Thursday, January 27, 2011

****NEWS FLASH****

Alright, so you all know what we have gone through the past several months.  But what you may not know is how much we wanted to get pregnant again, and how bad all three of us want another baby.  We totally expected to try and have another baby again, but we didn't expect to get pregnant without even trying!!  I am so proud and happy to announce that God has given us the gift of another baby in my belly and we couldn't be more thankful and more filled with joy (because, seriously we are beyond happy and thats what joy is).  This pregnancy is totally a "God" thing, because I got pregnant when we weren't trying at all.  Also, only God can orchestrate such amazing things, and time things so perfectly.  I am almost 9 weeks and due September 4, 2011.  Just because you may have forgotten or don't know, we lost Nathanial September 1, 2010.  So that makes me due only three days after the worst day of my life just one year before.  Our prayer is that I will deliver either on that day or bring this new little one home on that day.  How awesome would it be if we could have a reason to celebrate every year on September 1st, rather than it be a day of mourning.  I have never wanted to deliver so close to my actual due date.  We are super excited and I can't even begin to explain how excited Ilyssa is.  We didn't start telling people until she knew, because last time we told certain people before her and she wasn't too happy about that.  So this time we wanted her to be the first to know.  It was so fun, because we checked her out of school and took her with us to my first doctors appointment.  At first she had no clue because she was so consumed with playing her Ds.  Then I made her put it down so she would pay attention to all the questions the nurse was asking me regarding how I was doing with this pregnancy.  She finally caught on and was so shocked.  She just kept asking if I really was pregnant.  It was super sweet and she can't wait to be a big sister.  She will be the best one ever!!  Seriously though, I have so much peace about this pregnancy, unlike the last.  I have asked for this peace everyday, and everyday it is mine to receive.  We couldn't be happier, and I couldn't be healthier.  God is so good to me...I truly do not deserve his grace and his mercies that really do come new to me everyday.  Yaaaaayy!!!!!!!

where i've been....where i am (part 5. ~ the really hard part)

