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“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... 'How did I get through all of that?"- Author Unknown

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weight

I didn't always have a problem with weight, but I always felt big.  I didn't really have a weight issue until I moved out of my parent's house & in with my now husband.  I gained weight pretty rapidly, but I know now I was just feeding my PCOS all while my Insulin Resistant body thought it was starving. 

I woke up one morning and realized that if I wanted to be the momma I knew I would be in my heart, I had to fight. 

If I wanted to be proud of my body, and live in it a long time, I had to change. 

Change hurts.   Fighting is hard. 

But not changing would have been worse.  And without change, I would never be afforded the opportunity to fight. 

If there is anything I want more in this world, I couldn't name it.  I am so excited to be in this part of my journey.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

RE Consultation

Oh my goodness, yesterday was a great day!!  I called my insurance company to check on the status of my referral and I was forced to leave a message with the answering service which bummed me for a minute, but a little while later I got a call from a number I didn't recognize and was surprised to hear that it was my RE clinic!  My PCP was on the ball and forwarded my medical records to their office with a note raving about my success in achieving my health goals and they were calling to schedule my appointment!  At first they were talking dates in the middle of March, but then they realized that while I am already an established patient I needed another consultation to get started, and that is going to be JANUARY 27th!  12 DAYS AWAY!!  I've already been asked about my plans, and really I'm not sure I have any yet.

During our first consultation he gave me a list of medications and procedures to investigate and expressed that he likes an involved patient and that I was ultimately in control of what we do, or do not do.  I also really respect my RE, feel very confident that he knows MUCH more than I do, and I trust that he really does want to get me pregnant just as much as I do.  I'm doing my research and all I can hope for at my consultation is to have a great starting point to see what we need to do next, whether it be a diagnostic procedure or beyond.

I do know that our upcoming appointment has sparked some much needed conversations about the future of our treatments with Brannon, and I'm happy we're both on the same page when it comes to trusting our RE's opinion, though he feels more comfortable with baby steps first.  Hopes are high, and it feels good...  The word of the week has been READY!  After talking about it so much yesterday with him, you could feel the hope set in.  He dug through and found more of his baby pictures, which only made my day dreams of holding a baby Brannon just soar through the roof, and I think it both hit us that it can happen.  Like REALLY happen.  Kind of put me in a (happy) tizzy making lists of all the things I'd like to have fixed in the house!  I have an (adorably) pregnant friend in her 3rd trimester who's nesting and I'll be honest...  It's so exciting It's hard not to want to nest myself!  :)

So, that's that.

12 Days until my RE Consultation.
19 Days until appointment 1 of 2 with the dentist for a deep cleaning & some work on the right side.
26 Days until appointment 2 of 2 for the same and an wisdom tooth extraction on the left side.
I'm no longer scared of going to the dentist, now that I know I'll be sedated :)

Let's go :)



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Goals

Less than a week until the PCP appointment I've been working all these years for- the one where I get my referral to the RE and we actually do TREATMENTS!  It's been a long time since our last round of clomid, and I'm really looking forward to SOMEONE helping us because try as we might, we have not had any luck on our own, despite all the relaxing.

Yesterday I confronted my fear of the dentist.  I know oral health is important for fertility, plus I had a few dental issues to address that would have SUCKED to have to address at a time when I couldn't be fully sedated.  SO I pulled up the big girl panties and I'm glad I did, it was scary, I panicked, I gagged badly, twice, but I made it through...  I have two more major appointments in February, but once those are complete my mouth will be a happy, well taken care of place, and better yet I'll know I've done everything I can to get ready for baby.

Now that I made it to my first goal weight and have surpassed it, I know I have plenty of room to continue improving.  My new goal weight is now 200, and I have 19# to go until I'm there.  I've done pretty well losing weight by controlling what I eat, but I'm ready to add the gym into my routine.  Now that the holiday has passed, movement is going to get my utmost attention.  I'm planning on an hour of cardio because I know it will be good for my heart, mind, and spirit, but I'm also planning on utilizing weights to start shaping everything up.

It feels good to be getting stuff done, even if the stuff getting done isn't particularly much fun.

