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Joni Anne

15 Aug

It turns out that when I thought I was pregnant on Mother’s Day, I was right and the test was wrong. 

But I didn’t doubt the test for even a moment. Why would I? Years of negative tests in the past… I know now that I never really believed it would ever say anything different.

But there I was, on the 2nd day of June, blinking at a positive pregnancy test for the first time in my life. I took the test after a relaxing Memorial Day weekend with my Memaw who found my symptoms “suspicious”. And then my next two days at work, I was utterly exhausted for absolutely no reason. So I decided to take the test that was left over from Mother’s Day… And then another cheapo from the Dollar Store.

  
And when they both said yes… I was amazed. Shocked. Excited. And terrified.

I didn’t want to lose this baby. Part of me said that it was going to be ok, but part of me said this was never supposed to happen for you. Don’t get too attached.

Fast forward a few weeks to my first OB appointment and ultrasound, and I discovered that I was due January 14th (which meant I got pregnant in early April as I had suspected). I also got to see the baby for the first time and that’s when it got real. But when I heard the heartbeat for the first time… I cried. I loved. I ached. I don’t really know how to describe what I felt. It was the moment it all became real to me.

  
About a week later, I did some lab work including NIPT and took the option of learning the sex. Just after the 4th of July, we learned we were having a girl and that she was clear of the genetic issues they tested for.

As far as I’m concerned, this pregnancy has been ideal. I haven’t been sick much. I am tired, but that’s ok. I have a family that’s made this so much easier and wonderful. Everything is progressing just as it should. I even bought my first pair of maternity jeans this weekend for my newly formed bump.

  
We have been talking casually about baby names, and had a few names we liked but nothing we loved. I felt early on that I wanted her to have a J first name or middle name. Jake, Jami and I all have J names. Since we are a blended family, it just felt like a sweet way to tie us all together. 

We had pretty much decided on Emma Jean, but something told me to keep looking.

Jake has an older sister named Toni who passed when he was 4. He wanted to name Jami after her, but his mother said no. And I can understand that. 

The other night, I was looking at a list of girl names that start with J, when I came across the name Joni. I went to school with a couple girls named Joni, but had forgotten the name. When I saw that it meant “God is gracious”. I knew it was perfect.

My mom suggested Ann for a middle name (her late mother’s middle name) and her initials would be the same as Jake’s… Which was an idea he totally loved. And it’s what he has called her all weekend. My only tweak is the spelling of Anne, which is a nod to my English heritage. Jami’s middle name is Lynne, and I like that they are similarly spelled.

But please know that I might take one look at her and change my mind! ūüėā Seriously.

The big sonogram is in a couple weeks and I cannot wait to see this little girl and how much she has grown!

I can’t wait to meet you, Joni! Momma and daddy and sister love you so much!

Looking Back

13 Apr
A beautiful Corpus Christi morning

A beautiful Corpus Christi morning

Last weekend, I was working on the blog. I was mostly going through old posts and categorizing all of the uncategorized ones. ¬†My OCD has been kicking in now that I’m blogging again semi-regularly.

As I was going through some old posts, I just happened to stumble on some from exactly two years ago.

I don’t know how to describe what it felt like to read about where I was two years ago. ¬†It’s surreal and heartbreaking and enlightening.

I read this post first.  I totally forgot that this time two years ago, I was right in the thick of our infertility issues.  I had just undergone surgery and been told by my Reproductive Endocrinologist that my best bet was inVitro.

There’s a good chance that I’ve healed some. ¬†There’s even a chance that my situation has changed drastically. ¬†I know I’m still dealing with PCOS, but so are thousands of other women who have babies all the time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still have hope. ¬†I feel like I will be a mother. ¬†Even if it’s not to my own biological child. ¬†But I think there’s still a chance for me.

For Granted

17 Apr

I’ve started a new post here almost everyday the past two weeks, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to write anything. ¬†I didn’t really have anything remotely positive to say so it’s probably good that I resisted.

Here’s a short list of events:
1. ¬†Had my post-op appt. ¬†Dr decided that we just need to go straight for In Vitro Fertilization- has the best odds of actually getting me pregnant. ¬†IVF is expensive, so it’s going to have to wait a bit.

2.  The next day my aunt (who lives just doors away from me) collapsed trying to get out of bed.  She only lives with my cousin Katy who is 23 and has Cerebral Palsy.  Michele went BACK to the ER for the 3rd time in a week.  I was sure she had a stroke, a brain tumor, something like that based on her symptoms.  After 10 nights in the hospital, she is finally home with a diagnosis of lung cancer and will be starting chemo Tuesday.

3. ¬†A week ago, I woke up with severe pain around my belly button incision. ¬†First trip to the Dr determined I had injured the area (probably picking my aunt up from the floor). ¬†Second trip to the Dr determined it was definitely infected. ¬†I have strict orders to stay in bed (as much as I can), but I’m hoping to be released to normal activity at my appointment Tuesday morning.

