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What Are The Odds?

“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart that you’re meant to do”.

 

Can we talk about the failed IUI’s we went through last year? For some reason they are on my mind. I’ve been thinking of why we aren’t pregnant yet. For those that are new to my blog I’m very anal retentive and I want things to happen the day I manifest a dream, or want something. I think back to that awful process of going into the room and going through all these steps while Dr. Karnitis administers the sperm as far in my uterus he could. It was a very uncomfortable feeling. Five minutes later I left the office and the dreaded two week wait began. But I feel like I am living a permanent two week wait. I have ovulation tests and pregnancy tests in bulk. Each month I know when we should have an idea or time frame we should try. When I start my period I know there isn’t a point to taking a test because my cycle started. Each time that has happened I just try to hide as much as possible.  I am continually going through a two week wait because after we try I try really hard to stay organized and busy because if I don’t I just wonder if every little symptom could  make me think I was pregnant. But waiting on the Lupron has been the worst waiting game. We all know I hate this medication but it’s my only option if we want to move forward with IVF. Once the injection happens I’ll be doing a 90 day countdown to finally begin IVF. We are getting there. We are getting so close but we are still so far away. I need to apply for the scholarships and grants. I know that things aren’t going to go the way I plan but I just hope we’ll be able to have children. I can tell you the yearning I have for a child continuously grows.  But one day, 90-ish, to be exact we start our IVF journey. Maybe I’m just in a funk because I’m having a flare up and I’m exhausted but I just have to keep pushing. The quote at the beginning is to help me see the big picture. When we first walked into Kettering Reproductive Helath, they said it would nearly impossible for me to bear a child. But at our last visit Dr. Karnitis said my AMH levels are very low but with all the meds my body is slowly improving and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to have a few babies, freeze a few more and be able to have more children. I have a plan but as I’ve learned over the last two I’m going to go with the flow and work on my perfectionist personality. There are so many things I’m scare of and so many things I’d love to share bu right now I’m exhausted.

Until Next Tine

Angelica

 

Also, linked below is a girl I follow on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook. Her name is Carissa. She struggles with infertility. I’m glad to know I can watch her videos and completely 100% understand how she feels and what she is going though. We’re both in a club that we had no intention of joining and I wish I could change that for the both of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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babies, Dayton, endometriosis, husband, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, wife, women, women's issues

Simply annoyed

Can I just tell you all how annoyed I am? Because I am truly irritated. This may sound crazy but I really want to work with a different nurse during our IVF journey. So let me explain.

Russell and I had our IVF consultation about a month ago. We sat with Dr. Karnitis and talked for about two hours about our journey and when things would take place. After that a nurse came in (and I’m not going to name her) and asked if we had questions. Russell is always so good about asking the right questions because in situations like that I freeze because I’m so overwhelmed. He’s asking questions and the nurse was giving the most standard answers ever. Like it seemed like she was really uncomfortable being there. After him asking a few more questions she said she would see me back when my Lupron came in. I’ve gone about life for the last month being miserable. They’ve also added two more medications to my list of things to take in order for us to have an even higher chance of creating healthier eggs. However, one of the meds has made me so sick. To the point that I wasn’t able to eat for days and the nausea was so bad. I called the office to talk with someone and the same nurse called me back and it was the worst conversation ever. I was telling her what was going on and she offered advice that I didn’t think was appropriate for my situation. She told me to break the pills in half and see how I feel the next day. That’s a hard pass from me. I won’t do it because I like being able to eat and function. I also had a few migraines during that time and I’m not willing to do anything that will increase my migraines at all. After I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that there was a long pause on the phone. I mean it was so quiet for so long that I said “hello?”. She said I’m still here. When I got off the phone with her I told Russell when I get my Lupron shot I’m asking to work with someone else. Now my mom (who is a nurse) said I should be patient because she could be new. I get that some people need to find their niche and get used to their new job but I feel like she should be able to have a better conversation.

