Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rainbow update: Addie's getting a little...

     BROTHER!  Yup, you read that right, we're having a boy!  He definitely wasn't shy about showing off his boy parts either.  Completely opposite of Ms. Addie, who didn't want to give the U/S tech the money shot until almost the very end.  The doctor's are saying everything looks good so far.  He is very active.  I've been feeling little flutters for the last couple of weeks now.  It's an amazing feeling, that's for sure.  One I will certainly cherish, no matter how hard his kicks and punches get.

     Being that this is my first (known) iso-sensitized pregnancy, I'm not exactly sure what to expect.  Antibody isoimmunization, bare bones definition, is an immune system process where antibodies cross the placenta and target fetal red blood cells.  The most common/well known of these is the Rhesus group or Rh group.  Rh is treated with the Rhogam shot throughout sensitized pregnancies.  Unfortunately, the antibodies I carry cannot be treated in this manner.  Though the antibodies I have (known as big E and little c) are considered on the mild side, they can do some damage (obviously).  The end result, if moms aren't monitored could be fetal anemia, fetal hydrops and death.  Although Addie's autopsy results weren't conclusive, our docs were pretty sure iso had a lot to do with her death.  Which brings me to where I am today.

     We had our first MCA doppler and anatomy scan on Friday.  The MCA doppler measures the systolic blood flow in the middle cerebral artery.  They are used to diagnose both fetal anemia and fetal hydrops in iso-sensitized pregnancies.  The MCA is being used as tool to monitor baby boy's progress.  Right now, my titer levels are 1:32 for the antibodies.  "Normal" is 1:4 or 1:8, so right now we're a little on the high side, but certainly lower than the results of my titers after I had Addie ( I don't remember the exact numbers, but they were in the hundreds I believe).  My doc will be doing MCAs every visit, unless there comes the point in time where a more invasive procedure needs to be done.

     Speaking of my doc, I am seeing the perinatologist exclusively.  I thought I would be trading time between her and my regular OB, but as of this last appointment, Dr M said she wants me to see only her.  She mentioned, at our last appointment, that she will do her best to make sure we get to go home with a healthy baby.  I'm lucky to have chosen this office the first time.  Although Dr M is extremely busy (I believe she is the only maternal/fetal medicine specialist in the area), she is very good at what she does.  She doesn't sugar-coat anything, which I certainly appreciate.  I don't care how hard it is to tell me something, you better give it to me straight.

     I'm still learning about everything.  I've tried not to drive myself nuts with research, but it's hard to ignore.  The Internet is full of articles, most of which are waaaaay over my head but Dr M is very good about explaining and answering my questions, thank goodness.

    Physically, the baby looks good.  He's measuring about a week ahead in almost everything, so he promises to be a big baby.  Honestly, I don't mind that fact considering he will be delivered 3 weeks early.  He's very active so far and that was evident during the scan.  Physically, I'm doing OK too.  I was pretty sick for the first 15 or so weeks, but have finally started feeling better.  I've only gained 1 pound which I am very happy about.  Being that I am overweight, I don't want to gain more than 15 pounds this time.  However, my issues with sciatica this go-round has made exercising more difficult, but my physical therapist is working on that issue.  I will probably go see a massage therapist at some point too.
     Mentally, I'm not sure how to evaluate myself.  I'd like to say that I haven't been worried at all but I know that's a lie.  The thoughts have crossed my mind, but I think I've done a pretty good job of ignoring the worries.  Now that I can feel him moving, I find myself wondering why I don't feel him very much.  But then I remember that he's still so small and I won't feel him on a regular basis.  I've resisted the urge to by a fetal doppler as well.  Although, truth be told, I really want one.  I want to be able to hear his heartbeat whenever I want.  Overall, I think I've done really well controlling my emotions.  Yes, I'm worried, but hope creeps in.  We actually bought bedding and paint for the nursery over the weekend.  I've found it very difficult not to hope which I think is a good sign.  I trust my doctor, I trust in the medical field.  I trust that everything will be okay this time.  Maybe I'm being naive, but having this hope helps me.  Allowing this hope to enter my world relieves the stress of not knowing how the future will play out.  I'm trying to stay as relaxed as possible, knowing this will help us all in the long run.  I HOPE it works...

     So here are the pics from the latest U/S.  You'll see what I mean about him not being shy with his boy parts!  Love my little guy already!

The boy definitely has his daddy's big feet!

Not a bit shy, haha!

Waving for his picture

Profile at 17 weeks

Kicking his momma

Face shot

Monday, February 27, 2012

18 months to forever...

I dreamed of you last night. It's been a long time since you've visited me in my sleep.  I have to say it was a welcome visit and heart wrenching at the same time.  You were grown up, the toddler I had always wished for.  Your hair was so blond (almost white), much like Daddy's when he was little, and just a trace of red left.  Crystal clear blue eyes and little ringlets that touched your shoulders.  You seemed tall for your age, something I had always hoped you would inherit from Daddy.  You were so busy running around pointing at things and playing.  You smiled nonstop and even laughed.  It was as if you were telling me you're okay; telling me that you're happy.  There are times I need that assurance.  It's hard for me, knowing I couldn't keep you safe until you were born.  Essentially, your death was my fault.  Down and dirty, that's the truth.  It was my immune system that attacked you.  I KNOW everyone says it's not my fault and, yes, there are so many factors that led to your death, but deep down, it was my body that failed you.  But, I've accepted the things that I cannot change.  Do I like it?  Hell no.  Do I wish you were here?  Hell yes.  But there's not a damn thing I can do about it.  As much as I would like to, I can't change the past.  I can only dream of the future and wonder what life would be like with you here.  It's hard to believe 18 months has passed already.  I still wonder how I've survived without you.

I miss you sweet girl.  I love you forever and beyond...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A beautiful poem

So I wanted to share a beautiful poem my cousin wrote and posted on my Facebook wall last night.  He said he was inspired by my post on Friday regarding the Rainbow's heartbeat.  I said "169 beats per minute...music to my ears."  And this is what he wrote:

The Sweetest Sound

That sound of your heart, So strong and so true
The beats of your heart, so precious and so pure
That song of sweet love, it echoes in my thoughts
As you grow and you weave, inside my heart and my soul

These struggles to let go of the lost sounds of the past
You offer me a chance to live life with a plan
That song of sweet love allows me to smile
Free of the doubts of those lost sounds of the past

I can let go of the fears and embrace,
my life with the years of your sweet, beautiful face
That song of sweet love if there was ever a doubt,
It opens my heart to that sweetest sound

Can you say tears?  Distance and time has made no difference to him.  Being a divorced kid, most of my family on my dad's side lives in California.  This particular cousin and I have only met once that I remember.  Yet, he has been one of the most caring, supportive individuals throughout this loss and been one of the biggest cheerleaders since we announced we were expecting #2.  One of these days, I hope to make it back to the West Coast.  It's been far too long since I've seen my family.
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