All of this has left me feeling like I take my health/well being for granted. ¬†I’ve spent so much time focusing on the aspects of my health that needed to change, that I haven’t seen just how lucky I am to have a body free of disease that can get me wherever I need to go. ¬†My body and health isn’t perfect, but I’ll never take being able to roll over in bed, walk to the restroom, sit up without pain for granted again. ¬†Beyond that, my aunt’s experience has made me see just how much worse it can always be. ¬†And even then, she could be so much worse off than she is.

So, I’m going to thank God everyday for my body/health/well-being. ¬†I’m going to love the skin I’m in. ¬†I’m going to accept this gift I’ve been given and be grateful for it.

Can’t Sleep.

3 Apr

It’s been a crazy week. ¬†We have been in and out of the hospital with family for both scary and joyous reasons. ¬†I’ve been trying to get back into some kind of routine, only to have life turned upside down daily. ¬†And it’s okay. It’s part of life, but it has left me in this strange state. ¬†Grasping at something I can keep in control.

I’ve been preparing for the follow-up appointment with my Dr. on Monday. ¬†Joined some groups for individuals who are having trouble trying to conceive. ¬†I have lots of questions and I hope to get some answers.

While at work last night, my allergies hit my like a ton of bricks.  By the time I got home and got some meds in my system, I was a mess.  I was tired, feeling horrible, and then I saw this:

And I just felt it all so heavily.  I decided this was it.  I was going to have my moment.  Get upset about how unfair it all is.  Just get it out of my system and move on.

Then this morning, I saw this:

I realized that no matter what, this pain meant that I am healing.  And healing may not mean that I am going to get exactly what I want exactly when I want it.  I felt overwhelmingly peaceful with the fact that my body may not produce children for me.

Then, I remembered my patriarchal blessing. ¬†I will have children. ¬†One way or another. ¬†That’s good enough for me. ¬†In the mean time, I will continue to do those things that should be done.

The Unpleasant Truth

24 Mar

Folks, I know you really don’t want to know, but the constipation issue has reached critical mass and well I’m just not sure what to do!

My Dr.’s office suggested stool softeners yesterday which haven’t helped yet. ¬†I spent MOST of the day yesterday on the toilet and in pain. ¬†It was honestly probably the worst ever. ¬†I won’t even begin to tell you what my dear husband has helped me with, and he is sworn to secrecy!

In a desperate moment last night, he ran to CVS and bought me an enema which I was too afraid to use.

Any suggestions? ¬†My doc is unwilling to do anything else until Friday and I’m not sure I can make it until then! ¬†All I know is that I CAN’T use laxatives. ¬†Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Here’s the plan stan

23 Mar
Don’t you love google image searches?

It’s about 2:30am here and I am WIDE awake. ¬†My sleep schedule is all kinds of crazy these days! ¬†It’s a side effect of my pain meds which I have been trying to take as little as possible of. ¬†I requested non-narcotics due to a family history of addiction, I just like to be safe rather than sorry… ¬†But my Dr. flat out said, you’re gonna need narcotics. ¬†LOL… ¬†I don’t know why, but it really cracked me up.

ANYWAY

There’s not much to do this time of morning except read The Half-Blood Prince (which I will be doing as soon as I finish typing this here blog) so I thought I might spend some time thinking about my goals.

1.  Pray.
I am really bad about forgetting to explain that I know first and foremost that I have a Heavenly Father who knows me personally, loves me, and has a plan for me. ¬†It is the first thing I think about, but something I often forget to mention. ¬†I had a revelation a while ago that this road was NOT going to be easy because I don’t tend to appreciate things that come to me easily. ¬†I am honestly not in control of anything. ¬†He is. ¬†But I do have agency to make choices in my life and I have commandments to follow. ¬†I also know that there is nothing commanded that He will not provide a way to accomplish. ¬†Having said all that, prayer is priority #1.

2.  Love on my Husband.
This may seem like a strange goal, but golly this has been tough for him. ¬†He had his worst fears realized when he had to break the news to me after I woke up from the procedure. ¬†All of this hits a little too close to home and is reminding him so much of the loss of his mother. ¬†NOT that I am dying! ¬†It’s just all the years of taking care of her and feeling so much a loss of faith. ¬†He is an amazing care taker and I am one lucky woman to have him as my eternal partner. ¬†This trial has brought us closer and is strengthening our marriage everyday.

3.  Eat Clean.
This is something I’ve been incorporating into my life for close to a year. ¬†I first discovered the concept of Clean Eating thanks to Anonymous Fat Girl. ¬†If you’ve never heard of it, according to¬†Clean Eating Magazine:

The soul of clean eating is consuming food in it’s most natural state, or as close to it as possible. ¬†It’s not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation leading to health, well-being and a lean look.



