Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This kid I love

Our friend’s came over to have dinner with us tonight.  They brought over their 4 year old daughter that I adore.  Seriously…my poor surgery belly is aching from laughing so much tonight.  The mom is one of my best friends for over 10 years.  She is one of the few people that knew of our years of ttc and fertility treatments.  She was also one of the few people I told of my surgery before I had it.  She was telling that she had a conversation with her 4 year old before they came over about how I had to have surgery and get cut open to get my insides fixed and how I would not be able to play with her like I normally do.  Her daughter’s first reaction was to ask, “Does that mean she is a Zombie?” I couldn’t stop laughing!  Her mom told her that I am not a Zombie and she brought over a puzzle for us to do together. 

Later, while we were eating dinner at the table this little 4 year old asks me, “Did you want to have a baby?”  I told her yes I did.  Then I received this advice from her, “Well you know, all you have to do is go to the hospital and they will hit you hard on the back and give you a baby.”  So all 4 adults at the table bust up laughing and my little friend is looking at me so seriously.  I told her I did not know that’s how you got a baby and next time I’m at the hospital I will have to ask the Doctors about that;)

Where does she come up with this stuff?  Now I must go to bed and rest this aching belly of mine.  I’m happy to say it is aching from laughing so much tonight.

Don’t Ignore Infertility

It is National Infertility Awareness Week.  It’s kind of ironic that my surgery was last week because it is causing a lot of questions from my family and close friends leading to our infertility.  People are asking questions and I feel ready to answer them.

I talked about my surgery in my last post, and before my surgery in another post on my blog, but I did not tell very many people in real life about it.  I only told a few close family members and a few close friends.  I did not know for sure if I was having a bowel resection.  My surgery could have turned out to be an outpatient surgery and I could have hidden it just like another endo surgery I had in 2009 and the fertility treatments after from the majority of the people in my real life.   But my surgery turned out to be more extensive and it is not so easy to hide, so my family and friends are asking me why I had to have surgery on my bowels, which leads to 2 questions. 

1-      What is endometriosis? 

2-      What does endometriosis have to do with you bowels? 
This leads to explanations of my endometriosis and a lot of comments or questions asking if this is the reason why we don’t have children. 

I am doing my best to be open and talk about it unemotionally.  The theme for NIAW is to not let infertility be ignored and I have let so many people in my real life community ignore our infertility so I am embracing those that are curious and answering their questions.  I feel more prepared to answer their questions now rather than when we were in the mist of fertility treatments. 

Most people are curious if my surgery will “fix” me and if I will be able to have children now.  I am responding with the truth.  I don’t know.  If infertility has taught me anything it is that there will always be unknowns.  There will always be unanswered questions.  I don’t know if my endometriosis will come back.  If my endo does come back I don’t know at what severity it will make itself known.  If endo does not come back I don’t know if I will magically become a mother by getting pregnant for the first time in my life where modern science wasn’t able to make me pregnant in the past.  Quite frankly I am more concerned with the endo unknown than the baby unknown.  Because of the surgery I just had to have I am afraid of endo and what it can do to my body.  I remember when I was going through fertility treatments and my endo pain just kept getting worse every month.  I remember thinking that suffering through the pain would be worth it because I was going to end up with a child.  But I never got a child.  The suffering wasn’t worth it.  My goal is to take care of my endo, and not worry about getting pregnant.  The one thing I do know is that M and I decided almost 2 years ago to stop fertility treatments, and that has not changed.

I’m trying to explain to people that are asking us if we are going to try to have a baby again that getting pregnant is not a priority.  My priorities in life are things that I can have control over to make my life more positive and happy.  For so many years I was not letting myself be happy because I was waiting on an event to happen (pregnancy).  When this event never happened I kept going into a darker and darker place and I don’t ever want to be in that dark place again.  I think I am getting my message through to people that I no longer feel that I have to have a child to be happy.  I am trying to live a happy and fulfilled life and I am doing the best that I can to achieve that.  Infertility is something that I will always battle and it has become a part of who I am.  It will always have a bearing on my life no matter what the outcome.

Now, I am not saying this many words to the people in my real life.  I hope I am cleaning it up much better and that I am getting my point across.  My point being that living Childfree/less (or whatever term you give it) after infertility is not a sad ending.  I am looking forward to my life’s happy ending that M and I are creating.

I’m still keeping this little blog private from my real life.  I am still working through many emotions and I need this space to be honest with my feelings.  I did go so far as to “like” Resolve’s facebook page…eek! 

For more information about Resolve and NIAW you can follow these links to the basic understanding of infertility, or NIAW.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Hi.  I am back.  I have been home for a while recovering.  I just didn’t trust my pain medicated state to write anything yet…I’m still on pain meds but I figured it was time.