We finally got released Wednesday afternoon.  That was a great feeling.  I couldn't be happier going home.  As soon as we got home, around 3 or so I guess, I went straight to bed.  I was exhausted and still felt pretty bad.  Not nearly as bad as the previous week, but not the greatest either.  I slept for probably 2-3 hours.  I think I woke up somewhere around 5:30 or 6 that evening.  And when I woke up, the pain was different.  I was more crampy than I had ever been.  I tried to eat some dinner that Patrick's mom brought us but wasn't really in the mood.  I just couldn't get comfortable, so I came back to bed.  I had Ilyssa come in my bed with me to read to me.  I love to sit and listen to her read; it makes me happy.  She's the sweetest and I was hoping she would help me feel a little better.  But the cramps kept getting worse, and honestly, at this point I wasn't thinking anything was going wrong.  Just a few hours before, at the hospital, we heard the baby's heartbeat one more time before we left.  It was in the 150's and strong.  It sounded great!  I kept thinking everything I was feeling was related to the infection going away.  So you can understand the absolute shock I went in when laying in bed a gush of water came pouring out of me.  I seriously thought I had just peed on myself.  But the only difference was that I couldn't control it or even begin to stop it.  I ran to the bathroom, sat down on the toilet and hollered for Patrick.  He had been in the room with us while she was reading but he stepped out for whatever reason.  He came in the bathroom and by this time the "cramps", that we now know were contractions were so strong, I could barely stand it.  The water kept pouring out of me, then it turned into blood clots.  I told Patrick through tears that this was it, we were losing the baby.  I'm not sure if he was in denial, or if he really thought everything was gonna be okay, but he told me nothing was gonna happen.  That we had had so many scares this pregnancy and this was just another one of them.  Through many tears and lots of pain, I tried to tell him that this was really it this time.  I told him my water broke and I was having contractions.  Before the blood clots started coming out, I called my doctor.  Of course we got the answering service since it was after hours, but the doctor wasn't calling back.  Things just kept getting worse.  I think Patrick finally began to understand what was going on because he started turning white and the look on his face is one I will never forget.  He was terrified and sad and confused, just like I was.  About 20 minutes went by, and we still had not heard from the doctor, so we called back.  When I was on the phone with the answering service for the second time, I realized that my life was beginning to turn into a living hell.  It was horrible...a true nightmare.  It was the thing that haunted me every time I stepped foot in my room and bathroom for five months after.  It was the thing that kept me up at night for many weeks.  It was the reason my bathroom door had to stay shut while I was in the room.  It was the thing that made me feel like I was going to be crazy for the rest of my life, that I would never be a good mom or wife again.  That I would lose all my friends because I couldn't get past it.  It was the reason I lost 15 pounds and slowly started sinking back into an eating disorder that I had control of for many years.  It was the reason I cried myself to sleep and sat on my front porch after I took Ilyssa to school every morning until I had to pick her up in the afternoons.  I cried then too.  I cried all the time.  Uncontrollable tears drenched everything I touched.  I was traumatized beyond belief.  It was the reason I barely stepped foot in my bathroom much less even sat on my toilet for almost 5 months.  It was the reason I almost lost everything I ever believed in and why I felt so overwhelmed to open my bible and read it much less believe anything it said.  It was the reason I became angry at the world, angry at all the other women who still got to be pregnant and not lose their babies.  It was the reason why I distanced my self from everyone in my entire support system other than Patrick.  No, I couldn't get enough of Patrick.  He was there with me when our lives fell apart, he was with me while my worst nightmare came true.  He was there when I felt something different come out of me.  When I reached down to wipe it away because I thought it was another blood clot.  He was the one I screamed for when I realized it wasn't a blood clot, but our baby's foot.  He was the one who caught me in his arms when I threw myself off the toilet after I realized both of our baby's legs were hanging out of me.  He was there, right there with me when the next contraction made me push the rest of our baby's body out of me.  He never left me, not even when I lay on the floor screaming for help, for somebody, anybody, to help me.  He was there the whole time our baby's poor body was lying helpless, hopeless and lifeless on our bathroom floor.  He was there when my body began to hemorrhage so bad I thought I was losing all of my blood and dieing.  He is the man that never left me, who cried with me and who held me.  He was the man that stayed as calm as possible even though I knew he was a complete wreck on the inside.  I'm so glad I married him; there is no one else on this earth that could ever complete me the way he so flawlessly does.  I love him more now, than I ever thought possible.  It's so sad that such a terrible tragedy could bring two people closer together than ever before.  That night was by far the worst night of our lives and I am so thankful it bonded us together the way it did instead of tearing us apart like it could have.

Somewhere in the midst of everything that went sister and Patrick called 911 at the same time I think.  Apparently, I was screaming so loud, I woke Ilyssa up.  Unfortunately, she heard everything going on.  I am so thankful my sister was here taking care of her for me when everything happened.  Looking back I know God took care of all the small details that we wouldn't have been able to take care of ourselves.  When the ambulance got here, I was laying in a pool of blood in my bathroom floor, covered in it.  Terrified and in shock at all that was happening.  I was still having severe pain from the contractions, and still crying and rambling on and on about my baby.  They had to cut his cord; and when they separated him from me...I lost it all over again.  They carried me to the stretcher in our hallway and I remember looking down at the floor at all the droplets of blood thinking this can't really be happening to me.  The baby was perfectly fine just hours before.  How is this even possible?  As soon as they put me on the stretcher I told the paramedic that I needed to push again.  I told her I thought the placenta was trying to come out.  So I pushed and it came out.  It was horrible.  I had to ride all the way to the hospital with it under me.  The saddest part of the entire night to me was seeing the other paramedic carry our baby out of our bathroom in a see-through, plastic evidence type bag.  I was so upset.  He was a human being and didn't deserve to be put in a plastic bag.  He was my baby who was just alive and well inside of me only a few hours before and that dingy, cold, plastic bag was no place for my child.  It was heartbreaking and gut wrenching.  Then to know that he was right behind me, hanging on the bar of the stretcher, in that God awful bag with the plastic hook at the top, and not in my belly thriving anymore was too much for me to handle.  I technically had a miscarriage because I was under 20 weeks, but I'm telling you, I delivered a baby that night.  He looked just like a real baby only much smaller.  He was only about 4 or 5 inches, but he was my baby that I will never get to hold, or kiss, or watch grow up, and brag about to other moms.  He was my baby that I will never get to bring home from the hospital and show off to everyone around me.  He will never get the chance to ride a bike or go to school.  He will never learn to walk or talk or pick on his big sister.  That was my baby I never got to really say hello too, so then, how in the world am I supposed to say goodbye?  How am I supposed to picture him in the arms of Jesus instead of lying on my cold, dirty, soaked with blood bathroom floor?  How am I supposed to get the nightmare of that night out of my every thought?  How am I supposed to go on living a normal life when life is by far anything but normal anymore... and anyways, what does "normal" even mean? How am I supposed to stop feeling guilty and ashamed that my body failed us and let go of him way too soon?  The questions could go on and on forever.  These are just a few of the questions I asked myself over and over again.  And one by one, I started getting answers to them.  Trust me, it didn't happen over night.  In fact, it took months before I opened myself back up to receive any of the answers.  I can't tell you how many times, I literally cried out to Jesus.  I would scream at the top of my lungs for him to take the pain and the memories away from me.  I fought a very hard battle; I'm still fighting to a certain extent.  I still get really sad from time to time and I probably always will.  The only difference now is that it's a lot easier to handle.  I miss that sweet baby so very much.  We didn't have much time together, but I loved him with all that I was from the moment I found out he was inside of me.  Nathanial, (yes he was a boy), will always be in my heart.  That's as close as I can get him to me.  I will always be waiting for the day that we finally get to meet, for real.  With no blood, no sadness or heartache.  I know he is waiting for me and I can finally see him exactly how he should be...perfectly whole, happy and in the loving arms of Jesus!

