Title Here

I thought of a couple catchy titles but it all seemed so corny and trite. We have big news in our household, very surprising and shocking to all of us… I’m pregnant!


Back in October I had a follow-up appointment with my ob/gyn for long term birth control options and heavy period management. I had met with her in August to discuss the options for my husband and I, since we were CLEARLY done having kids and all, and also what I could do to regulate my cycles a bit since I am on anti-coagulants since my stroke and heart surgery. Hubby graciously (read: painfully) accepted a vasectomy since tubal ligation is difficult (especially for women with clotting issues!). So my doctor and I decided to try a procedure called NovaSure, which is basically an ablation procedure. This would relive my periods and maybe even clear them up for a while until I go through menopause. So I was at the ob/gyn office for an ultrasound and a tissue sample before scheduling my ablation procedure. They did a precautionary urine test before the tissue sample. I was waiting for the doctor for a while but I figured something came up. Well, my doctor came back in the room and said they could not perform the tissue sample that day because I had a faint line on my urine dip! I was blown away. I hadn’t even missed my period yet, it was that early. My doctor had my blood drawn to test my HCG levels, and they were at 35 or so. She ordered a repeat of the test for the following week, but told me not to freak out because it was so early. Well I went the following week to have my blood drawn and sure enough, the HCG levels had risen to 565! At that point the doctor took me off a few medications (like Lipitor) which can be harmful to the fetus, and said that I would see a high risk specialist after they found a “viable fetus” on the 8 week ultrasound.

I am trying to tread softly here, because I know that the adoption space is full of women with infertility issues and I really don’t want to seem ungrateful or petty. But we were done having kids, and on the path to make it permanent. So you can imagine our utter shock at being pregnant 5 years after our youngest kid! I’ve been in graduate school and looking to head back to work next fall when all of my kids are in school full-time. A newborn definitely was not in the plan! We’ve also been very nervous, considering that we did take precautions to NOT get pregnant, so we’ve been concerned about the health of the baby.

At every appointment we’ve been glad to have reports of a healthy baby. We also saw the high risk specialist this week and I get to stay on my current medications until week 34, when I will switch over to twice daily injections of Heparin. Heparin is reversible, so when I go into labor or I am induced (after 39 weeks), they do not have to worry about bleeding or an epidural. Hubby and I have slowly been accepting this as our new reality. I withdrew from graduate school for the spring. I got all As this semester so it was really bittersweet to stop, but it’s a $30,000+ program, and considering it will be a while before I go back to work, I don’t think the return on investment is very good. We’ve been trying to collect baby things, since we donated all of Madeline’s things a long time ago! We’re slowly considering names. It is becoming more of our reality, but it has been a long 12 week road!

The kids are BEYOND excited. Anne wants to be there when I deliver. Huck actually cried happy tears at the thought of having a little brother (potentially). Madeline is coming to terms with being a big sister. She keeps saying she doesn’t like babies but she finds baby toys any time we go to the store and is excited for that part.

My family has been very cautious with their excitement as they are worried about my health. While I was never told that I could not have children after my stroke and heart surgery, I was always adamant that I was not going to try and that it would be high risk. At this point they do no consider me at any higher of a risk for a blood clot than any other pregnant woman, but they are monitoring it closely. So I am thankful for being monitored and my doctors have all been excellent.

My due date is July 1st, and the doctors won’t let me go to 40 weeks, so it looks like we’ll have a new addition in June 2016!


Easy Peasy

My heart surgery on Thursday turned out to be a piece of cake. What usually takes around an hour and a half took about 45 minutes for me. Everything ran as smoothly as it possibly could go. I got some good calming medicine and some topical numbing but I was awake for the whole thing and watched it unfold on the screen. I saw the camera scope go up my veins to my heart, then I watched as they threaded a second tube in for the actual device to be in my heart. I watched them measure the size of the hole in my heart and listened as they debated what size of device would need to go in. I watched them carefully place the device and open it up, umbrella like, in my heart. My doctor told my husband that I was very brave. It actually was calming to me to be able to watch and see what was going on. I’m sure I would have freaked out if something went wrong and I was listening but the whole operating room was such a strong and confident environment that I wasn’t worried. I guess the good medicine helped too! I laid on my back, flat for about three hours after the surgery. They took out the two catheter tubes and then I laid for another hour or so. Finally I got to sit up for a bit then I got to walk around! I had my breakfast/lunch around 3:30 and I was home before 5. I was happy to see Little One. My mom said that when Little One got up (I was already gone for the surgery), she wouldn’t look or talk to my mom. So she asked if Little One was nervous. And she said yes, I am nervous because Mama isn’t here. Poor thing! I hope this is the last of it and she doesn’t need to worry any more. I am sure it weighs on her little mind and I don’t want her to stress about me being sick. I am not very sore today and I took about a mile and a half (slow) walk this morning. I took a nice nap this afternoon and soon I will get to shower and take my bandage off! I could not be more pleased about the whole procedure and recovery thus far. Definitely much better than I was expecting and makes the whole process worthwhile!

Heart Surgery FTW!

Tomorrow is the big day of my heart surgery. I’ve spent the last month wrangling with the insurance company to make sure it’s approved for in-network. The link below is a concise description of the surgery. I’ll let you know how it goes! Finally got nervous and overwhelmed yesterday. Cried today when Little One’s preschool teachers told me good luck. Sigh. Let’s close this bad boy up and get on with it!




What Would You Do With $18,000?

Right now the total of my medical bills following my stroke, doctor’s appointments, tests, an ambulance ride, 2 ER visits and 2 nights in the neurology wing at Geisinger Medical Center (Hospital) is at $18,000. Granted, some of the tests have been denied by insurance totally and some do not seem to be covered completely when they should, so I am hoping that amount will come down quite a bit. But man, this medical crap is expensive! Especially for something that couldn’t be prevented! Right now my insurance has been billed a total of almost $100,000! And I haven’t even had my surgery yet! Last night when my husband looked up the grand total we started dreaming of what we would do with $18,000, other than paying for medical bills. What would you do with that kind of money? Go on an exotic trip? Take your kids on a cruise, first class style? Buy a new car? I can assure you that I wouldn’t use it for a two night hospital stay!

Tomorrow is our second meeting with the Program Director of the foster agency we like, and our first meeting with the Permanency Specialist. I read over the 100 page Orientation Manual since our last visit, so I have a bunch of questions for them! Hubby is all ready too, so it’s looking like we’ll be able to start training while I go through recovery! We had some good soul-searching over the weekend and we are both ready to go forward with matching an older sibling group. We figured out logistics and even bedroom layouts!

Heart Surgery

So I am having heart surgery on May 8th. Well, that’s the tentative date at least, waiting on health insurance pre-authorization. It’s hard to say and I don’t like thinking about it. My mother will come back in town for at least a week. I have to be careful for at least a month, being careful with any type of strain or  lifting as the artificial piece heals. I look forward to (slow) long walks and healing for the beach/pool! For all you medical followers out there, I am having a PFO closure. It is an outpatient surgery, done with a catheter. The surgery takes about an hour. About 80% of people have full closure right away, and most of the other 20% will have theirs close within 6 months. So I will have several check-up echo-cardiograms to make sure it’s in the correct spot and that it’s healing.

I am glad that I’ll be working on my foster care certification as I recover!