Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Answers we didn't expect

Well, we went to the doctor's office yesterday to get our results from the DNA analysis. There's a lot of science, so I'm going to give a short version and a long version.

Short version: Basically, we had a partial molar pregnancy (which is similar but different from a full molar pregnancy). As a result, we can't try to get pregnant again for a full year. During that time, Darbi will have regular blood tests to make sure there is no molar tissue left in her body after the miscarriage. Molar tissue can be dangerous if any is left behind. It's not a serious risk, but it's important enough that we have to wait for a year. Now, if you don't want to read the scientific part, you can skip to the prayer requests...otherwise, read on.

Long version: A partial molar pregnancy happens when two sperm enter the same egg. It results in an extra DNA strand in every chromosome (so you have 3 instead of 2 in each's called a triploidy). A similar issue would be Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is a trisomy 21, which means there is an extra DNA strand on the 21st chromosome. Now imagine having an extra DNA strand on every chromosome. This obviously creates serious health issues for the baby, which is why Eve could not survive (we named her Eve...we'll make another post to explain names).

A partial molar pregnancy also has a complication. In addition to the baby, there is a growth of tissue called molar tissue. If left inside the mother, molar tissue can grow uncontrollably, which presents a health risk to the mother and any future pregnancies. In order to be sure there is no molar tissue remaining, blood tests are done weekly until beta levels in the blood reach zero. The tests are then done monthly to make sure it stays at zero. The blood tests last for a year, after which it is safe to try for another pregnancy. The good news is that with a partial molar pregnancy (as opposed to a full molar pregnancy), the risk is much smaller of any molar tissue remaining. A full molar pregnancy holds a much greater health risk, so we praise the Lord this is only a partial.

Interestingly, this only happens in 1 out of every 1000 pregnancies. We actually find this funny, since strange and odd things tend to happen to us. It's already been recommended that we play the lotto. :)

Prayer requests:
  • First and foremost, we need to trust the Lord. This is a serious exercise in patience and trust. We are praying that God will guard our hearts and minds as well as give us His peace throughout this trial. Every day (and every moment) is a struggle between the foolish thoughts of our minds (lies that destroy) and the truth of God's Word (truth that heals).
  • Pray for Darbi's health and recovery. We don't want there to be any complications, but we know that God is in control. We accept whatever He has for us, for He will give us strength to endure.

We are so grateful to all of our friends and family. We know without a doubt, your prayers carry us through each day. God has given us enormous grace and love through all of you, so we daily praise Him for you.

EDIT:   These results only pertain to our most recent miscarriage. We will still undergo other tests to determine if there are other possible causes for the two previous miscarriages.

All praise to our King,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Dr. appt.

Thursday I received a call from the OB.  They would like to meet with Robert & I to discuss the test results for the analysis of the placenta tissue from the most recent miscarriage.  I asked them if they found anything to which they gave the typical evasive Dr. response, "I'd rather talk in person."  She also mentioned that we were going to discuss the game plan and the next step (blood work, etc).  When we went last week there was a game plan already in motion, and the Dr. said we would get a call about the results. I was caught off-guard by having to make another appointment with the OB. Every time we hear from or visit the Dr., there are so many difficult emotions I have to deal with.

This is where my theology of who I know God to be meets the challenges of life.  My two choices are either fight the will of God or accept this is His perfect plan for us.  Robert told me today that this trial has been specifically picked for us because God knows that this trial will bring Him the most glory through us.  I feel like the psalmist in Psalm 131:2, "...I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."  Obviously, our path is not the one I would've chosen, but I am learning to trust that His will is perfect because we serve a God who knows infinitely more than we could ever possibly imagine.

Please pray that God will guard our minds with the truth of His word; we will willing accept whatever the results are from the OB; and finally that we will be able to bring Glory to God through whatever is next. Our  appointment is Tuesday afternoon.

We so appreciate your love and support!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A reminder of my mortality

This past week has been a somber reminder of my own morality. We have been indirectly affected by three deaths that were all sudden and unexpected. Each time I've thought "That could've been me, (my husband, family, friends, etc) ". We live in a sin laden world and honestly at times I'm overwhelmed by the amount of death and suffering that have surrounded my family and friends this past year. There have been times where I just want to crawl underneath my couch (like my dog does) and wait for the coming of the Lord.

Where is my hope? God is constantly reminding me that He is my hope. My hope for eternal life (which is even more real to me through our suffering), and my hope for endurance through this life. Everyday I am forced to see my life through a different set of lenses as suffering and grief make life different. I love my savior more dearly everyday because he has not forgotten me in my suffering but instead has given me Himself and keeps me close to him. He alone has strengthened me.

Many of you may not know this. I was on anti-depressants for about 4 years. The Dr. told me that I would have to be on it for the rest of my life. As of January we will celebrate my third year off the anti-depressants. Ironically my life and trials have become so much harder and medically speaking there is no good explanation for why I am not back on it. But, God truly sustains me.

I do highly recommend listening to a sermon by John Piper entitled "Where is God?" as this has really helped both Robert and my perspective of our trials.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yesterday's Dr. visit

Yesterday's Dr. visit went better than we anticipated. We feel that some of our questions regarding what our next step should be have been answered. The doctor said that Darbi's body has healed as it should (Praise God!).  Our next step is a series of blood tests to find if there is an issue of blood clotting which may be causing the miscarriages. We had begun to look into going to a specialist (a Reproductive Endocrinologist), but the OB stated that our problem is not with getting pregnant. If it were, they would refer us to the specialist. Our issue is with having a healthy and viable pregnancy.  The OB will do the same tests as the RE would do. So we are going to stay with the OB at this point.

As we stated before, Darbi is going to have a series of blood tests done. We have to wait a few more weeks before she can get the blood tests. The tests will be looking for blood clotting issues as well as other things. We hope that blood clotting is the cause, since that is the easiest to treat.  Darbi clots very easily (she has been black listed by the Blood Bank... The last time she gave blood they told her never to come back).  If all tests come back negative, we will both go through DNA testing.

Although physically Darbi is better, she is easily fatigued and mentally very fatigued.

We ask for your prayers specifically:
1) Darbi to recover quickly both mentally and physically.
2) For the tests to reveal the cause of the miscarriages.
3) For us to trust the Lord whether or not the tests show us the cause.

We thank everyone so very much for their prayers.  They mean so much to us and minister to our very souls.  We feel like we are being carried by your prayers.  Praise the Lord for His church.  He uses it to minister in some truly amazing ways.

To God be the glory,
Robert and Darbi

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where do we start?

We decided to start this blog as a way of keeping people updated on our journey. A little background info. Robert & I will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary in October. We have 3 children, who are all with the Lord as we have experienced 3 miscarriages within 8 months.

This journal is to keep you updated on the testing process we are about to start to see if there is anything medically wrong that has caused the miscarriages. We also pray that this will reflect our spiritual journey as we learn that no matter what we can and will glorify our gracious Lord. I also hope this will be an encouragement for others who are or will be going through similar trials. We ask for your faithful prayers and have been so encouraged by our church family as many of you have come along side of us to help shoulder our burden. Words cannot express our gratitude for our church family.

We have a follow up appointment tomorrow, but most likely it will only be a checkup. It is my understanding that I will be getting some blood work done in a couple of weeks. And, so we wait.

So, you may wonder what is up with the names "On Distant Shores" Well, we are both Five Iron Frenzy fans and both are lyrics from their last album. "On Distant Shores" in a reference to heaven, which is not only where our children are living glorifying the Savior, but it is where we long to be.

Feel free to leave comments.