Fertile Journeys

May 28, 2009

Friends

Filed under: Random — by lhoham @ 8:00 pm

I’m really lucky. I have a lot of great friends. Without these friends I would be unable to make it through the really rough times, but also enjoy the great times. So here’s to my friends (pay attention Mom & Dad – you, too, are two of my great friends)!

Thank you for listening.

Thank you for being there.

Thank you for laughing with (and at) me.

Thank you for NOT laughing with (and at) me.

Thank you for baking cookies when I can’t (for fear of burning the house down AND without the use of one hand).

Thank you for going to the doctor’s with me when DH (dear husband) can’t.

Thank you for coaxing me out of my shell.

Thank you for letting me stay inside my shell.

Thank you for letting me rant.

Thank you for slapping me silly when I’m being rediculous.

Thank you for including me.

Thank you for accepting me.

Thank you for talking to me for hours on end.

Thank you for reveling in my joys.

Thank you for taking some of the burden of the pain away.

Thank you for your honesty.

Thank you for your loyalty.

My friends are like family to me. I hope they realize how much they mean to me. Whether you are near or far, I care deeply about you. For without you, the last year and a half would be unbearable.

It’s so interesting where life takes you – I never could have guessed that I would be living where I am and have the amazing friends that I do – both near and far. Sometimes I like to look back on my life and see just where it has taken me and the funny twists and turns it has taken to get me here. So, in my life (as in everyone’s I would imagine) I don’t always feel lucky. Things happen or don’t happen and it certainly doesn’t go as planned. But you know what? I am blessed with these wonderful people in my life that somehow make things okay in the end.

And on the topic of friends, I have a number of friends who are, or have been, experiencing infertility. We all meet up on an online message board that we call SK. One of my SK friends, Kari, is having a rough time. After trying to get pregnant for 9 years with 15+ cycles of IUI, she is finally pregnant with Quads! Yes, count `em – that’s four babies. And while her and her husband, Ben, are on cloud 9, they were recently faced with a whole new challenge. About a week ago, Ben was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He started Chemo on Sunday and will continue that for six months. Kari is on bed rest with the quads and they live in a rural community which requires significant travel to both of their doctors. I share this with you because I hope you will please keep Kari and Ben in your thoughts and prayers. I am so confident they will pull through this, but they need everyone’s help. If you are so inclined, please visit the Support Ben & Kari website or facebook page. And on a lighter SK note, congrats to all the ladies who got great news today!!! It was a big day on the SK front! A special congrats to Mandy who had her little Ada Ann today at 8:23AM – we all can’t wait to “meet” her!

benkari

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May 26, 2009

Pre-Op

Filed under: Infertility,Random — by lhoham @ 7:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

I had my pre-op for my laparoscopy and hysterscopy today. I had 3 vials of blood taken and met with one of the doctor’s in the practice who I had never met before. I was taken completely off guard when he came in because I was expecting the NP or PA who I usually see when I go. But, nope. In walks a new doctor with an Australian accent and salt n’ pepper hair – settle down, ladies, he was not cute…damn. The Australian accent gets us every time…The appointment was really uneventful, actually. He listened to my heart murmur and declared that either his hearing was going or it’s a faint murmur. It may be faint, but it’s caused by blood moving backwards in my heart…faint doesn’t make it any better! He wants me to check with my primary care doc or my cardiologist to see if I need antibiodics before the surgery…the funny thing about that is that I was supposed to go to the cardiologist oh, about a year ago, and haven’t made it there…smooth move. I suppose I’ll call my primary care and see what her take on it is…and perhaps I will make a trip to the cardiologist in the next few weeks. Or, maybe I’ll just go with “my cardiologist usually recommends antibiodics before surgery…” since my previous cardiologist did…hmm…decisions. In a way it felt good to be back in the office…all about moving forward and progress. We hope to begin our new cycle of injectable IUI with IV intralipids as soon as AF (aunt flo) arrives after the surgery. But, they said to expect bleeding for 2 weeks after surgery so I’m not sure how I’ll differentiate between that and AF…I’ll have to ask that question before they give me my happy martini drug to knock me out. Hopefully I’ll have the surgery and a few weeks later start all my drugs again. I also hope they will find something (see previous post) because if they do not, I’m going to freak out. I should have mentioned that to this doc today. Do you think if I ask really nicely, that they will lie and tell me they found massive amounts of endometriosis or scar tissue, even if nothing is there? It may sound unethical to you, dear reader, but to me, it would be a godsend.

