Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Merry Christmas! Only almost a week late...

I consider it a good thing that it has taken me so long to sit down and write out this post. I’ve been busy and we had a fantastic Christmas and hope any (and every) one else reading this did as well.

The days before Christmas were busy getting the house cleaned, presents finished and wrapped, cookies baked... Christmas eve we spent the evening at my Mom’s and that was really nice. Christmas morning we opened presents here at home and got to enjoy a relaxing time this year - no quick showers and out the door! Of course I thought the day would be a little more relaxing than it was but between getting the Christmas morning mess cleaned up and dinner cooked, it wasn’t so much. My in-laws came over for dinner and the food turned out yummy though the turkey did take longer to cook than I expected. Everyone seemed to enjoy the gifts we got them and everyone here, especially Caden, was quite spoiled.

The days following involved putting together lots of toys and I started to take down the Christmas decorations - everything but the tree and outside lights. Unfortunately everyone here ended up sick, Steve the worst of us, but it was still a nice weekend.

We had a really wonderful holiday and now I’m kind of sad its all over. No more Christmas music to dance around the living room with Caden, no more presents to wrap or cookies to decorate, and in a day or two our tree will come down and it will be time to hunker down for the next few months of cold, grey, and dark. As crazy as it sounds I’m already looking forward to next Christmas, I’m just hoping it will work out as this one did in terms of not having to drive all over, though we didn’t please everyone and I wish we could have.

The house is clean once again and toys and new goodies have found their place in our house. I have a two of my gifts I still need to assemble and put away but other than that, not too bad.
I can’t believe its already new year’s eve... The final hours of 2008 are ticking down, another year gone. 2008 most definitely didn’t turn out to be the year I expected it to be, but thats another entry sure to come in the next day or two.

On the fertility end of things, there may or may not be news to report but there is definitely a post obsessing soon to come....
For now I need to get the house tidied from the mornings play while Caden is still napping...

Friday, December 19, 2008


Thunder snow woke me up this morning - it was a huge crash resulting in one freaked out fat cat hauling ass through the house and under my bed, the 2nd cat soon following.. At least the 3rd kitty, the beagle, and the boy didn’t seem to care. But I sat straight up and got out of bed and looked out the window without temping, oops. I’m only on CD 6 so its not like it really matters anyway.

I’m up to my full dose on Met now and so far so good. I do feel a little queasy from time to time but I really can’t complain and am okay with how I feel on it. It really has killed my appetite though, especially in the afternoon. I’m not sure if its the meds or just how busy I’ve been the past few days, but I’ll get hungry mid morning and have a quick snack (I rarely eat breakfast) and then usually around 3pm I’ll realize I haven’t really ate and force myself to choke something down. Today it was half a bowl of cheerios. Evenings are much better though and I am eating, no worries there.

AF is all but gone, a day or so sooner than on a normal, non induced cycle. The crazy thing is I’m kind of upset to see her go. I mean, I can understand missing AF - When she doesn’t come around when she ought to, its frustrating. When she doesn’t come around because your body isn’t working properly, it just sucks. But even then I was always glad when it was over, new cycle, new hope, no period.. So what the hell is going on here? Why am I sad to see her go? After all, periods suck.

I definitely don’t want another two week long period like I have had once before, so its not the actual ending in 6 days that has me iffy.. Its what comes next. I’m afraid to go on and have another anovulatory cycle, which all things considered, is the most likely outcome for this cycle. Beyond that I’m afraid that my next cycle will be anovulatory and we’ll move onto clomid. And it isn’t the possibility of clomid that has me apprehensive, but the possibility that clomid won’t work either. Because thats our only hope at this point. These medications are our only shot.

We have no infertility coverage on our insurance so we can’t move onto injectables or IUIs or IVFs. They are not an option. We could actually probably cover some of those expenses out of pocket but with the economy and who knows what the hell might happen between now and then - I can’t jeopardize my family’s financial stability, my son’s... We’re not in a place I’d feel comfortable doing that at this point. But that is really a bridge to cross when we come to it - things could change, the economy could be fairing better, we could win the lottery.... Crazier things have happened, right? But to say that the knowledge that these meds are our only real hope at this current point and time is on my mind is an understatement.

I still have hope, and I do believe we will be pregnant soon... But moving on, actually being back to the point of TTC brings back all those old familiar fears. And I worry that the bliss of waiting and hope will be gone completely in a few weeks when I haven’t ovulated yet again, even though I don’t really expect that I will ovulate this cycle.

The good in this at least is in the timing. I have so much going on that my mind is, for the most part, distracted from my ovaries and empty uterus. The next week is filled with prepping for Christmas, Steve is home the 3 days following so I’m excited to spend the time with my boys, the next week is another short week for new years and will be spent playing with Christmas presents, cleaning, putting together toys, taking down Christmas decorations, etc. Beyond that is planning Caden’s birthday party - though not as involved as Christmas, its something to do. By the time that is over we’ll either know how the Metformin is working or be starting clomid, so I’m hoping this all keeps the obsessive thoughts away.

I guess all I can do at this point is cross my fingers and see what happens. I suppose I should restock my opks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


As I browse and post on message boards I see blinkies and banners declaring that Secondary Infertility hurts, too. And it does. It hurts a lot and no matter how many children you have, not being able to have another one when you and your partner so want it is going to hurt.

I can’t compare the pain of secondary to primary infertility because I’ve never walked in those shoes - Caden was conceived without issue, a surprise really. And I can’t say that one pain is worse than the other, though I do have my suspicious. I can say that secondary infertility is painful. Knowing my body doesn’t work the way it should, knowing that I might not be able to give my husband another child or make my little boy a big brother, the fact that I might not ever get to hold and nurse another baby, it all punches me in the stomach in a way I never imagined every time it pops into my head. I have hope that isn’t the case and I’m trying to be optimistic but even the hurdles we must overcome hurt. The row of prescription bottles lined up in my medicine cabinet, the medical bills, being up at 1am sick because of the medication (felling fine now though, woo!)... Its all a reminder and every single bit of it stabs at me. I try to find logic and reason as to why we’re faced with this while drug addicts, shitty neglectful parents, murders and the general ass holes of life can reproduce without blinking an eye, but there is no logic, no reason, no fairness.

That being said... I cannot even imagine, and I am so incredibly thankful that I don’t have to, going though this alone. And by alone I don’t refer to my husband - It doesn't really need to be said that I have his support and love and I am quite lucky to have the wonderful man that I do - who is even willing to climb out of bed at 1:30am and hunt down lotion for my dry feet because I feel too shitty to move.. But by alone I mean I don’t know how I would manage though this without my son.

Of course I don’t have someone to talk to or direct support through the 23 month old ball of energy spinning around my life... But when he runs down a hall, arms outstretched and thrilled to bits all over the prospect of a hug, a kiss, and a cuddle... Everything bad in the world simply melts away, if even only for a few minutes. His bright smile and personality never allow me to wallow for long, and looking into his big beautiful eyes, my eyes, never ceases to amaze me.

I get to tuck him in every night and check on him a hundred times more. He sits in the cart and we talk and laugh as we move about the grocery store. We get to celebrate Christmas with him and snuggle up with books, teach him new things and learn so much more from him. I have thousands of pictures and thousands more memories and I have tomorrow with him. I have a child. I have a beautiful little boy who is my world. And fertile or not, I don’t know what I’d do without him. I might not have the round belly I expected to have this Christmas and the next time I’m at my OB’s office might not be because I’m pregnant, but I have a perfect little boy, an amazing husband, and a wonderful family who never let me slip too far.

Caden will always know he is loved and he will always know just how much he means to Steve and I. We will always be grateful to be blessed with him in our lives. And one day soon he will sit with his little brother or sister and he will be oblivious to just how grounded he kept me through this. That he was my hope... That he was my reason everything would be okay, even if it is not.

To those still trying for their first, my heart goes out to you. I cannot pretend to understand where you are and I cannot pretend to understand how it feels to require more than just where I am now, or to try for years without success. But I can tell you that every obstacle, every hoop to jump though and shit storm to survive is worth it when you reach that goal, your child, and I pray you do.

And I know that the same holds true for our next child. And I know that one day my husband I will sit and watch our children play. And even when the fun turns to tears and fighting and the moment is all but ruined... It is all worth it in the end.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Well, that was quick

Saturday was my last day of Provera - I was hoping AF would arrive quickly but was hesitant as I’ve read it can take up to 10 days after the last pill for her to show. Most of Friday, while still on the Provera, I felt very AFish, crampy, moody, something going on down there for sure. Then, as AF always does, a relative was sent to trumpet her arrival via a wonderfully placed pimple upon my cheek. Hmm, I thought. Sure enough I started spotting. The spotting was light and gone by morning so I took my last pill and spent the rest of the day cramping and spotting, knowing she was knocking on the door.

As I suspected, late this morning AF arrived and so begins a new cycle. CD 1. For so long I dreaded the first day, but considering AF doesn’t visit as much as she used to, and all things considered, I find myself excited. I’m not looking forward to the cramps tomorrow is sure to bring but I’m interested to see where this cycle takes us.

