Tag Archives: life

Tales from Unexplained Uterus-Land

3 Jan

I’m so bad about posting in here. It’s probably because I’m tired. Really, really tired. See, I’m 9 months postpartum. That wouldn’t really matter much, and I’m going to go full-blown TMI here, but I’ve had my period for FORTY-FIVE DAYS STRAIGHT.

Yes, 45 days. No break. All the bleeding. All the fun. I’m single-handedly responsible for keeping the feminine product industry alive. Also, I broke down and tried those free-bleed Thinx underwear because I was losing my mind with the tampons and the pads and the will-this-ever-end?!?! feelings. The answer? Nope, never gonna end. Aunt Flo is here to stay.

I called my doctor around day 20-something. He did an ultrasound with dildo-cam (my favorite, haven’t had one since I was pregnant and I had so many of those when I was at the fertility center) and had me take a blood test.

Guess what, you guys. Both came back normal. My uterus, while misbehaving currently, is apparently normal. No fibroids, no polyps, not even any cysts, which I am known for producing at expert-level since I have PCOS. My blood work also came back normal. According to my doctor, my bleeding is “unexplained.”

Um, what?

So, he sent me on my merry ho-ho-ho way, all “unexplained” and everything with a prescription for progesterone that he told me to go ahead and start taking to make my period stop.

Christmas came and I was like:

Blackboard with the text: All I Want For Christmas in a conceptu

Santa didn’t deliver. That rat bastard.

Then New Year’s came and I was like:

Hand writing Resolution for 2017 with marker, concept background

2017 didn’t do me a solid and end this madness, either. Thanks for nothing.

 

I took the progesterone. I took all of it (as prescribed, of course). While it decreased the intensity of Aunt Flo, it didn’t make her go back into hiding. That brings us to today, day 45 of this blood-filled journey.

I left my doctor a message today to let him know the progesterone didn’t work, but only after my husband bugged me to call their office (I must be a real peach being on the rag this long). His office called me back later to tell me I have two options —

  1. Try a prescription that’s basically birth control to see if that kicks my lady parts back into gear.
  2. Get in a D&C (outpatient surgery) to try to “reset my uterus.”

They even said I could schedule the D&C now if I wanted. Um, how many times can a person go under the knife? I mean, really? I HAVE HAD SO MANY SURGERIES. Why haven’t we tested my hormones or my thyroid to make sure it’s not one of those? Why am I the one asking this stuff? Why are doctors so quick to recommend surgery before getting to the root of the problem? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Do I need to go find myself a good endocrinologist now?

Also, I have feelings about going back on the pill. I’ve been off of it since 2012-ish. I don’t really want to go back on it. I would like to have another kid, but I don’t know if it’s in the cards for me given my infertility woes and lovely PCOS. I don’t know if I’m willing to go through everything I went through before again. It was really stressful and I felt really alone when I was going through it. I’d rather it happen naturally if it’s meant to be, which probably means nothing would happen. I guess I’m okay with that, too. I have a healthy, happy, entertaining little boy already, which is more than I could ever ask for.

Anyway, this is mostly a vent. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I’m in pain. I’m bleeding.

I’d really like for this to stop already.

 

 

Nearing Term

25 Feb

So much has transpired since I last wrote. I’m now at 36.5 weeks. Almost full-term!

Last weekend, we had another baby shower. This time, one with all of our friends at a brewery. It was great. My BFF flew out earlier in the week with my Goddaughter to visit. Oh, and because my BFF is a total rock star, she helped us install our car seat so we don’t have to worry about it. It’s in the car already! She told us the worst part of having a kid is the car seat. She wasn’t lying. It’s complicated. I’m so glad we don’t have to worry about it now.

My husband’s sisters (all three) and one of his aunts (a cool one) all flew out to see us, too. Then while we were at dinner one night, I was surprised by two of my oldest and dearest friends who drove 500 miles to celebrate with us, too. I cried some big, fat tears of joy. The day after the shower, more of my husband’s relatives drove over to see us from across the state. We hosted a brunch for them and everyone else who was in town. We were completely surrounded by a love tornado all weekend long. It was amazing.

Needless to say, there was a lot of activity (and laughs and tears) for a few days. By the time everyone departed to their corners of the world, I was beat. I’m starting to get swollen all the time — troll feet and cankles! I’ve been exhausted, too.

