My Mom Told Me to Stay off Facebook but… — July 25, 2017

My Mom Told Me to Stay off Facebook but…

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

Faith, Hope, Love — July 10, 2017

Faith, Hope, Love

1 John 5:14 He heard her.  And not only that, but in due time, He will answer.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about our journey through infertility. I have all the faith in the world that what is supposed to happen will happen. But I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t want to have a super power to see the future. Having faith in the universe is what keeps me going. The faith my husband puts, not only on me but our marriage and hoping one day things will be okay. This brings me to my next word: Hope. I remember talking with dad about what the progress is and what it means for us. For those not in the inner circle there are a lot things I have to explain because it’s all quite confusing. I had called my dad just needing to talk to him, get his advice. He said something that stayed with me. He said ” The worst thing to have is hope”. Now for most people you’re probably thinking “what in the world?” or “why would he say that?”. I understood immediately what he meant. Russell and I had just had our first IUI at this point and I was in that dreaded two week wait period. That’s when my dad said hope is the worst thing to have because you can get let down so easily. Take for example, about 3 months ago I gave myself the trigger shot to release an egg and we were to try on our own. Once we were waiting for what could happen I was already rearranging the bedrooms and daydreaming of what a nursery would look like. I went and got paint samples to see what would look best in a gender neutral room. I cleared out the office to make room for a baby crib, glider, functional yet usable pieces of furniture, a dresser with changing table and dreamed of the decor for the room, and I didn’t know if a baby had been created or not. Two weeks later we all know what happened… Aunt Flo decided to show up shattering my dreams. The next month was our IUI and the same shattering dreams, pit in the bottom of my stomach feeling came over me. The constant throughout all of this has been love. Love from my husband. Love from my family. Love from my friends. Love from people trying to understand what endometriosis is and askin questions so they understand. Love from some of the best co-workers a girl could ask for. Love has shown me that it can be hard, real hard. It can be stressful, it can be heart breaking. But in those heartbreaking moments I try to find the light. Without the love from everyone I would be lost. For example, I saw a woman who had to be about 8 months pregnant today. I waited on her and her family and I kept catching myself starring at her belly, wondering if I’ll ever get to experience that feeling. The feeling of life growing inside you but also that undeniable connection between a mother and her baby. Will I get to kiss a little newborn baby’s face and watch them grow from little babies all the way up to becoming an adult? I don’t know the answers to those questions. But I continue to have hope. Hope that one day someone will call me ‘mommy’. In the meantime I have to realize things happen when they’re supposed to and that each person’s journey will vary greatly.

As usual, please feel free to prayer, send positive vibes, and hope that one day Baby Young will make an appearance!

Until Next Time

xoxo

Endo Update — June 28, 2017

Endo Update

So I went to see Dr. Karnitis at Kettering Hospital today. It was a routine ultrasound because I’ve been having a lot of pain in my lower back and pelvic area. Like so much so that I cried on Sunday and had to leave an event early. So thankful to say everything looks great. My ovary (or what remains) has several follicles on it, which in and of itself is amazing! My uterus looks great and has a nice thick lining. Basically, Dr. Karnitis says my body is at it’s peak for holding a baby. However, the road to getting there is going to be more difficult than we thought this entire time. So let me give you a little insight as to what has happened. For a while I wanted to stay private and go through this with my husband and family but then that became a lot and I just started not talking about our journey. BUT, I need an outlet and I feel like this is a really good outlet for me.

When Russell and I first met Dr. Karnitis, we were going over my previous surgery notes. Again, he was so shocked that I’d had that much surgery in such a short amount of time. Then he started talking about my AMH levels. I’d never heard of that and I’m assuming you haven’t either. AMH is a hormone that your body, more specifically for a woman it’s in her ovaries. Your AMH level is going to tell a doctor at what percentage you are able to conceive. What I didn’t realize is my AMH level is at a 0.1. This means my reproductive system functions at the level of a woman who is 42 or older. For a woman my age my AMH should be 1.1-3.2. So this means I have less than a 5% chance of conceiving on my own.  This part of the blog is important for what I’m leading into.

