Saturday, September 16, 2006

How it all got started

Our story:

Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. We are the Valiant Family, comprised of Tim & Renay and our precious boys TJ, Jacob, and hopefully soon to be Owen (due 12-26-06). We started this blog simply to keep in contact in a simple fashion with family and friends both local and far. This pregnancy with carrying little Owen has been full of trials to say the least. It starts back in April when a positive test got us quite excited about the prospect of a new little one but soon was cause for concern when no baby was found via ultrasound. In fact, my doctor thought the pregnancy was ectopic and instructed us to cancel our cruise we'd earned through The Pampered Chef. Desparate for wisdom, we prayed, and asked my MD for an HCG test~ which resulted in an extremely low number. So, we took a leap of Faith and drove our 20 hour trip to Florida to board our 4 day cruise. I was no stranger to pregnancy complications as a previous miscarraige and then infertility with both boys had prepared me for anything-so I thought. So, once on our cruise, I felt well with the exception of a bit of nausea. The Lord really worked it all out and blessed us with a wonderful "honeymoon" since we'd never been on one. Back home, we went right in for a 2nd HCG test and ultrasound where this time the HCG did as it should and multiplied and the ultrasound showed a small sac-no heart beat though...You may be wondering-did you not have any idea how far along you were? That's correct! With infertility and irregular periods, it makes it difficult to keep track. This particular instance was complicated by an LMP of 2-5-06 yet a guesstimate of conception around the end of March. I actually had the positve test on April 16th and then 2 days later got that first news of the probability of problems-mostly because my doctor thought I could easily be 8 weeks along. An ultrasound on May 9th confirmed a heartbeat and we were elated-especially because I had such all day sickness and no appetite and was dropping weight (no worries, I have some to loose:-). Our due date was given via this early ultrasound as December 26th~which is supposed to be extremely accurate. Other than the usual early pregnancy stuff and our move into our new home in July, all was great. Then around the middle of July, I woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain. I guessed it could be my gallbladder, though I'd never had any issues like it before. After a while of wondering and hurting, the pain subsided and I went on thinking maybe I was just so tired that I overreacted. About a week later, again-middle of the night, lots of pain...this time I didn't shrug it off and called my MD in the am. They were able to get me right in for both my baby and gallbladder ultrasounds. I was 18 weeks at this point. The baby looked great-confirmed as another boy and my gallbladder looked bad. I was referred to a surgeon by the end of the week and was encouraged to learn that while I needed surgery, it could wait. Whew, who wants surgery while pregnant? Ahhhh...smooth sailing-time to get the house put together after the move-screeeechhhhhh...The brakes were put on that idea Sunday August 6th. It was during our Sunday evening church service that pain started in. My first non-middle of the night attack? Yep, it just got worse and worse over the next 4 hours and I finally had Tim rush me to the hospital. Pregnancy gestation=19 weeks 5 days. Medicine controlled the pain, but my blood pressure loomed seriously high even under good pain control and in a rested state. Finally, after 3 nights in the hospital (no current gall bladder concerns), and my blood pressure still registering dangerously high (180/110-my norm around 100/60 with no previous blood pressure issues ever) I was started on blood pressure medicine and a 2nd surgeon was consulted to explore removing my gall bladder. This surgeon thought it a reasonable decision...and we proceeded with laproscopic surgery Thursday August 10th. I stayed in the hospital thru Sunday the 13th when I was released on complete sidelying bedrest. Did I mention we have children-uh, a 2 yr old to be specific, a handful of a 2 yr old actually. So off to my mom's in Wisconsin Jacob went while TJ geared up for 1st grade that same week. The weeks of bedrest go by, and at 21 weeks an ultrasound shows about a 20 week size baby (the 18 week showed around a 17 week baby) and then the dreaded "stop us dead in our 'I guess bedrest alone wasn't so bad' tracks" 25 week ultrasound just this past Thursday September 14th came. I was actually 25 weeks and 2 days. It was the 3rd technician we'd had at this point and the measuring seemed to take forever. I was watching the screen and seeing head size around 25 weeks, then abdomen around 23 weeks and then femur and short leg bones around 22 weeks. "Don't worry I thought to myself as I lay there sickeningly silent. Tim asked me twice if I were ok. I was quiet and said "yea". Being that the tech wasn't so talkative nor friendly I was concerned. Our appt with the doctor was to follow with a short drive across town and I prayed the whole way. I can't remember what I prayed-but I PRAYED! At the appt we already had some humor planned for our doctor with a small gift of the easy button-ya know, the one from Staples? When you push it, it says "that was easy"...he got a kick out of it. I forgot to mention that the Monday before the Tuesday when I turned 25 weeks I went to the hospital overnight for contractions and had to stay for 10 hours or so while they worked to slow things down. So, at our appt, our point in the easy button, was to tell our doctor that we wanted things to be easier so he should press it more often for us. It was light hearted and fun and helped ease the news that followed...we'd need to see a specialist for the baby since his measurements came out to just the 7th%...shocking! This baby that I feel move inside of me-that I can watch move inside of me through his strong kicks and rolls is dangerously small??? Not proportionately small either...and not with low amniotic fluid which one would usually see with a baby this small. I was crushed. Waiting for the appt to be scheduled in Indy seemed like an eternity (a grand 2 hours)-I spent the time e-mailing asking for prayer and calling some for prayer as well. Just after telling the news to my dear friend Kara and hanging up, the phone rung with the appt day and time. Thank God! Only 4 days to wait and wonder...we'd see the perinatalogist Tuesday the 19th, the day I turn 26 weeks. That brings us to the current point of wondering and waiting. I've looked up everything I can on the net and gotten nothing encouraging from that info so I've stopped searching and have just done what I should've done to begin with-TRUST. I am trusting in God. He made this baby. He's blessed me with being able to feel both tiny and big movements the baby makes...He's given us 2 healthy children to riase for Him. He loves this baby more than anyone on Earth ever could and He doesn't make mistakes. The whole situation that has come about has given us so many ways to bring Glory to MANY people are praying for us and for Owen's health. God may choose to bless us with a healthy baby, a sick baby, or memories of a time of great growth and glory that we've been able to give to Him through Owen's short life so far. None of us know, but we can pray~and we must wait. Hopefully answers on Tuesday will yield a miracle and great joy for us. Regardless, in our weakness, He is strong and I'd rather bring glory to Him through my pain than be joyful without my Saviour. Thanks for reading our story of how this all started...hopefully, Lord Willing-weeks of updates will ensue and we can praise God together on this journey. ~Renay