Friday, September 21, 2012

Calm Before the Storm

After meeting with our doctor on Thursday, and establishing that I am indeed 14 weeks pregnant (no my due date isn't wrong kind ultrasound tech, I just grow big babies, let it go!), we officially scheduled the beginning if my IVIG treatments. In two weeks I will begin the first of 42 IV infusions, each of which lasts between 4-6 hours. For the time being my treatments will be every Saturday and Sunday, but because we don't know how well my body will tolerate this dosage this may change. The best case scenerio is that I will have zero side effects, and be able to combine the two day treatments into one incredibly looooong day.

In the mean time, we are trying to enjoy the calm before the storm. We're taking a much needed trip camping as a family next weekend, which I couldn't be more excited for. This will be the first time we have taken the boys camping, and they're stoked!

We're planning our move into the new house for the third weekend in October. It seems so far away, but I'm realizing that really I only have a few weeks available to me for packing before our schedule goes haywire. I'm not entirely sure how Nolan plans to move our entire household, and keep the boys out of trouble, while I'm stuck at the hospital with an IV in my arm. Talk about feeling useless!!
Can we just skip to February now?

Here are a few pics of the new house:
This is our awesome teal front door :-)

And half of our amazing back yard

Our front patio (And the sweet ladies rerenting to us)

Architecturally awesome fireplace

Vintage chandelier 

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Movin on up!"

Sometimes I think things change on a dime around our house. Probably because they do... For once we couldn't be more excited to roll with the punches!

I'll back up. About a month ago we decided as a family that it made sense for us to end our jobs as resident apartment managers. Believe me, the job has its definite perks- free rent on a rather nice two bedroom apartment, plus a small salary. These are things that allowed me to go to college, and gave us the ability to pay down a lot of debt, all while staying at home with the kids. We're thankful for the blessing, but it's time for us to move on. Apartment living only lasts so long when you have two very active little boys. Let's face it, they need space to run, and I need to regain some sanity. These along with many other reasons led us to begin our search for a new home.

Let me explain something about the rental market to those of you living outside the bay area. Just because we're ready to move on doesn't mean we can just pick a place and move there. We live in a two income society, and we are a one income family (I stay at home with the boy). Now, most of the world right now is a two income society, however the norm in the bay area is for BOTH of those two incomes to be six figures. This is what we're up against. Rentals are no longer given on a first come first serve basis (assuming the first applicant is qualified). The rule of thumb that the applicant must make 2-3 times the monthly rent no longer applies. At any given open house in a decent safe neighborhood with good schools, there will be 7-10 applicants within the first FIVE MINUTES. This is NOT an exaggeration. Not only are rental prices at an all time high, but the competition is too, and I really have no explanation as to why. We have good credit, are financially stable, don't even have a car payment, and we were turned down for FIVE separate properties. One landlord actually rented a three bedroom house (the golden unicorn here in the bay) to a single man, rather than a family of four. We turned our applications in at the exact same time, and yet he was chosen because he works for a local .com and makes more money than he knows what to do with.
Because renting to families with kids is frowned upon (no matter how illegal it may be), we were doing our best to find something before I really started to show. A young couple with two kids is taboo enough around here, factor in a baby and we would have been doomed.

Finally this week we were approved to rent an adorable little house on a double lot (hello HUGE yard!), directly across the street from out favorite park. The very best part is that it is less than a mile from Nolan's office. No more twelve mile bicycle commutes. No more leaving before the rest of the house is awake, and coming home an hour before the kids' bedtime. We can have breakfast together, dinner at a decent hour, he can even come home on lunch. As far as I'm concerned that makes everything worth it. We're stoked!
I'm hoping to be able to take some pictures of the house tomorrow, if I'm able to I'll post them :-)

Pregnancy update:
I had my first ultrasound to check the baby's brain on Thursday. Baby is super active, measuring two weeks bigger than he/she should be (no shock there, I grow them big!), and best of all- no bleeds!! His/her little brain looks perfect :-)
So, for now we hold our breath for a few more weeks until we go in for the next ultrasound. These will continue, most likely monthly, until 36 weeks when, as my doctor puts it, "we bail." This Thursday we will also meet with our him to schedule the first week of treatments. Can I just say how fast that crept up on me? Barely 13 weeks, but so much has already happened, and is about to happen.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Things are a'changin!

Jax started his first day of Kinder Prep today. I have seen him grow and change so much since a year ago when he began preschool. I will never forget having to say goodbye and walk away from him while his teacher literally held him back as he screamed and cried. It was all I could do to not look back at him, and the second I rounded the corner I burst into tears myself. Flashforward to Kinder Prep, where he bolted into the classroom before I could say goodbye. I actually had to call him back for a hug! He's growing so fast...

Speaking of fast growing things... let me introduce you to the twelve week belly of a third time mom.

Twelve weeks. Not six months, TWELVE WEEKS. What the what?! I mean come on, my belly button is already sticking out! All kidding aside, this kid is putting me through the ringer. Until this pregnancy I had never experience morning sickness, extreme tiredness, crazy mood swings, or any of the other lovely unmentionable first trimester side effects. I must say, I don't appreciate the way I have been feeling these last three months, and I'm pretty sure no one else appreciates the fallout from my general misery. If I'm being totally honest, one of my biggest fears at this moment is that just as the first trimester side effects fade away, I will potentially gain a whole new set of side effects from the grueling treatments headed my way in about four weeks.

For any of you that may not know Nolan and I's history, we are genetically mismatched (to put it very simply). Our children suffer from a condition called Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT). From the time of conception until several months after their birth, our babies are at war with my body, which spends nine months forming antibodies against their platelets. A healthy human being has a blood platelet count of between 150,000-300,000. Jax was born with 62,000 (because there is no screening for NAIT we did not know he was suffering until after his birth), Maddox was born with 107,000 (after six months of weekly IVIG infusions, mass daily doses of prednisone, and an early c-section). To hopefully get baby #3 out safely, I will be beginning twice weekly IVIG infusions at 16 weeks pregnant (because this condition worsens with each pregnancy I will be receiving twice the dosage prescribed while pregnant with Maddox). Each IV infusion takes between 4-8 hours depending on how well my body handles the medication. This is going to be a long bumpy road, but it's a road I have traveled once before... and the reward at the end is so worth bruises.

Because this is something I am passionate about, I tend to ramble quite a bit when it comes to NAIT. Believe it or not, what I have explained above is the much abbreviated version of this cruel disorder. If you happen to be fascinated (and wish to learn more... *wink wink Annie), check out this amazing website my friends and fellow NAIT mamma's have set up-
Our family's (as well as many others) story is posted here, along with an amazing video made by our support group, and lots of fantastic info. I'm proud to say that our NAIT group is now on the sounding board for a major pharmaceutical company that is developing a potential "cure" for NAIT. Once upon a time RH disorder was just as unknown and lethal as NAIT, and after the persistence of people effected by it's outcome there is now a simple shot to cure it. My hope is that by the time my children are having my grandbabies the cure for NAIT will be as simple.