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.....