Now there’s a balloon in my uterus.

I know you all are just dying to know about that measly old troll from my uterus. Well, I had surgery a few days ago and this is what we found:

Troll- Dora

Oh no, wait. That’s the grumpy old troll from Dora. That chick is flippin every where in this house.

I’m not going to show you the real pictures of my uterine troll because that would be weird. And gross. And really weird. Instead I’ll just tell you what they saw.

*If you all have been following my story, you know that I went in for a diagnostic/operative hysteroscopy. Basically they dilated me and shoved a camera up there to see all that there was to see in the holy land.  If they found something they had to removed or needed to repair, they were going to do so. Check out the link above to read how we got here so far, and about my journey through recurrent pregnancy loss*

So after a comfortable 4 hour wait where I couldn’t eat or drink anything (and hadn’t since midnight before, and J didn’t eat in front of me because he’s awesome like that/I would have probably jumped him) we finally went back for surgery. But then we waited another hour or two until I *actually* went back to surgery. In between that time the rookie anesthesiologist just about made me faint from trying to insert my IV. Great start.

Finally they give me my cocktail for a med induced nap, and I’m out before I really recognize that I’m in the OR. About 45 minutes later (or so they say) I was in recovery. Easy-peasy.

Well, not so much. I really, truly thought that this surgery would be like my D&C. They’d go in there, grab what they needed to, be out and I would have virtually no pain. Not-uh, not this time. I woke up feeling like I was in LABOR. I had such bad cramps and the meds they were sticking in my IV were not working. On top of that, my doctor couldn’t get upstairs to talk to me because the Prez himself decided he needed a doctor’s appointment or something because the whole place when on lockdown.

Finally the meds kick in and I’m transferred to discharge. Its another hour or so before the doctor comes up to speak with me about what they found and what they did in there.

J had told me when I was in recovery that the doctor called and said what they had seen in the ultrasound a couple weeks prior was scar tissue. We are assuming its from m D&C because I’ve never had any other surgery that far north. The doctor explained that  they had snipped the tissue and inserted a balloon in there to keep the tissue from reforming where it was before. I go back in a week to have the balloon removed. In the meantime I am on ibuprofen for the pain, as well as Estradiol for the next 30 days to help the healing process.  Eventually I will start taking progesterone and then Provera to help jumpstart my first cycle after surgery. J and I were instructed to wait one full cycle before we start trying again.

I am conflicted in my feelings about the outcome of this surgery. Of course our biggest worry when the doctor said he found an “unidentifiable mass” was  cancer. So its pretty good that its not that. But I also kind of wanted to it be *something* that was maybe causing the miscarriages. As J put it, we wanted a scaepgoat for why all this was happening. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Since the scar tissue probably came from my D&C, it obviously cannot be the reason for the three previous miscarriages. ALL of my labs, and J’s chromosomes, came back normal (except for my MTHFR which they said really isn’t a reason for concern since I only have one mutated copy). So right now, we are deemed as having “unexplained secondary infertility.” At this point we are told to “keep trying.” We have a 50/50 chance of having a successful next pregnancy until miscarriage #6. At that time, the odds go down but I’m not sure how far. I didn’t want to ask.

I feel like we are kind of back to square one. I feel like the surgery wasn’t totally necessary but I’m glad we are taking the steps we need to to make things go smoothly the next time, whenever that may be. As always, the waiting game is the hardest. Its hard to wait until I’m off these meds. Its hard to wait one FULL cycle to start trying. It all sucks, especially when E was so easy.

At least I’m documenting all the work we are doing to give E a sibling so that when/if he/she arrives, they can automatically feel guilty about taking so long.

I kid. Kind of.

PS- Thanks to my awesome parents to helping us with E these past couple days . Recovery would have sucked with out you! And of course, thanks to my amaaaaazing husband for being my biggest shoulder to lean on through all of this. From the days when I’ve been crazy with worry to the nights I have cried myself to sleep, you have been there with chocolate and hugs on hand. I love you!

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Third time is *not* the charm

I’m sorry for my absence in both regular posts and meal planning these past two weeks but our family has been dealing with some, well, sh*tty news. We found out that we are going through our third, yes, THIRD miscarriage in a row. BLEGH.

