Snowpocalypse of 2014

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I try really hard to be positive, but today I just can’t find that place of positivity. And I need to vent. Prepare yourselves for some serious rambling. And if you make it through this post (or just skim through it) can you leave me some positive words and say some prayers because my heart is heavy tonight….

So as I have said before, I am from Cleveland, Ohio. We trudge through 2′ of snow in negative degree wind chills and don’t flinch. So when NC declares a state of emergency over 2″ of snow, mostly it makes me laugh. And when my work closes over this, it makes me giddy like a school kid having a snow day back home. BUT when my doctor closes, without any notice or phone call to me, the day I have my post-op appointment, it pisses me off to no end. E and I drove across town (mind you the roads are pretty much dry and snow/ice free) for my appointment today only to be met by locked doors. I immediately started crying. Yes I am overly emotional but this journey has been so stressful and complicated and frustrating that everything makes me cry. I called my doctor yesterday to check on the status of their office and was told by the receptionist that if they were to close, I would get a phone call. Nope, didn’t happen. And I figured if they called I would ask to speak to the nurse or my doctor to see if he could call me in an RX of Clomid. See, I am CD4 today and it’s my first cycle post op so my next step is Clomid, and you typically have to start Clomid on CD5. So, needless to say, I am calling them first thing in the AM and praying the doctor agrees to call in the RX tomorrow so I can start it tomorrow.

So after the appt. E is initially kind, he holds my hand in the truck and tells me everything will be okay, they’ll call it in and it’ll be fine. But it doesn’t help. Then he gets frustrated with my frustration and starts an argument in the grocery store parking lot. JUST WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW.

Come home, all I want is a bubble bath to soak my sorrows and zone out to some T.Swift. Hot water lasts all of 5 minutes. Cue more tears. Only now I am wet and cold. And this brings me to my next frustration with living in the south. They are so completely unprepared for cold weather that the hot water tanks and heaters are actually rated different than the ones back home (according to my landlord, I haven’t actually verified this). So not only does my water heater not warm water as quickly, but my heater pulls in cold air from outside and cannot heat it, so it pumps cold air into my apartment continuously. We have purchased a space heater but that’s besides the point! I am angry, cold and hormonal.

There’s more, bear with me.

I bundle up and plop on the couch and am instantly greeted by my adorable and snuggly cat. He curls up right on my chest as if he knows I am upset and that I need his love right now. This instantly snaps me back to the day I found out I have endometriosis. I was working the night shift at the hospital and had a doctor appt. before my shift. I was in a bad place in my life in general and every single doctor appt had me on pins and needles. I was so sick of being poked and prodded and just wanted answers. I just prayed that the answer wasn’t endo. But it was. I called off work, drove straight home and collapsed in the corner of my bedroom in the dark sobbing. I have two aunts with endo and one was never able to conceive. I had done my research on the disease and I knew a diagnosis meant a lot of uncertainty, pain, drugs and the possibility of infertility. I was inconsolable but my two cats instantly ran to me and didn’t leave my lap for the entire night. In that moment, they saved me. I had no one. I was in a loveless relationship, fighting with my best friend and my parents were going through an ugly divorce. It’s crazy how in tune to our emotions our pets are.

Anyway, I just want this to be over. I want a cure. I want a fucking miracle.

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TTC Survey

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I am jumping on the TTC Tag band wagon! This is actually a survey that was created for Vloggers, but since I don’t have a Vlog you get it this way!

1. How long have you been TTC?
We have been actively trying since March 2013, 11 months, but technically 12 cycles now. But I stopped taking birth control about 5 months before that and we never used condoms. o.O

2. How many kids do you have/want?
We both want big families, 3 minimum! I’d love to have 5 though.

3. How old are you and your husband?
I am 29, E is 24.

4. How long have you been married?
We have been married since March 2013.

5. What are some crazy things you do while TTC?
Pee on a million sticks (ovulation and pregnancy), stick my legs in the air after sex for as long as I can take, use Pre-Seed, scower endometriosis and infertility boards and websites, track my ovulation and record all symptoms in an app on my phone, OBSESS. lol

6. Does your husband know all about TTC?
Yes! I am so blessed, E is 100% on board. He is supportive, educated, understanding and just as excited for a future little baby G as I am (Well ALMOST as much as I am).

