Wednesday, January 26, 2011


One of the things I love most about my job is the almost daily sense of perspective it gives me. Listening to stories from students or seeing how quickly something can turn around. Let me give you three quick examples that illustrate:
* a student had a lot of revising work to do during the Thanksgiving break. She was a good student but had a lot of obligations and wasn't well prepared for the class. She broke down in tears because she couldn't figure out how to get to a computer. Of course, there was the bus, but she lived next to the library - however, she couldn't use their computers because she had a fine. This girl was literally losing it. It was a $6 fine, and I gave her the money. Now, I don't know for sure that she used it to pay a fine, but her face immediately lit up and it was like a total weight had gone from her body. To me it was $6, but to her it was a crisis.

* we were reading a story in our textbook about a soldier fighting in Fallujah. One of the students starts relating the story of how she was on the front lines as a civilian in Sierra Leone and told us about her experiences and escape.

* a student sat in my classroom today just sobbing because his ex-girlfriend wouldn't let him be an emotionally involved father. She wanted money and babysitting, but wouldn't let him do anything else. Just being able to listen to him, I think, helped us both. He asked if I pray, and I said I do, and he lit up and asked me to think about him. I do hope things work out for him.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people go through such amazing experiences and yet keep on going. It's a wonderful lesson that I need to remember more often.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Plan

And here we go - we're out of the gate running and I'm totally stoked. My doctor is hitting this hard and I'm so thankful she's so proactive and helpful. She had an awesome plan that she outlined and we started today.

First we started with a medical history and a check-up - just to make sure all was as it should be. Turns out, my previous pregnancy was not as "normal" as we previously thought. Apparently, it is VERY unusual to be extremely sick and nauseous and lose twenty pounds during your entire pregnancy. I never had a good moment - I was constantly sick. And the fact that Katie came a month early also indicates that this was not exactly status quo. Interesting.

So, that brings us to step one: 18 vials of blood drawn for a gazillion different tests. Some of them we will have results on very quickly, but others will take up to four weeks since they are sent out. We are currently looking at lots of different blood disorders, genetic issues, clotting disorders, etc. that could be causing problems. Her best guess is that it is a clotting/autoimmune issue that causes the placenta to clot and close off, thus killing the fetus. This particular disorder would also explain why I had so many problems with Katie when I was pregnant. We hope it's something so simple because it would involve close monitoring during pregnancy with more checkups and sonograms, a clearly planned delivery, and some blood thinners. No real big deal. If we can find something as simple as that, I would be very happy.

Step two starts next month. It involves checking out all my tubes to make sure there's no fibroids, scar tissue, or cysts that may cause a second ectopic issue. Since this last one was clearly ectopic, we have to consider this may be a factor. Apparently it involves radioactive dye and checking for blockages. Awesome. She assured me it was a quick test and that we'd know right away.

All that said, by the middle of February we should hopefully have some answers. Of course, there's the chance that we won't get an answer or that we'll get an answer we don't want to hear, but overall it is very good to have a solid plan in place and a clear path. I'm going to stay hopeful and keep my fingers crossed. I'm not a very patient person, but I'll do my best.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A good sign

I got a message from a colleague in another department today asking if I'd like to go out once or twice a month for coffee or lunch. That's awesome and really made me smile. I do need to just branch out and start visiting other people in their offices and to visit other departments. I think it's better for me and healthier for me in the long run.

Anyway, that really made me smile and picked me up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The New Semester

It's been really easy to ignore things and emotions and feelings and just live life during break. Sure, break wasn't easy. There were blood draws and sonograms and doctor's appointments all the time, but that was just part of the daily routine. I got used to it.

Yesterday, however, I was back at school and it really hit me hard. I spent a lot of the day feeling like I was just going to sob. Of course, some of it came from a colleague who's very pregnant. That's just hard to see and talk about, but that's a part of life. What was really hard was never finishing last semester. Being gone before finals and then in the hospital during finals week everything was just left unfinished. Being back there yesterday just brought back all of those raw emotions and all of those confused feelings.

Worst of all, though, is that no one in my department except my Associate Dean even knows I was in the hospital or having problems. Ok, a couple of people know I was in the hospital finals week, but they don't know why. But do people ask how I am? Do people care? No. And I guess that's good and bad. It's good that I don't have to put on a brave face and tell people it's ok and that I'll be fine. But maybe it's harder to just move through this isolated world and not even acknowledge that anything hurts. Sometimes it's hard to feel so disconnected from people you see every day.

I hope that starting classes on Tuesday will make things more normal, but I think it's all starting to hit me now. I have an appointment with my Psychiatrist in a week or so, and I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about. Also, I'll be going back to my OB on the 25th to make a plan. Maybe having a plan will help hold some of this at bay. I'm just hoping I can make a clean start this year and this semester.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good News?

I'm officially negative. No longer pregnant.

I don't know how to feel about that. I mean, I do. I'm glad that the nightmare is over, but I'm not pregnant. It's sad. And happy. And frustrating. And...

Well, I have another doctor's appointment in three weeks to figure out where to go from here. I have to "reset" my body apparently. So, I don't know what or when I'll update. We have a long hard road ahead of us...