I wrote an email to some of my family members to tell them about it because the phone call was too hard to make. And its still kind of hard to talk about now so I’m just going to basically relay to you what I told them. If you have just started following me and don’t know about my other two miscarriages, take a look here or just read below. Perhaps one day in the future I will talk more about how I’m feeling and everything, but right now I just don’t feel up to it all.  But I do feel like its important for women to feel like they can talk about their experiences, their hurt, and their losses together so I am sharing with the world what is going on with me. For some reason its reassuring to read other people’s stories if only to learn you’re not alone.

So here it goes….

——————

I am now considered “high risk” because we have hit that magic/awful number of three. Only 1% of women experience repeat or recurrent miscarriages (more than 3 in a row) and now I’m part of that 1%.

The first miscarriage was so early we didn’t even know we were pregnant yet. It happened on Christmas Day and we didn’t realize it was a miscarriage until we got back home  and I got a positive test. My doctor found this odd so we tested my HCG levels and they were dropping. The second miscarriage happened about 5 weeks after that at the end of February. That one was a little later, probably about 6 weeks. When I went to get a confirmation at the doctor’s it came back negative and I knew something was up. After quite a bit of pushing them to do something, they finally drew my levels and they were dropping again. At that point my doctor wasn’t worried. She thought they were both flukes and that maybe my body wasn’t ready so soon after the first miscarriage.

This last pregnancy has been the hardest because its been the longest. I am supposed to be about 8 weeks. We found out at the end of June and everything was going really smoothly (or maybe rough if you asked J- I was a little moody).  I had consistent symptoms and every home pregnancy test I took showed up right away and was really dark, so we were pretty confident things were going well. But we had our first ultrasound yesterday and immediately we knew something was wrong. Nothing came up on the screen. At this point, since my first positive test was a month ago, I knew we should see something but there was nothing there. No fetal pole, no yolk sac, nothing. It has been really, really hard these past couple of days because everything seemed to be going well. Its been a difficult time as you can probably imagine.

Since we  have had so many miscarriages in a row, the doctors think that it is more than just a random event. I got my levels drawn yesterday and I have to get them drawn again to see if they are going down. There are several different factors that can cause repeated miscarriages such as autoimmune diseases, chromosome abnormalities, uterine abnormalities, and low hormone levels. J and I are going to get blood tests done to check all these things. My doctor suspects that they are probably going to come back normal because E was such a textbook pregnancy and birth. She mentioned, and I have read, that 50%-70% of repeated miscarriages are never formally diagnosed with a specific issue.

In order to take precaution with the next pregnancy, whenever that may be and depending on the results of these tests, I will be taking progesterone supplements as well as baby aspirin. Right now we are playing a waiting game to see if I miscarry naturally again or if I need to take other measures such as medication or surgery. Since no baby grew at all and my body still hasn’t miscarried naturally, we are leaning towards surgery because there is a risk of infection. One other scary and fatal cause of nothing being seen at all in my uterus at the ultrasound is an ectopic pregnancy. The doctors don’t think its ectopic but they aren’t totally ruling it out.

So right now we are just waiting to get test results back and decide how we want things to proceed in terms of expanding our family. I will share as things progress.

We appreciate any prayers, good thoughts, good vibes, etc that you can send our way.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting me in all this craziness.

To Honor the Fallen: April 15th to April 22nd, 2013

This week the nation experienced tragic terrorist activity in Boston during the Patriot Day Marathon at the hands of two young brothers. We mourn with the country for those that were killed and injured. Our hearts are saddened for everyone who had to witness that terrible act and the chaos that followed immediatley after and during the manhunt in Watertown, MA.

I am happy to state that no military service members were killed this week in OEF. However, I will be listing the names of those lost at the Boston Marathon bombing. If you would like to help and/or donate to the families of those who lost loved ones, please click their names below. If you would like to help or to those that were seriously injured, please click here and scroll down to “General Funds.”

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If you haven’t read these posts before:

Every Monday I will write the names of those service members that have been KIA or pronounced as POWs in the past week in order to honor and remember them.

