June 29, 2015

It’s Monday and like every woman in the world, the way we want to start off the week is by going to the OBGYN…. said no woman ever. It’s my follow-up appointment after the ultrasound. I’ve been so anxious to hear the official results from my doctor and next steps. Like I said, I’m type-A and I want to get this all fixed and figured out so I can move on and start a family.

It turns out endometriosis is not that simple at all. It’s not curable unless I want a hysterectomy – which is totally not an option at this stage of my life. My OBGYN confirmed that the ultrasound showed what looks like endometriomas on my ovaries. Endometriomas are what is also known as “chocolate cysts” on the ovary. (How disgusting!) It’s a benign cyst that can cause chronic pelvic pain and infertility.

Immediately I had so many questions. Why was this never diagnosed before? Why am I just now experiencing pain? How did I get this disease? How do I get rid of this pain? Is there something I did to get this? Is there something I can do naturally to get rid of it? Will I ever be able to give my husband (4) children? Is this why my period is suddenly so painful? Will I pass this down to my daughter (if I can even have a daughter)? Why aren’t ultrasounds part of a routine annual check-up? Was this inherited? Do I blame my Mom or Dad for this? Why me?

My OBGYN explains to me in greater detail what endometriosis is. Basically it’s the uterine lining growing outside the uterus. So every time I get my period, not only is my uterus bleeding, but all the lining outside my uterus is bleeding as well. Again, W.T.F? She said typically it’s on the outer surface of the uterus, but can grow and spread on the ovaries, abdomen, bladder, colon, and in extreme cases it can be found in the lungs. However, she doesn’t know the extent of how much it has spread until she performs laparoscopic surgery.

SURGERY? I’ve never had surgery before in my life. I’m Jane and healthy! Jane and surgery do not belong in the same sentence. Not at the age of 31! Suddenly I start thinking dollars. My health insurance has a $3k deductible. I make a mental note that I should anticipate this being a couple grand out of pocket since we still haven’t met our deductible and then it’s 20% out of pocket after the deductible and coinsurance.

All of a sudden I find myself developing a whole new vocabulary. I ask my doctor how in the world I could possibly get this disease. She explains that the cause is unknown but studies have found that it is inherited. Apparently I was just born with these cells outside my uterus. Again, the fertility Gods forgot about me. She also said that birth control likely saved me from my ovaries and fallopian tubes being completely scared and destroyed (HA! Take that, Mom and church!) Apparently birth control suppresses the endometriosis growth since typically a period is light and short when on birth control. Since I’ve been off of birth control for a year and a half, my cycle is now longer and heavier causing the endometrial tissue to grow and spread.

My doctor and I decide to move forward with scheduling a laparoscopic surgery. The intension is to either (a) remove the endometrial tissue or (b) drain the cysts. However, we won’t know what the outcome will look like until she gets in there with the camera. My OBGYN said she will do everything possible to save my ovaries since I’m looking to get pregnant (UMMM yea lady. I kinda need those things if I want to make a baby with my own eggs!) She said I should hear from the hospital scheduler this week with a date for my surgery – which my doctor anticipates will be sometime in July. This conversation was going great until my doctor said she will want her partner OBGYN there for the surgery as well because of the size of my cysts.

Now I’m beginning to freak out and I ask my doctor why its necessary to have two highly skilled doctors there. This is where I wish JM came with me to the appointment. JM is seriously the most calm human being I’ve ever met in my life and suddenly I find that I really wish he was here with me to calm down my nerves.

I’m trying to listen to her but everything at this point was in one ear and out the other. My mind is racing, panicking and thinking that this is now serious if she wants the other doctor there performing the surgery with her. I ask my doctor at what point should I start seeing a fertility specialist (aka reproductive endocrinologist). She suggested that if I’m still not pregnant within six months after having surgery then I should see a specialist. SIX MONTHS? That’s way too long. I mentally make a note to myself to call one tomorrow to make a consultation.

I’ve never had surgery before. I’ve been blessed to be very healthy my whole life. I’ve never had a damn thing wrong with me except childhood asthma and a dairy allergy. I look down at the floor and suddenly remind myself “oh, and this stupid stress fracture.” AUGH. This is now all of a sudden turning into a summer of hell. I’m dealing with infertility, a fractured foot, endometriosis, and now I need surgery. What could possibly be next?


