Category Archives: Our Journey

Don’t Ignore…

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Did you know that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week? Chances are someone you know is either struggling with infertility or has gone through infertility before they were finally able to conceive.

I challenge you to not ignore infertility. Infertility is a disease and should be treated as such. Instead our government and society has chosen to ignore the fact that this is a disease, just like a mental illness, cancer, kidney disease, arthritis and many other medical conditions.

I did not choose infertility, it chose me! Just like I didn’t choose to have problems with my cholesterol by eating greasy, fried foods every day. I didn’t choose to have problems with my blood sugars by consuming too many carbs. I didn’t choose to be over weight by eating too much junk food. And I certainly didn’t choose to have excessive hair growth. Instead, infertility chose me to have these problems, problems that if identified individually, our society would consider to be a disease and all insurance companies would cover treatment.

So, the next time your friend or family members tells you that they are struggling to get pregnant, don’t tell them to give it time, it will happen. Don’t tell them that it will happen when they take a break from trying. Don’t tell them that they can always adopt. Don’t tell them to stand on their head after sex. And most definitely don’t tell them that it’s fun to try until you have looked at your toilet paper for the millionth time, charted your basil body temperature for the last three years, used an ovulation prediction kit for 20 days in a month, endured the horrible side effects of fertility medications that you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on, or taken a hundred pregnancy tests only to be disappointed every month that your dreams of having a child are slowly going out the window.

Don’t ignore the fact that they are struggling with infertility! Be supportive of what they are going through, as it is an emotional rollercoaster! What we need most is support. And if it’s your child who is struggling with this disease, most definitely do not bug them about having grandchildren for pete sake!

Want to know what else you can do to support infertility? Contact your local representative about supporting the Family Act of 2011 bill to help thousands of people receive the treatment they need that they otherwise would be unable to get!

You can stop ignoring infertility by better understanding the basics of infertility and what your friend or family member may be going through. Resolve.org is a fabulous site dedicated to promoting infertility awareness!

You can read more about our journey here, here, and here.

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Merry Christmas Ya’ll

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I hope ya’ll had a Merry Christmas! I’m very thankful that I was able to spend Christmas at home with the hubby after being in the hospital for two days.

For the last two weeks I had been having severe abdominal pain on and off. One night it started and just never stopped. It was horrible! I could barely stand up and walk at times. I went to the doctor last Saturday and he thought I had a blocked duct between my liver and pancreas. He ordered some testing and gave me some medications to help with the spasms.

I had to wait until Wednesday to have an ultrasound done to find out what was going on. And if the ultrasound showed something major, he was going to send me to a gastroentronologist. By Thursday afternoon, I called the doctor’s office because I was in the worst-pain-ever. Only to find out that the doctor was out of the office, that no one had read my blood work from Saturday and they weren’t sure if the ultrasound report was even in the office.

I managed to work all day and when I got home, the hubby & I headed to the hospital because I couldn’t go on with this pain any more, something HAD TO BE DONE! It didn’t take long to get into a room in the ER, only to be seen by the doctor who acted like a total jerk in the beginning. I told him about the testing that I had done at their hospital and just wanted answers to my pain, since I didn’t seem to be getting that from the doctor I saw. He seemed to have a just.suck.it.up.and.deal.with.it attitude. He ordered some blood work and a urine test. After looking at my past tests, he noticed that something wasn’t right and that was confirmed by the urine test. So, he ordered a CT scan.

After what seemed like forever, the doctor came in to chat with us, in which started our whirlwind of a night. It turned out that even though I don’t have a gall bladder {had it out when I was 11 because I had 11 gall stones}, you can still make stones & sure enough, I had them and they were blocking the common bile duct and needed to be removed ASAP. The problem being, there was no doctor in our area that does the special procedure to remove them.

In order to avoid having to go through this whole ER process over again, the next thing I remember, was being whisked away by the squad {in EMT/Fire Personal Terms, ambulance- turns out that both my mother & grandmother thought I went by police squad, lol!} and heading to a hospital about 30 minutes away. Thankfully, my hubby was a fire fighter and fire fighter/EMT’s around here also work the private ambulance services, so I knew the people who were taking me, which made the process a little bit less scary for my first ride in a squad at 27!

I spent the next five hours dozing in and out of conciseness in the most uncomfortable bed e.v.e.r., while listening to the lady next to me scream at the nurses, before I was finally admitted. Friday morning was filled with meeting with various doctors and trying to find out if I was going to be able to have this procedure done that day or next week. Apparently, major hospitals allow all essential personal to take the holiday’s off. That was just my general thought, when all the doctors were freaking out because they didn’t know if they could get anyone to do the surgery.

 

 

Next thing I know, I’m being told I’m going to surgery to have this specialized procedure done. They had to put in a stent in order to open up the common bile duct to remove the stones. Finally before I was discharged on Christmas Eve, a doctor told me that I had multiple stones, but never gave an exact number.  I have to go back in a couple months to have the same procedure done again to remove the stent, but will be on an outpatient basis, thank goodness, because I don’t think my hubby could handle all this again.

