Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Big Boy Is 11 months!

My Preston miracle is almost 11 months old now!  It's been a while since I've updated, but mostly I've been seriously busy.  This little monkey decided he wanted to keep up with his older brother and sister and start walking at 8 months old!  People would laugh because he is small for his age, and he's walking so young.  People said he looked like a little alien with his big head and small body walking around like an adult.

Another thing my little man loves to do is yell at my TV.  We have an Xbox 360, and my husband set it up to have voice activation.  Preston stops everything he's doing just to yell "EX" at the TV.  It's also a good way to get him to stop what he's doing.  Use an Xbox command on him.  It will make him laugh, no fail!

He also waves at strangers and makes friends everywhere he goes.  He wants to be with his brother and sister, and he calls for them with a sharp "AH" to get their attention.  Today, he has 5 teeth.  A 6th tooth is on it's way, and interrupting his sleep.  He already has bad sleeping habits for being nearly one, but we are trying to fix that by giving him a bottle of formula along with some breast milk before bed.  Sometimes it works.  

His first birthday party is next month, and we are throwing a big one!  No matter how many kids you have, you have to celebrate the first!  We rented a party hall and I will be sending the invites this week.  

Now for some shameless pictures!

Monday, December 2, 2013

3 Months Old!

It's been a while since I've made a post.  A most unfortunate incident occurred where someone happened on my blog and stole some of my pictures for nefarious purposes and I've been nervous to make an update.  However, I decided I will continue posting updates on my little lovely if it provides hope to even one family in the world who is feeling a little hopeless.

Preston is now 3 and a half months old!  It's unbelievable how time flies.  He is keeping up with tradition and is already rolling from front to back AND back to front!  His older brother was a baby on the move too, and was crawling (dragging) by 5 months old.  I'm so proud of each milestone he reaches.  He is not sleeping through the night yet, but he is being transitioned from bed sharing and bassinet to bed sharing and play pen.  We are hoping to move all of the kids around so that Preston can have his own room in January.  It does mean moving my two oldest kids together in a room, but that's a whole other issue.

Here are some pictures I'd like to share.

He's a little "milk drunk"

My happy boy!

A friend inspired photo - He sure knows how to party like a baby!

My super hero, overcoming all the odds!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Preston Robert Johnson - August 19, 2013

Preston Robert Johnson
Born August 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm
7 lbs 1/2 oz - 20 inches long

First off, everyone is healthy and happy, and the IUD did not cause any problems!  Now, on to my birth story.

I had been having a week of prodromal labour.  It was very aggravating, but a necessary part of the birth process.  On Saturday, August 10th, I had come down with a head cold.  True to history, no one else in my house got the cold, just me.  Yet somehow, when I saw my OB on that Monday, I managed to convince him to strip my membranes.  We discussed induction some more, and he told me that since he was going on vacation for two weeks starting the next week, I should schedule it for either Friday or the following Monday.  I know that there are many schools of thoughts as to why induction can be viewed as a negative thing, but in this case, I very much wanted my OB to deliver Preston.  Considering the potential list of problems previously mentioned in my blog, I thought it would be prudent to be delivered by my own OB who is very familiar with the history of my IUD and the problems that could be associated with a vaginal birth.  I set up an appointment to see him first thing on Friday morning, hoping that the membrane sweep would start early labour.

The next day, I started having cramping, timeable contractions, and diarrhea.  Over the next two days, my diarrhea and contractions were intense and coming hand-in-hand.  I even ended up going to L&D since I was convinced that I was in early labour.  When I was there, I was told that I was progressing, but not enough to be admitted.  But they assumed they would see me by the next morning.  The next morning came and went, still no labour.  I felt horrible.  No fever, but my head cold caused me to leave a trail of tissues around the house, and I felt like I was spending half my days on the toilet.  I'll save you the gory details, but suffice to say, many people, including a doctor, told me that I was in early labour and that sometimes early labour makes you feel like crap.