Yesterday, I thought I might be showing signs of early labor, so I was glad I had an OB appointment to discuss what’s going on. I think baby boy is starting to descend, so I’m feeling crazy pressure on my pelvis. Oh, I’ve also developed pregnancy carpal tunnel in my right hand. That’s annoying.

I have what feels like a billion thank-you cards to write. I’m so behind. Hubby and I spent last night putting gifts away in the baby’s room. This kid has so many clothes! It’s insane!

To go off on a total tangent, I really wish I had known about The Spoiled Mama products earlier in my pregnancy. Early on, I used The Honest Company Organic Belly Balm, but I didn’t really care for the smell or the consistency. Then I used Bio-Oil for months and months, which was fine, but really nothing special. A few weeks ago, I stumbled on The Spoiled Mama when I was looking for something to better treat my stretch marks because I was starting to get a whole bunch of them.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Spoiled Mama products. I have really sensitive skin and I get itchy and red a lot. Bio-Oil was okay for the itching. The Honest Company didn’t really help that at all, but The Spoiled Mama is awesome. I haven’t had any problems since I started using it. I use three of their products daily and they have helped so much – I’m never itchy anymore and they are really helping with stretch marks.

  1. sugar-scrub-for-stretch-marksIndulge Body Polish Peppermint & Vanilla: This stuff is great! I use it first thing in the morning in the shower. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and moisturized. The peppermint scent gives me a little bit of a wake-up in the morning, too. The only downside is that it makes your shower floor a little slick, so be careful. You might have to clean the shower more frequently than normal.
  2. bump gloss stretch mark oil_cap off -xl4Bump Gloss Stretch Mark Oil: I slather this all over my bump and stretch marks. It absorbs pretty quickly and a little goes a long way. It’s similar to the Bio-Oil I was using, but smells better.
  3. tummy-butter-for-stretch-marks-4ozTummy Butter for Stretch Marks: Okay, this one is my absolute favorite. It smells great – kind of like a mix of citrus and chocolate. It goes on easy and absorbs quickly – and you don’t feel greasy (my problem with Honest Company Belly Balm). I really, really wish I had known about this when I got pregnant. It’s a great product! I can’t say enough good things about it.

I have to touch on infertility for a minute. You know, it’s really hard not to be sensitive about people’s comments even when you are finally pregnant. Some of our relatives made comments this past weekend about how we need to plan for a second kid now — just completely insensitive remarks. They have no idea how many years and science it took to get us to where we are now. My husband’s sisters know how much we struggled, so they shot me some understanding glances when this was happening, but still. People really need to keep their mouths shut when it comes to pressuring couples about babies. It really is none of their business. And frankly, I don’t know if we’ll be able to have another kid. It was so hard getting pregnant with this one! Honestly, I don’t know if I could go through all of that again. Also, I’m getting older! I’ll be 37 later this year. It just might not be in the cards for us to have a second child. I wish people could just be happy for this miracle and not try to put pressure on us to have more kids. We’re thrilled that we get to be parents in a few weeks. This kid might be our only kid and we are okay with that – why can’t everyone else be?

Preparing for Baby

14 Jan

I’ve been really terrible about updating this thing. There is just so much going on, it’s hard to remember to do it! Well, that, and I feel like pregnancy has made me terribly stupid (more on that later). I’m almost 31 weeks now and it’s definitely starting to feel real. We finished painting the nursery, the crib arrives tomorrow, and I have a glider ordered that’s coming in a few weeks. We also started going to birthing classes last week.

On the health front, I’ve been feeling pretty tired and hurty. This pubic symphysis business is no fun. Most days, it feels like my crotch is being ripped apart. My doctor wrote me a prescription for a hip brace. It sort of helps. I’ve been going to acupuncture and the chiropractor for it, too. Nothing seems to give me lasting relief, so I mostly just suck it up and deal. Also, I did fail my 1-hour glucose test and I had to go back and take the 3-hour one that takes 4 hours to complete. The worst part was starving for so many hours. After 15 hours with no food, I was absolutely ravenous by the time I left the lab. Luckily, I ended up passing all 3 tests for that one, so my worries could cease on that front.

