Life's a roller coaster and I'm not strapped in.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The OB/GYN turns into a vampire...

So, turns out I may not quite have the spare time to really update this thing like a should, but since I don't think I really have any followers, I don't really feel that bad....oops!  But so my story continues. So we were given the green light to try again, and of course we did, but to no avail.  :(  I must admit, I've gotten pregnant on the first try with my last two pregnancies that I think I went into "trying" thinking that, well, of course I would get pregnant!  I did everything the same, though there were some things that went a little differently.  For starters, I had 5 days of positive ovulation tests which I'm pretty sure isn't normal, but the doctor didn't seem very concerned about it.  I was instructed to just go by the first one, which we did, but of course I'm concerned that maybe I ovulated later than I thought (if I even ovulated at all) which may be why it didn't work out this time.  And of course I Googled reasons for having multiple days of positive ovulation tests and the only real thing I found was that it may be a symptom of PCOS....ok, we'll add it to the list of differentials.

The other thing that we did this cycle was my doctor took some labs on cycle day 3 to see if he can figure out what the problem may be.  11 vials of blood later, I found out that everything was mostly normal.  Mostly, except my estradiol was waaaaaay high.  Like 278 when it's supposed to be less than 80.  Like 1st trimester of pregnancy high.  Ok--let's Google that one.  Could be indicative of ovarian cysts.  Well, my doctor also did a sonohystogram which included an ultrasound of my ovaries and uterus, and my ovaries were cyst-free so couldn't really figure that one out.  Then the doctor recommended that we do a Clomid Challenge Test.  Apparently, when the estradiol levels are that high, they can mask the FSH levels to looking normal, so by doing the Clomid Challenge Test, we're going to see what my brain does with my FSH levels in the absence of estrogen which apparently the Clomid is going to neutralize.  Basically, we're testing my ovarian reserve because bad quality eggs can lead to more chromosomal abnormalities in the embryos and thus, more miscarriages.

Enter sheer terror.

Obviously I don't know the interventions to look at if this test doesn't work out like I hope, and it's still so crazy to look into my daughter's eyes every single day and wonder how she came to be if I have all these issues now.  She's my miracle, and I love her, and maybe I'm crazy to want to question God's plan now because perhaps He's giving me all I really need.  I don't know, all I know is that I need to stay off Google.  And pray.  Because none of this is in my control, but we serve a faithful Lord, and I just know He will give me the desires of my heart.

Prayers are coveted, and I thank you so much for praying with me!  Until next time...

Friday, November 07, 2014

A sibling for Reagan

Wow!  It has been almost 5 years since I've even thought about my blog.  5 YEARS!!!  Wow is my life different now!  I got married, I have a precious daughter that is 20 months old, I've excelled in my career as a physical therapist, and life has been AWESOME!  Now, that's not to say there haven't been challenges or down time because, well, it's life, and life's not like that, but I have definitely been blessed and smile to think of everything I've accomplished since the last time I showed my face on my blog.

So what's bringing me back??  Any review of my blog will reveal my heart in it's darkest moments.  Blogging is therapeutic in that it allows me an outlet to relieve my brain and my heart of questions, grief, emotions, and thoughts.  It's my puzzle put together on paper, my chalk board to write down my problems, my journal to channel my negative energy and find the silver lining in all the adverse situations I've dealt with.  So what is the source of my adversity this time??  Infertility.

But wait, you just talked about how you had a 20 month old, you're not infertile!  I got pregnant with Reagan on May 28th, 2012, had a smooth pregnancy without a single complication, and gave birth to my sweet Reagan on March 5th, 2013 at 3:21 pm.  I probably would have blogged about the challenges of motherhood, but let's face it: there was no time for that!  She has brought me so much joy, grief, pride, fear, and happiness than I could have EVER imagined.  Motherhood is a FORGIVING role that has a large learning curve, and thank God because conquered challenges are met with new challenges with each new phase bringing a new experience and a new puzzle to figure out as Reagan and I continue to get to know each other.  And each day is a reward and a blessing, and I will forever be grateful that God chose me to be Reagan's mom.  She is my heart and my soul, and she is enough!

Except, here I sit, a child with a half brother, half sister, full brother, step sister, adopted sister, and adopted brother:  that's 1 of 7 for those of you scoring at home!  How could I just choose to deprive Reagan of the joy and anger of having siblings??!!  I mean, who is there going to be to tattle on or be the tattletale, challenge her to games of War, Poker, and Hands and Feet, sit in timeout to share the blame for getting the carpet muddy or destroying the walls, fight over the bathroom with, or play practical jokes on??  And who is going to be the rock she needs when the boys break her heart, the companion she has when her parents drag her on family vacations, or the confidant that will really understand what she's going through when family drama comes around??  Reagan needs a sibling!

