5 Reasons why having a Hysterectomy was a Good Thing

Champagne

Early this summer I had to go in for urgent surgery, a hysterectomy. Here is why it was the best thing for me.

Family History

For once, my family history made me a priority when my periods became erratic. I have suffered from endometriosis since I was a teen. It slowed down during my two pregnancies. Last Christmas it picked up speed painfully. It got to the point I wasn’t able to leave the house or be a present mom.

What They Found

After waiting for the best OBGYN in town for months, she sent me for test. Thankfully, I got in quickly. At that time, several fibroid tumors and one polyp was found in my uterus. Surgery was scheduled 5 weeks from the original testing date. There was no time to waste. A partial hysterectomy was scheduled quickly. (Uterus and tubes removed, ovaries were clear.)  My body took a turn for the worst fast.

Baby Factory Closed

Due to the endometriosis, I never expected to be pregnant once, let alone twice. Three doctors told me I could not conceive naturally. After meeting my girls and seeing my youngest go through her challenges with autism, my baby factory is closed. I am at peace with that. If I ever feel a baby urge, I can visit one of my friends’ newborns.

NO.MORE.PERIODS

No more late-night grocery store trips when I run out of pads. No more impossible-to-handle cramps when my girls need me. No more forgetting to stock my purse every week in case I am out when ‘Aunt Flo’ arrived.

I am here!

Because of my high-cancer risk due to a genetic disorder I have for ovarian and endometrial cancer, having the surgery reduced my risk dramatically. I am older than my mom lived. History has not repeated itself. I won’t let it. Apparently my body agrees.

I turn 40 on October 10th this year. I cannot think of a better birthday gift than being alive for my family and me.

A Confession Letter: #autism

A Confession Letter: #autism

After her first week in public school, I felt the urge to write this letter.

Dear Teacher and Other Parents,

Do you see the mom standing off to the side from the other parents at school pick-up?

Chances are she just has nothing in common to say to you.

Read more of my letter here that was posted on BC Partners in Education.

????????

Labour Day of the Heart: #IVF

Labour Day of the Heart: #IVF

School Supplies

Labour day means so many things to different people. It began as a day off for front-line workers. It merged into the last long weekend of the summer before kids started school. To spend lazy afternoons camping with the kids or having friends over for a BBQ is the norm these days. When I think of kids I think of the birthing day (aka THE Labour Day.) When you become pregnant, the Birthing/Labour day is the finish line. For some women, they just want to start the journey to motherhood.
Back-To-School campaigns can make some people sad. They cry on Labour Day. As kids go back to school, government returns to session. Now that the election is completed, I wonder if the government is considering in adding to the health care policy to include funding for IVF treatments.
Currently, many women transfer multiple embryos during IVF, in hopes that one will grow into a baby. Often, twins, triplets and quads end up with families that were trying to just have one baby. Multiple births can be costly over the lifetime of the children and the mother. There are many maternal health risks and health care challenges for multiples, like lifetime illnesses, disabilities and more.

As it says in this article: it can help all of us as taxpayers.There are many people trying to help moms be moms by supporting the initiative to have IVF publicly funded for them. If you are suffering from infertility, check out the site for information and support.

As I pack up for my own young daughters to get ready for school, I see how Labour Day can be hard for many women wanting to be in my shoes. I hope our province can join the many other places like Quebec and Australia who help families be born.

Do you know anyone who is suffering from infertility and trying to save up for treatments? Are they foregoing many things to help fund it? Please send them here for more information.

Back to School can mean back to Families First in this Province this fall.

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion on this blog is my own.

By the Time You Read This…

By the Time You Read This…

Hospital Sign

The birds start chirping before I realize that the morning is about to begin. I have no idea how long I have been awake, or if I slept at all. This day has been months, if not years in the making. I do not need to put my glasses on to know it is too early for me to shower. Thank goodness. My heart and head are still trying to process the itinerary for today.

I will be staring at four, pale pastel walls. Either I’ll be having a long nap or waiting to go in the operating room. Right now, I am in limbo to find out if it’s my turn with the cancer card. I’ve avoided it for 39 years now. As I said here in Erica Ehm’s post, I made time for me, so I can be here for my girls. Weeks ago an ultrasound gave concrete proof that my body has been fighting fibroids. More tumours are trying to reside here.

Because of my cancer history the doctors are not waiting to biopsy. My uterus, and possible more parts, has been given their eviction notice. I do see the rational side of the procedure and there will be relief to have it all gone. No more debilitating cycles that has robbed me of time to have fun with my family. I may be 39 years old but, I want my mommy! I want her to tell me all those reassuring ‘mom-isms’. I need her to tell me the magic words, “It will be okay.” I am scared.

I hear the birds starting their morning song. I take a deep from-my-toes cleansing breath, and place my brave face on to kiss my husband good morning. I repeat again and again that everything will be okay as I take my pre-op shower. History will not repeat itself. It cannot.

