Monday, May 23, 2011

Still here, plus a few thoughts on Ruth

This past Saturday, I shared at Kara's Purely Divine Boutique (as you all know).  It was a great day, and although I was absolutely terrified and nervous when it came my time to start, I eventually got into a groove.  One thing I shared was what I had recently realized about Ruth, and for those who didn't get to go, I wanted to write it here again.

After the last BFN, I was crushed.  Disappointment just cannot begin to capture what I felt.  There was hope, yes, because I've learned hope exists whether or not things turn out as we want, but there was also a deep sorrow.  A few days later, I was praying one morning and very clearly heard God tell me to look at Ruth, because I was like Ruth.  He revealed something about Ruth that -- even though I've probably read this book 100 times -- I hadn't noticed.  Ruth and her husband Mahlon were married for 10 years, but they had no children.  We know in a culture as theirs, the "choice" not to have children wasn't really one people made.  I did a bit of research and, sure enough, commentators said that it was likely that Ruth was barren, for whatever reason.

The first chapter of Ruth begins with a bleak picture: the spiritual emptiness of Israel during the time of the Judges, a famine in Judah, the death of Naomi's husband and sons (who was Ruth's husband), and then to top it all off, the barrenness of the women as there were no children.  We know the story, though.  God provides for both Naomi and Ruth through their kinsman redeemer Boaz, and not only does Ruth marry Boaz and receive a loving husband, but they together have a son, Obed.

Of course, the point of the story isn't that God gave Ruth a son, though he certainly showed her grace through that.  The point of the story is that that son, Obed, was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, who was the father of Jesus.  The story is about true salvation that goes beyond just meeting the needs here on earth.  God, in his kindness, showed grace to Ruth, allowing her to know Him and be part of His kingdom and saving plan.  That was the fullness that He offered Ruth and Naomi.  He showed them abundant grace here on this earth, yes, but more importantly showed them abundant grace for eternity!

As God revealed that to me, He was reminding me of two things: First, he will give me a baby if that is what He wants.  Nothing prevents Him from doing His perfect will, and it only takes one little baby to change a "barren" woman to a "fertile" woman.  God is good and gracious because He is good and gracious, period, and He does good and gracious things.  Second, even if I don't have a baby, my life is not empty, nor is my life purposeless.  My life is full and purposeful because of God and His grace in allowing me to be part of his kingdom (which is just beginning now) and because of the blessed hope I have in what is to come.  My life is not simply my time on earth; my life includes eternity!

You can imagine how the tears flowed once God showed me this truth!  For me, and probably for many, one of my biggest fears is being useless and empty.  God reminded me that in Him, that is a fear we need not have.  He makes our lives full!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Something New

It's been a few weeks since we got the BFN, and things have moved along and settled into normal again.  We still feel really good about not pursuing the fertility treatments, and although I've had a bit of cyst pain, it's been great not worrying about pills and needles.  We also have felt the strong and calming presence of God, especially the last weekend during Easter.  We don't know what the future will hold exactly (or maybe at all!), but we do know God is with us and has a perfect plan for us!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


BFN = Big Fat Negative

One of these days, perhaps I will get to see a BFP.  But today, that was not so.  We are heartbroken and disappointed beyond words.  I truly had felt that this month was it for me, more than I have ever felt.  There were symptoms I had that I rarely if ever have had before, and the cramping was much duller and later than it usually is.  I think that makes it harder, but perhaps not.  I'm sad every month, and I wonder when that will ever end.

Thank you, as always, for your prayers and love.  It is only through God's gracious presence in our lives that we are able to keep going, even today, when we are so full of sorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Number Five

We had our IUI today, and things went well.  I always have quite a bit of cramping and uncomfortableness after these procedures, so that's where I am right now.  I can't say I'm feeling too excited or anything, as I'm just a bit worn out by it all, but I'm sure excitement will set in soon.  Two weeks until I test, so we're playing the waiting game again.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Double the chances" -- I like that phrase!

