Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How it all began...

Hello all! First of all I want to thank all of you for listening to our story and praying for us, and we encourage you to keep doing so. Many of you don't really know all that is going on, so this blog was started to keep everyone as informed and up-to-date as possible. This first entry is going to be a lot longer than others because I have to catch everyone up on what has been going on these past months, and explain how these events have affected one another, so please bear with me!
When I was twelve weeks pregnant (Aug 8), I started bleeding very heavily. I was very scared that I had lost the baby, so I rushed to the emergency room to get everything checked out. I was there for six hours being monitored, getting blood work taken, and getting my first ultrasound. In the end I was told that everything looked good and normal, and whatever happened didn't affect the baby, and that the baby was fine. Nothing was explained to me as to why the bleeding happened; I was just relieved that he was alright.
I am still being told by other doctors that bleeding in the first trimester is pretty normal.
At nineteen weeks (Sep 17) I began bleeding again, this time no where near the extent as the first. I was concerned, so my doctor scheduled me an appointment at Toledo Hospital. She told me that they have great technology there that could spot exactly where the bleeding was coming from, and that they were also going to do another ultrasound to make sure the baby was doing alright. This is when we found out that we are probably going to have a boy. They sent the pictures to my doctor to examine them; she called me and told me everything looked fine.
Once again, as long as the baby was doing alright, then I was at ease.
At twenty-one weeks (Oct 6) Jeremy and I went in to get another ultrasound. This one was scheduled, and they wanted me to keep it because there are certain specific things they look at in an ultrasound after 20 weeks. Once the ultrasound was done, she told us that she was going to have the head doctor check out the pictures because it looked like there was fluid lacking around the baby, and in ultrasounds that fluid acts like a window to see the baby more clearly, and she was having a little trouble viewing everything she needed to. Jeremy and I waited patiently to see the doctor, laughing and giggling about how cute he looked opening and closing his mouth and wiggling his fingers. We were never prepared for the news we were about to get. He sat us down and told us that the lack of fluid prevents the baby from getting the nourishment that he needs, and without fluid his lungs will not develop. We were basically given two options: 1. Termination 2. Go full term, but he wouldn't make it long after I gave birth. This was by far the worst day of my entire life. I just didn't understand how there wasn't anything else I could do to try to help him make it. We knew we couldn't give up on him, and termination was just not an option for us. Our baby is a fighter, and we could not just live our lives wondering if he could have made it.
So we decided for a second opinion.
The next day (Oct 7) my mom, Jeremy, and I went to see my doctor to see what she had to say. She was as surprised as we were, because less than two weeks ago everything was fine. She said that this is a wanted baby, so why not try all that we can. She referred us over to St. Vincent's, and got us an appointment later that day. I was given another ultrasound, and their doctor came in to talk to us. He told us that I have pPROM (preterm premature rupture of the membranes) something that happens in about 1% of pregnant women. This means that my water had broken some time in between my 19 week ultrasound and my 21 week ultrasound. This was most likely caused by the bleeding that I had previously. This is bad for two reasons: 1. That fluid is something that helps the baby's lungs to develop (this we knew) and 2. My risk of infection is very high. Due to the fact that there is no mucus plug protecting the baby now, the tear in the amniotic sac could easily get infected. This is not good for either me or the baby. So now I must take my temperature at least twice a day, to make sure that it has not risen. This doctor provided me with a different option (way better than Toledo Hospital). He said I needed to take it easy (bed rest) and drink an overabundance of water until I could be admitted at 24 weeks (at 24 weeks the baby is viable, that is why we must wait until then). There I would be monitored more closely, given antibiotics to prevent infection, and the baby would be given steroids to help speed up his lung development. Until then I would be monitored weekly to make sure my hormone levels are up, my temperature is down, my blood pressure is down, and the baby is still going strong. He also said that on the ultrasound that everything else looked like it was developing well, but there were some things (his lips and things in the brain) that he couldn't see, but he saw them on my 19 week pictures, so all is well there. I know many of you might be thinking- Abby why can't they go in and inject more fluid into you to see if it will stay? The doctor said that this increases my chances of going into labor, and it is like trying to blow up a balloon with a hole in it. With all of my bleeding that I have had, this process would be more detrimental to the baby than anything. We were also told that they are going to do all that they can, but if 100 women came in with this problem, about 10-15 of them would have a baby that made it out alive.
But we have God and your prayers on our side so I am very optimistic.
Yesterday (October 15) I went in with my mom for my weekly checkup. There is still only a small pocket of fluid, but hormone levels are good, along with his heartbeat. So no new news is good news to me. We saw a new doctor, who said that the baby is breech (he kind of looks like he is folded in half with his legs up by his head) and that he has seen in a few cases where the baby's rear end kind of plugs up the hole as he grows and lets the fluid regain itself. We are hoping something like that will happen. He also asked when I would be 24 weeks (Oct 25) and he told me he would get me admitted the day before- Friday, October 24th and start steroids at midnight. I thought that was pretty amazing of him. He told us that faith and staying stress-free would also be very helpful to the baby...so I am doing just that.

