Thursday, 31 July 2014

Cancerous Twist of Fate

In early 2012 (Feb 7th to be exact), at 29 years old, I was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer called Choriocarcinoma. The cancer was caused by my pregnancy and the way that this cancer works is that the pregnancy hormone (HcG) carries the cancer cells through the body at the rate of a pregnancy. Normal HcG levels for a few weeks pregnant are around 10,000 and mine were at 284,000. Two days later they had jumped to 500,000 – the highest ever seen in Ottawa. I had tumors in my lung, spleen, and uterus. I was exclusively breastfeeding my three month old and was given less than 48 hours to wean him before I would start extremely aggressive weekly treatments of chemotherapy for the next 5 months.

My sister stepped in to nurse him for me as he was not taking a bottle well. I assumed I would have to put him on formula because I didn’t know of any other options until my sister suggested donor milk. I had never even heard of donating breast milk but that sparked a search for milk for my baby to see if I could find friends and family who could donate some breast milk to my little guy. I did find a few but it wasn’t nearly enough for the amount he was drinking so I expanded my search to friends of friends which eventually led me to facebook groups like “Human Milk 4 Human Babies Eastern Ontario” which is a milk sharing group. Essentially healthy nursing moms who have an abundance of milk post on the page with the amount of milk they are offering (whether frozen or fresh) and where they are located. At the same time, women like me who are unable to nurse for a host of different reasons ranging from illness, to lack of milk production, to adoption, etc are able to post requests for milk. The moms connect and ask questions about medical history etc and make an informed decision as to whether or not they would like to take the milk.

Through the generosity of these selfless women I was able to provide my son with breast milk for 9 months while I underwent weekly chemo treatments. One of the most impressive donations I received was a freezer full of milk from a woman over 5 hours away and it was delivered to me by complete strangers who delivered it all in coolers. Another woman spent weeks collecting milk for me from a group she was a part of and drove it all to me herself from several hours away – it too filled my large chest freezer.

I can’t tell you what it meant to me to be able to give my son nourishing breast milk instead of formula. It really took a weight off my shoulders at a time when I needed as much stress off of me as possible. Every single woman who either donated or brought the milk to me was a gift from heaven.

I was able to get pregnant a year after finishing chemo and though it resulted in a seriously high risk pregnancy in which my placenta grew right through my uterus and we both nearly died (yeah that happened), my baby, although 7 weeks premature, is extremely healthy and as a precaution I filled my entire chest freezer with my breastmilk – just in case. I was hoping to donate it to a mom in need and give back in some small way. I was really hoping in the back of my mind that I’d be able to help a fellow mom who was going through something like what I had gone through. Never would I or could I have imagined…

On June 10th 2014, exactly 2 years to the day after that wonderful woman with the pro breastfeeding stickers all over her car had collected all that milk for me and dropped it off from 2 & ½ hours away, I found out that she had just been diagnosed with cancer – and was also pregnant.  In a very odd twist, I was now in her position and she was in mine. I jumped at the chance to help her collect milk as she wouldn’t be able to breastfeed her baby and through 10 different women (and help from Jesus of course) I’ve been able to fill 2 freezers completely full of milk! I’m also working on raising $1000 for her because I know from experience how much financial help is necessary during cancer. My husband will be driving both freezers and all the milk to her on Sunday.

The reason I’m telling this story is because I really want to bring awareness to the fact that more breast milk donors are needed. There’s a new milk bank in Ontario but they are woefully short on milk and of course the milk goes to the hospitals first to nourish the preemies and extremely sick babies. When my 7 week premature son was in the hospital he was approved for the milk donor program and the milk he received was from Ohio! There is simply not enough awareness here in Canada.

Those of us with healthy babies who are unable to breastfeed for whatever reason are left to figure out alternative methods that include formula feeding (no thanks) or trusting fellow mamas with their generous milk donations. Is there a risk to using unpasteurized milk from another mom? Of course! But clearly it’s a risk tons of women are willing to make and if there were simply more women willing to donate to the milk banks perhaps women like us wouldn’t have to take these kinds of risks. The milk bank is very easy to donate to – you simply need to do a short phone survey, get some blood work done, and store the milk. They even pay to have it shipped to them and provide the bottles, etc!

I look forward to the day when anyone unable to breastfeed can go to a milk bank and receive milk for their baby for free. Until then, I will work hard to spread awareness about the need for donor milk and for now will keep working on collecting #Milk4Bridget because going through cancer is enough; no one should have to worry about how to feed their baby on top of that.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Sorry it's taken me so long to update this blog! Thankfully most of you know what's been going on through facebook but for those of you who don't, I'm sorry! Nate is safe and sound at home - thank God! He spent 5 days in the hospital and didn't wake up until that Saturday morning. I'm so grateful that God spared my little sweetheart and I am seriously praying that we don't need to make any more hospital trips.

