Welcome to another late night post! The title of this blog is dedicated to my mommy. She saw that I got offended by a post going around social media. For those that haven’t seen the post it is an ultrasound of twins. People are posting that they’re pregnant only for the end of the caption to say we just wanted to say congrats to whomever is having these babies. It had been about the tenth time I saw the post and out of frustration I said it is really insensitive to post fake pregnancy announcements. Ya know, like the ones where everyone says they’re pregnant on April Fools Day, only for it to be a joke. Now after that I got feedback about my post, specifically from mommy. She said right now I’m too sensitive to be seeing things related to pregnancy so I should probably should stay away from social media. BUT we all know I have to play devil’s advocate here and now that I’m an adult I can (sometimes) go against what my mom says to do. (Although I could fail miserably while not taking her advice in the first place lol) She just understands what I’m going through, the serious amount of medication my body has undertaken over the last 18 months and the fact that it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. Anyway, I got some criticism saying that if we can’t find humor in some things then we’ll never be able to laugh at anything. So there are mixed reviews and my mom is just trying to protect me from getting my feelings hurt unintentionally by what one person posts. To be fair she is right. I’ve never experience a level of sensitivity like this. And for those who know me know I’ve always been a sensitive person but I feel like my emotions are a roller coaster. Not all days, but some days. There are days when I cry asking the universe why I’m not good enough for a baby. There are days when I’m angry or frustrated that I can’t get pregnant after 9 months of marriage. Then I just sit and wonder ‘why me’? I wonder if there is something I did in a past life to have to go through this now. Maybe it’s to make me appreciate the journey we are going on. AND speaking of journey’s, this Wednesday at 3pm I will be going to our IVF specialist for my Lupron shot! I have waited very anxiously to see what was going to happen. I’m so thankful for the nurses and Dr. Karnitis for doing everything they can to help us. From answering all my phone calls, voicemails, and seeing me when things seem to be a little less than urgent. I am blessed to have such an amazing support staff and although this shot is going to burn like hell it’s the very first step to take to get to IVF. This road is going to be long, expensive, and worth.every.penny. The day I get to create a life inside and hold my little baby Young for the first time will be amazing. I don’t even have words to describe that feeling now. All I can say is that feeling is a yearning. A yearning for someone I already know I love unconditionally. I have a yearning to hold them close to my skin, smell their sweet baby smell, all while delicately kissing each part of their face. Trying to become a mother is full of overwhelming, heartbreaking, hopelessness. But for us we can’t keep silent, even if people don’t understand. My goal is to just educate one person on how endometriosis can severely change the life of a young woman. So I’m sorry mom but I won’t be staying off Facebook because a message needs spread around the globe that women need more affordable healthcare for reproductive health. Infertility needs to be considered as a general service, instead of a specialty service that we no option but to pay out of pocket for. Infertility needs to be brought up because there are also women who can’t afford to seek treatment, therefore feeling lost. If I lose friends or lose supporters along the way through this, that’s on them. I’m on a mission and I Continue reading
Please stop asking if I’ll be okay this Mother’s Day. Yes I understand the significance of the day and how I’m struggling to conceive myself. However, I am still able to spend mother’s day with my three awesome doggies and husband… after all I did become a fur-mama almost 9 years ago when I surprised Russell with Lena!!! Not to mention I get to celebrate my WONDERFUL, AMAZING, puts-up with all my shenanigans mother!
For me mother’s day isn’t about dwelling on what I don’t have but rather being thankful for what I do have. I have an awesome mom (and step-mom) that I am blessed to walk through life with. I think of the numerous times a day I call her to tell her the most random things. LOL. But for me Mother’s Day is about celebrating all mothers, including those who may not have children on earth but have children watching over them. You, sweet sister are still a mother, no matter what anyone else says. I believe this holiday will afford you the blessings and light you may have been looking for.
While our journey hasn’t been easy or as long as some other people I know, I do know that we are on the right track. Yes, I do have down days where I can’t seem to think my way out of what is going on; so I sit and let my emotions surround me and with every breath I take I feel how deeply my emotions are effecting me. Once some time has passed, I am usually able to get through anything. Which is why I don’t want anyone else asking if I’m going to be okay on Sunday. I want people to celebrate the amounts of achievements we’ve had this year. I want to celebrate being a strong woman, one in which is putting her body through the ringer in order to conceive a baby. I want people to understand that I have stage four endometriosis but that I won’t let it define me.