www.womenssurgerygroup.com

On a totally different and random note, I am now back to typing with TWO hands…a first in five weeks!!! Yippeee!!!! I got the all clear from my physical therapist (as long as I wear my brace). I feel so much more productive now! So if my posts seem more stream-of-consciousness, it’s because I can type faster than I can think clearly…sorry for you. So, 4-5 more weeks of PT and hopefully I’ll re-gain full use of my left hand! It’s amazing the things you miss with just one hand – like washing your hair, opening a door, petting the dog, etc.

And a random, but IF related note, I almost cried when I saw a picture of a baby today…and not tears of happiness…and yet, I had to look at it. It was like a gorey scene from a movie…you don’t want to see it, but you look anyway. Typically I enjoy pictures of newborns, especially those from all my SK friends…but this picture really irked me….I practiced my deep breathing “shit if you cry at work AGAIN you’re going to kick your own butt” technique and recovered well, thanks for asking! 🙂

May 25, 2009

Want it so bad

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 8:04 pm

I know, I know – My time will come. I’m so young. Keep trying, etc. etc. And not that those words are bad – they aren’t. But, I want this so bad. You don’t even know – well maybe you do. I just wish there was some guarantee that things would work out. That wouldn’t be life. I know I’m lucky – I have amazing friends and family. I have a beautiful home, a good job, an adorable dog…life is good. But, empty at the same time. Everywhere I turn there are beautiful families, kids, and the worst, babies. I wish I could be immune to this, but it’s all around me.

We went to some fun get-togethers this weekend. On Saturday night, we got to spend time with some of our closest friends at a bar-b-que. I sat down at the table and started to ravenously eat the amazing cream cheese dip (yes, I have food issues – mainly that I love it) and started talking to some friends. Periodically, I would look out to the yard and see my husband playing and caring for the kids. It was one of those moments like when you are dating a guy and you see that he isn’t scared to death of children and you realize you can have a future with him – it was like that – except bittersweet. It was so cute and sweet. He was swinging with the kids and making sure they didn’t get hurt. He could have sat on the deck and ignored it all – I mean none of those kids were ours. But, he didn’t. He wanted to be with them. But, none of them are ours. And they should be. We should have a 4 month old – that’s how old our first baby would have been now. I keep thinking how different our lives would be if we had a child. And while I’m having a great weekend – it should be different. It should be cute when Ross is playing with our little one – not someone else’s child.

Everywhere I look – everything I do – I think about wanting a baby – not having a baby – how great it must be to have a baby. It’s tiring. I want to be strong and brave. And I think I am. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not the only thing I think about most days – because it is. And, I don’t know if it’ll work out. I don’t know if I can have children. I don’t know for sure that I’ll get my happy ending. I hope so – but, being hopeful is sometimes tiring…

Total downer, I know. Sorry. I really did have an awesome weekend. I just can’t stop thinking about babies…

May 21, 2009

Asking For Help

Filed under: Uncategorized — by lhoham @ 6:55 pm

I had a lunch date with a 90 year old man a few weeks ago. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that you can learn a lot from 90 year old men. Here’s the deal: I was in my big ugly cast (the fact that it’s ugly is besides the point, but it make me feel better to say it). I was trying to eat my lunch and I couldn’t break my bread to eat it. So my “date” reached over and broke my bread for me. He said, “Lindsey, sometimes you just need to ask for help.” And he’s right. We don’t always ask for help when we need it. Whether it be a matter of pride, stubbornness, or just shear embarrassment, we miss out on opportunities and make life more difficult when we keep our mouths shut. I’ve had to ask for a lot of help lately. Having the use of one arm has shown me that I need to swallow my pride every now and again. Take yesterday, for example. I went to Wegmans to grab some dinner and decided on a Panini and soup (yum-o, I know). I stupidly put a lid on the soup, paid for my goodies, and sat down. Easy enough, right? Not so fast. You can’t get a soup lid off with one hand…great. I can smell the soup. I can imagine the soup. But, I cannot access the soup. At this point I’m frustrated. I want the soup, but I’m embarrassed. (And mad at the first surgeon who cut my arm open twice and did both surgeries wrong leading to the third surgery that has left me one-armed…again, not the point). So, I pull myself together and stand in line again with my imprisoned soup to ask the nice girl at the cash register to open it for me. And she did. She freed my soup (which was delish by the way). I walked back to my table staring at the on-looker across the aisle from me – and told her how embarrassed I was. But, you know what? Sometimes people need help.

