Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feel free to steal!

I just made this button so I can share it with the world.  Feel free to take it to strike up some convo about the TAC!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Group B Strep

One thing I did fail to mention, because it was not caused by the TAC and I don't want anyone to unnecessarily worry about something rare happening, is that Isaac developed a Group B Strep (GBS) infection 2 weeks after we brought him home.  Actually, it was just a few days after I wrote my March 26 post.  He was inconsolable one night, and after driving around with him at 4 am and calling a nurse line, we took him to the ER.  He endured some awful testing (spinal tap, blood draws) an ambulance ride, among many other things, and spent 11 days in a Children's hospital with a PICC line in his head receiving antibiotics.

Moral of the story:  While very rare, GBS can still be transmitted to baby in a c-section delivery.  Who knew.

Another moral of my story:  Make sure to do your kick counts in the 3rd trimester.  If you feel off at ALL, go into Labor and Delivery.  He was always such a mover; when he slowed down I knew something was wrong, and it turned out that I was right.  Something was indeed wrong and he was delivered that day.  Do your kick counts, mamas!  I almost lost my baby.

ETA: Thanks ladies.  We believe it was being hidden by all the broad spectrum antibiotics he was briefly given in the NICU, and then it returned full force after he was released.


If you want to read about my journey with the TAC, you can start at the beginning.  I won't be making any updates, but I wanted to keep this blog up as I was pretty dedicated at documenting my experience.  I'm sad that ANYone has to experience this surgery and the loss that most likely preceded it, but know that it has helped so many of us take home our full-term (or near-term) healthy babies.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Farewell to this blog + Birth Story

Obviously I haven't updated in a while, and that's because I delivered Isaac at 35w1d due to some unforeseen, left field circumstances.  I'll be taking a break from this blog, but leaving it up and checking occasionally because I feel there is lots of information here about the TAC and hopefully that is useful to someone.

The TAC got us to 35w1d, I have NO doubt about that!  If what happened to me hadn't happened, we would have definitely made it to 38w3d, to our scheduled c/section.  No doubt whatsoever.  The TAC totally did it's job, and my cervix was ROCK STAR the whole pregnancy!  My c/section was performed by the on-call OB, who did a great job although had never seen a TAC before.  My regular OB had talked to Dr. Haney and got some information on the delivery, so I was a little worried that some random OB performed my c/section, but it turned out great. 

Here's what happened (copied and pasted from private blog, so hopefully it's clear):

So, placental abruption is NOT what happened. I believe, based on the presenting evidence, that my OB called a placental abruption because it seemed to make sense and gave us somewhat of an answer at the time.

However, she was incorrect. The Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM; a High Risk OB) doctor who was on call that night had been trying to reach me ALL day Friday. He reviewed and reviewed every step of our admittance day and reached a different, more rare conclusion. He came to the NICU looking for me as my mom and I had just stepped out for lunch, he called my cell 3 times without leaving a message, and finally reached us at home on Friday night at 6 pm.

He diagnosed the situation as a massive fetomaternal hemorrhage. I googled it and only a few case studies came up. The gist of it is that basically his blood hemorrhaged into mine, causing him to have severe blood loss. The only indicator is low or no fetal movement. There are no other warning signs. By the time it’s diagnosed, the baby is usually already dead. This happens in 1:5,000 pregnancies with the amount of blood loss he experienced. He used a garden hose as an explanation, which illustrates Isaac’s cord. There was a microscopic tear somewhere and the pressure caused Isaac’s blood to just rush out of his body straight into mine. The hemorrhage is somewhat common, but the amount lost was off the charts. In the 3 case studies I read about, the highest one was 207mL of fetal blood circulating in the mother’s bloodstream. I had 300mL of Isaac’s blood, not the 250 I was previously told. Yikes. It’s about 10 ounces, which explains the 11 Rhogam shots.

All babies are miracles, but Isaac is OUR miracle. He had some serious help from God’s angels, that is for SURE.  He spent 17 days in NICU, received 2 transfusions, was intubated, sedated, had a feeding tube, had lung issues, but FINALLY overcame it all and is now home with us 100% healthy.

