Here we go again...

I just got an alarming phone call from the Pediatric Cardiologist who I saw 2 weeks ago in Peoria, IL. Yes, he called me himself. (gulp) I knew it wasn’t good.

Back up a minute. Most of you know, but maybe not all, that last year was a year from hell for me. I mean, really, that’s the easiest way for me to sum it up. It was bad. Halfway through the year I realized my hair shouldn’t still be falling out after 2 years of it happening in drastic amounts and my body starting acting very strange (high blood pressure, muscle spasms, weight gain, heart palps, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, extreme exhaustion, and the list goes on). So I went to my doctor and they started doing tests upon tests. Over a period of about 6 months I found out that I had Hypothyroidism, PCOS (female thing that can cause a lot of crazy side-effects), Sjogren’s Disease and I also had 4 antibody tests that came back positive signifying either MS, Lupus or Fibromyalgia. The day I found out I was pregnant, I also was told I probably had Fibromyalgia, but we still don’t know for certain. I can’t undergo anymore tests until after the baby is born. Right now my body has went into “remission” and it’s the best thing I’ve ever experienced in a long time. This pregnancy has been a complete blessing in more ways than one. I was told I probably would not be able to have anymore children (we assumed we were done anyway) and so this baby is such a miracle. And going into remission, a huge blessing as well. I haven’t felt so good in 3 years. My energy level is up, blood pressure is good so far, pains have gone away, my hair stopped falling out, etc. It’s been a miracle in itself. The sucky thing is, I feel in my heart that I have Lupus and getting the phone call today reinforced what my instincts are telling me.

So my Rheumatologist, Dr. T, told me I must see a Pediatric Cardiologist later in pregnancy to have a fetal Echocardiogram halfway through the pregnancy. I guess one of the antibodies can cause heart risks in the baby. So I had that test done 2 weeks ago and the doctor told me that day that everything looked good. But he said depending on what exact antibodies came back positive, I may need to be seen later on towards the end of pregnancy again. Didn’t seem like any big deal at the time because I was already told that baby’s heart was fine. Neil and I were very happy.

Well, when Dr. H called me this morning, he said he talked to my Rheumatologist, Dr. T. who went over all my positive antibodies with him and one major one popped up, called the anti-SSA/La antibody. (“Okay....” I thought.) And Dr. H said with this antibody, the baby can develop Progressive Fetal Heart Block in the 3rd trimester over time. (I took a deep breath.) He then went on to say he needs to see me every 2 weeks to have Echocardiograms done. He said if something does develop they can probably do something to stop it. (“Surgery? Good God, please no.” I thought.) He wanted to see me today (of all days, when I have to clean my house head to toe for the baby shower I’m throwing Saturday for one of my best friends). I told him I really couldn’t (besides the 1-1/2 hour drive to Peoria), so he said he will see me the first of next week. Ugh. So here I go on another joyous ride, with more tests and lots of money and lots of worry. I’m already spending $300 out of pocket every single month for my Lovenox injections which I take till the end of pregnancy (also for a positive antibody --- damn antibodies!!) and then all my other drugs that I have to take to sustain this pregnancy and keep the baby healthy. Ugh ugh ugh ugh.

I know there is a reason God is putting me through all this. It’s funny. My friend, Jenn, just sent me a quote this morning. It’s something I already thought in my heart and mind just because of all my miscarriages and years of infertility and pain. It’s exactly why I feel like I went through all that.

"It is such a comfort to know that Jesus' wounds remain visible in His risen body. Our wounds are not taken away, but become sources of hope to others." -Henri Nouwen

I know there is a reason why becoming a mother has been so difficult for me. I know there is a reason why sustaining my pregnancies have been so difficult. I know there is a reason why birth was so hard for me. I know there is a reason why both my children came so close to death. I know there is a reason why I’m going through it all again. There is a reason. I may not ever truly know why, but I have to hold it in my mind and heart that it’s to become a source of hope to others. And in the meantime I will thank God every second of the day for the blessings he has given me. I’m so blessed. Here I am, once told would probably never have a baby, with 2 gorgeous perfect children, and now pregnant again! He will get me through again, I know. God is good. Thank you all for your love, prayers, everything, through these journeys. I also couldn’t have gotten through them without the support system I have.

My appt is scheduled for Monday in Peoria. Then every 2 weeks after that till baby is born. Being 23 weeks pregnant, I guess I have probably 7 more. With my OB being in Bloomington, I’m starting to think we should maybe consider relocating for a while :)


oh amanda said...

Val, Val, Val! I'm sick for you. And I dont have long to comment but know KNOW that God is so much bigger than we think. He can do all things. He has already done miracles in your body--YOU ARE PREGGO! He will continue to do so for you. I'm praying praying praying for you. We might not be commenting to each other every day, but know you are always in my heart and mind!

With God all things are possible! Even when our bodies are as good as dead, we can consider God faithful to his promises! HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES.

love you!

LiLi said...

You know I love you, and I am praying for you and strawberry! He can see the whole picture, where we can only see what is in front of us. He knows our journey... we just have to trust. You are doing an awesome job. ((HUGS))

Johanna said...


We will pray for you for sure!!!! You and beautiful baby boy are in our prayers. What journey! Hang in there girl. You! Can! Do it!


Michelle said...

Hey sis,
We too, will continue to pray for you and baby Strawberry. Love you all! Hang in there and just trust in Him!!

Love you,

Karen said...

((hugs)) Val!

Aimée said...

Val, you are in my prayers. I am confident that with faith in God, this will all be fine!