Monthly Archives: May 2016

finally the force is with us!


Yesterday was my 2 week post op check up and it was full of good news!  It was another great lesson from the universe that I need to stop assuming I know the outcome of things that haven’t happened yet.  I was so sure that on top of being a wretched thing to go through and the loss of the baby, this whole ordeal pretty much sealed my fate for ever getting pregnant again on my own.  I’ve been stewing in that for 2 weeks feeling sorry for myself and yesterday I got the positive smack upside the head I needed.

First off, the “bunches of cysts” on both ovaries that the ultrasound technician saw weren’t cysts at all!  They were blood clots from the initial slow bleed of the ectopic.  So my ovaries are great!  I guess my blood was clotting like crazy as they were trying to suction it out of my body, which is usually good, you want blood to clot, but it kept getting stuck in the suction machine.  So she ended up leaving a fair amount of blood in me, which actually was good I guess because it gets reabsorbed, so my numbers and iron looked great.  And it should, there was a fuck of a lot of it pumped in there.  In total I had 6 units of blood plus platelets and other plasma products.  Thank God for people who donate!  From now on I will be donating blood regularly. 

The doctor also said my other tube is “beautiful,” clear, and in perfect shape!  And my endometriosis is currently nonexistent!  

My incisions are healing really well and I got the green light to pick up River!!  I’m so freaking excited about this.  I still have to take it easy but just to hold his fat body for a few minutes makes me happy. 

I also learned something super duper interesting about female anatomy. I always thought that your ovaries were both affixed at the end of either Fallopian tube, so the loss of a tube would really be equal to the loss of an ovary.  But that is WRONG!  Apparently Fallopian tubes are all loosey goosey in there, and sweep around searching for the egg that’s being released.  They can even sweep to the opposite ovary!  I had a hard time picturing this so last night in bed I searched Dr. World Wide Web for a video so I could wrap my little pea brain around it, and I found this.  

So even though I only have one tube, the left side can take over the work of my missing tube and deliver my released eggs from BOTH ovaries.  This is wonderful news because I was obviously concerned this surgery had cut my chances of getting pregnant again naturally in half. 

I’m so, so happy that I get to share all this positive stuff!  And now that I’m on this side of it I think I can actually admit how scary and awful this whole thing was.  Obviously I wanted to let people know what was going on, and I preferred to post about it rather than have Jordan and I both need to message the people in our lives that would want to know and tell this story/relive it over and over.  That was just too much.  I wanted to be careful not to dramatize the situation when I posted it and make people worry about me because that’s shitty.  But now that I’m ok I can say this was hands down the scariest and most painful thing I’ve ever lived through.  I honestly thought I was going to die.  My doctor said she did, too.  The first thing she did when she came in was hug me and tell me how happy she is that I’m here, because I almost wasn’t.  She said the other 2 surgeons were panicking and telling her to cut me open immediately and perform a hysterectomy to just get me to stop bleeding.  But my doctor was calm and collected and made the decision to do it laparoscopically and just take the tube and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for her!  I love my doctor.  The nurses were all coming out one by one to hug me and tell me how scared I had them.  The last time they saw me I was strapped to a gurney being wheeled out by the Chippendale EMTs. 

I don’t know what the future holds but I am alive and happy and HOPEFUL in the very least.  I just again want to thank each person who sent flowers, care packages, messages, daimoku, etc.  I really felt the love and it helped me through this in a big way.  And I am doing great now so you can scratch me off your list of people to be concerned about.  

❤️😊❤️

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

reach out

This week is River’s first birthday party!!  I can’t believe it.  We now have my mom and my in-laws here helping out with everything.  I still can’t pick up River and it’s a very frustrating feeling.  But I’m so thankful for how much my husband steps up happily and without a single complaint ever. I’m also so grateful to my mom and in laws for being here for us, we really do need their support right now.  Not just in caring for the baby, but also to help lift our spirits.  It’s nice having them around.

