Sunday, November 29, 2015

Baby Bump (Melina's Birth)

November 29, 2015

I finally feel like I have a moment to share the ups and downs of Melina's pregnancy, birth, and life story so far. We have been wanting to add to our family for a few years now and we finally spoke to a doctor in Ada, Oklahoma named Bryan Roehl in April of this year. He was able to run some test and find out why I wasn't getting pregnant. This is not new to us, we have struggled to get pregnant the past two times I have been pregnant and have needed medical help to get pregnant. Thanks to PCOS I struggle with infertility. He did a Sonohysterography (saline infusion sonogram) to see if my tubes were blocked causing issues with getting pregnant, sure enough my right side was blocked so he unblocked it and by May 20th we knew we were pregnant again.

We had to have some genetics testing when I was 11 weeks pregnant and every thing came back normal. We did find out at that point that we were having a girl. It was very exciting. Once I was 13 weeks I went in for surgery to have a cerclage put in, the surgery wasn't bad but it took over 13 times to get a good iv in me for the surgery. When I went in for the surgery I was actually already 1 cm dilated. I had some contractions at 15 weeks but was able to get them to stop. I started Mekina progesterone shots at 16 weeks. They really helped me and I didn't have any more contractions for a long time.

When I was 27 weeks on October 27th I started having contractions again. I put off doing anything till the next day and when I called my Dr he told me to go up to the OU Children's Medical Hospital in Oklahoma City, OK to be checked out. I was in preterm labor but they were able to get everything to stop. They decided at that point to keep me in the hospital until I had the baby just to be safe. They gave me two steroid shots for the babied lungs to develop and put me on magnesium to help prevent cerebral palsy. On November 2nd I had contractions again, this time they determined I was dilated to 4 cm and removed my cerclage. Alex and I were so worried I would immediately go into full on labor after that but the contractions stopped again. A few days later my mother in law Cathy flew in to help care for Daren. I felt good for just over a week thinking I might actually get close to 35 weeks pregnant.

Then on November 9th at 10 pm I started having contractions again, we thought they stopped but at 2 am the next morning I noticed them again and they were only 2 minutes apart. I got ahold of Alex and he drove up from our house (over and hour drive) to be up here. I was 6 cm dilated and they knew this time they couldn't get the contractions to stop. We had an ultrasound done and Melina was in a good position to do a normal birth. I got another shot of steroids for her lungs. I was so scared of getting a epidural but still asked for one and it was not placed in correct place and caused me to feel horrible. They then realized Melina had flipped and they wouldn't deliver her breech. So we then knew we had to do a C-section. Alex got to the hospital about 20 minutes before they wheeled me back for the C-section. They did a spinal tap that way Alex could be back there when Melina was born. She was born on November 10, 2015 at 5:35 am at 29 weeks and 1 day. She weighed 3lbs 1oz and was 16 in long.

She was taken directly to the NICU and Alex went with her. I got moved to a recovery room and realized why I was so scared of a c-section. It has been an interesting experience to recover from. One of the hardest parts for me to comprehend is that they did what they call a classical incision on the uterus because Melina was so small and that means they never want me to have contractions in the future for fear the incision will tear. The biggest problem with that is I have contractions so early in pregnancy, so I basically can not get pregnant again. I'm coming to grips with this new reality but it was something we have considered may happen because of my history.

I have been able to stay in Oklahoma City at the Ronald McDonald house near the hospital and this has been a great experience. I miss being home and spending time with family but I have felt it was important to spend this time with Melina to encourage her to grow. She has done very well with her breathing and eating. She is not being bottle fed yet but she has been slowly growing. She hasn't had any major medical issues so far and it is very encouraging to see her being so strong. He nurses say she is feisty and a "rock star" for her size. We are just excited to have her come home as soon as she is able to. We sure do love our sweet baby girl Melina Launie Ray!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Road of Infertility

So, it's national infertility week. I felt I needed to post something here, but I haven't know what. As many people know I struggle with infertility. What most people don't know is exactly how that affects me and my family. We have been lucky enough to be pregnant twice (both ended in early term labor and neither baby survived), once as soon as I got off birth control and with no other medical help and the second on medication to help. The two doctors I have had said the first pregnancy is abnormal for me because since then I can not get pregnant without medical help. We are blessed to have one amazing and healthy son whom we adopted just over two years ago.

What most everyone doesn't know is that since I was 18 I have known that I have PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) and that it was likely I would struggle with infertility. I even had a doctor that told me way back then I may never have my own biological children and I told my husband this when we were dating. Lucky for me he comes from a family who understands and embraces adoption. What I didn't know is how emotional that would be for me once I was ready to have kids, wondering every month if I could finally be pregnant again and finding out at age 27 that I likely also have endometriosis. We have not been able to have the surgical test to prove the endometriosis but I suffer from many of the classic symptoms and since there are many different symptoms between PCOS and endometriosis the doctor who told me I have it is very confident in her diagnosis. We have had to decide going forward what is the best thing for us to do to grow our family? We have great medical help where we live and many of my doctors have been confident with medical help we can get and stay pregnant until the baby is healthy enough to be born. This gives us hope. We are also confident in the adoption process since that has worked for us before. 

I don't have all the answers for myself or my family and we take things one day at a time and hope we follow the path we should. My hope is that my struggle with infertility and infant loss will give someone else hope or at least help them not feel alone. I hope that this week has helped many understand and at least gain some compassion about infertility.