Life has been very busy with three kids under four. It can be overwhelming at times but at the end of the day when everyone is in bed and I have a moment to myself I am extremely grateful for my family. The smiles, the laughter, the squeals of excitement - they make every day worth it. Nathan is thriving and is fattening up nicely :) I can hardly believe he's already 3 & 1/2 months old! Time really does pass by quickly. Some days feel incredibly long of course but in the grand scheme of things time is passing by so fast. I've been an active part of a new community initiative in my city to help parents of premature babies. When I was expecting Nathan and I knew that he would be early I asked a bunch of moms about what to expect and there were a few moms who had preemies but not a ton. A good friend of mine, Nicole, had her son at 33 weeks as well and he is now a thriving toddler so she decided to start a group just for parents of preemies to be a support system. She also decided to start making packages for parents with babies in the hospital because it happens so suddenly and they are most often unprepared. The packages include really practical things like preemie outfits, hats, hand sanitizers, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, etc and she even called and sent out a ton of emails to companies trying to get donations and Tim Hortons stepped up to the plate and donated $600 worth of gift cards for the parents! She's been funding these packages solely through donations and her own bank account because she has a heart of gold and really wants to help facilitate the transition for parents. Having a baby in the hospital is one of the worst things to go through (far worse than cancer for me) and having a care package full of practical and really awesome things helps to bring a smile to the face of a parent going through one of the worst things they'll likely ever go through. She's working hard to raise the money to become an official charity in order to continue providing this much needed resource to our city and I'm happy to help! We're going to do a fundraiser in September so please be praying that it's successful and provides enough to cover all of the expenses! Feel free to check out the facebook group page or website here - or

All of this has gotten me thinking about applying for charity status for my Christmas project (we bring gifts and dinner to families who would have nothing for Christmas and do it anonymously in Jesus' name). My incredible husband Rob nominated me for the Walmart mom of the year award and if I win I would get $10,000 for our family and be able to donate $10,000 to my charity of choice!! If I win I may just use some of the money to get that set up :) You can see the page here! It would take a miracle for me to be chosen but thankfully my God is in the miracle business ;)

As always, I'm grateful to be alive and grateful for my family. Life is sweet as long as you focus on what's going well instead of what's not.

His & yours,

Meggan :)

Friday, 28 March 2014


I thought it would be easy to keep up with this blog but with a newborn and two toddlers at home. I don't quite have the amount of free time I had imagined ;) Two weeks ago my husband noticed that Nate's right testicle was twice the size of the left one. We paged the midwife right away and she came over and said it wasn't normal. We saw our doctor a couple days later and he knew immediately that it was a hernia that would need to be repaired surgically. He sent off the requisition for us to speak to a surgeon which we did on Monday of this week and he told us that Nate would be having surgery on Thursday morning. Yikes! I was really hoping that they'd be able to wait until he was a bit bigger but apparently the risk of complications and issues were too high so the surgeon cancelled other patients and squeezed us in. We met with the anesthesiologist and she kept asking if the doctor was sure he couldn't put off the surgery until Nate was bigger which was concerning because I had the same question. I finally told her he didn't give us a choice.

 We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am yesterday morning and I held him right up until I had to give him to the nurse just before 8am. I must have told him I loved him a hundred times in that hour and a half. We met with another anesthesiologist (the one who would be at the surgery) and I asked him if it was safe to do the surgery at this point because of how tiny Nate was and his answer was simply "we need to do the surgery now". I guess the risk of waiting to do the surgery outweighed the risk of the general anesthetic. They told us his surgery would last an hour and so we went to the waiting room and watched home renovation shows to pass the time. Just after 9am the doctor came to tell us that the surgery went well and that it was a really good thing that they did it now because his appendix has slid down into his scrotum. He told us that Nate would be waking up within an hour and that he'd come to get one of us to see him when he was awake. At 10:30 when no one had come yet I knew something was wrong. The surgeon came to talk to us and told us that although Nate was opening up his eyes they couldn't take his breathing tube out because he kept going back to sleep and when he did he stopped breathing. They said if he didn't wake up soon they would have to transfer him to intensive care. An hour later he was in intensive care.:(

He's been in intensive care ever since and still has not woken up. He's been on a ventilator the entire time and has often had to be shaken or jolted to remember to breathe. They wanted to take his tube out but his blood work wasn't where they wanted it to be so it's being left in for now. Mercifully I am allowed to stay by his side at all times and even sleep at the hospital in his room which I am SO grateful for. Friends and family are surrounding us with love, food, snacks, hugs, child care, etc. The doctors have no idea why he's not waking up or why he's having so much trouble breathing but they're working on finding out. They said that this only happens once or twice a year. Another medically rare Larson, just what we wanted!

