The only thing Constant in life is change

It might surprise many of my faithful readers that I am updating my blog again.  You’d given up on me hadn’t you?

Lately I’ve been itching to get back to writing about my life and connecting with my friends and family in a way that I have always loved.

But, things are different now that I’m back.  Some things I’m going to want to keep private.  Some things might only be for me.  That’s because my life is changed.

I’m not the married, childless, American living in England – biding her time until she could talk her spouse into getting a visa for the states.

Now (deep breath, Jamie) I’m the single (divorced *cringe*) American living in England because, well, because I want to.

Lets clear up a few things.

Chris and I are still very good friends.  The divorce was final in April, but it hasn’t been too difficult because we are still in each others lives.  We travel together, spend days out together, talk, text, and continue navigating our way through this uncharted experience.  The reasons for the divorce are ours, and ours alone.  Its our story and one that only we will tell, when and if we’re ready.  Have there been tears and heartbreak along the way?  Of course, probably more than I can count.  But, I’m thankful everyday (mostly everyday) that we settled things in a way that allow us to have a friendly relationship.  There will be no bashing of the ex on this blog – friends just don’t do that.

Do what is right for you:   IMG_6601

So, I hear you ask, if you are divorced and he was a major reason you stayed in England – WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE?  That, my friend, is a great question and I still don’t even have an answer for myself, yet alone anyone else who might wonder and question it.  I do know one thing for absolute sure, England is my home.  I’ve been an adult longer here than in America.  Me and England?  We’ve been through a lot!  Just because I am now on my own, that doesn’t change much.  I am settled here, I love it here, and if it only had my friends and family I’d be completely happy (anyone want to move over?  Visit?  Anyone??).  I’ve searched, studied, prayed, asked nicely, and begged for an answer of what I need to do with my life.  I am still waiting, but in the meantime I am going to be taking advantage of some great opportunities for my future while I’m still here – however long that may be.

I am lucky that I still have the twins in my life as well.  They are going to a new school in the Autumn and I, luckily, get to look after them still.  They make me crazy and frustrated and happy and peaceful all at the same time. 

IMG_7060

Luckily, this change in my life hasn’t made me bitter and angry with the church.  I am so blessed that I still treasure my testimony and membership.  Don’t get me wrong there are times where I want to scream and shout, “ITS NOT FAIR! WHY??” but I am learning to lean on my Saviour even more to answer those tough questions.  My calling in our newly created ward as a member of the Primary Presidency has helped me to focus on the basics. 

I also have been on the “Divorce Diet” as my mom calls it.  I am finding joy in taking care of myself in every way including physically.  I am sure it is something I will mention in future posts, but I wont ever say how much I’ve lost, just that I’m focusing on me and you know what? It feels great when I get out there and do it!

In the future there will be some posts that will be private and unavailable to read.  But hopefully, I’ll keep having adventures and keeping a record of it right here on this blog!  Stay tuned!

Me, single again?  That’s bound to create some stories right there!

The Countdown Begins

Hello Friends…

Well, even though it has only been since November that I had my last surgery, I had completely forgotten how nervous I got beforehand.  I will be having my surgery next Tuesday and I am starting to get pretty nervous!

Next Monday I have to suffer through the unpleasantness that is “Bowel Prep” (I wont be sharing too many details about that!)  I have to be at the hospital by 7:30 – that is, if they have a bed.  I have to call an hour before hand to make sure there is a bed for me.  Chris got the day off (thanks to a co-worker who is going to work his shift for him that day).  He has the next day off too – and hey, lucky me I have a ride to the hospital!!  I made it quite clear to the nurse at the pre-op appointment that I got really sick after I woke up last time, so she is going to make sure that I get the meds to help that BEFORE the surgery, not an hour or so after.  Also, I have asked for some fluids in my IV after the surgery so I don’t feel so dehydrated and get such a bad headache.  I am hoping these things coupled with prayers, blessings, good doctors, and SMALL incisions will have me sleeping safely in my own bed the night of my surgery.  Of course, I think I need to prepare that I  might have to stay the night – but I am trying to be positive! 

