Monday, June 30, 2014

So There Ya Have It…

that is our story thus far. I am now six months pregnant and praying everything goes well with our baby. I was on disability for a month at the end of the school year and have been obeying fairly strict guidelines from our doctor about taking it easy while I'm currently off work for summer break. I still have no idea whether or not I'll be back to work in the fall. I'm leaving that decision to my doctors. As of right now, I feel that I'll most likely be back to start the school year off with my kiddos.

My due date is approximated as October 27th. However, we just had a level 2 sonogram with a specialist in Sacramento on Friday who said my due date may be more like the 30th of October. I'm not sweating it, because I know it's all in God's timing anyway.

At that same appointment, we were also told that it looks like the hematoma is healing itself. Praise the Lord!! We already knew the sex of our baby because we did genetic testing early on (3 separate nerve wracking rounds of it!) thanks to my "advanced maternal age." Oh, the joys of waiting until you're in your 30's to have a child! Friday's appointment confirmed what genetic testing had already told us about the sex of our baby. (For now I'm keeping that a secret from the public. I'm sure soon enough it will be out. For now, though, I'm keeping it secret with the exception of those who already know.) And lastly, we found out that the baby is currently breech. I'm ok with this. If the baby moves in to the correct position, then that's great and we'll proceed as necessary. If the baby stays put and God decides breech is the way for our little peanut to hang out while chillin inside of me, then far be it from me to question God's plan, and we'll more than likely schedule a C-section. Again, I'm fine with whatever happens - as long as the baby is healthy and I'm healthy. That is really all that matters and what I care about most.

I do have a couple of baby bump pics, but they're not loaded on my laptop yet. Until then, I'll leave you with this very cool fortune I got in a cookie at dinner with my husband the day he found out I was pregnant:

What can I say?! God is good and ALWAYS on time!!  :)

Say What?!?

It's interesting the reactions you get from people sometimes when you discuss things related to pregnancy….especially when you're pregnant and have some sort of medical condition. We didn't tell many people about the fact that I was even pregnant to begin with, but of course, the longer you're pregnant, I've found that it becomes increasingly more difficult to hide it or not to talk about it - especially when you have to be out of work and on bed rest and keep going back to the hospital and doctor's office. I've encountered the following annoying/stupid reactions from people when they hear about my story:

1. looking at me like I'm crazy
2. some sort of reaction implying I'm overreacting
3. ignorant questions/comments (please think before you speak, people!!)
4. rude comments/questions (refer to parentheses above)
5. telling me a story about their brother's/mother's/cousin's/great aunt/friend/neighbor in Timbuktu who had the EXACT same thing…which would actually get me kind of excited to hear that someone actually knew another person who had had the exact same condition and symptoms and could possibly relate to what I was going through/feeling…Only to find out that it was NOT the same thing at all and that what that person had experienced was NOT at all what I have been experiencing.
6. ridiculous pieces of advice
7. people blatantly not even listening to me and instead talking over me and telling me things that could never apply to me because my situation is different than their own experiences or of those that they know who have been pregnant; in addition to saying stupid things like, "Yeah, I can relate. When I was pregnant, I was SO tired all the time. You know, you really need to make sure you're exercising and drinking a lot of water. That really helps." I've quickly learned to dismiss this, while thinking things like: "No, dumbass! My doctor said I'm not supposed to exercise, or do anything strenuous. Didn't you listen to me?!? And drinking a lot of water is a no brainer part of pregnancy that in no way is going to help a subchorionic hematoma go away! W-T-F is wrong with you?!? You self-absorbed, ignorant fool who doesn't listen when others speak!!"

