Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to school & Battle # 1

Hello gang!
I survived the first week of school! The first few days were a little chaotic, but by Thursday, a flow was established. I have a total of 53 students! I had to be creative with the schedule and it seems every day the ESE Specialist is placing more kids with me. I already had to ask the custodians to place more desks and chairs in my classroom. I know I'm good, but JEEZ!!! 53 and counting is too much :-).
Dh says even though I complain, he knows I love a challenge. I do, but this is a big challenge. I will see how the remainder of the year goes. I do know one thing, my feet hurt like he**.
This promises to be a busy year. I am team leader (also known as Head of Department), School Advisory Council Chair, I am teaching Camp Cool - which is an extended learning experience for students who are struggling - two days a week, I am on PTO, and on the Aspiring Leaders Team. This team is primarily in charge of implementing policies and procedures that will make our school better, and is also in charge of our school's 50 year anniversary celebration. In addition to that, I am making preparations to go back to school to finish my Ph.d. I have to do the GRE Exam and I already started my National Boards.
I ask myself, "why am I doing this?" I am trying to stay as busy as I can in order not to think about TTC, the TAC, or my damn cervix.

In regards to the TAC, hubby and I are actually thinking of doing it at the end of the year instead of next summer. With my history of getting pregnant even with precautions, I would really love that added security. In the event that this new birth control fails like the last one did, I want to have the reassurance that I will not lose another baby.
Last year, the school board changed to one main insurance company. This company has been a little unreliable and unyielding for many teachers in the past, and I was not happy when they switched.
I called Dr. D.'s office to find out the insurance procedures and the lady in charge said that her last experience with this insurance company was denied, and the patient had to pay all costs out of pocket. She could not remember what State the patient was from and I got nervous.
I called the insurance company myself and was told that it is considered out of network, but that the procedure *may* be covered if my Primary Doctor submit a request for authorization and a letter of approval and can prove that it is necessary. This is so because the procedure will be done pre-pregnancy. My Primary Doctor has no idea of the recent loss and I am not looking forward to reliving it again. I have been trying to get a hold of him and am not having any luck. I plan on going down to the office this week after getting a copy of my medical chart from the OB.
My fear is that it might be denied pre-pregnancy. However, if I was already pregnant it would be covered. I do not want to get pregnant and have a "what if" in the air. Praying that once the paper work is all filled out, the procedure will be approved. Dr. D.'s office manager also said that some insurance companies will deny it for out of state, but will approve it if a Dr. is found in network. I have checked and only one Dr. does it in West Palm Beach. However, he does it lasproscopically and that method is not 100% effective - it has been known to fail quite a few times. To tell you the truth, I am not willing to risk this. I also prefer to go to the"expert" where I feel confident in his abilities.
Please pray that the procedure will be covered or at least 50%. Even though we would be able to pay for it with a little cutting back and saving, but in this recession I do not want to take away from our reserves.

Where is my expected end?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This time last year...

This time last year I peed on a stick and saw 2 lines. I remember going to the store and choosing the cheapest pregnancy test because I knew it would be negative, after all we were not trying. I remember feeling scared, then joyous and called my hubby screaming excitedly. This was the start of Alyssa-Joy Katherine W. Visions of a little girl or boy filled my mind. The things we would do, places we would go filled my heart with glee, but sadly it was not meant to be.
This was a day of innocence. An innocence that can never be recovered. My heart hurts today...

Where is my expected end?

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Thank you so much for the wonderful comments. You always validate my feelings and encourage me spiritually and emotionally. I pray for all of you daily, and just know that you are a great source of support to me.
For those of you who asked about my insurance. We are still waiting approval. The School Board Insuarance is odd. For some procedures they give you a time frame in whoch to getn it done and if they do, I might be doing the TAC earlier than I planned. I am excited about this new road we are going to travel down.
In the event Insurance does not cover the procedure, we will only be charged $4,000. What a blessing!

