Monday, April 25, 2016

A Letter to Our Future Baby...My Struggle With PCOS

My Love, 

It is three in the morning and all I can think about is you. I anxiously await the day I get to share with your Daddy that we are expecting you. That our dreams have finally come true. I can't wait to see his face. He will say something awkward. It's just what he does. He isn't good with feelings, but I know that he will love you more than you could ever imagine being loved. I know this because he already does, and because it's how he loves me. There is truly no better feeling in life. 

At night, when the world has gone to sleep, I lie awake and think of you. (I think that's a Selena song, but I'm not quite for sure) I think about how you will come to us. Will it be through IVF? Will you share my DNA? Will our hearts be opened up to adoption? Or will some crazy miracle happen, and Daddy and I make you "the old fashioned way"? We want you to know that we will take you anyway we can get you. 

We've been waiting for you for so long. You see, Daddy and I knew that we wanted kids right away. There is something so very magical about meeting and falling in love with your soulmate. Every dream and every desire you never knew you had comes to life. It's not just about being a Mommy to me. It's about being a Mommy with a man as wonderful as your Daddy. You are truly something that we have wanted from the very first day we fell in love. Daddy told me he loved me by saying "I cant wait to raise Republican babies with you". This was on our second date. (Yup...second date!) Daddy was clearly dreaming, because we all know our babies will be Democrat. (Wanna know a secret? Your Daddy is really a closet Democrat. It just took meeting Mommy to bring that out of him. It's amazing what meeting the right person can do for you!) 

Although he can be a little crazy at times, Daddy has a very level head on his shoulders. Almost too level at times. It's something you will learn to love...someday. There are times he gets mad at how much money we keep spending to make you a reality, but, deep down I know that he would spend every dollar we ever make to bring you into the world. It just gets hard at times. We joke around a lot. We may never be able to send you to college, or buy you name brand clothes, but at least you will always know how much we love you. Afterall, we did spend a small fortune to create you. We even ordered a shirt off of Etsy for you. It says "My parents love me more than your parents love you. They spent $40,000 to create me". don't find the humor in that? Yeah, we don't really either. 

Here is what I want you to know the most my sweet babe. No matter if you are created via IVF, share my DNA, or come to us by way of adoption, I love you. I love you more than I can stand it some days. I pray for you every moment of every day. I cannot wait for the day that we meet. The day that I get to hold you in my arms and breathe you in. The day that I get to look your Daddy in the eyes and know that all of this was worth it. That is the day I dream for. 

My sweet baby, if I get the chance to be your Mommy, I want you to know that I will always love you, I will protect you, I will be your parent first and your friend second. You will always be able to count on me. I will fight for you until I take my last dying breath. I will allow you to make mistakes so that you can learn from them. So that we can learn from them together. I will always have a shoulder for you to cry on, but will help you pull up your big girl/boy panties and kick life's butt when you need to do that too. I will not be easy on you, because life is not easy. I will expect you to have good manners, good grades, and to behave the way we raise you to behave. But I will never let you fall. I am your rock bottom. I will always be there to catch you and help carry you across whatever fire you are walking through. For you my sweet child are apart of me, and that means you will never walk this life alone. 

I can't wait for the day that we get to take your Kindergarten pictures, pick out your prom dress or tux, sit in the front row as you marry your soul mate and all the days in between. We will be there. I will cry, because it's what I do. Daddy will fidget, because that's what he does. But we will be there. We will be there because, you, my sweet baby, you are our hearts. Everything we do in life is to get one step closer to having you. Even if its just the possibility of having you. 

I want you to know that Daddy and I are not perfect. We will make mistakes. We will probably make you mad, sad, angry, or hurt. We will not always do what you want us to do. Sometimes by choice, but sometimes because we just didn't know any better. Your father and I, we are good people. We strive every day to be better people. But sometimes we forget to pay the light bill...orrrrr put gas in the car! (Not me!) I drive a little too fast. Okay, a lot too fast. I don't cook, clean or do laundry. Daddy does though. You will love him for it. But, don't expect your Dad to put together your new toys..just call on me. Your ol' Mom. I'll help you with that. I will also help you get into trouble. It's kind of what I do. Daddy will just always be there to bail you (and me) out. 

So to our sweet Remington Grace or Smith Curtis, please know that we love you. We pray for you every moment of every day. This world is full of people who can't wait to meet you, to spoil you, to love on you. But no one will ever love you as much as me and your Daddy. For we have fought every day to have you.  

I hope I get to meet you soon. But until then, you are always on my mind, and always in my heart.

Your Mommy

Monday, April 4, 2016

Quick Update My Struggle with Infertility

Hey y'all!! 

