Friday, April 26, 2013

Quick Takes(7) Infertility Awareness Week

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

My Quick Takes this week are in the spirit of National Infertility Awareness Week so I will be sharing 7 things infertiles/subfertiles want you to know. This list is not meant to be hurtful towards anyone it is just to offer insight into what infertile/subfertile couples go through. Hopefully this will make us all more compassionate human beings. Remember to head over to Jen's  for more Quick Takes.  Here it goes!
We DON'T need advice! Unless we ask for it of course. So don't tell us about how your great aunt's cousin twice removed went to see this acupuncturist or took this special pill to get pregnant. Their journey is not our journey. Most infertile couples are good researchers on their own and are doing what they are most comfortable with.

DON'T assume we are using or even want to use IVF or other such technologies! I had a cousin offer me her eggs one time, I think she was joking but it was still awkward. If you are reading this cousin, I love you but no thank you! For Catholics IVF and a lot of other Artificial Reproductive Technologies are a BIG no no to our faith no matter how badly we want children and there are other reasons why a lot of us choose other medical treatments such as NaProTechnology. This outlines nicely the differences between the two competing treatments. Along with this don't assume every infertile couple is in treatment or in the adoption process. Some couples have felt it better for their marriage to move on rather than start/continue treatment or pursue adoption. Also if we say we are looking into adoption don't tell us the story of so and so who was in the adoption process and then became pregnant chances are we have heard it. Side note: if you see a  married couple without children DON'T assume they are using contraception and preach to them about NFP this has happened to us and it was very hurtful! Also depending on what time of the month it is you may end up with a black eye ;)

DON'T tell us to relax or that it will happen when we stop trying or it will happen in "God's time"! This can bring more stress to an already stressful situation. It can make a couple feel like they don't have enough trust in God or enough faith to make it happen or they need to go to Hawaii in order to conceive. Also God is outside of space and time, time is man made.

 DON'T assume we have extra money because we don't have children to support. The government takes more of our money because we don't have dependents! Also, infertility treatments or adoption can get expensive. The great thing we have found about NaProTechnology is that our insurance is covering most of the treatments because they are treating my disease, PCOS, but this is not the case for everyone. There is often a lot of time and travel involved to go see our NaPro Dr. as well.

 Please DON'T shove babies at us or only talk to us about your child's next milestone. This can be very hurtful although unintentional. I like to take the "Let the little children come to me" approach with babies because that is what makes me most comfortable. I don't like when people pass their babies around to be held by everyone 1) It makes me uncomfortable and 2) From a child development stand point it is disrespectful to the baby. I do like hearing about children because hey I was a child development student so it is fascinating to me and I get it people are proud of their children but too much talk about your baby can get well how do I put this...boring!

 This one is a biggy: DON'T assume our marriage and sex life is sooooo great because we are trying to get pregnant. I have heard things like "wow at least you get to have time to yourselves, you are so lucky!" or "you can pick up and go anytime you want without worrying about any kids" Well too much time to ourselves can drive us mad and it can get lonely at times. There are a lot of couples who need counseling because of infertility. There is a whole grieving process that a person goes through when facing infertility and some of them have experienced a miscarriage on top of all that. I have also heard '"you get to have sex whenever you want, must be nice!" Well for those of us TTC we have to wait until the fertile time to have sex and some of the drugs that Drs. give like clomid can make a woman feel crazy and not want to have sex. There is also the part about focusing too much on TTC that can put pressure on one or both spouses. The unitive aspect of sex can easily get forgotten  and puts strain on a marriage.

DO offer us some compassion and say "I am praying for you" or "you are in our thoughts." DO lend us a listening ear when we need it. DO love us. DO know that we are not perfect and may get hurt at times. DO know that we are doing everything in our power (that does not drive us insane or push our limits) to have children. DO know that we are hurting but that we are not depressed all the time.  DO know that the pain of infertility/subfertility never really goes away even if we do have children, it gets better but does not go away. DO be there for us when we need you! Most importantly DO pray for us!    

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Well I am back! The recovery process is going well and JJ is doing an amazing job at being my caretaker. I really am very blessed to have him. I am not gonna lie it is a painful recovery, she did take out part of my left ovary and played around with my right Fallopian tube a lot. I have been taking the pain medication regularly so that I am able to do some stuff on my own. I hate taking pain medication but I will admit that it is helping me do things like eat, stand, walk, you know all of the hard stuff ;)

During surgery I wrote out a specific plan of prayers for my mom and JJ to say, I know I am so choleric. As I was waking up from the surgery I couldn't help but smile. The nurses probably thought I was the strangest patient but it felt so right to smile I was alive and the surgery was done. Every time one of the nurses came to check on me I tried to smile and say thank you so that even in me weakest moments I could show love and appreciation to them. All of the nurses that took care of me were so gentle and patient. Nurses rock!

