Sunday, December 21, 2014

Let's Add Another Log to the Fire: LUFS

So they say that things always come in threes. First off I want to know who "they" are and why did they start these awful sayings and misconceptions. At this point now I feel that I must concede as we have gotten more bad news in less than a month's time period. So before Thanksgiving we got the mthfr genetic mutation diagnosis, then the 1st Sunday of Advent we were told we needed to move by the end of January and now I have been diagnosed with LUFS.

What is LUFS? It is lutenized unrupptured follicle syndrome which means my follicle is maturing but it is not releasing the egg so ovulation is not taking place. When the follicle is not rupturing it can just keep getting bigger and become a cyst or shrink back slowly. There is not much treatment for it and the treatments out there are 50/50 that it will be successful in having the patient ovulate. It is a chronic condition in my case based on my charting and symptoms. LUFS can only be detected by doing an u/s series, which we just finished Saturday. I knew before the Dr. said anything just by looking at her face as she was looking at the u/s. She said "It's still there. The follicle didn't rupture, it grew in size and there is debris inside of it." My heart sank as she said those words and as a practitioner I know the odds of pregnancy with LUFS and they aren't good. LUFS is difficult to treat and there isn't much research out there about it. It can be dangerous if the cyst grows so large that it makes the ovary flip over, cutting off blood supply to the ovary and can result in loss of the ovary. This is rare and the symptoms are severe pain so it would be obvious when it was happening and emergency surgery could save the ovary.

 I had mentally prepared myself for the diagnosis the night before the last u/s because the u/s that day was looking like LUFS and she just wanted to confirm it with another u/s the next day. I had a panic attack on Friday night and just sobbed uncontrollably which hasn't happened since we lost Cecilia. I thought to myself "I am always going to be infertile" which sent me into a downward spiral. JJ just held me and as I told him how sorry I am for him he said "I'd rather be with you and not have any biological kids than be with someone else and have biological children. I want to be with you." What a guy! I really am blessed to have him with me on this journey. 

So the next steps from here are to do some blood work to make sure it's not due to low estradiol, if that's the case there would be two medications I would have to take to try and help the follicle to rupture. If my hormones are fine then I would just do the one medication which is an HCG trigger shot on a particular day in my cycle. Either way it looks like I will be administering injections on myself soon if we decide to treat this. Yay needles! Which brings me to the point of saying....

I guess we are TTC again with medical treatment. After some conversation JJ and I came to the conclusion that this is all we can do right now to grow our family. Since we have no idea where we will be living next month we are not going to go to the foster care training we signed up for. We haven't found a place and we are open to renting a studio or one bedroom  and if that's the case then we can't do foster care. We can't start the process of adoption because of money and the living situation is up in the air so the only thing we can do is medical treatment. We may live with family for a few months and then rent a condo from some friends who will be moving to another country in June or July for a year if we don't find a place soon. We are open to whatever God wants for us but we have no idea what that is at this time. We believe in the power of prayer and know that miracles are possible so we are just praying for healing now. We pray with all of our being that God may heal my body from this.

Domine, exaudi orationem meum. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. 
O Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto thee. 

I did want to leave this post with some blessings we have encountered through this because it's so easy to not see them. I don't want to miss out on blessings even during times of trial and suffering so here they are: 

1. JJ and I got to see a couple friends while down in San Diego for the ultrasounds. We got to see our friend who moved there 4 months ago and have brunch with her. Then we got to visit our priest friend who is down there and he gave us this beautiful Shining Light OL of Guadalupe doll :) 



2. We celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary there by visiting a beautiful CA mission! We lit a candle there for our intentions and explored the grounds for free. We had an u/s that day but we got to switch our appt. for a better time with another practioner and fellow NaPro Dr. patient because she was kind enough to offer when she heard it was our anniversary that day. When we got to the Dr.'s office that morning the staff wished us a happy anniversary :) 



3. We got to have chick-fil-a twice during this week while traveling :) 



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Shaking Things Up A Bit

Since my last post there have been so many amazing opportunities to recognize the root of a lot of my self-esteem issues. The actual instances are coming to memory and I am sitting with them for as long as I need to, then moving on. This is not what this post is about though.

So on Sunday our landlord came by unannounced, while we had company over and gave us a letter stating we had 60 days to move out because he plans on selling the house. He explained what the letter was, in front of our company and then proclaimed "we were going to wait until after the holidays to do this but then we decided not to." Wow, really?! We have only been here a year and a half and we asked him before we rented it when/if he planned on selling it. He had said not anytime soon, I guess to him this is not anytime soon. I digress though because if I think about this too long I will end up writing a post about this man, which will eventually put me in an occasion of sin. 

