Tuesday, April 17, 2012


If I'm not mistaken, this is the longest I've taken to write a birthday post for Miles. And it will be a little longer, because this is not that post. I did beat myself up just a bit the other day for not having it done yet, but I've decided to let that go for two very good reasons: Baby A and Baby B.

I still thought I'd post something in the meantime, and this will hopefully be an uplifting thing rather than bringing you down. As you might know, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago with a horrible cough (plus aches, chills and the occasional fever) and was told I had bronchitis. While I was there, my OB took the opportunity to draw a lot of blood for a number of other tests he felt might be necessary. At the time I felt inconvenienced since it took the phlebotomist a while to find test codes since they weren't all that common...looking back now, though, I'm grateful for the foresight my doctor had in ordering the labs he did.

A small side note: Since Casey and I began our IVF journey back in September 2009, we had collected quite a few sharps boxes (seven, to be exact). Sharps boxes are those plastic red boxes you see in doctors' offices and in hospitals where old needles/syringes are discarded. With every cycle came a box of meds, and with that box came a sharps box. We had seven because we'd been through five complete cycles plus two canceled cycles.

Fast forward to the present day, more than two years later, and we were still housing these things -- safely, mind you. But not a week had passed since my doctor visit and Casey came home declaring that he was finally going to get rid of them; had a medical care facility that would dispose of them safely for us. This was the closing of a chapter -- a small one, but a chapter nonetheless -- along our journey, and I was excited for it. Before Casey could take them all away, I lined the boxes up in the sun room and took pictures of them (we've established I'm strange, so leave it alone). After lunch, the boxes were whisked away by my ever-thoughtful husband.

Not two hours later, I received a call from my OB. He had the results from my labs, and unfortunately I had tested positive for the Lupus Anticoagulant. (Note: This does NOT mean I have Lupus. I know, it's confusing.) What it meant, even more unfortunately, was that I was going to have to start blood thinner injections. Injections. Because, you know, I haven't done that enough in the past two-plus years. I was able to get enough information from the doctor (I was on the way to pick up Miles from school) to understand the what and why of the test results, then hung up the phone feeling a mix of frustration, sadness and anger.

I called Casey from the school pick-up line, gave him the news and cried for a minute or two. My 'this isn't fair' signal was on high alert, but at the same time I felt a thankfulness and have felt it more as the days have gone by. Lupus Anticoagulant, as I understand, can cause late second and third trimester miscarriages, not to mention heart attacks and stroke. I am thankful that myself and the babies were spared some very scary possibilities, and that easily overshadows having to give myself an injection in my abdomen every day until these babies are six weeks old.

Don't get me wrong, I do not like doing this. Fortunately I am switching to a different blood thinner tomorrow morning which enables me to do just one injection a day as opposed to two a day, which I've been doing for two weeks now. My stomach is horribly bruised and sore in some places. It's not the happy pregnant belly I have wanted it to be...but I'm safe and my babies are safe from some crazy blood clot.

Here's the part where Miles comes in. Who knows why, but he is not afraid of watching me give myself an injection. He's only seen it a handful of times, and for the most part he's not that interested. He likes to count to three for me and that's about it. I try to be brave for him and show him that I'm okay and this stuff isn't so bad. It's helping me and the babies and he knows that.

So last week I picked him up from school, and as we're driving away he tells me I've got to see something he drew. He digs around in his backpack and pulls out a piece of paper, and he tells me that it's a picture of me with my belly and the shots. I took the paper and looked at it. The first thing I noticed was how high and round Miles had drawn my belly, and the second thing I noticed was the purple dots all over it. I asked Miles if it made him sad that I had to do the shots, and he said no. I was glad.

When I looked at the drawing later that day, I saw it differently. There I was, with my belly bruised with all the injections...but my arms were raised high in the air and I had a huge smile on my face. Whatever Miles meant when he drew it, I hope it meant that he sees me as triumphant no matter the circumstance. I hope that's what I've taught him.

Either way, it's probably my best portrait to date.


Lori said...

Tracey, seriously. I don't know what to say. Nothing seems to be smooth sailing for you but praise God for good doctors, and people who discover wonderful solutions to scary medical problems.

Miles' picture is great!I love it. I think it's a good example of "more is caught than taught." He is obviously not worried or scared which is great!

tracey said...

Thank you Lori! I should say I feel like I have had some smooth sailing in this pregnancy (no morning sickness!), but it is hard not putting all the years together and giving a great big sigh sometimes. Mostly I'm thankful, and I'm glad to have been taught by so many (including you!) to feel that way in the middle of my circumstances.

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