Category Archives: My Reproductive Nightmare

Quick Update

The surgery took me out for way longer than it was supposed to yesterday. I even missed Wes’s Kindergarten orientation. Here is the FB update I posted last night when I stayed awake long enough to update family and friends and eat some damn food because I was STARVING TO DEATH. I am super behind on life today, sorry to duplicate the same thing from FB. But, I’m too busying trying to each double the amount of caffeine and food I can to make up for yesterday.

Kim’s Update

  •  My heart rate measured 49 and 45 at different points. They asked me if I was a runner Most PROUD moment of my life!
  • My C-section scar tissue was not too much for them to do the thermal ablation after the Dilation & Curettage. This is GREAT news because that will help the most with my endometriosis. I kept referring to the procedure as “cooking my uterus”. Donnie was not a big van of my invented vernacular.
  • They removed several polyps provided me Before/After photos of them. It’s like my Uterus got a Makeover!
  • I woke up in more pain than any of my other surgeries over the years. Morphine didn’t even touch it. They gave me four servings of Dilaudid. That did the trick!
  • I suffered from the same post-anesthesia nausea I suffer through often after surgeries. Whatever cocktail the put in my anesthesia to prevent that didn’t help. That’s the main reason why we were there so much longer than we were supposed to, they didn’t want to send me home until I felt better. They ended up doping me up with Zofran and Phenergan. The later, of which, made me SO EXHAUSTED that I was completely useless even after we were discharged.

Thanks again for all of your support. This was a bittersweet day – GOOD because hopefully I won’t suffer as much any more, but BAD because it was the official close to the Child Bearing chapter in our lives. So, we needed all of the good thoughts we could get…thank you very much. Love to you all!

10 Comments

The Perfect Example Of “Mixed Emotions”

Today is the day of my endometrial ablation. I haven’t had anything to eat or drink since midnight (when I wolfed down two protein bars and chugged some water) and the procedure is at noon today. I am feeling the perfect storm of Mixed Emotions about this. One one hand? I’m so ready to have this done. We’ve been talking about it for years and as soon as we decided that we were okay giving up the chances of having more kids, I’ve been counting down the days to get it done. Between my endometriosis, my fibroids, and my ovarian cysts I’ve suffered plenty of the last 8’ish years. Too many days not leaving the house, or leaving the house and regretting it after having an incident. Too many days curled up on the couch with a heating pad, a bottle of ibuprofen, and some sort of crappy television. I am praying with every ounce of my soul that this procedure alleviates a small bit of that suffering. A small bit of relief will do wonders. But there’s a potential it will do more so with a tiny part of my heart, I’m hoping the ablation does even more.

But, of course, that means our days of child-bearing are officially over. We are officially a permanent family of five. This is a beautiful thing, and our two children born after my onslaught of reproductive issues are nothing short of miracles. But I will always feel like our family is incomplete. I always hoped to have one more child with Donnie. But truly? We wanted several more. Like, you know, 50 or so. We bought a giant house to fill with screaming children. And now it just feels like a reminder of what my body failed to give us.

But, of course, that also means no more miscarriages. And one of the things I’ve said 100 times since my miscarriage last year is, “I can not go through that again. That was the last one I could handle. I’ve reached my limit. I came very close to needing to be institutionalized, the next time I’ll definitely need to be.” And every word of that is true. I’ve tolerated plenty of loss over the years but that one? That one was the straw that made the camel collapse to the ground. It didn’t break his back – but one more…one more will. So, ending the child-bearing days has a silver lining, that’s for sure.

Wish us luck. I knew it would be a weird day, emotionally. I was up late with a bit of anxiety relating to non-medical issues and then Wesley had leg cramps during later in the night. So, what was previously going to be a “weird day” emotionally is now going to be the perfect storm of exhaustion and sadness and relief which will inevitably end with me curled up in the fetal position sobbing in the corner of the surgery center waiting room. Send Donnie as many thoughts of Patience and Understanding as you can, because this type of emotional day on less than 3 hours sleep? Is not going to be pretty.

