Miscarriage # 4

Well, I was wrong in my last post.  I was indeed pregnant after all.  I feel very foolish.  Early this morning I miscarried.

It was bad. I’d forgotten (which is probably a good thing…) just how physically painful miscarriage is.  Even the “chemical” miscarriages, a/k/a early losses.

I’m kind of stunned and in a weird place right now.  The fact that Jake and I got pregnant at all without intervention is pretty amazing.  But, still.  The ending doesn’t feel as incredible as the knowledge that we actually conceived.

Maybe I’ll write more about it later.  For now, I took a sick day from work and am staying in bed to ride this thing out.

Could be that we’re both just in shock.

Surreal.

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Life Update

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It’s been five months since my last post.  I’ve been meaning to post here but, life.  Today I brushed the dust off this site and realized, “Crap! Almost half a year’s gone by!”  I may have broken a personal (non)blogging record by waiting so long.

Anyway, quickie update. I’m just gonna post the highlights, forget about editing it (I agonize over editing and end up erasing much of what I’d written), and go about my day.


Here’s the highlights:

TTC:  My eight-year foray into TTC Land is drawing to a painfully slow crawl.  For instance, I have become completely unreliable about using my fertility monitor and OPKs—some months I do, other months it feels like an exercise in futility.  I haven’t BBT temped in one year now and have no plans to return, either.

I sought out a new doc earlier this summer about my intermesntrual bleeding, ongoing ovary pain, ongoing infertility, blah blah blah.  As per usual, he was utterly unhelpful.  At the end of the appointment, he said, “I’ll see you next year.  Unless you get pregnant—then call me.”  I wanted to smack him.  I left the appointment feeling all of the usual deflated frustration that accompanies each fruitless medical visit I’ve been to.  I won’t be calling him again.  Ever.

Pregnancy: Today my period is four days late.  Maybe that has something to do with suddenly inspiring me to update here, some subconscious reaction?  Don’t get excited, people: I actually (foolishly?) took a pregnancy test this morning, which is something I never do.  It was just the one line.  I sat there on the toilet seat at 5:00 a.m. holding that single-lined sucker up to the light at every.possible.angle, but still it remained negative.  And the couple of times I fished the used test from the trashcan (because we all do that, no?) it was just as negative as the first time.

Today I’m reminded of why I never take HPTs and hate them so very, very much—I really dislike the feeling associated with negative pregnancy tests.  A lot.  It brings back some bad crap.   At least a period saves me from the feelings that HPTs arouse.

Why is my period four days late?  Who knows!  My cycles are normally predictable and regular to a fault.  Just one of those months, maybe?  Or maybe I’m getting near menopause?  Sometimes I think that might not be all bad…

 

Surgery:  I have decided not to plan any more surgeries for the time being.  I can’t seem to find a doctor worth his or her salt, so all future surgeries are on halt.  Also, I’m tired of having surgeries.  It seems that surgery has never done anything to alleviate my endometriosis symptoms, so why bother having it done?

 

Boobs:  This morning I had my third mammogram and boob ultrasound!  I woke up last Thanksgiving to horrific one-sided breast pain and it never left since.  I’ve had a slew of mammos and u/s since that time, and but all the docs ever find wrong with my mammaries are benign cysts.   Lots and lots and lots of benign cysts—seven at last count just in one boob alone! Two of them look “complex,” so the docs monitor me every six months to keep an eye on them.  The docs tells me that the cysts are most likely inflamed, which probably accounts for the pain.

It goes without saying that I am grateful for this report.  “Only” boob cysts are good(ish) news!  At the same time, it’s also extremely frustrating, because breast cysts are so random and elusive: No one seems to know why they happen, when they happen, why they only happen to some women, why they sometimes hurt and sometimes don’t, why they get inflamed, and whether they will go away and/or come back.

The doc offered to aspirate the cysts at my next follow up, which is basically all they can do for breast cysts.  Aspiration does nothing to prevent the cysts from returning/filling back up with fluid.  I think I’ll pass on that one.

Also, side note: boob smooshing hurts.   So does cyst smooshing.  Being a woman is often a painful endeavor.