Anyway, I may be a little critical of the ridiculousness that comes out of people's mouths/their reactions, but I feel it's warranted. I've always been the kind of person to try to listen to someone's story and be sympathetic of their situation, so it drives me beyond crazy when others display the opposite of that toward me…or in general, really. My grandma used to say something to the affect of "until you've walked a day in someone else's shoes, you have no idea what they're going through." That has forever resonated with me because it is so true. Sure, we can all be judgmental at times, but for the most part, I always try to hear someone out and  be understanding of what they're going through. This is especially true when someone is going through something medically - or if they're pregnant. It's like my friend Kara said, "You never judge a pregnant woman's situation. Everyone is different and every story is different." (*Not verbatim, but close enough to what she said in order to get the point across.) She's a smart lady who said exactly what I think!

You Have A What?!?

The second opinion with my doctor's colleague turned out to be very successful. She spent about an hour and a half with me and we started basically at the beginning of my story with her reviewing everything with me, including all of the details of the images they took during that ER visit on Easter. In about a minute or less of reviewing those slides, she was able to immediately see something very significant. She suspected that what she was seeing appear on the sonogram pictures was what is known as a subchorionic hematoma. Hematoma meaning blood clot. She also suspected she was seeing a fibroid as well. She conducted another sonogram.

Yep, there it was: the subchorionic hematoma lying between my uterus where they baby is and the placenta…and a continuous flow of blood coming from the clot. And yes, there was also a fibroid sitting near there as well.

FINALLY!!! An answer. A bit of a scary answer, but an answer, nonetheless.

I was told that the subchorionic hematoma could cause some complications. For instance, you could bleed the entire pregnancy, it could cause miscarriage, it could cause pre-term labor, and/or it could cause placental abruption in which case that could be "detrimental to both you and the baby." Oh great!  So this is kind of no joke. The doctor agreed, it is a pretty serious condition and she asked me if I was still working because she wanted me to stop if I hadn't already. I told her that I had already started disability thanks to my regular doctor and that I had been out for a few days at this point in time. She said, "Good." Then, she continued to tell me that less than 5% of pregnant women typically get this, that 50% of women go on to have a health baby, and that the only way for it to try to heal itself and for the body to possibly absorb the clot is to be on bed rest. No walking the dogs, nothing strenuous, don't work, just try to rest as much as possible. *She addressed the fibroid as well and said it probably wasn't anything to worry about, but that pregnancy hormones can potentially cause it to grow more rapidly than it normally would. She then proceeded to tell me a story about a woman who had a subchorionic hematoma who bled buckets throughout her entire pregnancy in addition to having a tiny fibroid prior to being pregnant that grew to the size of a basketball by the time she was due, and went on to deliver her baby naturally (despite the hematoma and basketball sized fibroid) and then had the fibroid shrink back to a small size after her pregnancy.

There you have it. I have a diagnosis. And a fibroid. And a bleeding clot by my baby. Yikes!

Are You Crazy, Lady?!?

Fast forward a week or so to a Friday, my last day of work before going out on disability. I had a routine appointment with the midwife at my doctor's office. Just a basic appointment: get your weight taken, blood pressure, all the vitals, talk for a few minutes about how you're feeling, and you're out.


Yeah right!

First of all, this is me. It's never going to be that simple. (I'm fully self aware and completely own this about myself. In fact, I embrace it!) Now, add in a bit of stress, continued bleeding, no definite answers, a difficult work situation to deal with, and basically feeling like you're going out of your F'ing mind, on top of being a hormonal pregnant lady. This appointment was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I had a bit of an emotional, crying, cursing, breakdown with the midwife at that appointment. She was super sweet and continued to hand me tissues as I bawled my eyes out and she listened to me vent my frustrations. Dustin sat in the corner looking like he was either humiliated or had NO idea how to even respond. At one point I looked at him and said, "I don't know. Babe, what do you think? Do you have anything to add?"And he just looked at me like I was crazy and said "No."

I won't go into all of the details of that story and I'll spare you the "F" words and "B" words and everything else that came out of my mouth. What I will tell you is that I asked for a second opinion. I was fed up with being told from more than one medical professional that they simply did not know what was going on with me. Remember my previous story about being your own health advocate?? Sometimes in life…not just with your health, but with anything…you gotta just take the bull by the horns and be a boss and take care of business! So, that's what I did.