Now some of you are probably thinking why does it matter and you’re being a little too high maintenance right now. However, I feel like I should be working with someone I have a connection with. Several other nurses there are amazing and I wish they worked on the IVF side of things but they don’t. We are spending so much money, so much so that I want to work with someone I know is going to handle everything right. For some reason the vibe isn’t right and I refuse to work with someone that can’t have a simple conversation with me. I just don’t feel like she’s the person I should be working with. I have no idea how I’m going to word that without sounding like a crazy person but it’s a gut feeling and I trust my gut. I hope this makes sense because in mind it does but when I say it out loud I sound a little nutty. But my future children are at stake here and I want to make sure every detail is perfect. We haven’t come this far to fail. I know I can’t predict how IVF is going to go but I just have a feeling that we’ll be able to have a baby(ies) next year.

As always please continue to send all the positive vibes and thoughts our way because May is quickly approaching and I’m getting more and more excited!

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

 

Also check out the little words project because their jewelry is amazing and their mission is even better. https://littlewordsproject.com

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Patience is a Virtue

“Good relationships are not just about the good times we share; they’re also about the obstacles you go through together and the fact that you still say ‘I love you’ at the end” ——-Unknown

I’ve been finding quotes that I think go along with the topic I’ve chosen for my blog post. I posted last week about grief and the quote chosen just spoke to me, just like this quote does. I chose this quote because I wanted to talk about my husband, Russell in this post, so this one is dedicated to you babe!

Russell and I met in October 2007 and began dating in July 2008. So we are coming up on our 10 year anniversary! Where the heck has the time gone? He has been with me through my awful migraine days when I can’t get out of bed or look at any lights or hear sounds because it makes things worse. He has cleaned up more vomit than I’d care to admit and he has been amazingly patient and positive during this hard time in our lives. When you find out you have an incurable disease you want to curl up and cry. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my fair share of coming home crying because the answers to my questions from my doctors were not what I wanted to hear. He would also hold me while my face is buried in chest sobbing. He picked up when after two rounds of Clomid and two negative pregnancy tests devastated me he was there to snuggle me and tell me everything would be okay. He even told me that after two failed IUI’s we’d be just fine and we’ll have a family before we know it. I mean honestly, does it get any better than this????

The quote above talks about how relationships need to evolve and grow. Having a disease that is unpredictable can be hard. It’s hard to make plans and do things because I could flair up and down and out for hours or just minutes…you just know with endo. I remember last year Russell and I were on our way to a Reds game and my lower back started hurting really bad. I thought to myself while I was getting dressed that everything would be okay and I could make it because that was our date night! We didn’t even get to highway before we had to turn around and go back home because I couldn’t take the pain. I started to get upset because I ruined date night. There was another incident at Fleming’s about a year ago. We were having our monthly date night and I was feeling so bad. I didn’t way much and boxed my food. At the time I was taking all the medications and they were making me feel sick. Russell picked up that I wasn’t feeling well and asked for our food to be boxed so he could take me home. It was the sweetest gesture because to me that’s an example of chivalry. ( #chivalryisnotdead) One last incident where I wasn’t feeling well we were at dinner at Carvers. Now this was probably a year and half ago. I started to feel like I was getting a migraine but I took my imitrex in hopes that it would work before we left for dinner. Not really. The music, lights, all the noise…I thought  my head was going to explode. We ordered food because I thought I needed something to keep my hydrated and something to coat my stomach and get back to normal. As dinner progressed I have to excuse myself a few times to the ladies room because I was throwing up. Once Russell saw my face he said we were going home and he would save my dinner for tomorrow. He finished eating at home.

I never thought I’d be married to such a great man. He is the calm to my crazy and the light on my bad days. Today I had a bad day and there he was taking care of me like usual. I love this man so much and can’t wait for the day I can give him some babies to love on!

Until Next Time

xoxo

babies, blogger, Dayton, endometriosis, husband, illness, infertility, IUI, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, wife, women, women's issues

PGS Testing–Should we or shouldn’t we??