Now, please understand that I feel for any woman who has lost a child. I can’t imagine what that feels like. My hope for you this Mother’s Day is to remember them how they were, what they would look like and what their voice would sound like if they were to call you ‘Mom’. I know it sounds painful but in sad moments we can find joy. So find joy on Mother’s Day. Smile. Laugh. Cry happy tears. Be with your loved ones and know that they understand what you are going through. Life is forever changed when we lose someone we love. Milestone holidays become big days and days we often run from. Let’s not run from our fears but instead face them with every fiber of our being. Because at the end of the day in order to get passed a challenge we must go through it. We can not go through a challenge if we are not ready. Each woman is going to be different. Each woman may not agree with what I’ve said.
I don’t want to be asked if I’ll be okay for major holidays just because others have children and I don’t (right now). Mother’s Day is about celebration for me; fun memories; loving times. I hope when the day arises and you may not be feeling like getting out of bed, you remember the purpose of your being; to stay strong even when you feel like giving up.
Until Next Time,
All month long I’ve tried to think of what to write. For some reason the words are there but I can’t seem to formulate the right sentences to create a coherent blog post. Here’s my best attempt to put everything into words 🙂
March is endometriosis awareness month. I’ve been reading stories all month from women sharing their stories, their fears, their goals, and what they hope they can accomplish by sharing what they’ve been through. The stories I’ve read all vary from women who have just been diagnosed to women who have known they’ve had this disease for a few years or more. Then I read one where a husband shared his point of view on what it’s like to take care of someone with endo. The story was awe inspiring. For me it touched a special place in my heart. It made me feel vulnerable in a way that I started crying. His words were so sweet and kind. He was gentle when he described the way he cares for his wife daily. I think that’s something that most people who don’t have this disease realize. When a man decides to marry a woman with this disease, he is marrying someone who is going to be tired, sick, and have flare up’s so bad nothing but an ER visit can take away the pain. Naturally, when I was reading this blog post I thought of Russell. I think of every day when I have to tell him my back hurts, or the cramps are more than cramps. Ironically its been 365 days since my 2nd surgery… ya know the one where they had no choice but to take out my left tube and ovary. It was that hospital stay that I asked him “Are you sure you want to marry me? What if I can’t give you children?” It was in that moment of imperfection, laying in a hospital bed, so drugged and sick that he told me he loves me for everything I am and if we can’t have kids then we have each other. Ladies, the one thing I know about Russell is how much he wants a family. His desire to have a family is strong. When a man marries a woman with endometriosis he marries the idea that children may not come. I thank the universe for Russell every day. My husband is an endo husband. He takes care of me. He tries to make my pain go away and comfort me when I’m at my worst. If you or someone you know has an endo husband, hug them tight. They are hard people to find. They are like finding a needle in a haystack. Endometriosis can put stress on a couple. It can make you both for guilty. Us women feel guilty for our spouses because we are keeping them from a healthier person. At least that’s one of my biggest guilty feelings. I tell Russell all the time that he could have been with anyone else. The guilt of being sick all the time creeps in and makes me feel awful. I think that’s why I needed to read a story about a couple going through endometriosis, and the article being written by the husband was on point. He committed to being the best endo-husband he could be. He told the readers of how many heating pads they have and how it doesn’t take him long to heat them up for his wife when she has a flare up. He also talked about how he knows when to step in and tell his wife to rest and when he knows she can push herself. An endo-husband is a caretaker and without them us wives would be lost.
I want to thank my endo-husband. Thank you for baring with me during the last year. I know four surgeries was tough. Four surgeries were stressful emotionally, physically draining and mentally challenging. Russell has been there for the darkest days of my existence. He has seen my biggest fears with endometriosis. He attends IVF appointments to educate himself further. I also am thankful for my endo-husband because every day he tells me we are going to be parents and he’ll see me grow through motherhood. I’m thankful every second of the day for my awesome husband. I am thankful for the support, advice and love he has given to me in the last year.
Having endometriosis is debilitating, it’s frustrating but in the end endo is apart of me. I have learned and grown so much this last year and I hope that if you are following this journey I have taught you a little something about endometriosis that you didn’t know before.
Happy Endometriosis Awareness month March!!!!
