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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.

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.

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.

Fertility Frustration

7 Mar

I’m back!

I just don’t know how else to get all of this out!

I know that I’ve talked a little bit about how I wanted to lose weight in order to have babies here, but this blog has never really been about fertility. I’m not sure that it’s going to turn into that now, it’s just what I need to talk about right now.

I started seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist in late 2009. The plan was to spend the next year charting temps/cervical fluid and try to lose as much weight as possible.

In October, I still hadn’t ovulated. I had been able to lose about 30 pounds. I was frustrated.

I headed back into my Dr. We talked about PCOS as one likely possibility and set out to try to get a diagnosis, but a wrench was thrown in the plan during my first sonogram. A large “mass” was detected on my uterus. A CT Scan and two more sonograms have brought us to today. We still don’t know exactly where the cyst is located other than adjacent to my left ovary.

Since it is so large and hasn’t changed one bit since the first sono in December, my Dr. has decided it’s time to move forward with a laparoscopic procedure. Not that you wanted to know, but I’m due for a period any day now. As soon as it’s over, I am supposed to call back to schedule the procedure. He is wanted to get it done as soon as possible, so I’m guessing it will be within the next two weeks.

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand this is good news because we couldn’t move forward with any fertility treatment or testing because we were monitoring the cyst and didn’t want to potentially make it grow. Once this is taken care of, we can hopefully move on. I’ve had to be on birth control for the last 3 months and will be on it for at least one month more which has been incredibly frustrating. All I really care about is getting pregnant these days and this would be a big step in this direction!

On the other hand, most of the research I’ve read advises against surgery if at all possible. You can often do more damage trying to remove the cyst which can cause more fertility issues. My Dr. believes there’s a good change the cyst is on my fallopian tube since it hasn’t changed. He said ovarian cysts tend to get bigger or smaller and rarely stay constant. If that’s the case, I could lose a fallopian tube.

My Dr. assured me he would avoid removal at all costs. It is an outpatient procedure, but I will go under anesthesia. I will be fully recovered in a week. Best case scenario is that the cyst is on my ovary, is benign and they can just drain it. Worst case scenario is that it is entangled or deeply embedded and actually requires a more massive surgery to be removed. Even if that’s the case, he won’t perform it that day unless there’s a medical emergency.

You know, just typing this all out is calming me down. I’m not afraid of the procedure really or they cyst, I just don’t want to diminish my chances of getting pregnant any more than it already is.

Oh, and the weight is still an issue. I have lost another 13 pounds since October, but I’ve hit a plateau and it’s going to take some more effort on my part to push on through.

I don’t know how regularly I’m going to make it back here, but I hope to be able to chronicle some of this. I’ve been struggling with some depression (one of the lovely side effects of this birth control) but it would probably help to talk about it more.