Baby-makin’ Plans

So here are our baby makin’ plans. We always wanted lots of babies. In the past few months we realized that it wouldn’t be easy to have more children. In fact, it could be deadly to try. It’s so strange to plan your life out and actually THINK you can control anything. What was I thinking? We just assume things will go the way we plan. Proverbs 16:9 says “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” And oh, the lesson we have learned! Anyway, back to making babies. After Lucy died we prayed a lot about what God wanted us to do. We asked Him if He even wanted us to have more children. Thank goodness it was a resounding “YES!” But how do we do that? We were originally told by several doctors that my antibodies were so strong that any more kell positive babies would die in my womb. Because each baby has a 50% chance of being kell positive, it didn’t seem wise. This has been the most devastating loss and we can’t imagine going through it again. So, we want more kids, but we couldn’t have them naturally. Here were our options: adoption, sperm donor, or IVF with PGD and surrogacy. All of the options came with a huge toll, whether financial or emotional. We prayed about it and researched each option and felt like we should go with the IVF. We met with the reproductive endocrinologist and made a commitment to do IVF with PGD and surrogacy in July. It was the most costly financially ($25,000) and least costly emotionally. The plan was to use my eggs and Josh’s sperm and make some embryos in a dish. They would use PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) and test each embryo for the kell blood type. How amazing is it that they can test an EMBRYO for a blood type? We didn’t want to discard any embryos, so the kell negative embryo(s) would be transferred back into my uterus and I would have a normal pregnancy. The kell positive embryo(s) would be transferred to my sister, Jessica, who would be our surrogate. She actually asked me if we would let her carry our baby for us. It’s the best gift anyone has ever offered me. The kell positive embryos would be safe in her womb because she doesn’t have anti-kell antibodies. Any extra embryos would be frozen to be used (by us) later.

So, we had a plan and we started getting things ready for IVF in July. We DIDN’T have $25,000. Then, towards the end of March I got a call from our high risk doctor in Birmingham, Dr. O. He is the one who performed Lucy’s blood transfusion.  He was  calling because he had just gotten Lucy’s autopsy results and placenta analysis back. He said her autopsy was normal, but the placenta analysis was not. It showed that I had had a fetomaternal hemorrhage which also contributed to Lucy’s death. A fetomaternal hemorrhage is a random and rare condition when something goes wrong with the placenta and the baby’s blood leaks out into the mother’s body. It’s totally unrelated to kell, BUT it causes anemia in the baby, just like kell. Lucy had two separate things making her anemic. When the doctors performed an amazing blood transfusion that should have saved her life, the new blood just leaked out into my body. Poor baby, it makes me so sad. It also gives me hope because it means her severe anemia wasn’t just caused by my antibodies alone. This means my antibodies are not quite as aggressive as they thought. Dr. O told me he thought we could try again naturally for a baby. He thinks the baby (if it’s kell positive) will have a chance at life. They don’t know how much of a chance, but it’s a chance. After that phone call we knew we had to try again. It is very risky, but so worth it. We also found out a couple months later that my sister had unexpectedly gotten pregnant so the IVF/surrogacy plan wouldn’t have worked anyway. We look back now and see God’s protection for us. We are so glad He spared us the heartache (and financial devastation) that would have taken place if we HAD pursued the IVF/surrogacy.

So, now our plans for making a baby are, simply, to make a baby the old fashioned way, and to pray. By the way, if you are one who prays, we would love for you to pray for us. Please pray that God strengthens us for this journey and protects our (future) baby. Thank you! We appreciate you.

* UPDATE- We have lost two more babies since losing Lucy. These losses are unrelated to anti-kell antibodies, since the antibodies cannot affect the baby until well into the second trimester. My doctor is hoping both miscarriages are just “flukes” and he has a lot of confidence in my fertility and ability to carry a baby at least until the antibodies start attacking. I am not so laid back about it. I think two in a row indicates that something else is going on. I’m trying a progesterone supplement and daily baby aspirin to hopefully avoid another first trimester miscarriage.

*UPDATE #2- We are now working through the adoption process and might put the trying to conceive on hold until after the adoption is complete.

*UPDATE #3– Surprise! We are pregnant (after a failed adoption) It feels good to not have to worry about baby makin plans anymore

*UPDATE #4– Nora Juliet is here, safe and sound! Right now our goal is to NOT make anymore babies (at least for a couple years.) We are open to the idea of another baby, maybe in a few years, but for now we feel complete.

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20 thoughts on “Baby-makin’ Plans

  1. I found your blog on the babycenter website where you had posted in a support group. I’m following your journey and praying that you will have a safe and healthy pregnancy as well as L&D. We lost our baby girl, Aubrey Rose on May 14, 2013. She was born sleeping at 23 weeks, 3 days gestation. She had hydrops, Turner’s Syndrome, and some other complications. I understand your pain and I admire your strength and faith in God’s plan. Thinking of your family and sending prayers. ❤

  2. Thinking about you and praying for the life that you know you are meant to hold and nurture in your arms. I think this incredible, deep-seated longing that you have can only come from our Lord, and that it exists to help you persist in spite of all the odds and statistics. Love you you guys.