Childlessness:  The doozy of all updates!  Jake and I are hanging out in some kind of no-man’s land of fertility.  Most months, we try for a baby; each month, we fail.  But it’s become a kind of “expected” fail.  Don’t get me wrong, the accompanying disappointment of failure is always real each month, but it’s briefer and less intense.

We are moving on in our own way and accepting our life as Childless Not By Choice.  It’s not all bad.  I’ve been reading books on the subject, which definitely help me to feel less alone.


Whelp, that about does it.  This is perhaps one of my most boring posts to date, so kudos to you if you’re still here reading it!  I’ll try not to let another five months slip by before updating again.

Peace.

Four Year Blogoversary

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Another year on WordPress?  Wowzers, four years have flown by here on The Endo Zone!  Even though I had no real plan in mind when I created this space in 2015, I certainly didn’t imagine that four-plus years later I’d still be blogging.  Well, sort of blogging; at best, I’m a sporadic blogger.

The future of The Endo Zone is hazy.  I have been (and continue to be) in a kind of limbo when it comes to TTC.  We continue trying for a baby naturally; I’m in between doctors (again, *sigh*); with nothing new happening,  the months have somehow turned to years.  With no real “news” to report, I haven’t been blogging as much, but I also have no plans to take the site down, either.  Blogging is something I’ve been meaning to get back to doing, and I have to make the time for it (sorry, guys!).

Thanks for sticking with me these past four years!  I will try my best to post an update in the coming days.

Here’s links to:

Peace.

 

 

 

Canceled

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Well, this is a post I definitely didn’t foresee myself writing. I was all set to have my surgery this week, and—at the last minute—it fell apart. Actually, more like it was never going to happen anyway, although I would have been the last person to know.

Here’s the condensed version.

During my last office visit with Dr. Lee, we scheduled my surgery. While I sat on the exam table, I watched her add my surgery into her computerized calendar. Just as I prepared to leave, Dr. Lee ran back into the exam room to have me sign a surgical consent form, which she had nearly forgotten to do. I signed it, she gave me a folder with pre-op instructions, and I went on my way.

A few days before surgery, I called Dr. Lee’s office for a copy of my bowel prep instructions (in my experience, every doctor does bowel prep a bit differently).  Imagine my surprise when Dr. Lee’s office manager told me that I wasn’t scheduled for surgery on March 12 at all!  The office manager (I’ll call her Sandra) said that my surgery didn’t appear on Dr. Lee’s calendar and accusingly informed me that I had failed to sign a consent form. As kindly possible, I explained that she was entirely wrong on both counts. Besides, even if I had neglected to sign a consent form, well whose fault is that? It’s the office’s responsibility to obtain consents, not the patient’s to remind them to do their job.

An hour later, Sandra called back saying she could squeeze me in for surgery after all on March 12!  Although still annoyed, I was relieved, and figured the problem had been fixed.

An hour after that, Sandra called again saying Dr. Lee could not perform my surgery on March 12 because all her other surgeries that day were complex cases like mine, and there wasn’t time for me.

To say I was livid would be an massive understatement. I was even more livid that Dr. Lee’s office tried blaming ME for their glaring error!  Also, it was beyond unprofessional that Dr. Lee personally didn’t call me. What happened in my case is a massive error for a doctor’s office to make, but the fact that she sent Sandra to do her bidding rather than taking a moment to personally call me was the icing on the cake.

I declined Sandra’s offer to reschedule my surgery.  If Dr. Lee can’t be trusted to, I don’t know, run a medical practice efficiently, how could I trust her to operate on me?! I especially was insulted by her office twice trying to blame me for their ineptitude. I had arranged time off from work, Jake had taken a personal day to accompany me to surgery, and I had hired a friend who is a former nurse to stay with me the day after surgery. Expecting to be temporarily bed-ridden, I had made other preparations, such as pre-preparing food and scrubbing my home clean, which I could have avoided. It was also embarrassing to have to explain to several people that my surgery was off.

What my next step is remains to be seen. There is a definite God Factor that is part of this story, but I don’t want this post to get too long because no one likes to read really long blog posts.

