Sunday, February 14, 2010

Incredible Woman #26 - Sara Biasutti. Monday's Questions.

This week, I'd like to introduce you to Sara Biasutti. She is truly incredible! I've known her all my life. I've watched her grow up, and become a very special woman. She has been through many trials, and they've molded her into a wonderful person. I hope you enjoy learning about her...

KARA: "Describe yourself. What makes you an Incredible Woman?"

SARA: "I'm sitting here trying to figure out interesting things about myself. To be honest, I am pretty boring!! I guess one good thing about me is that I'm a good friend. I love unconditionally, and if I love you, I always will. However, it takes a lot for someone to break through my tough exterior and to know the real Sara. I have many friends. I like many people, but besides my family and a few very close friends, I am very stingy about giving my love. Things are usually black or white with me. There is not much gray area where I am concerned. Stefano nicknamed me "Face" because you will never have to wonder what I'm thinking or feeling. It is written all over my face. I have always been very independent, but when things get hairy the first person I run to is my mom. If you opened my chest and looked at my heart it would have "MOM" tattooed all over it!!! The older I get, the more I become a mama's girl. She is one of the few people who knows all the sides of me. The good, bad and ugly. I hate to cry! Very few people have actually seen me cry. I hate feeling vulnerable and I will not allow myself to be taken advantage of. I have always been tough mentally, physically and emotionally, that is why my world was shattered as my daughter fought for her life. It was impossible for me to be strong day in and day out while Stella lay in an incubator fighting for every breath and I fell apart mentally, physically and emotionally. About a week after Stella was born I was talking, and most likely crying, to my sister & best friend, Jenny. I was telling her that I was trying to stay strong and say only positive things on the blog we were keeping. I will never forget her saying,"Why? This sucks! Why are you trying to make it so pretty when it's so ugly?" So I took her advice and I became an open book. I said it how it was, and there was nothing pretty about it. It was simply the worst few years of my life. I had been on a downward spiral that started the day my Grandma was nearly murdered and just got worse and worse as we dealt with sickness and the realization that I would never be able to have a baby that was mine and Stefano's."

KARA: "Tell us about your family. Describe each member, and tell us something that you’ve learned from each one."

SARA: "My husband's name is Stefano. I met him in Aviano, Italy where I was working and going to school. I had recently gotten divorced and was just going to finish the semester in Italy and then go back to Kaysville, UT where my family lives. I met Stefano when he came into the auto parts store I was working at. I had never been so attracted to any man in my whole life!!!! He was the epitome of the "Italian Stallion'. Tall, dark, handsome, and ripped with muscle from head to toe! We had a whirlwind romance - in within what seemed like seconds we were completely in love!! We spent our days wrapped in each others arms, lying on the beach and shopping along the cobblestone streets of Pordenone. Not only was he gorgeous, but he became my best friend. We moved back to Utah so I could finish school. It was my dream to go to Veterinary School. We eloped in Las Vegas, NV on Sept. 17, 2000. About 5 years later we decided we were ready to have a baby. For years I had problems with Endometriosus and Kidney Stones. During a very routine surgery to remove my Endometriosus in Feb. of 2007, a polop was discovered on my uterine wall. A couple days later as I lay recovering from surgery my doctor called. He gave me the shocking news that my pathology came back positive for Uterine Cancer and I would have to have a hysterectomy asap, not to mention radiation and chemo. We were scared to death but Stefano took it the hardest. I was devastated that I would never have the experience of being pregnant. We would never have OUR baby. We had been trying for years and this was the way it would all end. Stefano was scared to death that he would lose me. We were inseparable! We were not only married but we were the very best of buddies and loved spending every second with each other. Luck or blessings, depending on what you believe, was on our side and the cancer was actually Cervical. I had surgery again in March 2007 to remove part of my Cervix. The cancer was slow growing and for the time being we had bought time. It was a rough year - for every three months I would have pap smears that would come back abnormal. Finally my Oncologist gave me two choices: get pregnant or have a hysterectomy. The process of invitro began. It was a long and torturous experience, not to mention extremely expensive. I was a hormonal freak!! One second I'd laugh and the next I would be sobbing. I was scared to death. What if this was the wrong choice. What if there is cancer growing rapidly while we go through this process? What if we throw away thousands of dollars and this doesn't work? Even if I do get pregnant, I'm missing a big chunk of my Cervix. Will I even be able to carry a baby? The invitro worked. I was pregnant and my high HCG hormone level indicated I was carrying twins! We were shocked to say the least!! Instantly our whole world became these babies. We wouldn't know until I was seven weeks pregnant and we could count heartbeats on the screen. Finally the day came, and there it was. Proof of life. There was one beautiful perfect little heartbeat on the screen. There was a little Sara and Stefano in this tiny fluttering circle on the screen. There was also what was believed to be an empty sac that the second embryo had not survived, but it was okay because there was my baby's heart beating.

