Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Appointment with the Perinatologist

Several days after I found out I had two genetic disorders, I found out I have switched chromosomes. Chromosomes 6 and 10 are switched. My doctor's nurse told me this can cause miscarriages. I have been too depressed to write about this and so have avoiding blogging and trying not to think about it. However, I think it's important to share this information. When I was researching some of my issues, I didn't find many answers.

I went to see a perinatologist last week and she said people with switched chromosomes like mine have a 50% chance of losing every pregnancy. She said I could go on and have 7 healthy babies or I could end up having 7 more miscarriages. This was difficult to hear. I always wanted to have 3-4 kids and now I may not be able to have anymore. Blue Rock is truly a gift from God and I am so thankful for him. The question Collin and I have discussed is how many miscarriages can we handle? How many more times do we try to hopefully have another healthy child? And if we continue trying and continue to have more miscarriages what effect is that going to have on us emotionally? Or do we count our blessings to God for our son and be grateful for having one? For now I can tell you, we are extremely grateful for Blue Rock and I feel so blessed to have had him without any major problems.

This is how my doctor is treating me for my other issues. Besides the switched chromosomes, I have Hashimotos Disease (thyroid disorder).  Like the internal medicine doctor in Germany said, she said I need to see an endocrinologist every 6 months to a year.  If I do get pregnant again they will need to closely monitor my thyroid levels.

Regarding the genetic disorders.  I have MTHFR which for the most part means I cannot absorb folic acid as well as others.  About 1 in 10 people from European descent have this. She prescribed me a prescription prenatal vitamin with higher levels of folic acid and folic acid supplements to take everyday. 

I have Prothrombin Gene Mutation which is a blood clotting disorder.  For the rest of my life I need to take a Baby Aspirin once a day. If pregnant we will discuss different injections such as Lovenox.  The thought of giving myself a shot everyday is not appealing, yikes!

My progesterone levels are low.  I have a prescription for progesterone pills.  If I get pregnant again, I will need to start taking one of those after getting a positive pregnancy test.

Treating each of these other issues will help me carry a healthy baby if my chromosome doesn't interfere.  If I can make it past week 9 with a healthy heart beat, my doctor said there is a great chance that I will have a healthy baby and carry to term.  My disorders cause early miscarriages. It's never easy no matter when you have a miscarriage but at least there's some hope if I get further in a pregnancy that the baby will make it.

I've had a few struggles with all of this.  I've questioned God and why he allows certain people to have a lot of babies so easily, especially people who don't want a child or were not planning on having one.  But then those of us who would love a baby struggle.  I don't know why it's like this except that God has a plan and it's better than mine.  To help this process I've been looking at all the positives of having only one child.  There are many, just like there are many positives to having more than one.  We've also talked about adopting and/or fostering.  I don't want to bring a foster child into my home until Blue Rock is a little older.  We've had so many huge changes this year and we're still adjusting to things.  But those are possibilities.  And even if we only have one child, we are truly blessed.  I believe God allows us to go through things to build us and mold us and make us stronger. Even though somethings I would rather not go through, I know he's watching over me and is there.

I am so glad to be back in America. It is so quick to get a doctor's appointment and see someone. Also seeing doctors who speak English has been awesome! The doctors in Germany mostly spoke English but a lot of times their staff did not. Also, some things were harder for them to explain. My OB doctor, for example, would never give me results over the phone. She said it was easier in person because of the language barrier. My parents have been a great help. They have been able to watch Blue Rock while I go to my appointments. In Germany, Blue Rock always went with me, which if you have small children, you know how difficult it can be to take your child with you to the doctor. Overall it's just good to be home.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New SUV!

My husband and I tend to both research things to death, especially when a lot of money is involved. We have worked very hard to be basically debt free except for our houses and we love to eat out and take vacations. However, when we moved back to the States we needed another vehicle. My husband 's parents have graciously let us borrow one of their cars until we bought a house and bought a car. Thank you Mom and Dad! But the time has come to make a decision and return theirs.
Here's how the process went:

We considered a larger SUV or minivan or getting a super gas efficient car mainly for my husband. However, after having my third miscarriage, I don't have as much hope for having the large family I always thought I would. So given that, I didn't want to drive a huge gas guzzler around with only having one child. Although having a third row would be nice it was not necessary. A must was rear air conditioning and we decided that with hot Texas summers, getting the vehicle with rear a/c was a good move. We looked at the Acura MDX's. We loved them! Sadly, new they cost 50K. Yeah, that was way out of our budget! We looked at about 6 used ones, all ran good but had a lot of miles on them. We drive about 10K miles per year per vehicle. So buying a six year old car with over 100K miles wasn't appealing. We wanted to pay cash for something but around the 8K mark our choices were limited. As we moved up in price the vehicle choices increased. However, we just couldn't justify paying 16K for a vehicle with 120K miles on it (a fully loaded 2006 MDX). So we decided to buy new since we haven't had a car payment in two years (when we bought our new Subaru we paid it off in 2 years) and we paid cash for my husband 's car in Germany and sold it for $300 less than we paid for it 3 years before.

I contacted probably 20 car dealers comparing deals. Finally, Sunday night, I saw an internet special ad for a new 2012 Ford Edge and 2013 Explorer. I emailed Sunday night and followed up Monday morning. The Explorer had been sold but the Edge was still there. He said but they only had one at that price. I played tough girl and told them I was driving across town and if it sold to call me asap because I didn't want to waste my time driving there if that vehicle for that price was not available. Dealers have played that game with me too many times and I've walked away angry. Needless to say, he put the keys on his desk and when I got there only one other family had driven it that morning. I drove it and then bought it. The dealer said we got such a good deal on it and our credit is so good they could have written us a check. We got over $5500 off MSRP and $2299 below Consumer Reports bottom line. It would have been $750 more off but I didn't have a trade-in. I knew it was an awesome deal when I saw the ad.  The internet sales guy said they have specials about once a month where they lose money to draw people in. He said his dealership literally lost money on this deal.  However, only people with really good credit get the truly good deal because dealers will make it up with long drawn on, high interest payments. We loath car payments but decided at this time it's worth doing considering the poor used car market and having excellent credit we got the best interest rate possible. It was strange buying a car alone but I like playing hard ball. The dealers even let me drive it off the lot before my husband could get off work to sign off on his part of the deal.

Here's our new beauty! It's dark blue with tan interior. I love the peppiness of the Edge over larger SUVs such as the Explorer. Although the Explorers are very nice too!  I also love the entertainment system and being able to drive hands-free.  Thank you, husband, for my new ride!!

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