I had done a bit of research (ok, a lot of research) and had been able to break it down to my condition most likely being one of three things. I wasn't even asking for a precise answer. I just wanted to at least hear someone acknowledge that yes, there are two or three things we think this could be; you have symptoms of one or two or even three of these things. I was NOT, however, going to be content in hearing these people continue to tell me "I don't know." I was prepared to take myself to a specialist at UC Davis downtown or San Francisco. I didn't care how much it cost me. What I did care about was getting something other than an, "I don't know."

So, this kind and very adept-at-bedside manner-midwife helped me schedule an appointment with another doctor at Sutter Davis before I jumped ship and took matters into my own hands.

Allowing myself to have a mental breakdown that day turned out to be a very good decision - even if my husband may have thought I was starting to lose my mind!

What A Roller Coaster….

Easter Sunday we slept late and just rested in bed until about 3:00 p.m. Then, we got up and headed back to Cottonwood to get our things and fetch our dogs who were still at my mom and dad's house. We arrived, waited about an hour for dinner to be finished, ate, packed our stuff up, and rolled back down I-5 to Sac. I took the next day off and spent most of it in bed.

Two days later was Open House at my school (April 23rd). I also had a follow-up doctor appointment in Davis that day for the ER visit on Easter. I left my house around 7:00 a.m. that morning, drove to Elk Grove and got to work at about 7:30, attended a staff meeting after school, drove from Elk Grove to Davis, had a quick follow-up appointment in which my doctor told me right as she came in the room, "I  just got called to surgery", so she spent about five minutes with me - long enough to do a quick ultrasound, see the baby's heartbeat, tell me yet again she didn't know why I was still bleeding, and then said she had to go, then I drove back to Elk Grove to attend Open House. I was there until nearly 8:00 p.m. I was going to make a quick stop downtown to take food to my friend Nicole's niece who was in ICU at UC Davis, and then meet Dustin a few blocks over to have dinner. We were quickly approaching 9:00 p.m. As I was waiting for Nicole curbside at UC Davis to come pick up the food I had brought for her niece, I felt an overwhelming urge to use the bathroom. I text Nicole and told her I was just going to run in real quick, hand off the food and use the restroom. I got up to where she was, found out there was a private bathroom in her niece's room I was told I could use, and went in to do my business. Same routine: a gush of blood and a clot in the toilet. I called Nicole in the bathroom with me - my trustworthy, always by my side, always gives it to me straight, loyal, nurse friend. She told me to call my doctor and suggested that I ask her about taking me off work.

I couldn't believe this was happening to me….only three days after we had just went through this.

By this time, Dustin was already at the restaurant and had been sitting there patiently waiting for his pregnant wife to get there. It was after 9:00 p.m. at this point, and neither of us had hardly eaten all day. I called my husband who was obviously grumpy, and told him what was going on. I told him I was headed home and that I was going to call the doctor on my way, so he should stay by his phone to see if we needed to head back to the hospital again.

I couldn't get ahold of my doctor, but was able to get a message through before I left UC Davis and headed home. On my way home, my doctor called me. I pulled over to talk to her. We had a conversation that basically consisted of me saying that I didn't want to go back to hospital yet again if it wasn't going to result in any answers, her saying that she was puzzled as to what was going on, and then upon her asking me what my day had consisted of, she said she felt that I was more stressed and overwhelmed with the combination of the demands of my work and the stress of my condition than I was probably even aware of. At that point, she said, "Ya know, I don't think that working is causing any of this per se, but I do think that there's something to be said for being in the comfort of your own home and being able to rest. I think maybe you should just go out on disability for a while. Why don't you let me write a note to take you out of work." We had a quick conversation about the pros and cons and ins and outs of that, and I agreed. So, there you had it. No more work for a while.

