Archive | January 2014

Miscarriage, Honoring the Child We Lost-Part II

It has been more than a week from the day we were supposed to hear our baby’s heartbeat.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.  Instead of hearing the number of beats and guessing whether our baby would be a boy or a girl, we were told that our baby passed away.  This is the most devastating loss I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.  In this series of blog posts, I’ll be sharing some of the stories which I hoped to share with our child one day.  Thank you for walking this journey of healing with me…

weeping woman

My First Pregnancy Appointment…

After I learned I was pregnant, I had to vist Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor.  It was a Wednesday, which meant his office closed at noon.  Although he agreed to see me regardless of the time I arrived, I wanted to get there as soon as possible.  Oh, and I was on cloud 9– because after two and a half years of trying to conceive, surgery, months of vitamins, and charting every little detail day by day, I had become a mommy!

 

I packed my charts, pre-natal vitamins, fed the fur babies, and made it out the door as quickly as I could.  Needless to say, there were a few details that escaped me on the way up.  I thought I was being careful.  I used the Google Maps App to get to Dr. C’s office.  No matter how many times I go there, I can’t seem to remember which exit to take, so having Siri give me directions makes life easier.

mobile phone

Anyway, there I was 60 minutes into the 90 minute ride to Dr. C, driving from the primary highway on to the secondary highway, when bam! I got pulled over.  I was exceeding the speed limit and so was everyone else on the road.   I’m not so familiar with the area, so as far as I was concerned I was just keeping up with the flow of traffic.  The cop however did not see it that way.

I waited until he came to my passenger window and asked me if I knew how fast I was going.  Then I lost it, seriously lost it.  If you’ve ever had a five year old try to tell you something he or she is excited about, that’s pretty much what happened.  Instead of telling the officer how fast I thought I was going, I shrieked, “I’m sorry officer, I just found out I’m pregnant this morning I have to go to the doctor to get a progesterone shot so I don’t lose my baby!  See, here’s my chart, there’s my prenatal vitamins, I didn’t realize I was speeding!”  The poor cop had no clue what to do.  Apparently the response I gave is not one he gets very often.  He was silent for a moment, then asked who my doctor was and where he’s located.  Apparently he was satisfied with my answers, because he didn’t ask any more probing questions.  He did ask if it was an emergency.  I couldn’t lie, so I responded: “It’s not something that has to happen this minute, but I need the progesterone shot because I’m high risk for miscarriage, I don’t want to lose my baby!”   I was totally ready to show him the pic of my positive pregnancy test complete with time stamp, but it didn’t come to that.

progesterone shot

Thankfully, the cop let me go with a warning, and I got to Dr. C’s where I got the low down what was going on inside my body and the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy.  I learned that my immune system would fight the baby, as it recognized it as a foreign protein, but that the baby would be producing calming countdowns to counteract my immune system.  In addition to the typical no alcohol, no second hand smoke, and no caffeine, I was also told that I could not consume cold cuts or soft cheeses because of listeria, a bacteria which could be harmful to both my body and the baby.  I was told that fish was a must, but due to contaminants, fresh water fish were prohibited, as were shark, mackerel, and swordfish,  tuna was limited to only one can per week.

We talked a lot about the possibility of miscarriage, not because Dr. C thought it would happen but because being aware of possible causes would help to prevent it.  I was told that both caffeine and alcohol would not only harm the baby, but also increase the risk of miscarriage, as would not getting enough sleep.  It was also important that I continue my regular exercise routine of walking 3x per week for an hour at a 3.5 mile per hour pace. I could totally do all these things, because it was worth it, I would do anything on the planet if it meant I could be a mommy!

coffee

Bring on the restrictions and the decaffeinated coffee!  I was pregnant, my leave of absence had done its job, and I was going to be a mommy!   I was on cloud nine!  I knew it would be a while before we could officially announce that we were expecting to the world, but there were a few people who we just had to tell right away.

That night, I called Jordan and told her the good news.  It was because of her and the courage she had more than a year ago that pregnancy was even possible for us.  We both cried tears of joy as we talked about the coming nine months and how our children would forever be the best of friends.  We dreamed such amazing dreams as we talked,  and I told her how excited I was about being a mom.  “Catherine” she said, “You’re already a mom!”  That thought filled me with such love, joy,  and hope!  I was already a mom, loving my baby with every breath I took, nourishing it with every bite I took, and protecting it with every possible danger I avoided.  I was doing everything possible to take care of our baby; I was truly blessed!

Miscarriage–Honoring the Child We Lost, Part I…

At the moment, I’m in the middle of a miscarriage.  This is quite honestly the most heartbreaking time of my life.  There’s nothing anyone can do.  Our baby had already passed away when we went for our ultrasound.  At the moment I’m experiencing cramping, and spotting.  It gets worse by the day, which in this case is a good thing.  As much as my heart aches for the loss of this child, I dread hearing a doctor say that it won’t happen naturally and I have to undergo a D&C.  As I grieve the loss of our child, I’d like to share some beautiful memories  of my brief pregnancy with you.  Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

Love, Catherine

The day we learned we were pregnant…

It was a Wednesday, the dreaded and blessed peak plus 17, the day that we NaPro ladies wait for.  It had been 17 days since my identified peak day and despite a few hours of what could have been implantation bleeding, followed by days of very light brown spotting, I had not experienced a period.  My husband, Frank woke me at 5AM, the time he usually wakes for work.  He was aware of what day it was and wanted to be there when I took the test.  I tested without expectation.  We’d gotten countless negatives in the past and even once good old AF decided to show up mid test taking.  I tested and I waited.  When I saw that faint blue line make the plus sign on the test I was in heaven.  We had done we had successfully conceived, we were going to be parents!