We just got back from another doctor's appointment.  I have two follicles that are decent size, one on each ovary.  The one on my left ovary is 18 mm, and the one on my right is 15 mm.  Follicles typically grow about two mm each day, so they should be four mm bigger by the time we have the IUI, which is scheduled for Wednesday.  I'm finished with the Follistim injections, but I have to do my Ovidrel injection tonight to be ready for the IUI Wednesday morning.

Again, our nurse today couldn't help but show some excitement for us.  I think they get to the point where they want to see us have a successful month nearly as much as we do!  Like last week, she told us that our chances are nearly doubled on this new medication, and even though it may have produced less follicles than Clomid has, she has more hope in these follicles because they aren't estrogen-hungry like the ones that appear with Clomid.

So, if she is excited, you can imagine that I must be :)  I say this every month, but I'll say it again...this could be it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Poking along

We had another doctor's appointment today to see how the little follicles are growing with the help of this new medication.  The doctor said that things look good so far, but I am going to do four more days of injections.  My next appointment is Monday morning where they were check and see if the follicles are large enough.  If everything looks good, I will do the Ovidrel injection and have our fifth IUI next week sometime.

I didn't think much about this appointment, but the nurse gave me hope and said my chances of conceiving this month are doubled!  She said on Clomid, it's an 8% chance at its best (and really, she pointed out I was probably only at 4%), and on the injections, it's a 16% chance.  So, that was exciting to hear.  I'm excited to see how the follicles have grown on Monday.

Thanks for your continued prayers.  I am feeling better, but the flu-like symptoms come and go.  Also, I am still concerned about hyper-stimulating, so I appreciate your prayers for that, as well.

So we wait...and we hope!

Letting go -- even of the silly things

This may be silly, but I have purposely avoided using the phrase "letting go."  I don't know why.  I guess it just sounds so cliche.  Nevertheless, that is the only phrase that has been in my head for the last couple of weeks, so what can I do?  It is what it is.

I suppose I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I finally voiced it to Robby a couple of weeks ago when we were driving back from San Francisco.  I had taken the pregnancy test that morning, and of course it turned out to be negative.  We talked about how hard it is to let go of ideas we had about life and family and babies.  Some of the ideas are nearly silly, but that's how it goes sometimes.

One thing I'm having to let go of is the hope that we could have babies right along with our friends.  I wanted my kids and my friends' kids to be the same age, so we could all be in the same phase of life together.  As my friends' children grow, I feel more and more left behind, and sometimes I even feel panicked about the time that's passing, the opportunity that's leaving.

I also have to let go of the hope that I'd be a "young mom."  Sure, 28 is still young, I give you that.  But I wanted to be like my mom, all done with having kids at 30, still young when her kids are grown.  And I certainly didn't think I'd be 28 years old, wondering if babies were even in the near future.

I'm having to let go of what I thought my role at church would be by now.  I had hoped I'd have kids and get a break from ministry!  I thought we would be at the point where "our ministry is our family" and I would get to focus on my family and serve in the nursery once in awhile :)  I didn't expect things to still look as they are.

Perhaps more seriously, I'm having to let go of the belief that my children would be mine biologically.  I looked forward to the day when I would have a baby who looked like me or my husband.  As we continue in this struggle, the idea of adoption becomes more real and more welcomed, but that was never something we intended to do when we were married.

On that same drive, I asked Robby if he would have done the last six years differently, if we had known then what we know now, that it would be at least this long for us to begin our family, and perhaps much much longer.  We both "dreamed" awhile and talked about how we had wanted to live at the beach or we had wanted to do more school or we had wanted to pursue a different career.  But then we both realized that that is precisely why God doesn't let us know ahead of time what struggles we're going to face.  The spiritual life is about change, and change comes from dealing with trials and the unexpected and the difficult, allowing God to work in us when things don't go as we want them to go or planned them to be.  Some of these things I'm having to release may seem silly, but they're just one part of the change that's had to take place inside of me, whether I wanted it to happen or not.  And as my hope in these things has decreased, my hope in God alone has increased.  I'm understanding more and more what it means to allow God to lead us in our lives and let Him decide what the best life is for us.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Follistim Flu?

