On the Hampster Wheel/Happenings

To say it’s been a busy couple months would be an understatement. Before February started I was looking at 6 doctors appointments, 2 doula interviews, 1 hospital tour, Ryan’s normal school activities/party extras, not knowing where the next pcs would take us, having to find a back up sitter for labor/baby time. Then add in last minute visitors from my husbands side of the family, couple snow days off of school, sick days off of school and it was beyond overwhelming. 

Then some things started to fall into place:  we found out we found we would be moving to Hawaii, not our first choice but not a bad consolation prize. With that brought a new set of to-do’s. With dogs there’s a whole process of getting them vaccinated, blood tested etc that must start asap so that they won’t have to be quarantined when we arrive… So vet appointment added to our February. I found a back up sitter. Some fun to the end of February: family pics (I had wanted to do them and actually had them scheduled when Ry came early) and a prenatal massage. 

  
Lyme stuff

It’s been mostly ups and downs with a majority on the upside. I did have decent flare on my birthday. After a couple days with early rising house guests and a nocturnal womb gymnast I woke up on my birthday with a killer headache, fatigue and hot flashes/fevery. Number one cause of flares for me:  stress number two lack of sleep (minimum needed to feel functional about 7 hours). I think I got 9 total all weekend. My lyme doc appt was canceled due to a decent snowstorm in which all of northern Virginia was advised to stay off the road.  

 See so much snow!  My appointment was rescheduled but I did get my blood work back that I tested positive for EBV and Mycoplasma. Numbers weren’t super high but enough that indicates a chronic exposure. Another piece of the lyme puzzle on my way to healing. 

I see my lyme doc on Monday and am eager to see her for a variety of reasons but especially since yesterday I got a new tick bite! Smack dab on my pregnant belly! WTF man. We spent a total of one hour playing oustside, half hour in the back yard and half on our deck. I had on a form fitting maternity top, dress and long leggings and sneakers and bug spray on our bottom halfs. I put the AC during nap and settled down for a detox bath and there it was on the lower half of my belly (where had I not been in the bath I physically couldn’t have seen it otherwise). Such a viserial response seeing that bastard, traumatizing and on my belly ..like seriously am I am this baby not facing enough of a battle??? It’s been so nice being an active wife and mother and I don’t want to lose that. 

Usually around my birthday we do some sort of hike, so we did one for our anniversary weekend the following week. We drove a short way to King George and did some exploring.  

   

Other than that on the exercise front I’ve been getting in several dog walks and my prenatal yoga class once a week. 

Baby stuff

Up until yesterday everything had been going well. I had been going to the MFM once a month and OB every two weeks. She had been growing great and has been super active. More a fan of somersaults and rolls than kicks but I’ll take it. I found/hired/met with a doula I like. We had our second hospital tour. What a physiological response walking by the NICU, I literally had chills. Maybe an omen? 

So the deal with the two hospitals:  my Ob office has two locations, one in the town we live in (that hospital has the NICU, slightly older, and under construction, has a tub in L&D, portable fetal monitoring) and the town over (my doctors are on call there, better chance of getting them for delivery, lower key, newer, no NICU). So after some research I had decided on delivering at the further away hospital since having my provider would give me a better chance at having the birth I want and someone familiar to a comfort level of mine with my medical history. This was all until yesterday…

I had a different time feeling driving to the office than I had in recent weeks. I had a new U/S technician or atleast I’ve never seen her before. She had asked how I had been measuring, “only a day or two behind ever” and she informed me that it looked like a couple weeks. You know u/s aren’t going well when there’s a lot of silence during them. I watched after measurement after measurement showed 31, 32, 33 weeks….(I’m 35). The doctor came in and said its her stomach that looks small. She may just be a small baby but now until delivery is crucial so we’ll be monitoring with biophysical ultrasounds weekly to look at growth, breathing, and fluid levels. And just when I started to feel a little confidence. My doula invited me to a birth circle last night but I just couldn’t think birth, baby …back to expect the worst hope for the best. Well atleast I can stop baby shopping??? Here lies the other issue: if this keeps up it means c-section since my OB doesn’t induce patients hoping. To vbac, it means NICU (so hospital number 1), no children allowed under 12…, harsher recovering for a lymie (especially with one wih a new bite). So this will be a very long week….

