Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My appt with Dr.KK

Last week, we flew to Chicago for my appt with Dr. K.wa.k-Ki.m. I had been praying that I would miraculously fall pregnant and wouldn't need to make the trip. However, God had different plans for me. It's been 6 months since my last miscarriage and I knew I had to do something to get pregnant and stay pregnant, and so I decided to keep the appt. I had been following the RI Yahoo Group for a while and so I had a vague idea what to expect for the appointment.

We reached her office at 8:30 in the morning and without any delay, they called me in for bloodwork. They took 22 vials of blood for all the RI tests I have never heard of. I was supposed to drink 32 oz water to have a full bladder for the ultrasound. I think I overdid that and I badly wanted to use the restroom. Thankfully, the sonographer didn't keep me waiting for long. She was the sweetest & kindest person I have ever met. I felt totally at ease with her. I was on P+15 and I had already tested to confirm that I wasn't pregnant. Ever since I began Metformin, my cycles have become more regular 28-29 days. Last cycle, I had 4-5 days of mucus and had my Peak around Day 13. I even had a confirmed rise in BBT and so I went ahead and took Progesterone. Since, I was on P+15, I expected my period to begin any minute and hoped that it wouldn't until the appointment was over.

During the ultrasound, she kept telling me that she couldn't find a Corpus Luteum which she normally finds in patients who have ovulated even if they are about to begin their next cycle. She could see layers in the endometrium which is normally not seen after ovulation. It either meant I didn't ovulate or I had a wimpy follicle and the corpus luteum died out too soon. My emotions were all over the place. So much for the mucus buildup and the rise in BBT! She found tiny cysts on both my ovaries and asked me if I had been on Clomid or Femara. I was on Femara for 3 unmonitored cycles and had stopped taking it from July. Either those could be leftover cysts from the Stimulated Cycles or it would mean that my ovaries were polycystic. I almost lost it and was on the verge of tears but I managed to put on a brave face. She checked the blood flow to my uterus and ovaries and it was something around .62 when it should have been around .4. My right ovary had poor blood flow and my left ovary seemed more dominant. That explained why I ovulated on my Left Side on Clomid cycles. I am not worried about that because my left side is the side I have my Fallopian Tube. I asked her if she could see any Endo and she said she didn't see any. Of course tiny Endo cells wouldn't be visible but otherwise, things looked good on the structural front. I also had a very detailed Thyroid Ultrasound and though one side looked a bit abnormal she didn't find anything significant.

After the ultrasound, the Nurse Practitioner discussed my Medial History and I had a Breast Examination. Next, we met with Dr. KK and she explained that my ovaries looked polycystic and the need to go on a Low Carb Diet. She asked me to lose 10 lbs to help with ovulation. Since I was diagnosed with Insulin Resitance by my NaPro doctor, she said it could be causing Poor Ovulation & Immature Follicles resulting in Implantation Failures. Also, I would need to take Lovenox shots to improve Bloodflow to the Uterus. I will have a phone appt with her once she has the results form the bloodwork. She was very realistic and didn't give me any false hopes. I asked her if I should get a Lap done to check for Endo or adhesions but she said that it wasn't needed as of now.

I have been having mixed emotions after the appt. All this while, I thought I was ovulating every cycle but it looks like I wasn't. If I am not ovulating regularly, it means my chances of conceiving are reduced which is the reason why I am sub-fertile. First and foremost, my body needs to have a healthy ovulation. Only then can I hope for a pregnancy. My NaPro doctor (who specializes in PCOS) & other doctors never found Polycystic Ovaries inspite of numerous ultrasounds. I am sure my Polycystic Ovaries and Insulin Resistance are all linked. I feel stupid for getting my hopes high each cycle thinking that I would be pregnant when I didn't even know if I ovulated or not. After each NaPro appt, I would get my hopes high thinking that Progesterone, Thyroid meds, Femara, Vitamin D or Metformin is going to help me. This appt reminded me that I was not in control and that God was the one who was in control. Even if I wanted to be pregnant, I couldn't do it as I wished. What do I do to have a healthy ovulation? I tried Clomid and still miscarried. I wish I had answers.

