Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Part II -Questions and Answers

Don't forget to see the previous post for part one.

23.) What is the diameter of the TAC around the OS? I am under the belief that it is supposed to be under 2 cm, preferably 1.6 cm. What is your take on this?
a. I cannot give you a diameter, because that would entail actually measuring around the cervix after the TAC is placed which is difficult to do. I can tell you that it is placed quite tightly, but not too tightly to stop your menses. Every woman is different, some have a thick cervix, and some have really thin cervix. To give you a diameter would be misleading, because every cervix is different.

24.) How long is the incision? 4 inches?
a. We don't deal with inches usually, but the incision is approximately 6-7 cm.

25.) Is there even a remote possibility that I will get to 37 weeks, if no other complications are present?
a. Yes there is a strong possibility that you will get to 37 weeks. However, I do not think that far ahead. I think in terms of milestones. Lets get you to 24 weeks, then 28 weeks, then 30 weeks, then 34 weeks, then 36 weeks, then 37 weeks.

26.) Is there a possibility that the TAC might hinder me from getting pregnant? I know one of the possible problems might be secondary infertility.
a. No. There has been no documented proof that the TAC causes second infertility. But it seems to me that you guys get pregnant quite easily, so I don't think there should be a problem.

27.) If done pre-pregnancy how long should we wait before trying to conceive?
a. 4 - 6 weeks. I cannot imagine any woman wanting to engage in intercourse 2 weeks after major abdominal surgery, but if after 2 weeks you feel up to it go ahead. i would suggest that you wait until you heal though.

28.) What is the physical recovery after placement?
a. Difficulty walking afterwards, getting around slowly the first week, possible constipation.

29.) How is my physical recovery impacted if I get pregnant right away?
a. It should not impact you that greatly. The stretching of the uterus might make you feel pain where the incision site is, but that is minimal.

30.) What physical changes are in store for my body?
a. Just a scar, possible numbness of the incision site.

31.) What is your professional stance in regards to pelvic rest? Bed rest? (I do not want bedrest unless complications arise)
a. Absolutely no intercourse. I will suggest bedrest during the 2nd trimester, especially during your critical weeks. I want to do whatever it takes to get the baby to term. I do not want you to feel any regret if something happens that could have been helped with bedrest.
I let her know that my OB and MFM will say "take it one week at a time", because they know some women have to work. This is where we came to a compromise. I will work and do modified bed rest (on my butt as soon as I get home) and during the critical periods be seen more often and if changes start to occur, then I will be taken off work completely. It is important that I sit as much as possible. I let her know though that I have faith, and I will be putting that faith in God and in the TAC.
I guess another intern is in store for me.

32.) How often should my CL be measured?
a. every 3 - 4 weeks translabially.
Frankly, this is too wide of a gap for me. Especially between 16 - 24 weeks. I WANT to be seen weekly, even if I have to pay for the ultrasounds myself.

33.) Which weeks do you view as critical?
a. Every woman is different, but I can tell based on your history that your critical weeks start between 16 and 20.

34.) How often should I be seen during those critical weeks?
a. Depends on how everything is going, but about every 2 weeks.
Thats much better. Anyone know where I can buy a used US machine? Lol.

35.) How am I monitored after placement?
a. I will be considered high risk so an MFM should be part of the team.

36.) What is your view on 17p shots or prometrium?
a. Prefer 17p -it is administered through the muscle. The prometrium is inserted vaginally, and we want to reduce going near that area.

37.) What about Fetal Fibronectin Tests (FFN)?
a. Only if labor symptoms occur, such as contractions, increased discharge, leaking of fluid, etc.

38.) Should Betamethasone shots be given to mature the babies lungs? At what point?
a. No. not unless labor is imminent. The shots only last for 2 weeks (?) and can only be given twice throughout the entire pregnancy.

39.) What kind of contact will you have with my OB/MFM?
a. We will consult as needed.

40.) During pregnancy, can I call if i have any questions or concerns?

41.) What is your opinion concerning working during pregnancy, if there are not other complications? Is it possible to go back to work after the surgery and through the pregnancy?
a. I already know her stance on bedrest. Keeping in mind that she does not monitor her patients during their pregnancies, she just does the procedure. My OB has a few TAC patients and they are not on bedrest, nor does he prescribe bedrest unless complications occur.

42.) Which hospital do you work out of?
a. Shan.ds

43.) If interested, how soon can I book the procedure?
a. As soon as possible. She does not believe in using people as guinea pigs (haven't I said these words before- not wanting to be a guinea pig? Confirmation again), so she will not be doing the surgery alone. Dr. Richards (someone who does the procedures often) will be doing the surgery with her.

44.) Prior to having the TAC done, what are some tests that you suggest I do? I have already been checked for blood clotting disorders.
a. Nothing. I checked your records, and nothing indicates that any other factors played a part. If we find something else during the surgery, we will address them then.

45.) Have you ever heard of Drs. Davis or Haney?
a. No. (WHAT????!!!!)

