Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Catching up

First of all, thank you so much for your support on my last post. Although I’m a little ashamed of just how bitter I sounded, I appreciate all of you validating my feelings. I guess it just goes to show that people say dumb things no matter what you are going through, whether it be infertility, loss, or even Crohn’s disease. Life lesson learned.

I have a few things I wanted to post, so I’m going to go with bullet points today:

  • Hubby has been doing much better since the ER trip. I’m learning that this pattern of feeling good one day, then having the worst pain of your life the next day, then going back to feeling better the next is fairly typical for Crohn’s. I’m also learning that the frustration, helplessness, and anger that I am feeling is normal, and it is ok to break down every once in awhile. I called a good friend on Friday and cried over the phone with her, and it helped me realize that it’s ok to be emotional and upset–that I don’t have to be an unwavering tower of strength for my husband. You would think that I would have figured this out a little sooner because I have been saying that hubby is allowed to be upset about the IF/loss that we have experienced, but I guess I’m a slow learner.
  • I got into grad school. I’m really excited and proud of myself, but I’m not doing a celebration dance just yet because I was put on a wait list for an assistantship. Which means that my school may or may not be paid for, and I may or may not get the resume-boosting experience. Right now, hubby is of the opinion that where there is a will, there is a way, but I’m not sure how we are going to make it happen without that assistance. Especially when we have medical bills piling up (just when we are almost done paying the bills from my miscarriage). It’s actually looking like we will reach our 2013 out-of-pocket limit this month, which I think is fairly impressive.
  • It’s been awhile since I’ve done an update on my lady parts, so here it is (disclaimer, in-depth period talk ahead): I had a normal period for the first time since I was on BC, and I’m freaking out about it. Ok, freaking out is a little bit of an exaggeration, but I am quite perplexed. On day 29, AF started. It just started, which I thought was weird because I usually have three to five days of spotting before it actually arrives. Then it lasted four days. This is unheard of. Mine usually last a week to a week and a half–and that isn’t counting the spotting that happens before it actually starts. I mentioned to hubby that it was over and he looked at me like I had grown another head and said, “But didn’t it just start a few days ago?” Also, it was blissfully light–it only filled my diva cup about a third of the way every twelve hours (as opposed to completely filling it every six to eight hours). Apparently, this is what “normal” periods look like, and I would be ecstatic if I wasn’t so weirded out by it. Maybe it’s a sign of good things to come?

Those are the biggest things happening in our life right now. The most important thing is that in the midst of everything that is going on, I’m still feeling very hopeful. I just know that things are going to work out, even though I don’t know what it will look like. I’m frustrated, tired, and impatient, but I’m hopeful. I think a lot of that has to do with the beautiful weather we’ve been having–it just lifts my spirits. Spring is trying its very best to settle into East Tennessee, and I am beyond ready for it! It also has to do with the amazing amount of love, prayer, and support we have received from our new church. I hope to post a little more on that soon, so stay tuned!

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Still in the Trenches and a Sickly Hubby

This month is not our month.The spotting I had 9 DPO was apparently a fluke (or the new normal because I failed to mention that the only time I had mid-cycle spotting and wasn’t pregnant was the previous cycle), and AF arrived on Wednesday. The truth is that we really didn’t try very hard this past cycle because hubby has been sickly, and I went into this TWW knowing that we might have missed our window. While I am a little disappointed, I’m ready to shake it off and move to next month.

The reason that I haven’t posted in a while is that hubby is quite sick. He went to his doctor on Friday the 4th, and his doctor referred him to a gastroenterologist. We went and saw the specialist on Wednesday, and he sent hubby to the hospital for a stat CT scan. The diagnosis? Hubby has Crohn’s disease, and he currently has a lot of inflammation and a small amount of air leaking from his small intestine into his abdomen, which is causing a lot of pain. The doctor said there is a 70% chance that this leak will be fixed with medication (antibiotics and Hu.mira), but there is a 30% chance it will turn into an abscess and he will need surgery. Hubby started the antibiotics on Wednesday, and he is going in for a TB test today. Once he goes back and they see the test is negative, the doctor can prescribe the Humira. My biggest immediate concern was helping hubby’s pain, and I asked the doctor to give him some pain killers so he can actually sleep through the night. At this point, we are just waiting for the Hu.mira and watching for any signs of an abscess–increased pain, fever, etc.

Crohn’s is a big deal, and Hu.mira is a big bad drug, but this is not too much of a shock for us. Hubby had some major tummy issues a few years ago, and Crohn’s was suggested as the culprit, but he was never officially diagnosed. He went into remission and we didn’t give it much more thought until he started feeling terrible again at the end of October.

Needless to say, TTC is on the back burner right now. I’m ready to try again this month if hubby feels up to it, but if he doesn’t, we’ll just keep waiting until he is better. Right now, his health is so much more important to me than TTC.

