Thursday, April 30, 2015

Guess What I Wore Yesterday?

A smile!

And a little makeup! And I fixed my hair! And got dressed! They might be baby steps, but I count it as a huge victory considering I have not done any of these things more than a few times over the last 2 months.

I finally got the courage to take the steroids my OB prescribed me after putting it off since I hate the thought of taking meds while pregnant. But after yet another terrible episode of dehydration and home health sending me to the ER, I decided it was in both mine and the baby's best interest to take them. And it seems like they are helping a little! Yesterday was the first day in a long time where I felt halfway human. It only lasted for a few hours, but it was a much needed reprieve and a refreshing reminder that this IS temporary and I WILL feel like my old self again one day. It was the first time I've felt well enough to actually take the kids to school in ages. After we dropped off Harrison, Harper and I even ventured to Target. This was the first time I've been inside Target (or any store for that matter) in 6 weeks...and that right there says it all. :) The weather yesterday was so unbelievably gorgeous. I spent some time outside with Harper watching her water the flowers and trees and just soaked it all up. It was just the encouragement my soul needed.

Tuesday I had an OB visit and we saw the baby on an ultrasound and heard the heartbeat. Harper was in awe and was so adorable. Harrison didn't really even bother to look up from his Star Wars game. Ha! Such a difference in personalities. The ultrasound tech was super sweet and friendly. She looked at the gender and at first her guess was 80% girl. But then a few other angles made her doubt herself and she changed it down to 50/60%. Still too early to tell on ultrasound, but the blood results should be back next week. I honestly don't care either way, especially since we already have one of each. Of course Harper wants a sister and Harrison wants a brother, but they both said they'll be happy no matter what they end up getting.

The baby looked great and was wiggling around on the screen. Our little Nugget is measuring a week ahead. It is so true what they say about HG...even when you are terrified that there's no way the baby can possibly be growing at the right rate based on the fact that the momma is losing weight and not keeping anything nutritious down, those little fetuses are quite parasitic. The heart rate was 166 bpm. Both Harrison and Harper were exactly the same at 156.25 bpm...hopefully this doesn't mean that Baby #3 is going to be even more hyper and crazy because we definitely have enough of that going around already!

dressed the part to see their new sibling. (and it was Silly Sock Day at school)

And since I did periodic pregnancy posts with the other two, I'm hoping to document this one as well. I don't know how consistent I'll be but it is neat to go back and read about how each pregnancy has been so different.

I'm officially 13 weeks today and finishing out the first trimester. The baby will be here in almost exactly 6 months. I would say my bump officially popped around the 10-11 week mark. This is also when I started feeling the first flutters. I've always felt movement faster than average -- I felt Harrison at 16 weeks and then Harper at 12 weeks. It really is one of the best feelings in the world and probably the only thing I enjoy about being pregnant!

12w6d belly shot

Pregnancy Highlights: Seeing Nugget and hearing the heartbeat. Feeling miserable...but surviving! Supportive friends and family. Belly kisses from the kids and hubster.

How Far Along: 13 weeks

Size of baby: About the size of a large peach.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: So far I've lost 12 lbs. 

Maternity Clothes: Lately it's just been t-shirts and pj pants. I haven't found my maternity clothes yet but I need to. Not sure if they are crammed up in the attic or if I loaned them out to someone and never got them back. I had to buy a maternity shirt and pair of shorts yesterday at Target but hoping I can get by with maxi dresses throughout the summer to save some $$.

Gender: We will find out next week! When I first found out I was pregnant I leaned more toward boy. Now I'm leaning more toward girl. I honestly have no idea this time. I had a strong intuition about Harper but don't have a particular feeling this pregnancy.

Movement: Been feeling consistent flutters for about 2 weeks now.

Sleep: Terrible. I am my sickest at night and have also been having insomnia issues. I do a lot of pleading with God asking Him to please just help me get to sleep so I won't be stuck lying there feeling completely aware of my misery. But the silver lining is I've had lots of time to improve my prayer time.

What I miss: My life! Feeling like myself. Being a good wife and mother and friend.

Cravings: No big cravings this pregnancy. It's more what I can remotely tolerate. My "safe" foods for the most part have been macaroni and cheese, nilla wafers, white rice, and oatmeal.

Symptoms:Vomiting, dizzy spells, weakness, heart palpitations, dehydration. This pregnancy has been so different than with my HG pregnancy with Harrison. I am able to keep some foods down, but my biggest struggle is liquids. Before I got pregnant I could easily drink a gallon of water a day. Now the thought of taking a sip of water makes me gag. So if I want to keep food down, I can't drink anything with it. For liquids I'm averaging maybe a can of Dr. Pepper a day and try to keep down ice chips in between. Hence the need for IV fluids.