I'll be completely transparent here, this has not been easy. I couldn't even call anyone when I found out because I was choking back tears at all times. For a few minutes I was even mad at God and told Him that if He took Nate from me I didn't know if our relationship would survive. He let me be angry and throw my fit and then He just wrapped me in His arms and comforted me like only He can. And the words I spoke when I went through cancer came back to me and I shared it with some precious friends of mine:

It's not up to me whether my baby is healed or not. And the outcome of this situation doesn't change God's character or who He is. He doesn't owe me anything, He already died for me. When people tell me that I just need to believe that Nate will be healed and he will or that I should claim his healing, it frustrates me because God is not a genie. Of course I want my baby to be well but if that isn't God's decision does that mean He can't be trusted or isn't good? Does that mean He failed me? I can't pretend to understand His reasoning for the things He allows but it's not for me to understand. It's for me to trust that He is still the same and that all things happen for His glory. And I do trust Him even with an outcome I may not like. The peace I have comes from God, not from within. He doesn't owe me my desired outcome, it doesn't work like that. I trusted Him with my life and now I have to trust Him with my baby's life. He's not surprised by this situation and I take comfort in that.

These circumstances suck, there's no getting around that. But it's still my choice to decide how I'm going to deal with them. Am I going to whine and complain and focus on everything that's going badly? Or am I going to just give it up to Jesus and let Him bear the brunt of this for me? I picked the first one for a good 20 minutes yesterday and I can tell you that the second choice is much more peaceful. I can laugh and smile and relax knowing that whatever happens I have a loving father who will carry me through it. And I also have absolutely incredible friends and family that are bending over backwards to help meet our needs. We are blessed, even in an awful situation. 

If you want me I'll be at the hospital by Nate's side until my sweet boy comes home.

His & yours, 

Meggan xoxo

Friday, 21 February 2014

The BIG day :)

On Monday I thought I had 2 weeks until our little guy's arrival. I was wrong. On Wednesday morning at exactly 5:37am the Lord woke me up. I know that may sound strange but I had just been up to the bathroom a couple of hours before when my son woke up. All was peaceful and I didn't have to pee but all of a sudden I was awake. I scratched my leg and realized that I was bleeding. Before any panic could set in that baby Larson wasn't ok he gave me a good swift kick. I calmly woke Rob up and told him we had to go to the hospital because I was bleeding and he jumped out of bed and went into husband mode. I called my sister immediately to come over and be with the kids who were still sound asleep. She was there in about 3 minutes. I paged my midwife an urgent page to advise her I was going to the hospital for bleeding and once I was done with my calls I shifted to get out of bed and without getting into graphic details, let's just say there was a lot more blood. I put on some pajama pants and a sweater and out to the car we went. I called the hospital on the way to let them know what was going on and then Rob proceeded to drive us to the hospital faster than I've ever been driven there with the 4 ways on. Mercifully we weren't pulled over but Rob had no intention of pulling over regardless. ;)

When I got to the hospital I was immediately brought to a back room (ironically the same one I was brought to when I came in for my emergency with Micah) and low and behold the same doctor was there! :) My midwife had already told them what was going on because she was actually already at the hospital having been there all night. The surgeon on call, Dr. Aubin is an absolutely wonderful doctor who has performed most of my sister's c-sections and she performed my c-section with Micah. She is such a sweet lady and has a great poker face. I watched her as she looked over my chart and realized that this was not just a small issue. I watched her calmly take in that I had complete placenta previa and placenta percreta and that the placenta had grown through my uterine wall and I would need a hysterectomy in order to save me from bleeding to death. Worst case scenario was supposed to be March 3rd delivery date with the team in place who knew everything that was going on - well before any chance I could go into labor. Clearly, that's not what was happening. She had been on all night and was getting ready to go home and the surgeon that was scheduled to do my surgery on the 3rd was out of town. The doctor on call was, how do I say this without getting anyone in trouble, not an expert with this kind of surgery. Neither was the back up. And my bleeding wasn't stopping. She smiled at me, patted my leg and left the room. For the next 2 hours Dr. Aubin worked on tracking down a surgeon that she felt was qualified to do it as my midwife tagged along to help her. She wasn't leaving until she had found a suitable surgeon or she was going to do it herself. How amazing is that? They gave me the steroid injection to help baby's lungs but it takes 48 hours for it to really be effective. I was hoping the bleeding would stop and we'd have time for it but I was out of time. They found an excellent surgeon - Dr. Baker - who was a very no nonsense guy and clearly had a lot of experience.

