Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Oh, by the way we were pregnant with twins.
When we got to the doctor's office this morning they could find a heartbeat for either of the twins. Oh yeah, they were identical. When they sent us to the hospital to get a second ultrasound there was still no heartbeat that could be found and the measurements the tech took showed the twins to be only nine weeks, not ten.
So, now we're sitting at the hospital again waiting to go back for her to have a D&C. I don't know how to spell it but you can google it if you've never heard the term.
I'm very upset. I feel really bad for my wife. We've been trying for so long to have babies and we had two, but now they're gone.
At this point, I need to know where to go from here. Sometimes God's plan is completely different from what we think it's going to be and that's ok. It's just really hard to change gears when you get to cruising.
I know God has the answers, I just have to wait on Him to let me in on them.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Well meaning friends and family have very often told us to "get on a list" somewhere, start the adoption process while we try to have children, then interrupt it if I become pregnant. I am often also told that if we will adopt, I will get pregnant afterward. That may be very true. I may adopt and then become pregnant. But the insinuation behind these well meaning comments is that I should adopt as a way to get pregnant with my own child. Again, I realize that people say things as a way to have a conversation because infertility is an awkward subject and many don't know how to respond. So for family and friends of those facing infertility please do not make suggestions to get on a list, or remind the couple that they can always just adopt. Asking tactfully if the couple has thought about adoption is not taboo in my opinion. Simply the suggestion that they move to adoption as a means to increase their fertility or to erase the pain of infertility.
Adoption is not God's back up plan for those who cannot have children. Adoption is a calling, a desire to take a child into the home and love and care for the child as your own for the rest of your life. This is not something to be done to replace a biological child.
My husband and I often talk of adopting. When we have these conversations;it is an independent topic. It is not tied to our own fertility. I fully believe that at some point we will bring a child into our home by means of adoption. We do not feel that this is the moment God has for that. We are waiting as patiently for God to give us the go ahead into adoption as we are for him to grant us a biological child. However these children come into our home, they will be ours, wholeheartedly. Neither child will be a consolation prize.
When taking Femara, I am constantly hot. I never really cool down. It isn't hot flashes, it is a constant melting point temperature for six to seven days. We were sleeping one night while taking the Femara. My husband sleeping quietly next to me. I have insomnia, so sleeping is always an issue for me. His being able to sleep sometimes irritates me. On this particular night it irritated me so much that I was ready to bash him with a pillow until he couldn't sleep anymore. He turned over and the covers became crooked. At this point I just snapped. I got up, got a drink of water trying to calm down and cool down. It didn't work. I marched right into the bedroom, yanked on the covers to straighten them. This woke my husband, and he says, "Don't tuck in my covers." This prompted me to yank the covers harder, tuck them in tighter and give him a terrible look. I told him I couldn't sleep because they were crooked and that was unacceptable." He then gave me permission to tuck them in and either fell asleep or pretended to sleep. Either way, it was safer for him.
I would say that it is definite. The Femara makes my irritable. I am so thankful I have a husband who is so very understanding of this!
Monday, July 23, 2012
I am a huge fan of sticky notes. I don't keep a notebook or steno pad to write things down throughout the day at work or keep a running list on some extensive todo list online or on my computer. I use Sticky Notes. I stick 'em to the refrigerator. I stick 'em to my desk and monitor at work. They're on the wall in my office at home. They're everywhere and that's part of the reason that I love them. To sum them up in one word: Versatile.
Today, I'm giving you an introduction to a new type of post from me which I will be calling, wait for it..., Sticky Notes. These will be little tidbits of wisdom (from a guy's perspective) or what to or not to do while in a situation such as ours.
To start things off right, here is Sticky Note #1.
Don't get overwhelmed!
At any point in our lives we have the ability to over think and dwell on any given subject and overwhelm ourselves to no avail. Don't do this. Focus on the big picture and always think about the next step, NOT the next seven steps. Seek God to know what the next step is and let him be your guide.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Yet, I know that even if I do have to go through the above listed things, my husband and I will come through. As the Bible says, who knows if we are here for such time as this. We are being prepared for something, some work, some plan, in which the Lord can work. So as we pray for our child, we pray that our hearts also submit to God's will, not our own. We pray that our hearts can be molded and pliable to God's will. We pray that we can help someone else walking this path.
