My OB thinks at least part of my pain, with where it’s been located, may be a cyst. If I remember when I have my ultrasound in a couple of weeks I’ll ask them to let me know if they see any cysts, or any signs that one has popped or anything.
The other thing is that we discussed how to keep me from having another pregnancy, because 1) we have three (human) kids so that’s enough for us (one with us year round, two with us every summer for now, though hopefully eventually we’ll be closer and have them more), and 2) another pregnancy, whether it lasted or not, would obviously not be a good idea for me, mentally, physically or emotionally. Since the hospital my OB works out of (the closest one other than the one in the town we live in – which has no OBs) is a Mercy hospital she can’t perform a tubal litigation there. However at her office she can do this procedure in her office 6 weeks postpartum, and 3 months after that it should be permanent. I can’t tell you how much that eases my mind. It’s not that I don’t want more kids, it’s that this pregnancy, it’s been enough for me without going through it again. And I wouldn’t want to go through even more miscarriages trying to get another pregnancy to stick again… I’m just not strong enough. Plus, as I said, three is a good number for us.
I think I’ve covered everything from yesterday now…..

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This is such a weird place to be. To quote a blog post by Busted Kate “It was so easy for me to laugh at my infertility… yes, it was a lot of pain for so many years. But I felt comfortable there, I knew what to expect from it. I could have a sense of humor about it.
Now I’m in uncharted territory. And I feel like I’m a stranger in a strange land. I’m getting to the end of the first trimester–a landmark that I had almost convinced myself would never come. So why can’t I settle in? Why do I still feel like an Infertile in maternity clothing? ” … it’s an odd.. I almost want to say limbo, but I’m not quite sure that’s the right word. I’m pregnant right now, but I keep waiting for someone to tell me it was just a joke and I’m not pregnant anymore, I was just dreaming or something. I’m in such a strange place here… further than I’ve ever made it before… completely uncharted territory here. And I keep waiting for the same old thing (miscarriage) to happen again. Also, as much as I hate to say it, I was comfortable there, at least in that I knew what to expect. It wasn’t a comfortable place, most days I was crying over it rather than finding humor (though there was humor some days as well), but it was someplace where I knew what to expect. There is a part of me that is terrified and waiting for a miscarriage, and there is a part of me that wants to shoot to the world that I’m pregnant and everything is going to be alright this time. I go back and forth on which side is winning day to day. Today is a day where I’m split between the two pretty evenly… I’m happy and excited, but I’m also scared to get too excited. I will be 10 weeks on Monday… 5 weeks further than I’ve ever been before!!!! 😀 I am still in shock over having made it this far!
I just lost my train of thought so I’ll post more later, maybe on this topic, maybe a post to catch everyone up on how my trip went! 🙂 (And the ER visit, don’t worry everything is still fine… just needed to be checked!)

Or as our son says (and would probably say if he were he here with us and saw the title of this post) “Am I in Mario Land?” (because he LOVES mario games, and makes art of all sorts of Mario characters)..

Hopefully my hands are up to this task! I have other posts running around still, this is the one that is pushing to get out, so I guess I’d better let it.

This isn’t a complaint, rather the opposite in fact, it’s just surprising and amazing and incredible to me.

My friends are once again showing how incredible they are. This is not to say they aren’t always incredible, but a couple of friends have recently touched me in ways I can’t begin to describe. A lot of the people who actively chat with me over my facebook page or who keep in touch with me in other ways or read my blog or what have you are kindred spirits in the health/IF realm. Not all of them are, but a lot are. So they understand what I’m talking about, even if they don’t feel exactly how I do physically or about things, they generally have experienced similar things. My friends who haven’t faced these struggles (especially IF, where there are a TON of acronyms and things to get confused on) get left behind a lot with the conversations. One friend has been awesome about asking questions, both about the situation, about what we are thinking of doing if the current treatment plan doesn’t work out, about adoption, etc, and really listening and wanting to learn! Another friend sent me a message last night letting me know that she is seriously considering being an egg donor. With it being National Infertility Awareness Week, and with my struggles, she thought I’d like to know. I’ve shared links to other infertiles blogs, and shared my own story on facebook (semi-extensively) and it’s nice to see that this is becoming a more talked about topic, and that people who aren’t “one of us” want to know more and help. I’ve also had a couple of friends who have offered to be surrogates for me if it were to come to that (and if we had the money and so on)…. it’s been incredible.

