Friday, December 9, 2011

I Feel Like A Fraud

I suppose I have a little bit of catching up to do.

On 11/18 I had my annual visit to the Gynecologist, though it had been closer to 18 months since I'd been.  It was before I started seeing the RE, and then the Bariatric Center, and well before surgery.

My Gynecologist (Dr. H) is as awesome.  She's thorough, easy to talk to, and very nice.  We talked about my surgery, the fact that I still hadn't had a period, etc.  She inquired about birth control, mentioning that fertility can come on suddenly after a lot of weight loss.  I told her that I had discussed it with the Bariatric doctor and my family, and we decided that the higher risk of blood clots wasn't worth it.  She disagreed, and we discussed the mini pill (which is progesterone only), which she eventually prescribed for me, and I am now taking.  I'm not thrilled about it, obviously, but it really is what's best for me, as getting enough nutrition to support a pregnancy (however unlikely it would be) would definitely be a problem for me only 5 months post-op, and so on.

We had also discussed a round of Prov.era to see if we could induce a period, but decided against it in favor of getting me on birth control right away.  Lo and behold, on the day of my 7th bc pill, my period started.  I am not positive that the two things are related, as normally it would be triggered when progesterone drops off, rather than being increased, but it seems like too much of a coincidence.

During the blood clot risk discussion, Dr. H inquired about my family history.  I told her that my younger sister, after having surgery to remove scar tissue from her ankle, developed a blood clot in the calf of her other leg.  At the time, I wasn't sure of the cause.  I have since spoken with my sister, who recalls that they did run some tests on her, and found out that she does have some sort of genetic predisposition to developing clots.  This is, of course, a concern for me as well.  Dr. H suggested that she refer me to a Perinatologist, so that I could perhaps get a work-up before the time comes to start trying to get pregnant.  If we can knock out as many hurdles as we can before we start really trying, the better it will be.  I hope.

My appointment is set for 12/28.  I'm not really sure what to expect.  I'm going to feel weird going to see a high risk pregnancy doctor without a pregnancy.  I find that throughout this whole process, a lot of things make me feel like a fraud.  Being in a 1x top makes me feel like a fraud.  Browsing in the normal people section of a clothing store makes me feel like a fraud.  Taking birth control pills makes me feel like a fraud.  And now, going to a Perinatologist REALLY makes me feel like a fraud.

I would really appreciate some thoughts and comments on this one, even if it's just to say that you don't have anything to really add.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Aunt Flo Has Landed

Aunt Flo has landed!

Who'd have thought that I'd be excited about such a thing?!

I tell ya, though, I did not miss these cramps!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Three Months

Well, technically three months and 6 days, but yesterday was my three-month post-op appointment with the doctor.  I'm doing really well!  I got scolded a little bit for not exercising as much as I should, but I'm a super busy girl with class and everything, and I'm doing the best that I can!

I've lost TWELVE INCHES in my waist!  Can you believe that!  A whole foot!  The receptionist even called me "teeny tiny".  I know I'm not quiet there yet, but it was really nice to be gushed over.

I totally forgot to ask about my cycle, which is so weird since it's on my mind so frequently.  I guess a part of my brain knows that it will happen when it happens.  I don't go back again until 6 months post-op, at which point they'll re-test my blood for all of the goodies like cholesterol and vitamin levels and whatnot.  I have a feeling that there is going to be a significant improvement all around!

Thank you so much for your comments this week, it's very encouraging!

Monday, October 24, 2011

October ICLW

Hello ICLWers!

I do so love comments!  To learn a little more about me, check out one or both of the links at the top of the page, and/or check out the previous post, "Tidbits".

I'm looking forward to checking out all of your blogs!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


As we get ready to roll into another ICLW, I am reminded that I am a terrible blogger.

The fact is that there really just isn't much very exciting going on with me.  I'm down a total of 115 lbs, which puts me below the 200 lb mark for the first time since my early/mid teens.  I should be thrilled about that, and I'm happy, don't get me wrong, but I still have yet to see my body start functioning normally.  It's very frustrating.  My 3 month post-op appointment is next week.  I may ask my doctor if we should try jump-starting me again with some provera or something.

My Phlebotomy class is going well, and  I'm enjoying it.  By the end of the day on December 22nd, I will be a nationally certified phlebotomist.  I've already started hunting for a new job.  My current job is driving me absolutely crazy, and that's before I factor in the 55-mile one-way commute.  Ugh!

Our 1st wedding anniversary is coming up this Sunday.  I have to work this weekend, so we went out of town on a little trip last weekend.  Not too far away, just far enough to be different, and we went to a few wineries and did a few tastings.  It was really nice.  I missed my puppies by the end of the weekend, though.

Someone on my facebook friends list, with whom I'm not really close enough to to approach about the motivation of this share, posted this link to "The Truth About Trying", which is this amazing series of videos.  I hope you'll check it out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thank You!

I'd like to say a quick thank you to everyone who stopped by, commented, and have started following my humble little blog.  I am so glad to have you along for the ride!

If at anytime you have questions you would like to ask, or topics you would like to see me post about, please feel free to drop me a line!

I'm in the midst of one of my long stretches at work.  I work every other weekend, so I work 7 days, off 2, work 3 days, off 2.  I get pretty tired right about this time, especially now that I've added 6 hours worth of classes every week.  I am still enjoying my class, though!

My first anniversary is coming up next month.  It falls on a Sunday, during a weekend that I have to work, so we're celebrating a week early, and going on a little winery tour.  Complete with a couple of nights in a nice-ish hotel.  I looked at B&Bs, but JP is a technojunkie, and has to have his high speed internet access.  It used to irritate me, but it's part of who he is, and I adore every inch of  him.  So much has happened over the last year that it seems like it has been a long time, but in others ways it has absolutely flown by.

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September ICLW!

Welcome ICLWers!

I'm not the most dedicated or knowledgeable blogger out there, so I don't have a nifty "about me" page or anything like that.  I'm Jamie, I'm 31, married to my best friend JP (37, no male factor).  Last year we went through 3 failed IUIs which came after approximately 4 years of no BC, and no periods.  While my RE never attributed my troubles to my weight, I'm a smart enough girl to know that it, and my PCOS, are the source of my problems.  In February I went for my initial consultation at the Bariatric Center and began changing my habits, and on July 20th of this year I had RNY Gastric Bypass surgery.  In total I have lost 106 pounds, but I still have many more to go.  My cycle still has not made an appearance, which scares the crap out of me.

Wow, talk about a TMI introduction!  We're all used to that by now, right?

It is advised that I wait 12 to 18 months after surgery to start trying again, which is what I plan to do (as if I might have any other choice).  Then I suspect it will be back to the RE.  In the meantime I try to concentrate on continuing to be as healthy as I can be.

I know a lot of people are curious about the surgery, my diet, and many other things that I can't think of at the moment.  Feel free to ask me questions!  I'm looking forward to visiting your blogs!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm a Bad Blogger

I think I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that I am just not a very good blogger.  Maybe my life is just too boring to warrant frequent posts.

I've been weighing in every other day.  I stalled out for about a week after I hit 100 lost, but I've finally lost another 2/3 lbs.  I'm going through clothes sizes so quickly that I'm having a hard time keeping up.  I've been wearing a belt so that I'm not spending all kinds of money on new clothes, but I HATE wearing a belt.  They just aren't comfortable.  Pretty soon I'll need to do a purge of my closet, so I'm not tempted to wear clothes that just do not look flattering on me anymore.

I started my class last week.  I can't remember if I've blogged about it yet or not.  Several months ago I decided that if I hadn't had any luck finding a job closer to home by August, that I was going to enroll in a Phlebotomy course.  When I started college right out of high school, I wanted to go in to the medical field.  Initially, it was nursing, but it morphed in to medical technology or microbiology.  4 years of college at that age just didn't seem to be in the cards for me, so I never finished.  Learning Phlebotomy should get my foot in the door somewhere and lead to being able to work in a lab, which is what I've always wanted to do.  It's Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30, and the location is an hour away from both work, and home.  It ends in December, at which time I'll take a test to be nationally certified.  There always seem to be openings for Phlebotomists, so I don't think I will have any trouble finding a job closer to home.  I'm really enjoying it so far.

Things at my store have been going pretty well, participation and event-wise.  We're still in limbo with the former owner and the new owner. The former owner still lives on the 2nd floor, and has managed to get continuances on his eviction hearings.  In the meantime the new owner doesn't seem to want to talk about a lease, or repairs, or our future there, or anything at all.  It's very stressful and frustrating, so I do my best to not dwell on it.  Whatever will be, will be.

