Saturday, August 28, 2010

skipping beats

People often talked about how their heart skipped a beat to describe falling in love or being shocked by something.

Mine is literally skipping beats.

It just started out of the blue on Thursday night. It did it again yesterday afternoon and this afternoon.

It is making me nervous, even though I know that, often, arrhythmias are completely benign. In fact, III has one.

But that it came on so quickly and has continued is making me think all sorts of worst case scenarios.

Nothing specifically stressful has happened this week that might trigger it... could it be the last year catching up with me?

Luckily, I have my yearly physical on Monday, so I will be able to talk to my doctor then.

In the meantime, I'm just trying to chill out about it.

*breathe in*
*breathe out*
*breathe in*
*breathe out*

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pain in the...

I'm having some right side pain... I'm wondering if it's ovulation pain. I don't tend to get it, but I don't know what else it could be. (Who am I kidding. I have an anxiety disorder. There are plenty of ideas floating around in my head about what it could be, but I'm trying to be all zen and rational here...)

It is completely possible it is ovulation time. It's hard to know for sure, because my surgery kind of blurred when my period came this month... but it seemed like I was getting it on the day of my surgery, and yesterday (when the pain started) was 18 days since my surgery. I typically ovulate on day 17, so it's not unrealistic that it could be.

But... why would I have pain now when I don't usually?

In other news, my doc wasn't super clear about how long we had to wait after my surgery to have sex... a lot of my restrictions were 2 weeks, but there was some question about whether we should wait 4. On Thursday (2 weeks), III asked whether we could. That day I had realized I still can't do certain ab exercises yet without pain, so I was a little nervous and told him maybe we should wait another week.

Last night I decided I was over waiting. So I came into the bedroom and told III. He said "I thought we were waiting another week..." I said "I changed my mind." He said "Well, I didn't know....I already...." Damn! Luckily, he was up for another round. ;) So I guess things are almost back to normal since the surgery. LOL

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stuck in the middle...

I was in Ko.hls the other day, shopping for some clothes. (We sent two boxes of stuff home before we knew we'd be staying, and I'm very short on t-shirts.) As went looking for a slim fitting t-shirt that wasn't too tight or too short, I realized- I feel like I'm in this weird place where I'm too old for Juniors, but too young for Misses. (At least the Misses they sell at Ko.hls.)

In the car on the way home from visiting FIL, III and I were talking about how we feel that way about our life right now. III's cousin and her husband are still in that early marriage phase where they're are kind of "playing house" and exploring their neighborhood. His closest friends out here have kids. We're floating somewhere in the middle... We're settled in to our lives and ready for kids, but... we don't have any.

There's the 'expected' path you follow (especially out here where we grew up), and we're stalled between two stages.

Back home, we have 2 other couples with whom we are friendly who are in a similar boat. Luckily, we are able to see them fairly regularly. But this summer, being out here away from our usual group of friends it's felt really obvious. And really lonely.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This month marks two years since our first visit with the RE. So I figured it was a good one to participate in ICLW.

So if you are new, welcome! To catch you up...

We were initially diagnosed with unexplained infertility. After 4 IUIs, 2 IVFs and a miscarriage, we had further testing and found out my husband, III, has a chromosomal inversion. (You can read more about that by clicking the link to the right.) 1 FET, 1 more IVF, and another miscarriage later, I had a laparoscopic myomectomy to remove a fibroid. (More info also to the right.)

So here we are... I'm currently two weeks past my surgery and recovering well. Aside from ART stuff, we've been dealing with the poor health of my FIL. We packed up our two boxer dogs and drove 16 hours to spend the summer with him and the rest of III's family. Two days before we were to head back home, we got a late night call that my FIL had a match, and he underwent a heart transplant. So we're staying for another month. I've taken a leave of absence from my job as a math teacher for the year, and am feeling a bit untethered...

So now you're caught up! Happy ICLW! I look forward to reading some new blogs and 'meeting' some new bloggers. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My very own I.tchy and Scr.atchy show!

Today is 2 weeks since my surgery, and I have healed very well. I'm working out with my trainer and moving around fine. My steri strips came off this week.


Oh. My. God.

The itch.

I'm so f-ing itchy!!!! SO ITCHY! Especially around my belly button and the incision above my pubic bone.

