Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just Waiting...

So now, I am just waiting for my period to start so I can call the doc and schedule my surgery. My hope is that the surgery will be completed within the first week of March. I am feeling a little nervous after reading posts on the Abbyloopers (TAC Yahoo group) page that some women had swelling for weeks after surgery. I was hoping to bounce right back to normal within a week or so. It is what it is and before I know it, it will be done and that's where I want to be: on the other side of this surgery.

The thing I am not sure about once again is sibling spacing. There is a comercial for a wireless provider where the dad leaves to go out of town and it's just the mom and the little girl. They play the Sweet Pea song that my friend turned me onto. I look at the relationship between mom and daughter and feel that if I wait, Precious Miracle and I will have that. It's a relationship that requires a little more maturity on the part of the daughter. Remember, Precious Miracle is almost 19 months. Do I really want to take away from her "babyhood/toddlerhood"?

On the other hand, close siblings seem to be all the rage in parenting and family planning these days. The argument that keeps me coming back is that as the children get older you can do things as a family instead of dividing up as little kids and big kids.

First things first, I suppose. Period, TAC, recovery. By then I will probably want to try it out and show everyone how great this thing works!

Friday, February 15, 2008

You know in your heart...

This was a big week for me. First of all, our family is not yet complete. This I know in my heart and there is now a peace that surrounds our decision to have another child.

My commitment to this was so intense that I became anxious to GET THE SURGERY OVER WITH! I emailed a couple of docs and called about five different Universities looking for TAC specialists. To make a week of flip flopping simple, I tentatively scheduled with Dr. Debbs, spoke with Dr. Haney in Chicago, canceled Dr. Debbs and was ready to schedule with Dr. Haney until I spoke with and met (today!!) Dr. George Davis. You know in your heart when you've found the right physician. He's the ONE! He spent an hour and a half answering all our questions. He spent another half hour evaluating my cervix. Not once did we feel rushed. Not once did I feel as though I asked a stupid question. He showed us the material that the TAC is made of. He drew pictures. He showed us photos/sketches of the anatomy and detailed portions of the surgery. He gave me confidence that this TAC will take me to 39 weeks!!! (Not sure I'm comfy going THAT far!) He acknowledged that there is a logical component to pregnancy and an emotional component. He believes in a woman's sixth sense about her body and he supports that along with the emotional component that drives anxiety and worry. He embraced a coordinated plan of care between his expertise and my desires as a patient. He gave me his personal cell phone number.

So... the game plan is this. I need to get my period! According to the ultrasound, I'm about to ovulate. As soon as my period starts, I will call him. He will then schedule the OR time (between my period and ovulation). He will mail a Quest slip to me so I can do my preadmission testing at a local lab (he's really not that far but knows it's easier for me not to make the trip with Precious Miracle in tow). We will sign consent the morning of surgery (or if surgery is scheduled for first thing, I'll drive down the day before). I will have a spinal and be awake for the 40 minute procedure. Before I am discharged from the hospital, he will show me how my cervical length has increased as a result of the TAC.

He confirmed that I have a short cervix (2.5 cm) and that I am a perfect candidate for this surgery. I will still do weekly progesterone shots (for preterm labor) as a precaution even though I am a classic case of incompetent cervix/cervical insufficiency.

I feel good! I feel relieved! I feel as though a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders! I am excited to begin this next chapter of our journey.

I am always on the look out for signs - signs that things are right. As I was driving home after picking up my car at my husband's office, "Unwritten" came on the radio. This was a song that played often as I would travel to and from the NICU to visit Precious Miracle. At that time, I hung onto certain words of that song to get me through. Today certain other words hit me. "Today is where your book begins"... we are on our way. This is officially the beginning of our second “baby journey”.

I smile as I realize that my children are already united - united by a simple song.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

That darn Fence!