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I ran into our bedroom and said, “Congratulations Daddy, it’s positive!”  We were so happy!  NaProTechnology had worked!  My body was healthy enough to conceive naturally.  God had answered our prayers and blessed us with a child! I was aware the test would fade at some point, and I wanted to preserve that moment forever, so I snapped a quick pic before I tossed it.

 

Next, I needed to call Dr. Carpentier, but since it was 5:30 in the morning, I thought best to call once his office opened.  I couldn’t go back to sleep, I was so excited.  I stayed awake in a state of bliss until about 7:00 when I drifted off.  I woke again at about 9:00 thinking it was a good time to call Dr. C.  As I got up and dragged myself out of bed, the phone rang; it was Dr. C calling with the results of my peak plus 7 blood work.

mobile phone

 

I was amazed that he called me at the very moment I intended to call him.  He had just received the results of my peak plus seven blood work, in his words: “Like 12 seconds ago”.  I wanted to hear the results, but I couldn’t hold my joy any longer.  I blurted out:  “I’m so glad you called.  I was just getting ready to call you because it’s peak plus seventeen, I tested this morning and I’m pregnant!”  He responded “YOU GO GIRL! Can you get to my office today?  We’ve got a lot to talk about!”

 

Even though it was a Wednesday and his office closed at noon, he was willing to wait till I arrived.  I got dressed, fed the furbabies, packed up my chart, prenatal vitamins, and hit the highway to make the 90 minute drive up to his office.  This was really happening!  My leave of absence had paid off!  I was pregnant and blessed to have an amazing doctor who would do everything he could to support our pregnancy from the moment we got a positive test until delivery.

 

Conquering Food Allergies, the Next Step on This Journey…

The next baby step on this road from infertility to conception is getting my food allergies under control.  At my second appointment with my Naturopathic doctor, I learned that I have food sensitivities to apples, almonds, bananas, corn, dairy, oats, potatoes, and wheat.  These foods are causing inflammation throughout my body and wreaking havoc, and most likely are related to our inability to conceive.

food allergies

Considering that I had cut grains out of my diet more than a year ago; this new list pretty much limits me to eating: meat, fruit, vegetables, water, chocolate and wine.  When I cut grains out of my diet I increased my intake of both dairy and potatoes, so seeing both of them on the list stuck a knife in my heart, not to mention my stomach!

There are two possible ways to deal with this: I could spend time lamenting about all that I have to lose; or I could focus on all that I have to gain by eliminating these foods from my diet, knowing full well that my tolerance of these foods may improve once my body has time to heal.  I have one goal, to become healthy enough to conceive a child and be a mommy.  When we started down this road my husband and I agreed that we would both do whatever it took to become healthy enough to conceive.  This is something I have to do.  I know that if I do not, it may very well be something I regret or at least wonder about for the rest of my life.

Thanksgiving table

Tastiness, and culinary desires aside, it is time to learn to live life anew.   Please don’t think I’m a Pollyanna. There were lots of groans, and some serious mourning of all the delicious foods I was about to eliminate from my diet.

coffee

Yesterday, while I sipped my morning coffee, complete with organic cow’s milk,  I decided to try a day without all these foods  (with the exception of milk in my morning coffee b/c I hadn’t yet purchased coconut milk).  I didn’t do anything crazy like chart my symptoms, or even pay particular attention to what was happening to my body throughout the day.  I had the opportunity to deliver another sample lesson for another potential job, so I started my morning as I might on any other grain free day: with grain free toast, and coffee wtih milk.  After the interview, I came home did a few things and felt lethargic.  Rather than fight the fatigue as I might have if I were working, I decided to be good to myself and see if a nap might help.  I woke up feeling sluggish and didn’t have much go for the rest of the day.  I didn’t feel like myself at all.  That was how I felt when I was working, not when I had been so well rested and healthy as I’ve been on this leave of absence.  I kept my word and did not consume any of the foods the Naturopath identified as allergens for the rest of the day.

Later that evening as I was talking with a friend who understand food allergies very well,  it hit me, I felt like I went through withdrawal yesterday!  I spent the afternoon super tired, and didn’t have any go.  I have been reading Grain Brain By Dr.  David Perlmutter and he talks about our brain reacting to foods that cause inflammation similar to the way it reacts to narcotics, with a high followed by a withdrawal period that produces cravings, moodiness, lethargy, and an overall feeling of blech.  That has how I spent my afternoon yesterday.  Then after supper, which was completely allergen free, I felt great.

 

This morning, I awoke and I’m feeling pretty good.  I have more energy than yesterday and I’m in a pretty good mood.  Having never been a morning person, this is pretty cool.  If I can feel like this every day, staying away from the allergens will be totally worth it!