Long time no talk! Thought I would check in with everyone as I've been getting LOTS of questions lately about our journey. 

In December I had a surgery to remove pre-cancerous polyps and a portion of my uterine lining that had pre-cancerous cells. We knew at that point that it would be a year for my body to heal and start trying again. 

We have come to the conclusion that I will 'never' be able to get pregnant naturally! (A dear friend so lovingly called my eggs 'scrambled' when telling her child why Nathan and I can't have babies, and I absolutely LOVE that description! No hatching happening here!) We were also told pre-surgery that there is only a 30% chance I would ever carry a baby due to my uterine lining! We pray daily that the surgery has increased those odds. 

Any who, I go to the Dr monthly where they do a biopsy of the new uterine lining growing back to ensure there are only healthy cells and NO cancerous cells. I am very happy to update that we are all clear so far!! Woot-Woot! 

As far as what's next? Nathan and I don't know. I truly believe deep down in the depths of my soul that we are meant to be parents. We don't feel the calling to adoption. That may change, you never know. I keep going back to egg-donation but Nathan doesn't know. When he married me he wanted to have babies with ME, and it weird him out a little that the baby would have his DNA but not mine. Nathan truly believes that we will get pregnant. Maybe another round of IVF is the trick! (God Bless that man's optimism!) 

I continue to have these vivid, vivid dreams of receiving phone calls in the middle of the night and driving to these places and bringing home children. Sometimes they're babies, sometimes they're older kids. I don't know what God is trying to tell me. I am listening though, and waiting. 

Overall yhings haven't changed much! There are good days and there are bad days. There are days I think we can do this. We can just continue to be Aunt Amanda and Uncle Nathan and be damn good at it. We can love our friend's kids like they're our own and offer to babysit any random kid that we come in contact with. Then, there are the days I can't get up off the bathroom floor because all I want to do is be a Mom. To feel life inside of me. To give my husband everything he deserves in life and more. Those days make me question this journey and why it had to be US. (I hate those days) 

But, we are and continue to be so very thankful for all of your continued support. The love, prayers, and words of encouragement mean more than most of you will ever know. They are my light at the end of some very dark days. 

Well, that's all she wrote folks! I'll try and check in more often! ❤️

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Conscious Coupling... My Struggle with PCOS

"Oh my gosh, Amanda posted another cheesy status about how much she loves Nathan. #annoying!!" How many of you have thought that EXACT same thing (sans the hashtag. I am probably the only person on earth who speaks/thinks in hashtags). Its okay to be honest, I know that it is probably quite a few of you. It can be nauseating at times.

Here is the deal. My husband and I are complete opposites. I think a lot of people say that about themselves and their spouses, but when I say it I truly mean it. The only thing that we have in common is that we love our dogs and we love alone time. That's it.

A little over 5 years ago, we met, we fell madly in love, we got engaged....and then life set in. We quickly realized how very different we were and if we wanted to stay as madly in love as we were at that present moment, it was going to take work. In that moment, I thought back to what my Grandpa told me once "the hardest job I've ever had was being a good husband". I NEVER understood why my Grandpa told me that. To me, to all of us, he was the greatest husband there was. He put up with my Grandma! :)  But in that moment, looking back, it all made sense to me. They were complete opposites, yet they found a way to make their marriage work for 50+ years. They did it by working hard every day at their marriage.

A few years ago, probably 4-5, Nathan had a long layover in an airport and picked up the book "What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married". He read the whole thing and made notes all throughout the book. I then read it and then we compared notes. This book taught us about the Five Languages of Love (people talk about this all the time, but they dont understand how great it truly is. If you are married or in a serious relationship and you havent read it, read it). It teaches you to love your spouse in the way that they want to be loved, not in the way that you want to love them. WHOA. Hold the press. You mean, me, Amanda Jones needs to do something someone else's way?? Nope, not going to happen. I'm just not wired that way. I am, in case you forgot, Amanda Jones. I do what I want, when I want, and how I want, If someone tells me to do something differently, I use all my energy to prove why my way was better. Its just who I am. Its an ugly trait. I would say I am working on it, but we all know that's a lie! :)

Anyways, we read the book. We talked it over. I thought it was garbage and we went on with our day. Then slowly I started to see things. My husband making my lunch for me in the morning, or picking out my clothes the night before so that I wasn't so rushed in the morning. Then there was a sweet Facebook post here, or a shout out on instagram there. My heart was full. My husband was loving me the way that I wanted to be loved. I thought maybe I should give this a try. So the next time my husband tried to hold my hand in public (puke), I let him. The smile that I got that day, the one that makes me weak in the knees, it was totally worth it. (Then he tried to pinch my butt and I socked him right in the arm. Baby steps steps). Next I tried not confessing my love to him on Facebook, but instead thanking him for being so great. I feel like I could physically see his heart do a little flutter. I was loving him the way he wanted to be loved.

