Life's a Roller coaster --- Enjoy the ride!

I know it has been a while since my last post, but I guess I have just been busier than usual, and have gotten a bit lazy too. I just got back from vacationing in Williamsburg, VA with family, and had a blast! One of my most favorite things was my visit to Busch Gardens theme park. I first visited the theme park years ago with my family, but was too young and scared to really ride any of the rides. So the visit this time I was really excited to ride all of the rides! I was even more excited to find out that they had added a new rollercoaster since I had been last, and it looked like it was really cool.

Once I got to the park though, the more I looked at the roller coaster, the more scared and nervous about it that I got. But I knew if I went home without riding this roller coaster, I would regret it. So I took the plunge.... literally... and rode "Griffon". It is a floor less roller coaster, and the tallest of it's kind at 205 ft.

After riding this roller coaster, I felt so accomplished, so excited. It was such a rush of adrenaline! First of all, let me also say that I rode it alone! So not only did I conquer my fear of riding alone, but I also made a decision and stuck with it. I didn't take the easy way out and not experience it. I absolutely loved the ride, and will always remember the experience. So here I am almost two weeks since I rode the coaster, and I am still thinking about how awesome it was! Which led me to think about it comparatively with life. I usually approach things with lots of anxiety, and sometimes cower away from things just because it will be easier. But after this experience, even if it is somewhat trivial, I have a different outlook on things.

So, no matter how scary life may seem, even if you have to do things alone, it could ultimately be worth the ride! But you have to get on the roller coaster to find out, or you could miss out on some pretty awesome things!


Confidence, Support, & Hope

When is the last time you showed encouragement to someone? Or when is the last time that you were encouraging? How about the last time that you were encouraged?

By definition encourage means to give support, confidence, or hope to someone. For some people, it takes very little things to help the feel encouraged. For others sometimes it takes massive amounts of constant encouragement to help at all. I think I can be a little of both at times, but mostly the latter.

Confidence --- I lack very little confidence in most things that I do, and any confidence that I may show is usually a front. So for me, encouragement is a huge factor in being successful in whatever I may do, because it helps boost my confidence.

Support --- Support is another part of encouragement that I greatly seek as well. Going through something as difficult as infertility is hard to do alone, so support from others that are struggling as well, is really helpful. Support from others that may not know how you feel helps too. Support is not biased. The more you give, the more encouraged someone is.

Giving hope --- I can not express the importance of giving hope. Giving hope to someone constantly reminds them that no matter what you are going through, there is hope. It may be extremely difficult to keep hope alive in the midst of all of the discouraging things, but thankfully, wherever there is discouragement, encouragement is there as well.

So, for all of the people that have given me confidence, encouragement, and hope, I thank you with all of my heart. Every day is a new battle and without people constantly surrounding me with all of these attributes, I don't know how I would survive. You may not realize how just a few words can greatly help out someone that is struggling. So I challenge you to be someone's confidence, be there encouragement, be there hope. You never know when you made need them to do the same.


A New Day, A New Me

Well today I did something that I do every other year or so. Got a haircut. When I get a haircut, it is not just a trim, I go all out... So to start it off, here are the before pictures....

And then.................The after................................................................................................................

Of course I am still a bit unsure if I love it or not, that wil come after I have to style it on my own in the morning, but so far I am liking it!

Oh and sorry some of the photos are grainy, it was a last minute decision to take the pics, and I wasn't in the best lighting!


Maybe if you just relax.....

I have heard many, many time over the years many different types of advice from others on what we should try to concieve. The most common is usually, "maybe if you just relax it will just happen". This usually really annoys me. First of all the person usually telling you to relax has already had a kid or two, without any trouble at all. Most likely they weren't even trying to have a baby, and it did just happen. However for many other couples it doesn't happen that way. Just relaxing WILL NOT in itself help a couple going through infertility concieve.

I have also heard things like, maybe you should just have a drink or two and it will help you relax even more... No thanks, I don't drink. Then there is always the unfair comment from one of those friends that didn't plan their children, the "you can borrow mine anytime you want". I think this one really infuriates me as well. It is so insensitive. Anyone going through infertility would give anything to have your "brats" as you call them, and to make that comment just comes off so unappreciative.