If you read one of my last blog posts about the big meeting they had about me I mentioned that they weren't sure about a spinal for me because of my BMI and my incredible midwife Jackie pulled up my facebook page to show the anesthesiologist what I looked like and he said it should be fine but that it would be up to the anesthesiologist who was there on the 3rd which wouldn't be him. Well guess who the anesthesiologist on call was on Wednesday morning? You got it! I don't know his last name but his first name is George and he was just wonderful. So peaceful, calming, and encouraging and he already knew the entire plan because he sat in on that meeting. They decided at 8am that they would be proceeding with the surgery within a half hour because the bleeding wasn't stopping. They didn't do any ultrasounds, internal checks or anything but it was clear that it had to happen then. The anesthesiologist knew that I wanted to be awake for the c-section but told me that it depended on how bad the bleeding was when I got into the operating room. He said if it was anything more than a drop or two (which it was by far exceeding that) then I'd have to be put under completely. I gave Rob a kiss, we said I love you and I was wheeled away.

I was praying that by some miracle the bleeding would have stopped enough for me to get a spinal instead of a general and the Lord mercifully gave me what I asked for. The bleeding had tapered just enough for me to get the spinal so I could stay awake. George (the anesthesiologist) was incredible. He walked me through everything and commented often on how well I was doing and how relaxed I was. They listened to the baby often and every time he was so calm and relaxed with an excellent heartbeat. It was a bit chaotic in the operating room as there were many different teams there. And remember these were not the same people that were scheduled to do this surgery. Most of them had been briefed about it that morning. Each team introduced themselves and the doctor asked if anyone had any concerns before we started. No one had any and to my surprise he turned to me and asked if I had any last concerns or anything I wanted to say. I had been praying for weeks about how I could work in praying over the surgical team before we started and here was my moment. I asked if I could pray over the team and to my relief the doctor said absolutely. I'm not sure if they were expecting it to be a silent prayer but it wasn't. lol I asked the Lord to give the team direction and accuracy and I thanked Him for assembling them together and that baby and I were ok and basically just gave the surgery up to Him. My midwife said that she thinks everyone really appreciated the prayer and that it brought a sense of calm and peace over the room. Everyone just focused after that and got down to business. I looked at the IV's they had me plugged into and commented that at least it wasn't chemo this time around. Yep, that's the kind of thing I think about. I focus on what's going well instead of what's not going well. Gotta give credit to Dani Johnson for that because before I met her and went through her training all I ever focused on was what wasn't going well. If you've never heard of her you've gotta check her out (

I joked around with George and Jackie (midwife) held my hand the whole time even though she had literally been up all night. She did pull the resuscitation nurse aside who was there for baby and told her that if baby was ok I wanted a picture. The nurse was not impressed. "This baby is 33 weeks old, it's not the time for a photo opportunity" to which my phenomenal midwife replied "you know why she wants this picture right? In case she doesn't make it through the surgery. She wants her son to have a picture of the two of them together so he can see how happy she was to have him". What could she say to that? I got my picture ;)
and apparently had a couple of nurses tearing up because of how focused I was on my son and not myself. My sweet little angel Nathaniel (meaning God gave/gift of Yaweh), Ethan (meaning firm, strong, long lived), Alexander (meaning defender of men), Larson (meaning crowned with honor), came out crying at exactly 10:09am on February 19th, 2014 weighing 4lbs, 1oz. (Quick side note, I randomly gained 8lbs last week for no reason and though I was a little alarmed it seemed everything was ok. Now I know why I gained the weight! The Lord wasn't fattening me up, he was fattening him up!) They quickly brought him to me to get a picture and then whisked him away to the neonatal unit. Jackie went with them and grabbed Rob on the way. Now the c-section was over and I knew they were going to sew me back up and then go back in to remove the uterus with the placenta still in. I didn't want to be awake for that part. George was great at explaining what was happening without actually giving me any details and he gave me something to relax me and I asked him if I could fall asleep and he patted my head and told me to go right ahead. I never got the general! I just fell asleep on my own with the relaxant and narcotic he gave me. Jackie came back in to see how things were going so she could update Rob and all was calm aside from my very loud snoring. ;) Apparently it was so loud the surgeons were getting irritated because I was making things vibrate. My bad! Jackie and George chatted together over my snoring since I clearly couldn't hear them and George commented on how calm I was and relaxed and how much easier the surgery was because of that. Jackie told him it was because of my faith and he said he could clearly see that. What an awesome testimony of God's goodness. He's the only reason I was calm and relaxed. It was His peace which surpasses all understanding. If you think about it I really should have been freaking out. I was bleeding, the team that was supposed to do the surgery wasn't really there, it was too early, etc. But God worked all the details out. He had me wake up and get to the hospital before the night shift was done so that the day shift could come in refreshed and ready. He brought the right people in to do the surgery. He had both me and baby completely calm and relaxed. Truly a miracle. The surgeon that performed the surgery told Rob and I later that the placenta had indeed gone through the uterine wall and that it was being held together by the peritoneum which is paper thin. Had I not gone to the hospital when I did (because the Lord woke me up to the bleeding) the placenta would have ruptured and been a catastrophic situation. Whoa. 

