Fertility

We are not living in eternity…

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It’s a week and one day since I had my op to remove endometriosis from most of my abdomen. Of course, if you’ve been following my mumblings and musings you’ll be more than aware of that already!

This morning I woke up and realised I still have a long way to go.

Yesterday I left the house for the first time since before my op and went for a short walk. It was difficult, but I managed. Then we had some lovely friends visit in the evening which ended up turning into a late one because we got talking and lost track of time! I don’t think this late night helped me much, as I had a very broken sleep and, as a result, have felt shitty all of today.

My fiancé is also back at work today, so I have to fend for myself! I am coping, just, but more than anything, I miss him! I thought we were at the point in our relationship where we didn’t have the longing to see each other and missing each other incredible amounts when we’re apart, because we’ve been together for so long! But today especially I am really missing his company and his humour! I am not normally this much of a sap, but apparently the events of the past year or so have turned me into one!!!

I am still clinging on to the hopeful feelings I felt at the start of the week. I am trying to remind myself of all the positive changes I decided to make, waking up from surgery. I had my first reflexology session yesterday, which was amazing. I have another session booked for next week. I am reading a book on the holistic methods to fertility and conceiving. I am also reading another book called “f**k it therapy” which is helping me to balance out my life and let go of all the negativity I seem to unwittingly harbour.

Slowly but surely I feel I am not so much on a new journey, but on a new section of my existing journey… a new path, if you like.

Many people, when asked what their dreams are and what they want, money being no object, they talk about travelling the world and going on crazy adventures. All I want, all I have ever wanted, is to bring up my own family. I am happy and grateful that I am on the path towards realising that dream. I may still have a long road ahead of me, I may not. Who knows?

But what I do know is, I’ve survived something massive.

Just now I received a copy of my consultant’s letter to my GP with regards to the surgery I had. Reading through it and seeing the words there in black and white really hits home to what I have been dealing with inside of me for all of this time. I now understand why I was in so much pain. I now understand why I couldn’t conceive.

“This patient had laparoscopic excision of endometriosis, adhesiolysis and hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy today as planned. The operation was performed without incident.

The findings on hysteroscopy were a healthy cervix and normal cervical canal, regular uterine cavity with normal appearing endometrium. Both tubal ostia were seen. Laparoscopy revealed a normal uterus and normal tubes and ovaries bilaterally. There were significant amounts of endometriotic deposits in the ovarian fossae bilaterally, the pouch of Douglas and the utero-vesical fold. These were all excised in their entirety. The ureters were identified prior to excision. Her sigmoid colon was adherent to the left pelvic sidewall and these adhesions were released to facilitate safe surgery.”

I am so proud that my body has been through all of that and survived. I will be even prouder when my body creates a life and brings it into this world.

As women, I think we are fantastic. We are heroes. We are warriors.

I know most of my followers, as well as the people I follow on here, are lovely ladies who are struggling to conceive. I want to tell you to not give up hope. We will get there. We are strong and beautiful and we are fighters. We are not giving up. One day, we will hold our beautiful babies in our arms and we will realise all of this heartache, struggle, pain, pressure, lack of understanding from others, suffering and agony will all have been worth it.

Trust me.

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Post-operative healing

Scar healing…

A slightly different post to my usual, but I thought it might be helpful for those of you who may be recovering from surgery relating to fertility like I am, who have existing scars from previous surgery, or have upcoming surgery and are concerned about scars.

I currently have four healing post-operative wounds. They are relatively small incisions from keyhole surgery, but are bothering me nonetheless, as I have never been sliced and stitched before. As mentioned in my previous posts, I also love my tummy, it’s one of my favourite parts of me! So I’m sure you can appreciate my concern, when my stitches dissolve, what my skin is going to look like underneath.

Previously I have used Bio Oil for a burn scar from a time I burnt myself on the iron. It healed pretty well by itself, with the aid of Bio Oil, but I found the solution rather moist and a little too oily for my liking.

I’ve been looking for something else on the market that I can use after my scabs have gone and stitches have dissolved.

Whilst browsing Twitter I came across something called ‘Remescar’. It’s recommended by acid attack survivor Katie Piper. There are some relatively positive reviews out there and it’s clearly endorsed by Katie herself.

I’m sending my lovely fiancé out today to buy some (as obviously I am still unable to move properly!), so I will let you know how it goes.

I’m thinking of posting updates, with pictures, once my stitches have dissolved and I start the Remescar treatment.

I’d be interested to know your thoughts throughout the process, as I think I have a tendency to be a bit of a harsh critic when it comes to myself.

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Fertility

Post Op Day 5

Not a very inventive title, but still, I am here and I lived to tell the tale!

step right direction

A lot of the anxiety and awful, horrible, soul-crushing feelings I had appear to have drifted away during my anaesthetised state on Thursday evening.

I am sore.

Incredibly sore.

I cannot bear to look at myself in the mirror as my stomach and torso (once my favourite part of my body) is reminiscent of something Dr Frankenstein patched together in his laboratory.

However, I am here. I am okay. I am well on my journey into becoming a mummy now.

