Puzzle

I think I heard that word referring to myself several times at my appointment this morning.  Apparently, vessels and parts aren’t typically where they should be and no one can figure out what this mass is.  I’m a puzzle.  Haha!

I walked out of there comfortable today, though.  We saw the nurse practitioner who said she’d see us today but I should only be seeing my doctor.  However, she communicated so well with us that we really enjoyed our appointment with her. (She called the doctor before, and they went over everything together so we had his expertise through her today.)  The good news is, baby is still looking great!  Growing so much.  She is 1 lb. 3 oz now.  Mike has even felt her kicks.

The mass is still there.  Its bigger.  Last month it was 12 cm and today it was about 15 1/2 cm.  They are still so confused to what it is, though.  It still looks like a molar mass (partial hydatidiform mole) but my HCGs are in normal range now.  It doesn’t look like the mass is attached to the placenta anymore and it actually might have been behind the baby so we are going to have an MRI in the next few weeks.  We hope the MRI will give us more answers to how to deliver the baby and get rid of the mass while they are in there (I will definitely have a scheduled c-section.)  The only other “idea” that came up at today’s appointment was maybe this is how I healed from 2 c-sections.  But no one has ever seen this before.   They kept saying, “This is not something in a textbook.” I remain a puzzle.

My doctor is suppose to have a conference call with more doctors nationwide and come with a plan this week.  I will go back in or he will call me with the plan of action by next week.  As of now, I will have 2 surgeons and a blood cycling team in addition to the normal entourage in a surgical delivery.

Overall, I walked out of there very comforted that proactive measures were being taken to ensure the complete health and safety of my baby and me.  I’m thankful God continues to get the glory.  We aren’t getting any answers because our God is a God of mystery.  He has protect us this far, and I’m confident that will continue.  I’m just so thankful that the doctors are really preparing now but that the Ultimate Physician is in control of it all!  I have SO MUCH peace in that. Thank you all for your continued prayers!

And on a more light-hearted note….One day, I’d like to update this blog with family pictures and happenings again but for now here is what we’ve been up to….

Christmas Eve Brunch

Christmas Eve Brunch

Christmas Eve Brunch
Christmas Eve Brunch

Chrismas Eve

Chrismas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning

Christmas morning

Mike feels the baby kick!

Mike feels the baby kick!

Elle starts gymnastics.

Elle starts gymnastics.

Sunday afternoon hike.

Sunday afternoon hike.

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Maternal Fetal Specialist Appointment

We had another Maternal Fetal Specialist appointment this morning.  It was our longest one yet. (Of course, we had a babysitter on the clock for this one.  😀 )  The techs always want to try to figure out what this is so I’ll get dressed, and then they’ll call me back for one more picture.  The girl this morning jokingly said you must just like attention to be producing such a medical mystery.  Hardly.  But she was very sweet and took lots of time answering all of our questions.

The basics are our little girl looks great!  Everything measures correctly and is developing perfectly for almost 20 weeks. She was moving all over the place this morning and wouldn’t give us great pictures. But I’m thankful for a beautiful active baby!  She is following suit of her brother and sister-all her measurements are measuring a little behind but still normal-but I just have petite babies.

The mass has doubled in size.  Its about the size of 2 grapefruits.  I talked a lot about the possibility of cancer with the doctor today, and asked if I needed to be seeing an oncologist.  He said, nothing about this even makes that thought enter his mind.  He said this is a paternal issue (so yes, I’ve been jokingly blaming my husband a lot!) so even if 1000 people in my family had cancer it wouldn’t relate to this.  Plus my HCGs are normal.  (I did have those drawn again today.  But I know they are going to come back normal.  I feel so so much better!) My ovaries are not swollen (which they couldn’t find my left one because of the mass but my right was normal size.)

I asked the Ultra-sound tech if she had a best guess of what it is.  She said either some kind of abnormality of the uterus that was previously there or a miracle-a partial molar that miraculously stopped.  I asked the doctor what his best guess was, and he said very not textbook-like molar placenta degeneration or a molar pregnancy twin and a healthy baby (which we had ruled out but it has come back up).

So I still remain a medical mystery.  But I’m so thankful our little girl is doing so well and thriving!  We truly believe this is still a miracle.  We may never find out what it is but we might on delivery day.  Who knows?!  We are just thankful for God’s clear protection on her and me.  Please continue to pray for protection for our baby and me, that this mass will stop growing so rapidly, and for wisdom for my doctors.

