Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Unfollow a Blog!!!!

Many of you have complained about not being able to "unfollow" many of the abandoned blogs that you have followed. I have also been on a bit of a blogcleaning mission and I think I managed to f*ck up and figure out how to do it.

First things first.....if I tell you how to unfollow then you can't use it to unfollow me, mmkay?? You promise??? Alrighty, I believe you.

Here goes:

1) Go to the blog you wish to unfollow

2) Find the "follow widget" aka the thing with everybody's pics clustered together.

3) Make sure you are signed into the site. If there is a link that say "Join this site" - you aren't signed in and you need to do that.

4) After you sign in you should see your pic above the cluster of followers pics. Under your pic is a tab that says "Options" -- click on that. (see photo 1)

5) When you click the Options tab a menu will drop down. Click on "Site Settings" -- it will take you to another page where you can select to "Stop following this site" (see photo 2)

6) Voila!!! You have officially unfollowed that blog. Just remember you can do this with any blog you wish 'cept for mine. K? K!!
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ten Things Thursday -- Happy Stuff Edition!!

Props to Laura Belle for TTT, word!!!

Okaysies,  since my last couple posts have been gloomy and depressing I am gonna focus on the things that are actually making me happy.

1) ZUMBA!!!  I am finally back to doing Zumba regularly -- like 7x week!!!  I have been at it for 3 weeks and I feel amazeballs!!  I talked about how I had kinda bailed on working out the past few months due the baby issues, but also I was super hatin' the Zumba instructor that I had been going to, you remember, The Redneck Lady Gaga??? Well, things only got worse so I finally decided to be done with that 'ho and find some more damn Zumba.  

2) I totally found some new Zumba classes.  They aren't as "intense" as I would like but I am able to modify it up to my desired intensity level. However, the class is SUPER friendly and supportive as well as very welcoming.  The instructor has lost almost 60lbs without surgery since she started Zumba -- and she still isn't a skinny stick.  Lots of normal sized people in this class just trying to get their sweat on.  It's sooo nice to look forward to my classes again instead of it feeling like I am walking into the movie "Mean Girls".

3) I am also scheduled to attend Zumba Instructor Training Sept 29.  YAY!!!  I had been schedule to do it in July but had to postpone because of my Nana's passing.  It's better that I didn't take it then because my head was NOT in a good place for that kind of thing.  This is such a HUGE NSV for me.  To think, 2.5 years ago I was about to get LapBand surgery because I could no longer muster the energy to function of even the most basic levels and soon I will be able to teach a fitness class. WTF???

I do worry that the lighter intensity of these new classes have me feeling all froggy like some Zumba badass and I am gonna get the floor wiped with my ass when I go to the training.  

4) I think this is almost it on the Zumba topic, buuuut I have to say how much I love these little suckers:
They my 1lb wrist weights and they are ROCKIN' MY ARMS!!!  (I know they look weird I have them wrapped w/ sports tape because my hands get all sweaty when I am wearing them)  I have been wearing them during my Zumba classes and they have been really making a difference.  1 lb doesn't seem like much but sling those things around for an hour straight -- you start to feel it.  I know they aren't gonna get me mega muscles but they are really helping with toning.  I am starting to see definition in my arms for the first time!!  YAY!!  (I am about to move up to 2lb weights soon!! )

5)Speaking of the gun show aka my arms.  This new found definition has got me a smidgen obsessed with my arms.  I am trying to do more stuff to get them buffed and toned!!  Now, if I could muster up some obsession about my abs.

6) Okay, okay ---enough about Zumba and my arms. I have also found this that makes me happy!!

It's Cherry Limeade!!!  Just 15 calories a serving, like I could drink this whole jug (not that I would) and it would only be 105 calories.  For the most part, I only drink water, unsweet tea, and coffee, but every now and then I want something a little different. (I don't do soda bc the carbonation makes me very uncomfortable)  I do LOVE me some S*nic Cherry Limeade -- not great for me because of sugar and fizz.  Imagine how delighted I was when I saw this gem in the cooler while strolling through W*lmarks.  Low calorie? Check! Non-carbonated? Check! Costs $1???  Check, check!!

* Mental note:  Add Vodka for Low Cal Adult Beverage Treat!!

7) I finally got my Fertility Charting materials and such.  Yes, there is a manual for my Doc's regimen.

I plan on posting about this more in depth so if you g**gle this --- please don't get any ideas about me. I will need to explain myself.  I am not exactly happy about having to do a charting regimen, but I am happy about getting the show on the road towards information and progress.