Though, in fun news I have rekindled my love for audio books & have just finished the Divergent Series.  I'm taking a brain/emotion break and listening to The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster, she never fails to crack me up, then I'm on to... I think... The Hobbit! I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited which offers free voice narration on certain books, I'm fully taking advantage of that!  I also snagged a Kindle HD 6 for a great price and have really enjoyed it in conjunction with said Kindle Unlimited account.  Fun stuff, indeed ;)

From now until my PCP appointment I'm hoping to fill the time in the gym, audio books and binge watching Friends on Netflix!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Goal Weight

 In this post from July 2010, I declare: 


I will never, ever be 125lbs, or even 180lbs.  200lbs looks too light on me- believe me I've been there.  I'd be satisfied at 220, but really when I'm asked what my goal weight is, I tell people "pregnancy". 

I know that I've been aiming for this weight since 2010, so stepping on the scale January 1 after the holidays and everything that goes along with that... I was surprised to see that I had lost 3.2 pounds and now currently weigh 220 pounds.  I, Sara McLaughlin, after 4+ years of trying and not trying, motivation and stagnation, have officially reached a goal I thought was impossible.  It took much longer than I was anticipating, but I'm grateful for the time it has taken because of the lessons I have learned.  Of course I cringe now at that past blog post, thinking I had it all figured out and that 220 was going to be the magical number that everything in life smoothes out for... So far that is entirely not true, haha!  Despite not having it all together like I thought I would, I am happy, it really is a huge accomplishment for me!  

AF showed shortly after my last blog post which was a relief!  Still on track for my appointment Tuesday for my well woman check up, I scheduled a dental appointment for that day as well so I took the day off work to take care of those appointments.  Both of them are pretty scary to me, only because I'm painfully modest  around anyone who isn't my husband (I know, I know, I'll "get over it", well I'm 30 now and it still sucks!) and the dentist, well, I think we all know why people don't like dentists!  Starting the year off right by confronting all the things I've been putting off.  

I feel like I've been saying the same thing in my blogs over and over, but it's just really sinking in that everything I've worked so hard for is not a dream for the future anymore, it's my reality.  If I thought getting to this weight was impossible, and here I am...  Then that means that maybe pregnancy isn't as impossible as it has seemed... And that makes me pretty darn hopeful :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Moving Forward

I cannot express just how happy I am that I've finished the two classes I was taking this semester! Not to be a complete whiner, but it was harder this time around than when I was going full time, or maybe back then I was better about compartmentalizing life and didn't let it get in the way as much?  Either way, this semester was brutal and I thought about quitting right up until the point where I absolutely couldn't!  

 

I'm grateful I'm taking a break from school because things really are going to start moving in the fertility department and I really want to focus on that above all else.  My most recent A1C is 7.8; since my appointment I have been taking my medicine consistently, and I finally found a true $10/month gym in a well lit area, truly open 24/7 and it's nice and new.  I'm jumping into my new routine tonight after I go up there and get things set up!  Since I've proven to myself that I can lose weight by controlling what I eat, I'm looking forward to seeing how far I can go in the gym.  I was looking through my pictures on my phone the other day and saw a million scale pictures with much heavier numbers than what I currently weigh and really drove home what it means when people say to love yourself at any size.  

 

I remember looking at the scale and imagining the weight I am now, thinking once I made it to my goal weight I’d magically be able to love myself.  What has really helped me make progress was realizing that every time I attempted to lose weight under the assumption that I’d be happier at a smaller weight, I’d inevitably make myself unhappy (negative self talk, quitting junk cold turkey, miserably strenuous exercise) and inevitably I’d “fail” aka give up.  In September I started looking at my journey differently when I realized that I was numbing the pain of our infertility by seeking comfort in food and that with my condition this was a very dangerous behavior.  I read something somewhere that said you have to be uncomfortable in order to change, but most people subconsciously/consciously avoid change by seeking out comfort to numb and pacify their fears.  Always one for self-improvement I have since really analyzed my failure to launch on fertility treatments and I think a big thing that stops me is that I have been scared shitless to fail.  Fear has not only paralyzed me from progress, but it kept me on a path of self destruction, seeking comfort in the very thing that is sure to seal my fate as childless mother.  Diabetes has been a huge roadblock on our path to parenthood, but I, without truly meaning to, made it be bigger than it should be and I can say now with 100 percent certainty that I’m not ever going to let that happen again.  I have made losing weight a side effect of loving myself with the right foods, finding fun ways to work in exercise, and working on positive thinking.  Stumble as I may I’m on fire now, and finally have REAL hope that it could happen for us.  I’m satisfied that I confronted this fear of mine, and have been taking steps to move forward.

