Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Past Due

The last few weeks my mind has been flooded with thoughts of preparing for a newborn, getting ready to deliver, getting the condo ready for baby. I have to remind myself that the body and mind never forget. Even though I just had surgery and am focused on healing, my mind keeps relapsing to the fact I should be in labor. No matter how much I try not to focus my attention on the little one that I've lost, I never really do. Especially those landmark days that were supposed to have special meaning to them.

October 31st: the day we conceived.
November 24th:  the day we saw his heart beat. (I still feel like he was a boy.)
December 23rd:  the day we miscarried.
July 24th:  our previous due date.

I was really thinking that Sunday would be a treacherous day that I would hide in bed and blow through about 12 boxes of tissues. Thankfully I have great friends and the most fantastic hubby who kept my mind busy to the point I only had one break down. Brought on by a family cookout on Saturday. I love how hopeful my family has been, but there are points that I have my doubts. And Saturday was one of those days. Knowing I should be swollen with child, but I'm swollen with scars, I kept thinking that maybe it's not in our cards. Maybe having our own children was just not going to happen. And I've come to accept that that is a possibility.

After my melt down in the kitchen with my mother in law, we spent the evening in Cambridge watching Hall Pass and eating Chinese food. We woke up Sunday with plans to visit my sisters, but that quickly changed when my nephews were not happy campers. So we hung around and decided to walk to Newbury Street for a relaxing afternoon strolling through the stores. We headed to Boylston Street and hit up Cactus Club for lunch. After a leisurely meal filled with guacamole,tacos and a gallon of water, we strolled back to Cambridge along the Charles. Starting to feel sentimental again, hubby and I walked hand in hand. Discussed moving to the city, which my husband despises the idea, but I've always wanted to try it. Talked about how nice it would be to wake up every weekend and stroll the Charles, walk to lunch, picnic under a tree.

Reality snapped back in at some point, realizing all of our friends are now moving out of the city and the fact that procreating is on the top of our list. (Raising children in the city is not optimal in our opinion.) But I'm at the point where I don't want to keep planning my life around having a child. The past 2 and 1/2 years have been filled with baby plans, preparing my body for the most nutritious pregnancy and figuring out how to afford this possible child. But nothing has worked out, nor gone as planned. So I've pretty much threw my hands in the air and succumbed to the fact that it will happen when it's supposed to happen and that I have no control over it.

Things seem to always work out once I give up. That's what always confirms that there has to be something greater out there, for me. Once I stop trying to control things and give in to the fact that I can't, things work out. Amazingly enough, just 2 weeks after surgery and 1.5 weeks on my new thyroid meds, I've already noticed changes, good changes. I'm no longer falling asleep on the sofa at 9pm, I don't yawn all day long and feel like I'm dragging through the day, I actually get hungry now and feel full (which never used to happen), and to top all of it off: my mucus has changed for the better! I used to only maybe see one day of clear mucus that indicates ovulation. The last three days I have had peak type mucus, a strong indicator that my body is preparing to ovulate, or already has. Fabulous sign that my system may finally be working properly!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Post Op

I realize I'm pretty late with giving you an update, however being on the sofa for 4 days straight left me with very little motivation.

I woke up Wednesday morning starving as usual but not able to eat or drink a thing. So my tummy was rumbling from moment one. I took a nice long shower knowing I would be stewing in my own filth for the next 3 days. Hubby and I hopped in the toaster (Honda Element) with pillows, blankets and a cooler filled with coconut water, Gatorade, bananas and some bread. (Assuming I'd be starving still and quite thirsty after surgery.)

We arrived at Sturdy Hospital in Attleboro 30 mins before we were supposed to and greeted at the ER by free valet. Perfect way to start the day! Talk about an efficient hospital. The longest wait we had was registration, which we only sat for 2 mins. Filled out the paperwork and headed to the lab for pre op bloodwork. Again, sat for a couple minutes and headed right in. Of course the day I can't eat or drink they require 4 vials of blood. Last time I had 6 on an empty stomach it took me 45 mins to recover, being on the verge of passing out the entire time. After supplying them with the smallest amount of pee known to man, we were directed to Day Care Surgery. Which in my opinion is the strangest name. I always picture a day care filled with screaming children who's parents are in surgery. Anyways, the friendliest, slowest moving elderly woman volunteer escorts us about 10 feet to the check in desk, then shows us another 12 feet to the waiting room.