I was out of surgery around 11:30am and remember waking up still in the operating room as they were cleaning me up. I was to be in a special recovery room for 24 hours because I lost 3 & 1/2 liters of blood (normal c-section loss is up to 1L so this was quite a bit more). I got 3 units of blood transfused so they wanted to watch me closely. I was doing so well after the surgery that they said I could go up to the postnatal floor at 6am the next morning. The recovery room was interesting to say the least. It reminded me of war times to be honest. Beds right beside each other without even a curtain up.The injured lying around moaning in pain, some throwing up. For some reason though I got a special isolation room within the recovery with actual walls and curtains that went all around! Thank you Jesus! Rob and my sister Tara were able to come and visit me and show me pictures of Nate. He was having a little trouble steadying his breathing so they were helping him with that but everything else was going well.
He's even off that machine now too! They said if he is doing well and meets their checklist he can come home on March 4th because he'll be gestationally 35 weeks. Most of you know that I was really hoping to avoid having Nate on formula but that's pretty typical in the NICU. We knew he'd be going there so we had arranged to have donor milk available which the hospital staff wouldn't touch but would grudgingly allow us to use if we did every feed. This became a bit of an issue after he was born because his nurse was arguing with Rob and Jackie about it. Jackie to the rescue once again! The nurse said that he was too young to be bottle fed and that it wasn't possible to use the donor milk we had brought so Jackie asked if he could be approved for the special milk bank pasteurized donor milk which the hospital would have no problem using.
The nurse didn't know if he'd qualify for it but applied anyway and in the meantime they had him on an IV because of his breathing so he wasn't going to be fed any milk the first night anyway - Rob was able to go home and sleep. The next day Nathan was approved!! What a relief! So now he's getting 3mL of donated breast milk as well as any colostrum I pump (which is increasing all the time) every 3 hours. Had he been born on the 3rd as was planned he wouldn't have qualified for it. God knew. ;)

My recovery has been mind blowing. I was up and walking yesterday, my pain level is still low today and I walked down to the NICU to get my second snuggle in with Nate
- something I didn't do the entire time I was in the hospital with Micah because I just physically couldn't. Rob had to wheel me down every time. I am so incredibly grateful to God and everyone who was praying for us. This could have turned out very differently.

Let me touch on that for a moment.

The reason I had so much peace throughout this was not because I knew that God was going to show up and show off in this hugely powerful and miraculous way. It's because I trusted Him with whatever outcome He decided. That may make some of you uncomfortable but let's be honest. Jesus doesn't owe me a thing. Not a single thing. He already DIED for me. I see something often when people are going through some kind of trial, tragedy or test. They often will say something like "Don't fail me now God." or "I
know you're going to come through for me". Would He have failed me if I didn't make it through the surgery? No. Of course I'm thrilled we both made it and seem to be doing fine but He didn't owe me that outcome. I am grateful for His mercy and grace but had He chosen a more painful path would that have changed who He is? Would that have changed how amazing and incredible a father He is? Not at all. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I didn't ask for cancer two years ago but I also didn't blame Him for it. He walked me through that beautifully but it was only because I chose to trust Him with the outcome and let Him walk me through it. Not with the outcome that *I* wanted, but the one that He had chosen. It's not easy to lay your life in someone else's hands but who better to trust with it than the very one who knitted you together in your mother's womb before you were even born? We're going to go through trials in our lives because we live on planet earth. I am immensely grateful to be able to walk through these firestorms in the protection of my God. So many doctors and nurses have commented on what a rough two years I've had. I don't feel that way at all. I consider myself blessed to have been chosen to walk through these things and had the opportunity to praise my father in heaven while doing it. Isn't that what James meant in the bible?

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 

I'll be honest, I used to think that verse was nuts. Who would consider it pure joy to go through trials of many kinds? I know now what he meant. Depending on how you choose to go through the trials determines how mature you'll come out of them and how deep your faith will grow. If you choose to whine and complain about them the entire time (which I definitely used to) then you're missing the opportunity to grow and strengthen and persevere. You're missing the opportunity to inspire others. Wouldn't you rather inspire others than be just like everyone else complaining? I know I do and I thank God that He has shown me how. I trust Him with my life (obviously) and I have never regretted that decision. I pray that you get to trust Him that way too, there really is no peace like the peace that comes from truly knowing you are completely safe in His arms.

