Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Preggy Diary: Last Hurrah

I am excited to reach our finish line but at the same time feeling tired already with all my daily/weekly/monthly medication routine.

This journey surely wasn't the most pleasurable and momentous of all but I am still grateful that I have a little angel princess named Sky wriggling inside my tummy despite the bruises and bumps resulting from our never ending nightly and daily injections.

My elephant-looking hands and feet caused by Edema are all nothing compared to the reassuring fact that our Sky is finally picking her weight up before D-day approaches.

And even though I see all the changes in my body - pimples, pigments and all - knowing she is healthy, well and complete still gives smile to my now different skin.

I know this journey will soon come to an end but I want us to reach the end at the time most perfect for my baby. 

I love you my Selah Khloe Ysabel. You are my most precious gift. 


Saturday, August 6, 2016

My Preggy Diary: My Rainbow Baby's Coming Soon!

It's just recently that I came across the term 'Rainbow Baby'.

A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

This is what our baby is to us - a rainbow baby. A miracle that happened in the midst of the storm.

After three pregnancy losses, which all reached 2 months only, our baby's growing inside my tummy and is now six months!

True that there are challenges physically, emotionally and financially, but, I am honestly enjoying the journey because I know God is with us through out this pregnancy. Until we reach full term.

Will also write about the treatments I am currently undergoing and other treatments I was advised to go through on a different post.

For now, I just want to show you a 5 month ultrasound of my Rainbow Baby. <3

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Preggy Diary: Living with APAS and Auto-immuno Disorders

My whole world stopped when I got pregnant the fourth time. Literally stopped, because I was on bed rest most of the time and I had to refrain myself from doing anything.

In 2013, which was my third pregnancy, I discovered that I have auto repro-immuno disorders falling under low lymphocyte antibody test score (LAT) (Category 1), anti phospholipid antibody syndrome (APAS or Category 2) and Natural Killer (NK) cells (Category 5). And it was the first time that we had workup and treatment for our unborn baby. 

To address Cat 1, we had Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy (LIT), wherein I will be injected with my husband's white blood cells taken from 14 vials of his blood. We had three sessions for this. It was meant to introduce husband's DNA to my body, which is how my repro-immuno doctor explained, so that my immune system will recognize, supply nutrients and not attack our baby. I also took baby aspirin daily to avoid clotting and to address Cat 2. 

During one of my checkups, my high-risk OB or Perinatologist OB advised me to go back on my 14th week for my next ultrasound since everything's normal because I already have LIT and aspirin. But I insisted on having my utz that day since my last one was a week ago already. So she gave us an advice slip because she understands that it will give me peace of mind if I will have another utz before our one month break from checkup. In short, we had our utz outside her office inmediately after that. 

The emotion I had that day was still unforgettable because I thought we were doing it right, with the time and amount of money we spend to keep the baby. But even with LIT and aspirin, we saw our lifeless baby floating and nearly sliding down my cervix with only 9 weeks age of gestation (AOG). Pretty small for her age. I had a lot of questions that day and emotions that I had to burst out but we were still commuting back then, that's why I had to hold my tears and keep myself from breaking down until we get home. This was my third miscarriage and the most heartbreaking one.

Fast forward to 2016, we find ourselves not yet planning to have a baby, afraid to experience the same heartbreak, afraid to lose our baby once again. We thought in ourselves that for us to bear and give birth to a child successfully, we have to be financially and emotionally prepared to take more tests and treatments next time, even months ahead before we try to get pregnant. That's why even after three years, we didn't plan or pray for one.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),”
Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV

We were faithless, I would admit. We were looking all throughout those years in what we can do and cannot do. But God is still merciful. He is gracious. Even in the midst of our incapability, our faithlessness, His saving grace once again saved us. Saved us from ourselves, saved our marriage. Because last April 2016, I found out that I was pregnant again.