I am really tired of hearing other people's opinions (people who do not struggle with infertility) on how things will work out, or how I can get them to work out. I know that most of them really do mean the best, but sometimes I think they should consider what they are really saying and how it may affect the person they are saying it to.

I realized not long after we discovered that concieving would be an issue, that even asking a couple that has been married for more than a year or so can be hurtful. I know that we have gotten the question many many times, and at first just brushing the question off as if we weren't even trying. But deep down it did upset me. And I began to think that other couples may be feeling the same way. Joey and I once ran into a couple that Joey knew and they had been married for a few years, and of course Joey asks them when they were going to have kids. I immediately thought "Oh no! What if they are trying and having problems too?" And there answer confirmed it for me. They answered that dreaded question just like we always did... I suddenly realized other people are in this fight too.

So please, before you ask a young couple when they are gonna have kids, please don't assume that it is there choice that they haven't had any yet. And also, thanks for offering advice, but really, think about it before you say it.... Also, I am not saying that anyone that gives advice is wrong or always hurtful, but many are. And also just because someone says they will let us borrow their kids anytime doesn't mean they aren't grateful for their kids, or that they don't want them, it really just doesn't read well....


Waiting For My Miracle

First of all, I want to thank everyone again for your support, and I am really sorry for such long posts! I will try to make them shorter! I just have so much to say.

Two weeks later I was back in the Doctor's office. He checked my wounds and they were healing just fine. He showed my pictures of my ovaries from the surgery, (which really grossed Joey out!) And wouldn't you know, he removed some CYSTS from my ovary! Finally, that one unsure symptom was confirmed. Luckily no ultrasound this time. However, he prescribed more clomid. A higher longer dosage though. So, I thought why not? Give it a try... Once again, my body did not respond, and I knew that was going to be the case. Which is probably one of my problems, I am always expecting the worst. I never can seem to just believe that things will be alright.

So Joey and I anxiously awaited Dr. Servy's next move. He decided to go for the strong meds. Shots. I had to take Follistim every night for a few nights and then return back to the doctor. I thought how bad can giving myself a shot be? I couldn't do it. Joey thought it wouldn't be hard to give me one either. So we watched an instructional video on how to use the Follistim pen, and then we both freaked out. We almost had to call one of our friends that is in the medical field. Finally I just sucked it up and told Joey to go for it. Luckily it was pain free. So after a few nights we returned to the office and had an ultrasound, and once again, no response.  So Dr. Servy wanted to try more shots for longer. This made me extremely nervous. At this point insurance wasn't covering the medicine. One vial of the medicine was $500. We were really blessed with the first vial, they gave it to us for free. But now here we were need another. Luckily the pharmacy had a discount program and it was less than 50% the fill price... Whew.....

However, I once again did not respond. By this point I was as discouraged as one could possibly be. And I just couldn't take any more shots. The more frequent we did them, the more they began to hurt. So Dr. Servy decided it would be best to take two months off and actually try to attack my ovaries by going on the pill. He also suggested that I lose weight. (which he suggested at my first visit, but didn't focus on it like I worried he would). So for the past two months I took birth control and an estrogen supplement. Last week I was supposed to return to see what the next step is. However I had a scheduling conflict and needed to reschedule.

I have yet to reschedule. Joey and I talked, and I really feel like taking the rest of this year off is the right thing for us at this time. In just 3 months we have stretched ourselves financially so much that it would be so difficult to continue on. Plus I want to really focus on loosing weight and see if I can't make this whole process easier on myself. So finally, that is where we are at right now. Just taking time off and going to work on getting healthier and just relax....


The Scariest Time of My Life.... So Far

The plan my specialist had for me, was far from what I ever thought I would go through. The last visit that I had with my doctor, he dropped a bomb on me....He told me that the next step that he thought would be best, would be SURGERY. Now, I got so frightened from the HSG test, surgery really, really freaked me out!

