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Tracy B's Pregnancy Journal

Introduction
~ Meet Tracy B!

Hi! I am Tracy B. I am 33 years old, and my husband, Doug, is also 33 years old. We were high school sweethearts; we meet in the 11th grade and have been together ever since. He is my soul mate. We are due with baby #4 on December 10, 1999. We will celebrate our 14th anniversary on December 8th, 1999. We have three sons, Zachary (7), Jacob (6), and Matthew (2).

I am a stay-at-home mom, and my husband is a self-employed contractor. We have a home-based business and last year we homeschooled our two oldest sons, then in Kindergarten and first grade. This year, however, they will be attending public school to allow me to be able to do bedrest if needed.

This is our fourth baby, but not our fourth pregnancy. Not long after we were married, we became pregnant by surprise. All was fine until I reached 10 weeks when we lost the baby due to a miscarriage. We were very sad but to be honest we were not ready to be parents and somehow I saw this as a good thing. We were young and we had a lot of time to have children. But it wasn't long after that I was ready to try again. In fact we immediately got pregnant in February of 1986.

All was going very well until one day while I was out running some errands. I felt like I was coming down with a stomach bug of some sort. I went to see my husband at the real estate office we were working at at the time and shortly felt the need to get home and lay down. On the drive home, I felt like pulling over may times but somehow I got home. I laid down and called my husband and told him that I needed him at home. By the time he arrived, I was in a lot of pain. I had no bleeding or anything to indicate a miscarriage from what I knew. We went to the hospital emergency room and while there, my water broke. I was taken into a room and an OB was called in. While in that room alone, I gave birth very quickly to a tiny baby girl that weighed only 15 oz. Just then the OB walked in and the baby was taken immediately to NICU. She lived for a short three hours. We were devastated at this loss! We were so sad in fact that we couldn't bring ourselves to name our daughter. She was born and died as Baby Girl and our last name.

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We had no clue why this loss happened and so we never suspected that we would have to ever endure that kind of pain ever again. So when I became pregnant for a third time in November of 1987, we were nervous but expected this time to be different. The pregnancy went great, we had an ultrasound mid-second-trimester, and it revealed that we were expecting a baby girl that seemed healthy in every way. But the following week, I passed a large mucous clump. I called my OB's office worried, but I was told that it was normal. Since I had never passed a mucous clump like this with my previous pregnancy and I was not having any contractions, I believed all to be well.

Five days later (at 23 weeks), I once again was experiencing something that felt like a stomach bug but I also noticed that I had a strange feeling in my vagina. I checked myself, and I could feel what felt like a water balloon in my vagina. We called my OB, and I was told to go directly to the hospital. When we got there, I had started my bloody show, but I was not feeling the contractions that were showing up on the monitors. I was transferred to a level III NICU hospital by ambulance should the baby be born. All that night I was given Magnesium Sulfate to stop the contractions that I still was not feeling.

At 1 pm a new OB came to see me, and he found me to be at 10 cm dilated. His words will forever stay with me, "I am so sorry but you are fully dilated, there is nothing we can do now." I lost all control because I knew what was about to happen. We were once again going to lose a baby. Baby Alicia Larren was born on March 19, 1988 at 1:05 pm weighing 15 1/2 oz and only 11". Like her sister, she lived for a very short three hours and right before she passed away, I was given the chance to hold her and say good-bye. She was perfect but so very, very tiny!!!

It was then that I learned what was causing the premature labor. I have an incompetent cervix that we can only relate to the D&C I had after my first miscarriage. It had been a very traumatic D&C that had weakened my cervix.

It was then that I decided I could not go through another loss, and we decided that maybe we not meant to have children. But in 1991 I was once again ready to try and had been told already about a procedure that could help me carry a baby to term. In July of 1991 when I became pregnant with our oldest son, Zachary, it was the cervical cerclage surgery that allowed me to carry him two weeks shy of his due date, and he was born on March 8, 1992, a healthy 6 lbs. 15 oz! We were ecstatic, our dreams had come true!!

Then six months later, it happened again while we were on vacation in Texas. I was once again pregnant. Happy but surprised, we had just relocated to Connecticut and had an infant that was very colicky, and I still hadn't lost 30 lbs. of the 45 lbs. I had gained while pregnant with Zachary. But once again we were blessed with the birth of Jacob on May 26, 1993, three weeks shy of his due date, weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz.

After his birth we thought we were done with the building of our family. But on my 30th birthday and one week late with my period, I took a home pregnancy test, and it was positive. So, we were once again surprised!! I had had very irregular periods and the birth control pills obviously failed us, as I had been very good at taking them. But after some serious thought, we decided that with our history of losses, this was God's will to be pregnant again and on March 28, 1997 (Good Friday) after being on bedrest since week 29, Matthew was born at 7 lbs. 9.25 oz at 37 weeks.

He, unfortunately, was taken to NICU shortly after his birth; he was turning blue. It was determined the following day that he had a heart condition known as Patent Ductus Arteriosis. He spent six days in NICU. He has since had numerous echocardiograms and electrocardiograms and just a couple months ago, we found out that the PDA has cleared up itself. Surgery was no longer needed.

Speed up to this year 1999 and we find ourselves pregnant but very, very happy!! We are self-employed now and uninsured so we're nervous but have been able to get assistance in the form Medicaid. I am now 22 weeks and so far this has been a wonderful pregnancy. We are looking forward to the birth of our fourth baby, and it being our final baby as we are planning a tubal ligation right after this baby is born. We would love a daughter to complete our family but as long as it is born healthy and comes home with us, we will be happy.

Come join us in this exciting yet scary time while await the birth of our baby.

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