Life just keeps on trucking along.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

These Ladies Said It Best

I, like so many other people on the interwebs, am irritated by the current breast cancer "awareness" BS that's been going around. Rather than try to form my own words, I'm going to let Elphaba, Mo, and Mel tell you about it.

Thank you, ladies.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I just did my Wii Fit body test, and I've hit the 100 mark!  I've lost 100 lbs!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Another one of the teenage regulars at my store has knocked up his 16 year old girlfriend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back To Work

Yesterday I hit the 4 week mark past surgery. I'm feeling pretty good. The pain is very minimal, and I've been advanced to soft foods! I can still only eat about 4 ounces at a time (that's only 2 tablespoons!). My first meal solid meal was a big ol' scallop and stir-fried veggies. Yum!

Today I'm back at work. I can't say that I'm happy to be here, but I AM happy to not be sitting around at home, bored and lonely. I do miss my puppies though, they were excellent company. The girls in my department got me a card and some pretty flowers. It's nice to know I was missed.

Things are going pretty well overall. I've lost a total of 92 lbs. I've been biking almost every day. Other aspects of life are pretty quiet, so there's nothing really to complain about. Last night I went to an orientation for a phlebotomy course. It's 15 weeks, 2 nights a week, an hour away from both work and home. I'm seriously considering it. While I don't at all dislike my job, in fact, I rather enjoy it, I can't handle the hour drive anymore, especially not on my small wages. A phlebotomy certificate would open up opportunities for me much closer to home. Not to mention that average starting wages are higher than what I currently make. I've got about a week to decide before I need to gather and submit the paperwork and tuition.

I hope you're all doing well. I'm going to start being better about reading and commenting.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Somewhat Lame Update

I'm still having a little bit of trouble bending and turning. I have to keep reminding myself to take it easy, and let other people help me. From the start, the most pain has always been near the middle left incision, which is the incision through which they did the most work.

I've been really glad to add canned meats and veggies to my diet. I love mixing Albacore tuna with roasted veggies or with hummus. Hummus comes in so many varieties, it's great for changing things up, and has a decent amount of protein!

I've had a little bit of trouble finding protein supplements that I enjoy. I ordered a sample pack of Syntrax Nectar flavors, as well as a couple of samples of Click. I haven't been too crazy about most of the Nectar flavors, but I've found that most things that are able to be mixed with milk are pretty decent. The Cappucino, Mint Cookie, and Strawberry flavors are pretty tasty when mixed with Light Vanilla soy milk. The Click flavors are also pretty good, though the protein content is lower.

I went for my first post-op bike ride today. I'm a little sore, but it mostly went really well. I'm looking forward to working my way up to longer rides.

Tomorrow is my 2nd follow-up appointment at the clinic. I'm not expecting any diet changes just yet.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Kind of Fail

So, for the first time since I started participating, I really failed at ICLW this month. I thought that, since I'd be recovering from surgery, I'd have plenty of time to browse blogs and comment. I promise to visit the blogs of those (very few) that commented.

In reality, I've been in more pain than I expected. I can't sit in one position for terribly long, so I haven't been on my computer as much as I thought. I also haven't been feeling much of a support system, outside of my husband and family, so in general I've kind of been avoiding people. Several of my so called "friends" haven't been hesitating to come to me with their own self-generated drama, without bothering to ask how I'm feeling. I only had six incisions and my digestive system rearranged, but please, feel free to unload your drama on me.

As a result, I've been seriously considering taking this big change as an opportunity to make some more big changes. I think I need to recognize relationships that stress me out more than they are beneficial to me. I need to recognize them, and then I need to start putting some distance between myself and those people. Life is too short to keep people close that take advantage, in one way or another.

There's a Phlebotomy class this fall that I want to take. It's two evenings a week (after work), for like three months. I know that a lot of people wouldn't be excited over the prospect of learning to stab people with needles and collect blood, but I've always have an interest in it. I'm hoping that it would lead to some lab work, which used to be what I really wanted to do with my life. I need to get away from a job that's an hour away. I'm tired of being away from home for nearly 12 hours a day. The class will temporarily increase that time, but I'm hoping that the end result will be worth it. There's an orientation in a few weeks, and I'm hoping to find out more about it, including what kind of job placement they might have.

As far as post-surgery news, I'm 9 days out, and still relatively sore. Most of my incisions are painless, but the one over my stomach has been a problem from the start. Owwie. My diet consists mostly of a scrambled egg mixed with a light spreadable cheese (I can finish about 2/3), or a combination of baby food vegetables, cottage cheese, and refried beans. As I need to get 60 grams of protein a day, I also throw in protein powder drinks. I've got a sample pack of Syntrax Nectar powders, and so far I've only liked about half of them. There's a pre-mixed and bottle brand that I like pretty well, Isopure. So far my biggest struggle has been getting 64 oz of fluid a day. I can't take a bigger drink than a sip, so it's really hard to get down as much as I need. There have been other struggles, but I'm not quite open enough to share them with the internet!

Monday is my first post-op appointment with my surgeon. I have a few things to cover with him, but I'm expecting it to go pretty well. I will update again afterward.

For those of you still actually paying attention, thank you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Made It!

I went in to surgery just about 26 hours ago. Yesterday was a little rough. I napped on and off through the day, and I'm on a "push the button" pain medicine delivery. Everything went perfectly. I've got 6 incisions that are small enough to be covered by a bandaid. The worst thing so far is the bouts of hiccups, which are agony on a girl that has just undergone surgery in her abdomen.

Today I'm feeling much better. I went down for my upper GI x-ray a couple of hours ago, and they said that everything looks great. I'll be in the hospital tonight and go home tomorrow.

For those stopping by from ICLW, welcome! Past ICLW posts should be pretty easy to find, and give you a run down of my journey to date.

I'm sorry that this is such a short post, but I'm not quite all here!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I feel like lately my life has been a row of giant hurdles. I can only see the one immediately in front of me, and I have a heck of a time getting to each one. In the middle is stress and long stretches of time.

Yesterday was the Sheriff's auction for the building that houses our shop. We'd known about it for a month or so. We did everything in our power to beg and borrow for funds to help us gather some money to make a bid. We spoke with the contractor that is owed the money (the cause for the sale). We were told that he had no interest in owning it, and would not be bidding. We held a yard sale for 4 days over the holiday weekend. We sold some of our (very few) valuable possessions on ebay. We borrowed money from friends. Our families were mostly unwilling to help.

Without getting in to it any deeper, we get there, nervous and scared out of our minds, with the measly amount of money we were able to scrounge, and a glimmer of hope that we would have no competition. The contractor bid high of the bat, and we didn't even get a chance to bid. He lied to us. We were/are devastated. We think that he is going to let us continue to rent for the time being, and do the necessary repairs to the building. Our overly optimistic hope is that he'll turn around and sell it to us for a reasonable amount, in the not to distant future, but I really have no idea. I didn't want to talk to him at the time.

I haven't been thinking about my surgery much. I've been continuing to diet and exercise, mostly. I hadn't made any of the purchases I needed to make, because we wanted to save every tiny scrap of money that we could. Now it's one day shy of 2 weeks away, and I don't have the energy to be nervous or excited. I suppose that's not a bad thing.

We did indulge in a little bit of retail therapy last night. I'm going to need a lot of liquid or chew-able supplements and medicines for a few weeks, so we got those. I bought a couple of cute nightgowns for the hospital stay. We also bought bicycles, and rode them the 2 miles home from WalMart. I hadn't been on a bicycle in at least 13 years, so it was a bit rough at first. I'm sore in interesting places, but its not too bad. I really enjoyed the ride, and am looking forward to taking more rides, and having a little bit of variety to my exercise options.

I guess that's all I've got right now. I'm sorry that this post is so fragmented. It's an accurate reflection of the state of my brain. <3

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Hello all! Those that aren't new, I hope you'll forgive me for my mostly copied/pasted entry.

This is my 4th ICLW, and I'm hoping to snag a few new readers, as well as some new and interesting blogs to read. I'm Jamie, I'm 31 years old, happily married to my best friend, JP, who is 36. We'd been ttc for 3+ years, though started at the RE at the end of last year. I have PCOS, no natural cycles or ovulation. After 3 failed IUIs, I decided that I was spinning my wheels until I could take off most of my weight. With the RE's blessing and encouragement, I've been going through preparations to have gastric bypass surgery.

