Thursday, September 20, 2012

So Long Summer Sunshine...

It looks like we may finally have some answers. Of course, I'm going to make you read all of the other stuff and strategically interweave the answer :) muahahahaha.... the beauty of blogging :)

Last time I updated about pregnancy related things, I talked about the near-death HSG test. I finally think I've recovered from the test and I've (almost) forgotten how horrible it was :) Thank goodness for that! I probably shouldn't have blogged about that in case I ever need it again. No wonder people start forgetting things so quickly. That way, in 20 years if I have to have that test again, I probably won't even remember I had it, nor will I remember I blogged about it. I probably won't even remember I have a blog, the same way I like to try and forget I ever had a Xanga. (If you remember Xanga, I'm impressed :))

Since that time, we went back to the doctor. I FINALLY found out that my blood clotting tests came back normal. No issues there. At first, I felt a twinge of sadness. I guess I wanted there to be something for the cause and something that could be fixed pretty easily. I felt like the more tests I had to have, the bigger the problem. After that short lived feeling, I realized how thankful I was I didn't have an issue with that. Who would want a blood clotting disorder?! Sometimes, my grief over the loss of our 2 babies makes me think crazy things! We spoke with the doctor and again, she confirmed that my HSG was totally normal, which was great. I was happy about this one! I was aware that some of those problems are not as easily fixed. We talked about some other things, and I mentioned my thoughts on my thyroid. I've always thought I had an underactive thyroid. I got it checked once, but it came back "normal". I explained some of the symptoms to her, which were fatigue and weight related issues. I have always thought I just require a lot of sleep. My allergist thought it was because of all the allergies I have and that my body is constantly fighting to stay healthy and to be breathe well. With allergy shots, it did get better, but I've since been instructed to stop those with pregnancy and I just have decided to quit altogether. It's definitely a sacrifice because I'm often miserable without them, but so worth it. And with the weight, I know good and well that my diet is constantly tempted. But even when I was doing great and running a ridiculous amount, I always thought I wasn't losing in the way I should. I'm sure we all think that at some point. With those symptoms, she wanted to test it. We got those back this week. I don't have a thyroid issue, but in the thyroid panel, they also test for other things. Those results came back with an answer for us. Apparently, I have a significant Vitamin D deficiency. I was so surprised to hear this, since I think I'm outside more than the average person. With all my running and workout classes, I'm outside a lot! I definitely don't drink milk but I do eat a lot of yogurt. Anyways, I was surprised.

Now, how is Vitamin D related to pregnancy? Well, good question. It's kind of a new development in recent years. It affects the lining of the uterus. Without enough Vitamin D, the lining is not thick enough, making it difficult for a baby to implant properly. It results in early term miscarriages. Of course, we will never know if that's what caused us to lose Jessie and Myrtle (hahaha, still makes me laugh), but at least we know a step to take. I've been instructed to take 5,000 IU of Vitamin D a day. In 8 weeks, they will test it again. Apparently, this Vitamin D stuff is a pretty big controversy right now. The amount that you should receive varies greatly between doctors and whoever comes up with those daily value percentages. Currently, the daily recommended value is 400 IU. However, there are many doctors who believe in more than that. Vitamin D deficiency also causes fatigue and actually is directly related to weight and allergies. I'm anxious to see if it helps in both departments. It's related to a ton of other things too, but those are the only ones I'm concerned about at this point. Although cancer was a big one, so I should probably be worried about that too. I'm just so thankful to have information that can help us that is as simple as a Vitamin supplement.

This deficiency is also directly related to gluten intolerance (Celiac disease), which is crazy because my sister has recently been trying to convince me I'm going to have Celiac because she has a gluten sensitivity which could eventually lead to Celiac if she kept easting gluten. She's not, so we'll never know really (I think, it gets confusing). But if she has it, then my chances of having it are very high. Gluten can cause you to have a malabsorption of Vitamin D if you have the intolerance. I don't have an intolerance for it, but I can't help but wonder about that! Only time will tell so until them, bring on the wheat! And the sun :) 

So, I climbed Stone Mountain yesterday for a field trip and worked outside some today. Bring on the Vitamin D :) Actually, I didn't do either of those to soak up the Vitamin D, apparently I'm not soaking anything up! I should probably be asking you all to pray for me to absorb the sun, but that's weird and I'm really glad it's Fall and getting cooler, so just pray for our future, whatever that may look like :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Marathon Training

Our marathon is coming up very soon... October 7 to be exact. I'm supposed to be on week 13 of training. I'm on week like 6. I'm absolutely screwed! I'm more nervous than I've ever been about racing.

