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Sunday, May 30, 2010


This is what I hear every day when the kids wake up (except its a different number of days considering which day it is.)  Everytime I hear my kids practically sing this statement with happiness, I just don't know WHAT to feel?  The kids are so joyful about their baby brother coming...but just hearing that there are 4 more days brings me nothing but dread at the moment.  Early this morning, before the kids woke up, I was just laying in bed and thinking about that sweet moment that I wake up AFTER my surgery.  Alive.  With this LONG never-ending nightmare finally having gotten over the worst.  We will finally be able to talk about what they found and what they had to do and the fact that I LIVED through it.  And let me not forget, meeting my little miracle boy that will have made this nightmare 150% worth it.  I just can't wait til Friday is here and I am still alive and a part of this beautiful world.  That will be a moment of pure joy for me.  And most certainly for Doug too. 

Doug has been so positive about this whole thing, but I can see he is starting to show his worry more and more.  You can just see it in his eyes.  Honestly, I just want to cry thinking about what HE will have to deal with during surgery.  I get the "easy" part in a way...I will be put to sleep.  And thats that.  He has to sit there and wait, for hours and hours, waiting and wondering and worrying.  It hurts my heart to think about him sitting there for hours...and going through all that alone. :(

4 more days til surgery.  5 more days til we can start living the rest of our lives with an even greater joy and appreciation for this experience (most especially being PASSED this experience).  I will finally be able to fully celebrate Ansen, with Doug and five other very jubilent children I have been surrounded by this entire time.  The first song on my playlist "before the morning" is singing to me again this morning....I am putting it back on autoplay for the time being so I can hear my words of inspiration 4 days from now-"cause the pain that you've been feeling...can't compare to the joy that's coming!"

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My sweet morning...

Since the kids are sleeping in our room, on the floor on mattresses (since we did our big move back to this house AND started bleeding/bedrest right after and had had little time to really unpack/set up things after that) I get to spend every waking and sleeping moment with them.  Last night, as I headed to bed, I turned on the light (we have some SOUND sleepers in this house) and I just was mesmorized watching them sleep.  I couldn't stop staring at them- all cuddled up, sleeping soundly, thumbs in mouths, kikis and mermaids and stuffed elephants clutched in arms, making soft little whispery breaths as they soundly slept.  My heart could have just burst at that moment.  I helped create these 5 sweet little people.  And to think of one last little person cuddled up with them soon enough. 

My children have been my biggest and most meaningful accomplishment in my life.  I graduated with a degree in english/early education, with a concentration in special education, a semester early WHILE working full time hours.  And yet that accomplishment has meant a meager NOTHING to me since I have become a mother.  I always wanted to be a mom, but I never quite understood how much it could and would change me.  I can't get enough of them...every morning, every afternoon, every night...its just not enough.  Their sweet little faces, their little voices, the funny things they do, the funny things they say,  the pride them give me, ad the sweetest moments they bring to my life day after day.  My kids fight and argue and complain like the best of them as well, don't get me wrong.  But one sweet moment has the power to erase 15 less desireable moments.  Just like a kiss and a hug from Mommy can suddenly make the world right again to them. 

Every morning, I wake up thrilled for the chance of new joys and experiences we can share together.  This morning, I woke up to one kid crawling into my bed...followed quickly by another...and another...and another...and then one more.  They all just laid/sat there with me, heads snuggled into me, kisses and hugs and smiles and I love you's shared by all, little hands rubbing Ansen and telling me how excited they are to meet him in 5 days....and it just further magnified the joy in my heart.  As physically uncomfortable as it might be, being huge and pregnant, stuffed into a queen sized bed with my slumbering husband and 5 not so small children, I could have enjoyed this morning forever.  Except my bladder had different plans.  Darn you bladder. 

Now we are off to a nearby track.  I am going to waddle over to the grass and sit and watch my kids ride their bikes around and around and around, hearing their screams of excitement and joy as they race each other and enjoy the moment.  And I am going to watch Doug ride his bike and trailer around with them, with two very gleeful 2 year olds, who think the bike trailer is the most amazingly fun ride EVER.  Even though I can't join IN on the fun, I am surrounded by the fun and joy of the moment...and just that is pure joy in itself for me.  We will follow this by a barbecue with my family later today (kids playing with sprinkler and bikes and little cars, while it will be a lot of me sitting and making plans with my brother and one day to be sister in law who are watching kids the first 4 days of my hospitalization).  All in all, my sweet morning will be a sweet family day alltogether-a sweet start to a beautiful day and beautiful weekend.  I plan to do little this weekend, but just wholeheartedly enjoy my sweet, beautiful, God granted familiy/children...and the sweetness of life itself.   

Friday, May 28, 2010

While laying in bed last night, I decided...

That I am going to spend my last 6 days before my surgery convincing myself that I WILL SURVIVE THIS.  Bc even if I wasn't meant to survive, what are the negative thoughts doing for me at this time??  Since last week (and finding out about fellow percreta mama's death), I have been so down...and its just been stealing a lot of the joy I should be enjoying in my life.  And to tell you the truth, I still think that there is so much of this journey that has alluded to me living when all is said and done.  Why would God work so hard in the beginning to lay it on my heart to get to this hospital, to end up with these doctors.  They have saved Ansen's life (from termination) and now I am ever hopeful that they will also save mine.  I know I can't be promised this outcome, but I will try my best to believe it.  And believe in that feeling of peace that is always surrounding me.  If I can convince my mind, body and soul that I WILL SURVIVE THIS, maybe my mind, body and soul will fight that much harder at delivery, even when I cannot consciously do so myself.  I don't feel like my work is done yet in this world.  I have so much good to share with the world, especially after all these amazing life lessons I have learned.  For the last few weeks, I have been debating buying something for a project until after surgery...just in case....but now, today, I am going to send Doug to get it.  Bc I WILL need it.  Bc I WILL SURVIVE THIS.  Off to go enjoy my beautiful life, my beautiful family, and the beautiful world all around me this long weekend before my surgery.  The surgery I WILL SURVIVE.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dear God,

Its me, Melissa.  I know I was a pretty crummy Christian before this whole experience....I accept and have been humbled to admit that I thought of myself first and foremost way too often.  I hardly ever thanked you for the beautiful world around me.  The only time I would talk to you was when I was making my list of "requests".  I was the typical 'I believe its all about me, me, me...oh yeah and I believe in you too God'.  I understand that although you don't make these trials for us to go through, you allow us to go through them to give us the opportunity to grow and show our faith to You.  You use these trials to test all of us, the most faithless to the most faithful.  And through my own trial here, this journey of faith, I have been to the lowest of lows.  Over and over again.  I have had to put someone else's life ahead of my own.   I have had to make the hardest choices I have ever made in my life.  I have had to accept that in the grand scheme of things, my own life isn't as  important as I once thought.  I mourn that I didn't live the first 29 years of my life in any especially fulfilling fashion...and I understand it may be too late to get another 29 years to make up for it.  It's a LOT for someone to take in in only 8 months.  I feel like I am ready to collapse from the sheer magnitude of so much info at once.

I know that my days have already been numbered by you, and that I can't beg or plead or pray myself another day, since you have a perfect plan for us all.  Honestly though God, my biggest fear of losing my life is that I would lose my children, and possibly Doug, to this world.    The world  that for many revolves around me, me, me, and money, and material goods.  And its so easy to get lost in it all.  To think that you are living the way you should be living, all the while worshipping false idols on a daily basis.  I know this so earnestly, bc I was there.  It's just too easy to be lead astray, especially when Doug would need to count on the world to help him raise 6 children by himself-he just couldn't do it all, while still needing to work to support them all.  It breaks my heart to think about.  How lucky I would feel to wake up after this, and recover, and get that chance to live that joyful, fullfilling, giving lifestyle 24/7; to cotinue to surround my children with the true meaning of life.  And although I know this doesn't guarantee their faithfulness to You, it still is a better start then I had. 

In the end though, I know I have to trust in Your perfect plan....bc like so many other instances of my life, I have been hit by the reality that I know little to nothing when it comes to the big picture that You have created and see before You.  I have to trust and have faith that *hopefully* I have laid enough good foundation still, just in case.  And that You love my children as much as I do, that You love Doug as much as I do.  And that You will be there for us all, every step of the way, every single day-no matter what outcome is in store for us. 

Thank you God, for Doug.  I adore him so much-he is my best friend, my life partner, and no one in the world (except You) knows me better then he does.  He is selfless, and puts me and our children first and foremost.  He is a hard worker, an amazing husband and a much more amazing Daddy.  Every day still feels like our first date.  And he is such a good, Godly influence.  He may not do the Church/Bible reading thing much, but He talks to You often, and has such incredible faith.  Many times, when the going gets tough, he stregthens my faith with his words of wisdom.  I feel so blessed to have him in my life and as my husband.  You have truly blessed me God.

Thank you God, for Kylie.  My sweet first child.  I wanted her to come years before her time, but you showed me the virtue of patience.  And when it was her time to come, the happiness I felt!  She is such a sweet and simple soul.  She has little to ever complain about, and she loves and cares for You and this world and her family so much.  Joy just pours out of her-she makes everyone happy.   And she has wisdom beyond her years. You have truly blessed me God.