A very friendly female nurse with bleach blond hair brings me to a changing room. She politely asks if the surgery is for fertility, which I kindly responded yes. She then goes on to explain her mother had the same surgery to conceive her many years ago. "God works in mysterious ways." she said. "Stay positive, it will happen." The "johnny" she hands me is about 3 sizes too big. However it has attachments and insulation that hooks up to a heater. Heaven! A few minutes later I'm brought to my gurney and lay myself down. Thinking it's going to be a long wait seeing as we're early, the nurse turns on my own private tv. Ellen calmed my nerves for the next hour. Unfortunately, Dr. P was running behind: assisting a C-section and waiting on the arrival of twins who were adamant on arriving prior to my surgery. We were scheduled for 11:30am, but didn't get in until about 12-12:30.

I'm always taken back by how quickly the "relaxer" IV kicks in. My eyes immediately felt heavy. I can hardly remember being wheeled away from Hubby, or moving to the surgical gurney. I woke up with my eyes flashing open, then close. What felt like an hour, probably was. Coming in and out until my nurse asked "Are you awake, or do you need to sleep more?" I some how managed to mumble "" and I'm out. At some point I finally awoke for good. Hubby greets me in the post op area. Surgery was successful. Dr. P removed alot of scar tissue from my previous surgery. There was endo on my bowels and intestines that he was able to remove as well. Only stage 1 or 2 though. Being the sweetheart that he is, Dr. P quickly popped in before his next surgery to discuss everything that happened.

On the ride home, sunny skies turned into dark ominous clouds. Pouring rain with the sun still shining, I knew there had to be a rainbow. Low and behold, outside my window was a faded, quickly disappearing rainbow. For any spiritual readers of mine, the rainbow is a sign from heaven. Being my grandfather's birthday, I'm assuming it was a sign from him trying to calm my fears.

The next few days weren't as bad as expected. I was given a Percoset prior to leaving the hospital along with a Rx. The nurse explained that the gas they pumped into my stomach will be the most painful part. Taking 3-4 days to absorb in my body, the gas rises and causes some intense pain. (Having already known the feeling, I was looking forward to it.) We didn't fill the Rx right away, I am not a fan of Percoset nor any real pain killers. Dr. P had left me with 1-2L of fluid in my abdomen as well. Apparently letting the tissue float in fluid keeps from scar tissue building up. This can tak 2-3 days for the body to absorb. Friday came along with a grease ball of hair on my head. Hubby got home from work and I begged for a shower. It took me a good 20 mins to remove the bandages. (Most of the 20 mins was telling myself I wasn't going to pass out or hurl.) I must say, all in all the pain hasn't been too bad. Ibuprofen and ice packs took away the majority of it.

This morning hubby and I slept in. After 4 days on the sofa and countless hours of My So Called Life, I was adamant on going out to breakfast. A local farm that we adore, who every waitress knows us by name was top choice of course. With a long deck over looking their apple orchards, we sat. The waitress came up asking where hubby's parents were today (who usually dine with us). Then said "So when are you two going to have some kids?" Normally this would have made me pretty emotional, sad and annoyed that someone would bring it up. Today was different. "You two are going to have the most adorable kids, I can't wait to see them!"

Neither can I!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Everybody Poops

Let's face it, everybody poops. It's parting of being alive.
So here I am, sitting on my sofa doing a "bowel prep" before my surgery tomorrow. Which basically means I'm a pooping machine today. Having already had a colonoscopy at the ripe age of 27, this is not my first bowel prep. However, your mind kind of blocks out what the last one was like. But thankfully I'm not drinking the jug of salt water that makes you heave every time you smell it. I must say, magnesium citrate is the way to go to flush out your system. Pop it in some hot chamomile tea with a little lemon juice, you won't taste a thing. However your mind will not let you forget that the tea is going to make you shit your brains out. Best of luck.

As I'm sitting on my sofa waiting for the poop to come, my mother in law phones. Apparently Dr. C left a message that he needs to speak with me as soon as possible and to have him paged if he's with someone. A little bit of panic set in, but I attempted to remain calm and phoned his office. After a 5 minute wait he picks up. The blood work that I had done on Sunday indicated I have yet another ovarian cyst. Not entirely surprised since I've been held up on the sofa all week in pain and the swelling has been ridiculous. The fortunate thing being I have surgery tomorrow. So due to my bowel prep, he recommended holding off on an ultrasound and calling the surgeon's office to inform them.

