26 December 2011

Prayer Buddy Reveal & Happy Boxing Day!

My Advent Prayer Buddy was Polkadot from Making God Laugh!

First off, I can't believe that Advent is over! One would think that being homebound for most of the season would make time move slower, but it was the exact opposite!

I offered up my discomforts and healing pain for your intentions Polkadot (so you got A LOT of prayers!). I also prayed the Immaculate Conception and St. Andrew Christmas Novenas for your intentions. I hope that my prayers helped! I will continue to pray for your intentions and your work as a
FertilityCare practitioner -- you are truly doing God's work and I know that He will bless you for all that you do!


I also want to thank Hebrews who was praying for me! She has been such an amazing support to me in the recent months. Not only did she visit me in the hospital in Omaha, but our daily communication has helped me get through a very difficult recovery. The Holy Spirit definitely had His hand in pairing us together! God bless you my amazing friend!

You are amazing at keeping secrets!!!!!

Our Christmas celebration was mostly drama-free. My parents had to leave early so as soon as they were gone I was able to relax and have fun with the rest of my extended family. My biggest complaint was that my father-in-law insisted on leaving early (Mr. JB and I would've stayed if he wasn't with us, but we had to leave).

We're hanging out with my fertile best friend's family today. If my FIL wants to go home early he can walk around the corner and take himself!

I hope that the rest of you are having a wonderful holiday. My cousins are coming over tomorrow and I am so excited. I love it when the people I love come to my house!

25 December 2011

Do not be afraid...

...for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
 Merry Christmas!

18 December 2011

For nothing is impossible with God...

So I was feeling sorry for myself this morning at mass. I was looking around at all the beautiful little kids, mainly the kids that have been born since we got married, and I felt so sad.

Don't get me wrong, I love Advent. I love Christmas. Our parish is so beautiful and it is so easy to feel the spirit of the season.

But this morning as I sat in the pew, I just felt sad. I wanted to be like Mary. I want to have a life growing inside of me. I was so tired of being an infertile woman. So very, very tired.

And then during the gospel it hit me like a ton of bricks:

And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing is impossible with God.

For nothing is impossible with God.

When I heard the words read aloud the doubt and feel-me-sorries disappeared. It was like the Holy Spirit was talking directly to me.

"Wake up JellyBelly, I'm here. I've lead you this far, just be patient."

Our journey, particularly our journey to Omaha, was filled with so many blessings. I have been able to stay home knowing that I have a job to return to (not that I ever want to return to work, but that's another post for another time). I have been able to let myself rest and relax, two things that I have a hard time doing.

For nothing is impossible with God. 

I have said to myself over and over today. I may have to get a t-shirt made or a billboard-sized sign for my house. 

Thank you for getting through my thick skull Lord, I needed it.

15 December 2011

Strange Dreams & Phone Frustration

I have to admit that since going off of Lo.w D.ose Nal.trexone my dreams have been less vivid, but last night I had a doozy. It wasn't the strangest dream I've ever had (I regularly surprise Mr. JB with my crazy dreams), but I felt so weird when I woke up.

I dreamt that I was shopping (something that I've been doing to get myself out of the house -- I went to the mall two days in a row! Yay!). I went into a shoe store and while I was browsing I picked up a really cute and comfortable pair. For those of you that spend a lot of time on your feet, cute and comfortable shoes are hard to find (I am not ready to wear grandma shoes!). When I examined the shoes closer there was a label inside that said, "For pregnant women only."

In my dream I walked out of the store all shaken up and that's when I woke up.

What's up with that?


So I know that I need to learn more lessons on patience and waiting. In retrospect what happened yesterday was not that big of a deal, but at the time it felt earth shattering.

You see, I was told to call PPVI this week for my six-week post-op follow-up. So I did what I was told and I called at 9am CST (I am very good at following directions). I figured that the call would come later on in the day so I was able to go to the chiropractor and then I did some Christmas shopping. When I didn't get a call back Monday evening I figured that I would get a call the next day.

When lunch time rolled around on Tuesday I decided to call to see where I was in the queue. The receptionist apologized and said that she had seen my file and that I would be called some time that day. And guess who didn't get called?

So Wednesday rolled around and I had to attend a funeral mass for the mother-in-law of a friend, so I called again to see where I was in the queue before I left the house. I was relieved that when I got home that they hadn't called (if you miss a call from the nurses you go to the bottom of the list, strange system since it isn't a new call, but a call back -- really, don't get me started). I had to leave my house for another chiropractor appointment so I called PPVI again to leave them my cell phone number, just in case.

And guess what happened. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and they called. I left my phone unattended for two minutes and they called.


I immediately called back. This time I was desperate. I told the woman on the phone that I had been waiting for THREE days for a call back and I had missed the call by TWO minutes. I was almost in tears, which is not the norm for me. I pretty much begged for mercy for a call back. I really didn't want to have to wait THREE more days for a call back. I was also stressed because I had to leave to go to the chiropractor. It was raining pretty heavily and I knew that my twenty minute drive was going to be much longer.

I guess my "patience" was rewarded because the nurse called me back in fifteen minutes. Although I'm not allowed to talk and drive, I broke the law for a good cause. I asked if I could go back on LDN (and I was told that I would get a call back, hahahaha).

I said to Mr. JB that if it wasn't PPVI I would've yelled at someone. I have no patience at all for being given the runaround. I know that PPVI is understaffed and that their client base is growing which is a good thing in the grand scheme of things.

The Lord is reminding me to be patient. My journey is not over, not by a long shot.
I am finally done my Christmas cards. I did finally find my groove and was able to finish. I tried to put love and good intentions into each card. My big outing today is the post office and I'm so excited about that! I love having the energy to get out by myself. Thank you all for your kind comments. Btw, I can't count, this is year seven of the Christmas cards.


Prayer buddy, I've been offering up so much for you! I hope you're feeling it!

13 December 2011

Christmas Card Resentment

I would like to think of myself as the queen of Christmas.

I love decorating (my main Christmas tree has a theme and we have a tree in our bedroom).

I love holiday baking.

I love buying gifts, and mostly I love wrapping them (I need to get into a groove and once I do, I'm a machine!). 

I love listening to Christmas carols.

And until this year, I loved sending out Christmas cards.

Our first Christmas as a married couple we sent out a wedding picture as our card. The second year we sent out very beautiful Uni.cef cards. The third year... And the fourth year...

We're on year six.

Year six of sending out very beautiful cards.

Cards that I wish were cute pictures of our equally cute kids with "Merry Christmas from the JellyBellies" written on the bottom.

I am so afraid that I'm going to be here staring down our seventh Christmas sending out the same boring cards.

Even the Ho.w I M.et Yo.ur Mo.ther marathon is only lessening the blow just a tiny bit. Perhaps I may need to crack open a bottle of wine....

IF you suck big, fat donkey balls.

11 December 2011

Take me back to the start...


Praise Jesus!

Yesterday morning when AF finally arrived after her long, unpregnant hiatus, she returned in all her glory. I can already tell that things are different, and in a good way. I am again thankful for pain medicine -- I was warned by many that the first couple of cycles were going to be rough.

I was absolutely joyful and then it hit me.

We're back on the TTC train.

Break over.

No excuses.

One would think that after six years and finally having a real shot at making a baby JellyBelly that I would be overjoyed, but I'm feeling more than a little scared. Heck, I'm petrified.

The "what ifs" have been running through my head, and most of them negative. Oh Advent Prayer Buddy, I'm offering so much up for you!

So as I was driving the feel-me-sorry train this song popped into my head. I'm going to try to erase the past six years of disappointment by distraction. Thank you to Ch.ris Mar.tin and the boys.

9 December 2011

If I can't have an infertile island...

I will dream of spending Christmas in my beloved Paris.

[I was secretly wishing that I would magically fall pg before my surgery in Omaha and we could take our surgery fund to Europe, alas we all know how that turned out.]

Christmas in Paris is so beautiful.

The city is decorated so fantastically. Every building, every tree, every window display is just exquisite.

Unfortunately my photos of Christmas in Paris are not digital so I had to borrow some images from the trusty internet.

Galé.ries Lafa.yette is my favourite department store. I couldn't really afford to shop there, but I would walk through the aisles of the top designers and I would dream. Mr. JB have a gorgeous photo taken on the rooftop terrace when we were there 2008. This Christmas tree is in 'le grand dome' inside.
I never spent Christmas in Paris because I couldn't stand to be away from my crazy family. We did spend Basti.lle Day at the E.iffel Tow.er and it was the most magnificent fireworks display that I have ever seen.  I can imagine that the light show at Christmas is just as spectacular.

I miss the girl that I was while I lived in France. She had no idea what was in store for her. She was so innocent and hopeful.

Who wants to join me on my imaginary trip? 

7 December 2011

A Knife Through My Infertile Heart

Oh Face.book.

You've been so good to me during my recovery, but not this morning.

A friend that got married two months after us had their second child this morning.


I wish that I wasn't so jealous, but I am.

I wish that I could be cuddling on my couch with my baby, but I'm not.