And while liberating my soup seemed very important at the time, there are other things I need help with at times. I need to ask my friends and family when I do need help without feeling ashamed of it. So, I will try to ask for help when I need it without feeling bad about it as I hope others will ask for my help when necessary. Because I would like to liberate someone else’s soup as that nice girl did for mine.

www.wegmans.com

May 20, 2009

Support Group

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 8:35 pm
Tags: ,

Disclaimer: Some of this is heavy stuff…just warning you. If you’re looking for all jokes today try The Tonight Show. Oh and I may not want to talk about this in “real life” so please don’t be offended. Baby steps…

Last night was great. I didn’t have a romantic night out with my hubby. Nor did It pig out on junk food while complaining about my hubby during girl’s night. Nope – But, I did attend a support group meeting.

One of the many reasons I love my fertility clinic is that they offer a plethora of services above and beyond simply getting you knocked up. Last night was their monthly support group meeting. I was totally akward at first. I walked in and immediately saw my RE who greeted me with a smile and a pat on the shoulder. Okay…you can do this, Lindsey. Next, I was greeted by my Nurse Practitioner. No touching from her – phew. I found a seat on the couch next to a nice looking couple and realized everyone had a copy of the book, Eat, Pray, Love (or is it Eat, Love, Pray – whatever). Shit. I didn’t realize this was a book club… Don’t make a scene, Lindsey – you got thru college without reading half the books…you’ll be fine. After some shuffling around with more IFers joining us, we got started. Immediately after introducing myself and explaining the Cliff notes version of my IF story, I almost started to cry. Well, actually I DID start to cry, but I recovered gracefully. I think it was an immediate relief knowing I was in that supportive environment where these girls all are going thru the same thing as me, and knowing that my RE and NP are taking their own time to help us. It was either that or the fact that one of the 11 other girls just found out she’s pregnant and I was pissed. One or the other. (Note: I got over my anger and jealousy after a few minutes and realized she is just like the rest of us…) So, for the first hour, Dr. K (my RE) spoke to us. Here’s what I learned.

1. We make the choice to be happy. We need to wake up every day and choose to have a good day. I’ll try…

2. Everything that happens is a gift from God – even the bad stuff. Always trying to believe this with varying degrees of success.

3. To pray simply means to ask. Now this one got me. I never thought I knew how to pray. But, seriously – it’s easy! I have shyed away from praying my whole life because I thought I wouldn’t do it right, but now I realize I am simply asking for what I want and need in life. I can do that. and I did – last night – for the first time in ages – I asked God to help me see how these seemingly bad or hard or challenging things are gifts. And of course I prayed for a baby.

http://www.grace-united.com/PrayerRequests.html

4. We each are the center of the universe. Okay, this one was a bit far out there…they can’t all be jems.

5. We need to reinforce to our brains that we can get, and stay, pregnant – making the brain believe it is half the battle. (I’m not sold on HALF…but, I’d say 25% at least).

6. How to meditate…this one always gets me. I usually spend more time worrying that I’m not relaxing enough and finally just get flustered – BUT, we learned some great techniques last night that really work. My personal fav is breathing in for 4 counts and out for 5 counts. In 1-2-3-4. Out 1-2-3-4-5. You get so focused on counting that you can’t do much else. And after just a few of those, you feel your body relax. It’s great! Try it. In 1-2-3-4. Out 1-2-3-4-5. Isn’t it great? I’m sure you’ll be hooked.

