any better (about your loss)?"  I said, "no it doesn't, that was our baby and we didn't care."  That was the last visit I had with her.  I couldn't believe she said that.  She also didn't do anything about the MTHFR and my uterine abnormality.

I found a new OB and had my first appointment with her on February 22, 2010.  She immediately put me on medication for my MTHFR and ordered test to find out exactly what abnormality I had.  After 2 MRIs, a very painful Hysterosalpingogram, and a Sonohysterogram, a radiologist finally determined I did indeed have a Septate Uterus.  I was then referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). 

March 8, 2010...my due date.  I worked that day at my new job...kept myself busy during the day...cried myself to sleep that night.

May 9, 2010, Mother's Day, was very hard.  It would have been my first.  I was almost a year away from my first positive pregnancy test, I didn't have my baby and I hadn't been cleared yet to try again.  I cried myself to sleep that night.

On Thursday, June 3, 2010, I was scheduled for a Hysteroscopy/Laparoscopy to remove the septum and possibly the fibroids.  I was told I might have to have a Myomectomy.  That depended on where and how large the fibroids were.  I woke up in the recovery room in so much pain, and the nurse telling me to "breath".  I couldn't move because of the pain.  I had a Morphine PCA.  I reached down to touch where the pain was coming from.  I had a dressing from one side of my abdomen to the other.  I freaked out and asked the nurse, "what happened to me?"  I did end up needing a Myomectomy and the surgery lasted 4 hours.  I stayed in the hospital from Thursday to Saturday afternoon.  I have NEVER been in the hospital as a patient before...that was very strange.

The recovery was very hard.  I couldn't look at the incision for a long time because I basically had a c-section scar, but no baby to show for it.  I was told that I will never go in to labor and will have to have a c-section with any future pregnancies.  I needed help with the littlest things for at least 4-5 days.  When my parents left on Sunday and Matt went back to work on Monday, I would stay in the bed until he got home since I couldn't get out of the reclining position on my own, but could roll out of the bed. 

June 28, 2010...one year from my first positive pregnancy test.  Still no baby and still not able to try again. 
July 29, 2010...another Hysterosalpingogram.  This time I took Vicodin and Valium.  At the end my RE brought me and Matt in to his office.  He said, "your uterus isn't healing as well as I would like it to."  He put me on Estrogen to thicken the lining for 2 weeks.  He thought he might have to "smooth out" my uterine lining and moved trying again for another 3 cycles, which put me past our 1 year anniversary from losing our little angel.  Again more bad news...how much more can I take?   

After the 2 weeks on August 11, 2010, I went in for another Hysteroscopy to look at the healing from the inside.  After I woke up from the anesthesia, we went back in to my RE's office.  THIS TIME I FINALLY GOT GOOD NEWS!!!  He removed the remaining septum and the rest of my uterus was NORMAL....WE WERE CLEARED TO TRY AGAIN AFTER ONE CYCLE!!!! 

I am currently waiting to ovulate.  I've never had to worry about abnormal cycles until now.  Since my surgery I have not had a normal cycle.  We are hoping my body will regulate itself and get back on track.  If it doesn't after a couple of cycles, we will try Clomid.  I am taking my temperature every morning and using ovulation predictor kits. 

I pray every night that one day we will have our own take home baby. 

1 comments:

Gypsy said...

Alyson, I am so very sorry for all you've been through! Hugs and prayers!
Jess

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