8) Pinterest!!!  I finally drank the Pinterest Kool-Aid.  ( I think I pinned a recipe for that!)  I am loving it.  I was very resistant at first, but I was lured in by recipes and craft DIY projects.   I really has been awesome though.  The Hubs and I are trying to keep dining out to a minimum.  Most of the time when we would go out to eat it was because I could decide on what to fix or was too tired/busy to fix a major meal.  It has been so helpful to turn to Pinterest for ideas on new recipes and ideas on quick meals.  If you are on Pinterest I would love to follow you  and you can follow me-- just let me know!!

9) My new (kinda) treadmill.  My parents bought a treadmill 5-6 yrs ago with all these lofty plans for using it.  It has since been in the back bedroom of their house, untouched, unused, and basically new.  Well, the last time I was home I totally jacked it.  They haven't offered to do anything that could be mistaken for exercise in 6 yrs and I have.  We brought it home but the only place we have for it is the garage so it's kinda off limits until it's not hotter that the 3rd layer of the Sun in my garage.  I am not crazy about using the treadmill but it is really nice to have that as a last ditch back up work out.

10) I am just glad to be posting about something that isn't so depressing and pathetic.  I worry that many of you haven't commented because my depressing posts made you find the nearest bridge and hurl yourself off it.  I certainly hope that isn't the case.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pt. 2: Miscarriage x 2....What now??

A few quick points before I get back to the epic novel about my lady guts.

1) I would like to thank all of y'all for not pointing out my glaring math fail when describing my giant milkshake.  26 + 8 actually equals 34, not 32-- whoops!!

2) Thanks so much for reading and responding to these mini-novels --  it really does help hearing everyone's feedback/suggestions.

Anyways, where was I??  Oh, yeah.

I came home from the hospital and spent the rest of weekend in a pain med induced haze.  I probably didn't actually need any pain meds, but my Doc indulged me some light meds after I told him that: 1) it's the weekend so I can't easily call you tomorrow if I am in terrible pain AND 2) I am in no kind of emotional mood to contend with any unnecessary discomfort.

Since the reason for the D&C was concern for an ectopic pregnancy the Doc sent all the "stuff" that was removed off to the lab for testing just to confirm that it was pregnancy type tissue.  The Doc put a "rush" on the tests so the results were supposed to be back 2 days later on Monday.  I was supposed to get the "Everything is normal" call sometime mid-Monday.

Instead, I got a call from the Doc's nurse that was a very urgent "He wants you to come in immediately.  He wants to do another ultrasound and more bloodwork."  To which I was all, "Um, is everything okay??" And she replied,"I really don't know anything other than he sent me a text that he wanted you in here ASAP for ultrasound/bloodwork."

Cue the total panic attack.  I drop what I am doing, get showered and dressed comfy (you know, in case I have to go straight to the hospital), make The Hubs clear his work schedule for the afternoon to drive me to the Dr.'s office.  I spent the 20 minute drive to the Doc's freaking out -- convinced that my fake baby was actually some mutant ball o' cancer.  *dramatic much???* 

We get to the Dr.'s office, ultrasound done, bloodwork done --- now, just waiting in the exam room for the Doc.  He pops through the door all bouncy and chipper about how everything looks "Really good!!" at which point I totally lose my shit.  I go off about how I really don't appreciate being dragged into the office on the premise that I am rotten on the inside only to have him bounce in like everything is fine and dandy.  All the color drains out of his face and he is completely embarrassed and apologetic. Apparently, there was a HUGE misunderstanding between his instructions to his nurse and her instructions to me.

Needless to say, he felt really, really bad.  And you know what happens when your Dr. feels really guilty???  He takes you and your husband into his office and spends 2 hours having a detailed discussion about all the options available to you.

It goes a little something like this: There are a handful of major causes of recurrent miscarriages.

*Note: I am being super simplistic in my descriptions because I know that, while you guys care, you didn't sign up for Intro to Baby Science 101.  If you are/have experiencing fertility issues please don't be insulted by my simplicity.

1) Anatomy -  Problems with the shape or condition of the uterus.  Septate uterus/bicornate uterus, uterine fibroids/cysts, scar tissue, etc.  Basically, these types of things can be a barrier to the embryo implanting in the uterus or being able to grow properly. 

*This is not my problem. I recently had a hysterosonogram in which saline is injected into the uterus during an ultrasound.  My uterus is "awesome"- the doctor's term, not mine.