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Quick Update

We are getting back into the swing of things around here today.  Mike went back to work today.  Luke is in the schoolroom doing his work, and Elle is doodling on paper pretending to do “school.”  I’m still trying to get back to normal around here and take care of myself-getting plenty of rest since I’m a high-risk pregnant lady.  🙂

We had so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend.  Thanksgiving Day, we celebrated 17 weeks of pregnancy.  Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, I had my 4th doctor’s appointment in a month! This time with my regular OB. We heard our baby girl’s  strong heartbeat which is always SO comforting to hear.  I talked to my Nurse Practitioner, who was the first to diagnose a partial molar pregnancy, she kept telling me you know this is unheard of, right?!  All the doctors in our practice are calling you a miracle case.  She did say they would probably want to write a medical case on me.  I asked if that meant they’d pay for my medical bills….had to try.  🙂

I’m just a little frustrated because none of the doctors even seem to know about a partial molar pregnancy coupled with a healthy fetus.  I feel like my own medical advocate….asking for certain tests, telling them the risks and insisting there are cases like mine-I know only 3 on record but none the less, there are.  We see an MD at my next regular OB appointment, and we are really going to ask to be sent to a high level OB.  We are also hoping our specialist doctor will have more information and knowledge at our next appointment with him.  Please continue to pray for wisdom for my doctors.

Also, my blood pressure was 130/86 when I first got the appointment.  I usually run 115/68.  Like I said before, preeclampsia is a side effect of a partial molar pregnancy.  They would have to deliver the baby no matter how far along I was.  Please, please pray against preeclampsia.  Thankfully, I asked them to retake it before I left and it was down to 120/70.  I think it was just nerves.  I’m always anxious every time I step into a dr.’s office now.  I went and bought a blood pressure monitor and plan to monitor it home.  We are also having a preeclampsia screening at my next appointment. That will let us know if we can relax a bit about it or if we need to stay-on-top of it.

We had so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I’ve heard so many people say how much our story has touched them.  People who didn’t believe in miracles are encouraged to hear our story and know God is still working modern day miracles.  Though this journey is hard and still unknown, I’m so thankful to be able to walk it.  God has been our strength.  He is using our little girl already to change the world.  We feel so blessed he chose us.

A few pictures from our weekend.

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And yes, I can’t see my feet already….someone asked me this weekend if I was having triplets. Although, I showed just like this with my other two, and they were 4 lbs 11oz and 6 lbs 9 oz, I thought about saying something smart like, “No, but I do have tumor-like cysts all over my placenta which make me larger. Thanks for reminding me I’m high risk.” But of course instead I said, “You would think wouldn’t you?! No, I just show early, and this is my third.” Haha!  It still amazes me the third time around the things people think are ok to say to pregnant women.

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Full Heart

First of all, let me just say thank you to all of you!  Thank you for rejoicing with us, for your kind words of encouragement, and support!  

We’ve had friends filling our freezer with meals.  Family coming to stay for a week to help me.  Calls, texts, and messages of encouragement.  It’s amazing how a traumatic event just shows you how loved you are.  Mike and I can’t stop talking about how surrounded and blessed we feel by each of you, especially at dinner tonight as we ate Shrimp Corn Chowder that one of our friends filled our freezer with.  It was so yummy!  

I’ve been receiving several texts and messages wondering how we are.  The answer is good just tired.  After 3 1/2 weeks of little sleep and major emotional turmoil, I have been tired.  I’m spending any little bit of free time sleeping-catching up on all I missed.  

Now that my HCGs are down, and I’m not getting sick several times a day every day, I’m trying to bring some more normal back to the house.  We got caught up on several days of school today with Luke and got a pile of laundry done.  I’m outgrowing my clothes and have very little in my closet from my first two pregnancies so my mom went out with me last week, and we got some new things to grow with me.  Now that we know we are being blessed with another girl…we’ve been brainstorming and praying about names.  We’ve got it pretty narrowed down but think we are going to keep it a secret till birth day since all our other business is out there!  🙂

I’ve been brought to tears pretty much everyday thanking the Lord for the major miracle he has preformed for us.  Yesterday, we overslept for church.  So Mike made a big breakfast, and we watched our church service together in front of the fire place.  We took communion at the end together as a family with our church.  It was such a sweet time reflecting on the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness to our family.  Luke led us in 10,000 Reasons, by Matt Redman.  I’m thankful how much this journey is teaching my children.  I debated how much to share with them but really felt like I needed to be transparent as I could be on their level.  I can see so much growth in their prayers and faith just in the past month but that is an entirely different post.  We are just so thankful as a family!

