Saturday, June 16, 2018

Where we are now

We have just said goodbye to our little niece after another day/night of babysitting. She is 17 months old, a bundle of energy, cuteness (and stubbornness!!) and is the light of our lives. We babysat her overnight while my sister and her husband went into the city for the night. Now that she is gone, I feel a bit empty. I feel like while she is here I have a purpose, things are fun and busy and noisy, and I miss her terribly when she goes back home again.
I'm lucky that I get to spend so much time with her, taking care of her and doing things like playing with our dogs, going for walks or even running errands. I watch her once a fortnight on my day off. She gets dropped off and I get an entire day to feel a bit of what it might be like to be a mother. It's a very bittersweet feeling. That day always seems to go so much faster than the other 13 in the fortnight.

I started this blog at a positive time. When I had hope that sometime in the near future, I would most likely be living my dreams. I had no real reason why I shouldn't. It all came down to how hard I worked at it.
Well, over two years later and those dreams are still not realised. I'm not a mum yet, and the possibility that I will be seems a lot lower than it was back then.

Not that long after my last post, I had an appointment with the hospital, and so began the tests. Oh, the tests! Painful, uncomfortable, undignified and just horrible. I had a fluid test of my tubes (possibly the most excruciating thing I've ever had done, where they inserted a balloon through my cervix to try and find out if my tubes are blocked. Worse than the pain was that they couldn't get a clear view so the results were inconclusive there). We got the bad news that my fibroid is huge and must be surgically removed. That I would likely not be able to sustain a pregnancy if I were to fall pregnant with it there still. Unfortunately, I was still too heavy to do the surgery laparoscopically and so would need to continue to lose weight and do the removal closer to the time when we are ready to start IVF. They did a hysteroscopy and D&C to try and hold off some of the more severe fibroid symptoms (like extremely heavy bleeding and pain). Unfortunately, I've found no difference since the procedure.

Then we found out that my husband has a low sperm count, with low motility. The chances of us falling pregnant naturally are extremely unlikely. So we will need IVF, surgical sperm retrieval (which probably will only work once) and likely a procedure called ICSI (where the 'good' sperm is selected and injected directly into an egg to fertilise it). Oh, and hubby has been doing really well. He's a normal weight now for his height and has officially lost over 1/2 of his body weight. I'm so proud of him (just frustrated that I'm not there yet myself)!

It was right around the time we finished the fertility tests that I started to have more issues with my lap band. I was throwing up regularly, with reflux that was making me cough and splutter through the night, and pain while eating. A gastroscopy found that I had a pouch formed above the band, where the oesophagus had stretched out. The surgeon told me it was most likely from the band being too tight and still trying to eat. I felt really ashamed; like it was my fault that it had gone 'wrong' and now I would need the lap band removed. The surgeon gave me the option of either having another lap band placed, or I could try gastric sleeve instead.
Given all the issues my husband had after his gastric sleeve surgery (and that even at this point in time, he is still recovering in some ways), it made for an agonising decision. I didn't want the same issues to come up with another lap band...the constant adjustments of fluid, the rules and restrictions in eating, and how sensitive it was to my stress and hormone levels. In the end, I thought that gastric sleeve would be the best solution for me long term. It had a higher chance of getting to the weight that I needed to be for IVF and less day to day issues it seemed.

So here I am, more than two years later and 6 months after having the gastric sleeve. I've been through some really rough times. I got very depressed after my lap band came out. I put on nearly all the weight that I had lost and have had to lose it all over again. I've lost almost 40kg now and am at around 114kg at the moment. Things have slowed down some. Initially, the weight loss was very quick.
I have also developed a hernia at the incision site of my previous surgery that requires another surgery to repair it. That's been booked for next month. I've been restricted on how much I can lift until it's fixed (and then for about 8 weeks afterwards), so no gym for the moment. Once I can go back, I hope that I can start shifting the weight a bit faster again.
I'm still about 25kg away from being able to have the fibroid removal surgery and hopefully start IVF soon after that, but I'm feeling more positive about it all. I will get there eventually. I only hope that once we do get there, and have been through multiple surgeries and all this pain and time, that we will eventually see our dreams realised.

I saw a quote this morning... Hope changes everything. I think that is definitely true.