Two and a half years later, I’m back! I know the radio silence was completely unexpected, but life got extremely crazy! Let me explain; my last post was in November 2016, life got hectic with the holidays coming, and me wanting to give my son the absolute best Christmas ever (because, hello, he’s my little prince). In January of 2017, I had my ileostomy REVERSED! Woo-hoo! Freedom (insert Spongebob’s “freeedoooommmm” chant here)!! Recovery was pretty decent, except for some on-going nausea that just never seemed to let up. Like, I was taking Zofran (an anti-nausea pill) all day every day. The Friday before the Superbowl, a close friend had messaged me saying she thought she was pregnant and going to take a test, and then later the test showed positive. Well, that got me to thinking (and sorry for the TMI here buuuut) that I had never gotten my period in the month of January, which at first I thought to myself, well, it could just be because of all the stress, ya know? Then I kept thinking, and I decided to take a test just to be sure. Well, sure enough, at 5 PM that same evening, the test was a SCREAMING positive. Of course my first thoughts were “did any medications from the surgery hurt the baby?” So first thing Monday morning I called my OB and told them the entire situation, and they squeezed me in that week for an ultrasound to make sure that the baby was okay, and growing, and all was well. And it was! Baby had a strong heartbeat, moved their little gummy-bear limbs all around, and was just perfect! After that appointment, they were sure to get me referred to the Maternal-Fetal Specialist (due to me being a high risk pregnancy due to Crohn’s disease).
We received a due date of October 2, 2017. The pregnancy was fairly typical, no major issues until I hit around 29 weeks when we learned that baby had something called an Umbilical Vein Varix, coupled with a two-vessel umbilical cord. Now, the Umbilical Vein Varix is basically a pooling of blood on the inside of the abdomen where the umbilical cord connects. If the blood clot was to dislodge, it would go straight to the baby’s heart, and more often than not, results in fetal death. We upped the ultrasounds from every 4 weeks, to every 2 weeks to check the size of it. The next appointment showed growth in the UVV (Umbilical Vein Varix), so we increased visits to weekly, and it still was growing. At that point, we decided the safest option was to induce labor at 37 weeks (I was trying for a VBAC, otherwise known as a vaginal birth after cesarean section). At 36 weeks though, my body had other plans, and I went into labor. Went to the hospital, and the baby’s heart rate was a complete mess, so we rushed into a repeat C-section. Shortly after, we welcomed my sweet baby GIRL into this world on September 5!
I didn’t get to see her for very long before she was rushed into the NICU due to breathing problems. She was immediately hooked up to a CPAP machine. Around 10pm that night, I finally got to see her. She was switched from the CPAP to just oxygen. She had a 5 day NICU stay, due to breathing issues, and her pulse-ox dropping down to the 30’s whenever she had a burp. Finally, we got to bring her home after what felt like a life-time in the hospital. She’s now a year and a half old, growing like crazy, and is the sweetest little girl! We named her after some extremely important, and beautiful women in our families. Her first name is Emmalyn, the Emma comes from the middle name of my beautiful young cousin whom we lost in 2010 (and I swear Emmalyn has her eyes), Lyn comes from my own first name (Kara-Lyn), and my mothers middle name (Lynn). Her middle name is Jean-Marie. Jean is the name of her great-grandmother on her fathers’ mothers side, who passed away quite some time ago, and is also the middle name of her grandmother. Marie is the middle names of: my sister, my grandmother, my two aunts. It’s also the middle name of Emmalyn’s paternal great aunt, and great grandmother.
During my super hiatus from blogging, and sharing my thoughts and life, I began to help admin a facebook group for breastfeeding mothers. I loved helping other women through their journeys with breastfeeding, helping them overcome fears and obstacles that came their way. After almost a year of doing that, though, some serious drama happened with the owner of the group (as well as about 50 other groups) and some other admins, and I ultimately left as I didn’t agree with the way the situation was handled. The other admins of that same breastfeeding group also left, or were kicked out for continuing contact with the admins who had left, and thus, a new facebook group was formed for breastfeeding mothers. It’s called Breastfeeding Education, Support, and Talk (or BEST, in short). If you’re a breastfeeding mother, you should join this group! Whether you need help, or can offer advice to new moms, or first time breastfeeding moms. The group atmosphere is so laid back and supportive. Here’s the link if you want to join (please, if you’re a man, don’t request to join, you’ll just be blocked from the group anyways); https://www.facebook.com/groups/556735484744762/?epa=SEARCH_BOX
In 2018, we found out that we were moving to Hawaii, due to Dakota’s job. It’s been such an adventure out here! I think my favorite part is being so close to the ocean! I grew up in Maine within 5 minutes of the ocean, then in Virginia, we were’t near the ocean really. Now here, I’m living less than 5 minutes away again! I post pictures very frequently on my instagram ( @dodgingkara ). The warm weather is a pretty awesome plus, too.
As for my Crohn’s, it’s been okay. I wouldn’t say I’m in COMPLETE remission, but I’m also not on the brink of death again, either. Some days are worse than others, but for the most part, I’ve been having more good days than bad days. I still advocate daily (or try to) for those with Crohn’s, UC, IBD, and other auto-immune diseases.