Thank you God, for Elise.  My sneaky little surprise second child.  I was afraid that I wouldn't love her as much as Kylie, when I had little time to even remember I was pregnant, with Kylie still being so young.  But then Elise was born and in the NICU, and the love that poured out of me was amazing.  She is so quirky and funny.  She sees the world and has a million and one questions to ask.  She is so motherly and loving-she reminds me exactly of ME at that age.  You have truly blessed me God.

Thank you God, for Caden.  My first little boy.  Just when I thought I was one really good parent, Caden's colicky little self came into this world.  And I still adored him.  He tested me over and over and over again.  He still tests me.  But he also can't stop kissing and hugging me.  He is and has always been a cuddler.  And just today, I was thinking that having that little bit of opposition could help him one day when he has to make the hard choices and go against the grain-maybe take on his own journey of faith.  He has taught me so much about the depths of love and patience.   You have truly blessed me God.

Thank you God, for Gavin.  My first born twin son.  I always wanted twins-and when I found out I WAS having twins, I couldn't believe it.  He was my first complete placenta previa baby.  He was so close to not being here, but you helped him find a way to implant somewhere he could grow, even if it wasn't a great place at all.  And he made it safely to delivery, although his placenta gave me a bit of grief.  He has the sweetest little kewpie doll face, and a spitfire personality to oppose it.  He never leaves my side-I am his mama.  I see that he will teach me similar lessons about love and patience that Caden has-he is so determined and spirited and he just adores being coddled, all the while also being as indepdent as he can be.  You have truly blessed me God.

Thank you God, for Rylan.  My second born twin son.  I thought one of the twins was a girl.  I wanted a girl.  And I was a little upset there was no girl.  Rylan (and Gavin) showed me quickly that they were perfectly meant for our family.  Rylan is another sweet soul.  He loves to find a warm lap to cuddle into, or a warm arm to be wrapped in.  And through all this struggles with asthma, he has shown me what strength is about.  Throughout it all, he perseveres with a smile on his face.  And a mermaid in his hand.  He keeps me smiling and laughing.  He is very protective of his twin, and he adores his siblings.  He is joy and life and love.  You have truly blessed me God.

Thank you God for Ansen.  My last son-the one that opened my eyes to life itself.  I thought I know what I needed, and Ansen taught me about what was truly missing in my life.  And it wasn't about dressing a little girl in pink and tights and bows.  I was fearful of going into this pregnancy, but I felt Ansen's strong little soul always on my mind.  And I took a leap of faith.  I have seen his strength, as he himself as endured so many trials.  When I was told to terminate his life, I had to make the hardest choice of my life and choose this journey of faith into the unknown.  Bc I saw how he fought, and his fight for life gave me the strength to fight.  He fought against impending miscarriage, and he beat the odds.  He has fought every step of the way to be here, and to join our family.  He, like Gavin, only find his way here through Your guidance God....he could find no place to implant, and last minute, he found somewhere...although certainly not the best spot at all.  He could easily not be here, so many instances that he should't be here....but he IS here.  Growing and kicking inside me.  Almost ready to be born.  He has taught me how to open my eyes to the true meaning of life-the joy I am/have been surrounded by on a daily basis.  I will never be the same and I wholeheartedly embrace it.  You have truly blessed me God.

And lastly God, thank you for the beautiful world around me.  How could I be so blind before??  And the wonderful friends and family you have surrounded me by.  My family might be a bit rough around the edges, and many have much to learn about You still, but they have made me who I am.  Through thick and thin, my family is love and strength and togetherness.   I love my mom and dad, my sister and my brother, their significant mother in law, all my other sister/brother inlaws, and aunts and uncles and cousins and passed grandparents.   And some have indeed made life challenging at times for us, but I am sure that one day, they will also See and FINALLY understand us...and our life, and maybe life itself  We still love them though, bc You taught us the selfless act of genuine love.  My friends are my rock.  The ones that support me, even when they might not agree or understand....they have given me such deep strength every step of this journey.  Everyone of them has almost been hand picked at times throughout my life, and they are all so incredibly special to me now...and always.  I feel so lucky to have such an amazing extended family surrounding me at all times.  I can't thank God enough for any and all of you.  You have truly blessed me God.

All I ask God, is that You please help me find that extra bit of faith and strength in me to continue to walk bravely on, even when my fear tries to get the best of me.   Facing this kind of fear head on has been paralyzing at times.  Only with You, have I been able to get up and stumble forward.  I trust in You and your perfect plan, and my faith remains strong, no matter how terrified I might be.  But I won't lie.  It's not been easy, and it certainly isn't any easier as the final leg of this journey draws near.  I don't regret any of it, although at times, I curse putting myself in the situation I have...but then I am reminded of Ansen's little soul and life-he was truly MEANT to be here.  I am certain that You don't appreciate watching us struggle with these great challenges we sometimes have to face, but that at times, you canoot make our life any easier bc we NEED to travel these life lessons so that we can truly learn and become these life lessons.   My journey, albeit NOT FUN, has taught me more then the last 29 years of my life alltogether.  And I truly appreciate the me that has been revealed.  It's not been easy in the slightest way, but it's been beautiful and joyful nevertheless.  And right now, I am just fighting to keep that joy in my heart...and not let it be pushed out by those dark fears, always sneaking in on me. 

Thank You God for the past, and the present, and whatever future You have in store for me.  I hope that I can make You happy and proud when all this is said and done; that I can share and spread Your love and the joy and gift of life itself to others, in some way or another. 


7 days to go....

Everything has been mostly fine, up until this morning when I realized I had to face my biggest fears in 7 days.  Then the anxiety started up majorly.  You know, the racing heart, feeling like you are suffocating feeling.  7 short days.  Most of the time, I feel like everything will be okay, But then I remember the words of my dr to my rings in my ear contantly....."this is bad situation, really bad". What happens if my bad/really bad goes bad, really bad in surgery.  I hate being in this situation, especially as it gets so close.

My dad was over yesterday and yelling at me for having Doug take off 3 weeks after the surgery.  Because of all that potential lost money. He has spent enough of this last month yelling at me for having Doug take FMLA and working less hours so that he could stay close to dad reasoned that he could "help".  His version of helping includes critically assessing everything we do and letting us know how much he disapproves. Every day he mentions that I need to send the kids to school, like I should put them in the car today and just drop them off.  Oh, and I desperately need to get a job once Ansen is here...I got the degree and now its time to do what I am "supposed" to be doing.  And of course, his newest that Doug doesn't need to take 3 weeks off.  1 week is more then adequate.  I am sure I will find loads of other people that are willing to help dress my 12+inch incision I will have on my abdomen, who will help me empty the urine bag I will mostly likely have from a 2 week catheter, who will help me take care of the kids, help with Ansen, help with whatever aches and pains I am having, help get me to my appts, etc.  No problem.  I have people just LINING UP right now to do that so that Doug can get back to his "most important" job...working. 

I love my Dad so much and I know he means well, but most of his loud and brazen suggestions about what we are doing right and wrong with our lives are money based.  I am one big money making failure in his eyes. Money makes the world go 'round, you know.  Forgive me for caring very little about money right now.  I tried to keep it together and just ignore it, but I wanted to scream "what good will money be to me if I don't make it through this surgery".  Money can't buy me or guarantee my life.  Money doesn't control everything.  Money doesn't buy happiness  or joy either.  Oh, and I haven't yet heard of a way that money could buy me or Doug or my children's souls a way into Heaven either btw. I am SOOOOO sick of hearing about money and how we are failing at life bc we don't have loads of money pouring out our pockets.  Our mortgage is paid.  Our bills are getting paid, slowly but surely.  Tonight's call from my Dad that Doug should work basically every day up to delivery was just another slap in the face to me.  Can I just enjoy a few days  of Doug being home (in between him working, which he IS still doing), so that I can spend and enjoy these special days with my entire family together before I have to face this nightmare head on??   I don't want or need the daily phone calls asking when Doug is working and WHY he isn't working tomorrow....or any other days...thankyouverymuch.

Anyways, enough with that rant.  The other night, I got really freaked out.  I woke up in the middle of the night and I "think" I was in the middle of a dream, bc I thought there was a really tall bookcase in the corner with a black shadow sitting at the top-I assumed a man or person.  Of course, then I shook myself awake, and there is NO bookcase in that corner to begin with.  But then the freaky part.  Kylie suddenly sat up (yes, she and all the kids are sleeping in our room right now, on mattresses on the floor, bc we haven't made the time to put together all their bunk beds that are in pieces in the other bedroom)...and she pointed to the SAME corner and said "mommy, do you see that BIG bug over there".  I reassured her that there was no bug in the corner and she laid back down and went to sleep, but it really freaked me out.  Then I was laying down, starting to drift back asleep when I heard someone say (I am assuming it must have been on the radio???) that "everything is going to be okay".  And I feel asleep with a small feeling of reassurance.  Of course, now I am trying to think WHAT song it could have been....I don't know what to think?