April 25, 2016

Let me preface this with a clear message that this is a one-off post. I should probably start off by explaining why I jumped from my last post date of June 2015 to today. Don’t worry, I will fill in the blanks. Something happened yesterday afternoon and just had to write a post explaining. I know what you are all thinking. No, #ImNotPregnant #Yet Trust me, I’m way more creative than choosing to announce a pregnancy on a blog. 🙂

It always catches me by surprise when the stars align, when things happen coincidentally, or when things are “meant to be.” It never gets old. Remember last week when I launched my blog and in my “About Me” post  I said I’m doing this to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and to let those struggling with it also know that they are not alone? So, yesterday someone in a Facebook (FB) group I’m on posted a link to Resolve – The National Infertility Association. I heard of Resolve, but just simply never had time to dig into what it’s all about. (No offense, Resolve!) Well, they announced yesterday it was the first day of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).

WELL CALL ME PSYCHIC!!! Call it a coincidence!! Seriously people, what are the odds that I launched my blog just last week – the week before it’s NIAW?  And get this… the theme is #StartAsking. Did I not just post about all my internal questions in my diagnosis post? I’m going to call this coincidence with a side of “meant to be.” I had no idea that NIAW was even a thing, but let me tell you I instantly got the goosies when found out. After I saw the post, I did what I habitually always do; naturally, I texted my husband right away. His response was “it needs to be more than a week in my opinion.” What a guy, I tell ya!


Call me selfish or perhaps my upcoming ask is purely a shameless request. I’m a former New Yorker and honestly don’t care. You guys know I created this blog to raise awareness. Well, I’m asking for your help. So many of you have left some incredibly kind and thoughtful messages – both publicly and privately – since I launched my blog, and what’s even more amazing is that a number of you decided to “come out” and share your personal infertility stories with me. I had no idea this blog could have that kind of impact right away. (I think I just measured my first “measure of effectiveness.” Only a select few will get that nerdy joke.) Well, I want to raise even more awareness beyond my inner FB circle and family. I mean, after all I did make this blog public so it can reach those at a distance. So, here’s my selfish request… help me spread awareness!

Perhaps making this post at almost 9pm on a Monday night won’t make it go viral, but let me break this down for you using my #MathNerd skills. I didn’t major in math for nothin’.

I have 700 FB friends. The average number of FB friends people have is nearly 340, according to Pew Research in 2014 (like what I did there?). About two-thirds of FB users access FB daily. So, let me simplify this for you. If 467 of my friends (that’s 2/3rds of my total, you non-math folks) spread my blog onto their page, then 2/3rds of their friends (226 people) spread it onto their page, we’re looking at my story reaching over 105k people in one day with just 2-degrees of separation. Now, don’t ask me to calculate the confidence interval on this. Let’s just fudge it + or – 5%.

I may not be the best writer, in fact I majored in math because I’m a terrible speller, a slow reader, and never enjoyed writing. Yet, here I am out of my comfort zone blogging. Sometimes we just have to step out and do things to make a difference even if it’s a little out of our element.

Happy National Infertility Awareness Week, y’all!


June 24, 2015

At this point in our lives, JM and I are still very private about our baby making challenges. We really only told a couple of people that we were “trying” to include my mother, a couple of my cousins and maybe two of my girl friends. That’s it. I know one thing for sure is that we have not told JM’s parents.

Let me fill you in on something. I’m married to a pastor’s son. If someone told me back in college marring  “the son of a preacher man” was in God’s plan I would have never believed it in a million years. The last thing on earth I’m comfortable with is discussing anything about sex with my in-laws and I’m about 110% certain JM feels the same way. However, after all the recent tests and endometriosis diagnosis, I felt that it is now time to tell JM’s parents we are “trying.” At this point in our lives, we need a lot of prayers and comfort.

Tonight we have plans to see a live show with JM’s parents. My father-in-law (FIL) dropped my mother-in-law (MIL) and I off at the front door since I still have this stupid boot on. Something inside my head told me to just go ahead and tell my MIL what is going on – at least a cliff notes version. I didn’t ask my husband in advance if he wanted to tell his parents, and afterwards I realized I probably should have. But, I knew JM is supportive in my decisions and in the end I knew he’d be relieved we finally told his parents. After all, we did tell my side of the family so why can’t we tell his, too?

