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.

 

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3-Year Blogoversary Musings

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It feels like just yesterday I was posting about my two-year blogversary on WordPress.  I blinked and another year has passed!  Last year when I lamented about two years of infertility blogging, I really expected things to be different for me within a year.  My fertility status, unfortunately, remains unchanged.

What’s more, is that many bloggers who underwent successful IVFs around the same time as my two IVFs (September 2015 and April 2016) are now busy working on their second babies.  And I’m over here just… here.  Stiiiiiiiiiiiiill trying for my first.  I feel pretty left in the dust, like that kid who keeps getting held back a grade in school, over and over again, and ends up graduating when he’s like 22.  I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others; I’m on my own very unique timeline.

I’ve started every single new cycle since last year full of optimism.  I do it all perfectly, to the ‘T’—all the right supplements, timing sex just right, paying close attention to my ovulation.   Then around cycle day 20ish, I begin deflating: the bleeding starts up; my ovary pain kicks into high gear; my temperature won’t reach optimum heights.  My faith quickly slinks into a downward spiral, and I scratch off yet another month.  I don’t understand why my time hasn’t come yet, and I have to restrain my impatience.  Another full year of infertility wasn’t in my plans.

Despite all of the above, there have been many, many blessings in my life since my two-year blogoversary post; I can’t lose sight of the rays of sunshine amidst these clouds.  Besides, no matter how much it hurts (and it totally does freaking hurt, every day), life is so much more than whether I have a child.  So much more… So I’m believing for a cheerier post for my four-year blogoversary, Lord willing.  A lot can happen in a year.

Peace.

2017 blog review.

I can’t be the only person who’s thrilled to see the end of 2017, amiright?  It wasn’t a good year for me like at all, both in Fertility Land and in my offline life.  I’m usually not the kind of person who classifies entire years as either ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but 2017 was just straight up rough.   I’m still kind of stunned that I came out of it intact.

I’m clinging to hope of 2018 being worlds better!  So far it has been better, except that our elderly kitty, Grumpy Cat, fell ill this past weekend.  But God has been so very good and gracious in the situation, and I’m 100% believing that GC is in His excellent hands and will be okay.

Now that that’s out of my system, I thought it’d be fun to look back over my blog in 2017 and see what all went down. I’m like the worst at checking the stats to this site; I’m forever forgetting to look at that kind of thing!  I pulled the year’s stats and was surprised at which posts were most popular.  That’s how it is in the blog world I guess: some of what I though were my worst posts fared excellently.  Other posts that I [humbly] believed were pretty good, tanked.

Anyway, here’s a look back at the Top Five posts of 2017:

#5. Back at Square One:      an unforgettable ER visit and continued frustrations about IM bleeding

#4. Infertility and Job Interviews:     recounting a job interview gone very wrong

#3. Conceiving to Conceive:     post-surgical hope for a pregnancy

#2. Surgery Recap: Part 2 of 2:     entirely too wordy—and far too detailed—post-op musings

and

#1. Hysteroscopy #: Arcuate Uterus:    a 2016 post all about weirdly-shaped uteruses (or is that ‘uteri?’)

I’d like to think that this here ‘lil site has helped someone else struggling with fertility and endometriosis in 2017.  WordPress helpfully gave me this here map…:

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… so I’m ever hopeful it has reached another person and helped her along her way in life, encouraged her, or let her know she’s not alone.

And rather than seeing this new year as twelve more tries at a baby, I am instead choosing to focus outwardly in 2018: What can I do this year to help others?  How can I be a blessing to other women? in my community? at my church? to my family?

Believing good things are in store this year, for myself and all my IF friends.

Peace.

 

 

In the Trenches

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The blogs of those women who’ve had their miracle babies either grow stagnant or else morph into parenting blogs. I unfollow many infertility-turned-mommy blogs. To some women they’re a source of encouragement, but I’m not in a place where I can handle baby/parenting posts in my newsfeed. It’s not personal: we’ve all been there at one time or another.

It seems like most of the IF blogger women I’ve befriended have resolved, and I feel isolated. I begrudge no one her happiness in overcoming infertility. I also realize that many suffer from survivor’s guilt, and aren’t sure how to reconcile these two starkly different worlds. They don’t want to inadvertently cause pain to those of us in the trenches. They feel like they can’t relate anymore. And in a way, they can’t relate:  these women have moved from fellow infertility friends to “the others.”  Mothers. The connection that once bonded us together is lost, and our sojourns take differing paths.

While it can be daunting and lonely to realize I’m still in the thick of things, I keep a peace deep inside that it will ultimately be okay. If nothing else, the long experience of infertility has taught me to seek God in a different kind of way. It’s happened gradually. And I don’t mean seeking God in a “gimme” entitlement attitude, or as a magical genie to grant my personal requests. Instead, it’s caused me to search deeper for answers into what His plans are for my life. I’m learning to be content whether or not His plans include children. I have peace.

While I’m believing Him to make me a happy mother of children, if it doesn’t happen, that’s okay too. I don’t believe infertility is His perfect will for me, or for anyone. But it is something He’s allowed me to experience for purposes that I may not realize this side of heaven. Although the pain of childlessness isn’t assuaged by this, it does become more manageable. The impossible demands that I place on myself to get pregnant are truly above my pay grade; I hold no power. But I do maintain faith.

The point of this post? That I’m still here, still walking among these trenches, still awaiting my miracle, and still awaiting yours, too. When I come out on the other side, I promise not to make this a mommy blog. I will not forget.