babies, black, blogger, breaking news, dreams, endometriosis, failure, illness, infertility, IUI, IVF, Kids, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, women, women's issues

Strong? I don’t think so…

I wrote yesterday about getting Lupron….again….for the fourth time. Each time is worse than the last I feel like. I just feel like my back is breaking and I can’t do anything about it. Nothing makes it go away; it’s just there constant. But today’s topic is something I’ve often heard during this process, that I am strong. I was talking to one of my best friends and she said “I don’t know how you can be so strong during all of this. You amaze me.” The truth is I have to be. I don’t have time to be sad anymore, at least not right now. I have to stay positive and hopeful that this will work. Let me tell you hearing that my AMG level was 0.01%, which means my body doesn’t produce eggs and to be given a 5% chance of conceiving was devastating. I cried and cried and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when all the surgeries and shots began. At this point I am so used to go to get this shot I wonder how much worse this can get. I wonder how I’ll feel differently. But today I was called strong. Strong because as a woman in her 20’s I’m supposed to be at the peak of my life. I’m supposed to be doing things that are my bucket list and traveling the world. Instead I’m spending every extra penny I can find on fertility treatment. Anyone who know’s me knows I have always wanted children. I always wanted to hold my baby in my arms. It’s just been a natural feeling for me. But the day Dr. Karnitis said we had a 5% chance my world was shatter. I’ve spent days crying and being angry because I want so badly to know why I have this? To this day I still don’t know why. I don’t know why I had to be one in ten with endometriosis and one in eight with infertility. There’s also another part to being strong I don’t share. I choose to cry alone. I don’t cry in front of the doctors or Russell anymore. I choose not to cry in front of him because he already worries so much about how I’m feeling and how I’m going to get through the day. The last thing I need is to bring more stress to a situation we can’t fix right now. That’s just my choice. That doesn’t mean that we don’t talk about what I’m feeling but I hold back those tears. I’ll let them out when I feel I can. But I don’t think of that action or any action of being strong. I try to remain in a place that I feel okay. I’m not at peace and I don’t think I feel peace until we successfully complete IVF. I’m giving this all we have and I hope this works. I hope that we can be successful on our first try but going through IVF is a huge risk and gamble.

Again, thank you for all your support during this time. It means so much to me and it also means the world of me to hear you all think I’m strong because there are so many days when I am less than that.

Until Next Time

xoxo

Advertisements
abortion, babies, beauty, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, breaking news, Dayton, depression, dreams, endometriosis, failure, growing, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, Poverty, PUPO, racial issues, reproductive health, sad, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, voting, white, wife, women, women's issues

Desperate Times Call for Faith, Hope and Trust

Have you heard of Abraham and Sarah? Did you know they were the first couple documented in history to have fertility problems? I have been doing a lot of research on their story because I want to understand how they were able to have their miracle baby Isaac. Sarah was promised by God that she would give birth, but he never told her how long it would take her. Their journey would take them through years of heartache and trying to hold onto as much faith as they could. During their marriage Sarah realized she may not be able to ever bear a child and wanted her husband to have an heir, so she told their slave Hagar to sleep with Abraham. Hagar had Ishmael and things didn’t get any better. The relationship between Hagar and Sarah became so strained Hagar ran away. During this time Sarah lost all trust in God, she lost her faith, disbelief, doubt and fear all crept in during this time. But the amazing thing is, God waited for her to come back to Him. She was ready to try again. The following year Sarah returned to God and restored her faith, she bore a son named Isaac. Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90 when she gave birth and the heir to their family.

I take so much away from this story. Even though I’m not entirely religious, I still believe there are many lessons to be learned in this story. Faith is everything. As long as you have faith anything is possible. Talk to yourself negatively is going to diminish your faith. Perseverance is another lesson I take away from this story. Sarah is strong and she persevered through some of the toughest moments any person would have to go through. And finally, trust. Trust is an important factor in this story because without trust she would not have been able to stick with God’s word. He said they were going to bear a child and he would become their heir. They didn’t know when but God knew their plan.

