From Poor Me to Pro-Me

Hello and welcome to another weekly edition of Deep Thought Thursdays! This week’s installment is brought to you by the emotion positivity! I have definitely felt an emotional shift occur during the past week, so I promise that this reflection will contain more “glass-is-half-full” overtones. :0) But before we get to the touchy-feely portion of this post, let me share some pregnancy updates. I had an OB appointment yesterday and found out that I’m measuring right on track at 31 cm, which corresponds nicely with being 31 weeks pregnant. Also, the baby’s heartbeat was a strong 150 beats per minute. Whew. I had a short list of questions to bring to my OB’s attention, one of them being, since I am now just 5 weeks out from the c-section, does she need to see me every week? Her response: Yes. I can’t believe that we are already at that point in the pregnancy. Time for weekly visits, bottle sterilization and preparing Clara for Newborn Invasion 2012.

At the end of last week’s post, I came to the realization that although I may not have total control over my body anymore, I do have control over my mind and my subsequent emotions. That said, on Monday, I will start taking the steroid, prednisone, which marks the final stage in the treatment protocol designed to protect my baby from the possibility of my body making antibodies against her platelets. From here on out, the combination of my twice a week IVIG infusions and a daily dosage of prednisone will hopefully prevent the baby from any internal bleeding and allow for a high (or at least acceptable) platelet count upon delivery. To tell you the truth, after hearing her first cries, I am more concerned with learning her platelet count (which will be taken soon after her birth), than seeing who she resembles more.

So after writing a lot of “woe-is-me” gibberish over the past couple of weeks, I’ve decided that it is now time for me to voice a more “pro-me” attitude. This change of perspective rides on the heels of two catalysts: 1). The meditation from my weekly yoga class (it was all about patience this week) and 2). A quote, to be shared at the end of the post, that a good friend posted on Facebook, courtesy of her wise mother. As I get closer and closer to the end of this two-year journey, I can’t help but feel all of the emotions that I’ve been burdening you, dear readers, with as of late. However, now is crunch time — time to focus on the more logical side of this situation by keeping my information and remaining questions organized, going to all of my doctor’s appointments armed with said information and questions, and making sure that I get the information from Doctor A forwarded to Doctor B because Doctor C needs the proper documentation come c-section day.

It’s a good thing that I’m not working right now because I have been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what’s left on my NAIT, not newborn, To Do list. My newborn to do list is very simple (sterilize bottles, wash clothes, install newborn car seat, etc.) compared to my NAIT checklist (give pint of whole blood in case my platelets are needed, get labs done day before surgery, complete Dr. Bussel’s study labs two more times, make sure that baby’s cord blood gets sent properly to NYC, ensure that all of Dr. Bussel’s recommended procedures are forwarded onto my MFM and OB, etc.). Over the next five weeks, I have anywhere from one to two doctor’s appointments per week, Level II ultrasounds every two weeks, two infusions of IVIG per week up until c-section day, my weekly yoga class, a c-section class, and a NICU consultation. Thankfully, I’ve also managed to schedule in some much-needed pampering time (haircut, mani/pedi — a must do for every mom-to-be!) and some quality time with Taylor, my BFF Missy and little Miss Clara. Whew! After spending the better part of the last two days realigning my schedule, sending emails and making phone calls, I have the utmost respect for those NAIT parents who have blazed these trails before me. And for those NAIT parents present and future, the aforementioned laundry list is just a small snapshot of the chaotic end to this whirlwind experience. Houston, we are in the home stretch!

So, where does this leave me now? Well, since managing this pregnancy feels like it has taken up more time and brain power than writing my Master’s Thesis, I am thrilled to see it come to its proper end. However, every once in a while, particularly at night, I try to steal a few moments to enjoy being pregnant. Clara, Taylor and I watch in awe as baby girl shows off her in-utero acrobatics routines. And on more than one occasion, Clara has been able to feel the baby’s kicks and punches. I’m not sure if she gets what’s going on quite yet, but these moments have become such precious memories. For those of you who’ve been pregnant before, it really is a very special time in a woman’s life. But, I feel that I was able to enjoy being pregnant with Clara much more than I have been able to this time around (for obvious reasons). I find myself focusing more on the negative aspects like heartburn, effects of the IVIG, and normal aches and pains than the positive ones, such as feeling the baby move. Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried to imagine what this baby will be like and how wonderful it will be to hold a newborn again. But those thoughts are quickly replaced by ones such as, “How will Clara adjust to the new baby? What can I do to keep Clara happy as I learn to divide my time between my two daughters?” I assume that every mother has these thoughts when another child is on the way. However, as the remaining weeks of this pregnancy fly by, I will try my best to focus on Rachel’s mother’s meditation, which I will present in a moment, instead of the not-so-positive thoughts that threaten to enter into my stream of consciousness. Perhaps in doing so, this shift in perspective will allow me to enjoy this pregnancy for what it truly is — a miracle in the making.