I couldn't wait to get the pathology results back.  I was hoping for some kind of answer as to why the pregnancy ended.  When the doctor told me that Nathanial was perfectly fine and that my placenta had a severe infection...I lost it.  All of those feelings of guilt came flooding back.  I couldn't quit blaming myself for all that went wrong.  It was my body that failed him...if it weren't for my stupid body he would still be alive.  My body killed him because it literally couldn't hold on to the placenta anymore.  I know that really bad things could have happened to me too, but at the time I didn't care.  I just couldn't believe that it was me...that I was the reason for everything.  These were a lot of my thoughts when we found out.  It did help us understand why his heart rate was normal and his heartbeat was strong.  My doctor said that he didn't die until my water broke.  Because I was just shy of 15 weeks, he couldn't survive yet outside of the womb.  Looking back, I'm glad we found out,  because at least now we know.  Now I know that the pain I was having in the center of my stomach in the hospital was because of the infection.  And looking back, I know the reason all the pain was gone after the placenta came out was because that was the source of the problems.  At the time though, it was not easy hearing the news.  It's just all so sad to me...even to this day.

To all the people I shut out of my sorry for that.  But now you kind of understand what we went through the night that sent me over the edge.  I'm coming back...I'll never be the same, but when has God ever wanted us to stay where we are?  Thank you for letting me share our story; it means a lot!

where i've been....where i am (part 4.~ the hospital stay)

When I was admitted to the hospital that Sunday, I was sort of relieved.  I thought, finally, they are gonna figure out what is really going on with me, fix me, and send me home.  And I won't be back until February when it's time to really deliver this baby.  I guess, really, I was just trying to convince myself of that, because deep down I didn't think that was true.  While I was in the hospital and several days before I was admitted, the bleeding I was having turned into more of an ooze of bloody mucus.  Every single time I sat down to use the bathroom it would literally just ooze out of me.  I kept thinking it was just from the infection.  I didn't want to believe that it could be something worse, so I found myself not even going there mentally.  On Monday, they sent me down for an ultrasound of my kidneys.  They wanted to make sure I didn't have any kidney stones.  I was so excited to go down, even though every little movement of my body made me hurt worse than I ever had before, I was hoping I would also get to see the baby again.  I was right; the ultrasound tech. said she couldn't do a scan of a pregnant woman's kidney and not look at the baby.  That was exciting!  It would also be the last time I would ever see him alive and moving around, so perfect with a strong heartbeat.  It truly was a gift that I will forever be thankful for.

