Our Only Hope — October 14, 2017

Our Only Hope

This blog is a little deeper than I usually go. I’ve been talking with our doctor about the possibility of going back on Femara with the trigger shot next month because I’m finishing up my last few weeks on Lupron (Hallelujah!). We’ve been playing phone tag because this past week has been insane. Today I noticed the voicemail was a little longer than usual. I thought it was going to be good news when in reality it was crushing. They have come to the determination that no treatment other than IVF will allow us to get pregnant. Not one. Not a trigger shot. Not fertility meds combined with a trigger shot. Not even another IUI. Listening to this was crushing for several reasons. This means my clock is literally ticking. Ya know, like when you hear people say their biological clock is ticking and mine is. I am also hurt because I had to tell my husband. I called him right after I listened to the voicemail and told him I was sorry. I am sorry for not being whole. For not being able to do what my body is supposed to. And I know I keep repeating this statement but it’s true. I feel guilt. And every woman with endometriosis knows that their story will be a little different. Mine have always said I would have a harder journey because I only have one ovary and one tube. At this point in our journey I have become more realistic. I know with the amount of damage my body has gone through, four surgeries, my uterus being fused with my colon and the amount of pain I’m in now, they are right. I can try as much as I can but IUI’s are going to be a waste of money. For the time being we’ll get ovulation kits and see what happens on our own. They say I need to rest and keep thinking positive. But some days it’s hard; real hard. Like so hard I don’t want to get out of bed. I just want to lay there and shut the world out. As much as I know there are people there for me, I am alone. There are so many women who can try to relate but they have children. They have been able to feel what it’s like to grow a miracle inside of them. I want that, just once. IVF is coming. However, it won’t be until after the holidays. I know it’s not going to be easy and so far I’ve conquered each obstacle that we’ve been faced with. I know that IVF is going to take a lot of patience, time, money, faith and I’m sure I’ll shed plenty of tears.

I’m not asking for your prayers or pity. I just want you to hug your children closer and tell them you love them a little more often. Because there are women like me who would literally give anything to just feel the love and bond it feels to be a parent.

Until Next Time

xoxo

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That moment you realize no one believes you or your disease — October 1, 2017

That moment you realize no one believes you or your disease

I came to the realization that there are doctors, more specifically those who don’t fully understand what endometriosis is, and therefore think I’m faking my pain. It all started last Saturday at Kettering. I was in the ER for excruciating back and pelvic pain. I get back to a room where I wasn’t given an IV or anything. After a few minutes a lovely young lady walks in. I see she has a notepad and is in scrubs. So basically she’s a student learning for this shift. She sat down and asked the usual questions : why are you here? where is your pain? what has caused this pain? can you explain in more detail what endometriosis is? have you had surgery in the past? Tell me more about your surgeries. And this goes on and on and on and on because so many nurses have never heard of the term endometriosis before they encountered me. After sitting the room for over an hour, I’ve asked for water because I’m getting quite parched, they ask me to do a pee test. Now if I hadn’t seen what I did when I walked in maybe I wouldn’t be second guessing the reasoning  behind it all. And when the nurse came back into the room and said my sample was fine they just wanted me to make sure there wasn’t anything in my system. After that it was like here’s an anti-nausea pill and a shot of morphine and you get to go home now.

Here’s why I’m complaining. When a doctor can’t “see” pain it can be very hard to diagnose. But I feel like a lot of the time when things get too hard or their priorities shift they’re just like this girl needs to go there is nothing we can do for her. So now we are back at square one. I have an OBGYN appointment tuesday. As you can tell its 3am. I’m in more pain than you can imagine and the pain in my lower back is starting to spasm.

Until we have a day where information about endometriosis comes out and there is a cure or even a way to detect it, this is how endometriosis will continually be treated.

Until Next Time

xoxo

Infertility Grants — September 9, 2017

Infertility Grants

This week we’ll be talking about grant and funding options for infertility. I’m sure this is not something that one wants to read at 1am but I have so much on my mind that I have to write.

For instance, I’m wondering how this is going to get paid for. Like most couples going through this (unless you are rich) the money can be hard to save. Not only do you have your monthly bills to pay for but you also have to save for this HUGE expense. And don’t get me wrong I’m not saying paying for a baby isn’t worth every single penny we have spent and are spending, it’s just well… hard. I don’t want to put the exact amount out there but if you do the research you’ll come to find out IVF is the cost of some pretty nice cars, a down payment on a house, or lots of money in your savings account.