I recently had my last appointment with the doctor at the bariatric center, and a couple of days later got the news that my insurance approved my surgery. I met with the surgeon on June 6th, and scheduled my surgery for July 20th. It's sneaking up on me all the time! I'm very nervous and excited. Weight loss total at this point is 64 lbs!

My hope is that12 months after surgery I'll be cleared to start ttc again. My fear is that we'll get to that point and find out that there's something else wrong.

I started this blog mostly to track my progress, keep myself in check, and hopefully find some support out there in interwebsland. I also wanted to share my story. Before I made the decision to go forward with this plan, I scoured the web for info on fertility after weight loss surgery, and came up with virtually nothing. Hopefully, now, girls out there like me will know what to expect.

Lately I haven't been posting as often as I'd like. In addition to each working full-time, we also own and operate a small gaming store in our evenings and weekends. We've been going through A LOT of drama with our landlord, our building being auctioned at Sheriff's sale, and trying to get together the means to buy it ourselves. It's not going well, and I've been very, very depressed about the whole thing. One way or another, the auction is July 6th, and it will be over. I'm so scared.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll stick around!

Two Songs and One Picture

I guess I have totally failed on doing this project in a timely manner.

I'm going to combine the last two and then get on with my obligatory ICLW post for this month.

Two Songs:

1. No Leaf Clover, by Metallica. My very favorite song. There's something about the combination of rock and roll and an orchestra that I just absolutely adore.

2. Konstantine, but Something Corporate. I walked down the aisle to a portion of this song. It is sooooo beautiful.

One Picture:

This is my favorite shot of my wedding party. It was taken in the building where we had our reception, which is a very old school house. JP and I look so different now that we've lost almost 100 lbs between us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

3 Films

I am so sorry that I have been so long in posting. I've been spending my free time reading my Surgery info manual, and the blog of a woman that had RNY surgery 5 years ago. I'm also make a lot of lists, as I have a lot that I need to do in the next 5 weeks.

In non-surgery related updates, we're very close to the purchase of the building we are renting that houses our store. So exciting! Osiris is recovering very well from his neutering, and both dogs are adjusting to each other really well. He has a few behavioral issues that still need some work, but we'll get there.

It has taken me far too long to get through this list!

Three films:

1. Harry Potter. Yes, all of them, though some are better than others. I am a serious Harry Potter nerd!

2. Lord of the Rings. Specifically, Return of the King. It is my most favorite movie.

3. V for Vendetta. Another fantastic movie that I can turn on and watch anytime.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Date Has Been Set!

Another milestone has been reached, another hurdle crossed. I met with the surgeon yesterday, and my surgery has been scheduled for July 20th.

The appointment itself was rather uninteresting. After weighing in (59 lbs lost!), I was taken back to the little conference room where JP and I were seated with another woman that is at the same point as I am. The surgeon showed us a brief PowerPoint presentation about the surgery specifics, all of which I already knew. Then we were escorted to separate rooms, to await talking one-on-one with the surgeon.

He went over my chart briefly, told me I was doing well, to keep doing what I was doing, and asked if I had any questions. I had prepared a few questions to ask. One was about the average recovery time. The surgery will be done with a laparoscopically, so therefore recovery times vary between 2 and 6 weeks. I'll be in the hospital for 2 full days and nights, released (if all is well) on the 3rd morning. I also asked about my medicines. They will have to be crushed for several weeks and mixed in with smooth food or liquids. Yuck. I'm going to look in to children's varieties for dissolvables and chewables.

I'm sure that I'll think of more questions over the next 6 weeks. I'll have a "class" with the dietitian sometime between now and then, in which we'll sample some protein powders and whatnot. Two days before surgery I'll go to the surgeons office to fill out and sign paperwork, complete my pre-admission to the hospital and etc. I'm a combination of very excited and rather nervous. My endoscopy a few weeks ago was the only time I've ever been sedated at any level, and I've never had any kind of surgery, never had a hospital stay.

My mom is planning to come down to stay with me in the hospital and a few days afterward. She lives about 5 hours away. That, combined with my own health, means that I need to do some heavy duty cleaning in my house, as well as finish the remodel on my 2nd bathroom. It needs done!

One of my main sources of nervousness right now is informing work that I will need to be off for 4 or so weeks. I've already talked to HR about it, who confirmed that I qualify for some short-term disability pay while I'm out. I haven't talked to my co-supervisor or my manager at all. They know that I've been going to lots of doctors appointments, but they don't know why. I also don't want to tell them exactly what the surgery is. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? The other supervisor is out until Monday, and he does all of the scheduling, so I don't see any point in talking to my manager before then. Nerves!

I'm not sure if I mentioned that I picked up my CPAP on Friday. So far I haven't been able to fall asleep with it on. I wear it and lay in bed, until I can't justify sitting awake any longer, and then I take it off. It's not uncomfortable, and the air blowing in my nose doesn't bother me, but I have trouble exhaling. I feel like I'm forcing all of my outward breath through a little straw. It's not comfortable, and I can't do anything other than concentrate on it, and therefore I can't fall asleep. I think I'm going to call them and try a different mask, which I hate to do, since it works in the other ways. Bleh.

After my meeting with the surgeon yesterday (and some yummy lunch), I had an appoint with an Allergist for the first time in 6 years or so. I've had allergy problems since my early teens. Congestion, itchy/red eyes, sneezing, and worst of all, red, blotchy, and very itchy hives. I have them constantly, year round. When I was younger, we kept them pretty well under control with medicines, but as I've gotten older and moved further south in the state, they've gotten worse, and the medicines just aren't cutting it anymore. So, for the 3rd time in my life, I had to sit through the very unpleasant experience that is allergy skin testing. Some of the spots are still visible and itchy today. The end result is slightly more meds, and I start allergy shots next week. Every Monday for a year. Joy. All in all, a very productive day.

I know you are all waiting in rapt suspense for the next installment of the numbers game, so I'll close with my Four Books.

1. Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling - all of them. I love these books, between reading and listening to audio, I've read them at least 5 times each. I can't wait for the last movie!

2. The Dark Tower series - Stephen King. Another spectacular series. Even if you don't care for King's other work, I suggest picking these up!

3. Angels and Demons - Dan Brown. I've read several of his books, and loved most of them, but this one was my favorite.

4. Wheel of Time series - Robert Jordan. This is what I'm currently listening to. They're pretty good. I'm on the 5th book.

I hope everyone has a great week! Please feel free to de-lurk and leave me some comments!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Five Foods and An Update

A brief update before I dive back in to the numbers game. We've been really lax with our daily weigh-ins. We usually hope on the Wii Fit every night and do a body test, which includes weight and BMI, but as hot as it's been in our house the last several days, it's really hard to work up the motivation after dinner and a walk. If I had to guess, though, I'd say I've lost another 2 or 3 lbs.

Tonight is my repeat sleep study, to be fitted with a CPAP machine. Ugh. I am very much not looking forward to this. I loathed the first one. At least the doctor gave me one Amb.ien to help me get to sleep. I just hope that I can stay asleep long enough and then be alert enough to drive home when we're done. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow morning we drop off Osiris to be fixed. I've never been through this with a pet before. Zeus was already fixed when I got him. I'm hoping for a quick and easy recovery. He's an active dog, so I really hope he doesn't break any stitches or anything like that. I'm off tomorrow and Friday, and JP will be off the weekend, so at least we can keep an eye on him.

Monday is my appointment with the surgeon! I'm so excited! I took the whole day off work. The surgeon appointment is in the morning, and then I have an allergist appointment with a new doctor in the afternoon. I haven't been to an actual allergist in a few years. I've been able to keep my allergies under control for the most part with medication, but the last year or so they have been really bad. I get the normal congestion, itchy eyes, sneezes, sinus drainage, etc, but worst of all I get red itchy hives all over my body. I've been scratching myself til I bleed and get scabs. It's not attractive or pleasant. I'm going to ask about allergy shots.

Anyway, here are 5 Foods.

1. Shrimp. My most very favorite food. This works out wonderfully for me, as it is also low-fat, high protein, and works great in my diet! I throw some on a skewer, season them, and put them under the broiler for a few minutes. JP usually has a tuna steak, seasoned and broiled the same way.

2. Bell Peppers, mushrooms, onions. Our staple vegetables. Often they are sauteed and thrown in with some wild rice as a side dish for dinner, but sometimes I'll have a sliced pepper with some deli meat and a string cheese for lunch.

3. Wild rice, black rice, brown rice, or quinoa. These are excellent whole grains that we love using as a side dish. I throw them in the rice cooker, we go for our walk, and they're ready to be seasoned and served by the time we get home.

