Who’s Life Is This?

A few days ago I was standing in my kitchen.  S was propped up on my hip (as is his usual position, even though he’s 13 months old and weighs 22.5lbs), and E was screaming at me to fetch her some milk (as is her usual go-to thing to scream at me about), and suddenly I had this odd sensation that I was in someone else’s life.  It was almost like someone had transported my 20 year old conscious into my now 33 year old body, and I had no clue what was happening.  I felt like I was a stranger, that I had no idea who these kids were.  I didn’t recognize the kitchen, or the way my body felt.  I was thrown into a panic.

It was quick, maybe half a second, but I felt all of those thoughts and sensations.  Then I was back to normal.  It’s been an incredibly stressful week.  My hormones are flaring because my period is on the way, my son is teething and has become some sort of horrible beast monster, and my daughter is needy beyond reason because she sees how much attention I’m having to give my son.  I am stretched thin.  I’m tired, and angry, and sad.  I guess I’m also hallucinating, or experiencing some kind of out of body experience? Is this what four straight years of stress can do to a person?  Yikes.  I need a break.

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Antibiotics Fight Depression?

It’s a very odd thing, to realize that you’ve come out of the depression.  You start wondering how it happened.  What have you done differently?  Will it last?  The latter being the biggest question of all.

About a week ago, I was diagnosed with strep throat.  Not surprising, since E has brought home every cootie available from preschool, but it was pretty bad for a couple days.  The doctor prescribed amoxicillin three times a day at a 500mg dose.  I began it immediately, and within two days started feeling better physically.  Then my period started, so I started to feel bad physically again, but in an entirely new way.  I felt exhausted…. but… I felt fine mentally.  In fact, I could not drum up the sadness if I tried.  I’m not sure how many of you reading this have had to fight depression, but it’s not just a mental burden, it actually feels heavy.  You can feel it on your shoulders, in your back, in your chest.  It’s overpowering in every way…. it drags every inch of you into the abyss.

….but on amoxicillin, it’s gone.  I thought I was crazy.  I thought it was some sort of weird coincidence.  Then I turned to Google, my long-time friend for finding weird information, and there it was.  Not only articles about how doctors were studying why this happens, but there were people just like me asking if anyone else had suddenly felt better, after years of suffering, while they were on a round of antibiotics.  And there were people who noticed, and they were all just as shocked, happy, and terrified as I am.

From what I’ve gathered, it turns out that antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can aid in helping depression because “Infection causes localized and body-wide inflammation. Inflammation generates substances called cytokines that have been shown to change how brain cells communicate. In autoimmune diseases, the body’s defense system attacks healthy tissues rather than threatening invaders. It’s possible that in some cases the wayward immune reaction could target brain cells and other nerve cells throughout the body.

I guess it’s important to note here that five months ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto immune disease.  That’s right, for those of you who have been following along with me for the past four years, I now have TWO incurable diseases, PCOS and Hashimoto’s.  I’d say I’m special, but apparently I have two of the most common diseases on the planet, so I’d say I’m pretty average, but maybe a little on the unlucky side.

Anyway, back to the topic, my brain appears to be 100% better since starting antibiotics, and I’m terrified of what might happen once my course of treatment is over.  Now that I’ve stepped back out into the sunshine of a spotless mind, I am so happy to be here.  I’m not yelling, or crying, or desperate to be anywhere but where I am.  I don’t want to sleep away the day so that I don’t have to face it.  This is what it feels like to be myself, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt this way.  I’m not sure if a full-time treatment of antibiotics is possible, or even if it’s the best idea in the world since I’ve already got a tolerance for antibiotics due to being on them so often growing up.  What would happen if I was really sick and really needed antibiotics to work.  Would they, if I was taking them daily?

Honestly though, I wonder whether it’d be better to risk it in the long run.  It would have to be better than living with demons inside your head?  Right?

My Little Man

Well, everyone, I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to post about this, I could probably come up with a few good excuses, and a couple bad ones, but instead I’ll just say that it took me too long and I apologize.  I am pregnant.

