Thursday, January 24, 2013

Silence is golden and 3rd Tri here we come...

Hi friends, it's been a while. A long long while.  I missed writing but life caught up to me and I have just been enjoying it as much as I can.  Popping in once in a while to see the updates from this little group of ours has given me such great joy that you have added to your families or just finding out about a little miracle growing inside. 

I can't believe I'm at the tail end of my 27th week already (!) Since my last post, every appointment, test and ultrasound we have passed with flying colours and I am just so grateful and thankful.   I would have the smallest grain of fear and doubt each time but I would be proven wrong and felt guilty or silly for assuming the worst when in fact, this little baby is growing well and is strong.

My medical team has been great, I have been seen frequently by both my OB as well as my endo - and I've had enough blood drawn to seriously help someone through a transfusion I think. But I don't mind, because each time I'm given the results (that my thyroid levels keep going in the right direction) - I feel like an A+ student earning more stars.   What we are discussing now though, is 1) that the baby continues to grow and 2) the action plan in case of a flare up post-birth. 

Starting this coming Monday, we will get to see our little miracle via ultrasound every 2 weeks until I'm full term/38 weeks.  That's a LOT of ultrasounds - but my OB wants to keep close monitor now that we are in the home stretch, and any slight change in the baby's thyroid levels are detected before something goes wrong.  In my last appointment, we had a frank conversation about still birth. As with any regular pregnancy it can happen, and with my condition it is just another risk we want to watch out for and can detect hopefully with such close monitoring.  At this point, my thyroid antibody levels are still high, which mean it will likely have an affect on baby's thyroid while in gestation. 

I myself have been feeling great, the symptoms I experience while in the hot phase of this disease has disappeared, and just replaced with the regular pregnancy 'ailments' like back pains and headaches here and there. I started prenatal yoga at the beginning of the new year and it has helped me restore and refocus - and giving me a connection with this new baby that I hadn't let myself have previously.  I remember when I did prenatal yoga and aquafit with Elliott it was the best thing I could do for my body and mind, so this time around I want to make sure I give the same benefits to myself and the baby.  Baby has been very active with kicks and punches and rolls and flips - it is a nice reminder that God is good and to continue being faithful.

E has been doing great, he's starting to understand more and more each day where the baby is (points to my tummy or kisses my belly) - but until the baby is here he won't fully grasp that another little person will be apart of this family (how could he when I can barely grasp that?).  We moved him to his big boy bed just before Christmas and hubby and I had so much fun doing his room - the big reveal was the best when he squealed and jumped on his new bed for the first time.   We opted to move him right up to a double since we would be needing the convertible crib for the baby and it's just amazing to see my little boy all grown up in his big boy room and bed.   The first night I went to check in on him he looked so tiny on the big bed and it brought back memories of when we first put him in his crib when he was a newborn.  

Hubby and I have been doing good, just processing each day that the dynamics of our family and marriage will change once again,but we are as ready as we can be and knowing that we have been through it all (married fights are so much more different than dating fights, don't you think) - we can do it again. 

So that's pretty much a summary of what's been going on, I'm pretty sure I will wish I had updated more on this pregnancy but I'm sure I will in the coming weeks and months.  I have already declared my last day at work to be near the end of March as my OB doesn't think it would be a good idea to go to 40 weeks. So my due date will likely be early/mid April vs. end.  She wants to discuss induction between 38-39 weeks (I'm freaking out a bit about this) but I understand the reasoning behind it.  I just don't want a long drawn out labour when I had such a quick one with E.  

We'll cross that bridge when we get there I suppose!! 

Glad to hear everyone is doing well - praying and thinking of you all every day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Appointments, schma-ppointments

Tomorrow - 1st Appt with new endocrinologist at hospital 
Oct 11 - IPS Screening at 12w2d 
Oct 16 - Part 2 IPS / Blood draw
Oct 29 - 1st Appt with High-risk OB at hospital

and oh btw in between there I'm planning a 2 year old's bday party, have Cdn Thanksgiving, two weddings back to back - boy, October is looking mighty busy!  