I wouldn’t be able to end the week properly without some sort of post and the usual me complaining about my pain levels. I worked a shifted that literally kicked my ass and I feel like I won’t fully recover from this shift until Monday. Then another long week since its Valentines’ week. So by next Saturday I can’t imagine how I’ll be feeling. Until then let’s chat.

“No matter how tough and scary the storms get, you will make it through” –unknown

This quote is rather fitting because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. A lot of the what if’s are popping up too. Ya know just the other day I was wondering what the next three months with a cycle and Lupron would be like. Would I end up coming out of that end a loser or a winner? Now, this situation is never going to happen because my Lupron has been approved by insurance and will arrive within the next week. So bring on the countdown to when I can feel back to normal and we start our IVF stuff. I’m not gonna lie I’m a little scared. This entire process is terrifying. I’ll never forget sitting in Dr. Karnitis’ office and he explained the entire procedure to use. It made me feel a little scared I don’t know how many embryos we’ll be able to freeze after they implant the number we do want. Then I don’t know if they’ll make it to stick. From there will they split? Will they remain their single bodied selves waiting to grow. I’m literally wondering right now where baby stuff would fit into my house. (I have officially lost my mind) And I can honestly tell you it’s things like that that are bothering me. Yes, I’m going to have to give myself shots in my belly, but remember I’ve done that twice before and I know it burns.

So here’s the one thing I’m not so sure about. There is a process when the embryos are made and are getting ready to come back into my body. Do we test them? Or do we go with my gut and not do it? The test is a PGS, preimplantation genetic screening. Refers to removing one or more cells from an embryo to test for chromosomal normalcy. I struggle with this because I do believe in a high power of the universe. I believe this higher being to be in control of my babies. My Reiki specialist has had dreams of my grandmother holding the souls of my daughters until they are ready to come live with us! I believe in the spiritual power and one that you try not to “fix”. However, if we have to go to these lengths to have a baby why not take the chance? Taking one cell out of the embryo won’t change them in any way. I guess I need to do more research and consult our doctor because everything has be finalized before May arrives. And I just realized May is going to creep up very quickly, after Valentines day we basically have one week left in February, then its March and we are talking about Endometriosis Awareness Month, and celebrating St. Patty’s Day. Then it’s April where we play tricks on people because its hilarious and singing April Showers Bring May Flowers. Then before you know it youre that person singing that song in MAY!

I would appreciate all the love and positive thoughts, feelings and hugs our way. The journey isn’t over yet…it has only just begun

Until Next Time

xoxoxoxo

 

 

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Grief

Hello! Hello! Hello! Welcome to this week’s edition of I have endometriosis and we are no closer to finding a cure and we still do not have proper drinking water in Flint. All I’m saying here before getting into my blog is that some things take a while to figure out, however, the water situation is what worries me because I feel like there should have been able to come up with a  solution on it but instead we never hear about it. Any who, let’s jump right into this weeks topic: grief.

“Infertility is a loss of a dream. It’s the loss of an assumed future. And, like every loss, it will be grieved.” –Unknown