That’s right!  For anyone who’s been with me since the beginning of this blog, you know that we struggled for three years to conceive our daughter.  We tried naturally, we tried Clomid, then we went to a Reproductive Endocrinologist and finally got a diagnosis of PCOS for me, and some wonky (not the medical term) sperm from my husband.  After that we tried four medicated rounds of IUI, with only three being viable for the actual insemination part, and after a chemical pregnancy with the first IUI try, and two failed IUI’s after that, we took nine months off, regrouped physically and mentally, and then went back for IVF.  FINALLY, we had success!  Little E was conceived, carried, and born in June of 2013.  Phew… long ride… but we had made it.  Now, with a little lady on my hands, I wondered at the prospect of more.  Was I willing to go through fertility treatments again? I mean, after all, my husband and I were still considered infertile so it would take more medication, more money, more time, to conceive again, and I just wasn’t ready.  My heart wasn’t in it.  I was content, happy, finding my new balance in life with E.  *heartfelt sigh* But then…..

So, remember this post I wrote on July 13th of last year?  It was all about how I wasn’t sure a second kid was for me.  Well, three days later I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant.  Go figure!  To say I was shocked is putting it very, very mildly.  In fact, it was until recently that I think I actually kind of accepted what was happening, and I’m already 31 weeks along.  I am now elated, but at first I was scared and upset.  I didn’t know if this was something I wanted, or could even handle.  I’m still not sure I can handle it, but I know it’s something I want now.  HE is something I want.

That’s right, I have a little man on the way!

I’m hoping to post one day about how this is a wonderful thing for people who have suffered through infertility and can now have hope of a natural second, but I feel like I would need more than two minutes, and sadly, that’s all the time I have left this morning.

Until next time, lovelies!

-E

Other Kids

Yesterday I went to visit my family.  I love them, but they are all insane.  They now know about our infertility troubles, as I decided to “come out of the {infertility} closet” during National Infertility Awareness Week.  I wanted to be able to offer my story and have others come to me if they needed to talk.  I ended up having one friend contact me and has been talking to me about her procedures (which are so different from mine that I’ve already put in a request for her to write a guest spot).  She now has 12 embryos frozen and is waiting 6-8 weeks before transfer to avoid OHSS (I’d never head of this before…).  They got 26 eggs, so it seems like they made the right call.  Anyway… I got lost…

Okay, so, while I was with my family, my grandmother started telling me that if we are going to try with our other embryos, we should do it soon so our kids could be close together.  I told her I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to even imagine taking care of two children.  Then my sister, mom, and grandmother, almost in unison, said “two is easier than one!”

Um.  I get it.  I really do.  They have each other to play with, so they don’t need you constantly, like my daughter needs me.  That would be great.  Really, it would.  I could see her loving to have a companion.  I could see me loving her having a companion, but…. no one seems to understand what I’m actually saying, perhaps I should be clearer.

I do not know if I, personally, can take care of two children.

Before you say “yes you can!” let me explain that I still have days where it takes everything I have to not sit in a corner and sob because I am so overwhelmed with the word “mommy” and the fact that all I really want to do it sit on the couch and crochet without my daughter running off with my yarn.  I get irritated that my husband wants to play golf on the weekend, but hell, he works all week too, it’s not his fault he enjoys a sport that takes a million hours to play.  I get that he needs down time, but I still hold it against him.  I have days where I feel like I’d like to get up and leave, hide myself away at the beach for a few days (weeks?).  I want to spend more alone time with my husband, but by the time our daughter is in bed, we have maybe two hours to ourselves before we are passed out drooling, and most of the time we each have our own things we want to do with our two free hours a day.

I want meal times to be easier.

I want nap and bedtime to be easier.

I want to have an adult to talk to during the day.

I want to be able to go to the bathroom and shut the door.  (Today I had an upset stomach and she came in and closed the door, trapping us both inside – if that doesn’t haunt her nightmares, I don’t know what will).

I’m not ready.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready, because it’s not just about giving my child a playmate in two years (pregnancy + age a kid is able to “play”), it’s about trying to get pregnant, going on hormones that cause depression, wondering if our embryos will survive the thaw, wondering if my depression will make me actually run away on the day of the transfer, wondering if either of the embryos, or maybe even both, will stick, carrying a baby while I have a clingy, needy, toddler to take care of, having a baby with a toddler at home (I mean, grandparents aren’t far away, but they don’t want to keep her for a year, i’m sure… or doooo they?? I’ll check on that and report back…), then having to feed both kids, entertain both kids, put both kids down for a nap, or take one to preschool, pick one up from preschool, get to the grocery store, fix something for dinner, have the house is some sort of working order (I’m not saying clean, that’s just crazy talk), and then have time to feel like a human long enough to spend time with my husband and keep our relationship together?  (We struggled for quite sometime after having E — sometimes I feel like we might still be struggling a little).