In like a Lion out like a Lamb March

This month has seen one hospital tour, will see (with the added monitoring and normal OB appts switching to weekly appts at the end of the month) 10 doctor appointments, Easter, new soccer session and spring break. We have a planned visit with friends at the end of the month that I’m really looking forward to. So hopefully spring will bring some blooms of hope. Until next time… 

 

As I Near the Finish Line of This Pregnancy There’s An Onion in my way

There’s a saying about Lyme disease that treating it is like peeling back the layers of an onion. About a year and a half into treating and I’m seeing just how real that statement is. As i mentioned last post my Lyme had come out of its pregnancy faux remission around XMAS eve. When we got back from visiting it was even worse. Although on the upswing now (at least physically)… 

I spoke with my Lyme Doc a couple weeks back and she wants me to add some herbals: MC BB1 for Lyme and MB Bar 1 for Bartonella. The herbals for babesia are not pregnancy safe. We’re going to take a slow and steady approach and with the goal of not even reaching max dosage. Although I  haven’t started yet as I just added my cal magbuhtrate last week. It’s a daunting thing to add anything this late in the pregnancy especially since my herxes have been so bad (high fevers) but with herbals as long as I’ve gone slow I’ve been O.K (aside from when I’ve done cinnamon in the beginning). This was the plan until I got some disturbing blood work back…

I had mentioned some time ago she wanted to get some bloodwork done prior to my next appointment but it wasnt a rush. So finally did it a few weeks ago. I’m pretty pissed as she mailed a copy with virtually no explanation and while Virginia is hit with a blizzard so the state is shut down for DAYS! Basically what it shows is that my Vit. D is low and my Calcitriol is high…. This from questioning people and my own research is quite scary. It could mean something simple as low calcium or over supplementation to indications of various cancers or infections that lead to heart disease or sudden cardiac death. So  I have to follow up with testing for EBV, HHV and CRS. All very scary. Especially while pregnant. Why didn’t my last doctor test me for these and why didn’t the damn RE think of any of this years ago? Oh I know he was too busy waiting for my naturally convcieved pregnancy to fail so I’d shell out a bunch of money to get IVF and maybe with a bonus of choosing the gender šŸ˜”.

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get the bloodwork done. The roads are pretty much closed…but now my son has a cold. I feared this after school drop off on Tuesday when a classmate walked in sounding like she was auditioning for an extra role in the Walking Dead. I have no idea why people don’t think. (This was a stay at home mom by the way). We’re fortunate to be able to send our son to a Catholic private school but we’re not rich..my med bills for Lyme are out of pocket, baby on the way and now he’s probably missing school we’re paying for . I wish the parties responsible would have to give us a refund.

Anyhow to say I’m overwhelmed is an understatment. My husband had a different type bug last week, so I took care of him and  every other responsibility solo, and then we rolled right into him pretty much non stop working on a paper . I so wish we had family nearby…ugh . I’m at the point with my OB that I see them every two weeks, my MFM is every 4 weeks, I’m supposed to have an eye appt this week if Ryan’s not sick still…ugh when will I get my blood tested? I desperately need to find a doula, especially since we have no help here and I really don’t want to deliver alone, especially since I’m high risk. 

There came a point after college when I really dug deep to find out what I wanted to do with my life. I loved teaching but it dawned on me:  I just wanted to be a mother. That’s what I was born to do. And over the years I’ve come to love teaching yoga as well, especially to have something for me and to help others but being a mother is what it’s all about for me. That’s why my miscarriages have been particularly devestating. And it’s why after the first few scary months of treatment of Lyme (with the heart stuff and high fevers) I’ve been so frightened. I remember pleading with God “please let me last long enough so that my child will remember me”. As painful as the thought it of missing out on milestones with him was, what’s even worse is the thought when was just 2, of him not having a clue who I was or the special things we share. Now at 3,( 

  

  

  I begged for that )to see that birthday I face the same fears again. I love this boy so fiercely. I want more than anything to be in his life for as long as I can and for him to always know the love I have for him. I want to beat this …..

For now, I’ll take care of my little man with a cold, bake some cookies and get just a minute or two of snow play before tucking him in for snuggles. 

I Just Want my People, I Just Want All my People…and the late Holiday ramblingsĀ 

Below is a draft I had started prior to Christmas and then ran out of time. The title is a quote from my son as he was about to say his goodbyes to our family on our last day home. It took everything I had in my heightened sensitive self (and I mean I’m a Pisces so….more on all of that later. Here’s before Christmas and I’ll finish up with more current stuff since man things have changed …

I had meant to update this around Thanksgiving but then my son and I were trading colds and after that I was in the midst of a honeymoon of sorts. Lyme and pregnancy is a funny thing. I felt a lot worse early, first few weeks or so with neuro symptoms and conbimed that with morning sickness…but for the most part since second trimester I’ve almost felt like a normal person. It’s crazy really. I had the realization while I was reading a story to my son that I had a clear head. There were days I went for a walk, made dinner, did crafts, cleaned and did laundry…ALL IN ONE DAY. And it didn’t leave me feeling like I was hit by a Mack truck wih a fever. This went on for months and I just recently had a short flair I’m recovering from. I had one day of a low grade fever, a migraine and some fatigue. I think a lot of that is attributed to my husband up late working on papers and waking up/leaving earlier than normal. I’m a light sleeper and he’s ya know a man… Just shows you how crucial sleep is. I need my solid 7 hours during treatment/pregnancy to feel good. I’m on my way back to good, I just need to pace myself.

Lyme stuff

I hadn’t added the supplements yet because we have had a lot going on and I’ve wanted to avoid a herx. I’ll probably start after Christmas. I also need to go in for bloodwork (they send me to outside labs and honestly I wanted to avoid germs before the holidays as best I could). My Lyme doc just called early in the week to check on me. I so appreciated that and she was pleased with the baby’s progress. 