When I first started running, it was simply to get in shape. Races quickly became a huge part of our lives. We were constantly signing up and training for races. After a handful of 5ks, I started placing. I really liked that feeling! My competitive side came out and I was running in 10ks and placing a lot of the time. Definitely wasn't placing in huge races with thousands of people, but I was doing alright. I was loving it! After miscarriage number one, and even leading up to it, I was told to quit running. I had blogged about running and pregnancy before the miscarriage but not after. Well, afterwards my mileage and endurance suffered greatly. Unless you've been through one, you don't realize that you are physically very weak for a couple of weeks. I started running again but I was struggling. We had not been doing races and I wasn't itching to get back to them since I wasn't doing as well. I was getting back in the hang of it, and got pregnant again. A good problem to have but we all know that didn't end well. Since then, I've been struggling. I wasn't even "allowed" to start running again for a couple of weeks after the 2nd one. That puts me at mid August. Since then, it's still been a struggle. It's been hard to find my motivation. I've wanted to change up my workout routine, but you really can't do that int his kind of training. While I have been running, my mileage is comparable to a half marathon training plan. I haven't even been following the training plan and I'm sick of it! It's so time consuming, and I haven't even done it! I don't think marathons are for me, but half marathons definitely are and I'm excited to be excited about it again. It'll just have to wait till October 7!

I secretly (not so secret anymore) have hoped that I would get a sprain or something so I could get out of this marathon. I know, that's awful! I really do want to do it, but I'm mad because I already know I'm not going to do well. When I first signed up, I was honestly hoping for a 4 or 4:30 time. Now I'm just hoping the sag wagon doesn't pass me and tell me to get off the course.

At this point, I'm embracing the fact that I am even running. With everything I have been through physically, I'm okay with not doing well. But I am genuinely concerned about not being prepared! I just hope my body makes it and I'm not the last to cross the finish line.

Only time will tell!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Test Updates

I have had lots of people asking, so I thought I would go ahead and update everyone! We went in for the HSG this morning, bright and early. I was feeling pretty calm about it, which is really not my nature. They had to do bloodwork first, to ensure I was not pregnant, since it's a dangerous test if you are. I went back for the test around 7:25. After I changed, we were ready to go. I was still feeling alright about it.

Before I go any further, I am warning many of you to stop reading if you do not want some serious details. Not necessarily gross details, but I will be talking about the female anatomy, and more specifically my female anatomy. It is slightly weird sharing it, but if anyone reading this is going through the same thing at this time or at some point in the future, I want the information to help them and prepare them. So make your decision to read it and embrace it or to turn away. I know a statement like this makes you want to read it now, but you can't say I didn't warn you!

When the test started, it was only slightly uncomfortable. For women reading this, it was much like a pap smear. Well, then things turned worse. I'm trying not to be dramatic in this post, or exaggerate, but it was the most horribly painful experience. I know many of you reading this are surprised since many of you told me you had gone through the same test and it was not very painful. Well, for most people, it shouldn't be. There was the initial pain of them attaching (or whatever they did) to the cervix. It was a quick pinch and once it was attached, it no longer really hurt, just uncomfortable. Well then, the nurse comes up to my face and tells me to start taking deep breaths as the doctor was going to have to dilate me because apparently I have a very small cervix. I wasn't freaking out at first because with the first miscarriage, dilation happened, and while it was very painful, there was relief in between "contractions". The next thing I know, they are handing me a wet cloth and patting my face and neck with it. I guess I looked pretty awful :) At this point, I knew it was about to get bad. (I'm getting tears in my eyes now thinking about it!) Whatever dilating entails was the worst experience ever. I was literally screaming. That is so not my nature. It was the only gut reaction I had. I was being very dramatic about my deep breaths as I wanted to concentrate on them and not the pain. Well, I ended up stuffing the washcloth in my mouth to prevent loud yells. I should probably change the word yells to gasps of "ouch". Regardless, I was not quiet throughout this process. I thought I was about to throw up and was about to ask for a trashcan until they told me the pain part is over and they were injecting the dye. The dye definitely caused me to be super crampy, but it was much more bearable. Once the dye was in, I had to rotate a little to make sure it flowed to the correct places.  I was unable to see the X Ray screen due to the set up of the room and the actual x-ray machine over me, but I ended up being okay with that.I don't think I could have focused on it anyways. After the test, I sat up and they made me sit there for a few minutes because they thought I was either about to pass out or throw up. I quickly confirmed that I was okay now, but not a few minutes ago :) I changed and on our way out, they told me that they had told Derrick to go get the car. The parking lot was not very far away at all, so I knew he would be super nervous about that, wondering what had happened! I could read it on his face that he was, but when he saw me walking out and smiling, I think he knew I was okay :)

When we got in the car, I looked to see what time it was. I was absolutely positive the test had lasted much longer than they had anticipated. I was wrong. It was 7:46. That included changing and everything! I was shocked. It seemed so much longer. I looked at Derrick and told him I just need to cry. I had held it together while in there and just needed to cry. I did for about the next 10 minutes. I was just so surprised at how much it hurt. They kept telling me how great I was doing and I remember saying "Not really, I keep yelling!" They laughed but quickly affirmed it. We go back to meet with her next week and go over everything and I plan on asking her about how I handled it. I'm just so curious now. I've really been trying to figure out my pain threshold and I think this may tell me the answer :) If I'm lucky enough to carry and deliver our children, an epidural is looking awesome right now.