Today I went in for my NST....Ansen was asleep the beginning and his heart rate kept dipping down into like 115 and it was kinda worrying me, but then he woke up more and started having some good accelerations and his baseline heartrate was up to 130, instead of 120.  Then I went into the office to get my steroid shot.  As soon as I walked in there, I started feeling dizzy and my heart started racing.  It just hit me all the sudden AGAIN that in 1 short week, my dr will be attending my surgery and finding out for himself how involved this all turns out to be.  I was looking at the other pregnant people in that office...and thinking how lucky they are not to have to face this kind of delivery (since I am the only one in the high risk hospital office with this right now, I am safe to assume that.) 

I am doing my best to walk forward bravely, knowing that God is certainly with me in my journey.  But as strong as the faithful part of me is, the human part of me is still absolutely terrified.   I want to drag my feet (or maybe kick and scream and run away is a better analysis), but I know I can't.  It's like standing at the top of a 20ft building...oh, and the building is on fire, burning bit my bit.  I am now on the ledge, and altlhough I have been promised that everyone will be trying their best to be at the bottom with a safety net...there are no guarantees the net WILL save me.  I have felt God's love around me, and it certainly is the only thing that will help me make this final jump....or leap of my journey.  But I am still scared.  I can't shake that fear, bc every day I have all these reminders around me....all these special little people, and my loving husband, and the sweetly singing birds, and the hot sun and cool breezes, and the beautiful world around me....of what I could potentially lose at the end.  Maybe it would have been easier if I had been hospitalized the last few weeks, bc then I would have been a bit more numb to the joy all around me. 

This is definately the most difficult part of my journey so far.  Its easy to talk the talk, but when it comes down to physically walking that walk, its just so incredibly hard...and humbling.  Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt, on the last leg of HIS journey, dragging His own cross, walking off towards His own certain death, humiliated every step of the way.  And to think that I am having a hard time dealing with THIS???  His faith was so strong and so true.  I am trying to trust and embrace my faith, but  I am embarassed that I am not braver and stronger...and that I still can't help but cry too often...and worry too much about my Earthly life.  *sigh*  Its just so hard....and we are only hours away from making this only six days til my surgery.  Just wish there was a fear switch I could simply/easily *turn off*-how much easier that would make this....

Monday, May 24, 2010

34.5 week appt

So today, I got to see Ansen blissfully sucking his thumb on ultrasound.  It was very soothing on my soul...this last few days, I have been focusing on the fear for myself and my other kids/Doug and not thinking as much about Ansen.  And then I look at this picture, and I think about how he is feeling happy and warm and loved inside me still, throughout all the chaos on my mind.  I am STILL doing something right here, no matter how much wrong my placenta may be doing, he is still well protected and nourished and just plain content. 

I keep having the same "it will be okay" feeling of peace, over and over and over again...even after hearing that horrible news about Kym.  But I still worry of course.  Today I had my appt, and the peri doing surgery (Dr. H) wanted to talk to my husband about things.  He had to let him know there was a chance of death with this and that as my healthcare proxy, he needs to fully understand at what point I would not want to live.  I have told Doug from the start that if there is even a CHANCE for me, I want to live.  Nothing like talking about situations of me being on ventilators and such to really get your spirits up high about your upcoming surgery.  I had bloodwork done today (CBC) to tell how everything is looking pre-surgery...hopefully iron is still nice and high.  I have to go in Thursday for another NST (non stress test) and a steroid shot...followed by a 2nd steroid shot Friday.

Next week is surgery week.  I don't know how I should be feeling.  I am glad the whole thing will finally be over, but I don't want everything to be over.  Really hoping I can survive this surgery AND my recovery (since Kym died during her recovery period-5 weeks after surgery :( ).  I had a quickie ultrasound by Dr. H (after ultrasound I had before appt), so he could check where my placenta is.  He should its going to be close as to whether or not he has to cut into placenta to get baby out.  My placenta extends almost all the way to the top of my uterus, as well as completely covering my cervix.  Its just massive and everywhere.  He is going to cut the very top of my uterus open and hope for the best that he has avoided placenta, bc if he has to cut into placenta, my bleeding will become pretty severe immediately. 

I might or might not have interventional radiology appt on Thursday as well...they are still deciding whether or not they want to do balloon catheters.  I am at the point that I figure what is meant to happen will happen...I can't stress about if I have catheters in or out, if I have placenta in or out, whether or not I can breastfeed, bc in the end, if I am alive and well for my 6 children and my husband, I will be forever grateful. 

As scary as things are, I still feel God's work and love all around me.  I still feel like I have grown into a much better person through this journey...and I GREATLY appreciate the new me.  I now truly "get" what life is all about.  In the last 2 months, I haven't been allowed to go shopping (one of the things that gave me some of my greatest joy before this-besides my kids of course)...I haven't been able to go much of anywhere actually...yet these last 8 weeks hope with my family have been some of my most joyful ever.  I am surrounded by the true meaning of life.  And what an amazing job I have, to love these little people and to  encourage them to stay true to themselves.  They live with such a joy and love for life already....I am learning more from then, then many times they learn from me.  Still hoping for the best here, so I can continue to live this beautiful life I have been blessed with and continue to be around all the incredibly people I am lucky enough to call my family and my friends. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The lowest that low can be....

I belong to a board of people that have "survived accreta/increta/percreta".  There are quite a few survivors that post and help answer our questions and give advice.  There are quite a few of us that are pregnant and going through this together.  3 of us are delivering within the next 2-3 weeks.  One of us had her baby about 6-7 weeks ago, a little girl born at 31 weeks.  She had a pretty extensive percreta (what they suspect I have).  She survived her massive surgery, was in hospital for 12 days, and kept posting about all the pain she was in still, weeks after surgery.  She went back into hospital 4 weeks ago.  We haven't heard a thing since and were concerned of course....but I had HOPED really hard that maybe she had her surgery and then maybe daughter came home...and I know time goes by in the blink of an eye when you have a newborn at home.. 

Well today, we learned she died on May 8th.  I feel absolutely sick to my stomach-the sickest I have felt this entire pregnancy.  She had JUST turned 27 years old and now her 4 children, ages 5 and under, are motherless.  Her husband, who was on FMLA while she was in the hospital on/off with this for months, has lost his partner and wife.  Her baby girl, Holly, who she fought so hard for will never know her mommy.  She offered me and others countless support.  She had thought that by surviving her surgery, she had beat it.  I just want to throw up, cry and run far, far away from this all.  WHY did I let myself get into this mess.  WHY!!!!!!!!!!! 

I don't want to do this anymore.  Having faith doesn't promise you will live through something.  I am scared of dying, but I am MUCH MORE TERRIFIED of leaving my babies to deal with the death of their mommy, leaving Doug to deal with the death of his best friend and wife.  I have been trying to look positively forward, making plans for the future, reassuring my kids that after Ansen is here, life will FINALLY return to normal.  What happens if it doesn't?? What happens if I absolutely, positively ruin their lives by dying on them???  I have no one around me that can take on my role.  I have no idea how Doug would take care of 6 kids by himself, while trying to work to support 6 kids. 

I have been scared of dying this whole time through, and so have all of us on that board.  And now, we are all reminded that  they aren't kidding when they say you can die from this.  I love Ansen so much, but I am also not ready for these next 11 days to be my last 11 days. Its not fair!  In the beginning, I was made to make the decision of ending Ansen's life or taking the chance of risking my own life.  My mind and spirit has been tortured from the very start of this pregnancy.  Why would God let me go through SOOOOO much, only to hear this final blow to my strength and my soul, 11 days before my surgery????   I just wish I could wake up and have this all have been one big extended nightmare. 

I thought I was brave enough to finally face this surgery.  I don't want to do it anymore.  I am not ready to leave this world yet and ruin my family's lives.  I just want to sit at home, enjoying my kids, hanging out with my wonderful, sweet husband, and I want all this scary stuff to just disappear.  I don't want to deal with serious risks and  risks of death anymore, I don't want to sign any more healthcare proxys, I don't want to have to STILL consider writing letters to my family, telling them how much I loved them.  I didn't learn to truly live, love, and appreciate the simpleness of life itself until just recently...I haven't had enough time to enjoy my new sight of the world.  I wasted so many of my years here, accomplishing very little of value, caring more about "having fun" then anything else.  I haven't made much/if any impact on this world-any impact I may have minutely made on my children can and will very well be erased if I leave them with my death to deal with.  Half of my kids won't even REMEMBER ME!  I still don't think I ever could have terminated Ansen's life, but now I see that although I considered how much ending his life would tarnish my own soul and how it would unjustly end his life and his little soul as well, that I didn't fully consider that by having my life ended through complications of such pregnancy, that I could ultimately ruin/tarnish 6/7 other souls here as well.  I have put my trust and faith in God, but if I die, I think more around me would abandon God then embrace Him.  I wrote this blog to hopefully be a testament of my faith, but instead, it could very well end up to be nothing more then my journey of fear-come true.

