Monday, June 16, 2014

Trying this blog design for size.

I'm thinking of a different background - I'm not sure these colors work with my header - it was the one that seemed to clash the least of the blogger.com ones... I might try another one and change the colors of my header - I am not very good with colors, ay ay ay...

Not 100% sure about the header either - don't know if I like 'my face' that much :) sigh...

Tell me what you think in the comments :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chicken.

This is the time I thought of baking chicken, then looked up a recipe, followed it, and ended up with a meal I was proud of for my family!



(this pictures the chicken I made, some BBQ chicken that S had made, some plain brown rice and some broccoli.)


Super easy and yummy recipe found on All Recipes - Baked Honey Mustard Chicken, by Mary Bane.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Design.

How do you guys feel about the design of this blog?

I'm starting to feel like changing this up a bit.

I personally find that I am more drawn to read blogs when the colors of the design are lighter. You?


How do you like the design of cinemarie in english?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Voices.

Yesterday, my boy spontaneously chose to view an episode of the program pictured below. I was so happy to see how much enjoyment he was getting out of it, he even participated in the little 'exercises' that the characters were inviting him to do. I was so proud.

There is a lot of 'special' DVDs on our shelves that I do not push for him to watch, because I want to get his genuine interest, and 'feedback', when he chooses to see it.


I do tell him that 'maman worked on this one!' - even though I don't think it means much to him at this point.

The particular one he chose to watch yesterday I was curious to see him react to - because he should be very familiar with the voices of the characters on the show - these are the voices he has heard the most when he was in my belly - he would have heard close to 40-60+ hours a week's worth of these shows in the womb - my last show before mat. leave :)

Full circle.

I miss my old job sometimes... often times...



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Conclusion.

This is the conclusion of my ectopic pregnancy story. This is a long read and may be TMI for you. You've been warned ;)

part 3
part 2
part 1 


First of all - I need to share a video that has helped me tremendously throughout my ectopic pregnancy. This video is the reason why I am sharing my story - I needed to read/see other stories to keep me sane, to see that I was not alone, to see what others were experiencing. This woman does such an awesome job of telling her ectopic pregnancy story, I kept viewing it over and over as my story progressed, what I went through symptom-wise was very similar. Everything is so well put and organized, if you found my story because you are going through the same, I highly encourage you to view this video - Kelsey kept me positive, hopeful, and sane! Thank you so much Kelsey, you've helped me more than you will ever know!!




And she has great vlogs and TTC vlogs, etc. - she seems so nice! I couldn't stop keeping up to date with her and her family afterwards :)


ok, back to the final part of my story.

After getting the shot, the doctor asked me to follow up in a week with blood work. He said that typically the HCG levels keep rising at first before they go down, so it would be useless to get more bloodwork done right away. If the levels were not dropping, I would have to get another injection.

I got a call from him personally when he got the results because my levels went from 16632 the day before the injection to 20715, a week later. He said he was on call that day so I would have to go to the hospital and tell triage to page him when I got there so that he could meet me and give me an injection.

If you have read my story so far, you know where this is going:


I got sent to get another IV, just in case. 

''But I thought I was just meeting with my doctor to get a sh... ah forget it!"

They take some blood, and leave the IV in. The nurse I got was the absolute worse for putting an IV - and I'm sorry to be saying that because I have great respect for nurses, my sister is one - but it hurt like hell and no blood would come out, so she pulled it out and pushed it in over and over, and had me pump my fist over and over to get enough blood out - it took about 5 minutes of pumping to get 2 cms of blood in the little tube - I'm sure every body in the waiting room was ready to barf seeing this happening :)

I saw a new set of doctors, and they asked me for the whole story again, as if I had not been to the hospital before... I repeat everything, and they leave...

After a few hours of waiting, I finally see one of the first resident doctors I saw on my first hospital visit, my favorite one! She was so nice, she took the time to chat with me and see how I was doing. She said it was silly that I got an IV put in, but that for the hospital it was a safety measure because of how 'ectopic-pregnancy' might mean 'emergency-surgery'...  She also said to me something that I will always remember about my ectopic story:

"I just want to open you up and look in there and see what's going on! Normally at 20000 HCG you see a giant ectopic with a heart beat and it's all very clear what's happening, but with you, it's a mystery!"