Worries on other fronts continue, however. I had another scan of the baby at 28 weeks to check out his heart. They still couldn’t get a super clear visual of all the parts of his heart. I was really hoping the scan would go great and we would hear that we had nothing to worry about. Instead, my doctor said something like, “From what I could see on the scan, I want to say that everything will be okay, but unfortunately, I can’t say that with 100% certainty.” Then he told me all we can do is wait until he is born and if something is in fact wrong, he’ll be whisked away to the top notch neonatal heart doctors. So, it wasn’t wholly terrible, but it also wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve with my family and a kind of cruddy Christmas. My mom’s platelets went dangerously low and she ended up in the E.R. on Christmas day. She got admitted and spent another week in the hospital, most of it waiting to receive matched donor platelets. They didn’t have any and she had to wait for 5 days, which made us all really nervous because she got really, really sick this time. My dad was camping out and sleeping at the hospital. She’s back in the hospital this week for her third round of chemo.

My mother-in-law was given 6-12 months to live. We’re pretty sad about it. I’m guessing once the baby is born, we’ll be making a trek east so she can see the baby. The thought of traveling with an infant scares me, but we will cross that road when we get to it.

My first baby shower is next weekend. My aunt is throwing it at my parents’ church and it’s been so dramatic hearing about her antics from my sister-in-law. It’s a long story and it’s also stress I don’t need, so I’m telling myself I will just sit there with a smile on my face until it’s over. This aunt in particular really has a way of sucking the joy out of every single situation. I don’t even feel like this is a shower for me or the baby. It’s a shower for HER. It’s also likely my mom won’t be able to go because of how her treatments are timed and my aunt had the audacity to give her a hard time about that. Like she can change it or has any control over it. Cancer waits for no one, lady.

We’re having a more fun ‘friends’ co-ed shower at a brewery in February. I’m super excited about that one. My BFF is traveling here with my Goddaughter to help throw it with my brother,  sister-in-law, and another one of my friends. It will be so wonderful to see her. I’d be happy just visiting with her since I haven’t seen her and my cute little Goddaughter in so long.

So, about feeling dumb during pregnancy … last weekend, my husband flew out of town to visit his mom and sisters. I was home alone with the pets. I was supposed to go pick up my dad at the car dealership and give him a ride home while his car was getting some work done. I took the dog for a walk and when I came back, I was locked out of the house. The door between our garage and inside has one of those awful handles that still turns from the inside when it’s locked….but it’s locked from the outside. I was being ultra-anal with hubby being out of town, so I had locked it from the inside the night before. Normally, we keep it open.

I panicked and paced the sidewalk trying to figure out what to do. I had no keys and no phone … and a little dog with me. I looked around at the neighbors’ houses and nobody’s lights were on since it was pretty early. I’ve only met one set of neighbors and it looked like they were out of town for the weekend. I debated walking over to another set and introducing myself as their pregnant idiot neighbor. Then I looked down and realized I got this handy Apple Watch for Christmas and since my cell phone was on the counter inside the house, if I stood by the door, I could call people from my watch! So, that’s what I did. My dad left the dealership to come save me. We were lucky that it wasn’t terribly cold that day so we didn’t freeze while we waited in the garage. I had given my dad a key to our house a few months ago and luckily he had it on his keychain. So, yeah, I feel like my idiocy lately is a force to be reckoned with. I feel dumb 100% of the time these days.

 

Time is Flying

1 Dec

Man, I’ve really been slacking with this journal. A whole lot of things have transpired since I last wrote. I’m 24 weeks this week with the baby I thought we’d never get to have. I still find myself in disbelief that I’m actually pregnant. Infertility and the barrage of bad news surrounding TTC are just so jarring, it’s something that sticks with you. It’s something you get used to. It changes you. Even now, I find myself not wanting to get too excited for fear something will go wrong. Of course, I might be conditioned to this cautious kind of thinking since so many other things in life have been going wrong. More on that later.

At about 20 weeks, we found out we’re having a little boy. My husband is super stoked to welcome a mini me in March. He’s been decorating the nursery in all Star Wars. The little guy was not very cooperative during the anatomy scan last month, so it took nearly 20 minutes of poking and prodding before he uncrossed his legs and stopped face palming himself long enough that the ultrasound technician could tell us he was a he. My doctor couldn’t get a good view of his heart during that scan, so I have to have another one done later this month when he’s bigger to make sure all is okay with his heart. I’m trying not to freak out about that since I was told not to, but I made the mistake of Googling what could be wrong and it was terrifying. Oops. Google is bad.

