Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Tubal Ligation Update You Never Knew You Always Wanted

I had my tubal ligation January 18th. Today is November 7th and we’re officially considering a tubal ligation reversal.

Most of my symptoms are too embarrassing to talk about but a few of them that aren’t: decreased milk supply, pulsing pain in both ovaries (one more than the other, but definitely both) fairly often… especially when I lift something, which makes it feel like the clips inside me are scraping my insides or something, hot flashes, depression, anxiety, fatigue (which maybe is just part of the depression/anxiety?), nearly constant pelvic pain, especially when I am sitting. My hormones are for sure out of whack in a way they’ve never been before at this point post-baby, and that shows in acne, periods of greasy hair followed by periods of crazy hair loss, headaches with mood swings, all kinds of goodies.

Also, there is a one-inch-ish section under my belly button that is forever tingly. That’s just from surgery itself, but still.

After doing a ton of research I read a number again and again. 37% of women experience post-tubal ligation syndrome. 37%. THIRTY SEVEN PERCENT! That’s so high! And younger women have a much higher incidence rate of it and, well, I am younger women.

My symptoms point to potential future issues with castrative menopause, hormone shock, increased risk of heart disease, severe pelvic adhesions, bone loss/osteoporosis, and my reproductive organs sliding out of place and causing severe issues unless/until surgically moved. 

The surgeon who performed my surgery was strongly recommending a salpingectomy, which is the total removal of my fallopian tubes. I had already learned my lesson about trying to permanently alter God’s design of my body so wasn’t at all keen on that any ways, and then I looked into it and discovered it causes forced menopause (which I am far too young for) plus a myriad of other issues GUARANTEED, along with posing its own risks.

She eventually admitted that she doesn’t do tubal ligation reversals, which I assume is why she was pushing so hard for the one she does (I.E. can make money from) and I was really disappointed in her for that. I feel like she was not at all transparent with the surgery in the first place (you might remember that I hadn’t wanted any metal clips inside me and was really upset to find out they’d been used) and definitely don’t think she was transparent today, either.

She also told me very few doctors will actually reverse a tubal ligation and that I’ll have to go out of state for that, but then I found online that a board-certified surgeon literally five minutes away from her practice in the next town over does it!!

I have a lot of research to do but I desperately wish I had never had the tubal ligation done and I just wanted to share the process here in case anyone is on the fence about having one of their own. I so strongly recommend against it!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Happy griefday to you.

Today is my cousin Barbara’s birthday and, as I am scheduling this post in advance, I have no idea how I’ll be taking it. I hope in stride. I also know myself and know that I’ve struggled through her death a lot more than I expected to so there are definitely not any guarantees.

If you see this, please pray for comfort for everyone who misses her. She was very loved and is very desperately missed by her parents, sister, husband, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, patients, co-workers…

There are times I feel so strangely sad about how little an impact we all really have on the world in the grand scheme of things… but seeing how many people love and miss Barbara, and seeing all the Romans 8:28 that’s come from her passing, has shown me that we make far more of an impact than we ever truly know. It’s a good reminder to make our time here count. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Christmas Devotionals

I greatly enjoy reading a different Christmas book with my children each night from Deccember 1st through Christmas. We read secular favorites during the day but at bedtime we end the night with a spiritually-focused Christmas favorite.

I started thinking last year about Christmas novels. I myself like a good Christmas novel these days and I love the idea of a longer Christmas read-aloud as the kids get older. I remember liking a Christmas Saddle Club book one year and loving all my American Girl Christmas stories too (Addie’s being my favorite by a landslide).

Those, plus The Family under theBridge and The Light at Tern Rock, are the only Christmasy children’s novels I can think of at the moment. I’m sure there are others and I look forward to finding them over the next few years.

I just had the pleasure of reviewing an advent family devotional, Prepare Him Room, by Marty Machowski, which happened to have a Christmas story worked into it.

The story was broken up into four chapters spread out through the course of the devotional. I won’t give away all the details but it was about an orphanage and I really liked it.

As for the rest of the devotional… I want to be completely honest. I liked the messages but it was far too hands-on for me. Not only am I not a naturally hands-on person, I’m also really busy at Christmas. I work hard to not just be busy with cards and parties… I mean that I’m also already really busy doing advent activities with my kids. Our own traditions are hard enough to keep up with so I could tell there was just no way I’d be able to keep up with the crafts and activities listed in the book, at least in this mostly-toddlers season of my life. The crafts and activities do all seem fun though, so I think we’ll do some and I’ll just have to flip through in advance each week to decide what I’ll have time for and prepare for that.

There were also songs included in the devotional. I’m not super musical but my husband is and I do think he will really like that aspect.

If you’re interested in a good family devotional this Christmas, I definitely recommend Prepare Him Room!

