Friday, September 10, 2010


We want another baby. Not in the "oh, maybe one day.." kind of way but in a very real "let's call the doctors" kind of way.

The day Robbie was born, before I'd even really seen him yet, my mother in law made a comment about "when [we] have a little sister for Robbie.." and if I hadn't been too drugged to focus my eyes, I think I'd have gotten up and slugged her. A few months later, I was gathering up some old books to sell or donate and put all my baby books in the box. I casually said to David, "We're done, right?" He wouldn't agree. He asked me to put them in storage so we could discuss it later.

It would be a long time before I'd admit that he'd been right. Robbie's first year was overwhelming. Most babies are hard work, but of course, Robbie came with unusual challenges. Not only was I unsure if I wanted another, or could handle another, I wasn't sure it was fair to Robbie. He required so much time and attention, was it fair to him to divide my attention. Certainly it wouldn't be fair to another child.

But as Robbie's health and development began to evolve, I began to breathe again. Instead of just surviving, we were all starting to thrive. Man, it felt good. It feels good.

I can genuinely say that I feel fulfilled. Yes, there are bad days, there are still nights I lay awake and worry. Worrying is just what I do. But I see Robbie smile and play and realize that he's a happy, secure kid. I seem to be doing okay with this mom thing. I'm not the perfect one, but I'm doing okay. As fulfilled as I feel, though, I don't feel like our family is complete.

Today, I visited my OB for my annual exam. I was nervous discussing it with her. I felt sick last night wondering if we were insane. The media and interwebz are filled with opinions about the Duggars having another baby after pre-e. Lots of words like "selfish" and "deluded." They sting me a little every time I read them. Are we selfish and deluded? I steeled myself for disapproval. What I found was unadulterated excitement.

I was genuinely surprised. Both my OB and her PA were like my best girlfriends, excited at the prospect of a new baby to play with. My doctor grinned and said she was thinking "we need a girl this time." It was hard not to be caught up in their excitement. Of course, I had a lot of questions and I left with a plan.

First, my gallbladder has to come out. I've been trying to convince my surgeon of that fact for several weeks. Everyone seems to agree that it isn't quite right, but it's not quite wrong enough to be absolutely evicted. If we weren't planning another pregnancy, he wouldn't take it out. Since we are, he asked for more tests (which I've done) and been thinking about it. My OB absolutely says it needs to go. If it acts up at all during pregnancy (which is very likely. It started getting cranky while I was pregnant with Robbie.) it will drive my liver enzymes up and as I had HELLP, the last thing my liver needs is greater stress. She told me to have the surgeon call her if he had questions. She wants it gone.

In the mean time, I am starting Metformin again. Anyone who has ever taken it knows how much fun it is. But it serves a good purpose, so we'll give it another go. I'm supposed to get myself as healthy as I can. Since Robbie's birth, my blood pressure has been just a little above normal (usually 130/80) but okay. But it has a tendency to spike up, sometimes very high, during any sort of stress. I need to work on that. More exercise & less sodium and hopefully some weight loss.

I've been trying to lose weight for the last year. I was down 20 pounds, but since I've been working 2nd shift, it's all been out the window and I've gained again. I'm frustrated and disappointed in myself, but will work to lose as much as I can before we can try again.

Once my gallbladder is out, I'm to let her know. During my recover time (2 months. They want the worst of the effects of the gallbladder removal to pass) I will have a consult with a MFM. And then we'll see the RE. I'm guessing December, January at the latest.

The notion of more fertility treatments isn't exactly exciting. I haven't missed Clomid hot flashes or dates with the dildocam at all. But I also know what to expect. There will be changes this time, of course. We'll try to avoid taking Robbie to the fertility clinic. No one likes a baby in the waiting room there. But it might happen. There will be survivor's guilt, I'm sure.

And there is the possibility that our magic cocktail of Clomid/IUI won't work this time. I dread the cycling and just thinking about another 2ww makes me want to throw up.

But it's not even the trying that stresses me out the most. It's the BEING pregnant again. Worrying about another miscarriage or another premature birth, that makes me tremble.

We took some cupcakes to the NICU last week in celebration of the 2nd anniversary of Robbie's discharge. We talked to a few nurses. I told them we were thinking of trying again and we shared the sentiment that we not need to see each other.

My OB's goal is 36 weeks. I won't be allowed to go past 37 because of my vertical c-section. It makes me sad because I know all too well that even 36-37 weekers can have issues with jaundice, temperature control and feeding. God help me, I need a good eater next time. And I told my OB today that I want to take my baby home with me this time. No more living in a hospital. She thought that was fair. She doesn't think I'll need Lovenex, but will take Folguard and baby aspirin and be heavily monitored. Let's just hope that's enough to get me my take home baby.

So, we embark on a new adventure. Prayers welcome.

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”
Leo F. Buscaglia



ggop said...

As a fellow HELLP survivor I am fascinated by all the information and research you have put into the whole gallbladder thing!

I'm really excited for you. You are such an inspiration to me when I feel down. Wishing you all the best...fingers crossed for the coming months.

Shannon said...