April is the month of the Military Child. Please say an extra prayer for those children who lost their parents this week and in the past.

If you know of someone who has been KIA or pronounced a POW in the last week that I did not mention below or if you would like a loved one written on a post that was KIA or POW’d in the past, I would be happy to add them. Please comment or email me at barefootandboots at gmail dot com.

Boston, MA

April 15, 2013

Martin Richard, 8

Lu Lingzi, 23

Krystle Campbell, 29

Sean Collier, 26

To those that have lost loved ones and who are dealing with the pain of healing from this horrible tragedy- we are thinking about you and praying for you.

To Honor the Fallen: April 8th to April 15th, 2013

Every Monday I will write the names of those service members that have been KIA or pronounced as POWs in the past week in order to honor and remember them.

April is the month of the Military Child. Please say an extra prayer for those children who lost their parents this week and in the past.

If you know of someone who has been KIA or pronounced a POW in the last week that I did not mention below or if you would like a loved one written on a post that was KIA or POW’d in the past, I would be happy to add them. Please comment or email me at barefootandboots at gmail dot com.

Afghanistan

April 9, 2013

CWO2 Jarret Yoder, 27, US Army National Guard

CWO3 Matthew Rufner, 34, US Army National Guard

The names below are those that were KIA last week but not yet identified by the media at the time of publishing:

April 6, 2013

Specialist Deflin M. Santos Jr., 24, US Army

Specialist Wibel A. Robles-Santa, 25, US Army

Staff Sergent Christopher M. Ward, 24, US Army

To those who have lost loved ones- those of us in the military community are thinking of you, praying for you, and grieving with you.

To Honor the Fallen: April 1st to April 8th, 2013

Every Monday I will write the names of those service members that have been KIA or pronounced as POWs in the past week in order to honor and remember them.

April is the month of the Military Child. Please say an extra prayer for those children who lost their parents this week and in the past.

If you know of someone who has been KIA or pronounced a POW in the last week that I did not mention below or if you would like a loved one written on a post that was KIA or POW’d in the past, I would be happy to add them. Please comment or email me at barefootandboots at gmail dot com.

Afghanistan

April 5th, 2013

Capt. Michael Steele, 29, US Air Force

April 6th, 2013

Anne Smedinghoff, 25, US Diplomat

6 US troops and 3 US civilians, names not yet released

 

 

To those who have lost love ones- we are thinking of you and praying for you. Those of us in the military community grieve with you.

Empty Arms

Late last week my husband and I were talking about my absolute compulsion to take pregnancy tests. Honestly, I should be on that show, “My Strange Addiction.” I AM ONE OF THEM. Maybe not exactly the crazy chalk eating lady or the guy that is “married” to his life-like doll, but I’m bordering on that level.

People, I could be on TV. Even more famous than I already am. Move over, Kim K.

On a more serious note: Even though we want to give my body a rest from the past two miscarriages, I still have pregnancy on my brain. ALL. THE. TIME. I analyze and over-analyze-and then analyze again the next day- every little thing that is going on with my body. Most daily decisions I make are based on the *possibility* that I could be pregnant- do I have that glass (or 3) of wine, should I push myself for that extra mile run, should I really get an extra shot in my coffee, should I really being doing sit-ups and planks? AHHHHHH.

So J and I discussed it and its no way for me to live. For us to live. Pregnancy tests (even the dollar ones) get expensive when you take 4 in 10 days <—-truth. Its becoming a point of contention in our marriage because all I want to do is just take a quick test whereas he thinks I’m driving myself crazy by doing this. He also pointed out that even if the test is positive, I’m going to go crazy taking test after test after test just to *make sure* everything’s ok, probably until the baby pops out. Damn him and his rightness!

Seriously, though, he’s right. I’m driving myself BONKERS and him, too. Sometimes I forget that he’s just as anxious and worried as I am that maybe another child isn’t in the card for us. Sometimes I forget that there are two of us waiting for those two lines, not just me. Talking about it really helped, but it also brought up alot of emotions I didn’t really expect to feel.