What sucks is that I woke up feeling so good. I took Ad.vil last night at 8pm and I took my next dose at 10am.

And now I'm deflated.

I am definitely going to treat myself to a St.arbucks treat after I get my eyebrows threaded (yes, this is what I've chosen as my first solo trip, I LOVE getting hair removed from my face). I'd much rather have a glass of wine, but not just yet....

6 December 2011

In Search of Aunt Flo! Help!

Who would've thought that I would miss my period?

But I do, badly.

I had my first surgery with Dr. Hilgers on November 1st and I was on CD9 (he likes to do surgery before CD10). I had the "works" done and I know from looking at my (scary) bill, I had a D&C (I also remember being told that it was done, but that was in my post-surgical pain haze).

My CM returned last week, and if I was actually charting and paying attention I'd have some idea of where AF could be.

Also, I've been noticing hair loss. I know that my body is under stress from recovery and that I have thyroid issues, but I'm starting to think that I need to get some R.ogaine!

Advice anyone?

4 December 2011

And now back to our scheduled programming...

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers on yesterday's post. I'm thinking that the Lord wants me to learn even more patience as part of my Advent preparation. Tomorrow my parents are taking me to my chiropractor appointment (I didn't realize that my mom had the day off and I just wanted my dad to take me, but that plan backfired) and then we're going to go dishwasher shopping. That will definitely be an exercise in patience.

Would it be a really bad thing if I starting drinking wine while still taking pain meds?

[don't worry, I'm just joking]

So I've been feeling so much better. I've decided to stop setting the alarm to take my pain medication through the night and I've been waking up without too much pain. I started this experiment on Thursday and I just realized that I had missed my evening dose of Ad.vil, but I wasn't uncomfortable (and this was after taking a shower upstairs and giving my purse a good clean-out). Having a night of uninterrupted sleep has been so good for my recovery.

I've also decided to sleep in after Mr. JB leaves for work. The first week I was alone I was getting up with him at 6:30 (the time I usually wake up to go to work) and I was feeling sluggish during the day. This past week I slept in until 8:30 and I felt so much better.

My appetite is back with a vengeance. We got some nitrate-free cold turkey and pork and I've been having open faced sandwiches for breakfast, with my homemade pickles on the side. Not being able to eat eggs is such a pain and I have to be creative with my protein! Anyone with any other gluten, egg, or cow-dairy free breakfast ideas? 

I've been having some serious blood sugar issues. I was diagnosed with insulin-resistance earlier this year and I've really made an effort to eat low-GI (although some days I would love to eat a loaf of my gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread, but I don't!). I've been feeling really strange, particularly tingly hands and feet after eating dairy-free ice cream (which is not exactly low in sugar!) for dessert. My heart also starts to race. The first time it happened I thought I was having a panic attack. The second time I was able to breathe deeply and make myself fall asleep. On Friday night I spent an hour trying to find a way to lower my blood sugar naturally on the internet.

I made Mr. JB goo.gle my symptoms and I am convinced that it has to do with my blood sugar. I think that the biggest part of my problem is that my activity level is so much lower than normal -- I miss going to yoga four times a week (which I guess is a sign that I am feeling better). I've tried to walk around the house more and I even did a bit of laundry yesterday (I loaded the washer, but I didn't unload the dryer since there was too much pulling involved). Do any of you that are insulin-resistant feel the same way after eating too much sugar? Btw, I'm taking 500 mg of Met.formin twice a day as well as chromium to help with my sugars.

Regardless of my strange new symptoms I feel like I'm making a turn towards recovery. It's amazing how much better I feel in comparison to last week. Riding in the car isn't too bad and we even attended my cousin's daughter's dance performance last night! We didn't get home until almost midnight!

I feel such a difference in my pain and my pelvis feels clear -- my pelvic abscess sister Hebrews understands the mess that infection can leave behind! My body actually feels lighter, does that make sense?

Prayer buddy you are working wonders! Thank you!

3 December 2011

Why does it always surprise me?

I'm an optimist.

It's my default setting. And am I ever glad that I try to look at the good rather than dwell in the bad. If that were the case IF would've crushed me a long time ago.

I've been stewing about this for a couple of days. My blood pressure is surely elevated and I wish that I could have a glass, heck a bottle of wine right now. The fact that I have to deal with stress on top of recovering from major surgery is not making me happy.

It's my mother.

She has done so well since my surgery. She's good in a crisis. She likes taking care of me and I've let her -- I don't like to be coddled at all which is one of the biggest reasons for our conflict. She is one of the biggest reasons why I went into therapy while I was in university and why I needed to "find myself" on the other side of the world.

I have come to peace with my relationship with her. I know how to deal with her without making myself crazy, but now I'm a little flummoxed. Now she's fighting with her siblings and I feel like I'm caught in the middle.

You see, she's one of ten and seven of her siblings live very close to one another (north of me, thank God!). There's been family drama since last Christmas (that my immediate family wasn't involved in) and now my mother has announced that although it's her turn to host "No one is going to want to come to my house anyway."

My mother tells me nothing. This post is the biggest proof. I also have strong suspicions that she deals with crazy hormones like I do. Unfortunately for her she doesn't have treatment for her craziness, hormonal or not.

What worries me is that it seems like she's holding grudges. She had an altercation with one of her younger brothers a while ago and although he has since apologized, she is still very angry at him. My parents didn't show up at my aunt's house for Thanksgiving, but my mother gave me a lame excuse that they had a previous engagement. I didn't know about the fight until a couple of weeks ago.

I know that there is more going on then what she's telling me. There has to be. She's trying her best to get Mr. JB and I to side with her. I told her with 100% certainty that I am going to spend Christmas with my cousins. I do have issues with one of my uncles (remember the one that told Mr. JB that he should find a "second wife" to give him kids? I don't even speak to him), but I love my cousins. I was taught to forgive and love my family, but she is obviously not following any of the lessons that she tried to teach me.

I wish that my mother didn't make my blood boil. The sad thing is that if I was made to choose between my extended family and my mother, it wouldn't be an automatic choice. She has not been the most supportive parent and she treats me so horribly. I hate feeling manipulated.

Please pray for my crazy mother. It's obvious that she's dealing with a lot. I just wish I could feel more patience for her.

1 December 2011

Thankful Thursday & Liebster Award

I was inspired this morning by Rebecca at the Road Home to participate in my first Thankful Thursday.

1) I am so thankful for my Vita.mix! I made an Emerald Smoothie this morning as part of my breakfast, and although I think that the pineapple is disagreeing with me, it was so delicious!

2) I am so thankful for having more and more energy every day. I've let myself sleep in this past week and I feel so much better than I did last week when I was getting up at the same time as Mr. JB.

3) I am thankful that we finally got an Advent wreath. I usually get a fresh one, but we weren't around to order one from one of my church friends that sells them in November. I have some crafty ideas to add to it, but it looks great with the candles on our sideboard.

4) I am thankful that my father-in-law is giving us a Christmas tree this year. He planted three pine trees in his front yard, but they grew a little larger than he expected. He offered a tree to us and my fertile bf's family and Mr. JB is picking it up this weekend. It's a big savings at a time where we're a little stressed about money.

5) Speaking of money: I am so thankful for our financial planner. He is on the same Kni.ghts of Co.lumbus as Mr. JB and he's figured out a way for us to pay the surprisingly large extra bill we got from PPVI. It's an option that doesn't compromise our savings and we don't have to do any crazy belt tightening at the JellyBelly household. Thank you Jesus!

6) I am thankful that I am feeling better each passing day. I've been able to do a little bit more for myself which is so good for my pride!

7) I am so thankful that my appetite is back. I've lost quite a bit of weight since my surgery and if I get under a certain weight I start to get sick (I'm not the biggest person to begin with). I've been trying my best to eat healthy calories, but we got some dairy-free ice cream the other day and it's so tasty!

8) I am so thankful for my blogger friends. You girls have kept me company as I recover and I haven't had time to feel sorry for myself or feel lonely. God bless all of you!

I was the lucky recipient of a Liebster Blog Award from I must have prayed for patience. Thank you for your nomination!

The Liebster Award spotlights up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.  In return for the award, the recipient bestows the award on five of their favourite bloggers.  

Here are my winners (and I apologize if you've already received one!):

Upon receipt of the Liebster Blog Award, there are a few very simple rules: 

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog
2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

29 November 2011

JellyBelly All Over the Place

First off, part of me is thankful that my recovery is more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought that I would be bored, but the enforced rest and relaxation has been so good for me.

1) My local Napro doctor checked my incision yesterday and she is happy with how it's healing. I have been ordered to keep it uncovered during the day (which kinda grosses me out). I am so glad that I didn't have a reaction to the antibiotics! Having drug sensitivities is not a fun thing at all.

2) My brother-in-law left for the S.udan today. He is finishing up his Jesuit training and will be helping with refugees. I am beyond worried, but Mr. JB and his dad are not. He is going to be there until March. Please keep him in your prayers.

