Amber and Aaron

Amber and Aaron

The Fun We've Already Had...

  • Graham Tomas born July 31 at 5:04 P.M. weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz.
  • December 2, 2011: PREGNANT!!!
  • Paisley Kate arrived August 21 at 5:38 P.M. weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz
  • DUE DATE: August 25, 2010!!!
  • Dec. 14, 2009- PREGNANT!!!
  • Oct. 07,2009- Had elective D&C.
  • Sept 28, 2009- No embryo on ultrasound. :(
  • Sept 15th, 2009- We found out we're PREGNANT!!!
  • Sept '09- Aaron had varicocele repair.
  • July '09- IUI #1 with HCG shot= No such luck
  • April '09- Ovarian drilling surgery, followed by hospitalization for uterine infection
  • Jan-Mar '09- metformin + 3 rounds of clomid= no ovulation
  • Dec. 11, 2008- Hysterosalpingogram (Fancy word for shooting dye through the ovaries. OUCH)
  • Nov '08- Sent to RE. Tried metformin alone for two months (No ovulation)
  • Oct '08- Diagnosed with PCOS based on amenorrhea and crazy hormone levels.
  • June '08- Aaron convinced me to start trying.
  • June '04- Got Hitched!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

If Only I Could Fart

Yeah, I know it's a funny and somewhat inappropriate title, but it sums up the day I've had. Here's the deal: during laparoscopic surgery, they fill your belly up with a bunch of air to make room for the tools to go in and for better visualization. Well, they don't remove that air when they're done so you're left with a stomach full of a big-toot-waiting-to-happen. Except it hasn't happened and I'm uncomfortable. And I'm fearful of how it is going to feel when it does happen and who will be around to witness it!
The picture above is pre-op: notice how incredible I look in a giant hospital gown and the fact that I could stand upright at that time. The picture below is post-op and you might notice my graceful new walking position. But check out my cute new nightgown: it was $7 at Old Navy!!!

My new walking style has been quite the source of jokes thanks to my caring husband and mom. Aaron says I look like either a camel or an old woman with back problems and my mom described me as a "7". She then noted that if she laid me on the floor, I would be an "L". But she was worried that she wouldn't be able to get me back up... Great to have such wonderful support! I would show pictures of my wounds but one is through my belly button so it's not noticeable and the other two are way down south and this is not that type of blog. :)
Well, I hope everyone is having a great week and I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Bloody Belly Button

Hi all, I didn't expect to be writing this myself but I creeped my way incredibly slowly over to the computer so that I don't get a bed sore on my hiney from sitting so much. Plus, my bladder is a little dazed from the catheter so I'm trying to go frequently. Surgery went well today- no unexpected findings and Dr.Haas felt good about it. My infertility doc, anesthesiologist and nurses were so incredible today that it was a smooth and stress-free process. Dr. Haas even held my hand and comforted me while I was put to sleep. Very kind!

I'm doing both better and worse than I expected. I'm worse in the fact that my belly hurts more than I thought it would, but I'm better in that I have been pretty alert all day. Which has been great since we've had company all day and you all know how I love to socialize. I woke up quickly in recovery and started talking the nurse's ear off. Aaron and my "surgery crew" knew I was okay when they let them see me because they could already hear me talking and I was eating like crazy. One of the surgeons I work with came to see me in recovery as did the OB/GYN that works at my clinic. (He's the one I will use if I ever manage to get pregnant.)

I want to say a HUGE thanks to my mom, Aaron, Emily, Cayden and Sarah who gave me the best support ever today at the hospital. You all made it so much easier on me! Also, thanks to Vicki who took a break from saving lives one broken bone at a time to bring me flowers. Lastly, thanks to all of you who called me or texted me today to let me know you care. It truly touches my heart and I hope I get the chance to show you all the kindness you have shown me.

Tomorrow the wound care starts on my 3 incision sites and I have to start my meds and temperature taking again. Back on the trying-to-conceive bandwagon. I'll keep you all posted!!! Pray for Aaron as he has to put up with me over the next few days of recovery.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let the Whining Begin...