So she said I would get another injection soon, it was just a matter of waiting for the meds to come in after she order them. And that it was nice to meet me and to have a nice life...

well...

I wasn't expecting to see her again, but here she was with a little post it note: "Did you get the injection yet?"

"No?!"

"The blood work they did shows that your HCG levels are now down to 12957!!! If you want you can skip the second injection!"

OMG!!! Now I didn't feel so bad about the useless IV/bloodwork :) Even if this was the aftermath:


After that point, I went to get blood work done every Wednesday. Most of the googling I had done showed stories of people who had the shot at less than 5000 HCG levels, so I was wondering how long it would take me to go all the way down to zero considering I was starting from 20000+!

here's how it went down from the highest HCG level results:

08/21:    20715
08/23:    12957
08/28:      8820
09/04:      3536
09/12:      1172
09/18:        887
09/25:        386
10/02:        225
10/08:        126
10/16:          52
10/23:          25
10/30:         >5


So all in all - it took from August 14th to October 30th (2.5 months) for it to resolve and for me to not be pregnant anymore. Two and a half months of worrying that I might bleed internally, worrying about every little twinge in my shoulder, every little pang in my belly... Did I mention that I was working 60 kms away from home at the time, walking outside 3+ hours a day in crazy summer heat, and loading and unloading hundreds of heavy boxes in and out of my work truck? yeah...

At first I felt weak, a lot of nausea, a feeling like chemicals were poisoning my body... But gradually I started to feel better and better.

Now, we're trying again. But I'm still spotting mid-cycles, having pain on the side of the ectopic every other month... I got checked, complete blood work done, ultra sound shows normal things down there... The doctors said just 'leave it be' and if I'm having no luck at becoming pregnant for a year, then they will see what we should do next.

Until then, I'm trying not to worry that this could happen again. I take home pregnancy tests all the time to be safe. I am tracking everything on my calendar. If I become pregnant again, I will be able to have all this accurate info to go back to. Essentially, the moment I get a positive test I am to call my doctor and get tests done and follow ups right away, just because of my history now.

I struggle with the fact that it feels like I can't trust my body anymore. I felt invincible before. But now, I know that I need to take care of my body, I can't take health for granted, if I let it down, it will let me down! Not that I necessarily did this to myself - it happens randomly sometimes. But it still had me thinking how much I need to value that I have my health.

Health is important - life is important!

Time will tell if we will be successful at having another baby. I'll keep you posted :)
 



Monday, May 26, 2014

Treatment.

This is the third part of my ectopic pregnancy story. It will be a long read and some of it might be TMI for you, so you've been warned ;)

part 2
part 1 

My next 2 hospital visits were similar:

August 3rd (2nd day at hospital): HCG levels up to 1788, nothing seen in the uterus. (but it could still be early)
August 5th (3rd day at the hospital): HCG levels up to 2738, nothing seen in the uterus.

The first doctor I saw at that point told me they suspected it was indeed an ectopic pregnancy and very briefly explained that I would end up having to choose between surgery or a shot of methotrexate to end the pregnancy.

I then saw another set of resident doctors who explained in more details what the options were:

Surgery: I knew I wanted to avoid surgery - if they did surgery and found that there was something in my tube they could remove it and they may or may not be able to save my tube (if they couldn't they would have to remove the tube...) On the flip side, if it turned out the 'baby' was in the right place after all, they could leave it alone, and potentially let it grow into a successful pregnancy (assuming going through surgery didn't 'mess it up'...)

Methotrexate: I was a good candidate for methotrexate, with no signs of internal bleeding, a small sized 'ectopic', HCG levels that were low enough, good 'liver health' and being able to come to the hospital quickly, should complications come.

I have forgotten to mention something: my beautiful baby L was almost 35 months old at the time (yes that's a little over a month before he turned 3) and I was still nursing him, once a day, before bed time. And the occasional one time before a nap on the weekend... ok, back to the story...

Methotrexate would dissolve the pregnancy and I would get checked once a week to see that my HCG blood levels were going down until they reached less than 5, which is considered 'not pregnant'. BUT! Methotrexate would render my breast milk unsafe for L to drink.

