Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Raising Up

I named my rainbow baby Anastasia because I loved how the meaning of the name is so pertinent to what we had to go through to have her.  The meaning is usually said to be "resurrection", but there is more to it than that.  Anastasia comes from the Greek word anastasis, which also means "a raising up" and "a recovery from a debilitating condition".  She has been all of this and more for our family.

For me, the depression and anxiety documented earlier on this blog lifted completely once Anastasia was born, just as I expected it would.  What I didn't expect was the great improvement in health I've been enjoying.  It is well known that pregnancy and breastfeeding can put endometriosis into remission.  To my surprise, it has stayed that way even after she was weaned.  The pelvic pain that plagued me for a DECADE, sometimes causing constant pain lasting for months, has been entirely gone these last four years!  This has been a lovely surprise and has enabled me to do things that were difficult before.  For example, I used to be unable to sit for long periods without pain, which made things like traveling and watching movies unpleasant. Now, to Q's great joy, I am capable of sitting around for hours at a time.

Good thing I can sit around, because this pregnancy is kicking my butt like no other before it.  I am utterly exhausted much of the time. My age is surely to blame at least in part, and severe anxiety doesn't help either. My house is often disgusting since I can't keep up with the dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc.  Also I only make real dinners a couple of times a week.  The rest of the time we rely on convenience foods from the supermarket.  It's great to have this option, but it is not good for the budget nor is it as appealing as a home cooked meal.  

The anxiety with this pregnancy has been very much like last time, but with other added stressors thrown in as well.  With my last pregnancy, we knew what we were in for and simplified our lives to make it easier to handle.  Can't simplify so much this time around.  

The biggest difference with this pregnancy is that I'm coming at it from a very different angle.  Last time I was starting from the bottom, climbing week by week out of an abysmally deep depression and finally being raised up even higher than I'd dared to hope.  The view from the top is stunning.

With this new pregnancy I begin at the top, which is obviously a plus.  However, when I peer over the edge of the cliff and see the dark depths where I was not so very long ago, I am filled with a terror that is beyond words.  To fall from such a height would surely be...well, it's probably best not to think it.

This is where I stand at nineteen weeks. Miles died at nineteen weeks.  Jeremiah died at twenty-one.  My next appointment is on Wednesday, when I hope to get some good images of the cord.  Friday I leave for a family reunion.  The timing is less than ideal in my mind, but hopefully it will be a good distraction so I won't feel stalked by death every single moment.  If I run away fast enough and go far enough, maybe death won't find me this time!

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Physician Menace

I am so fed up with doctors I could just cry.  I fact I have.
Things have been very tense around here lately and the pregnancy is just part of it.  I'm at eighteen weeks now and have been feeling the baby move for a couple of weeks now.  Hopefully this is a sign that all is well with baby and that it will continue this way.

I had an ultrasound last Tuesday at 17 weeks 1 day.  I had to beg and plead with the perinatalogy clinic to get this appointment because they were quite insistent that I wait until 20 weeks for another appointment.  I was quite insistent that this would not do AT ALL.  I was able to talk with Dr. Collins and he thought it was absurd that my clinic was being difficult about this.  This is the same clinic I saw when pregnant with Anastasia.  At that time they did weekly doppler scans of the cord starting at 16 weeks. They were only too pleased to take my money then and I just can't understand why they are taking this radically different approach now.   

So I went to the appointment and had the ultrasound, which showed baby's growth is on track.  They also did dopplers of the cord, but refused to do any other scanning of the cord, such as trying to look at it in 3D or trying to measure the coiling.  Q and I talked to the doctor and she said the dopplers looked OK to her.  She seemed generally dismissive of our concern about the cord despite our explanations about this being a recurrent problem for us.  We also explained that we want Dr. Collins to look at the pictures since he is an expert in this issue.  She then gave us a disk with our pictures on it and we went on our merry way.

When I put the disk in my computer at home, however, I found that we had only 4 pictures - one of baby's profile and 3 of her legs.  This does me no good at all.  I called the clinic when they opened the next day (Wednesday) and was told there's nothing anyone could do until at least Friday when the particular satellite clinic that saw me Tuesday would be open again and could try to get the cord pictures off the ultrasound machine they used.  So I waited until Friday and after several phone calls, was told I could come pick up a disk of the cord photos at the clinic after 2:00.

And did our little story finally end happily?  Of course not.  At 1:00 the clinic called again to say don't bother coming in because actually they can't give me the pictures after all.  Suddenly it's against their policy to let patients have any images except a few "just for fun".  I assume then that if recurrent leg problems were an issue with my children, I would not have been given the three "fun" leg pictures I now have and may instead have gotten some "fun" cord pictures.  I made clear that this was entirely unacceptable.  When I made the appointment I stated that the purpose was to get pictures of the cord to send to Dr. Collins.  I also discussed this with the actual doctor when the ultrasound was done.  She didn't say one word to indicate this was a problem, but now she is the one who "made the call" not to let us have the images.

Next, I got to speak with the actual doctor.  I do not not take kindly to know-it-all, condescending, patronizing doctors and was very direct while still remaining civil.  Where we stand now is that I'm supposed to be able to get the images from the clinic on Tuesday (tomorrow) when they are open again.  Doing it that day was apparently just too much for the overworked staff.  You know how hard it is to transfer .jpg files onto a disk.  

If that doesn't happen, I am making an appointment at my regular OB office to get pics of the cord.  They don't have the expertise to interpret such pictures, but they've said they do have the capability of at least giving them to me.  I am supposed to go to Tennessee for a family reunion in two weeks.  I will be twenty weeks - the same time frame when both Jeremiah and Miles died.  My stress level is 
at Severe already and I want to know what Dr. Collins thinks about these images before I hit the road.

And on top of all this, Q has a job offer in Texas to consider.  This is a VERY dramatic decision, especially given the timing.  

Also, I will run out of Lovenox tomorrow despite my best efforts over the past two weeks to acquire a new supply from a mail-order pharmacy as required by my insurance.  Just found out I will not be getting it in time from them and now have to fight with my insurance to let me get it at a retail pharmacy locally, if  I can find one that actually has it in stock.  

After that, I will spend the rest of the day taking kids to the mall and the beach because it's summer break now.  We're going to have fun, dammit!  One of the most exhausting things about the current situation is trying to act as if everything is perfectly normal.