From 8 years of Infertility to a Healthy Pregnancy AKA Benaiah's Backstory

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

This past Summer, I was having some hormone issues and they were starting to cause contention in our marriage so we decided that it would be best for me to go see a naturopath and have some blood testing done to try to regulate my (definitely out of whack) hormones and to possibly help with my migraines. I LOVED my naturopath (Dr. Priya Walia), she has since moved to CA, but I am so thankful for her! Nothing glaring came back on my blood tests but I was put on a plethora of vitamins and supplements. During one of my appointments we were talking about my medical history of surgeries and excessive scar tissue. My naturopath recommended that I see their acupuncturist (Dr. William Duarte at McQuinn Naturopathic) for saline injection therapy to break up my scar tissue. The saline injection therapy as explained to me, would help break up the scar tissue that was blocking my body's hormone pathways. Almost as if there was a blockade in the road and the hormones couldn't get to where they were supposed to go. I kind of did the injections on a whim, at that point I wanted to try anything that would help! I was told that the injections would not, not hurt ;) they were right. That needle was large. 

Two weeks later, we unknowingly conceived our son. 

At the beginning of September, I was feeling kind of weird. My cycle, which was usually pretty predictable was late and my breasts were very tender. On our anniversary weekend I came down with a UTI and a Yeast Infection at the same time, which I was told was a normal result of the saline injection therapy because my body was clearing itself out and re-regulating. Finally after being 10 days late, I decided that I either was pregnant or something was really wrong with me. That was a Thursday, week 2 of our CC year, Amanda and I had taken the kids to Sonic after CC and I told her that I was going to take a pregnancy test because my body was being super weird. She didn't think I was pregnant. Since our girls can now read, I couldn't just go grab a pregnancy test at the grocery store with them, so I had to send Brian to the store for a pregnancy test. He definitely didn't think I was pregnant, but he loves me so he went to the store for a test. 

I couldn't even wait until the morning to take the test. I took it that night and immediately the 2 blue lines showed up. I was pregnant. I was completely shocked. I went into our bedroom and told Brian and he was completely shocked. I think we both started crying and a swear word might have slipped out. Right away we Marco Polo'd with Amanda and told her. There was no way I could keep that secret! 

I can't lie, though we were excited, there was also a LOT of trepidation and worry there. When we were told of my infertility we were told that I 1. Could not get pregnant and 2. Could not sustain a pregnancy. I really felt like my life was on the line and that the chances of my dying and leaving the girls without a mother were very high. Bowel obstructions are no joke and and I have specific memories of believing that I was about to die and being prepared for it due to the bowel obstruction I had the May after Claire was born. I feel like for the entire pregnancy, I always had the worry of a possible bowel obstruction in the back of my head. This pregnancy actually turned out to be my healthiest pregnancy, I think because I really watched what I ate (mostly utilizing Trim Healthy Mama) and I also really tracked my digestive system ;) the poop track app is pretty helpful! Haha 

My naturopath confirmed the pregnancy via a blood test and I began to see a new OB at Providence (Everyone I had seen with Claire has since retired.) I also continued to get regular acupuncture once a month. I think that also played a large part in having a healthy pregnancy. I was given the due date of May 19th. The pregnancy in itself was such a shock that it was a sweet mercy from the LORD to have his due date be after CC would be finished! 

I did have quite a bit of morning sickness until about 18 weeks. I found that this Pink Stork tea and lots of laying down and naps was the only thing that really helped.

We did have a minor (seemed major at the time) health scare while Brian and I were on vacation in Jamaica. Brian had earned this trip through one of the vendors that they work with at Ronk Brothers and we were so excited because the timing seemed to be perfect as far as this pregnancy was concerned (I was 23 weeks... my complications with Claire began between 26-28 weeks so we felt like it was a safe window). We were excited to go spend some time focusing on our marriage and enjoying the sunshine. That's not quite what ended up happening. 

On the flight from Atlanta to Jamaica I began to feel very sick. I was having stomach cramps, back pain, and began violently throwing up (Aren't you glad you didn't get assigned to sit by me on that airplane?). The throwing up and pain continued through the party bus where all of the other HVAC industry people were given free beer and super excited for their week while I was at the front of the bus continually throwing up. Once we got to the resort I tried to take a warm bath to help with what I now was convinced were either uterine contractions or a bowel obstruction contractions. I continued to throw up even the tiniest sips of water so we called the resort nurse and because of the pregnancy she said that we needed to go to the hospital. The people who were in charge of our group were amazing. They organized a van to take me to the hospital and one of the representatives stayed with us the whole time. So we drove to the nearest hospital and it was EXTREMELY 3rd world country style and very sketchy. Brian asked if we could go to the private hospital which was a bit further away. We get to the private hospital and after a bit of back and forth they refused to treat me because of the pregnancy so we headed back to the sketchy hospital. There was quite a bit of run around as to where I should be taken and who should see me. Honestly in my brain that part is a little foggy because I was in so much pain and just could not stop wretching. Eventually my cervix was checked and was still closed and I was given 4 bags of saline along with some anti nausea medicine and some pain pills. I was extremely dehydrated. I was able to fall asleep for a little bit on a stretcher. When I woke up a little while later Brian was standing over me and said that no one had some to check on me in a few hours and he couldn't find anyone to talk to. We decided that it would be best just to head back to the resort. Our driver, Duncan, and our tour rep, Jane, had stayed with us the entire time. I still had an IV in but we just decided to take it with us, on our way to the van some "security guy" stopped us and said we couldn't leave with the IV. We went to see if we could find a nurse to "discharge" me but we couldn't so Brian ended up having to remove my IV himself so that we could leave. After receiving the fluids I felt much better but the pain in my abdomen continued. 