So my plan through out my two week wait this time, I will go shopping with my sister, I will eat lunch with my friend, I will swim in my pool, and I will exercise and eat right and take my vitamins. I will stay busy and positive. I will thank the Lord for my many blessings and I will pray that if this is the right time in our lives, I will be pregnant.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I have found that I have a lower level of energy than normal while taking the Femara. This, again compared to Clomid is negligible. I have not noticed any more aches or pains than aside from the persistent headache. I manage this by taking two naproxen (Aleve) when I take the Femara. This seems to help. I then take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) during the day if needed.I have also not noticed and gastrointestinal upset with this medication.
I am more irritable than normal while taking the Femara, I am not however, as emotionally unstable as I was on Clomid. I have not been more tearful or had my feelings hurt any more than normal. I have simply found that my tolerance for any rudeness, thoughtlessness, or out right stupidity is severely lowered. I did have to remind my husband that I was on this medication and these five days might not be the best time be aggravating. (He enjoys picking at me at different times.)
All in all Femara has been a much easier experience. I sincerely hope there will not be a post about a third cycle of Femara. Each cycle past my laparoscopy makes it more likely my endometriosis is returning. I hope and pray that soon there is a little person growing in my uterus.
Well, since the wifey is/has been taking those fertility drugs (clomid, femara, etc.), I thought I'd go over a few of the things that have affected her. I'm not one for being too long winded so I figured I'd just make a list and maybe I'll update it if other drugs are used in the future (let it be known that I'd love for that to be completely unnecessary).
By all means, know that the following list and the descriptions within it are not meant to harm or disrespect anyone, but to inform others (I love you honey).
- Mood Swings:
The clomid mood swings can only be compared to a roller coaster. She's up... then down... then kinda sideways with a side of loop-de-loop. We could both tell when it was happening. I tried to be as supportive as possible and she tried to control it the best she could. I think I can say that we made the best of it when it happened.
- Hot Flashes:
I remember exactly when the first one happened. We were at McCalister's having lunch and before my eyes her whole face turned beet red and she started taking off as many articles of clothing as she could without being indecent. I laughed. She laughed. The ones to follow weren't as memorable, but she definitely had a lot of them.
- Emotional Crises:
I don't think these really need much explanation. There were a lot of hugs and a lot of tears, but she got through them.
- Increased Body Temperature:
On a regular day that wife of mine is very cold natured. She can't sleep without being covered up. It could be 75 degrees in the house and she'll have a blanket spread over her while she's watching tv. BUT, while she's taking the Femara it's completely opposite. I do not look forward to wearing a snow suit year round when she goes through menopause.
Of course, I can't blame it all on the meds, but I can definitely tell that there is a difference in my lovely lady's "me tolerance" during the week she takes the Femara.
I'm very proud of her for the way she's been able to deal with the changes that have been taking place within her due to the prescriptions that she's had to take. I can't imagine going through any of this with any other woman.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
2. Arrive to the hospital or surgery center 15 minutes earlier than they tell you too. This gives you time to deal with missing forms or parking issues without feeling rushed and stressed.
3. Wear loose comfortable clothing that will not aggravate the incision sites. Wear slip on shoes or have some one with you that will put your shoes on you and tie them for you.
4. Do not urinate when you arrive until given a specimen cup. They will want a urine pregnancy test. (I know that is why some of us are having the procedure but they have to make sure anyway.)
5. Be prepared to get an IV, they will start one, they will not be able to do after sedation, this is how you get sedated.
6. Set up a phone chain or agree to a face book post. This will minimize the work load on the person caring for you. It is hard to take care of someone when you are on the phone with loved ones and friends all day.
7. Take Colace day one and continue for a week or so. Your stomach will not be normal and constipation after surgery is miserable!
8. Eat when you feel like it. Don't eat too much. Small amounts of lean proteins and veggies are a good choice.
9. Walk around as much as you can without overdoing it. Being as active as possible is very important to prevent blood clot and constipation as well as other problems.
10. Ask for help. If you can't reach it, don't jump for it! Don't lean against the sink to wash a dish either. It hurts.
11. Sleep when you need to. It's ok. Your body needs the rest.
12. Make sure that you have plenty of soft clothes clean and ready for the week. Cotton dresses worked well for me. You don't want anything that will irritate your incision sites.
13. Take showers and blot dry, baths aren't allowed and rubbing will irritate the incisions.
14. Have someone stay with you the first two days at least most of the day. You may be wobbly due to meds and it helps to have someone there.