3) We had our first Christmas party this past weekend. Mr. JB's dad has been friends with a group from Toronto for over forty years. It was our family's turn to host and my BIL chose this past weekend because he knew he was going to be home. The party went really well and I didn't get over-tired. Mr. JB's best friend (how convenient that his bf is the son of one of his dad's closest friends!) also gave me an acupuncture treatment which helped with my pain level. I felt extra-special barren since we were the only couple our age that didn't have a young child. I really wanted to have a glass of wine, but I resisted temptation. Thank God for the gluten-free cupcakes that I ordered!

4) Speaking of pain level, I've noticed an improvement. I stopped taking the prescription pain meds over a week and a half ago and I've been on Ad.vil and Tyl.enol. Dr. Hilgers said that I could start spacing out the meds in order to wean myself off of them. I slept through my A.dvil alarm last night and when I woke up I wasn't too uncomfortable. I've also been able to do some things in the kitchen (I roasted some kale last night for a snack -- yum!).

5) My energy level has been so much better now that I'm not getting up throughout the night to take meds. I hope that by next week I will be able to sleep through the night without the alarm going off!

6) I got the results of my thyroid panel yesterday, just in time for my appointment with Dr. T. I do have a thyroid dysfunction (I just can't remember what it is and the lab results are way too far from the couch right now!). When my next cycle starts (um, AF where are you?) I have to measure my basal body temperature and pulses. When I finish doing that I have to send the paperwork off to Omaha. I knew that there was something wrong with my thyroid all along! I love being right!

7) Mr. JB's cousin's wife passed away last week. She was Aunt Fran's daughter-in-law and she had been fighting cancer for over ten years. Please keep the family in your prayers, they have experienced so much loss in the past few years.

8) We still don't have an Advent wreath! I'm thinking that I'm just going to break out the candles, wreath or not. Who would've thought that it would be so difficult. Then again, I don't feel ready to drive. If I was able to drive I would've had a wreath last week!

9) We got a larger than anticipated bill from PPVI. It was so large that I had a panic attack -- my first since university. Mr. JB is dealing with it, but we would definitely appreciate some prayers for mercy or for a considerable amount of cash to fall from the sky.

10) On a happy note. We went to see the Muppet Movie on Sunday afternoon. I love the Muppets so much. I remember being a little kid and watching the show after dinner with my dad.  The movie made me so happy and it was exactly what I needed. If you haven't seen it, go!!!

23 November 2011

Hope in the Doctor's Office

In the past six plus years of IF, I have spent a lot of time at the doctor's office.

I would love to be able to erase my pre-Napro experiences where IVF and ill-timed drugs were pushed on me. I would also love to be able to say that all of my doctors have treated my infertility with respect, but I can't. More than once I was made to feel like I had some horrible disease and that my anti-ART stance was unfathomable.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive local Napro doctor who has helped me forget her predecessors.

I was instructed by Dr. Hilgers and his nurses to get my incision looked at since it just wasn't getting better. So my dad picked me up early this morning so we could get in line to see Dr. T for her walk-in hours. We were there forty-five minutes before the office opened and we weren't even first!

Dr. T was so happy to hear how wonderful my experience in Omaha was. I also told her that I would speak personally to any patients that were considering surgery in the US since I was treated so well. I went over what happened at both my procedures and she was more than impressed. She also said that she wishes that Dr. Hilgers worked up here since he is so great. I could tell that she holds him in the highest esteem!

Near the end of my visit with Dr. T I told her about my surgery rosaries. I pulled out my trusty i.Phone to show her and she was overcome.
 Can you spot the pain pump button? I loved that thing!
Now I've said before that Dr. T has believed in my ability to conceive when I had given up. If it wasn't for her and Mr. JB I would've thrown in the towel a LONG time ago. At every appointment she encourages and supports us. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have even considered going for broke (literally and figuratively) and having surgery with Dr. Hilgers.

As she stood beside me looking at the images on my phone I could tell that she was moved. She turned to me and said, "This is going to work. I know it." And then she gave me a big hug.

We ended the appointment both in tears!

So the fifty percent that Dr. Hilgers quoted seems so much more hopeful. I guess I needed to hear Dr. T's reassurances which I didn't realize I needed so badly. She is so excited to be working closely with Dr. Hilgers. I have quite the team behind me!

Again I have to say, I feel at peace. Our journey has been long, but I know that the Lord has us exactly where we need to be.

So I will continue to nurse my yucky incision and take my antibiotics (yuck!). And when the anxiety creeps in I will remember to offer it up for my friends that are still waiting -- I was wide away at 2am and it took saying a rosary to put me to sleep.

And the next time I feel like my journey to motherhood is just a bit too long for my liking I am going to read this post, but I may need some reminding to check back here...

22 November 2011

RIP Dishwasher

At rate we are spending money in the JellyBelly household, I will never own my own K.elly bag.

I guess it's bound to happen. Our house is fourteen years old and with the exception of the refrigerator, so are the appliances. We tried to run the dishwasher Friday night and realized Saturday morning that nothing happened. We asked my dad, who can fix just about anything, and he had no insight (my parents have never owned a dishwasher and this is the first home I have lived in with one in it!).

So we called the very nice local repair guy. We had our dishwasher fixed a few years ago and were able to buy some time -- there was something wrong with the door and I MacGyvered a system with a kitchen chair and a book (I pride myself on being handy as well). The repair guy was here less than five minutes and he was able to give the diagnosis:

The motor is siezed. A replacement motor would cost $199 and the work would be $300.

My next questions was: "Do you have a dishwasher that you would recommend?"

So friends, recommendations anyone? We don't want to spend more than $500 and we're going with white (our real estate agent said that as long as everything matches, we don't need to go stainless. Praise Jesus, I didn't want to have to replace ALL my kitchen appliances!).

p.s. I missed my call from the nurses at PPVI yesterday and I was sitting beside the phone ALL DAY. She must've called when I picked up to see if my phone was working. Apparently our Lord is trying to teach me a little more patience....

21 November 2011

A Little Break from Our Scheduled Programming...

I found the perfect distraction today. I love to shop and I hope one day to be wealthy enough to own my own Ke.lly bag from He.rmes (or at least a framed picture of one for my closet!).

Check out one of my favourite fashion/photography bloggers, Gar.ance D.oré. She writes the most beautiful homage to the most gorgeous bag ever. And yes, I want mine in red as well.

A girl can dream, yes?

20 November 2011

JellyBelly Loses Her Mind

First off I apologize for not updating sooner. I am glad that we decided to push forward and drive straight home from Chicago. I stayed awake for most of the trip through the US and I fell asleep an hour away from our house. It was so wonderful to wake up in our driveway!

The only complication that I seem to be having is my second-look lap incision seems to be infected (sorry, TMI!). I'm sure two days of bouncing around in a car didn't help! I phoned the nurses at PPVI and Dr. Hilgers (I still can't get over how cool it is that he is one of my doctors!!) said to cover it with a pressure dressing for a few days. I have my first phone follow-up tomorrow so I'm sure there will be other instructions. I'm not too concerned since I am not feverish and the incision isn't swollen, but I know that what is happening isn't normal nonetheless.

Yesterday we went on our first outing since coming home. I wanted to go to mass at 5pm since I knew that the pressure of getting ready for our regular 10am Sunday mass would've been too stressful. It was so nice to just be a regular parishioner! Mr. JB and I are Ministers of Hospitality and I also work at the Religious Articles Store once a month, but we're always asked to work when we go to mass (which means, every Sunday we are serving in some way). I knew that there was no way that I would be physically able to do anything, so it was a good move to go to a different mass.

Mr. JB went to the Christmas sale this morning and word had gotten out that I had had surgery. He didn't have to volunteer too many details and so many people said that they were praying for me. I guess our IF is going to become big church news sooner, rather than later!

So friends, I feel like I'm losing my mind. I like to pride myself in being a toughie, but this recovery is so much harder than I thought it was going to be. I have been better physically than I was after my last surgery, but it is still so frustrating that I have so little energy to do anything. I have a hard time sitting around and doing nothing!

I also started crying because I am so scared of being home alone. Mr. JB and I have been together pretty much 24/7 since October 29th and he is such a good nurse. I have been so blessed to have such an attentive husband! I have not had to lift a finger at all -- although I've wanted to! I put away some dishes yesterday and I was wiped out!

After my first laparotomy we were both home on summer vacation and I went back to work a couple of weeks later to get my classroom ready. I didn't have time to be sad or anxious! It's more difficult to have so much going on around me that I can't be a part of!

So, I'm asking you all for more prayers. Physical healing is one thing, but the psychological part is brutal!

16 November 2011

Canada Here We Come!

I apologize for not updating yesterday. I cannot believe how tiring it was to be a passenger that got to sleep most of the way (thankfully I was asleep since Iowa wasn't the most exciting state to drive through!). I am so grateful that Mr. JB didn't mind that I was comatose for most of the trip.

I'm also glad that I waited a day to post after my appointment with Dr. Hilgers. I was an emotional wreck after seeing him. I recognize now that I am over-tired, in pain and have been away from home for longer than I thought we would be, but that reality didn't hit me until yesterday.