21 Comments
threenewborns

The End Of An Era

threenewborns
Three Newborns, In Order Of Appearance To The Zoot Family

I’ve discussed before that the last miscarriage I had was the last straw for me emotionally. The 10 weeks of anxiety followed by the eventual loss nearly broke my heart. Each miscarriage seemed to be harder for me to “get over” but that last one was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I needed professional help. That, combined with my constant state of reproductive hell due to endometriosis, fibroids, and cysts – and I settled in to really wanting to give up on any more kids and to have an ablation. Unfortunately, Donnie wasn’t on the same page yet.

Well, a few weeks ago Donnie wrote out his Five Year Plan to map out his Ironman goals and his Master’s Degree goals. No where on the plan did it allow for more kids. When I pointed this out he admitted that he’s kinda settled into the same view I had. That if we could just be given a kid sans anxieties or miscarriages, we’d take one in a heartbeat. But he didn’t want to see me go through another eventual loss. He also has noticed that my “good days” every month are getting fewer and fewer. And my “bad days” are getting worse and worse. The pain and the hemorrhaging some days make it so I can’t be away from my home for more than an hour at a time, and seeing your wife cry from the kind of pain she could have surgically remedied? Starts to make you shift your perspective.

But mostly? He’s enjoying our life sans young children. He likes being able to think into the future and make plans without having to consider the delay another baby would add.

So, it’s time. I really feel like he’s at peace with it, which means I don’t have to fear it hanging over our marriage for the rest of our lives. I’ll go for my checkup/consult and we’ll make the plan. I’d like to have the ablation done before the summer is over so it won’t interfere with my fall/winter training. Then we keep track of things and see if that gives us a substantial improvement. If it does? That will hold me over for years. If it doesn’t? We’ll talk about removing pieces of the reproductive system that has made my life all sorts of hell outside of the three healthy children I brought me.

I am – honestly – equally relieved and sad about this. I’m relieved – and almost happy – to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. This week has been a bad one especially. I was in tears last night I was in so much pain and let’s not talk about the concern I had about needing a transfusion at the substantial blood loss. Yesterday was REALLY bad, but this whole last 10 days has been pretty shitty. So, yeah, thrilled to maybe start a normal life with normal amounts of pain and discomfort. But – oh my god – I’m also so very sad. We bought this huge house so we could grow into it. I bought an 8-person dining room table. We have a minivan. We made all of these SPACIOUS decisions allowing for another child or two and now? We’re done. Officially.

We still have always considered fostering children. My parents were foster parents before I cam around and I would love to carry that on someday. So none of that space will be wasted, but the intention is dead. And if I said that didn’t break my heart, I’d be a big fat liar. Because it does. But this whole journey has had it’s share of heartbreak. Each miscarriage took a bit of my heart with it, and that heartbreak doesn’t go away. The sadness over the loss of any future children…that will heal. That’s what I keep telling myself. We can officially move on to the next phase of our lives. The, “We don’t have to add a ‘What if’ to all of our plans…” phase. We don’t have to feel bitter at other people’s pregnancies. We don’t have to save baby clothes and toys. We don’t have to figure out where a new kid will sleep.

But most importantly? I don’t have to live through another miscarriage. A that’s the key. I don’t want to get into the dark place I went to after my last loss, and I don’t want to see how much darker it gets down there.

13 Comments
photo(2)

I’ll be okay no matter what. Because of you.

We still have a heartbeat! We also still have a bit of the subchorionic hematoma, so I’m still under watch/restriction until the next appointment in two weeks. But still! Heartbeat! That’s always a thing to celebrate.

So we did. We told everyone we knew. (Except Nikki and Wes still.) Because we wanted them to all know our joy at heartbeat #2, and we all wanted them to be thinking about us these next two weeks as we stress and worry about whether we’ll see it again.