Before I left the hospital I was given my discharge instructions. This included drinking lots of fluids, taking it easy, taking my pain medicine as directed, and not taking a bath - only showers for a while. I was taken to my car by a volunteer and my husband took me home. We had a printout with all the instructions on it as well. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was given Versed. This makes you not remember things very well for a while. My husband says that I asked him the same questions repeatedly for a while. This is normal for a short time due to the medications. I was very lucky to have my husband with me. He was infinitely patient. He also helped make sure I didn't fall over while walking to the bathroom and bedroom. I was slightly off kilter from all the medicine. He gave me my pain medication at regular intervals the first day. I dozed off and on a lot.
Nothing tasted good the first day. Water and chicken broth were about the only things I could handle. Tea tasted like grass, sprite tasted like sugar water, nothing worked. This too is normal for some and a part of the medicine. My doctor had already told us that I might not be hungry for a couple of days and that that was nothing to worry about. I should just eat when I am hungry. My lack of appetite stayed around for a while.I paced around, watched some T.V. and took some naps. I talked to my husband and the visitors who came to check on me. The visitors were great. It helped me pass the time that I wasn't allowed to get off the couch and helped me forget I felt like crap for a while.
The only real difficulty I had in recovering was that I had some serious trouble with constipation. It got so bad that I was extremely nauseated one day. I had to resort to Colace and Miralax for a few days to get things moving again. I walked around my house, I drank plenty of fluids, and generally did all the things that as a nurse I know to do to keep from getting constipated. However, with the pain medication for the first two days and the anesthesia this still became a problem for me. I would highly recommend taking Colace from day one. This way it doesn't become an urgent situation with lots of nausea and stomach pain later.
I had only minimal bleeding, the first day I used about three pads, the next day a panty liner was all that was needed and after that no bleeding at all. I did have trouble with one of my three incision sites. I used a Thermacare Heat pad to help with cramps and the glue on the incision closest to my pubic hair line dissolved a little and I had some incisional bleeding as a result. This was minimal and my incision stayed intact.
I had a very easy recovery and some wonderful people surrounding me that were able to be here if I needed anything. I was able to ask for help when I needed it but encouraged to do what I could in the name of recovery. I only took the Demerol two days and then ibuprofen was enough to keep the discomfort at bay. I took 400 mg twice a day as prescribed by my physician. I know some have complained of lingering weakness and pain for much longer but I was very blessed with it being only a short time before I returned to normal.
If you have any questions about recovery or the surgery please drop us a line. As a nurse I get to look at it from two perspectives, an infertility patient and a healthcare worker. If any one has any questions on taking care of your loved one following a laparoscopy my husband will be happy to share his experiences as well.
I realized while pulling my hair into a pony tail this morning that my sister ( also trying to conceive and a longer story than I want to go into today) goes to the lab to have an hcg drawn on the 26th. This happens before I get back from vacation. So my vacation could possibly come to a close with the news that my sister is having her second child. There are so many emotions tied to this that I can't possibly discuss it all with out sounding like a bitter, mean, selfish person. And maybe today that is what I am. I have been talking to my heavenly Father today, following the example of those in the bible. I have told him my true feelings of hurt, betrayal, sadness, and grief. I have told Him I remember all my blessings and the times He has come through for me. I have also reminded myself and Him that I will continue to serve him no matter what happens here, but that I will need a lot of help and strength because alone I am simply not capable of withstanding this possible blow. I have conceded that his plans and sovereignty are beyond my capability to understand and will settle for comfort. I have discussed with him my confusion as to why my husband and I waited until we had degrees, good jobs, insurance, and a happy marriage only to be denied what we have so diligently been preparing for.
I face the knowledge that now that my sister has begun a journey of clomid ( however ill advised for her situation) and I may come home after years of trying with my spouse only to start my period and hear my sister is pregnant all within a week. I have to admit that this makes me want to miss boarding the ship and spend the next year in Belize paddling a kayak around the reef, jumping out to snorkel. Or move to Maine and buy a house on the coast. It seems that in my mind the ocean's tides bring healing. In my mind time stops when I can hear the ebb and flow of the water against the sand or rocks. It brings a comfort that I find no where else. Maybe this is because when standing next to the ocean, its vastness and immense power reveal to me the power of my God. In this revelation I find peace. God is greater than my problems and pain and there, at the water I can see him in a way I simply do not in my every day life. I realize this doesn't make a lot of sense. That is ok.
