Love, Pomegranate House

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Getting Personal {Part 4} – Ugly Betty…

Guys! Guys. I haven’t posted in 3 months. And I kinda hate myself for it. But I also hate that I don’t really mind either. I miss blogging, I really do. So why have I been so absent? Well… put simply… 2015 has been kicking my butt. Like hard. I think life has steel-toed boots on right now. I don’t really want to be a Debbie Downer but I’m going to get real. You’ll understand the title soon. Here comes part 4 of our infertility journey. You can check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 here.

Surgery Day

So when our story left off, I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease where my immune system attacks my thyroid when I eat gluten. So I went gluten free. I was hoping and praying to get pregnant. I was determined to find a new doctor, which was especially scary after miscarriage #2. And, in general, I was feeling loads better.

That brings us to October 2014. I had found a new OBGYN who specialized in infertility. I was going through a process of having many tests to get a better handle on the cause of our struggles to get pregnant. During one of my many, MANY tests I was diagnosed with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. Basically, because of my wack-a-doo hormones my ovaries become covered in cysts, thus not allowing me to ovulate regularly. THUS not being able to get pregnant. This combined with my chronically low progesterone were the root of our problem. But then we discovered another problem. During that ultrasound where I was diagnosed with PCOS the tech noticed a large mass on my right ovary. After talking to my doctor, we found that many times these masses resolve themselves so we decided to keep an eye on it for 6 weeks and then check it out again.

Well, the 6 weeks came and went and it was time to check in on my little cyst. Well, I guess it wasn’t so little. It was the size of a golfball. This second ultrasound found that the cyst wasn’t in fact a cyst. It was a tumor. A dermoid teratoma to be exact. A teratoma that had grown to the size of a lime. And the only way to get rid of it was surgery.

So after a freak out of the possibilities of the big “C”, we were able to schedule my surgery for January 20 of this year. Going into surgery I was a little terrified. I realize how ironic this is because I am a RN and I’ve worked briefly in the OR. But things were different from this side of the gurney. The wait for the surgery was agonizing. Knowing that little “Betty” was still in me, causing all kinds of problems was scary. And yes. I named my tumor. #iknowimweird. #itslessscarythansayingtumor #nowyougetthetitle.

January 20 came around and I arrived at the hospital bright and early. Except it wasn’t bright. It was still too early to be bright. It was dark. So I arrived at the hospital dark and early! I was ushered into pre-op where I changed into my sexy hospital gown that showed off my assets, got my IV, requested 15 million warmed blankets, and waited. And waited. For what felt like forever. Finally my nurse came and got me and I was wheeled away from my mom and husband. I was doing my best to put on my brave little toaster face. As soon as I entered the OR the anesthesiologist gave me the “good stuff”. Within about 30 seconds I had no anxiety and was feeling pretty good. It was then that I realized that I had a team of all men to perform my… ahem… girly surgery. So I was feeling good and relaxed and drugged with a bunch of men gathered around my head. I looked up and said, “Hey guys. Welcome to my lady parts.” Why yes. I did. It was awesome. They just laughed. Then I remember laying on the OR table staring at 2 little lights on the ceiling wondering when the anesthesia would kick in. Next thing I knew, I was waking up 2 hours later in post-op.

Surgery apparently went well but took longer than expected. If things were straightforward, it would have taken 30-45 minutes. But a few things came up during surgery. First of all, they discovered that Betty was, in fact, not ON my ovary but IN my ovary. So they had to cut my ovary open and scrape Betty out. I have pictures. I chose not to share them. You’re welcome. Second, they found a small patch of endometriosis on the wall of my abdomen. Luckily, they were able to remove all of it during the surgery. (For those wondering, endometriosis is when your uterine lining – AKA what you shed when you get your period – grows on other places outside of your uterus.) They also found some scar tissue and a few more cysts on my fallopian tubes. All of which they were able to remove. Praise God!

Surgery Day 3

I was lucky enough to head home later that day. I spent the next 2 weeks recuperating and being pampered by my mom and husband, the best nurses I could ask for. Eventually, my incisions began to heal, the CO2 used during the surgery began to dissipate, and my abdominal muscles stopped screaming whenever I tried to get up off the couch or bed. I started to get back to normal. I had a mini-dance party when I got the call from my OBGYN that the pathology on my tumor came back as benign! PRAISE GOD!

So what does all of this mean? Well, it means that I had A LOT more issues going on than any of us knew. According to my OBGYN, even a pin’s head amount of endometriosis can cause people to not get pregnant. I had a dime’s size. Not much compared to some people, but enough to contribute to our infertility. That plus Ugly Betty and the PCOS and Hashimoto’s (both which explain the low progesterone) we have a good idea of the problem. Now… to find a solution to those problems. My 6 week post-op follow-up appointment is tomorrow. I’m ready for a game plan. #RIPBetty #notreally

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26 thoughts on “Getting Personal {Part 4} – Ugly Betty…

  1. You certainly are a “brave little soldier”! I hope your recovery is speedy and easy. Just remember the promise of Spring is right around the corner.
    I really enjoy your posts also.