4. Subway Western English muffin. This is my breakfast on my way to work every day. The muffin is whole wheat, white egg patty, pepperjack cheese, onions, green peppers and a few black olives, and you've got a tasty breakfast that is only 180 calories.

5. Bananas. This is my current snack obsession. Yum! I have one every morning at about 10 am, to curb my mid-morning tummy growls.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Six Places

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We had an event at our store, and I had to work yesterday, so mine was slightly less than relaxing.

Today's topic is places. Six places, to be exact.

1. Southwest Indiana, where I currently reside. The people here are among the best. I have a great set of friends, and my mother-in-law couldn't be more wonderful if she were my actual blood family. Alternately, this is a rather poor area, and very few people seem to care or take the time to make their property look nice. Even the town doesn't care to make sure that the lines in the street are visible, or the pot holes get filled. It's kind of sad.

2. Northeast Indiana, where I grew up, and my family still lives. Excellent people, also, though the small city where I grew up seems overly laden with hypocrisy and gossip. People take much better care of their property, and as a result, visiting is a breath of fresh air. I miss it in a lot of ways.

3. Paris, France. I spent 5 weeks in Paris when I was 21, studying with KIIS (Kentucky Institute for International Studies). While there I visited Cannes, Normandy, St. Malo, Chartres, Versailles, and several other places. I loved every minute of it, and I could talk about it all day. But I won't.

4. Denver, Colorado. My twin sister lives in suburb of Denver. I haven't gotten to visit her there yet, but I miss her every day.

5. Louisville, KY. I lived in Louisville for 5 years before I moved to where I am now. I miss a lot of things about it, primarily the variety of everything available withing a few miles. I never made any real friends there, though.

6. Las Vegas. One of the only places I've gone that wasn't for the purpose of visiting family. I went with my mom, younger sister, and grandparents. The trip is significant not because I love to gamble (I don't), or because Circ de Soleil is awesome (though it is), it is one of the last memories I have with my grandfather before he passed away. I miss you, Pappaw.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Seven Wants

Hello if you're visiting from ICLW! I have an intro post a few below this one. I hope you'll stick around!

7 of my wants (as I'm sure I could come up with a lot more than 7):

1. A successful surgery.

2. A healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

3. A bicycle, so we can have a little bit of variety on our evening walks.

4. A job closer to home. This one-way hour commute is for the birds.

5. Financial security.

6. Lots and lots of remodeling/improvements for my house.

7. A massage. My back, neck, and shoulders have been killing me for the last several days.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eight Fears

I'm not going to keep reposting the graphic, you all have the idea by now :-)

Today is 8 fears.

1. I'll go through all of this with the surgery, and find out I have other (currently unknown) things preventing me from conceiving.

2. Something will go wrong with the surgery.

3. Money/financial issues. Constantly.

4. My digital picture frame has a picture of Zeus the day I got him, and today I realized the he has a lot more white in his coat than he did 4 years ago when I got him. I'm scared to death that he's older than the rescue estimated, and that I might lose him sooner rather than later.

5. I worry about my job stability. I work in a field that likely won't exist in 10 years. Maybe less.

6. IF I DO get pregnant someday, I'll spend the entire time paranoid.

7. Bats. I hate them.

8. Money issues/financial. It's worth mentioning twice.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nine Loves

Welcome to Day 2, 9 loves.

1. My husband. Completely and utterly. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I am thankful for him every second of every day.

2. My wonderful mother, who raised 3 girls almost completely on her own, and did an excellent job. She also teaches 8th graders. She is my hero. My Aunt and my Mammaw, who stepped in as additional mother figures, spoiled us rotten, and continue to support us no matter what.

3. My sisters, who are my best friends. I can tell them anything and never receive any kind of judgment. They are smart, beautiful, and very funny.

4. My furbabies, Zeus and Osiris. I don't know what I would do without them.

5. My friends. No matter the joy, hurt, or drama, there is someone out there that understands.

6. Shrimp, sweet bell peppers, and mushrooms. The healthy foods that still make me feel like I'm eating whatever I want.

7. Reading/listening to audio books. I really love a good story!

8. Nerding out and playing games. There's nothing like sitting around a table with a group of friends and playing a game!

9. Burt's Bees chapstick. You will never find me without it, or my Android phone.

Thank you all for your very nice comments. I just love ICLW!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

10 Secrets

While traveling around ICLWland this month, I've noticed several people doing a "10-Day You Challenge". I've never done anything like this before, and it might get me in the habit of blogging more often, so I'm going to give it a try!

Without further ado, here are my 10 secrets.

1. I had a very dangerous non-drug addiction in my early twenties. My husband is the only person that knows the complete extent of it, and I credit him with saving me from it.

2. I have more debt that I can think about without feeling a panic attack coming on. This seems to be the norm for a lot of people these days.

3. I've been job-searching from my work computer for at least 6 months.

4. I once owned, and jammed in the car to, the first Britney Spears album. Considering that my tastes are in hard rock, this would surprise a lot of my friends.

5. I didn't want to have children until I fell in love with my husband.

6. I am in my 2nd marriage. This isn't really a secret, but I don't usually offer it up, either.

7. I have a huge crush on Kat Von Dee.

8. Meeting Wil Wheaton last year at GenCon was one of the biggest thrills of my life. I am such a huge nerd.

9. My alter-ego is a Dragonborn Pacifist Cleric. If you know what that means, huzzah!

10. I don't like pepperoni.

Thank you for putting up with me through this. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

ICLW Time Again!

Hello all! Those that aren't new, I hope you'll forgive me for my mostly copied/pasted entry.

This is my 3rd ICLW, and I'm hoping to snag a few new readers, as well as some new and interesting blogs to read. I'm Jamie, I'm 31 years old, happily married to my best friend, JP, who is 36. We'd been ttc for 3+ years, though started at the RE at the end of last year. I have PCOS, no natural cycles or ovulation. After 3 failed IUIs, I decided that I was spinning my wheels until I could take off most of my weight. With the RE's blessing and encouragement, I've been going through preparations to have gastric bypass surgery.

I recently had my last appointment with the doctor at the bariatric center, and a couple of days later got the news that my insurance approved my surgery. I meet with the surgeon on June 6th, at which point we'll schedule my surgery. I'm very nervous and excited. Weight loss total at this point is 53 lbs!

My hope is that surgery will be scheduled for July, and then 12 months after that I'll be cleared to start ttc again. My fear is that we'll get to that point and find out that there's something else wrong.

I started this blog mostly to track my progress, keep myself in check, and hopefully find some support out there in interwebsland. I also wanted to share my story. Before I made the decision to go forward with this plan, I scoured the web for info on fertility after weight loss surgery, and came up with virtually nothing. Hopefully, now, girls out there like me will know what to expect.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll stick around!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Good News

I've gotten a few bits of good news over the last few days.

On Friday, I got a call from the weight loss center. My insurance has approved my surgery! Woohoo! I meet with the surgeon on June 6th, at which point we'll schedule my surgery. I'm so excited!

Today they called me again, to let me know that my blood test results were back. My Vitamin D levels have risen, but are still low, so they upped my daily Vitamin D. My A1C levels were "great". I'm pretty pleased with that news, overall.

In other news, our little family has grown by 1. During our evening walk on Thursday, a stray dog started following us. At first he would run up, sniff, and then run away. After a few blocks, he was running around us in circles. By the time we got home (which was a mile from where we first saw him), we decided to keep him in the fenced yard, so he wouldn't get hit by a car. We gave him some food, water, and a blanket in the garage, and proceeded to post his picture on facebook to try to find his owners. Over the course of the next few days, I got him vaccinated, brought him in the house, and we made several calls and checked the paper for anyone reporting a missing dog. All the while, we're kind of hoping that no one comes forward, as this poor dog was skinny, not neutered, wearing a collar that was WAY too small, and not to mention in a position where he was running loose. We still have not heard a peep.

At first we had every intention of finding him a good home with someone we trusted, that would take good care of him. But, of course, we got attached. There is still some adjustment that is going to need to happen. I have an appointment to get him fixed in about 2 weeks.

Without further ado, meet our new furbaby.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Waiting Game

I'm sorry for not posting more frequently. There hasn't been overly much to report, which I suppose is a good thing.

Yesterday was my final appointment with the doctor at the weight loss center. He is really pleased with my progress (46 lbs!), and they've submitted me to my insurance for approval. As soon as they get it, they'll schedule me an appointment to meet with the surgeon, and then we'll schedule my surgery. It's still possible that it will happen in June, but I'm betting on July.

