Miracles and Needles! (Our First L.I.T Session)

A brief background about my pregnancy condition. It was in 2012 when I had my first pregnancy which turned into a miscarriage. Our baby's heartbeat started deteriorating at 8-9 weeks, and during the 10th week ultrasound, the heartbeat was completely gone. After my D&C, Dra. Valerie Guinto,  my High Risk Pregnancy OB ordered laboratory exams to find out the cause of my miscarriage. The examinations revealed that I have an Auto-Immune Disorder, wherein my own immune system recognizes my husband's blood as foreign, therefore, attacking the growing fetus and killing it. My OB advised that if we ever plan to get pregnant again, we would need to undergo a series of treatment to prevent it from happening again, and for us to be able to carry our baby full term.

Last March, after four years of praying and waiting, we found out that I am pregnant. We couldn't contain our joy when we saw our baby's heart beating strongly during the 8 weeks ultrasound, that alone is already a dream come true for me and Mike. My OB advised that to be on the safe side, we should go ahead and start the treatment called Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy (L.I.T).

L.I.T is a treatment in which Mike's white blood cells will be injected to me in four sessions to help my body produce healthy antibodies to protect our growing baby. In simple Filipino explanation, "Ipapakilala yung blood nya sa Immune System ko, para hindi na nya awayin si baby." This treatment is more advisable to be started before a woman gets pregnant, usually one month interval per session, to help the body prepare for pregnancy. However, since I am already at 9 weeks now, we will need to catch up and have it at 2 weeks interval per session instead.

At St. Luke's BGC, this treatment costs around 35,000 - 40,000php per session. My OB referred me to an Immunologist named Dra. Caroline Gloria (she is very nice by the way!) of Asian Hospital who gave us a more affordable rate of 25,000php per session. She will be taking care of all the concerns regarding my immune system throughout the entire course of my pregnancy.

Last Monday, we started our first L.I.T session. We went to Asian Immunology Institute (a laboratory in Medical Plaza Bldg, Makati) at 7am for Mike's blood extraction. Fourteen tubes of blood were extracted from him, which was later on processed for 2-3 hours to separate the white blood cells.

Good Morning! :)

14 Tubes of blood extracted

After the 2-3hours process, only the White Blood Cells placed in this container was used for my injections.
They delivered the WBC to Dra. Gloria's clinic at Asian Hospital in time for our 12nn appointment with her. She then injected the WBC to me, around .3cc per shot, six shots all in all until all the WBC is consumed. It was done through intradermal route (like skin test), so yes, it was painful. I cried on the 3rd to the 6th shot, holding on and pressing Mike's arm every shot and praying Philippians 4:13:

 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

We were asked to take a rest for a while, then Dra. Gloria came back to assess and bandage the site after twenty minutes. She also gave me take home instructions as we await for our next scheduled session in two weeks.

I am currently under seven medications including Heparin, a blood thinner that I need to inject to my belly twice a day. We are also going through other procedures (such as Intralipid Infusion, which I will blog about next time), and some other laboratory tests in between these L.I.T sessions.

To be honest, Mike and I have prayed for a miracle over this pregnancy. We have hoped that we wouldn't have to go through all these exhausting and expensive procedures, and just have a simple and easy pregnancy just like everyone else. But God's ways are higher than our ways. Instead of questioning Him, we choose to seek Him. We seek His presence in every detail of this process. And just as He promised, we find Him, every time, as we seek Him with all our hearts (Jer.29:13). We find Him as we rejoice every time He surprises us with His financial provisions. We find Him through our Doctors who lovingly care for us and our baby. We find Him as we are sobbing in tears every time we see our baby's heart beating. We find Him through friends and loved ones encouraging us through facebook comments, messages, and prayers... I find Him through the loving embrace and support of my husband, God clearly whispering to me that I'll never face anything in this life alone. He will always be with me, He will not fail or abandon me (Joshua 1:5).

Throughout all of these, Mike and I continue to realize that the ultimate blessing is not God answering our prayers the way we want Him to, or Him making all things easy and comfortable for us. The ultimate miracle is being in His presence, experiencing a deeper intimacy with Him, and experiencing the reality of His perfect love that casts out all worries and fears... the kind of peace in the middle of the storm that the world could never understand. We still have a long way to go, but we are excited to experience more of His revelations throughout this journey.

"Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and mind as you live in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7 

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog through She Reads Truth. I'm praying for you, your husband, and your sweet baby! You have such a mature and beautiful perspective. I pray that God will give you a "Red Sea experience" in this pregnancy and show His power and might through your story!


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