46.) "A properly placed TAC defines the internal OS. In other words, the TAC is placed at the level of the internal opening of the cervix. What is confusing is that early in pregnancy, the lower uterine segment is also contracted and many sonographers and physicians measure this contracted area as being part of the cervix. IT IS NOT!! So... when the lower uterine segment develops and opens up, the gestational sac settles down to just above the TAC and many, who do not understand the normal physiology, begin to worry. If you have a true IC, and if you have a good TAC, this opening of the lower uterine segment, and loss of the closed area above the TAC, is going to happen. It is not a matter of "if", its a matter of "when". If everything opens up to just above the TAC, the only thing it means is that you needed the TAC. As long as there is no funneling of the membranes through or below the TAC, you are in great shape! I do not recommend any restriction of activity for my patients whose scans demonstrate this finding." - Dr. Dav.is
Are you of the same opinion?
a. She agrees, but reiterates her personal preference for some sort of bedrest. Again, she wants to do everything it takes to help me bring a baby to term, even if it means an additional vaginal stitch as well.

Those are all the questions I had to ask her. Again, I feel comfortable doing this procedure with her and Dr. Rich.ards (now I have another Dr. to research). She welcomed the questions, encouraged us to ask more, and is willing to assist and do all that she can to help us bring a live baby home.

As of now the surgery is not scheduled. She asked us how soon we wanted to do the surgery, any dates we prefer and so on. We really don't have a preference, all we know is we want it done as soon as possible. She is going to check Dr. Richar.ds' schedule and let us know of a date and time by the end of the week.

Thanks for the prayers ladies, they helped to keep me calm. Of course, I will keep you updated as this progresses, but now that we have a plan of action, I am scared out of my mind! Not that the stitch will fail. but that our dreams are about to become reality with God's help and the help of these two Dr.'s. Now the questions that are plaguing me include; "am I really ready again? Will I make a great mom? How will I survive bedrest a second time around if needed (trusting God that I won't)?, am I ready for the emotional aspect that comes with being pregnant after two losses?
Despite all these fears, I am once again putting my faith, hope and trust in God, and comfort myself with the fact that this is the year of promises fulfilled.

Awaiting my expected end.

630 miles, a ticket, and another 5 hours....

..... We are home!!!!!

I am exhausted to say the least! 5 hours in a car??? NEVER AGAIN. I also did not sleep that night. I woke up at 2:00 am ad could not go back to sleep. I prayed and asked God to please let this consultation not be a dead end (and I also felt all your prayers during that time as well). A peace came over me and all my fears went out the door. I spent the rest of the early morning studying for that darn test.

For the first time in eight months, I am feeling optimistic. I left the appointment with a smile on my face. Hubby could tell I was happy when I didn't complain about the $20 copay :-).
I loved Dr. Rodr.iguez! She was quite young, which threw me for a minute. I was expecting someone quite older based on her many accomplishments. Hubby mentioned his age (36), and she said, "oh! Were the same age"! She was welcoming and stated that she was looking forward to our consultation based on the conversation she had with Lor.na (the hospital's manager). She said that the whole office knew me by name based on the amount of questions I had for Lor.na. Larr.y said, "that's my wife."

Her first questions to us were, so what are we waiting for? Why are you not pregnant yet? Have you started your Folic Acid yet?
A plus - she already had my medical records and "studied" them (her words not mine). We went over my history, she gave her assumptions (she thinks I did have an infection due to the emergency stitch) and her next question was, "tell me what you know about the TAC? I can tell you are prepared and did your research". I had a clipboard with e-mails from Dr. Dav.is, research articles from medical journals, and my 50+ questions.

There were positives and negatives. One if the negatives is that she is a BIG believer in bedrest. I stated that the TAC eliminates the need for bedrest, and with frequent monitoring (weekly) you will be able to catch any drastic changes. After going back and forth, we compromised. Work (not on my feet all day long) until changes occur and then bedrest if necessary. She recommends patients be seen every 4 weeks (no wonder she prescribes bedrest!). I stated to her that I would prefer to be seen weekly. Again, another compromise was made. I am happy that she is overly cautious - she stated that she is willing to do whatever it takes for me to bring a bay home. And I agree, as much as I hate bedrest, I would do WHATEVER it takes for the next pregnancy to get to at least 35 weeks.

During the consultation hubby was speaking and made a comment about our faith and relationship with God (I was taking notes), and she said "Amen". My head shot up and I stared at her. Her spirit connected with Larr.y's, and she said. I am a christian as well and I believe that he is able to do exceedingly......" Whatever fear or doubt that was in my heart (and there was none), they disappeared. I am confident that this is the Lord's doing. He led us over 600 miles from home to meet someone who does the procedure and shares our faith! This is remarkable to me. Why am I surprised anyway? I already declared 2010 as the year of promises fulfilled and he is already fulfilling his promises.

