Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pregnancy Prayers

Yes, I'm pregnant.

Yes, I am thrilled with this blessing.

Yes, our baby is still in my tummy "because we've said lots and lots of prayers for the baby to not die", as Gunner would say.

Let's just hope these prayers continue to get answered!

I am 15 weeks. Due July 23rd. Sure it's a boy - will be SO grateful either way.

So, this news of my pregnancy may explain where I've been the last 15 weeks (happy, yet nauseous, tired, behind on everything, overcome with gratitude)... but, it doesn't fully explain where I've been the last 9 months. If you care to know, and like lots of details, I can explain. This is mostly for my own "journaling", so feel free to skip. :)

9 months ago, I started clomid. We've used fertility drugs for all 6 of my pregnancies. After trying for about a year for our first baby, we found out I have really low progesterone. (as in mine is 2.1, and most women are high-teens to low-twenties.) The BLESSING - clomid worked! I got pregnant right away, but miscarried because my hormones dropped back off. Clomid, and progesterone suppositories, blessed us with 3 ADORABLE boys, whom we love so much! I feel so blessed to have modern medicine to allow us to be parents!

So, 9 months ago, we started clomid again, hoping to have one more baby before getting out of the Air Force this August. Moving pregnant and getting on private insurance, would mean my pregnancy would be a "pre-existing condition" and not covered by insurance. Surprisingly, I got pregnant in May the first month of clomid! It took until the 6th month to get pregnant with Beckett, so we were really excited it happened so quickly! I was due this February. I bled at 7 weeks, but everything seemed fine. Then, at 13 1/2 weeks, they were unable to find a heartbeat. I was at the doctor's office with Gunner and Beckett in tow. They wanted me to go to the hospital for an ultrasound. My dear friend, Jaime, met me there to watch my kids, and they confirmed that the baby's heartbeat had stopped at approx. 9 weeks 6 days. I went back to the doctors, and talked about a DnC surgery to remove the fetus. They wanted to do it the end of the week, but I wanted it done right away. The surgeon on-call had a canceled surgery that afternoon, so I went to my friend, Jaime's, house to wait to hear if they could get me in that afternoon. They called and said they would do it if I came right away. She drove me to the hospital, I checked myself in for surgery. I felt so alone. However, a surprise blessing was my anesthesiologist ended up being our friend from church, Shaun Crook. I felt so comforted knowing there was a priesthood holder there, and someone who had my best interests at heart. He even started my IV when the tech missed it a few times! Minutes before surgery began, I asked if I could call my husband one more time, and he was on his way in the hospital doors (after finishing a dental surgery, picking Cooper up from school, and dropping him off at the Bells' house). I was able to kiss him before surgery. I woke up. I was ok - physically. Andrew left to take Gunner to his preschool open house. I prayed.

This may sound odd, but through the whole thing, I was MOST ok with the fact that this baby wasn't supposed to come to earth at this time. The part I didn't anticipate, or had never experienced before, was the wave of depression that overcame me. I didn't feel like myself at all! Andrew was back at work the next day, and I was back to having to be a mom to 3 other kids, and recovering from surgery. It was Cooper's 1st week of Kindergarten, and he was still needing me to walk him in, but instead I couldn't even drive him, and had to send him kicking and screaming with a neighbor to school. He sat in the office for an hour. The next day Andrew was able to come with me to Kansas City where Beckett had surgery for a hypospadius repair (penis surgery). I was a wreck sending him back for general anesthesia after losing my baby just 2 days earlier. I was sure I was going to lose him too. Thank goodness my rational, loving husband was there too! 3rd day post-surgery, Gunner started his first day ever of preschool. He surprised us and did ok - I was the wreck, and poor Beckett was drug along a day after his surgery.

I was SO upset too, that I had to go through 13 1/2 weeks of nauseousness that comes with pregnancy for me, being tired, not feeling like a good wife and mother, and then just to lose the baby made it feel like it was all for nothing.

Another hard thing, was that a few days before my miscarriage, Andrew said while laying in bed, "I've never felt like I've had a feeling either way about the sex of our kids, but for some reason, I really feel like this one is a girl." Which, made me happy at the time. But, made me sad when I lost her.

Besides feeling unable to be there for my kids when they needed me most, I was completely unprepared to have post-partum depression. I'd never had it before. I would sit on my couch and stare at my kids. It was SO hard to be so far from family. I felt so alone. I hadn't told very many people at all that I was pregnant, but then that made it so hard to ask for help. Besides, what do you say? "Can you come watch my kids so I can sit on the couch and do nothing all day?" My house was a wreck. It was really the first time I've felt like I didn't have control of my emotions.

So, despite my emotions, and not being physically or emotionally prepared, I got back on clomid on my first cycle after my surgery. Never before had clomid affected me the way it did now. It felt like there was a beast inside of me. I never took things out on my kids (thankfully, although I could somewhat sympathize with those who do when you are emotionally unstable). But, my poor husband probably didn't recognize his wife. AND, we were supposed to be making a baby! ;) The first month didn't work, but we did it again. The 2nd month of clomid was even worse. I would cry for no reason. I would get so down on myself, mainly. My great husband gave me an amazing blessing, and would just hold me while I cried in the middle of the night. I was fully prepared to stop clomid, and get myself together before we tried the whole baby-making thing again.