2) Immune-  There are a bunch of chemicals in the body that are capable of having an immune reaction to a pregnancy.  In many cases, this reaction produces blood clotting in the super tiny blood vessels that feed an embryo/fetus.  When clots occur in these tiny blood vessels -- it essentially chokes off the blood supply to the fetus and can result in miscarriage.  Most times women are not aware that they are susceptible to this immune response until it causes the problem.  The treatment ranges from as little as a daily baby aspirin (81mg) to daily Heparin injections, sometimes these are only necessary during the 1st trimester but can be required throughout the entire pregnancy.

* I am waiting to find out if this might be an issue for me.  A couple weeks ago, my Doc drew about 4 gallons of blood to test for the 73 different types of chemicals that are capable of causing this issue. He warned me that the testing would take a couple weeks so I should be getting something back soon.

3) Genetic/chromosomal -  This is actually what most doctors believe causes the vast majority of miscarriages.  It could be that the sperm or egg were somehow genetically flawed.  It could also be that when the cells started dividing the copies didn't copy properly and ultimately the development couldn't continue.  While these circumstances may be the most likely cause of many isolated, single instance miscarriages, recurrent miscarriages are often a different story.

When it comes to recurrent miscarriage and genetics, there is possibility that My Eggs and The Hubs Sperms are genetically incompatible, as in they are incapable of mixing up properly.  Even though this is possible -- it is very rare.

*It will be a while before we explore this avenue.  The testing process is expensive and not always covered by insurance. If it is covered by insurance, it is usually not until numerous miscarriages have occurred and all other causes have been ruled out.

4) Progesterone Deficiency - Progesterone is the "pregnancy hormone".  It does 2 big things:  1) It gets the uterus "ready" for an embryo to implant during the Luteal Phase (aka the 2 weeks between ovulation and your period) by thickening the uterine lining.  2)  It is also what tells your body you are pregnant so it won't be trying to "get rid" of what's in the uterus.  

For the 1st 8-12wks of pregnancy it is produced by the corpus luteum (this is what spits out your egg from your ovary when you ovulate)  around 8-12wks the placenta fully forms and takes over the job of producing progesterone for the rest of the pregnancy.  Low progesterone from the placenta can also lead to preterm labor.  

Progesterone deficiency is believed to be a major cause of recurrent miscarriage.  Fortunately it can be supplemented either, by a pill, vaginal suppository, or injection.  My Doc prefers to use injections bc it is believed to be the most "effective" form.  However, I have been warned that the injections are HELLA unpleasant, but honestly I don't care -- I am pretty sure that having miscarriages sucks harder than some shots.  Some women only need to be supplemented during the 1st trimester until the placenta forms but some women have to be supplemented through their entire pregnancy --- again, either way I don't care,  I am pretty sure having miscarriages is more annoying than having to get shots 2-3x/week for 9mos.  

***This is the BIGGIE.  Many of you commented on my last post about possible issues w/ low progesterone.   If I had to place a bet as to what I believe the cause of my miscarriages has been I would bet on the low progesterone issue.   I base my completely non-medical, non-professional opinion on the symptoms/timing of my miscarriages along with the TONS of research/reading I have done about low progesterone.

The next big question is determining where the progesterone problem occurs.  Does it occur during my Luteal Phase (aka 2wks between ovulation and period) meaning that my uterus isn't getting properly ready to implant an embryo????  Or does the problem only during pregnancy meaning that I produce enough progesterone to GET preggo but not STAY preggo???

If it is a Luteal Phase problem --- then I would need to supplement my progesterone right after I ovulate each month and then continue through into pregnancy (if I get preggo that month).  If it's not, then my Doc recommends testing/supplementing for progesterone immediately after I pee on a stick (and get a +)

The only hitch is that in order to find out when I would need to get the progesterone -- I have to take a 3-4 month break from baby making in order to follow my Doc's cycle charting regimen and testing.   He gave me the option not do the charting but if I don't we can't address the Luteal Phase issue.  So that only leaves the option of supplementing after a pregnancy is achieved ---which he will still do for me.

I will be honest.  I am not loving the idea of waiting 3-4 months to try getting preggo again.  But I have decided ( after lots of soul searching and research) that I want to get all the answers I can ---  I need them desperately.  I also know myself well enough that if I go ahead and get pregnant again and it doesn't work out AGAIN that I WILL beat myself up for not doing the full regimen.

YAY!!!  There is a strategy!!  I have a plan!!!

(I really wanna talk about the charting regimen because I wanna see if any of you have heard of it but I am gonna save it for another post bc this one was too effing long about 6 paragraphs ago. )

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pt. 1: Miscarriages Are Like Snowflakes..... two are just alike.

When I realized I was pregnant the first time, I peed on a stick and immediately got joy drunk and stupid on Baby B*jorns and maternity clothes.  Which is just one of the many reasons my 1st miscarriage was so completely devastating.