When you are in the middle of struggling with infertility I can tell you first hand it is very easy to lose faith in everything. It is hard to have patience because you see a woman leaving the office with a huge smile on her face because she’s a little farther in her journey that I am.  Jealousy takes over because you wonder women and men take parenting for granted. I just don’t think they’ll ever be able to comprehend why women are so desperate to have a child. When I’m having a bad day, or can’t a hold of anyone I think back to their story. I think about how Russell is older than I am just like Abraham is older than Sarah. I think about how they have waited for the right person to have a child. I think of the sacrifices Sarah was willing to make in order to please her husband. I also think about Sarah’s unwavering faith in God. During a time like this it is so hard to not have faith. It’s hard to think that you were forgotten and your path isn’t clear because He doesn’t know what to do with it. However, I remember Sarah was 90. I hope I’m not that old when I have children because that’s just a bit too old for me. But I also realize I used to have dreams of becoming a young mother. Not like teenage young but just early twenties young. I wanted a large family, 5 maybe 6 kids. Plus the dogs running around. I wanted that picture perfect family. I know one day I’ll be blessed with a baby(ies) and I can’t wait for that day to come. Instead, my brain won’t shut off at 3am and here I am pouring my heart out again. The one thing I do know is we are in this season of life for a reason. We are going to get through this because we have each other.

I am still asking everyone to keep their fingers crossed for our grant! I’m not sure when they’ll notify the candidates but I sure hope we are chosen!

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

 

Website I was able to locate information about Sarah and Abraham’s infertility story: http://in-due-time.com/faith/sarahs-infertility/

babies, beauty, best friend, blogger, breaking news, Dayton, depression, dreams, endometriosis, failure, growing, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, racial issues, reproductive health, sad, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, wife, women, women's issues

Lost in Translation

Do you ever have moments in life where you ask yourself how you got there? Then you start to think about all the major or important events in your life that lead you to where you are today? That’s me. At 8am I can’t sleep because my knee is killing me so I thought I’d share how I’ve been feeling lately. I feel like I haven’t been blogging as much and I need to. I know so many people don’t read this or may not even have an interest in what I have to say. But writing it my outlet, it has been since I was a child with endless amounts of journals I would write in before bed. There is something about writing that allows me to clear my head and gives me time to just decompress.

I also mentioned in my previous post that I sent off our Baby Quest IVF grant. That moment was so emotional for me. It’s all becoming so real and happening so quickly but at the same time some moments seem to take forever. I am learning that I need to have more patience with this process. I’m also realizing how lost I feel. I’m the kind of person who needs a support system around them. I have my amazing husband but I hate to stress him out over how I’m feeling. He is my confidant and he is my shoulder to lean on. I think over the last few years I backed away from people so much that my friendships started to fall by the wayside. It’s partially my fault because this disease can take hold of you one day and become so relentless that you can’t function. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cancel a lunch or coffee date. I try each day to push through but I still feel like I’m coming up short. I feel like no matter how hard I try it’s not good enough; I’m not good enough. I’m also not sure if you all know this but I try to sage our home at least once a week, putting my crystals in my hand and wafting the sage all over the house. Every door is open. The rose quartz crystals and a very special healing crystal are all around my house. I need to order more for peace and tranquility. As a matter of fact, I have crystals in my bedroom to make sure the space is cleansed of all negative energy. I’d also like to become more involved in Reiki. I think the spiritual journey of practicing Reiki would be very beneficial for me. Then there is one extremely important piece I have, the symbol of fertility and motherhood. When I’m putting sage throughout my house I make sure to always hold her with several pieces of rose quartz and say my own little prayers. It’s my way of sending positive energy back into the universe. But lately I’ve felt so lost. I feel lost for a number of reasons. The last few years have been tough in general with finding out the endo and all the surgeries that came along with it. The physical, mental and emotional toll it has taken on me is significant. And the weight gain. No one tells you how much weight you gain throughout this process and it’s very discouraging. I don’t look like myself. I don’t feel like myself. I have no confidence in myself because I’ve become lost in this disease. Somewhere along the way I allowed endometriosis to define me. One day my life was normal and the next it wasn’t. I still feel like no one truly understands how lonely I feel. When I go to pick up my phone to call someone to just talk no one answers and I’m left to deal with my thoughts, feelings and emotions alone. Ya know, it’s really tough to have an incurable disease that is also categorized as an invisible illness (an illness you cannot see). Somehow, someway I let this disease take over my life. It dictates when I do things and when I need to just to stop and take a few minutes because at times it becomes too much for me to handle. During this time I’ve become lost. I’m trying to find the person I once was and see how I can get back to being genuinely confident in my own skin. I want to feel noticed. I want to feel understood when I talk about what I have instead of being judged. I want to feel like I can conquer anything my mind will allow. However, there is something in the back of my mind that continuously goes to negative self talk. This is not healthy and I one hundred percent acknowledge that. I also understand that the universe does not give us more than we can handle and each person’s path to success is different. I’m still going through the stages of grief with this disease because it’s still hard to see brand new babies, hold them, touch their sweet faces and hear that sweet cry when they want to be held or nursed. When situations like this happen it makes me more sad and feel even more lost. Going through this has change my perspective in so many ways and has even changed my outlook on life. Before this disease I was having fun with friends, competing in pageants, meeting women from all walks of life that were nothing short of amazing. They are encouraging and push me to keep going forward. I’m so grateful for them and know they were meant to be on my life path.