Dr. Hilgers was late for our 1:30pm appointment which was first since arriving in Omaha -- waiting is normal in doctor's offices back home, but we waited for nothing at CUMC and PPVI. Apparently he had a really long surgery (probably someone that had a 6 1/2 whopper that I had!) so we didn't see him until almost 2:30pm. I'm sure that the Lord wanted to show us that our waiting was not over!

He went over the DVD of my second-look lap and Dr. Hilgers was almost giddy, which I take as a good sign. It was hard to watch the bloody parts since I am so squeamish. It was great to see how adhesion-free my insides were, particularly since the surgery pictures from the first time around were pretty gross! Dr. Hilgers was so happy that the dye flowed through each of my tubes and that everything looked good (to my untrained eye it didn't, but according to him it did!). The one thing that he mentioned more than once was that he probably should've removed the right ovary which was most likely damaged from my first laparatomy. The right tube is now open and he did say that it could still ovulate so I am very glad that he didn't remove it.

Seeing the DVD also helped me understand why I am in so much pain! It is amazing how much work he did inside of me. It is still unbelievable that I am now endo and adhesion free!

Dr. Hilgers also mentioned that I had some inflammation in my rectum (eewww!) that he is going to treat to antibiotics. At the end of our appointment he asked if we had any questions and I asked the biggest question of my life, "So what are our chances now?"

And he said, "Fifty percent."

My heart fell. I tried to keep the tears at bay because I didn't want to ugly cry in front of him. Logically, after having a day to digest the information I know that we had no chance before my surgeries with him -- Dr. Hilgers said as much. We have a 50% chance without any meds, which is miraculous enough in itself. Now that I am his patient, we have a much better chance at conceiving. I am not doubting my Napro doctor back home, but this is the big Kahuna!

Mr. JB has reminded me many times that this is a process and now we're starting off at the beginning. I need to reset my TTC clock back to zero, easy to write, but way harder to do after slogging it out for so long. Mr. JB also reminds me that I am healthy now. No more pain. Dr. Hilgers was very happy to hear that the nagging pelvic pain that I have suffered with since the pelvic abscess of 2009 is gone. I do have pain still, but it's healing pain.

I have to speak to the nurses at PPVI on Monday and I know I will have many more questions as the fog lifts from all the pain killers. I also have to call in four weeks for another update.

For now, I have to focus my energies on healing. The enormity of our trip is just hitting me now and I know that in my heart that we made the right decision to go for broke and see Dr. Hilgers.

No regrets. Absolutely none.

Now, the next task is to get changed and get out on the highway. I have never missed my house more!

Thank you for all your prayers and support!

13 November 2011

Day Sixteen of the Big Infertile Adventure -- The Last Full Day in Omaha

I am so ready to go home. I just wish that I wasn't going to take three days, two overnight stops and time in the car!

I have my pain under control and I am so grateful that the Fellow that was following my case with Dr. Hilgers was very generous when prescribing me pain medication. I definitely didn't have this much when I was discharged from the hospital after my first laparotomy! I had to survive on Ad.vil after the good stuff was finished!

When I woke up this morning I felt like I could've slept the entire day away. I am still getting up at all hours of the night to take the medication, which is a good thing since when I get behind my incision starts to hurt! Again, I am so relieved that I discovered the new incision last night. I was feeling so defeated and it was wonderful to have an explanation as to why I was in so much more pain! I was too chicken to remove the bandages and I decided to wait until my post-op appointment tomorrow and I'm going to ask the nurse to remove them for me. I am convinced that I am going to pass out or throw up if I do it myself! This is a job for a professional or my mom!

Yes, I am over-dramatic. At least I recognize it.

We attended mass at the Medical Centre today. I didn't have it in me to attend daily mass with the Jesuits on campus while we were here, so I wanted to make sure that we went to a mass that was being said by a familiar face. We arrived after mass started (although my watch said that it wasn't quite 11am, I guess the clocks are different at CUMC!) so we weren't able to ask if I could receive from the cup. The priest was able to give me a blessing after mass since there was no physical way I could make it down the stairs for communion. He was sympathetic since he has celiac disease.  The cook made sure that we both had gluten-free foods to eat when we stayed with them and he was so sweet at meal times. He made sure that I had stuff to eat too! 

Have I mentioned how well the Jesuit community took care of us? We were so spoiled!

After mass we met the priest that was in charge of taking care of us. The Rector who agreed to give us lodging was not available for our stay, so he asked a fellow Jesuit to help us out. Well, Fr. C took his job seriously! He gave us so many recommendations of where to eat, what to see and visit. He made sure that we had a detailed map of Omaha and he was fantastic company during our meals. It must be so hard to live a solitary life. We could tell that he appreciated our company and that he could help us out during a difficult time.

Fr. C also invited us back to stay in the Jesuit community, which is something we will definitely love to do. Although the trip is LONG, we would love to enjoy Omaha without the pressure of surgery and recovery!

After lunch we went to Wa.lmart to get some more Hu.sker gear for Mr. JB (have I mentioned how big of a fan he is? For his birthday his dad gave him some money to load up on Co.rnhusker merchandise while we were here and he totally took advantage! I may have gotten a few things too, good thing my favourite colour is red!). We also got some extra re-usable tote bags to help with our packing. Honestly our stuff multiplies when we are away! I have to figure out a better way to streamline our stuff. I totally over-packed since I forgot that my days in the hospital would not require clothes! I also didn't expect to be admitted for five nights, so I was totally off! I also can't wear quite a few things that I packed since my incisions are so different from the last time. I am so lucky that my yoga pants are comfortable and fitted enough to wear -- yet another reason why I don't mind spending so much on them!

We also snuck one last trip in to T.arget. I picked up a few Christmas presents for my fertile bf's kids. I can't resist shopping for those kids! I missed her daughter's birthday on Friday and I was really upset because she was getting her ears pierced. We had planned an outing to get her ears done, but obviously I couldn't be there. We spoke to her last night, but the connection was bad and I was so sad that I didn't want to keep her on the phone for long. I hope that she forgives me, we're very close and I'm one of her favourite adults.

So we're all packed (and Mr. JB just told me how scary I am when we're packing! Like I've mentioned before, I am very particular and he is very disorganized!). Not the best combination. I can picture how all of our stuff is going to fit in our car, but he likes to just throw stuff in and hope for the best. When we opened the hatch of his car this afternoon some stuff fell out, stuff that should've been packed in a suitcase or a bag. It is so frustrating to not be able to do the lifting and organizing myself because I know that it would make our two overnight stops so much easier. It also doesn't help that I'm so foggy from the pain meds.

I am so happy that everything went so well in Omaha. I was a bit worried when we had to move from the university to the hotel, but things have so fantastic! I even took a picture of my newly made bed this afternoon so I can look at it when I feel stressed. I worked in linens in a big department store while I was in university so I have a real appreciation for fancy bedding. I am even tempted to buy one of the pillows, but I have to control myself!

I am trying to be as calm as possible for our post-operative review with Dr. Hilgers. I am excited and afraid to hear what he says. I have been offering up all of my anxiety, but it still isn't helping my nerves (which is probably why I was so scary while packing! I don't deal with stress well!).

We're leaving for our friends' house in Chicago right after our appointment and we've already planned to make our first visit to Q.doba in Des Moines (Sew Hormonal's fault!). We'll be just in time for a late lunch/early dinner. We've also picked out a couple of places to stay close to Detroit for our second stop. We had an extremely long wait at the border on our way to Omaha, so breaking up the ten hour trip into two days may be better for my comfort.

I will update about our appointment as soon as I can. I don't know if I'll have the energy when we arrive in Chicago tomorrow night. Please pray for a safe, smooth journey. Poor Mr. JB has to do all the driving since I'm not allowed to on the meds!

Again, I am so grateful for all of your support! I feel like I have an army of prayerful warriors surrounding me! God bless you all!

12 November 2011

Day Fifteen of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Where JB Starts to Lose Her Mind -- UPDATED

I am officially done with being in pain.


Like dinner.

My second-look lap went well (as Mr. JB reported yesterday) and we were back at our awesome hotel by 1pm. I have never been so grateful for the ultra-comfy beds!

The biggest reason for my frustration was that I felt great when I woke up yesterday morning. I did have some pain, but it was totally bearable and I didn't need any help getting ready.


I know that this is a temporary setback and that this is all part of the healing process. Also, I didn't eat enough yesterday so I had a horrible headache and my blood sugar was all over the place. I was really careful to eat breakfast and snack today since the painkillers did nothing for my head.

I think that I'm also worried that Dr. Hilgers is going to have bad news, although he was very positive when he spoke to Mr. JB after both my surgeries. As I've blogged before, this is it. My last surgeries. Ever. The last thing that we are going to do to have biological children. Part of me wishes that Dr. Hilgers will say that we can't have kids so we can move on, but another part of me is scared to hear anything he has to say.

I've tried my best to keep positive, but being the social being that I am, it's hard to be holed up in a hotel room in an unfamiliar city. There is only so much television a girl can watch! Mr. JB tried to cheer me up by watching the M.uppet S.how DVD that he got me for Christmas. Even that didn't get me to laugh.