I’m afraid to say it for fear of the almighty jinx, but I have hope for this cycle. Mostly because I’ve never gone three consecutive cycles without ovulating, so I’m hoping that regardless of medications I might be up to release an egg anyway. And of course I’m hopeful that the provera and “fresh start” might have done something, or even the short time I’ve been on Metformin.
Of course I’m hesitant, too. I’ve never gone three consecutive cycles, but then I’ve only been having these crazy cycles for 10 months... Anything can happen. Furthermore, I’ve only been on met for a week and a half and am not even to my full dose. So the meds are, in my mind at least, unlikely to have much of an affect at this point.

And then, of course, I worry. What if I do ovulate this cycle, we don’t catch the egg, and ovulation was random and not a result of the metformin. I worry that might mask the effectiveness of the drug leading us not to begin clomid in February when it may really be needed. Of course if I do ovulate this cycle it should give enough time to show if the next cycle will (or will not be) ovulatory as well before my February appointment.

My biggest hope for this cycle, beyond ovulation and a resulting successful pregnancy of course, is that I don’t obsess as I have in the past. The wondering if I’m going to ovulate, what’s wrong, why is my body doing this, was terrible. Most days I couldn’t get it out of my mind and I don’t want to end up back in that place. I’m hoping that now that I have a diagnosis and we’re in the process of correcting these issues I’ll be able to have a more laid back approach. It also helps that I have a refill on my provera prescription in the event of another anovulatory cycle. A simple trip to the pharmacy is all it will take instead of waiting and obsessing and wondering when the hell AF might decide to show.

The next few weeks are quite eventful, and that should keep my mind off of things to a certain degree as well. I have lots to do in preparation for the holidays, meals to cook, cookies to bake, presents to wrap, a few to finish, gatherings to attend.... Following will be the assembling of toys, cleaning of messes, and putting away the decorations. I’ve also been scrapping/crafting more again and that has helped keep my mind off of things.

I’m happy that we’ve had this charting/opk/ttc break as I expect that to help as well. A fresh start and new hope for this cycle... And perhaps new life in the new year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Waking Up

I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the Met or perhaps its just the season but I’ve been getting a lot done the past few days.

Every since having Caden I’ve been so exhausted in the afternoons. Every since my surgery this has been so much worse. My exhaustion wasn’t to the point of being crabby or a little sleepy but instead was to the point of being unable to function. I tried everything from exercising during that time to holding off on lunch until the afternoon hours... Nothing worked.

By 3pm I was always falling asleep, sitting up if such was the case, and then waking up 30 to 60 minutes later when Caden woke up, always feeing like I had just been hit by a truck. I then stumbled around for the next several hours until I finally woke up just in time for bed.
I tried not taking the nap, keeping myself busy and not sitting down... Instead I still just felt like I had hit by a truck and stumbled around in a haze for the afternoon and early evening.

For the past several days I still find myself getting drowsy in the afternoons, but not to the extent I was before. Instead of needing to sit or lay down I’m able to keep going and get things done. While I might be a little drowsy, I am able to function and in turn I feel so good. Being that tired was so hard, to feel that bad was terrible. I worry that it will come back and I’m sure it will, but for now I’m enjoying this chance to get things done.

So what have I done with these new found hours? Nothing terribly exciting, well, not to most.
Yesterday I managed to rearrange Caden’s room and get that cleaned up in an attempt to make way for the new round of goodies that will come on Santa’s sleigh in just a few weeks - I still need to go though toys and clothes do decide what needs to be donated and what needs to be packed away.

I’ve also been taking care of our Christmas preparations... Wednesday we took Caden to see Santa and I just need to pick up two more presents and then my shopping is done. Wrapping is almost done as well which just leaves stockings for Steve and Caden, Stockings for the kitties and Ellie, plan and bake cookies, plan Christmas dinner, and finish up the few homemade gifts we’re doing this year.

This weekend I hope to accomplish most on my Christmas to do list as well as hopefully get some scrapping in and possibly work on planning Caden’s 2nd birthday party. Tomorrow Daddy and Pook are heading out to finish up their Christmas shopping and then on Sunday afternoon Caden is going with Grandma to a Christmas party (and he’ll get to see Santa again!) So I’ll have some time to myself.

It definitely feels good to be getting things done, to have energy, to feel somewhat back to myself.

Speaking of Metformin, I increased my dose on Wednesday and so far have felt fine. I did get a bit queasy for a few minutes yesterday afternoon, but it was short lived and nothing terrible. So far, so good! Hopefully my cycles will respond as well as my lack of side effects has me feeling.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And We Wait...

In a lot of ways I’m enjoying this little TTC break we’re on... But this morning I find myself eager to start trying again.

It has been nice not to have that little voice in my head constantly wondering if I might actually ovulate, analyzing every twitch, thinking that if I ovulate this week we might have a chance, there is still a chance at an ovulatory cycle... Then in the case where all signs pointed to ovulation, wondering if I really did when I knew I didn’t. Other than thinking to take all of my pills, I haven’t really thought about trying much at all. I’ve thought about our next baby and all the things to get done, what a great big brother Caden will be, what it will be like to get my positive hpt.
I’ve tried to imagine what it would be like to get that positive hpt for months... But I never quite felt that it was possible. I never really felt like I was going to see two lines on that test. I’m hoping that once we start trying again, I might be able to imagine it.

Despite having lived through nine months of pregnancy, its so hard to remember what that was like. I am so excited to do it all again, though I do worry about the possibility of complications as I had last time. Even so, I can’t wait. I remember lying in bed at night with my hands on my belly - I had terrible insomnia so I’d just sit and feel Caden move and wiggle. He was such an active baby - I felt him move early and he never really stopped. Kick counts say six movements per hour, but it never took more than 20 minutes to get to that number. There were a few points early on where he wouldn’t move quite so much, but those were few and far between. I can’t wait to do it all again. I can’t wait to give birth, to nurse our next baby, to experience all those firsts again, and with my first baby at my side experiencing them, too.

I wonder if I’ll be excited when my next cycle begins or if I’ll be obsessive. I hope not to the later. The truth is I already am considering my next cycle to be a bust - Depending on when AF starts after I finish the Provera I’ll have just started at my full dose of Metformin, or I might still be at 2/3. Of course I still have hope, but I have higher ones for my next cycle.

But for now it has just been nice to think about other things. I’ve thought more about Christmas and Caden’s party, I’ve finished a few projects around the house, and I got a few more pages done in Caden’s scrapbook. Of course everything going on still sits in a cozy spot toward the back of my mind, still in view but out of the way... But its been nice to have this break.

Four more pills, four more days of Provera and then hopefully quickly onto the next cycle. Tomorrow I increase my Met.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Passing Time, Thinking Too Much

As far as the Metformin goes, so far - so good! No super nasty side effects though I did get queasy two evenings. But really I can’t complain, it wasn’t too bad. I hope when I add the 2nd pill on Wednesday things continue on this way.

I haven’t had any side effects from the Provera, either. My CM changed, which I suspect is normal, though now I’m worried that what if I am pregnant? I still highly doubt that, I had no indications of ovulation let alone pregnancy but its still something I find myself wondering about. I know I’m not, but I guess thats just who I am... Needing to worry about something. I did test prior to starting and it was negative... Maybe I’ll use one of my cheapies and test again tomorrow just to put my mind at ease. I really don’t want to waste another one of my good tests but then I really don’t want to risk dealing with a sneaky evap that seem to always show up on the ICs. Really I should just let it rest but I know it would be better to put my mind at ease. Sometimes I wish I could just shut my mind off.


Last night we had Steve’s company Christmas party downtown. Despite the 2 hours stuck sitting in traffic to get into the city, it was nice and we had a good time. Of course I wonder if I gave off the impression that I was pregnant after constantly refusing alcohol. Once or twice was fine, but they came around non stop offering wine during dinner (which made sense to the people drinking) until I finally just blurted out “I can’t”. At one point someone looked at me and smiled when I refused for the millionth time, but it was probably all just in my head. I’m not a big drinker anyway, so not drinking to most wouldn’t necessarily set of any red flags... But it seems anytime you see someone not drink the pregnancy question starts to float... Or at least such has been my experience in the past.

Either way it was a nice evening and it was fun to get out just the two of us, we really don’t do that as often as we should. And it was nice to head into the city (Chicago) since it has been a while since we’ve gone.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ready, Set, Go

Last night as we sat down to dinner I took my first dose of Metformin. I’ve been a little concerned over the possible side effects but so far so good. I do feel a little different (to describe it shortly) but I don’t feel terrible, I don’t feel sick, and I’m not spending additional time in the bathroom. Of course its only been one pill, at a third of my dose, and only 15 hrs ago, so everything is subject to change but so far, not bad (knock on wood, of course ;)).

I also decided to go ahead and begin Provera today. I mulled it over and if I thought there was the slightest possible chance that I might have ovulated at some point this cycle I would have waited... But I didn’t. To air on the side of caution after I woke up this morning and headed into the bathroom, I dug around in my cabinet for my stash of pregnancy tests, tore open the package, and did what needed to be done. I even used one of my good tests (FRER) instead a cheapy or +/-. This time, however, wasn’t because I was hoping to detect a pregnancy at the earliest possible point, but instead because I had absolutely no desire to deal with any sort of a possible evap. One pink line, stark white background, no hint of another just as I suspected. So I collected the appropriate prescription bottles (Provera and my prenatal, Met will be with dinner), gathered the pills, opened my mouth, and swallowed them down.