My mom is out of the hospital after spending 24 days there. She was in the ICU part of the time. It was horrible. There was a week when I wasn’t allowed to see her because of being pregnant and her fluids and drugs being dangerous to me and the baby. That was so hard. I can’t tell you how many days I just cried my eyes out. I sat in therapy one day and just sobbed. It was a constant struggle not to become a victim of my own bad thoughts. When I could go see her, she looked so bad and was so weak. Her counts were so low. Dangerously low. I really feared it was the end and I was just so, so incredibly scared. Luckily, once they realized she also needed matched donor platelets instead of the ‘mixed bag’ they normally give people, things started improving quickly. After a few days on those, she improved so much that they released her, but with a lot of rules like not going anywhere and limiting her visitors. Her last bone marrow test showed she’s in remission, so that’s great news. She’s home now and getting stronger every day. We were very thankful we could have her and my dad and my brother and sister-in-law over to celebrate Thanksgiving.

So, it seemed like everything was starting to be semi-okay … and then my husband found out that his mother has inoperable stage 4 lung cancer. What?! Yeah, another shitty blow. I think he’s more upset about it than he lets on, but he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it. Men are so weird about emotions. His mom had a stroke about 6 years ago and lives in a nursing home back east, so he’s going to fly out there in early January to spend some time with her and his sisters. I don’t think I’ll be able to go since I’ll be in the 3rd trimester at that point and don’t want to risk any possible pre-term labor that could happen from flying and that makes me sad. Her doctor said she could have weeks or months or even a couple years. There really is no telling.

My birthday was a couple weeks ago. We didn’t get to do much because my hubby was super sick that week. He still managed to sneak out and buy me flowers and a cake. Sneaky. Once he was feeling better, he took me out to pick out a new purse at Kate Spade. What a guy! ❤

I had my glucose tolerance test today. I won’t know the results for a couple days. I hate waiting! I’m so worried I’m going to fail. I’ve had so many friends tell me they failed the 1-hour and had to go back and do the 4-hour one. Yuck!

I’ve been feeling the little guy kick and move around a lot more. He really likes to wake me up around 3 or 4 in the morning with some ninja kicks. A friend of mine sent me this hilarious cartoon about “womb service.” I laughed.

womb_service

People keep asking us if we’re registered anywhere. I feel like such a slacker on that front. I’ll start looking at stuff, but then there’s just SO MUCH STUFF. It very quickly gets overwhelming. I need to consult my friends who are moms and ask what is really necessary and what is a waste of money. I found this kickass stroller that I totally want, but my husband isn’t a fan. He doesn’t love rainbows like I do, I guess. I think it’s the most amazingly colorful and fun stroller I’ve ever seen. Shouldn’t every day in a stroller be a baby walking rainbow party? Who’s with me?cosatto_supa_stroller_pixelate_e

It’s Been Awhile. Why Not Blog About It?

24 Jun

Considering nearly two years have passed since I last posted, perhaps I should catch people up.

Yes, I’m stil trying to be better. Weight isn’t sliding off of me, but I’ve found a few answers as to why that might be happening along the way.

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for about two and a half years. It hasn’t been going so great. I had an hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to see my fallopian tubes were open last winter. One was blocked, but my doctor got it to open up during the procedure (yes, that hurt). Essentially, I had to lay on a hospital bed, lower half exposed and move around whenever he told me to while he shot dye through a catheter he jammed up in me. The pain was short-lived, but intense, and I do not consider it an enjoyable procedure … not that many procedures in your nether regions are enjoyable.

I also had laparoscopic surgery for possible endometriosis in April. What’s that? I was put under, and my doctor and the good ol’ daVinci robot went on an expedition to find possible endometrial adhesions or other potential things going on in my insides. My doctor found some adhesions and removed them, but the labs came back saying they are not endo. So I guess I don’t have that after all. I do have some pesky polycystic ovaries, though. My doctor found over 20 and performed “ovarian drilling” to zap them away. I was officially diagnosed with PCOS, which may explain some of my issues losing weight despite walking 4-5 miles a day and eating healthy. Oh, and since I had the procedure, minus the several week recovery, I’ve had zero lower back pain. An odd, yet wholeheartedly embraced, feeling since I’ve had back pain for years. Oh, and if you’re ever bored, research some of the symptoms of PCOS – it’s a laundry list of everything a lady doesn’t want in her life: infertility, excess hairiness in places you do not want hairiness, gathering/gaining weight in your mid-section, irregular periods, acne, skin tags, dandruff, thinning hair, sleep apnea, depression, etc.