I know that this is a passing phase and that we are both very homesick right now (although we are in love with the beds!). Once we're home I know that my spirits will be better since I will have people visiting me.

This dying to self business is tough stuff!

Update: I spent the entire day feeling sorry for myself. It wasn't until I took a shower at 7pm (yes, I am a sloth) that I realized why my belly was in so much pain. I have two new incisions, not one! When Dr. Hilgers removed the Gore.tex yesterday he made another incision below my belly button as well as the incision inside. That explains why my stomach hurts, it isn't just gas pain! I don't know why that makes me feel better, but knowing that there is a physical cause is a comfort.

I chewed gum (and blew bubbles), had some fizzy water, ate beans and walked around our hotel room many times. The gas pain has abated, but the belly pain is still there. I am so glad that the hospital sent me home with an ice pack!

Also, the bandage covering my belly button is in the shape of a flower and the incision below is a heart. I think that the Fellow working with Dr. H has a sweet sense of humour! 

11 November 2011

Post Second Look Lap -- November 11

This morning's procedure went fine.  Just before 11, I was in Recovery and by 12:45 we were back in the room at the hotel.  The Doc and I spoke for a few minutes and he was quite pleased.  The go.re-te.x was very effective in its job and was removed.  Dye was put through both tubes, they are working well.  It took longer on the left but it ended up flooding out.  The right ovary is working very well but the left one is not.  The Doc referred to it as a 'little nub' but chose not to remove it.

My totally non-professional eye saw a major difference in today's pictures.  You could see where the dye was and how it was working.  You could also see the g.ore-te.x and the way it was used.

There was a lot of pain meds in the Recovery Room.  JB immediately got up to pee.

JB is resting.  She's dopey from Ty.lenol C..odeine and her mouth "feels like a desert".

Please help us with some prayers.

Bye for now,

Mr. JB

10 November 2011

The Conclusion of Day Thirteen & Second-Look Lap Eve

We had the busiest day! It took a while to get going, but I finally got out to see the beautiful city of Omaha. 

We started at Wal.greens to exchange something that Mr. JB bought in error (he bought me some Ceta.phil lotion, not cleanser, my travel bottle got left behind at the hospital, oops!). Then we visited Boys.town which is an organization dedicated to the housing and education of at-risk children, founded by Father Ed.ward J. Flan.agan. I stayed in the car, but Mr. JB took lots of photos to show me. I wanted to save my energy for the zoo!

Next we visited Glor.ia D.eo an amazing Catholic bookstore that Hebrews 11:1 recommended. I wanted to buy the entire store! Instead I got a cute plaque for my teacher partner to thank her for all of her help, Un.planned (which I have had hard time finding back home), a Christmas ornament and some other little things. It was exactly what I needed for a my first big shopping trip (the one to T.arget doesn't count since I didn't get anything!).

After the bookstore I was famished so we crossed the street to go to Chi.potle. It was the most I have eaten in LONG time! It was so tasty! We tried to find a second hand bookstore, but I was hitting a wall so we decided to to straight to the zoo.

I don't generally like zoos since I always think that the animals look so sad (and some did, especially the polar bear!), but I'm glad that we went. Mr. JB got me a wheelchair (that we weren't charged for!) so he got a work out and I got to see lots. We had just under two hours to visit, but it was the perfect amount of time since a lot of closed due to renovation. We really like the bobcats and I didn't like the snakes or bugs.

As we were leaving the zoo the nice ladies at the visitor centre helped wheel me out to the car. I explained that I wasn't an invalid and that I just had surgery. When she heard that she insisted wheeling me out!

I still had some energy so we decided to go to T.arget to look for a book for Mr. JB for the wait tomorrow. I picked up some more larger comfy clothes on clearance and a cute dress for the holidays. We walked through the mall to the Barn.es and No.ble and Mr. JB found a couple of things for himself.

While in the store I discovered that one of my favourite US shoe stores, D.SW wasn't far away so we went to that mall! We found a C.ornhusker store so Mr. JB got to spend his birthday money and he got a few things for himself and I got to go through the shoe store. I didn't anything, but it was so much fun to look!

Before we left the mall I went through the ladies' section of J.C Penn.ey and I got a cute sweater.

I'm pooped!

I'm going to have a little soup and then I have to start prepping for my second-look lap in the morning. I have tried to keep the anxiety at bay, but it has crept up more than once (one of the reasons why I kept pushing for things to do today!). Tomorrow is it, the last procedure, the day that Dr. H does his last diagnostic work on my insides. Please pray for an open right tube and good healing as he removes the Gore.tex.

I have to be at the hospital at 5:45am and my procedure is at 7:15am. I hope that I can update in the afternoon, if not, Mr. JB will. He's become quite the blogger!

St. Gerard, pray for us! St. Gianna, pray for us! St. Rita, pray for us!

Days Twelve & Thirteen of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Surrendering to the Tireds

The title says it all.

My body has spoken: JellyBelly needs rest! The evening of the eleventh day of our adventure we went to T.arget and I thought I was going to die! Two outings in one day were way too much!

Yesterday we had to pull up stakes and move to a hotel. We were only supposed to be in Omaha until the 8th, but with my second-look lap and follow up with Dr. H we had to extend our stay until the 14th. Mr. JB's brother found us a hotel with a kitchenette not too far away from the hospital and he paid for it all with his A.ir M.iles!

I spent most of yesterday watching Mr. JB pack up our room, which was so hard since I am such a control freak and I am a very good packer. I am always the one that packs up the car when we go away because Mr. JB is not the most organized (or as good of a packer). I cried more than once in frustration while I watched Mr. JB go back and forth to the car.

When we finally got to our new room I almost cried for joy. We have two queen-sized beds with the most comfortable pillows and duvets! I sent Mr. JB for more pillows at Wa.lmart before I was discharged from the hospital so I could be more comfortable when we were staying with the Jesuits (there was one pillow per bed and a little cushion). When I woke up this morning I felt so rested, even though we had woken up multiple times to take my pain meds.

It is so great to have our own little kitchenette (with a full-sized fridge), stove top, microwave, toaster and everything else we need to cook a meal! Mr. JB was able to get some breakfast this morning in the lobby, although there was nothing JB-friendly (not a shock!). It also helps that we have a flat screen TV that swivels so we can watch it anywhere in the room! Lastly, the bathroom is amazing. There's a rain shower shower head and the most beautiful vanity. We've stayed in many hotels all over the world, but this is our favourite! I could move in!

We're going to try to tackle the zoo today. More than one person has said that we have to go. I'm going to take photos so I can share with my class when I teach the animal unit near the end of the year. We're going to rent a wheelchair so I don't have to over-exert myself.

In my post-surgery haze I totally forgot to blog about meeting Hebrews! I was so excited that I made sure that I showered before she got to the hospital (which wasn't the easiest feat four days post-op!). Our visit went by too fast! I felt like I had known her forever and she is exactly how I pictured her! I am so grateful for all of her support since we've been in Omaha. She has been so great at giving advice and encouraging me, particularly when I'm having a bad day. Thank you so much Hebrews! You rock!

It amazes me how many people have been willing to help us. The Jesuits were so generous with housing us for eleven days. They even fed us every day, even though I could barely eat most days. One of the cooks even packed me dinner one night because I didn't have the energy to go to the dining hall. Brenda and Mrs. Henderson gave me the most amazing care packages -- there was everything a post-op girl could ask for!

We have been surrounded by blessings on our journey. I have no doubt that the Lord wants us to be where we are. God is so good!

I hope to get back to blog so I can tell you all about the zoo!

8 November 2011

Day Eleven of the Big Infertile Adventure

The frustration of recovering from surgery, particularly away from home and all things familiar, hit yesterday.

I dropped something on the floor and I had a meltdown.

I admit that I am a very prideful person. I don't like being helped and I especially resent not being able to do things, like pick something off the floor, myself. I am also married to a person that is used to having a wife that is very independent. He is a wonderful nurse, but he is at a different speed that I am on, if you know what I mean.

I so wanted to go out yesterday, even if it was just to Wa.lmart to pick up some stuff (i.e. bigger pants and pj's!), but the gas pain was so bad that I couldn't leave our room. I am starting to understand what dying to self means!

This morning after breakfast we took a very long walk to the Cre.ighton bookstore to get some souvenirs. Along our walk I had to remind Mr. JB to slow down and I got frustrated again. My incision was really hurting and I think that I bit more off than I could chew. As soon as we got back to our room I crashed.

I intend to go out later today since I am getting cabin fever, but we'll see. We're changing rooms tomorrow since our stay has been extended so I have to conserve my energy!

Thanks again for all your prayers! I've been praying for all of you!

7 November 2011

Day Ten of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Surgery From My Point of View

I sent this e-mail to some girlfriends back home. I think that I got all of the details down and I have too much gas pain to stay seated for too long to compose something new!