Another thought: what if we can’t come up with the money and we can’t receive treatment? This is hard. I will keep saying this is hard because it is. With how advanced my condition is we don’t have more than 2 years or so to have our babies. That means by the time I hit 30 I’ll most likely have to have a hysterectomy so the endometriosis can’t continue to grow. I think it’s important to go through IVF because I can’t have children naturally. I’ve gone through my story and won’t go through it again but when you have had one tube removed and one that is non-functioning it makes things more difficult.

One more thought: Holy shit there are grants! I had no idea there were fertility grants available for those going through infertility. I still have research to do about the organizations, what criteria they are looking for and what types of couples these organizations sponsor but I’d love to give every option a thought. From the little research I’ve done there are two grant options available that we can apply for. The other three or four have very specific listings like you have to live in a specific state or be of a specific religion. The two I plan on applying for are the Baby Quest Foundation’s grant and the Tininia Q Cade Foundation grant. Baby Quest helps up to $16,000 and Tininia Q. Cade foundation will help up to $10,000 per family. I know it’s probably a shot in the dark and we may not even receive help but I have to try.

Throughout this process we said we would do whatever it takes. If I have to sit down for a few hours and relive my college days of writing essays on why we should be chosen to receive a grant that’s what I’ll do. If I have to sell toothpaste until I’ve asked every single person I know if they’ll buy some I will. I am telling you the yearning I have to becoming a mother is a feeling I’ve never felt. There’s a passion that I can’t explain. I’m also scared. Scared that something will go wrong and my dreams will shatter. I’m afraid I’ll never get to hold my baby, someone I’m already in love with and they haven’t been created or held or kissed yet. I’m afraid I won’t hold little fingers moments after birth. And I’m most of afraid of letting myself down. Because the only thing I’ve ever wanted was to be a mother.

Until Next Time

xoxo

 

Hello Friends! — August 25, 2017

Hello Friends!

It’s been SUCH a long time! So much has happened, yet time seems to stand still some days. I’m at a point in my journey where the pain is now chronic. If I don’t have a heating pad, ice pack or a comfortable place to sit I am very much in pain. Pain so much that it starts in my lower back and radiates up to my shoulders. I cramp randomly and I never know when they’ll happen. I don’t sleep because of the Lupron and am now seeking the help of a physical therapist.

For those that don’t know Depo-Lupron is a shot that stops a woman from having a period. I had it last year but don’t remember much of it because it was only one month doses. This time I got the 3 month dose. Lupron will force your reproductive system into menopause. You know all those times when your mom says “Is anybody else hot in here?” and you think okay you’re a little nuts… that has turned into me multiple times a day. I have hot flashes so bad it gets hard to breathe and I start sweating. There is nothing anyone can do I am supposed to be hitting a window where they will plateau. I’m hoping those moments are coming soon because I don’t want to relive this again 20-25 years. After this we’ll go through the IVF process. I am ready right now to start the process. I would start tomorrow if it were possible, however, we all know that unless you’re famous or just have a very well paying job, it takes time to save up the money for IVF. As I’ve stated before we have agreed to do whatever it takes to do this. I don’t think either of us have wanted something more in our lives.

I’m going through physical therapy because I can’t keep taking medications to help with the back pain. I am seeing a woman named Ellen and she is amazing! She knows about scar tissue and the damage it can cause to your organs. She explained to me that my lower abdominal muscles were extremely weak. She said my intestines were stuck in places it shouldn’t be and my pelvis is tilted all the way to my tailbone (ouch!). I have 30 sessions with her and she is hopeful we’ll be able to get my body in a better place. This will not only allow me to start working out again but it will be a better vessel to carry a baby(ies). Ellen knows about endometriosis and it’s effects on the female body. She has also an adoptive daughter. For me I really need to be able to connect to the staff at my doctor’s offices. At the IVF office I know one of the nurses and all the other women are so incredibly invested in us getting pregnant that I feel like I’ve connected with them. The staff Kettering Hospital is always great when I go there if I’m having a real bad flair up. And now Ellen. She was telling me about her journey through adoption and that it wasn’t easy but she now has this beautiful daughter whom she is very thankful for. I can already tell we’ll be laughing and healing at the same time!

Well, I think that’s all I have for now. I’m going to try to get some sleep but it looks nearly impossible at this point 😉 I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead of them and a GREAT National Fantasy Football Day on Saturday!

 

Until Next Time,

xoxo

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

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