Best Moment this week:My OB appointment on Tuesday and then yesterday where I felt decent for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I got out my laptop thinking I should write an update, but I don't really know what to write so I guess we'll just see where this goes.

I am still feeling pretty miserable but I did have a hopeful OB appointment last week. I have the best doctor and he's always so sympathetic and encouraging -- we are pretty tight after my placenta previa drama I went through with Harper. First of all, I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. It made me cry. That beautiful heartbeat is worth every moment of this awful experience. Now that I'm at the end of my first trimester my doctor feels comfortable putting me on steroids. My case is considered refactory HG, which is basically a fancy way of saying I don't respond to oral antiemetics. I've tried Diclegis, Zofran, Reglan, and Phenergan, but none have helped me keep fluids down and some have given me bad side effects. Now that I've lost almost 10% of my body weight, it's time for steroids. They help tremendously with some women and others don't notice a difference. I'm praying they do the trick for me. He also coordinated for me to be put on home health care. This took a huge weight off my shoulders since being in and out of the hospital is miserable and not at all practical or convenient when you have small kids at home. So now I will be getting IV fluids in the comfort of my own home and won't have to worry about arranging child care. We are going to try the IV route first, and if it turns out I need them long term or if my veins collapse, then I'll have a PICC line inserted. As awful as all this sounded to me at the beginning of this pregnancy, I am now actually embracing it and hopeful that it will get me over the hump. It feels so nice to have a plan in place. 

We have been overwhelmed by the love and support from family and friends. At first I was adamant about not wanting to burden anybody and I am terrible at asking for or accepting help. But as the days turned into weeks and weeks now into months, I had to get over my pride and just realize that we DO need the help. And I have been humbled to tears by everyone's willingness to jump in and take over for me. I'm sitting here crying with gratitude as I'm typing this. People have grocery shopped for us, provided countless dinners, baked goodies for the kids to snack on, helped with transportation, kept the kids on the days I couldn't even get out of bed, cleaned our house and did our laundry. We even had friends show up with a brand new deep freezer to store meals in. Even during a period where I feel like my life is standing still and the days are wasting by, God continues to teach me so much through gracious people who love us well.

I can't believe it, but my appointment next week will be the big gender test. A lot has changed since the last time I was pregnant! I will only be 13 weeks, but now they can tell the sex by a blood test component of the genetics screening. We will have to wait 7 days for the results, so that means in 2 weeks we will know if it's a boy or a girl! We are taking the kids so they can see the baby on the ultrasound and they are so excited. They talk, sing, rub, and kiss my belly several times throughout the day and I absolutely love it.

In other news, this is a busy week and I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to swing it. Harrison has his GI procedure tomorrow at Texas Children's and it requires a 2 day hospital stay. We already postponed it once when I was first hit with HG sickness, and appointments are in high demand and his doctor doesn't want him to wait much longer so we don't want to reschedule again. I have a lot of anxiety about the procedure and me not being there is not an option, so I guess I will just have to pack lots of barf bags. I don't remember the last time I updated where we were with his reflux issues. He definitely has gastroparesis and now they are trying to figure out if that is contributing to his reflux or if it's unrelated. His reflux has gotten pretty bad. His preschool was even concerned and called me about it after he was vomiting in the sink. He hasn't responded to any of the meds we've tried so now the doctor is doubting it's GERD after all. There are a few things it could be but they want to know for sure before they start treatment. So, the fun procedure that is in his future includes being sedated tomorrow morning and having a tube with sensors on it inserted into his nose down to his stomach. He will have all day tomorrow to adjust to the tube and then Thursday they will monitor the motility of his food and stomach contents. They will also be able to see which medications help while the sensors are still in. I am so worried he isn't going to want to cooperate. Last time he went under anesthesia it was very traumatic for him (and therefore me) and this time he'll be waking up with a strange tube down his throat. Ugh. I hate that he has to go through all of these digestive issues and am praying this gives us the answers to get him healthy again.

Harper is also having a birthday party this weekend. She has been talking about her birthday parties (she has the next 4 planned out in detail...I kid you not) every single night when I tuck her in for over a year now. I was so upset when I got sick because I knew there was NO way I could host a party  feeling like this. I actually cried over it (a theme of my life lately, ha) because I normally love things like that and now have zero desire to even think about any of it. Thankfully my mom offered to take over and I am so grateful. I literally have not done a single thing except order a cake and a bounce house. My mom, however, has been getting her craft on and Harper is going to be one happy little princess. It will be a very small get together and both me and my house are a mess, but I'm looking forward to seeing her huge smile and watching her blow out those 4 candles.

What else? Oh.