On January 9th, 2014, I conceived a second child only to be met with the disappointment of a miscarriage on February 22nd.  I. Was. Devastated.  It's not something you can prepare yourself for, and it's certainly not something you expect when you just had the most uneventful pregnancy ever!  But there I sat, looking at the ultrasound that measured only 5 weeks when I knew that I was somewhere closer to 7 weeks.  And I was bleeding.  My doctor chalked it up to bad luck, explained that 20% of pregnancies result in miscarriages due to chromosomes not dividing properly, and he wished us better luck next time.  Sigh.  But why??  God??  What's your purpose in this??  What's your plan??  Of course I asked questions that no one had the answers to, but with my grief and my healing, we could only conclude that God didn't think we were ready, our timing wasn't His timing, and all we could do was pray that our hearts be healed and rejoice that we had an angel baby that was in heaven, sitting on my Daddy's lap, and making him giggle.

We opted to wait a while before we actually started trying to conceive again, Reagan was still really young and may having 2 babies really close in age was a challenge that we weren't cut out for.  Six months later on August 8th, we conceived again.  Yay!  Right?  Not a chance: upon seeing the positive pregnancy test, I was nothing but paralyzed with fear.  It happened once, it can happen again right??  Unfortunately yes.  On September 22nd, we went to our 8 week ultrasound only to discover again that I only had a 5 week gestational sac and my hormones were not increasing.  Devastation!  But I wasn't bleeding, so the doctor encouraged that we do a D&C, and so we did.  We waited one cycle like we were instructed to , and now here we sit, free to try again, but completely and sorely terrified.

So this is where I will leave you for tonight.  I've caught you up, you know why I'm here, and I thank you, whoever you are, for listening to me rant and tell my story because sometimes, you just need a sound board, even if it's a silent one... ;)

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Would Dad Do?

Yes, I know this sounds sac-religious, but don’t worry - I’m not about to start marketing bracelets that have “WWDD?” on them or anything. It’s just a question that my brother and sister-in-law have been encouraging me to ask myself recently, and it’s one that serves as a firm reminder of all the things that my father taught me during the 21 amazing years that we were on this earth together. My father was a good person, and for him, there wasn’t such a fine line between right and wrong. Sure, he made plenty of mistakes during his lifetime, but at the same time, he bestowed in my siblings and I great lessons and values that would prove to guide our decisions when we so often approached certain crossroads. So for me, considering what he would do in certain situations serves as a more tangible guide when faced with tough questions upon which I am to react. Allow me to further explain….

When I was growing up during those painful pubescent years that were drenched with poignant female hormones, my mother used to always tell me that I was always too emotional about everything. My reply to this was usually firm denial delivered via high pitched screams through big fat tears. A decade later, I’m realizing that she was probably right.

Now, I’m not one to indulge in astrology other than to read it for fun in magazines from time to time, but I do know that pisces are identified as those who “react emotionally to everything making them compassionate and sensitive to those around them.” This description describes me to a tee! This is not to say that I’m some kind of drama queen because I certainly try to avoid drama at all costs. It’s just that sometimes, my reaction to certain situations is the result of extreme emotions that don’t really augment any sort of constructive conflict resolution or, at times, creates drama in and of itself. Therefore, I tend to create more grief for myself which ultimately results in a never-ending cascade of emotions that usually don’t get resolved without some sort of sought out intervention. It’s a horrible cycle that can only be fixed by one thing: objectivity.

It is during these times of self-discovery as I continue to grow and mature that I really wish I had my Daddy around to help me sort through my emotions and figure out how to channel them into positive energy; however, the continuous advice I’ve received from Dean and Mischa have allowed me really embrace the person my father was and remember his words and lessons, even in his near four-year absence. So, in those moments when I’m about to dive off the deep end, I’m just going to take a second between the pre-dive bounce and the final plunge to think to myself “What would Dad do?” and by stimulating my brain with this question, I hope to be able to find objectivity in the face of the greatest adversities that life brings. What a beautiful revelation...


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who Needs a Ring When You Can Have a Puppy??

So, on Sunday, January 25th, I became a Mom. My entry into motherhood was not entailed with my legs being in stirrups for hours, pushing painfully while drenched in sweat and screaming at the top of my lungs. I left work on Sunday night and headed to Anderson to spend my usual week with Enon. Retrospectively, Enon was kind of sucking up all day. When I'd gotten up to go to work Sunday morning, he'd run to McDonald's to get me coffee and breakfast. When I called him on my lunch break, he admitted that he was in the middle of doing all my laundry, and he anxiously wondered if I was going to get off at a decent hour if it would be another long workday. Now, don't get me wrong...Enon has his moments of glory, but I guess I should've suspected something given that he had been on his best behavior all day, making sure I noticed all the sweet things he had done for me. When I got to Anderson, Enon said he had an early Valentine's Day present for me which was a book about Labrador Retrievers. He said he'd gotten it so I'd be better prepared for when I finally did get a puppy to which I wailed, "ugh, this is only going to make me want a puppy even more!" I guess I should've caught his grin then, but still, I suspected nothing. He told me to take my stuff into his room so that we could get ready for dinner. As I walked into his room, sitting on the bed in a pink basket was Daisy. After staring at her for a moment and wondering if she was real or if this was just a horrible practical joke, she opened her eyes and looked up at me and I immediately felt tears rush to my eyes. I was in love!