I’m pretty sure I have a regular OB appointment Wednesday.  I’m going to call tomorrow and confirm.  They scheduled this appointment 4 weeks ago right after they dropped the bomb on me!  I don’t remember much and can’t find that tiny appointment card.  Please pray for continued wisdom for my dr.’s.  Even though, they aren’t sure what the mass is, it is still there.  I still want to get proper care to ensure the best health for me and the baby.   There are a lot of risks if this is a partial molar with coexisting healthy baby-early preeclampsia being one of them.  I had preeclampsia with Luke.  My blood pressure shot up to 196/112 at 38 weeks and my kidneys were starting to shut down.  God gave us a miracle then!  But we are just praying against preeclampsia this time.  There are also other complications but that is the one of major concern for us.  So please pray for that!  

We are just so grateful for the Lord’s protection of our baby and me.  Our hearts are so full.  We know He has carried us this far so he will continue to carry us on the journey ahead!  He is so good!  

 

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We are having a…….

 

(Sorry I didn’t share earlier.  We needed to tell some of our family.)

A GIRL!!

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DNA Results, Specialist Appointment, Awestruck

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
 who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s  Psalm 103

This song has been my anthem for the past 3 weeks.  My dad and I sang this scripture song when I was a little girl.  I’ve yet to find the version we sang, though.  But goodness, I’m singing this song with such great JOY today!!

We had another specialist appointment this morning.  I gave all my vitals and everything looked great.  We walked into the ultrasound room and waited with anticipation and anxiousness.  Then the nurse came in and said, “Well, your Harmony DNA results were just faxed back.  EVERYTHING looks perfect! 46 chromosomes! No Trisomny.  No Chromosomal disorders.  Nothing.  Everything is great! Do you want to know what you are having?”

Mike and I decided when we first found out I was pregnant that we would not find out the sex of the baby.  We thought it’d be a fun surprise.  But after the events of the past few weeks we knew we wanted to know.  This baby deserved to be called by their name and not it.  We wanted to pray for our baby by name.  We wanted to pick out a strong and perfect name for them that had something to do with the miracle they were.  Plus I needed to feel that connection to the baby knowing them and naming them no matter what happened.  So we shot a glance back at each other and said are we sure we want to know?!? We both emphatically said yes! So she told us.  (I’ll share in another post. 🙂 )

Then we had the ultrasound.  I couldn’t wait to see the little heartbeat for my peace of mind.  The tech immediately went straight to the heartbeat, and we listened to the beautiful sound of our miracle’s heartbeat.  One of my favorite sounds I’ve ever heard.  EVER!

The tech took a series of pictures.  She kept saying, she wasn’t sure what this was because it wasn’t looking like a molar anymore.  She had never seen anything like it.  She said it even looked like there was NOW healthy placenta tissue in between the mass and the sac where the baby is.  Wow!  I told her the specialist (practicing for 40 years) she worked for was convinced it was a partial molar pregnancy or molar placenta degeneration two weeks ago.  She said, “Well, he is never wrong so I’m going to stop talking.”

After she finished up, we were then called back to the specialists office.  He said, “Well guys, I’ve got 2 good things and 1 question.” “All your blood work is now completely normal.  Your HCGs, which were elevated, are all normal.  Second, Everything on the DNA test is normal. Now, the only question to me is what is the mass?”

He preceded to tell us he didn’t know.  He was baffled.  This might be his 1 in a million case.  He had consulted 20 different doctors around the country and no one quite had an idea since everything was so perfect.  I asked if it could be cancerous.  He really didn’t think so.  It didn’t appear malignant and my HCGs would be super elevated because cancer feeds off hormones.  I asked several other questions and he just said, “Honestly, I just don’t know here.  All I know is everything looks normal over here. And we have this question over here.  But I’m not concerned and I feel good about you continuing.  We will monitor you ever month and if we feel like we need to intervene we can but I feel  good about this today.”

We said we are fabulous with that!  And encouraged. But honestly, we were in such shock that that was all that came out of our mouths. I mean there was no bit of negativity in our conversation.  Nothing. I kept waiting for a BUT.  But the only BUT I got was “I’m not quite sure what this is.  But I’m not concerned anymore or right now.”  All our other appointments had been filled with negativity and maybe an ounce of hope.  We had hope all over this appointment from the moment we walked in the door till we left.

Mike and I got in the elevator, and looked at each other speechless.  We walked to the car and he said, “Do you just realize what happen?” I said, “I think so!  We just got the best possible news we could have gotten.  God is truly working a miracle!” We got in the car still shocked but praising Him!  He was giving us the miracle we had hoped for!!

I sobbed most of the way home thanking the Lord that He is working.  He heard the prayers of all His people. We are getting that progressive miracle!  What once was a situation of very little hope was now filled with hope!!

