Monday, 21 April 2014

Happy Easter + A 3 Weeks In Florida Catch Up

So I put this egg in the basket?

I'll put it right here, now I gotta go find some more.
Frostina absolutely LOVED hunting for Easter Eggs. She walks around the house saying "egg, egg" whenever she spots an empty plastic egg lying around somewhere. I got her a book where Peppa Pig hunts for eggs and she loves to read it and spot the eggs. I have a feeling we will be talking about the eggs for months to come.

I should confess though that we did not do an egg hunt today. Mother of the Year that I am, I skipped the hunt today because we have done 3 this season and I was just too tired to do another one today. She did one in London before we moved, she did this one here in Florida with a local Meet Up group I have joined, and she did one at the Mommy and Me class I took her to on Friday. So she has gotten her fill of plastic eggs and candy.

There is so much going on with our move and our house hunting and I have run out of energy. These past three weeks have been a blur. We have moved into our temporary apartment. I was able to get Frostina into a local pediatrician who came recommended by a friend. It turns out we were only behind by 2 immunisations which is pretty good they tell me. My doctor back in London did her best to keep us up on the UK and US schedules and it paid off.

I have found and been seen by an Obstetrician, a Perinatologist, and have even had my first fight with my insurance company about which drugs they will and won't pay for. *The medicine in question being the blood thinners that the doctor wants me to take. This fight is still in progress. Sigh, I do miss good old England and it's national health service. This would never happen on the NHS.

We have been working with a realtor to try and find a house and I think our efforts have paid off. We just finished putting together our offer letter for a house we like. So now we wait and see. Fingers crossed people, I really want to be in a house before Baby Olea is born.

To say we have been busy is an understatement! So when it came to today I just had nothing left. I did make pancakes for Frostina which she loves and I did cook a ham for The Hubby which he said he loved (bless him). But I just couldn't manage to play Easter Bunny too.

I figured this is the last year I will be able to get away with it since by next year she will know all about Easter and the Easter Bunny. Plus I have these photos and I can always tell her they were taken on Easter Sunday, right?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Diagnosis, After All This Time

When my son died and was born they performed an autopsy. When the report came back the results were somewhat inconclusive, you can read about all that here if you want. It's painful for me to click back there and read just how broken I was back then, but I digress.

Anyway, the report basically said that the placenta failed. It was attacked by an infection or virus of unknown origin. My son was tested and I was tested and no infection or virus was ever found. The conclusion at the time was that it was a fluke and not something that could happen again.

I entered my pregnancy with Frostina with LOTS of fear and trepidation. I was worried that something would go wrong again, because that was all I knew. But I didn't worry that the exact same thing could happen, because I had been told specifically that it wouldn't.

So you will imagine my surprise when the exact same thing did happen, only this time the outcome wasn't fatal. You can read all the details here if you like. In a nutshell, Frostina's placenta had degraded as well and her fluid level was very very low on delivery day. My doctor surmised that the "infection or virus" was in fact an auto immune response by my body to the pregnancy. In essence, my body attacks pregnancies like they are an unwanted foreign body.

It was quite a bitter pill to swallow, to know that my body killed my son and was trying to kill my daughter. But at least the mystery was finally solved. At least I knew it wasn't just a fluke. It was a real thing that I could watch out for and hopefully prevent in future pregnancies.

I relayed all of this "history" to my new and super awesome perinatologist who I met with last week. If you're scratching your head at this point, I apologize for not writing about all of this before but life has been super crazy around here. Anyway, when I mentioned the auto immune part to him he ordered a bunch of tests to see if we could identify what it was. Some pretty scary test names were rattled off including lupus which really freaked me out.

Yesterday I got a call from the doctor himself, so I knew it wasn't an "all clear" call because those are normally made by the nurses in the office. It turns out that I don't have any of the super scary auto immune disorders like lupus which is a huge relief. But I did have one test that came back positive. I won't put the name of it here because it has a super medical name and even when you try to google it you don't get a good definition. Plus I try to steer away from all the medical lingo here on the blog because I'm no doctor and I don't want people looking for real medical advice to be directed here.