I thought I was doing ok with these 2 miscarriages. I was heartbroken and I cried when they happened, but after a day or so I felt better and I felt as if I was moving on. We had alot going on this past month with house-hunting so even though I thought about the miscarriages it wasn’t to grieve. I would think of them in logical terms like, “Ok, it happened. Twice. That sucks but we’re moving on and you won’t do this, this, or this with the next pregnancy.”

In talking with J though, I started to get upset. I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and my mind drifted to two little angel babies. They were wrapped in blue with their little angel wings. They were curled up next to each other, spooning, and I was holding both of them as I slept. Oh dear Lordy did I cry. I cried and cried and cried. I’m sure if the lights were on it would have been an ugly cry. I cried hard when I found out I was miscarrying and I cried hard when the miscarriage passed, but this was different. I was picturing these two squishy, innocent babies lying there with me but no one was there. My arms literally felt heavy and empty. I needed something to fill them so I did the absolute no-no in parenting- I woke up my sleeping child.

I just had to hold E. I needed to hold my baby, to see her sleeping peacefully and listen to her breathe. I wanted to feel her little squirms and remember her little baby cries. As I watched her I cried some more because I knew I wouldn’t see the faces of my two angels until I get to Heaven. I will never get to hold them. I will never get to hear their baby cries. For the first time I really felt as if I lost my babies not my pregnancies. My babies.

Days like that are hard, but I guess they’re necessary. Maybe it seems silly to some because both pregnancies were very early when I lost them, but to me they will always be my babies.

BAHH, I’m such a sap sometimes. Off to take another pregnancy test *skips happily away*

JUST KIDDING. But only because Aunt Flo arrived. Stupid dream crusher. Damn you, Aunt Flo, damn you *shakes fist at uterus*

To Honor the Fallen: March 25, 2013 to March 31, 2013

Given the difficult week that the Marine Corps had recently in losing 10 service members on the homefront, I decided that every Monday I will write the names of those service members that have been KIA or pronounced as POWs in the past week in order to honor and remember them.

April is the month of the Military Child. Please say an extra prayer for those children who lost their parents this week and in the past.

If you know of someone who has been KIA or pronounced a POW in the last week that I did not mention below or if you would like a loved one written on a post that was KIA or POW’d in the past, I would be happy to add them. Please comment or email me at barefootandboots at gmail dot com.

Afghanistan

Sgt. Michael Cable, 26, US Army

Arizona- March 28, 2013

Special Warfare Operations Chief Brett D. Shadle, 31, Seal Team 6

To the families that lost their loved ones, you are not forgotten and the military community is grieving with you.

To Honor the Fallen

It has been a hard week for the United States Marine Corps. We have lost ten service members while they were stateside. Seven were killed in a training accident involving a mortar, and three were killed in a murder-suicide.

There is not much I can say to relate to the friends and families that have lost their dear loved ones. I have not experienced anything remotely close to what they are experiencing. I am terribly saddened for them.

The news of these Marines’ deaths brings back the feelings I had when I heard of helicopter accident in Yuma, Arizona last year. We lost 7 men that night, and all I could think about was the families who were receiving those CACO Marines at their door thinking, “No, you have the wrong house. He’s home. It can’t be him.”

I think most military spouses feel the same way I do when I hear about the death of a service member- although you may not know the family, you feel an odd closeness to them. You feel as if you know them. You want to cry with them, hug them, and let you know you are there to support them because you know it could be you in their shoes. You literally buckle at the knees at the thought of hearing the gunshots and song at their military funeral. You hurt for them because you are just like them.

However, in reading the news about the recent tragedies the USMC has experienced over the last week, it dawned on me that even though this is a horrible tragedy, why aren’t we giving equal recognition to those service members that are dying overseas? When the war started TEN YEARS AGO it was news when service members were killed. Nowadays, however, you only hear more if you live in the local area of a KIA. On a national level, you may hear that x number of service members were killed, but then they move on to Lindsey Lohan’s latest DUI.

I guess that’s the way of the world though. Unless you are military or have a loved one in the military, these losses aren’t nearly as important as other trending news. It’s not right, and I don’t think it does justice to any of the service members who signed their name on that dotted line or their families.

