Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Story

In My local Moms group they feature a families story once a month in the news letter. Ours will be coming in Novemeber and I thought I would share it with everyone.
Dont forget to sign my guest book on the left side of my page.

The Little Story

It all started when I was only 14 years old and living in the small town of Grand Junction, Colorado. Aaron and I met doing the things all young people do. We dated for a very brief couple of weeks; if that's even considered dating at age 14. After our short relationship, Aaron returned to California where his family was. We didn’t speak again until eight or nine years later.

Aaron came back to Grand Junction in 2005 to visit with his family and old friends. We got together and we both knew it was love at first sight. We spent an amazing week together and we decided we couldn't live without each other. So no more then a month later, I packed up my little house and moved to Las Vegas.

It took only a few months after I moved to Las Vegas, for Aaron and I to get engaged. On August 12th, 2006 we were married in the traditional Vegas fashion at the Special Memory Chapel. We were having such a great time doing all the fun things that Vegas has to offer young couples, Aaron was the local president of Nevada’s largest Mustang car club; so we were busy with car shows, track dates, and the cars Aaron would work on in the garage.

Shortly after Aaron and I were married, I started having irregular periods and a lot of pain so I decided to make a doctors appointment. During my appointment the topic of having children was brought up. I wasn't sure if we were even ready for children at this point and it was not a topic that Aaron and I had discussed. We were having too much fun with each other and with everything we had going on. I also mentioned to the doctor that I did not think I could conceive on my own, because Aaron and I have been doing nothing to prevent getting pregnant for over a year at this point. She suggested that I go see a fertility specialist, because they could better diagnose the problems I was having. Better to take care of it earlier, rather then later right?

On my first appointment with the specialist she decided to schedule a procedure called a Laparoscopy. During this procedure, the doctors discovered I had severe endometriosis. They removed scar tissue and cleaned out everything they could . At my surgery follow up appointment I was told that the doctors also discovered that my tubes were also 95% closed and would not allow any of my eggs to reach my uterus to be fertilized. I went through a procedure to try to open my tubes which was not successful. At this point, the doctors told me that if we wanted to have children we should consider having them soon. Due to the endometriosis, all the scar tissue they had removed would eventually come back and I would have to go through the laparoscopy again. I was devastated by the news. No one ever wants to hear that they cannot conceive a child on there own.

I went home and discussed our options with Aaron. We discussed the options of IVF or adoption. We decided to speak with the doctor’s billing department to see if IVF was even an option for us, due to how expensive the procedure is. The office gave us many different options, but we just couldn't spend that kind of money on IVF. Adoption was also a option, but wasn't something we were going to rush in to. So as much as it hurt us both to think that we would never have our own children, we let the topic go.

About a month went by and the subject was weighing heavy on my mind, so I decided to look into what our health insurance had to offer. I thought that the chances of my health insurance covering infertility is pretty rare, but I decided to call anyway and check into it. I called our insurance company and to my surprise they covered one IVF treatment per member per lifetime. I was so excited I called Aaron at work and told him the good news! He told me to call Dr. McConnell and get things started. After my first appointment a week went by and this huge box showed up on our front porch. When I opened it, I was completely shocked at the amount of needles and medications packed into this box that I became overwhelmed with it all and started crying.

January 8th, 2007. That's when it all started, all the shots, pills and doctors appointments. It felt as if it was never ending. We were both very nervous on the day of the retrieval, but also very excited at the same time. They retrieved 33 eggs and after the incubation period 22 of them were excellent and was great news to hear. Aaron and I went back and forth for a few days about how many eggs we were going to have placed back in. We hadn't come to decision until we were at the doctors office. I wanted to only place two eggs, but Aaron wanted to place three back in. We knew this was our one and only chance and we really wanted two children. If we could get twins that would be great. Dr. McConnell and Aaron both managed to talk me into placing three eggs back in, based on the better odds of having a successful outcome. The doctor also said the odds of all three eggs taking was rare, but was possible. The days went by and I was feeling like it just didn't work. The doctors office advised me not to take a home pregnancy test, but I have never been good at listening. Aaron went out to get a home test and I took it about 4 days before my appointment. It only took a few seconds before the test turned positive. I immediately started crying.

