Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Prayer Circle and a Cerclage

Standard

Since college I have had my ups and downs with close friends. Some have gone from my life and come back. Some are forever gone. And some filled a void in my life and quickly became forever friends. Earlier this summer Keith and I had the opportunity to celebrate one such friend as she got married. Kaleb was a ring bearer and wore his first little suit! He was just the cutest. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and it was wonderful to reconnect with some old friends. I love the friends that I may not see often, but when we get together it’s like no time has passed at all.

At the rehearsal the day before, I told the bride, Jessica and a few other friends that I was pregnant again – with TWINS (I can’t help it, every time I say “twins” it must be shouted in all caps)! I had expressed my excitement, but also my fear for what the pregnancy would hold. We discussed the prognosis my doctor had given me, and all of us agreed that we were glad we knew there could potentially be an issue and that I would be watched closely. It was so much fun to have others sharing in the joy and excitement for our expanding family.

The following day, the wedding went of without a hitch, with the exception of the beautiful couple (get it? They got hitched..). It was a spectacular evening with all the fun formalities and lots of country music. As the night wore on, and my line dancing feet grew tired, Keith and I decided it was time to head home. I don’t think I’ve ever left before a wedding was over, but that first trimester exhaustion was forcing me to leave early. Before we left I started saying my goodbyes, when my good friend and maid of honor Sam, told me we HAD to wait. I assumed there was a special song that I just had to stay for, or maybe the groom was serenading the bride or something.

Pretty soon though I was being rounded up with Jessica (the bride), another good friend Tara, Sam and of course Keith and heading out of the tent to a spot where there were no crowds or anything. I joked and asked if I was being baptized in a river! Little did I know, Jess and Sam had planned something special for me. Jessica’s grandmother, Kay, wanted to anoint me and pray over me. I almost immediately burst into tears! She asked me a little about Kaleb and asked if it was ok that she pray for me and my babies. Of course I said yes and she began to pray. She prayed that the Lord would take away all the fear in my heart as fear is not of him. She prayed for the little lives taking form in my womb and for the mighty things that they would do in their lives. She prayed for my cervix (and we all couldn’t help but laugh a little) that it would stay strong and do it’s job for the duration of my pregnancy. She prayed for the Lord’s protection over my family and over me. She thanked the Lord for my sweet boy Kaleb and the miracle that he is.  As the prayer went on I became more and more overwhelmed. I was so incredibly touched that my friend Jess had wanted to take time out of her wedding reception to pray over me. I was filled with gratitude to the Lord for sparing my son and for giving me two more sweet babies to love. It was one of the most blessed and amazing moments of my life. It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life, and a story these babies are sure to hear over and over again.

PrayerCircle1

Grandma Kay prays over Keith, the babies and I. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

Grandma Kay prays over Keith, the babies and I. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

A few weeks later it was time to get my cerclage. Our prayer circle at Jess’ wedding had given me confidence and hope for an uneventful pregnancy. Going to the hospital for surgery was a small reminder that this pregnancy was still at risk, but that we were doing what we could preventatively. Getting checked into the hospital was becoming second nature for me. They tried for quite awhile to find a vein for an IV, drew blood, asked me a zillion questions and then we waited. Every doctor, resident and student (UCH is a teaching hospital so you always have a full audience) that would be in the operating room came in one by one and introduced themselves. My doctor, Dr. Sung, came in and did a quick ultrasound of the babies and made sure everything looked ok. The babies were awake and wiggling all over – seeing the little babes will never cease to take my breath away. We went over the potential risks of the procedure and discussed cerclage options. Dr. Sung was insistent we go with the traditional McDonald cerclage. She said that she would put it up about half way. I had hoped to have a cerclage as high as it would go and a more secure option, but I trust that God has put doctors in my life who are knowledgeable and experienced, and chose to trust that, as high risk pregnancy is her job, she knew what was best. After a spinal, and a very awkward procedure, I was wheeled to the recovery room where Keith met me. The worst part of the whole experience is waiting for the lower half of your body to wake up. Imagine the novocaine you receive at the dentist, but in your legs and feet. It’s so weird not to be able to move! After about 4 hours of recovery, I was starving and ready to go home! I was told to take it as easy as possible for the next week as my body healed. I had a follow-up appointment a week later where Dr. Sung checked the stitch and measured my cervix. It was a very long 3.8cm and she was very happy with how everything went. We discussed coming in weekly to have my cervix checked and I was also given a prescription for progesterone.

As I get further along in this pregnancy, I am starting to feel more secure and trusting that the cerclage will do it’s job and I’ll make it far into the third trimester with these babies. I pray nightly that my body will protect these babies and that God will protect me and my heart. If you remember us on Tuesdays, please say a prayer as that is the day we go in for my weekly checks. So far everything still looks good and is holding up. At our check this week, we were told the genders of our sweet babes! We are revealing that to our family first, and then I will be sharing with the world! I will most definitely do a blog post on our reveal. I’m excited to share it with you! Thank you again for your continued support and prayer. We love you all.

Advertisements

“Very, very special”

Standard

So as most of you have probably seen on my facebook page, instagram or twitter, I am in fact pregnant again! With TWINS! I’ll go back to the beginning of this pregnancy and fill you all in on the latest in the Spilman family saga.