In my last blog I touched on how endometriosis changes a woman. I was scrolling through facebook today and came across an article from a page I follow called ‘Waiting for Baby Bird’. (Link is attached –https://waitingforbabybird.com/2017/02/21/an-open-letter-to-my-friend-struggling-with-infertility/)
If you don’t have time to read the article please make time. This blog hits home what every woman who suffers from infertility needs to read. It’s beautiful and brave in a way that speaks volumes. I wish there were more people like this in my life. I feel right now that a lot of people have been judging me for the decisions I have or have not made in the past. Some of these decisions resulting in friendships that are strained. Unfortunately, this is the side of infertility that I need support in. This article highlights what we need in those moments of darkness.
I had several moments of darkness and light this week. It started with our appointment on Monday. Our doctor is a very nice man who said we have a few options. We are making decisions on what is going to be best for us and taking everything one day at a time. My time of darkness came when he told me I have a 5x5x4.5 cm endometrioma inside my ovary. *WARNING: it’s about to get a bit graphic* Each month a woman has her period the lining of the uterus is shed along with the blood. When woman who have endometriosis have a period the lining of the uterus gets stuck on other parts of the body, such as the fallopian tubes, organs, where ever. Once the lining gets stuck to other organs it can’t be removed without surgery. Each month this happens. Well for me the lining of my uterus was shedding and going back into my ovary. At the same time that was happening blood was going back into my ovary and got trapped inside the lining causing a cyst that is not able to be removed. My endometrioma is more than 2 times the size of an ovary and for me I only have half an ovary so its pretty big. It is not able to be removed because the endometrioma is stuck inside my ovary with all my eggs. Removing the cyst would mean removing my eggs and that’s a risk I’m not taking. My endometrioma (otherwise known as chocolate cysts) will remain inside my ovary until it goes away on its own. If it doesn’t I’ll have to wait until after we are done having children to remove it. That was my dark moment of the week. I never would have guess that things looked worse than they were. I thought I was getting better but this feels a setback. However, thank goodness for Russell and his positive uplifting words. I am beyond thankful for him because he has been praying for us and our journey towards having a baby for a long time. Hearing him talk about how we are going to rearrange our home for a nursery gives me butterflies. I can’t wait for the day we get to experience it all…until then more daydreaming.
Until next time,
We all have belly buttons when we are born. Some are innies. Some are outies. Some grow to be more oval and some grow to be more round. I had a round innie that was to me normal with a little birthmark above it. Now, thanks to endometriosis, my belly button is vastly different. Today marks 7 days since surgery and my bandages finally fell off today! (Yay, for that!) BUT, I saw what my belly looks like and holy guacamole it’s not a pleasant sight. It (my belly button) along with the rest of my belly look like they’ve gone through war.I’m bloated, my incisions while they don’t hurt are healing and my insides are very sore. My belly button has this sit through it and you can see where it’s going to healed but it’s not a perfect little circle anymore. I know as we get older, things changed and our bodies morph into these creatures that we don’t always know. Over the last six months I have watched as my body as changed before my eyes. I’ve gained almost 20 pounds in 6 months, can’t move around or do anything too strenuous before I start to hurt again, and am in fear of going through all of this to never have a baby. I remember I was in so much pain the day after surgery that I asked Russell if this was going to be worth it. I was in tears and emotional because after surgery sucks and the Lupron is making me more emotional with my hormones being out of wack so I just had a mini melt down. I told him all my fears and what I don’t want to happen. However, at this point things are beyond my control. I’m a big believer in your journey is already set for you. I’m not a fortune teller (however at the rate we are going I may go see one) and I can’t see if a baby is in my future. I pray and hope and wish every day that a baby will be easier to conceive than what the doctors are thinking. Apparently when you only have a 25% chance to get pregnant, the journey isn’t going to be easy. My one wish is for all of you to say a prayer, it doesn’t have to be right now or tonight. But when you hear or see of a woman going through endometriosis, IVF, has a surrogate or is told they can’t ever kids, please pray for them. These women have so much courage and I admire them so much. I have several friends going through IVF, one on round 2 and the other on round 1. I pray for them every day. I pray they are able to bring healthy babies into this world next year. My endo sisters are near and dear to my heart.
As for my belly button, I guess I’ll just have to learn to love this new one, just like I’m learning to love this new body of mine.
Until next time.
