Mommy's heart for Baby Jacob

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Roughest Month So Far -- Part One

You'd think by now I'd have something more positive to post, right?  Well, not quite yet.  In all honesty, it's been a strange last few weeks and really rough at that.  Not totally awful but with a strong boxing match going on with my emotions...and even with physical pain.  Physical pain?  Yup, you read that right.  Read on. 

If you read my previous post from February 16, you saw that I wasn't even in the mood to take my ovulation tests for some reason.  Apparently my mood had already soured in our 4th month of trying since my miscarriage and I wasn't all too positive about my chances this month or "round" as I like to refer to it.  Let's back up to a few days prior to that post.

Alex had left for drill on Friday, February 11.  He was in Fort Knox, KY.  I was working like mad on the house--still unpacking (from our move last fall), cleaning the boys' toys, laundry, you name it.  I even did my workout which had been postponed for about a week when I got shinsplints a week earlier.  I was feeling pretty good and proud of all I had accomplished.

Until 4:00 AM Saturday.

I woke up thinking I had gas.  Such a lovely thought, I know.  After changing positions in bed several times, I realized I wasn't able to go back to sleep.  The morning hours were increasingly painful for me but I still thought it was a kink or something.  It was only when I got up and went to put my shoes on that I realized how bad the pain was.  I couldn't even bend over!!  Suddenly it dawned on me.  I had had pain like this about a year ago and it was when I had an ovarian cyst rupture.  I thought, "Uh oh." 

So I went about my day hoping maybe it was just a little ache but I finally decided to call Alex around 3 that afternoon to ask him to come home.  With a wonderfully supportive unit behind him, he left at 6, got home around 10:30 and we made it to the ER by 11 PM that night.  By this time the pain had gone down some, but with everything that I'd read about cysts the bottom line seems to say that you should get them checked out just to make sure everything is okay.  So, to the ER I went.

I'm sure you can imagine how long and how much fun I had there.  I was there from 11 PM until 4:15 AM Sunday morning.  Poor Alex was up nearly 20 hours and finally took the boys home for a bit after snacking on some McDonald's nuggets while I was at first moving along quickly.  Thank goodness for texting.  Once I knew the process got clogged with all of the tests, visits from different nurses, going here/going there, I sent Alex & the boys home.  They were sleeping in the van when he came back to pick me up.  It was a rough night for all of us.

While I was in the ER, my doctor kept wondering if it could be my appendix.  I knew it wasn't.  I'm not a doctor, I know, but I knew the pain that I was referring to. I knew I was probably ovulating around that time.  I knew a bit about how cysts work and their relationship to ovulation.  I also knew that I wasn't in horrific pain and that it had actually improved some during my stay in the ER.   I also knew that I felt just like I had last year--although thankfully not as bad.  Luckily there was a chance that I could be pregnant so I didn't have to get a cat scan done on my abdomen--the doc wanted to do one to rule out appendix but couldn't because of the possibility that I'd be pregnant.  Sheesh.  I appreciated her concern but even she said she didn't think it was an appendix, especially once the ultrasound CONFIRMED a cyst present.  Frustrating.  I guess she just wanted to rule all possibilities out.

My diagnosis?  Yup, a cyst.  She said it was a complex cyst, that was all.  Knowing I was trying to get pregnant and we had discussed Clomid, she also said that I may not want to try it as it could make the cyst worse.  I left the ER one tired, cranky and borderline-panicky woman as I didn't know much more than before I came in.

It was some time later on Sunday that I was trying to figure out what my cyst was and what may or may not happen if we had to start Clomid.  I really tried to stay off of the Internet, but couldn't do it.  I finally gave in around 9 PM that night. I just couldn't remember what I had read a year ago about complex cysts and when I asked the doctor at the ER about them, I said, "Aren't those the more funky ones?"  She laughed and said yes.

Funky.  Sure.  Nice way for me to word it and nice of her to not give me any info about it.  Well, it turns out that according to several websites complex cysts are the potentially bad ones.  Ugly.  Connected to the word 'cancer' if everything was in line to be that bad. 