Jordan came with me to my blood test today.  They’re just checking my beta hcg to make sure it’s going down.  I guess with the “pseudo sack” in my uterus they need to be sure I’m not still pregnant.  Anyway the 2 of us ran a couple errands and went to lunch and I think it was the first time since all of this went down we’ve really had time to chat just us. 

Somehow we got on the subject of all the people that had reached out to us to let us know they are thinking about us in this time.  There were a few people of course that waited a little because they didn’t want to “bother” us while we were still dealing with stuff.

Jordan and I both talked about how often we have both had this same line of reasoning when other people we loved were going through something hard; the loss of a loved one, sickness, a bad breakup, whatever.  “Oh, they don’t want to hear from me right now, they’re probably dealing with so much as it is.”  It’s really kind of bonkers logic when you think about it.  And if you’ve ever been the one on the other side, it really becomes clear to you that the plan of “not bothering” someone when they’re going through something is pretty dumb.

There’s also the element of being uncomfortable and not knowing what to say that holds people back.  They don’t want to say the wrong thing and make you feel WORSE.  This is so true when it comes to matters of infertility or miscarriage. It’s such an uncomfortable conversation for most people as it is.  It’s hard when there are seemingly no silver linings.  It’s not like the loss of a dear friend or relative who got to live a life where you can reminisce about them or talk about the good parts.  So what do you say?

The answer is ANYTHING.  “How are you?” is perfect.  So is “I just want you to know I’m thinking of you.”  Really anything you say to show you care is excellent.  Remember when you are thinking “I better not bother them” about 90% of the people in their lives are probably thinking the same thing.  The person may not be ready to answer you but that’s ok, the message will be received in a huge way.  

That was kind of the main take away from our conversation today.  We were both so surprised at how much those small texts and messages meant, they really touched us.  And a lot of them from people we’d never expect to hear from, even getting care packages, letters, and meals sent from people we’ve never met face to face.   To know that even the people you don’t see or hear from regularly care about you when the chips are down is impactful.  All of this really did make a difference for us in this hard time.  No, no one can take fix what happened, but their love and support reminded us that there is still a lot we have to be grateful for, namely the wonderful people in our lives. 

So basically this was a very long way of saying reach out to the people you’re thinking of whether you feel they need to hear it or not.  They do. 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

friday favorites!


1.  If I have a motto about dressing babies it’s that comfort is king!  I love babies and kids that look comfortable, cute, and never fussy.  That’s what’s cool to me.  Childhoods Clothing gets it.  So far River only has 2 rompers and a pair of their shorty shorts, but I want everything they have in every size and color.  I love that they come in all types of layers, even short sleeved hoodies.  Which works great in California where even in the summer it always cools down at night juuuust enough for another layer.  

2. Aren’t these pillows just the neatest?  I want a whole mountain range for River’s bed.  I imagine the dreams he would have about being a great adventurer with these surrounding him.  They’re made by Three Bad Seeds and even their tree and animal pillows are just as stylish and cool as hell.  What’s better than awesome looking bedding that works double duty for play time, too?

3.  I couldn’t decide which style of these awesome night lights from Goodnight Light I wanted to feature.  I fell in love with their kitschy baby doll night lights, stayed for the pink pineapple, but am now in a committed relationship with their new cactus lights!  Unique and fun and sophisticated enough to feature in any room of your house, not just a kid’s room.  Think about how chill this would look on literally any flat surface of your house.  (River is lucky his helmet treatment corrected that or he’d be wearing one of these on his head)

4.  I’ve spent WAY too much time indoors this week due to my surgery and I am about ready to kick down the door and flee, meanwhile I can’t even lift up my leg in the tub high enough for the razor to reach it.  But all I can think about is taking River to the beach.  I’m on the hunt for a really good beach umbrella (if you find one let me know), but also on the list was a towel big enough for the both of us.  I’ve had my eye on these round towels from The Beach People for quite awhile just because they’re so cool.  I’ve seen a lot of knock offs since, but the thing I like about these is that they are thick and soft.  A lot of other round “beach blankets” are made of thin cotton, like a flat bed sheet.   That’s uh no good at the beach.  Give me something soft and absorbent and thick enough to be warm if I need to use it as a blanket when the wind kicks up while my moon doggy is still hangin 10.  I can’t wait to park our behinds on this baby as soon as I find the right umbrella and my husband shaves my legs. 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Hellooo, Nurse!