So last Monday (16th) I got all my loose ends tied up with work and ran my errands in the morning.  I came home around noon and started the pill and drink combination they gave me to clean out my system.  I’ll save you all the unpleasant details.  I just hope that the next time I have to do that again will be in 17 years when I am 50.

Tuesday (17th) was the surgery and we made it to the hospital in the neighboring city by 6 am.  They took me in, I saw both surgeons, and into surgery I went.  I woke up around 11:30 am very nauseous and in a lot of pain.  I heard the words “bowel resection” and I thought “what have I gotten myself into”.  You see my father had a bowel resection 7 years ago.  He had blood clots that killed a big portion of his large intestine and they had to take the majority of it out.  He was in the hospital for over a week and had a very long and hard recovery.  I watched him go through this and I was scared to death of experiencing what he went through.  Mine was not as major as his was.  When they got inside me they discovered that the endometriosis that was grown into my bowel walls had kinked over my bowel and it was partially blocked.  They had no choice but to remove a segment of my bowels.  The surgeon told me they took out about 4 to 5 inches.  The endo in my bowel wall was about 2 inches and they took out 1 inch to 1 ½ inches to either side of the nodule to ensure they got it all out.  They were able to remove the fibroid tumor from my uterus.  They found one of my ovaries attached to my side and removed the cyst that had it stuck there.  They did excision and removed all the endometriosis that they could find from my bladder, uterus, and that area below your uterus.  My Dr. is very optimistic that they were able to remove all the endometriosis.  They were planning on removing my appendix during the surgery…but it was not there.  They think that it is probably under some other organs.  In talking to my mom I found out that my mom and my little brother’s appendix’s also were not in the right spots and when they were removed the Dr.’s had to look for it under other organs…I guess it runs in the family?  Anyways appendix is still here!  And lastly they removed a cyst from my breast.  In total I have 5 incisions.  My largest one is from my belly button down that they did my bowel surgery with.  It’s actually smaller than I thought it would be.  My dad was cut from side to side for his bowel surgery and I am so grateful to not have the big cut like he did.

Thursday (19th) they released me from the hospital!  They had told me that I would be in the hospital for 3 to 7 days with a bowel resection.  I was doing really well and they released me on the earliest possible day.  I went straight home and took a mid-term for my class online.  I haven’t gotten the results back on it.  I have to admit I am a little nervous on how well I did.

So here I am.  I’m still at home recovering.  My hate of endometriosis has reached a new high.  What else is it going to take away from me in my life?  I haven’t been able to have kids and now it took away a piece of my bowels. All endometriosis leaves you with is pain.  I just hope that I can feel like a semi-normal person again after I recover.  But other than that, I think I am doing well and recovering fast considering what all they did.  I visit the general surgeon that did my bowel and breast cyst part of the surgery later this week.  If everything goes well I will be released to go back to work middle of next week.  My pain meds make me nauseous and sweaty.  I am on a soft food diet.  With my nausea all I want to eat is salty crackers and pretzels, but they are not on my soft food diet.  Choking down soft slimy food is hard with nausea…yuck. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Here we go!

I mentioned in a prior post, Good News and Bad News, a surgery that was coming up.  Well it’s time.  I officially am banned from food and can only have clear liquids tomorrow as I have to take some pills and have some drinks to clean out my system for my surgery prep.  I have to run into work tomorrow morning from 8:00 am to 11:00 a.m. as I need to try to tie up a few loose ends.  This surgery happened to fall right as an audit is starting (not by my choice the audit was scheduled after I scheduled my surgery).  10:00 a.m. I will take an antibiotic.  11:00 I will rush from work and run some documents into the bank.  They called me Friday afternoon saying they needed a few more things because we are trying to re-finance our house.  Then rush to a Dr’s office and get my biweekly allergy shots.  Then I need to get home by 12:00 to start the clean out system (pill and drink) that will keep me close to a bathroom.  It’s going to be a busy morning.

I will get a phone call tomorrow afternoon telling me what time to be to the hospital Tuesday morning.  Then Tuesday morning we will make the hour drive to the neighboring city where I will have surgery.  I am hoping all the effects of the clean out will be gone by then. 

I did meet with my specialist and he will not be doing a hysterectomy, but they will take out my appendix while they are in there.  I had to meet with the general surgeon that will be working on my colon if they have to remove a segment and he agreed to take out this ever growing cyst in my breast while I am having surgery.  Yay…this cyst has decided to take over residence in my breast expanding its territory and it must go!

