There's been a lot going on.
Lots of throwing up.
Lots of kids rolling around moaning with the worst stomach virus I've seen in years. If I never see vomit again, it will be too soon. At one point I had three kids sleeping in my room with me because they were throwing up between five and ten times a night. I may be slightly traumatized.
We have been, in other words, in the trenches. Ava is the only one who escaped the sickness, and I pray it stays that way. Seth, Jace, and Evany all got hit, and they got hit hard. They're all down a few pounds and this particular sickness seems to take at least a week from when it begins before they're feeling like themselves and eating well again. Evany just smiled tonight for the first time since last Sunday.
Today was the first time they were all on the mend and healthy and eating.
But we survived it. I feel like I should maybe get a medal or something, for catching the most puke in a pot, or something similar.
In other news, I'm twenty-four weeks now. It's crazy. Jace took a picture of me today. He's decided he's going to be a photographer. Unfortunately he's still pretty short, which is why I'm looking down at the camera. Not an ideal vantage point, but he never listens to me when I tell him to grow.
In the middle of the sickness I also got some news that I've had to kind of process for a while. My new OB is Dr. C, and I'm becoming one of his biggest fans. Due to my history, he decided to run some lab work a couple of weeks ago, and last week I got a call.
Something came up.
I have an enzyme deficiency called MTHFR that, in some more complicated mutations (as mine is) can cause a blood clotting disorder that can lead to miscarriages and stillbirth. On top of that, it makes my body unable to process folic acid or any B vitamins. So all the vitamins I've taken have basically just been flushed out of my system without doing me any good at all.
It almost certainly has led to many of the complications I've had in every pregnancy, and there's a very good chance that this is what caused Eli's death.
So it's been a lot to process. So many things make sense now...this diagnosis really makes everything fall into place. My OB happens to do a lot of research into this disorder especially, and complications from this enzyme deficiency explain nearly all of the issues I've had in pregnancy and beyond. Aside from the blood clotting and vitamin deficiencies, symptoms are also fatigue, depression, and anxiety. There's also anecdotal evidence that ties it in with premature birth and things like that. It can also cause migraines, which my aunt and I both suffer from.
I'm so happy to know this...it makes me realize what a miracle all of my kids are. Many people with this issue have lots of recurrent miscarriages before ever having a healthy baby, and the fact that I have the four of them here with me without ever treating this is amazing. It also drives home the point that Eli really was completely healthy and I just feel terrible for him, that I couldn't prevent this. It's also really strange to get these answers so suddenly and out of the blue, four years later.
But all I can do now is move forward, and the great thing is that treatment for this is relatively simple. I've started a pretty insane looking vitamin regimen full of fancy broken down vitamins my body can absorb, and in addition to that I'm giving myself injections of the blood thinner heparin every eight hours around the clock. Dr. C thinks that doing these things should clear up all my issues.
I may even get a full term baby out of this, which is crazy and so exciting to think about! I'm also really excited about my whole life...the fact that some of the depression or anxiety I've felt could actually be part of a treatable issue that won't require antidepressants or anti anxiety drugs is so exciting. And just since I've started the new vitamins I feel like I've had more energy. It may be wishful thinking but I think things are looking up. It's so nice to have a cause, an answer.
It's been a lot to think about, though, and I'm just so grateful for the health of my kids. I know now I could have easily lost every one of them the same way I lost Eli, and it makes me even more cognizant of how blessed my family is. This has also really brought home that moving here was the right choice for us. If we hadn't come here, I would have no idea I had this MTHFR mutation, and the baby would be at risk. Instead, for the first time since Eli died, I finally feel a huge peace that I'm doing something tangible to help make sure this baby is alive, whole, and happy when he is born, instead of just wringing my hands and hoping it all works out and he doesn't die. The hardest part of Seth and Evany's pregnancies were that I had no idea what I could do to help keep them alive, since we didn't know why Eli had died.
On a lighter note, I am fairly certain that between three shots of heparin a day, three shots of insulin a day, and a progesterone shot a week, I will look like a pin cushion by the time this boy gets here, however. Good thing he's worth it!
And that's what we've been up to! I'm in the final two weeks of my college semester, so things are pretty crazy, and I've also picked up some freelancing writing on the side, but rest assured I will try my best to get back to writing more regularly. I know that there has been a lack of meaningful content on here for a while, and while there are some reasons for that, I miss writing and I miss you lovely readers. Thanks to those of you who have stuck around and let me know you missed hearing about us! It means a lot to me.