Nurse Booby


My grandma was smart as a whip and “with it” pretty much until the end of her life, which happened to be just a week shy of her 101st birthday.  In her late 90s she was still reading Russian spy novels, kind of who-done-it murder mysteries where it’s important to keep all of the characters straight, and they all had last names that started with “Zh” and contained 47 letters, random Qs and a hieroglyphic of a bird.  Grandma was a force. 

There were really only a few times you could “catch her slippin” and only in the last year or so of her life.  A couple times while holding my tiny Chihuahua Booger on her lap and stroking his neck she called him a “good kitty” which really could have been anyone’s mistake.  He was actually more rodent than canine.  The other time was when she would repeat the same conversation over and over, even if she had just finished it 5 minutes earlier.  But it was always the same conversation and it always started with her asking me the same question, “could you ever be a nurse?”

She would go on to talk about how she didn’t think it was something she could ever do, and that the people who could were so exceptionally marvelous.  In her 100 years in the planet, with all of her experiences and everything she saw, at the end of her life what struck her the most was that there were people out there selfless enough to be nurses.  

She was a very healthy person.  Other than having her 5 babies, she never spent any time in the hospital up until the end of her life.  She didn’t have many experiences where she needed some of the things that we know nurses provide.  She never needed their quick action in a life or death situation.  She never needed them to change the dressing on a festering sore, or clean her bedpan.  She never needed to lean on them while trying to walk for the first time in weeks or to pull up her underwear after going to the bathroom.  She never needed them console her when she was scared or required one of their magic tricks like getting you to pee for the first time without a catheter after abdominal surgery with the use of a peri bottle. 

Although she never required a lot of what nurses have to offer personally, all these things added to her appreciation of them.  But there was one thing that nurses provide I think she valued most, and that’s dignity.  

Dignity was huge to my grandmother and it’s something that nurses provided for her in a big way at the end of her life.  

It’s not easy as an adult living without some or all of your independence.  It can be very difficult needing to lean on other people or have them care for you.  No matter what your restriction nobody loves asking for help, especially from loved ones.  Nurses not only provide the care, but they do it in a way that preserves dignity.

I’ve had a lot of instances where nurses have saved me. Through surgeries in my life and having my baby and even while TRYING to get pregnant, nurses have been by my side.  My mother in law is a nurse, and when it’s midnight (3am where she lives) and I’m worried about River’s poop or he has hives, she’s the one on the phone with me talking me through it.  After I had my baby, one of my mom’s dear friends who has been a NICU nurse for 30+ years was the one answering my questions and sending me literature and words of encouragement every step of the way.  This past week when I collapsed at my ultrasound appointment it was the nurse Raelyn who was literally holding me up on the toilet and who revived me with smelling salts, called the paramedics and my husband and then helped me get my pants on before 9 soap opera hunk EMTs showed up to the bathroom.  In the ER as I was losing 4 liters of blood in a matter of minutes and I had swarms of medical people buzzing around me and shouting things to each other that I didn’t understand, it was the nurse with the green eyes who kept getting close to my face and smiling and squeezing my hand to tell me I was doing great.  It was this same nurse who I turned to in the operating room moments before they put me under that I looked at with tears in my eyes and told I was scared.  Even with a mask on, I could feel her smile as she reassured me.  She said “you have the best people around you right now, we’re going to take care of you.  I promise.”

I love nurses so much.  Happy National Nurses Week!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Happy Mother’s Day to Those in the Meantime


I can’t believe on this day last year I was still waiting to meet River.  It feels like I’ve already been through several lifetimes since he’s been here with me.   