I felt challenged to be a gentle and appreciative patient when I first got there because they tried 3 different places to put the IV because my veins are so tiny. I told them that it would only go on my right arm but they said they had to try the left arm and right hand first. It really hurt especially when they tried my right hand so I closed my eyes and prayed to be united more to Jesus in his sufferings of his pierced hands. The poor nurse felt so bad I think she almost started crying and she apologized a lot. I just tried to smile and tell her that it was ok, I understood they had a procedure to follow. I now have some pretty nasty bruises from that ordeal but at least it is over.

My NaPro Dr. was amazed that she did the wedge resection on only one ovary. She said "it is rare that this happens where only one ovary is showing signs of PCOS especially since they were both showing signs of PCOS at your last surgery almost 2 yrs. ago" and I said "well miracles still happen don't they Doc." I love having a Catholic/Christian Dr. who believes in miracles! She cleared me to go home on Friday and we have a follow up appt. with her in 2 weeks.

As I was becoming more coherent after the surgery JJ told me the details. I was amazed that my body is so mismatched with one non PCOS ovary and one tube that was open. Hopefully now after the surgery they will all work together and get back on track! I am glad I asked her to do the HSG to check my tubes at the last minute so that we discovered the blockage on the right. She said that my pregnancy with Cecilia was probably ectopic and that is why it was blocked because of the scarred tissue. When I heard this I was sad and comforted at the same time. Knowing that I miscarried so early means that Cecilia was itty bitty when she died and if she would have grown any bigger I could have had a rupture, lost the right tube or worse died. So in a sense my baby saved my life, oh how I miss her and can't wait to meet her in heaven! The good Doc said that next time I get pregnant we would have to be more vigilant with blood draws and ultrasound to make sure it is not ectopic. When she said "next time you get pregnant" I had a strong sense of hope that it can happen again. This is was a rare occasion that I allowed myself to hope again and the good Doc seemed very hopeful too.

We had a bit of a funny situation happen the day we left. I was staying in the women's center which includes labor and delivery patients as well, there weren't too many patients there which was nice. I got my own room and JJ was able to stay overnight with me both nights. Well on the day I was discharged a volunteer came in to refill my water pitcher and when she left she said "congratulations!" JJ and I looked at each other and laughed, yes congratulations to us our tubes are open and only one ovary is showing PCOS, woohoo! We didn't have the heart to tell her we didn't just have a baby so I think we said thank you.

Coming home was rough because it took about 2 hrs. and the freeways were a bit bumpy, ouch! It was so nice to walk in the door at home though I feel so much more relaxed. I finally felt strong enough to shower this morning and it felt so good but it was so tiring. I hadn't showered since tuesday night so I really needed to shower. When you can't do basic things on your own you really start to be thankful for what you can do.

I am now resting from my morning activities and waiting for lunch to be ready. I am taking any Netflix recommendations and looking forward to catching up on reading blogs so write some good stuff to entertain me :)

I would like to thank all of you who have been praying for me! I appreciate it more than you know and have felt covered in prayer. There are others who are going through much worse than me and it humbles me that there are people who have been praying for me. I know that it is because of prayer that this experience has not been too bad, know that you are all in my prayers!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Surgery Update

Kat's surgery was yesterday. Dr. Awesome said that everything went very well. It turns out that only the left ovary was polysistic and the right one was fine. This is miraculous because both ovaries were not looking so good two years ago. So the wedge resection was done on the one and then the Fallopian tubes were checked. Flip the script; the left one was fine but the right one was blocked. The good doc was able to unblock it and then proceeded to exit and close the incision. Kat was in recovery for a while, then she got her own room and will be at the hospital until tomorrow. For today, she is ready to eat solid food and get up and try to walk and such. The pain of the incision is minimally tolerable with out medication at this point and she is in and out of sleep. Aside from this, she is looking beautiful and cute. Her courage is inspiring and little by little she will be getting stronger and soon blogging again. Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes. Praised be the Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Novena Reminder

Some asked if I could send out a Novena reminder for my upcoming surgery so here it is with the link! The novena starts tomorrow on Sunday a few days before the surgery. I also wanted to add any of your intentions to it and pray for y'all during my recovery. So if you want your intentions included just leave a comment and I will be sure to pray for whatever it is :)

I am not too nervous about the upcoming surgery, I just want to get it over with and start the recovery process! I will have JJ write a short blog post about how the surgery went and probably post in the IF Facebook group as I will probably be out of it on pain meds. woohooo ;) Of course I would have to teach him how to do that since he is not too tech savvy.

Than you all in advance for the prayers!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Must be Pregnant, Right?!

This week has been such a tough week and it is only Wednesday! On Sunday and Monday I had a glimmer of hope that I could be pregnant. Aunt flow was late and she has been right on schedule for the last year or so. The last time she was late was when we got pregnant with Cecilia so naturally my mind wondered to think that I in fact could be pregnant. I took a test on P+13 due to my low progesterone levels just in case and it came out negative. Testing so early was JJ's idea because of my usual low prog. levels, I make him look at the test sometimes. Then on Sunday when it was late afternoon and still no AF, we tested again and it was negative. By Monday night I was pretty much going crazy because still no AF and my boobs were really sore (they haven't been that sore since we had gotten pregnant).

