Friday, November 22, 2013

About Eight More Weeks

     In around eight more weeks our little guy is due. I am mostly excited but have to spend some time in prayer every day. As a nurse and someone who has dealt with infertility, I know that things don't always go the way we want them too. I panic about all the medications I have needed throughout this pregnancy, I panic because I know about a hundred things that could go wrong. Even if they don't end in the loss of my child, I fear that in some way my child will be harmed during birth.
    Today, I choose to turn it to our Father. I may have to turn it to him three times a day but that is my choice. I pray for my child and I pray for peace. I will share the joy of his kicks with my husband. I will discuss getting a car seat and hope that our stash of diapers arrives today. I will not fear filling his room with the things he needs because today, I choose to enjoy every moment of his life that God allows me to experience with him. Infertility and loss steals so much innocence, so much peace, and can take so much joy away. Tonight, I will snuggle with my hubby and thank God for what I have been given not what has been taken.


                                                             -her-

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dilation and Curettage or D&C

     I promised this post a long time ago. This is a difficult procedure to discuss as I had it only because my twins didn't survive. I want the information from a patient side to be out there however, so I am going to get through this. I will do the procedure and recovery in two separate posts as it would be quite lengthy otherwise.
     I had this procedure completed the day we found out our babies had no heart beats. We were given an option, I could do it then or I could wait until my assigned physician was on call. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I didn't like that physician so waiting all weekend for a procedure, while carrying babies I knew were gone just wasn't really an option for me. My husband and I chose to meet the doctor on call and ask him to perform the procedure that day. We loved him and haven't looked back since I switched to him.
    After it was decided that I would have the procedure that day, I had to have something inserted in my cervix called Laminaria. This is a sea weed based "stick" that is inserted into the cervix to ripen and dilate it. Then gauze moistened with sterile saline was packed into my vagina to allow the Laminaria to grow and do what it was designed to. This procedure was painful for me. To place it in the cervix a speculum is inserted. I was already tender from two transvaginal ultrasounds and Pap smear that day. Then a tool was used to "grab" my cervix and make it "pop" so that the physician had access. I do need to mention that the words in quotes come from the original physician whom I didn't like. She performed this to prepare me as the other physician had to see a patient. She let the tool attached to my cervix dangle while she turned around and walked to a counter to get something. Most physicians would not have done that, especially with an assisting nurse behind them. I don't feel the procedure needed to be that painful and had it been with a different physician I feel it would have been a better experience.
     After the Laminaria was inserted, I was told to not have anything to eat or drink and go home for a few hours while I waited on my 4:30 pm check in time to same day surgery. So I went home and layed on the couch. I was numb, I am not sure if I cried the whole time or even at all. My husband was just trying to be there for me and deal with the grief and realization that in a few short hours this pregnancy would be over and we would have nothing to show for it.The Laminaria felt like a two by four had been placed in my vagina. If I moved wrong it was painful. I had to sit at specific angles to keep the pain away. Finally, the time to go back to the hospital came.
     We checked in, I was weighed, asked a million questions that I somehow had the presence of mind to answer, and an IV was started. I had a horrible migraine by this point so the nurse called anesthesia and asked for something to help. I was given some IV morphine, which promptly caused the nausea to worsen and I began vomiting. I was given IV Zofran while my wonderful husband just rubbed my back and let me know he was there. I was miserable. I just wanted to close my eyes and know it was all a dream.
     When the time came to go to holding, a friend was there to greet me. I have known her for 17 years and she was to be my nurse in the OR. She prayed with us, and we went to the OR. The only problem I have with that process is that my husband didn't get to kiss me on my way back. I had a terrible fear at this time that I was going to die. I prayed, " God, please don't let my husband lose his wife and babies on the same day." I was given medication to help me relax, moved onto the OR table. The eyes of my friend and the anesthesiologist are all I remember before falling asleep.
     I awoke very restlessly while my gurney was being rolled into recovery. I was moving around a lot and hearing my friend tell me to be still, I had lost a lot of blood. The compassion and firmness in the familiar voice was a gift to me I can't describe. I am so thankful God allowed this friend to be the person on call for the after hours procedures on that day. I stayed in recovery for a while, I needed some pain control and there was concern about my blood loss.I also could not get warm. My core temperature had dropped and I had a Baer Hugger on. This is a device that fills a balloon like body blanket with warm air.  I had required two doses of a medication called Cytotec to help contract my uterus and make the bleeding slow to an appropriate flow. The nurses in recovery were very compassionate, quick to respond to my pain, and worked very hard to warm me up and stop the rigors from anesthesia. I did have some pain and nausea problems initially. I was also very cold for a long time.
      I was taken to the women and children's floor for a few hours. I had to have and H&H drawn. This was to confirm I hadn't lost so much blood as to be dangerous to go home. I had to get up a few times and urinate and be coherent. Once all of those things were accomplished, I was told I would have some bleeding, if soaking more than one pad an hour for two consecutive hours to call my doctor immediately or come back in. I was also told not to lift over 5 lbs for a week, to drink a lot of fluid, and to make position changes slowly as I would be prone to passing out for a few days. The doctor came in for one final check of me, determined I was safe to go home and my husband could take me.
     The day was one of the longest of my life, my husband can write from his side, because he was the one alone in a waiting room. I will write about the recovery period a bit later.

                                                                           -Her-

    

So, we have a little one coming.

  How long it has been since I posted!!!  My dear husband (DH) posted about having two positive home pregnancy tests, (hpt). I have avoided posts. Partly due to some superstitious fear that to post it here will end in some sort of tragedy. Unfounded? Yes. Ungodly? Yes. Easily shakeable? Nope. If everything keeps rocking on, we will have a beautiful little boy in about 12 weeks. I am doing better with the anxiety, at times even believing that this little guy will get to come home to our arms. There are still moments that I can't quite comprehend it. I feel him move and wonder, will I really get to meet you? Will I get to see your smile? Will I get to put your picture up next to your Dad's and see how much you look like him? Pregnancy after a loss has been trying at times, made me feel very lonely and frustrated at other times.

