Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Gossip than a Day Time Soap

The doctor said, "Boy. All your test results are normal." Those seven words are all it takes to turn a downright awful week into an amazing one, but I am way ahead of myself. This tale of gossip began way back in November.

Dust off the cob webs. Remember all my medical drama of 2008. I thought when I bid adieu to that pesky ovary all my troubles were gone for good. They were gone, but only for about 3 months. Then, November came and with it my "monthly friend." Except in November she was more like the Wicked Witch of the West. All my pain, hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings of prior were back - and with a vengeance. Within a few days, with the help of some hormones in tablet form, my mood was back to normal (whatever that is), but the pain decided to linger.

I decided to do what every good woman does when she is starting a new job, preparing for Christmas, and managing a house with two kids - I ignored it. Advil and Toradol were making the pain manageable and the hormones were doing their trick. This was a problem for 2009.

Then came the New Year. On 12/31, Scott and I resolved to have a boring year. After the past few years, all we wanted was a year without drama. We figured we weren't asking for too much. It wasn't like we were asking to win the lottery, just a year without crisis. Like all New Year's Resolutions it didn't last long. In fact, it officially lasted until Jan 12th, but we didn't know that at the time.

With the holidays behind us, I decided that I had to stop my self medicating on Advil. So I went off to see my family doctor. And since I was working in the office, I didn't even have to leave work for my appointment. He ordered an ultrasound. The findings - a small cyst on my left ovary. It wasn't large and didn't fully explain the pain, but with my mess of a GYN history we had the hysterectomy talk and he referred me to an OB/GYN.

That night I went home and told Scott about the appointment. We agreed that though a hysterectomy wasn't ideal, it was for the best. We were blessed with two wonderful girls - and that is many more blessings than so many receive.

And that is when life really got interesting. Since the onset of all of these new GYN issues my "monthly friend" had become anything but regular. Between having only one ovary, on hormone therapy, and pelvic pain, I was about as far as you could get from good fertile shape. But I decided to take a home pregnancy test nonetheless. And you guessed it - it came up with a PLUS.

I have GYN problems out the ying-yang and had just had a talk with my doctor about hysterectomy, but NO JOKE, I was pregnant. Or better said, I AM PREGNANT. I must say that was the biggest shock of my life. Though, this isn't quite on par with the miracles we celebrate at Easter, the baby is definitely our own little miracle. The baby that was just meant to be.

And so by peeing on that little stick, everything changed. Obviously, talks of hysterectomy disappeared, replaced by talks of gestational weeks. And I happened to pee on that stick as just the right time. I was only a couple of weeks along - officially due October 6, 2009.

Usually that is where my story would pause with a to be continued in mid-October. However, this tale has lots of twists and turns. My pain and hormonal problems started way before the baby. And unlike our first hope, the pain has continued and worsened during the pregnancy.

Initially there was fear of an ectopic pregnancy, but 3 ultrasounds later we ruled that out. Then the guess was that small cyst they found in early January. But 4 more ultrasounds later, we find that cyst has dissipated on it's own. So now, the doctors are basically stumped (of which I have seen many - way too many). They have no idea why I hurt and since I'm pregnant can do very little to diagnose the problem or treat the pain. I pretty much walk into every doctor's appointment and he says, "sorry you hurt, come back in October."

And while they are still running a couple of tests (results of an MRI are pending), the short is that the odds of finding out the source of my pain or correcting it before October are very slim. Instead, we are in maintenance mode. I am getting acupuncture, which is tremendously helpful. I am doing physical therapy to help reduce any inflammation. I am taking Tylenol by the bucket. And sadly, I am leaving my new job at the end of this week so that I can focus on rest. In Scott's words, my job is to grow a baby and get through the next 5 months. We figure if we can't change the pain, let's make the rest of our environment as comfortable as possible.

Scott and I have failed miserably in our 2009 resolution. This year is going to be anything but boring. What a wonderful blessing. Unlike last year, which was one of many losses, it seems this one is one of many gains. Not too many women get to have a baby when hysterectomy is on the table. I guess I'm just that lucky.

And now full circle back to the doctor's words. She said, "Boy. All your test results are normal." Unlike, all of the other medical testing I've recently had, this test was specifically for the baby. It is one thing to say that my diagnosis is a mystery or my pain it untreatable, but don't tell my anything bad about my kids. But that is what we got - a irregular result from the screening tests for chromosomal abnormalities. We had some follow on testing and then bit our nails for a week awaiting the results. But I am just that lucky again. All the new was good. The baby has no chromosomal issues except for one pesky little Y. Yes, that's right XY. We are having a little boy!!!! When the doctor said "boy" she didn't mean "oh, boy" she meant little boy. The odds were over 99% I couldn't get pregnant, and with two girls the odds were 85% at having another little girl. But this baby doesn't care about odds, this baby was just meant to be. So little Baby Boy Harrell is on the way. I'm 16 weeks and counting down every day!!!

We thought we were going to be out of the stroller lane soon, but with a baby on the way I guess that won't be happening. That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend

Last month, I swore to blog often. Instead, life keeps getting in the way. I promise, I have lots of tales to share - the gossip is better than a daytime soap. I just don't have the time to write them. Give me a few more weeks and I post it here for all to read. Until then, the regular parts of life prove to be full of interest too.

As I'm sure you have guessed the girls are long since recovered from their stomach virus of late March. The weather has turned warm and the flowers are blooming. With the help of Flonase and OTC allergy remedies we are enjoying it all.

This weekend is Easter. However, the celebrations started weeks ago. Mimi came up for a quick visit a couple of weeks ago bearing a few Easter treats. She kept the girls. Scott and I snuck away for a night. Hallelujah! We slept and basically did nothing. It was heaven. And the girls enjoyment was equal. They had a ball and there was plenty of spoiling for all. By Sunday afternoon the girls were tired from all the fun, but their smiles stretched clear around their heads. Thanks Mimi.

With Easter actually here, we still have lots of room for chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps. Usually Easter baskets at our house include on small gift (think puzzle or book) and some candy. Simple and cheap is the Bunny's mantra at the Harrell house. But not this year. Scott has been dieing for a Wii. He has been eyeing them since their debut a couple of years ago. Since the man works way too hard, he deserves a Wii. However, we wanted to get some mileage out of such a big gift for the family. So this year the Bunny is bringing the Wii.

Basically, the girls are lucking out. Daddy wants a toy and it's a toy that they will love too. We actually got several controllers and hope to play as a family. Heck, I better plan on getting a Wii Fit sometime soon. I definitely need to work off all that Easter Candy.

And we all know that Easter is about more than candy and baskets. We are off to church tomorrow morning in our fancy dresses (we will let Scott where pants) to celebrate the real meaning of the holiday.

Have a happy Easter from the family in the stroller lane. Lots of Love