Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Punka's Story

As Memories go they never really happen in chronicle order. But I figure if I am going to start talking about certain issues and my kiddos growth then I first must enlighten my readers with my children's stories.

My babies' stories actually all started when I was 14 but that is too long ago time to begin and a more involved story for later.

So lets start Punka's story from DH's and my wedding the Sunday before Memorial Day in 2002. I guess that really is when Punka's story begins.

DH and I had always dreamed that we would have kids right after we married. Although we knew it would be a hard battle I don't think we were really ready for what we would experience in trying to conceive our first born.
We lived in Maine at the time and I had a great OB/GYN who knew a lot about PCOS but as we learned later just not enough about how severe my condition was. After a few months of trying to get pregnant on our own I finally asked my OB/GYN for help. He was not shy about putting me on Clomid and Metformin at the time I met with him. The next year of trying to conceive yielded monthly doctor's visits, endless prevara shots and mood swings that could have easily ruined my new marriage. But DH stuck with me - through all the hard times - even when fertility was not our only worry. We continued the therapy - every day taking the pills and every month not yielding an ovulation. After being on the largest dose of Clomid recommended by the FDA, I pleaded for my doctor to help me with another route.

In October of 2003 I underwent a laproscopic procedure call Ovarian Drilling. Essentially the surgeon goes in with a laser and drills holes into my ovaries. The goal is to release the pressure from the cysts and create more room inside the ovaries. While the doctor was performing the drilling he noticed that I had a large amount of fatty tissue build up on my cervix called Endometreosis.

3 months after the surgery I was still not ovulating. So my OB/GYN put me back on Clomid. And we started the past year all over again. After yet another year with no response to the drugs DH and I decided to take a break for a month or so.

This is where most stories end right?? You always hear about the couples who are trying to conceive and when they finally take time to themselves BOOM they are pregnant. well that is not our story.

During our break from fertility treatments my DH received a job offer from a company whose plant was outside of Hartford, CT. The job was a God send so we moved.

Sept of 2006 I met with a fertility specialist at Yale Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility Center in New Haven, CT. The RE had concentrated on treating women with Endometreoisis and PCOS. He put me on the largest dose of Metformin and ran some blood work and urine cultures, including a migration analysis for my DH. It was determined that my DH's boys were plenty and good swimmers (he was soo happy to hear! an male ego thing I think). So now we concentrate again on getting me to ovulate.

The Dr recommended a follitropin alpha injection called Gonal F to make me create mature follicles which is what he determined was the main cause of me not ovulating. 1 week went by with no success in follicle production, so he upped my dose - another week went by again with no follicle in sight so he upped my dose again. 4 weeks and 300IU a day of Gonal F and my follicle count started going up. By the end of November I had 4 mature follicles and so the Dr was giving me the speech about multiple births. I didn't care at this point - "just get me pregnant - I'll birth infinite babies if I have to" - I know irrational thought but for those who have ever experienced fertility problems this is a common reaction. The doctor prescribed another injection called Ovidrel . This is a gonadotropin (r-hCG) injection which is the hormone that releases follicles from the ovaries creating an ovulation. A hormone that I did not create on my own. A few days later DH and I were cleared to "enjoy" ourselves.

First week of December we went in for a pregnancy test and was ecstatic to find out that the medication worked. I had a starting Beta level of 250. Three days later the doctors pulled another beta level - it was 2300. Woe!! Hold up!! That is a huge jump. A successful beta level would have doubled or tripled at that point in time. My level had done that plus some. So my doctor and nurses warned me again about multiple births. Just by the numbers they were guessing at least twins if not triplets. So they rushed me in for an ultrasound.

And that ultrasound was the best thing I had seen in my life!! There was my little Punka. Just a little tiny bean - not even recognizable as human. And it was just her! The doctors continued to screen me by ultrasound for the next month b/c my beta levels were so high. By the end of month one beta was 1,025,000 (for single pregnancy they would have looked for approx 68,000). My theory is that Punka just wanted us to know that she was there to stay!

The first half of my pregnancy was incredible. I was so happy; my DH was so happy; Our family was so happy!! It finally happened for us.

Because of the insulin issues that accompany PCOS I was treated like I had gestational diabetes and was strictly diet controlled. But I never ended up with glucose issues which was a Godsend all on it's own. But that would not be the only pregnancy related issue they would watch me for.

April came around and my parents decided to fly us down to Disney for the week to celebrate my older brother turning 30. Disney YAY!! Or so you would think. And although I smiled and had a great time, I ended up in some horrible pain and discomfort. After the first day I ended up in a wheelchair and my brother and DH wheeled me around the resorts. Happy 30th dear brother - and for your gift you get to push your 24 week pregnant sister all around Disney!!

When I got home it was an immediate visit to the OB, where DH and I learned that I had developed PreEclampsia (Pregnancy induced hypertension). I was massive - retaining a large amount of fluid - with edema in my legs and feet so bad that I could not walk. So from 24 weeks on I was in the hospital twice a week for NST monitoring, blood work and protein cultures. The doctors assured me all was going well and as long as I stayed resting (laying down on my left side - 24/7) that I may be able to make it to 32 weeks. Well I showed them!! I made it to 38 weeks before my blood pressure jumped above 100. And at that point no decision was mine - I was being induced.

Because I was not dilated at all, induction took forever. I was given cervadril - a 12 hr cervix ripening agent which did its job to get me to 2CM dilated. Then the pitocin started. 12hrs later I was still only 2CM dilated and no sign of going into labor. The OB decided to give me stadol to help me relax and sleep. This was a nasty drug for me - causing confusion, and I felt like I was in 2 parallel world - one was reality and one was a world that resembled reality. It was very scary. Anyway, the doctor came in and explained that once the stadol wore off they would have me go eat and shower and come back to start again. I agreed and back to lala land I went.

I awoke from the stadol craziness and immediately went into labor. My water broke within seconds of my one and only contraction starting and 47 minutes and a 4 degree episiodomy later Punka was here. My little Rocket!! 7lbs 5oz, 21" long and pure perfection!

So this is Punka's Birth Story, 5 years in the making!


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  2. Thanks for the award Alisha!!