I am also waiting for my surgery date with PPVI. They have a long waiting time and the nurse told me that it would be atleast 4-5 months before I have a date. Meanwhile, I would need to ship my blood for the hormone panel. Now, I don't know if I want to go for the surgery since Dr. KK doesn't recommend it. How I wish life would have been easier.

My new cycle began on P+18 and I just had 3 days of light bleeding when I normally have 5 days of medium to heavy bleeding. Does it mean that I had a poor lining buildup because of poor ovulation? Since I took progesterone without ovulation, is that the reason for the light bleeding? I am freaking out over here. Do you gals have any idea what would happen if I took Progesterone before ovulation?

Monday, August 20, 2012

All about August

The month of August is special to me. It is the month of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary! Four years ago, my life changed in a big way on August 19th. I lost my first baby to an ectopic pregnancy and the memories are so fresh, etched into my mind.

We were newly married and enjoying the initial stages of married life. Since my hubby was working here in the US, I left my job in India and moved with him. While attending the pre-marriage classes, we had learnt that contraception was a sin. We used NFP (Billings Method) for postponing pregnancy. It was the end of July and I was supposed to get my period. Well, I don't have perfect 28 day cycles, anywhere between 30-35 days. So, I wasn't worried when I didn't get my period for a few days. I began asking myself if I could be pregnant. What if NFP had failed?? I would be so embarrassed. It would mean that NFP didn't work!

I shared my concerns with Hubby and he was pretty cool about everything. I admire him for that. I was only 25 and so naive. I spoke to my friend and she suggested getting a Home Pregnancy Test from a Drug Store. I finally gathered my courage and decided to give it a try. For the first time in my life, I picked an HPT from a shelf and hurried to the counter. I felt embarrassed as I checked out and felt the whole world was watching me. We went home and I was a nervous wreck. Anyway, while my husband looked at the timer, I tested and was relieved to see that the test was negative.

The very next day, I began feeling different from my usual self. I had happily told my friend about the negative HPT. Soon after, I began feeling tired. I took a nap in the afternoon. The following days, I realized I was using the bathroom a lot and unusually hungry. After four days, on a Sunday morning, I woke up to brown spotting and was happy that the long awaited AF had arrived. Well, I was wrong! The spotting/light bleeding continued for 3-6 days, but it never changed to a full fledged period. I began getting worried and googled about spotting and I found "Implantation Spotting". I was worried if it was implantation and that I had tested too early. I called my cousin and she confirmed it was my Period and not Implantation Bleeding. Implantation Spotting was only for a day. I stopped spotting but I was unusually tired and bloated. My symptoms seemed to get worse. I noticed I had put on weight within a few weeks. Maybe it was all the junk food we were eating.

We had scheduled a trip to DH's uncle's house in TX.  I tried to keep myself busy with preparations for the trip. We went and stayed there for a few days and returned home on the 19th of August. While the flight was landing, I felt a strange pressure in my abdomen as if something had burst inside. I tried ignoring the pain, came home and slept as I was too tired. When I woke up in the afternoon, I felt a sharp shooting pain on the right side of my abdomen. The pain continued to increase and when hubby returned home from work, I told him and he began to get worried. When I went to the bathroom, I found out that I was bleeding severely with heavy black clots and felt dizzy. How could this be? I just had my period 2 weeks ago. This couldn't be my period. It had to be something else! The pain became unbearable and I realized I needed to see a doc.

