Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Ending

I need to apologize for the delay in writing....  a LOT of things came up and I wanted to keep my privacy during that time.

To make a very very long story short, we went to California for my bedrest.  We had hoped that the lower altitude would lower my blood pressure and I would avoid pre-e.

I delivered little baby V on 7/15/15. Here is the birth story:

At around 5:00 am on 7/14 I woke up with steady, awesome contractions.  I had an appointment that day at 10:00 with my OB/GYN and then with another doctor at 11:30.  They would decide at that second appointment if I was going to be induced on 7/16. The contractions continued, steady and strong in the morning.  We went to my appointment and I was 3cm, 50% effaced.  I looked at Michelle and started to cry! I told her "you're going to have a baby today!"  We were all very excited. I was sent to the hospital, since my labor history has been VERY fast.

My awesome doula had arrived shortly after we got there, then Matt, then Adam.  We were all set for a FAST labor.  Or so we thought. :/ . My doula, Kat, thought I would progress quickly as well.  The doctor came at around 12:00 and checked me.  I hadn't progressed at all, so he offered to break my water.  I am always trying to fight any intervention, but since I hadn't progressed and my sac was bulging, my doula even agreed that breaking my water would help move along faster.  I agreed.  That was such a weird experience, and for hours I had huge gushes of water come out still.  It was odd, I didn't enjoy that.  We walked the halls for a very long time.  My contractions were about 3 minutes apart, lasting for about 40 seconds.  I had to stop for a few of them.  I was checked again by the nurses and hand't progressed again :/.  Kat said that when the doc came back at 4, he was probably going to suggest the "p" word.  Pitocin.  I HATE pitocin.  It was so painful when I had Ellie.  So so so very painful. But, I was frustrated that it was taking so long, so I told Kat I would understand.

4:00 rolled around.... 3cm, 80% effaced, baby was at minus 3. That means the baby's head was still far back in the birth canal.  Pitocin.  Ugh.  The whole labor was annoying because the stupid contraction monitor was not picking up my contractions like I could feel them.  I was frustrated that they thought they were not strong enough and they kept increasing the IV drip.  Kat could clearly see they were painful, so she did her best to adjust the monitor so they would get a better visual of how the pitocin was doing.  By 11pm, they had bumped my pitocin up to 17, then 18, then 19, then 20. I was so frustrated! They put an internal monitor in to see the real strength of the contractions.  It rested near the baby's head.  My contractions went off the chart.  They were SO intense and the nurses could finally see.  It was awful.

I was so sad and in so much pain!  I was still at 3cm at 11:00 pm.  I finally started to cry around 11:50pm.  Everyone told me his head just wasn't turning right and he wasn't descending. Kat had me do a few weird movements during some contractions and then BAM. I hit active labor.  His head finally moved! I was checked in a few minutes and was at 5cm, 100% effaced, head was at +1.   I  became VERY sick, back and forth to the bathroom too many times to count.  At 1:30 I could feel it was just about time to push.  I hollered out that I needed to push and I heard one nurse say "just hang on, we're not ready yet!"... which my doula immediately said, "Julie knows her body, knows when it's time to push, can we let her follow her body?" The nurse came to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, when you're ready, go ahead and push.  I barely kept it together while they were getting the bed ready, letting my body do the work! I had a few small pushes but didn't expect him to come out just yet.  My eyes were closed most of the time from 1:30-after birth, but I tired to sneak glances at the IPs as much as possible.  Before I knew it, they were ready and my legs were up!  One push, 10 seconds total, there he was!  1:59 am on 7/15/15. He went right into his mommy's hands! She was crying when I saw her! Dad was crying, Adam was crying, I was smiling with the biggest face ever!  And for those of you who have given birth, you know the pain is gone as soon as the baby is born.  AH!