During the day that Monday, I slowly started feeling a little better.  The pain wasn't nearly as severe as it had been the previous days.  Feeling better gave me a little hope that the medicine was working and we would get to go home soon.  By Monday evening, I was feeling a lot better.  It was still hard to move around, but my fever was gone and that in and of itself was making me feel horrible.  I soaked it up.  I hadn't felt that good in a long time.  Unfortunately though, it didn't last.  In the middle of the night that night around 1:00 or so, I woke up in a horrible sweat and in so much pain.  Only this time, the pain wasn't on my left side like it had been, it was right in the middle of my stomach.  Right where my uterus was.  It wasn't a crampy type pain, but rather a very deep, sharp pain.  I woke Patrick up, and we called the nurse in.  She said she would call the doctor; she could tell something was wrong.  Well, to my surprise, 12 hours and 3 more phone calls later, the doctor finally showed up.  I don't even want to go into how angry and hurt I was that it took that long for a doctor to show up.  It's not even worth it, but let's just say I was not happy!  Anyhow, when she got there she was pressing on my belly outside of my uterus and I thought I was gonna die.  It hurt so bad; it was ridiculous! She told me my kidney's looked great and my white blood count had finally started going down.  The numbers still weren't normal, but at least they were going in the right direction.  She just assumed the pain I was feeling was still related to the UTI, but this particular doctor from the practice, was a moron.  Sorry, but she totally is in the wrong perfection.  I will never see her again for any reason.  Her bed side manner was awful, and I felt like she couldn't get out of my room fast enough.  She also thought it was a better idea to see the patients in the office before she came to the hospital to check on patients who were far worse off than the healthy moms coming in for their regular checkups. Yeah, I got a visit from her on her lunch break, (so glad she could fit me in)!  Okay, so I didn't mean to go on that rampage, but whatever, I guess I'm still a little bitter about that.  So needless to say, the pain never went away.  I felt way worse on Tuesday than I did on Monday.  Melanie and another friend of mine, Natalie, came to see me Tuesday morning.  I was so relieved to have friends there because Patrick had to go to work and I was so sad being alone feeling like I did.  They couldn't have showed up at a better time. (Thanks again you!)  Well, as the day went on, I still didn't have any signs of getting better.  And on Wednesday morning, early, another doctor from the practice came in to see me.  She is the kind of doctor every woman should get the chance at having.  She was amazing and got the high risk doctor in my room within the hour.  When the high risk doctor showed up.  I had to tell her all about what had been going on...the pains, the oozing (because it was still horrible), the everything.  She told me the oozing was probably my mucus plug coming out, but that it didn't necessarily mean that my cervix would open up because she said our bodies constantly make the plug, so I didn't worry too much about that anymore.  She was sending me home on complete bed rest and wanted to finish the rest of my pregnancy high risk.  I was glad for that because I knew they would keep a close eye on me.  I was really excited when Dr. Slade, my regular doctor, came back in and said they were releasing me that afternoon.  I hadn't had any fever since Monday, and my counts were looking even better.  What a relief!  So that feeling I had all along, was starting to sort of fade, it wasn't gone, but I kept thinking that what had just happened was what I was feeling all along.  That the worst was over and I was gonna go home and continue getting better from the infection.  Everything would just be normal for once.  Yeah, that didn't happen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

where i've been....where i am (part 3.~ the pregnancy)

It's going to be hard to explain this next part.  I was really excited about the pregnancy, but there was something inside of me that just didn't feel right.  At the time, I thought it had to do with the year our family had.  Also, a really good friend of mine had a miscarriage just about a month before, so I was thinking about that as well.  I mean, how could I not?  Never-the-less, I couldn't shake this feeling inside me.  I guess if I had to describe the way I felt with just one word, it would be uneasy.  Everyone in our families were so excited; Patrick (my husband) and Ilyssa (our daughter) included.  I just couldn't get to the point of excitement like they were.  Not because I didn't want to have this baby, but because this feeling I had 24/7 wouldn't go away.  And I was the only one who felt it; I just felt like something was gonna go wrong.  I couldn't pinpoint what it was, but this feeling was horrible.  Call it coinsidence; call it paranoid; call it mother's intuition...whatever you want, but it wouldn't go away.