I’m excited to move on, to end this cycle and start fresh. I didn’t see the point of continuing on an anovulatory cycle when I know I really did not ovulate.

I’m looking forward to giving my self a break from charting and opks and everything else while on Provera. None of it matters at this point, temps wouldn’t be accurate, and the break is welcome. To be honest I stopped with the opks and have only been temping every other day or so since my ultrasound last week. I’ve been so frustrated with negative after negative opk and of erratic temps and stupid charts. Its been nice not to think about everything... I don’t find myself obsessing and constantly looking at my chart or hunting for any sign I may ovulate. I was getting so frustrated and now I’m not. I’ll start charting again once I’m off Provera. Until then I’ll enjoy my uninterrupted sleep in the mornings.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Moving Forward

My doctor’s appointment was, for the most part, uneventful... And that’s a good thing. We went over the rest of my labs and discussed the ultrasound... Basically we just went over everything I already knew.

The main goal of this appointment was to establish where to go next and to start on that path. I was given a prescription for Provera. Its up to me when to begin - I really don’t think I’ve ovulated so I doubt I’m pregnant. I’ll test to be sure but my chart, CM, CP, etc all point to having not ovulated. I’ll be on Provera for 10 days and I’d like to just get this cycle over with, so I’m tempted to just start tomorrow but I may wait until Sunday after Steve’s company Christmas party.

Beyond that I’ll be starting Metformin tonight. My dosage is set at 1500mg but I will work up to that over the course of the next 3 weeks, adding one pill each week. My doctor expects that we’ll see changes within the next two months and have scheduled my next appointment accordingly - February 4, 2009. If at that point my cycles haven’t regulated and I’m not ovulating then we’ll begin Clomid. In the mean time, I have a refill on my Provera prescription so that if my next cycle starts to hit the 40 day range I can end that. If/when I do ovulate prior to February 4th I need to go in at 7dpo to have my progesterone levels checked.

I left my doctor’s office feeling good... Better than I have in a while. The gears are in motion and we have a plan to move forward. I suppose it helps that my doctor looked at me, smiled, and said “I feel good about this”, too. And I think she’s right. If not, in 2 months we’ll reevaluate and begin Clomid.

After my appointment I headed to the pharmacy to fill my prescriptions. My insurance actually proved good for something in all of this and covered the Metformin 100%, so surprisingly that was free and the Provera was only $4.
While I waited for my prescription to be filled I browsed the aisles and found myself humming Christmas tunes... At one point embarrassingly loud but that’s okay - I felt great. I finally feel like we have hope, that we might actually be able to conceive our next child soon. That we actually have a chance at this.

I got into the car and about half way home I turned into the over emotional person that I tend to be and my eyes welled up with tears for a few seconds. Only this time it wasn’t because I was upset, hurt, or devastated... It was because I realized that I had a smile on my face for the first time in far too long, and it wasn’t going away. I know this will change from day to day, and I know I can’t expect the Metformin to work wonders right away and it very well might take months... But I honestly feel that I will be pregnant again soon, that we’re going to have another child. I’m excited, and most of all...I have hope.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Where We Stand

When I first realized I was most likely going to need fertility meds to get pregnant again, I didn’t want anyone to know. I’m not sure why but I just didn’t. I told my Mom, of course, but beyond that it was no one’s business... And it still isn’t. I guess that maybe at least some of that stems from not many people knowing we were TTC, either. I told a few close friends, My mom, etc... But beyond that I thought I’d be announcing my pregnancy within a few months so it didn’t matter.

After being diagnosed with PCOS, things became a little more complicated - I’ve debated who to say anything to, and who to leave in the dark. The truth is I am a little ashamed.. Not so much of PCOS but of my body, for screwing up yet again. This is no longer just a pregnancy thing, an issue that will disappear when I announce that I am pregnant. This is something I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life.

I still have no desire to make this all public knowledge at this point, hence I started a new blog. Our old blog links through our website which extended family, coworkers, etc have access to and have checked in on. While I do have intentions to combine the two blogs, I’m not sure when and I don’t expect it to be any time soon.

The truth is originally I just assumed I’d just need a few pills to kick my ovaries into action and things would be set, I’d get pregnant quickly, and that would be the end of it. I didn’t see the need to let anyone in on the pill part since it was only temporary. Now I need to come to terms with the fact that this likely is going to take some time. My doctor said within a year, and it could be sooner - I am hoping it will be very soon, but I’m trying to accept that later is more likely. We’re only starting with Metformin and it will take time to build up to my dose, to work... And if not we’ll need to add clomid and again, take the time to let that work.

At this point our immediate family knows whats going on, and that is as far as I intend the information to spread for now. I am lucky that I have an extremely close relationship with my mother, my father, and my brothers. I’m not as close with my inlaws, but that is something we’re working on and I’m glad they know, too. It helps to have all of their support, an extra ear, another perspective. And with the holidays fast approaching it helps that the people we’ll spend the most time with know what’s going on. I’m concerned about possible side effects on Metformin and at least I’ll be able to explain why I’m passing on that glass of wine at dinner instead of inspiring pregnancy rumors to spread.

I’m not sure when I’ll be comfortable letting others in on this... But they really don’t need to know anyway. I’m not a particularly private person, but for now I’m comfortable at where this stands.


Late tomorrow morning I have another doctor’s appointment. I expect to go over everything that we already know in more detail, ask my questions, and get prescriptions sorted out. I’m hoping that I don’t learn anything new, unless its good of course. I’m eager to get the ball rolling.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Despite living in a state where infertility insurance coverage is mandated... We conveniently fit into a nice little loop hole where that is not the case. Yep - we have no insurance coverage for infertility of any kind due to my husband’s company being headquartered outside the state of Illinois. And we’re covered by a major insurance company so as far as I’m concerned this is all a load of bullshit.

Actually, as far as I’m concerned infertility not being covered at all, anywhere, is a load of bullshit. Over the past few days dealing with this I’ve fumed and fussed over all the things insurance will cover and I could go into a rant now, and perhaps I will later, but as of now I just don’t have it in me.

While I understand inducing ovulation is not covered... I don‘t understand why not. Not ovulating is a symptom of PCOS and why shouldn’t that symptom be treated as all others are? IUI, IVF, okay. But if I was healthy and not suffering from PCOS I would be ovulating... And I just want my body to do as it should. I know its beating a dead horse but it annoys me none the less. The entire health care system is so flawed, its all crap.

The kicker to all of this is that up until very recently - as in within the last month to few months - we DID have coverage. However, something changed in the mandate and now we don’t. HR is looking into it to find out exactly what changed (though I have my suspicions as stated above) but at this point I don’t see a point. Knowing why I don’t have coverage isn’t going to help me. There is an extremely small chance that we are still mandated to have coverage and for some reason its been over looked, but even HR said its doubtful.

I was aware of this when I went in for my ultrasound so I made sure to make mention that this needs to be coded for exactly what it is, PCOS diagnosis, and not infertility. However, my appointment on the 18th WAS coded as infertility (in addition to anovulation and irregular cycles) so when I looked it up online today, the $110 claim for that appointment had been denied. I immediately called my doctors office and they are going to recode and resubmit since I technically did go in for irregular cycles... And from now on I’ll be going in for treatment of polycystic ovaries... Infertility after all is just a symptom.

Right now we should be okay - since I’m being treated for PCOS my OB appointments should be covered. Metformin should be covered as well and if its not at least its cheap and on Wal-Mart’s $4 prescription list. If/when the time comes to be put on Clomid I’m not even going to attempt to push it though on our prescription plan... Since as far as the insurance company is concerned we’re not trying to have a baby, just trying to ovulate. Clomid is also on the $4 list (though it costs $9) so that won’t be an issue to cover out of pocket.

This will all become an issue if the drugs don’t work and we need to move on to injectables and/or IUI/IVF etc. But lets just hope that doesn’t happen. Its not going to happen... The drugs should work. I hope they work... They have to work. They will work, and if they don’t, we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

I suppose this is just another hurdle to jump. As DH said, we’ll work though it and hope that this never becomes a major issue. It just sucks to have to deal with at all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Point of View

This morning I woke up bright and early to make sure I had plenty of time to shower and get dressed before C woke up as I had my ultrasound at 9:30am. I realize now that I really was holding onto hope that those lab results were just errors... That I was soon to find out nothing was wrong with me.

My name was called and I met up with the sonographer.. She introduced herself to me to which I responded “Do you remember me?” “Of course” she replied “but sometimes people don’t remember me so I didn’t want to put you on the spot”.

It was almost two years ago, but after all the time we spent together it would be hard to forget Linda. She performed all of my ultrasounds (outside if the high risk ones) when I was pregnant with C - and in the last months I required weekly AFIs so there were lots of them. I love her - she is great and so sweet. Quite often my ultrasound was the last of the day so we’d spend a little extra time after the fluid measurements were done and just spy in on my little guy, watch him yawn and move around, and I always left with lots of pictures.

I thought going into that room would be difficult, seeing how these were the exact opposite circumstances that first found me there. But it wasn’t. I thought the ultrasound would be much more uncomfortable, but it wasn’t either. Definitely not on my list of favorite things to do on a Tuesday morning, but not as bad as I imagined it might be.