The other unfortunate thing being the blood work also revealed I have hypothyroidism. Shocker. It runs in my family. Symptoms: brittle nails & hair, dry flaky skin, cold sensitivity, weight gain and fatigue. BUT it can also cause infertility and miscarriage. He simply suggested a synthetic version of the hormone that will help to regulate my system. This is to commence after my surgery followed by blood work after a month to retest my levels. It may take a couple months to find the right dosage, but it should make a difference. 

So as I wait for the surgeon to phone back and the poop to exit my body, I'll continue to starve myself eating only jello and sipping Gatorade while watching the entire first season of My So Called Life.

What else is there to do?

INFO on Hypothyroidism:
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland situated in the lower neck just above the collarbones. It secretes hormones that control general metabolism and influences a wide range of other biological functions including body temperature, blood calcium, weight loss, and menstrual periods.Studies show that under active thyroid- hypothyroidism can result in increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, maternal high blood pressure during pregnancy and pre-eclampsia, a potentially serious condition that develops during the last trimester of pregnancy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another Surgery....

Happy 4th Everyone! I know, I'm late. The weekend was a blur, every time I looked up, about 4 hours had passed by. We are finally settled into our new place which went amazingly smooth. Being the OCD freak that I am, I insisted we spend all of Sunday organizing and putting everything away. Along with hanging up art work and pictures. 

Let's rewind a little....

Friday we woke up super early and headed to the Creighton Model appointment which my husband learned first hand just how intense it can really be. Followed by a lovely picture book showing all the different kinds of mucus, which not going to lie, he found pretty interesting. Thank God he is not one of those squeamish guys. After about an hour we came to the conclusion that something is definitely going on. I've had about 10 days of consistent mucus which apparently anything over 7 days is abnormal. On top of that, the last few days I have been in a lot of pain. But we'll get back to that. And I barely had a period last month. So of course her first question is "Did you take a pregnancy test?" Lady, you're asking the girl who purchased the the pee strips in a pack of 100, of course I took a test, I've taken about 15!

After Creighton, we headed to Foxboro to meet with the surgeon. (We decided last week to postpone hubby's surgery after researching, we found out it may not help us at all. So we are holding off for the time being.) Turns out Dr. P's office is a mile from Patriot Place, which I have never seen. Of course, he was running behind, only about 15 mins though. Beginning with a consult, he was able to state he's 95% sure I have endometriosis. He's guessing it's pretty extensive by the symptoms I seem to be experiencing. Oddly enough he asked why we weren't trying IVF again, seeing as it by-passes any minor infertility problems. I explained I am sick of the "bandaid" approach and would like to finally feel good again. Especially since hubby has brought it to my attention that he can't remember the last time I  felt "good" for more than one day. 

Dr. P is also the only doctor to explain why the pill is causing cysts for me. Apparently the increase in estrogen stimulates the follicles and can assist them in continuing to grow. (Really, the 5 previous doctors couldn't explain that?!) My nerves have been pretty high seeing as I just started a new job and have had endless appointments and too many days off. The last time I went in for laproscopy I came out with a 6" incision and a month of bed rest. Dr. P assured me he has performed over 5500 of these and only in 5-10 cases he's had to go in by laparotomy. That was a little comforting. So surgery is scheduled for Wed, July 13th, putting a slight damper on our VT weekend scheduled for the 16th. I am praying I am feeling well enough to endure the 3 hour drive, but we'll see. 

After our appointment with Dr. P, we took a stroll through Patriot Place and had lunch at Red Robin. Their veggie burgers are fab, just sayin'. It was nice to get outside for a little while and process the face that I'm going in for surgery yet again. Hopefully this will be the last time.

So that's where we're at now. Heading in for surgery, feeling pretty crappy the last few days. Yesterday was so bad I came home from work and parked it on the sofa for the rest of the night. My lower abdomen was so swollen I had a pot belly, a nice firm pot belly. I am guessing it's from my attempt to eat dairy again. So goodbye dairy, back to veganism. I was hoping it was from being pregnant, but the last couple test stripes have displayed only one line. 

I must say, emotionally I'm still a little unstable, and the urge to burst into tears (with this being my previous delivery month) is lurking in the shadows. I am hoping the birth of my expected niece this week helps to occupy my mind enough to push the sadness away. That and I have a beautiful new home I can walk around in my undies as much as I please. I'd say that's reason enough to smile.