You Are Not In Control…

The bleeding incident occurred in March. I continued to bleed heavily for two more weeks and then the bleeding subsided to that of a very light period. I never fully stopped bleeding, however. We had seen the doctor a couple more times between March and April. Every time I was asked about the bleeding and I confirmed that indeed, I was still bleeding and I continued to ask questions as to why this was happening. I was never given any answer. I was literally told, "We don't know why this is happening." Talk about scary!!

Then, the Friday before I was getting ready to start spring break for Easter, I was at work and started having really sharp pains and cramping. I was told that if I had any of these symptoms to get to the doctor ASAP. I was able to get ahold of my doctor and she said she'd fit me in around 3:30, so I left work and headed straight to Davis again. I met Dustin there. We had another ultrasound, were able to see our baby, and were told that the bleeding could cause some swelling in the abdomen and could cause pain and tenderness, so that was probably what I was feeling. Then she sent us on our way. Still, no real answers as to why all of this was happening. I was starting to feel pretty frustrated. The only advice I was given was to try to stay off my feet as much as possible, not to do anything strenuous, and to rest.

Luckily I had a week off from work, so I took the doctor's orders and laid low in my house for the week. I was pleased that resting seemed to be working. The bleeding had nearly stopped. I was at the end of my first trimester. I was feeling somewhat normal.

We went to my mom's house in Cottonwood to spend Easter weekend. The day before Easter, Dustin and I decided to take a drive through Red Bluff to go visit my cousin Andrea to see her new house and then on to visit my Uncle Billy and Aunt Linda. We actually ended up going to visit Billy and Linda first and were there for close to an hour when we were outside sitting on the back porch and I felt a sudden urge to go to the bathroom…like really bad. Abruptly in mid conversation, I stood up and said, "I need to go pee." They laughed, probably thinking, "typical pregnant lady."

There was nothing typical about this, however. As I walked, I started to feel something familiar. I got to the bathroom and before I could even sit down, blood started to get everywhere. This time I believe was worse than the first incident at work. There was blood on the toilet, on the floor, on my hands, all over my clothes. It was intense. I tried to clean up as best I could and rushed back out to my husband and my aunt and uncle and in a panicked state, announced, "I'm bleeding again." Then I turned and headed back to the bathroom. Dustin and my aunt came in the bathroom. The first thing I recall my aunt saying was, "Oh my gosh, that's a lot of blood!" She helped me clean up and get my things together as Dustin was immediately on the phone to my doctor who told us to drive straight to the hospital in Davis.

Dustin called to let my parents know what was going on and that we wouldn't be seeing them any time soon as we needed to head out. I was lying on the couch with my feet propped up, still bleeding, as my aunt and uncle sat with me and prayed over me and the baby. I was shaking profusely and was really a hot mess!

Needless to say, we spent the wee hours of Easter Sunday in the hospital. I think we finally got home that day close to 3:00 a.m. They did a bunch of lab work and a regular ultrasound along with a doppler sonogram. We left with no answers. All we got from our doctor who was very kind and had the same last name as us was, "These things sometimes happen. You just have to realize that you're not in control and whatever is meant to be is going to happen."

Surprise Quickly Led to Fear…

As do most people these days, Dustin and I decided to wait until I got through the first trimester before we were going to publicly announce that I was pregnant. Things seemed to be going fine and we had our first ObGyn appointment when I was exactly 8 weeks pregnant. We were able to see our tiny little baby growing inside me.  I was SO excited that entire day. I thought for sure my blood pressure was going to be sky high because I had been so anxious that whole week/day leading up to our appointment. Luckily, my blood pressure was good, and we got to see images of our little peanut!  :)