Baby update 

Ive had a couple scans in the last couple months. My initial anantomy scan right after thanksgiving and a follow up due to advanced maternal age this week. The first one she was facing my back, spine out and hiding under my c-section scar so while they could see what they needed it too awhile and I didn’t get many pics. They saw a little freckle on her heart but said that actually was common and she was fine. I’m high risk for several reasons:  Lyme, a preemie, previous lossss and being old…just that alone gives me more scans which is fine by me. This week she was in a great position and cooperating so I could see a lot of her. My high risk doc said everything looked good “normal”. Normal is probably my favorite word. I go back in about 4 weeks ago. Fine by me. Between these frequent scans, finally feeling movment and my Doppler I can breath a big…

Some PAL accomplishments…(Pregnancy after loss). I went into a maternity/baby store without too much panic and purchased a couple of items. May not seem like a lot if you’ve never experienced loss…but it was. I also have been going to a prenatal yoga class. This was huge for several reasons:  during my yoga teacher training I experienced my first loss so I have this subconscious association weirdly enough because I love yoga so much, but also because it’s hard after recurrent losses associating as “pregnant person”. It’s like a im a “pregnant person but” (but just waiting to lose the baby, but I’m only pregnant for now, but even though I’m pregnant everyone else pregnant gets a baby but me etc etc). So I needed something to give me a positive place in pregnancy, a way to embrace it. And to bond with my baby girl. I mean this is it, my last pregnancy. I need to find a positive space in it. And it’s truly helped. Thanks Dragonfly yoga! I purchased two baby items:  a cute Vera Bradley onsie and a diaper bag. 

Current events:

Let’s start with the bad. My Lyme honeymoon is OVAH. Christmas Eve was busy. A good busy for the most part but busy nonetheless. Started baking all day with my son, decorated the tree with everyone , church where i unfortunately had to stand the whole time (thanks to a sick lady who sat right behind us so I had to relocate) , my husband’s aunts place and then more fesitivities at my aunts place. 

It all fell into a horrible place when I realized I left my new bottle of methyguard at my aunts (important for detox, heart function, getting crucial to baby folate) and it was too late to go back, it was a full moon (Lyme always flares up then) i hadn’t packed a dinner, and then when we got back are way too late. When dinner rolled around I had hoped to get by with a veggie, or salad but there’s was only meat or gluten options. Ack..so I wolfed down the Meds I did have with some GF crackers I found in my bag. It was a late night there so I was super hungry and ate far too at my aunts when we got back. 

By the time it was bedtime I couldn’t get my heart rate down. It felt off…and then I had my first major apnea incident in over a year. I had finally dozed off and woke up with a shot:  hr high and I was short of breath. From there it was up, down, all over the place. I also had major chills, I mean I was FREEZING and shaking (keep in mind it was 70 degrees in Massachusetts that day.)  It took hours to get my heart rate back to stable point: small sips of water, and arranging my stack of pillows even higher than normal. I got maybe 3 hours of sleep. Truth me told I would of gone to the ER had I known they probably wouldn’t be able to do anything  anyway and I didn’t want to ruin my three year olds Chritmas.

More Lyme 

I have had some days where I haven’t felt that bad. Some days old normal Val comes through but Christmas Eve was truly disheartening. I haven’t felt that bad in over a year. Pregnancy “honeymoon” is one thing but that was the worse in a very long while. Right now I have a bad pressure headache and major sound sensitivity. The football game my husband is watching is making my head feel like it’s imploding … Some days the brain fog has returned, not every day. It’s up and down down and up. I have my next appointment rescheduled to the beginning of February. 

The baby

She’s doing well. Strong heart beat at my last OB appointment. I see my high risk doc again on Tuesday. Things are falling into place. But I fear my ability to take care of her. Did I make a mistake in thinking I can do this? Will my Lyme ravage me to the point I can’t handle a baby? I have some hope that my Lyme doc will help me figure things out but then I move….again. Ack. 

There’s no place like home 

The last few months seeing family has been great. We’ve been to weddings, holiday gatherings, seen some friends (not everyone that we’ve wanted to though). I just wish we could be done with this lifestyle. I’ve gone weary. This past week has marked the one year passing of my aunt. It’s another reminder of this distance keeping us from being there for the good, the bad, the hellos and goodbyes. I want roots, stability, my son to have his “people” as he calls them. Even if we lived out of state due to a job there wouldn’t be such uncertainty of the next visit.

As we sit here waiting to find out where we are heading next, I am riddled with anxiety. Living in California was awful. Too too far Away. Living with a disease and no help, losing babies without moral support…the loneliness .. life for the most part just the two of us (I mean 5 with the beings but as far as adults are concerned)…I don’t want to head back to that place where my spirit was. It was lonely. 

  

I have so many great pictures to look back on from the holidays…they help. As my son said:  “I want my people, I just want ALL my people”.