Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Endometriosis: Post Op and Release

I'm not really sure how it is possible but I felt like it was longer than 2 weeks after my surgery that I was finally able to go in for my post op appointment. I guess technically it was a little more than 2 weeks but it was the quickest he wanted to see me after my surgery. I was going crazy waiting to hear the results of surgery from my doctor directly. Anyway I finally got released to do things like a normal person again. Yay!

First things first he said that the "bump" in my belly button would go away as the area continues to heal! Seriously one of the best things he told me the entire appointment. I know it sounds dumb but it looks so funny. He checked both of my inscision sites and they are both looking good and healing just like they should be. He said the bruising will go away soon and he wasn't the least bit surprised that it was still there. He actually said, "we removed a lot of tissue so that bruise looks pretty good" I assured him that it is a lot smaller now than it was last week! We went over the general questions, how are you feeling, are you having any pain, etc. I feel great actually so good that when people ask me how I'm doing or feeling I get a really confused look on my face because I don't feel like I had a pretty serious surgery at all.

Now down to the nitty gritty. 

The post op diagnosis 
1. pelvic endometriosis - stage 3
2. severe adenomyosis uteri
3. intracavitary uterine polyp

I knew that the official diagnosis and results were worse than I was hoping they would be but I had no idea how bad everything actually looked. My uterus was so enlarged that it was smashing my bladder. The picture of the polyp looked like tiny strange colored fingers growing inside my body. Eww (I really want to get colored copies of the pictures he took but was to overloaded with the next task things to ask for them.) My doctor was able to remove the endometriosis lesions that were on my uterus and lower abdominal area as well as any other lesion that were possible to remove with a laser. He was also able to easily remove the entire polyp from inside my uterus with no problems. He also removed some endometrial lesions from my fallopian tubes. The dye test they did showed that my tubes were "dumping" properly ie when I was ovulating my eggs were making to into my uterus. He also found prevalent adenomyosis which is when endometrial tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. Adenomyosis is not removable with the laser like the endometriosis lesions are. Due to the severity of my adenomyosis and pretty much the fact that it is present at all, I will start Lupron injections. I was hoping to start them immediately but I have to wait until next week. He wants me to be around day 25-27 of my cycle before starting the injection. Waiting one more week is no big deal at all plus it gives me some more time to do more research about the medication. 

When I was questioning him about the lupron; how often do I have to get it, what are the side effects, what is it going to do exactly, am I going to ovulate, how soon will I start to ovulate again, will this get rid of the remaining endometriosis and the adenomyosis? He answered all my questions with confidence and a reassuring tone. He also made it very clear to me that this next step is really our only option for us to have another child on our own. Basically to me what he was saying is "get the shots and you will have another baby, don't get them and you won't." Not that it is every that clean simple but that's the basics. I am going to have treatment and take whatever odd things  (within reason) it causes for me as signs of my body getting better. I asked him how it works and my best retell of what he told me is this. 'My uterus is swollen and mushy. The medication will help heal my uterus by both "firming" it back up and shrinking to it's normal size. Once that has occurred or while that is happening my body will kick in and start fighting the ednometriosis (edno)/adenomyosis (adeno) and killing it off. He will be able to tell if the treatment is working through a physical exam which will take place again after 3 treatments and again after the full 6 if he feels all are necessary. Which they will likely be.'  Like I said, my retell and I'm no doctor or medical professional but that's the best explanation I can give you. I will stop ovulating while on the medication because it will shut down my system. It is necessary for it to be shut down to rid my body of the endo/adeno since it gets worse with every cycle. I should start to ovulate anywhere from 4-8 weeks after my last treatment. He said that most women are able to conceive within the 2 year time span of this treatment and their endometriosis starting to come back. He also says that besides the severity of endo/adeno my body is healthy and shows no reason to not be able to have a baby. I'm hopeful that we will be sharing the good news of a successful conception by the end of summer or early Fall. 

Until then I'm going to relax and enjoy myself. I'm looking forward to 3-6 months of living without the stress of trying to conceive. If you have ever tried to have a baby and I mean really tried then you know what I mean!

My question for you is, have you ever had lupron injections? If you have please share your experience of it with me. I have been reading some of the side effects and some don't seem bad but some seem so annoying to deal with. I know that every medication acts differently with every person but I want to know how it worked or didn't work for you. I want to know what vitamins you took to help alleviate some of the symptoms. Email me or message me on facebook. I want to be prepared for any craziness that is coming my way but I'm also ready to finish this battle!