Some of the questions were not asked, simply because they did not apply to this Dr., but I will share with you the remainder of the questions asked and the answers given. This might be split into two posts. Hopefully these questions can help someone who will be meeting a Dr. to discuss the TAC. Feel free to take these questions with you.

1.) How long have you been performing TAC's?
a. For the past 2 years alone, but have assisted for over 5 years.

2.) Which is better in your opinion? Traditional or Laparoscopic?
a. Traditional

3.) Why?
a. The traditional method allows you to see exactly where the TAC is being placed.

4.) Pre-pregnancy or first trimester?
a. if you were my sister, I would urge you to do it prepregnancy.

5.) Why?
a. Less risk. There are so many complications that can occur when it is done during pregnancy. Miscarriage during the procedure, longer recovery time, excess bleeding, and so on. All the things you would not want to deal with when pregnant. If already pregnant, the procedure can still be done, but these are things you have to keep in mind.

6.) What is your success rate? How many live births have you had?
a. All the patients I have done so far or have assisted with have gone on to have successful pregnancies with their babies being born between 35 - 38 weeks.

7.) How many babies, other complications excluded, have you lost despite a TAC?
a. None

8.) How many have you done?
a. 5 (alone), many (assisted)

9.) Why does the TVC work for some and not others? Especially since I have not had anything done to the cervix?
a. The reasons are multifactorial. No two women are the same and genetics, cervical composition, issues, they all play a part.

10.) What is the possibility of dilation with the TAC? Can it loosen?
a. Very unlikely (she drew a diagram to demonstrate). The Mersiliene band is placed at the top of the OS. The most common complaint from patients is pressure on the bladder which causes you to relieve yourself more often.

11.) What is the likelihood of another cervix related loss?
a. Non existent when well placed.

12.) What are the risks of the surgery? Having it placed permanently. Is there a time when I may need to have it removed?
a. The same as every other surgery. Complications with anesthesia, bleeding. The TAC is hard to remove. Once placed, the body starts to heal (builds a layer around it). Once you attempt to remove it, there are tissues, and veins involved.

13.) Long term effects?
a. Just a scar

14.) What are the failure rates of the TAC?
a. Less than 1%

15.) Will having the TAC automatically make me have an "irritable" uterus?
a.) It might. The TAC is a foreign body. That is why 17p is prescribed because it helps to calm the uterus.

16.) General or spinal anesthesia?
a. General

17.) What medicine after the procedure will be given?
a. antibiotics pre. If pregnant - pre, during, and post. Pain meds

18.) Estimated healing time if done pre-pregnancy or during pregnancy?
a. 4-6 weeks.

19.) How can the TAC help me if I have a "dynamic" cervix? Will it hold while my cervix opens and closes on its own?
a. It will hold because the TAC is being placed at the OS (another diagram drawn). It is holding the cervix closed.

20.) I had an infection in my uterus, which caused my second loss, and I am fearful of it happening again. What are the chances of this happening with the TAC?
a. Unlikely. The TAC will be placed between the membranes and the top of the cervix. It acts as sort of a barrier from all the "juices".

21.) How is it placed? Walk me through a typical placement. (My response. Too long to put here :-))
a. ) This is the abbreviated version: typical c-section scenario, abdomen sliced, bladder moved, cervix located, OS located, band placed, tightened with clips, knotted, clips taken out, bladder placed back in its spot, sewn up, 2 - 3 days in the hospital, recovery at home.

22.) It is sewn into the cervix or does it surround the cervix?
a. surrounds the top of the OS. (side note - Dr. Char.les sews his into the cervix, Dr. Davi.s' surrounds the cervix)

I left there with no doubt. With Dr. Char.les, I kept asking am I settling for second best? With Dr. Rodriguez, there is no doubt. I know the number of TAC's she has done is not as impressive as those of Dr. Dav.is or Dr. Haney, but I just know that the Lord is orchestrating this.

Post two to come.

Awaiting my expected end.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

After a 5 hour drive....

We made it to Gaines.ville! This post will be short because the hotel's wi-fi is sloooowwwww and I have no patience. We are saying two minutes away from the hospital, and I must say, what a first impression!

Our appointment is tomorrow at 11 am, so please (pretty please? ) say a word of prayer for us. Pray for clarity, the ability to ask the right questions, and that we approach the appointment with an open mind. Please pray that this is not a dead end and that the dr. will have some answers for us.

We will leave the appointment and head straight home so I will update later on tomorrow night. Maybe I will share the 50+ questions I asked- hopefully she will be able to answer them.

Awaiting my expected end.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hey! -Update and shameless plug below.

Has is really been a week since I last posted? Jeez! I have been SWAMPED! With praying for job security, preparing for this consultation, getting report cards ready, planning for spring break, and planning for the week I return back to work, it has been hectic to say the least.