When I was five weeks pregnant, we took Ilyssa to Patrick's mom and dad's house to go swimming.  I wasn't feeling the greatest that day and I was just thinking it was because I was pregnant, but that feeling was still very prevalent.  It was nagging and I thought I was gonna go crazy.  I was tired of it, and I just wanted to know that everything was gonna be okay.  We stayed at the pool for a couple of hours before we decided we should head home and get Ilyssa in bed for the night.  Before we left, we all went to use the bathroom, since we had like a 30 minute drive.  It doesn't sound long but when you have a pregnant lady and a six year old...  When I sat down to use the bathroom, I noticed for the first time the blood.  I sat there and silently freaked out.  It wasn't just a little, but it wasn't a ton either.  Either way, it was there; it wasn't normal in my opinion; and I had that insane feeling still that something was wrong.  I got out to the car where Patrick was and told him.  After I told him, I started to cry.  The tears just kept coming.  I was scared out of my mind that I was losing the baby.  On the way home I started having mild cramps and still couldn't quit crying.  I didn't want this to be over. I wanted this baby more than anything and I would do anything to protect him. 
As soon as we got home, I called my doctor.  By this time Patrick and I both were in tears.  He prayed over me and the baby while we waited for the doctor to return our call.  Both of us were a nervous wreck.  When the doctor called us back, I explained to her what was happening and all she could say was that I was threatening to miscarry and that if anything got worse to go to the ER immediately.  Also, she said to stay off my feet and get as much rest as possible.  So that's what I did.  The bleeding eventually stopped but the pain in my stomach got worse.  The whole next morning I was still hurting, so we decided to just go to the hospital.  I cried the whole way there.  I didn't want them to tell me or show me that our baby was gone.  I couldn't imagine the pain it would cause all of us.  I just didn't want to go through what so many women have to go through.  

When we got to the hospital we really didn't have to wait long...and we were so thankful for that.  We just wanted to know if the baby was okay.  They did an ultrasound and there he was.  All it took was to see his tiny little heartbeat for me to lose it.  He was okay.  He was still alive!!  After the doctor checked me, he told me, just as my doctor had the night before, that anytime you have bleeding in the first trimester they consider it a "threatened miscarriage".  It certainly didn't mean I was going to, but I had been bleeding and cramping so that's what it was...a threatened miscarriage.  Well, two weeks went by pretty uneventful.  Nothing else happened, but that feeling was still right there inside of me, taking over me.  The morning of my 7-8 week check up, I started bleeding again.  I couldn't believe it.  Again?...but why?  Everything was going well, so I thought.  I was just glad that we were on our way to the doctor's office.  When we got there, she checked me and my cervix had blood on it, but she said it didn't look like it was an active bleed.  Meaning it was older blood from that morning.  She couldn't tell where it was coming from.  They did another ultrasound on me, and again, the baby was fine.  And again, we were rejoicing.  The ultrasound showed that the pregnancy was viable and they didn't see anything that looked concerning.  They had no idea where the bleeding was coming from.  I still was threatening to miscarry so I wasn't able to do anything.  No exercise, no sex, no major housework, etc.  After the bleeding started that day, I had it off and on throughout the pregnancy.  