A bit nervous for next week's IPS, I just can't believe we're at this point already. I'm mentally prepared to get bad news. How awful is that?!?? I just hope I can regain some confidence and raw hope that I once had - but I know it will never be the same until I am holding a live baby.  

I've definitely popped sooner than last time with Elliott, and I've been getting some raised eyebrows at work from other ppl (only some close friends at work/my mgr's know) even though I've been wearing jackets over dresses, it just looks suspicious. I think I might be going crazy but I swear I can feel something - in fact, I am sure I can feel some bubbles and flips and it's not my imagination.  I don't recall when I felt it with Elliott, probably not until way into 2Tri but for some reason I'm just getting this feeling at night time especially.  Or maybe I should lay off the Halloween candy.... 


Will keep you ladies posted on the outcomes of next week....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Hi friends,
So, I'm still pregnant. 

It feels surreal to say it, but I'm 10w1d now and already starting to show. It's starting to get really real. 

We saw Cell* via the dating ultrasound 2 weeks ago requested by the high risk OB (still haven't gotten an appt yet, they need 'proof' before they accept the referral) and I was fully prepared to hear the ultrasound tech say 'well, there isn't anything in there, just your imagination and a bunch of lemon pee sticks that tricked you".  

I even asked after the first few clickety clicks " there something there?"  The tech laughed and said 'OH YES. there definitely is, I just haven't gotten to the baby yet I'm still taking measurements of your uterus'.  

Heart thump. (mine) 

DH was standing behind the tech secretly recording the whole thing (he got into trouble for taking a pic so decide to take a video on his phone instead, tsk.) and about 5 minutes later when the tech moved onto the baby - he says "oh wow, there's the heart beating!" 

Double heart thump.  (mine) 

By LMP compared to the actual measurements, I was ahead by 1 day but it was accurate based on my oh-so-factual online calculator I had done before going into the appt.  Exactly 8w6d. Heart BPM 164.  

I haven't had any other bloodwork done since back in August when we were confirming the pregnancy, but all the symptoms are there.  Chest has filled out once again, super overload of discharge (we're beyond TMI here ladies), extremely sore breasts in the morning and when I poke them during the day. Smells get to me. Certain food textures get to me. Feeling ligament stretchiness down there. Oh and the unmistakeable once a gut but now can't suck it in bump.  

Yet still, I am not letting myself go there. I'm not letting myself be overly excited or happy.  There are so many questions that only God knows what He has planned for our family.  I saw another surgeon on Thursday, apparently he was about to do a thyroidectom.y on a pregnant woman in her 2nd tri, also with Graves but she was unable to control her thyroid levels even with high doses of medication.  He checked me out and said I may not need to have surgery, lots of women with Graves go on to have healthy pregnancy and babies. 


Glimmer of hope there.

So that's my update for now healthwise, I'm tired as ever and I just want to nap all day but alas, I still need to earn a paycheck.  Hoping to get Elliott started on potty training soon (I'm so nervous) and save some $$ on diapers.  He's been having a lot more outbursts/tantrums lately and although he does eventually come out of them, it's so hard to keep your cool when you have a little child screaming and crying and not being consoled no matter what trick in the bag you can pull.  It gets exhausting but I'm praying that this too shall pass and it's part of the terrible two's phase everyone talks about. 

The other 90 percent of the time he is still one happy energetic, curious and playful almost 2 year old (1 more month!). I hold and hug E so tight every day and count my blessings each time I see him learn something new or add another new word to his vocabulary.  He is the brightest little boy I know and every one that meets him gushes about him to me.  I really am the proudest mom ever.

*I know that it is no longer a ball of cells but DH and I referred to the back then ball of cells so we wouldn't get too attached, knowing all the circumstances.  Kinda of stuck. Not the most endearing of names but it works as a sort of emotional barrier for now.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Unimaginable Part Deux

So have we all come out of shock yet? I haven't.

Also for the record, you all are so sweet, but my dear boy is not 2 until October hehe. 