When you find out you’re pregnant, just about every website mentions that week 12 is the week to spread the news because your risk of miscarriage drop substantially. In other words…society says, “We would like you to suffer the loss of a pregnancy on your own! HAVE FUN!”

It’s the only truly sad medical event that people suffer, that we are expected to suffer in silence. Every woman knows that 12-week rule. Even my first pregnancy, before fear of miscarriage, I knew that rule.So when I suffered my first miscarriage a million years ago, I only had a few people to offer me comfort. I went through this devastating and sad thing, and no one knew because I was waiting 12 weeks to tell people.

Maybe it’s my repeat miscarriages and pregnancy loss…but now? I call bullshit on this.

If someone in my community – whether it’s my volunteer group, my book club, my running group, or my boot camp – is suffering and I don’t know about it because I have encouraged them not to tell me? Then I have failed that community.

Aren’t we all human? Don’t we all want to offer hope, strength, compassion, and even prayers to those around us in need? Do you ever find out someone is suffering and wish you didn’t know? No. Because we are compassionate people who want to help those in need. But with pregnancy? It’s different. Instead, the common thought is, “We don’t want to know you’re pregnant until you’re past the risk of having something bad happen. That way if something bad does happen, you don’t have to tell us about it.”

Miscarriage SUCKS. It sucks so hard. This blog saved my sanity time and time again because it gave me a community to turn to when my pregnancies failed. It gave me a support group. It gave me people who knew I was suffering, even if society asked me not to share my pain.

When we got pregnant this time around, we knew I couldn’t be as open on my blog because we now have so many real world friends and family who read the blog. And then? We had a scare. And we came through the scare free and clear, but it hit me: If we hadn’t, where would I have turned?

So we came clean on the blog. I told you guys I needed you. I needed my community. And everyone sent us their prayers and their messages of support. And those words kept me strong in this last week. You all left me 139 comments, and only about 20 of you all have ever met me. You were just wishing me well across the internet and holding my hand while I waited and hoped.

We had more good news yesterday, but times in the past when I’ve seen/heard no hearbeat? I turned to the article that I send out the most to my friends who have suffered pregnancy loss. If I had this in paper it would be worn and faded by now. It was written over 10 years ago, but I feel like I consult it regularly still. The painful truth lies in this quote, “There’s little acknowledgment in Western culture of miscarriage, no ritual to cleanse the grief.”

She goes on to say:

Without form, there is no content. So even in this era of compulsive confession, women don’t speak publicly of their loss. It is only if your pregnancy is among the unlucky ones that fail that you begin to hear the stories, spoken in confidence, almost whispered. Your aunt. Your grandmother. Your friends. Your colleagues. Women you have known for years — sometimes your whole life — who have had this happen, sometimes over and over and over again. They tell only if you become one of them.

For the record? This is a club I’d proudly ditch membership to if I could. But I’m in it, and she’s right, no one speaks publicly outside of the club.

WHY? Why do we not tell the world the second we find out we’re pregnant? If we did – then we women who suffer the loss – wouldn’t suffer alone. Every time I have a miscarriage I hear a new story from a person I know about a loss they never shared with me. And I want nothing more than to retroactively be there for them. I want to go back to the day they found out the pregnancy was over, and I want to hug them. And comfort them. And possibly take them to get drunk.

When I posted this picture to instagram with the news we saw the heartbeat, but still some bit of clot, all of my blog friends spoke up with messages like, “HANG IN THERE, BABY!” Do you know how much each of those messages made my heart swell? TONS. And these were just my internet friends and a few close real-world friends/family who already knew. This gave me so much strength, we finally came clean last night on Facebook. Facebook is full of most of my local friend and family. Most of my friends on FB I know in real life. And the support rang through the night. And all I could think was: If something bad happens now? These people will all hold us up.