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Periods, TTC again, Reminders, Christmas…

I have a couple different ideas for posts floating around in my head right now, but they are all  being drowned out by a voice that keeps screaming “AHHHHH! You’re taking the GRE tomorrow! AHHHHHH! PANIC!” Yes, the voice in my head is a bit melodramatic. So today is going to be a bullet point kind of day:

  • Thank you ladies for your responses to my previous post. Every time I’ve ever talked to someone about it, I’ve always gotten the, “deal with it, everyone’s period sucks” response, so I guess I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. Like I said, it wasn’t until very recently that I even realized just how heavy my flow is compared to other women.  So I’m going to make an appointment to talk to my OB about it, and I can’t help but think that maybe figuring out why I have hellish periods will also solve my mc mystery without any “infertility” testing that wouldn’t be covered by insurance. Hey, a girl can hope, can’t she?
  • I am now in my fourth cycle after my last mc, which is the cycle that we had decided to start trying again. Right on time, I am starting to feel the desperate need to TTC. I knew that waiting was right for us the past couple of months because I didn’t want to TTC, and I was afraid of becoming pregnant. If I still felt this way, we would wait another cycle–or however many cycles it took for us to be ready, but I am ready. At least, I’m as ready as I can be. And hubby says that he is ready too, but I am willing to pull the plug as soon as he says that he isn’t.
  • Saturday was the Christmas parade in our town, and hubby’s shop made a float for it. There are only three employees at hubby’s shop: the owner, hubby, and one other mechanic. I think I mentioned before that the other mechanic’s wife found out she was pregnant the same time I did with my first pregnancy, and every time I see her, it’s like getting punched in the stomach. I can’t even hate her because they really wanted children but didn’t think she could get pregnant because she has pretty bad endo, but I still break down and cry every time after I see her. Well, all three employees and their wives were on the float on Saturday and the owner took everyone out to dinner afterward. It was horrible. She looks adorable–just glowing with the cutest baby bump I’ve ever seen. Ugh, I’ve been a bit of a mess ever since. My first due date is in January, and I don’t know if I’m ready for it.
  • My magical Christmas hope has been fading fast. I think the biggest reason is the fact that it has been 60+ degrees here over the past few weeks. At the Christmas parade, people were wearing t-shirts and sandals–it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. Combine that with my GRE stress and the pain of seeing my pregnancy twin still carrying her child, and I’m just not feeling the holiday cheer anymore. A cold front rolled in yesterday, and I’ll be done with the GRE tomorrow, so hopefully that will lift my spirits. Hopefully.

For those who have suffered a loss, how do you handle pregnant women with the same due date as you? Any spells I could cast to make her invisible to me?

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Abnormal

Warning: I’m about to talk about periods. A lot. In detail.

I’ve always been somewhat aware of the fact that I have unusually heavy periods, but in the past year or so, I have started to realize just how different I am from most women. There were little hints, like whenever I needed to ask someone for a tampon, they only had these little tiny ones that might last me about an hour. And the look of shock on girls faces when I mention that I’ve been on my period for over a week. Not too long ago, I was on a retreat while I was on my period. When I confided in a friend that I was concerned about my need to go to the bathroom every two hours, she told me to just use a bigger tampon. I told her that I use super tampons, and her jaw dropped. It took me a long time to realize that most girls don’t go through a super tampon every two or three hours for the first few days of their period, most of them don’t consistently bleed through a super tampon the first two nights of their period and most girls don’t have a period that lasts well over a week.

My suspicions where finally confirmed when I used a Divacup for the first time yesterday. When I first opened my new Divacup, I was a little surprised at how small it is. That’s right, I thought it was small. Yes, it’s a little large when you are trying to insert it, but I wondered how something that size could possibly hold my heavy flow. The website, however, reassured me that the cup is more than large enough: “The DivaCup conveniently holds one full ounce of menstrual flow (30 ml). As the average woman only flows approximately 1 to 1.4 ounces (30-40 ml) per cycle, The DivaCup is the ideal menstrual solution to care for your cycle. In fact, many women are surprised at the amount of flow and expected that there would be much more!” I was actually looking forward to checking the little measurements on the cup and learning that I was not bleeding nearly as much as I thought, but I had the opposite experience. I started my period yesterday afternoon, and between that time and this morning, I’ve already surpassed the 1.4 oz average. It was almost filled to the halfway point both times I emptied it yesterday, and it was almost completely full this morning. This is over the course of only 17 hours.

I told hubby about it this morning, and he said “No wonder you are so exhausted when you are on your period.” Seriously. I usually do nothing but go to work and come home and sleep when I get to the end of my period because I’m too tired to even function. I’m completely wiped every time Aunt Flo decides to visit, and I thought I was being pathetic because women have managed to power through since the beginning of time. At least now I have confirmed that I am not like most women, and I have a small excuse for how tired and pitiful I am at the end of my period. Trust me, I am now sufficiently jealous of all of these women with their little wimpy periods.

Is there anything I can do to help lighten the flow a little? I was amazed at how light it was when I was on birth control, but that’s not really an option for someone who is TTC. Anyone know of a miracle herb or something that I could take? I promise to be your best friend.

Also, I just wanted to say that I am in no way giving a bad review of the Divacup–I’m really happy with it. I just have to empty it more often than most women. I’m already in love with the fact that I don’t have to carry an arsenal of giant tampons and pads with me everywhere I go.

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