Ok on we go with the rest of the developing story: 

DH and I walked back to the parking lot after leaving the hospital, speechless at first and then exclaiming, "can you believe this is happening?" several times. DH couldn't help but start getting excited and talking about how we should think about moving E to a big boy room and oh, this too. STOP. I hadn't for one second thought that this was all going to end up in a real live, healthy baby because truth is, friends, I was/am SCARED TO DEATH. I never imagined that me finding out I was pregnant would be in front of hospital staff and mere strangers, and I never thought that I would get pregnant with Graves Disease, given all the statistics.  More importantly I couldn't help but think, that this pregnancy is doomed from the start. Call me Debbie Downer but I need to protect myself and not get TOO HOPEFUL.

So I saw my endo the very next day and got gold stars on my 'attitude' about it. Which was, I want to do whatever it takes to get healthy again, and healthy enough to sustain this pregnancy to term.  However that being said, I will not be distraught if this pregnancy ends up in miscarriage because I knew the odds. My endo was actually really surprised at how calm I was and that she said I still needed to have the surgery, but will have to consult with the surgeon the pros vs. cons.  I've since been referred by my surgeon to a high risk OB and a fellow surgeon at a sister hospital. Appointments will be late September.  For now, I think they want to wait and see (as do I ) in terms of what will unfold naturally. 

Let me pause here. 

In the past 2 weeks since we found out I was pregnant, I have actually been feeling great (with reference to my Graves) I haven't had anxiety, heart palpitations, eye issues diminished, etc).  I have felt queasy and nauseous at times but never throwing up.  Tired as ever. Stretchy and crampy down there through week 5. Thought to myself 'oh here we go' but nothing. No spotting, nothing.  We're into week 6 as of this past Tuesday.

What worries me too, is that I hadn't taken any prenatal vitamins since E was born. I started again the day I found out I was pregnant. 
I also had wine during the weekend when I was away on a girl's trip to the cottage. And lots of junk food. 

There are so many things that I didn't prepare for and I feel guilty and responsible. But at the same time, I am bewildered and thankful that God sent us this glimmering hope, that, even if this pregnancy does not work out, that I could possibly still get pregnant down the road.  

Oh and of course the betas. I haven't really kept track of when I ovulate but but 2 sets of beta are the following: 

Beta #1: 145 
Beta #2: 325

Doubling time 41.2 hours. 

I'm not going to look too much into it - right now it's still so early and anything could happen.  I don't want to be crushed again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Unimaginable Part One

Hi friends, it's been a while.  A LONG. while.  

Lots and lots to update on, hmmm, where do I start? 

Elliott will be TWO in October, TWO! Mind blowing that he is well on his way to being a super-toddler and no longer mommy's little bumblebee. He is happy, curious, inquisitive, sometimes hot headed, prefers running vs. walking, loves to be read to, loves being swung during walks, AND we couldn't be luckier. and happier that he is healthy and has had amazing development in just 2 years. 

I Love Chasing Bubbles, peeps!

Washing sweaty hands and feet in the kitchen sink after morning walk/park

I may have mentioned it before, but my all-time favourite part of the day is picking him up from my mom's. The shrieks and giggles and running into my arms almost makes it worth it to be away while I'm working (now from home office a lot more). We 'talk' on the phone every day just before noon, and although his vocabulary is still not full blown sentences, he manages 'Hiii mama' and something about what he's playing with, and a 'lurf uuu'.  :) He's getting heavier (not sure how much, maybe 28Lbs?) and taller each day - I'm fairly short (4'11) and DH is 5'7 so I hope Elliott surpasses both of us in height one day as I'm sure he will :). He still has his bottle 3 times a day but he eats his normal food great, and lately he's been loving whole grapes and mangoes. Really bad habit of watching Nemo or Cars on the portable DVD during dinner, but we don't mind because it is his 'treat'. A plus, he eats.  He hasn't had any major sicknesses (knock on wood) so far - I have a lot of friends IRL that have been through countless # of ear infections, bronchitis, respiratory infections, colds, flus - but thankfully nothing serious with E that would require a trip to the hospital.