Fast forward five weeks or so...still bleeding.  I had a doctors visit just about every week leading up to that point.  And every time the baby was still doing great.  My doctor's were telling me that some women just bleed the whole time they are pregnant and since everything was still looking good, except the bleeding, we should just be cautiously optimistic.  At 12 weeks I was peeing like never before.  I had to go constantly.  I mean I would get up in the middle of the night like six to eight times.  It was insane.  I thought it was normal because I was pregnant and my uterus was only getting bigger.  I talked to my mom about it, and she and I were joking because I told her that I couldn't hold it when I had to go.  It would just come out with no warning.  Ever since I had my daughter I had had a weak bladder, so I was just thinking that this pregnancy was making it worse.  When I was 13 weeks, I met my good friend Melanie for breakfast ( the one I mentioned earlier) and was telling her all about my potty woes.  She suggested I call my doctor, again, because she said it sounded like I had an infection.  I just thought if it didn't let up in the next couple of days, I would call.  That afternoon, when I was standing in the hall at Ilyssa's school waiting to pick her up, I started having these extremely sharp pains in my lower stomach.  They were so bad, they made me have to lean over.  They were powerful and very painful.  I couldn't wait to get home so I could lay down.  As soon as we got home, I had to use the usual.  When I sat down, I was horrified because the pad I was wearing was soaked with blood.  I absolutely freaked out.  I called my husband at work right away and told him what was going on.  Then I called my doctor who told me to get to the hospital so they could check me out.  Here it was again, still, that feeling.  This is it.  My normal optimistic self was no longer.  I was just plain over all the scares.  I was over the bleeding, the pain, the bad thoughts, the doctor's visits and trips to the hospital.  I just wanted a normal pregnancy.  Unfortunately, that is not what I had or would ever have with this baby.  After getting all the tests back, they said I had a UTI.  Again, the ultrasound was good.  The baby was perfectly fine and my pregnancy was still considered viable.  What a relief!  If I could just get rid of this infection then maybe everything would be okay, I thought.  Well, they sent me home on antibiotics. However, the pain would not go away.  In fact in got worse.  It was on the left side, really low and by Friday I could barely walk. (I went to the hospital on Wednesday)  I had a follow-up appointment on Friday and I was so glad because the pain was horrible and the bleeding was pretty heavy.  I saw the nurse practitioner that day.  She was very concerned, because at that point I was in my second trimester and she said I shouldn't be bleeding.  Apparently, second trimester bleeding gets treated differently than first trimester bleeding.  She cleaned off my cervix and put me on complete bed rest until I could get in to see the high-risk doctor that following Tuesday.  We went home and I was feeling miserable.  I was so confused as to what was going on in my body.  All I wanted was to stop hurting, stop bleeding and deliver a happy, healthy baby in February.  Later on that night, I started running a fever.  This was after I had been on the antibiotic for two days already.  I knew something was really wrong, but I thought I just needed to give the medicine a little more time to work.  But by Sunday, the fever had only gotten higher.  And I was in so much pain, all I could do was lay in bed and cry.  I talked to my mom on the phone that afternoon and she said that I needed to call my doctor right away because there should be no reason for running that high of a fever, especially after being on antibiotics for four days.  So I called...again (they knew me very well at this point).  My doctor said to get to the hospital ASAP because she was afraid the UTI had spread to my kidneys and if that were the case I would have to be admitted.  We only had to wait in the ER for about 15 minutes before they got me back.  I think I must have looked horrible, because they didn't mess around getting me tested and checked out.  When the ER doctor came in and told me my white blood count had gone up since the Wednesday before, I was devastated.  She said they had already called my doctor and they were waiting for her to get there.  They were already in the process of admitting me.  I was very sick and I knew it.  When my doctor got to the hospital, she checked me and said it felt like my cervix was opening up.  My husband and I both lost it.  I knew that you can't have a cervix open at 14 weeks and expect the baby to make it.  Although, after having yet another ultrasound done, we saw that my cervix seemed to be fine and the baby was still doing great.  I couldn't wait for this nightmare to be over, except the true nightmare hadn't even begun.

where i've been....where i am (part 2.)

Like I said we were so excited about the baby.  Our family was discouraged and ready for something good to happen.  Don't get me wrong, we were very thankful for the outcome with Jenn, but we were tired of all the bad news the year had brought us.  A perfect!  

(Let me start by saying, I am going to write about everything that happened during my pregnancy, so if you think you can't handle the really bad stuff, you may not want to read this.)