Well, tomorrow is the big day! This week has zoomed by and I'm not sure if I'm ready or nervous or what. I'll tell ya that right now my biggest concern is the whole "nothing to eat or drink after midnight" business. I tell patients that all day but it's a different story when you tell me not to eat breakfast- I feel that it might kill me. I literally roll out of bed and stumble directly to the kitchen to eat every morning.

Second big problem- now prepare yourself for this one- is that they made me take off my nail polish- my toes are NEVER unpainted. I feel like they are just taking away my dignity one luxury item at a time. I mean do they just want me to look completely awful???

The lady from the hospital was kind enough to call me tonight to pre-admit me and had lots of questions. Some of my favorites included "would you be willing to accept blood products?" and "what denomination are you?" I feel like they expect me to kick the bucket! And I'll bet that she didn't save me any time- in the morning I will still have to fill out hours worth of paperwork.

Aaron will be posting an update tomorrow when we get home so please excuse his spelling errors and bad grammar (Luckily he was blessed with good looks)... Surgery is scheduled for 10 a.m. and it is at St.Anthony's hospital. Well, thanks again for all of your concern and prayers, but I only have 90 more minutes to eat and drink before I start my "starvation time".

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Those Crazy Runners

Aaron ran the OKC Memorial half-marathon this morning which is 13.2 miles. This is the 3rd year that he has ran it, and I'm really proud of him. The first year I slept through it, not really understanding what a huge deal it is. In my defense, it starts at 6:30 a.m. and my alarm doesn't go that early! Then last year I ran it with him, so this was my first year to watch him race. (In case you aren't good at Where's Waldo?, he's the one in orange.)

I dropped him off at the start line and then planned on going to the capitol to watch at the 3 mile mark. Well, being that I am very directionally challenged, maneuvering my way around downtown was interesting. Not only are there way too many one-way streets but lots of roads are blocked off due to runners! So I saw him at the 3 mile mark and then again at 10 miles. I barely made it to the finish line to watch him come in, but luckily I got there in time. This is him right after the race.

Best part of watching the race is seeing the old or out-of-shape people who run it fast. The worst part of running in the race is getting passed by those people! And they're always the ones in all spandex or sports bras. Great people watching!!! Anyways, Aaron did great as always and now he's resting his exhausted body...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scalpel, please?

We've scheduled my surgery for next Wednesday, April 29th at St. Anthony's hospital. My special time arrived yesterday (if you're unsure what that means, be thankful) so I called Dr. Haas and he got me set up for surgery. I went in for my pre-op labs and work-up today so that's out of the way. Now I just have to show up that morning and try not to be a basket-case! I'm surprised at how nervous I am, most of my fear focusing on the urinary catheter and intubation tube. I've watched and even done too many of these to be blissfully ignorant about it. And I've seen the complications from having them done. Of course, worse things have probably happened on skateboards (I'm still healing some bruises and cuts).

So, I know I've explained it a little before, but for those who haven't heard- my procedure is called laparoscopic ovarian drilling. Very delicate name for a very gentle procedure :) What happens is I will have 3 incisions made in my abdomen where they will insert "tools". He will laser about 10-12 holes into each ovary destroying a portion of the ovary that makes testosterone. The testosterone is what creates my unbelievable amount of cysts and keeps me from ovulating. Most importantly, it often restores ovulation, increases pregnancy rates, and decreases miscarriage which is a big problem with PCOS.

Once again, thanks so much for the amazing amount of support you have all given me. I will keep you all posted on my recovery. We are definitely hopeful that this will lead us to our ultimate goal...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Skateboarding: The Source of my New Bruises

Hey friends,
Well, I can't imagine how this posting relates to my infertility at all except to say that it's certainly good that I'm not currently pregnant since I took up my new hobby. It all began yesterday when we are standing in our front yard talking to our neighbor, Brandon. He's one of those people who always has interesting stories and ideas. You should always use extreme caution when taking part in anything he decides would be a good idea.