I am a mere day away from Spring Break and I cannot wait! Too bad it will be spent studying for the K-6 Elem.entary Edu.cation Exam. Why am I doing this you may ask after years of teaching, a bachelors degree, a masters degree, and courses beyond? Because Florida is screwed up. There is a saying that don't bite the hand that feeds you, but in this case I must. A few years ago our lovely Govenor Char.lie H. Chr.ist promised homestead exemption for homeowners as well as lower property taxes. When this was passed, millions of dollars was taken from education in order to make up the short fall. The trickle down effect resulted in loss of jobs, principals having to cut thousands from their school budget, no raise, no cost of living increase and so on. Now, there are more talks of cutting the budget. As much as 15%. This will definitely result in loss of jobs.
There are now rumors that principals have no say as to who gets "pink slipped". The district officials will be going through files and eliminating positions with no thought in regards to job performance or student learning gains. If it comes down to the wire, the deciding factor will be seniority. Teachers will be let go based on their hire date. If someone was hired a minute before me, I may be pink slipped. They are also saying that for special education teachers who are not dually certified, they will be "pink slipped". As a special education teacher, I fall in that category. Rumors state that we have until June 30th to take the test, get certified or be "assed out". With 3 years in the public school system, (4 years in private where I did not have to worry about this crap) I am at the bottom of the totem pole. So, even though special ed is a critical shortage area, and my union steward feels I have nothing to worry about (only one ESE teacher was surplussed last year, but rehired soon after because of the shortage), and my principal vows to fight to keep me, I must be realistic and CYA (cover my a**). If my position is cut and replaced with another teacher with more seniority, I want to be able to have other options.
Am I really worried? Only to a extent. Why? I am a kings kid! I am blessed and highly favored! Don't they know who my father is? The one who never fails or goes back on his promises? The one who turns the impossible around and makes it possible? The one who states that I am MORE than a conqueror? The one who reminds me that the effectual fervent prayer of the rightous availeth much?
The human side of me gets nervous when the rumor mill goes on and on, but I try to tune it out and focus on his promises.
So my spring break will be spent preparing for this test. Let me tell you, the test is $200, so I dare not fail! To retake it is an additional $50! Highway robbery I tell you! years ago when I did the test, it only cost $35. Hmm. I guess inflation affects every area....

In addition to preparing for the test, collectively, teachers are fighting the State. Have you heard of HB7.037? Popularly known as S.B6? The education personnel measure (SB 6) would give $900 million to school districts that adopt merit pay plans for teachers based heavily on how well their students do on standardized tests that have yet to be created.
Let me tell you, as a teacher I am appalled and disgusted by this! Senator Thr.asher created and advocated this bill, which by the way passed and is not going to the house.
This bill will pit teachers against teachers, teachers against students, and teachers refusing ESE students or low performing students in their classrooms.
I have been quite vocal about this measure. In fact I got into a face.book war over this! A woman who is not a teacher made a statement that got my blood boiling!

Here was her statement.
I think alot of the analogies on these discussions boards are pretty lame. I work in project management in construction & I am also paid/promoted on merit not tenure. I work on a team where 3 people manage crews of workers of about 100 people. My job & any chance of a raise is based on getting 100+ people to work on accomplishing one task within a deadline. Similar to teachers having 24 children that need to make an accomplishment within a deadline (school year).

While it is understandable that the children you teach are from different backgrounds, I can guarantee you that the grand majority of children in Flor.ida, are from wonderful families & those children do want to learn. So again that argument seems out of touch to the average student.

You are not like a doctor or dentist, unlike a Cardiologist, you have these kids from ages 5 to 17 for 8 hours per day for 180 days (or whatever it is). If a Cardiologist could control a patient this much time, I am sure that their patients health condition would improve dramatically. They mandate them to exercise, eat healthfully & not drink or smoke. Also unlike the doctor's patients, parents/children do not have a choice in teacher. Not every teaching style fits every child...but each year we have no choice. We do not get to screen the teacher like you can a doctor or pick one based on references from other parents/children. If your doctor is not improving your health as a patient you can fire your doctor...parents & students have little recourse.

While I dislike the F.CAT, I think for many Flor.idians it seems crazy that you should be paid (more than most of us when you add up the hours of actual work per year) & that it should not matter if a child progresses or not. I think its a sad state of affairs when our educators do not want to be paid for educating. In my education I had just as many fantastic inspiring teachers as I did mediocre unmotivated ones that had no business in front of a classroom.

I respect what teachers do but the weak arguments on these discussions boards do not convince me. Furthermore some of my closest friends are teachers & I have little sympathy for their work hours or ridiculous amount of days off. While I can appreciate that the poster above grades papers at her son's baseball game...I missed half of my son's because I had to work on weekends.

This bill is probably far from perfect but we need some stronger arguments on this board for more people to back you...

Here was my response
To the individual who made this statement. While I respect your ideas, I must disagree. "I can guarantee you that the grand majority of children in Flori.da, are from wonderful families & those children do want to learn"

I am an ESE Teacher who arrives at work early, stays late, neglect my husband because I am creating plans, grading papers, and so on. I also work in a "low income area", Title 1 school, approx 63% of the parents are illiterate, families are homeless, struggling to decide whether to pay their light bills or buy food, and the list goes on. Let me add, you mentioned a ridiculous amount of days off - days off we don't get paid for, holidays we don't get paid for. The majority of us have second jobs - waitressing, tutoring, working at the mall, collecting trash, dropping off newspapers and we still can's make ends meet.