“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:27 NKJV

The feeling I had when I saw the two lines was mixed emotions. Excitement mixed with worries and fears. At one end, I was afraid because I haven't underwent any treatments yet which was supposed to be done before pregnancy and on the other end, I was believing that God will make a miracle out of this. Even so, with the guidance of our leaders and prayer partners at church, we went and see another OB Perinatologist to handle my high-risk pregnancy while believing that God's miracle is still inside me. Christ in us is our only hope of glory.

““So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.”
Exodus 23:25-26 NKJV

One of the verses I hold on to during this journey is God's promise that He will fulfill the number of our baby's days until he or she reaches full term. Exodus 23:25-26 was shared to us by the pastor who've discipled me and my husband and I've treasured this word of promise ever since.

And true enough, even without prenatal workup or treatment, result of series of tests done on my 7th week AOG improved a lot compared to my 2013 tests! This is a miracle already because repro-immuno disorders, if not treated regularly, will worsen or for some, mutates to another category. We had our last treatment wayback in 2013 and for that to still work, we have to get pregnant again or have booster shots every 6 months. In our case, we did neither! Truly, all glory belongs to Jesus!

2013 vs 2016 results
• Cat 1 - From negative in 2013 to positive tissue crossmatch in 2016
• Cat 2 - no retest. Medication started at 7 weeks.
• Cat 5 - From 15.02 NK cells in 2013 to 12.22 NK cells level in 2016
* these results were all prior any medications or treatments!

...This same God, who delivered me from the paws of the lion and bear, will also deliver me from this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:34–37)
Exerpt from Pastor Prince's Daly Grace Inspiration: "David was conscious of what God had done for him. He knew that God was for him, loved him, favored him and would give him victory again. My friend, you can also remind yourself that the same God, who did tremendous things for you in the past, will do the same for you again."
The same God who let us pass through our first trimester with abundance of grace and favor, even with SCH at 8 weeks and spotting at 10 weeks, we are now healthily going 5 months or 20 weeks in a few days! A big miraculous leap from our past pregnancies who only reached 2 months! Truly, God is good! If you ask me how we paid for everything, starting from our daily heparin injection, fortnightly ultrasound & checkup, 5 times a day progesterone supplement, monthly intralipid infusion, prenatal milk & vitamins and at times, hospitalization - we actually don't know! But God supplied for all our needs even up to now.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 NKJV

“For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”
Psalms 5:12 NKJV

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)”
Romans 5:17 NKJV

We truly are excited to meet this little, after a very long time of waiting!

Yours Truly,

Kikay Morena

Monday, January 18, 2016

Bonoan Dental Clinic Alabang Review Part 2

I wouldn't recommend Bonoan Alabang after seeing the result of having my dental braces with them for two years.

I had my braces removed July last year (6 months ago) and until now, I am suffering from the slits they made in my upper molars so they can place and fit in the molar bands. I am not sure why they made those slits and did not do anything to make sure the gap would close after they removed it. Now the gaps left by the slits hurt a lot and is causing tooth decay. Sadly, I have to pay additional fee for them to fix it when in fact they should have not made those slits considering they're molars! Shouldn't dental spaces be created without having to slit the molars themselves thru separators, spacers, etc.? I guess it's one of the cons of having cheap, commercialized dental braces. Tendency is the dentists doing their turn in checking your teeth won't have real customer service, personal care or concern. This is the sad truth, really. This has been my experience with them for the past two years. Everytime I raise a concern, there's always a defense or justification like when I asked if they can make my teeth move inwards since I don't want it portrude - their answer is, it's my normal facial profile, why my teeth is slanted - it's not slanted, why my other teeth not aligned - it's thicker.. Etc, etc, etc. At the end of my 2 year contract, I saw that I was tagged as MRT (Maarte) in my dental record but still didn't like the outcome considering I was tagged as "maarte" already, still they did not make any actions to address my concerns. Unfortunately, my hard earned money doesn't matter to them as my opinions, concerns, and suggestions for my own teeth, don't matter to them. What matters is how they want to do it and how to finish your dental contract. Very, very poor customer service and no professionalism at all. Good service, I guess, doesn't come cheap.