Before the appointment was my 2nd Behavioral Class that the program requires. We talked about how we can be programmed to use food for comfort and for rewards. I have treated food this way my entire life, and I'm not sure that it's something that I can easily overcome. I can certainly be aware of it, and try to combat the temptation, but I'm sure that it will always be there.

I have to have another sleep study done. Ugh! This time they'll be fitting me with a CPAP machine. I told the Neurologist that I had a really hard time getting and staying asleep the last time, so he wrote me a script for an Amb.ien. It is scheduled for June 1st, and that should be my last requirement fulfilled.

I have a friend that is just starting treatments with an RE. We'll sometimes go months without really chatting, but as soon as she's on treatment, she messages me constantly, wanting to talk to me about it. I don't know how to get the point across to her that it's hard for me to hear, since I'm still so far away from actively ttc again. I don't have so many female friends that I can afford to completely cut off contact, but I don't want to dread talking to her, either. It's made worse by the fact that she's so unhappy in her marriage, and probably just doing all this because she thinks a baby will make it all better. Ugh. Makes me ill just thinking about it.

Anyway, I hope you're all well out there. Have a good Friday the 13th!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Things have been uneventful on the health and IF front around here. Thursday is my follow-up with the Neurologist about my sleep study. Next Wednesday is my final appointment with the doctor at the weight loss center. The next time I go will be to meet with the surgeon and schedule my surgery date!

In other news, JP and I have been pursuing the purchase of the building we are currently renting for our store space. This has been incredibly stressful and frustrating. The more we dig and the more we learn, the more daunting it all seems. When we first moved in a year ago, it was with the intention of discussion buying in the not too distant future, once the owner made some major repairs (he hasn't), and moved out of the 2nd floor, where he is still living. So, not only has he not lived up to those things, his overall behavior has also become rather erratic (accusing our workers of stealing, etc.). We've decided that its time to get out from under all that mess.

What we've discovered is that this is a bad time to be trying to get a small business loan, and the building owner is a whole heap of trouble with more than one source. Ugh. He has a judgment out on him for $40,000 for the roof repairs to the building, and it's on the course towards a Sheriff's sale. He is also delinquent on his property taxes, and it may go up for commissioner's sale in June. Right now we think our best bet is to keep our knowledge quiet from the owner, and try to pursue the commissioner's sale, while hoping that no one out-bids us.

I know a lot of that probably doesn't make sense. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, to tell you the truth. It has left me constantly stressed, and constantly feeling like I need to be doing something productive, or risk feeling like I have absolutely no control over anything in my life. Worse, this stress has caused me to make more bad eating choices in the last few days, than I have in the previous several months. I haven't sabotaged myself, don't worry. I'm back on track today.

Sorry for the unorganized vent!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Show and Tell

I thought I might try a little bit of show and tell today.

This is where JP and I got married. It is a very old theater that, over the years, was turned into a department store, then split into several store spaces, and now finally it is being attempted to turn it back in to a theater. It still has a really long way to go. JP has a passion for local history and architecture, and I fell in love with this place the first time I ever set foot inside of it.

There is is during the ceremony, from the other angle. These pictures were taken from the balcony. The entirety of our ceremony took place on the stage.

I have no idea what the date of this picture is, but it's the front of the theater, way back when.

As I have mention in previous posts, during our evenings and weekends, we also run a small gaming business. It also happens to reside in an old historic building.

We love it. Our store is on the bottom floor, there is living space on the 2nd, and the 3rd is empty. We are in the process of trying to buy the building from our landlord. Unfortunately, it needs quite a bit of work done to it, but we're going to factor that in to the buying process.

Last but not least, the other love of my life, my furbaby.

This is Zeus. I rescued him from Chihuahua Rescue USA about 4 years ago. I love him dearly, and do not know what I will ever do without him, despite the brat that he can be from time to time!

I hope you enjoyed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

EGD Report

Hello ICLWers! The post below this one will give you a little bit of a rundown on my story.

I survived my EGD, only very slightly scathed.

I woke up at 5:15 am to leave the house by 6:15, to be at Surgicare by 7:30, for the procedure at 8:30. We got there on time, registered, waited for a bit, then did the business/financial talk with one of the receptionists. After a little more waiting in the lobby, they took me back for the initials. They checked my blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, pulse, etc. Everything in order. Then I had to pee in a cup for a pregnancy test (oh irony), and slip in to the ever fashionable hospital gown. Then the nurse sat me down in a recliner, got me a heated blanket, in inserted my IV (my first ever). I thought it would be about as bad as any other blood draw, and it wasn't too much worse. JP got to come back and sit with me while I waited to be taken into the procedure room.

Two more nurses came to get me at about 8:35, took me to the procedure room, had my hop up on to the table, hooked me up to the heart and blood pressure monitors, put the little oxygen tubes in my nose, and then informed me that the doctor wasn't yet in the building. Keep in mind that I am completely terrified of this whole process. Nervous as could be, and had been since waking up that morning. The SOB doctor didn't show up until 9 am. 30 minutes after the scheduled time. I could understand if he'd gotten backed up from patients all day, but this was his first appointment! He popped in for 2 seconds to ask me if I had any questions, and then one nurse is spraying the numbing agent into the back of my throat while the other is injecting the sedative. The next thing I remember is a few moments of gagging, and then being wheeled into the recovery room, where I zonked out for 20 more minutes.

In the end, I just had a bit of throat soreness, and discomfort when I eat, but that is already starting to subside. I apparently have a bit of acid reflux damage, for which I was given a prescription.

The nurses were wonderful, but I can't comprehend why any doctor thinks its ok to arrive at the site of a procedure 30 minutes after it was supposed to have started. When did he lose his empathy for his patients? It really makes me appreciate the doctors that I've been to that are so caring and wonderful. I need to remember to tell my RE how much appreciate his time and care.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome ICLWers!

I know I'm a day early, but tomorrow I'm having an EDG at the buttcrack (technical term) of dawn, and I'm not sure how I'll be feeling the rest of the day. I'll be sedated for the procedure. I've never been sedated before, and I'm terrified.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is an examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum with a small camera (flexible endoscope) which is inserted down the throat.

Anyway, this is my 2nd ICLW, and I'm hoping to snag a few new readers, as well as some new and interesting blogs to read. I'm Jamie, I'm 31 years old, happily married to my best friend, JP, who is 36. We'd been ttc for 3+ years, though started at the RE at the end of last year. I have PCOS, no natural cycles or ovulation. After 3 failed IUIs, I decided that I was spinning my wheels until I could take off most of my weight. With the RE's blessing and encouragement, I've been going through preparations to have gastric bypass surgery.

At my my recent appointment at the weight loss center, I was given glowing praise at my progress (36lbs lost, at that time). The doctor decided that they're ready to submit me to my insurance for approval, which means that the next time I go in (May 11th), will be my last appointment, and they'll schedule me for the consult with the surgeon.

My hope is that surgery will be scheduled for July, and then 12 months after that I'll be cleared to start ttc again. My fear is that we'll get to that point and find out that there's something else wrong.

I started this blog mostly to track my progress, keep myself in check, and hopefully find some support out there in interwebsland. I also wanted to share my story. Before I made the decision to go forward with this plan, I scoured the web for info on fertility after weight loss surgery, and came up with virtually nothing. Hopefully, now, girls out there like me will know what to expect.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll stick around!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An Anniversary

On this day, 5 years ago, I first met my husband in person. My life would never again be the same.

We met via an online web-based game. A silly little thing that I found interesting more for the intelligent nerdy conversation than for the actual game-play. He and I carried on a casual flirtation. Neither of us was looking for anything serious. After a couple of months of this, when I dropped my laptop and cracked the screen, he offered me a replacement monitor until I could get it fixed.

I made the 2 hour drive to his city, and he met just outside of town so that I could follow him to his office. I parked and got out of the car to say hello, and the very first thing that he did was kiss me. I can definitely say that I've never had an introduction quite like that! We had a long(ish) distance relationship for a while before I moved in with him in January of 2008.

We got married in October of last year, in a very unique and non-traditional ceremony. I wore pink, he and his groomsmen wore Harry Potter house ties and Converse Chuck Taylor's (and the uniqueness doesn't end there!). It was the most wonderful day of my life.

I am thankful for him every day. He is the most amazing person I have ever known, and I am a better person because of him.

I love you JP!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Have you ever noticed?

Have you ever noticed that you don't realize how much relief something gives you, until that something is gone?