In the past 4 days, my life has changed dramatically. Sunday night, I got up 4 times to help Daisy potty train. At 3am, she decided she was in the mood to play. When I couldn't get her to go back into her crate to go to sleep, I let her rest beside the bed because I was so exhausted that I couldn't hold up my heavy eyelids a second longer. When we got up at 6:30 with Enon, I figured that this is what a new mother must feel like when she first brings her baby home. The rest of the morning was spent alternating between naps and playtime. In the afternoon, we went to the vet where she howled the whole time since she was in an unfamiliar place. I cradled her in my arms and rocked her until she was soothed to quiet wimpering. We made it through the check-up where she spit up one of her medications and was not taking to the treats they kept offering. She wailed the entire car ride to PetSmart to pick up additional supplies, and by the time we were ready to go home, she fell asleep with her head in the cup holder of my console. And that was just Monday.

The rest of the week was spent in a similar fashion. Tuesday, I cried when I had to leave her to go to the grocery store, and she wailed the entire time she was left in her crate. Wednesday, we worked more fiercly on crate training to which she voluntarily entered her crate multiple times. We also worked on walking with the leash, and sitting on command. By Thursday, we were all worn out that we spent the morning laying in bed watching TV until Enon came home at lunch feeling nauseous. Then the three of us cuddled up to take a refreshing nap, followed by more TV time and eventually a bath. It was the busiest week I've had in a long time, and even though she's just a dog, I felt a love that was more intense than anything I'd ever had that wasn't romantic. I hardly found time to put on make-up this week because my time was devoted to something other than myself which was refreshing so much fun! Daisy is absolutely perfect, and I'm so incredibly grateful that Enon found her and loves me enough to give her to me as the most perfect Valentine's Day present ever! Who needs a ring?? Being Daisy's mama is enough for now, and I know that a ring will come soon enough. Besides, right now it would simply just be another thing for the puppy to chew on....

Until next time...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Engagement Season

So, yes, engagement season is on us in full force. I find that the only reason I even log onto facebook anymore is so I can get the latest update on whose gotten engaged which is usually followed by subsequent stalking to see how their wedding turned out. What is wrong with me??

Today, my younger brother proposed to his girlfriend of a year. I have always said that William would get engaged before me, especially given my horrible dating record during my college days, so as this day approached, I'm at least grateful to report that I'm a lot closer than I initially perceived myself to be. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm EXTREMELY ecstatic for my brother and Jessica, and even more excited that I'm obtaining two nieces who happen to be two of the cutest little girls I know (Jessica's twins from a previous marriage), but I couldn't help but to feel a bit of a sting when I got the news today. There's no doubt that I'm a helluva lot more excited than I am jealous, but you can bet that this is wearing my patience a wee bit thinner than I think Mr. Hopkins would like for it to be. Thank God he's a good sport, right?

I don't know what it is. There's no rush into "forever", right? I know I'm not old and it's not like my biological clock is running out on me anytime soon, but it seems that when you reach a certain age, no one takes your relationship seriously unless you have a ring on your finger, especially given as long as Enon and I have been together. On June 26th, we will be celebrating our 3-year anniversary. I suppose I shouldn't care what others think, but I guess I'm just ready to take our commitment to the next level. Of course, there are other factors that have to fall into place, especially financial factors, and I'm willing to wait for those. I guess I just envy others who already have their ducks in a row because I'm extremely ready to take the next step. Until then, I guess I'm strong enough to endure the rest of engagement season. Afterall, I never know when it'll be my turn...

Congratulations William and Jessica! May the two of you have a very happy and prosperous marriage together!

'Night kids!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!!!

So, I'm not quite sure how you gauge whether or not a year has been "good" or "bad", and I certainly don't know how ringing in a new year indicates that dramatic changes are going to occur, but I sure am ready for 2009! This is not to say that 2008 was a "bad" year, it was just a year that was marred by adversity. I had a pretty rough spring semester characterized by my stress levels reaching their apex and lots of tears. Then there was the disappointments of the election and Georgia football season (who beat Michigan State today by the way, marking a great way to ring in the new year!) thus making a stressful fall. Summer can easily be rectified by a day on the lake or a day at the beach sipping on adult beverages, so no complaints there. All in all, it just seems like a lot of the year was spent in somewhat of a "funk" which makes it easy to say goodbye to 2008.

