January 18, 2013

in a moment.


Sitting, or should I say, laying with my belly exposed and gooey in the office of genetics and fetal medicine, my life changed.

It was one moment, one sentence, one understanding and EVERYTHING looked different.

Do you have a moment like that?

After hearing that the baby looked perfect and active and that they were fairly certain of it's sex, the sonogramist (I think that was her title) said she needed to call in the doctor because my placenta didn't look quite right. 

Dr. Balderstron is a really tall, very happy and fun, doctor that I immediately trusted.  He looked and scanned and then began to explain-- they are fairly certain that I have central/complete placenta praevia with placenta accreta/increta I have an extra large placenta (common with multiples) that is covering my cervix and resting on the front of my uterus, right on top of my two previous C-section scars.  It looks like my placenta is actually growing into the wall of my uterus, not just attaching to the lining.  Which means, when I deliver, they will not be able to remove my placenta without removing my whole uterus.  There is a high risk of hemorrhaging and excessive blood loss throughout pregnancy.

In all likelihood, my doctor told me to expect modified activity the whole time, hospitalization starting at 25 week, a C-section/hysterectomy at 34 weeks, and a long recovery in the hospital afterword (for both me and the baby). 

The main issue with these conditions is maternal bleeding.  My main issued during pregnancy, even without additional bleeding, is low blood levels.  So, I'm planning that this will be quite a journey.  It is daunting, but I am not afraid.  Surprisingly, I am FULL of gratitude.

I have EIGHT children.  EIGHT!  And, that is if you don't count some angel children that I may or may not have up in heaven.  My uterus has served me well.  I feel SOO blessed.  I'm certain that this diagnosis would have been much more traumatic earlier in my life, although I would choose to keep my body intact, I feel so grateful to have made it this far. 

The MOMENT I heard this news, my heart swelled with LOVE for the family I already have.  This is IT.  I will NEVER, NEVER again carry a baby in my womb.  I will never feel little kicking flutters, I will never have another baby girl diaper to change.  Immediately, my perspective was long-term and I became more aware and grateful.

I remember hearing the story of a woman caring for her ill mother.  Suddenly, her mother passed away.  The daughter said that she didn't know if she'd be caring for her aged mother for years or months or weeks.  She said, "If I had known that I would only have to do it for one more week, it would have been different." 

We don't always get that glimpse in life.  But, I have.  Laying there in that hospital room, God showed me the end... and it made THESE middle moments so much more precious. 

Yes, having a large family is HARD.  It takes endurance and work.  This pregnancy is going to be pretty tough.  But, how blessed am I to have the BEST reason to do hard things.  I'm not fighting cancer (how my heart goes out to those of you who are or who are helping someone else through it), I am fighting for a BABY.  I can do that.  Somehow, I think anyone enduring health challenges is fighting to live for someone else.

I've told you on other pregnancies, but I'll say it again.  Hematology (blood doctors), where I spent a lot of time, is combined with Oncology (cancer doctors).  So, the whole time I am whining and pregnant at my appointments, I'm surrounded by bald, kind-eyed patients who are coming for chemo and radiation treatments.  They usually look at me with great concern, thinking I'm pregnant with cancer, and I usually look at them and thank God that I just need a little blood.  I'm just blood doping.  Ha!  I should have broke the story years ago about Lance.  He always sat next to me in the hospital. 

I'm so grateful that my quiver is full.  I have no regrets.  Thank goodness I had children while I was young (wow, I can't believe all the health risks that come with turning 35!). 

I'm not one to bore you with all my medical details... but, I thought you'd like to know what we're looking at here.  All is not rosy, this is hard.  Just saying, I feel grateful amidst my hard- eight times grateful.  Choosing to marry my dear husband and have eight children with him is the best decision I ever made.  I have no regrets. 

Everything seemed quite manageable-- 10 more weeks at home, then 10 weeks in the hospital, then baby and recovery.  Until, I counted 10 weeks... that two and a half months.  That's like from now to last HALLOWEEN!!  Ahh!  Can you imagine being away for your family that long?  My baby will be all grown up.  My kids will be ruined without me that long.  Ha!  Yeah, we'll see what happens and cross that bridge when and if it comes to that. 

TODAY I'm going to straighten up my basement toy room while sitting/laying down (I think I can).  I'm going to read my little girls lots of books.  I'm going to TALK to my big girls about every elementary school drama they want to tell me about.  I'm going to hug my boys and make sure they know how much I appreciate all they do for our family every day.  I'm going to kiss my husband for a long time... because I can't imagine the next 6 months with only kissing?!!!  And, because he is Superman.  He wants to take me to see the Hobbit.  I think he needs to get out of the house.  Oh, and I'm going to drink my green smoothies...

What are you going to do?

Thanks for listening.
ps.  i'm having a BOY!!!!!  Can you believe it?!!!!

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28 comments:

The Wife said...