 

This is the plan for now:  I have a women well check up on 1/6 and a follow up PCP appointment on 1/13 to have my A1c rechecked because I know it will be amazing and our RE will want the most current results, as well as a referral to get things started with our RE, Dr. Reshef.  As of right now I haven’t had a period since 10/5, but recently started having some AF type symptoms.  I’ve been trying not to get too ahead of myself, dreaming about what our next step will be because I don’t want to stir up too much anxiety over it.  For now I’m focusing on Christmas and directly upon arrival home from our Christmas travels I’m going to begin an exciting journey of completely organizing every room of my house while redecorating (freely or cheaply) as well!  Just a little something to keep me busy while we wait!    

 

I’m so excited!!  Thanks for reading!!

    

 

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Happenings

Well, where do I start?

Rest in Peace, Denise

A few days after my 30th birthday, I found out that my friend Denise had taken her own life.  It was such a shock because this woman was vibrant, hilarious, motivating, and no one knew how badly she was hurting.  What shocked me the most, was knowing that we had been suffering at the same time, with the same thoughts, but she chose to end her life.  Her death was a HUGE wake-up call for me to start seriously fighting my depression.  I'm happy to say I found help I have needed and I'm on the road to recovery!  Depression is no joke, and it breaks my heart that Denise is gone because of hers, her friendship meant a lot to me and it's because of her that the fight in me has been renewed.

Each day gets a little bit better, each visit with friends gets a little bit easier, I have started feeling creative again, planning for the future, redecorating our house, I made a doctors appointment and was able to make it there without having to cancel (either from coworkers being absent or from anxiety).

So here is when the blog starts picking up!  My doctors appoinment went really well!! Officially marked it down in my medical records that I have reduced my weight by 20# since my last visit bringing my total weight loss from my heaviest to 67#.  He ran my A1C & other labs and I'm happy to report improvement in my A1C from a 9.8 to a 7.8.  I was most nervous about this number because I have had such a hard time taking my metformin, but now that I'm etching myself out of my depression and learning a lot about the true meaning of self care I'm happily taking his recommended dose of 1000mg of Metformin and one glyburide a day.  That's it!  At my worst I was prescribed 2 different types of insulin & 2500 the absolute max of metformin you can take a day!

If I recall correctly, Dr. Reshef's requirements to pursue treatment was for me to have an a1c as close to 7 as possible.  Since we are right in the thick of things between Thanksgiving & Christmas I'm not entertaining the idea of any sort of appointment or treatment by him for the remainder of this year, but I have an email in to my doctor about my referral to see Reshef.  I can, at the very least get that ball rolling, secure my referral, and plan my appointment for January if not secure my appointment right now.  I'll continue my way of eating, continue taking my metformin as directed, and my a1c should be even more improved by the time we get in to see Dr. Reshef.

Until that time we are SAVING SAVING SAVING & PRAYING PRAYING PRAYING.
    

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My 30th Birthday

 Well, I'm officially 30!  It was not nearly as scary as I've imagined it to be all these years, which I'm grateful for!  In fact, it was pretty spectacular...  I was the very happy recipient of a surprise party that my husband and mom conspired to put together!

Of course it wasn't without it's dramatics, I had a very typical Sara freak out session about my birthday in the days leading up to my party because I had a lot on my plate with school and at work, my birthday and planning it (yes, I thought I had to plan it myself) was the last thing I wanted to worry about.  Both my mom and my husband assured me that everything was going to be taken care of and not to worry about it, so I drank some wine and let it go.  I had so much else to worry about that I didn't think about it much.

Saturday 11/1, Brannon woke me up very sweetly and made me coffee.  He let me structure the morning and afternoon, saying we'd probably hang out with some friends later in the evening.  Our first stop was the grocery store because I was super excited to take a pregnancy test, it was negative, but I was so excited when I took it that I was shaking!  I have HOPE again!  I was okay to see the negative, I know we are getting closer and closer to making everything a reality.