To do this day in and day out, it's hard. We are wired one way, and we are being asked to go against that. But I am telling you, the key to my very dysfunctional, overly happy, filled with love, marriage is loving each other the way the other wants to be loved.

I've learned over the last few years that a marriage has ups and down. Big ups and big downs. I never knew this growing up, because my Grandparents were very private people. You know...your dirty laundry should hang in the basement, not outside for everyone to see (or on Facebook for the world to make judgments). There are things that we have gone through, that had me questioning everything, because I simply didn't know that marriage was anything but happy, love filled.  My husband lived away from me for the 8 months prior to our wedding, which almost did me in. We have battled infertility since the day we got married (if you wanna talk about some fights, try telling a woman on clomid you drank the last Mt Dew).  I have lost the two most important people in my life, and Nathan was forced to pick up the pieces (I honestly don't remember most of those days to tell you how ugly they really were). Nathan walked away from his dream job and the greatest team he has ever been apart of to help me fulfill a dream (Ever have someone place unnecessary blame on you? Yeah..not fun). We work together side by side (well, Nathan is a step higher than me, and he wont let you forget it!) in a pretty stressful, at times, job (lets not even get started on that!). We moved half way across the country ourselves (Mr. Popular did just fine with that move!). But through it all, especially through the hard times (its why there is so much cheesy stuff on Facebook right now), we remember to love each other...the way they want to be loved.

I love my husband more than I could ever explain in words. I wake up each day knowing how very blessed I am to be married to someone who will work just as hard at our marriage as I will. We never go to sleep mad at each other (even if it means staying up all night...we've done it before and I am sure we will do it again), and there has never been a day we have let pass without telling each other just how much we love one another (even if we didn't necessarily like each other at the moment). So, I am sorry to tell you, but our annoying Facebook posts won't go away. Its our own personal recipe to our very successful marriage (by our own definition).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Endometrial Hyperplasia My Struggle with PCOS

I have written this blog three times and deleted it. I look at me and think what a blessed life I have and there are so many other people out there fighting such terrible things, that I don't want people to take their focus off of that to worry about me. But my outlet to all things this crazy life brings us is to write and to share. I pride myself on being an open book. Years ago, I invited all of you into my struggle, and the thoughts and prayers from many of you throughout the journey have helped me on my darkest days.

So here goes...

A couple weeks ago, I fainted in the shower and ended up in the emergency room. The blood tests concluded that I had a marker for possible clots, but I did not have any current clots. They imagined this was from the extra estrogen in my body from the fertility treatments that my body has been enduring for the last 3 years.

I had a follow up appointment with my fertility Dr, where she ran some more labs as well as a couple of exams. I got the results of the blood tests back and she was seeing some weird things, so she ordered a few more labs and a couple more exams.

During one exam, it was discovered that I have polyps in the lining of my uterus. She grabbed some of the lining (which hurts worse than the way) and sent it off for biopsy. She also scheduled a couple of more tests that she wanted me to do.

Yesterday, I went back in to get the results of my test, and found out that I have been diagnosed with Endometrial Hyperplasia with atypia. This is when the lining of the uterus becomes too thick and polyps can form. There are different categories, and I currently have Complex Hyperplasia with Atypia and the polyps in the lining are pre-cancerous. The cells are changing from non-cancerous to cancerous.

On Monday I will have a Hysteroscopy to remove the polyps and also the lining of my uterus. This will also allow my Dr a better look at the cell make up inside of my uterus and determine if the polyps have moved into my cervix at all. Two weeks after that, I will have a follow up appointment where we will discuss treatment to ensure that the healthy cells and lining that grow back are non-cancerous. I will have monthly appointments to do ultrasounds to check the growth. It is rare for uterine polyps to reoccur once removed, but if they do come back, it is more likely that they will come back cancerous, so we will watch them carefully. The Dr says that my age is on our side in this, because I am a healthy person, and non-menopausal (haha), so my cells should grow back healthy.

My surgery is Monday at 1pm, so I will keep everyone updated! This is obviously serious, but we are just looking at this as one more bump in the road for us to overcome! I have faith and I have hope and there is not a lot that can't be beat without those two things. I also have an amazing husband who stands beside me and a great group of friends who have my back unconditionally. I will repeat it again, I have a blessed life and know that I will continue to have one.

