Making Peace with my Immune System?

Is that even possible?

I do not know but I am going to try.

I cannot continue expecting outcomes that I see now are not in the cards for me. My immune system is messed up and it probably got worse during each of the ten pregnancies I have had – certainly it is very messed up during this pregnancy. I have no idea what will happen during this pregnancy in terms of complications I might develop or be working on already – preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and gestational diabetes have been raised with me as likely culprits because of my autoimmune diagnoses and the way in which my immune system continues to ramp up its activity levels as this pregnancy progresses into the second trimester. I have no idea if I will end up with permanent medical conditions requiring lifelong or at least some future care and medical attention if – God willing – this baby comes home safely. I have no idea if this baby wil come home safely, though in my heart I believe that Azulito/a is meant to be with us and I have to believe (there really is no alternative – I could not get through each day without this faith) that this baby will safely make his/her way into our arms.

I think about these things every single day. I do not know how to turn off those thoughts. I need help to befriend or at least make peace with my immune system, my body, my self, and my marriage. Everything is under strain and I feel lousy about almost all of it. Quintessential failure – as a mother, a spouse, a friend, a lawyer, a blogger – is how I feel most of the time. My lower lip is quivering wildly and tears that were threatening to pour onto my desk as I typed that last sentence – confirming the veracity of it and how visceral that truth is – have now spilled out onto the open binder below. Because of course I am writing a blog post instead of doing my billable work.

Damn it.

I feel so broken.

This blog post was meant to be a re-cap of recent events but apparently my heart had other ideas. And on that note, I will stop here and provide the very brief update and then get back to business (because I cannot afford to lose this job by writing blog posts instead of doing billable work at this point).

I had a prenatal appointment booked for this morning at which I intended to ask my family doctor (who has been providing my prenatal care to date and whom I had planned to keep seeing until about 22 weeks) to transfer my care to my OBGyn. I need to find out if he will be receptive to and supportive of Dr. Braverman’s diagnoses and protocol and the extra monitoring he is rabidly recommending for the later second and third trimesters. If not, I need to go doctor shopping… again. Please do not make me do that, Universe. At least cut me that one bit of slack, won’t you?

My doctor’s office called to cancel today’s appointment yesterday because my doctor is sick. Since it was a prenatal appointment and I am high risk even though my doctor seems to question that now that we’ve moved out of the first trimester (because apparently she doesn’t read the copious literature on the link between my issues and preeclampsia that I have now read even though I’m her patient and a lawyer well-versed in medical malpractice claims, given I defended doctors named in them for several years in a past legal life), the nurse had made arrangements for me to see someone else. A doctor who appears to be about 17 years old (I’ve seen him before when the Miracle Toddler had a stomach bug that would not go away for almost 4 weeks). Fan-freaking-tastic.

In typical do-it-yourself-if-you-want-it-done-right fashion, that phone call prompted me to make another one. After a long period on hold I was able to book my own appointment with my OB for February 10th (his first available opening – this is what happens when your OB is the head of high-risk obstetrics at the local women’s hospital and generally speaking a really likeable human being and capable physician, apparently). I did not have to wait for my doctor to transfer my care. Thank you, Miracle Toddler, for making this possible! Without having been a patient before (even though I have not seen my OB for 3 years because he was on vacation when I developed Cholestasis and got induced on an emergent basis with the MT and I never saw him for my follow-up after the delivery), I would not have had this opportunity. Thank goodness for small mercies.

Back to my emotional state and the plan to try to make peace with my immune system, briefly. I am trying to book time with a highly recommended energy healer next week. She is booked solid for her 3 days in town but is trying to squeeze me in somewhere because in my fragile state I said I really would prefer to work with someone I’ve met face to face than start out long-distance. I know another energy healer here from whom I have taken private prenatal yoga classes with the LP in the MT’s pregnancy but my gut tells me she is not a good fit for this situation or where I am right now. Plus I want to see someone trained in the Brennan Institute approach to energy work (a shout out to Gradual Changes at Just Another Infertility Blog for opening my eyes to that school of energy work – thank you!). So that is Plan A to get back into myself, connect with Azulito/a if possible, and work on loving my immune system even if it’s trying to kill me or this baby.