It was such a different experience being in a US hospital compared to my experience back home. The nurses come right away when you buzz for them and there is so much more one-on-one attention. We even did a survey rating our experience at the hospital, something that I couldn't even imagine back home!

My surgery went very well on Tuesday. I am so thankful for anesthesia since I was under for six and a half hours! The doctors did a very thorough job and the surgeon is very happy with the results. They applied Gor.etex (yes, the stuff they make jackets out of!) to my insides to prevent scar tissue so I have another quick laparoscopic surgery (through my belly button) this Friday to remove it.

I was in recovery for quite a long time 'cos they couldn't manage my pain levels. I think I shocked them since I needed A LOT of pain meds to stabilize. The night of the operation was tough. I had an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics and I felt horrible on top of the pain. The doctors were concerned about my blood volume since I lost quite a bit during my surgery, so I had a transfusion.

Not fun!

Lucky for me the next couple of days were so much better. I had to pass gas in order to get oral pain meds (and eat and drink!), so I tried every trick and yoga pose on Thursday to get it to happen. Unfortunately, it wasn't until Friday at 6pm that it happened. I've never prayed to toot in my entire life!

I was told that I would be discharged once I was taking oral pain meds, but my pain was unbearable on Saturday. My doctor tried so many combinations of pain meds and finally at about 9pm I was comfortable. I have FOUR different pills I have to take at different times so I have my i.Phone programmed to remind me!

It has been so great to be out of the hospital! I spent the afternoon catching up on the shows I missed while I was out of it. Unfortunately I can't watch last week's Glee episode 'cos Fox.com has it locked until Wednesday.

Mr. JB has been a good nurse too. I sent him to Walm.art to get me bigger undies since my incision is a little bigger than I thought it was going to be and my regular undies are a little uncomfortable. He called me three times from the store 'cos he was so confused! Poor buddy.

So Dr. H was very happy with the results of my surgery. The endo was so minimal that he couldn't even stage it. He was very happy with the surgeon that did my surgeries back home, something that he doesn't always encounter with the work that he does.

My adhesions, however, were extensive. The pelvic abscess caused a lot of damage and looking at the pictures that we were given, it was a mess inside of me. My left tube was clear, but my right tube was hydosalpinx (sp?) and he had to insert a stent in order to drain it. On Friday he is going to do another selective HSG to see if both tubes are clear. Dr. H thinks that the surgeon back home may have done damage to my right tube, but there's no telling if that is the case.

There were no fibroids and I don't believe that there were any cysts.

My first laparotomy incision had to be lengthened because it was really hard to get to the adhesions in my posterior cul de sac. It's the reason why I felt so much pain when I was urinating after surgery.

We see Dr. H on November 14th to review my surgeries and then we can go home. Poor Mr. JB had to call PPVI to ask for a letter extending his leave. He only had two weeks off and this third week is proving to be a challenge. He's afraid that they're going to dock his pay which is something that we can't afford to do with the added cost of my second-look lap.

Don't worry, I'm offering up all of my pain and worry! I need to be productive with my prayers!

6 November 2011


Hello all! I am finally free of the hospital!

I will blog more as I settle in. I'm trying to stay mobile because I am having a lot of gas pain. Please pray that my bowels wake up because the gas is killing me!

Thanks for your prayers! God bless you all! 

5 November 2011

Post Surgery Day 5

Thank you for all your prayers.  Unfortunately, JB is spending another night in the hospital.  As I wrote earlier, the adjustment from IV to oral painkillers did not go well.  JB was in great pain all day.  The shower was put off a number of times, as were the walks.  The decision was JB's to make.

The combination of painkillers is not even holding things steady.  The walks were more difficult today than the walks on Wednesday (Post Op 1).

Keep praying please.

Have a good evening,

Mr. JB


JB is having a very difficult time shifting from IV to oral painkillers.  All prayers are welcome!


Mr. JB

4 November 2011

Post Surgery Day 4

The big event that was hoped for today did in fact occur.  Around 6 pm, JB passed gas.  The dinner that followed consisted of gluten-free chicken broth, herbal tea and a grape popsicle.

The roughest part of today was that JB was suffering pelvic pain.  She had to deal with an incredibly uncomfortable internal exam.  A stitch near the bladder was causing the difficulty.  

It was an eventful day.  In addition to long walks and a shower, we had company.  Hebrews11:1 visited and brought awesome gifts for JB.  A Padre who is a good friend of my brother also visited.  To keep things interesting, JB's mom called and asked, "Does it hurt?"

I should have wrote this sooner, the doctors, nurses and support staff here are amazing.  

Good night all,

Mr. JB

3 November 2011

Surgery Update

JB had an excellent day.  JB did a lot of walking and sat up for long stretches of time.  Unfortunately, gas has not been passed.  Yoga was performed in an attempt to help but it did not work.  The Doc this morning believed it would happen tomorrow and we are hoping that it does.  JB wants to have some liquids and start eating.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

Good night all,

Mr. JB

2 November 2011

Surgery Day 2

After a rough night, today went very well.  JB walked six times and went to washroom each time.  She slept a couple times and sat up frequently.

Last evening, JB had a reaction to the antibiotics and they had to be switched.  That left a lot of itching and scratching.  While her blood level never got low enough to be concerned, she was given a transfusion.  That helped settle things in the night as did a change in painkillers.

As I said, things went well today.  The doctors are pleased with everything.  After their visits, ice chips, walking and napping were the order of the day.  Sleep appears to be arriving.

Bye for now,

Mr. JB

1 November 2011

JellyBelly Surgery Update

The surgery was very long and according to Dr. H, it went very well.  More endo was removed, both tubes are clear though the one on the right is not in great shape.  Adhesions were removed as well. 

I have to scoot now!

Mr. JB

31 October 2011

Day Three of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Surgery Eve

What a day!

IF is truly a full time job -- a job where I have to pay, not the other way around, but enough about that!

Our first appointment was at the Creighton University Medical Centre. We were told that everyone was really friendly here and we were proven the fact again and again. We were having a hard time navigating the hospital and someone took us to where we had to go! Also, we had no waiting at all -- something that is unheard of up in Canada!

The nurse at CUMC explained the procedure and the risks and someone came in to take blood. I also have to do a full wipe down with antiseptic wipes in a little while. Apparently it cuts down on post-operative infections -- I definitely don't want a repeat of the pelvic abscess I had in 2009!

After my first appointment we had some time before my ultrasound so Mr. JB and I went to W.hole F.oods for lunch. Although it was quite pricey, we both ate so well! We also got provisions for when I am recuperating. We don't have kitchen access at the residence where we are staying so we got soups in tetra packs (I miss having my own kitchen!).

After lunch we headed to PPVI. It was like visiting infertile Dis.neyland! We arrived early since I thought my ultrasound was at 12:30. My bladder was full to bursting so I went to the bathroom and then re-filled. I was so uncomfortable that there was no way that I could hold it for 45 minutes! The ultrasonographer was super nice -- not as nice as having my own personal ultrasonographer, but nice nonetheless. There is such a difference between Napro ultrasonographers and "conventional" ones!

My ultrasound was done at about 1pm and my appointment with Dr. Hilgers wasn't until 2:30pm so we decided to go for an adventure. Mr. JB and I visited the St. Cecilia Cathedral. It was nice to have a peaceful break in such a busy day. 

Meeting with Dr. Hilgers was so great! He was so thorough and knowledgeable and we were both so impressed with him. Mr. JB and I haved dealt with a lot of doctors and he had a quiet confidence that comforted us both. He reviewed my file and said that there is a strong possibility that my surgery is going to be a laparotomy (not a shock). Also, I may have to be in the hospital longer than we were told originally depending on how much they have to do. Please pray that I don't have to have a bowel resection OR that Go.retex has to be applied to keep adhesions at bay. I had a bit of a panic attack since I know that if they have to use Gor.etex that I will have to have another lap to remove it -- which means more anaethetic AND more money.

After my appointment I was feeling very overwhelmed, but I had a date to meet my Summer Prayer Buddy, Mrs. Henderson! We met at the famous Jon.es Bro.s C.upcakes and we had the best visit! I felt like a spoiled brat 'cos she left both Mr. JB and I presents at PPVI -- we have everything we could possibly need while I'm in the hospital. What a blessing to have someone so supportive while we are so far away from home. She's been in Omaha for almost a month and she is flying home tomorrow -- please keep her in your prayers, particularly since she is traveling alone.

It always amazes me how easy it is to make a connection with a fellow Catholic IF blogger. The conversation is always so easy and the time goes by so quickly. If we didn't have to be back at the university for dinner we could've talked for hours!

So I have to continue with my pre-op prep. Mr. JB is going to help disinfect me and then I get to administer the dreaded enema. I have to be at the hospital at 5:45am and my surgery is at 7:15am. I know that it isn't a coincidence that tomorrow is All Saints Day -- we have had many saints intercede on our behalf.

Mr. JB is going to update as soon as he knows what is going on since I will be in no condition to do so myself.

Keep those prayers coming!!! 

30 October 2011

Days One & Two of the Big Infertile Adventure (Part II)

We have arrived safely in Omaha.