One thing I have learned over the years is that you have to advocate for yourself. I’m sure I’m a doctor’s worse patient, calling all the time, wanting to know my results, etc, but had I not been looking out for my personal health, I would still be in pain and have had a lot worse problems, because the doctor would have just sent me on to someone else. They decided to return my phone call Friday right before I went into surgery. I told them it was to late!

We are so thankful that I didn’t have to spend Christmas in the hospital. Needless to say, we had a very low key, quite Christmas day at home. It was weird because we didn’t have anyone come over and no family in town visiting this year. The hubby did do a great job at making Christmas dinner for us though.

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PCOS Awareness Month

September is PCOS Awareness Month. When Attain Fertility mentioned on Facebook that they were looking for people to submit their stories about PCOS, I was more than happy to share my story.

To my surprise yesterday morning, I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and saw that my story, was the first to kick off PCOS Awareness Month!

To read more about my PCOS story, check out AttainFertility.com.

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Being Real…

Dear Fellow Bloggy Friends,

I am so sorry for the lack of posts lately. For the last few months, I just haven’t felt like myself. It has taken all of my energy to just get out of bed most days and go to work. By the time I get home, I’m ready to go back to bed, which means that not a lot of other projects have been getting done. Thanks to my wonderful husband for putting up with me throughout this.

For years I have been battling chronic pain without any type of actual diagnosis as far as what causes the pain. I had tried various medications to help relieve the pain so that I could at least function somewhat. Last summer after deciding to take a break from our TTC Journey, my family doctor who I love, put me on a medication that worked really well, but hasn’t been determined if it’s safe to take while pregnant, so I stopped taking it when we decided to start our journey again this year.

In April we received news that our last round of fertility medication was unsuccessful and learned what our next options are. The doctor would like us to try some injectable medications before moving on to IUI. So until we can save up enough money to try that, I decided to talk to my doctor about going back on the medication that made me feel better. And thankfully she is agreeable and I think I might finally have a diagnosis to all of my pain and other symptoms… Fibromyalgia.

I am WAY too young to have such a diagnosis and to let it affect my life the way that it has. My mom was diagnosed with it in her mid-thirties and later another form of arthritis that affects her life on a daily basis.

In the mean time I am determined to get to feeling better and increase my energy. I hope that you’ll stick with me through this difficult time. I promise that I will be back full swing as soon as the energy comes back. I have lots of projects and idea’s to share.

Once again, thanks for sticking with me and hope you understand that I need to take care of myself and my family first and foremost.

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PS- I have also created a separate shop on Facebook for Luv & Laughter Creations. Stop by and become a fan to find out about my latest creations that I have for sale or leave a message if you’re interested in a custom order. And don’t forget to suggest the site to your friends!

National Infertility Awareness Week

April 24th-30th is National Infertility Awareness Week and RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association is having a blog challenge to Bust A Myth about infertility in order to educate more people about infertility.

Myth: Infertility is not a disease…

Infertility is every much a disease as is, diabetes, high cholesterol, Schizophrenia, arthritis, or cancer. Just because someone doesn’t have the appearance of someone with Schizophrenia, or walking with a cane like someone with arthritis may do, doesn’t mean they aren’t dealing with a disease that is not visible. 

When I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome in August 2009, I started learning about the symptoms. Then I started putting two and two together and realized that PCOS explained all the other symptoms I have had throughout my life.

The biggest symptom of all? My weight. I have always been overweight, even as a child and no matter how much I watched my food intake or how much I exercised, I struggled to loose weight. I remember my senior year of college, I was working out every day, my job was physically demanding and I had two flights of stairs to walk up to my apartment. And no matter what, that darn scale would never move.

A few years later after switching family doctors, I was diagnosed with having a fast pulse and high blood pressure. My menstrual cycles were never regular as a teen or after stopping birth control. I also had symptoms related to my insulin levels, even though I have not been diagnosed with diabetes and have excessive hair in places it shouldn’t be.

Just because there are medications that can be used to treat this disease, each medication is different and doesn’t always work for everyone; just the same as any other disease.

Infertility is a disease and insurance companies should be required to cover infertility. I am lucky to live in one of the few states that have mandatory infertility coverage, but that doesn’t mean that the employer is required to offer the coverage. We have been lucky that our insurance has covered a lot of the testing we’ve had done to date, including expensive monthly blood tests, but unfortunately it’s not going to cover our next steps. So until we can save up enough money to give our parents grandchildren, our fertility journey is on hold.

Insurance companies need to realize that this is a disease and offer more coverage, as infertility can become very costly for a couple who very desperately want nothing more than to be parents. Yes, adoption can be a great thing, but there is nothing like having your own biological children.

