Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Whitney!!!! My little HOPE

"There they are, the tears are back.  I suppose its time for me to stop writing for now.

This is what I am hoping:  ............................................................

That I will look back on this post, and laugh at myself, and scoff at the little lame and selfish soul that I was.  That I will have so much love and adoration for the new little life that I cant imagine life with out it?!!  That I will be so filled with gratitude for a Heavenly Father who "knows me so much better than I know myself"... as the Stephanie this morning just said..... oh to be her again.....

Wow, I break so easily!"

I copied this  from the post I wrote the day I found out I was expecting my Whitney!  (see below, it is posted)  My Whitney!  Oh my goodness how we love her!  I adore her!  I love holding her!  I could hold her all day if I could.  I snuggle my little cutie in my arms and try to soak in all of her!  Her smell, her soft, squishy body.  I kiss those little chubby cheeks a hundred times a day!  I love her smile, it melts me!  She is beyond sweet, she is so content to just be held and loved.  I thank Him EVERY single day for her.  I am so grateful that He went ahead with His plan for me, even though I was screaming at Him to make it all go away!!!!!!!!  It BREAKS my heart to read the words that I wrote that day!!!!  This little wish I made that day of how I hoped I would feel really did come true.... times a million though!!!!  I do laugh at that girl who knew so little!  I am ashamed at how I felt then!  I was selfish and so naive as to how much I could love all of these family members he has blessed me with!  I am, beyond words, so filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father "who does know me so much better than i know myself"!  This little hope came true. I cant wait to write and explain how it all came to be!!


Cleveland Clinic

This is another post I wrote but did not publish.... wow, so interesting to read now!!!!


November  22, 2012
We spent an incredible day at the Cleveland Clinic!!!  Happy thoughts fill me when I think of that place! And spider man comes to mind too! :)  (he was there, along with captain america!)

The greatness actually started before we even got there.

I know it sounds silly but after spending a lot of time on the phone with other Dr. offices/ hospitals/imaging centers, etc. this past year.... I was even impressed with their registration process.  First of all they answer the phone by saying, "Hi! Would you like an appointment for today?"  Haha!  Their policy is to try and get you in within 7-14 days of your call!  When they were trying to figure out which Dr. I should see, the man scheduling said that he was going to get a nurse on the phone to help us figure it out.  The nurse suggested I see both, a neurologist and a cardiologist.  They knew I was coming in from out of town so they switched some things around so that both appointments would all be on the same day!!  Wow!  :)

Debbie and Greg's sister, Emily watched all four crazy kids for us!  We dropped them off yesterday, tuesday the 20th and then he and I drove over to Cleveland last night.  We both were filled with so much worry and stress about the pregnancy.  We worried that they wouldn't even be able to do any testing since I was pregnant!  We called and told them our news, and they said that they would note it for the drs to see.

Here is an outline of our day for my own records:

November 21, 2012-day before thanksgiving
7am check in
7:15 EKG
7:45  Met with Dr. Shiavone, the cardiologist.  He was incredible!  He checked out every conceivable spot of my heart.  He spent over an hour with us!  That has never happened before!  He was respectful, kind and above all else, he just listened!!  He did not charge forward with any pre-conceived ideas.  He took it a moment at a time and asked me questions to clarify!  I am so humbled to have had such a caring Dr. !!!  He said he could tell I was a runner, and that I was very healthy, and that my heart sounded perfect!  He ordered some tests that were scheduled for later in the day.  He mentioned that my pregnancies were the awfulness that they were because of a condition called POTS. Postural Orthostatic Tachicardia Syndrom.  And that it could still be causing me issues now!!!  I get to more of that later!
9:00 Dr. Shiavone had ordered some blood tests so we did those right there in the hospital.
10:40 Met with Dr. Wilson (at this point we did not want to see one more neurologist, we were sure they were all the same!)  Of course though, Dr. Wilson was phenomenal!   From the moment he stepped into the room we knew he was different because he was SMILING... (neurologists don't smile, they have to think super hard so they cant smile!!  At least, that is what we thought after meeting all of the other neurologists!  Haha).  He said he did not want to read Dr. Shiavone's notes because he wanted to come to his own conclusions.  He kept saying, "I want to hear your story, tell me every detail...."  And so we did, we talked, he listened.  He did is neurology tests there in the office and then said,"I think this is POTS!  He got up quickly from the room, was gone just a few minutes and then came back and handed us a printout of the wikipedia definition of POTS.  Greg and I read over it, and then just stared at each other in disbelief!  Wow, 7 months of agony with lots of different medical professionals  with absolutly no answers, and now we had spent just a few hours with 2 drs at the Cleveland Clinic and they had both independently diagnosed me!!!! Such a tender Mercy!  We felt it in that Dr.s office!  The feeling of peace washed over us!  That He was going to help us, with the help of these Dr.s!
Dr. Wilson ordered a slew of blood tests (24) just to rule out all of those strange anomalies.  Then he said, he thinks that my pregnancies were definitely to blame for POTS and that my numbness issues now are to blame as well.  Further research will be needed so that I can understand this but... for now, just knowing what to research is exciting!
Dr. Wilson really is amazing!  After spending more than an hour with us he said that he truly does feel that the POTS is causing the numbness on my left side.  I am excited to research that..... ??  He said a few things that are so neat that are giving me tremendous hope!  He said, " I dont think you have MS, actually, I think we can rule out MS......, No, Stephanie, you do not have MS!"  I needed to hear that!  It brought me so much comfort!!  Dr. Wilson told us that he has a patient who flys in every few months to check in with him and that she is a runner!  A runner who has POTS!  He said she functions for the most part with ease, and that over the course of treating her for the past couple of years that she is now up to running 5 miles a day.  He said that I should probably find other things to do other than running.  He said that I will probably find other things that are more enjoyable exercise wise..... (He doesn't know me well enough yet, haha)  Running?!  The thought has me so excited that it might be a possibility! :)  Dr. Wilson said that priority number one is getting me through this pregnancy healthy, then maybe, we can worry about running, or excising in general.
He gave me some great information to move forward with.  He said that he does not want me to be on any drugs.  Being pregnant is hard enough on my body so adding medicines that will throw other systems and organs out of balance would be bad!  He said that one of the big antidotes to POTS is salt!  Yep, salt!  As much as i could handle.  I explained that I throw up a lot when I am pregnant so he said that a constant IV is something that we need to look into so that I can get the adequate salt intake to increase my blood pressure. The other thing he said that would help is yoga.  He said yoga helps to strengthen muscles without requiring my heart to work as hard as other exercises.  He said that I would need to experiment with caffeine to see if it helped or hindered me?  So we have good things to move forward with!!  He wants to see me in February sometime for a recheck and then again after the baby is born to get a full workup....
12-5pm For the rest of the day we just finished up the tests that the Dr.s had ordered.  I had a bubble heart ultrasound, a Stress test, an ultrasound to look for blood clots in my legs and a lot of bloodwork done!

It really was a great day.  It was a total blessing being there.  Its a special place.  People were smiling as we roamed the halls and foyers and open areas of the hospital.  When we checked into our different appointments and tests, every single employee seemed happy and kind.  That is so rare!! I Love the Cleveland Clinic!!  As I type this I feel overwhelmed at what I have before me, a difficult pregnancy, numbness, headaches and chest pain, after the pregnancy health questions... but we are so grateful that we are getting closer to getting healthier.  The gnawing sickness that I feel is depressing though.  I am trying to imagine taking good care of my 4 kids while feeling this way.  Sad.  Uggh.  Having a diagnosis of WHY can only help, right?  I really really dont want to be sick.  But since the sickness has already began, its hard to feel like having the WHY will really make any difference at all!  :(

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wow! What a difference!