I have been pretty busy this week. Teachrs went back to school to prepare and I must say I don't remember my classroom being that big. It seemed the work was never ending. I still have a few stuff left to do, but I will work on that on Monday and post pictures as well. Am I ready for students? NO! Am I ready for a Paycheck? You better believe it.
On a serious note, I am excited about this school year. I have some challenging students, and I love a challenge. I have high expectations that my students will come out on top.

I found out this morning that my dear friend is pregnant. I am soo happy for her, I am busting out of my seams. You know people who give and give and give, and put others needs before theirs? The ones who encourage you and lift you up? The one who you can always turn to? Well, my friend is this kind of gal. She is going to make an awesome mom and I cannot wait to fly up and meet "little Marie". Congrats to her and hubby.

I have become an advocate for the TAC. I know the TVC works for some people, but I do not want my friend to take that chance. I want her to have the best possible outcomes and will be with her every step of the way. If I have to fly to her state, I sure will.
I actually approached a co-worker whose wife is 17 weeks pregnant. I encouarged him to have them check her cervix at her next big appointment. I stressed to him that Dr.'s say that Incompetent Cervix is rare, but I have met so many women who prove otherwise. His wife has had a relatively uneventful pregnancy, but I told him it is better to always check as there are no symptoms. Do you think that was the right thing to do? I gave him more information and he said he will. I just feel as if I have to get the word out to as many women as possible. I am even researching how to get Cervical checks a necessary part of a routine OB visit. I have spoken to a lawyer and we are exploring the options. I will keep you updated.
I just want to get the word out so that other women won't have to walk this road. This lawyer is versed in legislation and medical law, so fingers crossed.

I believe the Lord puts you through things to help others. Sometimes I ask "why me Lord", but I can never understand the mind of God. A lady at work had a recent miscarriage and she came to me for support. I dislike being "that lady", but if I can help someone, I will. I shared my experience with her and encouraged her as best as I knew how. I hope it helped.

Now on to the drama. When I left work in June, I told my principal I was pregnant and there was a possibibility I would not return. I asked him to please keep it quiet. You would think Principals should be confidential with certain information right? Not!
I returned to work anxious, but relieved that no one knew. The first day, I had 5 teachers come say "congratulations" and "when are you due?". I was floored and stated that I was not expecting. Weren't they embarassed! Serve them right. My school is a baby making machine, and apparently they reported 5 teachers as being pregnant, me being one of them. Two ladies with twins! Side bar: how the heck can they carry twins, and I can't even carry one?.
I did some investigation and found the source. The Principal told the Assistant Principal, who told a co-worker, who told a big mouth co-worker, who spread it around the school.
Every time it is mentioned I just say, "No. I am just fat." I feel guilty afterwards, because I feel as if I am denying my baby, but I just don't want to have to relive the experience or face the looks (and trust me, the looks arent in my head). When you work with 99% women, they rehash everything.
I am thinking of approaching the Assistant Principal and respectfully speak to her. My hubby says to let it go, but I think she needs to know that some things must be kept confidential, and every best friend has a best friend, and someone down the line has a big mouth. What do you think?

Where is my expected end?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Question and Answer with TAC doctor

Hello gang! It is a Saturday night and here I sit with nothing to do, so I figured I might as well blog :-).
I want to thank Alana for submitting my story to Lost and Found. Alana is a sweet lady with a beautiful daughter who is struggling with secondary infertility. Stop by her blog and send some support or offer up a prayer for her and dh. I look forward to reading her blog daily. Her posts range from book reviews to her daily experiences as a wife, mom, and teacher. Take a minute, I guarantee you will enjoy it.

So I have been corresponding with Dr. George Davis in Sewell, New Jersey for the past two weeks. Many friends reached out to me and encouraged me to contact him. One friend in particular helped me the most (thanks Kiki!) I first e-mailed him with a brief history and asked him to please contact me when he had a chance. He earned high marks with me when he e-mailed me back while he was on vacation! This move showed just how passionate he is about eliminating the Incompetent Cervix epidemic.