In researching PCOS, I found that lots of ladies have had some success in managing their symptoms by cutting out dairy and carbs, so I decided to try that out myself. The hardest part has been giving up cheese and ice cream. I freakin’ love cheese, man. Saying goodbye to that is the hardest. I still struggle if we go out to eat because everything has cheese! A few weeks off of both, and our anniversary hit. My husband took me to a nice Italian restaurant and I had way too many carbs and way too much cheese that night. My system couldn’t handle it and I was very unpleasantly sick for two days — to the point of never really wanting to eat either thing again. I mentioned to my doctor how much better I’ve felt since I quit them and that I think I may have a food allergy with one or both of those things. He ordered me a “GI Distress Test.” Sounds awesome, right? I have to go take that at some point. I’ve also been working with a nutritionist who has me on an all organic diet with the goal of keeping my insulin levels very steady and calm with no spikes so my body is ready for pregnancy. If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me gnawing on some meaty proteins, sipping spearmint tea (Tea Gschwendner makes a lovely Moroccan Mint), or buying out the organic produce aisle at the grocery store.

In the meantime, after over a year of trying various drug combinations to try to get my system to regulate and ovulate without success, my OB referred my husband and I to a fertility clinic. This was right after we were all so very excited by a blinking ovulation predictor kit (OPK) result the day I had a follicle check scheduled at his office. We had never seen one before, so we were quick to think the surgery and drugs worked and this was our time! It was short-lived excitement because the test continued to blink for 16 days. That ain’t right and that is what prompted him to send me to the fertility clinic.

I wasn’t feeling particularly ready for that step, but we went to the fertility clinic appointment anyway and listened to the doctor. Surprisingly, he made me feel more at ease … like we can do this … like we have a plan. So, I agreed to up my dosage of the ovarian stimulation drug letrozole (femara), start taking follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH ) injections (gonal-f), take an human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) trigger shot (ovidrel), and try intrauterine insemination (IUI) for the first time later this month.

All of the mumbo jumbo and acronyms above basically mean the following:

  1. I took more of the cancer drug femara at the beginning of my cycle. It makes your body think you’re going into menopause so that when you go off it, your body is like, “HEY, HEY GIVE ME SOME EFFING ESTROGEN NOW, BITCHES!” It has fun side effects like hot flashes and headaches. Fun fact: Octomom was on this drug (scary!).
  2. I’m currently shooting myself in the stomach every night between the hours of 6-8 p.m. with a gonal-f injection pen. It turns me into a follicle making inferno complete with night sweats and killer all-day-long headaches. Oh, and it also conks me out in 1-2 hours (hello, old lady bedtime!).
  3. When I go in for my follicle check with my doctor, he’ll decide when he wants to give me the trigger shot of ovidrel. Once he administers it, we have 24 hours to get a specimen (read: splooge in a cup) to their office.
  4. After I drop off the specimen, they “clean” it, I come back later that day, the doctor inserts a catheter (yay, my favorite) in me and shoots me full of the specimen. I lay there for ten minutes and then I leave and go about my day.
  5. We wait. I pee on some more sticks to see if this worked.
  6. Hopefully all of the above results in a pregnancy. If not, rinse & repeat. If it doesn’t work after a few attempts, then we move further down the Monopoly board of Infertility. We do not pass go, and we do not collect $200. Instead, we start looking into in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other methods. Or maybe adoption.

I am cautiously optimistic. If I’ve learned anything the last few years of trying, infertility is a roller coaster of hope and despair … and you never really know which day it’s going to be on any given day. For now, the things that are keeping me sane (in no particular order) are: acupuncture, essential oils, yoga, talking to a therapist, and long walks with my dog. Oh, and the occasional binge purchase on iTunes of music I’d be embarrassed to listen to if I was still a judgmental music snob in my 20’s.

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