Our miracle “Little Bean” arrived Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 4:17am, weighing in at 4lbs 10oz, 18.9 inches long and perfection from head to toe! This doesn’t seem real…how is she: here, unharmed, healthy, adorable, ours?! Allan and I keep reminding each other that we actually get to keep her! This journey through infertility, medical scares, ICP and leukemia has definitely had its fair share of extreme highs and lows (and more to come) but how does it possibly get any better than this?
I’ve had many moments of bawling in disbelief that we made it to this point. As we were leaving the mommy/baby unit on the 8th floor of the hospital to head home, we got to the elevators and I burst into tears…that’s the same floor that I spent April and May in the oncology unit wondering if I’d ever make it to the other side to mommy/baby, let alone get to take a healthy baby home with us… the odds were stacked against us. Plain and simple: this is just an absolute miracle. The same God that rose Lazarus from the dead and healed the sick and lame, rescued my baby girl.
I go back on August 8th for more blood work- this will determine when and how long my next chemo treatments will be. My last blood work in June, showed that I am in remission- PRAISE JESUS!! Part of protocol is that I would still have to do maintenance rounds to ensure the cancer is completely annihilated. I noticed myself getting anxious as I thought about the upcoming treatments I will be going through and as crazy (and, admittedly, messed up) as it sounds: I realized that I am scared to go through treatments without her. Of course I am so relieved she’s safe outside and doesn’t have to be exposed to the treatments but it’s like she made me extra brave; her presence gave me the focus and fight I needed to persevere. It was as if she gave me super powers… and now I have to shift my focus on fighting so I get to see her grow old.
I am happy to report: Daddy is a natural and completely wrapped around her little pinky! And he is well on his way to conquering his fear of poopy diapers and mastering the art of the swaddle! Alianna is doing amazing! Everyone that meets her is amazed by the physical strength of her little body (we joke that it’s all the steroids I had while in ICU). She will be following up with the cardiologist for a few years to come just as a preventative. This little girl has changed my world.
Thank you all for your support and prayers. Please know that each of you carries a piece of our story with you. Your encouragement and pleas on our behalf have gotten us to where we are today. I ask that you pray for my continued strength and resilience- I am determined to beat this thing once and for all!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. -Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
The Birth Story…
I went in on July 10th at 37 weeks to be induced as is standard care for Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy to avoid the risk of complications later in pregnancy. I had my birth preferences in hand and was equipped with all my HypnoBirthing materials ready to take on labor au natural (besides the fact I had to artificially trick my body into labor)… They started cervadil around 9:30pm and almost immediately I started having contractions every 1-2 minutes this lasted 12 hours and by the end my cervix was soft but I wasn’t dilated at all. So we chose another 12 hour round of cervadil which made my contractions every 30 seconds-2 minutes. Not having slept in over 24 hours, my body was exhausted and I still had the home stretch in front of me. I was focused on my goal of healthy mom, healthy baby which meant avoid c-section at all costs (due to my health risks). Little did I understand that induction can be a real game changer in terms of my birth preferences and pain tolerance. After all, I had warmed up with two unmedicated bone marrow biopsies using my HypnoBirthing techniques successfully. But after 21 hours of no pain meds, I knew it was time for something since my body still wasn’t dilating enough and I was physically exhausted. That’s when the epidural came in and saved the day (not on my birth preferences)! lol A few hours later I was dilated to 7.5cm but stalled so they gave a little pitocin and ruptured my membranes at 3am on July 12th. By 3:50am my body was already pushing and her head was visible. I was trying to breathe through some contractions to give our moms more time to arrive at the hospital but this little bean was determined to make her debut at 4:17am! My mom and sister arrived minutes before delivery and my mother-in-law arrived just a few short minutes after. Alianna had the cord wrapped around her neck and it wasn’t long enough for the doctor to unwind it so he had to cut the cord (there went the delayed cord clamping from my birth preferences). Then she didn’t let out a loud cry at first so the nurse had to use the bulb syringe in her nose and mouth and rub her body using a blanket thus removing some of the amazing vernix (both against my birth preferences). Moral of my life story: nothing ever goes as planned but it always goes as it should! And mission accomplished: healthy mom, healthy baby!https://www.facebook.com/gigi.herrera.79/videos/1199785243379253/
A HUGE THANK YOU to @migzsosa and the 8am @crossfitsiege crew for making this girl’s dream come true!! To @gloriapelo for your artistry and generosity- you are amazing! And to @gigiudsphoto , Olivia, and @marthaudsphoto of @udsphoto: you captured what I thought to be impossible. Thank you for your time, generosity, and bringing my dream to life. You have all blessed us so much- our hearts are overflowing!
Our amazing CrossFit family made a WOD in honor of Alianna and before each class they said a prayer for our little champ:
We love and appreciate each of you!
Love, Our Family of 3