parenting

Guardian Angels

One of the hardest things I had to experience while pregnant with Emersyn was loosing my Grandma. I understand that loosing someone you love is really just feeling I can’t even describe or put into words. My grandma was one of the strongest most stubborn people I know. She didn’t beat around the bush with anything she thought. It use to kill me sometimes how honest she was. But I can say without a doubt that she is the absolute best person to be a guardian angel for my baby. Now she clearly wouldn’t be my first choice but I know now that God needed her more than we did here.

The hardest thing about loosing her was the lack of time I had to prepare myself for all the things I would miss about her and all the things she would miss. I know that when loosing someone you feel that there is never enough time left but sadly within a month or so we realized that grandma wasn’t actually going to get better but that she was quickly declining. In my mind if she could just hang on a few more months Emersyn would be here. I selfishly could only think about her not being able to meet my baby that would be her first great grandchild. Or the fact that she would never hold her, or see her smile, or hear her sweet little laugh. But what I didn’t realize was the fact that she would be able to watch over her, see her through our scary delivery and give her a sweet birthmark on the back of her head. Like she kissed her on the way out. I am slowly learning to grieve the other life events that I am missing her touch or voice.

I was unable to go to her funeral due to being too pregnant to travel. But about a little less than a month ago I was able to take Emersyn to the cemetery to meet her Angel. Not how I pictured the first time they would meet but it felt like Emersyn already knew her so well.

pregnancy

The Itch Didn’t Stop: Cholestasis Continued

Once I was diagnosed with cholestasis, my 3rd trimester became an emotional roller coaster for me. I was going to my OB twice a week for non stress tests to monitor little man. Though it was super nice to hear his heart beat so frequently, I was also so nervous every time I went.

I constantly thought, what happens if he is not okay? What happens if he is under stress? What happens if they rush me to delivery today? It was such a relief every time I was told he was okay until the next appointment. I was constantly worried. I cried a lot to Chad. I was an emotional mess. I read so many stories of heart break and I just couldn’t imagine. My heart goes out to any Momma who has experienced that heart break.

And then there was the itching. Even with the medication my skin did not stop feeling like it was crawling. It was so bad at night. I used to get into the shower before I would go to bed and turn the water super hot and essentially scold my skin, then turn the water to super cold and freeze it. I would then use an anti itch for eczema body wash while doing that. I would get out of the shower and apply this thick lotion that was anti itch and get dressed quickly, lay down in bed and pray I fell asleep before the itching became extremely bad.

I tried to stay the most positive that I could an enjoy my third trimester but it was hard. So many tears shed for worry and for uncomfortableness. I started just telling myself surviving another week was one week closer to little mans lungs being fully developed and ready for delivery. I was so fearful internally. Fear of something happening, fear of being a new mom, and fear of the delivery process.

My OB and I had discussed that I would be induced at 37 weeks once his lungs were ready. My goal was to just make it to that with no complications. I would lay in bed every evening, rub my belly and tell Chase, buddy we can do this. All you have to do is tell Mommy everyday you are okay. Just grow big and strong, that’s all you have to do and Mommy will do the rest.

Having cholestasis was really hard. Like I said it took a huge emotional toll on me and Chad as well. He says to this day that it was so hard to watch me go through that and be so uncomfortable for so long. He was very fearful to the future as well. He kept me sane and was my person to lean on and pull me out of that dark fearful hole that I fell into multiple times. Because of what we went through, we are very unsure of having another child. We are very thankful and blessed to have one healthy child who is our entire world.

If you feel you are suffering from symptoms of cholestasis please contact your health care provider who is managing your pregnancy immediately.

Up next will be my birth story and being induced at 37 weeks

  • Callie
parenting

My Pregnancy Cont.

Sorry for the cliff hanger! Alright back to where we left off. Possible hole in her heart (VSD).

We received a referral to a heart specialist for another ultrasound. Around this same time frame they became concerned about her size. Now for those of you who don’t know me and my husband. We are not “big” people. Like I am well aware of the fact that she wasn’t going to be a tall basketball player and we are totally okay with that. Her ultrasound went great. They couldn’t rule out the fact of a possible hole in her heart but if she had one it was really small and might close on its own before delivery.

So at this point we feel like we are in the clear. Kidneys are getting better ✔️ heart isn’t a major concern at this time ✔️. Now we just need to monitor her size. After multiple grown scans we found that she was dropping into the 10% percentile for her weight. She was growing but not at the rate she should. At this point they are talking about possibly being induced at 37 weeks but trying to push it to 39 weeks if possible. We learned that babies who fall at the 10% or below for weight can become stressed due to their size. So now I am attending an appointment with my OB every Monday for a Non Stress Test (NST) and an ultrasound on the baby every Thursday until delivery.

My OBGYN decides that she will induce me at 38 weeks due to the fact that our sweet baby was growing but the chances of her staying past that and becoming stressed was high. So we were going to be induced on October 31st at 4am. We had our last grown scan on Friday the 30th. At that scan we learned that she was all of a sudden 6lbs and 7oz and could stay another week. At that moment we were in shock. How could this baby who for 9 extra ultrasounds not be normal and okay to wait now she is good to go. Something just didn’t sit right with my husband and I. We had to push and argue on his part to still be induced the following day.

