Our Battle With Infertility: The Results Are In!

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Well, the results are in! Yesterday, I had a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. I described that in our last post, kinda. Basically, they filled my stomach with gas and inserted cameras to look around and see if I had scar tissue (endometriosis). There is no way to diagnose endometriosis without this surgery. That is terrifying. However, we were surrounded be great medical help and tons of positive thoughts and prayers! We really wanted to find endometriosis because we were nearing the point of what-the-h@*#-is-going-on?!

Everything went well, surgery-wise. I was crying like a small child, no lie. I got all kinds of, “what if this doesn’t work?”, “what if they find nothing?”, “what if ‘general surgery’ goes wrong and I don’t COME BACK?!” It was all kinds of crazy and poor Chris was dealing with a basket case. I’ve never had invasive surgery, just a little gum surgery and a little foot surgery. There has never been anything medical IN my body before and it freaked my freak. No lie. I went in a few minutes early, everything got done in a timely manner, I wake up super well from anesthesia, and then I sat in recovery for TWO HOURS.

I just, I get that they need to be sure, but I could NOT pee. Do you know how hard it is to push out urine when you can’t use your stomach muscles?! Ridiculous. Also, Chris could not fathom this because guys don’t have their man-parts all smushed in their together like we ladies do. I finally peed, changed clothes, and went HOME!

I have to say, we’re doing really well. I feel pretty good besides the incision pain and I’ve only taken a few pain pills. Basically, here’s what the found:

I had endo (scarring) around my uterus, but not IN my uterus. I don’t know if that’s better, worse, or inconsequential. They removed the tissue and said all of my fallopian tubes are still running cleanly. Woohoo! The doctor said that our chances have probably increased by about 60%. That’s pretty exciting…not that I know what our chances were before, really. We have about a 6 month window to try on our own or try more IUIs. I’m not sure what we’ll do yet. I guess we have a few months to figure it out before the scarring or any inflammation can complicate things again.

It’s definitely terrifying, but I’m starting to have a *tiny* glimmer of hope that this may solve some problems for us. Maybe the endo will be eradicated for a while. That’s happened to other people. If not, at least we know what we have to do again later! I really feel like our desire to have a big family comes from somewhere. We grew up wanting the exact same number of kids and having the exact same goals. It just can’t be for no reason, right?

All that medical stuff being said, the best thing to come out of this surgery day has been the AMAZING outpouring of support from everyone. Online, in person, at work, from church- people have been so amazing and uplifting. I mean, I have never felt so loved. Through the whole thing, I just realized that this is where we are. This is who we are right now. We’re infertile, but, strangely, it’s OK. There is nobody else on Earth that I could do this with besides Chris. Like, I don’t even know if I’d be so motivated if it weren’t for him. I don’t pretend to know what the heck God is doing through this or why He’s doing it, but I know it’s for a reason and I know that I wouldn’t be at all hopeful or motivated if it weren’t for God and Chris. Like, I just wouldn’t. I’m too negative and jaded. So, through all of it, there are positives. Right now it feels like more positives than negatives. That’s huge. And amazing. So, thank you. Yes you, and you, and you, and YOUWe couldn’t be dealing without the support and the new “infertility friends” and the new email buddies (looking at you, Jennifer), and the church family and everything. So thanks.

We have NO idea what the next few months will bring (hopefully a baby!) or when things will play out. We don’t even know what the heck our plan is at this point. But it feels better. Please don’t think us selfish for asking for more prayers and happy thoughts! We just know that, even when we haven’t felt like praying, your prayers have helped. So thank you! And thanks for the love in the form of facebook likes, comments, hugs at work, chocolate chip cookies, home cooked meals, Italian take out, etc. I don’t know when we’ll post on this again, maybe after my follow-up on the 22nd. But know that we will let you know, good news or bad, eventually. And thanks. Again and again and again. :)

**If you’re new to our infertility story, catch up here.**

Our Battle with Infertility: Where Do We Go From Here?

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Into surgery. We go into surgery.

So, a few weeks back I wrote about our second failed IUI with the Jones Institute. What I didn’t mention is that EVERYONE – not kidding – EVERYONE around me is getting pregnant. It’s like…ridiculous. Funny story, about 6 years ago my friends all got pregnant and swore that me touching them made them get pregnant. It feels like that is abundantly true. Everyone I know is pregnant…but me.

I am now the only married woman under 40 at church who is not pregnant. So, that’s cool. Don’t get me wrong, all of these people are lovely and I love both parts of each couple, but it suuuuucks. I mean, it SUCKS.

Everyone ever that ever wrote a blog seems to be pregnant or has a baby. My Instagram feed is like a Babies ‘R Us catalog.