I have been taking my injections for three days now, and I am a bit disappointed with the horrible side effects I'm experiencing.  The nurse practitioner told me there should be less emotional side effects than Clomid, which is true, but physically, I feel like I have the flu.  Cramps, headaches, acheyness, fatigue, nausea.  This is not fun!  As I did a bit of research about this medication, it seems flu-like symptoms are a common side effect and are just part of the whole deal.

Because my body is responding so strongly to this medication, it does make me concerned about the possibility of ovarian hyperstimulation, which is always a possible side effect with any of these medications.  The second month I was on Clomid I experienced this and ended up in the ER.  It was terrifying.

As you pray for me, please pray about these side effects, especially the hyperstimulation.

*You may have noticed I edited my previous post.  I was wrong about the name of the medication: I am taking Follistim, not Gonal-F as I had written.  Gonal-F is the other type of FSH the doctor considered prescribing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another doctor's visit

Today I went in my usual beginning of the cycle visit. This month, we're actually changing things up a bit. It is high time I stopped using Clomid, as research shows that if it will help, it will help in the first three cycles. I have done it for 9 cycles, and I'm not quite sure my doctor just made the decision for me to switch. I also didn't appreciate the passing remark that women who stay on Clomid for longer lengths of time increase their risk of cervical cancer. Uh...hmm...what?? Well, that is one thing I cannot worry about, although it did remind me I need to have a pap smear.

So, onto what we're doing. Instead of Clomid, I will be doing a daily injection (yikes!) for six days, beginning tomorrow. The medication is called Follistim, and it basically is a FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). The difference between this and Clomid is in the way it works. Clomid stimulates follicle growth, as well, but it does so by limiting the estrogen in my body, thereby tricking the body into producing more follicles. Follistim just pumps in the hormone that stimulates follicles without messing with any other hormones. The good news is that I should have less negative side effects and my uterus will actually be happier because it needs estrogen. The bad news is that I have to give myself a shot everyday and the cost is about ten times more than Clomid.

After I use Follistim for a week, I go back in to the doctor, and he sees if my follicles have grown. At that point, I may either have to do more injections, or I may be ready for my Ovidrel injection. Once I take the Ovidrel injection, there are 36 hours until we do the IUI. Last month, I gave myself the injection on Thursday night, then went in for the IUI on Saturday morning. And then, we wait again.

I was pretty overwhelmed when I left the office today: I'm anxious about the injections, anxious about the timing, and anxious about the costs. We're in limbo, waiting for the insurance company to tell us how much of the surgery it is covering and if it will be covering any of these recent visits and procedures. So, things are getting expensive and complicated. Robby and I decided we need a vacation (a cheap one, of course) very soon. :)

If this month doesn't work out, I definitely need a break. I honestly feel like my life revolves around the next visit, the next medication, the next IUI, and the next pregnancy test. It is exhausting.

I can't say I feel much of anything in the area of hope right now. I'm just tired, tired in a way that a nap won't help (much, anyway). I need God's peace and rest. That is next on my to-do list today: sit at His feet and rest awhile.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Never crushed

A couple of weeks ago, as I was praying to God about our struggle and our hope to have a baby, I felt Him bring to me a verse in 2 Corinthians. It's one I know well in a chapter I know well, a chapter that is meant to encourage believers in their sharing of the Gospel, reminding them of the hope they have in Christ and the hope in the eternal life to come. It of course applies to us in many situations of life because our witness shines in the way we respond to trials.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Cor 4:8-9

I'll be honest: when that verse came to my mind, my first reaction was to push it away. This was not the verse I wanted to hear! I would have welcomed a verse that said something like, "Whatever your heart desires, that you will have." But of course, a verse like that is not in the Bible. That is something that would be found in a fortune cookie or a Disney song, not in Scripture.

I didn't want that verse because that verse reminds me that sometimes, an unwelcome struggle lasts a long time. Sometimes, life is hard, and it's hard to the very end. Sometimes, God doesn't give us what we want, at least not in the way we want it.