March just so happens to be endometriosis awareness month. This blog is dedicated to my journey thus far and by the end I hope to give you a better understanding of what endometriosis is.
Endometriosis is difficult to define. A lot of people don’t know what it is and a dear friend of mine sent me picture of what endometriosis is like. Here is what is says: “In the body of a woman with endometriosis, the lining of the uterus that is shed every month during is unable to be shed, so it’s reabsorbed by the body. It then sticks to other organs and grows like weeds in a garden, wrapping around and over organs. Endometriosis creates chronic pain, sometimes infertility, digestive and bowel malfunctions and chronic fatigue. There is no known cure.”
This is a very accurate definition for what endometriosis is and does. I was introduced to what endometriosis is because my sister has the same condition. Since we have the same DNA it makes sense that we would both have the same condition. If I’m not mistaken she has stage 3 endo. She, too, has had several surgeries to help remove scar tissue that was causing her pain. Thankfully she hasn’t needed to have any surgeries in the past 6 months.
I realized something was wrong because my periods were like hell, well worse. My cramps were so bad I would become nauseas and couldn’t eat. My back hurt so badly from all the pressure. Midol wouldn’t touch the pain and the only way to get rid of the pain was to sleep. After an ER visit because I couldn’t handle the pain, I went to my OB/GYN to then discover I have endometriosis. February 2, 2016 I had my first surgery. My tissue was removed but not completely. The surgery was supposed to fix the pain but when I went in for my check up I had two options: have another surgery, more extensive with a hospital stay or have a hysterectomy. Obviously I chose option 1. 30 days after surgery I had surgery number 2. This time a robot was used to see exactly what was going on. My bowels, uterus and ovaries were all enveloped in scar tissue. My left ovary and fallopian tube were so badly damaged that they had to be removed. I woke up from surgery in a lot of pain. I was given a shot to stop my period for 3 months so I could heal and not have to worry about being in more pain. I will scars all across my stomach because of surgery. I have a 25% chance of having a baby on my own and I hope and pray that this will be all I need.
Here’s what the doctors don’t tell you about endometriosis. The shot that I was given stopped all my parts from functioning so now at 26 I am “menopausal” because I’m not ovulating. I get hot flashes all the time, I can’t sleep and my incisions hurt…bad. (Once the shot wears off I wont be menopausal anymore) I also feel guilt and shame over my condition. Endometriosis isn’t just affecting me, it’s affecting Russell. There are days that I am so sad because I want to give him a family. We have always dreamed of having 4-5 kids. I see people and their kids and wonder if I’ll be able to have that. I hope and pray that when we get married we’ll be able to have a baby the natural way. I know that having to see an infertility specialist is something we’ll have to do if I can’t get pregnant. I am beyond thankful for Russell. There have been times when I cry to him, apologizing for my condition. Each time he says we are in this together and no matter what his love for me doesn’t change. He loves me, endometriosis and all. He takes care of me, makes me dinner, helps me get dressed when the pain is so bad I can’t bend over. He is always there for me. He goes above and beyond all expectations I had for my soon to be husband. But he has always taken care of me. He gives me hope. He is my light in this dark tunnel. He loves me unconditionally and I couldn’t ask for better partner in life.
I had my checkup this past Monday with my OB/GYN and he says everything is healing nicely. He was frank with me and my entire life was put into perspective. He said I am in the top 5% of the worst cases of endo he has seen in his career and I am the only one who has been able to keep my uterus and right tube and ovary. There are plenty of days that I feel alone and wonder why this happening. I often wonder if there was something I could have done to prevent this. I hope one day there is a cure.
Please say a prayer for all the women who have this condition. Below is a link to an article from Huffington Post about what women with endometriosis want you to know.
Do you ever just have something happen to you and you look back and see what you could have done differently to prevent it?
Well that’s been me for the last few days. To say I’m in some pain would be an understatement. I was finally able to change my bandages and look at my wounds for the first time. It’s definitely not what I thought it was going to look like. I thought since they went in laparoscopically my incisions wouldn’t be so bad, but I was wrong. Two of my incisions are quite large and my belly button has two more incisions with another small incision close to my left hip. The pain is constantly throbbing and my back almost always hurts.