I can’t change what the news puts out there. But I can do something to honor the fallen, even if it is through my little blog that only a few people see. I have decided that each Monday I will scour the news for the names of those killed in action or reported as POWs for that past week, and list them on my blog. It’s not much, but it’s my way of honoring those who sacrificed it all. Maybe, hopefully, one day I won’t have anyone’s names to write.

To Honor the Fallen

March 18, 2013- Hawthorne, Nevada

Aaron Ripperda, 26, USMC

Lance Cpl. Josh Taylor, 21, USMC

Robert Muchnick, 23, USMC

Pfc. Josh Martino, 19, USMC

Lance Cpl. William Tyler Wild, IV, 21, USMC

Lance Cpl. David Fenn, 20, USMC

Lance Cpl. Mason Vanderwork, 21, USMC

March 22, 2013- Quantico, VA

Cpl. Jacob Wooley, 23, USMC

Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, USMC

Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, 25, USMC

March 21, 2013- Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class James Floyd Grissom, 31, US Special Forces

Please leave a comment to honor the fallen. Any comments that are disrespectful will be removed at my discrestion. Please email me at barefootandboots at gmail dot com if I have missed a fallen service member for the week, or if you would like me to add a service member that was KIA or POW previously. Thank you.

The post that you may never see.

Except of you’re reading this you’re obviously seeing it. But as I sit here and type I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it. I know I can’t right now. Its all too fresh.

This is going to be a long post so you better get a comfy seat and some snacks. You know how women get when they’re all sad and stuff- its all cry, cry, cry, and talk, talk, talk. And we might take a breath to eat a spoonful of Ben and Jerry’s.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my and J’s journey up the fallopian tube river of trying to concieve. But God forgot/didn’t want to give us a paddle and now we’re swimming in some sh*tty creek. And now I’m part of some statistic that I never thought I’d be a part of: miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

Three weeks after J had gotten back from deployment he left for a seven week course 3 hours away from home. Needless to say, the baby making time was minimal. When he got home at the end of October, it was on. But nothing happened. On Christmas Eve we flew across the country to spend the holidays with my family, and I kept thinking how cool it would be to tell everyone Christmas Day that we were pregnant. Our flight was at the azz crack of dawn so while J was packing up the car with my 32984934 bags (I’m a light packer) I decided to take a pregnancy test. I went to go put Evelyn in the car and planned to check it before we left. Well, I forgot. And I think God was looking out for me because it ended up being a good thing.

On Christmas Day I got a visitor: Aunt Flo. Again, I had no idea she was coming because she always shows up unexpectantly. Rude. So I chalked it up to not being pregnant and we went about our time with our family as usual. When we got back home from our visit, I felt kind of funny and I had some spotting (my “period” had stopped by then) so I took a test- positive! We were EXSTATIC. I texted my brother and sister-in-law who are expecting and we told my parents via Facetime by having Evelyn wear a big sister shirt. We wanted to keep it mostly to ourselves though until we had it confirmed. It was amazing and we were really happy it was finally happening.

The next day I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy so I could get a referral to OB. I told her about my period on Christmas and she seemed worried. We got my beta levels checked and sure enough, they were declining. That “period” that I thought had happened on Christmas Day was actually me miscarrying and the hormones were just still in my body. We were crushed. I cried alot over it and I couldn’t believe it had happened to me. I was angry and upset and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Oddly enough though, I was actually thankful that I didn’t know it was happening when it was happening. Igorance is bliss.

My nurse told me that since it was such an early miscarriage that we didn’t need to wait to try again. So I got my period about a week later and we were off and running to see what the furture held for us.

I wrote that post about trying to conceive on a Wednesday or Thursday. I hadn’t shared the miscarriage because I wasn’t sure I wanted to, and I felt alot better about it. That following Saturday I got another positive. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe it! I was pregnant again ALREADY. We were so very happy that we were blessed with another chance. We felt confident and excited. We told my parents and a few close friends (because someone, achem, J, can’t keep anything exciting to himself!) but we still wanted to make sure things were going ok before we yelled it out to the world.