But I knew why God was giving me this verse. I was at a moment where I felt like this was going to crush me. I kept thinking, "How will I get through this, if this month is yet one more disappointment?" I was at my weakest, wondering where the strength was going to come.

And very clearly, I felt Him say to me, "This is not going to destroy you." I knew that He saw I was hard pressed and worn down, that I was perplexed and questioning how things could possibly be okay if my husband and I never have a baby. But I heard His truth, that no matter what, the things of this life will never crush me, will never destroy me, will never leave me in utter despair, all because of my God who never abandons.

Some people, meaning well, have said to me in more or less words, "I know God will give you a baby." That is just as untrue as saying to someone with cancer, "I know God will heal you." We do not know that God will ever choose to heal us or fix a problem while on this earth. What we do know is this: God never leaves us. He never forsakes us. He never decides that He's not going to save us afterall. He never stops moving us toward His holiness. And He never does anything that is not wholly good for His people.

In that same chapter, Paul goes on to give perhaps the most encouraging words in the letter.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Cor 4:16-18

I don't see anytime in my future when I will stop asking...sometimes even begging...God to give us a baby. I know that He tells us to come to Him with our requests and needs because He loves His children. But with that prayer must come the prayer for help in fixing my eyes on what is unseen and eternal, clinging not to anything of this world, but to the God who created the world. And because of that and because of that only, we don't lose heart.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wish I had better news...

Another negative this weekend. We are so disappointed again, but we aren't giving up. It's another week, another cycle, another chance. We did have a wonderful time visiting my sister in San Francisco, so it made the sadness much easier to bear. Hope is always there, but it's a bit dim right now.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

One Year

I just realized that it has been a little over a year ago that I began this blog. Time sure does fly, even when you're in the midst of an unwanted struggle. I have continued to grow over this past year and continue to see God's goodness in allowing this struggle in our lives. Maybe I'll take some time later this week to write more about this, but I am finally getting to the point where this journey with infertility has become so vital and indispensable to my spiritual growth that I thank God for it. Am I still heartbroken each empty month? Of course. But am I recognizing that God's goodness is seen in how he is changing us through these trials? Absolutely.

I can and will make it through this week. I will, I will!

Distractions please!

Last Saturday was my IUI, so one week down, one week to go before we get to see if it was successful or not. We felt really good about the procedure, especially the timing. We were so glad that the office was open on Saturday, as waiting until Monday just didn't seem to be an option.

I spent the last week visiting Kelly, which proved to be a wonderful and fun distraction. However, all good distractions must come to an end, so on my way home, the pain game began. Many people have told me not to stress too much when I feel cramping, but it is really hard not to do that. If there is any positive thing that has come from going through this infertility struggle, it is that I have learned about my body very well. I know every twinge, cramp, and bloat. I know the difference between ovulation pain and pms, regular cramps and progesterone-induced cramps. As much as I want to believe that this pain could be related to a pregnancy and not a menstrual cycle, I can't. The only thing I can do is distract myself from the cramps, so I can get through this week without melting down prematurely.

It seems the word "distraction" always connotes something negative, but sometimes, distractions can be positive. Distractions can force us to stop thinking about ourselves and our situations for a moment and focus on someone or something else. This week, then, I'm welcoming the distractions! I want to sew and think about the person for whom I'm sewing, play piano and sing, spend time with family and friends, get out of the house, read a good book, and do anything else that happens to come my way. As long as I allow God to be some of my distraction, I'm pretty sure He is all right with it this week :)

Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers. I know many of you are right there with us, waiting impatiently to find out if this month is the month. The burden of this struggle has been lightened because of you and your love for us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#4 or more accurately #1

We are on our way to having our fourth IUI done. Just a recap: last week I went to my doctor to see how my first month since the surgery was looking. Overall, things were positive except for an unwanted cyst on my left ovary. Because it was just a normal cyst and not an endometrioma, my doctor said we could go ahead and do the medicine.