Today, I wanted to talk about surgery #5. When it would happen, if it would happen. Dr. Karnitis and I are on different pages with what is best but I am going to go his route first. (He is very insistent that we are doing no more surgery but we may have to resort to that) We have decided to go with pain medication to help me be more comfortable. I can’t tell you all how hard the last few weeks have been. I can’t function. I can barely function at work but have to pretend I can do things because my bosses have been more than understanding throughout this entire process. We have also decided that I am going to do 3 months of Lupron to quiet my system so the inflammation won’t cause as much pain. The down side is the amount of hot flashes but if the medication works then I’ll take hot flashes over unbearable pain any day.  Also, it is his belief that my tube is officially non-functioning. He says with the IUI we attempted last month and the fertility meds we’ve tried I should have been able to conceive but if my tube isn’t working that explains alot. Which means there’s only one way to have a baby…. IVF. If/When we go down this road we have already decided to freeze some embryos that way we know we’ll be able to have more than one child. It won’t be easy and it will be expensive but I won’t give up.

So here’s what I need from my friends and family. I need you to pray, send positive vibes, whatever it is you do to the universe or the deity in which you believe. I need this Lupron shot more than ever and IF insurance does not cover it I will continue to be in pain. By the way EVERYONE needs to write their Senator about this healthcare bill because women like me will loose their insurance because I have several pre-existing conditions. Anyway, if we have to pay out of pocket for Lupron (which would be a 3 month dosage) it would be $4,030.99. Yes, you read that right. Over $4,000…which if I haven’t mentioned I don’t have. So we have some decisions to make. I am hoping my insurance company will pay for this medication, I can be comfortable and we can make a serious plan of action. I know two women who have been in my shoes and I read the blogs and follow other infertile women on social media. They give me hope. They make me cry along with them. I know their struggle. I feel their yearning to become a mother. Just last night I was in so much pain I was crying and telling Russell it isn’t fair that he has a partner who can’t conceive a baby. A partner who is a failure. I feel guilt. I feel lost. He has never waivered when it comes to our journey. He says he wouldn’t choose anyone else to be his wife and that no matter what we have each other.  His reassurance gives me peace of mind and lets me know I just need to take things one day at a time.

Well there’s your endo update! There are  few blogs I didn’t share on social media so if you want to check those out they are down below!!

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

When are you going to have a baby? — June 20, 2017

When are you going to have a baby?

Sadly, I was asked this question by a person I do not know well. This person knows my husband and I know there was no ill intent in the question. I know for a lot of newlyweds the go to question (after the hundreds you get about your wedding day) is “When are you going to have a baby?”. This question haunts me. At the specific moment the question was asked my heart broke into a thousand pieces. You just never realize what moments are going to make you sad, cry or scream with frustration. This was one of those moments when I had to swallow my tears and just say “eventually”.