My gynaecologist is literally the greatest woman alive!

Honestly, I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done for me. She has given me hope again. I feel like I have my life back.

Yes, it’s early days. Yes, there’s no guarantee I will be totally pain free.

But I’ve made a HUGE step in the right direction.

So, my op lasted 2 hours longer than expected.

They found, to quote my doctor, “A LOT of endometriosis.”

She removed it all.

Hence more incisions than originally planned.

She also had, again, to quote, “A really good look” at my ovaries.

Guess what?

No cysts.

None at all.

do not have polycystic ovaries!!

Goodness only knows why my GP diagnosed me with that condition. I was angry immediately after receiving the diagnosis from my doctor after surgery because I’d just been left by my GP to live with a diagnosis of polycystic ovaries and the impending doom of probably never conceiving. But now I’m okay. My GP is a GP, not a gynaecologist. I got the help and expertise I needed and I’m en route to recovery now.

So there’s a 30% chance my endometriosis will come back.

But that’s okay. I will deal with that if and when it happens.

The main thing is, I have been told, by an expert in the field, I shouldn’t have any problems conceiving.

I feel great.

I feel hopeful.

I feel like I have a whole exciting future ahead of me all of a sudden.

Things are good.

Well, asides from the franken-belly and the fact that I currently cannot stand up or walk.

Things are good.

 

 

Fertility

“It’s like there’s rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, then me…”

Pretty much sums up my feelings right now.

I know I said in my last post that I was the lowest I’d ever been in my life; little did I know things could actually feel a hell of a lot worse.

Last week was supposed to be an enjoyable week, but yet again my plans were ruined by chronic pain.

I’d booked a week of posh hotels/apartments and fun trips to enjoy with Mr Mad – but this resulted in us (or rather, the hubster-to-be, because I was in so much pain) driving back from Edinburgh at stupid-o-clock on Thursday night, to get me home to my own bed where I could be in pain in comfort (a bit oxymoronic isn’t it?!)

It’s D-Day tomorrow.

To say I’m not looking forward to it would be an understatement.

Actually, to say I’m dreading it would also be an understatement.

There are so many things I am afraid of. I am normally a very brave and strong person. I’ve had to be – with all of the shit I’ve had to go through so far in my short (but seemingly long) 24 years on this planet. I know I have to have this surgery. I’ve also done all of my research and am prepared as I am probably ever going to be. However, I am still in the very angry mindset of “why me?” “why this?” “why now?”

Today has been crap.

I’ve not been able to turn my mind to anything and it’s very frustrating.

When the doctor signed me off work for the best part of a month I thought, “great, well, I’m in pain, but if I’m sitting about all day at least I can be productive. I can get marking done, I can start my reading for my Masters, I can do school work and help my team out as best I can while I’m sat on my arse.” Everything I have started today I haven’t been able to stick to for more than 20 minutes, let alone finish.

We have had some relatively good news. I shouldn’t spend my entire time complaining and being all doom and gloom. We sought financial advice and discovered we could actually afford to buy a house. Not a tiny house either – a 3 bed semi detached with a driveway and a garage and a lovely garden, in an even lovelier location. We had an offer accepted on it last week. Now to start the lengthy process of the mortgage application and everything else that comes with buying a house! I really hope it all works out, and I really hope I am blogging this time next year well on my way to becoming a mummy.

Of course, none of this matters if I don’t wake up tomorrow. I used to think death would bring a sweet release from pain, upset and anguish, but now I feel completely the opposite. I don’t want to die. I want to live. I have so much I want to do and so much time left to fill with wonderful experiences.

If today just so happens to be my last day on earth, it has been pretty shit so far. For this evening, I think I will watch trashy TV, eat my favourite food (ham and chips, classy!) and walk around in my dream wedding shoes that I managed to purchase at the designer’s sample sale at the weekend. It’s the little things, I suppose, that count.

Fertility

“Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well”

This is the fourth time I’ve tried to write this opening sentence.

I somewhat, unexpectedly, and annoyingly, have writer’s block. I can’t seem to make the words fit on the page how I want them to. I have millions and trillions of words swimming around in my head and can’t seem to construct them into coherent sentences. Which, as I am sure you can appreciate, is fucking frustrating for an English graduate/English teacher.

This is how I currently feel:

028InformationOverload

For once, despite my inept ability to, I am not over exaggerating.

I guess I’d better back track…

Last Monday (so, this time last week actually, I have just seemingly realised!) I saw the private consultant. She is absolutely fantastic. She lived up to every expectation I had and more. She spent an hour going through every single detail with me. I’ve just realised I’ve started those last three sentences with the word ‘she’ which would earn the pupils I teach a lot of red scribble along the lines of vary your sentence starters for effect.

Anyway, I digress (what’s new?!)

The upshot of it all is, the lovely Dr thinks that, not only do I have PCOS, I also have endometriosis (oh the joys!) and, as a result, I am now booked in for surgery on 9th June. That’s 16 days away. That’s very very scary.

I have never been under general anaesthetic before. I have never had any part of me sliced open before (albeit she’s trying to perform the surgery keyhole in the first instance). I’ve never been completely alone and trusting of someone else to work miracles before (well, I guess not many other people have either!)