I took 50 mg of Clomid on Days 3 through 7 on my cycle, which would help with follicle development. Sure enough, I found out at today's appointment that I had a few follicles, five total, though only two of them were big enough to mention. Both are on my left ovary, which is good since that is the ovary that didn't have the giant endometrioma removed, and overall my left ovary looks a bit healthier. The two follicles were right around 18 mm which is not ideal but decent. Also, even though that cyst isn't gone, it is far enough from the follicles that my doctor said it wouldn't impede ovulation. The next step is to wait another day to give my little tiny follicles time to grow, do the Ovidrel injection tomorrow night, and then head to the doctor Saturday morning for my IUI.

I am very excited about all of this, and I am just getting more and more excited as the day goes on. At first everything just felt like it always does. Just another doctor's visit. Just another IUI. Then I realized this isn't "just another" anything. This is the first time I've ever had a healthy and happy body! For all I know, this is the first real chance I've ever had at conceiving. So, this IUI is not just another one. It could be the one. So exciting.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Here we go again!

It's been nearly five weeks since the surgery. Amazing! I am on Day 3 on my new cycle, so this morning we headed to the doctor to find out how things look and if/when I can start treatment. Besides feeling like a guinea pig for the new ultrasound machine at the office (along with Robby and me, there were three other people in a tiny closet sized room learning how to use the machine), things went pretty normal. There was one cyst on my left ovary that my doctor was a bit concerned about, mostly because it's larger than what he would like to see. The good news is it doesn't appear to be an endometrioma, but just a regular fluid-filled cyst. This does mean that this cycle of treatment is going to be less aggressive, which is fine by me. Instead of taking 100 or 150 mg of Clomid a day for five days, I am only taking 50 (one pill). I'll go in next Wednesday for another look. If things appear to have gone well and I produce good follicles, I should be able to do the Ovidrel injection that night and have the IUI within the next couple days.

Thanks for your prayer and concern today!

A Lesson in Hope

This morning, we are headed to my doctor to have my first ultrasound since the surgery and discuss our next course of treatment. We don't have to leave until 9:30, so my hub is catching up on his sleep, and I'm getting a few moments to pray and read.

I read Psalms 4-6, and once again I am amazed by the mystery of Scripture. How does Scripture speak so appropriately to each of us in the very moment we need? I am sure I've read these Psalms before, but I have never noticed the emphasis on hope.

Psalm 4 begins with David saying, "When I called upon Thee, O God of my righteousness, Thou didst hearken unto me." David recognizes in these first verses that God has heard Him and God has saved Him. Later he then says, "Sacrifice a sacrifice of righteousness, and hope in the Lord. Many say: Who will show unto us good things? The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, hath been signed upon us; Thou hast given gladness to my heart." He ends the Psalm with this: "For Thou, O Lord, alone hast made me to dwell in hope."

Psalm 5 continues in the theme of trusting and hoping in the Lord. David contrasts the man who is hated by the Lord with the man who is shown mercy by the Lord. David says, "And let all them be glad that hope in Thee; they shall ever rejoice, and Thou shalt dwell among them. And all shall glory in Thee that love Thy Name, for Thou shalt bless the righteous."

Psalm 6 seems to begin with a different emphasis, but really it is simply David in his weakness crying out for the Lord to save Him. Again. By the end of the Psalm, he again knows God has saved him and heard him: "The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication, the Lord hath received my prayer. Let all mine enemies be greatly put to shame and be troubled, let them be turned back, and speedily be greatly put to shame."

I said these psalms were mysteriously appropriate to me this morning, and this is why: I have been thinking a lot about hope. I've been asking God how I am supposed to do this thing called "hope" - how do I have hope about a baby when I know that there is the possibility that it may not happen? How do I live in hope of a future when plenty of women have remained infertile after these treatments?

These verses reminded me of something. I hope in the Lord. My hope is not in a baby or in an outcome. We are unlike the world because our hope is unlike the world's. We hope only in one thing -- the Lord. And about the Lord we know this: He is good. He makes us righteous. He never leads us to evil. He never troubles us. He never leads us to shame.