He called me one night and we talked for hours. I began by telling him what happened in both pregnancies and what the Dr. told me at each post partum appointment. Below are a few questions I asked and the responses I received.

1. What are the risks?
The risks are generally those of any major surgery in an otherwise healthy young woman. They include blood loss, infection, problems with wound healing, etc. None of these occur very often. In reality, as long as the procedure is done by someone who knows what they are doing, the risks are very minimal.

2. Long term effects?
Virtually none.

3. Will I have to be on bed rest?

4. Can the TAC fail?
Yes, in theory,. in twenty some odd years of doing this procedure, I have had women who did not end up with a successful outcome. However, none of my patients have ever lost a pregnancy because of a failure of the TAC itself. All were for reasons unrelated to the TAC.

5. Is there a possibility I will go to term?

6. How can a TAC help me if I have a dynamic cervix? Will it hold while my cervix opens and closes on its own?
The TAC eliminates 99% of problems that affects the cervix. The cervix will still be dynamic, but the TAC will prevent the membranes from funneling and prevent ascending infection. It will definitely hold the cervix closed.

7. How is the TAC placed and is it more reliable than the TVC?
The TAC is placed via an open method (it involves an incision through the lower abdomen - similar to a c-section). The Davinci Robot is now being used. This involves using robotics to get into tight places. The TAC is more reliable. Vaginal cerclages only work 70% of the time.

8. I had an infection in my uterus which caused my loss and I am fearful of it happening again. What are the chances of this happening with a TAC?
You probably had an ascending infection which occurred because the cervix opened up. With the TAC, the cervix will not open.

9. How soon can the TAC be placed?
As soon as possible.

10. How long do I have to wait to TTC after placement?
30 days

11. What is my physical recovery after placement?
You will spend about 2 days in the hospital and can go home to Fl. the 3rd day. Recovery can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

12. Is a pre-pregnancy TAC better than one done during pregnancy?

13. How long have you been performing TAC's?
20 some odd years.

14. General anesthesia or spinal?
Pre-pregnancy - general
During pregnancy - spinal

15. How am I monitored after placement?
By OB, but before you leave the hospital pictures will be taken via US to show placement of the cerclage.

16. What kind of contact will yoU have with me? With my OB?
The OB or you can call anytime, with any questions. Collaboration as needed.

17. I know the stitch is permanent. Are there any long term effects to my body by having it there as the years go by? Is there a time when I may need to have it removed?
There are no long term effects, no deterioration or risk of infection. The body actually builds a protective coat around it which makes it even stronger.
No, but if a hysterectomy is needed for any reason, the band will not pose any problems.

18. Do you take my insurance?
His secretary is currently working with my insurance company to get approval.

19. Why does the TVC work for some and not others? Especially since I have not had any thing done to my cervix?
The TVC is only 70% effective. The connective tissues in your cervix may not be as string as others. Some women have some strength and the TVC work, but for women like me, it is useless.

20. Any meds after?
Just antibiotics and pain killers

21. Is it possible to go back to work after the surgery and through the pregnancy?

22. What are the failure rates of TAC?
Less that 1% and other factors are involved. The TAC will not fail.

23. When can the surgery be booked?
Usually 6-8 weeks before the surgery.

24. Which is better? Laproscopic or open method?
The Lap have failure rates. Even though I have never done one that failed, I prefer to not take that chance. The open method has a higher success rate.

After talking to the Dr. I feel hopeful and will definitely be doing this surgery. This Dr. was patient and was willing to answer all my questions even of many were repeated. I debated between him and another Dr., but after reading the experiences of both, I decided on Dr. D because his patients all have successful pregnancies.
I also let the Dr. know that I do not plan on spending another pregnancy on my my back. If there is even a remote possibility of this happening, then all bets are off. I asked if I needed to have any tests done and he said no.
I hope this post helped someone who may be contemplating taking this same route.