Our first doctor visit was on a Friday, and the following Monday I was at work during my lunch break when I got one of the biggest scares of my life. I used the restroom right after the bell rang and then went back to my classroom to sit down at my desk to eat and finish some work on my computer. Everything appeared to be fine. I ate a few Baked Lays and then started to type up an email. My leg started to itch, so I reached down and scratched my upper thigh. Then I went back to typing, and as I looked down at my hands I noticed that I had blood on my right hand. I was completely puzzled. I thought maybe my face was bleeding or something, so I quickly pulled out my mirror and looked at my face. No blood. I didn't understand why I had blood on my hand. I looked at my arms and the palms of my hands. Nothing. Then I stood up and that's when I quickly figured it out. A gush of blood went rushing down my leg. My heart instantly sank and I began to feel light headed and panicked. I could feel more blood running down my leg. My hands were starting to shake and I was trying to hold back tears as I started to say prayers. I quickly walked over to the staff bathroom, keeping my head down, praying no staff member or student would approach me as this was everyone's lunch time. I went to the bathroom, started to sit down, and a huge rush of blood and something else came out. I looked down and there was a giant clot probably the size of the palm of my hand sitting in the toilet. I was crying and freaking out. I tried to clean up as best I could. Luckily, it was cold that day and I had on black leggings with a dark colored dress. Otherwise, this incident would have been even worse. If you can imagine that!

I went back to my classroom, said a few more prayers, attempted to call Dustin (who unbeknownst to me was in a staff meeting at the time with hospital administrators) and all I managed to get out before one of our phones dropped the call was a tearful, "I'm bleeding. You need to leave work now."

Then I grabbed my stuff and walked up to the front office, trying as best I could to maintain my composure. I immediately went to the principal's secretary and motioned for her to follow me to the restroom, where I took her into the very back stall, locked the door, started to cry and told her what was going on. She was SO sweet and did a pretty good job at helping to calm me down and told me not to worry about anything, just to go…leave and go see the doctor.

I left work, got in my truck and called my friend Nicole (the nurse) who helped me calm down some more and offered some advice. Then I started to drive toward the hospital in Davis as I put on speaker phone and dialed my doctor. As I was doing this, Dustin was trying to call me on the other line. I had to ignore his calls as I was put on hold waiting for my doctor who was in surgery to come on the line. Finally, she came on, I told her what had happened, she sounded very concerned, and she told me to head straight to the hospital to see her. I told her I was already on my way. Then, I called Dustin who was also already on his way, told him what was going on and agreed to meet him at Sutter Davis.

We got to the hospital and had to wait about 45 minutes before my doctor could actually get to us. We sat in a patient room as I was half naked up on an exam table, bleeding everywhere. The room was very quiet as Dustin sat next to me and I laid on my back, staring up at the ceiling praying over and over and over that our baby would be ok.

Finally, our doctor came in, performed a pelvic exam in which she told us my cervix was closed. I was SO thankful for that, as my friend Nicole had told me that would be a good sign. A little bit of relief at last. Then, she performed an ultrasound and we were able to see our baby's heartbeat for the first time. She said that she had no idea why I was bleeding and that this sort of thing could sometimes happen, but the baby seemed to be fine and had a good heartbeat, so she sent us on our way…me still bleeding…and still anxious that I had no real answer as to why this was all occurring.

There was nothing for me to do other than to:


As I said, the day I found out I was pregnant we were headed to Reno for the weekend with my parents. It was Valentine's Day and I had just found out that I was pregnant. I was SO excited!! I couldn't wait to tell Dustin I was pregnant. On the other hand, though, I wanted to surprise him in a unique way, so I quickly decided there in the bathroom after I took the test, that I was going to wait until we got back from our trip so that I could plan a fun way to tell him.

It was pretty hard to keep my secret throughout our weekend trip with my parents. There were so many times in conversation that I wanted to say, "I'm pregnant!!" But, I managed to keep it to myself. I'm not going to lie…in a way, it made it feel more special to me, like I had a little being growing inside of me and I was the only one who knew and therefore could relish in my own realm of happiness.

We spent Friday night through Sunday in Reno and came home that evening. I still hadn't said a word. I had kept the secret long enough, though and was dying to tell my husband. So, I started working on organizing a plan to tell him….and took another test just to confirm. (Yep, I was sure I was pregnant. There were now two distinct lines showing!) I thought for sure he was on to me, as I was trying to be very sneaky in searching for a way to devise a plan. I scoured the Internet for ideas. I didn't really see anything I liked, though. I went to bed that night without a plan, yet knowing that there was no way I was going to be able to keep this a secret for one more day.