While I agree that the majority of children do want to learn and come from great families, such is not the case in many schools in low income areas. Sure, if you work in Parkland or Weston, but in N. Lauderdale? Sistrunk? Lauderhill? For many of these children, learning is not an important factor. Many come just for the free meals. Many come to get away from their abusers. Many cannot focus on learning because they are worrying about where their dinner will come from, where they will sleep that night, how they can earn money to help their families. Their minds are consumed with taking care of their siblings - all the external factors that teachers cannot control.

The argument does not seem out of touch with the "average student". These are the average students! Have you thought about ESE teachers? I give 110% to MY students on a daily basis. What about the 4th or 5th grader that is working on a Kindergarten level but is required to take the 5th grade FCAT test? Is that equitable? I guarantee, these are the average students. Am I or the Gen ed. teacher going to be bypassed because they may not pass the test? While the student has probably made huge learning gains, he or she may still not be able to take the grade level F.CAT test and pass with flying colors.
How is that for equal? Do you know how it feels for a child to work extra hard and still fail the FC.AT because so much "weight" is added to it? How does it feel for teachers to be "rewarded" based on student performance - when these students don't work on grade level?

Am I going to be penalized for the student that just arrived from another State 6 months into the school year where his mom say he was getting A's and B's, was on the honor roll, but was discovered when he enrolled that he cannot even read or even write his name? Oh and he still has to take the test?
Am I going to be penalized for the student who has psychotic episodes and threatens to kill everyone during the test? Am I going to be penalized for the student who has no interest whatsoever in learning and adamantly refuses to participate in anything? Am I going to be penalized for parents who don't help with homework, give a damn, or attend conferences?
Before the non teachers comment, go volunteer for a week in a Title 1 or low income school and then you can comment.

I am disgusted at our State Senators! Thr.asher is a lawyer! Never been in the classroom - how the heck does he know the fight we go through? The snacks we provide? The materials we buy every month? The shoulders we lend? The pep talks we give? We don't just teach - we love, nurture, give back, support, feed, referee. S.B6 devalues all that I do.

Can you tell I am passionate about this? If you would like to know what you can do, please leave a comment and I will provide you with the email addresses of our State senators.

I was hoping to discuss other things, but I can see this post is getting quite long. Will highlight you on the TAC developments so far tomorrow.

Awaiting my expected end.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dear pregnant woman on the treadmill,
It's so nice to see you sprinting, trying to not gain that extra much needed pound. I see you every night busting your butt, trying to reject the few little pudges that are forming.
Just letting you know that I would die for that so count your blessings, go home, put your feet up, and welcome the fat.

Dear teacher at work,
Please stop moaning and groaning about the aches and pains you feel. Please try to refrain from telling me you cant sleep at night and how you get up "a million" times a night to pee.
Just know that I would die for that. So count your blessings and shut the heck up.

Dear youngster at church,
Please stop rejecting the option to buy maternity clothes. Trust me. They are not expensive. No one is telling you to buy Gucc.i and Pra.da. Take yourself to R.oss, Wal.mart, T.J Ma.xx or Targ.et. No one wants to see your poor belly fighting with your extra tight shirt for air/space. Oh, and please don't lament to everyone that comes within five feet that you are "so fat"!
Just know I would die for that. So count your blessings and embrace the wonders of pregnancy.

Dear pregnant (neither of you work) woman at church,
It must be nice to prounce around in 4 inch heels. It must be nice to walk around naive. If someone lovingly suggest that you lower the inches, don't attack them. Don't then go around retelling the tale and calling them "know it alls".
Just know I would die for that. So smile, shut up, and move on.

Dear pregnant women everywhere I go (and you are everywhere!)
How nice it must be to buy your crib at 13 weeks. When the rest of us are afraid to buy anything until after the baby is born.
I would die for that.

Dear pregnant SIL,
Why is it that you get to have 5 kids? Why is it that we have to struggle to hold onto 1? Please stop passing on advice because your womb is fruitful and ours are not. Please don't let me feel guilty because I cannot give your big brother babies.
I would die to give him babies.

Dear pregnant woman strutting your stuff,
Count your blessings. Don't take offense when I turn away or cross the street. I do not do it to be mean. It is just that my heart cannot take seeing you and be reminded of what I had. I am simply protecting my broken heart and fragile state of mind. I fear if I come near you, I might break down and be carted off to the psych ward.
Continue enjoying your naivete. I would die for It.

Oh, and that big bump in front of you? I would die for that too. That look of wonder on your husband's face? I would die for that too.

Awaiting my expected end.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's Over!!!