On Friday morning, I had all of my support systems on standby.  My mom was already at my house watching my two kids, my birth coach was waiting to get in the car to meet me at the hospital, and my husband was nervously putting my bags in the car.  But as soon as my OB looked at me, he told me I was too sick to be induced.  I tried to tell him I wasn't sick, it was labour making me feel horribly, but he stuck firm and told me that I was far too sick to be induced, that it would be a danger to the baby, and I should take the weekend to recover.  Then he booked me in to the hospital for 8 am Monday morning.  I got in the car and cried because I thought having him would magically make me feel well.  Then I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from the double whammy cold/tummy bug I didn't want to admit that I had.

Monday morning finally came around, and I was feeling much better.  Despite my illnesses, I still progressed to 2 cms and quite effaced.  He never told me a number, but he told me my cervix was soft and ready for induction.  At 9:30 am, the nurse started me on an IV drip of Oxytocin and my OB broke my waters.  My husband and I joked around and waited as the contractions slowly got stronger and the Oxy got slowly turned up.  My birth coach arrived around noon, just as the contractions stopped being easy and started to become more serious.  I have to say that I am very happy that not one single hospital staff offered me an epidural.  They all knew my wishes to do it without pain medication, despite the induction medicine.

I'm not sure of the timing from here on until he was born.  At one point, sitting in the rocking chair wasn't helping anymore, sitting on the birth ball was out of the question, but walking to the bathroom/standing felt good.  Unfortunately, Preston's heart rate was dropping with each contraction, and the monitors were reading my contractions backwards.  I was asked to find a less mobile position.  I chose to lay down on my left side on the bed.  It helped progress my other two medicated births, so I assumed it would help again.  Boy, was I right!  As predicted by my OB, once I got to 6 cms dilated, I was on what felt like a runaway train.  The Oxy was turned down and my body took over.  I remember a few things, but not all.  I remember:

  • thinking I was going to throw up
  • crying
  • telling my birth coach to stop touching me, then yelling at her to massage me again
  • the nurse telling me to let her know if it felt like I had to poop
  • screaming at the nurse that I had to poop nonsensically
  • screaming about poop some more
  • being told to roll onto my back and grab behind my knees
  • telling them there's no fucking way I can do that
  • moaning and yelling like I was being torn apart by zombies
  • being told to calm down and focus
  • then pushing him out in three pushes during one contraction that felt like it lasted until Christmas
Then the most amazing thing happened.  I gave birth to new life.  I heard him cry.  He was put on my belly and I just stared at him in awe and probably a little shock.  A minute later, while I was chatting with my new little guy, my OB pulled my placenta out.  He announced that the IUD was in the placenta, and everything came out perfectly!  I think I said something along the lines of, "Good!  It was a useless piece of shit."  And everyone laughed.


When I was first pregnant with an IUD, I googled the hell out of IUD and placenta, and only found one photo.  That photo was accused of being fake since the strings on the IUD were as long as they are before they are clipped after insertion.  I would like to post my amazing photos of my IUD embedded in the placenta.  The first photo was what it looked like at first, the second photo is what it looked like as my OB was cutting it out.  The third photo is how my IUD looked after it was removed from the placenta.

They let me take my IUD home as a souvenir.  It's in a sealed medical cup on my dresser right now.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but it's there, and not still in me or hurting him in anyway.  And for that I am thankful.  I am so thankful that I don't know how to even express it in words right now without feeling like I'm going to turn into a blubbering mess of postpartum hormones.  So instead, I am going to photo-bomb you with pictures of him.

Now that my IUD baby is born, I don't know what I will do with this blog yet.  In the meantime, if you have stumbled on my blog and have any questions, feel free to contact me via email.  Even if it's years later, hopefully my email address will still work and I can help you in any way that I can.  The fear and uncertainty of being told you are pregnant with an IUD is scary, and I know full well that the internet it full of people coming to terms with loss, more often than success and health.  I hope that this blog and my story will help provide comfort and hope to someone else who may start to feel like the odds are against their little fetus.  Because there are some happy endings!  And Preston is one of them.