To the women who have done this, and will tell me it’s easier than I’m making it out to be, I get it, truly I do.  You’re probably right.  If it happens, it’ll be my normal life and i’ll settle into it like I’ve settled into this life.  I’ll learn who goes for a nap first, who gets bathed first, how to make all the crockpot meals on pinterest, i’ll do it.  What I’m saying it that I can’t get myself to be at that point.  I can see the line, but I can’t get myself to cross it, not yet anyway.  My daughter just turned two, and this constant pressure to “get going because yada yada yada” is just, too much.  Who says kids born more than three years apart are bad, anyway?  Who wrote that rule, and where is it written?

I just realized that I titled this “other kids”, not meaning to yammer on about possible other kids for myself, but to talk about how I wanted nothing more than to snuggle my nephew (9 months) the entire time I was with my family yesterday.  I carried him around the store, comforted him when he cried, made sure my sister gave him plenty of carrots for lunch, gave him toys to play with from my personal purse stash, and gave him about a million kisses.  Did I , in that moment, want another baby?  No.  So isn’t that my true answer right now?

Go with your gut, ladies and gentlemen.  The size of your family, and the space between siblings, is not something to compare with others.  Make sure it’s right for you.

I’m hoping this is my last post on “the second baby conundrum” for a long time.  If I get a baby surprise one day (ha!) I will certainly let you all know.  For now, i’m not thinking about it, or worrying about it.  I’m hoping to use this blog as a place where I talk about how I’m simplifying my life, or what crafts I’m doing, or what random thought pops into my head (scary…).

Oh, and by the way, I love my daughter with my whole entire heart.  It’s not her fault she drive me crazy, she’s a toddler, and I’m a human, it’s normal.  Plus we spend 12 hours a day together, that would drive anyone a little crazy!  Just a little….. well, okay… a medium amount of crazy…

-E

Back to Blogging Basics

I feel like the last post was not me at my brightest.  I’d apologize, but I feel like that would be apologizing for not always feeling happy, and that wouldn’t be fair to me.  Sometimes I’m not happy, and 98% of the time it’s because my hormones are ravaging me from the inside.  I will explain why they’ve been out of control lately, and maybe that will shed some light on my low mood in my last post.

In April, I had a chemical pregnancy.  I know, it surprised me too.  How the hell did that even happen?  Not only would that mean that I would have had to ovulate *gasp*, but my husbands sperm would have also had to make it to an egg AND penetrate it AND fertilize it.  *gasp gasp gasp*

The truly sad, yet also good, part about it is that I didn’t know it had happened until well after it happened.  I know, ridiculous right?  You see though, my cycles are somewhere around 35-42 days.  I had tested at four weeks because even though I was sure I’d never get pregnant naturally, I have always enjoyed peeing on sticks and hoping to be surprised one day.  Test at four weeks was negative, same for the test at five weeks (or so I thought… more on this later).  So when I woke up on cd 44 and tested again (hey, i had one test left!), I didn’t even check it because that same pee showed that my period had started.  What a waste of a test.  I shoved it back into the box and put it away in the pregnancy test drawer.  My husband knows I test, but for some reason I don’t like him to see the tests in the garbage.  I know, it’s weird.

After my period, which was lighter and shorter than normal, I felt very sad and I had no energy.  Usually after my period I’m ready to go everywhere, clean everything, and get it on with my husband to my hearts desire (my PCOS gives me an insatiable sex drive — only perk, honestly).  I didn’t feel like this at all though, so I talked with my friend who’s had a few miscarriages.  I was just telling her about how I felt pretty sucky, and she asked if I was positive I hadn’t just miscarried.  I was pretty sure, since the chances are like… a bazillion to one, but I was curious, so I pulled the box of tests out (still not thrown away — try not to judge me for holding on to old pee sticks), and I pulled out all three.  One was definitely negative (four weeks), but to my surprise, the other two had faint pink lines.  One was very faint, and one was actually visible.  I know what you’re going to say, evaporation lines!!  I agree, that is a thing, but you must also know that I’ve never once had an evaporation line on any test (I’ve looked days and weeks later at some of them), and these lines were pink, I hear evap lines typically aren’t.