If there are any books you’d recommend for me to read I feel like that would be very helpful. I’ve been dealing with this disease about 17 years. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I still have moments when I cry and ask the universe why I was chosen, why 1 out of 10 women suffer from this awful disease. I hate that other women feel this way too. My entire purpose seems to be lost in translation and I’m not quite sure how to get back on track.

Thank you to those of you who stick with me, read my blogs and send sweet words of encouragement.

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

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

Fingers, Toes and Everything Else Crossed

Have you heard of Baby Quest? Or FertilityIQ? I hadn’t until I started the process to applying for grants to expand our family. Today I sent out our Baby Quest application. It consisted of 12 pages, lots of numbers, information from my doctor which had to be rushed because I waited to the literal last second to send this out (typical me), and pictures of Russell and I; which were surprisingly hard to decide on. I mean, how does a couple decide on just TWO pictures to send to complete strangers? I was like well this is my reasoning for choosing these photos what do you think? And my poor husband just looked at me in confusion like “okay…I think that’s good?”. Then there was the typical information about my condition and what steps were necessary for us to have a family. Finally, there was our story. This was hard for me to write. I wrote it because let’s be honest, I am so type A that I wouldn’t let anyone but myself write about our personal story. I couldn’t even tell you who is on this panel or how they choose a couple but they want to know all about your family, your hobbies, just basically everything about the two of you as a couple. I started off sharing about Russell’s family, since ya know age before beauty right?? LOL just kidding but I really did start with Russell’s family. Then I went on to mine. I included everyone, including our nieces and nephews. Then I talked about us. And the one thing I wanted to touch on in this blog is selflessness. As we all know my husband is eleven (and a half but he hates when I say that) years older than I am. He doesn’t have children, except our dogs and would love to be a father. I know this because when we first met he told me his dream was to become a parent at a young age. He admired his parents and all they did for him and his siblings growing up and that’s the life he wanted. But destiny had a different path for him. He ended up meeting me when he was 28 and I was 17. We obviously didn’t start dating for almost a year and have been together ever since. I’ve even had the pleasure of pulling off one hell of a surprise 40th birthday party in January. But we are talking about a man who has loved on his nieces and nephews as if they were his own. Our one niece Kaliegh gets so excited to see him that every time she does she yells, “Hi Uncle Rusty!!” in that sweet, innocent voice only a little girl has. He loves those kids with every fiber of his being. I couldn’t help but feel hope for the first time in a while as I dropped that packet in the mail today. For the first time I thought maybe we have a chance at watching a little human grow; hear them speak their first words, watch them take their first steps. And in that moment at the post office I realized just how selfless my husband was all through his twenties. He could have just had a child because he really wanted to be a father. But what he was waiting for was a family. He was waiting for the person who could fulfill those dreams. That person happened to be me but little did we know I would be broken, both metaphorically and realistically. The irony of his selflessness is that he waited for a person who can’t bear children, not naturally anyway. He waited all this time, had all these life experiences only to marry someone who can’t give him the one thing in life he’s always wanted, a family. As I sit here in the quiet I am overcome with emotion because his selflessness is one of the many reasons I have hope. Hope that the people on this panel will read our story and see our pictures (which we chose a picture from our wedding and a picture from the first Michigan game I ever went to) and understand why we want this grant. I will not say that we are more deserving over another couple because we aren’t. We are just two people who love each other very much and want to share that love with a child of our own.