I’m frightened. Actually, I’m more than frightened, I am completely shitting myself.

What I do know is I can’t postpone this surgery. I can’t put it off. I can’t wait. I simply can’t. I’m in agony. As every single day passes by my pain gets worse and worse. I am sick of being drugged up on all sorts of prescription painkillers to try to manage through the day. I’m totally fed up of having weird deferred pain right the way up my left hand side and (bizarrely enough) in my left shoulder. I am a crap person right now. I am an even shittier teacher/colleague/friend/daughter/sister/partner. I am, quite simply, not myself, and I hate it.

I feel like my entire life has come to a complete and utter standstill.

I am also questioning everything.

This journey, however long it is going to take, is supposed to lead to us having the family we (or I, at least) have so desperately longed for. Yet I can’t help myself from questioning whether we will actually make good parents or not. We are in a lot of debt, and I mean, A LOT. We rent a tiny 2 bedroom house that is a complete and utter shit tip, needs completely gutting and starting afresh. We have no room here. We hardly have any ‘spare’ income, and the money we do have spare goes on fancy meals out, clothes, shoes, holidays… none of it gets saved. We are saving for our wedding, granted, but again, that money is all spoken for. What kind of life is this to bring a child into? Don’t get me wrong, I know our baby would be incredibly loved. All I have ever wanted is to be a mum and bring up a family, but does that really count for anything when you’re not “stable”? I don’t know. I guess I am looking for answers that I simply cannot find, and furthermore, will most likely never find.

Currently I am feeling the lowest I have ever felt in my life. So much so, I am considering going back to the doctors and asking her to put me on a higher dose of Sertraline. I had set myself a goal to be off them by the summer, but that’s pretty much impossible now, given the circumstances I have been hit with yet again. I figure, I must’ve done something really bad in a previous left to have been dealt these cards. Yet I shouldn’t complain, and I know I shouldn’t. I know there are people far worse off than me. I know things are supposed to get better. I know it’s not so much about the cards that are dealt, but about the way you play them. I also know that I can’t take this much longer….

life-quote blog

Fertility

Everyone’s getting pregnant and having babies…I’m just sitting here making ovarian cysts

It’s been a while since I last blogged… mainly because I’ve had so many mixed feelings I haven’t really had any ideas of how to put them down (which, let’s face it, is very unusual for me, being an English teacher and all!)

See… a couple of weeks after my diagnosis I was feeling unusually upbeat and positive. I’d spoken to someone I work with who had twins after successful IVF last year and it made me feel like I had hope. When I started at work and met this lady, I’ll admit, I somewhat unashamedly judged her, thinking she had the perfect life; she’s in a good position in her career, is settled, married and has twins… surely she must be perfect as she has everything?! How wrong I was! It just goes to show how judgemental we can be as humans, at times. I feel immensely guilty about the original, extremely presumptive thoughts I had about her, looking from the outside in, before I had even gotten to know her properly. Anyway, I got to chatting to her about my diagnosis, as she has been quite open with me recently about her infertility journey. She talked to me in depth about the process of IVF and how it was completely worth it in the end as she’s got her beautiful twinnies. This made me feel really positive thinking towards the future, as if that was a route we had to go down I think I could mentally cope with it, as well as physically.

However, in the past couple of weeks or so my chronic pain has clouded my feelings and the black cloud of depression seems to have hit me once again. This week I’ve had radiating pain right the way down my left side, and nothing seems to make it go away. Today it came to a head in work, when the pain was so bad I had to leave my classroom to throw up. I was incredibly embarrassed as I never like to show signs of weakness, especially at work. Thankfully my boss is one of the most understanding people I have ever met, and was so wonderfully supportive in letting me leave early to see the doctor and rest up. I am beyond grateful that I have the pleasure of working with such amazing people, as this is such a difficult time for me and I know I couldn’t get through it without the support of my lovely colleagues.

It’s hard, at times like these, to stay positive, and today in particular I have really struggled. I shouted at the doctor, which was probably the wrong thing to do, but I am in so much pain and so frustrated that I am sick of playing by the rules and being calm when I am in constant agony. I am 24 years old. I should not be in this much pain. I should be able to have children without this many issues. I should be able to live my life like a (relatively!) normal person. I know I could be in a worse position, but at the moment I constantly find myself asking “why me?” “why now?” “why this?”

It feels as though everybody I know is getting pregnant and starting their families, and I’m still stuck in this limbo of pain, excitement at missed periods, extreme sadness at negative pregnancy tests then the cycle starts all over again. I wish people would understand why I get upset when they ask me is my sickness due to pregnancy, I wish people would understand how much pain I am in and I wish people would understand how devastating this has all been to a girl/woman who has spent her whole life preparing for, and building herself up for, having a family.

Currently I feel as though I am drowning and there’s no escape.

Today’s tiny ‘win’ was that I finally managed to get my GP to write me a referral letter for a private consultant. I’ve chosen my consultant meticulously and I’m hoping she has some answers for me…

 

pregnancy announcement quote