Struggling and brutal honesty

I wrote this on March 28th, 2012 and then left it as a draft, as I wasn't sure I wanted to publish it... 

First, I want to acknowledge the fact that I've been ignoring this blog for a long time. When I started writing, it was important to me to keep and share memories and to have an outlet for what I'm feeling.  Second, I want to say that I hesitated to write this post and share this part of my life, but it's something I've been struggling with and lately this stress has been consuming me.  I'm feeling very up and down and it's getting to the point of causing a lot of anxiety.

My husband and I have been actively trying to conceive a second child since early November 2011.  We had one successful pregnancy but I miscarried at 6 weeks from a blighted ovum that had stopped developing at 3 weeks. Before that we had been using Natural Family Planning (NFP) for birth control for a few months and I got the hang of tracking my fertility down to being able to tell the exact day of ovulation.  I thought that this would enable us to get pregnant quickly and the thought that we might have difficulty didn't even cross my mind. It's now the end of March 2012 and every month that passes without success depresses me more and more.  During the two weeks after ovulation I obsess over test results and imaginary symptoms to the point of my heart racing every time I use the bathroom waiting to see if two lines will appear on that little stick. I feel bitterness and jealousy whenever anyone else announces that they are pregnant (and right now it seems as though EVERYONE is pregnant... seriously, EVERYONE!!!) to the point of feeling physically ill. (I want to add a disclaimer here that my best friend in the world just told me that she's expecting and I'm OVER THE MOON excited for her... really and truly) I'm terrified of secondary infertility. My daughter wants a sibling so badly.  She knew about our last pregnancy and that we have to wait for God to decide to give us another baby.  She prays for "our baby" and talks about "our baby" often.  Last night she brought me a bracelet that she made from beads and pipe cleaners and said "This is so little. It won't fit on me, it's small for a baby."  I tried to put in on her wrist and said "Oh it fits you just fine!"  She immediately took it off and said "No! This bracelet is for our baby that will be back soon I hope." She melted and broke my heart at the same time.

Another issue weighing on my heart has been the fact that I truly feel called to be a stay at home mother to my children.  Unfortunately, that dream doesn't seem to be able to become a reality. We aren't in a position to be able to live on a single income and pay off any debt without accruing more. This leaves me not being able to parent 100% the way that I want to and feeling a lack of control over things I should be able to control because of inconsistency. I'm so grateful for the help that we do get.  I just need to keep reminding myself of something that a very wise friend told me.  This is just a short season in life and soon the children will all be in school and daycare won't matter and I'll be so happy that I have the family that I want and need and am meant to have.  For now I'll just do whatever it takes to get there and do my best to make every moment that I do have with my children count for something. 

Since deciding to add to our family I had to stop a lot of medications I was taking for my health problems.  I dropped from 11 daily medications down to 2 that were safe for pregnancy and added in a slew of vitamins to supplement.  Things are mostly going well, but lately my Fibromyalgia has been acting up.  I've always dealt with pain off and on, but it's becoming frequent and the other symptoms that are sneaking back in make me nervous.  The brain fog, insomnia, dizziness and extreme sensitivity to smell and sound.  These things also conveniently tend to pop up whenever I'm "imagining" pregnancy symptoms, making the anxiety worsen. 

When you add all of this to the other issues and people in my life that cause me NORMAL stress, it's just getting to be a lot to handle.  

Getting to be a lot to handle? I had no clue what I was in store for in a few short days... 

 Sunday, April 1st, started like any other day. We had breakfast, played outside a bit, and then went to a friends birthday party.  That night I started to feel a bit sick.  I called out of work the next day thinking that I was starting a little virus. Over the next two weeks I was the sickest that I have ever been.  Pneumonia is no joke. Between the full body tremors, high fevers (think 103 range), intense muscle aches, sweating while freezing with chattering teeth, coughing, labored breathing, occasional vomiting, and being so weak that I needed help to get off the couch... I was SICK. It took weeks after "recovering" for me to have any energy or strength. While treating my Pneumonia with an antibiotic and steroid pack, I discovered I was very allergic to the antibiotic and broke out in a red itchy rash all over my entire body. It felt like I was on fire for a few days. In order to calm the rash my Dr prescribed me ANOTHER steroid dose pack. (This will come into play shortly... steroids KILL your immune system if overused) After the rash cleared up, I lost my voice from Laryngitis for another two weeks. As the Laryngitis started to clear up, I acquired a nasty case of Oral Thrush.  The thrush triggered some tests and those tests diagnosed me with Systemic Yeast Syndrome.  Essentially yeast has gone wild and overtaken my entire body... sinuses, digestive system, etc. Odds are that I've had this problem for years (and it would explain my sinus and stomach issues) but that the steroids set off a particularly bad "flare" and I am now on temporary medication and an elimination diet to cut out everything that the yeast might feed off of (sugars, carbs, etc) and have to eat nothing but a short list of approved vegetables and approved meats for the next two weeks (to two months, depending on the effectiveness), then slowly (through four phases) add back in some other foods, while having to avoid sugars and overdoing the carbs for the rest of my life.  This posed a minor problem for me, as in February I became a vegetarian. I'm taking a break from that for a while and eating meat for my own sanity and health.  

So that's where I am right now. Day 4 of my elimination diet.  The thrush is 99% cleared up, my voice is 85% back to normal, the Fibro is still bothering me daily... but I'm surviving! I just keep telling myself that I'm being tested and eventually I'll climb out of this hole and be better for it. 

So friends and family that might be reading this... if you remember, say a little prayer for my health today? I would REALLY appreciate it.  


  1. I'm sorry Nicole- that's a lot to deal with all at once. I have another friend going through secondary infertility and talking to her about it just breaks my heart. As for the SAHM thing- I never in a million years thought we could swing it on my husbands income and here we are a year later and things have been truly amazing. I think we have some angels watching over us because I just can't explain how it's happening. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you get through these obstacles.

  2. Oh Nicole i'm so sorry for what you have had to deal with, but you sound like things are on the mend, and you even sound like you are handling it all pretty well. I'm praying for you sweet sister, and soon you'll see God's plan in all of this. Though I often wonder about his plans and how they work in my own life.... Things always work out in the end. I'm praying for you!

  3. I know the emotional pain you are going through Nicole. My heart ached when I read this. You may know that Nick and i lost our baby. My water broke at 17 weeks and my son lost all the amniotic fluid around him. I waited a week to see if my body would heal but the doctors had to induce labor because their was no chance that he would survive. It was the hardest thing I ever had to go through. It has been six weeks and I am getting impatient b/c I haven't gotten my period yet. I would like for my body to heal faster. Before this pregnancy i had an ectopic pregnancy in September. So I am going through this and I know other woman are going through fertility and pregnancy issues too. I hope it is comforting to you b/c it has been good for me to hear that other woman are going through these things too. I have faith that God would not have put this desire for children in our hearts for no reason. We may never see why we had to go through all this suffering. I will pray for you and your family.
    Also i know exactly what you are saying. It does seem to me that everyone is either pregnant, having a successful pregnancy, or has small children.

  4. I love you.

  5. I'm sorry being a long time TTCer I totally get the emotions you describe. Hopefully things are better now?