So now the question was how many babies were we having. I went in for the blood test and the doctor called me that evening. She said ,“ Well you’re definitely pregnant and we are hoping only one or two took”. She stated that a women pregnant with one child at this stage had hormone levels of around fifty, and that mine were in the 300's. At that point Aaron and I were both a little nervous. Roughly two weeks later we went in for the first ultrasound. I just remember lying there and the nurse counting “one, two, ah yep there's three little heart beats. I can't even remember how I felt at that moment. I just remember looking at Aaron and him saying,” I'm sorry honey, its my fault I said to put three back in”. We both left the doctors office in utter disbelief. At one point we never thought we were going to have children of our own and now we have three on the way! I don't think it really hit me until the next day when Aaron found me on the shower floor crying. I was so scared, nervous, shocked etc.......

My pregnancy was pretty uneventful in the beginning. I never got morning sickness and I was feeling great. Around seventeen weeks, Aaron and I traveled 550 miles to Grand Junction from Las Vegas for my baby shower. By the time we got home I was exhausted, I no longer had ankles and was wondering where my toes went. The following week I was told I was starting to dilate and I had to have a cerclage. Around 22 weeks, I got carpal tunnel in both hands and had to sleep with braces at night. As if I wasn't uncomfortable enough at 26 weeks I started to develop PUPPP ( Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy). It is a rash that started on my belly and worked its way to my arms and legs. PUPPP brings uncontrollable itching. I can't tell you how many anti-itch creams I tried. The dermatologist put me on oral steroids and steroids creams, but nothing relieved it. By the time I was 33 weeks along I hadn't gotten any sleep in three weeks. I just couldn't take it any more. The only cure for PUPPP is delivery. At that point it wasn't healthy for me or the babies. I was so emotionally and physically drained from getting absolutely no sleep, that I called my doctor and pretty much begged him to deliver me. I know that it sounds funny for me to want to deliver, but at this point I could barely walk due to the PUPPP. He agreed with me and we planned the delivery for the following week. He did an amniocentesis on that Monday, he also had me do two rounds of steroids; the first one that night and the second round Tuesday.

Thursday September 13th at 34 weeks and one day, Gracie Kaye entered the world at 6:22am weighing 3 lbs 4oz and 15 inches long. At 6:23 am Blaine William entered weighing 3 lbs 9 oz 16 inches, and finally at 6:24 am Collin Joseph entered at 4 lbs 9 oz 17 inches. I did not get to see my precious babies for fourteen hours and when I finally saw them it was the most amazing moment in my life.

Gracie had no major complications. She was at 100% oxygen saturation. She was just little and needed to grow stronger. Gracie spent 3 weeks in the NICU eating and growing. Blaine also had no major complications and was at 100% oxygen saturation. He also came home after 3 weeks in the NICU. Collin was on a little oxygen for the first five hours. He was having lots of apneas and bradys. The hospital would not allow him to come home until he went 7 days with out having an episode. Collin got to come home after spending 6 weeks in the NICU. It was the longest 6 weeks of our lives.

We were truly blessed to have three preemies with only minor issues. Blaine had problems at first with opening his 2 middle fingers. He went to PT a few times and his fingers straightened out. Blaine also had torticolosis, which caused him to only lay his head on one side. He also started to get a flat spot on the right side of his head. We helped stretch his neck muscles by turning his headed the opposite way. At one point we thought we were going to have to get Blaine a helmet, but thankfully when we took him to the specialist his head had already started to reshaping back to normal. Now you can't even tell. When Collin was born they detected a slight heart murmur. When he was 5 months we took him to the cardiologist for a follow up, and the murmur had went away. Gracie has been absolutely healthy and has only had routine check ups.

When the babies were just shy of 4 months old, Aaron and I decided to pack everything up and make the move from Las Vegas to Denver. We wanted our kids to grow up in a better environment than Las Vegas has to offer. In Denver, we both have family near by and we knew we definitely could use their help with three babies. My mom and I made the trip with the kids right after Christmas and Aaron stayed behind to get the house packed up and followed two weeks after. Aaron and I couldn't be happier that we made the move. It has been a eventful, stressful, emotionally and physically draining year for both of us, but Aaron and I couldn't be happier with our three little angels. We both look forward to their growth as little people, and all their little firsts that are yet to come.

The Little Family, Aaron, LeAnn, Gracie, Blaine, Collin

1 comment:

Jessica said...

What a great story. Your kiddos are ADORABLE! Jess