Here's a picture of our little man at delivery (he was 6lbs 1 oz, so not terribly little), a picture during his 17 day NICU stay, and one of our healthy, take home baby boy.

Note that he had zero cord blood, and how pale (and severely anemic) he was at birth.  The transfusions happened within a couple of hours of his birth.

The worst of his NICU stay, when he was fully intubated, unresponsive and on morphine for over 24 hours:

And, our perfect little guy today:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

almost 34 weeks!!

This has been a ridiculous emotional rollercoaster of a fortnight.  (I've always wanted to work that in somewhere).  I don't know what it IS about February, but it just doesn't seem to be our month...

February 5 - 1st anniversary of losing Jonah
February 10 - 1st anniversary of losing Noah
February 11 - Keith's grandpa passed away, flew out of state for his funeral
February 11 - a family member experienced a miscarriage
February 16 - my great grandmother passed away, leaving tomorrow out of state for funeral

Can it just be March yet?  It will be like a new leaf.  Isaac is still moving around like crazy - on his same routine every day - and we will finally have another ultrasound in a couple of weeks!  I'm exhausted most of the time, but have been running on adrenaline this past week.  I still have heartburn daily, nausea most of the day, and I'm still not ready for his arrival!  Next week a dear friend is coming over to help me nest in the nursery, so after that I'm sure I'll feel a TON better.  I just have to get through THIS week.  :(

EDIT: Isaac ended up being born in February, also, to remind us that things are not ALWAYS bad and there's no such thing as bad luck OR superstition.

Friday, February 4, 2011

32 weeks!!!!!!

I cannot believe we've made it this far!!!!!  I had a BABY SHOWER last weekend, we have a bassinet in our room, we bought a diaper bag and a changing pad for the dresser.  Keith did a huge load of baby laundry, the little t-shirts and Onesies are stacked up ready to be organized...  I still feel like all this preparation is for someone else's baby.  That sounds insane, but I still feel like we're just pretending about some hypothetical baby that we're preparing for in 5 more years, like when we're "old enough" to take care of another human.  I mean, 1 month before my 30th birthday is definitely too young to have a child!  Riiiiiiiight...

A woman in my OB's office (1,000 miles away from Chicago and Dr. Haney) was talking to her/my OB about possibly getting the TAC.  Since I'm currently the first and only TAC patient in her office, she hooked us up!  It's good to know the word is spreading about the TAC and it's success.  So exciting!

I really should get on packing a bag and pre-registering and such.  I'm just so tired...

PS - WHAT happened to January?  Seriously!  That month just came and went w/o me even registering it. 

45 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Isaac Nolan will be here in 45 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


As you can see to the right I have put up an awkwardly placed ticker with the countdown to our son's birth!!  He will be born via scheduled c/section at noon on March 21, 2011.  It seems like SO far away still, but I know it's coming up quickly!

My OB told me that I needed to travel.  She is giving me until 34 weeks to do anything I'd like to do since things are going so well.  The diabetes is managed well, I've had almost no contractions, no swelling, good blood pressure.  The TAC is a miracle worker.

Our little guy is SUCH a big mover.  At 28 weeks he was breech, and I really don't think he's flipped yet. I feel almost constant punching/kicking simultaneously in my right ribs and left hip.  My belly is starting to move like an alien, from side to side, and jerking quickly up and down.  Silly boy!!!

I'm 30w6d today and I bet he's close to 4 lbs at least.  I am currently meeting with my OB every 2 weeks to monitor my glucose levels and b/p and growth.  No more ultrasounds until 36 weeks, though, unless something is worrisom enough to deem it necessary.  At my appt. this week, my uterus measured 32 weeks, or 2 weeks ahead of schedule!  In doing some reading, I'm guessing I'm measuring bigger because he's likely still breech.