My MIL and I are sitting outside waiting for the guys to park the car, and I proceed to ask her if JM told her we are “trying.” There was no subtle way to bring this up and it’s not like we were talking about anything else related to this topic where I could just segue this in to conversation. My MIL immediate gasps, covers her mouth with her hands and I can clearly see the excitement run through her veins. I put my hand on her arm and begin to tell her we’re having trouble, been going through a ton of fertility tests and learned yesterday that I have endometriosis. She grabs my hand and says, “well, this is certainly something to pray about.” As she said that, I look up to find my husband and FIL only a couple feet away. My MIL jumps up and immediately blurts out to my FIL the news. (She didn’t hesitate for 5 seconds!) I whisper to JM that I told his mom what has been going on. I could tell JM was happy and a weight lifted off his shoulders. We were relieved to see his parents recognize we need some prayers and support.

My in-laws only have one grandchild from their eldest son. They want nothing more than to be grandparents of more. My FIL’s sister has something like 19 grandkids, so clearly my FIL is losing the grandchildren count competition. If there is one thing I can thank my in-laws for it is that they never, not once ever begged, or asked for us to give them grand-babies. We never got the sense of any pressure from them, yet we know this is something they want so badly. Both JM’s parents and my parents are going to be the best grandparents around, and hopefully we can give them that gift.

I knew this conversation would change my relationship with my in-laws, but for the better. The sex talk wasn’t too bad after all!


June 23, 2015

It’s 8AM and I’m at the appointment for the ultrasound my OBGYN wants me to get. I’ve never had an ultrasound before so I really didn’t know what to expect other than what I’ve seen in the movies – cold gel, a weird wand, and a fuzzy black and white image on the screen. For once, Hollywood didn’t lie to me or make this up!

A nurse comes in – probably about my age – and first does an ultrasound on my stomach – well, reproductive areas. She casually asks what brought me in for the ultrasound. I give her the cliff notes version of my recent ovary pain and proceed to tell her I’ve never had an ultrasound before. She sounded shocked and couldn’t believe my OBGYN hasn’t had me get an ultrasound yet with all my infertility testing. I explained we were still in the beginning stages of fertility tests.

Then… pure…awkward…silence. An awkward silence is not exactly what you want to happen when you’re naked waist down. The nurse stops moving the ultrasound wand thingy and looks me in the eye and says, “are you dealing with endometriosis?”

I attempt to repeat the “e” word she just said. I literally begin laughing nervously and ask “endometri- what? I don’t even know what word you just said.” Seriously – I never heard of the word “endometriosis” before in my life. It’s not even in my vocabulary. This has got to be the funniest sounding word I’ve ever heard – yet I couldn’t even pronounce it.

The nurse then proceeds to ask me how long JM and I have been trying. When I told her about a year and a half she then says to me, “Look, I’m telling you this as a friend…” [Listen, nurse lady, first of all you’re not my “friend”, but I think you totally could be. You seem pretty cool, but I’m not sure if I’m going to like what you’re about to say.] The nurse continues “…I say stop trying. As a friend, just stop trying. It’s not worth working yourself up over a negative pregnancy test every month until you get everything checked out.”

SAYYYY WHATTTTT????!!!!!????? Who does this nurse think she is?

Next the doctor walked in and did a vaginal ultrasound. This has got to be the most bizarre thing I’ve ever had done. It’s a wand. With a camera. Looking up in my insides. Weird. The doctor proceeds to say it looks like I have what’s called “endometriomas” on my ovaries. The endometrioma on my right ovary was about 6cm in size and the one on the left is about 4cm. Needless to say, they were “HUUUUU-GGGGGGEEEEE.”

Now this appointment is getting a bit overwhelming, but oddly it also provided relief. For the first time since doing all these infertility tests, I left the office with a smile. I was actually happy to hear I have something called endometriosis.

It meant an answer. It meant there was a solution (maybe) down the road. It meant that we have something to work with here in the baby making department. It also left a ton of questions in my head.

