Surgery Day Part One

24 Mar

Hi everyone! It’s been a while!

A few weeks ago, I had my exploratory laparoscopy (going in through my belly button with a scope to explore what is going on inside my tummy, if there was anything found then they would make one or 2 more incisions in my lower abdomen to go in and burn/remove what they could), hysteroscopy (looking into my uterus), and chromotubation (basically like my HSG only I was knocked out this time, thankfully).

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The surgery was planned for 11:00 in the morning; I had to be there at 10 to get all checked in and prepped for surgery. I was really hoping at this point that the pregnancy test they took would be positive so they would scratch all of it! No such luck!

My doctor had another surgery before mine and told me to plan for a delay but she was hoping everything would run on time. I got all checked in, prepped, and the nurse started my IV, when another nurse popped in and said my doctor was indeed running behind but would be there shortly. My mom and David were able to come back and sit with me while I waited.

I’ve never had a surgery or even been in the hospital for anything so I didn’t know what to expect but one thing that I wish I had at home was their blanket warmer. I have no idea how they do it but they warm a blanket up to place over top of you and they feel like they were just taken out of the dryer but are all folded so nice there’s no way it’s just a dryer heating them! I was so surprised when the nurse brought me a blanket and laid it over my lap; she must have sensed my excitement and said it was part of their ‘spa treatment package.’ I guess when they put you in a cold room with a lightweight half-robe on, it is a great idea!

Soon after my doctor showed up and asked if we had any questions (she is the sweetest thing ever!) and told me we would be going into surgery soon. Sure enough, they were taking me back to the surgery room and I think about a minute later I was out! I don’t remember much and didn’t even have a chance to look around the room when I got in there.

About an hour later, I was out of surgery and in recovery. Meanwhile, my doctor met with David and my mom to let them know how it went and to go over what she found in surgery while showing them the pictures of my insides (weird!).

I was in recovery for about 2 ½ hours! Which made everyone wonder what was going on, but honestly I must have just been really loopy because I do remember dosing off and on for quite a while and was in quite a bit of pain when I woke up so they were trying to get that under control before they allowed my family to come back to see me. Shortly after I woke up the very first time, still pretty out of it, my doctor was by my side and told me all went well but they found endometriosis…and a lot of it…

To be continued…

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The Window

20 Feb

Outside the rain runs down the, dirtied by months of ice and snow, window. The first rain always makes things so gloomy until the salted, filthy snow melts into the ground and the muddy, brown grass turns green again.

Gizmo is so over the dry winter static

Gizmo is so over the dry winter static

Iowa winters in particular can be long and dreadful. The first snowfall is exciting and beautiful, but after the holidays are over, the frigid temperatures and constant snow starts to cloud over everyone – making it hard to remember the joys of summer and the times when happiness comes so easily.

Thankfully, no season in life lasts forever.  The winter season is slowly shifting towards spring; flowers, sun, and the comfort of warmer air. I look out that same window and see my reflection staring back.

I snap back into reality and realize that that reflection says it all.

Much like the weather, we (David and I) are in a season of waiting. A season that feels similar to a long, gloomy winter that never seems to end.

My hope has started to shift from wanting to experience the next season, to getting the most out of this one. I refuse to waste this time in our lives and have it be forever haunted by that deep pain at the bottom of my stomach that includes the broken pieces of so many hard days.

Time will continue to pass; and with no control from us, the snow will melt, and a new season will start

So why not play in the snow?

I am making a conscious effort to enjoy this life of mine; every second. I don’t think we can ever try too hard at living in the present, and unless we make that conscious effort to soak in each breath, we’ll go back to breathing just to live, not to really live. We are instinctively always making goals, plans, looking at the future, and trying to change, but what happens if we just stop trying so hard? Will the time we spend on worrying and planning be replaced with actually doing and maybe in the end, feeling happier, less stressed, and more successful at the things that really matter to us?

Isn’t that what life is about?

If (personally) I spend less time on Facebook, and more time on practicing yoga, will that make me happier? Yes. If I spend less time thinking about how to use my creativity, and more time using it, will that make me happier? Yes. If I spend less time worrying about when we will become parents, and more time trusting God will make it happen one way or another, will I feel comforted? Yes. If I spend less time worrying about what work needs to be done, and more time spent with my family, trying to be the best wife, daughter, sister, and aunt (and another niece/nephew on the way! Surprise!!!! 🙂 🙂 !!!!), will that make me happier? More than ever.