I’m going to be so blatantly honest right now. I thought I was going to shut down my blog. This is when I went through the IUI process (more on that in a bit). I had a lot of mixed emotions during that time. I am so grateful for the people who are always commenting and saying their entire perspective has changed about what this disease is and how it can truly affect you. I just thought it would be too hard to keep going with updates. I even had to tell my family I couldn’t update them anymore about where we are in our process because again, the questions were extremely overwhelming. I told each of my family members that I love them dearly but my emotional and mental state can not handle disappointing them, but myself too. This decision came right after our IUI last month. Obviously it failed because I am not pregnant. For those that don’t know an IUI is a term short for Intrauterine Insemination. The doctor take the catheter and puts it up as far as he can into the uterus hoping an egg will release, a sperm will attach to create a baby. So basically you go in like you are going to have your annual papp smear. They said I could resume normal activity that day because it’s basically just like having sex only there is some science involved. Side note** We did find out that my husband is performing well in all areas so our infertility issues are all on me! I was SO RELIEVED when they told me he is like Superman!!** A few days after the IUI I ended up cramping and that’s never a good sign after a procedure like that. After that I went home and rested and was no in the dreaded two week wait (tww) before we could take a pregnancy test. We had a bit of a scare because the cramping wasn’t going away and I had a few symptoms of an infection so they rushed me to the hospital because they feared they were going to have to take out my entire right side which would mean no children. Thankfully all the tests came back negative and the ultrasounds looked good. Then we waited a few more days and our doctor wanted us to test early because he thought there was a good chance we would be pregnant. I can’t really express how nervous I was. I bought a test and waited until the next day. The test was negative. I cried. Russell was bummed. And we just kinda vegged out all day in a trance like state. We discussed what we both want for the future and what choices we would need to make for the following month (this month). I developed a pretty large cyst so we are not on any type of fertility medication this month but we are hoping to get back on track next month. This month we received permission to try on our own because you simply never know what could happen.

Here’s the thing. I wasn’t going to share that I’d had an IUI. 1. Russell isn’t as fond of sharing our story as I am. He is a very private person and I try very hard with this blog to keep his feelings and opinions as a priority. 2. I am still dealing with effects of the IUI, emotionally speaking. Personally, I am not sure how much more I will be sharing. I am not sure when my next blog will be. All I can say is the women who are trying to conceive (ttc) and have given me advice and words of encouragement, thank you. Your words help keep me fighting. Russell and I have a game plan of what we are going to do each month until the end of the year. I’m going to be honest it’s been hard to remain positive during this time. I wish I were able to be that half glass full kind of a girl but there’s the part of me that’s realistic. This journey is hard. This journey is exhausting. This journey will test a couple in a way they never thought possible. Please continue to pray, send positive thoughts, speak to the universe or whatever is most comfortable to you. We truly appreciate all the good energy we are sent on a daily basis.

Here’s to continuing the fight towards Baby Young’s arrival.

Until Next Time

xoxo

Through the looking glass… — May 27, 2017

Through the looking glass…

Have you seen the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass? Ya, I haven’t either. LOL But what I can gather from the title of the film is that Alice is going back to Wonderland to help the Mad Hatter. “Through the Looking Glass”, to me, is portrayed as looking at things or people from your own eyes. Have you ever just looked at someone and caught them at a very raw and vulnerable moment? To me, that is a through the looking glass moment (Now I could be totally wrong on how I’m using this phrase so please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). This very thing just happened before going to sleep. I was going back into the living room to write and forgot I left the surface in our bedroom. I was being really quiet and I went in our bedroom to retrieve the surface but I see Russell eyes close, fingers laced together, praying. I can’t tell you what he’s praying for because he wasn’t saying anything out loud. But what I can tell you is I know he prays for me. He prays for our marriage, for our friendship, for our life together, for us to continually be as happy as we can be. For a baby. I know he prays for me to have peace because he knows there are plenty of times when I want to cave and just cry. There are moments when I’ve told him I don’t know how much more I can take. But looking at him in that moment was all the strength I need to keep pushing forward. Seeing him sending out positive vibes into the universe and praying for us to have our miracle baby, makes my heart so full. Knowing that this man is asking, begging, pleading for this month to be different gives me hope. He gives me the drive I need to keep going because there are so many days when emotionally I am not okay. I can’t tell you enough how much having him by my side has put many difficult and unexpected moments into perspective. The times when I’d ask “why?” or “when is it going to be our time?” or ” am I worthy enough to be a mother?” or ” am I being punished for something I’ve done?”. These questions are hard for anyone to answer let alone your spouse. The fear. The doubt that creeps in. All the negative emotions and thoughts that creep in every now and then are why I need him by my side. Seeing him take the time out of his day, even just for a moment to pray for us…. there are no words to describe that sight and feeling.