Nothing helps. The nurse I spoke to suggested just to put lotion on it. That makes it worse. (It's actually a bit LESS itchy when dry.) I've tried* lotion, oatmeal lotion, aloe, cream, Calad.ryl, gold bo.nd powder, soft soap and water, sola.rcaine spray.... I tried wearing stretchy pants, empire waist dresses, and even nothing at all! Nothing helps.

UGH. So bad. The only thing that alleviates the itching enough that I can sleep at night is icing it. But it doesn't soothe the area long term.

The nurse said itching is normal. But... ARGH. I can't stand it. Just how itchy can it be, you may ask? Itchy enough that I'd trade the soreness and pain from the day after my surgery for this. Honestly. I prefer the pain.

*The doctor may not want me to put anything on for fear of getting the infections messed up, but a) they are pretty healed - until the itching made some scratches and b) I can't stand it. I have to do something!!!

In other news... My FIL is doing really well. We've been at the hospital every day with him, but today III wants me to stay home with the dogs. They are very confused with this sudden change in schedule and, Peanut especially, is driving us crazy all night long. FIL has all but one tube removed, is way down on his meds, and has been able to get up and walk around the ICU with the nurse's help. Every day when we get to the hospital, we are surprised at how much better he looks than even the day before. He is very emotional and tires easily, but that is all to be expected. The rest of us are in shock that this has really happened, and especially how quickly it has happened.

Each of our failures and losses with this ttc journey has been magnified by my FIL's illness- he's going to be a great grandpa, and as time went on and he got sicker and sicker, we worried he'd never meat his grandchildren. This gives us new hope that we will be able to make him a grandpa and he will be able to enjoy time with his grandchildren.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

FIL update

III's dad came out of surgery about 1:30am. Because he's had several heart surgeries before, including a bypass where they had already had to crack his chest, getting in and closing up took them longer than it usually does.

This morning, assuming he is doing as expected, they plan to take out his breathing tube. Then, they will need to monitor his bleeding from the surgery and his kidney output to make sure everything is normal. They also, of course, need to monitor for possible tissue rejection.

So he has a long road ahead of him, BUT... he has a new heart!!!

And the best part?

Today is his birthday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I DO have an anxiety disorder, after all...

We got the call about FIL's heart at 11 last night.

But it wasn't ready. Transplants... so conflicting. You are hoping for the best for your loved one, while someone else is losing their loved one.

Anyway. Long story short... 8:30am surgery turned into 11am surgery turned into 1:30pm surgery... they began operating at 3:15pm.

I've heard from III a few times. Everything going well... 4-6 hour surgery....

Last text I got... surgery should be another 30-60 minutes. "So far so good."

That was 80 minutes ago.

The rational part of my brain knows that when the surgery was over, the main priority is NOT to text/call me.

But I'm nervous that I haven't heard yet. I hope III calls soon. And I hope it's good news.

But. My brain always goes "worst case scenario". So I'm kind of freaking out.

I'm itching to call. But I know it's not about me. III promised to let me know. And I know he will as soon as he can. But bad news or good, there are other things that come first. Talking to the doctors. Maybe seeing his dad. Making plans for the night and tomorrow.

But I'm freaking out.

Friday, August 13, 2010

finally, some good news (we hope!!!)

We just got the call that they think they have a heart for III's dad.

If you're a frequent reader, you know that I'm kind of agnostic, and definitely not a prayer... but if you are, please send up some prayers for us that this is the real thing for FIL and that it's successful.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I'm posting this not just as an update about me, but as info for others who are going to have the procedure and are looking for information.

My surgery was scheduled for 7:30am on Thursday. Which meant Wednesday was the bowel prep. Awesome.

If you've ever had a colonoscopy*, you'll find this is similar. I had to stick to a clear liquid diet all day. At 9am, I had to take an otc laxative, then as soon as I had a bm, I had to drink that drink. I had to drink 8 oz every 10 minutes. It was 2 L worth of liquid. Uck.
30 minutes after I took my first drink (so on my 4th), I thought "Hmm. Nothing has happened yet."

Ten minutes later I was running for the toilet holding my bum...