Ladies (and gentlemen though you haven’t been very vocal) I want to thank you all so much for all the support, all the questions asked, all the interest in learning about all of this that you have given! It means the world to me, and to others out there dealing with fertility issues I’m sure!

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A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. – Eleanor Roosevelt

I like this quote, which one of my aunt’s posted as a facebook status last night, and which inspired me to write this. I know a lot of really strong women, and they’ve gone through a lot of really hot water that has made them show that strength. A lot of my friends say I’m a strong woman too… and although my feeling is that I”m just playing with the hand I was dealt and living the best I can, I suppose if I were watching someone else walk my life I’d call them strong, so looking at it that way I guess I can agree that I’m strong.

A few weeks ago (I think that’s the timeline) a friend and I were discussing one of the photos I still have from my wedding with my ex husband.

The above photo is the one being discussed. It’s a (now deceased) family friend and I, who I used to be a parttime caregiver for. I would go to his house between college classes a couple days a week and make sure he had enough water, if he needed food I’d prepare it for him and give it to him, we’d sit and watch tv together, etc. The friend I was discussing it with commented that I looked really happy and healthy in the photo. I then mentioned that none of my diagnoses were made (other than the allergies I had at the time) until after that period in time. At that point she said something about how hard it must be to deal with all of it coming on so quickly… which led to me making the list of all of the diagnoses in the past 5 years that I’m about to share.

I was diagnosed with endo Nov. 2005, Fibro and my vulvar and vaginal issues in Dec. 2006, the bladder condition (IC/Interstitial Cystitis) in Jan. 2007, I was told I’d end up with lupus (due to already having signs, just not enough of the diagnostic criteria was met yet) in March or April 2007, and diagnosed with lupus tentatively in Nov. 2008, and positively in Dec. 2008.

That seems like a lot of hot water. I’d also like to say that I have had allergies since I was a child, I had asthma as a teen (which is now in remission and has been for the past 7 years almost, but is still certainly there under the surface) and I have dealt with becoming ill more easily than most for a long time (stupid autoimmune issues). Also – 4 miscarriages in 2ish years. That’s just the health and health related stuff too, it doesn’t include the stuff that has happened in my personal life (some messes I got myself into as a teen, some messes with my parents, sexual harassment (or was it abuse or somewhere in between? I don’t know how to define it, although marital rape is a good word for at least some of it) and verbal abuse from my ex, leaving my ex, and so on)…. but each thing has made me stronger. That’s part of why I say I wouldn’t change any of it. Oh there has been a lot of stuff I’d never want to go through again… but it’s made me.. well.. me. And it’s made me strong. The fact it’s made me strong and I know I can survive, and have more of a fighting spirit towards adversity than I ever expected is part of why I’m …. why I wouldn’t change it. I can’t say I’m glad to have gone through all of it, but I’m glad for how it has shaped me. That water has been very hot, but it’s also made me a stronger person, and in some ways (though I realize I can be very bitter) it’s made me a sweeter person as well, in that I am more compassionate towards others than I think I ever could have been without going through this stuff.

Sonja and Sara gave me the head’s up about Project IF a couple of days ago, which is also being discussed on SIF’s wonderful blog frog community (sorry about all of the links I just want to share these wonderful ladies and the community with you!) … it’s a wonderful project for those who are dealing with infertility and fertility issues. It’s also a wonderful project for those who haven’t dealt with them to learn about how the questions that are so wondered about by us. I dare you (whether you are fertile or infertile or somewhere in between) to not end up teary while reading the responses. There are some very powerful responses in there. Also (to quote the post about the project) Since I was honoured last year with their first best blog award at Resolve’s Night of Hope, I get to introduce and help organize Resolve’s spring advocacy project, which will choose this year’s winner of the Hope Award for Best Blog at the 2010 Night of Hope. (….) All blogs and bloggers who participate in Project IF will be eligible to be considered for the Hope Award for Best Blog, presented at the 2010 Night of Hope.