He wanted to do a laparoscopic surgery to remove the scar tissue, and try to readjust the position of the ovary that always seemed to be missing, just check out everything else. As freaked out as I was, I was glad to be making leaps, as to where I felt I was only taking baby steps before. So this was in December, that I found out that surgery was my next step. I had the surgery on January 25, 2011. It was definitely an experience. I was unbelievably nervous the morning of. We had to be at the hospital at like 5am. Which was good, because the day of the surgery I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything. There were so many things regarding the surgery that scared the life out of me. First of all, the IV. I don't know why this scared me so bad. I am not scared of needles at all. But the thought of being stuck in the top of your hand, just really freaked me out. And I guess too, I remember my grandparents being sick in the hospital all the time and seeing those bruises left from the IV's and it just always stuck in my mind.

So of course they call me back, and I ask if Joey can come back, and the nurse says, "oh I will come get him once I get your IV started"... So I think my blood pressure sky rocketed at that point. One of the major things that I was nervous about I would have to face alone. But we went back and I got changed into my fashionable garb, and then got to lay in a bed. The last thing I was, was relaxed. Then the nurse put my IV in... And it was nothing. She actually numbed it first, and so there was pretty much no pain. Soon after that, Joey got to come in the room and wait with me. They took my blood pressure and could tell I was super nervous, because it was much higher than the previous day.When the anesthesiologist came, they told me that they where about to take me back, and that before they put me under, they were going to give me something to relax me. They told me I would feel a cold rush up my arm, and I did, and then instantly, I lost all signs of nerves. I felt loopy really. The last thing I remember was making a joke to one of the nurses and Joey about making Joey drink some Magnesium Citrate....(the laxative I had to drink the day before). And then they started wheeling me back. I think I remember entering the operating room, but I can't be sure...

The next thing I know, I am waking up in recovery. It was a little confusing. Mostly because I had a blood pressure cuff on that kept constantly checking my blood pressure. Plus a breathing mask, and the monitor that you have to wear on your finger. But as soon as I opened my eyes, I tried to look at the clock to see what time it was. I knew about how long the surgery was supposed to take it everything went ok. But my vision was blurred. Which at first scared me too. But then I remembered that I of course did not have my contacts in. So then, I immediately tried to see how much pain I felt. Because the doctor wanted to do the surgery laparoscopicly, however it was possible that it would have to be done as a laparotomy. Which would have meant that they would have to make an incision. Which would mean I would take longer to recover, and I would have to spend the night in the hospital. I think that I was so confused that I couldn't really tell how much pain I was in. Then, a nurse appeared and asked me how bad my pain was, and what I wanted to drink. As soon as she said drink, I realized how sore my throat was. I heard this would happen, from the
tube they use when you go under. I immediately asked her what time it was, and thankfully only an hour and a half had passed by. Then Dr. Servy came by, and even though I still really felt out of it, he told me everything went well, and he would see me in a couple of weeks. So I figured that I was going home soon.

Then they took me to a room, and I had to sit up in a chair. I really had no pain in my stomach, but all of a sudden sharp pains went shooting through my shoulders. The nurse said it was normal and would go away once I laid flat.... I was like, let me lay flat then!!!! But Joey and my mom came in the room with me, and Dr. Servy had already talked to them. I was for sure going home soon. The nurse told me all I had to do was empty my bladder, and then I could leave. All I wanted to do was sleep!But Joey kept waking me up and making me drink, so that we could go home. Luckily soon I was able to empty my bladder, and we got to go home. I don't really remember much after that. I slept in the car on the way home, and went straight to bed.
I just woke up every hour or so, and had to have Joey help me to the bathroom. And then to take more pain meds too. Later that night I got up and sat up for a little while, when his parents brought us dinner. But then it was straight back to bed.

The next day I was able to remove my bandages, and shower. So I decided to take a shower. Halfway through, I got extremely dizzy, and couldn't hear anything. I had to squat down to my knees and sat there, until I was able to get up and get out. I couldn't yell for Joey, because my voice isn't really loud anyway, plus my throat was still so sore. But I managed to get out of the shower, and make it to the bed. Joey came in to check on me and saw that I was still in my towel and helped me get dressed and back in bed. I pretty much stayed in bed the next two days. But by the end of the weekend I was much better. I returned to work the following Monday, and even though it wasn't easy, I got back into the swing of things! I had one more week until I had to go back to the doctor, and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. I dreaded having another ultrasound, but knew most likely I would have to. But I tried not to get too worked up about anything, after all I just had surgery. What could be worse?