The pregnancy was hell. There is no other way to say it. I spent many weeks on bed rest and even started bleeding heavily when I was 10 weeks along. I was even carried away from the vet clinic I worked at when I began hemorrhaging at work. I bled for 6 weeks and time and time again we were told that I was most likely going to miscarry. Stefano and I held onto each other, along with the rest of my family and prayed for our baby to survive. We knew there would be no other chance. We did everything right. I obeyed every doctor order and did all the ususl tests. At week 14 Stefano and I decided we would do the quad screen blood test. A few days later with much regret, we were told our baby most likely had Spina Bifida. What was Spina Bifida? We began cramming information into our brains preparing ourselves for a baby who would require special care. Our hearts were broken. We would have to wait until week 17 when the spine would be completely formed and we would know if our baby had Spina Bifida. February 15th, 2008, Stefano and I sat in the room waiting for the ultrasonagrapher to tell us how the rest of our lives would go. It took what seemed hours for the doctor to come in to tell us the results. We squeezed each other's hands and cried with anticipation. As it turned out, no, our baby didn't have Spina Bifida and we were having a baby girl!!! We had wanted a girl so badly!! "However, there is something wrong with your baby's heart." We were stunned. How did we go from Spina Bifida to a heart defect? We were put into a small windowless room with a Geneticist who started showing us charts and giving us stats. She told us that our baby would probably be born with Down Syndrome, Trysome 13 or 18. Apparently, according to this "mad scientist," heart defects often came along with major genetic defects. We were sent to Primary Children's Medical Center where an Echo-cardiogram was performed. Finally a diagnosis. Our daughter had a Congenital Heart Defect called Truncus Arteriosus. There were four different types. Types 1,2,3 had a 75% chance survival rate. Type 4 had a 75% death rate. Honestly, I don't even remember what number they told us she had. All I remember is that is wasn't type 4. So in my head she had a 75% chance of survival. The odds were definitely in our favor. Again we hit the net and crammed our heads with every detail we could find about Truncus Arteriosus. Over and over we would say to each other, "at least it isn't type 4." I was put on strict bed rest. I kept going into labor and it was stopped multiple times. Our Pediatric Cardiologist assured me if I didn't make it to 32 weeks our baby probably wouldn't survive with her heart defect. Yea right. I didn't even come close.

Stella was born on May 19, 2008 at 9:23am. I was exactly 28 weeks along. Stefano had left for work and I woke up with a horrible pain in my abdomen. My water was leaking so my mom rushed me to the hospital. I was not having contractions. The pain I had been having was gone. The whole way to the hospital I pled with God, please let there be a way to stop my leaking water. I called Stefano and assured him this process could take hours. I would call him as soon as I knew what was happening. As soon we got out of the car I knew there was something terribly wrong. To make a very graphic and scary birth short, I had an Abrupto Placenta and a Proplased Umbilical Chord. Stella was born within minutes after we got to the hospital. I was under general anesthesia. My mom was not allowed in the surgery room with me. It was a harrowing birth. When Stefano arrived at the hospital they were still "working" on Stella. I was in recovery. I can only imagine how afraid he must have been. Stella was moved to the NICU at Primary Children's Medical Center where she spent almost 5 months. It was a scary roller coaster. She had many complications! She had half her colon removed after suffering an intestinal infection. She had open heart surgery, countless blood and plasma transfusions. She was poked and prodded from head to toe, literally, but somehow in the end, she came home. She will be 2 years old on May 19. Not only is she doing well, but she is thriving. There will be challenges down the road. This we know. There will be more surgeries, procedures, etc. So that brings me to now. I am a happy mom. I am a strong woman. I love my husband. It took a long time to get to this place in my life, but I got here. That is what makes me an incredible woman."

If you are new to our blog, here's the scoop... Our interview with Sara will last today through Friday. I'll post 2 questions/answers each day. I hope you'll return often. Until tomorrow...


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