Plan B may be more hypnotherapy so I can have personally-focused meditations. I have not booked anything in that department yet. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, please forgive me for being spotty in my comments and belated in reading some of your posts. I continue to care very deeply about each of you even when I appear (and often feel – thank you, Prednisone) absent. Please know I am thinking of you and asking the forces around us to support each of you on your respective journeys.

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32 thoughts on “Making Peace with my Immune System?

  1. Your determination and perseverance is absolutely incredible and oh so admirable. I’m continually amazed by you! Praying for you all the time. I can so relate to your feeling of being broken. I’ve been there many times, and sometimes for different reasons, but the feeling is still much the same. Please take care of yourself. Reach out to us to help with those very raw, very real feelings. The despair can feel so overwhelming. But we love you so!

  2. When I read that sentence about you feeling like a failure in all those aspects- I wanted to be your real life friend so I could call you and remind you that you are in the middle of a very stressful pregnancy, you have had to endure so much heartache to make it even more stressful, you are doing the best you can and are amazingly strong and this is all temporary. Take it easy on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Xoxo

    • Thank you. About 90 minutes ago I found out (alone because my doctor could not find the courtesy to tell me we would be discussing some difficult result so I could bring the LP) baby may have spina bifida. I dont even know how to breathe anymore.

  3. Sending you many hugs and prayers.. One day at a time. Your doing great I wish you didn’t have all theses obstacles.. I know that feeling of failure but know your doing amazing!!! Your stronger than you think.. My body is doing a resetting itself have had some more spotting.. Need to focus on FET the goal at hand. Hugs!! You got this!!

  4. I’ve been thinking of you lots lately. If you need another recommendation, I have a closer friend who recently moved back to your area. She’s my go-to for energy healing and has been a blessing to me on my journey. I’ve booked myself in for reiki tonight. This appointment was made almost a month ago, but it feels like divine timing. A little grounding can go a long way. I hope you can relax (even slightly) knowing that you got your OBgyn appointment sorted out. Sending much love to you. ❤

    • Thanks. Today has put me in a tailspin so no idea what is next. Hopefully not a long wait to see the perinatologist I am being referred to after finding out we are at high risk for spina bifida. Fuck me. When will this hell-ride end?

        • I barely know a thing about the various tests available but would the Harmony test be more conclusive? Or just amnio? I know this adds another level of anxiety into an already anxious situation but keep reminding yourself the process all leads to baby in your arms – which is also when you will learn the true conclusion of the results. I know having an idea beforehand will help though. Time will tell even if time is our worst friend at times.

        • We had MaterniT21. Those NIPTs cannot detect Spina Bifida at all. Amnio is only way to obtain a conclusive diagnosis. Ultrasound can be helpful in confirming whether the nerves and cord are likely exposed if spine visible and baby cooperative. Again that is not 100% determinative but can help form part of diagnosis when the MSS results are positive for elevated levels of alpha-fetoprotein as mine were.

  5. I love that you can so easily take matters into your own hands, advocate for your self, and get what needs to be done accomplished.

  6. First, I’m going to focus on the happy things in your post – I am so happy to hear that your OB appointment is sorted out. And that you you may get in with someone trained in the Brennan Institute. These are great things!
    Second, yup, there re no guarantees and trying to accept that is one of the hardest things to do. Particularly for those of us (i.e. you and I) who like to control things and predict outcomes. I wish you all the best in trying to accept your immune system, and if nothing else I hope you can enjoy the few moments of peace when they do occur. Love to you my friend.

  7. I’ve been thinking of you and am glad to hear from you. I’m sorry your appointment got canceled today. I’m glad you were able to get in with the OB. I’m sending lots of love, light, and hugs your way!

  8. Just letting you know you are in my thoughts and sending you strength and I think it is quite possible that you can wake up from this latest nightmare as soon as possible and continue moving forward without any this additional pile-on. But also letting you know you shouldn’t hesitate to contact me to vent because, well, I just know. My secret-squirrel email address is Claudlaw@aol.com

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