Well, I'm back on it! What if our family was meant to be a one child family? Precious Miracle an only child? I swore I never would have just one. I want her to be a well-adjusted person and I think having a sibling helps in all areas of life. I wish I could fast forward through all this stuff and just have a second child the age that Precious Miracle is now. 18 months is a good age. She's so fun! Our routines are in place. I know who she is as a person and love watching her learn and grow. Plus, she can communicate her wants and needs fairly well. There is minimal guessing and so much awe, joy and fun.

Today I just don't know what to do.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Nervous about Numbers

Well, I emailed my list of questions to Dr. Debbs and within hours he replied - answers highlighted in red - just the organization I like. He has performed 120 TACs since 1994. I am nervous about these numbers. This lead me to make a call this morning to Dr. Haney's office. Dr. Haney is in Chicago and people fly in from all over the globe to have him place their TACs. We are just a 12 hour drive away. This is my health that is at stake as well as the health of our to-be-conceived child. I need to make sure I am in the best hands.

I spent 1/2 hour on the phone with a woman from Dr. Haney's office. I am now thinking, "how can I not pick Dr. Haney?". What to do...

Last night, I broke the news to my mother. I asked if I could rely on her for help. She is looking for a job and if she finds one, I'm SOL on childcare for Precious Miracle. My friend, Sara, offered to help but goodness, she has three of her own and a husband that travels. No way could I ever ask her to take ONE more! While Precious Miracle would be in great hands, it's just too much for one person to handle.

The only other comment my mother had to offer was something about having, "two little ones". I had to remind her that my brother and I are the same spacing that Hubby and I may end up with.

My head is wrapped around this. I am committing to have this surgery. I am there. Now I need to pick a doctor. By the way, this surgery must be done by the beginning of March. Time is ticking...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Is a Call a Sign?

So this morning at 9:05 a.m., I got a call from the MFM office telling me that my insurance covers the procedure with no deductible or co-pay. The whole financial piece was the least of my concerns and it seems to be the only thing I have an answer to. There is no "authority" to tell me what date to pick or that if what I'm about to do is even the "right thing". I wish it was an easier decision. I know the only way for us to have a successful pregnancy is to have the TAC placed.

I am now having second thoughts as to the risks of surgery. This is MAJOR surgery! I am electing to have this surgery and another surgery when it comes time to deliver. I need to be here for my Precious Miracle and worry that something could happen to me - all because I made a choice - a choice that could turn out to be all wrong.

My morning has been spent googling statistics: c-section stats, blood loss stats, anesthesia stats. I told myself after our NICU journey that I no longer believe in statistics.

So now I am directly emailing the doctor my list of about 20 questions. I guess the next step is to see what his answers are. Surgery could end up being just a month away. Am I ready?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Catching Up...

Since my last post, Precious Miracle was admitted to the hospital for Reactive Airway Disease (the precusor to asthma). She was released on oxygen which we still (thankfully) have at home. The good news is, we are now better prepared to handle these episodes and can hopefully keep her out of the ER next time.

So, on the baby front, we met with two MFM specialists. The first from HUP said cervical cerclage at 14 weeks. No P17 shots, no bedrest. She even thought I could VBAC. Crazy, huh? I was ready to go! It was music to my ears...although deep down, I felt otherwise.

We then met with Dr. Debbs from Pennsylvania Hospital. He was recommended by my current perinatologist. He was a very nice man. He checked my cervix and said I was NOT a candidate for a cervical cerclage and that I was a candidate for a transabdominal cerclage (TAC). This is considered major surgery. I would have the TAC placed preconception as to elimate any risk to the baby. They will go though my c-section scar and our next baby will have to be a c-section delivery. I am fine with that as to me, VBAC is way too risky with regards to my risk for rupture (I was cut at 24 weeks) and with a TAC in place, you can ONLY deliver by c-section.

I am waiting for God to tell me it's time to move forward. I look at Precious Miracle and am in awe of her. She is so beautiful and so smart. She is just amazing. She deserves a sibling but yet as our only we can give her every single opportunity. Something tells me that a sibling is worth way more than giving her every opportunity...