So stay tuned; part two is coming up.

 

Pre-op Festivities

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In keeping with my tradition of being a Bad Blogger, I never did blog my promised update for surgery #6.  Oops.  I’ve been meaning to update here for awhile, but: life.  You know how it is.

My next surgery is set for March 12.  Four-plus weeks sounds like a long time, but I’m sure it’ll whiz by.  My pain level and symptoms from endo have amped up during the last few months, so I’m really hoping that after this surgery will provide much-needed relief.

Surgery will be laparoscopy accompanied by D&C, hysteroscopy, and chromtubation.  Dr. Lee is also going to cauterize my cervix (again) in an attempt to stop my intermenstrual bleeding. I do not have high hopes that cauterization will work this time, because it did nothing to stop or even slow my bleeding last time. Time will tell though, and I’d be relieved to be wrong. A colo-rectal surgeon will assist Dr. Lee, if needed. I really hope s/he is not needed. Recovering from partial bowel resection is no joke, and not something I wish to repeat, like, EVER.

Pre-op this time around is pretty breezy: I’ll have some blood work done—including an updated AMH, just for kicks—and the day before surgery I’ll do a bowel prep. Bowel preps are some nasty business. This will be my third bowel prep, and I don’t expect it to be any funner than the other two were (which were so unfun I can’t even say …). Even so, I don’t have much in the way of pre-op testing, which I’m pleased about.

Dr. Lee suspects that I have endo either on my urethra or attached to one of the nerves that runs near it in my groin area. Lately I’ve been suffering from weird pubic/groin/whatever pain that shoots through my body and causes abdominal spasms. And I mean spasms, like spasm spasms, where my whole body jerks uncontrollably for minutes on end. It has had Jake and I completely freaked out, but according to Dr. Lee, patients with severe endo often have it on their urethra or nearby nerves, so that was (sort of?) reassuring.

In addition, I’ve been having ongoing stabbing uterine pain throughout my whole cycle that jars me and doubles me over. Clearly, something bad is going on in my uterus. My pelvic MRI didn’t show much, but in my opinion it was kind of a waste, because what can MRI really show when it comes to endometriosis?  I’m still not clear why Dr. Lee orderd my MRI in the first place, but, hey, I’m not the doctor here.

Otherwise, I’m prepared for my next surgery.  I fully know what to expect, how to prepare, and what recovery is like, so I feel little-to-no nerves in that department. I’m just glad it’s scheduled and am looking forward to maybe having relief this time around.

Peace.

 

 

 

Upcoming Surgery #6

Hello, all—if anyone’s still out there! My blogging has been slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y crawling toward the point of nonexistence, and I’m so sorry for being such a terrible blogger! But, life happens.

Alas, here I am. Still sometimes blogging and always still walking among the infertility trenches. But I’m beginning to climb out: I see a definite end in sight—even if that end involves bidding adieu my unproductive reproductive parts.

Blogging

In big news, part of my blogging absence is because Jake and I bought a house! Long story short, we bought  a townhouse, moved to the burbs, and are currently adjusting to the massive shock of our lives being completely uprooted.

The other reason for my blogging absence is because fertility/infertility hasn’t been much on my radar. For awhile I believe infertility became an idol in my life. It was all-consuming. As time passes, it slips further and further down my Top Ten list. Lately, at best I’m halfway interested in infertility’s role in my life. Mostly, I’m trying to move away from it, rather than digging in deeper. I want to move on.

Endometriosis Surgery

Back in October while scouring the internet for an endo specialist, I found a contender, right in my own backyard! Jake and I had a surgery consult with the doc, Dr. Lee, last week. Dr. Lee is an endometriosis wizard (wizardess?) and I think I’ll be in good hands with her for an excision surgery. She’s head of gynecology at a hospital in the city and know a lot about endo. Despite that her beside manner struck me as clinical and slightly cold, I still liked her because she plans to do a thorough endo cleanup on me.