I am encouraged by the statistics I’ve found online for conceiving after the surgery.  Granted, they aren’t TOO high, but they are much more positive than I was thinking when we got the dreaded letter at Christmas.

Since May 6th, 2007 we have been working with various doctors to “fix” me.  Thinking back I was so desperate to have answers.  When I finally got those answers they were not at all what I thought they would be, and they stirred up emotions that I wasn’t prepared for. 

Some days I want to shout it out from the roof-tops, “I struggle with infertility!  Please be patient with me!!”  I want to explain to everyone why I avoid the “baby section” of the shops, why, at family parties, I “tune out” or walk away.  Why I cant watch a show with a baby born in it without shedding a few tears.  But, other times I just want to lay in bed and keep it to myself.  Often I have wondered what I did to deserve it?  Why things are so unfair!  But most days, I don’t do either – I get up in my one-bedroom apartment and cope.  You’d be surprised at how many things you have to “cope” with when you are struggling.   I get reminders constantly that I don’t have children, and at the end of the day it isn’t so much what I am missing out on – but what Chris is, what my parents are, what my family is missing out on – and that is when I break down.  But, I keep going, and have for 3 years with the hope of a solution.  I realize that this surgery may not provide my broken body with a way to carry a child, but if it doesn’t, then I continue to hope – and just keep going.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your love, prayers, and support.  They buoy me up when I feel down and they help me realize that Chris and I aren’t alone.

Argh

So, now that offending parties have been taken off I can moan to my hearts content.

My sister in law is where I will start. She is very jealous that we have become friendly with the family again. She said to Jamie “ever since you found out you can’t have children, you seem to be there all the time”. How insensitive can you be! I never expected this out of her mouth. I guess I know how she really feels now. That’s one more person off my list of people to like.

The next person is a member of our branch who seems to think that church is a place to have a break from her kids. Newsflash: if you want a break from the kids – keep your legs shut, use contraception, give them away. Anything so you don’t have them. I want to slap her every time she opens her trap. You’ve had the kids, you deal with what comes of that. Yet another off my list of people to like.

That is all I have for the moment. I make no apologies for what I have written

The Facts

I am thankful for all the prayers, happy thoughts, and support shown to me.

I am still recovering from the surgery, so this post will be basic – I will write the whole story soon!

The surgery was fine – it went off without a problem.

The doctor found stage 4 Endometriosis (the worst stage).

One tube was blocked, the other one he couldn’t see.

The endo is so bad that the bowels are now pressing into my uterus.

To even try to fix it, it will take more surgery with another specialist.

After surgery the chances of me getting pregnant naturally is, at best, 30%

My doctor has put through an “urgent” referral to the next doctor and I should have an appointment date within 2-3 weeks.

I am in shock – it is not what I expected or could have prepared myself for.

I am trying to figure out how to live in a world full of children, knowing that I will probably never have one naturally.

I am healing well and will write more later.

D-Day

Well tomorrow is the big day and to say that I am nervous is an understatement. 

Up until today I was/am nervous JUST about the surgery.  It is my first surgery and being in England, away from home, it makes it that little bit more nerve-wracking.  My in-laws are taking me to the hospital and luckily it seems like a clean hospital.  Chris will be there as well and although I wish it were MY parents – I am thankful for the support that I have right now from them.

I get quite bitter when I really stop to think about it.  I think it is a mixture of nervousness/anxiety about the whole thing.  I think it is also that I have  several friends who have just had babies.  I think, as I clean up the house, get new pj’s and bathrobe, and get the loose ends tied up for work and church etc – this is how it would be if I was having a baby – and yet, this is all because I cant have a baby and when I think like that, the whole situation becomes horribly unfair.