Standardized testing that is, also knows as the Flo.rida Comp.rehensive Assess.ment Test. That is what kept me away from blogverse this past week. I have quickly read your blogs via my hubby's phone, so please forgive me if I have not commented!
It is over and now "real" teaching begins :-). Many of the teachers hate to admit it, but to some degree we do teach to the test. After years of teaching, we know what normally appears on the test, and we focus mostly on those concepts. Thank heavens that's over!

I have yet to post about the new give away or purchase the winner's prize (its on its way Cecilia!). I will get to that tomorrow after work. I am in the process of doing lesson plans, so this post will be brief. Just a few snippets from the past week and a half.

******Bar.bara from Dr. Char.les' office called me. What for you might ask? To reschedule my surgery! In a very polite tone (yea right) I asked, "is your memory failing? Did you forget the things you said to me? If you were the last office on earth to do the TAC, I would remain childless! I am blessing someone else with my business." She wished me a good day and hung up. The wretch! She knows she was wrong and I hope they get exposed.

***** My consultation with the Dr in Gainseville, Fl (5 hours away) is scheduled for March 29th! Please, please, please, keep me in your prayers that I get some direction as to what to do next.

******My friend Alyson is pregnant!!!! (squealing and doing the happy dance).. It did my heart good to hear this news. Please keep her in your prayers. She has another beta tomorrow. I am hoping for twins :-). Hey, if i can't love on my own, i might as well love on others right? Please stop by her blog and send her congrats.

*******I had a brief moment of insanity one night. I mentioned to hubby, lets just get pregnant and play it by ear. The next morning I woke up, I realized what I had said. It would be so irresponsible to get pregnant without the TAC or at least without a plan in place. I would never forgive myself for doing that if something happened. Thank God that clarity comes in the morning!

******* two wonderful blog posts spoke to me over the past few days. Here and here. The Lord really knows when to show up and speak to you in the unlikeliest of places. We often expect to hear from him in a way that we are used to (through prayer, through someone we know, through the ministers word, etc.), but he always "flips the script" and shows up in a way we don't expect. When he does show up in the unlikeliest places, we are taken aback and have no doubt that he is speaking.
He speaks through the grief of others and the revelations they have. I was really down and as usual, despairing because I am not in control. I am having a hard time finding someone locally to do the TAC, and I keep feeling as if I am finding dead ends. These two posts revealed to me that I took the control from him and am trying to do things myself. Just like when Peter stepped out of the boat. For a minute, he doubted God's ability and power , and he began to sink. Peter screamed "save me Lord!' and Jesus said,"Ye of little faith. Why do you doubt me?" (Thanks for reminding me of this Katy!).
No matter what I am going through, or how bleak the situation seems, I cannot take my eyes of him or doubt his ability for one minute. He is in control and I must let go of my control so that his will will be done. I am giving the worry to him.

Ladies, thanks for the prayers, the support, the words of encouragement, and for allowing God to use you all to speak to me. You may not realize, but every little comment you all make is orchestrated by God to remind me that he still loves me. That he sends others to lift me up when I am weak. That he still desires good for me.

I am encouraged tonight and am comforted by the words of this old hymn.
No matter what storm clouds may rock this ship of mine.
The eyes of my savor will lead me safely trough the night.
Though my ship may be rocking,
And my sails may be torn.
I WILL rest, in the eye of the storm.

In a hurricane (and we get many of those in Florida), the eye if the hurricane is where peace and stillness dwells. In fact, news reports let us know that people get hurt because when the eye passes over, they think the worst has passed. They see the blue skies, the gentle wind, and the peace that settles. This is where I will rest. The worst of the storm has passed - I lost two precious babies - and I am sure many more storms will come. But for now, I am resting in the eye of the storm which is His bosom.

Awaiting my expected end.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Mother's Love

A mother's love knows no limit, no boundaries, no end........ This is the thought I had after losing Evan. This has stuck with me so much that I had it placed in their memorial book (FYI - Walg.reens.com allows you to create a book using your pictures. I made a 20 page book after Evan died and it is kept in my purse at all times).

On my desk is a picture of my babies, my wallpaper and screensaver on my phone, home computer, and laptop also boast pictures. People cringe when they see these pictures, as most do not acknowledge our children as "babies" because they did not survive. At first, this used to bother me. So much that at one point I removed their pictures from my desk at work. I kept thinking, "look how beautiful and perfect my babies are! How can they not see that? How can they not appreciate their beauty?"
The lightbulb moment finally clicked a few weeks ago. Only a mother........ was the thought that rang through my mind. How many babies have we seen and we think , "where did they get their looks from?" (come on, don't tell me you have never seen a less than beautiful baby!). How many times have we heard, "he's/she's soooooo cute!" and when we see them our eyebrows raise and we paste a less than sincere smile on our face? To us, these babies may not be perfect, but to their mothers they are the most beautiful babies in the world!
That's the same with me. To the mere mortals, our babies may not be beautiful because they may have been bruised at birth. They may not be beautiful because their eyes are fused shut. They may not be beautiful because their skin is thin because of lack of fat. To me, to us, they are perfect! They are beautiful! They are treasured! I admire every crease on their face, every fold of fat in the creases of their hands and feet. I admire the perfectly shaped head. love their perfectly shaped hands and feet, lovely fingers and toes, and their small soft lips. To me, they are mine and they are PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL.