I was starting to regret setting up the appointment for then, since my doctor wasn’t in this week and I’d have to wait until next Wednesday for the results. Legally Linda couldn’t tell me anything... But I already knew I had PCOS. She showed me my right ovary... And she showed me the line of cysts on it. She said she didn’t count all of them but there were five that she took measurements on. My left ovary decided to be more difficult, but three cysts were measured.
It was when I first saw those black circles on the screen was when I realized that despite knowing that they were most likely there, I was still so hopeful that they weren’t. Even if they were not there the diagnosis would still stand due to my labs... But I guess I was secretly hoping that the labs were flawed, errors made by someone. Seeing them on that screen hurt more than I thought it would.

It was after the ultrasound was over and I sat up that I lost my composure a little bit. I saw the string of ultrasound photos hanging from the printer and my mind flashed back to when those images depicted little toes and a baby’s profile. I cried a little. I had always imagined being back in that room because I was having a baby... Not because I couldn’t.

I’m glad that it was Linda - we talked about holiday plans and family and I think that’s what kept me from being over emotional most of the time. She asked when my next appointment was and she isn’t in that day but I’m sure we’ll see her again.

I just hope the next time the image on that screen is a tiny beating heart.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Accepting a New Reality

I anticipated the phone call for days.. I had hope, a plan, and the labs would just solidify that plan. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, pregnant soon! When the labs weren’t in by 1pm Friday I was down - now I’d have to wait and wonder all weekend. And then, 2 hours later, the phone rang and door slammed shut on previous notions and ideas. I am now forced to chisel a new path out of this mountain that lay before me. I am now forced to accept the reality of PCOS and hopefully overcome the infertility that has come with it.

To be honest, somehow I always knew that I would face this. Despite having fairly regular cycles the majority of my life... In the dark corners of my mind I always expected to have difficulty conceiving. Well before I was planning to have children I lurked infertility blogs and looked up information on tests and procedures. I paid attention and hoped it wasn’t in store for me, though I felt it was.

So on May 26, 2006 as I stood over my bathroom counter, still nursing my sun burnt shoulders from my honeymoon just weeks before, I was shocked in so many ways as to what appeared before me. A stark white background with two blazing pink lines on an almost expired pregnancy test. I glanced at the test, the instructions, the test, and back to the instructions. I threw on my cloths and brushed my hair and hurried out to the store to buy a fresh test... And 2 cans of cat food.

The original test was correct and the six tests that followed confirmed. Despite intercourse timed to what should have been an infertile period in my cycle... We conceived our honeymoon baby. Nine months later, after a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia complete with 4 months of bed rest, we welcomed our beautiful little boy into this world by emergency c-section on January 24, 2007.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember telling myself that I guess all those infertile worries and thoughts were wrong... But I never believed it. I remember my neighbor, who was going through IVF at the time, telling me now that I had one it would be oh so easy to have more. I smiled and nodded... But never believed a word of it. And after Caden was born I couldn’t get the words “secondary infertility” out of my mind, but held on to hope that I was just being crazy again. After all, look how easy it was to conceive our son.

My cycles returned at 5 months post partum and were fairly normal. Now that I think back on it I do think they were a week late at times, but I believe I was ovulating and nothing raised any flags. That all changed after I needed an emergency appendectomy in February of 2008. Since then AF has taken many long vacations only to pop in for an hour or so at a time here and there, just a little spotting, then jetting off yet again. In the past 9 months I’ve had 2 normal cycles. I won’t even get into the mess of what I was told regarding my fertility just moments before surgery.

I went to my doctor in June 2008 and we both assumed it was just taking my body a little longer to regulate after the stress of surgery. My thyroid checked fine, testosterone came back inconclusive. I cycled normally after that so I never went back to be rechecked.
August 2008 came and AF went on hiatus once more. I knew something was wrong and had started to worry that we had just missed the last egg I’d ever get. And with that DH and I bumped TTC #2 up to then. At first it was exciting... I still thought my cycles would regulate. But they didn’t. I started charting and that confirmed I wasn’t actually ovulating.
I headed back to the doctor on November 18, 2008 sure we’d get this figured out. Maybe it would take a little help to jump start my crabby ovaries, but all would be well. We came up with a plan to start provera and clomid in December if I didn’t ovulate on my own by then - in the mean time my doctor wanted to run a few labs for PCOS just to rule it out. Despite the long history of bad lab results I’ve faced over the last several years.... I had hope and believed that these would just rule things out.

I was actually looking forward to looking like an over eager patient who demanded things were wrong when they weren’t. Thats never been the case so it was a welcome change. Every time I go into the doctor thinking something’s wrong, I’ve been right...
“I think I have meningitis”... huh... Indeed I did!
“I think I have preelcampsia”.... Mrs. G - your 24 hr urine collection came back and indeed you are spilling a significant amount of protein...
“I think I have appendicitis.. Though it doesn’t really hurt“..... “well Mrs. G, it does seem that way but you’re not presenting as a typical appendicitis case so we’ll just run this lab.......... Uh.... You need to go to the hospital.......... Now”.
“I think I’m infertile”.... Well Mrs. G... You are!!!

And now we find ourselves conveniently back to the beginning of this entry. Despite the length, I think I’ve summed things up pretty well.

We are still waiting on a few lab results but those that did come in Friday afternoon said it all. My fasting insulin was borderline high, enough to indicate insulin resistance, and my LH:FSH ratio was way off (levels were 19:4). The rest of the labs and tests aren’t necessary for a diagnosis at this point, but will help to paint an overall picture.

Tuesday I am going in for an ultrasound to check my ovaries - my doctor won’t be in to read it but I wanted to get this done and over with. Then on December 3rd I have an appt with my doctor to go over everything in detail and gather up prescriptions. I’ll be starting Provera at that point to bring on AF in a timely fashion and to “give me a clean slate” and we’ll be starting out with Metformin.

With all being said this is a reality that hasn’t been easy to accept, though I feel like I’m doing quite well as of now.... But its only been a few days. I’ve researched and called and clicked and ordered books. Secondary infertility hurts... A lot... But that is never to be mistaken that I am not forever grateful for the gift of my amazing little boy. I’ve always felt so extremely blessed and lucky to have him in my life... And over the past few days I can’t help but look at him and be so thankful that one day on our honeymoon we decided “Lets just see what happens”. We didn’t think it would, but I am forever grateful and truly blessed that it did. Caden is my world - He is everything to me. And not a day has gone by since 5.26.06 that I haven’t been truly thankful for the gift that I have been given in him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Padded Rooms

Its been chilly and cool the past few days - it is starting to feel like fall and I love it. The mornings are perfect to bring Caden into bed and snuggle up for a morning cuddle. Shorts and tshirts have become pants and sweaters - slippers and socks are a must in the morning. Its perfect. However, I’m fully aware that as past would dictate we’re in for at least one more hot stretch, but for now I’m enjoying the start of fall.

We’ve been going on a lot of walks lately. Caden and I during the day, and the whole family, beagle included, in the evening after dinner. We get hot chocolate and just walk and talk - Caden loves to ride in his wagon and jabber about everything he sees. Its nice :).

I’m still waiting for Caden to slow down - I assumed as he got older and more stable on his feet the bumps and bruises would start to subside, oh how I was wrong. He might be more stable, but he is also more into climbing everything, running, sliding, chasing, tripping, not looking where he is going. Some days I just don’t know what to do with him though the thought to built him a padded room has crossed my mind. A week and a half ago as we walked out of the house to run some errands he was excited and caught the corner of the pillar under his right eye leaving a lovely bruise. He followed that up the next day falling on his toys and giving himself a true black eye. Those bruises are starting to fade, though still noticeable.... Yesterday I go get him out of his crib in the morning and now his other eye is black. The worst is I don’t have any idea as to where he got that one, never mind the fact that he looks like he was in quite the toddler playground fight :(. I wonder how much a padded room would run.. Or maybe it would be more cost effective just to make him a bubble wrap suit since we’re really running out of options over here.

In other happenings my day today is pretty much shot as I sit and wait for the call to go pick up our car - finally. Two and a half weeks ago Steve was running to the store when he was rear ended at a stop light - Caden was in the car. Thankfully everyone was okay but the car was not. $4,000 worth of damage, a new car seat that has traveled the country (don’t get me started on UPS), and 2.5 weeks later the car should hopefully be ready to be picked up this afternoon with a pretty new back end and a bunch of work done to the front (the car was pushed into a trailer hitch of the car in front). I’m just happy the guy who hit us had decent insurance and took 100% liability (not that there was ever any question). The insurance even paid for the new car seat. We were given a rental car, too, but I’m looking forward to getting our car back and being done with this mess.

Steve and I have also started a new family project. Stemming from previous issues though I really have no idea where we stand on that project, but it doesn’t look good. But progress continues and we’ll see where we end up - hopefully we have at least some sort of an answer soon. I did have a dream last night though, it was nice. For now thats all it was though.
I’m all over the place this morning as this entry would suggest! But thats how I’ve been feeling most of the last week or so. I’ve been feeling exhausted and I can only assume because so many projects are being left unfinished at the end of the day. At least I have our evening walks to clear my mind.