What you are about to read is a blog post I wrote the day I found out I was expecting my # 5.  A blog post I wrote but did not publish because it was too ugly to admit that I felt that way!  I wasn't going to publish it, but decided that its the part of the story that needed to be remembered because its where He taught me so much!!!

November 19, 2012 4:15 pm

Its been 3 hours.

I can finally breathe, only I am betting that I just ran out of tears, the new ones being made will surely come pouring out any minute.

I took the test right after I picked up the girls from school. I was still in my workout clothes from this morning and i stunk.  Mia was down for a nap and Grant was just watching a show with the girls.  I was going to hop in the shower real quick.   I saw the little box just sitting there and thought, "hmm, I am a week late, I love taking pregnancy tests anyway."

The second I looked at it, the line that shouldn't be there was already there!!!!


Odd questions for a girl who has 4 kids, I know!

Thankfully I didn't have to add "Who" to those lists of questions.....since I already had so many to answer!

What:  What? No! No! No! We are done having kids!!!  We were using double birth control because I am/was so freaked out about not getting pregnant! My body hasn't recovered from Mia! My body is still numb since last April...and my chest hurts and my heart races at times and I am completely wiped out and exhausted most days!! and.......... I cannot be pregnant!! I just got into the Cleveland Clinic to help me get better! Next week is my appointment!  What kind of tests will they do on a pregnant lady??????  I need to get healthier, I cannot be sick, I cannot lose another year to being sick! 2009, 2011, 2012, now 2013!!!!!!! My kids cannot take care of themselves for another pregnancy! Mia!!! Mia is still just a baby! She will be two when this one is born, maybe not even!!!!


Why:  Why??? Heavenly Father knows the past year I have had!!!!!!!!  I cannot be sick on top of being sick!  Why does He want me to have another baby?  4!!! I want to have 4!!!  I am not taking good care of the 4 he has given me!! I cannot have 5! I will not live through this!  My marriage will not live through another sick year!!  Too much survival mode!  What am I to be learning that I am not?  Am I not sufficiently humbled?  Am I not trying to be the best that I can be???????  Ironic that I was just talking to my sister this morning and saying:  "He knows us so perfectly, He knows what we can handle even when we think we cant".  Well, I suppose that is where I am now.  I believe that I will not survive this..... both emotionally and physically.  Numb, heart racing, exhausted, pregnant, vomiting, fainting....etc.

How:  How?  Heavenly Father, How!???  How do I take care of my family? How do I help all of us progress to where we are suppose to get to?  How do I fortify my home, my kids, my ward.... serve at all, from my couch??????  How will I withstand the judgement? Me- with 4 kids, one on the way when I swore all over the place that I would never be pregnant again.  We have lived in Richmond for 4 years...... and will have had 3 kids!!!  Rabbits!!!  I will be judged!  We need to move, we cant fit 5 kids in this house!!!  How, how will we move?  We will need to do it soon, before I am dead and I can help!!!!!  How do I love another one, when I dont want it???  I want to be healthy!! Its been too long!! Since before Mia, in Mexico..... I cant wait another year or more to feel well!!!???????

There they are, the tears are back.  I suppose its time for me to stop writing for now.

This is what I am hoping:  ............................................................

That I will look back on this post, and laugh at myself, and scoff at the little lame and selfish soul that I was.  That I will have so much love and adoration for the new little life that I cant imagine life with out it?!!  That I will be so filled with gratitude for a Heavenly Father who "knows me so much better than I know myself"... as the Stephanie this morning just said..... oh to be her again.....

Wow, I break so easily!

A return to collecting my thoughts

I have been having such a strong desire to write.  I really wish I would have been writing everything down for the last year and a half.  It would make it all more interesting and profound......But, I did not write it all, so I will just have to attempt to catch some of the insights I have gained from the past while living and catching the present.  I thought I could just journal my thoughts in a normal handwritten journal but, I never did.  For now, this truly is the best avenue for my thoughts to spill out.

So, here it goes.  Attempting to journal and blog again.  Hopefully I am able to learn more from my life by doing so!!