We are anxiously awaiting this little person, with hopes and prayers that he will be the healthy, happy little boy we have prayed for for so long!!

                                                                          - Her -

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Sometimes Life Bites You in the Backside

     I teach at a nursing school. I love being a nurse educator. It is very time consuming, hence the slow start on the blog. Today, I do not love it. I got assigned a 12 hour shift watching students in OB clinicals. I can't do anything in these clinicals because I am not an OB nurse. However, I am here. I am listening to babies cry, mom's console, and dads wonder if the baby is hungry. I am helping students field questions about why babies won't latch on to a breast, when should we feed him, or how long until my baby arrives. I am helping students care for laboring moms, teaching them to swaddle babies, and generally act like I am enjoying my day. This is how they know me, I love being a nurse.
     I am doing all these things, knowing that God may be saying no to me. That I will never have one of my own. I may never swaddle my own baby, I may never hold a child to my breast and pray we can figure this eating thing out. I may never see the tears that come to my husband's eyes because he is finally a father. My father may never hold a baby of mine with pride, my mother never have the joy of a third grandchild. I may never shop with my family for my own baby furniture. I may never hear the contented sigh of a baby when I snuggle him close. This rotation sucks!! My estimated due date with the twins was less than a month ago, I should be on maternity leave. I shouldn't be here, trying to make nurses happy and like me when I want so much to be anywhere else!!!
     I keep thinking about something I read, "When life is hard and you can't hear God, remember, the teacher is always silent during the test." Somehow, in this moment that isn't all really comforting. Three years of trying to conceive and all I have to show is possible scar tissue from my miscarriage.
     So while everyone complains about the cold weather and the rain moving in and the chances of snow in May, I say bring it on. It matches my mood.


                                                                                         -her-

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Be Still and Know.....

I suck at the waiting. I want a plan, a next step. I want to know if I am having babies or not. Are we going to adopt? What are we doing?   I jumped the gun, started contacting adoption agencies and embryo adoption places. I became very stressed and scared.As we started to pray, God spoke to me and my heart in so many ways. The bible study I am completing, the things my mentor says to me, the messages at our church. So, apparently we are to "Be still and know the I am God." Psalm 46:10.

We have been very disheartened. My sister is expecting. That is a difficult situation for so many reasons. She is having a boy, the thing I have always wished for. It was a huge blow to my husband and I. So I began thinking of adoption. The problem is that I didn't wait for God to say yes. He has had to teach me this slowly. There was a deep bitterness and anger creeping up. I am finally feeling like seeking him again. This road if infertility is so long and so hard! Prayers are appreciated, I will be praying for all of us walking this path.

I also hope to be posting more here. I will be seeing a doctor Monday about a referral to a reproductive Endocrinologist. It is a scary thought, but time to take that step.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Just venting on a rough few days.

     UGH. Infertility sucks!! Some times it comes right up and slaps you in the face and then refuses to get out of your face for quite a while. This has been one of those weeks. My sister is pregnant, I have known for quite a while. A girl in my community group is pregnant, again I have known quite a while. But another person in my community group announced their pregnancy. My pregnancy test was negative just a few hours later. ( I took it at 3 am, what else is an infertile girl to do when the insomnia kicks in?)  I was an emotional mess, crying at work, lying to my adult students about having a cold. Started my Femara day three as scheduled, which of course wreaks havoc on my emotions. Today, I got to schedule a place to have my sister's baby shower. All the while, thinking, I may very likely never get a turn. The only babies I may ever get to carry died in the womb and I never got to see them, hear a laugh, a cry, or see a smile. Today, I am sad. Tomorrow will be a different day, and with that hopefully a day with more stable emotions. But today, infertility sucks!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hysterosalpingogram

   I would like to describe my experience having an HSG. This is a retro - post as I had the HSG many months ago. I had this procedure because I had been unable to get pregnant for over a year. I had no diagnosed medical conditions at that time other than dysmenorrhea.a
   The decision was an easy one to make. I wanted answers. This might provide them and might lead to pregnancy.
   An appointment was made at the hospitals radiology department. It was an early morning appointment because that best allowed my husband to be present. I was very thankful he was there. I was quite nervous and his presence was very helpful. I checked in and was taken back to the room very quickly. Once in the room, I was asked to change into a hospital gown and given a blanket to cover up with. It was quite chilly and the blanket was not quite enough. The nurse present saw me shivering and gave me a blanket from the warmer. The table was a bit hard but not terrible for the short amount of time I was on it. There was a bit of a problem with insertion of the speculum. This is a problem pretty unusual, my husband and I have believed that I have a condition called vaginismus for a long time. This condition makes penetration very difficult as the muscles tighten involuntarily. When a long narrow speculum is used I normally have fewer issues but the only speculum the radiology department had was the standard one. My doctor tried for a long time to insert this speculum before conceding that it wasn't going to work. It was very painful and he could not see what he needed to. He asked the nurse to get the correct speculum from the OR.So I waited, the correct speculum arrived and we continued with the test. After the speculum was in place, my cervix was washed with a betadine solution and then a long slender catheter was placed through the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus. Fluoroscopy was used to visualize the structures. The catheter caused some cramping, but the next step was injection of the dye. this caused some pretty painful cramps. My fallopian tubes were flushed and my deemed clear. The catheter was removed, the speculum was removed. I was sent home very soon after with only some discharge and cramping in the afternoon. It was not terrible, not too painful, and worth the information it provided.

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