Alright well I think that is it for now, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and stay tuned for more to come!

19 weeks

22 weeks 2 days...His head is on the left, tummy on the right

Jeremy and Me...he is taking very good care of me :)

My mom and me...I have no idea what I would do without her right now.


Dani said...

abby you are so beautiful!! I love your hair! I will continue to pray for you and I think of you all the time. I am so very proud of you and I am here if you need me. I love you and miss you terribly!!

Kyla Reams said...

We are praying for you! I sent you two books that should arrive in the mail sometime this week. I have read one of the books & am reading the other one currently. I would read ..Battered to Blessed..first to get to know the author before you read the other one. Hope the books give you comfort during your bed rest. God Bless!

cherith said...

Abby, I know you don't really know me and I don't really know you, (our sisters were in the same grade), but my mother went through a very tough pregnancy with the same chances of survival that you are taking. The doctors recommended termination, but my mother also left that decision in God's hands. My brothers lungs were under developed and he survived being born (he weighed 2 pounds) on a respirator for 4 hours, until my mother had made the decision to take him off of it. It was very difficult, but at least he had a chance and everything was right with god. My mother made the decision to donate her breast milk to a milk bank in Columbus (she pumped it and shipped it there). The donated milk is used for other premature babies in need of the critical nutrients to survive. I pray for the best outcome for your family, but do know that there are POSITIVE outcomes no matter what happens. If you would need more information, I could get that for you. GOD BLESS.......

cherith warner

alliedey said...

You have really started to show since you were down here...that is a positive! Your hair looks great too by the way. Love you so much, there are so many people praying for you down here! Love you!

Carl Veith said...

EH BEHBEH!!! hey kido thanks for posting this.. I had no idea what was going on... please keep us all informed and please be safe. Ill pray for you and your baby.. i think everything will be great. Tell everyone i said hi and you stay well!!!!!!!!!

Devin Bernath said...

Jeremy & Abby,
This blog brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for posting it and keeping us updated. I know it's hard to talk a lot about it but stay strong, you're a fighter and so will this little boy when he's here. If you need anyone to talk to please just let me know, I understand the feelings you're going through as it will be almost a year soon since our baby passed away. Everything happens for a reason, and just think how much more you're going to love this little miracle when he is in your arms. Ryan and I will be praying hard for you guys.

Ryan & Devin Bernath

Suzy said...

We are are thinking about you and sending positive thoughts your way. So happy you started the blog to keep us posted and very glad to know that your mom is there with you :)

Nancy Dolan said...

Hi Abby,
Well, first of all you know that I am here for you and secondly, you know that I love you. I really think things are going to turn out in your favor. I've been talking to a special angel that I have in Heaven...he's tight with the "big Guy" up there, so we're going to keep praying that your beautiful baby will continue fighting. Stay strong Abby...lean on your family and friends. We're all here for you. Love, Nancy

niki d said...

Ab- I love you girl and you are such a strong person! God is in the business of miracles, and we should NEVER- not even for a minute lose faith in him. John 14:27 says " Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." JESUS ROCKS! The boys and I pray for you and that little guy every morning and will continue to do so. Anything you need you just let me know. If you want me to come and drink 10 gallons of water with you I will. Whatever... u just let me know. God bless you and Jeremy!! Love ya!!

Danielle said...

Hey girl! I know it’s been forever since we’ve seen or talked to each other. But I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! You are an amazing strong girl and I know that even though this is hard keep having faith and trust in our God, he only gives us what we can handle and learn from. Let me know if there is anything I can do.
Much love and God Bless,
Danielle Keckley

Sarah Rupp said...

Abby - We have never met - I am Greg's wife, Sarah.

Suzy passed along your story to me. I am sure this is so difficult - you are so lucky to be surrounded by wonderful friends and family.

We have you and the baby in our thoughts and prayers.

Sarah Rupp