A Sense of Accomplishment

My first appointment with Dr. Servy was very informative. Very proactive. Just what I needed. I went into this appointment extremely nervous though. I had no idea what insurance was going to cover exactly, what test was he going to do, and what Joey was going to have do go through.... However, the appointment went great. He did an exam on me, and also tested Joey. We found out the same day that Joey was good to go. Whew, one potenial additional problem checked off the list. Joey, played football in high school and college, and well, lets just say he received a terribly painful kick in a very important area. And even though we always knew that I had major issues, we knew he could very well have issues as well. But thankfully, he was fine. I think this boosted his confidence, in a good way.I think he deeply worried about this before, and then was so relieved once he found out he was ok. I know how infertility affects me, I am sure it affects men just thesame.

So, the doctor decided to make me go through a cycle and then go have a HSG. He wanted to make sure that my tubes were ok. I had heard of this procedure before, and was really nervous about it. First of all, let me say, I have never had any type of surgery, never been in the hospital, so this really freaked me out. For anyone that doesn't know, this procedure is where they take a small catheter and insert dye into your cervix, and watch how it flows through your tubes. If it flows out freely, then you are good. However, if there is a blockage, then it will be painful.... They did the procedure at the surgical center, which intensified my nerves. I had to wear a hospital gown, and hair net thingy, and those awful things that doctors wear over there shoes, except they were just on my feet. But luckily, my tubes where fine, and the procedure actually wasn't too bad. I mean I would't want to do it all the time, but it was bearable. I went to work right after it was over.

After the procedure, Dr. Servy wanted to try clomid once again. But with a steroid. He said this was an "old school" trick. I tried it, but again I didn't respond. He did an ultrasound after this cycle, and it was more painful I think than the HSG. He had a difficult time finding one of my ovaries. Wow, 7 years ago, I had this same problem. It really made me wonder what one of my previous doctor's was looking at. He had no explanation for this though, and said that it looked like I had scar tissue on that ovary. There is no real explanation for the scar tissue. I have not had any surgery, no infections, so once again no explanation. But here I was with another unsuccessful cycle of clomid. I was getting more and more discouraged as we went on, but Dr. Servy was very proactive, and his next plan of action was far beyond what I ever expected.


Patiently Carrying On Somberly

Patiently   Carrying  On   Somberly

Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. It does not define me. It is not me. I can beat this.
It is not quite that easy though. It has now been about 3 years since I was first diagnosed with this ugly disease. All of the research that I have done with it, made it seem so complex, so different for everyone. I had most of the symptoms, but they all seemed to come at different times. For instance, the crazy periods, I had those forever. The weight gain though was only recent. I blamed my weight gain on marriage, and not being as athletic as I was in my teens. Little did I know that those were factors, but there was an much worse underlying factor that was not helping. I also had not been told at this point that I had any ovarian cysts. However, after talking with Dr. Servy he agreed on the diagnosis, and even proved that I did in fact have cysts.

So, it was confirmed. I have PCOS. Everyday I wake up, and I still have it. I have heard of people reversing the effects of the disease with diet and exercise, but it has been so absolutely hard for me to lose any weight. That's the kicker. PCOS makes it very, very difficult to do so. But at this point in my life that I am in, I am about to my wits end with dealing with all of this, and really some days want to give up. Of course, I think the want of a baby, keeps me from doing so.  I have decided recently though that if I really want this, then I have to fight. And fight hard. It is just so unbelievably difficult to wake up every single day and have to fight. I occasionally start feeling sorry for myself, why me? What did I do to deserve this? I may never know why I, and many other women, have been chosen to lead this difficult path. For whatever reason though, I believe that God has a plan. It is really hard to except though that his plan may be that I never get pregnant, or never am a mother. For me, this would be devastating. I don't know how to explain this exactly, but ever since I was really young, I have wanted nothing more than to be a mother. Growing up I could never really pinpoint that one thing I wanted to be. Except a mother. I never wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or anything like that. Just a mom. That's all. Anything after that I would just except. Was that too much to ask? At this point I question this daily.

