When I feel like I can't go on you deliver me. When the road is winding and way too long, you deliver me. You deliver me...
I went to the Dr. this past Thursday and my blood pressure was high again. So of course I got put back into the hospital. This time they placed us into labor and delivery. They hooked Carter up to a monitor,started taking my blood pressure every 15 minutes and gave me some fluids. My blood pressure looked great until I got out of bed. Everytime I sat up or got up to go to the bathroom it would shoot up. About 10 o'clock Carter decided to start "showing out". All of the sudden a few nurses came running into the room. Carter had dropped his heart rate, he brought it back up by himself this time. The nurses notified the Dr. and they decided to continue to monitor him just as they already were. I started to calm down and relax and Carter did it again. This time the nurses had to stimulate my stomach for Carter to bring his heart rate back up. The Dr. decided this time they would do an ultrasound just to make sure everything was ok. The ultrasound looked great! Carter did great the rest of the night and they decided maybe it was just his age. I got no sleep this night! The next morning they decided to do a detailed ultrasound that again looked great. They moved me to another room, out of labor and delivery and started me on blood pressure medicine. They also diagnosed me with gestational diabetes. I got to go home after two nights and I go see Carter's Dr. every Monday and Thursday and my Dr. every Thursday. I take my blood pressure twice a day, my blood sugar four times a day and do fetal movement tests four times a day. It has been a very busy bedrest!
Everything was going great until this week. I started cramping on Wednesday and it got worse by Thursday. I went to the emergency room at UMC, my blood pressure was 165/101. They had a lot of trouble geting it to go down, although Carter looked great! They put him on a monitor for about five hours just to make sure he was ok. I got admitted into the hospital and had to stay two nights. They gave me betamethasone which would help Carter's lungs develop. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and put on bedrest. Right now we are taking it day by day and praying I will make it to 30 weeks. I have 3 weeks to go.
On this day Brandon and I had a lot of appointments. First we had an echo of our babies heart. The baby was sucking his thumb, kicking, waving and moving all around. It was so cute! The cardiologist that performed the echo was very thorough and explained everything. The heart looked excellent. It was perfect so much so she told us she would not need to see us again until after the baby was born. We were relieved but still anxious about the amniocentesis results we would recieve later. Our next appointment was with the specialist in ADU for another ultrasound. We arrived to ADU and got into the exam room when the nurse looked at the Dr. and said you know they dont know these results yet. With the amniocentesis results in her hand she said, Oh they dont know yet? My heart sank. I thought something must be wrong. The Dr. looked at us and said well the karyotype was normal. With a bit of shock I asked if this meant we had no down syndrome or trisomy of any kind?? She said that is correct, it is normal. I was so relieved. This was the best news since finding out we were pregnant. I then asked do you know the sex? She said XY! Its a boy! We were thrilled. I had said it was a boy the entire time. Brandon teared up...well we both did. We were just so relieved the amniocentesis results were normal. God is so good! We then had the ultrasound that showed no significant changes. Next we met with the surgeons and they answered a million of our questions. It was an amazing day. Once in the car we told everyone we knew we were having a beautiful baby boy. His name is Brandon Carter Cline. God is so good!
O.E.I.S. complex is a very rare and serious condition with multiple birth defects. The omphalocele is first. This is a small bubble like protrusion out of the umbilicus. Our babies omphalocele is not too large and consists of small intestines, liver and part of the bowel. The omphalocele will be operated on not long after birth. Exstrophy of the bladder is next. This means the bladder is on the outside of the body and split into two halves. Carter will have this operated on between 6-12 months of age. Imperforated anus is next, this means Carter's bowels do not go all the way to his anus and he will require an ostomy. This is where they pull part of the bowel through the abdominal wall and make a drainage bag for stool. Carter may be able to have this reversed as he gets older. This depends on the length of the colon, being able to pass solid stool and having sensation in the lower region of his body. The spinal defect is next. It is the most serious part of OEIS complex. Carter has whats known as a myelomeningocele. This is the most severe form of spina bifida. It will require immediate surgery after birth and must be fixed before any other birth defects. A myelomeningocele can cause parapalegia, mental retardation and may lead to shunt placement in the brain. We pray everyday these things will not happen but know they are a possibility. Carter is doing really good right now. He has already started his practice breathing and is very active.
On this day Brandon and I had to meet with the director of pediatric surgery at UMC and we had a MRI. On this day I got up and said a big prayer. This was the first bit of piece I had felt since hearing the news about our precious child the week prior. We first had the MRI. The MRI machine was a tight squeeze and it took over an hour. Upon completion of the MRI our coordinator met us and took us to meet with the director of surgery and another pediatric surgeon. The surgeons started by explaining the condition our child had, exactly how the specialist had done the week prior. They explained cloacal exstrophy to us and then told us wonderful news. The surgeons were both relatively new to UMC. One came from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the other John Hopkins. They both had operated on a baby with cloacal exstrophy. I was hesitant at first thinking my child would be "practice" for them. I looked at both surgeons and said "you feel 100% confident you can perfom this surgery for the best well being and quality of life for my child?" and without hesitation they both said YES! I was relieved, this meant we would have the surgery done at UMC. After talking with them for a while Brandon and I found out that one of the surgeons had performed the surgery over 77 times. This is a lot because it is so rare. The other surgeon had also performed the surgery just not as many times. This was wonderful news, we would not have to go out of state to deliver. I knew right then that Brandon and I moving to Mississippi and the surgeons recently coming to UMC was all part of Gods plan. It's amazing how things work out. We were still waiting on our amniocentesis results to make sure our baby did not have trisomy 13 or 18, which is incompatible with life. This pregnancy has been a precious gift from God and I cherish it everyday.
