You will have significant experiences.
I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of
them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh
your memory of these meaningful and significant things.
Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you.
Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some
may build upon another until they represent a lifetime of
special experiences.
- Gordon B Hinckley

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our "Stay Pregnant" Plan...

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for the many congratulations and well-wishes!  It has been genuinely fun telling those we love about this pregnancy :-)  The tears of joy, shouts of excitement, and messages of congratulations are all things which we find sincerely endearing!  They give us further proof that we have never been and will never be alone in this journey.  Some of you have expressed your own anxiety for us in this new chapter, which we also find sincerely endearing!  We are anxious too!  For your own peace of mind, know that Zac and I chose this journey with eyes wide open.  We are aware that there are no guarantees and that in the end, we might not end up with another child.  That’s just our reality.  However, we have a good plan in place and have every hope of going full term and creating a beautifully healthy little life :-)

The “Stay Pregnant” plan actually started many months ago after our miscarriage.  As I mentioned before, it was a complicated miscarriage which resulted in a prolonged wait time to try to conceive again.  It was a blessing (of sorts) because it bought us time to run tests that could not have been done while I was pregnant.  The results of those tests have pointed to nothing specific...nothing.  Also, because our current doctor is not the doctor who delivered Everett (we decided to change practices with our last pregnancy), it has been hard for him to determine what really happened because he wasn’t there.  Long story short, all our anatomy and genetics and blood counts are normal.  To quote our doctor, “I believe Everett was a total fluke.”  

That’s not to say we aren’t taking precautions.  The two major culprits that fit the symptoms I experienced with Everett are preterm labor and an incompetent cervix.  The two often go hand-in-hand so it can be hard to tell which came first.  I will start treatment to prevent preterm labor next week.  This involves taking weekly injections of the hormone Progesterone, which is responsible for relaxing the uterus and helping prevent it from contracting.  The injections will continue until week 37.  

As for the cervix, we’ve been monitoring that from the start with ultrasounds to check the length.  In an incompetent cervix (lovely term isn’t it?), the cervix shortens and opens prematurely due to a lack of strength to carry the weight of the baby.  If this happens, a stitch (called a cerclage) can be placed up to week 20 to help reinforce the cervix.  Many doctors would elect to place a cerclage in a patient with my history.  However, a cerclage in itself can cause miscarriage, infection, and preterm labor.  So we’ve opted to monitor and observe and place one only if symptoms arise.  

Most everyone has been asking about my work.  While lifting, standing on your feet, and prolonged shifts are not proven to cause preterm delivery, I had been experiencing early symptoms that work was possibly becoming too physical for my body.  At our last appointment, our doctor decided to err on the side of caution and has written me out until the baby is born.  To say we are relieved is an understatement!  For me, I know my anxiety level quadrupled on those nights I had to work...always wondering if something I was doing as part of my job could be endangering the health of this baby.  Because our doctor couldn’t guarantee that is was safe for me to be there, we decided this was the best course of action.  I am not on bed rest and likely will not be.  But I am taking it easy, very easy...not lifting Everett, resting frequently, and listening to my body more than I ever have.  We want to give this baby the best chance to make it to term.  That involves some sacrifices that we are totally willing to make.  As I’ve said many times, we’ve lived the alternative.  This is nothing in comparison.  

I want to close by saying that our doctor also told us that a huge component of the success of this pregnancy is hope.  Yes, just like the doctors at CHLA told us with Everett...hope is the best thing, the most influential thing we can do.  So...

We hope this pregnancy goes full term.  
We hope this baby is healthy.  
We hope that the desires of our hearts will be realized.  
We hope that all of you are hoping the same things with us.

With Hope,

Zac, Sara and Everett  

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