Here is what they did to my body: Going into surgery I knew that my uterus was going to be reconstructed because it was somewhat damaged. However, my OB found that both my ovaries were conjoined, which were attached to my uterus, and my uterus was attached to my bowels. So basically all my parts were frozen together, giving me all these crazy symptoms when I was on my normal period. During surgery my left ovary and fallopian tube were so enveloped in scar tissue that they were damaged beyond repair. Once they took out my left ovary and tube it was time to take care of my right one. My right one wasn’t perfect, it had some damage that they were able to fix but in the end I am left with half of my right ovary and a fully functioning tube. (YAY) Of course after that was done the rest of the endometriosis was removed. From what I understand there was a lot of damage done an it was very hard to fix (surgery was 4 hours)but they got the job done which is all I wanted.
The main question I keep getting asked is this: How are you feeling? Well honestly, I have no idea. I’m out of work for two weeks if not three, I can’t do much of anything because of the amount of pain I’m in, and we only have a 25% chance of conceiving a baby the natural way. So the answer to “how are you doing?” is not so great. I feel like I have to say I’m fine or that things are going well because people don’t want to hear about the awful stress my body and my emotions are going through. There are plenty of times in the hospital that I cried because I don’t have all my lady parts. I cried for Russell because I feel like he is marrying someone he is always going to have care of. I wonder if I would have taken better care of myself if this could have been avoided. I wonder how I got so lucky by having someone love me as unconditionally as Russell. He is always willing to take care of me even on days when he isn’t feeling well or he’s having an off day. Sometimes I feel like he deserves to be with someone who is healthy and can do everything he wants to do. But I’ve come to realize that’s not life. Life is growing old with someone, taking care of them because you love them, being selfless in a time when you probably deserve to be selfish.
Finding out that I have stage 5 (extensive) endometriosis it felt like my world was falling apart. I felt like I was being kicked in the gut. Each day brings a new struggle. Each day a new emotion arises that I have to face head on. Today I am feeling overly emotional because I want a baby. I want to give Russell a family. I want to feel what it’s like to give birth to a baby. I want to be up all night feeding and changing diapers. But what people don’t understand is that this disease can rip those hopes and dreams away from a woman in a heartbeat. I want to be one the women who can beat this. I wan to be able to say I have “x” amount of children. It may take a while to get there but I have to keep faith that everything is going to work out. My plan for life has already been mapped and I just have to keep following it.
This blog post is much more personal than my previous posts. Most of the time when we think of blogs we think of wedding blogs, photography blogs, latest trend in clothes and hair styles. The purpose of this blog was to let people see what my life on a daily basis, especially now that I get to be Miss Captivating for a year. But there are also going to be times when I talk about how migraines affect my life, the latest detail or fun fact about our upcoming wedding in Hawaii, or just anything that pops in my mind. But this blog is hard. This blog hits home with me.
As many of you know, I have had some health issues for a little while now. At the beginning of December I started having some cramping that was unusual. I had an ultrasound that revealed a cyst that had formed on my ovary. 6 weeks later I was hospitalized with a very bad pain in my abdomen and had to go to the ER. It was there that I found out I had one more cysts on my right ovary. A week later I was hospitalized again and another cyst had grown. Last Wednesday I had surgery to remove my cysts and while my OB/GYN was removing them I had a laparoscopy that revealed I have stage 4 endometriosis. My scar tissue was so bad it had connected to my colon and was probably what was causing so much pain. Stage 4 is the worst stage a woman can have and can have an effect on a woman being able to conceive a baby. My left fallopian tube is not able to function anymore due to the heavy amount of scar tissue that it had. When my OB/GYN told me it’s not impossible but I would have a hard time having a baby I was devastated. I cried to Russell and felt like I was taking something away from him. You see all I have ever wanted was to find the perfect husband and have a family with him. Finding my soulmate has happened because we are getting married October 24 and I can’t even wait! But I want to give him the perfect family.
It’s been a week since we found out what my diagnosis is. A week that I’ve had to think about how this is going to not only affect me but Russell, too. Right now I am committed to resting and healing my body. While I do have moments where I feel like I am failing as a woman because my “parts” aren’t working properly. I know that I am not given a situation I can not handle. I know in my heart and soul that I will bear a child(ren). I am so thankful to my family, friends, pageant and most importantly, Russell for the support during this time. I am resting and laser focused on getting my body ready for a baby. Please continue to think of us during this time as I know this journey isnt’ always going to easy