This month we are going to be doing the u/s series, looking for a new place and trying to experience advent and Christmas! When I told my mom, one of the things she said was "your landlord ruined Christmas! You won't have time or extra money for gifts." I laughed because Christmas can't be ruined. It's not about things, it's about an event that changed the course of humanity. It is the event that the entire cosmos awaited, when God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ! So I am pretty sure Christmas can't be ruined. I know my mom knows this and it does feel like we are up against a real life Scrooge for doing this right before Christmas but Christmas is bigger than this. Christ is bigger than this! Plus I already got my mom and little goddaughter their gifts a while ago. Everyone else will understand that we don't have the time or money to do gifts, I will just bake a bunch of cookies to give away. 

We are sad to leave this current place because the location is awesome! It is right next to our parish where I have my follow ups, the sisters of charity and the Carmelites are down the street and the neighborhood is so nice to run in! We are hoping we find a place close by that is cheaper so we can save some money. This has made us more open to different possibilities because we have no idea where we will be at the end of next month. It is going to give us an opportunity to scale down and become minimalists with our stuff. We don't mind getting a much smaller place because it's just the two of us at this point and that's all we can plan for. I told JJ I wouldn't mind a small 1 bedroom place like our first apartment, it could be like our own hobbit hole again. We are already planning on getting rid of some furniture to prepare for a smaller place. I even told JJ we could move to a different county or state and go on an adventure! We both laughed but we are open to whatever/wherever God is calling us to. 

It definitely feels like so much is happening at once plus our anniversary is on one of the days during the u/s series. What a fun way to spend an anniversary, right? (Note sarcasm) We are using our resources with the Carmelite sisters and Sisters of charity for prayers and to be on the look out for places for us. Would y'all say a prayer for us this month for our intentions? We would greatly appreciate it! 

Something that I am appreciating from all this going on is the way JJ and I take on these challenges together. We are a team, we pull together and we let God lead us. So where will we end up? Stay tuned to find out...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I Have Been...

I have been...

Unkind
Uncharitable
Judge mental 
Impatient 
Critical
Rude 
Mean 
Ungrateful
Belittling
Uncaring
Not compassionate 

With....myself!

I have noticed I have not been treating myself well these past couple weeks. Since doing the blood testing and learning of my diagnosis I have been seeing myself as less than. I told ya this is hitting on my self esteem and The Lord wants to address this head on. This is opening up a deep wound that needs more healing. I thought I had gotten past a lot of this stuff of acceptance and had peace. I did for the most part but the peace and acceptance I need to have is not with a situation but it's with myself. Can I accept myself for who I am, genetic mutation and all? Can I really? Can I allow myself to sit with this, sit with myself whatever emotions come what may? 

Some of you may be thinking "Kat, it's just a genetic mutation that is treatable. There are lots of women who have had successful pregnancies with this. What's the big deal?!" This is where the big deal lies it's out of my control, there is nothing I did to deserve this, it's in my genes and there is nothing I could've done to prevent it. Instead of that giving me peace it hit me on a self esteem level. I don't talk much about my father because he wasn't in my life much. He pretty much cheated on every woman he was ever with and I have siblings on my father's side who I haven't met yet. I barely met my sister when I was 21 and found out about her when I was 15 or 16. When your father leaves you when you are a small child or was never there in the first place there is always a part of you that thinks "perhaps if I was good enough or a better daughter I could've made him stay or change his ways." The father wound runs so deep that I don't believe it could ever be fully healed this side of heaven. There are just deeper ways that this healing comes at different times. I had made major strides in this healing before I got married and during the first couple years of marriage. 

After speaking with my Dr., confessor and JJ it became very evident that I need some time to allow God to heal this part of the wound. Side note: It was so cool to talk about God with my general practice Dr. and it didn't feel at all awkward! I know my deeper motives that last few weeks for my actions have not been out of genuine charity, it has been out of pride and wanting to be "good enough" for others. I need to reflect on my worth in Christ and not for what I can/can't do. I need to know that I am worth being around because I am me. It was so good to see my family on Thanksgiving my aunts and cousins said how good it was to have us/me there. I don't see my family often because of work schedules mostly but it was so good to be there and be myself, the introverted Catholic that I am, and be accepted for who I am. 

 So my theme for this Advent is "self care" which sounds so selfish to me as this is the season I should be giving so much more than I do. No "self care" doesn't mean watching tv and drinking hot chocolate all the time, although that sounds awesome, it is more about drawing closer to God. Reaching out more for the sacraments, wearing my veil to Mass, journaling and less time online are all in order for me the next few weeks. The closer we draw to God's eternal flame of Love the more our wounds become illuminated. At first this hurts but it is worth the hurt to grow and become who we ought to be. I will be praying for my Advent prayer buddy a lot this season! Happy Advent y'all! 

"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire!" -St. Catherine of Siena