We hope you keep your fingers crossed with us as we wait to get the news of whether or not we are chosen for this grant.

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

babies, best friend, black, blogger, breaking news, Dayton, dreams, endometriosis, failure, fashionista, growing, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, racial issues, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, white, wife, women, women's issues

A Path to Nowhere

I just have to vent. If I don’t I may lose my mind. I wrote last month that the decision had been made for me to go back on another round of Lupron-Depo, aka, the Devil’s Juice. I called the clinic to make sure everything was ready to go and the documents could be faxed to CVS Pharmacy since that’s the pharmacy my insurance covers. Totally fine..everything was going according to my plan and then it just stopped. The doctor’s office was getting the run around from CVS and I was getting the run around from CVS. It took six weeks of frustrating phone calls, documents being faxed to the WRONG PLACE (this error was on CVS end for giving my doctor’s office the wrong number). So I’ve waited and waited and waited and waited and waited to hear back something. Finally, today after getting a call back from one of the nurses she said to call CVS and see what’s going on. Apparently the Lupron has been ready since last week. Add that to growing list of frustrations. So it looks like I’ll get the shot on Wednesday. So here’s why I’m mad.

I was supposed to get this shot at the beginning of February…. six weeks ago. This is going to push out our timeline SIX WEEKS!!! If anyone knows me knows I have a type A personality. If someone tells me a projected time frame that is what we go with, there is no changing it and whatever obstacles come we get through them. However, this obstacle doesn’t have enough time. Now I don’t know what we are looking at. If I had to guess we’d beginning everything in July and go from there. It’s too late to me because I had this idea but as I am learning I am not in control here. I am at the mercy of time. Part of me is getting very tired and frustrated because this doesn’t just affect me, it affects Russell too. I just feel like I’m continuously failing him, us. I’m just so mentally exhausted by it all sometimes. Then I think of hard this journey is about to get. I mean think about it. Lupron turns me into a heat flashing, cry on the spot, irritated and menopausal person. She is no fun to be around. Then we go right into all the drugs. Birth control for one week, another Lupron for a week, and then the shots go in there somewhere. So at this point my body is really prepping itself to hold a baby(ies). Then the transfer and fingers crossed we are able to get pregnant that day.  And again, I have no idea when this will happen but that’s the order of how it will go because my favorite nurse explained it all out to me. I think that’s another aspect that I’m frustrated with is that we have been going down this path for so long and right now it just seems to be leading to no where. The last six weeks were a literal run around. I have wanted to scream, pull my hair out and cry.

I’m not even gonna lie either, today I had a why me day. Why can’t we just have one? What’s so wrong with wanting just one? I have tried making deals like if the Universe will grant us one crazy awesome miracle baby I won’t push for more. What’s wrong with wanting something that I’ve always wanted to be…a mother. Seeing my mother and how she raised us really impacted me. I also think when you are the product of divorced parents like I am, you almost have to grow up a little faster because mom needs help. I remember when my mom was going to night school, my little sister was a baby and my mom had me, Daniella, and Alex. Those were the times I had to step up and help my mom because she had to study. It was during that time that I found out my passion for wanting a family of my own one day. Then when Russell and first met and I mean just exchanged pleasantries, I knew he was the one. Did anyone else just get that feeling when you first met your significant other that they were going to be your forever? (Also, fun fact…before Russell and I started dating I made a few friends come stalk him with me! It was probably the funniest thing I’ve ever done. That sounds horrible but I promise it was all in fun) Anyway, Russell and I would have deep conversations early on in our relationship. Because you have to remember that Russell and I were “dating” at first and getting to know each other before making things official. I remember one night we were talking on the phone and I asked him about having children. He said at a very young age he wanted to have a family. He saw his mom and dad kick ass at being teenage parents and he wanted the same. He just said he hadn’t found the right person to have children with. And as our conversations kept going he said he wanted a large family, 4 or 5 kids. I wanted the same! In a way I feel like I’m crushing his dream of becoming the father he always wanted to be. Infertility isn’t just a bitch to go through, infertility is heartbreaking. Infertility is emotional. Infertility is hard. Being an infertile woman in the prime of her life sucks. So today I say why me because in this moment our path seems to be going around in pointless circles.