The next day (Monday) we had an appointment to check in with the fertility department at the hospital for Dustin. He got up early and ran a few errands before we were supposed to head out. This bought me a little bit of time to hurry and just get something together. I was able to come up with an idea. (I've always been able to work better under pressure!) It wasn't necessarily the most elaborate idea, but it was cute enough and unique enough for me to be able to finally surprise him with the good news.

Now, to play it cool…

Remember, we were scheduled for a fertility visit. I'm mean and let him go through with the visit. (LOL!!) I wanted him to be SURPRISED!! :)

After we left the hospital, I suggested we head to one of our favorite restaurants for an early lunch on the patio. I knew this is where I was going to tell him. We got to the restaurant, ordered food, and grabbed a table on the patio. We were the only ones out there. It was perfect. And I was scared! Well, I guess more like nervous/anxious. Our food came out very quickly and Dustin ate his as I sort of picked at mine. I was too excited to enjoy food at the moment. Finally, when he had finished I said, "So, I have a surprise for you." He looked puzzled. I continued,"I have another Valentine's Day gift for you." Then I pulled this out of my purse and handed it to him:

*That is the actual box the pregnancy test came in that I wrapped in white paper.

He was starting to look even more puzzled as he opened the box and pulled this out:

Upon reading this, he looked as if he had NO idea what was going on. I was starting to laugh. He was looking at me like I was crazy and asked, "What is this?" I told him to look in the box because there was something else in there. Then he pulled this out:

In his soft spoken voice he simply smiled, looked at me, and said, "Oh my gosh!"

I laughed as tears started to well up in my eyes. 

He repeated it again, "Oh my gosh!"

Then, "You're pregnant?!"

I replied with a sigh of relief, "Yes!"

And then I started to cry as he stood up, walked over to me and hugged me.  As he wrapped his arms around me, again he said, "Oh my gosh." I was laughing and crying at the same time like a crazy person. 

What a memorable moment!  :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Thank You, Grandma…

Anyone who knows me well, knows what a big part of my life my Grandma Bonnie was. I was super close to her and shared a special bond with her my whole life. She was born the day after Valentine's Day - February 15th. She passed away on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2007. I was devastated. I grieved for a VERY long time. To some extent, I still grieve and feel that I will always feel a bit empty without her here. Something resonated with me, however, a couple of days before her funeral when someone who was part of my life at the time said to me, "She came into this world around a day of love and she went out on a day of love. She must have been very special." I love that! I wrote it as part of what I said at her funeral. When I talk about her, I still use the words. So, it's no surprise that the words came to me again when Valentine's Day rolled around this year and one of my students asked, "Mrs. Nguyen, do you like Valentine's Day?" I replied, "Yes, I love Valentine's Day. It's a little bittersweet for me, though, because my grandma died on Valentine's Day."

Now, I'm a teacher who talks a lot and shares stories with my students (part of the fun in teaching older kids is that you can have real conversations with them to help connect learning to real life situations), so they know how much my family and especially my grandparents have meant to me in my life. So, I continued in my conversation, and said, "It's a little sad because she died on Valentine's Day, but she was born the day after Valentine's Day, so I remember that she came into this world around a day of love and she passed away on a day of love. So, even though Valentine's Day was once a sad day, now I like to think of it as a special day where I get to be reminded about all of the special memories I have of her."

It was really cool to see the expressions on the faces of my students after this conversation. I love moments like that. It's an impressive thing to witness when students start to see you as a real person who has a personal life and not just as a teacher in a classroom.

One of my students asked me, "Do you feel like she's with you or watching over you?" I said, "Oh yes, very much so. I feel that a lot. I see her in so much of what I do or what I say. Especially on holidays and things like that. She loved holidays. I feel like she's with me today." In that moment, I had no idea just how true that was going to be for Valentine's Day, February 14, 2014.