I got in my car and immediately called my mother to tell her what I was just told. Let me back up here for a minute and fill in a minor detail. I only just told my mother that JM and I were “trying” a couple weeks ago. I don’t have that kind of relationship with my mother where I can just openly talk about my sex life. I didn’t want to tell her, but it got to the point where her nagging for grand-babies was getting to me. I couldn’t visit my mother or have a single phone conversation without her bringing up “when are you going to give me grand-babies?” Every time she brought it up, she thought she was being funny asking for grandkids. Little did she know every time she asked me, nagged me or begged for them it crushed JM and I. She is going to make one hell of an amazing “Sito” (Grandma in Arabic) one day. I broke down and finally told her jthat JM and I were working on it.

I couldn’t believe how excited I was to tell my mother that we finally have an answer as to what is causing our infertility, but most importantly the crazy pain these last two months. I was literally smiling and a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

I have a follow-up appointment with my OBGYN in a few days to go over the ultrasound results. Being type-A a wait for a couple of days is pure torture. Now that I finally have an answer, I want to hear what the solution and plan is going forward. This is TORTURE I tell you.

In the meantime, let the “googling” begin! Did I ever mention that I have a college degree in “google”? I needed to know what in the heck endometriosis is all about. Not only do I need to know how to say this word, I need to learn what it is. I need to learn everything. How did I get this disease? What treatments are out there? How does it impact fertility? When will it go away (if it goes away)? How do others out there deal with it?

So, now you know how I came up with the title of my blog. I hope others who either have endometriosis or think they may have it can find comfort in my blog knowing they aren’t the only ones out there who have never heard of this disease. I’m thoroughly confused why I never knew I had this before. I never experienced any symptoms and it baffles me that ultrasounds aren’t a part of an annual pap/OBGYN visit – especially for women of child-bearing years. None of this makes any sense to me.

Suddenly, my sense of relief turns into guilt– guilt in a sense that I didn’t know I had this before getting married to JM– and then the “why me” questions begin.


June 22, 2015

I waste no time. None. Give me a problem, throw a challenge at me, give me a goal to accomplish and there is no stopping me. I really am a very determined person. I was born into a family of overachievers. It’s a blessing and a curse all at the same time.

Remember I said I was going to call my OBGYN first thing Monday after my Myrtle Beach trip? I wasted no time. I called my OBGYN when they opened and got myself a 2:30PM appointment with one of the doctors who isn’t my usual doctor. I didn’t care. At this point I was desperate to find out what was causing my pain. I purposely didn’t take any Alive or Ibuprofen today so that I could describe and show the doctor exactly where my pain was taking place. Lets just say it was a very long morning at work today.

The OBGYN asked me to describe what has been going on. I explain to her about the pain patterns I’ve noticed my last two cycles. I proceed to tell her that the pain feels like someone is seriously ripping out my insides, rolling them in porcupine needles, and explosives were going off on my ovaries. I literally chuckle while telling her I feel like it’s my ovaries in pain. The doctor then smiles and says usually when patients tell her their ovaries hurt it’s not even the location where their ovaries are. She asks me to point to where the pain is coming from. I show her and she says, “Yup, and that’s your ovaries. You are right about that.”

The doctor hands me a referral to get an ultrasound within the next couple of days to see if maybe it is cysts bursting on my ovaries. CYSTS??!! ON MY OVARIES??? WTF? Cysts aren’t even in my vocabulary. Did I seriously just hear the doctor correctly? The thought of cysts on my ovaries started to freak me out a bit.

After my appointment ended, the second I got in my car I called the place my OBGYN recommended to get the ultrasound done. I was able to get an appointment for the next day. Again, I don’t waste any time. Type-A.


June 17-21, 2015

My college roommates and I go to Myrtle Beach every year for our annual girls trip and reunion. It’s a weekend of sunshine, drinking, yoga pants, and eating. It’s a weekend to just destress. We stay at my girl friend’s family condo – literally just 50 feet from the sand. Usually it’s a 4-day weekend of eating and drinking like crap, and getting sunburned while reading smut magazines and catching up on what’s going on in each of our lives.

For the sake of any male readers out there, I’m putting this up front: I’m about to talk about periods. My period specifically.