Mike and I stopped by a cupcake shop and brought home cupcakes the color of the gender to celebrate with the kids and my mom!  As I was paying for them, I started tearing up.  I told the cashier, “I had basically been giving no hope for my baby to make it and today God preformed a miracle for us!  I can’t believe I’m here buying celebratory cupcakes! I shouldn’t be doing this.  I don’t deserve this.  But God is giving us this miracle we have been praying for! That people all over the country have been praying for! ”

Mike and I are in total awe.  We know this wasn’t a misdiagnosis or fluke!  We had 6 medical professionals look at my blood work and US pictures convinced this was a partial molar or molar placenta degeneration.  We KNOW that we KNOW God is preforming a miracle!  To Him be ALL the glory!

I’ll have a few more prayer requests later….But please just praise Him today!  Please know that GOD is moving that mass.  That GOD is putting healthy tissue in between our baby and that mass.  That GOD is protecting our child!  That GOD brought ALL my levels to normal.  That GOD favors life.  That is real!  HE is real!  There is no way anyone but Him could have preformed this miracle!  Just PRAISE Him!  And know just as He favored our family and our baby that he favors you.  He delights in you.  He loves you.  And he wants to give you the miracle you need!

Now I’m off to celebrate with my family….Love to all of you!!  Thank SO MUCH for all the prayers!!

For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[b] having patiently waited, obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:13-15

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We are growing!!!

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Love is Battlefield?!? The MIND is the Battlefield.

(I’ve been singing that 80’s song all week except changing the words, “My mind is a battlefield.” My coping mechanisms are quite nerdy.  🙂 But laughter is good medicine.)

I haven’t posted in the last few days because there is still no new news.  Plus to be honest, I haven’t been in the best of spirits.

At the beginning, I knew this would be a battle.  A battle for my child’s life to find a doctor who would let us continue.  A battle of lots of doctor’s appointments, driving,waiting rooms and finding childcare for my kiddos.  A battle of insurance and hospital bills.  A battle of praying everyday for the life of my child, protection for us, and a miracle.  But I never realized how much my mind would be battlefield.  

My mind has been an almost constant battlefield since the middle of the week.  Gripping fear wondering if my baby still has a heartbeat.  Anxiousness of the road ahead.  What will that hold?  An extended stay in the NICU-a baby struggling for life? An eventful delivery? Complications? Chemo Treatments after delivery? The loss of my precious child way too early? How will this affect my children?  My mind has been a constant battlefield.

Unfortunately, it took several days to align my thoughts with the Word of God.  After following the Lord for 31 years and knowing first-hand His constant faithfulness, you’d think it wouldn’t take me so long.  I should know by now the things I need to focus on…those things the true, lovely, and pure.  But I failed desperately this week.  

It’s amazing how when your strength and body are weak, it can affect your emotions and mind too if you let it.  Wednesday and Thursday I spent a lot of the day sick-these elevated HCGs are really tough even though they’ve come down.  I started to let thought after thought creep in until I was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety.  

Thankfully, I’m surrounded by the strongest, intercessory prayer warriors in my life.  My sister-in-law was here this week, and she helped me so much with the practical-taking care of my children, making meals, and just being here.  Honestly, that meant the most-her presence.  Then I’d send out a text to my husband, my parents, and my best friend just asking them to pray.  They’d all shoot scripture, prayers, encouragement, and gentle admonishment back to me.  Or there were those friends who God would drop me in their hearts, and they’d send the perfect word right at the right time.  

Thursday, after a long talk with my Dad, I decided enough was enough.  (How come at 31-years-old my Dad can still be one of the only people to pull me completely out of my funk? He gave me scripture after scripture.  Told me to stop reading medical reports and to read the Bible instead. Thankful for a Godly father!)  I couldn’t let fear and anxiety rule my mind.  I felt like it was starting to make me sick.  Even though the fear started creeping in when my body was weak, I felt like I was still fighting sickness because I had let my thoughts become so overwhelmed.  I was literally getting sick the more and more overwhelmed I became. 

I have about 15 scriptures that I copied in my journal and just started reading those over and over again.  Praying them.  Getting them into my heart.  

Then I turned on worship music.  I always keep worship music on most of the day in our house but I have it on 24/7 now.  I sleep with it even.  That way when I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind is foggy, I can’t think about the what-ifs? All I can think about is Jesus.

The negative thoughts certainly aren’t ruling my mind anymore but it’s still such a battle to keep them out.  Please pray for that!

Also, pray for our doctor’s appointment Monday morning.  Our DNA results still aren’t back but he wants us to still come in and monitor things.  Please pray for miracles, good news, and that God will be glorified! 

That’s the cry of my heart.  That in the midst of this battle, God will be glorified!  Medical professionals who see no hope will have no way to deny God preformed a miracle for us, and those watching this from a distance will see God’s great hand! It will be worth the fight-every single battle to see Him glorified!

 

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