So when you hear about my story, don’t tell me that I can always adopt. Don’t tell me that it’ll happen when God decides the time is right.  Don’t tell me that it’ll happen when we take a break or go on a vacation. Don’t tell me to stand on my head after sex. And certainly don’t tell me that it’s fun trying until you have looked at your toilet paper for the millionth time, charted your basil body temperature for the last two years, used an ovulation prediction kit for 20 days in a month, endured the horrible side effects of fertility medications or taken a hundred pregnancy test only to be disappointed every month.

Because infertility is a disease just like diabetes or anything else.

For more information on infertility please visit  RESOLVE.ORG and click here to find out more about National Infertility Awareness Week.

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Our Journey

This month marks one year that we have been on our journey to become parents. Up until this point, I have never been comfortable sharing our journey with anyone other than our close friends and family. There is nothing harder than answering the million dollar question of “when are you going to have a baby?” when all you’ve ever wanted to do in your life is to become a mom and there is a big hurdle standing in your way to that dream.

To mark our one year on this journey, I thought I would write about our journey and the future of our journey in order for me to have it in writing since this obstacle has only made me stronger.

We decided to began trying to conceive (TTC) on January 7th, 2009, when I met with my doctor to discuss going off birth control and what to expect. I had been on the Depo injection for many years due to problems with my menstrual cycle and the Depo just stopped everything. My last injection had been three months prior and January 7th was the day I was due for the next, but chose to begin our journey. I completed necessary blood work to test for things I had never heard of before and thought we were doing everything right by planning for our future family.

By the end of February my cycle had returned after many many years and for once in my life, I thought it was going to be “normal”. As a teenager, I had all kinds of problems with my cycles and I never knew what “normal” was. So I was pleasantly surprised when this cycle only lasted 5 days.

And then… Aunt Flo didn’t return until May and must have thought she would overstay her welcome for 20+ days. By this point I was having a lot of the symptoms that I was having as a teenager and I had, had enough of this. I was at my family doctor in June when I had told her what was going on (I love my family doctor) and I asked if there was any chance I could have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She told me that she had been thinking all along that this is what I had due to other symptoms I had, like being unable to lose weight no matter what I did, high blood pressure, my good cholesterol was high and my blood sugar was low. The next day I called my OB/GYN to schedule an appointment, but couldn’t get in until August (remember we were in mid-June at this point).

In July Aunt Flo decided it would be fun to knock on my uterus and once again overstay her welcome by another 20+ days. This time I called the doctor about 15 days in to Aunt Flo’s extended stay, to tell her, I had had enough and wanted answers. Thankfully, she was able to get me in the same day and officially diagnosed me with PCOS. Which was followed by ultrasounds and blood work to confirm what I already knew.

I followed up in August and discussed our options for TTC. She put me on Metformin to help stop Aunt Flo from making unannounced and over stayed visits. This is when I found out that because of the PCOS that I wasn’t ovulating and we would need fertility drugs to get pregnant. You should have seen my face when the doctor told me the odds of having twins and triplets with Clomid.

I was already scheduled to have surgery on my foot in October, so we decided to wait to begin the Provara and Clomid until November when I was able to walk again and off pain medications.

November 15th, I started my first of five rounds of Provara and Clomid. And over the next seven months I would experience irritability, confusion, forgetfulness, mood swings, unbearable headaches, lack of energy and motivation. But nothing was worse than experiencing disappointment every time Aunt Flo didn’t  make her monthly visit and I was told to pee on a stick and report the results to the doctor, always resulting in a big fat negative.

Each negative, resulted in the Clomid being increased, in order to increase the chances of ovulating. Out of five cycles, it only worked once, on 150mg’s, when my progesterone levels where high and Aunt Flo returned on her own. The next month the Clomid was increased to 200 mg’s and once again, we were disappointed, more so this time than the pervious times since we thought we’d have much better luck with the increase since the 150mg seemed to have worked.

That was May/June of this year. Currently we have stopped TTC and focusing on reducing the stress in our lives and I have been working on losing weight in order to increase our chances. Thanks to the Metformain and another medication I am on, I have lost over 40 pounds in the last year. We have one more round of Clomid before we have to see a Fertility Specialist to discuss our other options if we are unsuccessful this last time.

In the mean time I am trying to stay positive and leave our journey in the hands of God and come to terms with the fact that his timing isn’t always our timing.

Our Journey isn’t over, rather, it’s just beginning.

Our journey never gets easier, especially when everyone you know is pregnant and having babies and even commercials can cause your emotions to rise and take a toll on you. It’s hard to believe that we started this journey almost 2 years ago. The most difficult thing I have struggled with throughout this journey is not having anyone to talk to who understands what I am going through. Thankfully I have found some blogs of women who have or are going through the same things and my niece just under went IVF and is expecting in December. It makes it easier to know that miracle  do happen and someday, we will be holding our bundle of joy in our arms. Until then, we are tossing around the idea of becoming foster parents.

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