Thankfully, I wasn’t on my period for this trip. Sand plus tampons don’t go together. End. Of. Story. My period literally ended just a coupe days before. However, something weird happened with my last menstrual cycle and I was not sure if it would happen again. In May, just a few days after my period ended, I had these really sharp shooting pains. I couldn’t really breathe because the pain was so bad and I felt super nauseous. All I could do was cry because the pain was so bad. The pain was definitely in my ovary area and consistent for a couple days to the point where I had to take an Advil or Ibuprofen every 3.5-4 hours. It was so bizarre. I had never had a painful period in my life. Usually my periods were light, pain-free, and hormonal-free. I’d say 11 out of 12 times in the year my husband can never tell if I’m on my period – emotionally speaking of course. So, I just brushed that pain off and thought maybe this is what other women mean when they say they get “cramps” during their periods when not on birth control.

Well… it happened. Again. I woke up Friday morning on my vacation – early. Like 630AM early screaming in my head every curse word I could come up with in my vocabulary. I swear a lightning bolt literally just struck my ovaries. I consider myself to have a pretty high tolerance of pain, but lets be honest, this type of pain is NOTHING I’ve ever experienced. I began hyperventilating, and curled myself into fetal position. Again, the pain was coming from my ovary area. I couldn’t breath. All I could do was cry. Suddenly, I bolted it for the bathroom. Next thing I know I’m vomiting up nothing but my stomach acid. I walked towards the other bedroom of the condo hunched over and woke up one of the girls to see if she had some sort of pain medicine. THANK GOD she had Advil. I took it, but then 10 minutes later I found myself bolting it to the bathroom again only to vomit and dry-heave nothing. It took about 45 minutes before the medicine kicked in, but for those long 45 minutes all I did was cry… and cry… and cry in fetal position. I thought for a few minutes that maybe the girls needed to take me to the hospital. The pain was truly indescribable.

I had no idea what could cause this pain. One of the girls (hilariously) suggested maybe I was ovulating. (YEA. RIGHT.) Another one of my girl friends suggested maybe it was my appendix. We had no idea what was occurring, but we were so close to a trip to the hospital.

For the rest of the trip I took Advil every 4 hours because I could feel the pain coming and I didn’t want to not enjoy this trip at all. But truth is, I was miserable this entire trip. I tried so hard to hide it from the girls so I wouldn’t spoil their weekend or have them worry about me. Not only was I miserable with this pain in my ovary area, but I was miserable trying to hobble around with this stupid boot on my foot. The boot was the most annoying thing ever, and here I am trying to walk on the sand with a stupid plastic boot on my fractured foot.

This ovary pain wasn’t normal. I decided that as soon as I get home, I’d call my OBGYN first thing Monday morning. The pain was obviously coming from my ovary area so I didn’t bother calling my primary care. Plus I noticed a pattern with these two cycles that the pain was just a couple days after my period ended. A part of me is hoping that this pain really is nothing and maybe this is normal with a menstrual cycle without birth control. But another part of me is hoping this is our answer as to why JM and I have been unable to conceive.


There are a ton of articles out there on what to say or not to say to someone dealing with infertility. It’s pretty obvious there are people out there who have never taken the time to google this information. Therefore, I decided to compose my own version of what the etiquette should be when a fertile person is dealing with an infertile person. These things are what have bothered me the most over the last two years. And, if you are sitting here thinking “have I said that?” the answer is yes – most likely you did at some point to some couple close to you in your life.

First and foremost, I know that whenever any of my family or friends tries to offer their words of wisdom for my struggles with fertility, they have my best interest at heart. I also know that no matter who you are, you are trying to be helpful and supportive. But truth be known, these words of wisdom suck and are unintentionally hurtful. Nobody knows the pain of infertility than the couple actually going through it.

Dealing with infertility is a very sensitive issue for any couple. The emotions can range from feeling like a failure one minute, to worrying about the future the next, to being optimistic, to feeling hopeless. You never know when a “baby challenged” couple could be worried about money and insurance bills, or what part of a fertility treatment process they are in. The emotions and hormones are running high. You just never know. A couple going through this is at the most emotional and vulnerable stages of their relationship.