Michelle got to do skin to skin with him immediately after he was born.  She held him on the couch and Matt sat next to her.  I watched the whole time while waiting for my placenta to deliver.  Adam stood next to me, kissing my forehead, telling me how proud he was!  30 minutes went by, I had lost 2 liters of blood,  it was time for an intervention again.  The doc tried to retrieve the placenta manually (with his hand) but I was in so much pain from it, I couldn't take it.  He had them give me demerol to kind of put me in a "high" state so I wouldn't feel it as much.  I still felt it.  Adam grasped my hand and held my neck as hard as he could.  He was so scared and felt so bad for me.  I was in so much pain.  Eventually I was taken away for am emergency d&c to remove the placenta.  I woke up to being manually expressed! HA! My doula was getting some colostrum from my breasts to have Michelle feed baby v with.  We then went to my room, which was adjacent to the IPs room... Michelle heard them wheeling me towards my room and she came out with V to see if I would like to hold him!  Groggy and tired, I held the little surro baby for the first time at 4:00 am or so.

I stayed in the hospital for a few days, my hemoglobin was very very low.  They offered a blood transfusion but I declined.  I was discharged on 7/17/15.  He is now almost 6 months old, happy and healthy! The parents are IN LOVE.  <3

Here are some pics:

 My last pregnant pic taken the morning I went into labor: 

I thought it was hilarious how tan the top of my body was, but not the bottom, I couldn't lay on my stomach at the bach obviously :) 

Michelle catching her son :) Look at that face!

Michelle getting ready to do skin-to-skin! notice, i had my hands up so I wouldn't be touching him.  We did delayed cord clamping so he was on my stomach for little while.

Michelle and Matt, with Baby V <3

My wonderful doula after my surgery!

 Me holding baby V for the first time! 

 Adam holding baby V. Such an amazing experience :) 

Thank you all so much, with ALL of my heart, for your love and support during this journey.  You have no idea how much I appreciated all your prayers and kind words.  Baby V is healthy and doing great.  I am too.  :)  THANK YOU THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Finally have the strength to update!!!!

Well hello!

First of all, I'm sorry for all of you that have been waiting for an update or any sort of news as to how we're doing.  It's been a very hard journey the past 10 weeks and I am finally feeling better(ish) because I am back on bedrest!

So the last time I wrote was when I was 20 weeks.  I am now happy to say I am 29 weeks in just a couple of days!!!!  Let me start with the bummer news and then I'll report to the happy!

If the baby didn't make it to 20 weeks, it would have been considered a miscarriage.  If I made it past 20 weeks and he came, it was considered a birth. I was a little afraid because we did not have the intent of parentage documents completed yet.  Those are court documents stating that the second this little guy is born, Michelle is the birth mom and Mike is the birth father.  I was so sad because there was such little hope we would make it much further.  That clot was supposed to dissolve/reabsorb or pass.  It did nothing when I was on bedrest.  It actually showed it had gotten a bit bigger at my 24 week appointment.

I was so very very sad.  I stayed on bedrest for 4 weeks and then developed pneumonia and went to the hospital again.  I was released to go back to work but I took one more week off to recover from the pneumonia.  Work was tough. I had to sit every hour for 10 minutes.  I was exhausted and putting 40 hours in was extremely difficult.  I would lose my breath very easily and my pulse would race.  I had a heart halter monitor on for a day to measure my heartbeat.  The doctor checked my thyroid and that was fine.  They have not gotten the results back from the halter monitor yet.

Every Saturday was a victory for baby V and me!  My dear friend Laura checked in on me almost daily which was amazing! She also congratulates us every Saturday when we've made it another week!

I went back to the doctor for my 24 week check-up and he just couldn't believe that the clot hadn't broke the amniotic sac yet.  It seemed as though it should've still happened at any second.  So everyday I was a nervous nelly that it would break.

I just had my 28 week check up and the doctor seems to think that since the clot hasn't gone by now, it probably won't.  He was thrilled I made it to 28 weeks, now we're shooting for 32 weeks!!!!!  Michelle flew out for this last appointment.  It was great! She got to see baby V on ultrasound and got some really cute 3D pics.