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

p.s. what have you done for endometriosis awareness month??

babies, blogger, breaking news, endometriosis, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, white, women, women's issues

How Stella Got her Groove Back…

Did you know that it’s Endometriosis Awareness Month? This month I hope to blog as much as possible about the stories of women with endo. I want to focus this month specifically on working with women and sharing their stories on how this disease has changed their life, for the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today’s story is about my friend and endo-sister Stella. Stella looks like a girl trying to live her dreams, however, Stella has a not so secret secret; she has endometriosis. Stella, like most women, had a very difficult time getting diagnosed. The doctor (whom shall remain nameless) diagnosed Stella as having stage one endometriosis Stella was told that she would have to have a laparoscopy in order to get her endometriosis under control. For any woman that hears the word “surgery” we get a little nervous and have a thousand questions.  We also need time to process what is going on, figure out how this is going to affect our every day lives and if surgery is really going to work, especially when the first time is always the scariest one because you don’t know the impact it will have on you and those around you. For Stella she became scared of the surgery and put it off for a little while. One day in 2016, while thinking about the surgery a huge pressure spike was happening her abdomen. What Stella was experiencing was a rupturing cyst that was leaking fluid into her abdomen. She was seen by the same OB but instead of being sympathetic to her situation and finding a treatment plan, she did the “I told you so routine” and kept making Stella feel guilty for wanting time to think about a major surgery. What most don’t know is that you sign an waiver when you get to the hospital. The doctors have no idea what they are going to find once they actually see what your uterus and surrounding areas look like. That waiver we sign is to giving them permission to remove parts of our reproductive systems if they will do harm to us in the future. I understand one hundred percent why someone would want time to weigh the pros and cons of the surgery. One month later Stella decided to have her first laparoscopy. During that first laparoscopy her OB found that the ovary with the ruptured cysts was adhered to her abdomen and she had found endometriosis in other areas of her body as well. At the time of this surgery she was diagnosed with stage 1 endometriosis. However, come to find out later she was misinformed by this OB and is now seeing a specialist who can help her get back on the right track and really figure out what stage she has. Knowing what stage you are prepares you for a lot. Each stage has different symptoms and each stage affects your body differently. If women want to preserve their eggs they need a way to figure out how to do that and when because the clock on having good eggs is running out and fast.

Stella has always known something was off with her cycle. Since she was 14 years old she thought, like the rest of us, that this is how a period is. She just lived with the best way she knew how and her best friend had the same symptoms so they had each other to go through this with. It wasn’t until the last few years when things started to escalate.

This disease takes a hold of everyone in your life and unfortunately some are not strong enough to stay with us. Often times when a woman is sick a lot, it can be hard for man. Not just because his needs aren’t being met but the needs the couple has aren’t being met. As a couple you have goals, dreams, and many milestones you hope to accomplish together. Stella thought she would have these things in her ex, but then things started to slowly change. At the beginning of her diagnosis her boyfriend was there for her. One of the things she said is that she had been incapacitated for three months before her first surgery. At the time her boyfriend was telling her he’d always be there for her and take care of her for the rest of their lives if he had to. He was that support guy who would be there for when she just needed a day filled with relaxing and binge watching their favorite shows on Netflix. But slowly a shift was taking place. She could feel it for a while and didn’t address anything right away. After all they were making plans to move in together and that’s a huge relationship step. That step means you are willing to make a commitment to be there for one another, in good times and in bad. Stella noticed things started to change after her first surgery; he would just not be be present and he wasn’t there as much and she had to force him into spending time together. Sadly, the shift in the relationship was too strong because in July when Stella started to do better after her second surgery, right before her birthday he broke it off. He was telling her a bunch of nonsense like excuses to get himself out. But the one thing he said that she’ll never forget is ” I can’t handle being with someone who has this kind of chronic health issue”.

