For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mother (and Whitney has wanted to be a father). Over the past four years, our prayer to God has been for Him to bless us with children. Over the past year and a half, we have had two prayers…..for God to bless us with a biological child and to help us bring home a child from another country. He doesn’t always answer prayers right away or even in the order WE would prefer. It’s all in His timing.
We are so so happy to announce to you all today that God has answered one of our prayers. We are PREGNANT! Some of you already know because major adjustments have been made in our life and a lot of plans had to change once we found out. But we are finally letting the cat out of the bag to the world…because our baby is coming SOON! Here’s baby Cinco’s story:
Ok, first of all, we have nicknamed this baby “Cinco” because this is our fifth pregnancy (Cinco is five in Spanish and he/she will be born at a hosptial in El Paso, Texas where you can literally SEE the Mexican border out the window!) Back in May 2012 (after our 4th loss), we had our first meeting with a fertility doctor in El Paso. I can’t even explain the comfort we felt in that office. We were SUPPOSED to be there. This is where they helped people like us. We no longer got the weird stares or looks of complete confusion when we told them our history. This doctor was on a mission! He told us to not get pregnant again until we could figure all this out. We should NOT have to to through another loss. He sent us directly to a lab to get a TON of testing done. Here we are waiting at the lab, right before our tests and right before I passed out from literally giving 20 tubes of blood. I also clearly don’t like paparazzi:
Little did we know that one of those tests I took that day was the key to helping us. Fast foward a month or so…we get back all our results. What came back was that I have a few things going on: 1.) PCOS (polycystic ovaries): This was preventing us from easily getting pregnant in the first place. 2.) MTHFR gene mutation: This was causing my body not to metabolize folic acid correctly. 3.) My progesterone levels were low (which we knew with Sarah) AND 4.) the biggie….I tested negative for a blood disorder. Ok so why is testing negative a bad thing? Well, my doctor has a feeling that this was my problem. He and a local Hemotologist (a blood doctor) had been studying this and were about to publish a paper on Antiphospholipid Syndrome in pregnant women. They are the ONLY ones in the country doing this! (check that off as clearly another reason God brought us out here to the desert!). They found that some women test negative for this only when they are not pregnant. So he gave us the go ahead to get pregnant (with some help from some different medication to help the other issues and many shots). He said if we got pregnant, we would start us on blood thinners to treat the syndrome and test me again. The bad thing about this syndrome is that the test results take at least 6 weeks to get back. By then, women with this usually miscarry. So by putting me on daily blood thinner shots, we could prevent this (if that was the case). Here is my at home nurse/husband preparing some of the hundreds of shots we have taken over the past 8 months (he may enjoy this a little toooo much):
So, the first month we try (with a strict calendar of shots and ultrasounds) we get pregnant!
This was October. Immediately we call our doctor and he starts us on daily blood thinner shots and progesterone shots. Let’s just say that I am not the woman who will be baring her belly for a maternity photo shoot (not that I would anyway) but it looks like a war zone of bruises at this point. He tests me for the Antiphospholipid Syndrome (say that three times fast) and 6 weeks later…BOOM…I’ve got it. Thank the LORD that he figured this was the issue and treated me as though he already knew. Not only did this doctor help us to FINALLY figure out our issues, BUT he helped us to find out what happened to Sarah. He says that I kept the pregnancy for so long with the help of the progesterone I was taking at the time, but in the end, a blood clot caused me to go into early labor (along with another issue I will discuss next) Because it happened slowly, Sarah lost a lot of the amniotic fluid and it was replaced with an infection. We were so happy not only to have the chance again to possibly have a bioloical child, but getting answers to our questions for our baby girl was a PRICELESS gift from God.
So, our doctor had done all he could do at this point so he referred us to a Perinatologist (also in El Paso)and the hemotologist he was working with (to monitor the blood thinners during the pregancy). A perinatologist is a high risk OB. During this time, it was brought to our doctor’s attention that when we were pregnant with Sarah, I may have had an incompetent cervix (I really hate that wording but when it’s not doing it’s job, that’s the word you use!). This means that my cervix shortens too early and causes early delivery. So, after about a month of weekly ultrasounds to check everything, we checked into a medical center in El Paso and had a cerclage surgery done. Basically, they sewed Cinco in til delivery. I was on complete bedrest for a full week and since then, have been on modified bedrest (I can sit and work and lay down at home). I have been truely blessed with such an amazing husband to literally does EVERYTHING around the house. Poor guy. Thankfully we have also had many local friends really helping us out as well and my mom and grandma came out during the surgery time (which we KNOW that Frank was super pumped about because he has already become second string and the baby isn’t even here yet).
So here we are, 27.5 weeks pregnant and in the third trimester (yes we have waited awhile to announce all of this). We have really been so blessed to be able to get this far and finally see the finish line up ahead. When we reached the 23 week mark (when Sarah was born) is was unchartered territory for us and we have not looked back. I am on modified bed rest til the end and am still taking a weekly shot of progesterone and daily shots of blood thinners. It has been one of the hardest things for us but when I feel this baby kick me and when Whitney gets to feel it too, it is all so perfect and worth it all!
We’ve waited til today to tell our news because we actually have a new due date. Originally it was July 13th. but because of the surgery I had in January, things have changed. Our doctor will be taking out my stitches between 36-37 weeks (June 15-22) and she says that 99% of women then go into labor from there. At 33 weeks I will be given some steriods to help further develop the baby’s lungs and then it’s the home stretch. Please pray that Cinco stays on course and doesn’t get too big for his/her britches (already this “little” Owens is measuring a week and a half bigger than normal).
Thank you for hanging with us on this journey and still supporting us in our adoption (clearly this timeline is not what WE thought but it WILL still happen for those who were wondering). We have faith in God’s plan and we have felt Him with us this entire time.
Whitney, Tara & Cinco