So yeah. That part isn't super fun. Two hours later, I still had moments where I needed to be on the toilet. (TMI alert:) At that point, it was just liquid- like, peeing out of my butt. Kind of bizarre... I also ended up with some hemorrhoids. Ick.
So anyway. I went to bed, hungry but empty! 4:30am came quick. My original plan had been just to shower the night before, jump out of bed and into the car. But at my pre-op, they gave me a surgical scrub with specific instructions. Shower the night before with the scrub, then sleep in "freshly laundered" PJs. Then, shower that morning too with the scrub and put on "freshly laundered" clothing.

Surgical check in was similar to what I had experienced for my retrievals and D&Cs. They called me into the back, had me use the bathroom, then had me strip and put on a johnny and slippers. I had some spotting all week, and woke up with some heavier bleeding (the start of my period? With the surgery, I'm not sure if it ever came or what. Never got very heavy...) so they had me put on those fancy 'surgical underwear' and a pad.

They brought III in to sit with me and I answered questions for Nurse K who checked me in. Then I met Nurse L who was the OR nurse. Then I met the anesthesiologist resident. (or is it intern? I always get them mixed up.) She tried to get my IV started. First in the left arm. Then that didn't work, so she went to my right hand. They give you a stingy local first, which was annoying but saved me from having to feel her root around under my skin to hit a vein. Which she couldn't do. I wanted to be like "Dude. They never have trouble with my veins." She left to go get the anesthesiologist for help and III (who is a trained medic and EMT) said "That reminded me of the class I took where we had to stick each other to learn how to get an IV." The doc showed up and hit another vein in my right hand the first time.

Then my doctor showed up. She went over things, asked if we had any questions, and was on her way. I got kisses from III, a fancy hat from the nurse, and they put the rails up on my bed and rolled me down the hall.

They must have already started my IV, because I remember asking them if that area was only gynecological surgery and them telling me it wasn't. Then that was it.

The next thing I remember was the nurse asking me my pain level on the ten scale, and telling her a 7. She said "Well, we'll have to do something about that." and gave me a small white pill with a teeeeeny sip of water. I was soooo thirsty (for the whole time in recovery and until we got home), but apparently (and I don't remember either the telling or the feeling) I had told them I was nauseous when I woke up. By the time I shared my level of 7, any nausea I might have had was gone.

I don't remember a lot about being in recovery. I remember I was thirsty. I remember I was sore. (7 went down to 4 shortly after they gave me the pill.) I remember I was sooo sleepy. I just wanted to keep my eyes closed, but the nurse kept waking me up by saying my name loudly.

I had five pieces of gauze taped to my abdomen- one over my belly button, one above my pubic bone (right where my stomach fat folds over. gross. This is the one that irritates me the most.), one to the left of my belly button and two to the right.

I found out later that the doctor came out and talked to III after surgery. She told him it went really well and that the fibroid was smaller than it had been in May. She said it was easy to get to and everything went smoothly.

At some point after that they brought III back. I think he helped me get dressed. They put me in a wheelchair, and an orderly wheeled me out front where III pulled up the car and I got in.

I think my eyes were closed for most of the ride home. I do remember that III was driving like an asshole. He also took a weird way home, and I must have commented on it because I remember him saying "I'm just trying to take a way that will annoy me the least." Um, dude. I'M the one who just had surgery!

I went home, III bought my meds and some take out, I ate, and went to bed.

I was very sore on Thursday. Laying on my back was the most comfortable. Laying on my side made me sore- it was like my belly was too heavy. Luckily, the little white pills (oxycodon) kept me sleepy enough that I could probably have fallen asleep sitting up.

Friday, I got up around 9am. (I was still wearing the same sweats and t-shirt I wore home from the hospital!) I went downstairs for something to drink and I think I might have talked to KB on the phone. I wasn't hungry, and while my soreness wasn't as bad as on Thursday, I was still pretty sore. I went back to bed at 9:30am. Got up at 3:30pm. I think I was up for a few hours after that. We did have dinner at some point. I was back in bed by 7:30.

I was taking meds every 6 hours. I was prescribed the oxy and 600mg of ibuprofen, which I could take at the same time. They told me I could take 1 or 2 oxy, and I took one. That stuff tends to hit me hard, and my sleeping habits on Friday reflect that. LOL.