For a few weeks now, I've been having a kind of achey pain near my right hip joint. The last time I cycled, the nurse saw a small cyst on my right ovary, but wasn't concerned about it, and I'd forgotten all about it... until the last few weeks. I had convinced myself that it was probably just my imagination remembering that the cyst was there, and overreacting to the thought. I was mostly right.

I have carpal tunnel. Not severe, but bad enough that it effects my sleep. I wear wrist braces at night, and my GP had me taking Mob.ic, an arthritis medicine and NS.AID, to reduce inflammation. In preparation for surgery, my bariatric doctor wanted me to stop taking it. No big deal, as the wrist braces at night help way more than the medicine anyway.

Turns out that it was helping other body pain, as well. My neck pain is more frequent, and I considered that it might also be why I'm having some hip area pain.

I decided that it was better to be safe than sorry, and I called my RE's office to see if they could get me in for a chat and an US, to see if maybe that cyst had gotten out of control.

I went in today on my lunch break. The usual drill of stripping from the waist down and hopping up on the table and throwing that oh-so-attractive pink paper blanket on. I knew that my right ovary likes to hide. They've had trouble finding it in the past. Today was no exception. After extensive poking and prodding, internally AND externally, it was deemed that there are no cysts, but that doesn't mean that one hasn't recently burst. Dr. G thinks it is likely just skeletal/muscular.

If I wasn't sore this morning, I sure am sore now! Despite that, I was reminded why I love my RE and his nurses so much. They commented positively on my weight loss (36 lbs!), asked for updates on the surgery process, and made me promise to call with my surgery date when I know it so that they can pray for me that day. So sweet! They also gave me a pro.vera prescription to see if we can't have better luck jump-starting my period now that I've lost some weight. Dr. G even said that I was doing so well that they likely wouldn't need to wait the full 18 months after my surgery to start ttc again, that we could start in just 12 months. Woohoo!!

Tomorrow JP and I go for a behavioral class at the weight loss center and my 2nd to last visit with the bariatric doctor. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My "Weekend"

My mother is a teacher, and this week was her Spring Break. As this is my weekend to work (at 4 am, no less), my days off were Thursday and Friday. I took off Wednesday, as well, grabbed my husband, and we went to visit my mom for a few days. We live at the opposite corner of our state, so its about a 5 hour drive.

I have a truly wonderful family. My parents divorced when I was 12, and though my dad was around for the obligatory "every other weekend", Mom essentially raised us by herself. My maternal grandparents and local Aunt and Uncle also pitched in when needed. We're all very close, and I'm immensely thankful for them. My grandfather passed away a few years ago, but my 80 year old grandmother is still as active as she was when I was a kid (well, almost). I can't say enough good things about these amazing women (and man!).

We arrived late-ish on Wednesday, had dinner (homemade chili!) and socialized. Thursday we made a trip to the nearby big(ish) city, did some shopping, had lunch, etc. Friday we piled in to the car (JP, Mom, Grandma, and my younger sister) and drove about an hour to a city that is mostly Amish, with all kinds of little shops and stores and homemade food.

Needless to say, my diet went a little bit out the window for a couple of days, though I still tried to be relatively good. I brought home a jar of no-sugar-added strawberry jam, pear butter, sweet black rice, red rice, 3 different varieties of Amish cheeses, and a whole bunch of bulk spices. I can't wait to start trying them out!

It was a good couple of days! For the most part, I think it was a good distraction for JP. Though, now that we're back home, and the funeral service for his friend is tomorrow (on the opposite end of the country), I'm a little bit worried about him. There are plans for a get-together with mutual friends, and I think that will really help. They can all cry together, laugh together, and grieve together. I may be unable to attend, as I have to be back at work again tomorrow at 4 am. Ugh.

I hope everyone else has a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Loss

Yesterday my husband lost one of his best friends. Wil was biking home from work, and was hit by a car. 36 years old. It breaks my heart.

JP is in so much pain, and I all I want to do it be able to make it better. We're heading out of town for a couple of days to visit with my family. I'm hoping that the change of pace will make it a little bit easier.

He was wearing a helmet, reflective clothing, and had a flashing light. He did everything that he was supposed to. The anger that I feel toward the woman that did this is something that I have never felt before. Please, please, everyone out there, when you're driving, please always watch out for bikers and pedestrians.

In Wil's memory, I am vowing to keep my hands completely off of my cell phone while in the car, unless I am at a complete stop.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wednesday Appt. Recap, etc.

Tuesday morning I went to have an exercise evaluation. Basically, this consisted of a nurse taking my pulse and blood pressure, having me walk around a track for 6 minutes, pulse and blood pressure, 5 minute rest, pulse and blood pressure. I had a quick chat with the nurse about target heart rates, and a few other things that I already knew, and then I was out the door and on my way to work.

Wednesday's appointment at the weight loss center was pretty routine. I've lost a total of 29 lbs so far. Hooray! My BMI is where they want it to be around the time of surgery scheduling. The doctor and the dietitian are very pleased with my progress. There was apparently nothing unusual to report regarding the results of my exercise evaluation. I have 2 more appointments with the doctor and dietitian, 2 behavioral classes, and then I get to meet with the surgeon to schedule my surgery. Moving right along!

I also addressed a snag that I was having with scheduling one of the procedures that they require me to go through before surgery. They need me to have an endoscopy. They office they normally refer to wanted me to pay 100% of the cost of the procedure before they would do it. That's $1400! My insurance plan is a high deductible HSA. I haven't yet met my deductible (partially because of a paperwork nightmare going on with the sleep study stuff), and there isn't a whole lot left in my HSA, so there's just no way I can afford $1400. They don't offer any kind of a payment plan, either. I talked to the nurse about it and she said she would call a few other offices that they sometimes did referrals to. She found one that will do the endoscopy with no money up front, and let me pay on it as I can. Hopefully, once the sleep study mess is dealt with, I won't have to worry about paying anything at all. Relief!

The diet and walking program continue to go well. I'm to about 1300 calories a day, and 38 minutes of walking. It's progress!

I find myself still scouring infertility info and blogs during my down time at work. I find that it helps me keep my eyes on the prize, the whole picture, even if it does occasionally depress me. I keep calculating the time line of surgery, recovery, being released to try to conceive again, pregnancy, etc. I haven't yet let my mind obsess about what might happen if I go through all this, and I still can't get pregnant. The worry is ALWAYS there, though. The completely ideal schedule would be surgery in June, I have wait 18 months before trying to conceive again, so assuming the weight removes the remaining hurdles, we could be trying again in early 2013, and baby by the end of 2013. Its way too optimistic, I know that. But hey, it's motivation.

I'm so glad to finally have some followers! I hope I'm not boring all of you too much!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I now have 2 pregnant cousins.


Bariatric doctor appointment in 30 minutes. Will update tomorrow.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Some you'll relate to, some you won't

IF just gave me a big kick in the face.

Before I explain, a little back story will be needed.

My husband (JP) and I own and run a hobby shop, most as a hobby, in our free-time. We have a bit of merchandise, but mostly we're here for our open play space, where we hold gaming groups, leagues, and tournaments. Games like Magic: the Gathering, Pokemon, and Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, we've very big nerds.

This also means that our customer base, a large percentage of which are also our close friends, are single men. We occasionally get some of the guys from the local university. Normally this means that I'm spared from pregnant women and kids, for which I am very thankful.

This evening, while registering for our regular Friday night tournament, one of the university students walks in after a year-long or so absence, followed by his wife/girlfriend, carrying their very young daughter. They sit down at one of the tables and get comfortable, so apparently they plan to stay the duration of the evening. They're no older than 20. I was upset, but holding it together. That is, until, the guy comments that she's pregnant with their 2nd. I had to get up and walk out of my shop. I didn't want these people to see my cry.

JP followed me and calmed me down, a process that also involved some homemade ice cream from the coffee shop across the street. Now I'm doing my best to ignore the sounds of the playing baby, and refusing to look in their direction.

I hate you IF, I hate you so much.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Holy cow!

Holy cow I have comments! Woohoo! Thank you so much everyone that stopped by and left me a note! It really means a lot!

This coming weekend is my weekend to work, so I'm off today and tomorrow. I went and had lunch with JP, and now I'm relaxing and browsing around ICLW blogs. What a great concept!

Tonight I'm cooking dinner for a few of our friends. Nothing fancy, just a larger quantity of my stock tuna steaks, veggies, and wild rice meal. A lot of our friends are single men with no idea how to properly care for themselves, so every once in a while they need a healthy meal. Afterward I plan on coaxing them all in to joining us on our nightly walk.