Going through infertility changes a woman…I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll keep saying that infertility changes everything about you. Infertility changes the way a woman looks at another with children, it can change the dynamic of a relationship, it can ruin friendships. Infertility has so many dark moments that seeing moments like Russell praying brings light into a very dark room. If there is one thing infertility has done it has brought us closer together. I feel like Russell and I are stronger and more connected than ever. I am glad I had this through the looking glass moment of watching him pray.

Keep stopping by for more updates on whats to come on your journey towards Baby Y!

Until Next Time

xoxo

Misconceptions about being Infertile — May 23, 2017

Misconceptions about being Infertile

There are many misconceptions about having infertility that I am not quite sure people are aware of. I’ll be going through some of them because they have affected me in more ways than one. Here goes my list of misconceptions.

  1. All people with infertility will be resentful of those who are able to get pregnant. This isn’t true…not fully anyway. When I was first diagnosed (and everyone knew this) it was very hard for me to process what I couldn’t have. I basically had tunnel vision and was only focusing on myself and a year and half later I realize that wasn’t the right thing to do. However, I learned a lot from last year. One major lesson was that I could be happy for my family and friends that are pregnant because I know that’s where they are at this time in their lives. They are getting married and planning on expanding their families. I am not upset or angry but actually the opposite. I am extremely happy for all my friends and family who have been able to get pregnant and have babies. Shout out to my sister who is pregnant with her first child! I am very excited for her because I know this is something she’s wanted for quite a while! I am very happy to love on this sweet new addition to our family and become an aunt again!!!
  2. I have a HUGE support system when in reality I have a handful of people who truly care. This isn’t a post to shame people but to be honest. There are very few people who’ve reached out to find out what’s going on. This journey has been very tough and unless your my husband, my mom, my dad or someone super close to me, you probably don’t know every single detail. This is because when something like this happens a lot of people don’t know what endometriosis is and can’t understand why plans are cancelled or why I’m just not feeling up to getting out for coffee or lunch. It’s not your fault, I just need lots of rest in order to feel like I can function. Plus, flare up’s from endometriosis are no joke. They last for any length of time and unless you have a serious game plan of how to get rid of them, you just have to wait it out. Shout out to my friends and family who have been my side, come to visit me in the hospital, and called or texted to check up on me. You all are the people I know I will have by my side for a long time to come.
  3. I’m not always sad. There are days that I have that are discouraging or not exactly the result I was hoping for but I pick myself back up and keep going. I know I’ve said something similar in a previous post but I allow myself time to mourn or wallow in pity. I do this because if I don’t my emotions will build up leading to a disaster. Sometimes I feel like when we go two steps forward we go one step back. I knew that going into this that it wouldn’t be easy. I knew this would be all consuming and that’s something I am still trying to manage. Don’t get me wrong there are still some days when I just want to lay in bed and wonder what the future is going to bring but I won’t do that. I pick myself up, get ready for the day and remain hopeful of what the universe has in store for us.
  4. I think this is the biggest misconception and annoyance for anyone going through infertility issues. “How to get pregnant advice”. This could not be more frustrating for me. I have people say “you need to just get drunk one night and do it…that’s how people get pregnant, you’re putting too much pressure on yourselves. But I don’t know much about what you’re situation is so that’s just my advice.” First of all, this is not only offensive but unnecessary. Do you honestly think if it were that easy I’d be going to reproductive endocronologist who has an extensive background in helping couples with fertility issues get pregnant? No, I wouldn’t. I am seeing this doctor because I have a disease that prevents women like myself from getting pregnant. It would be so easy for me to brush it off and act like that’s what I want to hear because that person thinks they’re being helpful but in reality they’re just making things worse. Telling me to relax and not stress is much easier said than done. When you have to seek these opinions of professionals because you don’t have any other options there is going to stress involved. I just think people should keep their how-to-get-pregnant-advice to themselves because they have no idea how much hurt they can cause a woman with infertility; especially if the “advice” was unsolicited.