For now I am so happy to be here to be able to type this out knowing that my little guy is safe and sound in the NICU and that it's lasagna day at the hospital. :) I will likely be leaving tomorrow or Sunday (Rob's birthday) and Nate will stay until at least the 4th. I pray he's able to come home that day and that I have plenty of milk for him (it's never been an issue so I'm not worried). He was having a little bit of an issue with spitting up a bit of milk but he tolerated his last feed perfectly (he was in my arms for it). So please be praying that it doesn't become an issue for him and that he stays very healthy. 

Thank you for being on this journey with us so far, I will continue to update this blog so feel free to come back to it!

His & yours, 

Meggan :)

Watch Nathan with the link below :)

Monday, 17 February 2014

The countdown is on!

There are only two weeks left until the big day!! I knew it would pass by quickly so this is no surprise. Baby Larson is still doing really well much to my immense relief. He loves to roll around and kick and punch me all the time and I honestly cherish these moments with him knowing it will be my last pregnancy.

We have finally decided on his name! We'll announce that in two weeks though ;) It seems that my medical team has decided on a final plan for the big day. They had a big meeting about me on the 6th and I am so grateful that my midwife was there on my behalf. I really want to be awake for my little guy's birth so that I can see him and kiss him and get some pictures with him especially in case of the worst case scenario of me not making it through the rest of the surgery. I would want him to have a picture of how happy I was to have him. They were concerned with my BMI because I'm heavy and only 5'1 &1/2 (yes the half counts!) so they were just going to do a general and put me to sleep for everything to be safe because they didn't know what I looked like. Midwife Jackie to the rescue! She pulled up my facebook profile to show them what I looked like and they said it wouldn't be an issue to do a spinal first so I can be awake! How cool is that?! Gotta love technology. They will do the general after the c-section because they really don't know how long the surgery is going to take. The great news about being able to have the spinal first is that they can give me longer lasting narcotics that last up to 18 hours vs just a general where I wouldn't have any pain medication in my system and would have to press a pain pump to give myself medication that would make me drowsy. I want to be able to nurse my baby as quickly as possible so it would be much better if I didn't have to be put to sleep all day. I will have to be in recovery for 12 hours which complicates things a little since I won't be able to see my little guy until I'm out, however, I understand why they want to monitor me so closely for so long. In the meantime I'll be able to start pumping when I'm up to it and that will help relieve Rob from having to do all of baby's feedings since we'll be using donor milk until mine comes in and the staff won't touch it. Thankfully my wonderful sister is going to spend the day at the hospital and will step in to feed our little guy for several hours so that Rob can go home and sleep.

I had the MRI last week which was horrifying but Jesus got me through it. I actually forgot that an MRI was not the same as a CT scan until they were literally sliding me into the CASKET (capitols for dramatic effect lol). I definitely don't recommend an MRI at 32 weeks pregnant for anyone who is the least bit claustrophobic. Oh. My. Goodness. 25 minutes later and I was freeeeeeeee! I literally just prayed, kept my eyes shut really tightly, and sang to myself the whole time. I pray I never need another MRI for the rest of my life. They should now know whether or not the placenta has fused to my bladder so here's praying it hasn't! :)

I have had so many blessings come my way in the last few weeks. My sister Tara helped organize meals that we can freeze for after the baby comes and her hubby showed up with TONS of food last week. I will be completely back on the Trim Healthy Mama plan after baby comes (phenomenal book/cook book/nutritional etc that helped me lose almost 30lbs in three months just EATING normal, natural, and delicious food. You can check out to the side of the page. Seriously, I eat bacon and cheesecake all the time, whatever!) and so there are certain things like refined sugar, etc that I won't be eating. Thanks to my sister's organization I have a ton of on plan food that will help me lose weight and keep baby well nourished. She also dropped off a bunch of groceries from Costco that are kid/hubby friendly and quick to prepare to make our lives easier. Our dear friend Adeline sent us a whole case of specialty pasta that I'll be able to eat which was so thoughtful and our good friend Selene helped orchestrate raising almost $1500 in just a few days to help us keep our electricity from being shut off and paying other bills that we had gotten behind on. Another fellow THM friend sent us more than enough to cover our parking pass at the hospital and even a place for Rob to spend the night if needed (thanks Judith!!!)! I was even blessed with a wonderful baby wrap from The Ottawa Babywearing Group! Apparently they lend out a free wrap for a year to a family facing special circumstances. They only do it every three months and the recipient must be nominated for it. My precious friend Samantha decided to nominate me and they selected me to receive a gorgeous Little Frog Woven wrap. I was really wanting a wrap but there was no budget for one so this is such an incredible blessing to me. What a great thing to do! You can check them out on Facebook ( or on their blog (

Throughout all of this one thing is consistently evident to me: God is taking care of everything. He made sure that the placental issues were caught very early on so that the medical team would have ample time to formulate a plan and get the best of the best in place to do my surgery. He has kept baby safe all 33 weeks of his life so far. He's taken care of all of our needs and even our wants. He ensured that I haven't been on bed rest so that my hubby could still go to work while I care for our kiddos. He is such a good God and I'm so blessed to know Him. There is just no peace like knowing that a big and mighty God has your back and cares about all of the little details.