Mrs. Tisdale’s Meditation:
Your perspective on the world can change the world. If you see it as difficult, it will BE difficult. If you see it as an opportunity, it will BE an opportunity. If you see it as a joy, it will BE a joy, even when it’s difficult.

This week’s post is dedicated to all of those who have found themselves in situations that were not by choice, but were able to be conquered by change.

4 thoughts on “From Poor Me to Pro-Me

  1. Good Morning and whew!! you are an amazing person and mother. I look forward to reading your posts every week, and oh by the way, you have every right to feel the way you are feeling, What is awesome is that you recognize these feelings. Going through a health issue is not easy, I can not imagine going through it while pregnant, knowing there may be issues at birth and still remaining sane… I am on the outside looking in and I find you simply amazing…
    Good Luck, best wishes

    • Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, Mrs. Learnard. They really mean a lot to me. It helps knowing that other people can relate when it comes to health issues. As a mother, I’m sure you’re very familiar with the different feelings that come up when caring for a child with special health considerations. You wish it were you going through all of it instead of them. And, it’s interesting that both the baby and I are the patients right now — it really adds a different dimension to this whole experience. Thanks, again, for thinking of us — I’m looking forward to sharing good news about the birth in three weeks!

  2. Hi Jennifer! I’ve been thinking about you a lot now that I am getting the IVIG weekly also. On Saturday I checked to see exactly how much, and they are giving me the same dose you are getting but instead of twice a week, I only go in once….it is a long treatment though! Like you, I HAVE to put things in perspective. My infusions are on Saturdays, and this is a break I get once a week from everyday responsibilities that normally I wouldn’t have. Also, I didn’t realize how hard IVIG can be on your body until I learned that the doctor is doing a weekly test on my liver and kidney function to make sure my body can handle the high dose. But again, putting things in pespective, our bodies will heal! Just think of the damage people do when they binge drink….at least we are not purposely hurting our bodies and all of this is necessary for a healthy baby! Did you have an option n the prednisone? My doctor is recommending it but not mandating it, and again, I am nervous to add more medicine to this little body of mine! But, I will if it makes a big difference. Another little meditation that I can leave you with that I think of often these days is: When the going gets tough, you need to get tougher!!!! I’m not sure Jennnifer why we have to be affected by this platelet issue, but I can assure you based on your posts and blog that I know you can handle it! I am so glad you can share your experience with us because I am just a few weeks behind and the strength I get from you is something that other people can’t provide. Thank you, and thank you again for just being you 🙂

    • Hi Rosanne! Thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful and supportive words. I’m so happy that things are going well with your infusions and that we are at a point in our pregnancies where we can learn from and support one another. As far as the prednisone goes, since I’m not doing the PUBS, I really didn’t have too much of a choice but to add it into my current therapy regimen as a salvage therapy. Dr. Bussel wanted me to take 60mg/day, but after considering his other research, I am choosing to just take the 30mg/day (or .5mg/kg). And I’m glad that I went with the smaller dosage, as I’m not a very big person, so the medicine started to affect me right away. I’ve done my own research and found that women who took 60mg/day (or 1gm/kg) had some severe reactions to the medication. So, I figure that 30mg is better than none at all.

      I’m glad to hear that your doctor is monitoring your liver and kidneys, as the IVIG can be pretty intense. And you’re right — at least we’re not binge drinking (although I’m dying for a glass of wine right about now!).

      Thank goodness for the Internet, as meeting other NAIT parents like yourself has given me the strength to conceive and carry a pregnancy that I know would not be easy. But, we’re getting there and I know the rewards will far outweigh all of mental and physical stress.

      I hope all goes well with your infusion on Saturday!

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