7. Have you been diagnosed with any kind of infertility?
I have had endometriosis since I was a teen and when I was about 26 my doctor explained that the severity of mine would likely cause fertility issues. So we knew going into this that we were facing challenges. Luckily, I have been able to find an amazing doctor who wasted no time getting E tested (to rule him out) and planning a course of action for getting me pregnant.

8. What keeps you busy during the 2WW?
Working full time is amazing. It keeps my mind occupied during the day. But typically I go a little crazy during the 2WW anyway.

9. What day do you usually ovulate?
Even though I have endometriosis, my cycles are pretty regular. I usually ovulate cd11 of my 24 day cycle.

10. What gender are you hoping for?
I will love any baby God blesses us with! BUT I want boys!! I would love to have 3 or 4 boys and then one little girl to finish things off. E, on the other hand, wants a little girl to spoil.

11. How many pregnancy books do you have?
I have one pregnancy, one infertility and Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs because she is hilarious!

12. How many HPTs do you take in a cycle?
Depends. I am actually very self controlled when it comes to pregnancy tests. I hate seeing negatives, it breaks my heart, so I will only test if I am 3+ days late. Sometimes I will hold off even longer. I was about a week late a few months ago, finally tested and it was POSITIVE! It was the happiest day of my life. I was in complete and utter shock. E and I were ecstatic and so thankful that I happened to have a dr appt that coming week… I miscarried the next day. It was Earth shattering. I try to avoid that. (BTW some people call that a chemical pregnany but I don’t like that term. Whatever you want to call it, I miscarried.)

13. What are some stress relievers you use during TTC?
I wish I could say yoga or working out, but I don’t really have any. I just keep busy.

14. What themes or designs do you like for a nursery?
I like simple themes, based on colors not animals or characters. I do not like cartoony or childish themes, just not my style.

15. Do you plan to do pregnancy blogs if you conceive?
Yes! I have been blogging since before it was called blogging (I had an AOL Zine when I was in JHigh and High School and a Xanga when I was in college.) I would probably keep this blog but definitely change the name.

16. What have you bought for future baby?
Nothing. I would go crazy if I had to constantly look at things that reminded me that I wasn’t pregnant.

17. Do you have a birth plan?
Nope. I really don’t like planning for things that aren’t even a possibility yet (aside from baby names as my last post shows). I feel like that just leads to heartbreak and false hope. Once I am pregnant I will be a shopping, planning mess!!

Happy New Year?

ImageI woke up this morning, the very first day of 2014, a day full of hope for changes and a new year, to a snapchat from one of my BEST friends…. of her positive pregnancy test. Insensitive much? Sure, there is no good way to tell someone struggling with infertility that you are pregnant, but being that this woman knows my struggles and is one of my closest friends, I expected something more. I expected a phone call. I would have settled for a text even. But I get a snap chat.

This further confirms my belief that those who have never struggled with infertility will NEVER understand. They will never fully grasp the depth of your sadness, loneliness and anger. They will never have the words to say to make it better. In fact, chances are they will say all the wrong things.

So I shed a few tears, sucked it up and told her congrats. As a former mean girl, what I really wanted to do in that moment was call her an insensitive bitch. But I didn’t. And I won’t. Because she just doesn’t get it and she never will.

The Never Ending Cycle

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AF came Saturday. Month 10 was not our month. I really thought that double digits would bring us good luck. I have some weird reason why every month is going to be our month. But then AF comes, and the heartbreak sinks in again. I remember reading a blog once about the monthly cycle of a woman ttc. For those of you who haven’t experienced this this is how my month goes…

Cycle day 1: Heartbreak. The realization that another month has come and gone and my body still hasn’t done what it is supposed to do. Everything I’ve read and tried hasn’t worked. The prayers haven’t done anything. I usually find myself crying on this day. Anything can spark it, seeing a pregnant lady at Target, or a commercial with the perfect “family.” Any little reminder. Sometimes, I don’t even need that. Sometimes I just cry because the heartbreak is literally physically painful.