Hopefully once we get our car back and I’m not left wondering each morning if I’m going to have to drop what I’m doing to return the rental and get the car (it was supposed to be done last week) things will feel less hmm ;)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chasing Beagles

Its the middle of August, summer is almost done, and I am impressed at just how quickly this summer passed. Just how quickly time has been slipping away from me.
This summer has been busy but fun! We haven’t really done a whole lot of big things, so how these months passed so quickly I’m not sure. We’ve played outside a lot, went to the zoo (finally posted pics), cook outs, parties, swim lessons, Steve got a wii, I got a new laptop, lots of craft stuff going on, made progress in our basement, went to the fair, weathered some storms, walked with the wagon, played at the park, chased beagles, cleaned messes... Its been a low key summer and its been nice!

We have switched Caden into cloth diapers full time now and surprisingly even Steve loves them! The added work is really minimal and its so nice not to have to worry about buying diapers. And of course the environmental aspect is great. Caden’s brightly colored, adorable cloth covered bum is a nice perk, too :) Plus, we can use them on the next baby.

So what about the next baby some have asked... Soon enough! But not too soon of course. We’ve been talking about it and have ideas in place. If I wrote this entry 2 days ago it would have been filled with gushing and excitement regarding our next child - but yesterday Caden was having an “off” day - complete with a temper tantrum that lead to a frazzled Mommy stealing half a tank of gas, so I’m okay with waiting a little bit longer ( but not too long ;)).

As for the gas, after I realized I didn’t pay for it I headed back over and took care of the bill and felt like a super huge ass. The clerk didn’t report my crime spree at that point as he suspected it to be an honest mistake and that I’d be back... I did insert my card into the machine, I just lifted the nozzle and started pumping before confirming on the screen or something - And I managed to do this at probably the last pump on earth that doesn’t require you to prepay. I’ll be honest, I hate pumping gas so Steve usually takes care of it - I think we’ll stick to that set up now!

In summary everyone in our land of 3 is doing wonderful. Caden, despite his off day, is adorable as always and keeps us on our toes. Ellie has grown so much and will be a year old next month, the cats are great as well and finally getting used to life in a house with a crazy little person running around and a beagle on the prowl, and Caden adores his beagle and elusive kitty cats. Progress has been made on the house, we've been having fun, and life has been simple for the first time in so long.. I'm loving it.

I keep meaning to blog more and hope to have the time to do so soon. But I’ve been pretty terrible at posting this summer so yeah. The shorter days of fall and winter that are fast approaching lead to more time inside and thus more time to kill, right? I guess we’ll see!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Everywhere you go

Dear Caden,
You’re 18 months old now and boy have we been busy! So much that I haven’t had time to write you (or anything really!) in quite some time. But 18 months warrants some time set aside from our day to write to you and as always, I’m wondering where the time has gone.
We’ve been so busy this summer – Daddy and I took you to the zoo for the first time back in May and you had a blast. Your favorite animal to see was the otter. It was a really wonderful day. We also had Swim lessons! You love the water so we knew you’d love the big pool and you did. We’d splash and sing and play… you loved to play humpty dumpty and practice kicking your feet. You love to run and jump and play, and you love to toss things in the pond in the backyard. You love your swing and ball pit, and you love your wagons. You love to play with your puppy, and you love your Mommy and Daddy. I love it when you run up to me and wrap your arms around my legs. I love you so very much.

Yesterday you had your 18month doctor checkup. You weigh 30.4lbs and are over 34 inches tall!! You’re going to be tall just like your Daddy. Everything went normal at first and I fully expected a routine appointment. Unfortunately, this appointment wasn’t. The doctor noticed a difference in skin fold on your left leg, and your knee looked lower than the other but it was hard to tell because you were squirming. Because of the 2 symptoms, the doctor wanted xrays done to test you for something called DDH (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip). In infants this problem can usually be corrected with a brace, but by 18months, DDH requires extensive hip surgery, months of recovery, a scary cast… a terrible ordeal for any child to go through. You are such a vibrant little boy, you love to run and jump and climb and you are always on the go. I just couldn’t imagine this. I was devastated and I freaked out. Waiting for those xrays and waiting for the call after they were read had to be the longest 3 hours of my life.

While 2 symptoms is alarming… the family of ours who read this blog (and are old enough to remember) know what really sent my terror over the edge. I was born with DDH (though not called that at the time). I had to wear the braces as a baby but it was caught early and that’s all I had to do. So the 2 symptoms and the history really had me scared.

Finally I got the call - Your x-rays were normal, you do not have DDH. You are perfectly fine and healthy and I am so relieved and so very thankful.

You amaze me every day. You amaze me with the things you do and you amaze me with the love you’ve brought into my life. I never in my life imagined how I could love anything the way I love you, and amazingly that love doubles every morning I wake up and see your smiling face. Just when I think I couldn’t possibly love any more, that my heart couldn’t be more full, I wake up and I do. I love the funny things to do, I love to watch you play. I love you, my little boy. Even when you’re getting into everything, or climbing the book cases, or throwing my laptop to the floor. I love you every second of every day, and I am so thankful that you’re in my life - here, happy, healthy.

As always I so look forward to what the next months will bring. Play dates and parties, pumpkin patches and Santa, trick or treats and turkey dinners, bed time books and lots of giggles. Oh how I love those little giggles and how I love those big belly laughs – they are truly intoxicating. Your smile still brightens a room, your laugh never fails to warm my heart. And everywhere you go you still bring smiles to the faces of everyone you meet. People still stop to meet you , to take in your smiles. And as always, I am so proud and so very thankful that you are my little boy.

I love you always,

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Time flies when you're having fun

Most days it feels like we've been together so much longer than five years. Five years isn't long in the grand scheme of things, but it makes sense though when those five years are out of only 25, and encompass the majority of your adult life thus far. So it caught me off guard when I woke up yesterday and two years had officially passed since our wedding day - April 29, 2006 was two years gone in memory.

I can still remember every detail so well; I can remember everything as if today were April 30, 2006. The piece of pie Charlie insisted I try in the late hours of the night of April 28th, waking up and getting in the shower, the drive to the hair salon, waiting on the staircase of Baker Memorial as the processional music started to play, seeing my soon to be husband for the first time. I can remember the smell of the breeze ways of our honeymoon resort, the sound of the ocean and the palm trees, the pure and utter bliss of the following weeks, the floating on clouds feeling.. well, before morning sickness set in ;).
It feels like ages ago that Steve was my fiancé, yet it feels like yesterday he became my husband. Even now I still sometimes crack a smile when I hear husband, wife, Mrs.

I was caught off guard yesterday when I noticed a slight anxiety in the air. How could two years have already passed in mere moments? Just last week I finally arranged several of our wedding keepsakes in shadowboxes, just last month I finally found a place for a trinket we bought on our honeymoon, just the other day I finally placed a photo in one of the frames we bought in Playa Del Carmen. I haven't even started our scrapbooks, how can 2 years have come and gone?

We've now been married longer than we were engaged - and the past two years have been quite the amazing whirlwind. Really, the past five years. We've come so far and accomplished so much, but it is all still going by so quickly. My baby is already 15 months, a toddler. The past two years have been wonderful, and they always say time flies when you're having fun.

Its crazy to look back at the past several years of my life. 2002 I moved into my own apartment at College, 2003 I met Steve, fell in love, and we moved in together. 2004 brought our engagement, 2005 the purchase of our first home and the bulk of planning our wedding. In 2006 we were married and became pregnant with our first child, 2007 brought the birth of our little boy. I love being here in 2008, with nothing huge and monumental going on, enjoying life, being our little family of three. I am so excited to see what 2008, 2009 brings... 2010, 2011, 2012.. 2030...

We had a nice anniversary. Steve brought me a dozen red roses and white hydrangea... On the morning of our wedding he sent me a dozen red and white roses so red and white only seemed fitting. We had a quiet evening, we "celebrated" over the weekend though most wouldn't consider what we did celebrating - it was perfect. The traditional second wedding anniversary gift is cotton so we bought one big gift for each other - new bedding! It is beautiful, soft, perfect. This of course led to a complete remodel of or bedroom and thats what we worked on this weekend. Our bedroom prior was less than inviting and not very welcoming. The walls are now a pale blue, cream bedding, very spa/beach feeling - Our honeymoon was amazingly perfect and I took inspiration for the room from that. We hung shelves to place some wedding keepsakes on, carefully placed in shadow boxes. Dried flowers, our invitation... I love our bedroom and it is perfect! I couldn't imagine a better anniversary gift. Before I had no desire to be in that room, now I want to spend all our time in there. It was a chance to do something for just us, something we haven’t done in a long time.