Contest Details!!!

Alright guys, here are the rules for my very first contest! The person that can refer the most people to my blog will win a fantastic prize!

Now for the referrals, you just have to get them to either follow my blog, or leave a comment on any posting. Now the most important part.... Make sure to email me who you refer so I can keep track! My email is heathergcsu@yahoo.com.

The contest will end May 31, 2011. And I will announce the winner and let them choose their prize on June 1, 2011....

Thanks again for reading! Any questions????


Thank You!

Thank to everyone for the support so far for my blog. It has taken me years to get the confidence to put it all out there.... I plan to post throughout this week, to catch everyone up to where we are today... So, please hang in there, I promise I will keep up with this! I know I am writing what seems like books right now, but I also promise that I will not continue to write such long posts!!!!

I am really excited so far from the response I have received, and would like to ask anyone that has been able to read my posts, please pass my blog along to anyone that you think would benefit from it. My story only helps if the right people hear it! I think that anyone, struggling with infertility or not can benefit. People who are  not struggling with it should know how "we" feel....

Also, I have a contest to offer. I really could care less of how many people follow, as much as I care how many people I am able to reach, and potentially help. So, for the person that can "refer" the most people to follow me, I will give you a special gift. As some of you may know I absolutely love crafts! So I am going to make something special for the winner! Check back tomorrow for more details on the contest!!!

Anyway, thanks again!!!!

Frustration, Frustration, and Even more Frustration

Now, for a year I took birth control and never thought twice about the what ifs.... A little over a year after my very first doctor's appointment, I met and fell in love with the best man in the world. And we were married a year later. I would say almost immediately kids were on our minds. His brother and mom actually had a bet that we would have a child within our first year of marriage. Oh how I wish that they would have won that bet... We pretty much didn't think much into it the first two years, though, after nothing had happened. I guess in a way we looked at it as a blessing, because we had a really rough second year of marriage. By the third year though, things had evened out and we decided to start seriously trying to have a baby. I had never seen a gynecologist, so I had no idea where to start. So I went to my Primary care physician and asked for him to refer me to someone. He referred me over to an excellent doctor, Dr. Klemann. We had our first visit with her September 24, 2007. She did some routine testing and then sat down with Joey and I and explained exactly what was ahead of us. Nervous as we were she made it seem not so terrible, and that everything would be fine. She suggested that we have an ultrasound, and so we waited a few weeks and then called back a month or so to have a ultrasound done. well, to my surprise, when I called to make the appointment they informed me that she was no longer practicing, and that I would have to be seen by a different doctor. I was a little disappointed, but was just happy to be moving forward in determining what the issue was. So they assigned me to Dr. Waxman.

At first, I didn't mind her. I had my ultrasound, and she looked at it and mentioned nothing abnormal. No cysts, no scar tissue, no hard to find ovary..... Which knowing what I know now, really makes me question her. So she put me on clomid for the first time, and instructed me to come back in a month to see the results. I returned to Dr. waxman a month later, she rushed in, asked me about my last period, and then told me she was going to give me some medication that was basically a chemical D & C, which I read is given to many women going through a miscarriage. Now I can understand why she would have prescribed this to me, with all of my abnormal bleeding, however, she never even checked to see if I was pregnant. I had just told her it had been over a month since my last period, and she was jumping straight to giving me a medication that potentially could have killed a baby had I been pregnant..... I questioned her, and then she suddenly called a nurse in to get a pregnancy test... This really left a bad feeling though. And after a few months after this visit, I decided that I wanted to see a different doctor. I tried to stay within the same doctor's office, but they told me that I was not allowed to be seen by a different doctor. So then that really pissed me off, and I just found a whole new doctor, and practice. I just looked through all of the doctor's that are covered through my insurance, and just picked one. I can't say it was the best idea, but I was about fed up with doctors.

