Is this thing on?

30 Oct

Hello anyone still following! :) If there is even anyone still around reading my ghost town blog…

I will now be blogging over at my new blog: Nesting Heart, where I will be posting throughout this next journey of our lives!

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I resolve…

17 Apr

Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). It’s a week to talk, share, teach, and learn. If you yourself haven’t gone through infertility, I bet you know someone who has and this upcoming week is the time to show your support and spread awareness.

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When we were first trying to have a baby, we kept everything very secret. David and I dealt with our anxious feelings alone because we were so unsure of what was to come and just kept hoping that it would be very soon and we didn’t want to tell anyone because that wasn’t a part of our plan. Our plan was to get pregnant and announce it to everyone at the right time, with the big surprise factor included. Months went by, and that dream felt further and further away as we started feeling more and more alone and ashamed.

I finally opened up to my mom and shortly after, my sister. I needed them to tell me it would be ok. I needed someone to make me feel less broken without feeling judged. Gradually, more family and close friends started learning what was going on with us – and the support we received back was unimaginable.

Sadly, a robin lost her egg on our deck this week- I can't get over how blue robin's eggs are! Spring is finally here!

Sadly, a robin lost her egg on our deck this week- I can’t get over how blue robin’s eggs are! Spring is finally here!

It really is a shame that for so long we felt like we had to keep our family building obstacles behind closed doors – why? Why did I feel that way? Why do thousands of other couples feel that way? Especially now-a-days…

The more people we opened up to, the easier it got, the weight was being lifted off our shoulders little by little and when we started opening up about our struggles, we started hearing stories of others who struggled as well…stories that would never have been shared otherwise.

Last year I participated in NIAW on my blog (here and here), but not through my personal social outlets. My blog is still a small secret left open to only those who I’ve shared it with so far but I am still a little hesitant and scared to share things openly.  There are TONS of great articles and inspiring blog posts that I would love to share with my world but something continues to stop me…

I am braver than this.

Awareness makes change, awareness brings proaction, awareness helps people!

So this year, I’m breaking out of my silence. I am not ashamed of my story. I will not allow people to feel alone or unheard anymore. Our story is much bigger than you or I, we were chosen for a reason.

Infertility and social media typically don’t have a positive connection – social media has often brought up some of my worst feelings, made good days bad, and were often the cause of tears and feelings that I never wanted to feel. But maybe it’s time to use social media for more than just sharing the exciting, life changing news of pregnancies, births, and first steps – we have this awesome tool to spread awareness for things like infertility (and all of the categories that fall under that, for example HA & endometriosis) that have been suffered in silence for way too many years. The conversation has to be changed!

Could you imagine a world where infertility was a priority for government funded research?  Where all insurance plans covered infertility treatments?  Where the media accurately portrayed the disease?  Where people stopped telling you to “just relax, it’ll happen!” Well, RESOLVE does. We know that world is in our future.  But we can not do it without you helping to change the conversation.” -Rebecca Flick from Resolve.org

So this year for NIAW,  I resolve to spread awareness. I resolve to push change. I resolve to be brave and overcome the silence. 

I have endometriosis.

27 Mar

We prayed for answers, and we finally have it.

I have endometriosis.

“Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells (endometrial cells) similar to those that form the inside of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus. Endometriosis is most commonly found on other organs of the pelvis.” -Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD at Medicinenet.com 

So grateful for all of those who sent flowers, prayers, and well wishes my way!

So grateful for all of those who sent flowers, treats, prayers, and well wishes my way!

Ever since I can remember having my womanly friend (I’m not sure I’d consider her friendly…) I had pain during that time of month; severe pain. Pain that I thought was just the way it was supposed to be…just the way it was and always would be.

“The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with your period. Although many women experience cramping during their period, women with endometriosis typically describe the pain as far worse than usual that increases over time.” -Mayo Clinic Staff at Mayoclinic.org 

Click for a full list of symptoms

During all of my infertility testing, I brought up the possibility of endometriosis with a long history of painful cycles. I was told that wasn’t what he thought it was and that we would continue with treatments. So that’s what we did.

“Estimates suggest that between 20%-50% of women being treated for infertility have endometriosis, and up to 80% of women with chronic pelvic pain may be affected.” -Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD at Medicinenet.com

After nothing seemed to be working, and I knew that there was something we were missing, something that was still wrong…feeling exhausted from the pressures of treatments and the financial burden it takes, we decided to seek our second opinion before moving forward with more invasive treatments.

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If I’ve learned anything the last few years it’s that I know my body. I can listen to my body fairly well now as I’m pretty in tune with things, even though it throws me for a loop every now and again; our communication line is well opened and understood. Within minutes after hearing my history, my new doctor felt it was worth taking a look inside…

Not only do I have endometriosis, I had it moderate/severely. She classified it as a Stage III-IV.

She seemed to be a little taken back by how bad it ended up being but seemed to be relieved we had answers, and even more so that she was able to remove what she could.

““The cause of endometriosis is unknown…” “There is evidence that shows alternations in the immune response in women with endometriosis, which may affect the body’s natural ability to recognize and destroy any misdirected growth of endometrial tissue.” -Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD at Medicinenet.com

Unfortunately, some (more than I was hoping for) were on organs that could be damaged greatly by the heat of the implant removal so there were spots that were left untouched. I’m praying that what was left will just be and won’t stand in the way of our plans to move forward towards having a baby.

Through my research of endometriosis, I’ve learned that there are a whole lot of unanswered questions. There is no cure for endometriosis, there’s no concrete cause, there’s no explanation as to why/when/how, so even though we have our answer to why we aren’t pregnant, we have a lot of questions that have to be left unanswered because, well, no one really seems to know.

I couldn't help but take this picture as we waited at my follow-up appointment. Don't get too close to the plastic model of female insides, David! :)

I couldn’t help but take this picture as we waited at my follow-up appointment. Don’t get too close to the plastic model of female insides, David! :)

So where do we go from here? Well as much as I hate these darn little things – the subtle, consistent hormone levels that the birth control pill offers is the easiest way to slow things down so I am on them for a few months to allow my body to heal. After that, we are given the ok to go forward however we’d like…but…time is of the essence. There’s not a set timeline with endometriosis but it can/will grow back but the severity and speed of that happening doesn’t really seem to be known – it could be as short as a few months my doctor said.

All we can do now is continue to pray and trust that God’s plan will show through this journey.

All opinions on If Gravity Happens are my own personal opinions, views, and experiences. I am not a doctor. Please contact a professional for any specific questions regarding your medical issues.

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