Cycle day 2-4: I am pretty numb. I cope. And then by the end of AF I have a plan of attack for next month. I start to find hope again. I read scripture and find myself praying more. I talk it out with E. We are on the same page & ready to make this month our month!

Cycle day 5-9: We try not to have sex too often, but let’s face it we both love sex. I am peeing on OPKs daily waiting for that +yes to show up. I am SO SURE this is our month now. I just know it. We make sure to have sex a day or two before my expected ovulation.

Cycle day 10-11: OPK gives me a +yes! Sometimes I tell E, sometimes I don’t. We have sex. We use Pre Seed. I stick my legs in the air for 20 minutes this month. Whatever it takes. I pray. We pray.

Cycle day 12-14: We have sex a couple more times. I try to keep things interesting. New positions. Lingerie. But the same thing happens. Pre seed. Legs in air. We start talking about baby names. We laugh about how funny we will be as parents. We plan family traditions and talk about the struggles of raising children in the military. We know this is the month.

Cycle day 15-22: Waiting. Dying of waiting. Praying and more praying. I try not to overdo the baby talk during the wait. I don’t want to jinx it. Every little minor ache or pain gives me hope. Maybe it’s implantation! I tell myself this over and over. I might have some spotting. When I do I immediately tell E. He gets so excited assuming it implantation bleeding, he rubs my belly and says we did it. We made a baby. I am constantly examining my body. Are my boobs heavier? Are they sore? Do I see more veins? Am I easily bloated? Are smells stronger than usual? I am in constant sensory overload. My mind never turns off. But every day I wake up and know this is the month!

Cycle day 23: I have minor cramping. My period starts in 2 days. It surely wouldn’t come this early… must be a good sign!

Cycle day 24: One more day (I have a short cycle) and we will possibly have even more belief that this month worked! I cramp here & there but fully believe that is from pregnancy or my endometriosis. Definitely NOT the beginning of AF. Can’t be. I am excited and so hopeful. This month hasn’t been stressful. We know what we’re doing now. We’re eating right. I’m not drinking. I laid off the caffeine. This is the month!

Cycle day 1: Heartbreak.

 

Rinse & Repeat.

 

But You Don’t Look Sick

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30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know
1. The illness I live with is: Endometriosis

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: I was diagnosed in 2007, after 7 years of tests, blood work, ultrasounds and dead ends.

3. But I had symptoms since: I can remember having symptoms as young as 14, when I first got my period. I knew something wasn’t quite right inside.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: I honestly don’t think I’ve had to adjust. This just IS my life. I don’t know any different.

5. Most people assume: that endometriosis means I have bad periods. The end. They don’t know the daily struggle, the fatigue, the pain, the bloating, the back pain, the leg & joint pain, the crippling, breath taking cramping, the intestinal problems…

6. The hardest part about mornings are: just getting up. I am always so tired. I could sleep all day long. On mornings where I wake up in pain, I can hardly get dressed without wanting to scream.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: I don’t watch any!

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: I would never survive this disease without my microwaveable heating pad!

9. The hardest part about nights are: finding the energy after work to do simple tasks like cleaning and cooking or running errands. On days where I’m in pain, the symptoms are always worse at night. Sometimes so bad I sit on the toilet hunched over for hours, pace the bathroom & just pray. Pray for the end.

10. Each day I take: 4 vitamins, Aleve & Zantac. I have been prescribed heavier meds but refuse to take them. I don’t want to be some doped up zombie.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: haven’t tried any. But I am not opposed.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I would choose to have an invisible illness. I do not want anyone’s pity. I have learned to deal with my disease and my purpose in sharing my life with it is not for others to know I’m sick. It’s to raise awareness & find support.

13. Regarding working and career: I work full time. After my first surgery, I was relatively pain free for about a year. In that year I went to school, worked a full time job & a part time job. Unfortunately life doesn’t stop because I’m in pain. I have to make money and I won’t let my bad days define me.