I finally heard something from the sleep study people. I got a letter from the Neurologist's office, telling me that I had an appointment the following Monday at 8:30 am, to fill out the enclosed paperwork, and bring a list of my medications. Um, what? I didn't know that I would even need to go and talk to the doctor, AND you scheduled an appointment for me without calling me and asking? I have to work on Monday, and while I could probably have taken the morning off, I also have appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday, so it would have been overkill. I called them to let them know that I wasn't going to be able to make it, and was informed that the next available appointment isn't until May. Wonderful. I have to wait another month and a half to hear the results of this stupid thing. Oh well.

As far as the other appointments, Tuesday is my exercise study. I think the purpose is to gauge how efficiently I burn calories. Could be kinda cool. Wednesday is the next routine at the Weight Loss center. I likely won't learn anything new or useful, but the insurance requires it, so off I go.

Thanks again to everyone that has stopped by! I hope some of you will be repeat visitors!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My First ICLW!

Welcome ICLWers!

I've only recently started blogging, though I've been a lurker for several months. My history isn't terribly long. We ditched the birth control over 3 years ago, and had our first RE visit in June of 2010. After fairly normal test results and a PCOS diagnosis, we had three IUIs that failed. I felt as if I was spinning my wheels trying to get pregnant while carrying around all of this extra weight that was obviously impeding my natural body functions, so I approached my RE with the idea of weight loss surgery.

Currently I'm about 3 or 4 months from surgery, and documenting the steps of this process. I'm hoping to provide some insight, down the road, for other women that are curious about fertility after weight loss surgery.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sleep Study

I had my sleep study done last Thursday, 3/10. I was to arrive at the Sleep Center (which is at our local hospital) at 9:30 pm, showered, unmoisturized, and with a few comforts from home. JP came with me to tuck me in and help me get settled, as I was somewhat nervous.

I was shown to my room (a typical hospital room, but with a queen-sized bed) by an older man with a disquieting resemblance to George Carlin, where I was told to get in to my pjs, get comfortable, and crack the door when I was ready.

Once ready, George came back in and had me sit in a chair on the left side of the bed. He attached 25 wires to my head and body, and a tube in my nose. The ones that went on my head were attached using this adhesive foam that ended up being a nightmare to get out. Then, with my ponytail of wires, I was escorted to the right side of the bed, where the wires were hung from a hook on the wall at my head, and I was to try to get comfortable wearing all that garbage, and fall asleep. JP left, and the lights went out.

At first, I fell asleep ok. After about an hour, I woke up again, miserably uncomfortable. After tossing and turning and several heavy sighs over the course of a couple of hours, George knocked and asked if could come in and help me rearrange the tangled wires so I could maybe get comfortable again. It helped a little.

He woke me up at 6:30 to let me go home. I only got about 4 hours of disturbed sleep. He told me that I did show some signs of apnea, but that I would hear back from the doctor soon with his results.

As of a week and a half day later, I haven't heard anything more. I desperately hope that I don't have to go back and do it again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I guess I jinxed myself with my last post.

Sometimes I really hate the person that infertility has made me.

One of my childhood best friends is pregnant. She announced it on Facebook today. As much as I want to be happy for her, I'm too consumed with sadness for myself.

She's the 4th one in the last few weeks, so I've "hidden" the pregnant women from my news feed so that I don't have to see status updates about pregnancy and babies. I'm full of self-loathing for doing it, but it just hurts too much.

On another note, my 4th appointment at the weight loss center is tomorrow, so I'll try to update again in the next few days.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brief Thought

I just wanted to take a brief moment to verbalize something I just thought of.

I read a small handful of IF blogs. Most of the brave women who share their stories are unfortunate enough to be surrounded by pregnant women, mothers with babies, etc.

I am very lucky, as far as things like that go. I work with women who are all in their late 50's and early 60's, or middle-aged men. My friends are mostly unmarried men without girlfriends (JP and I are gamers, the tabletop kind), and a few women who are in very similar positions to my own.

I am thankful for this small bit of non-excitement.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My 3rd Appointment

Wednesday I went for my 3rd appointment at the Center. First I weighed in with the nurse, and found out that I've lost a total of 11 pounds. Then we (JP was with me) met with the doctor, who examined me and went over my test results. This was one of the most embarassing experiences of my adult life. An old man looking and prodding in places that I wouldn't even want my husband examining up close... ew. I learned that he considers me to be diabetic, even though my levels are below diagnostic levels, they're close enough for him, apparently. I'm also vitamin D deficient, and have high cholesterol. Yippee. The good news is that once I've lost more weight, these issues should disappear. He concluded that I am an excellent candidate for the surgery, which should be sometime in July.

Next we met with the social worker where we went over all of my homework. We talked a lot about my support system, my family, etc. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive family and husband.

The appointment concluding with setting up my next several appointments. I also have to go for a sleep study, an endoscopy, and an exercise evaluation. I'm not looking forward to the first two things. I've never been sedated before, so the endoscopy will be my first time. Scary!

I guess we're officially go!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


One of my assignments that the social workers gave me was to do a Genogram. Basically, a family tree that lists the genetic diseases or issues that my family members have had, going back to my great grandparents.

I've been putting this one off. I'm not really sure why. It might be because I don't like being reminded how far away I live from my family. It might be because it reminds me how distant most of my paternal side is, in the non-geographical meaning. It might be because I feel guilty that I don't remember all of the first names of my great-grandparents. It might just be because I have no artistic ability, and they want it to be big and colorful. It might be because I don't want to have to call my father, who didn't call me on my birthday, and still hasn't called in the following 3 days. Maybe it's all of these reasons.

I made out a rough draft, and now I feel sad.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

10 Reasons Why I Am Commited to Reach My Goal Weight

So, I'm a year older. My birthday was yesterday. I've had to work all weekend, so it has been less than amazing.

I also had a job interview on Thursday. I would really like to get the job, as its 6 blocks from my house rather than 53 miles, and will probably pay a whole lot better. It would mean that I would have to put my surgery on hold for a while, though.

I've been working on my "homework" for my next appointment at the weight-loss center. One of which is "10 reasons why I am committed to reach my goal weight". Here's what I came up with:

1. Have a baby
2. Have more sex
3. Go shopping, pain-free
4. Buy clothes in a store, instead of online
5. Be able to go running or hiking
6. Be able to play with my kid(s) someday
7. Be able to play with my grandkid(s) someday
8. Be more comfortable sleeping
9. Ride rollercoasters again

They advise making a small copy of the list and carrying it around for whenever you're tempted by an unhealthy decision. I'll probably just put it on my Android!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

At my 2/14 appointment at the Bariatric Center, they sent me home with a small stack of homework. The Social Worker briefly explained it, but I didn't look at it more closely until yesterday. They are as follow:

1. A Genogram ( I'm somewhat excited about doing this, though I'm not sure where to start. They want it the size of at least 2 regular sheets of paper taped together. I have zero drawing/art skills. I don't have to work tomorrow or Friday, so I'll sit down and take a crack at it.

2. A food diary, and a page of questions about how I plan to change my unhealthy habits. I've been keeping my food diary via an app on my Android phone. I've been finding it rather fun and informational. I also find that I avoid anything that I don't want to have to look up and find out how many calories it has to add to my diary.

3. A self evaluation about how my eating habits and weight have affecting my relationships with family, friends, work, activities, etc. There is a part of me that is afraid to do this. It will likely be a real eye-opener.

4. 10 reasons why I am committed to reach my Goal Weight. Peice of cake. When I finish this one, I will likely post my responses.

On another note, I think I'm ready to start some kind of exercise routine, but I'm not sure what will work best for my busy schedule. I'd like to be able to walk with JP, but the weather is going to be an issue for a few weeks. I'll have to brainstorm.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'd mentioned that I was going to post about how I've been dropping the few pounds that I've lost, so here goes!

The overall focus is calorie counting, low fat, and low sugar. I downloaded a nifty android application, myfitnesspal, that allows me to search for foods, or add my own. I told how what I weight, my goal weight, and how quickly I want to lose it, and it sent me a calorie goal for each day. It's a food diary that tracks calories. I find it very helpful!

Here is my typical day:

Breakfast is usually one the go, as I have a 53 mile drive to work. I stop at Subway and get a Western on an English muffin, with no cheese or sauce. It's a wheat muffin, white egg, onions, and green peppers. I add spinach to it to get a few more nutrients, and because I like spinach. It's 155 calories. I also grab one of their things of sliced apples (35 calories), for in case I get nibble further along on my trip.