Dr. Lee’s surgical plan is more involved than my last cleanup. Because I had a partial bowel resection during one of my prior endo surgeries, I have to meet with a colo-rectal surgeon. A pre-op bowel prep will also be involved (yech). Next week I’m having a pre-op pelvic MRI, which Dr. Lee also ordered. Then some other x-ray or specialist or… something… is involved. I basically forgot at this point what she was saying. I got hung up on the whole, “It’ll be a big surgery” part, and the rest was kind of a haze. There’s also a good chance I’ll spend a night or two in the hospital if my colon is involved again.

Surgery will be excision of endometriosis, removal of adhesions and any cysts, and cauterizing my cervix (again…) to try stopping its endless bleeding. Unlike my last two surgeries, this won’t be a daVinci robotic surgery.

Hysterectomy

Like every doctor before her, Dr. Lee reviewed my previous surgical reports and was all gloom-and-doom about my prospects for fertility and for long-term endo relief. She kept emphasizing my need to have a hysterectomy, and for the first time in many years I actually heard her out about it. Normally I tune out the docs when they start yammering on about the virtues of hysterectomy (although never the downsides… hmm), but I’m starting to wonder if maybe—just maybe—the docs are right.

It mostly comes down to quality of life: Do I want to keep a modicum of fertility, but live with ceaseless pain and bleeding? Or do I want to say goodbye to that sliver of hope/fertility, but finally have pain relief (and, dare I say, closure)?

I’ve reached a point where I can’t 100% confidently say that I want a baby badly enough to continue suffering physically and emotionally with pain from endo, pain and bleeding from a super-friable and inflamed cervix, pain from fibroids, endless ovary pain, pain from breast cysts (yeah, that’s a new thing…), painful intercourse, mega monster incapacitating cramps, and the icing on the cake: infertility. I just want it all gone… even if that means I can never be a mama. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. We’re praying for God’s leading on this. For now, I wait quietly.

 

How to Accept Childlessness

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If I ever wished for a how-to book to exist, it’d be called How To Accept Childlessness.  And the byline would read something like ‘…Without Being a Failure Who Gave Up.’   It’d be pretty awesome to have a guidebook to know if I’m doing the whole ‘I surrender’ thing the right way.

Acceptance of our childlessness state has majorly been on my mind these days.  Not that I’ve fully accepted childlessness (yet).  But I am getting there, little by little.  This… Thing… in me that I never before knew existed is starting to pop up—a Thing that’s okay (*gulp*) with not having a child.  The fact that The Thing even exists causes me unease.  The Thing has evolved slowly, in myriad little ways that are impossible to describe.  Regardless, The Thing is here.  And it grows stronger with each failing cycle.

We’ve been fighting for more than seven years to have a baby.  It’s been degrees of fighting though—from the trying-not-trying phase to full-out maniacal trying.  We’ve had months when we were lackluster in timing intercourse, and we’ve had months when we’d frantically take pregnancy tests the moment my period was late.  Either way, we’d always fight and try and keep going—the idea of giving up just didn’t exist.

But those lackluster months are becoming more frequent lately.  Somewhere along the way, I’ve quit taking my daily basal body temperature.  Two out my last three cycles I’ve left my fertility monitor and ovulation tests forgotten, to gather dust on the bathroom shelf.  Anymore, the prospect of monitoring my cycle seems both tedious and monumental.

I think to myself, “So this must be how it begins—acceptance.”  And I feel a mixture of peace (mixed with melancholy relief) and apprehension (as I watch the sand dwindle down in the hourglass of my fertility window) when the thought comes.

I don’t know how someone knows when it’s time to accept childlessness.  I guess there’s no magic formula—like most things, it seems to be a slow fade.  And, like all journeys, the road there is traveled one step at a time.  I’m at a crossroads, where my options are to either: (1) accept childlessness, or (2) dig my heels in and really, REALLY try for a child with all my might.  But option two means another IVF and that’s not something we can afford now (and possibly ever again).  I mean, how else can someone “really try?”   There’s obviously only one way to “really try” for a baby naturally, and we’ve had nearly 90 of them.

I guess the real question is: How badly do I want this?

And the answer seems to be, not badly enough to throw down and continue to fight.