Also on the agenda for next week is a midterm for my current grad class.  I am prepared and ready to take it.  I can take it online.  My professor hasn’t posted when he will open the test yet.  This professor doesn’t have a “set schedule” outlined for our class.  It really is driving me crazy.  I like things outlined and planned and set in stone.  I’m a little high strung and anxious without a schedule.  I have told him of my surgery (definitely not the details…just that I was having surgery) and he said he would work with me if I was still in the hospital and it interfered with my class.  So I really can’t complain too much about him not having a better schedule for things.  I don’t have class until Friday night and Saturday morning and I hope that I will be able to make it to class.  The thought of missing something really important from class stresses me more than having surgery!  I’m sure that as Tuesday morning gets closer I will worry more about surgery and less about class.

If you can’t tell by this post, I overschedule everything. 

Well…don’t know if I will get any sleep tonight.  I’m too worried about getting everything done for work by 11:00.  But I would rather think about work than what could possibly happen to my colon Tuesday.  If you see a lot of reading on your old blog posts tonight and tomorrow it could be me lurking through your blog!!!

I will talk to you in a few days.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

That Evil Green Monster

There is something weird going on here at my work.  It is worse than it has ever been.  I work in an administrative building for our company.  The majority of the workers in here are male, and of the remaining female workers I would say about half of them are in their “child bearing” years.
Current Count:
Ladies on maternity leave: 1
Ladies walking around with baby bumps: 4
I’m surrounded.
It’s not a huge building.  I can’t go anywhere without looking at a pregnant person, plus there is one pregnant person in my department two cubicles from me.  I see them when I go to and from my cubicle, the copy room, the restroom, and the break room. 
I’m trying my hardest not to let the evil green jealousy monster out.  But it’s going to be a long year of pregnancy talk, birth stories, maternity leaves, and baby talk when they come back to work.
I need some new music on my iPod I think.  Any suggestions on what music drowns out pregnancy and baby talk?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Definition by a 5 year old

Recently we were invited to a family dinner with a friend’s family.  M was the best man at their wedding and we have enjoyed our relationship and watched it grow over the years.  This couple has my favorite 4 year old girl.  Her humor and wit amazes me every time I see her.  Her Mother is not so girly, so I enjoy getting to play the “girly” things with this girl.

We arrived at our friend’s parents’ house and all the women were in the kitchen cooking, the men were having drinks, and me not being a cook…found the children coloring in the other room.  I instantly hit it off with my favorite little girl’s cousin who is 5.  We shared our joy of coloring, the color purple, and unicorns.  We were fast friends.

At dinner it was insisted that I sit in between my favorite 4-year old and her cousin.  Which I think their parents were more than happy to have the little girls sitting with me.  During dinner the 5-year old cousin started the following conversation

5-year old:  Are you a mom?

Me:  No.

5-year old: Oh, are you a Grandma?

Me: (What the crap…I’m only 33!) No!

5-year old: Oh, are you a kid?

Me: No.

5-year old: Are you a teenager?

Me: (Phew…I don’t look like a Grandma!!!) No.

5-year old: Ok.  What are you?

Me: (Pause…what the hell can I tell a 5 year old?  I don’t need to go into any stories of infertility, then I came up with the answer…it was so simple.)  I’m a grown up.

5-year old: Ok.

That was the end of that conversation.  We continued to talk about what food items we did like and what items we didn’t like as I tried to persuade her to eat some vegetables…with no successJ

If only adults could accept me with such an easy explanation and no judgment.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools’

Yesterday was a beautiful March day. It was an unusual 75 degrees, which is a rare high for my neck of the woods in March.  It was windy and wonderful.  M and I got out the stunt kites and spent a few hours flying those in our field.  It really made me appreciate the beauty of where I live.  I love it here.  Today we woke up to an April Fools’ joke from Mother Nature as we watched snow flurries dancing outside my bedroom window.  I love watching snowflakes tumble around.  I love when the seasons change.  I’m sad to see the snow leave, but excited for my little plant buds growing.  I’m ready to trade snow shoveling for yard work.  Personally I would rather shovel snow, but yard work does bring more satisfaction.

My emotions can change as fast as the weather here.  Yesterday I was sad.  There was just one too many pregnancy announcements that brought me over the brink of sadness.  It was wonderful that the weather was nice since M had to drag me outside to play in the field.  I instantly felt better.  Today I feel more reflective than sad.  My emotions are as varied as the weather here this time of the year.  I often feel like my emotions take one step forward and another step back.  I’m hoping that this eventually will lead me to the path of happiness.  I’m really trying to get there.
I wanted to share some of the beauty of Mother Nature's changes where I live.  I took this picture off my deck just one month ago.  I love it when the snow stacks up on the tree branches.  I also love the view off my deck.  I love the mountains.

This is a picture I took yesterday.  Please don’t judge my crappy yard work skills.  The snow fell this fall before the leaves did so I don’t have them cleaned up yet.  But I found the first signs of blooms yesterday, these little tiny blue flowers.  Soon my gardens will be filled with lots of color.

Happy Spring!