So buzz off to all of you who don't want to appreciate their beauty. Avert your eyes if it will make you feel better, but know this, it will not erase their memory or the reality of their presence in my life.
Today, those photos sit proudly on MY desk.

I love that they have photo restoration options and if that is your preference, more power to you. I have often declined the offer to "touch up" their photos. I have seen some of the photos that have been restored and they are beautiful. For me, it is a choice to have their pictures unchanged, only because I want to remember them the exact way they came into this world. My memory gets fuzzy and I want their untouched pictures to remind me of the sweet faces I gazed upon after laboring.
My love for my babies, have no limits, boundaries, or end.

Even families don't understand. They say they do. They offer support because they love us. They grieve with us because they love us and are in tune with our pain. Do they understand why I always wear the necklace with their names engraved on it? Do they understand why I walk around with their pictures in my wallet? Do they understand how important having their urns out mean to me? Do they understand that every time I close my eyes, their faces flash before my eyes? Do they understand every time I hear their name called, I look up just as a knife drives through my heart? Do they understand just how much they mean to me? They may sympathize, but they will never understand. They will not understand until they walk in my shoes. They won't understand unless they are a mother.

A mother does walk with her children's pictures in her wallet. A mother does have their pictures on her desk, in her home. A mother does talk freely about them. A mother does look up when their name is called. A mother's love is limitless.
That is the kind of mother I am. They may not be here right now in the flesh, but they will always live in my heart. My love is limitless. My love has no boundaries. My love has no end.

Awaiting my expected end.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Thank You
Thank you for what you did;
You didn’t have to do it.
I’m glad someone like you
Could help me to get through it.
I’ll always think of you
With a glad and grateful heart;
You are very special;
I knew it from the start!

By Joanna Fuchs

A heartfelt thank you to all of you who donated to March of Dimes! We have raised $198 so far and counting. In an economy that is so uncertain, I am honored that you all chose to take some of your hard earned money to help me meet my goal and help such a worthy cause. It is truly my desire that every child will be born healthy, and that problems during pregnancy will significantly decrease. As mere mortals, we really cannot change or research how to prevent or eliminate problems, but we can donate to the cause which will ultimately affect all of us in a positive manner.

I wrote all the names down, had hubby pull one (with his eyes closed of course!) out of one of my Tupperware containers, and viola! The winner was determined.
So without further ado......................................................................... the winner is...................................................................

Cecelia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cecelia, please contact me with your angel's full name and date she entered into heaven. E-mail me at marierumble at aol dot com.

Of course, you are all winners in my book, and thank you cards are on their way (give me until the weekend though :-))!

So Alana, did a little poem and I loved the idea! So here is my pitiful attempt at thanking everyone that gave. Though the poem might suck, its from the heart :-).

Sarita and Bree, you are both special to me.
I knew from the day I met you, what awesome friends we would be!

Francesca and Alana, your wisdom inspires me.
and you witty humor despite the trials, fills me with glee!

Holly and Emily, you really are a pleasure.
Your thoughtfulness and deeds
I will always treasure.

Kiki and Cecelia, your friendship means the most
I am glad we all met, though the situation I will not boast.

It is sad to say we met this way,
but funny, I am glad we did.
The bonds that we all have
will stay strong through thick and thin!

I never said I was a poet. Thanks for donating! If I forgot anyone, please blame my head and not my heart.

Now on to the strange of it all for NoBloPoMo. I have a very interesting job as a teacher. My children are like my own, and whatever I do, I do it in their best interests. I am strict, but fair and they know this. During my first year of teaching, I taught the profoundly Mentally Handicapped. Many of these children had multiple disabilities, used feeding tubes, had shunts, wore diapers and were non verbal.
I never left the changing of the diapers to my assistants, but always jumped in to help. A particular student, lets call him Rob.by, was a chore to change! Imagine restraining and changing a 13 year old! That was Rob.by.
Well, on this particular day he did a number 2. I always doubled up on the gloves when changing him. For some reason I was distracted that day with changing him and making sure the other students were safe (they were playing in centers). The next thing I remember is using the crook of my elbow to wipe my brow.

Later that afternoon I met Larry for dinner. He kept looking at me weird and finally asked, "honey what the heck is on your face? I thought you were done with eating chocolates?" "What are you talking about? I didn't have chocolate today." Picture a light bulb moment. I ran to the restroom and SCRUBBED my forehead. Needless to say I had lost my appetite, and to this day I cannot remember how Rob.by's bowel remains ended up on my doggone face!
Hope I didn't spoil your dinner. Needless, to say, the next time sweat dripped from my brow, I let it drip.