My first Mother’s Day was a little bitter sweet with everything that went down this week, dealing with a loss, and still feeling physically like I was hit by a bus.  But I have my River!  And he took his first steps to me and waved bye bye for the first time today!  Hopefully this is not an indication he’ll be moving out tomorrow.  It really does go by fast.  

Because of the serious lows this week I had to do some soul searching today to pull myself out of the pity party I was already subconsciously starting to decorate for when I woke up this morning.  I needed to get a better perspective so I didn’t just cry all day.  I thought about all the years we tried for our precious River, and I also thought about all those moms who don’t have a baby to hold on this side of life yet.  Per usual, at first that took me a little deeper into my despair.  How do you explain all that sadness away into something that is ok?  But I think there’s a reason that makes sense. 

With all the highs and lows this year I can say without a doubt being a mother is not a destination.  It’s a journey that begins long before that child is even a glimmer in your eye (or a twinkle at the end of an IVF syringe or a sparkle on the tip of the pen used to sign adoption papers).  You don’t just become a mother on the day your first child is born.  Every day of your life leading up to meeting your baby for the first time is an important piece of being a mom and meaningful in determining what KIND of mom you will be, which is everything.  

Giving birth to a baby doesn’t make you a mother, being a nurturer does.  Nurturing yourself and others years before your baby arrives is more than a warm up, it’s the real deal and an important element of being a mom.  Some people get their babies early in life, but then miss out on nurturing themselves first, and vice versa.

No matter where you are on your journey of being a mom, whether you have met your little one yet or not, remember to feel gratitude for what you have in the meantime because your baby needs you to.  It’s a skill you will need to teach them.  But it’s also the way we keep from becoming bitter and disdainful. Those are not great traits for a mother.  

There will always be sadness in life, but also ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  Gratitude is the absolute key to life.  Remember that no matter where you stand, you cannot see the big picture yet.  If you could, gratitude would be a lot easier to find.  Sometimes things seem like they’re nowhere in sight, but they lay just around the corner.  If you could see what was around every corner throughout your life, you’d probably breathe easier, but you would never try and fail, never grow, never suffer and then triumph, and you’d never be strong.  What kind of mom would that be?  Not the kind you want to be, trust me.  Growth is imparitive, but so is unshakable happiness.  In the meantime, take notice of what there is to be happy about RIGHT NOW, and I promise you’ll find it’s actually unlimited.  

Easy for me to say now, right?  No, not really.  It’s still hard for me, but gets easier with practice.  Of course I know I have so much to be happy about!  And it’s so obvious to me partially because I spent so long in the meantime.  I’m so grateful for River!  And my husband, family and friends.  And my health and my LIFE that I understand even more now is fleeting and precious.  And I’m also  grateful my air conditioning is working (it wasn’t last night) and that I have ice cream in the freezer.  But most of all, I’m grateful that Game of Thrones is on tonight and I will hopefully get to see someone cut in half or beheaded. That will really put a nice little cap on this week. 

Tagged

Today I made the mistake of looking up what an 11 week fetus looks like and now I can’t get it out of my head.  A super tiny, yet fully formed baby with fingers and tooth buds, itty bitty ears and tiny nose.  It’s too much for me right now.  

Here’s where some of the confusion came from about how far along I was.  First off, I had been having my period for the last several months, which I guess can happen with an ectopic.  When I went in Wednesday for the ultrasound the tech measured  a 4 week 4 day yolk sack in my endometrium.  This obviously made sense to me.  But the baby they pulled out of my Fallopian tube was much further along, the doctor said “at least 10 weeks.”  Because I chart my periods, ovulation and intercourse we now know for certain the baby was 11 weeks exactly. 

Now because of this mystery sack in my uterus I have to go in next week for a blood test to make sure it was not a double pregnancy, to know for certain I am no longer pregnant.  If that were the case I would need a D&C.  But the doctor said it may be what is called a pseudo sack, my body knew it was pregnant so it was trying to do the right thing and the sack would be empty.  I’m hoping that’s the case, I can’t handle another procedure and the loss of another baby at this moment. 