Since many of you may not understand or be aware of what can be unintentionally hurtful to couples dealing with infertility, I have put together the following list to help out.
(1) Don’t Ask. Ever. Don’t ever ask when a couple is going to have kids, when they plan to have kids, or why they haven’t had kids yet. One day, you may ask that question to the wrong couple. And future grandparents, stop begging for grandbabies because you don’t know what your own children could be going through if they aren’t open about their sex life to you just yet.
(2) Please, no advice. Trust me. A infertile couple isn’t listening to your advice no matter what you say. And quite frankly, your advice to “stop trying” or “just relax” or “go on vacation” doesn’t help at all. Have you ever said to someone battling cancer that they should “just relax”? I doubt it, and honestly those aren’t the words that should be said to someone with the disease called infertility either. Infertile couples need to focus on themselves and their own situation, and ultimately we have our doctors to help us with our specific situation.
(3) If you’re pregnant, don’t complain. (Unless you want to get bitchslapped.) There are women out there who would die to have a pregnant belly, who want to feel morning sickness, and who want to feel fat. I can’t tell you how many of my pregnant friends have complained about being pregnant…. right to my face…. knowing JM and I are having baby making issues. Think for a minute about what you are saying before you say it, and don’t tell me you have “prego-brain” as the excuse.

(4) Don’t tell us we could always adopt. Adoption isn’t even in our vocabulary – at least not until we’ve exhausted every option with our own egg and sperm first. And, don’t offer this as a suggestion to an infertile couple before any infertility treatments are performed yet. Adoption is a huge decision. I don’t know about you, but do you have $40k just laying around to adopt someone else’s child? In the end, adoption or deciding not to have children is a decision the couple makes together. End of story.

(5) If you find out you’re pregnant or a mutual friend is pregnant, please put it in an email and be ultra sensitive about it. To be clear, it’s not that someone struggling with infertility can’t be happy for others, it’s that they consider themselves failures or can’t show the joy instantly. I don’t hate any pregnant woman, I just hate her uterus.  I’ll never forget when someone called to tell me they are pregnant just as we were starting all of our tests. Not only did they deliver that news over the phone, but they had the audacity to tell me they weren’t even trying – knowing full well JM and I have been trying for a year. Think people. Think. An email from this person would have allowed me the time to appropriately process the news and deal with my feelings privately.

(6) Don’t ask us if we’ve tried X, Y, Z. Nothing is more annoying than when people ask an infertile couple if they’ve tried this test, or that test. The answer is “yes.” Baby challenged couples are trying everything possible as directed by their doctors and as directed by their bank account and insurance.

(7) Stay away from the phrase “It will all work out.” You might think this is comforting, but honestly – we know you have nothing better to say. These words are actually quite hurtful. When I tell people I’m unable to get pregnant, people always respond with “it’ll happen,” or “you’re so young” or “your day will come.” You know what? Stop. And just let us know you’re praying for us.

(8) Don’t underestimate the devastation of each cycle. Every cycle that goes by every month, many hopes and dreams (and dollars) were tied to that cycle – in addition to blood and tears. Understand that your infertile friend or family members need time to mourn the lost opportunity of getting pregnant.

(9) Stop asking about it. Some days are harder to talk about it than others. It’s best to let the baby challenged couple pick their own moments to discuss their situation or struggles and how they are feeling. Sometimes that couple needs a distraction and it’s the last thing they want to talk about.

(10) Finally, don’t ever voluntarily tell your friend of a friend’s fertility success stories unless the infertile couple specifically asks. I’ll never forget when I told one of my girl friends that I didn’t want any advice, words of comfort, or sympathy, but just to know that we had found out our first attempt at an IUI failed. Her response was to tell me one of her friend’s first IUI attempt worked AND that she just got pregnant a second time naturally. Well, $#!T ON ME. We infertile people don’t care, don’t want to care, and seriously, now is not the time to tell me how others successfully got pregnant. Don’t ever offer to share a fertility treatment success story unless we ask for it.

Since I covered all the “Don’t’s” I think I should also cover the “Do’s.” There is only one rule for the Do’s….. Do be supportive. That’s it. Nothing else. It’s simple. Just let your infertile friend know you’re there for them, happily offer any distractions, bring them a meal the day they find out a fertility procedure didn’t work, take them to get a pedicure or grab dinner, and just let them know you are praying for them. Fertility challenged women don’t always want to talk about their fertility issues and quite honestly, we prefer not to sometimes just so we can avoid the possibility of crying.  We “baby challenged” people just need love, support, distractions, encouragement and a ton of prayers (if that’s your thing). Being supportive is really the most helpful thing you can do.