I didn’t think, “Oh, these people will wish we didn’t tell them.” No! Because I have a community of people who stand by each other – through the good and the bad – and they want to know BOTH. They want to celebrate our joys and mourn our losses with us. And we want to do the same for them.

So I can be strong the next two weeks while we cross our fingers and offer sacrifices to fertility gods. (Kidding! Unless you know of some fertility gods that could help, then let me know.) Thank you for always giving me a space to celebrate my joys, but also to grieve all of my losses. Pregnancies. Dogs. And my dearest Dad. Every one of those entries has over 100 comments of support on them. You’re my strength. Time and time again, you’ve been there for me. While Western Culture and our society has not built a great structure to help grieving woman after pregnancy loss – I’m glad my community does give me that place to seek solace and comfort. I hope I offer you the same when you need it in return.

Basicly I’m saying, “Thank you.” I’ll be okay. No matter what. Because of you.

40 Comments
5548209183_da22be25a3_z

Dear Michelle Duggar,

I don’t know you at all. I just know that whenever you get pregnant, the internet has A LOT OF OPINIONS about your pregnancy. My own dark reproductive history has conditioned me not to have opinions about anyone else’s reproductive situation. So, whenever you got pregnant, I just found myself scrolling past the endless tweets, facebook statuses, and blog posts about your latest blessing.

Although, I’ll admit, I did periodically feel a pang of jealousy. But I feel that whenever anyone gets pregnant, regardless of who they are or how many children they have.

But today? A tidbit caught my attention. It seems you miscarried. And suddenly, just like whenever anyone I know miscarries, I can’t resist the urge to contact you.

A miscarriage is a terribly sad thing. I’ve had my share as I had the pleasure of being diagnosed as a Spontaneous Aborter. The names sounds more fun than it actually is. Turns out, spontaneity is not fun when it comes to losing pregnancies. Trips to get ice cream? YES! New sweaters? YES! Cheesy movie night? BRING IT ON. But spontaneous pregnancy loss? Sucks all sorts of donkey balls.

So I’ve become quite invested in the emotional well-being of friends and family who might suffer the same tragedy. And while you are neither friend or family, I did want to put my condolences out into the universe in hopes that the positive energy they generate make their way to you during this sad time.

I know you are religious, but I know nothing more than that. I’m assuming your faith is going be where you turn right now, and if that works for you then I’m very happy for you. If you still find yourself at a loss, let me share with you a piece that brought me a lot of, well, peace.

This is the link I send friends who have suffered a miscarriage. It is about mourning that loss, and how we don’t have a great standard in our society for dealing with such a loss.

There’s little acknowledgment in Western culture of miscarriage, no ritual to cleanse the grief. My own religion, Judaism, despite its meticulous attention to the details of daily life, has traditionally been silent on pregnancy loss — on most matters of pregnancy and childbirth, in fact. (At the urging of female rabbis, the Conservative movement in which I grew up has, for the first time, included prayers to mark miscarriage and some abortions in its most recent rabbis’ manual.) Christianity, too, has largely overlooked miscarriage.

Words don’t really help, but the author describes the loss I felt in such a way that I felt I wasn’t alone. And I hope you can find that somewhere in your life. Maybe you’ll be fine with people telling you it, “Happens for a reason.” I was not. As a matter of fact, that kinda sent me into rage blackouts. Maybe your faith will give you that reason. But if none of these things work for you, just know that it’s okay to be sad. It’s not “just” a miscarriage. Allow yourself time to be sad. And angry, if you’re like me.

And know that something that helped me was probably something you’ve grown to hate in your notoriety: The internet. I found tons of friends inside the box writing about their losses and they put words to what I was feeling and gave me hope that I could make it through the pain. I’ll be forever grateful for those faceless voices.

Anyway…you’ll probably never see this. But I couldn’t let this escape my recognition as I know the pain all too well.

Peace to you and your family.

15 Comments