Thanks for reading and listening to my story but most importantly for sharing yours with me!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekly Menu and Weekend Recap

Every Sunday morning I sit down and make a grocery list and menu for the week. Okay well maybe not every Sunday because Sunday brunch trumps menu and meal planning any day! I did make a menu yesterday for this week. Last week we went 5 evening is a row without going out to eat. That is really good for us lately. Now we just need to eat at home more often on the weekends.

Speaking of weekends how about a quick recap of our weekend. Friday we went to Prairie Artisan Ales Brewery for a beer. It was just a laid back relaxing time supporting our local brewery. Blake likes to go and play with his cars while we visit and drink beer. He also likes to talk to his friends that work out at the brewery. This week he met a new friend Ande who was working with his friend Lisa. Okay they aren't actually his friends but he knows they are excited to see him when he goes with us. After the brewery we had a late dinner at Louie's in Jenks. 
Saturday my parents came up to visit for the day and they brought my niece with them. They hung out with Blake while Andrew and I had a day date. We had sushi then went house hunting. The thing is we are always looking for a new house. We know that we want to move but not sure where or when so we look. If we find something that is perfect for us we will buy it now and if not we have about a year left to shop around! After house hunting for a few hours we came back home to visit with my parents before they left. Our friends also came over so mom and dad could see their boys.
Sunday I made my grocery list and our menu for the week. I always ask Andrew if he has any request and this week he requested fire-pot soup. It is new to me but I'm giving it a go. We went to the mall to return a shirt and to buy me a new pair of jeans. I hate jean shopping, let me say that one more time I HATE jean shopping. I found a pair that I liked so we bought them. (Side note, I wore them today and I'm not in love with them. I think I need a smaller size because they stretched out so much within 30 minutes of wearing them. A problem I will deal with tomorrow.) While at the mall our old neighbor texted us with an invite to go bowling at The Dust Bowl. We didn't have anything else going on so we went. That's how we roll often, just doing whatever comes our way. It's fun! We bowled and had a blast. Before going home we went to look at a possible neighborhood to build a house in. I mean if the price of oil would just go back up, we could build or move sooner. Lots of people might complain but it keeps my husband employed so I'm for it. Seriously though people, dropping gas prices aren't good for everyone.
A few photos I snapped from our weekend!

Alright now to get to our menu for the week. I always look at the weather when I plan out our meals. I don't want to eat soup when we are having a really nice 70* day in the middle of winter. This week we are supposed to have 3 nice days today being one of them but the wind is pretty cool still. I use a variety of options when looking for meal ideas and this week after searching the internet for what felt like a long time I went back to my favorite vegan cookbook The Oh She Glows Cookbook. This week we are having

Monday- InstantPot Pork Carnitas 
Recipe can be found here
*I felt like these were lacking in flavor big time. Our favorite jalapeno salsa made them better!*

Tuesday- Vegetable Lo Mein
Recipe here

Wednesday- Broccoli "Cheese" Quinoa Wraps
Oh She Glows (OSG) Cookbook

Thursday- Fire-Pot Soup
Recipe here

Friday- Big Vegan Bowl
Recipe here

Saturday- Veggie Burgers with Warm Roasted Winter Salad
Recipe OSG Cookbook and here

Sunday- Curry (Unless we are watching the superbowl at a house other than our own)
We don't really use a recipe for our curry when we make it. We printed off a menu from a restaurant and put ingredients in based on the kind of curry we pick. Also Andrew is the pro at curry making not me which is the reason we only typically eat it on the weekends!

Do you have a weekly menu? If so I'd love to see what's on it. Also if you have any favorite recipes and want to share let me know. Most of the recipes this week are new to us so I will come back with an update of how we liked or didn't like them. We have had all the OSG recipes before with the exception of the warm roasted winter salad.

Monday has been pretty good to me (with the exception of a complete computer malfunction just minutes ago); I hope it has been good to you as well! 