I don't know what tomorrow brings. I'm not sure what the future holds, but I am so grateful for all I have, for all I've been given. For my husband, my son, my family. My past, my memories, the last 25+ years. For tomorrow, for next week… even though its not promised.
So here’s to two beautiful years, and the anticipation of so many more.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Screams and Spring

About an hour after Caden went to bed last night the house was calm - Steve decided to put the last of the latches on a few of the cabinets we missed - nothing dangerous in them, just annoying when Caden constantly wants to pull out all the cat food and stack the cans.
I took the time to relax on the couch for a bit and play catch up with the DVR when all of the sudden a blood curdling scream broke the silence. It sounded as if something terrible was happening and all I could think to do is scream to Steve "Something's wrong!" and take off to Caden - I don't think I've ever moved quite so fast.
Steve and I bust into Caden's room and he was still screaming, but he was fine. He wasn't caught on anything, he wasn't stuck, just screaming. I pulled him out of his crib and he placed his head on my shoulder and started to calm down. He sobbed a few times and was fine. He never even opened his eyes so I don't know if he was even awake.
I brought him to the living room and cuddled him as he slept on me for a few hours. I watched him breath, move, etc... just to make sure all was okay. We took his temp, everything normal. I can only assume my poor little boy had a terrible nightmare... one that sure scared the hell out of me. He is doing fine today though he did wake with quite the case of morning bed head, hehe. I just wish I knew what scared him so much, but I am glad I was able to make everything okay for him.

Beyond the evening screams, things are rather pleasant around our home. Today we welcome spring while under a winter storm warning, but that isn't all too surprising. I'm quite ready to be done with the snow and cold, though. Signs of spring are all around - the tree in the back yard has started to bud, I believe I saw some of our lilies break the dirt, and the lilac bush Steve gave me for Mother's Day last year has started to bud as well. I'm looking forward to being able to move out doors and work on our spring time projects. Luckily with the addition of the new front porch/patio last summer, there isn't much to do out front except plant some annuals, mulch, etc. The back yard will be our focus this year. We really want to replace the back deck, but I think we'll be keeping most of the big projects on hold for this season - we did a lot last year.

Caden is doing so well - its amazing how much change each day brings. Every morning he wakes up with more hair, new words, new games to play. He loves his legos and he loves playing with Ellie now. He likes to show off for company and run and play. We took him to the Easter egg hunt on Saturday at the park district and he had a blast. He collected eggs, made friends with the little ladies, and just had so much fun running around. Yesterday after running errands we just hung out outside for a little bit.

I'm doing great - my surgery is far from daily life and I feel completely back to normal. I still get a twinge of pain in my belly button every so often, but its really nothing. I have so much to do and so much I want to get done these next few months - spring cleaning, gardening, scrapbooking, organization. I need to start a list - everyone loves a list.

And if it matters, I fixed commenting ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Random Babble

We're several days into March and I have yet to write an entry. So, that is what I've set out to do today! I really do wish to post here more... At random points throughout the day I have a million thoughts going though my head but unfortunately lack the time to actually sit down and get them out. When the time finally is available, the thoughts are usually long gone and all that remains is an entry about entries or miscellaneous babble.

Caden is finally home with me again during the day - he has been since Friday. Luckily we've been able to pretty much bounce right back into our normal routine. Day light savings messed us up a bit but Caden seems to have adjusted already. Myself on the other hand... I've been up way too late and am pretty sleepy when morning comes. I think tonight I will make it a point to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
It was pretty crazy yesterday to still be so bright out after 6pm - it made the evening hours fly by. I remember setting the clocks back - it seems so long ago. I remember that messed up Caden's afternoon nap. He would cry and be upset when he woke up - I assumed because all of the sudden it was completely dark even though it was light when he went down. Yesterday he was in a bright a cheery mood when he woke up and the sun was still shining.
I was beginning to think Caden was ready to give up a nap when I had my surgery - even though he was exhausted and cranky in the evening if he didn't take two. But he has been napping beautifully since he has been home - 2 naps a day, 1-2 hrs each.

I'm doing well though my belly button still is pretty tender. Well, about an inch to the right of my belly button to be exact. I think this is just something I'm going to have to get used to and it will go away in time. I don't think that picking Caden up is making it worse nor do I think not picking him up will make it any better, so I have no intention to stop. I want to get back into working out again - Tomorrow marks 4 weeks since my surgery. I've decided with the tender belly button to give it until Monday (though I will continue to walk) and to take it slow. The surgeon told me no abdominal exercises until at least 6 weeks so I will hold off on those.

I've lost 3lbs since my surgery - 15lbs in total. This doesn't seem like a lot, but by all logic I should have been gaining weight. That first week home I slipped up and we ate out, and a few times since. I haven't been eating as well at home, and up until Friday my normal everyday activity was way low and working out, other than a walk around the block, was nonexistent. Ever since I had Caden I've always looked a little bit pregnant. More than just fat and pot bellied... I looked permanently bloated.
I was going to wait until next week to step on the scale, but my body just looked and felt different. Still fat, I still have a way to go... but the bloat was gone. I didn't look pregnant in my eyes. My clothes are fitting better. I'm not complaining, I just don't understand it. Since having Caden no matter how much I tried, what I ate, how much I worked out, I wasn't able to drop below a certain number. Today I am finally 2lbs under that number and without trying, without exercising, with eating like crap. It's let me to wonder if maybe my appendix or the infection has played a role in not being able to lose this weight all along. Maybe not directly... but maybe my body dealing with that infection on and off this whole time, my body wasn't able to fully reset itself after pregnancy. I'm excited to get back on track with eating (doing much better here ;) ) and exercising and see what kind of results I am left with now. I thought for sure I would start out after recovering having gained weight - I'm thrilled that I've actually lost.
We’ve started getting in our EOBs.. not too terrible but we have yet to see the big one from the hospital – and that bill before insurance was over $26,000.00. But I’ve got the EOBs for my regular doctors, some lab work, anesthesiologist, radiologist, surgeon… I think its safe to assume I’ll be hitting my out of pocket max for the third year in a row. I still need to go in and have some post-pregnancy issues checked out (long story) and blood tests run, another 24 hour urine collection, etc… so I guess those will be on the house! ;)

Saturday is the big community Easter Egg hunt – we’re so excited to take Caden! I just hope the weather holds out. We’ll be hosting Easter dinner at our house again this year – it will just be a small gathering of my brothers, their families, and my Dad. We invited another side but beyond just decline, the invitation was straight out ignored. Instead we were told of their plans and of course we’re expected to conform to them. We did this for Christmas and it was miserable… we tried to make everyone happy this year but I’m done. I won’t be guilted into giving up my traditions and enjoying the holidays with my husband and my son just to make other people happy – people who think everything is always all about them. No matter how hard we try, it just doesn’t happen. I’ve realized that now and have given up even trying.
So we’ll be celebrating with people who actually wish to be with us and celebrate the holiday together. Saturday Steve and I have a lot to do to prep, cleaning, cooking, and of course we’ll be dying our eggs like we’ve done every year the night before Easter… and like I’ve done every year since I’ve been a little girl. We are going to let Caden try his hand at a few eggs, too. It will most definitely involve the bathtub or a lot of garbage bags… but I think it will be fun :). I’ve started on my little Easter basket favors and just need to work on planning the meal and the miscellaneous details.
My mom was excited to host a big Easter Egg hunt Easter morning, but with her husband’s hospitalization and now recovery we’ll have to wait for next year. Completely understandable! And with a March Easter this year, probably for the best in that respect. I know she was really looking forward to it though. The kids will be older and have even more fun with it next year, too :).

Well, the random babble has continued on long enough for one morning. Caden is fast asleep in his crib and I have some things to pack away in the basement…

Friday, February 29, 2008

Tearless Onions

This morning I was standing in my kitchen cutting vegetables in preparation for tonight’s dinner (hey, I like to plan ahead). I came to the onion and as I peeled away the layers - I couldn't help but think how people and so many of life's situations are just like the layers of that onion. Haha, okay, I'm just shitting you. I was really thinking how much I hate those little buggars for burning my eyes and how much I'd love to get my hands on one of those new tearless onions I saw on the news a few weeks ago. Its a shame I don't think they are available yet - I would pay extra for one of those. My poor eyes still burn.

Speaking of onions - Last summer Steve and I stopped at a little farm side stand on the way home from a day of shopping and they had the most amazing, juicy onions (Not to mention the sweet corn and tomatoes). Sigh... We got more snow last night and I am truly ready for spring. Super hot summer, not so much, but spring would be nice. And I guess summer, too - I'm can't wait to go to the yummy farm stands and farmers market. I also plan to try my hand at growing my own vegetables but I'm not very optimistic.
The community Easter egg hunt is on the 10th - I hate that Easter is in March this year. I've been excited about this Easter Egg hunt since last year - I think Caden would have SO much fun with it. But, I don't see how well its going to work out with it being held on March 10th - if there isn't snow on the ground then its going to be a muddy mess. Maybe it will be held inside.

Caden has learned a new trick! Yesterday he spent the day at Grandma L's since I still cannot pick him up. Grandma wasn't doing a very good job watching him (heh... you know I'm kidding, Mom! ;) ) and managed to lose my dear boy. When she called out for him she heard a giggle from above and there was Caden... he had scaled a flight a stairs and was standing at the 2nd floor landing looking into the living room below. My Mom is so good with him and I've learned so much from her. In a few hours instead of just teaching him he wasn't supposed to climb the stairs, she also taught him how to safely climb back down.
I've suspected Caden has been able to climb stairs for a while, but since he doesn't have access to stairs in our house, we never quite knew for sure. Last weekend Steve and I did manage to find him on the couch bouncing happily as he looked out the bay window. He is a brave little man - but as Grandma says, he really has no fear which isn't necessarily a good thing.
I'm so excited to have my little guy home hopefully mid/end of next week. We still need to get his 1 year photos taken so I'll have to see if Grandma wants to help me with that.