The constant back, hip, and leg pain (which is common areas pain for women with endometriosis) were just too much to handle. After this last relationship Stella has put dating on hold.  A lot of times women with endometriosis are too tired to do normal things, let alone date. She has no sex drive, which is another common factor when having endometriosis. So for now dating is a no go. However, her friends  and family have been her constant. They are unconditionally supportive and understanding, although Stella’s been more isolated since her endometriosis seems to have escalated a bit. Stella’s self confidence has been affected as well. She feels like there’s something wrong with her, like her body is defective. This has a ripple effect because she has trouble going on and being social because of her self-esteem issues.  Throughout these highs and lows her family is there through it all. They are the biggest support for Stella and she doesn’t know what she would do without them. They are there for her in times when she needs them the most. To say she loves them and she’s grateful for them would be an understatement.

I wanted to share Stella’s story with you all because it’s profound. She has exhibited a fighter’s mentality and continues to fight every day for her happiness, health and peace of well being. Stella is an amazing woman who deserves nothing but the best. I know she has had some major trials throughout her endometriosis journey but she is going to come out the other side of this dark tunnel a winner. She will conquer all the goals and dreams she has and so much more. She has a huge and wonderful support system. She is beautiful, kind and thoughtful. Endometriosis doesn’t define her, it’s just apart of her. Stella is a warrior that continues to fight every day and I am grateful to know her.

 

Please remember it’s Endometriosis Awareness Month and if you have any questions regarding endo or want more facts please ask!

Until Next Time

xoxo

.

 

 

 

 

 

babies, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, breaking news, Dayton, endometriosis, husband, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, women, women's issues

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

abortion, babies, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, breaking news, Dayton, endometriosis, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, sex, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, women, women's issues

Question and Answer Session

I wanted to change up the blogging aspect of this post. Lately it’s been about our journey towards IVF and I am so grateful to be sharing that with you but I wanted to see what questions you all had and I can answer them for you! So here we go!!

Q: What is Endometriosis? I’ve never heard of it.

A: Endometriosis is a condition where the layer of tissues that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. Basically, when a woman has her period each month the lining is supposed to shed; it doesn’t and comes back to gets stuck to parts of our body that we need, like our ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other organs but is is very rare for it to spread to other organs.  There are also four stages of endometriosis, stage 1-4. I have stage 4. I am one of the unlucky girls because my endometriosis had spread to colon. More on that in another question.

Q:What symptoms did you have and how did you find out you had endometriosis? 

A: During my time of the month I would get really sick. So sick in fact that I would throw up for days on end, have a migraine so bad I couldn’t work, and the cramps were so bad in my back and pelvis that I couldn’t walk. Finally after trying to fight it off I went to the OB and he told me there was a possibility it could be endo (endometriosis) and the only way to detect it is through a laparascopy. I didn’t hesitate and two weeks later I went in for surgery. Each person also varies with their symptoms but most times they are very similar in each case.

Q: How do you find out you have it?

The only way to find out you have endo is through a laparascopy. It’s a laser guided by a robot to look through your stomach, uterus and surrounding areas. I found out I was stage 4 at the age of 26. I was also told that day after surgery that I was infertile. I was stag four because there was so much scar tissue some of the pictures were unrecognizable as to which organ the doctor was looking at. During that time they also found that my entire left side was non-functioning. Four weeks later I had another laparascopy because the pain isn’t getting any better. March of 2016 I had my entire left side removed. They also saw an anomaly. My color and uterus were fused together with scar tissue, So they had to take those apart and put them back where they belong.

On average a woman goes 10 years without finding out she has endometriosis because there is no current testing that we have to detect it early.

Q: Isn’t it just bad cramps? 

A: No. No. and No. I would take cramps any day than deal wtih endo. Endometriosis is more than just cramping because you are dealing with endo every day of the week, not just when you’re on you’re period. So no, endo is NOT JUST cramps.

Q: What are the stages of infertility? 

A: For me there are several ways to interpret this. But for me there is grief that comes along with being an infertile woman.  I think the five stages of grief fit perfectly with the stages of infertility.