So why do we waste so much time on doing those things that don’t necessarily make us happier? Maybe we take all of the good things for granted by not fully being in the present? We are always one step ahead of ourselves.

This time, as I look out the window, I see the birds who have stuck out this long winter flying around and the trees that stood strong as ice and snow weighted them down for months, and the blue sky that hides behind the thick, gray cloud cover…

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** Prepare for goosebumps**
I wrote this post earlier today, looking out this very same window (the window I talk about above)…hours upon hours after I finished writing this post, the rain picks up and a storm rolls in (remember it’s only February still, so any type of rain, especially a thunderstorm is really out of the ordinary!). After some time passes, the skies get a little brighter and I glance out the window just in time to catch this beautiful full rainbow which appeared just long enough for me to snap a picture, directly outside of that very same window I reflected about hours before. I immediately understood what I was being told by this symbol of hope. Everything is going to be ok. Every season, every storm; passes. 

I’m being looked after.

Our Second Opinion

18 Feb

A few weeks ago, we met our new Doctor. She is wonderful. (I’ll call her Dr. K) We both really liked her sympathetic, compassionate, and down-to-earth personality and felt comforted by her fresh take on things. She didn’t necessarily offer us new hope or good news but is interested in what’s going on instead of just pushing us towards more invasive treatments.

You could tell as I talked about our past years, that her heart broke for us. She felt like there is definitely something more going on and it’s worth looking into…literally…to see what is going on in there. I never had an issue with my old Doctor. He was always very knowledgeable and proactive –and I liked that. But when things weren’t working and we were at a dead end, we decided it was best to have a set of fresh eyes on our situation.

I have had suspicions of something called endometriosis for about a year now and when I brought it up to my old Doctor he sort of shrugged it off saying I didn’t have enough symptoms to check for it. The only real way of diagnosing endometriosis is to have laparoscopic surgery.

Dr. K felt like with a history of abnormally painful periods and infertility, even with pursuing treatments, that it’s worth it to do the surgery, and she felt it was a good next step for us.

So we decided to go forward with the laparoscopic surgery. I will be having the procedure in the beginning of March. And praying for good news or at the very least, some answers.

They will make a small incision at the bottom of my belly button and possibly 2 more incisions in my lower abdomen and will insert a scope so they can check for any implants/scarring/anything abnormal that shouldn’t be there or may be causing our infertility. If there is anything that they can clean/burn off, they will at that time. While they are in there, they will also be pushing dye through my tubes again (much like the HSG but I will be out), to make sure they are still clear.

I am thankful for answers one way or another.

I really feel like my heart has opened up throughout this journey. I really feel like God is in there doing His thing, making room for more love to share than I could have ever imagined. Sure, bad days (sometimes really bad days) come and go – but who doesn’t have bad days? I am learning to lean into those days, feel that pain (it’s ok to feel it), deal with it (it’s ok to cry and feel angry and hurt), and remember that a day is one small second in our lives, this too shall pass (though hopefully sooner rather than later) and I will look back on this journey and see our lives, our marriage, our selves, our pain, our reasonings, and our hearts, changed. Improved.

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Anyone going through infertility – it’s plain hard. I haven’t posted on the bad days in a while…but my outlook isn’t always as hopeful as it may seem, and my good days, my hopeful posts, are the results of those bad days. I typically don’t post on the bad days, the really bad days, because that’s the time I really struggle to make sense of it all. That process of sorting it all out has become very personal to me. Unfortunately, those bad days also bring a lot of guilt and shame…and that is ok. That is normal. All of us mothers in waiting go through those days (too many to count) and understand those feelings, I just wanted to remind all of you that this journey is real, we experience some very real emotions – some emotions we never have felt before, some we aren’t really sure how to deal with – but sometimes it’s about those bad days. Without those bad days, we wouldn’t grow, and God wouldn’t put anyone through this painful journey without a reason. I promise, trusting that there’s a reason to this is the only thing that will make it make sense.

I’ll keep you updated with hopefully good news in March!