27 December 2006

Diagnosis

It's about fucking time. I had yet another doctor's appointment today, this one a follow up to the one a month ago that was to determine that I wasn't completely falling apart despite having a period that had lasted 19 days up till that point. As the nurse is poking around up my whoo-ha with the sonogram wand, we discovered, clear as day, that I have polycystic ovaries. Hence, I can say now, with confidence, that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. This explains EVERYTHING. We've kind of thought I've had this, except that (a) I was able to get pregnant without even trying which kind of goes against the core of being polycystic and (b) whenever my overies had been peeked at before, that little tell-tale "chain of pearls" never showed up.

Long story short, what this means is that when I ovulate, the ovum doesn't always get released out of the ovaries, instead implating itself on the wall of the ovary and forming a little cyst. Month after month of this and you get a string of little cysts all lined up nice and pretty. There is a link between this and insulin resistance and an increased risk of type II diabetes, which explains why I gain 5lbs just looking at a piece of chocolate (unfortunately knowing that hasn't stopped me from eating said chocolate and other assorted goodies, which is why I'm currently the approximate size of a small manatee). There is a linke between PCOS and an increased likelyhood of having low milk supply when trying to breastfeed. There is just so much to do with PCOS that fits me, and explains why my body is this way.

So, I have to cut sugar out of my diet 100%. At least to start. Once I've gotten into the groove, some whole grains and complex carbs will be allowed back in. But ice cream? Nope, only if we're at the beach. French fries? Sorry. Chocolate? No. The list is huge and utterly depressing when I look at it, but for the first time ever, I know I have to do this, and I know it will work. And if for some reason it doesn't work, well, at least I'll have something concrete with which to go to the doctor and perhaps we can work it out with medication. Hopefully by next Christmas there will be 50lbs less of me and a much larger selection of things in my closet that fit.

26 December 2006

1st Christmas

We survived! It was the most uneventful Christmas ever. Ok, maybe last year was when I was 72 months pregnant and spent pretty much the whole day on the couch eating cookies. We just hung out as a little family, opened presents, played, watched Natalie, watched movies, ate french toast for brunch, and only had to deal with parents and in-laws for brief visits via the telephone. It was rainy out which, to me, was perfect. I love rainy days, they just make me want to stay inside where it's safe and warm, and it's so rare to have one on a day where you really can stay inside and do nothing. Usually there are errands to run between rain drops and such. But not on Christmas. The only thing we had to do was drink our cocoa before it got cold.

Having a baby really hits home with the whole Christmas story thing. Being pregnant and giving birth in a barn just boggles my little mind after my cushy hospital c-section. Not to mention looking at your child, your sweet little thing that seems so innocent and pure and realizing that God sent his son in this same exact form, and I can't imagine that sacrifice, knowing that my child was going to have to die so that all of man kind could have the opportunity to be saved and spend an enternity in Heaven. It's amazing what God has done for us in so many ways. And we're not only thankful he sent His son, but that He sent our Natalie, who is the most beautiful and incredible creature that I can no longer imagine my life without.

19 December 2006

Color theory

Things we learned today:

Blueberries make blue poop.

Can you guess what the new food of the week is?

10 December 2006

Double Digits

Happy 10 month birthday, Natalie!! Wow, this seems huge for some reason. It's been a whirlwind of activity lately, and you've been at the center. You go non-stop all day and it can drive me up a wall. I just want you to sit still sometimes, but you've got too much to explore and crawl to and climb on. You've taken to nibbling at your cheerios in the most dainty of ways, but you still don't seem to like meat. Turkey, chicken, beef, you spit it all back out. Oh well. Auntie Kim the vegetarian will be proud. You are so expressive and curious, you've mastered the art of waving, clapping, and blowing rassberries and will do so on command. It's very impressive. Your giggles are infectious and I can't help but smile when I hear them, even if you are laughing because you think pulling all the DVDs off the shelf is simply hysterical.

We're gearing up for your first Christmas, but it's not that exciting so far, other than pictures of you going out in our Christmas cards. No tree, as you'd just rip all the ornaments off, and no other decorations as I have no where to put things since I've run out of space in the "too high for Natalie to reach" range. We don't even have a good place to hang stockings, so it's a good thing grandma hasn't finished crochetting yours.

I'm still dealing with depression and uterine issues, which leaves me in a funk more often than I'd like. I don't see the doctor again till the week after Christmas, but I'm wondering if I need to call sooner. I just don't know. The only thing I do know is that I'm still not the mother I wish I could be, and I worry that you (and Jim) are suffering because of that. And I also know that I love you so much, Natalie. You are the light of my life.

06 December 2006

To be infertile, or not?

Since I was 14, my girl parts haven't worked right. The most doctors could ever tell me was that I either just don't ovulate, or I don't ovulate on any sort of schedule of any kind. Knowing since you're 14 that it might take some effort to get pregnant means I've accepted the fact that I'm infertile to some degree. Fortunately, the gynocologist I was seeing was great, and even though I was not of an advanced maternal age yet, when Jim and I were ready to concieve, she wasn't going to make me wait the requisite year of trying - she was going to start right in with all sorts of tests and monitoring and whatnot to see what we could figure out and decide on a plan to get me knocked up. I really appreciated that, I did. Because of this, I've read up on infertility and treatments and dealt with my own issues as best I could. It kind of built up a thick skin, which I don't always like in myself, such as the way I have to fight not to roll my eyes when a friend talks about the baby she lost. You'd think it was a full term still birth or something when it was actually a miscarriage at 9 weeks and she had to have a D&C - which she likened to an abortion - because her body wouldn't expell the cellular mass that used to be a fetus. It was a first pregnancy, and I guess she hasn't heard the stat that one third of all first pregnancies end in miscarriage. I'm harsh, I know.

So when I go off the pill because it's making me more depressed, unable to lose weight, hypoglycemic and giving me nasty ass PMS, I start feeling good. And then I'm pregnant. My gyno laughed at me on the phone at how she'll have to cross off all those tests she had listed in my chart to do. And now that Natalie is here, and thriving and the pregnancy was free of complications (although not free of symptoms...), I find myself back where I started. My girl parts aren't working, there's now a mass in my uterus - just of clotted blood, you know, no big deal - and I find myself going to the bathroom ALL THE TIME and now I'm worried that maybe the mass isn't just a clot, but something more and it's enough to press on my bladder, so when do I call the doctor? Neurotic, that's me.

I guess I can't be considered "infertile" anymore because of the getting pregnant without trying thing, but what do you call what I am now? There's no clinical name that I know of to describe being fucked up and wishing with every fiber in my body to be normal - to have a period that comes ever 28-35 days and only lasts for a few days at a time. Not 19 days in a row, not every 6 weeks and then in 5 weeks and then in 8 weeks, and not with dibilitating PMS, and not with all the emotional baggage that goes along with it that I've been pushing to the back of my mind for the past 15 years.

05 December 2006

Well, duh

Article in the Washington Post about new mothers and their risk for mental health issues:
  • Physical changes after childbirth might partly explain why women are vulnerable, including fluctuating hormone levels, Munk-Olsen said. These, alone or combined with sleep deprivation and the demands of breast-feeding could trigger mental problems, she said. Hard data on the number of women worldwide affected by postpartum mental illness are scant, but postpartum depression alone affects about 15 percent of U.S. women.
    Mothers generally bear the brunt of sleep deprivation, and many new mothers are socially isolated or live far from relatives who could provide support, Stotland said. "There may be people who say, 'My mother raised eight children and she never needed to have mental health care,' and others will say, 'Finally somebody has noticed just how stressful this is and what people go through,'" Stotland said.