On my way home from work, I had to stop at the grocery store (totally unplanned, yet very necessary in that moment, which is how I know God had a hand in all of this) and because we had been trying, I thought, "Maybe this is a sign. Maybe I'll just get a pregnancy test while I'm here." Then I thought, "No, I don't feel like I'm pregnant. I was just at the doctor's office a few days ago and said the same thing to her and besides, I'm due any day for my next cycle and then I start fertility treatments." Being a person who so deeply believes in signs from above, however, I thought, "But this COULD be a sign that you have to even go in here and there is a pharmacy in that store with pregnancy tests."

So, after I got what I needed, I decided to go to the store pharmacy and ask the tech for a test (this particular pharmacy keeps them stocked behind the counter so you have to ask them to give it to you). The pharmacy tech was so sweet and so excited. She was like, "Oh my gosh!! Are you going to take the test today?! How cool would that be if you were pregnant?!" I, however, was not as excited as she was. I didn't want to get my hopes up after so many uneventful pregnancy tests in the past. I said, "Yeah, I'm going to take it when I get home. I don't know though. I don't feel pregnant, so we'll see." She just kept going on and on and was so excited. She started telling me her ideas for how I could tell my husband if indeed I was pregnant. I was getting really uncomfortable and wanted to be polite, but also really just wanted to buy the test and get out of there, thinking that I may not even take the dang thing once I got home.

When I did get home, though, I did decide to take the test. I told Dustin I needed to wrap his Valentine's Day gift and not to come to the back of the house where our  master bedroom was. Now, we had plans to meet my parents in Reno. (I had bought concert fix for my mom's birthday and we made plans to stay at The Grand Sierra Resort with my parents over the weekend.) So, our original plan was for me to get home from work, put stuff in the truck real quick, and roll out. That, however, didn't happen, because what I thought was going to be a quick "I'll take a pregnancy test that will probably result in a negative result and then I'll gather my stuff and go" kind of deal, ended up with a situation of: "Oh my gosh, that looks like there are two lines on there!!"

So, after  taking pics and sending them to two of my closest friends, Carrie and Nicole, and starting to freak out, needless to say, it slowed me down a bit…especially since they were both pretty positive that I was PREGNANT!! My nurse friend Nicole, who was working at the time actually went and showed the pic to one of the doctors she was working with that day, who said, "She's pregnant!"

Nicole text me back the information, and upon hearing from a legit doctor that they thought I was pregnant, I stood up, looked in the mirror, saw the reflection of my smile in the mirror, shed a few small tears, and instantly felt changed somehow. I had managed to get pregnant on my own, just in the knick of time, prior to having to start any real fertility treatments!  I said prayers and thanked God for this moment and this baby. Last, but definitely not least, I thought, "Thank you, Grandma. Thank you for being with me for this today."


I'm usually a pretty open person, but the road to getting pregnant wore on me. I got so tired of having to answer questions and give the details of something that was emotionally draining to me. Every time I had to talk about it, it drained me a little more. Finally, one day, right after the doctor appointment in which we decided to start fertility treatment, I just decided to send out a mass text to those in my life I'm close to and I basically asked them politely not to ask me any questions about our situation as we began the process. I hoped I wasn't being offensive. That was not my intent. I just needed to be strong mentally, and I felt the more I actually had to talk about it, the less that would occur. Everything I do in life is something I always prepare for mentally, especially for the things that really count. It's just how I function. (I hear this is also how a lot of great athletes approach things. I'm assuming this is something I picked up along the way as I played sports when I was a kid and was part of a competitive cheerleading team in h.s.) A few people didn't respond (I'm assuming this was them being respectful and giving me my space…thank you, by the way) and everyone that did respond was kind and basically said, "We love and support you." I took a deep breath and prepared for the next step in all of this….

Time Rolls On….