Up until today I have been focused on the surgery and not at all preparing myself for AFTER the surgery – the results.  It’s finally hitting me – this could be the end of having a baby naturally.  Yes, we’ll move onto IVF next, but, I don’t know why, it never crossed my mind that there could be something wrong.

It sounds silly doesn’t it?  I am going in for surgery to see if something is wrong and I haven’t let myself think that there might be.  Maybe it is self preservation of sorts – maybe if I had been thinking of it more, the surgery would be more difficult.

But I cant help thinking now, what if they find something wrong?  What if tomorrow I find out that my dream of creating and having a natural pregnancy wont happen?

And I know, you are all thinking – you still have IVF, adoption, IUI… but it just isn’t the same is it? 

And that thought…. that scares me more than anything else that is happening tomorrow.

Appointment Update

Hello Friends.  I just had an appointment with Fiona and thought I would update the blog. 

Luckily, I decided to call Fiona and ask her about some of the goals we had set i.e. weight loss.  She called me back and told me that we would discuss it more at the appointment on Monday.  It was a good thing I had called because she had never told me when the next appointment was and I would HATE to miss it (she was really mean when we were just late).

Chris and I got to the appointment and I was really worried that all the hard work I’ve done as far as weight loss, would not be enough to have the surgery to find out what is wrong.

She weighed me first and having lost enough to get my BMI under the “danger” level (even if it was only by 1.0), Fiona said that Mr. R would “probably” do the surgery for me.

She asked me and Chris a lot of questions about our medical past, to see if there was anything that might put up a red flag – there wasn’t.

She then turned to us and said, “You could have the lap and dye.”  Now, I realize that reading that it makes perfect sense and doesn’t instil fear at all – but imagine hearing it, “You could have the lap and DIE.”  It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about.  The Lap and Dye is where they put a probe into your belly button (or as they call it here, tummy button) and look around.  They look for endometriosis or any problem causing fibroids or cysts and then they inject the fallopian tubes with dye to see if they are blocked or not.  Here in England it is a day surgery and the person only stays at the hospital if they have any problems. 

Fiona told us that couples usually have a high fertility rate for the first 3 years in a relationship – after those three years the rate drops dramatically.  Since “officially” Chris and I have been TTC for 2.7 years we still have a few months left.  She told us that I was at a weight where it was “okay” to try again, but I am a bit torn about that.  I have worked so hard to loose the weight I have, and I just want to be a bit more healthy before I have a baby.  Plus the timing is all off…  if I were to get pregnant in the near future that would leave me heavily pregnant when my VISA for England runs out – I couldn’t fly anywhere and if I got to the USA I wouldn’t have any health insurance at all for when I was ready to deliver.  So, it is still going to be on hold for a bit longer.

Fiona then told us that if they go in and do the lap and dye and they find that the tubes are blocked then our only option at that point would be IVF.  She said they used to do a surgery to un-block the tubes but IVF has a lot higher success rates and is not a surgery, like the “tube un-blocking” would be.

At this point we have an appointment again in 2 weeks to discuss the procedure.

I am so pleased that things seem to be moving along – finally, some answers for us… and we are ready for them (as ready as possible), whatever they might be.

The Day Before the Appointment

Hello friends.  I just thought I would put a little update on here.  Chris and I have our fertility appointment tomorrow at 2:30.  We fought for this appointment and have waited over a year now since the other horrible appointment.  I am strangely calm but, I know, that tomorrow I will be nervous.  Tomorrow we get the results of Chris’ sample, which is good news – but, I am also going to have to fight my corner in regards to the results of the internal scan.  I have been told my Dr. M (my GP) that I should be put on Metformin to help with weight loss and to regulate my blood sugars.  By getting those under control my hormones might settle a bit (a side effect of PSOS) thus, helping with ovulation.  Whatever happens at least we’ll get some answers.  We’ll see where we are in regards of the Male Factor Fertility and get started on fixing the problems with mine.

Tomorrow, whatever the outcome, will be life changing for me, Chris, and our future family – I just hope I have, or can find, the strength to accept the outcome.