We had to give her the name of a pediatrician (gasp!), I have to get pre-registered with the hospital (double gasp!) and I'm meeting with said pediatrician this Friday (eeeeek!).  Things are really getting real.  On a daily basis, I think about a "take home baby," yet I still feel like it's such an abstract impossibility.  All signs are pointing to bringing home a healthy son, I just can't grasp it.  I'm preparing, going through the motions, but not really acknowledging that it's happening to me and not someone else.  So totally weird, I know, but such is the mind of a woman who's had such tragedy and loss and struggle in her life.  I can't wait to see him in the flesh, alive and breathing, eyes opening and closing.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I've been a bit MIA lately, not for any physical reasons.  Everything is going pretty well, in fact.  The gestational diabetes is being controlled by diet, I got my Rhogam shot, baby boy is measuring perfectly, and I'm now seeing my OB every 2 weeks.  He has a name, a crib, a bassinet, lots of clothes, books, a car seat.  Physically, we're getting ready.

However, things are emotionally difficult for me right now as the anniversary of the births and deaths of our twins is coming swiftly.   I actually scheduled a Labor/Delivery Tour at my hospital with my husband and a good friend and her husband for February 5.  I only today put it together that it will mark one year to the day that our first son Jonah was born and died, and the awful rollercoaster week that ended with the birth and death of his brother Noah.  As of right now I am keeping the appointment, since I really do want the tour.  Despite being there for a week I have no clue what anything was like.  I have NO idea how I will react.  If I run into one of the nurses (especially Louann, who delivered Noah herself and was SO amazing and motherly to me) I will most definitely lose it... (EDIT: Louann was there and assisted in the emergency c/s delivery of Isaac.  Creepy!).  There are just WAY too many memories there.  On one hand, I feel if I go it will desensitize me a little so when I do deliver our take-home baby, I may hurt a little less.  I'm SO terrified that I'm going to give birth to this son and not want to hold him because I'll be painfully reminded of the ones I didn't get to bring home.

I feel torn.  I should be excited, yet I'm having days where I'm perfectly content to lay in bed and cry.  I'm just really conflicted right now.  That's the most I can say about it.  I'm not going to try to analyze it, I'm just going to feel it.  I'm certain other baby-loss moms out there totally understand me.

I've been really bad about the weekly check-ins lately, so here it is for 29w5d (today):

How far along? 29w5d, a squash, I believe.  He should be a little over 3 lbs.

Weight gain/loss: 10-12 depending on the scale

Sleep? IIt's getting more uncomfortable and bathroom trips are not bringing as much relief as they previously were!
Best moment this week? Watching my stomach move and twist.  A few days ago Keith was on the laptop, I was reading, and the dogs were at the foot of the bed sleeping.  All of a sudden, little man started jerking and twitching and started shaking a KING size bed and all it's occupants.  He's a strong one!!!!

Movement: So much, and he's been punching the same spot over and over again.  His head was near my belly button facing to the right, so his hands are punching my right side, and something is simultaneously hitting my left hip.  I feel like he's running in place all the time!  He's going to be high energy that's for sure.
Food cravings: Turkey sandwich with "dog cheese" (Kraft singles, we use it to give the dogs their meds) and mayo with a Diet Dr P.  Also, ice cream with peanut butter and Hershey's syrup.  Those have been what I look forward to most each day.

What I miss? I hate this question. <-- Still the same

What I am looking forward to? Baby shower on January 29!

Milestones: He has SUCH an amazing chance at survival now.  We are scheduling the c/s at my next appt in a week (either March 18 or 25, depending on my OB's Spring Break schedule (yes)) and I have an appt with a pediatrician next Friday!  It really is happening.
What I'm nervous about: Nothing yet...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Third Tri Check-In

How far along? 27w5d, an eggplant! Yesterday he was 2 lb, 11 oz!!!

Weight gain/loss: 9 lbs at OB office

Sleep? I'm still sleeping well, but at 3 am, I wake up starving!  Thanks to GD, I can't eat anything :(
Best moment this week? Seeing him yesterday was magical.

Movement: All the time!  He's a mover and shaker.

Food cravings: Triscuits. Non stop.

What I miss? I hate this question.

What I am looking forward to? Baby shower on January 29!

Milestones: Almost 3 lbs, officially in 3rd trimester!
What I'm nervous about: Nothing!