YAY! I hope your surgeon pulls his head out of his ass :-P I know it's probably a bit easier for me since Ellie's had nowhere near the kinds of challenges Robbie's had, but I'm personally trying to ignore the fact that a pregnancy will likely result from our cycling. I'll worry about that when I have to.

Helene McLaughlin said...

How exciting! I know it couldn't have been an easy decision. I'll be thinking about you.

Mommy Shoes said...

Will definitely be praying that your family will grow and that the process will not drive you insane. Definitely get that gall bladder removed. Don't want to be delaing with that during pregnancy- been there, done that, not fun at all.

Deep Thinker said...

Oh good luck - I will definitely be praying for you!

Kierstin said...

definiate prayers said and a whole bunch of baby dust. My last 3 were born at 37 weeks and came home with me! I wish the same for you!

Anonymous said...

Good luck! If you need anyone to talk to, I'm here and have been there and done that in regards to pregnancy after Pre-e/HELLP.

Mrs. Spit said...

Yeah, getting the gallbladder out will help - Pre-e and HELLP often get misdiagnosed for gallbladder issues.

Mrs. V said...

I really, truly hope that you get everything that you are wishing for and more. You deserve it, and although the most deserving are sometimes dealt unfair hands, I'm praying that you are exempt.

I've been following your blog for awhile, and I will be praying, rooting, cheering, and hoping for you.

S said...

Wonderful news. I had quick onset PE with baby number one at 38.5 weeks. Liver issues, kidney issues, bp issues, partial abruption during delivery, short cord, small placenta and on and on. Dx as a carrier of galactosemia after the birth of my daughter. Liver never "works" correctly with this disease and has lower than normal enzyme production so everyone was nervous about PE again. After the dx, it is believed I was also a HELLP patient but my enzyme activity was so low normally that the threshhold was never met since the low platelets were present. Three m/c's later, I'm dx with mthfr and lpd. Pregnant again with RE (ba, folic, oral progesterone and b vits), graduate to OB with MFM, protein in urine at 14 weeks, a few nites in the hospital for monitoring, more than a few 24 hour urines with blood draws, several gall bladder scans, 18 week MFM scan show cysts on brain with possible markers for T-18, amnio reveals healthy female, MFM goal of 30 weeks, I made it to 37 weeks (yippeee) and delivered by induction that day. Baby was just fine (just needed a little RT at birth and had a little trouble in the initial carseat challenge for oxygen levels) but she came home with us!!!

Success stories always made me hopeful. My only advice it get ready for the doctors appointments!!!!! :) All worth it in the end.

Elizabeth said...

Prayers... oh my gosh yes!!!!!

and anything else I can send your way.

Survivor's guilt is vicious and you are so "Trish" to think of it - and so right too. It's hard to face the friends who are still trying or trying to accept that they will never have a little one of their own.

You've earned a smoother pregnancy this time around and I'm here hoping you get it.

Shana said...

I'm excited for you guys! And I love the quote at the end of this post - I felt like a lot of people thought we were crazy for having another baby, but we did it and made it fullterm!

Tasha said...

Praying like crazy! I am so excited that you guys have made this decision. ((HUG)). I hope your doctors can get on the same page with your gall baldder.

The Blatchford Family said...

Yay, Trish! I am sending you all the good luck & best wishes that I can spare. I am hoping for an easier road for you guys this time. So excited for you!! Hugs!

Stacie said...

You've got my prayers. You are being proactive and educated in can't do more than that. You are going to get to 36.6 weeks my dear!

Becks said...


You have been such an inspiration to me. I've been through most all the same things you have - the infertility, the miscarriages, the Pre-E, the early delivery and C-section (thank GOD not the NICU, I'm so sorry), the reflux - and through the whole thing I knew I could make it because YOU DID! :)

We are thinking about another baby too, and I totally understand the mix of fear and excitement. I am just so happy for you though!

The Turner Family said...

FANTASTIC post! I'm so thrilled for you, Trish and I wish you all of the health and happiness in the world.

Great quote at the end too...I *might* have to steal it! ;-)

Tracy said...

I say you're on your way! Hope that darn GB gets removed soon so you can really get going.
((hugs)) for the Met. Good luck with it.

Heather said...

Good luck with trying again. As long as you follow your doctor's orders I'm sure everything will be fine. I will be praying for you.

Bridie said...

I'm sitting here in tears, so happy for you to have made this decision! Finally making the choice is so hard. Gavin didn't have nearly the issues that Robbie has faced, but he was still difficult enough for us to think there was no way EVER we would put ourselves or a baby through this again. Then I realized he needed a sibling to go through life with. After all, if someday it comes down to it, I don't want him having to decide to pull the plug on us along (morbid thought eh?). I was worried about the age gap (4 1/2 yrs) but it's been the best thing ever. Good luck to you!

Searching said...

How exciting!!! You are a good mom and deserve a normal pregnancy/birth/baby. Don't feel bad for wanting that! You have done so well with Robbie that I know you will be able to handle whatever comes your way this time. Of course I pray for a quick BFP, loooooong pregnancy, and huge squalling baby who eats like a pig!