As for me, well here is where it gets interesting. Since my last post if you recall, I was just in the midst of getting the diagnosis and referral to a new endo. Turns out she was a blessing and extremely caring and helpful to me as I was figuring out what to do. I've never had access to a dr that would take calls outside of office hours, and that I could email, no less?  Bizarre. But I was so grateful that she was so accessible to me, as the sequence of events I will tell you is something I could not make up.  

Around March - April, I started a medication called Tapazol.e. It is an anti-thyroid drug that would function as a thyroid suppressant, so my thyroid would slow down production of hormones that my immune system was attacking. The idea is to be on this medication for 12-18 months, after which, you are weaned off to see if your body 'took' it and restarted itself back to normal function.  I was on Tapazole for a total of 3 weeks, before I broke out in hives all over my chest, back and legs.  I was advised to stop it immediately and see an allergist before going to the second ATD of choice, PTU.  I was cleared to take PTU (even though the side effects of liver damage are greater chance than Tap).  As I was on PTU for another 3 weeks until the blood results (taken every 4-6 weeks) revealed that although my thyroid levels were normalized (T4, T3) - my liver enzymes were elevated 5 times normal and again, was told to stop the medication immediately.  I should also mention that I told my endo that we would still like to try for another baby soon, so let's do what we can to get my body to that point. She understood my end goal, and also said matter of factly, that my body is no where near capable of sustaining a pregnancy in this hyper.thyroid state,  and could actually be the underlying reasoning in my miscarriages prior. Interesting.

Luckily my liver repaired itself and was not (and have not been) on medication ever since this past June 26.  My last two options was like choosing between one poison over the next. Radioactive Abal.ation (kill thyroid gland slowly by swallowing a radioactive pill) or Surgery (Total Thyroidectom.y to remove the gland).  And (I asked) If you do nothing, thyroid levels will shoot right back up and you could risk eventual thyroid storm, or eventual heart disease.   

DH and I discussed all our 'options' and picked surgery as the best of the worst possible choices we would have to make. I felt that radiation did not fit for me because I still wanted to make babies and waiting another year would be too long, plus the side effects of radiation pill has not been studied so who knows if I could develop something else even worse (cancer) down the road...  
So we went through the referral process and we were VERY lucky to be accepted and seen by a surgeon within a few weeks (usually a very long wait depending on other urgent cases). Guess I was considered urgent?. Met the surgeon, he shoved a camera up my nose to see down my throat, I cried and bawled in my husband's arms that this was my reality and it hit me that surgery really is no joke.

Fast forward to Aug 14. The day of my pre-op appt. I was sick to my stomach the day before, with anxiety.  You meet with all the members of the medical team that will be a part of your surgery day, pre and post.  We hadn't been given a surgery date yet, but the hospital likes to do the pre-op first, so that you can be called on anytime after that and wouldn't have to go through the process then.  Had lots of blood taken, an EKG, Pharma, Anesthia, the works, come and talk to me.  

Before heading to X-ray,  I had to share with the nurse that I was on CD28 and with this disease, I had always been regular 26 day cycle. It was not a possibility, but a chance.  They added on an extra test to the blood already taken from me and were told to wait and not head into Xray.  just in case. DH and I went to grab food in the hospital cafeteria and decided to pop by the pharmacy as well. just out of curiousity. Went to the public restroom, shoved the test back into my purse and checked it together 4 minutes later. Two lines. There is no way. There is no way. Is this thing expired?.  Followed by panic and nervousness as we made our way back to the pre-op dept and I was told there that yes indeed, I was pregnant, confirmed by blood results.  I nearly fell off my chair. I know exactly when it 'happened' but in my and DH's mind, we thought that the possibility of my actually being able to conceive was less than 1% in state.  Apparently, we beat the odds.  Now while you may be reading this with your jaw opened, but let me tell you the fear quickly set in.  Being pregnant with Gr.aves can be potentially dangerous to both the mother and growing fetus.  Especially in my case, where I couldn't take any of the meds available to help control the thyroid and consequently immune response. You risk increased hyper symptoms, preclampsia, pre-term labour, still birth, the list goes on.   Needless to say our pre-op appt was cut short and we were asked to see my endo immediately so she could provide them with a new action plan. 