I went that Monday to get it confirmed. I had the same nurse as last time and I could tell as soon as she called me back that she thought I was some crazy lady who is making up my pregnancies. She said the urianalysis was negative. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I had taken 4 tests, all positive. Either she didn’t believe me or she didn’t care. She told me to come back in ten days to test again. I asked her for a blood test, to retest the urine sample, to come back later and she told me no. no. no. Come back in ten days. I walked out heartbroken and PISSED but I was still confident that I would come back in ten days and rub my positive pee stick all up in her face. Not literally. Only in my mind.

Well, about a week later I decided to be that crazy pregnant lady and take another test. It took FOREVER to come up and was super faint. I freaked. After taking 2 more tests that day, I felt a little better because they had gotten darker but I still knew something was up. So I called the next day to leave a message for my doctor. I went on a huge runaround with the nurses and receptionists (which I will explain at a later date if I ever post this), and I finally just went in. They didn’t want to draw my betas but finally I got the nurse to speak with my actual doctor and they ordered the blood test for me.

Anyone who has every had their betas drawn or anything other test done where you have to wait DAYS to get the results knows how much the wait sucks. I was nervous, anxious, I couldn’t sleep. My first beta came back low- 173. I knew this was bad, but I couldn’t help but hold out a tiny bit of hope. My second betas were worse- 149. So it was confirmed. I was miscarrying a second time, in a row, in 2.5 months.

Even though I knew it was happening after my first beta came back, I was crushed. I cried. Alot. For what seemed like an hour. How is this happening to me? FOR A SECOND TIME IN A ROW?! Why is this happening? We want this baby, we would love this baby. We want to give E a sibling, we want to expand our family. What did I do wrong? Is it me? Why is God letting this happen when all I’ve done is pray for this baby?

At this point, I feel like I am failing- my body is failing, I’m failing my husband, I’m failing E, I’m failing myself. I’m afraid it will never happen for us- that I will never be able to keep another pregnancy again. I’m afraid to try again because I’m afraid its going to fail. I don’t want to go through the emotional rollercoaster again.

I know others have it alot worse than us- they’ve had more losses, late losses, or aren’t able to get pregnant at all. And I know that it happens to alot of people, and many of those people go on to have successful pregnancies. One of my closest friends who has her unfair share of loss told me that when she was going through this she felt the same way, and she didn’t understand why it was happening. But now that she has her adorable child, she understands. I know hindsight is 20/20. But right now my vision is blurred by tears and fury.

We will keep trying. I don’t know when, but I know that my desire to have more children is stronger than my fear of miscarrying. I’m scared, I’m worried, and I hate that this is happening to our family. But I am also still confident in God’s plan for us. I don’t know the reason for this, and I may never know. Maybe He is testing me, trying to make me realize that He is in control. Maybe he wants me to have more time with E by herself. Maybe He has big plans for our next child, and it wasn’t their time to come into the world yet. I don’t know. I guess I have to trust Him. But its not easy right now.

A special thanks to everyone who has been there and supported me through this- my friends, my neighbors, my parents, my family. But a huge HUGE thank you to my husband. You have been unbelievably strong, supportive, confident, and loving in this very painful time for us. You have been my rock. You have given me your shoulder to cry on and you have literally held me up when I want to fall down and crumble. You are my everything and I love you with everything in my heart, soul, and being.

Please feel free to share your story below if you’d like. Please don’t feel as if you need to post condolences, that’s not what I wrote this for. Thanks for listening/reading.

Editor’s note (duh, I’m the editor): It has only been days since my second miscarriage happened. Not even a week. But after talking with J and with some friends, I decided I needed some closure. Another one of my friends (who reminded me that this is a perfect time to cherish what I have with E as an only child) reminded me that miscarriage and pregnancy loss is somewhat taboo- people don’t talk about it, and I think it needs to be talked about. The care I recieved from my medical team has been less than stellar and I know I’m not the only one. If anything, I hope that I can get people to realize that they should not be afraid to ask questions and push their care providers for the appropriate care. I think that in the military healthcare system, many women get pushed aside and they feel as if this isn’t a big deal because the doctors make them feel that way. But it is. You have lost a life, a child. Its heartbreaking and difficult. So if you’re reading this and going through something similiar, I hope it inspires you to get the care you deserve if you aren’t already getting it.