Talk about panic!  Sunday night I was parked at the corner of Worry Avenue and Panic Lane.  I had a spot front row spot at Freak Out Restaurant.  And I was lined up for everything I could get. I guess I should mention that I'm human, and unfortunately, my initial reactions may not always be the best.  I think I mentioned this a long time ago in one of my posts--do you remember reading anything about the "uncertainty reduction theory"?  I had learned of it in graduate school and the bottom line is that we, as human beings, will do anything we can to reduce uncertainty in our lives.  Uncertainty brings fear, panic, etc. 

So, obviously I was trying to reduce uncertainty that Sunday night.  The ER doc had given me next to NO info that morning.  Absolutely nothing.  So here I was researching complex cysts on my own trying to fill in the gaps--what were they, how did you treat them, would it impact my chances of having a baby, etc.

I'm embarrassed to even say this, but do you know that at one point I was so shaken up that I was actually envisioning my own funeral???  I was that scared.  I was mad at the ER doc for leaving me hanging. 

Thankfully, the emotional side of me moved over so the more logical side could kick its way in.  I've always loved my ability to be logical and to see all sides of things and boy, was I grateful to know that that part of my personality was still going strong.  I spent the wee hours of Sunday night and morning thinking of all the reasons I shouldn't panic:  the ER doc was talking about Clomid--why would she talk about it if I wasn't even going to think about conceiving?  I had NOT seen my OB/GYN yet so had no confirmation of this cyst, let alone, any kind of next steps to treat it.  I DID have the initial blood work tests done at the ER and if there was anything even slightly suggestive of something really off in my body, I would think that it would have shown up.  So, with a heavy and worrisome heart but with those thoughts calming me and A LOT of prayer and tears that night, I attempted to sleep.

I went in for a follow-up appointment that Monday, February 14 with my doctor.  I even got teary-eyed in her office as I had explained what happened over the weekend.  She even joked, "Weren't you just in here the other day?"

I am so grateful for her.  She was so calm and never once made me feel like an idiot for asking a gazillion dumb questions.  She put my fears to rest and said that the info I read about complex cysts referred to possible outcomes in 'post-menopausal women' not pre-menopausal.  She even asked for the websites!  And she speculated that I may not even have a complex cyst but that if I did, she wouldn't do surgery on me since I was trying to conceive.  We'd watch it, etc.

At that point she took me for an ultrasound and took the time to be in the room while the technician did her thing.  When she told me the cyst was a simple cyst, I felt the room become so much more lighter than it had even in the exam room when she told me I'd be fine.  And then even more lighter when said how pretty my uterus was. :)  And how great my lining looked!  I was laughing so hard at that point.  All three of us were.  My doc said, "That lining would be a great place for an egg to latch on too right about now!"

So with all of that wondrous news and even a, "Go ahead and try one more time if you feel up to it even though you've already ovulated--you never know," I left the office feeling so incredibly thankful for my health.  Let me back up a step--the ER doc and my OB's theory is that I ovulated that Friday.  When I ovulated (a REALLY good sign for someone trying to get pregnant), the cyst would have opened to release the egg.  If there was blood in it, if even a little bit got into my abdomen--hence the pain.  Funny how the body works, huh?

Well, my good news was delivered to Alex, to my mom, etc.  Uncertainty reduced.  Gaps filled in.  So thankful that I didn't have to wait days to get into my doc for the info I so desperately needed.  I'm still so thankful to God that everything was okay.  The doc even said she'd call me the following day after she read the original ER report if there was anything contradictory but no call means all's well. 

I'm also so grateful that the pain has been diminishing with each day that passes.  Other than a tweak here and there if I do too much or move the wrong way, it's almost like I don't even know I have a cyst.  I do know it's about 3 cm which is a 'moderate' size.  It should shrink on it's own in the next 2-3 mos.  And, the doctor didn't think Clomid would be a problem but even if it would affect the cyst, she seemed totally okay with it. 

Wow, so much that we discussed at that visit.  So much to come.  But, seeing as how long this post has been, I'm going to save the rest of it for a separate post.  I tell you, it's been one strange month.  One very rough month with a roller coaster of emotional and physical pain.  I have no idea why this month has been so bad, but I sure hope I can move on and leave February where I found it.  I think I'm definitely ready for March to move on in.

Hoping your Februaries are going well, my friends!  See you in part two...


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This Last Round--One Funky Mood

Funny how your mood can shift so slyly that you don't even realize it until it stares you in the face.

Take this last 'round', as I call it.  What should a woman who is trying to have another baby do?  What should her attitude be?  Hopeful?  Optimistic?  Positive?  Excited?  Intentional? 