  1. Denial: No woman wants to be told their infertile so they don’t believe it. They keep to their scheduled nights of having sex but after so long of not getting pregnant you wonder why and realize your in the stage of denial.
  2. Anger: I know I was angry for a long time. I wanted to know why this wasn’t found sooner, what could I have done to prevent it. But the reality is I couldn’t have done anything differently.
  3. Bargaining: You start to bargain with God or whomever you believe in. If you give me a baby I promise I won’t buy another puppy.
  4. Depression: This stage is the hardest. The is when everything is stating to sink in. You may never have children, Or depending on what parts work and what don’t surrogacy and adoption may be the only opions.
  5. Acceptance: I’ve come to accept my endometriosis. I’ve only been diagnosed for about three years. And in that three years I went through the stages of grief. My husband watched me on my weakest days say why me? why us? But I have to realize that when I can accept that I have an incurable disease I can educate others on how they can be supportive to those who don’t have children and want them to be happy.

Q: Why Me? 

A: I can not tell you how many times I’ve asked this question. So for anyone going through infertility, it’s okay to say why me? It’s okay to stay in your sweats and grieve a little. I know I have. Today I was having a rough flare up and started crying asking Russell for reassurance. But yes ladies, its okay to say why me and have a pity party.

Q: Why do we have to hide our endometirosis? And who projects this? Self or Others? 

A: This is a great question. I think because endo has to do with our lady parts and lady parts are a taboo subject we just don’t talk about it. We have our groups to be able to lean on our girls when when need it. I also think others are still ashamed of their diagnosis and they don’t want people to think less of them. I think part of endo not being normalized has to do with those of us who have the disease to talk to. I also think it’s others not wanting to talk about women’s reproductive systems because again they are taboo topics. But the more we talk about endo the more knowledge we put into the world.

Q: Why do we have to pretend to be strong? 

A: We only have to pretend to be strong if someone doesn’t know what you’re going through. If we are more open and unapologetic about what we are going through we don’t have to pretend to be strong. We are bad ass women who are fighting each day to get our bed and do simple tasks without getting winded or feeling like shit after. Today I told my husband I wasn’t strong today and he said it’s okay you need rest. The house can wait. We need support systems like that in our lives, not people who are going to bring us down.

Q: Is it normal to gain weight? 

A: Unfortunately, yes. Like I said previously I’ve known about my endo for two years. We have been working with an IVF specialist since last year and I was put on all these different types of medications. I’d say the weight is gradually coming on but its there. I weigh 135 pounds because of the endo and all the treatment. I know I’m going to have to put in the work and gain the weigh if I want a baby but it still sucks.

Q: Does pregnancy fix endo? 

A: Yes and no. Yes because when you don’t have a period you can’t shed the lining of your uterus, which means scar tissue can’t get stuck in places it shouldn’t. But there is always a chance for smaller pieces to get stuck so there is that. Plus once you give birth your body is taking time to get used to having a human come out, get your hormones situated and then think about what to do. Pregnancy can definitely help lessen that chance for endo resurface. Endomtriosis never fully goes away. But we are hoping that once we are able to get pregnant the flare ups and back pain will go away.

Q: Have you thought about a surrogate? 

A: No. My uterus is healthy (a little tilted) but can carry multiple babies. I am not worry nor have we even though about surrogate. In my mind thinking of using donor eggs, surrogacy, etc is like me saying I give up, which I refuse to do.

Q:How has this affected your relationship? 

A: Russell and I have been married for 14 months. He has become my care taker. He makes sure I’m comfortable. He makes sure I have ice and heating packs when I need them. But going through this has made us better communicators. We talk so much about our future plans. If being diagnosed with this disease has taught me anything its like is too short to do something you don’t love. We plan on traveling more. Having babies and just doing what we want to do. We want to experience other cultures, build businesses and most importantly, be happy. There have been tough times too though. When we did the two IUI’s and the test came out negative I thought I was going to have a break down. After the second one we decided IVF would be the next step because IUI’s are too expensive and I want to spend my money on actually making babies. We have had bad days when we can’t agree on a decision. We have bad days when i can’t seem to get out of my funk and constantly ask ‘why me’? But in the end the good days out outweigh the bad.

Hers’s to hoping 2018 brings the Lions a Playoff Win, less pain, more happiness, and a couple of little humans to add to the Young household!

Let me know if you like Q&A. I’m thinking doing another one!

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

 

abortion, babies, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, breaking news, Dayton, endometriosis, growing, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, IUI, learning, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, women's issues

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

babies, blogger, Dayton, endometriosis, fashionista, growing, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, Ohio, pageant girl, PIO, Poverty, PUPO, race, racial issues, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, Volunteer, women, women's issues

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