A Little Halloween Gift

There’s a coworker I talk to once in awhile. He’s an old fashioned sort, possibly in his 50s (haven’t asked), and loves to reminisce. This man opened up the world of adoption to me. Over five years ago, he and his wife endured a looong process to adopt. Their baby girl came from Russia and each picture he shows off, shows the happiest cutie-pie ever. She’s inquisitive, very imaginative, and quick to learn.

He told me one day that she loves foxes and bats. I perked up at this because I like them as well and it isn’t often that I heard about little girls loving bats, lol. He and his daughter would go out onto the porch and watch the bats swoop down near the light poles to capture bugs. This particular story inspired me to create something for her to remind her of those memories; a little gift that she’ll hopefully keep even onto her teens.

At first I thought I’d make a bangle bracelet but the idea evolved into a necklace with a realistic bat hanging from it. And since Halloween wasn’t too far off at the time I started the project, I decided to add-on the cutest, tiny bat wristlet (note: I did not make this though I wish I did, lol) I had ever seen during my Amazon search for a bat pendant.

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The wristlet will go perfectly with her Gothic dress she’s wearing this Halloween 😀 and I designed the necklace to wear whenever she wished using lighter colors that aren’t strictly Halloween-themed. I made the stars myself using clay and baked them. I then layered them with coatings of snowy-white glitter and sealant. I had bought the blue beads and chain links ages ago, but had only used them once before until this project. The ombre ribbon, I got on sale at Michaels Arts & Crafts store.

Using my graphic design skills I quickly conjured up a little package design for the necklace before giving him the gifts. I added my website should they ever wish to get back in touch with me for any future trinkets after I move. He hugged me and thanked me for the gifts. He said she’ll love ’em and I hope she will.

I asked him or his wife to take a pic of when their daughter sees them. I don’t expect her to squeal with glee, lol, but I’m hoping she’ll smile. I mean, I always smile when I see cute things *shrugs* 😛

Sincerely,
Jenn

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Endo Diet

I’ve been having an up and down diet since the first surgery. I’d do well for a month or two, eating what the different diets say I should eat to combat Endometriosis. But due to work and often feeling weary, I’ve caved multiple times within the past two years and ate processed foods since it was so quick and easy to get then go back to work.

I have to stop. I have to just stop eating these foods. The only way I’ll be able to shrink the cursed cysts is by removing the foods that help them grow. It’s going to be so difficult to go cold turkey. The times I tried before were halfhearted attempts. I can’t afford to be like that anymore.

If my boss can completely change her diet and start exercising to combat diabetes, then I can do the same. She’s a thousand times more stubborn than me, lol. Her being able to achieve what she has despite that stubbornness and dislike for change…makes me look like a complete idiot wasting time sobbing away.

I’m going to be strict with this diet and keep it simple so I don’t get overwhelmed. I had stopped when I tried to learn crazy recipes and got tired of how long it took me to cook everything:

sausage-cabbage-mashed-potatoes

  • Oatmeal
  • Cucumber, Green Apple, Kale, Spinach, Celery & Kiwi smoothie (thrice a week)
  • Mango/Banana/Dark Chocolate smoothie (twice a week; I need some sort of treat)
  • Edamame (snacking)
  • Mashed Potatoes and Cabbage (to appease my potato cravings)
  • Plain boiled organic chicken with soup
  • Prenatal vitamins daily (I had been so bad at this due to laziness.)

The one good thing I’ve done is eradicating soda from my diet. The temptation had been so high because my husband still gets it but each time I diverted my attention to water, juice and smoothies.

Sincerely,
Jenn

The Wait

As I do every morning, I sign into my personal email. An email near the top of the list is titled, New Test Results. “FINALLY!” I cry out in my thoughts. I quickly click the link provided to the office’s patient portal and sign in.

The only color in the dashboard of neutral hues is a little red dialog box above the inbox with the number five inside it. “Why five messages?” I nervously ask myself. After clicking into my inbox, I see they had given each test its own email.

Glucose: normal, Pap smear: normal, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH): normal, CBC W/Auto Diff: normal, Lipid: normal…

No biopsy results. I recheck my Pap Smear results–nothing. I notice a section on the main dashboard that is titled, Problems; well, that’s a good attention-getter of a header! I scrolled quickly down to see that my gynecologist wrote the following: Neoplasm of uterine cervix.

“NEOPLASM?!” I whisper aloud at my desk.

I looked it up and read the following:

ne·o·plasm
ˈnēəˌplazəm/
noun
1. a new and abnormal growth of tissue in some part of the body, especially as a characteristic of cancer

Cancer is what my eyes darted to.

Growths, I’m used to hearing and seeing written but the moment cancer is a possibility my thoughts flick around like agitated bees in a jar. So far I’ve dodged Cancer (knock on wood) with results showing that everything is noncancerous. But the fear is always there knowing an endometrial cyst can become such a horrid thing at any time.

*sigh* I keep wanting to protect my uterus but then wish it never existed at the same time. It’s the core of all my fears and worries.

Sinerely,
Jenn

I don’t know what to do anymore…

I keep trying to stop thinking about it but I can’t.

I have moments where I go quiet; I’ll feel empty, lost, or apathetic. Occasionally, I’ll feel hate.

What the heck am I going to do? I told my mom the endometriosis is still going strong and they found two new growths. She started sobbing. She kept sobbing until she cried out “Your life is more important than trying for this baby!”