More bummer news... I went to the ER Saturday April 26th because I thought my water had broke.  I was having some leaking and some colored discharge that I thought could've been from the baby.  So I went to our local hospital for them to check, JUST to be safe.  His water did NOT break, but I had protein in my urine.  They put me on antibiotics thinking I had an infection (UTI) coming on.  A couple days later the urine results came back and I did not have any infection.  So at my doctors appointment on Monday with Michelle, my bp was first 148/94.  That's very high for me.  VERY high.  At the end of my appointment, my doctor checked my bp again and it was 152/97.  So with THAT and the protein in my urine last Saturday, he thinks it may be the beginning of pre-eclampsia.  If you don't know what pre-e is, here's what wikipedia says:

Pre-Eclampsia is a disorder of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and a large amount of protein in the urine.[1] The disorder usually occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy and gets worse over time.[2][3] In severe disease there may be red blood cell breakdown, a low blood platelet count, impaired liver function, kidney dysfunction, swellingshortness of breath due to fluid in the lungs, or visual disturbances.[2][3]Preeclampsia increases the risk of poor outcomes for both the mother and the baby.[3] If left untreated, it may result in seizures at which point it is known as eclampsia.[2]

 So, it's bad.... but if we can get it under control with BP medicine, we should be ok.  I have another doctor's appointment on Monday to determine if I will stay on bedrest or not.

Michelle took the news very well and continues to keep a positive outlook on eveyerthing. It's hard for me because I know what pre-e risks are probably a lot more than she does (JESSICA BRAUCHT!!!!! I'm thinking of you!!!!!!).... so it's hard for me to connect with her in terms of THIS IS SCARY AND WE OUGHT TO BE NERVOUS!  She is doing better now, I think she was just so excited that baby V is perfect and looks great.  Now we have this hurdle.

Without disclosing any information (SORRY), I just want to say that I have never seen the Lord so faithful in my life!  I knew when Michelle and I were paired, we were paired for a reason and you wouldn't believe the marvelous work the Lord has done lately!  I am so very excited for the next steps and I may share them next Monday!

Here are some fun pic from the past 10 weeks!!!!

This was taken March 26th. That blob by his knee is the clot.  Measured 10x6x8cm at the time. ^
22 weeks ^
23 weeks ^
24 weeks ^

 25 weeks ^
 26 weeks ^
 27 weeks ^
28 weeks ^

 28 weeks ^
 28 weeks ^ after our hospital tour.  Babymama and me! 

Cutie pie sucking his thumb ^
Babymama's social media announcement ^ SOOO SWEET :)

There it is.  A big update.... with a lot less detail.  Mostly you should know, It is still very possible his water might break, I might be on bedrest, I might have pre-eclampsia.  There is going to be a lot of love for this little guy whenever he comes.  Will update Monday :)  LOVE YOU ALL!!!

28 week stats:
156 pounds
bp way high
craving FLAVOR. This is huge for me!
Baby is still breech, he loves to jab and poke for 3 hours at a time!!!
He supposedly weighs 2 lbs 9 oz but who knows how accurate that is.

Letter to twerp:

Hey fellah.  You and I have been through a lot!!! Your parents and Adam and I have been very frightened, worried, upset, nervous, scared all of the above!!! You are one tough little nugget and we love you very much.  Your mom and I have the pre-birth guidelines all figured out and GUESS WHAT?  You are going to go skin-to-skin with your mommy the second you are born!  Even with all the slime or paste.  Your mommy cannot WAIT to see you!!!!!!!!!!

You need to be strong and keep growing for quite some time.  That clot is getting smaller so you should have plenty of room in there.  I love you little dude and am so excited your mom is having a baby shower at the end of this month!  I wish I could be there to celebrate your arrival!!!!

Hang in there little dude!!!!!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Follow-up appointment

Today I had a follow up appointment with the doctor I saw at the hospital... same doc who performed the amniocentesis. I found out today that he only works at the hospital 6 weeks out of the year so it was totally amazing that I bled when I did because any other doctor might've missed this blood clot and diagnosed incorrectly. 

The baby is still happy and healthy! Lots of fluid still! Only bummer thing is the clot hasn't gotten any smaller. It also hasn't gotten any bigger so that's good! It looks to be making progress but it's taking awhile. I'm off for the next two weeks in hopes to give it enough time to liquify and pass. The longer it stays in there, the worse it is for the baby. It could cause my water to break still. :(

Keep sending up your prayers!!!!
We all appreciate it!!!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Geez kiddo!

Warning: There might be a little bit TMI (too much info) in this post, so carry on with your day, do something else if it might bother you.  Stop reading.  I'm writing it for my memory and for the IPs!