My excitement and hope started to gain as the fact that I could actually be pregnant and my surgery would be cancelled! I thought, oh what a great story that would be to tell our child someday! I tried not to think about it too much on Monday so we went to go see my FIL at the convalescent home where he is recovering, dropped off something for him to my MIL, chatted with my MIL and went to go get yarn to start my first (hopefully I will complete this project) knitting project. After all this, still no AF by Monday evening. So JJ and I decided that I should test again Tuesday morning which would be P+18 (which is when we found out we were pregnant with Cecilia). My cycles had not been this long since my 1st surgery almost 2 years ago. As much as I tried not to think about it, I thought about it and tried to start conversation with JJ about it. JJ was not picking up on my hints and kept saying "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it." I also could not sleep and wait to test on Tues. morning. I kept praying for God's will to be done in my body, if surgery is what is supposed to be done then so be it.

Tuesday morning rolled around and I woke up bright and early to take the test that would determine my surgery fate. I took the test and it was negative again, now I was getting frustrated! If I wasn't going to be pregnant then AF should at least have the decency to be on time! So JJ and I decided that if AF did not show up by the afternoon, we would call the Dr. to see what we should do. We decided to go to adoration and do a holy hour, it was just what we needed. If I was going to go crazy and be confused, I might as well do it in front of God. Afterwards JJ asked me how I was doing and I said I am doing much better, that today my answer is that I am not pregnant and I am still having surgery. I said "we will just take it day by day." He was pleased to see that I was more calm about it, I was probably driving him nuts!

About an hour after we went home to have lunch I had a familiar feeling. The cramping and spotting started which meant AF had finally arrived. JJ asked if I was sad, and I said a little. More than anything I was glad this dramatic saga was over and that I will likely need to increase my progesterone for future cycles. I am not gonna lie, I wish I was pregnant and I would have had to cancel my surgery. I thought about how we would tell our friends and family and how much joy it would bring all of us. Instead we got AF, what. a. let. down.

I know I am not the first person going through subfertility that this has happened to. For some women this two week wait to see if you're pregnant roller coaster happens every cycle! I have been lifting up my anxiety and disappointment up as a prayer for this blogger of the month. Now I am looking forward to my surgery more than before. I just want to take the next step in healing my body from this horrible disease called PCOS.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all! As we like to call it here at the Crow's Nest Easter Feaster! Our Easter Sunday was a wonderful day. We went to the Traditional Latin Mass at our parish and had our parents over for Beef Bourginion and chocolate orange cake, yum! JJ was excited that he got to eat chocolate and I was excited to check my Target Daily deals. Confession time: I love checking Target's daily deals, even though I hardly ever buy any of them, so that is one of the things I gave up for Lent. I am kind of embarrassed by it but the savvy saver in me is proud when I find deals. I was thinking of our baby Cecilia in heaven a lot. I thought about how she would be six almost seven months now and how we would read her the Easter story and take her to Mass. I really missed her and I felt so connected to her during Mass, which is appropriate.

Lent was fruitful for me, I tried to spend less time online and blogging. I think I did an ok job. There was a lot of reflection and decisions made during Lent. JJ and I decided that it would be in my best interest for my long term health to go ahead and have the ovarian wedge resection to help treat my PCOS. My surgery date is Wednesday April 17th, we wanted to have it sooner but that is the earliest time we could get. I am not too nervous, I just want to get it done and get it over with. JJ and I have thought hard about this and prayed about it for almost a whole year and after trying readjusting my diet, seeing a naturopath, losing some weight and taking various supplements one thing has remained, the dominating estrogen in the post peak phase. PCOS sucks and we want to be the most aggressive we can against this disease and prevent future problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We are at peace about our decision and want to get it done and start the recovery process. I am a little nervous about spending up to three days in the hospital though. We are starting a novena the Sunday before on the 14th that you can find here .

Of course we may not have to do the surgery if we got pregnant this cycle, which is highly unlikely because I did not take clomid this cycle or any cycle for that matter. I don't have very much hope of being pregnant anymore but it does not bring a sad feeling to me so much it brings more of a feeling of letting go. That has been a theme around here lately, letting go. Letting go of my dreams and my plans for God's plans for my life. The book I read for book club in March Hind's Feet on High Place by Hannah Hurnard was really helpful with that. Though I did not vote for it and it did not sound appealing to me at all, I am glad I was out voted. I highly recommend it, especially how it relates to infertility.

Please send up a prayer for my father in law today as he is under going hip replacement surgery today. Please pray for a smooth surgery and a speedy recovery! I pray everyone has a blessed Easter season!