  3. I am not one who typically prays, but am weeping and praying for you. I have a daughter, 13, and being her mother is the best and hardest and most important job of my whole life. I love her so. I wish and pray and hope for you.

  4. P.S. so strong of you to share your story with us. I was looking for info because my friend just had a baby with the same. He had lost 86 percent of his blood. And is still fighting, 5 days later.

  5. You and your family will be in my prayers!!! I am so very sorry for your loss….My first child was stillborn, second 9wks ectopic and currently 12wks with Kell baby…

    • Yes! I will tell him. It has been so hard for him to care about school at all after losing our daughter. He also works full time and teaches a class at the university for his assistantship. Thanks so much for praying!

      • Wow! I have an extra job for 10+ hours a week in addition to my assistantship, and that’s easily plenty. That man is superman! 🙂

        It’s normal to struggle like that. It’s kind of the guy thing to stop caring about work and such for a while.

        Anything I can do!

  6. Your story makes me cry. I am amazed by your strength and positivity. I am so desperately afraid to get pregnant again after our loss. I’m equally afraid not to. I’ll be praying for you and your rainbow baby.

  7. Your Mom sent me pictures of you and new baby, and family. Such a treasure Nora is and will be. I am so happy that you were able to have a healthy baby and that you had a team of doctors and nurses to get you ready for this delivery. I started crying as I read your birth entry; I remember how sad and upset we all were here in Memphis about Lucy. My daughter, Mary Bargin, and I talked about Lucy and we had to read up on what this rare antibody thing was. We are both Rn and we just had heard any thing like this. I am glad you did not have the same experience this time.

    I remember holding you when you were about 8 months old. My first husband; Ron King, held you and you cried. (stranger danger) but did not cry for me. I remember how so proud your parents were of you and your grandparents as well. You were born in to a very loving family and a Christ centered family.

    I remember when your parents moved to Africa and I got upset. I asked Elewyn why they would take you 4 ( your baby brother had not been born yet I think) so far away and I remember her tearing up but supporting your Mom and Dad. I was a nurse way back even then and I knew the horrible stuff going on there and disease. Disease stood out in my mind.

    Our third child is adopted from Korea. John and I were sicken when we heard the baby you were to adopt went to another couple. So very sorry that happened to you.

    Our first born; David Paul King Bigham, committed suicide 14 years ago. Having lost a child; albeit not as young as your Lucy, is the absolute worse thing for parents or parent to experience. I am sure there are others that will disagree but from our experience, the death of a child, is the worse.

    Our Daughter; Mary Rebecca King Bigham Bargin, is the mother to our wonderful grandchildren. Ariana is 9, David (named after our son) is 6, and little Leo is 2. If you ever have time to pray, would you for Leo? He is allergic to everything in the earth and on the earth–no kidding. A few months back he had a severe allergic reaction to a little kiss chocolate he found. He ate 1/2 of it and within seconds he was 4x swelling, difficulty breathing, and almost died. Thank goodness Mary is a nurse and she knew exactly what to do. She popped him with an epipen while yelling for her husband to call 911. You may not know this about Mary but no one ever touches her children for any reason except rare reasons. I tell you that because I asked her if she let the paramedics hold Leo to go on the ambulance, and she said yes. She rode in the ambulance with Leo but she held him once she got on. I later told Mary that because we picked up on his allergies early and had the epipens ( I carry epipens also since I may have to do the same with him), that she saved his life. he had a full anaphylaxis reaction and almost did die. My son, Daniel John King Bigham had a similar reaction twice as an infant and toddler and I had to shoot him with Epipen as well.

    Please know we have prayed for you, and rejoice with you ! You and your family are such a blessing. May God truly bless each and every one of you. Shirley King Bigham

    • Thank you for praying for us! You are right- losing a child is the worst pain. Of course I remember David and Im so sorry for your loss. I will definitely be praying for your little Leo💙

    • Hey Rachael, so the IUTs do hurt a little but it’s not terrible. Some doctors do an epidural before the procedure but my doctors didn’t. I was given a sedative to relax me but was still awake. In the operating room they gave me a shot in my belly to numb the skin some, then they just stick the needle in. In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt as bad as getting an epidural so I was always glad they didn’t give me an epi before the procedure. It’s really not that painful and I was always so focused on my baby being ok that I didn’t care at all what was happening to me. Hopefully you won’t even need an IUT in the first place. I just saw that you sent me a friend request on Facebook so I’ll add you to the ISO Moms group 🙂

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