I guess I'll start off by saying thanks to a wonderful friend of mine for suggesting I start a reality TV show and call it, Eating Myself Pregnant. I loved the title, but I don't think I'll be making it to the big screen any time soon. So, here I am. This friend is one of several awesome girls who have stuck by me through my ups and downs as I reach for my dream...
A little background…
I married my hubby 10 years ago at the age of 19. A few short months later we had our first and only child. We’ll call her Peanut, a nickname given to her at birth by the doctors that delivered her 2lb 3oz self. Six months after she was born the hubby and I decided to stop birth control and let nature decide when we were ready for #2. Fast forward almost 10 years and there’s still no #2…
The first several years neither of us really gave much thought to the time passing so quickly with no #2. With Peanut being born with C.F.D., life seemed so hectic with all the doctors, struggles, questions, and worry for the first 5 years. Until we met Dr. Awesome!
Quick shout out to Dr. Standard in Maryland! We found him when Peanut was only 5 years old and it has been so much better since! Another story though…
After we began to settle into our new path and things calmed down, the feeling that something was wrong in the fertility department began nagging at me. It was easily ignored for a while. With Peanut having surgery once a year from age 5, it was easy for me to become distracted.
When Peanut was around 7, we had the privilege of being there for the moment my cousin shared her pregnancy news with her 6 year old son and husband. I was so happy for her, and beyond excited to be there with them. At the same time, however, my entire world came crashing down as I watched my sweet girl witness the event.
I read the thoughts and feelings that crossed her face as easily as words from a book. At first, she was smiling and excited along with everyone else. Then, her cousin began asking questions and talking excitedly with his mom. This is the moment she fell to the background and watched quietly. I could see her thoughts turning inward. Then, she looked back at me. Both of our worlds changed in that moment and would never be the same.
Her desire to have a sibling grew and her loneliness seemed to multiply by the hundreds. Her need for a sibling intensified my desire for a child, for both her and myself, and turned it into an obsession Trying to conceive took over my every waking thought. The following two and a half years became a long, slow spiral into TTC depression.
After my cousin's announcement I began consulting Dr. Google like a madwoman trying to learn everything I possibly could about becoming pregnant. Nothing to it, right? Wrong! I had no idea what OPKs were, or BBT, or EPO, or SMEP, or EWCM, or fertile windows… You get my point. I had no idea how ignorant I was about getting pregnant.
In my desperate attempt to get pregnant I began using OPKs, charting BBT, taking EPO (among a million other vitamins), and watching for EWCM. I dove in head first. I was willing to try anything, and I did. I began taking Soy Isoflavones, which is supposed to be similar to Clomid, and after two cycles I fell pregnant! I was beyond excited! We all were.
And I felt like it couldn’t have happened at a better time. It was our last chance to try before I was to head off to Maryland for three months with Peanut. She was due to have a pretty major surgery that would require us to stay there at the Ronald McDonald House.
Oh, how wrong I was…
At 12 weeks pregnant, Peanut developed drop foot. She went in for another surgery that lasted eight hours on Valentine’s Day. The hubby stayed as long as he could but had to leave that night. The next day, one of the nurses watched her so that I could have an ultrasound done. During the ultrasound I was told that the sac had shrunk and the baby had stopped growing early on. Peanut was able to leave the hospital that same day, and by that night I found myself hiding in the bathroom, trying desperately to fight through the need to scream through the pain of a miscarriage.
It was one of the scariest moments in my life. I was alone and terrified that Peanut would wake up to find me lifeless in the tub. Being that this was my first miscarriage, I had no idea what was coming or how long it would last. In hindsight, I know that I probably should have gotten help, or at least let someone know what was going on. I’m lucky I didn’t hemorrhage.
I was a wreck for the next few weeks. It took all my energy and focus to push through the exhaustion and emotions to do what needed to be done for Peanut. Her daily schedule was so full. We got up every morning around 9am to go to the hospital for therapies and didn’t return until around 4:30. After that I tried to let her play and enjoy her free time as much as possible before dinner and activity time. Around 10pm we went in for the night for exercises. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell her for several days.
It seemed to take an eternity, but we eventually made it home. Once we were back I went to see my doctor and let him know what had happened. During another ultrasound to make sure my uterus was clear, he noticed that my lining seemed off. He scheduled a hysteroscopy for August 2012. During surgery he discovered that I had simple endometrial hyperplasia, a polyp, and endometriosis.
He was able to remove it all and I began taking Clomid to help keep my lining thin. Turns out I did more damage than good with those soy pills. Taking soy while you have endometriosis is equivalent to dumping miracle grow on weeds. Needless to say, my adventures in self-medicating are over.
This kind of leads me to where I am now. My doctor wants to ship me off to an RE, but I don’t have the infertility coverage or financial options to move forward. I need to have another laparoscopy to remove my endometriosis, but we’ve decided to do it next year when we get back from Peanuts next big surgery. This will save us from having to pay out two large deductibles back to back.
To help manage the pain while I’m in MD with Peanut for 3-4 months, I’ll be taking birth control. After we get back I’ll be having another laparoscopy to remove my endometriosis again, and an HSG to make sure my tubes are not blocked. Until then, my choices are to sit around feeling sorry for myself, or do something about it.
So, I’ve decided to do something about it. And I’m starting with my diet. It’s honestly ridiculous how much bad stuff there is out there for people with endometriosis. And I’m not talking about only things we eat. This includes cleaning chemicals, bathing soaps and shampoos, plastic containers and the list goes on…
The good news is that I’ve already got a head start. Red meat is bad for endometriosis, but I cut out all meat except seafood months ago. Dairy is bad for you, but I’ve already been cutting that out of the hubby’s diet after finding out he’s lactose intolerant. Because of this, dairy is my next task. I plan to eliminate as much as I can and use rice, almond or veggie alternatives for milk and cheese when I can’t do without.
After dairy I think I’ll try to tackle either sugar or gluten. I’m not sure which. I guess I’ll see how I feel once I master no dairy.