We grabbed lunch at Panera Bread, then Brannon took me shopping for smaller clothes because I'd walked out of every pair of pants I owned the week before, he decided that would be his gift to me this year!  He was amazing helping me pick out clothes after I had long given up.  I have such little patience when it comes to shopping, but he is a pro!  I ended up getting 2 pairs of size 16 pants, 3 shirts, and a really neat knitted cowl.  After that we headed home to get ready to meet our friends Casey & Lindsay for bowling.

Imagine my surprise when we walked in to the bowling alley and almost everyone I love was inside... even my parents and my little brother, all the way from Missouri!  They thought I hated it for a second, but I was just trying not to cry!  I was absolutely HUMBLED to bits!  I still can't believe it happened, it was just such a nice surprise!!

Here are the pictures from the surprise party & the dinner the night of my birthday.  I didn't get a chance to get a picture of everyone who was there,

My Cake!

My Dad!

Two of my best friends, April & Lindsay

My ADORABLE parents!

Lindsay & Casey
 Not Pictured were Kandace & Family (Thank you SO MUCH for coming!), Donna & Wayland, and most of the kids :) 

Marley girl LOL

The morning after :)

Brannon, Jocelyn & I at my birthday dinner at Earl's

Jesse & April :)

Lindsay, Casey, & Jordan
I had a great birthday!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Progress

Wow, I haven't posted in a while!  I didn't have much to share, and what I did have to share just didn't feel good enough to share because I was experiencing a pretty deep depression.  

I sought counseling but wouldn't ya know my "awesome" insurance referred me to a guidance counselor type instead of the psychiatrist/psychologist I need.  Although she said a few things that helped, I ended our relationship during the second session.   I will be returning to counseling but with someone more equipped to handle my unresolved issues from childhood.  Right now though, I'm in a place where I don't have time in my routine for counseling just yet.  We are currently in the midst of a move at work that we/the building were slightly unprepared for so things are hectic for me until I get settled.  I will add that this move has made a huge difference in my life bc now I have an office with a window!

I still have days where I struggle, but some of the tips the counselor gave me have been worth a try before I delve further into thinking something is terribly wrong with me.  Practicing Gratitude was first, which has been super helpul.  The other was to focus more on progress over perfection.  I have major perfection issues that keep me back from the things that I want.  One of my big down falls was my diet, in ways I didn't even know. 

At my heaviest I was 292.  This morning I'm at 230.  I lost the first half of my weight hauling A at the gym and barely eating,  then I had a year or two of backslide/lose a little/maintain.  This last half of the journey has been fought in the kitchen! 

At first I phased out all our non paleo foods, and once they were gone, started replacing everything with raw veggies, fruits, Gluten Free wraps if something like that is required for a meal.  I haven't been strict with the use of organic fruits/veggies bc we operate on a budget but I decided to give the progress way of thinking a try and I'm really glad I did. 

I'm uploading a pic to show my progress on the outside so far.  These pictures show me proof that dairy was not good for me, eating out was not good for me.  We made this change about a month ago after returning from vacation!  I think I have lost at least 10# since we made this switch.  I couldn't tell you when my last AF was but I can tell you now!  (Today, lol).  

I have a PCP appointment to calculate weight lost & get a referral to see Dr Reshef!  It's REALLY GONNA HAPPEN!  EEEEK!  I have really just been trying to be as positive as possible about having a baby, it's helped to make Brannon and I much more hopeful going into this.   

Anyways, updates soon!

Xoxo
SARA

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Well, Mother’s day came & completely punched me in the gut.  It surprised the ish out of me, because I completely thought I was over a lot of these feelings.  I deactivated facebook after my first tinge of self-loathing.  (I just wish people hadn’t noticed that I deactivated it… really wasn’t trying to get any attention just needed away from it for a bit!).  I was able to find many bits of happiness through my weekend.  That’s not to say that I didn’t have any issues either… I did show up with ugly cry face to celebrate MD with my husband’s family, and I have the type of cry face that can’t go unnoticed, so yeah that wasn’t awkward.  By wasn’t, I mean it totally was… I had totally dried the tears up by that point, just couldn’t shake the puffy blue eyes accented by the red splotchy cheeks and rudolph red nose, so I happily ate some emotions in the form of strawberry pie and brushed every well meaning “Happy Mother’s day, even though you’re not a mom” that was said under the rug.  In past Mother’s day’s that brought me comfort, but this year I just didn’t want to hear it, because I’m not a mom, however much I’d like to be, and this day was not about me.  I felt guilty that I couldn’t hide my pain enough to make other people just focus on themselves and their happy day.  My ability (or lack thereof) to reproduce shouldn’t be on someone’s mind while they are celebrating being a mom… It’s one day a year for crying out loud! 