I do have a few prayer requests if you're inclined to pray for us.

#1 - My dear friend and single mom Dianne is in the ICU fighting for her life with sudden kidney failure. Please pray that she would make a full recovery and that her condition would continue to improve.

#2 - Please be praying with us that baby Larson's lungs, sucking reflex, and ability to regulate blood sugar and temperature would all be perfectly functional so that he can leave the NICU as soon as possible.

#3 - Please pray that my milk would come in quickly and abundantly (sorry guys I know that's more detail than you probably want lol)

#4 - Please pray that my recovery would go extremely well so that baby and I can be reunited ASAP.

#5 - Please pray for the Lord's peace to continue surrounding us and that I would get/stay healthy and start getting more sleep.

I very much appreciate all of you and am grateful to have such a wonderful support system in my life. Two weeks from today I hope to be holding my little guy in my arms and recovering well. I know that whatever does happen though that God is with me and will see my family through. That's just who He is.

His & yours,

Meggan :)

Friday, 31 January 2014

The latest!

For those of you following this blog, thank you!! It really means a lot to know that someone is actually reading these ;)

Today was a busy day and a good day. If you read my last entry you know that I was meeting a lot of different people at the hospital today. It was really great to get all of my questions answered and some surprising reassurance. Originally I had been told that I would absolutely be having the surgery in the main operating room which meant that my husband would not be able to be there for the birth of our little guy. They are now leaning towards having my surgery in the regular obstetrics operating room since the urologist is not necessarily needed. The main difference between the two rooms is simply the space and some different tools in the main OR. It's nice that they're strongly leaning towards the other OR simply because it means that Rob would be allowed to be in the room with me when baby comes. Either way the surgeon did confirm that my incredible midwife can be with me in either OR which is awesome because I'll have a friendly and familiar face with me. I knew God would work that out! :) I'll also get to have a little time with my baby before they do the hysterectomy which made me really happy as well.

They are planning to do an MRI to see if they can get a better picture of the placenta and bladder and whether or not the placenta has adhered to my bladder or not. The results of that will determine what kind of anesthetic I get. It sounds like they are hoping to keep me awake for the entire surgery (bleh lol) but the reasons they would give me a general is if the placenta has adhered to the bladder which would result in a significant to "catastrophic" amount of blood loss (not my words lol), or if the surgery is lasting too long and the spinal epidural will run out (no thanks!!).So please be praying with us that the placenta has not and will not adhere to my bladder - or any organ for that matter!

We also met with the neonatal doctor today and he told us that baby Larson would absolutely have to be in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for at least 24 hours if not several days because he'll be under 35 weeks old. This is true but he'll be 34 weeks and 6 days. You literally can't get any closer to 35 weeks! I debated fighting to push the surgery to later but my midwife took the time to explain that our due dates are usually accurate within 5 days. Meaning that baby could actually only be 34 & 1 which is a big difference. They'll be monitoring his ability to regulate body temperature, breathe on his own, testing his blood sugar levels, etc. He'll be monitored a lot more closely than if he were just in my room. I was so grateful that she took the time to explain all that to me because it left me feeling much better about his need to be there instead of thinking the hospital was just holding their ground over a technicality. The good news is that the doctor assured us we could give our baby donated milk as long as we were the ones to feed it to baby. They literally won't touch it but they will let us use their fridge and bottles which is great. I'm hoping to be able to be wheeled down to the NICU as soon as possible to nurse him so please be praying that I'll be able to sit up in bed asap (that's the unofficial requirement of being put in a wheelchair after that surgery).

I asked if this type of surgery has a high success rate and while the surgeon said yes, she also warned me that it has a high risk of severe complications as well. They've all been noticeably impressed with my positive attitude and happy go lucky nature and I can only attribute that to my relationship with Jesus. I mean really, what else could it be? They've told me multiple ways that I might die during the surgery, they've told me that I'll feel like I got hit by a mack truck afterwards, they've told me that I won't be able to be with my baby for at least the first 24 hours up to several days or beyond...none of this is good news. Yet I really do feel genuine peace and joy that I get to point to the goodness of my daddy in Heaven yet again. Every major challenge I face is just another opportunity to tell the world how awesome my God is. Did He cause these circumstances? Nope. Is He letting me walk through them? Yes He is, but not on my own. He's carrying me through the storm and there is just no peace like the peace that comes when you ask Him to take your fear from you. If you don't know Him already I urge you to give Him a chance. He is absolutely worth knowing and He cares about you more than you could ever imagine. If you don't know how I'd be happy to help you out. :)

There's just over 4 weeks left until the big day so the count down is on! I'm looking forward to seeing my baby and watching God work out all the details. We all have to face crappy circumstances in life but it's up to us to decide how we're going to deal with those circumstances. I choose joy and I can only do that with the help of Jesus.