P.S. I want to thank my awesome support systems who were there for me during this trying and magical time in my life.  Thank you to my Moose Crew (FBDLA13), my husband, my mom, my birth coach, my closest girlfriends (you know who you are!) and most of all my two kids.  I know I may have been hard to handle at times over the past 9 months, between my mood swings and the emotional roller coaster of carrying a baby and an IUD at the same time.  But everything turned out for the best, and now it's time to settle into our new normal!.  Also thank you to my OB for being so straightforward and yet still very caring.  With his ability to overly explain things, I always felt I knew what was going on and what to expect.  And thanks to my ultrasound tech for being the first soft place for me to fall.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

So many appointments, so little time

It's been a busy few weeks!  I've seen my OB, had two ultrasounds, chatted with an anesthetist, and had some more blood taken.  Being pregnant with an IUD is serious business!

Let's start with this:

Mr. Preston at very nearly 34 weeks!  I still think the poor kid has got his dad's nose.  He weighed in at just over 4 lbs in this picture.  Then the next day, while I was doing a poor attempt at potty-training his older brother, I got up from the couch for the 50th time to help clean a potty when I felt a gush of fluid and saw a wet spot on the couch.  Since this isn't my first rodeo, I didn't panic.  I put on a pad, and went about my day.  An hour later, the pad wasn't soaked through, so I let it go.  Then something amazing happened.  My mom took the kids for a few days!  Just as she promised, as long as I drove them up to the cottage, I could start going to my appointments alone.

I saw my OB on this Monday morning, and I asked him in passing what a fluid leak is like.  When I told him what happened, he did not take it as lightly as I did.  In fact, I think he even looked quite annoyed.  He said that under the circumstances, I should have at least called him, or gone into L&D to be checked for fluid levels.  Since I haven't had any moments of leaking like that since, I was allowed to go home, but with the promise to get another ultrasound as soon as possible to check on fluid levels.  My OB is going on vacation in two weeks, so I will have to have my 36 week check up at 35 weeks.  Then see him again at 37 weeks.  I'm not happy to be missing a week, but even OBs need time off!

The next day, I had an appointment with an anesthetist to talk about my previous epidural headache and fears about needles should I need serious medical intervention during this IUD birth.  He was a very nice man, and he told me two very important things.  First, the needles that they use during a c-section is very fine and almost never causes an epidural headache.  The body can heal the puncture spot very quickly, as opposed to an accidental puncture with an epidural needle, which is a much bigger gauge of needle.  The second thing was that the lady who did injure me could have warned me it was going to happen.  If there is a 1 in 100 chance to be punctured, then there is a 1 in 2 chance that it will turn into a headache.  But this anesthetist told me that the subsequent days following birth could/should have been treated differently.  I could have gotten the blood patch right away, maybe spend an extra night in the hospital.  But there's no dwelling on what could have happened.  He was very surprised that my headache lasted so long, alluding to it being possible that I had a very large hole in my spinal cord.  In the end, I left his office feeling less panicked about the possibility of needing a spinal.  I still don't want another epidural though.

Then the next day after that, I went for my fluid level check ultrasound.  Unfortunately, I couldn't see Melinda.  There is a new technician.  She is very nice, but professional, and doesn't have any bedside manner.  I know Melinda is the exception to the rule!  But at least the new lady is very thorough.  She showed me a close up of Preston's penis, which was great because Melinda wouldn't.  She also showed me several different angles of the IUD.  I tried to trick her into giving me a picture of the IUD, but she wouldn't bite.  She told me that Preston is approximately 5 lbs now.  That's one whole pound in one whole week!  No wonder I felt like my life force was being drained.  It probably was, in order to have a growth spurt like that.  On average, a baby gains half a pound a week until birth from here on out.  At this rate, I'll be having a 10 pound or heavier baby!  Which is not likely, since my first was 6.5 lbs, my second 7.5 lbs.  I was hoping for no bigger than 8.5 lbs.  Here's hoping he comes a little early so that he doesn't snap me in half!  But it won't be any time soon.  The ultrasound tech also told me that my fluid levels are perfect and my cervix is still closed.  I also got another picture, but he's been perfectly head down for weeks now, and he's so big that she couldn't get a nice face shot.  I got a face forward shot that resembles the Terminator, and an adorable picture of his fist.

In the meantime, my blood levels are not just good, but in the normal range.  But my OB said that he's not much concerned about that now.  The platelet levels have actually been going up!  That being said, I will have to have them tested as soon as I get to L&D at any point.