Praise Jesus!

The last hour of our drive was brutal and despite being generally a good-natured person who is married to an even more good-natured person, we were at our wits' end! Driving in flat farmland for eight hours was not our idea of fun!

Last night we stayed with Mr. JB's buddy just outside of Chicago. We were so touched that they offered us their guest room because they have an autistic son who really needs a strict routine. They were wonderful hosts and they even found me a gluten-free pizza. It was tasty, but the deep dish pizza that everyone else had smelled so incredible. I was more than a little bit jealous!

This morning we all went to mass at our friends' parish, coincidentally called St. Jude. He has been quite busy for me since I was in NJ! Mass was beautiful and we were so impressed by their choir. Not only was it a very talented and large choir, but they also had a horn and bell section! Wow!

After going out for breakfast -- which is never a fun meal with all of my allergies! -- we headed back out on the road. I didn't drive at all yesterday because I had a horrible headache that wouldn't go away. I'm blaming it on my crazy blood sugar and stress. I was very careful today and I made sure that I ate low GI all day. We stocked up on apples and baby carrots this morning so I wasn't tempted to gorge on non-JB friendly snacks.

While I drove today I spotted an outlet mall in the middle of nowhere in Iowa and I snuck in the quickest shopping trip ever! Mr. JB was impressed that I did the entire mall in 40 minutes. I was determined to see all the stores that I wanted to see and I was successful. I figure I won't be in any shape to visit on our way back home, so I had to take advantage. Lucky for my wallet I only found one cute top at J. C.rew and there was it. Mr. JB was worried when I went into Ba.nana Re.public since I have been known to spent quite a bit of money every time I visit an outlet. He said that he saw the glazed-over shopping excitement look that I get, but then I snapped out of it.

We were going to stop in Des Moines for dinner, but we had snacked enough in the car and we wanted to push onward to Omaha. By the time we arrived here we were starving, but we knew that had to hurry since we were meeting one of my BIL's Jesuit friends who was going to show us to where we were staying.

We quickly unpacked our car and we got back on the road to find food. We tried to use our GPS' recommendations, but everything we chose wasn't in existence (guess it's time to update my GPS software!). We were lucky to find a sign for the Old Market district and we found a great taco place. We are definitely going to be back!

So tomorrow morning I have my pre-op appointment at the hospital, then we head to PPVI for an ultrasound and my pre-op physical exam. I can't wait to meet Dr. Hilgers!

Thank you all so much for your prayers during our trip. We encountered rain just a few times, but the majority of the trip was dry and clear. I told the Jesuit that met us tonight that we had angels watching over us on our journey, and I definitely felt all of you rooting for us!

28 October 2011

The Eve of the Big Infertile Adventure, Part Two

Our bags are packed. My travel outfit is laid out (yes, I am one of those people!).

The last thing I have to do is attend my last yoga class until December in the morning and then we're off.

It seems like we have been gearing up for this moment for six years.

And I am spent.

We are so blessed to be staying with friends just outside of Chicago and then Sunday morning after mass we are heading to Omaha.

Please pray for a safe journey and I am offering up all of my anxiety for those of you who are still waiting, with one particular barren wife in mind.

26 October 2011

Retail Therapy

Earlier on in my IF journey I used shopping to placate my sadness. Lucky for me (and our bank account!) I discovered an amazing yoga studio and blogging, both of which are much better distractions -- although my love of a particular Canadian brand of yoga clothes has also made quite the dent in my wallet!

After school today I had to get more pencils since my evil class seems to be eating them for their snack, and right beside the St.aples is a really good W.inners (for my friends outside of Canada, it's like TJ Maxx or Marshalls). I spent a good 45 minutes browsing and forgetting about my impending surgery.

And it was wonderful.

I got some gluten-free pretzels, a really cute magnetized notepad for groceries, tasty almonds and two sweaters (I'm returning one since Mr. JB said that it did not look good at all! I thought I could rock faux fur, but I guess not!).

I know that after November 1st it will be a long time before I can walk around leisurely anywhere. My recovery from my first laparotomy was not fun and I did resent not having the freedom of movement that I did pre-surgery. I know that this is all for the greater good and that the Lord has lead us to Dr. Hilgers -- we have had numerous signs showing us we are doing the right thing, despite all of the blood work glitches!

And for those of you that are so inclined, C.oldplay had a concert streaming on You.Tube today http://www.youtube.com/coldplayvevo. If you haven't noticed I may be a bit of a fan.

24 October 2011

A Post Where JellyBelly Tries to Find the Positive In Every Situation

I have never been so glad to have AF arrive! The only other time in the past six years of IF that I was this excited was when she returned after the horrible months on L.upron. I think that I jumped up and down when she arrived that day because I feared that she was never coming back!

My body barely made it to Peak +7 today, but I got to the lab early enough that AF wasn't at her full force. Sorry for the TMI, but this is an infertility blog, and now I don't have to worry about any more blood draws! Yay!

I have decided that I am not going to complain since this morning's blood draw wasn't too bad and I also decided that until my surgery I am going to focus on the good things, regardless of how difficult it will be. 

I left my house at the ridiculous hour of 6am so I could get to the lab SUPER early. When I finally got there I was the sixth person in line and it wasn't even 6:30am! The biggest worry for me this morning was explaining to the woman at the desk that the blood had to be shipped. The tech that actually took my blood didn't seemed too concerned that I didn't have a Canadian requisition, although I did tell her that my Napro doctor would be faxing one later on in the day.

Everything seemed to work out since I got a call from the lab verifying that I wouldn't be returning for my Peak +9 blood and that they could ship the blood that they had. I'm thinking that the lab in Omaha is going to get the most important blood -- the Peak +7 vials -- since that is when they test for thyroid function as well as all the other hormones.

The best thing about getting to the lab so early was being done early too! I was at my school by 7:30am and I was able to get a whole bunch of stuff done. I don't know why I was so worried about being late for school! 

There was a glitch with the blood I had taken in NJ, but I'm not going to complain about it here. Let's just say that I am very grateful that TCIE is my friend and that she has my back -- I owe you one (or maybe a few) jars of pickles!

So I think that I've jumped the last hurdle before my surgery. All of my pre-op testing that I had to do before Omaha is done and we've figured out how to get payment to the hospital when we get there (thank God for being able to increase credit limits!). I need to get through the next four days of teaching and planning and then I can focus on our journey and my surgery.

I feel like I've been running the LONGEST race of my life. I think that I may cry tears of relief when I'm finally on the operating table!

p.s. The new Col.dplay CD came out today! Mr. JB got it for me after school and I was like a giddy schoolgirl all day! I've been listening to this song over and over again since it came out:

22 October 2011

Road Blocks, Part II

The saga with the lab didn't end on Thursday.

I was very happy that the lab was open on Saturday, so Mr. JB and I got up bright and early since I wanted to be there before it opened. I arrived at 7:55am (they open officially at 8am) and I was number 29 in line! I have no idea what time the people at the front of the line got there!

When it was finally my turn I was very happy to see the lab technician that took my blood on day 5. She was very thorough and she was so great to deal with. She remembered me since not many people ship blood to Omaha from my city!

The biggest snag was that I didn't have a Canadian requisition. All I had was Dr. Hilgers' very detailed paperwork. The tech explained that I had to have a requisition attached to a Canadian doctor so that my provincial health care has someone to bill to (which makes no sense since my local Napro doctor has nothing to do with my tests in Omaha). I was so lucky that she took pity on me and she pulled up Dr. T's information and filled out a requisition that she's going to fax to her office for her signature.

I asked if I could got to a walk-in clinic to get another to fill in a lab requisition, but the tech said that it had to be from my doctor.

Lucky for me that Dr. Nora works fairly closely with Dr. T, so I had the idea to e-mail her to give Dr. T the heads-up that I was going to be asking for a couple of requisitions (my Napro doctor's office isn't always the most organized or friendly place). Dr. Nora went far above the call of duty and she called Dr. T's clinic AND faxed her my request.

The tech did assure me that she would draw my blood on Monday morning because I promised her that Dr. T would fax the requisitions to her. It would be such a shame if my blood work didn't get completed because of some stupid paperwork.

Why does it seem like things are getting more complicated as my surgery date approaches? I can't wait until we are in the car and on our way!

21 October 2011

JellyBelly - HCG = :( -- Updated

I was driving home today and I was wondering why I felt like crying.

My day wasn't particularly bad. The kids weren't any crazier than usual. In fact I actually figured out that if I ignored the misbehaving kids and praised the ones that were behaving that they would understand what I wanted.

Then it hit me. No HCG. I couldn't take it for this cycle since Dr. Hilgers needed to see what my hormones looked like without medicine.

So I'm not losing my mind, I just feel like I am.

All of the strange weeping I've been doing has a clear explanation -- honestly every time one of my students did something good this week I've had to wipe tears out of my eyes (then again, perhaps I was crying tears of joy!).

Oh HCG, I miss you so much. I thought that PMS and crashing hormones were a distant memory, but I was wrong.

I hope that my break from HCG is very temporary because I can't take feeling like this! 