I am not proud of those few months of my life, but I feel SO blessed when we found out that the 2nd month of clomid WORKED! Although, I was SO scared to lose another baby too! Andrew said he'd take another first-trimester wife, over a clomid wife, anyday! :) It took me a long time to get "excited" about being pregnant this time. I just was more scared than anything. But letting our kids know on Christmas, and our family know shortly after, has helped me get more excited, and feel more hopeful.

All of the pregnancy calculators say I am due July 24th, but my doctor said July 23rd. July 24th is a bitter-sweet day for me. As many of you know, our dear friends lost their baby girl during delivery on July 24, 2008. And we had more dear friends deliver a still-born boy this past July 24th. And based on my ultrasound, my last pregnancy baby died at 9 weeks 6 days, which was July 24th. And, now, I am due July 24th. I have no doubt that my Heavenly Father shows me his love is so many ways. He has a plan for me.

I bled again (which is when I got the above ultrasound), but everything looked ok, and we've heard the heartbeat a few times, and our kids pray OFTEN for our baby! I don't want to jinx myself by writing this, but I feel safe. Like things are good. Like my tummy is growing, and I'm nauseous again (but so blessed to have Zofran and Phenegran part of my daily routine with TOTALLY helps!).

I feel like being on fertility drugs, and pregnant, and recovering from a miscarriage, and fertility drugs, and pregnant again, I've been SO BEHIND on every other part of my life. However, Andrew and I have a renewed love and connection, and I am SO grateful for him in my life, to stand by me through all of this.

So our pregnancy prayers continue (and hopefully the nausea ends soon!). We feel so blessed - in so many ways.

And, hopefully, I can keep up with my blog now, and not disappear again on all of you!
So, I guess life will go on. And probably only get harder as we experience life with 4 kids! But, I know my Heavenly Father loves me!

{I asked Cooper to draw a picture of our family, and to not forget the baby in my tummy. I've seen friends announce their pregnancies this way, and think it's cute. He did it in 2 minutes tonight before bed, and handed me this 1x2 inch drawing he had cut out. It's tiny, but I blew it up, and I think it is just perfect. Enjoy!}

post edit: Can't forget to mention a few friends were so helpful in making me feel better about even continuing to want a 4th. It is hard to "do it again". Mainly fearful. But my friend said her doctors tried to tell her to stop trying for her 4th after 4 miscarriages (2 stillborns), and she is SO glad she didn't listen. I agree with her that once you have spiritual confirmation that you are supposed to have another baby, there is an empty place in your heart until you do. Thanks Jenifer!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A New Year!

Yes, we are still alive. Yes, I have committed to doing better at my blogging. Yes, I will do posts about what we are currently doing, but I am anal, and will still have to go back and update what I missed in 2009 (June-December). I know, sad.

Here is our 2009 Christmas Card. The family picture on front flipped up to reveal each person's word updates (found below), and had the collage on the very back. Sorry if it got there late to most of you, and not to all of you, but I actually impressed myself by just getting it created...

We LOVE you all! LOVE reading your blogs. Hope you all didn't give up on us! I'll do better. PROMISE!

Cooper {6}

aka cooper-dude, coop

· soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming

· fan of Jason Bay, Red Sox & BYU

· kindergarten, reading, PE, 1 lost tooth

· bike, scooter, park, neighborhood

· wii, legos, wrestling brothers, guns

· friends, cool shirts, growing hair

Gunner {4}

aka bud, gunner-funner-face

· basketball, wiffle ball, trampoline

· Cooper’s shadow, misses him all day

· legos, tech decks, action figures “guys”

· preschool, drawing, wii, computer

· rockin’ out, cool tricks, “fight”

· takes on alternate identities

Beckett {19 mos}

aka bubzy, boo, beck

· busy! moves chairs, messes, hides stuff

· infectious smile, loves church nursery

· pop & treats over real food any day

· favs to say: his name/age, “Scooby-doo”, dog sounds, “Hi” to everyone

· LOVES blanket, showing off, balls

Andrew & Cassie

aka dr. or captain larson, dad, mom

· dad: dentist in Air Force, lots of surgeries, Young Men’s, ESPN, golf, pitching to boys, wrestling boys

· mom: photography, exercise, coaching soccer, crafts/quilting, chasing boys

· ran half marathon together, andrew-2

{Team Larson}

· live at Whiteman Air Force Base (B-2 stealth bomber, Kansas City Royals)

· TX trip (BYU v. OU, Rangers, Astros)

· Branson, Denver, Seattle girls trip, Wyoming BYU game, Spokane/Cd’A

· rafting, roller-coasters, church history, MLB games, water-slides, camping

· Moving to Cd’A, ID in August!!!