Stay tuned for our birth story! For now enjoy some Pregnancy Pictures

pregnancy

Cholestasis Of Pregnancy

Callie Here 🙂

Pregnancy story continued:

Everything was great until the week of Christmas.

I was 27 weeks pregnant and I started to have really itchy hands and feet. It was winter, and there was snow on ground so I assumed it was just the usual winter dry skin. I figured it was worse this year because I was pregnant and lets face it hormones make everything worse. I tried lotions all over my hands and feet with no relief. I was loosing my mind. I could not stop scratching. I was cutting my skin all over my hands and feet from scratching. Finally, I decided to call my OB because I just could not take it anymore. When I spoke to the nurse, she said we need you to come in tomorrow for a visit…… Oh Wow… I did not think I was going to get that response. So I hung up the phone and of course did what you are NOT suppose to do… and googled and WebMD pregnancy itching in hands and feet.

What I read, made my jaw drop…

I went into my OB the next day explained my itching and had labs drawn looking at my liver levels for cholestasis.

What is cholestasis of pregnancy? Thought you would never ask!

Cholestasis of pregnancy is the pregnancy hormones affect liver function, resulting in slowing or stopping the flow of bile. The gallbladder holds bile that is produced in the liver, which is necessary for the breakdown of fats in digestion. When the bile flow in the liver itself is stopped or slowed down, this causes a build up of bile acids in the liver which can spill into the bloodstream.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Itching, particularly on the hands and feet (often is the only symptom noticed)
  • Dark urine color
  • Pain in the right upper quadrant (RUQ), without gallstones
  • Pale/Light coloring of bowel movements
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

Less common symptoms include:

  • Jaundice (yellow coloring of skin, eyes, and mucous membranes)
  • Upper-Right Quadrant Pain
  • Nausea

How does it effect the baby and the mother?

Cholestasis may increase the risks for fetal distress, preterm birth, or stillbirth. A developing baby relies on the mother’s liver to remove bile acids from the blood; therefore, the elevated levels of maternal bile cause stress on the baby’s liver. Women with cholestasis should be monitored closely and serious consideration should be given to inducing labor once the baby’s lungs have reached maturity.

How many pregnant women are at risk for this?

1 to 2 pregnancies in 1,000 are affected by cholestasis.
The following women have a higher risk of getting cholestasis during pregnancy:

  • Women carrying multiples
  • Women with previous liver damage
  • Previous family history Cholestasis or ICP

Holy Cow…

After reading this and getting my results back from my OB I was shocked. I blacked out in the room with her. She told me they were putting me on a medication to help with my liver levels and I was going to be hooked up for a fetal monitor non stress test. My husband was not with me for that appointment. As soon as my OB left, I started sobbing in the office. My hands were shaking, and then next thing I knew, I am hooked up and hearing my little guys heart beat and tracking his movements. I sat there and just cried. I was so scared. I was so anxious, nervous and full of complete fear for our future. Being this far into my pregnancy and the thought of a stillbirth I was an emotional mess.

If you feel you have any symptoms of cholestasis please contact your provider as soon as possible and speak with them regarding your symptoms.

All information for this post was taken/cited from the American Pregnancy Association

Cholestasis of Pregnancy

parenting

My Pregnancy

Hey! So hopefully you’ve read my post on PCOS & Infertility. If not that post in a nutshell is we wanted to get pregnant and we couldn’t. After having tests done on myself and my husband my OBGYN recommend that we take fertility medicine. She recommended that we start taking a low dose of clomid. The likelihood of it working on our first dose was 25%. with a higher percentage of multiples. Well guys…it worked! On the first try (insert shocked face here).

After struggling to get pregnant my pregnancy was going great! I only had a week or two of morning sickness in the beginning. Fast forward to week 20. My husband is finally able to attend an ultrasound with me to see our baby. For those of you who are thinking wait what! Due to lovely COVID my husband was not allowed to attend any doctor appointments only certain ultrasounds. Talk about not how I saw my pregnancy going.

So week 20 ultrasound is where they are talking pictures of the anatomy of your baby. The tech was counting fingers and toes and everything was looking good. When we were finished she mentions that she wants to schedule another ultrasound to check her kidneys and try to get better pictures of the baby’s heart. At this point we aren’t super concerned but are curious about her kidneys. So I went back for my next ultrasound alone since he wasn’t allowed to attend. The baby’s kidneys are still too dilated for her size and she wasn’t able to get good enough pictures of her heart. Which now means we are going to go for ultrasounds at a perinatal center.

After a few weeks of ultrasounds at the perinatal center her kidneys showed to still be dilated too much her size then fine. The doctors decided that we will just continue to monitor them and she will have an ultrasound once she is born. So yes by this point we now know we are having a GIRL! However after multiple attempts of getting pictures of her heart they were now concerned that she had a small hole in her heart. Cue lots of tears and panic. Nothing was harder than going to multiple checks on your baby alone because of COVID due to complications.

Stay tuned!

-Ally