Yet another reason why I want my surgery to happen!

Update: All the stress from yesterday may have been for naught -- I've started spotting, albeit very lightly. I'm surprised since it is only CD23 and P+4. I guess I REALLY need HCG...

20 October 2011

Road Blocks

It was not a fun afternoon in the land of JellyBelly.

I hustled out of school to get to the lab for my Peak +3 blood work -- quite the feat since the dismissal bell rings at 3:15pm and the lab closed at 4pm. There were more than a few surprised teachers when they saw me leaving right after school (although there are quite a few that leave early as well, I get trapped in my classroom until at least 4:30pm).

I drove like a maniac to the lab which was only about 7 minutes away. I was lucky to find parking in the garage not too far away and then I booted it to the lab.

Guess what greeted me when I arrived?

"Please be advised that this location has new hours: 7am to 3pm."

I almost broke down and cried.

Instead of having a breakdown in the lobby I took out my phone and called the customer service number. I was told that there was another lab in my city that closed at 4pm, but it was already 3:40pm and the drive was at least 20 minutes away. There was no way I could make it.

So no Peak +3 blood work for me.

I tried to contain myself until I got in the car (and I had to pay $3 for parking for less than 10 minutes!) and I broke down when I got Mr. JB on the phone. I decided to drive towards my  house since I didn't know where else to go. Mr. JB convinced me to pull over since I was crying so hard and it wasn't safe for me to be on the road.

Not my finest moment.

We decided that I call PPVI to see what they thought, but the nurses were all busy and it was almost the end of their work day. Then I got the bright idea of going back to my school to talk to the secretary. I really needed a mom at that moment and she pulled through.

Now, I'm not a needy person. Quite the contrary, I really don't like being taken care of at all. But as soon as I saw D, the secretary, I broke down and started to cry. She was incredibly patient and heard me out and said that we would find a solution. My biggest worry was that I would have to take even more time off to have the blood tests taken -- my principal is a stickler for rules and he doesn't like to let us leave early for insurance reasons (or at least that's what he says). 

So my school secretary suggested that I do the blood work in the morning. If I switched my planning time to first thing (mine is currently second period) I would have a bit of a cushion just in case the lab was running late. D thinks that my principal will also like the slant that I would be "saving the school money" by not taking the afternoon off to have my tests done. Also, coming in a bit late is better than leaving an hour early.

I think that I could've figured out that solution on my own, but I was so wound up that I couldn't think straight. Mr. JB also reminded me that having a crazy class doesn't help with stress levels and that we're pretty much down to the wire before my surgery. I only have six full teaching days until I go on my leave!

I was lamenting to Mr. JB that it seems like there have been so many road blocks in our lives. I know that this one wasn't huge, but at about 3:45pm this afternoon it seemed insurmountable. There are so many times that I feel like the Lord is mocking us, or at least testing us to see what we're made of. I try so hard to be positive, but this afternoon was truly a test for me.

Again, I can't wait to be in Omaha. All of this preparation for surgery is going to make a laparotomy seem like a party! A party that involves surgery and pain killers, but a party nonetheless.

19 October 2011

Catch Up

I feel like I've been a whirling dervish since getting home on Monday. I knew that as soon as I walked into my school on Tuesday morning that I would have to hit the ground running, but I didn't realize how overwhelmed I would feel.

I don't deal well with being stressed and I work very hard at keeping my stress levels at bay, but it doesn't seem like the universe wants to cooperate right now.

First off, my class is nuts. It was pouring rain today so the kids had to stay in for recess. At lunch I popped in quickly (I have to on a regular basis because my class is so crazy) and I caught a kid standing on a desk. WTF??? What goes through the heads of these kids? They were so happy to see me, unfortunately their behaviour didn't get any better while I was away.

Secondly, I have been playing phone tag with someone at PPVI. I have tried to pre-register for my surgery for three weeks. Every time I call the person isn't there and then they do not return voice mail. In desperation I left my work number, but who knows if I will get the call transferred to my classroom or if they will call back. I hope that I get to talk to the person I need to talk to before we leave for Omaha!

Thirdly, I paid my first installment for my surgery and I got the lowdown on the lab charges that I will have to pay. I am so grateful that we are staying with the Jesuits in Omaha (for free!) since the $2100 price tag on the lab charges took me aback. Seems as though we have to dip into more savings. 

Fourthly, my wonderful husband waited until today to find out about how we are going to take $11 000 to Omaha. It was the one thing that he had to do while I was with TCIE and he didn't do it. Although my husband is really helpful, sometimes he needs A LOT of prodding to accomplish tasks. It also bothers me that I just want to take over and do it for him, but I didn't and I didn't throw anything at his head. He was very lucky that the bank was helpful and I didn't have to get involved -- it would've gotten ugly if I had to talk to bank.

Fifthly (is that a word?), we were supposed to get together with friends for dinner on Saturday. We made plans in August and now all of a sudden no one but us can go because of their kids. One of them (who knows about our IF) said this in his e-mail:

I was also going to send out a heads up email that we may have to back out, too... But we won't know til later in the week. The restaurant looks fabulous! We'd really like to... But kids... Sigh.


I so wish that I could've sent that as a reply, but I didn't. Instead I had a tasty dinner and a nice glass of white wine after my yoga class.

Lastly, a teacher that took one of the workshops that I taught in the summer has been pestering me. I teach workshops to help other educators, but I don't think that I have to hold someone's hand just because she was in attendance. I have tried to help this woman out and point her in the right direction, but she just doesn't seem to get it. I also don't have the time to deal with her.

Is it wrong for me to be happy to be going on leave, because at this point I am pretty darned excited.

p.s. Please say a prayer for me tomorrow afternoon. I have to head back to the lab for my post-Peak blood work and the people weren't the swiftest when I had my day 5 blood taken.

17 October 2011

The End of the Big Infertile Adventure (Part One)

I can't wait until Part Two in Omaha starts in a couple of weeks!!!!

I am so exhausted, but I wanted to wrap up, I'm sure that there are people waiting with baited breath! ;)

So after discovering that my left follicle had grown so much in two days, I had to go in for another ultrasound and the last day of blood work. TCIE's boss was a bit disappointed that we decided not to get blood work done on Saturday since that would've been the peak point of estradiol. Oh well, it didn't seem like anything was going to happen.

So this afternoon TCIE wanded me and saw that the follicle on the left had ruptured. I was sure that I felt something during mass -- thank you St. Jude! -- and I was right.

This isn't exactly a good thing, but I'm wondering if this may be part of my problem.

You see, my follicle was larger, but not quite mature. In the summer of 2010 I had hormone panel and ultrasound series locally and the ultrasonographer was scared that I wasn't going to ovulate, but then I did on day 18, which I also did this month (and judging from my chart, it seems like it's a pattern).  I am thinking that the fact that my follicles aren't mature, but still rupturing may be a part of my problem.  TCIE did see lots of shadows on my ultrasounds and my left ovary was in a strange place so there is also structural stuff going on as well.

Have any of you heard of this happening?

I have never been more thankful to see Dr. Hilgers on October 31st!

Thank you all for your prayers, I have felt lifted up by all of my prayer warriors. I was also sure to give props to St. Gerard in the ultrasound room -- yes, there is a St. Gerard handkerchief and a prayer card hanging in the ultrasound room at TCIE's work. I was in a blessed place all week!

Let's just hope that my class doesn't attack me when they see me!

16 October 2011

Day Seven of the Big Infertile Adventure -- Apparently miracles do happen!

So of course, this trip could not go without drama.

But don't worry, this is good drama.

TCIE and I were having a bit of the feel-me-sorries with regards to our uncooperative follicles. She decided that we should have an ultrasound today to see what was going on. It seems as though the Holy Spirit was busy this afternoon.

We had planned to go to a healing mass at a local parish, but when we got to the church we saw a sign that read, "Healing Mass Cancelled." Needless to say we were more than a little shocked. Apparently the priest that was going to celebrate mass was quite ill that he even had to cancel noon mass. In a panic we had to find church for mass, which was not an easy feat being so late in the afternoon.

Mr.,  Mrs. TCIE and I feverishly worked our smartphones, GPS and computer to find a nearby mass. Luckily we found a mass not to far away at 5pm that left us enough time to go to TCIE's office to get wanded -- later in the day that we planned, which was a very good thing.

And let's just say that TCIE was more than a little shocked to see what she saw. There wasn't too much going on on my right ovary, but on the left, the left was a different story. The little follicle that was growing on Friday was only 0.76cm grew to a whopping 1.8cm -- substantial growth for two days. TCIE was shocked.

It seems that this cycle isn't a bust after all.

What I'm thinking is that this may be part of my issue.

So I go for another scan before we leave for home tomorrow and I'm thinking that the follicle ruptured while we were at mass -- at St. Jude's. Ironic? I think not.

So please petition any saint that you can think of, prayer warriors. It would be so amazing if the follicle ruptures while I'm here so I don't have to continue with ultrasounds when I get home.

St. Gerard definitely came through, he just has a little more to go!