I have another appointment with my OB on Monday.  I won't be taking the kids to my mom this time since she will be taking them for a full week this coming Friday.  It's been planned since March!  I missed them dearly for the 3 nights they were up north this past week, but it was also nice to have my sanity for those few days.  They came back home with a few new habits that I've been working on reversing, but having a little "me time" was more than worth it.  I spent some time with friends, old and new, and even got my hair and toes done.  Which is good, because I can't reach my toes anymore!

Here's hoping that the week the munchkins are with Nana, I will finally get my new used minivan.  I never thought I would be so excited to buy a minivan.  But since Preston won't be getting his own room until he's ready to sleep on his own, I don't have a nursery to nest in.  No sense in moving my son out of his room and into my daughter's just to leave it empty.  I have already washed baby clothes and created a little space in my room for his clean baby stuff.  But I am missing a few things that my dear husband won't buy for the baby until we get a cheque we've been waiting for.  I've been waiting for.  For the past 2 months.  Sigh.

As for my last post, I'm sorry it was so emotional.  I guess I'm allowed that a little since it is my blog, and I am a pregnant woman ruled by hormones!  But for those of you who have asked me, no, I haven't had any resolution with either woman.  I guess so much time has passed that it feels awkward to make contact.  I suggested space.  I feel that if I reached out, I would be made to feel I have to apologize, again.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I have been changed in many ways

There have been a few times in my life where something so serious has happened that it inertly changed who I am and how I interact with the world.

* My parent's separation
* My ex getting physical with me in anger
* My mother being diagnosed with cancer
* Giving birth to my daughter
* My postpartum depression
* Getting pregnant with an IUD

With the exception of birthing my daughter, all of these life events were something that happened out of my control.  It caused me to review how I related to the world and how the world relates to me.  Each impacted me differently.  In some ways I see now, but in some ways I may never see.  One thing they all have in common is that at first, I was very angry.  In the end, something inside of me changed.  Some things that seemed very important before suddenly seemed less so.

Until very recently, I think I was pretty mad about getting pregnant out of my control.  One of my less tactful family members asked me at a birthday party last night if I was doing okay with things.  When I said I was, he said, "Oh good, because you were pretty mad about this pregnancy the last time I saw you."  I denied it, but I thought about it all last night, and now I'm pretty sure he's right.  I wasn't angry with my baby, I was angry that my life has changed so drastically but fate didn't even ask my opinion.

Choosing to have a baby is a very personal and major life decision.  A lot of thought and planning should go into it.  Perhaps it's just my way doing things.  Before I had kids, I religiously ate my birth control pills, and the few times I knew it wasn't effective (missed one, or on antibiotics) I would use a condom.  If I did not want to get pregnant, if it wasn't a good time, I used birth control to prevent it.  Paying for and going through the hassle of getting an IUD was what I considered to be a grown-up form of birth control.  I religiously checked the strings after each period.  I did what was asked of me, and medical science failed me.  I guess I was angry.  I did my best to keep most of my anger to myself, but I know some of it spilled out.  There were many times over the last 6 months where I asked people for help, I asked people for support, I asked people to take it easy on me since I was going through something I couldn't quite articulate.  Most people did that for me.  Some people even provided more support than I needed.  And some people have planned to be there for me in the coming months until Preston is born.

A couple of incidents have happened to me recently.  Both involving women whom I considered close to me.  I am unsure why, but both of these women felt it necessary to tell me how I should act, and became extremely upset when I didn't bend to them and act the way they thought I should.  I know I am still sorting through some of what happened, but I know that my current outlook on life is contributing to the fact that I am not seeking them out to heal the relationships.  Just as I know that their outlook on life allows them to think they can dictate how people act around them.

Until my OB stopped worrying about the IUD, I realized just how stressed out I was about it.  I thought I was putting on a brave face, showing everyone how happy I was about the pregnancy, how little concern I had.  I think most people bought it.  Except my cousin, apparently.  Ha.  These days, I can constantly feel the baby and take a pretty experienced guess at what body part is poking me.  I understand that if the IUD breaks my waters or hurts the placenta, Preston will survive out in the real world.  Even if he lives in a NICU for the first month of his life.  Now, for the first time in 30 weeks, I am truly enjoying my pregnancy.