So, there it was, right in front of my face.  Holy crap.  I had been pregnant—ish?  Was I glad I hadn’t noticed the positive the same time I started bleeding?  I mean, wasn’t it already too late?  I tested again to make sure I wasn’t still showing as being pregnant, and I wasn’t.  The doctor said if I wasn’t then it was too late.  Wow… I still can’t believe I was pregnant—ish.

So, I started birth control.  My husband and I had decided a while ago that if we did try again, we’d want to try with our two frozen embryos first.  So, I wanted to insure I didn’t have another miscarriage, and I started birth control.  It made me sick, so sick.  I had the worst headache, it took over my entire body, head to feet.  I couldn’t focus, or think, or take care of myself or my daughter, so after three days (yes, only three days) I stopped.  My period started two days later.

Then we went to the reproductive endocrinologist and set up a date to try our FET.  The hormones from the pregnancy/miscarriage made me want to be pregnant right then and there.  I would have gladly thrown myself into the stirrups and had them do the transfer right that minute if that were how it works, but sadly it doesn’t.  Sadly, you have to be on birth control for at least two-three weeks before you can start the process.  not have the transfer, but start the process.  So I tried a different birth control…  eight days later I was in bed, sobbing and sleeping… and that was it.  That was all I could do.  My in-laws had to take my daughter for two days because I couldn’t do anything but cry.  I was sure my husband hated me, that my in-laws thought I was a terrible mother, and that the world would be a much happier place if I just wasn’t in it.  I wasn’t suicidal, thankfully, I just thought that if I disappeared, people would be better off.

It has been three weeks since I stopped BC.  I just started feeling better about three days ago.  I feel like myself.  No more nasty thoughts haunting me, no more pain, no more sad. Phew…. I am relieved.  I do not know how people function when they are depressed.  I couldn’t.  I hope everyone who suffers from depression can find their way out.  It is a dark place.  So very dark.

So that’s where we are.  I can’t do the FET, because I can’t be on birth control.  Even if there is one that won’t turn me in a sob monster, or cause me horrible pain, I couldn’t work up the nerve to try right now if someone paid me to do it.  I just can’t.  I can’t go back to that dark place right now.  I am still physically and mentally exhausted from it.  So, we are just going to toss our baby hopes into the wind and see if maybe we can get lucky and have something stick this time.  I am eating as well as I can, exercising, and also getting a lot of down time and help with my daughter.  Trying to put myself into a good place so that maybe, just maybe, I can be one of those “after infertility treatments” success stories.  If not, we will try for an FET again down the road sometime.

Fingers crossed….

It Might Be Nothing…

Today I went to Urgent Care.  I just couldn’t wait to see my doctor tomorrow at 10:15.  I needed to talk to a professional, have my fears put to rest, or validated.  I needed something other than my own fear repeating itself in my head.

On Friday I had one of the worst head pains I’ve had in my entire life, besides three months ago when I had the exact same thing happen.  Last time, though, the event had started with a headache, so I figured the extreme headache/pain was just from over exertion.  You see, the event was that I was having some rocking sex with the hubs.  Last time, I blamed the skull exploding pain on having a headache before all the orgasm fun started.  I mean, orgasms can really take a lot out of you.  Soon after, I forgot about it.  This time though, this time there was no headache.  I felt great, but with each orgasm (if I have one, I have more… it’s like magic), the head pain got worse.  I didn’t black out, but I’d assume I was close.  Ten minutes later the headache had subsided and I fell asleep.  I had a little residual head pain the next day, but the extreme pain haunted me.

I figured it was a fluke.  I’d had this happen once before, maybe it was something I ate, something I had done that day… I just don’t know.  So Saturday we had sex again (PCOS gives me super high sex drive — i’m one of the lucky ones, that’s not super common).  No big O this time, as it was a quicky, but the closer I got to the big O, the worse my head felt. Luckily, no big O meant no brain bursting pain.  Now I was worried.  Why did this happen two days in a row?  Was there something wrong?  No way….

Last night was my birthday.  The hubs was being very generous, again.  I had to stop him because the closer I got, the worse it got.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t have an orgasm.  I was so scared of the pain that had already started, and the pain that was coming.  I stopped my husband from “working” and we finished the deed.  As soon as we were done I burst into tears.  Now I was scared.  What was happening to me?  Why can’t I have sex?

