Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spina What???

A few months back, I had to go in for an HSG (hysterosalpingogram). This is a process where a catheter is sent through the cervix, dye is injected and then an x-ray is preformed to show uterus and fallopian tubes. Sounds lovely right? Now my only point of reference to this test was my mother and the nurse when scheduling it.

When I told my mom what I was having done- her automatic response was to tell me how painful her experience with a similar procedure had been. The nurse when scheduling it told me I may want to bring someone to take me home and to take some advil before coming. So naturally I planned for the worst assuming it would be the most painful experience of my life. Some women on forums, etc even said it was worse than child birth. Wait..what??

I was terrified..but I went, on my own, to have this HSG done. They prepped me with a gown and brought me into the x-ray room. The tech proceeded to tell me how this will all go- that there are no meds administered, I would lay flat on a table (no cushion) and that I had to lie still even if it hurt. She told me some women try to jump off the table, others call her horrible names- but that she was prepared for anything. This was going to be amazing....

So she gets me on the table and has to do a 'baseline' x-ray of my pelvis area. Then she and the doctor come back after reviewing the baseline. He introduces himself to me and then proceeds to say:

 "I reviewed your x-ray. I wanted to tell you..."

Now at this point I am freaking out.. Tell me what? I have no uterus? I have a huge tumor? No, no, no... its even better.

"I wanted to tell you.... you have a back problem."

My response "Um what?"

"Have you heard of spina bifida?"-the doctor non nonchalantly asks me.

"Yes! And its never good!" At this point I am only slightly freaking out.

The doctor goes on to explain that I have spina bifida occulta- which means hidden. When the vertebrae are forming, they fuse together from each side. All my vertebrae fused but the last one- which only partially completed. He let me know that there were probably no issues with my spina bifida and that someone would have already noticed malformations on my back if it was a problem. Oh thanks doc.

He went on to tell me 10% of Americans have this, most never know. But he just wanted to tell me since he noticed it. He told me that only heavy working out could impact it, like weight lifting and kick boxing. Oh darn..less work out for me.

Well then we went on to the catheter/HSG test. Thankfully the spina bifida story got my mind off the catheter...which I did not even feel. I must have a rock star or numb cervix but I felt no pain. The doctor and tech were thoroughly impressed by me- which I take pride in (you gotta take what you can get).

All that to say, everything looked great with the HSG.

Other than the Spina Bifida.

Lets Start At The Beginning

The beginning seems like a good place to start- but it is difficult to know where the beginning is.

First, I am married to my best friend and high school sweetheart. I know it seems a little ridiculous and very 'Texas' but just know that was never my plan. However, after moving to East Texas in high school I met someone I knew was different than all the other boys. I remember telling myself that whatever happens, this person has set the bar high for whoever I end up dating. Little did I know then we would marry 4 years later. We married in January 2008 in a beautiful small town, lots of people, wedding.
My father and grandfather married us.

Pretending to dance:)
Six months in I decided we were ready for a dog. His name is Connor. He is half beagle half schnauzer- all intense love with a bit of anxiety. A very cute mix.


Fast forward to almost three years later when I convinced my dear husband we needed a a baby. After much whining and maybe some tears (no shame...many of us have been there) we started 'trying' December of 2010. Part of the persuasive argument was that not everyone gets pregnant right away and that it could take awhile. Now, if I am just being honest, that was just a tactic for him to agree to my timing. In my head I was thinking 'yeah right, my family gets pregnant just looking at their spouse.. 3 months tops'.

Little did I know how accurate my 'tactic' would end up being. We tried for a few months but knew something was off. A doctor change, some low grade fertility meds, hormone supplements, and 14 months of trying led to a pregnancy! Unfortunately that pregnancy did not last and we miscarried twins at 8 weeks- surgery at 10 weeks. After a 2 months (mandated) break, I started with a fertility specialist, whom we love. I now know I am dealing with PCOS, but all other aspects of baby making parts work. Uterus, fallopian tubes, his parts- all in good working condition.

While this process has been frustrating, painful and exhausting- we, as a couple, have grown so much. And I, as an individual, am stronger and happier than I was before. Which, if you ask my best friend if she thought I would make it two years of trying, with difficulties along the way, I am positive she would say something like 'hell no'. But I have, in no small part to her friendship, others support and the God that has made me for this journey.

Now for this blog- why did I choose to start one? Let me make it clear how odd it is that I am here, doing this. I don't love blogs. I may or may not have made fun of others that have blogs (my apologies). But as I am going through this journey, I realize how important it is to share your story.
1. Infertility seems to be taboo- people just don't know how to react. You should try it sometime- bring up not being able to start a family or something to that effect and see people's reaction. It is pretty funny, people just don't know how to process the information.
2. Also, too many women struggle with something they assumed would come naturally. There are few sources of positive support for those women and couples. There is 'support' in blogs and forums, but often the message is so discouraging and all consuming that, for me at least, it made me feel worse. Infertility is one small issue I am dealing with. It is not who I am, what my marriage is about nor what I will become. My life and my God are bigger than this.
3. So many odd and hilarious things have been happening because of fertility treatment that it would be unfair not to share the love. I know, fertility treatments don't sound fun or funny....but trust me there is humor in all life has to offer.

So, to wrap up this incredibly long intro to my life, let me be clear of what this blog is and isn't. It is not a sob story of infertility. I will not go into detail of my condition or treatment for multiple reasons, but one is that is can be exhausting and somewhat boring.  It is not a place to give advice for others infertility. I am not a doctor- I am one person with unique issues trying to figure it all out.

This blog is a place to share my story in a positive way. A place for those dealing with infertility and their friends/family to get an insight of how I manage and enjoy life. Also, every entry will (hopefully) not be about my baby making issues... I love to cook, read, learn about my Father and spend time with friends/family.

So thank you for indulging me in this extra long, somewhat run-on post. Please come back, share your experiences and spread the love to your friends and family!