That’s just my late night brain dump. I am always writing about random topics… mostly that tie into what’s going on in our world with fighting this disease. Please continue to send positive vibes and thoughts our way as we are getting closer and closer to one day bringing baby Young into the world.

xoxo

Plans That Do Not Go According to Plan — May 19, 2017

Plans That Do Not Go According to Plan

Do you ever just map out how your life or something really important in your life is going to go and then get really disappointed when things just don’t work out? Well that’s me; sting here at 1am with some very intense pain in my lower back and lower abdomen. I can never sleep so why not write a bit and try to calm down a bit to see if I can sleep? At least its thunderstorming so I can listen to that and be in peace.

Over the last year and half I’ve had plans of how everything was going to go. After surgery one in February 2016 I had a goal that I was going to get healthy and the endometriosis wouldn’t grow back (had I known then what I know now I would have just discarded all my plans). But as we all know March comes and so does surgery number 2. After March I decided I wasn’t going to focus on the negative and see how this “experience” would help me grow emotionally, mentally and physically. Well that didn’t work because I became very bitter and angry. Angry at the universe for giving me a disease that has no cure, no medication to control it and no way of knowing how bad it really its or how much of it has grown back without surgery. I cut myself off from my friends and even my family because all I wanted to do was be alone. I wanted to sit and think and really open my soul up to the universe and just try to figure out how to get out of the rut I was in. So I focused on our wedding, which was the best distraction I could have asked for. Planning our wedding was the most fun I’ve ever had! When August rolled around I had so much going on, I was finishing my year at Miss Captivating, in the final 8 weeks until we got married and then surgery 3 was scheduled unexpectedly. By this point I’d gained 25 pounds and just didn’t feel like myself. I had given up on looking good for the pageant because at that point there was no hiding the weight gain but I wanted to be present for that event and kind of shut my brain off that weekend. After surgery 3 we were in the clear (or so I thought). The final stages of putting our wedding together were going perfectly. Everything had been done and there were just a few last minute things to get for our reception. And the rest of the year went so well. We had consulted with my OB/GYN but for 3 months nothing. As newlyweds I knew that trying wasn’t going to be easy. Then out of nowhere surgery 4. The big one. The one that for me was the hardest. I think my body was in so much shock from the previous surgeries that it really had no recovery time; in 12 months I’d had 4 surgeries. In January I got really discouraged and we kept trying until this spring when we went to see Dr. K. at KHN. Ever since we’ve been going through this regimen and I’m hoping it works.

Last month was a true example of how things didn’t go according to plan. Last month I had my first round of Clomid, followed by a trigger shot and timed intercourse. And let me tell you that’s really awkward to hand your husband a schedule and say these are the days we need to try for a baby. We did exactly what the doctor and the morning I took a test I couldn’t look at it. I peed on the stick like you always do and then put it in the box. When Russell and I looked at the results, which was a negative, I broke. I never knew I wanted something so badly until that moment. At that moment I went back to bed and just cried. I realized then that this entire process is about not having anything go according to plan. I have to give up all my expectations because if I don’t I will continually be let down. This entire time I’ve had a plan but at some point I have to give everything I have to the universe and say ” Okay. I give my everything to you. You will bless us with a baby when you feel the time is right.” I ask the Goddess of Fertility for her help because I know she is looking over us.

Throughout this process I’ve had to learn how to love and let go. Let go of the baggage I’ve been carrying around. Let go of the negativity. Let go of this idea that having a baby later in life is a bad thing. Let go of the judgments I’ve placed upon myself. Let go of the what if’s. There are so many things that don’t go accordingly to plan but if having a baby means not sticking to any agenda, I’ll take it. We’re patiently waiting for our sweet bun to come to us. Until then, I’ll just keep writing and hoping we are making progress.

xoxo