But yesterday I was feeling a bit reckless and invincible when he suggested that we try to skateboard. It's not just a normal old-school skateboard though, it's one of those new kinds on 2 wheels that kinda twists when you're on it. (Or should if you're actually good at it.) After he and I (Aaron was again smart enough to sit this one out) finally figured out how to get on it with the help of a neighbor kid, we took turns trying to master this new skateboard.

He caught on a little quicker than I did, but as in everything in life- I decided I would conquer it. Pretty sure I lost. Yes, I did figure out how to get on it without hurting myself too badly. And I even managed to make it down the street looking extremely cool. But the trouble came when I got overly confident and decided to start going down driveways to gain speed... The best of my 3 tumbles happened just as a jogger was trying to run by. The unforeseen danger awaiting her on her run was a 28-year-old clumsy, overly-confident, skater-wannabe careening at her at dangerous speeds and with absolutely zero control. She skillfully managed to dodge me as I was landing on my back in the middle of the street and continued her run without even a glance back. With that grace, maybe she should have tried the skateboard.

Don't worry, Brandon and Aaron were so super supportive of me. They both stood in the front yard clapping and laughing hysterically while I peeled myself off the pavement. And then they encouraged me to try again. Only to watch me fall in a puddle. So, needless to say, I'm a little sore today and I have bruises in places where the sun don't shine. But what fun! I had decided that maybe I'd be a skater chick, but I've decided to return the red hair dye and leather clothing and cancel my piercing appointment...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mood Swings, Here I come

Well, I started off my glorious Monday morning with a fun visit to my infertility doc. He drew some blood and did a vaginal ultrasound which still showed a ton of cysts and a thicker endometrial lining. So he thinks that I just didn't have enough lining to shed last try so I am fortunate enough to get to take provera again starting today!!! Thank goodness since the hot flashes actually just stopped yesterday and I was already missing them. Who wants to sleep through the night and wear weather appropriate clothing???

So, I take my crazy pill for another week and then call him on Day 1. Sad that a month is no longer made up of dates, but cycle days. Then we'll schedule my surgery FINALLY!!! I never thought I'd be so ready to let someone cut on me. But we have a vacation planned for June and I don't want to have fresh scars on the beach! Good news is that he had mentioned putting me on birth control pills for a while to reduce the number of cysts I have, but this visit he said we wouldn't have to do that. So I'm hoping we'll get this done the beginning of May. Until then, I have some mood swings/hot flashes/depression to enjoy! Don't worry if you don't hear from me for a while...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Lessons I Have Learned...

Starting this whole journey 10 months ago, I had no idea what it meant to be infertile. I have come up with a list of some of the lessons life has given me...

I have learned...

1. That the longer and harder I try to concieve, the more pregnant women spring up around me.
2. That living my life in 2 week increments would be the norm.
3. That my cycles would be documented in detail on a chart every month.
4. That PA school didn't really teach me anything about a woman's reproductive cycle.
5. That simply relaxing won't get me pregnant. And it is impossible to "just not think about it."
6. That doing everything right doesn't equal positive results.
7. That one day my husband would know details about my uterus, ovaries, ovulatory cycle, etc.
8. That I wouldn't know how important a baby was to me until it took so long and I realized I
would do anything to make it happen.
9. That it is insensitive and possibly hurtful to ask people when they are going to have a baby.
10. That women who do get pregnant are truly blessed. And it isn't always fair.
11. That medicine and procedures are incredibly expensive and nothing is guaranteed.
12. That it turns out there is nothing in the water at work that will help me conceive.
13. That having dye shot through your fallopian tubes to check for blockages is NOT a pleasant
14. That I would discuss my infertility and cycles with my male friends and feel totally
15. That this would be by far one on the hardest things I would ever go through.
16. That I would become so comfortable with stirrups that I forget that it's actually
17. That infertility makes you feel very alone even if everyone is incredibly supportive.
18. That for the first time in my life, I actually feel like I NEED my husband.
19. That I would avoid our spare bedroom (aka: potential nursery).
20. That I would take more pills a day than most of my elderly patients.
21. That you can actually have 100 cysts on each ovary and not feel them.
22. That I would begin every morning by taking my "basal body" temperature.
23. That I would watch for a change in my "cervical mucus". I know, GROSS!
24. That complete strangers on infertility blogs would become some of my best friends.
25. That I would avoid public get togethers- showers, parties, etc. for fear of how many people
would ask me about having a baby.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Still Nothing...