14. People would be surprised to know: That I break down, a lot. I cry myself to sleep sometimes. I find it hard just to get through the days sometimes. But I don’t show it.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: the difficulty it will be to get pregnant and the fear of never having kids.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: open up about it. To friends & family. And complete strangers.

17. The commercials about my illness: There is one commercial about endo. It’s for the Violet Petal study. Other than that there is basically 0 awareness.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: eating whatever I want!!

19. It was really hard to have to give up: Control. I am a control freak. Not being in control of my own body is a sick kind of torture.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: I haven’t really taken up any new ones, but I have been wanting to get into Pilates.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: wake up and work out, go for a long run, eat whatever I wanted for all meals & stay up way too late with E and our friends.

22. My illness has taught me: who I can depend on and trust. Also that no one will ever understand what it’s like to be in my shoes.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: when it comes to getting pregnant, “Just relax and it will happen.” Bitch. No.

24. But I love it when people: take an interest in what I am dealing with and offer their prayers and concern for E and I to get pregnant and my disease to get better.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: There are so many!! My motto is that anything can happen and I am exactly where God has planned for me to be.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: That it will be difficult, and painful and maybe even heart breaking. But it will be okay. There is so much support out there if you just look for it.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: that life just goes on. You just learn to cope.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: I was having a bad episode and E ran a hot bubble bath for me, brought me water and medicine and put my laptop in the bathroom so I could watch tv and relax. While I was in there he took care of all the house work for me. It seems so simple, but the way he loves me and takes care of me is amazing.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I’ve actually never even heard of it until today!

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: loved, hopeful, blessed.

All Things Are Possible

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I have this app on my phone called “Word.” It is a daily devotional and it has gotten me through some of the darkest times in this journey. The sermon always seems to speak right to me and fit my situation on the days I need it the most.

Today’s devotional discusses how with God all things are possible. As men, somethings are in fact humanly impossible. But if we put our faith in Him and let God take the wheel, we may just see that things aren’t so bad. That this is in fact the path He has created for is. And that the impossible can be possible with His salvation, forgiveness and love.

Today, I am feeling positive. I had a positive OPK on Saturday and DTD both Saturday and Sunday. I am feeling hopeful that this was a good month for E and I. And today I feel that, even though I am in pain and my body is fighting this disease, that with my faith this is possible. Conceiving is possible!

Sometimes we get so caught up in the worry and stress of TTC that we forget He has a plan.

Hope Through the Heartache

Oh so pictures!

I have been struggling with this whole blog idea. The when, if, how and whys of it all. You see at my core, I am a writer. And what do writers do in times of fear, despair and loneliness? We put pen to paper. Or in this case, fingers to keyboard. Some of the greatest songs, poems and books have come from dark places inside a writer’s heart and soul. The reason we write? To make sense of this crazy life and the pain we feel and also to maybe, just maybe inspire a bit of hope and faith in our readers. So, here goes…

When I was 6 years old I went up to my Mom and told her quite positively “I don’t think I will be able to have kids when I grow up.” And here I am, living that nightmare.

I’m S, your typical 29 year old married woman living on the East Coast. My husband is in the Army and I work full time in Marketing. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mother. I KNEW that was why I was on this Earth. While some women have career aspirations, I have family ones. I want a big family. I want to feel babies growing and developing inside me. I want to wake up in the middle of the night, sleep deprived, to nurse my children. I want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet running around my home. I want to watch my children grow up and some day have grand children. But this is just part of who I am. I am silly, passionate, opinionated & loving. I am emotionally driven, a leader and a planner. But every night when I lay my head down the only thing that crosses my mind is what I am not. I am not a mother.

I have been battling endometriosis since I was a teenager. (Side note: Firefox does not even recognize the word endometriosis. THIS is why we need to raise awareness, which is a blog all in itself). Endo is in both sides of my family, plaguing two aunts that were never able to conceive. Fighting the odds that have been handed to me, E and I have been trying to conceive (ttc), for 10 months now. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is really not that catastrophic. I may get pregnant next month, or never at all. But this is my journey and I am excited, and slightly apprehensive, to share it with you.