We found out we were going to have a baby after I went to the doctor for my regular check-up.  The month before, that would be my April cycle, I was late.  I thought I was pregnant, but after four negative tests and finally a late period, of course I knew I wasn't.  However, my next cycle was thrown off because I was so late.  My husband and I do natural birth control.  For those of you who may not know what that is, it's when you don't take any contraceptives and you chart every little thing about your cycle (i.e., start of period, what the days leading up to ovulation are like physically, waking body temp., etc., you get  the point).  Basically, we rely on my body to tell us when it is and isn't okay know.  Because I had a late period, my ovulation would be I thought.  Wrong!  In fact, I ovulated earlier than usual, and, well, I ended up pregnant.  Things like that don't usually happen, so if you wanted to try natural birth control, don't let my experience stop you.  Anyhow, during my check-up, I was talking to my doctor about how I thought I was pregnant the previous month and how, my body just didn't seem normal.  So she went ahead and did some blood work.  She wanted to check my thyroid, because that could cause me to feel the way I had been feeling...of course being pregnant could as well.  Part of the blood work was a pregnancy test, but I knew I wasn't, so I wasn't too worried.  After a few days, I got a call from the nurse saying my results were in and that my thyroid looked great, however my hcg levels were elevated, (I had been pregnant before so I knew what that meant....we're having a baby).  I couldn't believe it...a baby?  No...impossible! Or not!  I've learned that really, nothing is impossible.  She told me that sometimes, if you're close to your period those levels could be thrown off, so she suggested I take a home pregnancy I did, and it showed up positive almost immediately.  We were gonna have a baby, and we were so excited.  We weren't planning on another baby, but I couldn't think of anything I wanted more once we found out than to hold and kiss and love on that baby for the rest of my life.  What an exciting time that was...until two weeks later when things started to go badly.  

where i've been....where i am (part 1.)

So, I guess since I'm new to this whole blogging thing, I'm kind of nervous about putting it all out there.  But that is exactly what I intend on doing.  The good, bad and the's all gonna be here.  I'm just gonna use this first post as trial and error and to explain how my life is completely different now, at the beginning of 2011, than it was this time last year in 2010.

Last year started out pretty bad.  I certainly didn't think it was an indication of how the entire year would turn out; I don't usually think that way.  I try to stay pretty optimistic, so when my sister started getting really sick, I was very worried but tried to think, "this too shall pass".  My sister and I are very close.  We weren't always because she is six years older than me, but I guess that's what growing up will do to people.  When she was three, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer called rhabdomiosarcoma.  Basically, a cancer attacking her muscles.  She was sick most of her childhood, fighting for her life for about nine years and winning in the end. She is a trooper; one of the strongest people I know.  Having said all that, we got pretty worried when 20 years later she started having difficulty breathing for no apparent reason.  After a few weeks of her symptoms getting worse, she finally went in for a  chest x-ray.  The results were shocking and heartbreaking.  They found a mass in one lung and a lot of other junk in the other.  We were terrified for her, but we all have a very strong faith in an amazing God, who graciously rocked our world when he healed her the first time.  We had to believe that this time wouldn't be any different.  After lots of other tests were done, about a month of waiting and an admission to Emory in Atlanta, we found out that she did not have lung cancer like we all were thinking but that she was in heart failure.  All the stuff they were seeing in her lungs was fluid caused by the heart failure.  Thank God!  Heart failure, while it still is not a good thing, was a way better diagnosis than lung cancer.  They began treatment right away, but couldn't find the reason for it.  To this day we have no idea what caused her heart failure.  Outside of having cancer as a child. she was a healthy 33 year old who had not been sick with any infections and didn't and does not do drugs.  Her doctors were stumped.  Before she left the hospital, however, they were doing one last scan of her left lung because they kept seeing something in there.  When she was released, she got a call from her doctor a couple days later who told her they didn't find anything in her lungs, but they did see something of concern in her left shoulder.  Okay, so she's in heart failure and now she has to go see an oncologist.  Is it ever going to end?...the question we would be asking ourselves for the whole rest of the year.  After going to the oncologist, he confirmed what we were dreading to hear....cancer, for real!  This time it was a form of bone cancer.  A tumor that went from her shoulder almost down to her elbow.  Really?  As if she isn't already facing enough, now she's faced with her worst nightmare of having to battle cancer again.  Luckily, though, it hadn't spread and it would be very easy to remove.  So, after getting her heart failure in control, her surgery to remove the tumor was under way and scheduled for sometime in June.  The surgery was a huge success; they had to cut out the entire bone from her shoulder to about an inch or two up from her elbow and replace it with a prosthesis.  Things were finally staring to look up and we were so very thankful.  While all this was going on with my sister, my husband and I found out that we were going to have a baby at the very beginning of June.  My sister was so excited...we all were actually.  We needed this joy in the midst of such a hard year for our family.  We saw this pregnancy as a gift from God.  But little did we know,  things were just about to get a lot harder, except this time it was gonna be hard times for me personally.