I wish that the women who aren't speaking to me would have a better understanding that they cannot change me.  Friendships and relationships should not be governed with rules and regulations.  But should a change be necessary, accusations and generalizations will lead to bad feelings and possibly contempt.  This is not something a pregnant woman, despite how the pregnancy occurred, should have to endure.  I know that these women have lost relationships and friendships in the past for the same reasons.  Perhaps they surround themselves with women who are so strong they would rather break than bend?  Maybe they choose to bring up issues only when these strong woman are at a weak point?  I don't know.  What I do know is that it is more important for me to focus on positivity and light right now.  I have an unexpected miracle in my tummy, and this is the last two months before my daughter enters kindergarten and therefore the outside world.  I want to have a great summer, and I don't think I should have to endure stress and uncertainty from people who should be a part of that positivity and light.  Maybe this should be said to these women and not my blog, however I don't believe that they are in a mindset to listen without defense.  Maybe one day they will take the time to see the situation from my point of view.  I did enough reflection to see that I was difficult to handle.  I'm unsure how many times I should apologize and be told it's not enough before it's time for them to see where they contributed to our current situations too.  To quote the insufferable Dr. Phil, "No matter how flat you make a pancake, it still had two sides."

This blog entry has been very therapeutic for me.  If you took the time to read it, thank you.  I know some of it doesn't directly relate medically to my IUD pregnancy, but it sure does relate in a psychological way.  Just as much as I was sensitive to how people reacted to my news of the higher-risk pregnancy, I feel that if a woman becomes pregnant with an IUD, she is allowed to pull her circle of support in close to her without having to fear that she is being too hard to handle.

31 weeks!!

I know it's been a while since my last update.  I'm half ashamed since I promised to keep things up to date here for any one who is going thru the same situation, but the other half of me is happy, because it means there's not much to have to report!

I had one more ultrasound, everything still looked great.  IUD was still in the fundus of my uterus.  Baby was growing spot on in the 50% for everything.  My OB told me that he's now feeling so confident in my situation right now that he doesn't care for me to have another monthly scan.  He does want one more ultrasound before my due date, just to be certain everything is still the same.  I also got to skip this month's blood test since my platelet count was so good at my gestational diabetes test.  But next month I'll have to go every week until delivery.

Something interesting to note is that my OB offered me to have a meeting with an anesthetist, just in case I wanted to talk to someone about pain relief this time around.  My OB knows I want a natural and drug-free birth, but I wonder if he has no faith in me.  I declined the offer, but a part of me wants to meet with one, even if just to ask some questions about what already happened, not necessarily about future use of an epidural.  I'm seeing my OB bi-weekly now, so maybe I'll ask again next week.

We picked a name for our little man!  It meets all of the criteria we set out.  It doesn't start with an S, like our other two children, it can't really be shortened, and it's not terribly popular.

Preston Robert Johnson!

That's all for now.  I have a few other things I'd like to write about, but they are only indirectly related to my pregnancy.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I'm still pregnant with an IUD

I have a new update about my IUD pregnancy!  Here's a lot of reading if you aren't already up-to-date with my situation.

Part one: http://shayztar.blogspot.ca/2013/01/pregnant-with-iud.html
Part two: http://shayztar.blogspot.ca/2013/01/time-to-enjoy.html
Part three: http://shayztar.blogspot.ca/2013/02/iud-pregnancy-update.html
Part four: http://shayztar.blogspot.ca/2013/03/time-for-another-update.html

Since the last blog entry, I've had another ultrasounds and a couple more OB appointments.  I didn't rush to update here because everything is still exactly the same.  Thank God and everything else involved in helping me out.  The IUD is still at the top of my uterus, and every time I see my OB he loves telling me that he is less and less concerned.  He said that the IUD appears to be pinned between my amniotic sac and uterus now, and I might be relieved from pelvic rest soon.