Just wishing I could find a way run away from this all myself.  But I have put myself in this deep ditch now...actually its more like a trench, or maybe a sinkhole. I have let myself get into a situation where there is no getting out of it without the most serious of help.  Oh, and the help could ulimately kill me.  Wonderful.  At this moment of my life, I am NOT thrilled that I followed my heart and hoped for the best this pregnancy.  How stupid was I.  Hoping for the best does little for your spirit when you are facing the worst...and then you have the worst, WORST to remind you how little your strong heart/spirit can do for you when it comes to some of these complications.  And how little that strong spirit and caring heart can do when you are gone-and leave the ones that you great sadness.

Sending my thoughts and prayers to Kym's family right now, as I try to figure out a way to not be terrified for myself and my family this next 11 days.....

Friday, May 21, 2010

34 weeks TODAY!

Never thought I would see 34 weeks with this pregnancy.  What a huge blessing that I have finally reached such an amazing milestone.  If Ansen was born now, he would do fabulous....his lungs would be pretty darn close/if not fully matured by now, and he would be over 5 lbs.  Its amazing that this baby kicking up a storm inside me this morning is the same one they told that was a "bad one"...the one that was almost certainly miscarrying. 

Today I am having a "really excited to think about meeting Ansen/having him in our family forever" kind of morning.  That first moment I get to hold him, I am going to cry buckets of tears for sure.  And I am never going to want to let him go-I can just about guarantee that. I can't wait to see what he looks like.  Kylie has dreamed about him having brown hair.  If he does have brown hair, will he follow the "cloned" version of our other 2 brunettes here (bald at birth with their kewpie doll face), or will he switch it up, and have Doug's face with lots of brown hair??   Will he come out totally difrerent looking, be a blondie-or a totally different model alltogether??  In ultrasound, I have been able to see glimpses of his full cheeks and lips, so that is basically all I can guarantee right now.  I just can't wait to see his little face and take it all in!!!  I want to meet the little boy that has lived in my heart for so long, meet the little boy that has fought for his life from the start, meet the little boy that I have fought so hard for.  Everyone will want to meet him,  but I can't promise it will be easy to pry him out of my arms once he is finally where he should be-safe in my arms AND safe in this world!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NST this morning and a thought....

NST at 930 am, I am sure Ansen will pass it fine, but lets hope the contraction fairy isn't visiting me again (since I only know when I am having them when they are really strong). 

Last night, I was laying in bed, thinking about how my maternal/fetal dr doing surgery (Dr. H) has definately been handpicked for this surgery for me by Someone who knows better then me.  Dr. H reminds me of Dougie Houser.  He is young, always seems deep at though, and is personable enough to give me a high five for not bleeding.  The practice I got completely transferred to has 4 maternal/fetal drs.  They rotate their positions, one will work the ofice, one will work ultrasound, one will work the hospital floors...and I think they leave someone open for surgery at all times. 

When I was told to terminate the pregnancy in the beginning, my 2nd opinion turned out to be from Dr. H, who I met for the first time.  He was working ultrasound.  He was the one that told me the most joyous news of the time, that I did NOT need to terminate my pregnancy.  He also told me that it looked like I was very likely miscarrying my baby, and he was truly sorry.  And he actually seemed sorry, unlike the cold disposition of the ob I had seen earlier that day.  I came in the following week, for another u/s to check out what was going on...and Dr. H was there again, just so happened to be working ultrasound that day again...and he said that sac hadn't changed much and it could go either way at this point.  Those were words of hope for me. 

At 12 weeks, I got completely transferred to maternal/fetal medicine and had my consult, with a new dr....Dr M  He was very reassuring and kind, and I figured since I was consulting with him, he would do my surgery.  But I never really saw him after that.  I always saw the nurse, nurse K, who has been so wonderful to me.  At 25 weeks and 6 days, I went in to hospital that night, bleeding....and who was there-on call for the hospital floor-well it was Dr. H.  He treated me the whole time I was in the hospital, set up my ultrasound and MRI and diagnosed what he saw.  Definite increta with suspected percreta.  I went home finally, and then I saw nurse K again for most of the time.  At 29 weeks, I went in to my appt and complained of some cramping, was put on the strip, and found to be contracting regularly.  I ended up in the hospital again, and Dr. H was AGAIN on call on the floor and took care of me. 

I was going in for weekly appts and  u/s, and all in all, I had never even met one peri, had met 1 at the consult, had met 1 at an appt, and almost all of the rest of my care had been done by Dr. H.  Thats pretty amazing considering its a practice of 4 people that rotate their positions, so most of our meetings with Dr. H have been bc of chance.   I wondered who would  do my surgery, and at 31 weeks, they had their normal weekly meeting about patients and they decided that.  I asked nurse K if they drew straws and she laughed and said no, not exactly.  I guess they had gone back and forth-discussing who would be best for it.  Dr. M (the one I had met at consult) was the chief, with most years of experience, but in the end, Dr. H had offered to do the surgery, saying he felt very comfortable with the situation.   For some reason, that gave me great peace when I found out.

And as I look back now, I realize that I might as well have had a huge, neon, blinking sign on Dr. H, saying "This one is "the one" to do your surgery".   I can only hope that that means that he WILL be the one to preserve/save my life at this surgery.  There must be something special about him, bc I have a hard time believing anything happens by chance anymore, especially when things line up in such a way as this has. 

And as I finished thinking this thought last night as I finally starting to drift off to sleep, this song came on again.  Before the Morning.  Reassuring me to keep up the good fight, that God had me go through this journey for a reason, and that none of this would compare to the joy coming later.  And I fell asleep with positive thoughts and peace on my heart.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Most times.....

Most times....I feel at peace.  When the dr starts talking about risks and such, I want to be like "but I FEEL like its going to be okay in the end...I have a peace about it, that always comes back to me no matter how down I may get".  But I think that would just be putting my name in the books as officially CRAZY for sure.  Since this pregnancy started, I have been very fearful, but also have had a sense of peace as well.  If that makes any sense?  When I got that first positive pregnancy test, in came the fear mixed with peace.  When I was told to terminate the pregnancy and I found a way around that, only to be told that this pregnancy would be risky for sure, in came more fear, followed by the peace.  When I found out that I had a complete placenta previa and what they suspected to be accreta, in came the fear, followed by the peace.  When I started bleeding and delivery looked imminent, first came the fear, and then a gradual feeling of peace.  When they confirmed accreta, then increta, then suspected percreta, first came the fear (albeit paralyzing at times), followed by the mysterious sense of peace.  Throughout discussions of surgery and risks and death, I always start with the fear no doubt, but that innate sense of peace is never far behind. 

Does that peace tell me I will live through this?? I don't know....I like to think thats the case of course.  But its not that I feel "I will surely live" but that I feel "everything will surely work out right in the end".  And I hope with all my might that that right includes ME in it.  At this time it the right doesn't make sense without me...but I am no expert in life or the future either.  Regardless, this peace is like God reassuring me that as out of control everything feels at times, that He is still right there besides me in all of this; that he still has his Hands, working good things, in the midst of this mess.  And in the end, it will all make sense and be right.  Doug feels the same way and has been much more positive in this journey.  But he doesn't have drs talking risk, danger, death at practically every appt....when you hear these words so loudly over and over again, it gets harder to heard those whispers of peace.  But they are there.  Every time.  Thankfully.`

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


First of all, my urology appt went exactly as I expected it to go.  There is some possibilities of major bladder repair needed (as well as a catheter for a good 2 weeks) but we won't know what will happen til I am opened up and a plan is decided for me.  Pretty much everything I already knew. 

So then, I had left that appt and was with my mother in law when I got a call from my dr, Dr. H, who is the maternal/fetal doctor performing my surgery on behalf of him and all the others.  First he wanted to talk about his discussion with oncologist.  She actually sent him his notes and she had put that most of the time she had talked about hysterectomy.  Which I agree she did talk it the entire beginning.  And then he said she had mentioned there was a slight possibility that she would just close me up and leave everything in me.  Which is also kinda true (minus the slight part), but THEN, at the end, she emphasized that if she opened me up and there was no bleeding that she wanted to get baby out and leave it all in.  I asked her quite a few times, bc I didn't understand what would be the basis of her decision if she didn't look around first and at least know for sure what is going on.  Dr. H figured I must have misunderstood her, bc "she can be confusing" at times.  Yeah, I'll agree with that!  I again mentioned that it just worried me that she would want to close me up without knowing exactly what issues we were facing, and he said that she HAS to at least look around first.  Then he asked me if I still wanted her at my surgery, or I wanted to meet her partner.  I said she was fine...its not like I have anything personally against her at all, and she has had tons of experience, I just wanted to make sure that she is on the same page with everyone else here. If I end up with my placenta still left in me, with no concrete reason why, I will NOT be happy.  But if I end up with my placenta left in me, and I am told they looked around and saw really dangerous blood vessels attached to things and placenta everywhere, well then I will be content that my best interest was surely in mind. 

Oh well, like usual, I look like the crazy in the end.  I wish Doug had been there with me at my appt, so he could have been another set of ears for me so that I didn't look like the irrational pregnant woman.  But whatever.  I know what I heard, and maybe she didn't intend for it to come out the way it did, but it did. 

