Friday, July 8, 2011

"I'll have a scoop of everyday stress sprinkled with infertility..."

   The first thing I want to do is thank Genevieve and her friends for the warm welcome to my little blogging adventure. It means a lot. In the past months, I have read Genevieve's blog along with several others and sympathized, have been comforted, and cried with some of the writers; most of which have been struggling with infertility for far longer than I have. The common theme I have found in all of the blogs I have read is faith. Although everyone has their bad days, the majority of the posts are hopeful. They have given me faith on days when I thought I had none left, so thank you.
   Having days where I feel like I have no faith left makes me feel weaker than I would like to admit, especially after reading some of the posts I have. I can't help but think, "these women are so much stronger than I am...", and it makes me wonder how I will handle this in 2 or 3 more years. There is a lot I fear saying aloud, afraid mostly if I do that it will become a reality.
   With all of the things going on in my life other than the baby issue, by the end of today, I just felt like the walls were closing in, like the weight on me is going to make my legs give out, so much so I couldn't decide on red or white wine, so I bought a bottle of both. Now on my third glass of wine, I realize some of the weight has a lot to do with my fears, so in an attempt to overcome them, I'm going to blog them. It's not really saying them out loud, but it's a step in the right direction...I think. So here are my two biggest fears:
   I'm afraid that one day I will be told I will never be able to have a child of my own, and if that happens, I'm afraid that Billy will decide I can't give him everything he deserves and leave. (I just want to clarify, he has never given me any indication of this, and has been more supportive than I can say through it all so far)
   I think it goes beyond fear though, I feel guilty for being unable to do the one thing that is supposed to come natural to me. I want more than anything to be a mother, but equal to that, I want to make Billy a father. I want to give him a child, and the thought of not being able to do that breaks my heart.
   And beyond the guilt is the anger. I think this is the strongest of feelings at this point. I am on a break from hormones in hopes that my cysts shrink on their own, losing time that I could be trying. Meanwhile, it seems like everyone around me is getting pregnant. I don't dislike people for getting pregnant when I can't, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't bitter. Three people this week alone told me they were pregnant, and then I have a night like tonight, where I have a couple of glasses of wine and ask the pointless questions. Why me? If the doctors had done their job when I was 15, would I be having this problem now? Is there something I should have done differently? All of which are impossible to answer, which surprise surprise, makes me angrier.
   I don't like the feeling of having no control over what is happening, so I accept it, and continue to have faith, what other choice do I really have?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

So very angry...

   Everyday I wake up, work through the day, and go to sleep at night with one wish: to be a mother. Then the other day I read the verdict everyone has been waiting for on FB...Not guilty. I am of course referring to the Anthony case.
   This bothers me so much, besides the obvious reasons, I pray and cry everyday not being able to have a child on my own, and for someone to throw their baby out like that infuriates me. Whether or not she actually killed her,  which I have my opinion on like everyone else, or if she died accidently like was claimed, she just threw her away.
   I see and know of too many people who have children and do not value them like they should, they don't see the gift they have been given, and that is sad. That is one thing I have learned being in the position I am in, having a child is not a right, it is a gift, and should be treated as such.
   In saying that, I also want to recognize the many mothers and fathers I know who realize what they have, and cherish it everyday. It is mothers and fathers like you that inspire me, and that influence others, including your own children, to become the type of person who is thankful for the blessings they have. These are the women and men who raise their daughters to understand what a real mom and woman is, and their sons to understand what a man is and how he should treat a woman.
   So, tonight as I say my prayers, I will include a thanks for all these mothers and fathers, who show their children and everyone else what it truly means to be a parent. I will also include a prayer for the children who are not cherished like they should be, and that they will find someone in their life that will teach them by showing them the love they deserve. And of course, I will include a prayer for all couples like Billy and I, and all women who find themselves unable to conceive.
   Until next time, all my love and well wishes to you all....

Monday, July 4, 2011

I guess the best place to start is the begining...