I sobbed. I cried SO hard right then, because unknowingly, the night before, I essentially had nursed my boy for the very last time.

They left me alone for a little bit, to make my decision final and discuss this with my husband (obviously, I didn't mention him yet, but during this whole ordeal, I was updating my husband and getting his opinions and thoughts over the phone. We have no family or friends that live close enough to take over childcare on a short notice - it's only ever just the two of us! - so clearly, he had to take care of L while I was in the hospital... so at that point we both decided to go ahead with the shot)

Until... I met with the chief of OBGYN at that hospital. He basically just shook the whole thing up. I went from deciding to end the pregnancy to deciding, with him, to give this pregnancy one more chance, because he was not 100% convinced that it was abnormal.

Basically, he said he had seen normal pregnancies start this way. He also said that they were not sure where my pregnancy was located (there were signs that it might be in my left tube, but really nothing absolute or clear). He told me that since I was seemingly normal (minus the belly pain and the spotting, both of which were a bit less at that point) I could give this another 48 hours, go for another blood work and ultra sound, but that this time, he was going to do it 'out patient' - that I wouldn't have to go to the hospital and waist a full day there again (unless I was feeling signs of internal bleeding of course...) If I was still showing up with an empty uterus, I would be able to make an appointment to get the methotrexate shot in his office no problem.

Well, I went to another ultra sound, and did more blood work:

August 7th: HCG: 5409
Ultrasound: I went to this private ultra sound place, and was not pleased with the technician. He declined to do an internal ultra sound.

Back to the doctors' office: He's still not convinced, and I am not confident that the ultrasound was done properly. This time, give it a week and see - by that point, we would REALLY see something if it was in the uterus, both based on the HCG levels AND based on gestational age...

August 13th: HCG: 16632
Ultrasound was done at the hospital, in the pregnancy 'area' (whatever it's called) with a technician who is trained specifically in 'uterus' ultrasound, and looking for babies in uteruses.

August 14th: The doctor called me and gave me the results from the 13th, it looks like we gave it a good shot, but there's no baby in the uterus and at 16632 we should really REALLY see something. The spot they saw in my tube that could be the ectopic pregnancy seemed to be slightly larger so at this point, he wanted to treat it and give me a methotrexate shot, and could I come into the office that same afternoon.

About breastfeeding/weaning: I spent the previous week preparing L and explaining that 'maman' had some 'bobos' in her belly and that to make maman feel better, the doctor might have to take out the bobos and all of maman's milk at the same time. Meaning that there would be no more milk available to drink for him. When the doctor called it was almost nap time, so, even if I was letting him call when he wanted to nurse at that point without suggesting it, I called him and asked if he wanted to nurse. I explained that I was going to the doctor's office and that he would take all my milk away to make me feel better, I explained that it was the very last time he would ever drink maman's 'bon lait', as we used to call it. And just like that, on August 14th 2013, I nursed my boy for the last time. I thought our last time would be a sweet tender and loving moment, but the truth is, in reality, at that point he was most of the time using nursing to delay having going to bed :) He was always half into the nursing, like it was natural and needed, and the other half was more of a drink a bit, get distracted and talk about something else, drink some more. And this last time was no different, and I kind of like that about it - I'm not sad thinking about the last time we nursed - I kind of laugh about it - he really was very close to choosing to wean anyway. And I'm so happy that I got a chance to verbalize it with him, and that he could understand a bit what was going on and why.

I put L to bed for his nap, kissed my husband, and left for the hospital pharmacy to get the meds, then arrived to at the doctor's office, more than ready to put this 2 week ordeal behind me.

We spoke about it a bit, then got ready for the shot. Turns out the pharmacy gave me too little of it, ha ha ha!

I went back, got more, drove back to the doctor's... he split the injection so he would inject me once in the back muscle over the left hip, once over the right hip (apparently it works best that way).

I was finally done with this. Or so I thought. Next post will be the conclusion of this story :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Continued.

My ectopic pregnancy story, part 2. There may be some TMI stuff, and it's going to be a long read, so you've been warned :)

part 1

After not seeing a baby in my uterus at the emergency care, they decided to send me to the hospital (ER) telling me that they would send out my information and that I would meet with an OBGYN to discuss the next steps.