The way the doctor explained it to me, this particular antibody that I have can cause increased clotting. My levels aren't super high so it hasn't caused any clotting for me, but the blood vessels that feed the placenta are very small. He explained that it's possible that these antibodies could have caused tiny clots in the placenta that would have impeded blood flow and may very well be the cause of the death of my son and the issues with Frostina's last week in-utero. Of course he says he can't be 100% sure, but he thinks it's more likely than not.

So starting today I have to take a small dose of heparin (which is a blood thinner) each day. It's an injection which I had really hoped I was all done with, but I will do whatever it takes to make sure Baby Olea arrives alive and healthy. As the doctor was telling me about the injections I could tell he was worried that I was afraid of doing them. I reminded him that I had done all of my own IVF injections and if I can do a progesterone in oil jab with a 1 inch needle into my thigh each day, I can certainly do a tiny one in my belly. He laughed and joked that I'm an expert which sadly I am.

So later on this morning I'm off to my new pharmacy to pick up my new set of needles and medication. That's what I get for bragging that I was finally all done injecting myself this pregnancy. I am happy that we have a plan to help keep Baby Olea safe, and I am very impressed with my perinatologist.

After all this time I have an official diagnosis for what caused my son to die. It feels strange. On the one hand it's nice to know finally what happened. But on the other hand it's sad to have confirmation that it's my fault. That for some reason, my body contains antibodies that attack pregnancies. But in the end, it's good to know. It's good to have a diagnosis.

It's too bad a diagnosis can't go back and re-write history.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Moving Is Chaotic

I know you're probably thinking, "Duh, how obvious," after reading the title of this post. But I really mean it, moving is chaos. Especially when you're moving countries. There are accounts to close and early termination fees to pay. There are so many things to do it's mind numbing. The only saving grace is that we are in a corporate apartment at the moment so at least I don't have to deal with the whole hooking up all new utilities thing.

Frostina got a horrible cold just before the move. I am now regretting taking her to "just one more" Gymboree class before we left because you know that's where she picked up this particular germ. So for the last two nights in the hotel before we flew to the US she was sleeping between us coughing and choking on her own phlegm.

Then there was the over 9 hour flight to Miami where her ears started bothering her on take-off. After the tears dried she did an amazing job on the plane, a sure sign that we have already taken her on way too many international flights. Thankfully her ears were fine for landing.

Once we landed we were off to our new apartment. Except that no one bothered to tell us that the leasing office closed at 6pm. So picture us rolling up at 9pm and having no access to the complex or the apartment. Seriously people, it sucked. After a few calls to a few people it was determined that we were going to have to find a hotel for the night. Did I mention it's spring break in South Florida? So of course it took a few hotels before we finally found one with a room. It was a total nightmare.

Anyway, that drama over, we are now in our apartment (I almost typed flat here, I think it will take some time to eliminate all the British lingo from my vocabulary). It's nice and safe and clean an Frostina seems to like it now. The first day she paced around crying which was heartbreaking. She is such a trooper but this was just too much for her.

My solution? A trip to Super Target (oh how I have missed that place) for a few new toys and she seems to be doing much better. She is very clingy and cuddly at the moment which is nice but can be a challenge when you're trying to cook dinner and you have a toddler attached to your leg.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my new OB and I am very happy with her. I meet the Perinatologist next week and I am feeling like my care for this pregnancy is on track. Now I have to hope I like the hospital after I set up the tour, because I'm pretty much stuck giving birth there now. I did my research though and based on the recommendation of a local doctor (who is a friend of a friend) I chose this hospital. Then I worked backwards and found my doctor. So based on hospital reputation I should like it,,,, right?

This weekend we start our house hunt. I found a babysitting agency so we don't have to drag Frostina along. I talked to the sitter on the phone and she is coming by in a few days to meet us. My first impression is that she seems good, so hopefully Frostina will agree when she meets her. I am nervous about leaving her in a new place with a new person so soon, but I think dragging her along looking at houses would be much worse.

There is so much more but I fear this post is long enough already. I will update you lovely readers on all the chaos sometime soon.