Friday, January 23, 2015


I'm trying to keep myself busy and my mind off of things like my doctors visit next week, enrolling Blake in a four year old class, and keeping up with my expectations of my self as a stay at home mom. So today after we went to the aquarium I turned on a movie for Blake for some quiet relaxation time and I organize my Pinterest board a little. A huge time waster, yes but much needed, yes again! It was so bad I wanted to just delete and start over. It looks a little better now so go check it out if you have some time to kill.

Happy Friday friends! We are off to enjoy some family time at the brewery and a yummy dinner after. Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2015

You Must Try This Recipe

Over the last couple of weeks we have been adding more meat into our diet. Why? I don't really know except that Andrew and Blake are tired of eating some form of bean soup every night. Blah Blah whatever so I have been buying some meat and cooking it to keep things interesting. I found some really awesome recipes on this site. I mean when I cook something and Andrew says "Lady you have really outdone yourself with this one!" How can I not share it with everyone! By the way I answered his compliment with, I just followed a recipe. I feel like I can't take too much credit for it because all I did was exactly what the recipe said, well kind of. Anyway here is how I made this delicious Ginger Beef, Mushroom & Kale Sir-Fry. Just to be clear I don't eat mushrooms, I don't like them. I have been able to enjoy them in some (very few like this only being the second one) meals since we nixed meat last year and this one I could eat them in!

Ginger Beef, Mushroom, & Kale Stir-Fry


Marinade ingredients:
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons ground ginger
black pepper

Stir-Fry Ingredients:
1/2 pound thinly sliced flank steak (I would even do 1/4 pound which would need less marinade)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms sliced
8 ounces of shiitake mushrooms sliced
6 cups of chopped kale
2 green onions thinly sliced
a handful of toasted sesame seeds

Add all marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. pour marinade into a large bowl or ziplock bag, then add the steak and gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (I did 30 because I prepared it ahead of time)

After steak has marinated, heat 1 TBSP of oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Remove steak from marinade, reserving the marinade. Saute with garlic for about 2-3 minutes until browned. Remove steak and set aside.
Add mushrooms, kale and reserved marinade to saute pan, and stir to combine. Cover with a lid for about 1 minute and cook until kale is wilted, sauce has thickened, and mushrooms have cooked, make sure to stir so the sauce doesn't burn. Add the steak and toss.

Serve immediately over rice or quinoa. Topped with green onion slices and toasted sesame seeds. (I wanted quinoa but Andrew prefers rice.)

Okay so now that I have shared my way of making it with you go over to Gimme Some Oven for the original recipe. She is the real creator of this amazing dish and many others that will be making their way into our kitchen. She doesn't use a lid when sautéing the vegetables but I like to because it adds a little steam to the mix when I am using more vegetables than the recipe calls for! I also didn't use as much soy sauce because I'm really sensitive to salt so even 1/3 cup of low sodium soy sauce or tamarin was too much for my liking.

When you make this let me know how you like it! We loved it and I will be making it again.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Surgery Talk with Blake

Well it will be a week tomorrow that I had my surgery. I am feeling great. I have a few random aches and pains but that's to be expected. I am also starting to bruise in different places which is to be expected as well. I'm anxious to get back into a completely normal routine but trying not to push it. I kind of wish my post-op appointment was next week not the week after! Anyway I'm very sure that one thing has changed and that would be my belly button. Weird I know but it just doesn't look the same. I'm not sure why it bugs me so much but it does. Maybe once the rest of the swelling goes away it won't look so strange.

Before I had surgery we talked to Blake about it. We explained to him that I was going to the hospital and the doctor was going to make little cuts on my tummy and get the yucky stuff out. We talked about how the cuts would be small but that momma wouldn't be able to pick him up or have him climbing on me. I told him that I would only be gone for the day kind of like when he goes to school or daddy goes to work. I said I'll leave after breakfast then be back around dinner time or before. We assured him that papa was going to stay with him and they would have lots of fun. If I said he was just okay with all this talk that wouldn't be true. Honestly his first reaction was, why you have to get surgery? I told him that I if momma and daddy want have another baby and he could be a big brother then I had to have surgery. He simply said, "I not want a baby." I just smiled and told him he would change his mind someday.

If I had it to do over again I wouldn't have told him so many days in advance. My little guy is a worrier. He comes by it naturally, his momma and daddy are worriers too. So instead of us having a restful week before surgery we had many nights of no sleep. He would wake up and just stare at me in the middle of the night. He wouldn't go to sleep until I snuggled him in our bed. I reassured him that everything was going to be okay and that we are and would all be safe. One night he said, look momma that shadow is momma and Blake snuggling, referring to the shadow of his lamp and humidifier in his bedroom. At that moment I knew that he was really worried and scared about me having surgery. I snuggled him as often as he would let me. I carried him around as often as he asked me to. I basically did everything with him that I knew I wasn't going to be able to after surgery. I even showed him the scars I already had on my stomach from a previous surgery to show him how tiny the cuts were going to be. We eventually showed him the cuts post surgery too after making sure they weren't going to scare him.

I think it was even worse for me when we came home after surgery and he was scared to even come near me. If you have a boy or boys then you know how rambunctious they can be. He loves to jump off of things onto you, use you as a stabilizer to stand up or climb on and run into you and bounce off, so everyone kept telling him he had to be gentle with momma. He had to be careful not to hurt me etc. Seeing the look in his eyes and fear of getting close to me when we came home was so hard for me. I think it took me until Sunday after surgery to convince him that it was okay if he sat next to me. I just reminded him that he couldn't touch my tummy. I was so glad to finally be able to put him to bed and lay with him for a few minutes. I also enjoyed some snuggle time while he watched a movie and sat in between my legs using me as a back rest. (That position honestly wasn't the most comfortable for me but it also wasn't killing me.) I even managed to give him a bath all by myself last night! This morning everything was like a normal morning! 

Besides the fact that I am feeling more "normal" Blake is also getting back to his "normal" self too. Andrew and I have been really focusing on him and spending time loving on him and doing things that we normally do which has helped. I'm looking forward to the nice weather this weekend so we can spend some time outside playing. Blake and Andrew can ride their bikes and I can do a little walking!

I used the word 'normal' a lot in this post. Clearly life over the last week has not felt normal to me at all. I am looking forward to actually putting together our new routine for 2015 and putting it into action! I hope that this new year is everything you hoped it would be so far! I'll be sharing our new routine with you next week.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Surgery Results and Endometriosis

It has almost been about 24 hours since I got home from the surgical center. I didn't sleep all that great last night but I did get some sleep. I also took a great almost 3 hour nap today! 
My pain is minimal and I can actually only feel one of the incision sites. I have two but one is in the same location as my c-section scar and that's pretty numb all the time, definitely more so now. I have some gas that is settling in my diaphragm and shoulders which happens after a laparoscopy. It is feeling better as time passes. When they told me I was going to feel like I had been kicked in the stomach they weren't kidding. It is a mixed feeling of sore after a workout, what I imagine being punched in the stomach feels like and exhaustion. Really not that bad. I can walk around the house slowly and feel like I want to go somewhere but I'm not going to push it. They gave me pain meds and anti nausea meds but ibuprofen is really taking care of most of my discomfort. If my child wasn't such a clown I'd probably be in even less pain but his constant craziness is making me laugh and it hurts! 

Anyway on to the findings during surgery as I have been told by mom and Andrew. I go back in 10 days to hear all the information for myself but for now this is what I know. My doctor didn't give an exact stage of endometriosis but said it was "text book" endometriosis but because of the location of the endometriosis it is called adenomyosis. I found this definition of adenomyosis on the mayo clinic website. 'Adenomyosis (ad-uh-no-my-O-sis) occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, exists within and grows into the muscular wall of the uterus.' He also removed a polyp from inside my uterus. He found that I have been ovulating and that my ovaries and fallopian tubes are working properly. Yay! I will undergo an injection treatment for 6 months to get clear up the endometriosis he couldn't remove due to its location in my uterine wall. I will get the treatment in my doctors office once a month for 6 months then we should be able to conceive. He said that my bladder was being squished because of all the endometriosis but that the endometriosis wasn't attached to my bladder. Another yay! I imagine that I will begin the treatment at the end of this month. I mean that's what I hope because yesterday when I was drugged up 6 months didn't seem like that long but today it does. Haha

Something that I was thinking about last night as I was trying to fall asleep is the number of people who struggle with infertility. Also accepting that struggling with infertility doesn't necessarily mean that you are infertile. I really struggled with this for a long time. I felt that saying I was struggling with infertility meant that I was infertile and that having another baby wasn't possible for us. When I stepped back, did more research and read a few books I was able to change my attitude and approach to this situation. I was also able to accept my struggle with infertility, that I wasn't being given a label of infertile. It was such a relief when I realized this and it has helped me so much. Please don't get me wrong, this realization didn't come over night. I has taken me a VERY long time to work up the courage to talk about it, share it and even face it head on. I am here now and feel better than I have in over a year about all of this. 