It was around noon at that point so I asked if I could stop to eat at home first, she hesitated said it was unlikely they would do any 'procedure' today so she said to do it but go to the hospital asap afterwards.

I got to the triage, explained that I was sent from 'emergency care' and that an OBGYN doctor should have my info about my suspected ectopic pregnancy and that I was supposed to discuss things with them. I thought somehow that they would get some straight forward info that they could look up, get what the story was and take me straight to that OBGYN to get it over with...

But they had me talk to a 'random' ER doctor first, to whom I had to explain everything from scratch again 'I'm supposed to meet this OBGYN for a discussion' I kept saying...

After some waiting, a nurse came to get me and asked me to follow her. We sort of entered the area of ER where they have bed and waiting rooms and where every one waits to be treated and seen by doctors... She then asks me to sit in a chair that looks more like a treatment chair than a sitting room chair - you know the ones that look like a sofa with the little table attached to it, like when they do blood work? She explains to me that she's going to put an IV into my arm.

WHAT?!!!!

My heart started pounding with the panic growing inside of me.

What do you mean? Why?

'I was asked to put in an IV, it's just for fluids to make sure you're staying hydrated'

I said 'This is starting to sound pretty serious, I was told I was just going to discuss with a doctor!'

She said she didn't know anything beyond the request to put me on an IV.

After hours of waiting and calming down from the panic, I saw a resident doctor who asked me for details, this time I carefully told her everything. After more waiting, I saw her and a more senior resident and finally, I got a pelvic exam and some information.

Nothing felt off on the 'inside' and I was looking normal, so they explained that it could still be ectopic, but that it could also still be a viable pregnancy. A lot of pregnancies start with some discomfort, some spotting, and that we'd have to wait and see because at that point, it was too early to see anything on the ultrasound (I learned then that by 1500-2000 HCG levels the ultrasound should be able to see something, but not much before then. And I was only at 766.)

I was asked to come back two days later (Saturday) to get another blood test and another ultra sound. The HCG levels should double by then, so there would be a better chance that we would be able to see something on the ultra sound.

I was however told to come right back to the ER if I was getting signs of my condition getting worse. Because essentially, with an ectopic pregnancy what happens is the egg implants itself in the wrong place (most often in the fallopian tube). If your pregnancy is in the tube and it grows there the tube will burst and you will start bleeding internally. So it is very serious, it is life threatening.

I was told that if I started to bleed internally, I might feel dizzy, nauseated, weak, I would bleed vaginally, I would potentially also feel shoulder tip pain. (If blood starts bothering the organs inside your body, there's a 'mechanism' that makes the tip of your shoulder hurt in a strange way, apparently.)

They gave me a note not to work the next day and asked that I do not exert myself. But that it would possibly still be a normal pregnancy so 'don't worry too much about it'.

That's the point when my mind started to take over my body in a negative way. I was in a state of mental panic, of paranoia.

I did hypno birthing before and I learned all about how if you are calm and confident and focused, you can pretty much have a painless birth experience. And it worked for me 100%. (I'm realizing I never posted my birth story - I should do that soon! Let me know if that is of any interest to you in the comments below)

Your mind is a hugely powerful thing, and I was beginning to experience the flip side of this, the negative effects of what your mind can do to your body. And that would last for many months. I didn't realize at the time that I would still be struggling with this off an on, to this day.

If you are extremely worried, and only thinking about feeling out your body and what could go wrong with it, first of all you are 'cramping' yourself up, and you will certainly feel pain in strange places. If you focus a lot on feeling out whether you have pain in your shoulder, and spend days just worrying about it, chances are you WILL feel pain in your shoulder.

I spent many days worrying about death, feeling like my body was no longer 'trustworthy'. I didn't know anymore if my 'mind' was trustworthy. What's the correct diagnosis here, my shoulder hurts, my belly hurts. Am I over reacting, or am I dismissing something that could be serious? I didn't know anymore.

The only thing I could tell at first was that I didn't seem to be getting worse really, and that if I managed to calm down and think of something else for a bit, and then truly and honestly evaluate my body, I felt somewhat normal.

to be continued.

Smart.

This boy is very smart for a 17 year old.
A lot of people, much older, do not understand or remember these simple principles, myself included.
I love Ted Talks :)


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