It was so devastating that I kinda gave up on my body for the last 6 months. I was sooo angry, especially with my body.   I mean, really, why the hell should I do anything nice for my body if it's gonna thank me by failing to stay pregnant????  The anger just got worse as it seemed to take longer and longer for me to get pregnant again.

I think what made everything so very hard was that I had no answers.  I went to the doctor and was told:
-that my pregnancy was over
-that I didn't do anything to cause it but
-that there was no way to really know why it happened and
-that there was nothing that could have been done to fix/stop it
-that miscarriages are VERY common in 1st pregnancies
-that having one miscarriage doesn't mean you will have another

So I took my lack of answers and I went home and booked a first-class ticket to Crazytown, Population: 1. And for 6 months I proceeded to analyze and pick apart everything that I could have possibly done to cause the miscarriage. Once I had thought of every single ridiculous possibility I beat myself up mercilessly for each and every one.

Fast forward from January to June -- after 6 mos of being laser focused on doing everything "right" to get pregnant again, and failing to do so,  I was ready to take a break.  I was so ready to take a break that in June I stopped all my charting/fertility tracking effort..... no taking temps, no checking mucus (sorry TMI), no ovulation predictor strips --- nothing.

I was also ready to start feeling good again.  I had recommitted to start working out again and start giving a shit what I ate (for me, not for the purpose of getting preggo) beginning July 1st, right after TOM was over -- you know, just to make sure I was absolutely NOT pregnant.

I had no reason to believe that I might be preggo (well, other than the fact that Hubs and I had done The Dance w/ No Pants). I mean, really, I had been trying so hard with no success -- what would make this month any different???

Of course, June came and went with TOM nowhere to be found.  So I dig into my trusty stash of EPTs,  get my pee on  --- and I'm pregnant!!!

I was paralyzed with anxiety and fear.  So much for my big plans to recommit to exercise -- I was too damn scared.  I was too damn scared to do ANYTHING except sit on my couch and eat carbs.

*Side note:  Both of my 5 minute long "pregnancies" included overnight water retention/weight gain of 10lbs.  This is a whole different sort of anxiety for me but we'll save that for another post.  

I kept telling myself that everything was gonna be okay.  Just because I had one miscarriage didn't mean I would have two.  The universe wouldn't do this to me again.

I called the OB/GYN's office and explained that I was *kinda* going a little insane and if they made me wait till 9 weeks to come in for a check that I would most likely be in  a straightjacket by then.  So they graciously indulged me --  as a matter of fact, they brought me in once a week for the next 3 weeks.  Checking my HCG levels and doing ultrasounds to confirm if the pregnancy was progressing -- and it was, with every appointment I felt a little bit better and little bit more foolish for being so anxious.

That is until, I hit 7 weeks, exactly.  Just like the last time, just like clockwork --- the tidal wave of bleeding began.  I had 2 more days until my next Dr.s appointment so I just waited.   For 2 days my emotions ranged from ridiculous optimism that this was something else entirely not a miscarriage to total depression that this was happening AGAIN!!!

After 2 days of emotional volleyball it was time for my Dr.'s appointment -- the most significant appointment so far.  At this point, there should have been a very clearly visible baby type creature occupying my uterus --- but alas, there was not.  Just a big empty sac -- worst fears confirmed, miscarriage #2 in progress.

Cue the total meltdown.  Unlike MC #1 in which I was so stunned that I didn't lose my shit until several days later, I went into a total red-faced, puffy eyed, snot river, non-verbal, ugly cry (right in the middle of the clinic waiting room, no less).

After meeting with the Dr. I was scheduled for a D&C the next day (due to concerns about a possible ectopic pregnancy).  I spent the whole of Saturday laying in the hospital (without having had anything to eat since 12am the previous night) waiting to have a procedure that took barely 30 minutes --  lemme say this hospital trip wasn't nearly as fun and exciting as my last one aka when I got my Lapband.   By the time I was released, I was tired, hungry and more just a little depressed.  All I wanted was a hot fudge milkshake from S*nic ---- the 32oz milkshake to be exact.

Not my actual milkshake, just for visual reference
Just for the record, 32 ozs of milkshake is too much. Even if you haven't eaten for 18 hrs and you hate the world and just wanna die ----  that only covers about 26 ozs worth of milkshake, the other 8 ozs will just make you want to puke.

That concludes the 1st part of this saga. I feel the need to apologize for how long and convoluted it is, but that's the way it has been in real life.  Stayed tuned to the thrilling conclusion........