Thanks in advance for all of your thoughts and prayers, I am always thankful for all of them!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Struggle is real...(Have I used that before??) My Struggle with PCOS

Hey y'all (yes, I'm embracing Texas)

I wanted to write this blog as sort of an apology. An apology to all of my friends, family, coworkers, people I meet in the streets, really anyone who wants to accept my apology!

Life has been rough lately. Well, probably no more rough then it usually is, I just haven't been dealing with it well. I am going to warn you now, I am going to get very real in this blog. I have gotten a lot more private lately, because I feel like I am judged for whatever I say, but I live life the best, when I live out in the open, so this is going to be raw, and its going to be real, and I am sure my husband is going to want to murder me when it's over! (He talks a big game, he could never live a day without me!)

Here goes.

I suck at life lately. Everything makes me sad, everything makes me mad, and everything little think makes me feel like a failure. I didn't park straight the other day, better have a 20 minute pity party about it. A couple of weekends ago, I literally laid in my bed with the covers over my head all weekend. Then I cried all day Monday because I felt like such a terrible wife. I feel like I'm in this downward spiral, and its a long way to hit rock bottom. Why would I feel that way?? I know, its the million dollar question. I have an amazing job, husband, new house, family, friends, yada, yada, yada. I dont know why I feel this way. I just do. And I cant shake it

I miss my Mom. I haven't seen her in almost a year and a half. I just want a big hug from her and to have her be annoying and not tell me that everything is going to be okay, because that isnt what my Mom does. She'll tell me to buck up and deal with it. I need to smell her Charlie perfume, and get annoyed because she has to smoke before she gets in the car, and then get even more annoyed because she always puts on chap stick after she smokes. I need to ask her why she is STILL wearing the same sweatshirts that she has worn all of my life when she has lost like 150 lbs and could wear clothes that actually show off her figure. I just need my Mom. Every girl does.

I'm a terrible wife. (It would be sweet of me to say that this is the part I feel like my husband will kill me over...just wait...its not even close) Like, if you looked up terrible wife in the dictionary, you would see me. I've been in such a funk. I get home from work and go to my bedroom and read a book, or go to sleep, or scour the internet. "Hey Amanda, wanna go out to eat?" "NO!" "Hey Amanda, wanna watch TV with me?" "NO". I'm such a b*tch. BUT, this is the sweet part. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally. Like loves me more than I deserve. "Hey babe, here is a cold Mt Dew", "Hey Babe, I made you dinner", "Hey babe, I love you". Like really?!?! SWOON! He gets it. He sees it every day, he feels it too. He just happens to be strong enough for the both of us right now.

I miss my friends. Let me preface this by saying, I dont hate Texas. I dont hate the people in Texas, I dont hate the state of Texas. I am having fun. I obviously just built a house here, so I dont have any plans of leaving anytime soon. I just miss my friends. I miss Iowa. I miss laying on a couch watching TV with my best friend, not saying two words to each other, but getting everything we both needed out of the time together. I miss Tuesday night Date Night (Nathan worked Tuesday nights, so Erin and I always went to dinner). I miss hanging out with Allen and Hailey and laughing until our sides hurt. I miss downtown Cedar Falls. I just miss it. Moving away from home is hard. Nathan and I plan on going on vacation to Cedar Falls next year. No work, no obligations. Just hanging out with our friends. It. Will. Be. The. Greatest!

THIS IS GETTING LONG!! I'm sorry! It feels good to put it all out on paper though.  Moving right along...

Here is the kicker...3,2,1...

INFERTILITY SUCKS!! Like duh, everyone knows that. But let me just tell you. Infertility sucks. I feel like each step we have taken, we have overcome. Dont ovulate, okay, lets fix that. Ovulate, but the egg doens't fertilize, okay, let's fix that. Oh, wait, your eggs dont mature, well....we can fix that too. Great. Let's do this. Now it comes to where you get to pick out the eggs. WOW. Well, can you give us some time?? Thats a big decision. Yeah, sure, take all the time you need. Okay. Let's look over every single profile, every single egg, every single attribute, every character. Then, you pick out the PERFECT egg for you. The one that you think will really make your baby look like you, even though it wont have your DNA. You make your appointment, you're so excited. And then...duh..duh...dun...someone else bought them..... . . .Yep. That happened.

That is when I lost it. Like, (I say that a lot, its the dramaticness (thats not a word, roll with me here) in me!), what did I ever do to deserve this sick sick world to be against me at every turn? I try and be a good person, I try and give back where we can. I try and care about others the way I would want them to care about me. I may not be doing great at that right now, but I mean...Ive been alive for 29 years, I think I've done good for the majority of that time. Cant I catch a break? Like when do things go my way?

