I'll warn you up front that this post will be full of really scary words!
I know I've said this before but I'm so thankful that we didn't get pregnant.... I thank God every single day! There's really no way we could have created this perfect baby-girl... she needed different DNA... and our love.
So, even though I know why we didn't/haven't gotten pregnant ( we needed to bring our sweet girl home), it still leave us wondering what the heck is going on.... medically, I mean. Because we all know that there is a medical reason for infertility and God reason.
SO, Hannah was 4 months old and I started noticing how uncomfortable I was. My discomfort was mainly centered around my cycles but sometimes not... weird. I went back to my RE and described feeling 'full' and 'bloated' and 'crampy' more often than I remembered. Sometimes I had bowel issues, sometimes I didn't. My cycles were getting longer, my patience was getting shorter. Sometimes I would spend 2 days a month on the couch in pain, sometimes I would take some Midol and be ok.
We scheduled a Laporoscopy (yep, as scary as it sounds) to find the source of my discomfort.... an added bonus was that we might find some answers to the infertility piece, too even though we had our precious baby-girl.
Wanna know something? I asked our entire family and friends and small group to pray for my surgery.... but I didn't ask them to pray that they'd find nothing wrong. I asked them to pray that something would BE wrong! I wanted a diagnosis... BAD! Now we weren't messing with just not getting pregnant... mama was in pain (and we all know how that goes...)
We did the Laporoscopy and FINALLY had some answers...
I had Endometriosis!
YES!!! WOOHOO!!! HURRAY!!! Now gimme a shot, lemme take a pill, and let's DO THIS!
I went in for my post-op and as my doctor explained to us a little more about Endo, he also made something very very clear...
"Your Endometriosis is the source of your discomfort and I cleaned out as much as I could ... but ... there's always a 'but'... it's not bad enough that it's keeping you from getting pregnant. I still don't feel like I know why that is... medically."
(I loved having an RE who was a Christian. He really 'got it'... and knew how much of a miracle our baby was :-))
For those of you who aren't familiar with Endometriosis.... it's a condition in which the tissue that behaves like the cells lining the uterus (endometrium) grows in other areas of the body, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and possible infertility. The tissue growth (implant) typically occurs in the pelvic area, outside of the uterus, on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and the delicate lining of the pelvis. However, the implants can occur in other areas of the body, too (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001913/)
Thanks, Doc. Now what?!
So, we went home. We enjoyed our baby-girl, and felt even MORE confirmed in God's plan to build our family through adoption. THIS plan is perfect for our family!
BUT.... there's always a 'but'.... what about the Endo? It's still there.
Here I am, 3 years later and my Endo sweetly reminds me almost every single day that it's still there.
Endo is 'fed' by Estrogen. And Estrogen is released by your body every month during your period. This means that every month, my Endo is growing and it will continue to until it all gets 'flushed out' by pregnancy and delivery (which we're not aiming for and at this point would take medical intervention and we're done with that), enter Menopause, or have a Hysterectomy (which I believe could be in my future).
This isn't quite the 'thing' I imagined growing inside me one day ;-)
Here's my most recent dilemma....
We aren't trying to get pregnant and have been told that from a medical perspective, IVF is our best shot at achieving pregnancy. We're not opposed to IVF for other people but know it's not the right choice for us... having that biological connection to our children has never been of utmost importance to us; tho at the same time, I completely understand why it is to many other people. Our family is growing through adoption and nothing will change that or the excitement we feel by being completely enveloped in God's plan for our family!
BUT... there's always a 'but'... what do I do about this Endo? I know it's not going to get better and at the same time, I don't want to go through another surgery, more meds, more doctors, etc.
I've been researching Acupuncture... and I really like what I read! I went to my first appointment last week and left feeling completely relaxed and rejuvenated and to be honest, I haven't felt so bloated this week!
Now, I've been completely (and disgustingly :-)) honest with you so please help me out! I'm being followed by my doctor, of course, and she and I have regular talks about managing my symptoms but I still always feel that opening a forum for these discussions with other women can help so so much...
Here's what I'd like to know...
Have you tried Acupuncture? What for? What kind of results, if any, have you noticed?
Do you have Endometriosis? Or maybe you have cysts or fibroids or something similar? What are your symptoms? What have you done to try and manage those symptoms? What's your future plan to manage them, if you have one?