Hello! Welcome to our page. I suppose I should give you a little history about our 8 feet and set of wheels.
My husband, Ryan, and I met in the summer of 2002. After 5 long years of dating we said “I Do” and our life really began!! In September 2008 we welcomed our first child. An amazingly perfect baby boy who we named Matthew. He was so much fun and we loved him so much that we decided when he was 9 months old to start trying to grow our family. One month later we got the positive test! We were thrilled. That was August 1st, 2009. Within a couple of weeks I started having really bad cramps so my doctor got me in early to do an official blood test (wouldn’t you know it that came back positive too)! We were ready for a fun and adventurous pregnancy however we weren’t quite ready for the adventure we were about to endure. Two days after the appointment I received a phone call asking me to come into the office. I knew that couldn’t be good. They scheduled me for later that afternoon. I sat in the doctor’s office with a mix of emotions and not really sure what to expect. My awesome doctor came in and explained that on my blood results it came back with very high titer for Kell. She explained to me that I was Kell Sensitized and would need to be referred to a high risk doctor to finish out the remainder of my pregnancy so that I could be monitored closely. I was numb…what did all this mean? A couple weeks later we met with our Maternal Fetal Medicine high risk OB. We had a consult in which they went over everything involved with Kell and what the rest of the pregnancy would look like. To say our heads were spinning is an understatement! But I was ready for the ride and whatever it would take to get our precious baby safely into the world.
My first official appointment with the MFM was in November 2009. It also happened to be the gender appointment and we found out we were adding another baby boy to the family! We were overjoyed!! My mind filled with images of both my boys playing together, running around, playing baseball, rough housing and just being boys. Those dreams quickly disappeared when our pregnancy took a crazy turn. I was monitored weekly from that point on. They monitored the blood flow in baby boy’s brain and umbilical cord. If the blood flow was too low then a blood transfusion (IUT) would need to be done on baby in-utero. We ended up having 6 IUT’s done during the pregnancy. The first three were done within 11 days of each other. At the second IUT, which was an emergency one after coming in for a regular scan, baby’s anemia level was down to a 3 (they like it to be between 10-13) so he was severely anemic. It was after that IUT that when we went in a few days later for a scan we saw a black spot on his brain. The doctor just danced around it saying we would keep an eye on it. It was at 26 weeks I finally asked the doctor to be straight up with me and what that meant for my baby. He said it was hard to tell but more than likely he would be born with Cerebral Palsy. My heart sank and I couldn’t breathe! This perfect baby boy growing inside of me could have an awful disability? How could I not protect him when he was inside of me? I felt so much guilt for causing this to happen to my unborn son even though it was entirely not my fault and out of my control. We decided to name him Grant which means “fighter” because that’s what he was (and still is)…a true fighter! So fast forward a few months 🙂 Our Grant Man was born March 10, 2010 at 36 weeks. He spent 18 days in the NICU which were 18 of the hardest days of my life! He had an MRI at 2 days old that confirmed he had brain damage and had Cerebral Palsy. The next few years were a whirlwind. Yes he has Cerebral Palsy but he’s pretty darn awesome if you ask me!! Oh and those hopes and dreams of my two boys running and playing and rough housing…they may not look quite like I had envisioned but they definitely happen (and the fighting and bickering, too) 🙂
I always knew our family was not complete. After much, much research and finding an amazing group on Facebook of other mom’s facing blood related complications we decided the beginning of 2015 to try to expand our family again. In March 2015 we got yet another positive test. I was numb but also full of emotion and so so super excited!! I made sure from the beginning to be very proactive and on top of things. It was a 50/50 chance this baby would also be affected and I wanted to be on top of it. Instead of waiting till 20 weeks to start monitoring we started at 15 weeks. From 18-28 weeks we did bi-weekly monitoring. Baby looked amazing the entire time! At 20 weeks my Mom and I selfishly found out what we were having even though I was going to wait until the reveal party find out with everyone…I just couldn’t wait!! The party came and the box opened and the sky filled with pink balloons!! With all of my amazing family and friends surrounding us we watched the balloons fly and I held back the tears. Up to that point the pregnancy went perfect!! At 28 weeks 5 Days I woke up in the middle of the night and went the bathroom and blood was everywhere (sorry TMI I know). I burst into tears and screamed for Ryan. I just knew I was loosing my precious baby girl I had prayed for for so long. My parents came over to stay with the boys and we rushed to the hospital. After a 3 day stay they stopped the contractions and the bleeding was light. I was sent home. The next week I went in for a regular scan and while there I was having contractions. They were irregular but the nurse practitioner sent me straight to Labor and Delivery. Again the contractions picked up but they immediately stopped them and after only being there an hour they sent me home on meds that were supposed to work to keep the contractions at bay. No sooner than I got home the contractions started. I stayed home and made it through the night. I got the boys on the bus the next morning breathing through contractions. As the day went on they got a little closer together and a little stronger. Finally after getting the boys from school I had my brother take me to the hospital. Within 2 hours I was having horribly painful contractions and they decided to check me. I was fully dilated and having a baby!! I was 29 weeks 6 days, all by myself and terrified. I called Ryan and they wheeled my back to prep me for a C-section (my boys were both C-sections). Ryan showed up just in the knick of time. I mean literally had he been 1 minute later I would’ve had to do it all by myself! She was due December 2nd, 2015 but she made her grand entrance September 22, 2015 quiet but crying and they immediately whisked my little 3lb 4oz baby away to the NICU without me even getting a glimpse of her. She had a 46 day stay in the NICU with a hospital transfer mixed in there.
Fast forward and here we are…8 feet and a pair of wheels! Life is crazy!! Life is stressful!! But we are truly blessed! We hope this blog will help with not just the craziness of the special needs life but also navigating life with two crazy boys and a sassy toddler girl.