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Posts Tagged ‘FVL’

My personal count down to 2012

863,478 – Roughly the amount of well wishes, hugs, positive comments and thoughts that we have received since our journey to parenthood started.

175 – Number of Lovenox shots I have taken (so far) during my pregnancy with Ian.

120 – I am 1 in 120 women who experience stillbirth.

28 – Weeks and 3 days, longest consecutive amount of time I have ever been pregnant.

15 – The number of letter is Ian Kenneth Moore and Lukas Clark Moore.

10 – Actually 10 1/2 years, the amount of time I have been married to my wonderful husband.  We live “for better and for worse” every day.

9 – Weeks plus a few days, the maximum amount of time I have left being pregnant.  That’s right, Ian enters the world no later than March 7th.

8 – At minimum the number of bruises on my stomach (see #5).

7 – Days between Dr. L appointments and ultrasounds.  Sometimes this feels like eternity.

6 – Bottles of wine J has stock piled for me in the last seven months.

5 – Factor V Leiden (clotting disorder, see #175).

4 – How many onesies I have bought in the last week.  It’s a start!

3 – Number of years we have been on the path to parenthood.  Also, represents Lukas, Ian and his twin.

2 – Parents waiting for their son to arrive.

1 – My one wish for 2012, bringing home a healthy Ian Kenneth Moore.

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I have talked before about THE QUESTION (Do you have children?)

It seems stillbirth leaves you with more questions than answers.  Another question that can cut like a knife is… Are you going to try again?

I must admit I wasn’t expecting this question after Lukas was born, and I wasn’t expecting people to ask it so soon.  I guess it seems logical to other people that we would try again. However, getting pregnant for me is not a walk in the park, loss or no loss.  When J and I started down this path we told no one.  For close to a year I didn’t mention that I had stopped the pill and I definitely didn’t talk about the fact that I was going to need clomid (I ended up telling one person about 10 months in).  I felt like it wouldn’t help anything to talk about it and I didn’t want others asking questions about our personal life.  So, I definitely wasn’t ready to give an answer to, are you going to try again?

In the first few months after Lukas was born (8-11-10) I could not think straight, I could not even remember a day when I hadn’t cried.  J and I did not even mention trying again to each other.  We were grieving, just trying to keep our heads above water.  For me there were far more important questions that needed to be answered.  First off, WHY?  Why had my perfectly uneventful pregnancy ended in stillbirth?  Why us? WHY? WHY? WHY?  I still find myself asking these questions, and I don’t think that will stop any time soon.

By November the dizzying grief had become slightly more tolerable.  I went to have my blood drawn for a hematology work up at the beginning of the month.  I had an appointment with Dr. L about 10 days later.  I wasn’t expecting for her to have the results, and I had already decided that the blood work was going to be normal.  That we would never know WHY Lukas died.  So when the work up showed that I was heterozygous for Factor V, MTHFR, and PAI I was in shock.  This was the answer we had been asking for?

I still think that If we had not found out what the likely cause of Lukas’s death was that we would not have been able to talk about trying again.  I feel very lucky to have an answer because most babyloss couples don’t get answers.  I will admit that in the back of my mind there is doubt (doubt that blood clots were the only thing that caused the end of my pregnancy).  I think doubt and second guessing are never going to go away, but without great risk there is not great reward.

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Yesterday I was at Hallmark getting cards for some special people (Ok, I waited untill the last-minute to get J’s birthday card).  While I was shopping I found this sign.  I’m not really the kind of person to believe in “signs.”  I don’t really think that the universe was trying to tell me something in the middle of Hallmark.  I do think “signs” can be encouragement, and I need that right now.

I did not purchase it. Why, when you can just take a pic with your handy phone?

Shot count: 5

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The Shots

So the answer is… Those shots hurt.  It’s not the needle but the actual medicine.  I only got one noticeable bruise.  I’m sure everyone at the hotel hot tub thought that it was an interesting place to get a hickey, just left of my belly button.

It was also pretty fitting that last week was National Nurses Week.  This nurse got some repayment.

No pain no gain.

Shot count:  3 



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At 6:20 am tomorrow J and I board the plane for Paradise (also known as Kauai). At approximately 4am I will give myself my first shot of blood thinner. I have given shots to and started IV’s on thousands of patients, but have never turned the needle on myself. I will let you know how it goes.

J and I travel often (we are very fortunate). This will be our 6th trip to Hawaii and my first trip knowing that I have Factor V. I truly believe that I am lucky to not have developed a serious blood clot. I became addicted to Hawaii on our honeymoon. For our second anniversary we got to go back to Hawaii. This time we traveled to Maui. The first night there I developed right calf pain. I remember sitting in bed testing my calf for the Homans’ sign and joking that if I died of a pulmonary embolus at least it would be in Hawaii (only a nurse would make this joke). I’ll never know if I had a clot then, but I can tell you that I definitely won’t risk it anymore. Now I’m so paranoid that I am making J take aspirin before we go.