The knowledge that this month is our greatest chance of conceiving after having surgery and that with each successive month the chances get smaller makes this month weigh heavy on me. There is a lot of pressure. Adding to all of that is the endless stream of comments such as,"just relax" and "If you will just get drunk and have sex it will happen." These things make life a little harder. I know these are well meaning people who want to help but it is so frustrating. These comments put the blame on me and I really don't need any help with that.
I also know that I may well come home and be pregnant. This would be wonderful for my husband and I. This rough day in which I have been a mess hasn't convinced me that this is impossible. It is just a day when reality has slapped me in the face. Here is hoping to a more emotionally stable day tomorrow.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
When my husband and I arrived at the hospital we were checked in by friendly people, I was given some forms and a nice little name bracelet. I was taken back to the ACC (ambulatory care center). My history was taken and my IV started. The only hump in the road was a need to do my pregnancy test by blood test instead of a urine test. I didn't think it through and used the restroom when I was taken to my room. Since I couldn't drink anything I couldn't produce more urine for the test. After a short time in ACC I was taken back to peri-op. This is the area that you are held before the operation. I met the person from anesthesia and my OR nurse. Anesthesia was very nice to me, very descriptive and very concerned about how I felt. The nurse happened to be a lady that I graduated nursing school with. This was a pleasant surprise. I liked her in school and she was very good to me as a patient. I also had a chance to speak with my physician at this point. This conversation was very comforting to me. Hearing his reassurance that he would take good care of me made me feel much more calm.
I was then taken back to the OR . I was given a medication called Versed. This medication is a sedative and also makes remembering things difficult. Things became a little patchy for me after the medication was given. When the Versed hits you, you can become quite chatty. I am sure it was amusing for the people who can remember it.I however have to hope that I didn't manage to say anything too embarrassing while I was under that influence. I saw the nurse that would be assisting in the surgery.After that I think I fell asleep but cannot be sure as the Versed makes you able to follow commands but unable to remember doing so. I remember waking up coughing and a male voice saying softly that it was just the medicine as he adjusted the mask on my face.Then the surgery began. I was comfortably asleep, not even a stressful dream to speak of.
I woke again on the way back to the Peri Op area. I was very sleepy but felt like my bladder was very full. The first thing I heard was a very patient voice telling me I had a catheter and that it was draining my bladder. I didn't feel pain or anxiety on waking but my first catheter was very uncomfortable.When I was able to be aware of the catheter, it didn't bother me quiet as much. After a while of waking up some more I began to feel something like menstrual cramps. They weren't too bothersome for a while, but at some point that feeling changed to pain. I let the nurse know and was given morphine. At this point my doctor came in and spoke with me. He gave me the results of the surgery and assured me that this was good news. Now we had a reason for my trouble conceiving and it wasn't unexplained infertility. He assured me that the surgery went well and to expect a speedy recovery. I was then taken from the Peri Op area and moved back to ACC.
The entire experience went as smoothly as possible. Every one was very nice to me from the person who checked me in to the volunteer who wheeled me out. I was very pleased with the care I received and for the way my husband was kept informed during and after my surgery. I will post again about recovery. I will also post a separate entry containing tips for preparing for the laparoscopy.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
I have posted a little about my journey up to this point but will recap that and add a little more info about that here.When I was young, in high school and early college years I took birth control to regulate my periods and help make the cramps less painful. This oral contraceptive also made my period lighter so I was no longer soaking a pad and tampon every month. My doctor at the time felt I might have endometriosis but did not feel that I needed surgery if the birth control worked well for my symptoms. I concurred as well as my mom and dad. I began taking birth control and remained on it from the time I was fourteen until I was 25. My current OB/GYN is aware of all of that and has been from day one. When my husband and I finally reached that exciting time of being ready for a child, I stopped taking birth control and saw my doctor. Everything was in order. We didn't get worried for the first few months because I knew it would take a while for the birth control to leave my system. After a few months I got impatient so we began using ovulation predictor kits (OPK's for those using infertility speak). I also received a diagnosis of a cyst on my left ovary during this time. By this time an entire year had passed. I went to see my doctor. He ordered a progesterone level and a hysterosalpingogram. (there will be a post discussing this in detail in the future). Both results were normal. We tried for an additional three months. This brings us to the Lost Month which I have already discussed and won't bore you with again. It also takes us through the awkward moments in which I found a former nursing student to be my physician's new nurse.