In spite of adversity, however, there were a lot of good things that happened in 2008. For starters, I got to spend an amazing day on April 4th with my family where we spread my Dad's ashes over Cedar Falls on Petit Jean Mountain. This day could not have been more perfect, and the closure that resulted from honoring my Dad's last wish really left a refreshing feeling in my soul. It was a day that I knew my Daddy was proud of us, and it truly was a perfect send-off in which we were able to recall memories and laugh about them instead of soaking them with tears. Being with my family was amazing, and somehow, I was able to feel my Dad's spirit with us too.

I also have to be thankful that in spite of extreme stress levels I experienced, Enon and I successfully met mastery on all of our coursework for PT school which is an absolutely amazing feeling! There were definitely times where I wasn't sure we would survive, but we did! 2008 was also a year in which Enon and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary, and while we continue to have our bumps in the road, I feel like we are as happy as ever and I'm still extremely grateful that he is a part of my daily life, and for that I will continuously be grateful.

In spite of the good things 2008 brought, it is the rewards of 2009 which I am looking forward to reaping. Barring any complications during our last clinical experience, Enon and I will graduate on May 8, 2009 with our doctor of physical therapy degrees! This marks the end of school, a huge milestone in our educational endeavors, and the opportunity to FINALLY enter the workforce and become financially independent! How exciting! I also hope that by the conclusion of 2009 I will be donning a shiny rock on my left hand as I really am more confident than ever that Enon is the one that God sent to be my soulmate. Now, am I getting a little impatient?? Well, I won't lie...but, it's an extremely exciting part of our relationship, and I'm willing to wait as long as it takes because there's no reason to rush into forever because that's exactly where Enon and I are headed. Lastly, I hope for the 2009 football season to be a promising one for Bulldogs. Now, I know that sounds ridiculous, but don't judge me! Georgia Football is so very much a part of what makes me tick, and if the worst thing I have to worry about it whether or not my Dawgs win a football game, well then life isn't that bad, now is it?? :)

Happy New Year! May everyone have a safe and rockin' 2009!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Ways of God...

So, I treated this patient the other day. He was a middle aged man with a thick white beard, thinned salt and pepper hair, a solid beer gut, and a thick stature which ultimately reminded me of Daddy. The similarities quickly ended there as I read through his chart which revealed a lifetime of social misbehaviors including past cocaine use and smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes per day for the last 30 years. The only other similarity he shared with my Daddy was in his diagnosis: myocardial infarction.

As I read these words in his chart, my own heart started screaming. I'm not sure if my heart was screaming at God, screaming for my Daddy, or just screaming for the sake of screaming. I just couldn't believe that I had been given orders to treat this man who reminded me very much of my Daddy, yet with his history of partying and poor decisions, he actually survived his heart attack! That God, he sure can be cruel sometimes. Or so I thought...

Prior to treating this patient, I could feel the bitterness welling up in my whole body. One of the main reasons I opted to be a PT was because of the endless opportunities I was going to have to help people, yet there wasn't a bone in my body that wanted to help this patient. I figured that if he was lucky enough to survive his heart attack, then he could just figure the rest out for himself. Now, it's true that my Daddy wasn't the healthiest individual in the whole wide world, but he'd made a conscious effort to monitor his health, try to lose weight, and abstain from smoking and heavy drinking. This dude had done none of that but he was sitting in front of me waiting for me to help him. It was then that I had to dig down deep and think about what Daddy would've done, and without a doubt in my mind, I knew that my Daddy would've prayed.

So, I prayed. I prayed that God would help nurture this man back to health, and that he would treat this health scare as a wake up call to change his social habits, to change his spiritual habits, and to gain appreciation for this life that he was given a second chance at living because there are so many people who aren't given that luxury...

As I proceeded with my treatment of this particular patient, I realized that God meant for this whole situation to happen. Medically, you can't explain why this guy survived while my father did not. But, you can't always compare things on paper. After his death, my stepmom once described my father as the only adult person that she knew that has died and is actually in heaven without a shadow of doubt. Perhaps it was for this reason that he wasn't given a second chance because there are so many people in this world who need to fix their lives in order ensure that they will find themselves in heaven one day. Either way, this whole situation served as the perfect illustration of God's individual plan for each one of us. And while we don't always like it and while it's sometimes not fair, it always seems to work itself out in the end...

I know I said I was done blogging about Daddy, but in the oddest way, working with this patient made my heart smile because I realized that I, too, know that Daddy is in heaven without a shadow of a doubt, and it truly is a much better place to be...

Until next y'all!