I posted 3 IFs so far…. I’d like to share them here as well.

What if I can’t get a pregnancy past 5 weeks? …. this is a big one since with four pregnancies so far 5 weeks is the furthest we’ve gotten.

What if I never get to say “hello” until I’m saying goodbye? This is an even bigger one… each time I’ve been pregnant I’ve found out as I was miscarrying… so I’ve never even adjusted to being pregnant before I’m already losing that pregnancy. In fact I haven’t even known until that horrible bleeding starts, so it’s already gone before I even get to say “hi”…. if that makes sense.

What if I never get to tell Johnny “I’m pregnant” before I’m telling him “I”m miscarrying”? That’s the way it’s been going… I don’t find out I’m pregnant until I’m miscarrying. This one is the hardest! Each time I’ve told Johnny “I’m miscarrying” and that’s how he’s found out also. The last one I think I said “Well I was pregnant” rather than “I’m miscarrying” but the pregnancy was still past tense. 😦 I am so sick of telling him this…. and even more sick of knowing it myself. 😦

I didn’t end up with that migraine thankfully, though I have had headaches on and off since. I managed to rest enough right after I started feeling the effects to keep it from going to a full blown migraine.
I have been much more calm and at peace this time around with the miscarriage, which is definitely a miscarriage and not just a late or bad period. That is not to be confused with unemotional or unaffected, I am still very upset, but I have been able to not freak out as much. The miscarriages last year caused me to really freak out and I was in a state of panic on top of all the other emotions, then I’d panic more because of the emotions not calming down, which would cause my emotions to become even stronger, which in turn would panic me more and so on. With all that panicking I wasn’t communicating well with Johnny, either in terms of what I needed, or in terms of understanding what he was trying to say to me, I kept overreacting to him. In turn he wasn’t communicating well with me, and it was just a big mess. Also, the second time last year I was freaked out by how much I was bleeding, the way I was still having pain and bleeding, and (after I saw my doctor) that I had to go to the hospital, and that he suspected I’d need a D&C. Johnny wasn’t able to go to the hospital with me due to work, and I knew that was the case, but it had me really upset with him. (He’d been out of work a lot due to his hip and was on the verge of some trouble, as well as the fact he’s our only income and with him missing so much work his checks had been really low.) I must brag on him for a minute though…. even though he couldn’t go with me to the hospital and he and I were upset with each other he made sure to get things set for whatever I would need when I got home. He had my pjs laid out for me, he had the couch set up so I could lay there if I needed to, he had a laptop on the couch for me, and he had my spot in bed ready for me. He’d also made sure to make comfort foods available to me (the ones we had any way) and greeted me with a hug when I got home and let him know I was back. He was obviously concerned, but there were circumstances that made it so he couldn’t go with me. This time around, since I’ve been calmer, he’s not been so freaked out by how freaked out I’ve been, and we’ve been communicating better I’ve had a lot more support in person. He hasn’t said that those are the reasons he’s been more supportive, vs less supportive last time, but looking back on those experiences, and how he’s reacted when I’ve been so freaked out by other things, that’s what was going on there. This time I’ve had back rubs, lots of cuddles, him just being around for me, and understanding if I need to let it all out. We’ve also been watching movies together, and lots of cuddles while sleeping (this generally doesn’t happen due to our pain and the locations of the pain, it’s very difficult for both of us to lay in a way that allows long term cuddles). And, after I received some money that was not set up for a specific purpose and needed for bills we were able to get the new Final Fantasy video game, so I’ve been playing that quite a bit, both as a distraction and because I enjoy those games. It’s just been a …. I don’t want to say better, but I’m not sure what else to use… different (?) experience all around. Still painful physically and emotionally, but things have been different this time as far as support and it’s just all been … easier I suppose.

Edit: the reason I felt the need to brag on Johnny for doing what he did when I was at the hospital was due to the fact although we hadn’t argued per se we had some pretty major disagreements over him not going to the dr with me, then not going to the hospital with me, and neither of us were happy with the other….. so it meant that much more to me that he did it.