At 3:00 am on Monday morning (3/2/15) I woke up to a huge gush of liquid. I ran as fast as I could to the bathroom and found I was bleeding severely. I called for Adam. He's normally a heavy sleeper but surprisingly he heard me and came running. I had left a trail of blood all the way to the bathroom, that's how bad I was bleeding. We were terrified but since I had bled in January and everything was "ok" we figured I would just call the doctor in the morning. We cleaned up the mess and I tried to lay back down. It happened 2 more times and I told Adam if it happened one more time I was going to the hospital. A couple minutes later it did so I left for the hospital. Adam stayed with home with the kids of course. It was 3:35 am when I left. 

I went to the ER and since I was past 18 weeks (19w2d to be exact) they sent me up to their labor and delivery ward for monitoring. I was beyond terrified. This is not where you wanna be for another 20 weeks!  

I had the most horrible Obgyn doctor I've ever come in contact with. She was the hospital's oncall doc at the time. She was just awful. She didn't know how to use half the tools needed to exam me. And then I tested positive for amniotic fluid and her response was a tap on my leg and an "I'm so sorry to hear that." I asked her what happens if there's fluid and she said "the baby won't make it."  I lost it. Absolutely went into panic mode. Cried and hyperventilated. I was so so so scared and beyond heartbroken for my IPs. I have about 22 (total guess) close mom friends online who have been by my side since Grey was born. I told them this and many said that it is probably a false positive because of the blood. The doc didn't say that. She told me I was going to miscarry. I texted Adam and told him to get a sitter asap (at 6 am!) and get to me. Fortunately he did find someone   Anneke if you're reading, thank you from every part of my heart!!! 

I had an ultrasound with the doc and she didn't really say anything about the fluid level, she just checked for a heartbeat. There was this huge ugly blob id never seen before and I asked her what it was. She said it was the placenta. A radiologist came in to take some measurements and said the blob was the placenta too.

It was determined that if I was leaking amniotic fluid, I needed to be transferred to Denver where they have a higher level of care. The doctor who did my amnio happened to be the head doc at the hospital I was being transferred to (University of Colorado in Aurora). The oncall Obgyn I saw called him to let him know I was coming. He remembered me because I was the only patient he'd ever had that said the amnio hurt as bad as I said it did. 

I was taken by ambulance, Adam followed. I got there around 11am and when that doc saw me he said, "this has never happened to me before!". I could tell he thought he caused it from the amnio. I didn't think that at all. I thought it was from the placenta previa! 

I got settled into a triage room and he came shortly to do a scan. Within 5 seconds he saw the problem. He said "I have good news, and I have bad news. Good news is, there's plenty of fluid, bad news is, there's a massive blood clot here in your uterus." Whoa. Say what?! Turns out he accidentally hit a vein when he did the amnio. He couldn't see the vein and checked again at the hospital and still didn't see it. Another doc came in and she didn't see the clot at first either. He said that had he not JUST seen my uterus on tues at my amnio, he would've missed it too. He also said that if I hadn't clotted, I would've bled out. Yikes. 

So this blood clot is 8x5x4cm and the hope is that it liquifies this week and passes. If it doesn't, that's bad. It could absorb too... But if none of that happens it's bad because it would cause the amniotic sac to break. At this point, the baby would not be viable so we're praying with everything we've got that that doesn't happen. I have another appoinent on Monday to see if the clot has gotten smaller. 

Here's a pic of it (top right):

For comparassion, that's the baby's leg to the bottom left. The placenta is the big mass underneath the clot. 

Here's the prayers im asking for:
-my health 
-no infection for me
-clot to pass
-IPs faith in my body
-healing for the IPs' hearts. They're feeling extremely guilty for doing the amnio
-that they wouldn't be mad at the doc that accidentally caused this. He is my new "high-risk doctor"
-that this baby would stay put for the remainder of the pregnancy and cause no more problems

Letter to twerp: 

Hey fellah. You've really been giving your mom and dad (and my family!) a scare lately. Can you please just take it easy on us for a while? I know you're anxious to meet everyone but you're going to have to wait. It's not safe for your mom to carry you, so I'm doing it for her. So for right now, you need to listen to me and do as I say! Be a good little boy. You're freaking your parents out. I know you're doing it because i can handle it but if you want a brother or sister someday, you've gotta stop! Relax, get comfy, stay cozy and please please please give your parents a break!! I love you more than words, little twerp. 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Appointment in California

As you know, I had an appointment in California on Monday. Michelle picked me up from LAX and took me to my hotel (Hilton-awesome). Then we had lunch with her sister-in-law and her nephew. It was right by the ocean. AWESOME!!! 