(Pictures from the Jamaican hospital)

On Monday the pain continued and I had no appetite but I was able to keep water down. I spent the majority of the day in bed or in the bathtub timing the "contractions". We tried to go for a short walk and to get some lunch but I couldn't bring myself to eat and the walking made my abdominal pain worse. Tuesday, I was feeling the same so we decided that it would be best for us to head home to the states. With my history of bowel obstruction we just didn't feel like the medical care in Jamaica would be safe for me. Bowel obstructions are very serious and need to be dealt with in 24 hours or they lead to death. Not a thought that is easy to have looming over you when you feel you are somewhere were care isn't an option. Our tour group was amazing! They booked us first class tickets on the next flight home which left Wednesday morning. Thankfully the flights were smooth and while I was still having pain, I didn't throw up. As soon as we landed in Seattle and picked up our car we headed straight to Triage at Providence. They took some tests on me and monitored the baby for a little bit. Because the baby was fine and my cervix wasn't dilated at all, they sent us home to rest and wait on the test results. Thursday I stayed in bed still having pain, nausea, and unable to eat more than a little bit of food. 

(Super tired, but so thankful to be in an American hospital!)

On Friday I had an appointment with my OB. I had dropped 3.5 pounds since before our trip and I was also having some pain in my leg so those things combined with all of my stomach stuff lead her to send us directly to the ER at the Providence Colby campus. They ran more tests on me including a scan of my veins to make sure I didn't have a blood clot and determined that I have Gastritis which is what was causing all of the pain and cramping. Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach which the symptoms for are nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, etc. All of which were exactly what was happening to me. So I just needed to eat a low acid diet, take some medications, and take it easy. Brian was amazing at taking care of me. That week definitely didn't look like what he pictured as a romantic week in Jamaica with his wife, but he loves me so well and was so self sacrificing in his love for me. 

Before we left for Jamaica, we had our ultrasound appointment and we had the technician put the baby's sex in a sealed envelope and we took that with us to Jamaica.

I actually really didn't want to open it while we were there because at that time I kind of hated Jamaica and just wanted to get out of there ASAP. But Brian convinced me and right before we left we went down to the beach and sat in the lounge chairs and opened the envelope. It's a boy! I suspected it was a boy all along and to be honest the thought of that really scared me! I am such a girl mom! I actually really had to surrender the idea of being a "girl mom" and give that to Christ. My identity is in Christ. Not in being a girl mom! 

After we opened the envelope we also filmed a little teaser video that Brian posted on facebook which caused much debate because my tongue was blue from all of the blue gatorade that I had been drinking to help with the dehydration. Many people believed that was a clue, but really it was just that I think blue gatorade is the only acceptable flavor of gatorade. 

A few weeks later we did a little family gender reveal at my in laws house and revealed that it was a boy to the girls with blue confetti cannons! 

The rest of my pregnancy went by super uneventfully! My biggest complaint was heartburn! I beame quite obsessed with Tums Peppermint Chewy Bites and with Sonic Ice (I went every day and the workers began to recognize me). Toward the end, the comment that I received the most was "I can not believe you have made it this far!" When I announced the pregnancy to my CC community, I told them that this would be a high risk pregnancy and that I really didn't think I would make it all the way to the end of the year. We all just kind of assumed that I would get a bowel obstruction at some point and that I would have another preemie like Claire. 

Little baby boy decided to stick it out and he hung out heavily on my left side until his scheduled C-section date which was just 3 days before his due date. We found out toward the end that he was breech and a bit transverse. No wonder because there was always a huge bulge sticking out of my left side! I even have extra stretch marks on that side where his head was always poking out! 

I didn't do a great job taking weekly pictures this pregnancy but here are the ones I did take! 

11 Weeks 

12 Weeks

13 Weeks 

18 Weeks

21 Weeks

27 Weeks

30 Weeks

32 Weeks at my Baby Shower

37 Weeks 

 38 Weeks at the Women's Spring Tea at Church with my friend Amy who was due just 2 days after me! 

Kayaking on the lake at 38 weeks

38.5 Weeks

39 Weeks on Mother's Day

The day before my scheduled C-Section

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