His & Yours,
Meggan :)

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."
The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Thursday, 30 January 2014

On we go

I have a long day at the hospital tomorrow. I have my regular ultrasound appointment, then I'm meeting with the high risk doctor, the anesthesiologists, the neo natal doctor (who was our son's doctor 2 years ago), and the surgeon who will be doing my c-section and hysterectomy. I have a list of questions for each of them which is very unlike me (disorganized by nature) but I'm happy to have it.

I met with the urologist on Monday (Dr. Roberts) and he was an extremely kind and incredible doctor with phenomenal people skills. What a difference a smile and a kind word makes to a patient facing a lot of unknowns. He looked inside of my bladder (which FYI is a really weird experience to see the inside of your bladder on camera) and praise the Lord the placenta has NOT grown into my bladder. It still appears to have grown through the uterine wall but at least he won't be needing to do surgery on the inside of my bladder as well. Although he did assure me that he will be at the hospital that day and just down the hall in case they do need him to perform any kind of surgery or fixes to my bladder.

My heart is really full of gratitude because the Lord has surrounded me with incredibly kind doctors and hospital staff. I even met a medical student 2 weeks ago during my regular appointment and she happened to be doing her rotation in urology on Monday and it was like seeing an old friend!

This is a big deal because both of my birthing experiences have been terrible at this hospital. With my daughter I received no help with nursing and instead was advised to supplement her with formula and they informed me that they'd be waking her up every two hours to feed. What ever happened to the saying "never wake a sleeping baby"?? With my son it was even worse since I had an emergency c-section and they didn't know what was wrong with me. I had gone in because I had a high fever and was in excruciating pain that had started on my left side. The doctor took one look at me, saw that Micah's heart rate was over 200 and they took him out. After a couple of days in the hospital the pain came back but they couldn't see anything on ultrasound so it seemed as though they thought I was faking it to stay in the hospital longer with Micah who was in the NICU. The staff was just plain mean to me. Fast forward 3 months and we realized the pain was due to a tumor in my spleen that no one could see yet. All that to say I had my hesitations about receiving care at this particular hospital due to my previous experiences. I'm very happy to report that everyone has been extremely kind and full of grace. I've made arrangements for my babies to stay with my parents for the first few days while I'm still in the hospital though so that Rob can be with me - just in case. ;)

These days I spend my time resting as much as is possible with two toddlers and the inability to lift anything. I do my best to stay on top of laundry and dishes while Rob is at work but I do tire easily and find if I do too much I get crampy for several hours which is probably not a good thing. Baby is moving all of the time and surprised his big sister with a few good kicks to her hand this morning. She giggled and kissed my belly. :)

I will be speaking to the neo-natal doctor tomorrow about giving my baby breast milk instead of formula while I am still in surgery and immediately afterwards when I'm sleeping. While I am prepared to argue this to the top of the hospital if I need to I'd really much rather they agree and allow me to feed our baby donated milk instead of formula. We had Micah on donated breast milk for 9 months of his life and it was such a blessing to me. If you could keep this in your prayers that would be really appreciated. When Micah was in the NICU they gave him formula and it really messed up his gut. I basically didn't sleep for the next 3 months because he was extremely fussy and nursed every hour to hour and a half. Rob had to rock him in a baby carrier for hours on end to get him to sleep. It's not the only reason I want this little guy to avoid formula but it's one of the top ones. As parents we need to make the best and most informed decisions we can for our little ones and be prepared to fight for their (and our) rights.

So that's the latest! I actually look forward to hospital visits because it's the only real time Rob and I have to spend on our own. It's like a mini date. :) I really am so grateful that I learned how to focus on what's going well instead of focusing on what's not going well. What a difference it makes!

Things that are going well this week:

* I get a 6 hour date with the love of my life tomorrow.
* Had some preemie outfits dropped off so that I have something for baby to come home in.
* My incredible sister is organizing food and meals for us for when baby comes which is such a blessing.
* I think I'm finally over this 5 week cold for the most part! Yay!

I am overwhelmed with gratitude by the love and support you've all shown me. I really am connected to the best people on the planet. If you're reading this, that includes you!

His & Yours,
Meggan :)