Anyways, then Dr. H started talking about how the oncologist was unhappy that my husband wasn't there at the appt, since its such a serious thing.  And that Doug hadn't been to ANY of my appts was concerning to him as well.  He wanted to know if Doug was aware of all that is going on and why he hasn't made it to any of the most recent appts.  I explained that since we have 5 kids, its easier for Doug to watch the kids and me to go to the appt and I assured him that I HAVE been upfront with Doug about all the scary risks for sure.  Well he wants Doug to come in Monday now and he feels its very important to talk to Doug in great detail about all the risks to me this surgery.  Augh.  Can't wait for that one, especially what will be 10 days before my surgery.  Doug knows I am at risk for dying this surgery, he has had his moments of being extremely nervous and scared and telling me "you know, it would really ultra suck if you died".  You are telling me Doug!  He is so much more positive then me though, especially lately.  As we get closer to the end, he feels optimistic that this whole thing may *almost surely* end up incredibily hard, but that I will be fine in the end.  And it was contagious feeling for a bit, bc I was feeling that there was a good chance of me living through this as well lately. 

But now, I dread going to that appt and hearing all those death and danger risks of mine.  Lately, I seem to have to be reminded about it a lot...and I am not sure why.  I click on a link about something, only to read about a mother left in a vegetative state after massive hemmorhaging at her c-section.  Then I have Kylie, who keeps mentioning that she doesn't want me and Doug to ever grow old and die.  Whenever I try to disappear to use the bathroom without an audience (the impossible task), I can hear the twins start yelling mommy frantically, trying to find out where I have gone.  I see how the number and ages of my kids seems to stress out most people...but us.  Then I start to think about the impact my  death could have, and it makes my anxiety kick in big time.  I am not worried about me, I am worried about ruining the lives of Doug and my kids.  I don't want to be reminded of my risks of death again on Monday.   I just want to hear that everything will be okay in the end.  I just want reassurance.   I want to think that God won't let me die after all this.  But bad things happen all the time in this world...bad things happen to mothers in this world...bad things rip families apart and ruin lives all the time.  I am no more special then these people who lose their lives everyday.

I write this as I watch my three oldest playing barbies together.  My twins are filling backpacks with cars.  Doug is laying on the floor with the kids, telling stories.  My life is so right and beautiful and fulfilling right now.  We don't "have it all", yet we truly do have it all.  Sometimes I want to stop time and just enjoy this moment of our life forever.  I love Ansen and I feel like bringing his life into the world was still the right thing, but I am not ready to face the challenge of his delivery yet, nor the possibility of fragmenting our family forever.   I only have 16 days left til I have no choice but to face it...and its just too short.  I am not done living or loving yet.  I need a million more hugs and kisses and I love yous to shower my kids with...yet I still don't think that will be enough.  I want to snuggle with my babies and take in all sweetness and all their innocence and all their joy forever.  And here I am, stuck in this awful situation, ready to face a terrifying situation that could end it all.  I don't regret Ansen, but I surely regret being in this situation.  But unfortunately, one couldn't happen without the other. 

I am hoping that somehow, I can keep on enjoying my last 14 days of todays with Doug and my kids, through all these growing, sometimes paralyzing fears and anxiety of mine.  I want to go to my last 15 days of appts and NOT hear all about my risks of death.  Can I please have some reassuring "we ARE going to get you through this" talks at this time....please!!!!!! 

Another day, another appt....

Went to maternal/fetal dr yesterday and he was convinced I had misunderstood the oncologist, bc what I was saying went against what he and his team of perintalogists had planned on. EXACTLY!   So now he is going to give her a call and see what is up and clarify with what she told me.  I "can't wait" to see what comes out of this.  I am sure absolutely, positively nothing.  Pardon my pessimism at the moment.  I just start worrying everyone is going to show up at my surgery, only to flip a coin to decide what they are doing.  Honestly, I just want my doctors to open me up, look at what they are facing and decide as a team what is the best mode of treatment in my best interest (and yes, I think my desire NOT to want placenta left in me should at least be considered in the grand scheme of what is going on in there).  But obviously, I am past the point now of just running away from this all.  In 18 days 17 days 16 days, I will have to check in, let them put me to sleep and basically let them do whatever to me....all in the hopes that Ansen and I come out of this in the best condition possible.

Heading off to urologist today.  Which will be a waste of my time if the oncologist is planning on just leaving placenta in me.  The urologist will be at my surgery bc of the suspected percreta....if placenta is adhered to my bladder (and they decided to take the whole thing out, instead of just leaving it all in me as oncologist has preferred), they will need to disect that part of my bladder and put the rest of it back together again.  I already know most of what I will be told today.  If this plan of action occurs, I will need a catheter for 1.5-2 weeks while bladder recovers.   That part will certainly NOT be fun at all, but in the end, I should end up with a smaller, but still very functional bladder.

My parents have to come babysit and my mother in law needs to bring me, all bc Doug is working.  I told Doug to work today though, bc I have been all weekend that he should be home tomorrow....but now his work already put him on the schedule to work tomorrow as well.  Hopefully, wanting him home tomorrow was more wishful then anything else....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I don't know why it hurts so much...

but really, finding out about this new option and me very potentially not being able to breastfeed has just sucked all the life out of me.  Its really taken away the last thing I was looking forward to.  Besides being alive after all this I guess..  This whole pregnancy has been about me having to sacrifice everything important to me to give this baby his life.  There were times that I didn't think I could get any lower...but I pushed on.  For some reason, this news has just about collapsed me. 

I know many people don't breastfeed and wouldn't understand how important it is to me, but its been what I have pictured this whole pregnancy...the light at the end of the tunnel.  Getting through this and then having something beautiful and normal FINALLY happening for Ansen and I.  And now, instead, my "normal" will probably be taking cancer drugs for months while bottle feeding, all while dealing with the effects of still having my distended uterus and placenta all left in me, while my placenta dies off, dealing with risks of infection and crazy bleeding, and perhaps side effects to these drugs I will be on as well.  Oh, and can't forget healing from my huge vertical incision, only to need another later surgery.  Such a touching, heartwarming future to look forward to.  

Can't I just have one thing go right for me here???  The only choice I have gotten this pregnancy is the one whether or not I wanted to end Ansen's life.  And since I chose to fight for his life, I have had to give up on having any more say in this pregnancy or my body.  If the gyn-oncologist wants to choose the easier option for her (not even looking in to see if placenta has gone out and attached to bladder/not wanting to see if it could be somewhat easily detached and removed) but instead not touching anything and just simply closing me up, its her choice, no matter what I may want.  I have to let them put me to sleep and do whatever to me.  I give up.  Throwing in the white flag.  This pregnancy has officially stolen every last bit of joy out of me. 

Every last bit of "me" has been removed at this point.  I am stuck in this crappy reality show now, where everyone BUT ME gets a vote on what they want to do to me.  WHY CAN'T I HAVE ANY SAY IN ANY OF THIS?????  I can't even express how helpless I feel.  Monday I will go into my appt with maternal/fetal medicine, probably cry a ton about this all while still trying to beg not to leave my placenta in me (all I ask as that they try as hard as they can to make sure there are NO other options before doing this), and  I am now sure I will get 100% nowhere.  Because what is important to me doesn't matter to anyone else.  I am just a patient.  I am just a statistic.  I am just one big risk.  That is it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

saw gyn-oncologist today....

I don't know how I feel. First of all, she has dealt with this approximately 2 times a year since the late 70' I am glad she has some experience with it all. First she told me that there is a small chance I will keep my uterus and will keep placenta IN my uterus...and I am STILL not thrilled with that option at all. With this option, I would have to take a cancer drug for at least a month, and then either my placenta would dissolve (that seems unlikely) or I would need a hysterectomy later on.  So at first, it sounded like a small chance, but then she was saying that once they get baby out, if I am having no bleeding, she  really wants to just sew me up, keep placenta in and do the methotrexate. So now it is sounding more and more then a small chance. She was very reassuring that in the end, she wants me there for my kids and that she is going to pick whatever looks like my best option after baby is taken out, but I am so unthrilled with the idea of keeping my placenta in there and prolonging this nightmare even longer.

And I know this is stupid (bc obviously living through this is the most important thing in the end), but I really wanted to breastfeed and I wouldn't be able to with this option. I have lost complete control over all of this, ever since I chose the option NOT to terminate my pregnancy, all choices have been taken out of my hands and I have simply been stuck on this terrible roller coaster ride, unable to get off. This whole time, I have pictured getting through this nightmare and being able to breastfeed my baby boy. Its just something that is important TO ME. I need to be able to have SOMETHING at the end of this to look forward to (yes, I know besides the whole being alive part).  its been hard for me to bond with a baby that "might not make it" this whole pregnancy...and I was looking forward to that special time of bonding with him and having some normalcy back in my life after an extremely abnormal, discouraging, depressing pregnancy. 

This week was the first time they brought up the option of leaving everything in, and its most due to what the gyn-oncologist wants to do. I know my maternal/fetal doctors do not want to leave placenta in and they think its just delaying problems, not getting rid of them. I am going to bring it up at my appt Monday that I would really love it if they could pull some weight towards the "taking out everything, doing whatever repair is neceassary" option of this surgery. But then I think how insignificant bf'ing is vs. the grand scheme of the seriousness of this is. I know, I know. Just sucks that all these new options are being brought out, and the thought of having to take methotrexate, deal with infections, deal with having future surgeries to remove placenta AND not being able to breastfeed my baby boy :( ...well I just feel sad and sick thinking about it all.