I don’t like feeling sorry for myself, and I did a lot of analyzing of my feelings instead of just wallowing in them and primarily I was feeling depressed and guilty for feeling sorry for myself.  I felt bad that I was focused on myself (in a negative way), and really didn’t put forth the effort into making it a special day for my own mom, or B’s mom.  Instead I had my brother buy a gift for my mom, and texted her instead of calling, and I showed up bawling to his family’s thing…  If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have left the house, but it wasn’t because I just wanted to stay home and cry, it was the fact that I knew I was going to have to fake my way through lunch, and I didn’t even feel the energy to do that.  So I’ve formulated a plan for next year- the week before we’ll get gifts and cards and fill them out and mail the one that’s far away and store the one for the mom nearest us.  I think helping myself be more prepared for the day will take some of my guilt away and make it more manageable.  I’m also on cd 28 and super emotional, I have taken 2 hpts and both were starkly negative (don’t worry, I actually didn’t take it bad at all) so I believe I’m just gearing up for AF which isn’t something to be sad about, it’s actually pretty exciting if I start soon… 

So anyways, that’s that, the ugly feelings that rear their ugly head at the weirdest, most unexpected times.  My weekend was still beautiful- got some good time in with my best friends (minus a few that were unavailable), made some amazing memories with my husband (who just discovered what the phrase, “you’re my person” means and declared to me that I was his person) Melted. My. Heart.  Bc he is so my person, haha J



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Medicine & the Future

I had a PCP appt on 3/31- had blood work done and everything looked AMAZING except for my stinking blood sugar!  I’ll admit that I wasn’t taking the medicine as consistently as I should have been, but to my defense it’s super hard to take and it wasn’t even that effective anymore.  SO- my doctor prescribed me Glyburide to take in addition to Metformin.  Now I’m taking 1 Glyburide tablet and 1 Metformin tablet twice a day and my blood sugars have been consistently getting better!  I’ve seen readings of 94!  Fasting levels of 135!  It’s much easier to take my medicine, and it’s obviously much more effective.  I have been eating so well that it even surprises me!  I LOVE APPLES!  I’ve always avoided them because as a kid I didn’t like the texture, or the soft spots, or when they got all gritty feeling… I had issues, anyways, now that I’m just about 30 I cannot get enough of them! Haha, they are nature’s candy in my eyes!  I even had one for breakfast, and my favorite thing to do is put a little pb on it, but plain is amazing too!  I could go on, but really, I’ll stop. 

 

My A1C is going to be re-evaluated at the end of May to have it all checked again and get my referral to see Reshef.  Life is going to get a lot more interesting for us soon!  Not only are we pursuing treatment, but we’re getting our house ready to put on the market!  An opportunity arose and it would be very foolish of us to turn it down.  My mother in law’s house caught on fire and is considered a total loss.  Luckily for her she was smart and even though the house has been paid off for decades she continued to insure it and had a great replacement cost on it.  This house is being renovated and though it’s going to stay the same size (pretty dang small, and only two bedrooms, 1 bath) it’s going to be completely brand new inside and out.  New appliances, new cabinets, floors, walls, carpet, bathroom, everything is being brought up to code… and my MIL is begging us to sell our house and live there to save money (she has another property that she lives at so we would NOT be living with her)!  There are so many pros for doing this, yet surprisingly a lot of cons too, but we’re making it happen because we know that it’s going to be a temporary inconvenience for so much gain in the long run.  We haven’t worked out the details too much but I know we’d maintain the property, pay the utilities like we would in our home, and I’m certain we would put monthly deposits in a savings account for her to pay the insurance/property taxes.  Even with those expenses we’ll be debt free shortly after the sale of our home and on to saving to build our dream home.  For now, we’re simplifying things in our home, fixing the things that need to be fixed, and getting it ready to sell.  Once the renovations on the new house are complete (should be November) we’re contemplating moving into it so that we are able to stage our home for easier sale.  Lots of things to figure out, but SO SO SO excited for what this means for our future!

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