Nothing has happened yet and it's now been 9 days, so Dr. Haas is having me come to see him on Monday morning at 7:30 (SO early) for another ultrasound and labwork to decide why my body isn't responding like it should. I'm not so sure why I need to have a cycle before we do the surgery, considering that the surgery is meant to restore my natural cycles. So, I'll let you all know what happens on Monday! Pray that I will not have to take another round of Provera as I am not sure if I could handle it again so quickly, nor can Aaron...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Patience: Not my Greatest Trait

Well, I am still waiting on the provera to do it's job which usually only takes 2 days. This time, we're already at day 5. Of course, the month that I am most eager to move forward, my body would put on the brakes... So I became one of those patients who can't help but call their doctor for stupid stuff.

Maybe I earned a phone call for all of the stupid messages I get every day. Examples of such messages: What other ways can you catch chlamydia? (NO- it does not come from toilet seats!!!) I think I had a stroke/heart attack, what should I do? (The ER is there for a reason.) How do I treat a mosquito bite? (Who cares?) So, maybe my phone call isn't all that ridiculous, but their answer to me was essentially to wait it out. If nothing happens by Thursday, I'm to call them then. Not that they'll be able to do anything about it since they are closed this Friday. But I guess just for fun. That way they can tell me to call them again on Monday.

In other news, I survived my baby-filled weekend without any meltdowns, temper tantrums or tears. I was more than relieved that all I really felt was excitement for my pregnant friends. I truly do not wish anyone else to deal with this, however, misery loves company. So I'm always worried that I'm going to lose my cool... So, if my body ever decides to get with the program here, I'll let you know what the next step is!!!

P.S. If you haven't gotten a chance to read the comments posted, please read the ones after the last post. One of my dear friends has actually stolen my thunder and is taking over my blog with his wittiness. I've asked him to be my "ghost writer", which would be far more entertaining than me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Welcome to my Pity Party

Okay, so I'm having one of those days where I'm feeling a little sorry for myself which I hate!!! Luckily it hasn't brought on tears which really makes me mad, but still I don't like feeling this way so I'm hoping to leave those feelings here. I think it all started yesterday when I had to go shop for a baby gift. The baby section at Target or Wal-mart is kinda like a dead animal on the side of the road. You don't want to look at it, but curiosity gets the best of you and you can't help yourself. So I usually try to avoid it, but when you're shopping for a baby gift, it makes it difficult.

It's amazing how differently I view this section now. A year ago, it made my heart race, my palms sweat and I almost felt dizzy and nauseated. Now, my heart feels heavy and longing looking at the adorable tiny clothes and soft blankets and cuddly bears. (stuffed of course). I try to focus on the price of the diapers or formula, but my doctor's appointments cost way more than a round of the essentials so that doesn't even work. Plus, I have had 9 pelvic exams/ultrasounds/blood draws this year alone which I'm fairly certain is worse than most pregnancies... And I am always happy for the person who is having a baby, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel a little left out of something great! It's like watching all of your friends go on a really cool trip and you're left behind, uninvited. Dang you, ovaries!!!

On a more positive note, I want to say thank you so much to everyone who has sent me a message either on here or my e-mail or myspace. You have said the most wonderful things and given me so much love and encouragement. This is obviously one of the toughest things we've ever dealt with, but each time someone reminds us that they're thinking about us or praying for us, it lightens the load we feel. What an amazing group of friends we have been blessed with! Some of you remind me that something good will come of this, others express their own anger and sadness over our situation, and some even offer me their functional eggs or uterus if I need them. So, I thank you all so much for surrounding us in comfort, encouragement and love.

I should find out more on my surgery at the beginning of next week, so I'll definitely let you all know more then. Until then, I have some baby showering to do...