Keith and I have been trying for baby #2 since May of last year. We had moved back to CO, Keith had a great job he loved and I was enjoying being at home and watching Kaleb grow. We knew we wanted to add to our family and I felt strongly about our children being only 2 years apart. Well, as with everything in life, our timing was not the Lord’s. I thought that with proper planning, we would be pregnant quickly. But month after month I was disappointed to find out that I was yet again without child. In December of 2012, we finally went to see a doctor to see if we could get help. We both went through the myriad of tests and were given the “all clear.” The doctor wanted to keep an eye on a large ovarian cyst that I had as he thought that may be the only thing potentially impeding our efforts for baby #2. In February of 2013, my doctor advised that my cyst was not only still there, but was getting larger. He suspected possible endometriosis and suggested immediate removal of the cyst. So, with much trepidation I underwent surgery to remove the cyst. The docs found no evidence of endometriosis (which is REALLY great news as the disease complicates fertility immensely) and gave us the go ahead to start trying again once my cycle returned. Well, a couple of months went by and my cycle never returned. Not having a normal cycle really puts a damper on the “trying” process. My doctor recommended using a medication to help regulate my cycle and ensure ovulation. He said that sometimes after ovarian surgery it can take a couple of cycles to really get back to normal. So, once my cycle FINALLY returned, I took the doctor’s advice and started using a medication to regulate my cycle and bring on ovulation. We were continually reassured that the risk of multiples was almost zero, and I honestly didn’t think I would get pregnant so shortly after my cycle returning.

Well…. fast forward to April 28, 2013. I had been feeling “off” — super nauseous, food wasn’t satisfying and just a general sense of malaise. I had many cycles where I had faux pregnancy symptoms, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up that this was finally our month. The morning of the 28th however, the little stick told me it was time to get my hopes up! TWO pink lines were staring at me. I quickly went under my sink into my stash of pregnancy tests (they start to accumulate after nearly a year of trying) and found a pretty little digital test. I quickly used it and waited.. and waited… and waited. PREGNANT popped up after a few minutes. There is nothing more exciting than seeing it in black and white. I am PREGNANT!! I was shaking, crying, and on my knees thanking God for giving us another baby. I called my mom and we cried together. It was really an amazing moment. Nearly a year of heartbreak and finally, we were pregnant.

I surprised Keith and met him for lunch at his work. I had bought Kaleb a shirt that said “Best Big Brother” that he wore to lunch. Once Keith read the shirt, I whipped out the test that said PREGNANT. He was speechless and immediately asked if I was ok. Of course I was ok, I was more than ok! Keith was concerned because I had been feeling so “off” the few days prior. I assured him that just came with the territory and I was sure all was well.

We had done a few blood tests at the doctors office to confirm the pregnancy and scheduled an ultrasound for 6 weeks 4 days for visual confirmation and to make sure all was well. When you find out you’re pregnant so early on, the first weeks of pregnancy seem to drag on forever! The time finally came to see your little baby and we were so excited! As the doctor prepared the ultrasound machine, we casually chatted about how wonderful it was that I was pregnant on our first try after surgery. Soon the ultrasound machine was ready to go and Keith and I were looking at what appeared to be a sac and a baby! We were so excited. Very quickly we started seeing not one, but two identical sacs with what appeared to be a small baby inside. Keith said he knew immediately, but I waited for verbal confirmation from the doctor. I was kind of hoping maybe he was looking at an ovary or something that I couldn’t decipher. Sure enough, however, the doctor said “I’m seeing two gestational sacs!” With wide eyes Keith and I looked at each other and then I quickly asked, “does this mean TWO babies!?” The doc was still looking around when we all saw the flickering in both sacs — two heartbeats. The doc said that two sacs doesn’t always mean two babies, but in our case it did. We had two heartbeats, both in the 180’s and measuring a few days ahead of where I thought I was. OH MY GOSH…. how on earth could I be pregnant with twins!? After a year of unsuccessful trying, how did two babies manage to snuggle in for the long haul!? To say that we were shocked would be an understatement. My mind suddenly started to fill with dread. I had a hard enough time keeping one little baby safe, how in the world was I going to carry TWO? I quickly asked the doctor about my previous diagnosis with Kaleb, and how this would effect twins. He assured me that a cerclage should hold up just the same for one as it would for two and that my docs would take very good care of me. He also proceeded to tell Keith and I what an anomaly we were. He said that he has very rarely ever seen twins with an infertility diagnosis and immediately following an ovarian surgery. He said that I was just “very, very special.” That’s exactly what every high risk pregnant woman wants to hear!

Keith and I left and called all of our family to let them know we had been doubly blessed! I was feeling a mixture of emotions, but really was very excited at the prospect of two babies. I just had to immediately give the entire situation to God. He had closed the womb for nearly a year and then given us twins — he must have something “very, very special” in mind for these little lives. My amazing and wonderful doctor in Maryland, the one who saved Kaleb, had told me after he was born that he didn’t anticipate the cervical issue happening again as there was zero reason for it to have happened in the first place. I just kept saying that to myself and trusting that there is a higher plan. I am going to have three children and that’s just what God intended from the beginning of time. It’s amazing the comfort found in that simple fact. God knows these babies by name and has counted every hair on their tiny heads. He is knitting them together right now in my womb and they are fearfully and wonderfully made. No matter what happens over the course of the next 5 months, there is solace in that. I am also finding a lot of peace in the support system I came to depend on through our ordeal with Kaleb. All of my friends and family constantly telling me that we are in their prayers is more invaluable than anyone realizes. Please continue to lift us up in your prayers and I will do my best to continue to update you on the progress with these little beans. I’m currently 15 weeks and 2 days pregnant today. I see my doctor again next week to begin weekly cervical checks to make sure all is quiet on the “southern” front. Your prayers are appreciated and honestly, longed for. I can’t wait to share this journey with you and the joy of welcoming two more little Spilman’s into our lives!

ptest

Positive pregnancy test – 4.28.13

photo 2

First ultrasound revealing TWINS at 6 weeks 4 days

photo 3

Our official announcement

photo 4

12 week ultrasound – best pic the tech could get of both twins

photo

14 weeks pregnant with TWINS and looking much further along!

 ]