Where is my expected end?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thank You

Hello ladies!
Thank you so much for the support and all the wonderful comments. They mean the world to me and I treasure each and every one of them. We do not have to have the same beliefs, but your thoughts and your kind words lift my spirits. This even distresses me further as now I wished I had shared this past pregnancy with you - I would have loved and cherished the support.
I have now made a pact to share everything on this journey with you. The loss of Evan has shown me what wonderful friends you all are to me and hubby. We thank you wholeheartedly.

When I started this blog, it was a way of getting my feeling out. I never thought I would have followers or even get comments - that was not the purpose. I simply needed a quicker way of getting my feeling out than using paper and pen which urns out to be chicken scratch because my fingers were trying to keep up with my thoughts. I have now seen the value and cherish our little community. It is funny how tragedy and struggles bring people together and helps them bond. Even though we do not know each other in real life, I consider you some of my closest friends.

Someone submitted my story to a blog known as Lost and Found. Through this, I received some heartfelt comments from a variety of individuals. Whoever submitted my story - a big THANK YOU. Please let me know who did it, so I can thank you properly.

I am still mourning for Evan, but am doing much better. A lot of you say that I am an inspiration, to tell you the truth, I don't feel like an inspiration. But if my story and my life can be an example to someone, only God deserves the glory. There are days when I am mad at God, and don't turn to him as often as I should, but he is still working on me. I have to remind myself that I am not perfect and only one man exudes perfection. He is well aware of this and that is why he created prayer and repentance.

My sisters, hubby and I have been talking about the future. My sisters offered to be my surrogate and a dear friend has been encouraging me to inquire about the Transabdominal Cerclage. I have been in contact with Dr. G. Davis in Sewell, New Jersey and I am hopeful. He answered my 101 questions patiently and I have decided to go ahead and do the surgery. I will do the surgery summer of next year and TTC at the end of 2010. This is major surgery and I am a nervous wreck, but I cannot go through life not having a child of my own. All I want is one, and I definitely consider adoption with or without a biological child.
After sharing the details of the conversation with my twin sis, she said something to me that reminded me that God is still in control and confirmed my previous post. God always sends confirmation.
" See, I told you it would work out. Just not the "traditional" way we would like. This is your testimony and your way of bringing awareness to the issue. Look at how many people have come forward to you with their story. This is your way of showing them that Jesus says he will not withhold any good thing. It might not be the way we would like it to happen, but he does it his way and on his own time. He said the thoughts he thinks towards us are not of evil but of peace to give us an expected end. He knows what you expect so of course he'll make sure he fulfills it. But sometimes we have to go through the fire first before we can come out as pure gold. This is your fire but imagine in the end how great of a mother you will be because you have two babies looking down and guiding you, and looking out for the next child. What better guardian angels than his/her brother and sister?"

I cried when she said this. She does not know that that is my favorite scripture verse or that I made mention of coming through as pure gold in my previous post. I believe this is confirmation and the Lords way of reminding me to trust that he wishes only good for me. I am still mad, but I am choosing to trust him.

I went back to work today to get my classroom in order (more details on the drama that occured in another post). I was talking to another teacher when another teacher N. showed up. N. started crying and telling me she knows how I feel (referring to me losing AJ last year). She just miscarried a week ago and she is going crazy. I sat with her and we talked. Even though she was only a few weeks, the pain is still the same. You dream about what your baby will be like, things you will do, and so on.
I called my hubby after we talked, and we came to the conclusion that God sometimes put you through things so that you can help others. I really hope so. I do not want the lives of my babies to be in vain and I am encouraged to spread the word about this condition so that others don't have to go through it.

In the next post, I will share the details of my conversation with Dr. Davis. Thanks for all your support ladies. Sending you love and hugs from South Florida.

Where is my expected end?