For lunch I'll have a salad or a mix of raw veggies with 2 tablespoons of lite dressing (it is important to check the sugar content on anything "lite", they often make up for less fat by adding sugar). I'll also have 4 oz of either chicken breast or turkey deli meat in a wheat pita, or sometimes I'll throw it all in the salad. To add some dairy, I'll have either a low carb yogurt or a low-fat string cheese.

Dinner has been very similar, though we've been experimenting with different types of fish and pork loin. One of my favorite meals so far was a seasoned 4 oz. Ahi tuna steak that I seasoned and baked in a foil packed in the oven, along with bite-sized pieces of onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper. I also boiled some brown rice spaghetti noodles and seasoned them with a tiny bit of margarine, garlic, a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese, and a spice mix.

I generally have a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack that will consist of an apple, an orange, some pineapple, some carrots, or a red or yellow bell pepper.

I've been doing this for 8 days now, and I've lost 11 lbs! I just hope it keeps up. Soon I'll add some kind of exercise regime, but I don't want to try to start too many new routines at the same time, or I'll be setting myself up to fail.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Appointment #2: Lab work

For anyone that has any kind of a lengthy commute, I would like to high recommend audio books. Since I started my job at the end of April, I've listened to 15 or so novels. It makes my drive seem to go by faster, and I find that I even look forward to it at the end of my work day.

I got to the Bariatric Center about 15 minutes early this morning, before they opened. I had Neil Gaiman's America Gods to keep me company. Great book, in case you were wondering.

I met the nurse for the first time. She was very nice and sweet. She explained everything she was doing before she did it. First she drew 11 vials of blood. That's not a typo, she took ELEVEN vials of my blood. Needless to say, it got very difficult about halfway through, and my arm is very sore. She mentioned what some of them were for, but I can't remember anymore.

Next I climbed on to the scales, where I was pleased to find out that I'd lost 4 lbs since Monday (I'll explain my self-imposed diet plan in another post). She took my measurements, and then took a "before" photo. Next I got to strip off my top and have an EKG, followed by a lung capacity test, and then the whole experience ended with a urine sample. I feel poked and prodded, but accomplished. At some point I have to find the time to go to the hospital and have a chest x-ray. Not sure when I'm going to do that.

My next appointment is March 2nd.

My first appointment at the Bariatric Center

On Valentine's Day, JP piled in to my car with me, and we drove to my work. Where I work and where the Bariatric Center is, is an hour away from our house. JP took the day off in order to accompany me. He is extremely supportive, and wants to be in on the whole process. I worked for half of the day, then we grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed to the appointment.

Let me preface the rest of this by explaining some of my expectations. At the informational meeting, they gave us a BMI (body mass index number) of which they need, that makes the surgery safer. I knew that my BMI was higher than that number, and that they would help me lose weight in order to reach it. I was expecting to be given a diet plan, an exercise regimen, and some other useful information. I know basically what I need to do, I just need help with a plan to be able to implement it. These people are the experts, I'm not.

First we met with the dietitian. She went over the very basics of what you can and can't eat after the surgery, the stages, and whatnot. Nothing about pre-surgery.

Next came a woman that was to answer any questions about my insurance coverage. I did my homework beforehand, because I'm smart enough to know that I'm not going to even attempt something that my insurance wouldn't cover. Therefore, I didn't have any questions for her.

Third was the social worker and her student intern. I answered questions about my mental health, my job, my family, my marriage. I can understand the need for this, they want to make sure I'm going through this for the right reasons, and that I have enough support to get me through it. I am, and I do. They next asked my husband to leave the room and I took a 140 question bubble quiz, the type that you'd take before being evaluated for therapy. I guess this is just in case I was lying to them about being stable and happy and supported. Lame.

The end of the appointment provided me with a goal weight to be at by the time of surgery. I have 38 lbs to lose. I next set up my next 2 appointments, one for lab work, and then a follow-up with the dietitian, and a meeting with the doctor.

All in all, I was very disappointed, and depressed for much of the next day. I don't like feeling like I'm wasting my time. Now that I've had some time to think it over, I'm realizing that maybe baby steps are for the best. My habits are about to change for the rest of my life. No need to rush in to that at full-speed.

This is my story so far

Hi, I'm Jamie. I don't expect that many people will read this, as I'm kind of a niche market. I'm infertile and overweight. This is my story of our infertility journey, which has taken a detour for weight-loss surgery. There will be a lot of diet and exercise talk, as I struggle to change my lifestyle and figure out what works. If none or only one of these issues is of interest to you, you may find the information contained herein to be a little bit TMI. If you come across something that makes you uncomfortable, I encourage you to stop reading. This blog is for me, to let me see my progress in black and white. If I happen to help someone out there going through the same things, that would be wonderful.

I'm 30 years old, turning 31 in a few days. I'm newly wed to my wonderful husband (JP), but we've been together for about 5 years.

Starting at an early age, my sisters and I were all diagnosed with malfunctioning glands, which subsequently affected our development. We were medicated with various things to replace hormones, and slow down development. The overall results were that we're all very short, heavy, and were told early on that we would have trouble conceiving. By the time treatments and doctor's appointments were over (I was about 18), I had stored that last bit of information in the back of my brain.

Fast forward to early 2008. My future husband I were living together, neither of us were getting any younger, and was just about to finish a pack of birth control pills, with no refills available. We decided to forgo the refills, and see what happened. I didn't have high hopes, but I was ready to start the process. I quickly discovered that I don't cycle naturally off of BCPs.

Fast forward to May 2010, when I first talk to my OBGYN about my desire to conceive. She orders a bunch of blood work (pre-diabetic, but otherwise fine), an ultrasound, and refers me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). The ultrasound confirmed her suspicions, and I am diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome). I am prescribed Provera to jump-start my cycle. It doesn't work.

Shortly after, we had our first appointment with the RE. Dr. G is wonderful, charismatic, thorough, and assures us that one way or another, he's going to get us pregnant. He prescribes more Provera for me, and an SA (semen analysis) for JP. The 2nd round of Provera again fails to get my cycle going, but the SA came back excellent. After one more try, a healthy dose of PIO (progesterone in oil), fails to yield any result, RE says that we can move on to IUI (intrauterine insemination) anyway.

My IUI history then goes as follows:

7/31/10: Start Femara 2.5 mg twice daily
8/12: IUI,
2 Follicles, 12mm & 17mm
8/26 - HPT & 8/30 Beta =

8/31/10: Back to Femara, 2.5 mg twice daily
9/02: Start Follistim, 50 a night for 8 days
9/13: 8 am: IUI,
2 follies at 19+

11/04 - HSG shows 2 clear tubes! Hooray!
11/9: Femara
2.5 mg twice daily, 5 days
11/11: Follistim, 100 units nightly, 8 days
11/17: US - follie check, 2 @ 16, several around 10-12
11/22: IUI (trigger 11/20, evening)

After the 2nd failed IUI, the RE wanted to talk to me before we proceeded with another. He tells us how everything looked fine on the ultrasounds, the blood test results were good, JP's counts and motility were great. He wanted me to have an HSG (hysterosalpingogram), to make sure that my fallopian tubes are not blocked. It'll be a few weeks before we can get it done, so we can't cycle that month. I start to feel depressed for lost time, and angry that we didn't do this in the first place, and terrified that my tubes will be blocked.

Fortunately, the HSG, although painful, revealed 2 clear tubes. Dr. G tells me that HSG can even clear small blockages that might have been hindering us. "Clearing out the cobwebs", as he so cutely put it. We are to start meds again in a few days. I start to become super optimistic the next cycle, even though the cost of the meds nearly put us in the poor house.

When the BFN (big fat negative) came, I was devastated. My nurse called me with the negative beta results, and we decided that we would skip December, because of the Holidays, but I wanted to talk to the doctor again before we started in January. I asked if Dr. G had ever recommended patients for weight-loss surgery, and she said that yes he did, and would likely be happy to get me any of the paperwork I needed to get it approved by my insurance. I spent the rest of the month and most of January depressed, but doing my research about the different surgeries, and discussing it with my husband. I was never able to find very much info on infertility after weight loss surgery.

My RE, while convinced that he could still get us pregnant without, is fully supportive of my having surgery. He says that I'm plenty young enough to go through the process, recover, and then go on to possibly even get pregnant without help. He refers me to a reputable center nearby, and I go to an informational meeting. I decide on Roux-en-Y (gastric bypass), fill out all the paperwork, and schedule my first appointment.

That, pretty much, brings you up to speed.