Dear Future Kelsey,

I've had a ton of time on my hands and have found comfort in going back through and reading about your other pregnancies and posts about your babies when they were little, because it's a great reminder of why you're currently enduring this misery. I was hoping to read that the sickness ended at 12 weeks, but nope. You SUCK at being pregnant. I want you to read this and remember in detail how terrible you are at baking babies. Because you are going to meet your newborn and feel that instant love and smell that fresh baby smell and start to think that maybe it wasn't THAT bad. Wrong. It was. And even though your babies are totally worth it, I will not hesitate to throat punch you if you ever do this to me again. It will be hard, but you must resist the baby fever.

Present Kelsey

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Letter to Nugget

{originally written 2/24/15}

Hi there, little nugget! This is your momma. Right now, as I'm typing this, I am the only person on this earth who knows about you. You are my special and treasured secret, but only for a few more hours because I am bursting with excitement to to tell your daddy! He's going to be so happy to hear about you. And your big brother and big sister? They are going to be so extremely thrilled, too!

You were the most delightful surprise in a week of chaos. As soon as I saw that second line faintly appear on the stick this morning, all of my stress just melted away and was replaced with the biggest, cheesiest smile. I have been daydreaming about you all day and what this means for our family. You are my third pregnancy, yet I am still amazed at the miracle of it all. God is so very good!

See you in November, little one. I am looking forward to the journey to your birthday, and then every day after.

Love Always,

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I have a lot to share. I hate that some really great news is mixed in with some ugly, but it is what it is and unfortunately that's a true reflection of our life right now.

So I'll jump right into the good. It's GREAT, actually.

We will be welcoming Baby Boyd #3 in early November!

There is a very charming story behind how this baby came to be, but I will save that for another day.  We had not entertained the idea of having another biological child in a really long time. We were at peace with being done with that phase of our life, but now that we are here and there is a sweet little life growing inside me, we are thrilled at the opportunity to experience it all over again. We are truly excited and thankful for what God has in store for our family.

Now, I wish I only felt how that last paragraph sounds. You know, happy and smiling and enjoying my third and final pregnancy. Instead, I have been extremely sick for the last 4 weeks. Not just morning sickness sick. A nonstop, severe sickness that has been completely debilitating and landed me in the hospital for 4 days 2 weeks ago, and has me in the hospital once again as I'm typing this. I have hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a rare but serious condition. I'll spare you the specific details, but I've not been able to keep down much for a month now. I have lost a lot of weight, became very dehydrated with ketones in my urine (a sign my body was shutting down into starvation mode), and basically feel like I have the stomach flu 24/7 for over a month now. I can count on my fingers the number of times I've gotten dressed or left my house since being hit with this.

It has not only been hard physically, but emotionally as well. I know this isn't my fault, but the enemy has been really good at tangling me up with feelings of guilt and despair. Feelings that I'm sucking hugely at life, failing my family and friends, and just being an overall depressing burden on everyone close to me. My house is a wreck, my kids have a very absent mom, and my husband is stretching himself very, very thin. He has been the biggest source of support and I could not have asked for a better man, but I feel terrible that he has to take all this on. I have had some really dark days -- there haven't been many where I haven't sobbed into my pillow because I just want my life back and the thought of how many more tough weeks and months are ahead of me is almost unbearable. But then I remind myself that this IS temporary and will have the best of endings. I think back to the first moments of meeting Harrison and Harper and that instant love and remember that God is gifting us with a tremendous blessing and every single moment of this will be worth it.

I wish the sadness ended there. But then there's Elby. We had to put him in temporary respite care twice. First was when we had a birthday trip planned to New Orleans but then instead I spent the majority of a week alternating between my bed and the bathroom floor. And again while I was in the hospital the first time. I wrestled with so much guilt when I got to the point where I was unsure if I would be able to continue taking care of a baby being this sick and we weren't sure what we were going to do long-term. Because he's in foster care, we couldn't just send him with grandparents or over to a friend's house like we could with H & H. But ultimately, it didn't matter anyway. He had court and the judge ruled for him to be reunited with his siblings. It was good news for him and I'm happy that their family is back together again, but it was also very sad to say goodbye to him. He really is the sweetest baby and we all had grown pretty attached to him. The kids took the news very hard and it was heartbreaking to see them so upset. But that's how foster care is. You pour out love for as long as God asks you to, and then you say goodbye and trust in His plan.

So that's been our life for the last month. Some days I feel like there is no way I will possibly survive this season because I just can't do this anymore!, but I know that's not true and we are, in fact, doing it. We are scraping by, but we are doing it.  Harrison and Harper are totally digging hanging out in pjs all day, watching way too much tv, eating way too much junk food, and getting into all kinds of mischief since their mom is too busy puking to put a stop to it or even care. I know one day we will be hugging all 3 of our babes and look back at this time and laugh about at all the shenanigans they got away with when they sensed their parents' weakness and pounced on all the opportunities to act like wild animals. :)

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