I honestly can say I never imagined hearing this news on my five year anniversary. Brandon and I woke up and got ready for our ultrasound with the specialist at UMC. On the drive to UMC we prayed. We prayed hard! We arrived to ADU (the high risk clinic at umc) for the ultrasound with the specialist. The specialist comes into the room and immediately sees the omphalocele. He was able to tell that the omphalocele consisted of small intestines, part of the liver and the ilium which is connected to the small bowel. The omphalocele is a balloon like feature that comes out of the "belly button" area. He also noticed something very unusual about our babies omphalocele. It looked like an elephant trunk sticking out of the side. This was the ilium sticking out of the side of the omphalocele. This is known as "elephant trunk" syndrome and is extremly rare. So rare that the specialist had been at umc for 25 years and had only scene it two times prior. The specialist then began to look for the bladder and could not find one. The Dr. knew exactly what our baby had. It was cloacal exstrophy also known as OEIS complex. OEIS complex is an extremly rare disorder. It occurs in 400-500,000 births. With my heart in my stomach the Dr. began to tell us how it had never been operated on in the state of Mississippi. He immediately called John Hopkins and the Childrens Hospital of Pennsylvania to inform them of his findings. I felt like everything I had just found out about my beautiful child was a dream and I would soon snap out of it. I still had to have an amniocentesis(they stick a needle through your abdominal wall into your uterus to draw out a small amount of amniotic fluid) on this day to determine if there were any other chromosomal or genetic disorders. To my suprise they use no numbing medications!! OUCH!!! One of the best things that happen to us on this day, well by far the best! We got to meet the coordinator of our care. She has been an absolute blessing. She schedules all of our appointments, calls just to check on us and makes sure that all of our questions and needs are met. God knew exactly what he was doing when he put her on our case. I could not do it witout her! After we met with her it was time to go home. I remember leaving the hospital devestated. It was one of the first times in my life that all I could do was rely on God. It was the most helpless feeling knowing that something was wrong with my child and there was nothing I could do about it. Brandon and I went home and prayed and prayed and prayed. We put everything in Gods hands and handed it all over to him....
When I was 18 weeks and 2 days we went to find out what the sex of our beautiful baby was. We got to the Dr' s office and the nurse came into the room to start the ultrasound. She started at the head, it looked great. She continued to go down our babies body. Next was the heart and it looked perfect, in the mean time our child was waving at us. We were so happy eveverything was looking good. A healthy baby. Next was the abdomen. When the nurse started to look she got really quiet. I questioned if something was wrong but she said no I just can't see good with this equipment. She then asked for us to go to another room with better equipment. We got into the room and I started to realize something was wrong. Brandon then asked the nurse if something was wrong and she said, "well i'm not sure." I started to panic. The nurse yelled out the door for the Dr. to come into the room. The Dr. immediately looked and told us our precious baby had an omphalocele( some of its intestines and organs were outside the abdominal wall). The first thing I said was it can be fixed! While the Dr. continued to look at my sweet baby it hit me. My child was not healthy. I started to cry. With Brandon right by my side I brought myself back together. The Dr. was still looking...it seemed like forever. The Dr. was not sure if he saw a bladder, so he refered us to a specialist at umc. We got right in with an appointment the next morning. At this point all we could do was pray and hand our child over to God.
I was barely starting my second trimester and I felt the baby move for the first time. It was so exciting!!! I was at work abd drank a coke with my breakfast. I started back to work and I sneezed. I felt a light flutter in my stomach. I immediately grabbed my stomach and I could feel a flutter. It was amazing. I called Brandon, he was so excited. This made it a little more real. I already loved this baby so much and I was only 14 weeks. Pregnancy is such a blessing!!
The first trimester flew by. We got to hear the heartbeat for the first time on Feb.17th. Wow! This was an amazing experience. My Dr. told me about a study the hospital was doing to check for down syndrome. I decided to participate, besides you get to see your baby a lot and get a lot of pictures. I went for the ultrasound for the first part of the study and everything looked great. No down syndrome, just a beautiful baby. Everything this trimester went great! We had a healthy beautiful baby. Brandon and I were so excited and blessed!!!
This was a day that would change my life forever! I went to the Dr. with no intentions of finding out I was pregnant. I had actually been told that getting pregnant was nearly impossible for me. Brandon and I decided to give clomid a try just to see what would happen, besides it normally takes a few rounds. To our suprise our first round worked!! Brandon and I were going to be blessed with a little bundle of joy. I had went to the Dr. by myself on this day, because I had no expectations of being pregnant. I rushed out of the Dr's office trying to think of a special way to tell Brandon. I didnt have much time so I rushed into Walgreens grabbing a pacifier and giftbag. I had barely gotten home when brandon arrived. I told him that I had gotten him a suprise and i needed for him to sit down and cover his eyes. Brandon sat patiently with his eyes closed while I grabbed the giftbag. I sat it in his lap and told him to open his eyes. When Brandon opened his eyes he immediately started to sweat and tear up. He then sat for a minute with a blank stare trying to comprehend what was going on. I looked at him and said yes...we're pregnant! His face gleamed with excitement. We hugged and cried for a minute and then called everyone we could think to tell. We were so excited!!!