Awaiting my expected end.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This Must Be It

I remember when I lost Alyssa-Joy, I said to the Lord," please let this loss not be in vain. Let this experience be a witness of your goodness, grace and love, to someone else who might be going through the same thing. Let me lead by example and show others that you are still good in spite of......"

I recently checked my yah.oo email after weeks of not checking it (I only use it for junk). Imagine my surprise when a stranger (NoBloPoMo) sent me an e-mail asking me to call her. In the subject loss she put "regarding scam". Curious, I called her and to my amazement had the most amazing yet poignant conversation. To spare you the specifics, she found my post via Abby.loopers and wanted to let me know she had the same experience that I had with Dr. Char.les. She let me know that she was on her way to pay her deposit, when an inkling urged her to check Abby.loopers. To her surprise she saw my post, and had the same doubts about Bar.babra that I did.

She wanted to thank me personally, for sharing my experience, because she felt that Bar.bara was dishonest, but went by what others told her about him.
The conversation lasted an hour and we were able to express our grief freely and share how we handle the various aspects of grief.
Who would have thought that my "rant" would be able to help someone? All I can say is that the Lord works in mysterious ways. He allowed one thing to happen, so that someone else can avoid falling into the hands of these people. I can only imagine how many others may see that e-mail and choose a trustworthy Dr.

I met another "stranger" in the most unlikely places - face.book! I have several friends that I met through Abby.looper and we have connected through this social network. One of these friends has a close friend that she met through her local church assembly. This friend (I hope you can keep up), was telling her and others (via face.book) about a blog she reads that is inspiring to her (which is amazing to me, because I don't feel inspiring. I am simply just sharing how I feel about the things I encounter. I am so honored you feel that way Stephanie!).
My friend K., said to her I know that blog! That's Marie! I am always willing to meet readers and connect with them personally, as I have connected with many of you (Emily, Bree, Jessica), and am eager to learn more about her and how we can be a blessing to each other.

So in the past 2 weeks, I have met two strangers that I am sure will have an even bigger impact on my experiences. I think that if I had not lost my precious babies, I would not have met these women, or any of you, and I value the friendships that we have.
This community is awesome and helps to keep me sane. We are no more strangers, but bonded together through our experiences.

Ephesians 2:19
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

So this must be it. This allows my losses to be more bearable. Being able to be a blessing to others, and having others be a blessing unto me. Being able to know a wonderful group of mothers that care freely, love freely, support freely, and share freely. I am glad I met all of you.

FYI - If anyone else wants to connect via face.book, feel free to email me. At this point, my life is an open book :-).

Awaiting my expected end.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A little bit of this and that....

Thank you for all your wonderful comments on the previous posts. To answer Shandrea's question, my sister does not have any children. I understand that she may have been looking out for my well being, but it hurt none the less. To me, she made me feel as if I was making a bad decision. The truth of the matter is, I do not want to wait, and I have said numerous times that my desire to have a child, outweighs my fear of another loss. I do not just want to "love on" other people's children - I want my own.

To those of you who donated to march of Dimes, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I will let you all know who won the memorial globe on Wednesday and reveal the new "prize" that day as well. Reading the messages left on my MOD page, drew me to tears. I am again reminded how awesome this community is. I know times are tough, but I am honored that you chose to donate to the cause. Your money could have been put to good use somewhere else (paid a bill, bought a meal), but I am thankful that you chose a cause that is near and dear to my heart.

Dr. Yas.in sent his copy of the consultation to me. One line that stood out was "Mrs. R-W is inclined to have an abdominal cerclage.......My personal inclination is to consider another vaginal cerclage. The ultimate decision is hers". Absolutely! The decision is mine, and unless you have experienced losses such as mine, you will never understand. I know that not all pregnancies result in a healthy live birth, but I want whatever complications that occur to be unrelated to the cervix.
He does want me to do a Hysterosalpingogram. So, I will be calling RE's tomorrow to inquire where this can be done.

I am once again participating in National Blog Posting Month (NoBloPoMo). The theme for this month is "Strange(er)". Everyday I will try to post about something strange that has happened in my life or my experiences with strangers. And let me tell you, some strange things have happened to me.

A few years ago, I attended a wedding of an associate. I was looking good too - pink and blue strapless polka dot dress with a pink cardigan, my polka dot heels and a polka dot clutch. Frick and Frack were extremely perky that day and i decided to forego a bra.
All afternoon, the twins were in place.....until the tossing of the bouquet. With my cute little self, I shimmied to join the single ladies. As soon as the bouquet was launched, I jumped (picture Mich.ael Jor.dan - just cuter :-)) to catch it before all the other desperate ladies, and BINGO! my hands curled around it as my feet touched the ground. Well, not only did my feet touch the ground, but so did Frick and Frack as they were now exposed. You - all could feel were looks of disbelief and snickers all around. What did I do? Hurriedly drag the dress back up, clutch my prize to my chest, and slither out the back door. That was the talk for weeks. Yup. Some strange things have happened to me. Stay tuned - this is just the beginning.

Awaiting my expected end.