There are a lot of emotions I feel about all of that. It’s hard to be unhappy that so many people are pregnant and distinguish between that and feeling happy that they’re pregnant. I mean, it’s not hard to me. It’s hard to explain to OTHER people though. “No, I’m not mad that my friends are pregnant. Only, I’m mad that so many people are pregnant. But, not THEM.” I mean, it sounds insane. I get that. So yeah, there are a lot of emotions and a lot of frustration, etc. I will likely never share 90% of that here because I don’t want anyone to take how I feel personally. Like, I’m never sad that babies are coming in to the world. I’m not said people’s dreams are coming true. I’m just really sad we’re not bringing one in, too, that our dreams aren’t becoming reality right now.

Well, we took the rest of February off. My cycle starts somewhere in the first two weeks of every month (you’re welcome for that!) so I did not do anything late-February in terms of IUI. We knew we only had one left at Jones. I mean, technically they’d probably let us do 4, but they said 3 for sure. Then, we inadvertently took March off, too. Well, there was one thing we did. We decided to talk to our doctor at Jones. Frankly, we’re too poor to keep paying $500-$600 for each IUI if that’s money we need to put toward IVF.

She basically 100% agreed with us that it was bizarre that our 2 IUIs didn’t work and that there was no foreseeable cause. I had googled “endometriosis” and got some weird results. Yes, I was one of those weirdos who searched on WebMD and then called the doctor’s office. I even told them that, “I’m sorry to be one of those people who searches WebMD and then calls the doctor, but…” because I felt like endometriosis might be a viable cause for what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, last month part of the constipation was the progesterone suppositories, but constipation has LONG been something I’ve dealt with around the time of my menstrual cycle. That is a sign of endometriosis. I mean, it’s not a diagnosis, but its the closest thing I can find to a cause.

She asked what our plans were and I asked if we could do a laparoscopy (suggested by Bethany) to look for endo. Yeah, “endo”- that’s what all the cool kids call it. Obvi. All of us cool kids who are infertile. It’s OK, you don’t have to wish to be us. We understand.

She told me I needed to take off for 3 days (Weds.-Fri.) for the surgery. Man, being a teacher is so cool. It’s like I get a whole break just to have someone look in and up my uterus. Awesome. Best spring break ever, am I right?

So, that’s where we go from here. On April 9th, I will have surgery looking through my belly button (and two other tiny incisions) to see what’s going on, along with a hysteroscopy to go up and in to have a look. Fun. If they find things, they’ll ablate them and get rid of the scar tissue as well as taking preventative measures so that scar tissue doesn’t regenerate. It’s very low-risk. We’re trying to keep very open minds, but it’s very scary that they could find NOTHING. Then, what?

We told our friend/pastor about it and promised him some “selfies”. He was uncomfortable. It was awesome. I also asked him not to put me on our church’s prayer list because I HATE THAT KIND OF ATTENTION (weird because I’m writing it on a blog) and told him I imagined the listing: Jessica Gourley-uterine surgery. He said, “Uter-US. We’re praying for you.”

My good friend, Charlotte said, “After all, there’s no I in uterus.”

So, yeah. We would appreciate positive thoughts/prayers, like, even prayers that they FIND something. The most praying you can do is for me not to eat a person from midnight when I stop eating until ONE P.M. when I finally go into surgery. I will be so. so. so. hungry. You can put it on blast through social media. I just didn’t need all 75 senior citizens at church asking me how my baby-making region is doing. The ones who follow me on social media are obviously super with it and don’t make me uncomfortable. :) And, as always, feel free to share with those you know (or don’t know) to be infertile. We have been so surprised by the outreach we’ve gotten and the infertility warriors who have shared stories with us. We are so thankful for you, too and will be back to update you in two weeks or so!

xoxoxo

Project Bedroom: Accent Wall Part I

So, we painted our walls with Wheat Bread (by Behr) because I needed a change after 6 years of the same color. So far, love it. However, we left one giant wall (the only solid wall in our bedroom) completely blue minus all of the greige that I got on it as I didn’t cut in particularly closely.

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We decided that we wanted our room to be a bit rustic. Then, we got the offer from Mohawk to get a rug (coming soon to a blog near you!) and we decided that we’d do a light rug (it’s a shimmery cream called Pearl) and greige walls and then a WHITE accent wall. I know. SO BORING, right?!

Well, there are a few reasons. We wanted something planked looking and I originally wanted wood. Then, I wanted white walls with a wood-toned accent wall. Chris wasn’t as in to it. I’m making him let me paint our whole kitchen white this summer so, I let him have color on the walls. Also, our bed is a wrought iron style…even though it’s not iron. I wanted the grayish-silver of our headboard to still pop and I knew it would blend in against a wood-toned wall. Lastly, I wanted cool lamps (oil-rubbed bronze) and for our giant wedding day canvas to pop and be the focus. White it is.

We needed this to be cheap so I read up on Danielle (from Two Little Superheroes)’s post on how she used masonite, or tempered hardboard, to make her planked wall. Hers is really exact and amazing and perfect spaced. Ours is not. Spoiler alert. This is not AT ALL due to her post, however. :) I also used her tutorial for our egg basket light in the kitchen- thanks, Danielle!