Foundation of a clean-eater’s diet:

  • Colorful fruit & veggies
  • Whole Grains
  • Lean Protein
  • Water


Things to steer clear of:

    • Overly processed, refined foods

 

  • Refined flour and sugar
  • Saturated and Trans fats
  • Anything fried
  • Sugar-laden colas and juices
  • Alcohol

 

 

What I love about this concept is that it is so simple, natural, and is really kind of common sense. ¬†What I first read about the idea of Clean Eating, I couldn’t help but correlate the principles with the Word of Wisdom. ¬†It’s a plan that works for me- it makes sense.

4.  Move.
Exercise was a big part of my life for a while there. ¬†I was pretty active up until about a little over a month ago. ¬†That’s when a depression I had been fighting off for a little while (thanks to the high-hormone birth control I have been taking) really sunk in. ¬†I gratefully, have been able to snap out of that funk and hope to return to some enjoyable activity after being cleared by my Dr. on the 4th. ¬†My plan includes dancing, walking my dogs, and possibly joining the athletic club across the street to partake of their wonderful lap pool.

5.  Breathe.
This is the final goal and it’s an important one for me. ¬†I don’t want to become stressed out with all of these goals I want to accomplish. ¬†I am going to take this nice and easy. ¬†Stop and smell the flowers if you will. ¬†Go with the flow. ¬†Hmmm, I think I ran out of cheesy lines with that one. ¬†But you get the picture.

Sliced and Diced

22 Mar
*** WARNING: This blog contains graphic pictures from my surgery.  Proceed with caution! ***

I am super excited to be blogging from the comfort of my own home for the first time in many months.  We have finally had Internet installed at home once again and I am LOVING it!

In my last post, I mentioned that surgery would be happening soon, but I didn’t realize it would be happening SO soon. ¬†In fact, it was yesterday!

Our day started around 9:30am and we made it home around 5:30pm.  My laparoscopic procedure was scheduled for 12:30pm, but of course we were delayed about an hour.  It took about an hour, but I had some trouble coming out of anesthesia.  I warned them ahead of time that I tend to be extremely nauseous afterwards and the nurse anesthetist gave me THREE nausea drugs during the procedure.  My first memory is telling the nurse that I thought I was going to vomit and then dry heaving.  They gave me Phenergan which just made me totally unable to wake up.  Oh, I hated it.  I just wanted to be awake and with my husband, but I felt so out of control.

Once I was able to eat some ice chips without gagging and wake up enough, they finally transferred me to a recovery room and I finally got to see the Hubs. ¬†He had so sweetly brought me a big ice water and the nurse got me some crackers. ¬†It took me about an hour to eat a cracker, use the restroom and wake up enough to be able to go home. ¬†In the mean time, Havie had some news to break to me. ¬†He did it with some pictures my Dr. provided him of the procedure and so that’s what I’m going to use to explain it to you.

(Before we begin- all of this info came second hand to me by my husband.  My Dr. will go over it all in detail with me on the 4th of April at our next scheduled appointment.)

Turns out the cyst wasn’t ovarian. ¬†It was tubal, which is what my Dr. suspected since it had not changed at all in the past 4 months. ¬†He said it was probably left over from the time I was developing in my mother’s womb. It was basically the size of a pool ball.

The cyst was constricting and twisting my fallopian tube which basically was not allowing eggs to meet sperm.

Hopefully by cutting a hole the size of a penny and draining the cyst, the fallopian tube will heal and allow eggs to pass through.  At this point the Dr. stated that he expected the ovary to function at about 30%.  He said that number could grow higher, but we are going to start ovulation drugs and spend the next year trying to get pregnant.  He mentioned that there are ways we can increase our odds of timing, but stated we would talk about that at the next appt.

While he was in there, he checked out my right ovary as well. ¬†This was the hardest news of all. ¬†It’s hard to tell in the picture, but basically my right fallopian tube is pressed between my ovary and small intestine rendering it and my right ovary useless. ¬†It would require a major surgery to correct. ¬†My Dr. advised against it stating that it would cost about the same as in vitro fertilization¬†and could just cause more damage. ¬†All of the research I’ve done would agree with him.

As you can see, I am up and about and feeling pretty good. ¬†I basically feel like I did quite a few crunches yesterday. ¬†The side effects from the Lortab are less than desirable- constipation, some anxiety, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping… ¬†HOWEVER, I honestly feel pretty good and feel truly grateful for an awesome Dr. who performed an excellent procedure.

I had a little breakdown last night. ¬†I guess it was to be expected, but once I got it out I felt much stronger. ¬†30% is better than 0%. ¬†My Dr. will implant up to 3 embryos if it comes to in vitro fertilization. ¬†And even if none of that works for us, we will adopt. ¬†Hope is not lost. ¬†I feel more determined that ever to take charge of my health. ¬†I can increase my odds of a healthy pregnancy by simply taking better care of myself. ¬†I’ve known it, but I guess seeing how low my chances of natural conception really are have motivated me to do all that I can. ¬†There is so much of this that I can’t control, but I am going to do all I can.