Disbelief. shock. Worry. In awe.

To be continued..... 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

He's not a 'baby' anymore

Thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragement in my last post.  God heard my prayers and yesterday morning I got a call to a new end.ocrinologist that I requested my family dr. a referral to, and I managed to get in later this morning for an appointment (next one is in June!) 

Hope she is the right person to guide me through to close to perfect health again soon. 

Now in the last post, it was all about me.  What I neglected to say was that I am completely and utterly baffled that each day I look at my son and see how much he changes day to day. He's growing taller and taller, and the other day I saw the beginnings of a run. Yes, my little E, my Sprout baby, is now officially a toddler. His vocabulary is still not so expansive, his favourite (and in the past week only) word is car.  He points to cars on the streets, highways, books, toys, stickers - anywhere he can find a car he will point to it and say caaa-ar! I am not sure we are doing nearly enough to help along with his words but I am sure it will all come out one day and then that day I'm going to wish this stage lasted a bit longer.  He is such a smart boy, like, REALLY smart (I know, mother's bias) - I can tell him to pick up his toys, go get your panda, go drink some water from your sippy cup, can you find me your ball, what about your 'first words' book - and he is bang on, every time. So proud and so happy that although he can't verbalize to us yet, he can pretty much understand what we are saying to him. 

He's been doing really well at my mom's during the day.  We had one panic attack situation about a month ago when I was in an all-day workshop in an area of the building with poor cell phone reception. I talked to E and my mom at noon before heading back in, and thought nothing of it to put my purse (on silent) in my purse underneath my chair.  When I checked the phone at the end of the coffee break, I was so shocked and worried to see 5 missed calls, text messages from my husband (on both text and whats.ap.p), emails, etc.  Apparently out of no where, E started screaming and crying and clutching his belly - and he was inconsolable. My mom tried everything to comfort him and to help him calm down but NOTHING was working and she started to worry that something was terribly wrong.  She tried calling me several times and couldn't get a hold of me so she called my dad at work and he called my husband.  Luckily DH was able to cancel his meetings and catch the next train up (it's about 15 mins express +10 min drive to my parents) and by the time I rushed out of work and called them, he had finally stopped crying (this was going on for 2 hours without me having a clue) and my hubby was putting him down for a nap after he was absolutely exhausted. 

You cannot even imagine how horrible I felt.  As a mother, for the first time, I wasn't there for my baby when something was wrong.  I wasn't able to be there for my mom either, in a situation where she counted on me.  It was just an awful feeling in my gut that at that moment, I didn't care at all about work, and even said to myself - this is not worth it. I know I won't be able to be there for him all the time (think about school, sleep overs, etc down the road) but it has never happened that I was that much out of reach and touch. I blamed myself for not having the phone on my lap and on vibrate. I blamed myself for not checking my phone the minute we took the break during the workshop. 

Later that evening, E started getting the chills after his bath and developed a fever, throwing up everything, the works. We had an awful night all around and we called our emergency line to ask for help and see if we should be taking him to the ER.  Thankfully it turned out that it may have been a stomach virus and the next day he was weak but definitely in better spirits.  Very scary, and very helpless watching your baby suffer or be in pain. 

Other than that episode, E generally is a very happy baby and sleepwise, he's still doing 11-12 hours straight a night, with the odd wake up here and there but he settles back into sleep within minutes by himself. We still have not weaned him off the bottle (he has 3 bottles of homo milk a day - one when he wakes up, one at early afternoon, and one at bedtime.) I am very scared to take the bottle away because he loves it so much and he is still eating his solids well. I think I will try doing 1 less a day and replace it with milk with his meals slowly - but I really am not looking forward to the resistance (or maybe I'm making it a bigger deal than it is?)

Here are some pics over that last few months of my lil' monster: 

SMOOCHES - Aug 2011
  E and I went to our first wedding 'solo' - daddy had to work

Canadian Thanksgiving, Oct 2011 
 Colouring at Chalet
At a friend's birthday party at a play place
 Being silly at home
 Last weekend Mommy and E went to a women and babies only baby shower 

See how much he's changed?!