As I recover from whatever results in today, this site will show a variety of new and archived posts. By the time you read this, .. let’s be real, I will be dreaming of a glass of chardonnay. xo

Childless Fathers Count #ivf4bc

A Dad's Dream

“ So when is it going to be your turn?” Jim tells me his most hated posed question why he and Cathy do not have kids. Then, they will turn around  and say ‘Next year it will happen.’

Jim and Cathy met through a blind date and were married two years later. They scrimped and saved to buy their dream house to fill with kids. Both had great and well-paying jobs. They went on vacations and weekend getaways as they knew it would decrease when kids arrived. They prepared the house, and enjoyed the last moments of their alone time together.

Like any couple who planned to have kids, they actively pursued getting pregnant. Cathy took meticulous notes on the calendar, positive that they would have a child in no time. It did not happen.

When they began to tell family the truth about not being able to get pregnant, everyone focused on Cathy, making sure that she was okay. No one offered Jim a shoulder, let alone an ear.

“I felt like it was my fault.” He admits.

There is a lot of information out there about female infertility, but very little about male. It could be a stigma, but regardless it is very real: Male infertility has many causes–from hormonal imbalances, to physical problems, to psychological and/or behavioral problems.  More so, fertility reflects a man’s overall health.  The following list highlights some lifestyle choices that negatively impact male fertility: 
smoking which significantly decreases both sperm count and sperm cell motility, prolonged use of marijuana and other recreational drugs, alcohol abuse, inadequate Vitamin C and Zinc, tight underwear, exposure to environmental hazards and toxins such as pesticides, lead, radiation, and excessive stress. Yet, men can live in healthy environments and lead healthy lifestyles and experience infertility.

Many couples cannot conceive without help. The cost of one round of IVF can be as high as $10,000  to $13,000, with fertility medications included. As a result, many couples desperate to conceive remortgage houses just to pay for the procedure. Couples will risk maternal health by transferring multiple embryos in an effort to make the most of their investment. This is a risky practice that often results in extremely high health care costs and multiple births. While twins and triplets are adorable, they carry greater lifetime health costs, and are often born premature. Many groups throughout Canada are strenuously advocating for public health care to cover the cost of IVF where it is the suggested course of treatment. IAAC – the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada recommends that three rounds of IVF be covered through provincial health care funding with single embryo transfer (SET) as the standard.
An IAAC survey recently indicated as many as 73% of British Columbians believe the province should adopt public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF), similar to the policy in Quebec. In 2010, Quebec became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to IVF through a policy that covers the cost of treatment and mandates single embryo transfer. This policy has led to a reduction in multiple pregnancies from approximately 30 % to well under 10%, resulting in better health outcomes for mother and baby, and an estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year since the program’s inception.

I thanked Jim for his time to chat. He brought up a very common feeling in many men who want to be dads. Like moms who just want to be moms, childless dads count.

IVF4BC

What to Say and Not to an Autism Warrior Parent

What to Say and Not to an Autism Warrior Parent

I know I should have thicker skin when it comes to snide remarks. I know I should let it roll off my back. I know I shall expect it again. It makes my brain go into what people should say. They are:

5 things Not to Say to an Autism Parent

  1. Everything happens for a reason.
  2. At least the child is healthy.
  3. That must be tough.
  4. Can’t you control your kid? ( or the nasty glances.)
  5. I don’t know how you do it.
  6. This kid is born to you because you are strong and can handle it all.

5 things to say to an Autism Parent

  1. How are you?
  2. Can I babysit sometime?
  3. Your kid is wonderful/smart/delightful.
  4. The world is a better place with your kid in it.
  5. _______________________________________

I wish to put this on a laminated card to hand out when people approach me . I wonder what the fifth thing that should be on that list.

What would you say to a parent with a child on the spectrum that is positive?

Home alone and being domestic.

Home alone and being domestic.

I run through house and take the stairs two by two. Dropping my purse on the kitchen table, I turn to the the kitchen sink.
I load the sink to wash the lunch dishes. As it fills, I run back down the stairs to the laundry room to switch a load from washer to dryer.
I wash and rinse the dishes in a flurry and place to dry. My thoughts run everywhere as I stare out the window. I see a mom crossing the street with her child in a stroller.
I am flooded with memories of the past few years. I recall back then when I wondered how I would I feel when both of my girls would be in school. It is been two years since my youngest was in the stroller. I remember that ‘burden’ of trying to get everything done with the kids in tow. It is at that moment I realize how the silence of the house engulfed me.
I laugh. It is the moment that both kids are in school, I dreamt of this moment back in the stroller days, and what do I do? Housework. I swore in the past I would spend the first few quiet hours doing something for me. I put on the kettle to make tea. Once it’s brewed, I head through the kitchen and walk into the living room. I grab the remote and sit down. Putting my feet up, I turn on the TV to watch something for me.

MH900423099Bliss.

What would you do with a free morning?