  2. Good luck to you guys! My husband and I went on the infertility journey. It is such an emotional roller coaster. Once you know the problem, you can start treating it and hopefully reach the end of this journey and begin the next one!

  3. Oh, MYYYYYY!

    I am very thankful that everything came out alright and that you now have a plan to have a plan. What a horrific experience! But, at least you know what you’re dealing with now. I, too, went through infertility and surgeries (hence why I had kids so late), but it’s a distant memory. I’m praying for you, your mom & husband, and the medical professionals to help you guys. Take it easy!

  4. I don’t know about about anyone else but I actually searched through stuff to see if I had somehow missed your posts. I’m glad you’re getting back to your old/new self. I’m so sorry you had to go through all this stuff but glad the outcome had many positives. Basically I want to say WELCOME BACK! Now just chillax post when you feel like it and know we are all rooting for you.

  5. I feel for you. Health problems are no fun. I battle several auto-immune disease myself, which leads to much frustration at not being “normal” Best of luck, I hope you are blessed with good health and maybe a baby in the future. Take care.

  6. So very glad to hear all things are looking up for you. As a nurse practitioner (NP), I know what it’s like to see things from the patient’s side of the bed as well. One year ago I was hospitalized for a benign arrythmia and it was a learning experience! I tell my nursing students to try to put themselves in the patients’ shoes and never to forget what it’s like to be on the receiving side of the bed. Don’t worry about us readers – we will wait patiently for you to heal, and be glad to read whenever and whatever your choose to write. Just get better fast!

  7. I also have Hashimotos, PCOS, and Celiac. Had the 23&me testing and have some unfortunate genes. .. The good news…? I am 68, have had these things 40 years, and have 2 healthy children! Take your medicines, listen to your Dr.s…and …carbs are the enemy! Never eat candy…ever….if you want a baby!

  8. Also had a dermoid removed. Didn’t name it, but my husband is a Dr. and he said it involved blond hair, and teeth! Ugh…

  9. What Nancy commented at 7:45 am just about sums up my thoughts, too. You were missed, but your not being able to post as usual, is understandable.Thanks for any updates. Happy March!

  10. I’m so glad this is behind you! I’ll pray that it stays that way! Love you and miss you and praying for you!

  11. T, I LOVE reading your posts because you write just like you talk and it always ALWAYS makes me smile. 🙂 Sorry for all the nasty stuff you’ve been going through (aka Betty and her friends). Glad to hear that they were able to take care of that stuff and that you’re on the mend!! 🙂

  12. Looking forward to new posts, ideas, and great stuff from you! Isn’t it just like God to take something devastating to you, infertility, and use it for good…if perhaps you were not taking action and seeing so many doctors and simply gave up, you may not have found out you had a serious condition until further health problems arose. May He bless you guys, whether that be with children or in His own unique way!

  13. Hi Talitha,

    So sorry for all you’ve been going through, but glad for all the good news and the 3- for-1 surgery behind you. Praying for you!

  14. Yowzah! You have been through it. And then some. So, I just wanted to mention that I have PCOS. If you ever want to hear my story or somethings that I learned about it, email me. I’d be more than happy to talk about it. Also, after four kids, my symptoms of it are all but gone, which I hope is encouraging to you. Second, my best friend had a HUGE ovarian tumor as well. She named hers Brutus. Get it? 🙂 Thinking happy healing thoughts for you!
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  15. I hope you will consider adoption. My husband and I are blessed with 6 adopted children and we love them to pieces!

  16. Hi Talitha,

    I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this! I’m sure you have many people giving you suggestions but have you thought about eating Paleo? I’ve read that some have found that they can become pregnant after eliminating grains, etc., from their diet, especially when they have PCOS. And if you have Hashimotos you might want to also look into autoimmune Paleo. A great place to start is Chris Kresser’s website – he’s kind of specialized in fertility, as his wife has thyroid issues and had problems conceiving.

    Best of luck, and I hope everything works out well for you!

    – Suzanne

  17. Just wandered onto one of your pages and got caught up in your story. We lost our first baby at 5 months, and it took me over a year to return to “normal”. Clomid didn’t work and found out I ovulated so early, it was ahead of the meds. A severe case of endometriosis, eventually loosing one ovary. I managed to get pregnant a second time, and our son was born at 29 wks gestational age but only 21 weeks fetal development. Spent 4 & half months in NICU. I had to have a total ovario-hysterectomy by the end of the same year (all procedures were at least 3-4 hour surgeries.) I was just told to go gluten-free by my ob-gyn last year after seeing the arthritis specialist. What a difference! But now I wonder, if this would have been known as a potential problem 20 years ago, would I have been able to get pregnant more than twice, & carry to term? I’ll never know, but I hope your story helps other women who are having problems. I haven’t caught up with the rest of your story but I hope your health improves, and God smiles upon you in your quest to become a mother.