Today I grieved. I grieved alone because sometimes that’s what is best for me in the moment. I don’t always grieve alone but if I need to talk to Russell he is there and so are my friends. Without them as my shoulders to cry on I would have completely gone insane by now. Today started out just fine. I always get up last because Russell goes to work so early so I get to sleep in on my days off, which by the way is amazing, and I’m very thankful he lets me get the rest I need. I know he’s gone to work because he’ll give me soft kiss on the forehead and say I love you. Then off he goes. The girls and I get an extra hour and two to rest. Now I don’t always fall back asleep so we may catch up on Housewives, Scandal, HTGAWM, or put on a movie. After we are ready to get our morning going I feed the girls, brush my teeth, decide if I’m going to look like a crazy person or just a normal person with bad style. Today I opted for a pair of shorts with a sweatshirt (which I’ve always hated!) And for those that know anyone with endometriosis just getting dressed sometimes is a HUGE accomplishment. I don’t check my phone right away just because I know I’m going to have check my email and of course who can resist getting on their phone and NOT checking Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat? No one. I’m sitting down at my surface getting ready to see what happened since the Superbowl ended and it came out today that Matt Patricia is coming the Detroit Lions as our 43rd head coach! Can’t wait for a great year and hopefully some deep playoff runs and maybe a Superbowl?? Anyway, I’m super off topic now. So I’m scrolling through Insta and see that Kylie just gave birth to a girl (reportedly her name is Butterfly and I really hope its a joke). Then another news cycle posted a photo of Kylie and Khloe pregnant together. Then I see Chrissy Teigen and her adorable bump. Then I see Kelly Stafford with her twin girls. Lastly, I saw Tia Mowry-Hardrict flaunting that beautiful bump and more glowing than I’ve ever seen. And ya know Jessie James Decker and all her perfect bump pics just take the cake. I know Chrissy and Tia know what it’s like to have infertility issues. I just hope that each of these women understand what women like me feel like. I’m not sure how many people saw it but I posted on Instagram some thoughts that were running through my head. I was holding back tears like a pro and couldn’t believe I did it. This journey is so hard. I beat myself up daily about anything and everything. For instance, Russell and I were watching Tin Cup, one of our favorites, and he saw a shirt that Rene Russo happened to be wearing and it’s ironically back in style. He said you’d look so cute in that. I appreciated the compliment but I was like no I tried on something similar but it just made me look fatter than I already do. Of course being my husband he rolled his eyes. I’m self conscious, I hate the way my body looks, I’m terrified if I have to get in a bikini, I can’t wear crop tops because they hug the parts of my body that I don’t want accentuated. Today I realized I’ve lost myself. I feel like I’m asking for help but people are too busy to answer or call back. Most of my friends have kids so I understand they have to be home for them. My other best friend is in the middle of wedding planning and I know how much fun that was so I’m trying to allow her to focus on herself and her day.

One more quick story about how my day was just reminded of infertility and what steps you go through to get pregnant. We watch a show called the Good Doctor on ABC. It is phenomenal. One couple who is in their 40’s are trying to get pregnant but they can’t because there is an abnormality and they need another test. The husband starts blaming his wife for waiting too long because she wanted to open her own business and earlier he was traveling and teaching so they had no time. Plus, she made the point she was going to go raise a child with a nanny. When they went back to the doctor she said I’m sorry but your semen analysis shows a low count. I kind of had a feeling it was him because some men had more infertility problems than we can think of. During the couples  visit they were using terms only a couple who has gone to an reproductive endocrinologist would know those terms. I rattled off 10 terms and Russell was like they said everything we’re about to do. The only thing they didn’t mention was the Clomid and Ovidrel shots. Again, two not so fun medications. I turned to look at Russell and I said I feel their heartache and they’re just actors. But I feel them because we are living with this. He said I know but each day is going to be better than the last. I’m very grateful for him and hope that I can repay him for taking such great care of me the last few years that I’ve been sick.

So this brings me to my final point about being able to grieve. Several friends have said it’s okay to not be okay. The first time I hear that I was like who says that? I’ve realized I can only take so much. Some days are better than others but today was just hard. That feeling I have to be a mother crept back in and doesn’t want to leave. Part of me doesn’t ever want it to leave. May seems so far away but I hope these next few months can fly by so we can get this show on the road.

Until Next Time

xoxoxoxo

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The Story of Brittany and Zak

This blog is a little different than most blogs I do. All of the blogs I write are about me and how endometriosis has changed my life, how I’ve changed because of the disease and other topics. But today we are focused on a different couple: Brittany and Zak Ingraham. They are newly married and trying to navigate their life through endometriosis and infertility.