* I received a free copy of Prepare Him Room from New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 9, 2018

George Strait

They call him the king and it's easy to see why.

Yesterday I saw a couple dressed as rednecks for Halloween. She even had her bangs wrapped around a beer can as a curler. Someone complimented their costume and the man replied, "There ain't a song George Strait's written that hasn't changed my life."

They laughed, and I smirked a little because the way he said it really was hilarious.

But then I started thinking.

Would I say that George Strait's music has changed my life? No, I don't think so. But have many of his songs intertwined themselves with my memories? Definitely.

My aunt Tammy came to visit from Texas and brought with her a George Strait Christmas CD. I remember sitting in the car with her while my mom got us all hot chocolates, learning all the words to There's a New Kid in Town and enjoying old favorites like Up on the Housetop.

Ocean Front Property was one of my little-kid favorites, simply because I grew up in Arizona.
We went on a river trip while we were living in Wyoming and the guide asked us about where we were from. He was shocked when Ryan talked about the snowfall and explained our elevation.
"I always imagined Phoenix would be really hot," the guide said.
"Well, Phoenix is really hot. It's at sea level."
"I didn't know Arizona had an ocean!"
"No, no, George Strait," Ryan said. Sea level."

My dad worked out of town all week and my mom's eyes would fill up with tears when she heard Carrying Your Love with Me.

My wedding had been over for a few weeks when Love Without End, Amen came on and I cried, wishing with all my heart I'd used that as my father-daughter dance since my dad and I had spent many moments riding around in his truck and singing it together.

Ryan burst through the door and wrapped his arms around me, a hug from behind while I stood at the stove stirring chili. His big hands rested on my ever-growing belly and he said, "I just heard that George Strait song, I Saw God Today, and it gave me the chills. We're gonna be parents."

My mom stood at the couch folding laundry and the music video for Check Yes or No came on. I wondered if my husband was one of the little boys I already knew. "You probably haven't met him yet," Mom said. I wondered who he might be.

My friend Jessi and I sat in her truck to stay warm before the doors were unlocked to let us in at work, singing along to Cowboys Like Us. She told me how she met her boyfriend: she went to a local show and was so into the guy playing Fireman that she found him after the show. They had been a couple ever since. 

I'm pregnant with another baby and Ryan plays I Got a Car. Tears pour out of my eyes and we both laugh at me. I can't handle my own emotions anymore.

It was just a month or so after my friend Derek died and Troubador came on in the youth group van. We all went inside for our ice cream but I went to the bathroom and cried instead, wondered if I'd ever feel okay again, wondered why he couldn't just have been there singing it with us.

We stood in line at the waterpark Schlitterbahn and All My Exes Live in Texas came on over the loudspeaker. "Hey," I told my mom loudly. "All your exes really do live in Texas!"

We were on a weekend getaway, exploring new-to-us downtown streets, when one of the street corner musicians started playing Give it All We Got Tonight. An older couple started dancing and my eyes teared up because that could be us, someday dancing on a downtown street corner because we like the song and we love each other and we just don't care if dancing on a street corner is silly.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Baby's First Heartbreak

My family is a hair displaced right now. We are staying in a borrowed travel trailer directly in front of our home because our home is just not livable right now.

This is fine. I mean, the other day I definitely cried a little because I was so sick of one aspect of the whole thing but in general, it’s fine. Great, even. We are home even though we can’t be home. We can just walk out the front door of the trailer to handle house stuff.

My older two kids are fine. They’re very adaptable. The baby doesn’t really care where we are as long as I'm there. My third baby, my sweet two-year-old, is having a rough time. She cries every single day and tells me, “I just want to go home!” Every day I remind her that this house is our home now and we’re just in the trailer until the house is ready… but every day she cries and says it any ways.

Yesterday she told me, “I just want to go home! I miss my quilt blankie and my bed and my other blankie!”

So I cuddled her and told her it’s okay to feel sad. I reminded her again that this is our new home and I assured her we’ll have her quilt blankie unpacked and on her bed as soon as the house is ready… but she leaned her little head into my neck and cried for another ten minutes.

She is crazy upset and there is really nothing I can do to fix it. Staying put isn’t helping. Moving into a hotel would certainly be more comfortable but would not be home. We can’t afford to rent a temporary apartment, and it’d just end with her being uprooted again in a month or two even if we could. And we certainly can’t go backwards.

She is heartbroken and I can’t fix it. I can’t help but feel helpless and desperate when I realize that this is the first heartache of many and the ones up ahead will be far worse than this one. I have four children with four tender hearts and it feels like too much to bear to imagine a lifetime full of their heartaches. All I can do is pray for peace, and remember I also get a lifetime full of their smiles.