I want nothing but the best outcome obviously....its just hard losing all control of everything that is important to me.  In 20 days, I have to put my life in everyone else's hands...and hope for the best.  I have had to give up so much this pregnancy, and now I might have to give up things really important to me after the pregnancy.  Its just neverending and I feel like I am losing my "strength" in all this at times.  The only thing that keeps me hanging on at times is the thought that God has a perfect plan for Ansen and I at the end of this journey-and I am anxious to see it.  But its NOT been an easy journey at all, and the truth is I am feeling very "beaten" by it, especially today. 

20 days to go until I find out what the outcome of this nightmare will be, and whether or not this nightmare will be indefinately lengthened..... *sigh*

Thursday, May 13, 2010

21 more days to go....

3 weeks from today, we will be facing finding out what the end of this journey will entail.  I  am both glad that its almost here, but also scared out of my mind that its almost here.  I want it over but I don't look forward to going through any of it.  Can I just wake up 22 days from now and have it all over please??  I can't even express to anyone the relief I will feel once I wake up and know that I have made it through this all.  I will finally be able to get rid of months and months of gut wrenching fear.  When I think about holding the "baby that shouldn't be here" for the first time, I start to cry each and every time.  After having SOOOOOOOOO many bleak moments this pregancy, it just seems so surreal that there is still a possibility of a happy ending when all is said and done. 

Tomorrow morning at 9am, I have my appointment with the gyn-oncologist.  That should be interesting.  I am hoping she isn't too "barracuda-rish" with me.  I cry too easily right now, and I want this meeting to be informative and *maybe* reassuring in some way (especially since she is the one with the most experience with this). I don't want my appt to consist of me simply turning into a blubbery mess the whole time.

In this next 21 days, please pray that my doctors will have the insight they need to get me through this surgery safely.   I am hoping that God will work through them, their brains and their hands, to get me the best outcome.  I still have so  much good to bring into this world, and so much good to instill into my children. 

Off to go spend the rest of my day with the 6.5 most important people in the world.  God has granted us another gorgeous day, with sun and pleasant temps-its the perfect day to sit outside and give thanks for the simple pleasures of life all around us. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I am getting really frustruated....

So today I called up about my interventional radiologoy appt that was supposed to be tomorrow (the 13th), and I was told it had gotten bumped til the 27th (this is the appt where I talk about the pros and cons of the balloon catheters in uterine arterines, which could be blown up during surgery to slow down any major bleeding going on).  These balloon catheters have done really good things for many on the accreta board, and after utilzing them, quite a few only needed like 4/5 units of blood (vs the  average 9 units of blood needed.  Since hemmorhaging is one of my biggest fears this pregnancy, I am ALL for them.  So later on today, I got a call from maternal/fetal office telling me about all my appts they had scheduled for me, and I asked about that radiology one (to confirm what I had already found out earlier that day) and they told me the radiologist didn't have a need to see me and that if I needed anything after the surgery, they would just do it then.  Ummmmmmm, these balloon catheters go in right BEfORE the surgery.  Have my doctors changed their plans again?? Are they now opting to not use them?? 

I am getting very frustruated and discouraged lately.  At 26 weeks, I had an MRI they showed them increta, and an u/s that made them high suspect percreta (the absolute worst case scenario).  Everything was talked to me then about how they would go about doing the surgery.  I figured after that, we would keep a close eye on placenta and what it is doing, but no one has wanted to take much of a look at my placenta at all since then.  I have just had mostly the BPP's and one growth u/s.  The tech will peek in at my placenta in the beginning and then write complete placenta previa...and thats about all they look at.  Since I am nearing my delivery, wouldn't it be nice to take another look and really get a good idea what kind of situation we are getting into??  Back at 26 weeks, they said only a small area of bladder was involved.  What if its now some HUGE amount of bladder involved....but who would know, since no one checks anymore.  Not that I want to go in for another MRI, but wouldn't that be helpful to do again as well, since that is one of the best diagnostic tools for accreta/increta/percreta?  And then I get to my appt on Monday, to hear that they have been talking about leaving my placenta and uterus in this whole time.  Why has no one told me that??  I am not a big fan of this method, and from what I have read about it, its the "old school" way to treat percreta.  They have found more success with removing it all at delivery and doing whatever bladder/organ repair is needed.  But now I have to go for a meeting with gyn-oncologist and tell her that I don't want my placenta left in me unless there is no other choice...but I guess she is the one that is all for it.  Oh and I have been warned that she can be persistent and is a barracuda.  Goodie.  So all this is going on, and now my radiology appt has been "cancelled??" I guess, bc they will just do whatever procedures they need to after the surgery?  Have my doctors decided not to do the balloons now??  They were all for them on Monday.  Do I get a say in any of this??  Its not like my case has suddenly gotten less serious in the last 6+ weeks.  Actually, it could be more serious, but no one would now since no one checks what is going on in there with my placenta anymore.  Yet things are getting dropped, new things added...and I find out only by accident it seems.

I start to worry if I picked a group of doctors that doesn't know what the heck they are doing with this.  I am the only case they have of this right now.  The gyn-oncologist has the most experience with it and is the most important person to have there, but all the sudden I am finding out she wants to go a totally different route then she mentioned to me before.  I NEED to keep my faith that God lead me to these doctors and to this hospital for a reason....but just getting might discouraged as the surgery gets really close (22 days away), and things are still so wishy washy.  I am told one thing, and then I am told something else.   Over and over and over again.   Its enough to make the most sane person crazy.  And now I have to wait til Monday again to address all this. *sigh* 

Monday, May 10, 2010

"I don't know how you stay so strong-I would be a mess".......

Thats what I heard today from my favorite nurse, after she sat in with me talking to the maternal fetal specialist.  It was meant to be a compliment for sure.  I didn't really know how to respond, bc I don't think I am THAT strong at all.  When he mentioned "risks of death", I felt sick to my stomach for sure, and one of the last things I said to my dr today was "I will do whatever I need to, as long as you can keep me alive".  So yes, I am most certainly fearful.  But I have had to accept that I am not in control of any of this anymore.  And I don't like not having control, but its the way it is.  God is in control and I have to keep faith that God is orchestrating my care/surgery right now.  And I have great peace in that, at least.  Can't ask for Someone better on your side.  I am not brave at all, but full of faith I am. 

 This morning Kylie woke up me out of a dream (a stupid one at that) to tell me in an excited voice "mommy, I dreamt about Ansen again, I dreamt about Ansen again".  She recalled her dream in great detail and I snuck in the "so mommy was in this dream, right" and she nodded excitedly, telling more and more details.  Like how Ansen will have brown hair and a great big smile *like this*!!  It made my smile.     I like to think that God is sending Kylie these glimpses of the future to be a reassurance to me.  I know it's silly to consider, but I will consider it just the same.  These dreams she keeps having gives me a glimpse of what I have fought for this entire journey. 

I have some appointments upcoming that I am not looking forward to, although they will be informative for sure.  One is with the gynecological oncologist, who I found out today is entertaining the idea of keeping my placenta and uterus INSIDE me after surgery and then having me take methotrexate for a few months to shrink, to be taken out at a later time.  I am not a big fan of this option at all, and neither is the maternal/fetal specialist doing my surgery.  He wants to get placenta and uterus out asap, as well as any whatever parts of bladder may be attached to placenta.  If they keep uterus and placenta inside me and give me methotrexate (cancer drug) A.  I will not be able to breastfeed at all B. I will still need to have a 2nd surgery to remove placenta and uterus at a later time, its just postponing the inevitable  C.  There is a much greater risk of infection this option.  So I have to go talk to her about my options and risks to me for each choice, and I am going to tell her that I do not want placenta and uterus left inside me unless there is no other choice in the matter.  I'd REALLY prefer to breastfeed Ansen, since he is my last baby, but ultimately, if it comes down to life or death, I choose life.  I have another appointment (maybe Wednesday) with interventional radiology, to discuss pros and cons of having balloon catheters inserted into my uterine arteries right before surgery.  With these balloons, once surgery is started and baby is delivered, they can be blown up, which will cut off blood supply to a lot of my uterus, saving me from some blood loss.  From what I have read, most that have used balloon catheters have certainly benefited from them, so I am pretty convinced that they are something I want at my surgery as well...but will wait to see what they have to say about it all.  I also have to see urology, since they are concerned there will need to be bladder repair.  At that appointment, I can find out how long I might need a catheter (usually about 2 weeks from what I have read), as well as any other questions I can come up with about any possible bladder involvement. 

There is SOOOOO much crazy left to deal with these last 24 days.  Part of me just wants it over right now, but I am also not looking forward to surgery day at all.  My surgery is at 1 pm, on June 3rd.  I am going to have to make it through half a day, feeling sick and anxious, waiting for that time to come.  *sigh*  I hope I can keep it together that day.  Hope I can "appear" as strong as I guess I do right now. 

Anyways, time to stop dwelling on that "tomorrow" and going to get outside and enjoy my today with my 5 beautiful children...and a dream of Kylie's that keeps me smiling. :) 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

this Mother's Day....