Saturday was better. I got up, showered, and dressed. III brought lunch, which I ate, and KB came by a little later. She was hoping to take me out to a movie where they have you sit in these cushy seats and serve you food, to spoil me, but I wasn't up for that. She stayed for a few hours. III and I ate dinner. Then I went to bed. On Saturday, I stuck with only the ibuprofen during the day, though I took the oxy at night. I could lay on my side now, as long as I had a pillow there for a little extra support.

This is a pic I took with my phone on Saturday. I had taken off the gauze, but the steri strips are still there. They told me to leave those on and they would fall off themselves around ten days. You can't see the incision inside of my belly button- that mark on top is from my navel ring- but there are a few stitches in there. Ignore my chubby gut. I'm not loving how it looks lately anyway, but obviously after surgery I was bloated...
Sunday, while I was still sore, I was starting to feel pretty normal. I didn't nap. We flew back to the lake. Sitting on the plane for 2 hours wasn't the best part of my weekend, but I kept a pillow behind my back (because slouching irritates the incisions) for most of it and made sure the seat belt wasn't too tight.

Sunday and Monday nights were rough. I did not take any oxy, so I think that was part of it. When I lay down to go to bed, I've been getting bad gas pains, mostly in my lower abdomen, but also a little in my chest. (They warned me about these- they pump air into your abdomen to have space to work. I had thought it would be immediate, which it wasn't- or if it was the oxy helped me sleep through it- but I assume this night time discomfort is residual from that.)

Today is Tuesday, and I feel pretty good. The nighttime thing is hard- last night I took some gas X and put heat on my belly, and one or the other or both helped and I was able to sleep. Today I went back and worked out with my trainer. She knew all of my restrictions, and put together a workout for me with them in mind. I actually got a good workout and felt good afterwards.

There have been some poop issues. Nothing major... but I had my first real poop today and it was pretty small. I'm sure my lack of poop action is contributing to the bloating and night time pains. They told me I could take a lax. I took one on Saturday, but we don't have any out here, so I'm hoping things will start moving soon.

The incisions are annoying. The worst part is the incision on the left and one on the right- when they put the bandages on they irritated my skin. That irritation bothers me more than the incisions! Irony. They have all these great technologies now where they can do this laparoscopic surgery with a robot, but they can't find a band aid that doesn't rip your skin off...

Sometimes the incision near my pubic bone bothers me. If I'm sitting in the car for too long or if my underwear irritates it. Sometimes the ones on my sides hurt if I lean over and/or turn my body wrong. My belly button is sore and bruised- I think it's worse when I'm more bloated.

So... that's the story. It's amazing to me that they can do this- I can't imagine what it would be like to have a laparotomy where they cut you open completely. I'm grateful they were able to get all that they needed to with my five teeny incisions.

We head home on Monday. I'm not looking forward to 16 hours in the car, especially now with my recovery. But the dr. okayed it and it will be nice to get home and figure out a routine.

*Spellcheck suggests "kaleidoscope" for this. Yeah, so not the same thing.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Home from the hospital.

All went well. Didn't have to stay over night.

I really want to share how everything went, but right now I'm so sleepy and sore, so I think I'm going to head back to bed. Just wanted to update and let everyone know it went well and I'll be back soon with more details.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I had my pre-op appt yesterday.

First was the ultrasound. They told me to come with a full bladder, but after having been through the whole thing before, and knowing how often doctors run late, I ended up not having a full enough bladder- which didn't matter because she was doing an internal ultrasound too. So I don't know why they needed to do the external. But whatever.

My fibroid is anterior (in the back) and on the outside. I'm glad for that, because it means they don't need to cut open my uterus, just scoop the fibroid out of it. I could see the whole ultrasound, and if I interpreted it right, it seemed like the length of the fibroid was around 4cm. It was 7 at the longest, so it appears to have shrunk.

Then I had an appointment where they asked me everything I'd already written on the pre-op questionnaire, listened to my breathing and all of that for anesthesia stuff, and took blood. That appointment took an hour, though most of it was sitting around waiting for the next person to come do their thing.

They gave me a special soap. They want me to wash with it the night before and the morning of the surgery.