If your still with me, I am sure some of you are feeling a pretty heavy heart right now. Please don't. I will prevail. I will pull out of it. How? Why? Well, my best friend is getting married. Queue the fireworks. Like seriously. It just reminded me that life keeps going, right? Every single person you meet in life is fighting a battle of some sorts. Some may be fighting, or some may be winning. Who am I to sit in this self pity and want to scream from the mountain tops "poor me"?  I have an amazing husband who deserves the love that I know I can give him. I have a job that deserves the Amanda Jones that I know that I can be, now the half assed one that has been showing up lately. I have an amazing family and fantastic friends that deserve back everything that they have given me. And I deserve the best version of myself that I can be.

Obviously this change cant happen overnight. But, I put my big girl panties on tonight, and am going to start pulling myself up from my boot straps (again...I know....again). I am sure in this journey I will fall again, but I also think that I deserve to be able to do that. Ive been dealt a full basket of lemons and I can only make lemonade for so long.

Thanks to all who have read to this point. I love you all. I thank you all, and I promise to be better. <3

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I want it all... My Struggles With PCOS

We spent this last week in Iowa celebrating my sister in laws wedding. It was a beautiful week, laced with so much love and happiness. We got to spend time with family we rarely see, meet new people and make new friends! Being in Iowa is exactly what my heart needs at times.

One of the greatest blessings in life is being Uncle Nathan and Aunt Amanda. We love our nieces and nephews to pieces. We love to spoil them, love on them, and cuddle the youngest ones! I would cuddle the older ones too, but that might be awkward! :) 

We got to feed our baby niece Bella! That was fun watching Nathan try and understand how she could eat warm applesauce like it was a meat lovers pizza! We both got to rock our baby nephew Langston to sleep at different times. We played football with Braydon and relaxed with Chance. It was all magical to us. I know that sounds odd, but being so far away from our family, we truly cherish the moments we do get. 

Unfortunately, the longing to have that all for yourself rears its ugly head. I want to feed my own baby applesauce, I want to rock my own toddler to sleep. I want to play football in my own backyard with my rambunctious 6 year old and I want a 13 year old who is seriously the coolest cat there is. I want it all. 

Last night I posted a quote my husband said. It came from a discussion at dinner. We were talking about all the places we've traveled and how we can't wait to take our kids there. Have them experience the sketchy hotel in Atlanta we stayed at, and re-walk from the White House to where Lincoln was shot. To ride around DC all day just people watching. Take them to the first restaurant we went to in New Braunfels. We were laughing so hard remembering things we had tears running down our faces. Then it hit Nathan. I saw it hit him right in the heart. 

We may never have kids. We may never get to show them all those places, or relive all the memories. He looked at me, grabbed my hand and reassured me, he's loved the life we've lived. I squeezed his hand and excused myself from the restaurant. I thought all night about wanting it all. 

Then today, I saw this picture on my Facebook today and was reminded that we may never have our own children, but we have nieces and nephews whom I know think the two of us are pretty cool. So we get to continue to be these magicial people in their lives. I don't need to want it all, when I already have it all. <3

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Got Eggs? My Struggle with PCOS

I wanted to write this quick blog for a couple of reasons. 1. I am putting off writing an emotional one and 2. I need to speak to all of you from my heart. 

Okay, so a couple of weeks ago I wrote what I thought was a pretty funny post about shopping for eggs online. Sometimes I just have to make light of this situation, otherwise the emotions would just overwhelm me.

It's true. Nathan and I need a donor egg to attempt to have a child. The worst part is that even with that donor egg, there is only a 30% chance I would have a viable pregnancy. 

I will tell you, since I put that post out I have been flooded with messages and text with friends, family and acquaintances offering me the use of their eggs. Wow! What amazing people we have in our life. From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you! Thank you! 

Nathan and I have talked and talked...and talked and talked some more. And then I've kept talking some more. What is best for us? What do we want to do? Where does this end for us? What are our dreams and desires. 

I want to be pregnant. I want to carry a child. I want to give birth. I want to breastfeed. I want it all. I want my baby to be my baby. 

Therefore, Nathan and I made the decision that we would not want to use eggs of someone we know. I don't know how it would feel, I don't know for sure what we would think. It's just a decision that we made. 

There is so much emotion and thoughts and feelings that go into all of this. Not every journey is the same. I firmly believe everyone needs to follow their hearts and make the journey, their journey! 

So, I can't say thank you enough for the gestures. It truly melts me to my soul. I just hope you can all understand why that option isn't part of our journey! ❤️