I have always LOVED being a mom, since the moment I was able to become one.  But it wasn't until this Mother's Day, that I really, truly appreciated it for what it really is.   I am the mom to *almost* 6 children.  God has granted me 6 little souls to raise up in this world.  And having 6 little souls doesn't make me any more worthy then someone who has one or two souls to raise up.  Actually, its more daunting, if anything else...the more little souls I am responsible for, the more opportunities that I might fail one or more. 

Motherhood isn't all rainbows and butterflies.  Motherhood include innumerable joys for sure, but also innumerable moments of heartache and hardship.  Moments-from conception on, that bring you to your knees.  That first moment your child exerts their free will, acting VERY contrary to how you would have hoped them to act.  At times, acting positively mortifying.   Over and over and over again.  That moment when they say something hurtful, either intentionally or nonintentionally.  Those moments that you have to spend up most of the night, cleaning up throwup, giving motrin and breathing treatments, so tired yourself that you want to give up and run away.  And then as they get older, their problems get bigger and more serious and MORE exasperating. They don't put those moments in a hallmark card. 

But as mothers, we learn to get through a situation as "neatly" as we can (sometimes barerly holding on to our sanity) and we are able to see the next day with a smile.  Because through all the difficulties, we appreciate that it takes A LOT of work to mold these helpless little beings into good, genuine, appreciative, hard working adults.  As a little bonus, God gives all these little joys that come with parenting to remind us of the ultimate greater good-the rainbow at the end of the storm.  As much as I have tried to simply relish in the good and ignore the bad these last 6 years, I have come to the point where I now can appreciate the bad as well, bc it brings us to a newer and better "good" eventually.  All those bad moments are nothing more then learning opportunties.  When the kids are sick as dogs, it really makes you appreciate their health.  When their behavior is absolutely deplorable, and you have to correct them a million times in one day, it really makes you smile when you see them act in a way that makes you feel proud.  When you see your older children giving a little "lesson" themselves to the younger ones, on why this or that is not a good idea because...., well it reminds you that as much as you think you might be ignored the 100 times you have to say something, that in actuality, they are still taking in little (albeit sometimes miniscule) moments of value in each of these learning opportunities. 

Becoming a mother has been a HARD journey for sure.  It was much easier when I had 3 kids, 2 and under in some ways, just bc they were only starting to exert their free will at the time.  Now I have free will flying in 5 different directions here, and its a constant battle to stay on the upper hand of it all.  I have learned a lot throughout the years, and am still learning, every day I get further into the thick of it .  Most especially, I am really trying hard not to speak with an automatic sharp tongue, but instead to think for a moment, and then respond in a thoughtful way, so that all 5 kids can learn something from whatever moment we are having.  Its an ALL DAY job-starting as soon as these little people wake up, and not ending until the last is asleep at night!!!  Every day of the week.  Every week of the year.  Every year for what feels like it could be forever.  

So when I think of Mother's Day now, I don't just think of a group of women that have gotten to enjoy nothing but bliss and joy of being mothers.  There is bliss and joy, no doubt, buts its intermingled with other less pleasant moments.  We are clued into this right from the start of pregnancy, with sickness and aches and pains and sometimes heartache...and then a birth to get through, that this journey is not going to be an easy one at all  Instead, I think of a group of women that should be revered for fighting the good fight, working through the todays to hopefully one day lead to a better and brighter tomorrow, filled with our one day grown up children....and then grandchildren.  On Mother's Day, we can celebrate the kinship we share with all mothers all over the world, those of the past, the present and the future-that have fought/are fighting the good fight right alongside us.   I am proud to be "one" of them today...and every day!!!   If mothering my children is the only BIG goal I ever accomplish in my lifetime, I will still feel like I went to the moon and walked it in its entirety.  And we all should feel that way!

Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow moms!!!!  Here's to a day/a week/a month/a year filled with MANY joys, as well as many great "learning opportunities" for us all! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

God's work on me

Do you wonder why you have to

Feel the things that hurt you

If there’s a God who loves you where is He now

Maybe there are things you can’t see

And all those things are happening

To bring a better ending

Someday somehow you’ll see you’ll see

Would you dare would you dare to believe

That you still have a reason to sing

Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling

It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming

So hold on you gotta wait for the light

Press on and just fight the good fight

Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling

It’s just the dark before the morning

My friend you know how this all ends

You know where you’re going

You just don’t know how you’ll get there

So say a prayer

And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God

But life is not a snapshot

It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture

Once you feel the weight of glory

All your pain will fade to memory

Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling

It’s just the dark before the morning

This might be a LONG post. The song lyrics above was a song that came on a few weeks ago on the radio as I walked into my bedroom. Usually, I just enjoy music for the sound and don't listen as closely to the lyrics as I should (I have liked many a depressing lyrical numbers, until Doug has told me what the song is actually about oops!) So as I walked into my bedroom, this night...which was a LATE night for me (and Doug was off on a run), this song started and it felt like it was playing to me. For some reason, I sat in bed and listened to the lyrics and my heart sang with joy as this song SPOKE to me. One part that especially touched me (besides the fact that there would be joy at the end of this hard time) was that all these things were happening to bring about a better me. I laid there, after this song was over, just thinking about what God would choose to teach me after going through this situation and when I really mulled it over, I saw this whole thing in a truly different light and the lessons it has taught me. Its amazing really, how much I have changed in the last 8 months. Although I am still human and spend quite a bit of my time scared of the surgery, I can see how this journey has most definately lead me to a better ending.

Before this pregnancy, I was a selfish person. I went into this pregnancy, feeling that little soul tugging on my heart. I wanted another girl, I was sure it would be another girl, and why did I want another girl?? So I could dress her up in dresses and tights and bows. I wanted a "more fun" baby to dress one last time. And my girls had been easier and I didn't want another challenging boy at all! So if you had told me that little soul would definately be a boy, well honestly, I don't think I would have taken the plunge initially. I am embarassed to admit it bc I adore ALL my children. But I thought if I prayed hard enough for my girl, I would get my girl and all would be great. Honestly, I was like a selfish kid. I would worry a little bit about things not going perfectly "to plan", but then I would tell myself that God would grant me what I wanted. How selfish I was.

I think I started to realize and address my selfishness once I found out it was a boy. At first, when I found out I was having a boy, I was like a kid in a candy story, having a fit. I was so mad and couldn't believe I was risking my life for "another boy". As soon as I muttered those words, I started realizing how horrible they were for me to even think. But I still prayed for my boy to turn into a girl. To think that I thought that was the WORST thing that could ever happen to me at the time.

And here I am today. I have seen that there is MUCH worse then just having a much wanted girl turn into a boy. I have gotten past the point of even worrying about ME dying in this. I know God would be happy that even through my selfishness, I was able to make the "right" choices. I have no worries about where I am going when I die. But to think of never meeting this baby I HAVE fought so hard to bring into this world, to think of leaving my other 5 children motherless as well, very likely to be lost in this very much lost world, to think of leaving my husband with the sadness of losing his best friend and partner in life...well that hurts more then some petty loss of not being able to buy pink clothes. Ansen has shown me what life is truly about. Its NOT about me. Not at all. I was granted this wonderful life, and my purpose is not how I can fulfill my "wish list" of things I selfishly want. Nope, instead, my life itself was my one and only gift, and now my purpose is to bring more beauty into the world (through my children, through kindness, and hope and love and faith, all the while helping others and showing them the true beauty of life).

When you realize your days might be numbered, you suddenly see life in a totally different view. Each warm, sunny day feels like a gift from above. Gloomy, rainy days may be no fun, but suddenly you realize that rain has a soothing rhythm to it, and it brings life to the green all around you. Our kinda run down, practically grassless (thanks to little feet trampling it all the time), .12 acres of land adjoining our house once was nothing but an embarassment to me...but now I sit on a blanket, watch my kids play and see our yard as they do, a joyful place that our family is together and enjoying the beauty of the world around us. I sit there and cross stitch, and these beautiful projects come alive right before my fingers.  Just now, Kylie looked up at the sky, at a giant cloud with light peeking through and exclaimed "look Mommy, God is peeking at us again." with a big smile, and Elise and Caden gazed up, smiling, telling me other moments they have noticed God peeking at them.  So many little moments, that once upon a time I overlooked bc I was too busy, distracted by life.  The beauty of my children's dirty little feet, dirtied after a hard day's play in the backyard....those little feet, resting on mine, toes curled.  Their sweet faces that I just want to memorize forever, cowlicks and curls, big cheeks, pouty lips, inquisitive eyes, and sweet smiles.....those expressions, their little sayings.  The movements I feel from within my body, reminding me that there is one more little special person, to one day to stare at and drink up.   I just can't get enough of any of it.  And then I see Doug interact with them and the love that pours out of him when he is around us all makes my heart just want to burst with joy.