The results of everything were normal, though. No abnormalities. That's good news! She mentioned something about just trying again at this point and taking progesterone once we get pregnant. I plan to discuss this much further next week. Still no results back on the blood clotting disorders. Hoping for that this week, too! All in all, I'm glad it's over. I'm super sore right now and loading up on the pain reliever :) Thanks for all the prayers. They definitely worked for everything being normal, which is the most important, but some of you need to work on your relationship with God because he didn't hear your pain-free ones :) Kidding, we appreciate them all!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tests, Tests, and Hopefully No More Tests!

While I am determined to not make this a pregnancy and miscarriage blog, I also want to keep everyone updated. And since this is a lot of what is going on in our lives right now, it's also very much about us and what is going on. But be on the lookout for more non-baby related posts!

As you may know, our doctor's prognosis for testing in the future was to suffer through one more miscarriage before testing was needed. This seemed to be the most common answer when I talked to people. I didn't like it, but I also wanted to listen to the doctors and do whatever they recommended. A few people began reaching out to me and telling me their experiences with recurrent miscarriage and what their issues had been. At first, I was just listening, but as numerous people kept bringing this up, even when I was not the one initiating any discussion on the topic, it started to resonate with me. In the midst of these conversations was also the name of a particular doctor. I found myself in battle between following doctor's orders and taking a stand for my own health. I thought it was crazy to wait for another miscarriage, but I also was comforted by the fact that my doctor's did not consider it cause for testing just yet. Well, I decided there was no way we could lose another baby with this new information I was getting.

I have mentioned before (I think) that my doctor's were interested in chromosomal testing if a third miscarriage was to occur. I started thinking about this, and for me, chromosome testing was not what I wanted at this point. Now, I am speaking on my view of what this entails. I never discussed it further with our doctor as it was not something we would do just yet. With that said, I could be completely wrong on what the results would tell me or the types of tests we would do. To me, chromosome testing would test our chromosomes (obviously) and let us know if there were any issues with those. In my head, this only told us who the problem was stemming from, and really would not offer any solutions. I know it would give us more information, but at this point, I wanted to rule out things first. This new doctor was known for being much more proactive and finding more answers. After one of the conversations I was having with someone, I called and made the appointment, which so happens to be in Dahlonega, which is very strange to me!

Less than one week later, I was sitting in the doctor's office with Derrick, making a plan with this doctor. Now, it should be stated that I'm not jumping doctors. I still really like the doctors we switched to but I didn't like their plan for testing. At this point, I have not made a real decision as to who we will continue to see. Right now, we're taking it one step at a time. The only negative about this new doctor is that she does things at Chestatee Hospital, which is not okay with me :) A few days before this appointment, I was at the other office, getting the blood work done that was originally in the plan. It tests for blood clotting disorders. This was also the first step the new doctor wanted to try. However, her next step was to do a Hysterosalpingogram (dye test) if the bloodwork came back normal. The dye test is where they inject dye into my uterus and look at X Rays to see where the dye went. This will show if there are any abnormalities within the uterus or surrounding areas that may be affecting a baby being able to implant properly and thrive. There could be a number of answers from this test. The test takes about 15 minutes and we will have answers immediately. That part is super exciting, as I will leave knowing the results and the next steps. I was advised to take some pain meds before going in, which of course has me worried. That prompted me to google it, which was a bad idea. I'm thinking about a couple glasses of wine at 5:30am :) Just kidding! I go in for that tomorrow morning at 6am! Unfortunately, I will have to do it at Chestatee. If you know the Dahlonega area, you know why that is scary! But they aren't putting me to sleep or anything, so hopefully I survive :) Actually, I'm slightly okay with going here so I can form my own opinion about the hospital and not the horror stories I have heard! The results of the blood clotting bloodwork have not come back yet. Some of them did, and they are normal, but apparently the 2 big ones they are looking for are still at the lab. We're going to go ahead with the dye test, regardless. So hopefully by tomorrow late afternoon, we will have dye test answers as well as blood clotting answers.

I'm so excited to be moving forward with some of this and finding answers. I hope we get answers quickly, but I am also aware that all of these tests may come back normal. One big thing we found out from this doctor is that the chance of another miscarriage within 3 months of a miscarriage, is over 60% higher. It may have been more than that, possibly 80%, I can't remember. While that totally sucks that we didn't know that before, it kinda puts us back at the first miscarriage being a "fluke" and the 2nd one resulting in us getting pregnant too quickly. Some people have asked me about that, but according to both previous doctors, there were differing opinions on the waiting period. To me, it makes sense. But in our drive to have a baby, we listened to the doctors without doing much research on our own.

It was hard to make the decision to see this new , as I wanted to seek God's will. It's hard to differentiate between "signs", but I like to think of those as God. I hope we're making the right decision by going through some of these tests. It's exciting to me, so I hope that's a good sign :) Stay tuned for results and updates!