Around 3:00 we headed to Tarzana where I had a very thorough ultrasound with a doctor recommended by the IPs' fertility doctor. The baby is healthy and perfect! This is great news because I had a blood test come back with a chromosome abnormality. I loved when the doctor said "I have no idea why the results are what they are. This baby is perfect!" I still have a few more tests to do, including an amnio in a couple weeks. But at least there's a huge relief that the baby is prefect!!! 

I did get some pretty sad/disappointing news that I would appreciate prayers over. I have a placenta previa which means the placenta is covering my cervix. This is bad for a few different reasons but the biggest for me is that it is extremely unlikely I will be able to deliver how I want to. It's almost certain I will need a c-section and that really bums me out. I'm glad I know now though and have 4+ months to adjust to this fact.

Anyway, pray that the placenta somehow moves as my uterus grows!!! I would be elated if at 38 weeks they say "oh jk you can deliver naturally!!" So that's what i'm praying for and ask that you join me in that! 

Been having contractions already, not enough to concern me, but they definitely feel different than Braxton hicks in my two previous pregnancies. 

Here's a pic of the little guy! 
Mom & Dad got a ton of pics. They really loved seeing him!!! Nicole from the agency came with too. I have to tell you, I am so impressed with this agency... I just can't believe how much they do for both the IPs and the surro moms. They're incredible!!! Contact me if you're ever interested in becoming a surrogate! 

Thank you for the prayers and continued support!! Xoxox Julie 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Been awhile since I updated!!!

Hi friends & family! I have been very busy at work and haven't had a ton of time to update here! But I just had my 16 week check up so here's an update!

It's a boy!!! I sent balloons and some flowers to my IPs when it was time to reveal the gender! Michelle was going to be the first to find out, but the doctor accidentally let it slip when he was going over my blood test results! 

That pic is from a video when Mike came home from work. She found out a couple hours earlier. :) 

There's twerp at 16 weeks! He's getting big!!!

Monday I am flying to California for a doctor's appointment and should be home Tuesday! I'm excited for my IPs to get to see the little fellah in an ultrasound for he first time!

16 weeks stats:
Weight: 144
Cravings: nothing
Twerp's movements: he started kicked at 13 weeks! Ahhhhh!!! He's a very active little guy. 

Prayers please for a safe trip for me and that the check up goes well! Also, Adam will be in Minnesota for his grandmother's funeral at the same time that I will be in California, so please pray my children are angels for Anneke and Stacie! Thank you! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A scary night!

Last night around 5:00 I woke up from a little nap and had some cramping which turned into a LOT of bleeding. It scared the crap out of me. I thought I lost the baby.

Adam took me to the ER and after many many hours of waiting, I had an ultrasound and feared the worst. I asked the ultrasound tech if she would be able to tell me if there was a heartbeat or not and she said "I'm not allowed to tell you but you're welcome to watch the monitor and look for yourself." 

I couldn't see the monitor in the position I was in, but Adam could. Eventually she turned the screen to me and said "look!" She had the cursor pointing right to the heartbeat. I lost it! I cried so hard and thanked the Lord. It was about 6 hours of agonizing heartbreak as I waited thinking about Michelle & Mike. I was so so so so so sad and didn't know how I would heal after losing someone else's baby. I felt like such a disappointment all the way until I saw that awesome heartbeat! 

Adam took a video of the heartbeat and sent it to the parents!! As the tech was taking some more measurements, I saw the baby kick all its limbs! Honestly I didn't even know it had arms and legs yet!!! The baby measured 10w6d yesterday and that's exactly how many days I was yesterday!!! Amazing. God is good and faithful! 

I was discharged an hour or so later. Found out I had a sub chorionic  hemorrhage (SCH). From what I understand, the placenta detached a little bit from the uterine wall and some blood formed along with clots. I have an appointment on Wednesday but neither the ER doc or Michelle's fertility doc seem concerned.  Everything should be fine now. 

What a terrifying night for all of us. Thank the Lord everything is ok. So glad!!!