My name is Stephanie, I am 26 years old and for 2 years have been unsuccessful in my attempt to get pregnant, but already I'm getting ahead of myself.....
All the medical problems I have today began 12 years ago when I was 14 years old. When I began getting a period, it was never regular. We, meaning my mom and I, figured it was just because of how young I was, my body hadn't found it's "groove" yet. It wasn't until the next year when I was 15, and symptoms became more severe. I was bleeding for weeks straight, and the cramping became so bad I nearly passed out from the pain. When I became this bad, my parents took me to the ER, thus beginning the series of tests and opinions. My first OBGYN was a large practice with many doctors, I recall seeing three of them, all with different opinions. My first encounter with Dr #1 was at the ER that night. After blood work and an ultra sound it was determined that I had a cyst on my ovary that had ruptured. I was given no explanation for the length and heavy bleeding I had as well, the answer was simply birth control to help control it, and I was sent on my way. At my yearly, I met Dr #2. There had been no improvement with the birth control, and the cramping had been just as severe, so much so that I missed school regularly because of it. Dr #2 thought maybe I had endometriosis, but decided to change the type of birth control I was on to see if it would help. After more than half a year, it made no change, so I went back and was introduced to Dr #3. At this point I was on my 3rd week of my period, and since my original trip to the ER, no other testing had been done when Dr #3 gave me his opinion. He said it was "Psychosomatic", that I was thinking so hard that something was wrong with me that I experienced these symptoms. At this point, I'm 16 years old and being told that I'm thinking myself in to a 3 week long period with cramps that felt like my insides were being ripped apart, I gave up on doctors. I just dealt with it. I couldn't handle seeing another one and getting another "opinion". I stayed on the birth control for, well birth control, went for my yearly’s and never talked to the doctors about how bad it was.
It wasn't until my early 20's when I had a pregnancy scare, that I began to actively want to find out what was going on with my body. At this point it had been a few years since I had seen any OB, when my mom recommended her doctor. So after years of long painful menstrual cycles and suddenly nothing at all except unexplained lactaiding, and numerous negative home pregnancy tests, I went to see my mom's doctor, Dr #4.
During my first visit, we went over all the theories I was given in my teens, and started tests. He did more in the first visit than all of the previous doctors combined. An ultra sound showed some small cysts on my ovaries, I had a normal PAP, and lots of blood work. Although my hormone levels were not exactly where they should have been, there was nothing overly alarming about them.
At this point I was ready to hear the same thing I had years ago when he surprised me, he said he wanted to do exploratory surgery to see what was really going on. This option was mentioned years ago, but the previous doctors decided against it. So, a couple of weeks later I was back at the hospital being prepped for surgery.
The surgery confirmed the endometriosis and the cists. So we began treating these problems with lupron cycles. I had been with my boyfriend, Billy since I was 20, and at 23 I had finished another cycle of lupron when Billy and I decided we were not going to try to get pregnant, but we were going to stop trying not to. After a few months off the Lupron, I still had not gotten a period, so, my doctor began a light dose of hormones to get things moving again, and it worked, I began getting a period, and we began trying a little harder to "avoid" pregnancy.(The longer I kept from saying we were "trying" to get pregnant, the longer I could deny a much larger problem than uncomfortable periods) This is when we added Clomid to the mix, and after 2 cycles I was not pregnant and I was cramping all the time, period or not. So I had another ultrasound and it showed a cist the size of my ovary on my ovary. The next day I was back in the hospital getting ready to have the cist removed, and it was a good thing I did. The cist turned out to be much larger than the ultra sound showed, and was hiding behind my uterus. It turned out to be the size of my fist, besides that he removed another that was on the other ovary that was unable to be seen on the ultrasound. That one was much smaller, but large enough to affect me ovulating. Knowing then that I had PCOS and endometriosis, we went from not avoiding pregnancy, to trying to get pregnant. After healing from the surgery, we went back to Clomid and I became Psychotic about tracking my monthly cycle. I began cramping all the time again, but assumed it was the hormones. Then it happened, I was late, not just a couple days, but a couple of weeks, so I took a test. I had taken a test every month and got used to the negative, but I got my hopes up this time. I was more than a couple days, I was fairly regular at this point, so after waiting the 3 minutes I looked at the test to get a BFN. A week later, and still no period, I was back at the doctor, less than a year since my surgery getting another ultra sound, and there they were, more cists. He did not want to do another surgery, instead he wanted us to see a fertility doctor. At this point I left denial and met depression.
We met with the doctor my OB recommended and went over all the scenarios. The decision was made for me to go on a break from the hormones hoping the cists shrink and that we can avoid another surgery that would only harm more of my eggs. That appointment was in January if this year. I'm now 26, Billy is 30, and I am on a hormone break.
I want to wait until the end of the year to go back to the doctor, we have been working on becoming healthy, better diets and just taking better care of ourselves which can only help. So here we are, quickly approaching January, in the coming months, he will be tested, and we will dive in. I'm giving myself this time to breathe before the madness begins.