Sunday, February 24, 2013

Life post Surgery

Having the adenomyoma removed was the best decision I've ever made.

Pain: I am free from the heavy and painful periods I've had ever since I was a teenager! No more do I spend a day curled in bed vomiting. I do have some cramps and fatigue, but I usually take Aleve and get on with my day. I do have an upset stomach on CD1, but usually avoiding heavy or greasy food takes care of this.

Bleeding:  Instead of five days of heavy bleeding and two days of light bleeding, I now have three days of light bleeding. I thought there was something wrong with me, until acupuncturist informed me that the regular tampons are named thus because that's what most people use.

Energy: Lighter periods mean that I'm no longer in a constant battle with iron-deficiency. My energy is far, far better. Enough to get me through a ten hour work day, plus a work out, plus centering prayer, plus cooking dinner some evenings, cleaning, and practicing. For the first time in years, I spring out of bed easily instead of dragging myself out of bed after oversleeping my alarm by an hour. Exercising is no longer a chore; I go to the gym because I look forward to stretching and moving my body.

PMS: Before the surgery, I used to have a full week of PMS: fatigue, tender breasts and belly, irritability, despair. Now, I have one or two days of fatigue and a day of sadness.

Other benefits that may or may not be surgery related: I no longer have diarrhea most mornings. My sex drive is back (though that may not be surgery related).

Lingering problems: I still have my "spot" of pain on my lower right side. Dr. S says that he may have missed some of the adenomyoma or that I could have some ovarian issue causing pain (though my ovaries looked normal before the surgery--hypofunctioning, but normal). He said that as long as it's not interfering with my quality of life, I should leave it alone. I should give him a call if my periods get heavier or more painful.

Really, my only regret is that I didn't do this much sooner. I was making the best decisions with the information I had, but I do feel sad that diagnosis and misinformation took so many years of my life.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Infertility Vacation

I have had a lovely three months. No TTC, no charting, no obsessing during the 2WW.  After a year of thinking of myself as "the infertile one," I once again learned to see myself as a human being. Part of this was a tiny bit of self-delusion. I could almost tell myself that instead of being the couple without children, that we were the couple without children--yet.

But still, it was really good for me to have this time away from TTC. For one thing, after about a year of struggling with very low libido, my sex drive came back in full force after the surgery. I don't know whether this was because my body changed after the surgery, or because there was no pressure to have sex at a certain time on a certain day. Or maybe it was because we hadn't had sex in months by the time DH came home after working away, so I was just starving.

It was so wonderful to have sex just because we wanted to have sex and to reconnect with the idea that sex is pleasurable! and fun! Who would have thought? 

Another positive change was that now that for the first time in about a year, I'm enjoying my work again. Despite the constant drama at work, I really do enjoy what I do and I feel like I make a contribution to my field. 

The most positive thing is that overall, I have learned to love my life as it is. I enjoy good food, a loving husband, making music, my career, working out (I have so much more energy now that I'm not fighting iron deficiency all the time!), pets, church and prayer. I almost don't have time to enjoy everything. While I would like to be a mother and to grow our family, I no longer feel so desperate to have a child. I'm sure the dark times will come again, but for now, I am at peace.

A while ago, I read on a blog that "Infertility should be thought of as a terminal illness. Instead of destroying your body, infertility destroys your spirit." The blog has long vanished from the interwebs, so I don't know what became of the 29-year old whose ovaries had suddenly, inexplicably, and inexorably shut down. 

My advice is as follows: Don't let it. Don't let infertility destroy your spirit, steal your identity, and define your life. I was perilously close to spiritual death by infertility when stepping away from TTC saved me. 

Do what you have to do: adopt, commit to living child-free, focus on your career, hobbies, exercise. Whatever it is you have to do, do it. Just don't let infertility steal your soul.