So, this is the sneak peek I left you with last time:

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No lie, that is pretty much how our room has looked for almost a month. Here’s how it started. When we went to buy all of the paint, we bought 3 sheets of masonite. Our wall is 12 feet long and 8 feet tall. That worked perfectly for me because we could buy 3 4′x8′ sheets and cut them. Well, it worked almost exactly (+/- 3 inches). However, we got them all cut at Home Depot at 8:30 (they close at 9) and the man running the saw wasn’t the most…precise. I know that can be an issue, but we don’t have a table saw or a good workspace at home so, it was our best bet. Also, it was about 18 degrees outside and cutting them on the back porch wasn’t really an option. So, we sorted them when we got home to see if we could figure out how to group them best. They were all *around* 6 inches, but some were narrower on one end than the other so we tried to group the ones that were precise and then the ones that were narrower/wider in their own piles so we could make the rows look even-ish. I mean…it didn’t really work.

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Luckily, I’m not all about precise. Actually, I’m relatively anal retentive about things, but I decided that our room was supposed to be “rustic” anyway. This goes way back for me. When I was a kid and my parents were getting divorced, my dad would come and pick me up and we would go to his friends’ houses. One friend of his was a man from our church. He built his own log cabin in the woods behind his house and the second we started putting up these uneven boards, it reminded me of how his logs had all fit together and there were some cracks bigger than others. So, if everyone else hates/criticizes it, so be it. I’m embracing imperfection. It’s like turning over a new leaf.

First, we marked the studs with tape so we would know the best places to put in the nails. We started with the very top row and tried to make them level (moot point- or moo point- AM I RIGHT?) We knew that the boards would go *almost* to either side, but there were 3-4 inches on the end that wouldn’t be covered.

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We alternated side to side until we had all of the wall mostly covered. Strange fact, on the very left side of this room, the chimney is behind the wall. That made nailing into the wall very…infuriating difficult. However, we got most of the boards up with no problem. Some of them kinda popped out more than we planned so we occasionally put an extra nail in them to keep them as flat as possible. The cracks between rows got out. of. hand. But like I said, new leaf. Turning…now.

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Yup, that picture is from way back when we were painting initially…the brown sheets were more recent. The newest pictures will have these sheets again. I have no idea where our other sheets are so we keep going back and forth between the same two sets. Maybe I should donate the others. We’re clearly doing fine without them.

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We decided to install the new outlets/covers and just cut the boards around them because I like that a) the outlet covers are flush with the boards, and b) we didn’t have to bump out the outlets. That was more trouble than it’s worth, to me. Chris disagreed, but I won that one. If you’re keeping score, that’s 1-1. He won the color scheme and I won the outlets. (Disclaimer: We’re actually super not competitive with each other in real life. Like, really not competitive. This is a huge personal victory for me.)

The last boards you see standing in the above picture got cut into pieces to fit in all of the ends. We got everything filled up except for that very bottom row (above the baseboard) that is about 2.5 inches tall. That’s going to be annoying. To procrastinate before having to deal with that, we sunk all of the nail heads and started filling and sanding holes. We also put in the new rug. Color me excited. I also fell and sprained(?) my ankle, sidelining me from this project for a solid week. Lame.

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After we filled and sanded, I vacuumed the cracks between boards and wiped the whole wall down with a damp towel so that the dust wouldn’t screw up the primer and paint.

Then, time to prime! I tried to paint between all of the cracks with the primer. Obviously coverage was crazy-town. It’s primer, though. Then, I did a coat of paint. It was SUPER splotchy and SUPER late at night. That means, no pictures. Trust me, you’re not missing anything. Then, we did the second coat. You can kinda see from the arrows in the picture, there were still some splotches. The coverage around the edges of each board is GREAT, but the smooth parts of the boards were THIRSTY FOR MORE. (Thank you, Kevin McAllister.) That being said, I only had to touch up some of the larger cracks (not super precise) that still showed a little blue.

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I was going to have a “finished”-ish picture for you, but this is far more wordy and I’ve already had another change of sheets. I still never make up my bed. Sorry, Mom. Even sorrier, Memaw. We have a 30-hour famine this weekend with our youth group, but hopefully we’ll have a 3rd coat up by Sunday! I’m hoping to show you a LEGIT finished (ish) picture by next weekend AT THE LATEST! Come on, master bedroom! :) After this, we still have…

Project Bedroom

-hanging art

-curtains/blinds(?)

-closet curtains

-lamps

-rug giveaway (!!!!!!!!!!)

-redo nightstands (maybe down the road a bit)

-general straightening/cleaning/organizing

-final reveal?

 

We are so happy with how it’s coming together and so eager to have it all done! :)  Anyone else out there loving fake (or real) planking on walls or rustic living spaces?! Tell me all about it! :)