Welcome to my blog! I’m Jennifer, a 37 year-old melanoma survivor and mother to two angel babies and two living miracles. My journey to motherhood is full of twists and turns, all of which began more than four years ago with the conception and loss of my first pregnancy in March of 2008. Just a mere five months later, I lost my second pregnancy, a little boy, to a craniopharyngioma at 19 weeks, 3 days gestation. Finally, on November 25, 2009, I welcomed my first living child, Clara Elizabeth, into the world. Clara’s arrival marked a very joyous, although scary, time in my life, as she was born with a rare condition known as Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT). To get all of the details surrounding Clara’s battle with NAIT, please read Clara’s Story.
In June of 2010, it was confirmed via genetic testing that all of my future babies would be affected by NAIT. Hence, my husband, Taylor, and I thoroughly researched the condition and after getting a recommendation from a NAIT support group I found on Yahoo met with Dr. James Bussel (a leading NAIT specialist) in December of that year to discuss future pregnancy options and treatment. Although we knew that getting pregnant again would be risky, we desperately wanted Clara to have a sibling. So in the early summer of 2011, we began our journey down the road to conceiving our fourth pregnancy. On July 10, 2011, I got my BFP (i.e. positive pregnancy test).
This blog was created to chronicle all of the trials and tribulations that Taylor, Clara and I faced as we prepared for the birth of our second living miracle, Elyse Lillian. Elyse, the product of my first and only treated NAIT pregnancy, was born on February 24, 2012, after four months of bi-weekly Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) transfusions, a round of steroids and many months of anguish and worry.
Now that Elyse has made her grand entrance into the world, I plan on using this blog in two ways. First and foremost, it is my hope to educate and inspire present and future NAIT families of the possibility of having a successfully treated NAIT pregnancy. And most importantly, this blog will serve as a space for me to reflect on all of the events of my past — my melanoma diagnosis, the death of our son, NAIT, etc. — that have influenced, changed and molded how I see myself and the world around me. And now that I am a mother of two, I am looking forward to sharing how future obstacles and adventures may challenge my currently held thoughts and opinions. All in all, I feel that I have a relatable story to tell — one about facing and conquering a variety of difficult hardships– and a unique way of getting my message across. That said, sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee or tea and get ready for a very candid look at our lives…