When I begin to hope in an outcome, I begin to temper my hope because I don't want to be let down. Hoping in an outcome always has the possibility that we will be disappointed. The beautiful thing about hoping in the Lord is it doesn't have to be tempered with reality or lessened with caution. God will never let me down. He will only lead me to good. He will only lead me to righteousness.

And so I hope in the Lord and only in the Lord. I know He has brought me to the place I am today. I know He has guided each of my steps and has loved me and refined me as I've walked in them. I know He is with me this morning, will be with me at the office, and will continue to be with me every day of my life. And I know He only has plans for good, not evil, and never shame.

For thou, O Lord, alone hast made me to dwell in hope.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today was my post-op appointment, so here is a quick summary of what my doctor shared with me. Some of it's review from what he told Robby, and some of it's new. Although he did have pictures to show me, I didn't push to have copies made because, to be honest, even I didn't really know what I was looking at. It was just a big gross pink mess.
  • There was Stage 3 endometriosis around my ovaries, and my right ovary had a large endometrioma, which is a fluid-filled cyst. He explained again that my ovaries were immobile because they were stuck to my abdominal wall.
  • Because the endometrioma on my right ovary was so large, the ovary looked pretty beat up after the cyst was removed. He said they had to remove the whole cyst, including its lining, so there is always a risk that a few eggs are taken with it. (Sad, right?) If they didn't completely get the cyst out, though, it would return in a month or two. Because removing of the cyst causes bleeding, he had to cauterize the outside of the ovary, so it looked black and misshapen. However, the amazing thing is that the ovary will heal itself between 2 and 4 weeks, so there's a good chance at this moment it's looking fine.
  • There was a little bit of endometriosis on my bladder wall which would be at a stage 1. It was interesting to see the difference between the two: my ovaries were covered with endometriosis, but my bladder had only tiny dark dots here and there.
  • My uterus was healthy, and both of my fallopian tubes were clear, as well. They did the same HSG test that I had done in 2009, which at that time had come back with the results that one tube was clear but one seemed slightly blocked. This was good news to hear that both looked great.
  • Some other interesting things: progesterone can control the spread of endometriosis, so that is why a pregnancy will at least stall the endo from coming back. This could also explain why birth control is used as a controller for endometriosis and often helps make severe menstrual cramps milder. The monthly period itself is a contributor to the problems of endometriosis since not all of the blood leaves the body. Another weird thing: apparently, the "make-up" of blood that a woman with endometriosis has during her period is different than another woman. Crazy, huh?
  • I also asked him if the treatments could have made the endometriosis worse, and he said, theoretically, that would be the case. The endometriosis thrives on estrogen, and the treatments increase the levels of estrogen a person has. However, he wasn't too concerned about this since the treatments are done rarely and for only a short period of time. I do wonder, though, if that visit to the ER two summers ago was the beginning of that cyst. Just speculation, of course...
So that's the explanation of what he found. Of course, we were concerned with one main question: How will this affect our ability to conceive??
  • Because the endometriosis was as advanced it was, it will return. It could return in six months or a year, but there is no doubt that it will come back. Another laparoscopy really isn't an option because multiple laparoscopies will have negative effects on my ovaries and the quality and production of eggs.
  • He has found that with women like me, there is about a 40% chance (or 1 in 3) that they get pregnant without treatments within the year.
  • He would recommend that we consider a few cycles of treatments and IUIs because women with endometriosis typically have lower quality eggs. The clomid and ovidrel I have taken help produce more follicles (so more chances that my left ovary will produce an egg, which would be the better option) and higher quality eggs and ovulation. The only downside with the treatments and IUI is the cost and a slightly increased chance of multiples.
Overall, the appointment was positive. Of course, it was a bit disheartening to hear that the endometriosis will come back, and that there's no way to really "cure" it. And I don't like this whole "race against the clock" thing, but I guess all women have some clock they're having to think about. Nevertheless, it seems my chances of having a baby have just sky-rocketed! Our main prayer concern right now is if and when to do the treatments. My doctor wants to make sure I have one normal cycle, but after my period comes next month, we can begin an IUI cycle or can choose to wait. Neither of us has any idea of what we want to do right now. The one plus is that our new insurance does have a small amount covered towards infertility, so there may be a chance one or two IUI cycles could be covered.