Today I have to do a bowel prep. Ick. Apparently, they have you do it in case they do have to do a full surgery because they would be so close to the bowel. I had a colonoscopy years ago, so I know what I'm in store for. Not excited. The toilet will be my friend today. Ugh.

My surgery is at 7:30am tomorrow. I'll update when I have a chance.

Monday, August 2, 2010

One long ass update post.

So I haven't posted a real update in a while, and there has been lots going on at the same time there has been little going on. Does that even make sense?

I don't even know where to start, so excuse me if this is a little random and all over the place.

We have been staying out at the lake, but it hasn't been as relaxing as we thought it might be. We spent 2 days driving out there, and 2 day settling in, then it was the 4th of July and all of III's family descended on us. We had another day or two and then we headed out for a week to visit my family for a reunion and surprise anniversary party for my parents (planned long distance by me). We returned and had 9 days to ourselves, though III started his temporary work assignment and was settling in there. Then my parents came out to the lake, and my mom stayed for 9 days while my dad traveled around to different baseball stadiums. In the midst of all of this, III's family was out every weekend. While it has been nice to see them and spend time with them, it's hard for us to get time to relax. Plus, it winds our dogs up. III's family only has little, non shedding dogs, so they are a little overwhelmed by our big, loud, shedding, slobbery boxers. In part because of this, III's mom drove us crazy with her super OCD-ed-ness. She keeps bringing out old towels and covering the furniture with sheets (under the blankets we've already covered it with) and buying new "knock-around" comforters for the bedroom, like our dogs are going to tear apart the house or something.

Today I'm headed back home for the week because my myomectomy is on Thursday. I go in tomorrow for pre-op tests, can't eat all day on Wednesday, and then have surgery on Thursday. Sunday we fly back to the lake for one more week, and then we head home for a while. Our plan keeps changing, but we had gotten to a point where the thought was that we'd be out there for at least 2 and possibly 5 months... or possibly forever if a transfer occurred. This weekend III told me he thinks we should go home for now. His dad is doing okay on the IV and there's not much for III to do for him. When it gets to a point where he gets his transfer, we'll probably do this all over again.

While I'm happy to head home, it also is making my head spin because it was not originally the plan. I've been working out with a personal trainer for the past two weeks, and I really like her. (Side note- the first day I met her, she tells me "in the spirit of full disclosure I want to let you know that I'm 4 and a half months pregnant." Of course you are. Because this is my life. She is due 3 days after I would have been due with my last pregnancy. Luckily, as I said, I like her so I guess it's not really that big of deal anymore...) I'm disappointed to have to start over somewhere else, and to leave when I feel like she and I have made a connection. The little town we're staying in is also growing on me, and it is certainly nice for me and the dogs to be on the lake.

Also... I officially took leave from my job. So I'm kind of freaking out. Since we're going home, I guess a part of my head tells me that I did it for nothing... but that's not totally true, because III's dad could get a heart at any time and then we'll be heading back. Plus... well, anyone who has read my blog for the past year knows that last year was not a super happy one at work, so maybe I really do need to regroup and think about what I want to do. But, it's one thing to want that and another for it actually to happen. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself now that I'm jobless for the year, plus I can't help worrying about the money, even though we have money in our savings. I also find myself in kind of an identity crisis... I am an eighth grade math teacher. That's what I DO and who I AM. And, damn it, I'm good at it! So what happens when I'm no longer part of an eighth grade classroom? Hm.

Something else that's been hard is KB. She has been my main support through a lot of this, but I'm finding talking to her more stressful than helpful lately. She is full on FREAKING OUT about my potential move, and I find I don't even want to tell her what is going on because I end up consoling her or wanting to hide stuff from her. I 100% understand where she's coming from, because I have the same anxiety about us living so far apart. But I also have the anxiety of where I'm going to work, where I'm going to live, making new friends, and hoping that my FIL doesn't die before he gets a new heart, and that the new heart works. Oh, and then there's the whole infertility thing too...

I hope to update about my myomectomy in the next few days. I can't find much about others' experiences to know what to expect, so I'll try to post mine for others in a similar situation to find.

I also apologize for not keeping up with your blogs. We're using an USB modem, which limits my online time. And... well, as many of you probably also find, when you're on an IF 'break' sometimes you fall off the IF blog wagon, both writing and reading.

Hope everyone is well. Be back soon!!!