Well, sure in a perfect world, maybe.  But, unfortunately not in my world.  It's been another several hectic weeks in our house and while I track the days on the calendar like a champion bloodhound (I just enjoyed the Westminster Dog Show yesterday hence my dog metaphor), for some reason, my heart just didn't feel into it this time.  Oh sure, I enjoyed the time with my husband.  That's important no matter what.  But for the baby part of it, I just felt almost disgusted and hopeless.  I remember thinking, "Why bother?  It won't work anyway."  I guess my negative attitude affected my actions because several days I nearly forgot to take my ovulation tests.  Half the time I was taking them at 3:00 AM or something when I had gotten up to go to the bedroom.  Even then, I didn't stay around to read them--I just went back to bed! Again, my mind was pummeled with thoughts like, "It's not going to matter what the test says, my odds are too slim."

You see, I had my 3-month follow up doctor visit just a week ago as it had been pushed back a week due to the ice storm that hit so many of us around the country.  Now, IF I would have been able to make that first doctor appointment, she would have started me on Clomid right in time for this last cycle.  Maybe, just maybe, it might have had some influence.  But, ole' man winter said that was not to be and blew in a major ice storm which closed several businesses for at least a day or two.  Great.  Lucky me.

I go to my appointment last week and heard my doctor outside of my door saying something about me having lost a baby and not being pregnant again.  She said it with such compassion.  We discussed starting Clomid in the March cycle meaning that this cycle was already underway and there wasn't anything extra we could to do spice things up. 

We discussed a progesterone test and the success rate of Clomid.  I don't know how excited I am about my odds, even with Clomid.  Apparently my chances monthly are 5% but yearly almost 30% depending on how you look at it.  With Clomid, my monthly chances go up to about 10% and who knows what yearly.  I remember thinking, "That's it???  That's barely enough to sneeze at."  And again with my stinky attitude when the doctor said one of the side effects was twins (more likely than triplets), I found myself thinking, "Ha, like that would happen.  I won't have to worry about that either."  I also found myself thinking about how my brother and sister-in-law lost one of their twins early on and that it's apparently very common. 

I was disgusted with myself for thinking such negative thoughts.  I don't know why this month was any different from prior months.  Perhaps it was because I had just reached the 13-week mark since losing Jacob and in many ways it was a symbolic good-bye (see my earlier post) to my sweet baby son.  Maybe it was just because I had been so optimistic that we'd accomplish something in those first 3 months.  Maybe I'm just tired of waiting.  Maybe I'm trying hard not to panic at what the future might hold--what if we can't afford fertility treatments?  Do I just keep trying the natural way and then is there an age where I'm told to stop so that I'm not like 60 or something when trying to have a baby?  Who knows.

My doctor and I also started to discuss other infertility options.  As I've mentioned before, that's not necessarily a place that makes me more positive due to the high costs involved.  I wonder how parents make that decision.  Is it, "How badly do I want a baby?  Am I willing to put everything on the line for it?"  Oh, I can't even think about that decision.  I did agree to at least go have a consultation with a specialist that my doctor spoke very highly of.  That appointment is in about 2 weeks.  Wouldn't it be nice to not need it???

So it was after my doctor appointment that I kept forgetting to take my ovulation tests.  This was the first month/cycle following my miscarriage that I felt this way.  Every other month (3 total) I had been feeling pretty optimistic, hopeful and happy.  I guess I was due for a downer.  I just hope that I can shake it off prior to the next month.  I didn't like feeling that way at all.

I am thankful though for my OB/GYN.  She is the best doctor and so positive.  She keeps saying, "We have a goal in mind--our goal is a baby!"  She's so supportive.  She even gave me a hearty and solid heartfelt hug at that follow-up visit.  It feels good knowing I have her in my corner. 

Well, so that's pretty much it for this round.  We did what we could--my hubby had to head out of town which couldn't be helped--so who knows if anything was enough to make something happen.  Now I face the difficult part of the month where I wait.  And wait.  I hate waiting.  I'm sure I've said that before.

Maybe, just maybe....

Until next time my friends, I truly hope I can learn more patience because it's getting pretty rough out there!  May all of your 'waiting' be full of patience and hope...ah yes, that beautiful word, hope.  Here's to hope! :)