It feels great to have the surgery done and to have met with the doctor and talked about Robby's and my immediate future. What an exciting beginning to 2011!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recovery Update

I can't believe it has already been four days since my surgery. Physically, I am recovering well. The first three days I stayed on the pain medication prescribed to me. Not only did this remove my pain, but it also made me pretty out of it most of the day, which (I'll be honest) was kind of nice. (Maybe that's why the days have gone by so quickly??) Today is my first day just using tylenol, and although I don't feel quite as good as I did, I'm still relatively comfortable. I experienced shoulder pain the first couple of days, a side effect of the gas they put in my abdomen to help them see better, but that has subsided. I'm struggling through the annoying aftermath of anesthesia, the dreaded constipation (sorry if that's TMI), but besides that, I can't be happier with my body's response to both the anesthesia and pain killer. Neither of them made me nauseous, which is fortunate indeed! The biggest thing I faced today was fatigue. Just moving from one room to the next is exhausting. I also am running a low fever, which I don't think I need to be concerned about, since I was advised to call if a fever reached 101 degrees.

I've had a lot of help, and this has truly been amazing. Robby has been super-husband and spends his day preparing meals, cleaning, monitoring my meds, and overall keeping me as comfortable as possible. My mom has been over almost every night with meals, my dad and sister have stopped by, and my cousin Kara came by with a pot of soup, as well. Everyone has been so good to check on me and offer help. I feel blessed by all of my support.

For the most part, I think I had accurate expectations of the surgery and recovery. What I wasn't prepared for and what is most surprising to me is how emotional I am. I cried a lot today and became frustrated with things that wouldn't normally bother me. I am just feeling down, and I wasn't expecting that at all. It brought me some comfort, then, when I found this helpful article on, "Laparoscopy: Before and After Tips." This little article, by the way, is the best thing I've found concerning laparoscopy. It really does cover every major thing related to the surgery and gives good tips for recovery.

I'm very pleased with my recovery, but I am ready and anxious to get back to normal as soon as possible. Thanks everyone, for your continued concern and prayers!

Post-op blues, from "Laparoscopy: Before and After Tips"
Most of us experience a period of emotional ups and downs following surgery. For some, the blues remain for several weeks. It's not unusual to cry easily or become anxious, agitated, frightened, or suspicious. Some of us have also experienced nightmares following surgery. All of this will pass in time and you will begin to feel in control again. Be gentle and patient with yourself during your physical and emotional recovery

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Results and Recovery

Yesterday morning was my laparoscopy, so I thought I'd quickly update everyone on how it went. I actually didn't get a chance to talk to the doctor, but he spoke with Robby who took great notes and passed the info on to me.

The doctor found that I did have endometriosis, Stage 3 out of 4. The endometriosis had caused my ovaries to be immobilized, making them stuck to my abdominal wall. The doctor also removed a large cyst on my right ovary. They did check my fallopian tubes and saw that they were both clear, and now, thanks to the surgery, everything looks much better! The doctor said that no doubt this was causing my infertility. Unfortunately, because the endometriosis was Stage 3, it will come back. So that means we need to have our baby soon!

My experience at the hospital was very good. We were quickly admitted, and even though the surgery itself ran a little behind schedule, I was impressed with the nurses and doctors. I have to say the whole experience of being wheeled into an operating room was a bit nerve-racking, especially as I wasn't expecting that many people in there, but before I knew it, I was off in twilight-land. The strangest part was waking up because my body was shaking uncontrollably and the pain in my abdomen was strong. It didn't take long for them to give me something to help, though.