I’m kicking myself for not testing sooner, I knew there was something wrong.  I know it wouldn’t have been possible to save the baby, but I wouldn’t have let it get so far.  I feel really guilty about that.  And at the very least I may still have my tube. 

Tagged , , , , ,

First off, I’m ok and at home now. I’ve been having strange symptoms for the last couple months (dizziness, nausea, painful cramping) and finally figured out I was pregnant, which was quite a shock to us obviously but absolutely thrilling news. We could barely believe it when we found out.  Yesterday during an ultrasound at my OB the symptoms got much, much worse and I ended up collapsing. They called an ambulance to take me over to Hoag ER where I had all the doctors, nurses and specialists baffled for a few hours. Ultrasounds were showing a healthy egg sack in my endometrium (where it should be), blood flow to my tubes and ovaries were good, etc. But I was very pale and couldn’t even have my head elevated in bed without passing out. The pain was starting to become unbearable and on the 3rd ultrasound they saw that there actually was an ectopic pregnancy and it ruptured my right Fallopian tube. I lost 4 liters of blood in 35 minutes, and was taken in to surgery to have my right tube and the ectopic removed. They were able to do the surgery laparoscopically and it went ‘well’ but due to the amount of blood I lost they kept me overnight for monitoring. I’m home now and doing ok. Jordan is home, thank goodness, and my mom came in to help out. I’m super grateful for both those things. I’m very sad about the baby, who was about 8-10 weeks along. But I guess this too shall pass. Right?  I’m actually still in shock about the whole thing and very tired so I haven’t made heads or tails of anything yet. Right now the hardest part for me is that I can’t pick up River for 6 weeks, which is all I want to do. Other than sleep.

Honestly, this bottle sucks. 


I’m not that into taking the time to give something a bad review, but as a mom I do find its more helpful to other moms if I’m honest.. er, forthright. 

Let me start off by saying I love the Honest Co.  I use many of their home and baby products.  But this bottle can basically kick rocks all the way back to Jessica Alba’s house. 

First off, this sonofabitch is heavy.  Fill it with milk and you may need someone to spot you if you plan to lift it above your heart.  I’m still trying to get River to hold his own bottles, that’s not happening with this thing.  He’d burn more calories than he was taking in. 

The whole bottle is made of soft silicone, which was actually a selling point to me.  I dunno, it seemed cool.  I grew up in LA, we have a love for silicone like Buffalonians do for blue cheese.  But if this thing gets pinched, squeezed, or smooshed it will dump out it’s contents all over your diaper bag, your baby, your shirt, your dog, your life.  I say DUMP, not leak.  Dump is correct.

The nipple and the big honkin’ blubbery bottle have to line up juuuuuuuust so when you screw them together.  Too loose and dumpity doo dah, too tight and the air vents get blocked meaning your kid will work up a sweat trying to get the milk out as the bottle squeaks and hisses and collapses, and when they try to let go half their face will get sucked back into the bottle.  

The to-go lid is ridiculously hard to get off.  Couple that with a squishy, blubbery body and it’s a disaster waiting to happen.  Imagine super gluing a lid to the end of a full water balloon, and then try pulling it off.  It’s something like that. 

As far as nipples go, this one is actually pretty great.  It’s the only reason this bottle hasn’t already been recycled into one of the Kardashians.  River has a really strong suck, has since birth (lucky me).  Getting him to drink from a bottle took a lot of trial and error because all manmade  nipples would choke him with their letdown.  He’ll be a year this month and he’s still using newborn slow flow nipples.  This bottle actually works for him in that regard. 

Bottom line, there are some crucial design flaws with this bottle. It bums me out because it’s cute and I ❤️ the Honest Co., but maybe they’ll figure it out and give this thing a makeover that for once means LESS silicone. 

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: