Update: Cervix-y Stuff, Round 2

silvercervix

I’m regretful to report that the cervical cauterization I had done last month was a fail.

Having my cervix cauterized with silver nitrate (let’s call it a CC to keep things nice and short) was supposed to stop my ongoing intermenstrual bleeding . But—like every month since last summer and despite the fact that my cervix is apparently unable to bleed outside of a period—the mystery bleeding showed up on cycle day 21 this month and decided to hang for the duration of my cycle. Sometimes the bleeding begins as early as cycle day 13 or 14. I never know from one month to the next which cycle day I’ll randomly just start bleeding.

Since we have a new cast member here on The Endo Zone (my newest doctor), she needs a pseudonym.  My new doctor just came to the Philly area after having practiced in Maryland for the last 25 years.  Hence, I dub her Dr. Maryland. I really, really like Dr. Maryland: she’s extremely kind and warm and patient and truly wants to help me. She did my CC last month.

Dr. Maryland thinks that my bleeding could just be my “new normal.”  Before we know if it truly is my new normal though, a biopsy is in order.  The month before the biopsy, Dr. Maryland says that Jake and I can’t have sex ALL MONTH, since uterine biopsies and pregnancy don’t bode well. When I protested that sex for an entire month is totally unreasonable—considering that there’s only five possible conception days—Dr. Maryland wouldn’t hear any of it.  *Sigh.*  I’ll do the biopsy, but her command of full abstinence? No thanks. I’ll take my chances.

I can have two more doses of silver nitrate CC’s before we move on to the next step of biopsy. My second CC procedure is scheduled for next week.

I’m believing God that round two will be the final CC and stop this bleeding entirely.  I believe that this ongoing interruption of bleeding is not in His best plans for my life.

Besides that, my copays are pricey. I’m beyond over this incessant bleeding. And I’m definitely not stoked about the possibility of three rounds of CC, only to have to do a painful biopsy at the end of it all.  Because continued intermenstrual bleeding after three rounds of effectively sealing my cervix shut means that the bleeding is coming from my uterus… which is a whole other party for Marixsa to get invited to.

So, my friends, I ask for your prayers that this problem will at LONG last be resolved. And I’m expecting in my next update to have nothing to report other than nice and normal… maybe even better than normal.

Peace.

 

Conceiving to Conceive

chemist-2026442_960_720

It’s so strange to be having a normal cycle: I almost don’t know what to do with myself. What is this for-real cycle that I seem to be in? The real test will be when (well, if) I ovulate this cycle—which is scheduled to happen this weekend—because ovulation has been so hit or miss for me this past year. What else is a girl to do, except to order another 50-pack of cheap Wondfo OPKs and continue temping for a temperature spike? The concept of no intermenstrual bleeding, on-time ovulation (without weird luteal phase lengths), and the same 20% chance of pregnancy as the Fertiles have is kind of mind-blowing. And exciting!

My first period post-op arrived right on time, and I ended my surgery cycle on a much-needed positive note of a normal 27-day cycle. My period itself was not so normal, as it came in fits and starts and lasted less than three days. I experienced far less cramping than usual (hooray!); in its place though I had scary insane uterine pains. It was as if someone were mercilessly jabbing at my uterus with an ice-pick and it lasted all day long for several days. The ice-pick stabs began to retreat on cycle day 3 and I haven’t had to take any narcotic pain meds since then.

As for recovery, all continues to be well (stabbing uterine pains aside). I ended up being allergic to the surgical glue which was used to close my incisions.  I’m basically allergic to nothing, so I was totally not expecting this. The allergic reaction is ongoing and unrelenting: think raised, angry red bumps, swollen skin, and ceaseless itching. Hydrocortisone cream has been my newest BFF; we go everywhere together these days. Although I’ve removed all of the surgical glue, only the passage of time will clear up the allergic reaction… which cannot happen fast enough.

So yes, it’s an unfamiliar feeling—in a good way!—to be entering into a cycle right now knowing that I could conceive this month as a fact. Not as a slim chance or as a shot in a dark: an actual, bona fide chance! No more ambiguity, no more wondering. No more trying to ignore the deep down sinking feeling that something, somewhere is physically very wrong and my efforts are probably for naught. I’m still adjusting to the idea that my pregnancy chances are now normal… It’s been a long time coming.

Normal chances or not, a pregnancy now would be still a miracle of sorts in my book, since there remains the matter of my somewhat inhospitable uterus for an embryo to contend with: (1) I have a moderately arcuate uterus, which increases the risk of a second trimester miscarriage; and (2) Dr. Din is pretty positive that I have adenmyosis going on in my uterus, in addition to the endometriosis outside of my uterus (I’m not sure what this means for me going forward?). Oh yeah: and the risk for ectopic pregnancy is much higher following procedures that unblock the fallopian tubes, so I’m not yet out of the woods. I don’t mean this to sound pessimistic. These are just real hurdles I may encounter, and I have to be aware of them, both feet in.

In the meantime, I’m back on the bandwagon full steam ahead:

  • Stocked up on Brazil nuts… a whole 2 pounds of them
  • Daily red raspberry leaf tea (during follicular phase only)
  • Basal body temping
  • Timed intercourse
  • Ovulation prediction strips
  • Pre-Seed lubricant
  • And so on and so forth

I’ve also added these guys to my already extensive supplement list (prenatal vitamins, Vitamin D, Vitamin C/Ester C, CoQ10, DHEA, L-Arginine, and baby aspirin), which is probably a post for another day:

  • Serrapeptase
  • Mineral supplement
  • Migravent (unrelated to fertility; this is a mineral supplement that’s supposed to help reduce the frequency of migraines. I average 1 migraine every 2 weeks, which usually puts me out of commission for an average of three days. We’ll see how this does…)

 

It feels good to feel normal. I’ll take it for as long as it lasts.

Peace.

You are Not Alone

mountainachieve

Here’s a little something that I read in a book recently. The instant I saw it, I just knew it was meant to be shared with all of you. I hope it brightens your day and provides a little boost of encouragement. This is success in—and in spite of—infertility.

I am a success if
I get through all of this and find
that I love the One who spoke the stars into being
even more than I did when I started,
though at times it has felt like
I’ve walked alone on starless nights.

I am a success if
I’ve managed to keep from shutting out
my most important relationships,
choosing instead to tenaciously initiate intimacy
even when I’ve had no strength left of my own
which with to knock on the door.

I am a success if
I’ve allowed these treacherous rapids
to cut canyons of inner beauty as I’m shaped,
unable to resist, careening along,
letting go of control and learning instead to trust.

I am a success if
I’ve made righteous decisions,
yet express true empathy for those
who have chosen different courses,
wiping their tears with my thumb
when they have faced consequences from their choices.

I am a success if
in the midst of these endless, intense longings,
I still dance in the shadows on a silent floor,
hoping beyond reason
because earthquakes and darkness
sometimes suggest an imminent resurrection.

Keep fighting, warriors, and know that you are not alone.

 

Taken from “You are Not Alone,” The Infertility Companion, by Sandra L. Glahn, Th. M. and William R. Cutrer, M.D., which you can find online here and here.