Monday, August 10, 2009

The devil at work

(I have delegated him to lower caps as to not give him importance) :-)

Why do good people suffer? Why does it seem that those who would make awesome parents are the ones who suffer with infertility and loss? Why is it that when one thing goes wrong, the sh** usually hits the fan?
I know the Lord did not cause my loss, but he allowed it, and for that I am still mad. He has already said that he has to give the devil permission to touch his people. Though I have come to terms, I still cannot fathom what lesson I am supposed to be learning. I know one thing though, I will have a hell of a testimony when this is all over. I hope my life will be an example to others. My grief is still fresh and I dread the years to come without my babies, but I will make it. I just have to take it one day at a time.

Recently it seems that we and my hubby's family are going through it. I actually told my SIL that the devil is at work but he won't win.
The week of my loss, my FIL was admitted to the hospital. His cancer is at a stage 4, and his appendix ruptured. Since the cancer is so advanced, there was no much they could do but vacuum it out (thats the term my SIL used, hopefully it is the right term). Then we lost Evan.
The next week, our refrigerator broke beyond repair and we had to replace it. Let me tell you, refrigerators are not cheap! The next day, hubby's car broke down and a new part had to be bought. The cost????? $495. Remember, we are one one salary during the summer. Add the cost of cremating Evan, buying a refrigerator, and the part for the car - it ate up our extra reserves for the last few weeks of summer.
Then the next day, my SIL called. She has Cer.vical Tutoma (sp) and needs surgery. Cost will be out of pocket (no insurance) and of course family will have to help.
The next week, my BIL who is a minister, was in Georgia leading praise and worship and had to be rushed to the ER. Turns out he had a ruptured appendix that had to be removed. When it rains, it pours.

All these tragedies in two weeks. I tell you, the devil is at work, but he won't win. The scripture reminds us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against rulers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places....
the scripture also says that we will come forth as pure gold.
The devil won't win. He won't steal my joy. He won't turn me against God. He won't send me into depression. He won't win and I will come through this ordeal as pure gold.

Where is my expected end?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My insecurities come out at night

I would once describe myself as a pretty confident person. I used to think highly of myself and had the greatest self-esteem. I must say that after enduring two losses, I have become a blubbering mess. During the days, when the hustle and bustle of life takes over, I am okay. I think of my baies and smile, I remember their faces and am in awe of the glory of God.

At night, it is another story. I find myself unable to sleep, and it is at this time that my insecurities surface. Though I know it is nothing that I did, my self-conscious cannot fathom that. I ask myself, What did I do that was so wrong to deserve this? Was I that terrible as a child? Am I unworhty to be a mom? Does my husband resent me? Does he blame me? Is he still happy with me?
I know my hubby loves me, but even the saints must have a breaking point. How many more children will I lose? One loss was devastating, but I coped. Two is unbearable!
I laid awake last night mentally giving my hubby permission to leave me. I try to put myself in his shoes and try to gauge how he feels. When is enough going to be enough?

Then the morning comes and I am okay again. I cannot imagine living without him. I cannot imagine going through this with someone else. It is just the night that drives me insane.

Where is my expected end?

Monday, August 3, 2009


After waiting all night for the cytotec to take effect, it finally did its job. I felt a lot of pressure despite the epidural and paged the nurse. I asked her to please check me and to our surprise the head was right there. The doctor was called in the room and after 3 pushes, Evan George W. came out butt first still in the amniotic sack. Thankfully the placenta came out as well so no D&C was necessary. I wanted to see everything the nurse was doing to my baby. She cleaned him up and brought him to me. It was the most calming feeling. This was the one thing I did not do with Alyssa-Joy and I was determined to hold Evan. Hubby did not hold him but stroked his skin.

Evan was born perfect. Not a bruise in sight. He was the most beautiful baby boy and had a peaceful look on his face. I knew immediately that he was resting in the arms of God.
Though my heart hurts, I know he is in a better place and I cannot wait to see him and his sister again.
Mommy and daddy love you Evan, and would give up this world for you and your sister.

Evan George W.
Saturday July 25th, 2009
13 ounces, 10 inches long.

Where is my expected end?