Otherwise, not much going on. I'm able to drive again (as long as I don't take any pain killers) and I got to pick up Caden last night (Papa Chuck put Caden in his car seat and Grandma C got him out). It was nice to get to pick him up and watch him play. Caden loves his toys and he even enjoys picking them up afterwards, hehe. I have a cute video of him carefully placing his blocks back in his bucket I'll post later. He is doing so well - especially with his motor skills. He has several new words now - among them are doggy and kitty. He is such a silly, fun little guy. I love him so much! This morning before Daddy took him to Grandma C's for the day Steve brought him into bed with me so I could say goodbye and we just laid and cuddled and talked to each other. I miss him. I did try to pick him up yesterday and it hurt a bit so I know I need to give it a little more time. I sit and hold him on the floor - but its just not the same.

Last night MIL/Grandma C was here helping me with Caden since Steve had to work late. We took a quick trip to The Scrap Shack - an adorable little scrapbooking/cardmaking store. Even though its only a few minutes from my house I have never been and now I realize that was probably a good thing! They have SO many adorable papers I've never seen before - they even had dinosaur papers so I had to stock up on a few. I also got papers to scrap Caden's photos with Santa that are still on our fridge so I think I'll work on that this weekend. The pricing is a little more expensive than some of the mainstream stores - but they had a really nice selection and a lot of things I haven't seen elsewhere.

Well this entry is already all over the place and probably sounds terrible since I have no desire to proof read, so I guess I’ll wrap it up. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!! I get to spend all of mine with my pook and my husband, so I know it will be great :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday morning I had my post-op follow up. As expected, the surgeon was short and to the point and still lacking any personal charm - but she saved something very important to me so whatever floats her unfriendly boat is fine by me! I'm healing nicely, a biopsy was done on my appendix and came back clean (other than a pretty serious infection), and I'm doing well on the road to recovery. I was told to give it at the very least one more week before I start picking up Caden again and at that point only pick him up if I have to and if it hurts, obviously stop. I can start walking for exercise but ease into it, no abdominal exercises for several weeks and I still need to rest and take it easy.

I've felt like a bit of a sissy because I'm still in pain on and off - I don't remember being in this kind of pain 2 weeks after my c-section. The nurses in the hospital said that while the incisions are smaller, the surgery was still major and more involved than a c-section. Yesterday I was told that my appendix was in pretty bad shape and it is completely normal (and very non-sissy like) to still be in pain.

I found out that my appendix was "hot" - meaning it would have ruptured within 24 hours. I asked why I wasn't in pain as I would have expected with an appendix in that bad of shape. As it turns out, my appendix was located very low in my pelvis giving it some protection. The surgeon said it isn't all that uncommon in women to have their appendix located that low. And then she delivered the blow, the bit of information I've had in the back of my head the last 24 hours.

Had my appendix ruptured... Had I waited another day to be seen by a doctor... Not only could I have died, but most likely I would have lost the ability to ever have another child due to where my appendix was sitting in my body.

24 hours. Max. Thats how close I was to never carrying another child. To never even having the option.

In her pre-surgery rush, the surgeon said something about the amount of inflammation even affecting my fertility. Which is why I was so pissed that the surgeon never elaborated on that post-op until yesterday. For 2 weeks I've been sitting here worried that my fertility was affected - it terrified me, which is why I haven't wrote about it and why I haven't said anything. I had nothing to say until I knew.
The good news is that this should not affect my fertility. My appendix was removed, it didn't rupture, and the inflammation didn't affect my reproductive organs. The surgeon said I should have no problem having another child (granted there is nothing unrelated going on).

I can't help but think about the hours before my surgery - the hour before the CT to be exact. In order to avoid the barium enema, I opted to walk around the hospital with my lovely cocktail. Steve and I spent that hour talking about when to try for our next child, weighing the pros and cons of each month and deciding on a tentative date to start trying to conceive. We walked and talked unaware of the ticking time bomb in my pelvis that almost took away any chance to ever conceive another child.
Before I got pregnant with Caden I worried that I wouldn't be able to have a child, but I think that is a common fear. After I took that pregnancy test a wave of relief passed over me. I always assumed I'd not worry about it again, but after I had Caden that familiar fear of "what if I can't have another" came. While that thought is there, it is just a thought. And until all of this, I never truly realized just how much I, and so many others, take our fertility for granted.

I am just so grateful that in my case, this is all just a scenario. Luckily its only a "what if I didn't see a doctor as I decided not to do so many times before". I debated for hours on going to the doctor this time - but I did go, and I am only left with what if. And I am so thankful for that.

Since my surgery Steve and I have visited the thought of trying for our second briefly, some days I think lets stick with the original plan, in others I think lets wait longer (we're not trying now or in the immediate future). The new round of hospital bills obviously factor into things, but more so its the thought of health. I'm terrified of another complicated pregnancy, of another 4 months of bed rest. I've had a hard enough time being away from Caden during the day for the past 2 weeks. Then there is the issue of just being healthy - for the first time in seven years I don't have to worry about those stomach aches, I don't have to worry about another flare up. And I really just get to be healthy. And I wouldn't mind enjoying that for a while.
But then there is the news yesterday, and learning that our decisions of future children were almost decided for us. And the reminder that nothing is promised, not even tomorrow... no matter how much we plan or discuss, anything can happen.

What I know, and Steve knows, and we've known all along - is that when the time is right we'll know. A decision doesn't have to be made today, we don't have to stick with what we decided yesterday, and tomorrow anything can happen.

In a previous entry I mentioned one of my 2008 resolutions. Another one was to stop planning and start living in today, each day and every day. I know that isn't entirely possible, not to plan at all, but we can all stand to live a little more for today. After all - yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn't promised, and all we really have is now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Puppy Love

Yesterday our sweet little Beagle was spayed. In hindsight, we probably should have rescheduled her surgery after I had to have mine. I've spayed three cats (not literally of course), but as it turns out a puppy is a completely different ball game.

Ellie is definitely a beagle when it comes to separation anxiety - she has to be with her mommy at all times. She follows me around, cuddles up with me, and whines if I so much as walk out the door to get the mail. I thought this might work to our advantage since we could both slug it on the couch and recover together. I was wrong! Ellie can't jump up or down off the couch so every time I sit down I have to lift her to the couch and every time I get up or she wants a drink of water I have to lift her down. She was licking her stitches and I really don't want to risk her incision getting infected so I put the little doggie lamp shade around her collar. That thing annoys me more than it does her. Ellie insists on snuggling right up to me so I'm constantly being assaulted with that stupid plastic cone – it is currently digging into my neck as Ellie insisted on resting her head on my shoulder.

She doesn't fit too well in her crate with the cone on so we were going to just put the baby gate up and let her stay in the kitchen. We knew this was going to result in a night filled with barking and I felt bad for her so I decided I'd sleep on the couch with her last night. Bad idea. I didn't sleep well at all - the couch was hardly big enough for me, the dog, and the cone. To top it off Ellie wanted to lay her head by mine so I was constantly being slapped in the face with the plastic cone. Tonight we'll try the kitchen and cross her fingers because I'm not doing that again.

Otherwise, Ellie is doing great. She is already feeling much better and wanting to run and play so its been fun trying to keep her resting. She goes back in 10 days to have her stitches out. I can't wait to get rid of that damn cone!

In other happenings I've been learning how to use my cricut more - I love that machine! I've also discovered a love for making my own cards and started working on that. So far I've only really made thank you cards to send to everyone who has helped us out during my hospitalization and recovery, but I am very happy with how they turned out. Of course this has lead to me making several purchases, which is a no-no, but I think I'm set for a while. I just need to get some solid color cardstock. One of my 2008 resolutions was to be better with money and the steady flow of medical bills we are expecting makes that resolution all the more important - and all the more necessary.

I've also been inspired to do a makeover of my craft room/office. Originally this involved repainting but knowing that this room will eventually become a nursery and thus be painted again, I've decided to work with what I have. Seeing that I can't just go and blow several hundred to a thousand dollars + on all the things I want for the room, this make over is going to take some time and creativity. And to be honest, I'm excited to see what I can do without blowing a ton of money.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Seven years

So I haven't kept up with my blog as I hoped I would, and given the recent events in my life I really have no excuse.

For the past several years I have been plagued with nasty stomach aches. They would come on suddenly, I'd wallow in bed for about 2 days, and then they would go. Nothing I did and nothing I took helped them. After the first attack I saw a doctor who told me in a hurry, as I was crammed in between patients, that I had GERD. I researched it on my own and knew that wasn't what I had, but I had no desire to go back and be told the same thing. So for the past 7 years I've dealt with each attack and moved on. My biggest issue with the nasty tummy aches was that I started to worry people either thought I was full of shit (figuratively and literally) or was just being a big baby. I tried logging my food and keeping a diary to see if I could pinpoint what brought the attacks on, but nothing was ever the same and they seemed to attack at random.