Hey Jen - you don't know me, but I know that if anyone can do this hard thing, it's you!

PS I smiled when I thought about my uterus -- with a little help from the hubs :) -- has given me 3 beautiful children. Aren't our bodies miraculous?!?

Unknown said...

I will think of you while i tend to my own and try to remember to have your wonderful outlook on things. Big blessings to you and your family. Hold on tight to those tiny steps, they get you through the journey.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

And the range of emotions continues! I wish we lived closer to help in some way. I love your outlook and your gratitude even in the difficulties that you are going through. I'll be praying for you!

Diane said...

Oh dear, I wish I could help.I'll just send hugs and prayers your way on this difficult journey. And congratulations on baby boy. :)

The Nicholas Family said...

Praying for you and your family! You are one amazing woman with incredible perspective! Congratulations on baby boy!

corrie said...

Ah, life. Congratulations on your boy! And if anyone can do this, it's you. My prayers are with you and your wee babe.

Ann said...

Once again you've brought me to tears, Jen. I am so sorry for the loss of your baby's twin and also for the future loss of your uterus. I am so happy for you that it has served you so well! Aren't our bodies amazing things? I will keep you and your family in my prayers in the coming months that God will carry you through this trial. Congratulations on your little boy to come. What a loved child he will be....and so lucky to be born into such a great family. :)

J and C said...

Jenifer- congrats on your baby boy. you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry about your loss and the tough road ahead. I appreciate your grateful attitude..it really does put things in perspective. May Heavenly Father bless you and your family as you continue this pregancy journey!
Courtney
www.thestubblefieldstory.blogspot.com

Steph said...

You always have a great way of saying things, Jen. Sure do love you and will be thinking of you often. Isn't it crazy how Heavenly Father gives us all different challenges and knows just which ones will bless our individual lives the most?

Isaac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristine said...

Congratulations on having a boy and may God bless you, your baby and your lovely family! You can do it :)

David and JaLayne said...

I just had baby number 8 last week. You really inspire me. Thanks for sharing your challenges and your amazing attitude. The Lord will support you thru this.

Raelyn said...

Please take care of yourself and your new little one. He is lucky to be getting you as a mom. Hugs from Michigan......

Amber said...

Wow again. I'm glad the baby is healthy. Keep us posted on your journey. You have an amazing attitude. I will pray for you.

Amy said...

Holy Schmoley! I can't imagine how you are feeling, exactly, but I think I have a very small notion because I am just so relieved for you to at least know what you're looking at and what's going on! We will be praying for you that you can get through this up-coming rough time. You can do it! Keep up the great attitude - and congrats on the boy news!!

Amy said...

Congratulations on your baby boy. I am amazed by your strength.

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for sometime. I wanted to express my condolences to you and Todd for the loss of your baby. I wish you good health as you work to get this little boy here safely. May you have all the strength you need to meet the challenges ahead and peace in your heart as you travel. I will be cheering you and your family on! Take good care.

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for sometime. I wanted to express my condolences to you and Todd for the loss of your baby. I wish you good health as you work to get this little boy here safely. May you have all the strength you need to meet the challenges ahead and peace in your heart as you travel. I will be cheering you and your family on! Take good care.

Lindsey said...

Thinking of you and praying for you. It is a testament to your faith to immediately have such a beautiful and positive reaction to hard news. Wish we were closer and could help more, but we'll be praying from here. Please keep us updated...so many people love you and want to know how you're doing!!

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Evaly said...

I am so touched by your last few posts. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. You are so amazing and I admire your strength as you face more challenges. I will pray for you and your family and I hope that all will go well for you and your sweet baby boy!

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astowers said...

Jen you will be in our prayers. My sister-in-law just delivered her baby boy in December and had the same condition as you. She and baby are doing well. I hope that all goes smoothly for you!

LAURA said...

Congratulations Jen!!! That is so awesome! I'm also sorry for the loss of the other baby. I'll be thinking of you, please do everything you can to not move around. At All! Seriously! :)

The Beers said...

I am so impressed with your strength. You've had a difficult road with this little one, and still a tough journey ahead. We're praying for all of you that you and baby boy come through this safely.

Leah said...

Jen, you are such a wonderful person! I am sorry for this trial and loss of your sweet baby. If anyone can handle it, it's you! Just let your family and friends take care of you for once ok? I wish I was there to help! Love you!

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Anonymous said...

I just happened across your blog through Pinterest and boy am I happy that I did. Thank you for being honest!!! I too am a mother of 6 kids and 3 angels. We suffered 2 miscarriages and had 1 beautiful little girl whom died 1 week before she was due for delivery. I can sympathize with you and the health issues you have during pregnancy. I too unfortunately have health issues during my last few pregnancies. It is so nice to see and know that you are not the only one that feels this way and sometimes whine about it. I will be praying for you and your family. Please keep us posted when you can!

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