We came back from Newport and continued to try to conceive. By early February, nothing had happened and we were back at the doctor's office discussing fertility options. We decided to proceed with fertility testing for Dustin. (Oh, that was an adventure…and not something that anybody would probably find especially comfortable! Luckily, we managed to keep a sense of humor about it.) We also decided upon fertility treatments for me. This was also something I was NOT looking forward to. It all began to proceed quite quickly. In less than two weeks, we had a couple visits with a urologist, a couple visits to the fertility department at Sutter Hospital downtown, and some medication with detailed instructions about how to start taking fertility treatments.

I prayed A LOT during this time and I'm sure you can imagine how those prayers went. It's amazing how badly you can end up wanting something like a child, especially once you're told that the odds may be stacked against you. Still, I attest to what my cousin Julie always says, "God is always on time." I kept that in mind as I crept out of bed one night while my husband was asleep and I wound up on the bathroom floor crying and quite possibly praying as hard as I ever have in my life (aside from the night I found out my brother was paralyzed). I so badly wanted a child of my own.

Happy Anniversary…

After about two and a half months of healing and taking medication, my doctor gave me instructions to stop the Rx and to start trying again for a baby. She also gave specific instructions for us to only try for three or four months and if nothing happened, she said we should proceed with fertility treatments and discuss IVF. I did NOT want to do IVF, but was open to it if that was our only choice. So, we started trying again.

We took a romantic anniversary trip to one of our favorite places in October of 2013 - Newport Beach. We were hopeful that with a stress free, fun vacation, it would set the right tone for getting pregnant. Our trip was great, but no baby.

Let's Take A Moment…

for me to acknowledge my parents and the fact that I wouldn't be here, nor would I be the person I am today without these two people in my life. They have been wonderful parents and I can't wait for them to be grandparents. Just like any other family/parent-child relationship, we have our moments and our times of ups and downs (anyone who tells you otherwise for their own family is lying! There is NO perfect family!!), but at the end of the day, I love them with ALL that I am. They have been there to support me - in too many ways to even put in to words, given me guidance, showered me with love, and quite possibly most importantly, allowed me to be ME. I must also add, that some of the best and most fun times of my life have been spent with these two. I SO look forward to the time when my own child gets to be loved by and make memories with these two people I call my PARENTS.


Let's Roll…

In August of 2013 I had laparoscopic surgery in which my doctor removed two fibroids, some scar tissue, a polyp, and cleaned up the endometriosis. *She believed that the fibroids were responsible for giving me painful and heavy menstrual cycles and that the endometriosis was playing a large roll in why I hadn't been able to get pregnant. It also caused my blood counts to be off.

Surgery is never necessarily what anyone wants to do, but when you are entering it with the notion that it will help you to feel better and to possibly help your odds of conceiving, you sort of look forward to it - in a weird way. Additionally, having surgery can make you feel a new sense of hope for your condition and state of mind.

*Don't I look hopeful here?!? LOL! My sweet hubby took this lovely pic of me as I was waiting to get the good stuff hooked up in my IV…AKA: something to take the edge off and put me in LaLa Land. Needless to say, I was starting to get anxious!

Surgery went well and the doctor was able to get everything out except for a tiny fibroid she found that she said was in a really difficult place that would have made surgery more invasive, so she left it alone, feeling that it would be fine and my odds of getting pregnant would still be good.

I was pleased and apparently very emotional after surgery. My dear friend Carrie was there with me that whole day, and when I saw her during post op I cried. I vaguely remember parts of that moment and conversation. I do remember, however, feeling so touched that she cared enough about our friendship to be there with me. It definitely touched my heart. Thank goodness for the people God puts in your life that aren't family, but support you like they are. I feel very blessed with the people I have in my life and I routinely thank God for them in my prayers.

That day I also had these good people with me:

And of course, this man:

And later when I got home, these fools came to visit me too  :)

**In our family, the word "fools" is a term of endearment. It's an inside joke.   ;-)

I went home, started the road to recovery, started a new daily dose of medication to help with fertility, and waited until we had the green light to start trying for a baby again. And we continued about our daily life…