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When I started on the journey to motherhood I thought that I knew all the terms. I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in science for goodness sake. I was wrong. Here are just a few of the words I have learned new meanings to.
Caution: the definitions below are purely my interpretations and not technically accurate.

Infertility: your body not wanting to work the way God meant for it to. Also know as, all your friends and everyone you ever met is pregnant and you’re not.

Clomid:  the gateway drug of infertility…a drug that will hopefully get your body to do what it was meant to do.

Cycle days (CD): the fertility clock. There’s only supposed to be 28, but apparently sometimes you gotta count a lot higher.

Egg white: not for making an omlet.  Better for making babies.

TTC (trying to conceive): also known as trying to keep it spontaneous.

OPK (ovulation prediction kit): expensive sticks you pee on.

Factor V leiden (FVL): a genetic blood clotting disorder. Surprise, you need blood thinner when you travel long distances and most definitely when you are pregnant.

Lovenox: blood thinning shot that will hopefully prevent the worst possible outcome.

Stillbirth: the worst possible outcome that is never discussed or presented until God forbid…it happens.

I am trying to keep as humorous an outlook as possible in dealing with life…if you can’t laugh you will only keep crying.

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Patience

Patience is not a quality that I have ever had, but I think that maybe it’s the lesson I’m supposed to learn in all this mess.  My husband will tell you that if I want something I want it now.  I would say I’m just “driven.”

Example:  Ten years ago I was finishing nursing school and planning a wedding.  I was driving around 60 miles everyday to clinicals and addressing invitations at night.  Then within 1 1/2 months I graduated from college, moved, got married and took my nursing boards.  I seem to always have 20+ things going at one time.  Five years ago I was nearing graduation with my master’s degree.  I again was working full-time and doing clinicals when we decided to custom build a house, and sell the one we were living in.  All of these things worked out great.  The pieces fell into place beautifully.

Here I sit nearly 2 1/2 years later after we decided to add a child to our family trying to be patient.  Apparently my body has a different plan.  I hope that someday soon my body and my plan can get on the same page.  My doctor and I are trying to come up with a plan, but in the back of my head all I can think is maybe my body knows better.  The pieces of this puzzle seem to be scattered all over the floor.

Here’s to hoping that one day (soon) they will all fit together.

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Spring

It’s officially spring!

The winter has been long.  I have cried a lot of tears, and tried my hardest to ignore the “holidays.”

And now spring is in the air.  It is wonderful to wake up to birds chirping in the backyard, working outside all day, and spending the night watching TV on the back patio.  I feel like the numbness of winter is slowly melting away.  Some days I see a glimmer of hope in the distance, some days it’s a little to hazy.  Shortly after Lukas was born I found these quotes.  They were hard to hear at first, but the more I read them the more they sink in.

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.  ~Emily Dickinson

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
~Author Unknown

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Tick Tock

I never really believed in that biological clock thing until now.  Lately all I feel is that time is running out (not sure on what though).  Patience is not a vertue that I possess.  When my husband was making the header for the top of my page he said I had to include the pink flower (a wild impatient) because it was so fitting.  I guess I’m anxious because it took 15 months and 2 rounds of clomide to get pregnant.  My fear is that will happen again.  Except this time it’s all complicated by the risk for blood clots.  If you ever want to make a hematologist cringe start talking about hormones, fertility drugs, and/or long air plane rides.  So for now I’m trying to become one with my body (blah, blah, blah).  I think counting “cycle days” must be going to my head because I’ve been singing this Junior High Classic to myself.

To the tic-toc ya don’t stop
We knock boots till 6 o’clock, as we lay
All night long
And early in the morning she sang this song

[Chorus]
Ooh boy I love you so
Never ever ever gonna let you go
Once I get my hands on you
Ooh boy I love you so
Never ever ever gonna let you go
I hope you feel the same way too

- Konckin boots -Candyman, 1990

Do you feel the sting of AquaNet in your eyes?

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Gift

Jess (a good friend) gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Stella on February 25th.  I got to go visit her recently.  I was expecting this to be very difficult, but actually I didn’t even cry.  Stella being born happy and healthy gives me hope that one day soon I can have a happy healthy baby.

You see Jess also has Factor V (FVL), and found out the hard way also.  She didn’t have a stillbirth, but instead a large pulmonary embolism several years ago.  The blood clot caused her lung to collapses.  Jess has been on blood thinners since then.  I luckily haven’t had any life threatening events due to FVL.  Lukas likely saved my life (which is one of the few positives in this unimaginable travesty).  He was truly a gift.

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