I didn't have a primary doctor since we were fairly new to the US. It was around 10 pm when we found a nearby hospital and went to the ER. I was curled into a ball and started throwing up. We waited for hours and hours until they finally decided to call us in. They ran a few tests and told me that I was pregnant and looked like I was miscarrying. After numerous tests and an ultrasound, they diagnosed the Ectopic Pregnancy and told us that my Fallopian tube had ruptured and I needed an emergency surgery. Knowing that you are pregnant and losing your baby at the same time is as horrible as it can get. I was bleeding severely and was having difficulty keeping my eyes open. My mind had stopped working. I hugged DH and cried as we waited for the on call surgeon. We prayed the rosary together as tears fell from our eyes. We were miles away from our family and all I wanted was to see my Mom. At some point, I thought I was going to die because of the severe pain. Amidst all the pain, fear overtook me and death seemed so real. I prayed to the Lord to spare my life & allow me to live with my husband for a while. Probably, the most sincere prayer I had ever prayed until then.

The surgeon explained to us what an ectopic was and why I needed a surgery since my tube had ruptured while DH kept requesting him to save the baby. I had read somewhere that they could transplant the embryo to the uterus and I thought they would be able to do that. I was so naive. I went in for surgery not knowing if I would ever wake up. My heart broke as I said goodbye to DH. All I wanted was to fall asleep. I woke up a few hours later and remember asking for DH. I was so happy when I saw him. I was asleep for most of the next day and my thoughts were incoherent. They had to remove my right tube because of the damage and they didn't even acknowledge my baby instead kept referring to it as pregnancy tissue. I bled for 2 weeks after the surgery and passed golf ball sized clots. DH took good care of me while I recovered. It was the most difficult time we faced all by ourselves without family near us. But God strengthened us in a special way and our marriage grew stronger. Looking back, I know God was merciful and spared my life. I don't know what would have happened if we had been late going to the ER. I went for the surgery without going for 'Confession' or receiving 'Anointing of the Sick'. God spared my soul and now I know how important it is to be in a state of grace because you never know what will happen.

Four years later, my nephew has been baptized on the same day I lost my first baby, making the day all the more special for us. We always pray for our dear baby whom we never got to see. Sometimes, my heart breaks because we weren't able to baptize our baby. The Lord is merciful and we pray that he/she is with Jesus and our Blessed Mother.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pls pray for a Priest

I have a special request for all of you, to pray for this Catholic Priest Fr. J. I don't know where to start or what to write but I will try my best.

We spent last Sunday with a priest visiting us from India. Fr. J spoke the harshest words I have ever heard about the Catholic Church and the Holy Father. On two or three occasions he mentioned that he and several of his priest friends hated the Holy Father and that they were all praying for his early death (we haven't recovered from it yet) all because the Holy Father authorized the new translation, Tridentine Mass, and reconciliation efforts with SSPX.

In addition he denied that Jesus established a Church, he claimed that Constantine made the Church Roman, denied papal infallibility and compared the Holy Father to Martin Luther and Hitler, as being the third German who is bringing misery to the Church. He denied many doctrines of the Church and the need to genuflect before the tabernacle claiming we are not slaves of God. This is a parish priest of a very large diocese in southern India. There are a lot of other things he spoke, which I do not want to write about. 

All this happened in front of three poorly catechized families. My husband tried to defend the Holy Father as much as he could but we didn't want to be irreverent to a Priest. In retrospect, I feel we should have spoken more to defend our faith. I wish I could have defended our faith like Leila and Joanna but this was the last thing we expected from a priest who had celebrated 5 masses that Sunday.  My husband and I are in shock and have no idea what to do or how to undo the damage on those other families who were being brainwashed by this priest. 

The sad thing is that there are so many priests in many countries who think likewise and they are slowly moving people away from the Church. It is no wonder that Catholics in India have no idea about the teachings of the Catholic Church. Almost all Indian Catholics follow the 2-child policy and shamelessly practice contraception and sterilization. Unless there is a revival of true Catholic Faith among Priests, people are going to move away from the Church.

Please pray for Fr J and the sanctification of all priests. And also for these three families. Thank You!

Mother Mary, please pray for our clergy!
St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Vianney, St. Ignatius Loyola, all the angels and saints, please intercede for our priests!