As far as my recovery at home, it has been good. I do have pain, but I can take pain medication every four hours, so it's keeping me fairly comfortable. I can't really walk or move too much since it hurts my abdomen, but my wonderful husband is taking care of me. My mom and Carly also spent a few hours with me last night and will be back again.

I so appreciated all of the texts, calls, e-mails, and (of course) prayers. It was amazing to know that so many people were thinking of us and praying for us. Thank you so much!

I think it's still settling in that this has really happened, and that this has made it possible for us to get pregnant. I can't quite believe it, but I love the hope I feel inside of me again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Off to the hospital!

My fever is gone, and I'm feeling good. The strange thing is I have lost my voice, but I think that's just due to all the illness I've had the past couple of weeks. So, we'll be leaving here shortly, and when you hear back from me, hopefully it will be with good news of a successful surgery and miraculous recovery :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Still fighting it!

I woke up this morning feeling very rested, but was quickly discouraged when I took my temperature and saw that I still had a low fever. The good news is as the day has gone on, it has dropped to almost my normal temperature, and I have stopped coughing finally. I have high hopes about it all!

Please keep praying that I will be well and that the whole recovery will go smoothly.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pre-op News

Today I had my pre-op appointment in Clovis to prepare for my procedure on Wednesday. The appointment went well with one little complication. Yesterday afternoon I came down with a case of chills, aches, fever, and sore throat. (I know, right? Less than a week after recovering from whatever I had before this.) I feel a lot better today, but there is a chance that the surgery will be postponed if they feel my immune system is too weak for the recovery. I will hopefully know tomorrow since they took a blood test today. More waiting...

As for the appointment, it was nice getting some answers and a little more idea of what to expect...even though I heard, "Everyone is different - it's hard to tell" a number of times today. Basically, I'll check in at 10:30 and be prepped for surgery, which is to take place at 12:30. The surgery itself can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the severity of what they find. After that, there is a 2 hour recovery time, which could be lengthened up to 4 hours as needed. That depends on how well I recover from the anesthesia. Once again, "everyone is different" with their reaction to anesthesia; I'm hoping it won't make me too sick. As for how I'll feel afterward: what I continue to hear is I'll most likely feel really sore in my abdomen, and once again, the amount of pain I have just can't be predicted yet. Everyone has said to plan on doing nothing at least the first two days and then see how things go after that. My friend who has had this procedure done said the first five days were rough, and then the next week or so after that still included some soreness.

I have a post-op appointment scheduled for two weeks from Wednesday. At that point, they'll see how well I have recovered and we'll get to talk more in depth about what this means for us fertility-wise. I'm hoping also to get to speak to the doctor a bit on Wednesday.

As you pray for me, pray first of all that I am completely well for the surgery. I can't imagine having to cancel this and go through all the prep again. And of course, pray for the procedure on Wednesday and the results! It's amazing to think how close I might be to getting pregnant!

WedMD has a lot of information about the procedure itself, so if you're wondering what exactly will take place, check out this site.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


A week from today, I will be having my laparoscopy. Because of this, and because of the fact that for the last week I have been out of commission, I feel like the next six days are days of catch-up and preparation for me. It's not easy for me to do nothing for days at a time, so I need to be ready in case this thing has me laid up again.

My preparation doesn't only include cleaning and organizing and choosing movies I want to watch. I've also been mentally preparing myself, as much as I can. I'm scared about this, not only about physically having to be put under and have a surgery (that alone is terrifying!), but also about the outcome. I'm scared to hear what the doctor says, to see images of what I look like. I'm scared of what might be there, and even more so, what might not be there. There is a chance--though it is unlikely--that everything will look good and normal. I've had doctors tell me multiple times that "things look good"...and then I have another month of disappointment. What if this is another one of those situations?

And then there is the recovery. Not just the week that I might be sore, but the months that are to come, months of waiting and wondering and hoping. Just thinking about the possible disappointment makes me want to cry.

So, I'm not asking too much, am I? Six days to become completely physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for all of that?

You see now why I need to focus on filing and organizing our office this week...that's something I can handle.