I picked Dr. Bongu. Only because she has an office in Evans, close to home and work, and she was available for a quick appointment. After a few visits with her, I knew that this was yet another frustration. She just prescribed me clomid after clomid. She did at least have me come in after every cycle to test my blood to see if there was any increase in my hormone levels. She never did any ultrasounds, but yet she did diagnose me with PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome). Deep down, I knew this was going to be what was wrong with me. Because a few years earlier, my mom had told about an article she read in a magazine about this syndrome. She said that all of my symptoms matched what this was describing. Of course, immediately I googled it... BAD idea. Long story short, I was in tears after reading a few different sites. Of course I jumped to all the bad stuff and looked at it as terrible to have. But Joey came in and reassured me that I may not have it. He made a joke of it and even stated that he had most of the symptoms too. He took my mind off of it temporarily, but once the doctor told me that was what I had, all those emotions came back to me, and I got really scared. well, after I don't know how many cycles of clomid, Dr. Bongu told me that she was going to do one more round of clomid, and if I didn't respond to it then she would have to send me to a specialist. At this point, I really just wanted to be seen by a specialist. So, I worked the system, in a way, I guess. I didn't take the clomid again. So when I went in for my test, I knew that I was going to show no increase, no response. And I didn't. So like she said, she referred me to a specialist. Dr. Servy... My first appointment with Dr. Servy was set for August 26, 2010. I was so nervous, but excited for taking the next step forward.


The Beginning of My Story......

This is my first time writing a blog about something so personal, so I am not sure how well I will do with this, but I feel it is something that I need to do. Just to give you a little background information, I have been married for six years to a wonderful guy. After a year or so of marriage, we decided that we were ready to start a family. However God has had his own plan and that dream still hasn't come true for us.

Ulitmately, we tried to concieve, by just not doing anything to prevent it. After a few years of nothing happening, we decided that it was time to go to a doctor. Now just a bit of history of myself, I knew since I was a teen that this was going to be an issue. I was a very mature 11 year old, and the summer after my 5th grade year I got the not so pleasant gift of my menstrual period. I felt at the time almost a sense of accomplishment, since so many of my older friends had not quite "matured". However I soon lost that sense of accomplishment and began to hate becoming a woman. I had the absolute worst periods ever. They were unbelievably heavy, and last for months. But I also would go months without having one at all. So it was good and bad. My body had somehow gotten on a schedule so that I never had one during the summer. To me that was perfect, and I never thought twice about it. I only went to the doctor once in my early teens for this issue. My parent's weren't able to have insurance on my sister and I, so we only went when it was really really necessary. So I was having one of those awful periods, and my mom decided I should see a doctor. The doctor just bsically said that it would stop soon, and I wasn't anemic. That's all. No tests, nothing. I sometimes wonder if we would have insurance, if they would have looked more into it, and possibly found a way to correct the issue then.

So, years went on, and nothing ever changed. At times I didn't go to school because I would have to use the bathroom every hour or sooner. I had pretty much no pain associated with it. No cramps or anything, which is still odd to me. Then when I was 19, I was living with my grandparents in Virginia for a few months, and I got anemic from one of my infamous long periods. She demanded that I go to the doctor. Once again, no insurance, but I knew that I needed to go. I went and the doctor just talked to me about my history and then decided that I needed to go have an ultrasound done. I went and had them done, and during the procedure the technician had a hard time locating one of my ovaries. Ultimately I freaked out thinking do I not have an ovary??? So she suggested that we do a transvaginal ultrasound. After doing this she found the ovary. Since she was only a technician, she wasn't able to tell me anything. So I went a few weeks waiting to hear from the doctor. Finally a call came and I was told they found nothing wrong, and that they suggested I get on the pill to straighten my cycles out. Well this was perfectly fine for me. I didn't think I was anywhere close to needing to worry about having children. I was defininitely wrong, but I will tell you all about that later....

However, the birth control helped with straigten my cycles out, and everything was fine. Or so I thought....


A Fresh Start

It has been at least two years since I have written a blog. I have had plenty to blog about, but I guess I have just had absolutely no motivation to do it. Well, I think its time. I reinvented my blog and plan to try my best to keep up with it better this time. I am going to devote this blog to mostly my daily struggle with my infertility, but I want to incorporate anything else that is going on with my life, and things that I want to share with others in hopes of giving them encouragement!

I will be getting together my ideas for this blog today, and hopefully will have my next post ready soon.