I put my body at risk each monthly period I have in our attempts to have a baby. For all I know my damned Fallopian tubes are blocked by tiny cysts. The doctor told me there are loads of tiny cysts in my ligaments. There’s still a big one they couldn’t reach in the surgery I had two years ago because it’s on the outside of one of my intestines. My gynecologist said in some cases they’d have to take the chunk off the intestines that has the cyst and reattach the remainder.

I remember something like that being done for a guy who talked on a show called The Moth. After they attached what was left of his intestines, the stitches broke and he had to be rushed back into surgery. Maybe I can live with that cyst there…. *shivers*

But, more will grow. They’ll spread throughout my body the longer it goes untreated. What good would I be should I finally have a baby years from now if my body can’t function right due to cysts blocking every vital tube inside me?

Do I just have to take it all out? Ovaries and all? Once the thought overcomes me, I quickly grab at my lower abdomen as if protecting myself from an imaginary knife. My eggs…parts of me…they’d be gone forever if they take them out…

America sure likes to charge an arm and a leg when a baby is involved. IVF is $12,000 – $15,000. It didn’t work for my cousin when she tried it. Her endometriosis was at far advanced stages though but through perseverance, fertility sticks, and a basal thermometer she got pregnant in her early 40s. Then they removed the tumors that had formed over the years and her uterus. I tried looking at options to freeze my eggs: $10,000. I understand life is precious…and I understand it takes some work making everything happen. But the costs don’t end there: $700 to $800 each year after to maintain said frozen eggs. The costs of all these things are just a bit less expensive in Europe.

Say I give it all up and forget about the IVF, the freezing of eggs, and go for adoption? That’s $30,000-$40,000+, thank you, come again!

I guess if you want a baby bad enough you pay the damned money, but jeezus…I don’t even have half that in my savings. If a dream wedding didn’t make me feel poor already, trying to bring a baby into our lives sure as heck does. I know health insurance will only do so much. Yea, I know many have done all such things and succeeded after hard work and raising the money needed. But, I can’t come up with that money in the time needed and I won’t have such debt looming over us and stressing us out. And when I say “in the time needed”, the time it would take can bring upon more cysts that can turn cancerous. I don’t want my body to be overrun with cysts and possibly die if they all decide to burst inside me, turn cancerous or block something important.

I just hate this. I fek’n hate it and all I can do is vent until the decision is made…

Sincerely,
Jenn

My uterus isn’t happy

They found two new growths in my cervix. We assume its the Endometriosis but my gynecologist took some samples for a biopsy. She wants to be sure that’s all it is.

Since I’m at stage 4 Endometriosis, it’s suggested I do IVF. As I’ve mentioned before, that sort of thing didn’t really help my cousin who had to deal with Stage 4 + tumors. What my gynecologist suggested is that I use a basal thermometer and record my temperature and go to town when its at the high marks. It was the one other thing my cousin had done alongside the fertility sticks. So, I’m going to give it a go.

After work I’m going to the pharmaceutical store to get the thermometer and pray that the results of the biopsy don’t point towards another surgery. I don’t want to endure that again. I did my best not to burst into a blubbering cry-frenzy after she told me what she was seeing. I did pretty well. Used humor to keep myself afloat.

My husband’s sister is over 8 weeks pregnant now. She too is racing against time. She had growths as well and went through the whole bumpy road of saving her uterus. And now she’s pregnant. She said she just stopped worrying and stopped trying to do all these things that were suggested. How was she able to stop worrying? Did she really just stop all the extra things that were meant to help?

How come I can’t stop worrying?…

…Am I not supposed to have a baby?…

Sincerely,
Jenn

What will our child be like?

I walked briskly into the local cafe, stomach hating me and bladder recovering from having held it all in while stuck in traffic (gotta love holiday weekend traffic.) I gave up my lunch break to bring things to a close at the leasing office instead of eating. I didn’t have any break time left by the time I returned to work and it had turned 2PM when I finally decided, “I NEED FOOD NOW!”

I ordered my food quickly then shuffled back a bit to wait near the pick up area; I felt like standing since the majority of the morning I was sitting. To my left stood an antsy little girl and her mother. My eyes wandered to the mother’s pregnant belly; it looked like she was already at the third trimester of her pregnancy. I assumed she had finished an appointment since the doctor’s office was a few floors above the cafe. Movement drew my attention to the little girl as she began to walk in circles around her mom, ducking her head whenever she got close to the counter.

Seeing this made my mind drift: I imagined what it’d be like to have my own restless child walking in circles around me. The feeling of being watched interrupted my day dream. From my peripheral, I saw that the little girl had finally noticed my presence and inspected me from afar.

After a few more moments of enduring her scrutiny, I looked her way and gave a weak smile. If I had more energy, I would’ve smiled that oh-so-happy way you’d see Aileen Quinn do in the movie, Annie. My attempt at friendliness failed miserably since my smile brought forth a little scowl followed by her immediate retreat to the mother ship.

I chuckled and thought to myself, “Guess the brat doesn’t like half-assed smiles.” A second later the little girl returned to her obstacle course of running around mom and ducking under counters but now sent me the occasional glance complete with  furrowed brows. I find it funny that many children I’ve encountered feel compelled to remind their newly made foe that they don’t like them.

At her age I was too trusting. I obliged every person that came my path with a smile. Heck, I was told I gave out hugs without hesitation; though this was back in 1987…when it still seemed like it was okay to trust people enough that children would be safe from harm.

Will our child be like how I was as a toddler? or will they be like this little girl? Quick to be cautious and blunt with their disapproving expressions. For all I know, our kid could become more like their father and be quick-tempered and always playing tricks on others, lol.

I hope you’ll be a cautious but lively one, baby. I’ll wait for you.

Sincerely,
Jenn