When I got pregnant with Caden, the tummy aches stopped for the most part. After I gave birth, I feared them. For the past year I've been dreading the next attack because I knew a day or two of lying in bed was no longer an option. Every upset stomach, every bout of gas, every twinge sent me into an inner panic that this was it, the attack I'd been dreading since the day Caden was born. I didn't know how I'd manage through that pain and still take care of my son.

Last Monday my fears were realized when that afternoon the familiar pain in the center of my stomach returned. I tried everything to get rid of it but this time the pain was here to stay. I suffered through the day, put Caden to bed, and collapsed into bed. I woke up at 3am unable to sleep and headed to the couch. My tears soon woke Steve and he offered to go to the store to buy me a heating pad (ours had gone missing) in hopes it might help - it didn't but eventually I did manage to fall back asleep.

To my surprise, the pain subsided over the course of the morning on Tuesday. Instead of being all over, the pain localized to the lower right part of my abdomen and eased up. However, something was new this time - now that area of my stomach was rather tender to the touch. I turned to he who is there for all in their time of need - Google. Symptom checker after symptom checker kept bringing up the same "diagnosis": Appendicitis. No, I thought. I wasn't in nearly enough pain and I had been in this pain before. When I finally started to run a low grade fever of 99.9F I decided that I would head in to the doctor and I called Steve to take me at 4:50pm (I didn't feel safe driving with Caden in the car incase the nasty pain came back). I was sure that the doctor would call me a hypochondriac and send me on my way.

By the time we made it to the doctor's office I was feeling fine - unless I stepped heavy or pressed on my tummy. We joked with the doctor and he gave me an exam and interestingly enough, even when he pressed on my left side, it hurt on the right. He told me that the almighty google was correct, the symptoms pointed to appendicitis but there was only 2 ways to really know for sure - a finger inserted up my behind, or a CT involving rectal contrast. He said he was hesitant because most people with appendicitis were in a lot more pain than I was in so he left it up to me... head to the hospital for a barium enema or we'd just do a blood test to check my white blood cell count and go from there. I decided to go with the blood test and give my word that if the pain returned I'd head to the ER. While they symptoms fit, I was simply not presenting as a typical appendicitis case.

Wednesday morning came and I felt great. The pain was still there if I stomped or if I touched my tummy, but the fever was gone and all was well. I was wanting to work out since I wasn't feeling up to it on Monday and Tuesday but I figured I'd wait until the doctor called to tell me my white blood cell count was normal just to be safe. I told Steve not to worry about coming home since I was feeling much better. The doctor called around 11am and I told him I felt great! "Really? Are you sure?". Yes, yes I am! No need to stick anything up my ass today, Doc!
Sadly, that was not the case. My white blood cell count was rather high and I was told to go to the hospital right then and not to eat or drink anything until after the CT. When the receptionist called a few minutes later and was being extremely kind to me, I knew it was a little more serious than I first thought. I called Steve and he headed for home and my Dad came to watch Caden. I showered and we were off.

We get to the hospital and called into the waiting room for the CT. The nurse asks to speak to me in private and in a hushed whisper said "you know this involves a rectal enema".
"but my doctor said we could try to avoid that!!"
The nurse said in most emergency STAT CTs the patient is in too much pain to walk, but seeing as I felt fine they allowed me to drink a lovely cocktail while walking instead. Steve and I circled the hospital for an hour and talked. It was actually pretty nice to get to just hang out together like that. Before long the hour was up and it was time to get a picture of my insides. Steve and I were both sure that I'd be told it was nothing and we'd be home in time for dinner.

Because my CT order was marked as an emergency, we were require to stay and wait for the results. We were told to expect to wait about an hour as it often took time communicating between the hospital radiologist and my Doctor's office. I was pleased when after only 15mintues the phone rang in the waiting room and it was for me.

"You have acute appendicitis and you're being admitted. Someone will be down shortly to bring you to your room."

Um, okay. I made the phone calls to my parents to let them know what was going on, sent off a few text messages, sent Steve for my laptop, and I waited. Finally a nice gentleman shows up with a wheelchair - Lovely. I wasn't even allowed to walk! I assumed I'd be admitted and a doctor would come tell me what was going on, possible surgery in the morning. I get to my room and through a series of questions and a flurry of nurse activity I realize that I'm having surgery now - as in as soon as I get the hospital gown on. I insisted on speaking to a doctor first but I'm not even going to get into all that now.

Before I know it I'm in pre-op getting pumped full of funky drugs that knocked me out before it was even time to move into the operating room.

An hour or two later I wake up in a drug induced haze with a sore throat from hell - I was unaware that they intubate under general anesthesia. My appendix was now gone.

I ended up spending about 2 days in the hospital and was released on Friday. I am so lucky to have such awesome family and friends who helped us out with Caden during all of this and to them I'm so very grateful and thankful. I've been recovering at home and not surprisingly did manage to over do it a bit, so I've been making it a point to rest more, which really helps. The hardest part of all of this is that my little man is a pretty big boy and I am unable to lift him - I did try and I did regret it. But thanks to my awesome family and friends, everyone has been helping us out during the day to make sure he is taken care of and I am able to rest. Hopefully soon everything will be back to normal.

The positive in all of this is that I should never have to fear the tummy ache from hell again. As I suspected, I have not been suffering from GERD the last 7 years, but recurrent appendicitis. As it turns out the body can heal itself from appendicitis at times, but often, as with myself, the appendicitis reoccurs until eventually it gets to the point you head to the doctor and they rip it from your abdomen. My doctor even looked at the notes from my appointment 7 years ago and even he said that I never should have been diagnosed as GERD.
Recovery hasn't been terrible with the exception of not being able to fully interact and care for my son. Of course when not in pain I've over done it but after dealing with an increase in the ouchies, I've learned my lesson. I am just so extremely happy and relieved that after 7 years, I don't have to deal with that bullshit stomach ache attacking at random anymore.

I told you it wasn't GERD, and I wasn't full of shit ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday

Dear Caden,
A year ago you were but a few hours old and your Daddy and I were still in awe that we created something so absolutely perfect and so amazingly beautiful. A whole year has passed since I first held you, since I first looked into your beautiful eyes, since I first counted those 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes... yet it all feels like yesterday.

This past year has most definitely been the best of my life so far - we've done so much together, learned so much about you, and learned so much about ourselves.

In just 3 months since I last wrote to you, so much has changed. You took your first steps at a little over 9 months old and started walking a few weeks later. We went on our first family vacation and you flew on an airplane for the first time, we celebrated our first Christmas together, and we rang in the new year.
You spoke your first word - "What?!" and you also learned to say Juice, done, and your favorite - Good! We got a puppy.. sometimes you have so much fun playing with her but others she is still a bit too rough for you.

As you'll learn, one year really isn't very long in the grand scheme of things, but in just this one short year you've already accomplished so much. We've watched and celebrated as you hit every milestone - rolling over, sitting up, standing, walking, your first teeth, your first everything.
In just your first year you've already flown on an airplane, visited 2 other countries, swam in the ocean, and you've taught me so much and through you I've learned so much about myself. You are such an amazing little man and words could never properly describe just how much you mean to me.

The years will pass and you will grow - one day you will look back at all the pictures taken this past year. You won't remember any of this and the chubby, bright eyed baby smiling back in photographs will be a stranger to you. But I will carry these memories with me for the rest of my life.
This past year has been amazing and so wonderful. Every day I am so thankful that you came into my life and I am so grateful I get to wake up to your smiling face every day, and stroke your perfectly chubby cheek as you sleep every night. And I am so looking forward to the next year and all the years to come. I'm excited to see what they bring and what life has in store for all of us.

Happy birthday my sweet boy. I love you always.


Monday, January 21, 2008

365 Days (well, almost!)

We are getting things in line for Caden's 1st birthday party on Saturday and we're so excited! His party is going to have a blue/green theme with stars and polka dots. While Caden doesn't know what is going on, we know he is going to have a great time. He loves being around people and he loves being the center of attention so we're sure he is going to have a blast! Saturday also marks the big 30 for Uncle Neil!

Everyone always told me time would fly with Caden, but I never imagined just how quickly it would pass. Tomorrow marks 1 year since I went in to be induced, and 2 days later on the 24th (as most know!) we welcomed our little man into this world.
This first year has definitely been exciting, but I expect the 2nd year to be even more so. A year ago I thought this 2nd year would be familiar territory, but I am quickly learning it is almost as foreign as those first weeks almost a year ago.

Caden is mastering old skills and learning new ones every day. He is talking more and is quick with a "What?!" and knows Juice, Done, and his new favorite word... "Good". This morning when I went to get him from his crib I was greeted with "Good!! mom, mom Good!" as he ran around his crib and hugged his blanket.
Life with Caden is so much fun. I never imagined just how much fun it would be. He loves to play "Hide and Seek". He loves to chase Daddy around the house and he fills our home with laughter every day. We have always heard what a happy baby Caden was... and he is definitely quite the happy toddler!

Of course he is quite the active little one and loves to get into things... he is currently tearing up a piece of tissue so with that this entry comes to a close!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Vacation Videos

We had a wonderful time on our vacation! I've added a few photos to our website. We had a fantastic Christmas as well :) Things have been rather busy so I haven't had a whole lot of time to update much but I did want to post a few videos we took on our vacation of our little pook on the move...


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