Now while this all was amazing – us gals were overwhelmed and weary by the time his hour was up – I think we were all a little relieved when he had to leave. It was heavy stuff! Oh, so back to the book! We got a pass – we went so long with Dr. K that they pushed the book to next month! Saved! I felt like a high schooler whose history test (that she clearly didn’t study for) was moved to the next day! Perfect. And even better, she gave us talking points in case we really didn’t want to read the book. Even better! Definitely like college now…

We spent the next two hours talking about lots of different things – side effects of meds (really – it is annoying when our husbands breath too loud) to how much IVF costs ($5,800). It was a nice opportunity to meet other people who know what you’ve been through, as well as help new people along. I am already looking forward to next month!

May 17, 2009

Small Victories

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 2:39 pm

I went to the farmer’s market yesterday. That’s right. And I liked it. You all must be so proud. You see, last year, after my first m/c, I stopped going. It was just too painful. There are kids EVERYWHERE. And babies – you can’t spit without hitting a stroller. It was sad for me because I love the farmer’s market. I live in a beautiful small town where everyone knows eachother and you can catch up with neigbors and friends while enjoying homemade treats and stocking up on veggies, flowers, home goods, and jewlery. But, after losing the baby, I couldn’t face it. Until yesterday. I made my maiden voyage down the hill to our little village in the valley and I enjoyed every second of it. Well, okay, there were still a number of strollers and, gasp, pregnant women (the nerve), but, I delt with it. I figure one day, when I’m pregnant with a baby that wants to stick around, I will want to parade my fat self with glowing skin and a smile the size of Texas all around the Village Green takimg in the beauty and comraderie of the farmer’s market. So I get it – this is their time. I’ll let them be fat and happy now and when it’s my turn, others will let me. But for now I’m going to enjoy the small victories.

From www.colgateinn.com

May 15, 2009

Feeling Left Behind

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 7:08 pm
Tags: , ,

So here’s the deal – I feel left behind. It feels like the whole world is knocked up and I’m not. A pitty party? Maybe. I want to be doing something – anything – to move towards the goal of children and what am I doing? Sitting here with a purple cast on my arm with a week-long stomach ache (w/associated pelvic & back pain to make things really fun). A purple cast, you might say? Yes. After having surgery on my left wrist twice for a ganglion cyst by a surgeon who didn’t know what he was doing apparently, I had to have a third surgery to fix the cysy AND the first surgeon’s mistake. And that bought me a month in a cast. So I decided on purple which the nurse informed me was a “fabulous choice” and here I am typing with one hand while I prop the other one in the air b/c it STILL hurts after 4 weeks! Purple Cast...So back to the stomach ache. The RE can’t figure out what’s wrong with me – meaning why I can’t seem to have a baby. All the tests have come back perfect (See The Short Story). But there is one more “test” I need to have to rule out important things such as endometriosis, scar tissue, and structural defects – surgery. Seriously? Seriously. I get to have more surgery. And I feel like it might show something…which again brings me back to the stomach ache. I think I may have either endometriosis or scar tissue from the D&C (and subsequent complications). And this stomach ache might be part of that. Or maybe I have the Swine Flu – you never know. I have many of the symtoms and the only sure way to diagnose and fix both endo or Asherman’s Syndrom (scar tissue) is through a laparoscopy & hysteroscopy. Sounds like fun, huh? So on June 9 I will for the 6th time in my life have surgery. And the kicker? They might not find anything! I know I should want there to be nothing “wrong” with me…but, really I do. I want there to be something they can fix so I can keep a baby…enough’s enough, right? I think I will have a meltdown if they say nothing’s wrong with me. Then why #1 have I had 4 m/c and #2 am I in so much pain? Maybe they’ll lie and say there is something wrong even if there is not…I can give you my doc’s number if anyone wants to call him…

So…where do we go from there? After the surgery, I will try a second round of injectable IUI with my lovely cocktail of drugs that make me fat, sore, and cranky and add one more IV therapy drug which will protect the baby against my body since my RE suspects my body may be attacking my little babies. Now that’s heart-warming.

Well now – that was a solid pitty party. I’m not always this cranky. Some days I’m downright hopeful…but, not today.

Hello world!

Filed under: Random — by lhoham @ 1:55 am

Hello world! Welcome to my blog! I wasn’t going to start a blog, but I caved! Follow me as I make my was to motherhood! Please read The Short Story for all the background info you’ll ever want to know, and more!

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