Just before going into surgery yesterday.

My current care takers enjoying an ice cream break today!

For all my friends who are struggling keep your heads high and remember to choose joy!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I have endometriosis

I have endometriosis. I had no idea that I even had it until Andrew and I started trying to have a second baby. It's annoying that it took us trying to conceive to find out but the bright side is we found out. I will be having surgery tomorrow to find out how sever the endometriosis really is. I also will be having a polyp removed from my uterus and they are going to run a dye through my ovaries and fallopian tubes to test function. The surgery should take about two hours and is out patient. Recovery time is just a few days. 

I keep having people asking me how I'm feeling about having the surgery. Honestly I am so excited! I am a little nervous but that comes along with any surgery. I am mostly excited. I am so thankful that we found a doctor who was willing to look at the whole picture and listen to my concerns about my body. He did a thorough exam and listened to my complaints and worries. He had a great possible cause (endometriosis) for the delay in conception. He also had a plan of action that should remedy the problem, a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, which will happen tomorrow. I am excited to be taking action finally.

I say finally because we have been on this journey for 18+ months now. For the last year I have gone to the doctor every 3 months or even every month to figure out why it was taking us so long to conceive again. I knew that there was something going on with my body that wasn't right but my (old) doctor kept assuring me that everything was fine with my body. It has been a long process and it still isn't over but at least now we have a plan of action (3 doctors later). Even better than the plan is the fact that we are acting now! 

I have had such a hard time with this whole process for many reasons but I have also learned a lot throughout it. As a matter of fact I'm very sure that my learning isn't over. I know I'm going to learn so much more after surgery and as we continue on this journey to complete our family. Shoot I'm going to feel better than I have in years because I should be pain free! 

I have documented this entire journey and will share parts of it in the future but for now this is a great start. It is no longer a secret about what is going on with me. Not that it is anybody else's business anyway but more that I don't have to walk around with the weight of this on my shoulders. I have a medical condition just like so many other people do. I fortunately don't have anything near a severe as many other people deal with everyday. I hope that anyone struggling with infertility or struggling to conceive knows that they are not alone. There are so many other people out there that are struggling with similar or the same issues. If you are struggling with infertility or even having a hard time conceiving I want you to know that you aren't alone. 

I want to leave you to consider how you are tackling the circumstances that you are facing today. I encourage you to stay positive and see the good in every situation. I encourage you to understand the implications of how your choices determine your day. 

With joy in my heart and a focus on the positive I'm off to finish cleaning my house so that my caretakers over the next few days only have to focus on playing with Blake and keeping him happy!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Family Picture Session

Back in November we were finally able to get with our favorite photographer, Kelly Fry, to get a few family pictures to use as our Christmas cards. We just had family pictures taken back in May but I wanted one of the three of us that I loved. I am just going to be completely honest, I didn't love any of these (of me) the first time I looked at them. I wasn't happy with how I felt I looked in them. Once I got over that I fell in love with so many of these beautiful photos. (I'll share more of that self image another day.) We went out to Stanley Draper Lake because I requested a fall background with leaves if there were any left. I really love the combination of grass, trees and true Oklahoma red dirt!

We attempted so many times to get a fun leaf throwing picture. I think most of them resulted in someones face being covered up but Blake loved throwing the leaves!
This was for Rahrah (Aunt Sarah) because she sent me a photo she found on Pinterest and said "you guys should do this!" 

I love these black and whites of Blake! I imagine a few canvases will be ordered sometime soon! Seriously though his eyes in the first one! 

Thanks again Kelly for capturing these beautiful photos of our family. 

Our outfit details-
Blake- target sweater and button down shirt, bootcut jeans from children's place, and grey converse from Kohl's 
Andrew- J Crew sweater (I'm honestly not sure about the jeans or shoes)
Me- top and cardigan from my favorite store Runway Seven, skinnies from Gap, Frye boots and my favorite old school Premier Designs earrings.

I hope you are all having a wonderful beginning to this new year!