Once upon a time, I was too busy to enjoy all these tiny little beautiful moments to my days, bc I let life get in the way.  I didn't have as much time to enjoy today bc I was too busy making plans for tomorrow.  And all the time, God was still working at giving me all that I truly NEEDED in life and waiting for me to realize that.  And now, I fully understand that today is nothing more than  a gift to us, as is our life.  We aren't promised tomorrow, never have been, never will be.  And what makes these todays most special is not what we physically HAVE, but instead how we perceive what we already have around us. Today, I cherished all the little moments I could, and tried to savor all the sweetness of my day. And very likely, tomorrow I will wake up to another gift of today....another day to see and experience and share the beauty of the world and people around us again.  But then again, maybe today was my last today. 

A year ago, my prayers consisted mostly of a list of my desires...and a few thank yous here and there. To think I thought that was true "praying".  And today, my prayers include MANY thank yous....and very few desires of mine.  God knows my heart and knows I want to live through this and thats basically all I can think of that important enough to pray for besides keeping my family and friends safe and relatively healthy.   The rest of my prayers, usually whispered throughout my todays, include little thank yous for opening my eyes up to the beauty around me.  Thank yous at night, when I see my sweet children, all cuddled up together at night, peacefully sleeping.  Thank yous for the gorgeous palate of greens, with a kiss of color in all the blooming trees and flowers that surround us.  Thank yous for the hot sun and cool breezes.  Thank yous for my sweet husband.  Thank yous for my wonderful mother in law, for my parents, for my sister and brother, for my niece, and for my friends.  Thank yous for this sweet baby, rolling around and kicking within me.  Too many thank yous to list, and to think that all I could think of to pray for before was my "request" list for the day/week/month.

So yes, I have most certainly been changed forever by this experience and its most certainly brought me to a new path of how I will live my life, no matter how long that may be.  Part of me regrets that it took 30 years to fully learn and appreciate these "lessons".  My life had been heading in this direction for some time, but for some reason, I was reluctant to let go of the selfish nature of my life until recently.  And of course, that still remains an ongoing battle at times (I have not been "cured" of all my selfishness).  Look at one of my last posts, where I WANT to convince my group of doctors to listen to me and have delivery when I want it.  And as much as I want to give them heck and get this baby safely out of me asap, I do feel like it's in God's hands now.  And He knows better then me.  So if it's in His will that Ansen will be born at 35 weeks and 6 days, so be it.  And if it's in His will for Ansen to be born earlier, I am sure I will get memo somehow or another.  I have 26 more days til my delivery, which is actually 26 more potential "todays" to live and love and appreciate and offer thanks for. And hopefully, this IS my dark before the morning, and it won't compare to the joy that I'll be feeling in 26 more days.  Its nice to think about for sure, but whats even nicer is to fully take in and enjoy the blessings I am SURROUNDED by right now, at this very moment in time.  I will continue to do my best to treat each today as the gift it was meant to be: with an open mind and a gracious heart.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

reminding myself to stay POSITIVE...

After my last post I just wrote, I realized how negative it is....and I just want to remind myself of the power of trying to stay positive.  Sometimes I let my fears get the best of me, but what good is that??  In reality, I have no control over any of this.  The only thing I could have had control over (ending this pregnancy) is what my heart could NEVER have let me do.  There is nothing I can do now that can change God's will for the outcome of this journey. Just have to keep trying to stay positive here, and knowing that I have done the best I can do...all the while enjoying all these beautiful weather days with my family I adore so very much.  My family is my light at the end of the tunnel and they are what I fight for.  And Ansen is certainly an important final piece to my family that I love so much.  So I will do what I have to, and just keep having faith that God has not left me alone in any of this.  Need to stay strong...and POSITIVE!

just plain frustruated at this moment in time....

Had my appointment on Monday.  And after being told all these weeks/months about how I have an open invitation to stay at the hospital whenever I don't feel comfortable and that I am at a huge bleeding risk, I saw someone new and was told that it was still really early in my pregnancy and I certainly didn't need to be admitted yet since I am doing so well at the moment.  First of all, I am almost 32 weeks, which is when things usually start going south with this condiition....and as happy as I am that things are going well right now, I do appreciate that with this, things can go from great to REALLY bad really quickly.  I want to be home with my family and I would much rather be here then anywhere else, but I am just nervous as all heck.  Go read acreta/increta/percteta yahoo message board if you want to know WHY I worry.  I am the ONLY case of this right now at the maternal/fetal health group.  This isn't your average, run of the mill, pregnancy complication.  *sigh*

Last week, I talked to my favorite Nurse K about all my fears, who talked to one of maternal/fetal drs and agreed about delivery time I requested of 34 weeks.   But they were going to have a BIG meeting of all 4 doctors before they decided on a definite date. They originally told me they wanted  me to get to 36 weeks for the best health of the baby.  There is nothing more that I want then giving Ansen the best start of life either, but I also feel selfish nad I WANT TO LIVE THROUGH THIS.  Waiting it out til 36 weeks puts me at a really high chance of having a substantial bleed (nothing like going into a surgery involving high blood  loss-on average of 9 units of blood (just about what your body holds TOTAL) and lets add going into it already having lost a decent amount of blood.  They also want to do a procedure where they put balloons in my uterine arteries, which could help prevent some of the major bleeding, but if I am in an emergency bleeding situation, you can kiss that option goodbye as well. 

So anyways, when I went in for my appt, they told me they had their meeting, and they scheduled my surgery officially for 35 weeks and 6 days, unless things change by then.  34 week babies have VERY few problems at all and with the size of my children and Ansen right now (31.5 weeks measuring 4.5 lbs)...he would be a healthy 5.5-6 lbs.  Two babies have been born healthy in my June board at 34 weeks.  One is already home and the other one was just born yesterday and doing fabulously, no oxygen or anything.  But we are going to try to get even further, just go give Ansen an even better chance of health, even if it means lowering my chances of good health. 

I know I sound horrible and selfish right now, but I have risked my life for this baby for the last 26 weeks.  Right from the start, when I was told to terminate this pregnancy, I vowed that if Ansen fought for his life, I would fight for his as well....and I would do what I had to give him the life he deserved.  Even when I was told it was super dangerous bc of where he implanted.  And for 26 weeks, I have fearfully gone through this pregnancy, terrified that I might have chosen to give up my own life for Ansen's.  But still I chugged along, bc I KNEW he needed that time in me to have the best outcome.  And now, he has reached the point where he is going to have an amazing outcome from here on.  I did my part, I put myself in this horrible situation to give him life.  And I AM DONE.  I want my doctors to STOP considering how they can get the world's best outcome for Ansen and start concentrating now on getting ME the best outcome now.  Don't I deserve that?  Most everyone on the acreta board thinks its crazy for them to try to get me that far, especially after the outcomes they have had.  You know what would be nice?? IF I could actually be alive after the surgery to meet this baby I fought so hard for.  Or that I could be alive so that I can be there for the rest of my family after all is said and done.  

I don't care how fabulously I am doing right now bc that can all change in a minute's notice. And I want to GO INTO my surgery after having a fabulous run...not after having all kinds of issues and bleeding episodes.  Every day I get further, my risk goes up higher that that will be my reality.  My placenta has gone through my scars and out of my my uterus continues to stretch and grow, its highly likely that my uterus could start splitting apart in that obviously very weakened (since something has GROWN THROUGH IT) spot.  I had the choice to end Ansen's life, but I have no choice in the matter of trying to now perserve my own.  I feel absolutely helpless in the matter and it just plain sucls.  So I will sit here at home, hoping that I don't start some crazy bleed all the sudden (I hold my breath everytime I use the bathroom) and will just wait 4 more weeks and 1 day, til the day my doctors have decided is just perfect for everyone else....and hope that the floor doesn't drop from under me before that.  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Heaven is.....

Heaven is....spending time with my 5 babies....outside in the warm weather, watching them play together, showing me how much they enjoy the gift of just having each other. 

Heaven is....stealing kisses and hugs and I love yous whenever I can find the chance.

Heaven is....sitting on a blanket cross stitching while my kids have the time of their life splashing around in a 30 dollar pool. 

Heaven is....hearing the chimes go off in our yard as a light breeze passes through. 

Heaven is...watching my older kids push the twins around in their cozy coupes. 

Heaven is...watching 3 oldest kids ride their bikes around with no training wheels now (GO Caden!)

Heaven is...kissing booboos and watching tears turn to smiles.

Heaven is...being around 5 people all day who are oblivious to the dangers and scariness of the next few weeks. 

Heaven is...being around 5 people so extremely excited about a new baby brother. 

Heaven is...feeling someone hiccuping and kicking from within, knowing those kicks and hiccups have gotten MUCH stronger this last 5 weeks. 

Heaven is....having been able to spend another 5 weeks with  my babies, out of the hospital. 

Heaven is...having been able to give this baby boy 5 more weeks inside me.

Heaven is....having family and friends show their love and care for us in small, yet special ways. 

Heaven is...hearing that a few Churches are praying for us and that friends and family continue to pray for us as well. 
Heaven is...seeing the joy light up in the kids' eyes when my husband up at our house in his Mcdonald's truck for a quick visit while in the area. 

Heaven is....having a husband that knows me like he knows himself and that makes me feel like the most special person in the world. 

Heaven is....having a husband that adores all these children as much as I do. 

Heaven is...having God on our side, no matter how scary this journey may be.