On the second try, I actually got to meet with my physician. He was not called away from our appointment to assist in anyone's cesarean or deliver a baby. We discussed our options. The two major ones laid on the table were starting a medication called Femara or having a laparoscopy and then beginning Femara. We chose to do the laparoscopy since we didn't know if I had endometriosis and taking another round of medications would be fruitless if the endometriosis was causing the infertility if it existed.I didn't want to waste three months taking medications and then have to waste cycles waiting for surgery and to recover from the surgery. We discussed the possibility of trying intrauterine insemination ( IUI - a form of artificial insemination). My husband, my physician and I were all in agreement that we needed to wait for the surgery to be complete before we moved to that step. The decision for the laparoscopy was made. I felt some anxiety related to surgery but ultimately peace, feeling that God was with us in this decision. Also feeling so grateful for the physician God has allowed me to work with. I knew I would be in good hands with him. The date was set, my instructions given and we were on our way. I will soon post about the day of surgery and then separately about the recovery from the surgery. Please feel free to ask questions or comment. I will answer to the best of my ability and would love to hear from those reading this blog.
Monday, May 21, 2012
I was scheduled to go in for a consultation since the clomid did not produce a pregnancy. The clinic was booked far enough in advance that I could not see the doctor until after my ovulation cycle. When I reported at the clinic do see my physician I was informed that he had been called away to assist in a cesarean section with another doctor. I was told he would be on a few moments late. During this time I was called back to a room to speak with the nurse. At this time I discovered that my nurse was former nursing student of mine. I was wondering how this was going to work, when you taught someone in nursing school, having them assist with a pelvic doesn't exactly seem like a great idea for either of you. She was nervous, I was uncomfortable with it as well. Just a short time later I was informed that my doctor needed to reschedule me. At this point I regrettably allowed my frustration to drive. I agreed to the reschedule only as long I knew it wasn't going to be another three weeks. I really did not want another wasted cycle. Three days later I received a call rescheduling me.
When I got there for that appointment, my former nursing student was there. She had forgotten her watch and was acting very nervous. I felt bad for her and a little awkward myself. But she did a wonderful job and really seems to enjoy her field. It was at this appointment that options were laid out for us. We chose to have a diagnostic laparoscopy. More on that later.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
|This is her liver. No endo here.|
|This is her appendix. No endo here.|
|The endo is circled here behind the uterus.|
|The endo is circled here on the exterior wall of the bladder.|
|The endo is circled here on the outside of the right ovary.|
|This is the left ovary. It is significantly larger than the right ovary due a cyst that was previously thought to be a "normal functional" cyst.|
|This is a better picture of the cyst on the left ovary.|
|This is a picture of the doc draining the cyst which has now been identified as an endometrioma (endometriosis cyst). Once drained, he removed the cyst (cystectomy)|
As I'm writing this she is in PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit) recovering and did indeed have endometriosis.
What this means to us is, as of now, we are not diagnosed with "unexplained infertility". We're praying that this procedure has removed any blockages and/or issues that could have been causing us to not get pregnant. I am VERY thankful to God that:
1) The surgery went great.
2) They found and successfully removed the endometriosis.
3) We have a renewed hope of having children.
Once she is coherent again, I'm sure you'll be seeing a new post written from her perspective. Also, if she'll consent to it, I'm going to make a post with the images (from the inside) and some explanations from the doctor about them (in hopes of maybe making the choice to have this surgery for someone else a little easier).
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
It doesn't matter. I try to be happy for them, I pray that they will have a healthy pregnancy and hope the best for them.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
I do very much plan on discussing topics openly. You cannot discuss issues of fertility in a marriage with out discussing sex, arguments, and fears. The changes in the husband-wife relationship also must be discussed at times. For my husband and I, this has brought us closer and is teaching us about the actions of love each day. The same cannot be said for all couples facing this and maybe something we say here will help another couple work through the tough times.
I am currently nearing the end of a two week wait.At the same time the Lord has led my husband and I into a season of great change. I am leaving a small church and looking for a new place to worship. Anyone who has ever left a small church knows what that can entail and there has been some heartache involved. I know there are a lot of new and exciting experiences coming our way. There has been some upheaval in our circle of friends as well. My ultimate hope is that this season of change will change us from a family of two to a family of three. (or four, twins would be just fine with me!) God Bless until next time.