In other news, I have hired a doula to help with with birth support.  I am very excited!  I decided to choose a doula instead of a midwife because I have too many medical issues involved with giving birth that I didn't want to involve another medical person.  I haven't mentioned before, but I have a borderline blood condition called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura,or ITP for short.  Sounds nasty, doesn't it?  It's basically low platelets in the blood.  My platelets hover right around the level where it could cause a problem.  But has never actually dipped low enough while pregnant to cause a problem.  The impact is that my baby might have low platelets when born (because of me), which means that the delivering doctor will never be allowed to use
a vacuum on the baby's head.  It would kill the baby (shudder) because the baby wouldn't have enough platelets to repair the bleeding in it's head and that would cause bleeding in the brain.  If they are too low I can't have an epidural either.  This time I don't want one, so I don't care.  Because of all of this, I have to get monthly blood tests, then bi-weekly, closer to birth in order to verify any trends.  My OB has delivered my other babies, and he is very familiar with my medical issues, including the IUD.

I went off topic there, sorry.  So, I hired a doula.  It's very exciting for me because I want a natural drug-free birth this time around.  If you are curious why, I have previously posted a blog about my epidural headache.  After the headache, I started seeing a massage therapist for help working free the scar tissue between my spine vertebrae.  I even let her do acupuncture on me.  It was amazing.  I have been seeing her for regular, insurance covered massages ever since.  I would like to think that her and I have become friends.  After I found out that I was pregnant, my friend had a dream that I had a boy, and that she was in the delivery room standing beside me.  She told me that I had the most amazing smile on my face.  I thought that was very sweet.  A few weeks later, I told her I was researching doulas, and she gave me some advice.  I asked her how she knew so much, and she reminded me that her massage specialty is prenatal massage, with birth support.  She told me this before, but I put it out of my head because, well, I wasn't ever planning on having another baby.  She told me she is technically not a doula because she didn't take the weekend course required to get the certification.  But she did some of her interning at a hospital, and she works with the Mennonites in her area.  Since all I am looking for is someone to rub my back, remind me of breathing, and make me laugh, I think she would be perfect for the job!  And as she nicely reminded me after I told her I wanted her to be there for birth, "who better than the person who rehabbed you from your epidural injury to remind you why you don't want another epidural."  Too right!

When I told my OB that I hired a doula, he made a pained face.  He told me that some doulas come into the delivery room acting like they have doctorates and start making decisions for the patient.  When I explained what I wanted her there for, and that I've known her for years, he broke out into a huge smile and told me that he would be perfectly happy having her in the room in a friend/support capacity.  He did tell me that she should not come into the hospital telling people she's a doula, because it causes problems with other staff too.  Holy red tape and silly politics.  But I get it.

Speaking of epidural, my OB wanted to tell me that if something happens in birth that requires an epidural, like an emergency c-section for example, then I will be left with no choice.  He also told me that since I am farther in the pregnancy now, he wanted to talk just a little bit about his concerns about the IUD post birth.  He said that if the IUD doesn't come out behind the baby, he says he might have to "fish around" for the strings, and that it might really hurt.  Eek!  Then he said that he hopes it comes out with the placenta.  His biggest concern is that it might break the placenta during birth, and leave some placenta inside that I won't be able to birth.  If that's the case, I would need surgery.  I asked him if he could just flat out put me out for that, and he said he could, but he didn't want to get into too many details yet.  He just wanted to give me a heads up.  He said the last situation is that everything comes out properly except for the IUD, but he didn't want to discuss that with me yet.  For goodness sake.  I have enough worries!  But I do know that if an IUD is embedded in a uterus, then a woman needs a laparoscopy surgery to have it surgically removed.

And for some GOOD NEWS!  After my anatomy scan, it has been confirmed...

We are very excited!  It makes the kids future sleeping arrangements very easy.  Now to think of a name.  This time I have to let my husband feel like he chose it since I named my other kids with little input from him. Fair's fair!

I have another ultrasound in 2 weeks.  By the time my baby is born, I am going to have a really cool collection of ultrasound progression pictures.

Thanks for reading!  Again, I am very happy to give any ray of hope to anyone in this same scary situation.  And thanks to all of my friends and family who read my blog after my post in the IUD and Pregnant Facebook support group splashed across everyone's newsfeed.  Your support and kind words have meant a lot to me.