Brittany and Zak met at Wright State University in UVC class their freshman year. They dated briefly but nothing serious came out of the relationship. They remained friends on social media and even stayed in contact when Zak moved back home to Georgia after college. One weekend Brittany decided to go visit some family in Tennessee and knew Zak wasn’t too far away in Georgia; she invited him to come for a visit and although he was hesitant he drove the couple hours to visit her. The second he got out of the car he knew something was different and felt an instant connection. They began their long distance relationship with countless trips of driving and flying to see each other. In March 2017 he popped the question and of course she said yes and 6 months later they were married!

Children was something they had talked about before. They wanted two biological children and they also wanted to adopt a child because it is something they both feel so passionately about. But things were about to change everything.

Brittany started her cycle when she was 8 years old. For a girl that’s fairly young. She would double over in pain at daycare because the cramps were so bad. Her friends couldn’t understand why she was in so much pain because they had not yet had their periods. This type of pain went on for years. Brittany would skip class, extracurricular activities, and social activities because she was in so much pain. She thought the pain was normal; that this is what it was like to become a woman. Eventually Brittany went to see a Nurse Practioner from an OBGYN’s office. She just said Brittany had severe periods and birth control could fix it. She tried several birth control methods over the years and nothing helped; the medication only made things worse. Her sophomore year she gave up on all her medications. The period pain came back and was so intense she has to skip class again, skip work and do anything she could to relieve the pain. She even tried changing her diet and exercise. Nothing. Then one day she had this feeling and went searching on the internet. She typed her symptoms into WebMD. Brittany keeps researching and something keeps coming up–the word endometriosis. One night Brittany was double over in so much pain she was screaming. Screaming to try to relieve the pain. Screaming because in her mind she didn’t know how to get rid of the pain. Screaming because she was helpless. Finally after hours of writhing in pain her father gave her a muscle relaxer in hopes of helping her. After this horrific incident Brittany goes back to the nurse practioner and tells her I think I have endometriosis. She told her her symptoms and the nurse gave her three options. 1. Get pregnant 2. Have an ablation 3. Start Mirena (a birth control pill) She has heard good things about Mirena and decided that would be best since she wanted children (at this point Brittany isn’t married yet). November 2016 the birth control doesn’t seem to be working because her pain isn’t going away. She was bleeding all the time or spotting with no pain relief. The nurse kept telling her the pain would be managed if she rotated tylenol and ib profen. Now anyone who knows this disease knows those two medications won’t touch endo pain. Brittany hasn’t been able to enjoy much because the pain is never ending. Holiday season 2017 was hard for her. She didn’t feel like she could truly enjoy the time she has with her family because the pain was getting in the way. That’s when she reached out to me and asked me my story. I referred her to my OB at Oak Creek because he has done all four of my surgeries and he referred us to KRH and Dr. Karnitis. I owe everything to Dr. McCullough and his staff for helping me in my time of need. Dr. McCullough said he was 90% with Brittany’s symptoms she had endo.

January 8 she would find out that she had an endometrioma on her left ovary and it ruptured. You all know that I have an endometrioma on my right ovary. They are blood filled cysts and if they aren’t monitored or rupture they cause excruciating pain. She has emergency surgery to remove the blood that had filled in her abdominal cavity and left tube. She is now home recovering from a traumatic experience.

Brittany and Zak have a five year plan but realize their plan may have to become a two or even three year plan. Brittany is very optimistic and realizes she isn’t given anything she can’t handle. She has a very strong faith and knows that God has a path and destiny for her and her husband. Her husband Zak is her shoulder to cry on, her ear to talk to, and her inspiration through tough times. They realize that everything is in God’s hands and they will honor Him by following His plan. They know that they are protected by Him and His grace. God brought them together and he will bless them with a family when it’s the right time for them.

I’ve always believed that a woman with endo is extra strong. She knows how to get through situations that seems impossible. She gets knocked down 9 times and stands up 10. She is a warrior. I hate that Brittany and her husband are going through this but I feel peace knowing they have such a strong relationship and faith. They can get through anything and I know they’ll overcome this with grace. Please keep them in your thoughts as she is still in recovery and on the mend.

 

Until Next Time

xoxo