I had researched it after Friday, but now I was sure that I needed to go to the doctor asap. There was no way around it.  My primary couldn’t see me until tomorrow, so I went to urgent care.  I told him what had been going on, and after talking to his doctor (he is a PA), they decided that I needed a ct scan asap (today or tomorrow, depending on when the place could fit me in), to see my primary tomorrow and tell them what’s happening, to see a neurologist asap, no sex, and to take motrin if another headache starts.  Although, they only start with sex, and no sex… so… no motrin.

The diagnosis?  At the moment it’s called a sex headaches.  Pretty simple.  Most of the time they are benign.  No cure, no reason behind it, just something that happens.  BUT, it can also be a warning sign.  A warning sign of an aneurysm, a hemorrhage, or a brain tumor. The medical page I was reading even mentioned that sometimes a small bleed can happen, heal itself, and then reappear later, which could explain why it happened once and then stopped.

I’m scared.  I’m really scared.  I’m sitting here, writing this, but my ears and my attention are on my phone, waiting for a call.  I need that ct scan done.

You know what makes me most upset?  The thought that if this is something serious, that something could happen to me and then I wouldn’t get to see my daughter grow up.  Then I think about how she is so young she wouldn’t even remember me.  Can you imagine? She’s only 1.5, I am her favorite person on the planet, but she wouldn’t remember me. I can’t imagine.

I am so sad.  Please think about me this week, and hope the answer is just that it’s a problem I have to deal with.  I just don’t know what to do at this point.

It might be nothing…

Anxiety Mommy

It’s hard having anxiety.  Crippling, overwhelming, hard to breath anxiety.  I’m lucky to only have anxiety that bad a few days a month, but that’s not all anxiety is.  Anxiety is always with me.  It is in every decision I make, every event I am planning, every future I foresee, and it is not nice.  Anxiety does not give me visions of seeing my daughter in high school, it gives me visions of something terrible happening to her.  I see every way in which she or my husband could be taken from me.  I even see ways that I could be taken from my family, never able to see my daughter grow up.

Every day I make sure she doesn’t pull on dressers, because I read a story about a three year old who pulled a dresser on herself while her parents were still sleeping and died while they slept.

I didn’t buy her a cubbie shelf (per the suggestion of her grandmother) because I had just read a story about a 13 month old girl dying from pulling one over and being knocked unconscious and suffocating.

I make sure the blind cords are up too high for her to reach because I read something about a five year old boy hanging himself accidentally in blind cords.

Everything I hear or read stays with me.  Forever.  Anxiety doesn’t let me forget.  It dwells inside me.  It lives there and breeds and grows and envelopes my brain.  The older my daughter gets, the worse it gets because the more she’s doing, the more danger shes’s in from the world.  I know these events are rare, but they are so incredibly tragic that I cannot ever forget.

…and it doesn’t even have to be something in her age group.  I just sobbed in the bathtub as I read comments on a post about delivering a stillborn baby (I couldn’t bring myself to read the post).  There were mothers talking about the heartache of losing their children to SIDS at two, five, six months old.  I flashed back to that age where I was so terrified of the same thing that I would wake 10-20 times a night to check my daughter to make sure she was still breathing.  She slept by my bed until 10 months.  After that I woke 10-20 times a night to watch the monitor and make sure she was breathing.  I still check her monitor 2-3 times a night (she’s 19 months old).

I worry about everything constantly.  It will most likely wear off on my daughter, as my mothers anxiety wore off on me.  I like that is makes me cautious, that I understand that bad things happen, but I’d really like to not fear walking along the sidewalk with my daughter because I’m scared a car is going to drive over the curb and hit us.  I’d like to leave the house without her without worrying that I’m going to die in a car wreck and never see her face again.

This anxiety is with me forever.  Medication will probably help (and i’m discussing this with a doctor soon), but it will never go away.  And that is exactly why I cannot fathom having another child.  How could I make it through another pregnancy, another year of SIDS watch, another full life of another human that I made, without completely losing it and locking everyone in the house and never leaving.  I can’t do it.  I can’t do it and take care of myself and take care of my daughter.  I know that, my husband knows that, and my daughter will know it one day.  I hope she can forgive me for my anxiety, and know that the decisions I’ve made to keep us a three person family were the best for not only me, but also her and her daddy.