Saturday, May 25, 2013

BAM au trois, or, losing a gut to gain a gut....

And now, some more good news!  If you are a new reader, you can reference back to my post entitled, "Get Over It...Grr..." if you want the background on this announcement.  The short story is, I had a healthcare provider criticize me for my weight at the time because she was absolutely convinced I would develop GD or pre-eclampsia if I got pregnant weighing what I did.  She actually advised me to go on a crash diet.  After much feedback and support from all of you, I followed up with other medical professionals, including a medical endocrinologist.  Well, after a few short months, my total weight loss as of yesterday is 30, yes THIRTY pounds!

Ok, I'll say it:  "PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT BITCH!"  No expensive craziness needed.  Just treating my medical issues, and getting off my ass (well, I wasn't on it to begin with).  Now, I'm not one to really focus on numbers.  I'm wearing pants that are two sizes smaller than I was wearing this winter.  I like what I see in the mirror.  Of course, I see room for improvement, but I'm happy with how I look.  But, for the sake of modern medical "wisdom," I will say that my research indicates that another 11 pounds will put me in the comfort zone for a primigravida desiring an out of hospital birth.  Since I still have some time to play with, I will likely get there, although I am stubborn and persistent enough to make the delivery I want happen no matter what. 

So, what has this meant for me in terms of fertility?  I'm still not sure if I am ovulating.  I can definetly tell that the signs are there in more full force.  Last cycle, my sex drive increased BIG time right around what should have been THE TIME, if you catch my drift.  I also had tons of EWCM and felt a distinctive pain in my right side while driving.  I gave up on BBT a long time ago, but I did decide to check a few OPKs that I got on special (thank you Amazon).  No surge picked up.  There's also no point in paying for lab work if I'm not TTC.  Now, I'm not very excited about these signs, because I have had them before.  I also feel psuedo-O pains sometimes, because of the PCOS.  When you ovulate, a cyst pops.  Women with PCOS can feel cysts pop.  I am optimistic only because of the INCREASE in signs.

My overall conclusion?  I'm still not convinced weight and fertility go directly hand in hand.  After all, weight and PCOS do not directly go hand in hand either.  Like they told me in clinical research class: correlation does not automatically equal causation.  People of all shapes and sizes have trouble conceiving.  I've known women who weigh 120 pounds who needed to go the IVF route.  I've also known women who weigh around 250 pounds get pregnant on the first try multiple times.  Like H said once, it's a crapshoot. 

In summation?  I lost weight for me, not for any "expert."  They may want to take credit for "motivating" me, but nearly everyone who knows me can attest that someone telling me to do something isn't a motivator for me.  I am aware that some may say pre-pregnancy weight plays a major factor in what type of pregnancy and delivery the mother has, but also take into account that I had no other risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, etc.  You know what "well meaning" medical professional?  I will still probably need to order Femara from some well meaning Canadian pharmacist when the time comes.  If I am lucky enough to conceive when I'm ready, I will probably have the same kind of pregnancy I would have had at my previous weight.  For now, I'm simply going to enjoy my new body while I get to keep it.  And, that's end of it.  So there!     

BAM au deaux....

Heeellllooooo my lovely cyber friends!  It's your Riveting Mama here, happy to make some exciting announcements!  Nope, not THAT one!  Heh....

You may have noticed my absence lately.  Well, school has ended, which brought on THE BOARDS!!!  Allow me to explain how this works.  There are two nationally regulated exams I have to pass in order to start practicing; a practical and a written.  My practical exam was last Saturday, May 11th.  I showed up to school with six other classmates at 8am.  Although he was not allowed anywhere near the testing area, my main instructor was waiting with breakfast for all of us and to provide us support.  What a sweetie, right?  So, they pick out eight assesments/skill demonstrations at random for us to complete.  We have to pass all of them to move on to the written exam.  We do know what type of situation we will be getting into before hand, but we don't get to know the specifics.  I entered the first station.  Spinal injury and bloody guy in hypoperfusion (shock).  Easy.  Then, came the two big ones:  general medical and trauma.  My medical patient was a person who was having trouble breathing, but he was kind enough not to stop breathing while I was treating him.  Again, sweet!  Then, I went into trauma.  I actually felt pretty good going in.  I've always done well in this area.  I entered the room and was told my patient was ejected 60 feet from a car that was just involved in a motor vehicle collision.  He's doesn't appear conscious, is made up to look like death warmed over, and his leg is in a most unnatural position (well, as unnatural as it could be without really being broken :).  I have 10 minutes to treat him and get him to definitive care.  It's actually not as complicated as it sounds.  The key with trauma is prioritizing.  Step back and say, "What will kill my patient in the next 5 minutes?  15 minutes?  30 minutes?"  Then treat the concerns in that order. 

This would have gone so much better if my proctor hadn't been a f*cking idiot.  The test works like this:  I assess and treat my psuedo-patient like I would a real one.  As I move along, the proctor gives me feedback about what I'm supposed to be encoutering.  For example, when I examined a part of the guy's obvioiusly broken leg, the examiner tells me when the guy is responding to pain (tib/fib fracture for anyone who cares).  As I was assessing my patient, the proctor kept giving me the wrong information.  I'd ask for rate of breathing, he'd giver me a pulse.  Twice.  I'm examining an arm, he's giving me feedback on a leg.  My hands are on the back of the head, and this nut job is talking about his pupils.  I'm treating flail chest, and he's talking about the guy's abdomen.  It got to the point where the proctor who was acting as my patient sat up and told him that he was screwing up big time.  And then, he's stopping me and asking me what intervention I performed for such and such like he couldn't remember.  So, what happened?  I ran out of time.  And, so did three other people.  Fortunately, we got to re-do it with a new proctor and we all passed!  We would have anyways, since we are allowed to re-test up to three that day, but yeah...I was glad I could drink when we all went out to celebrate afterwards!   

Apparently, my school is really on it, at least in some respects, because my authorization to test letter was electronically sent to me that night.  I logged onto the Pearson website (they are the company that administers, like, EVERY professional test in existence), and they happened to have an opening the following Tuesday morning.  I figured, if I don't know what I need to by now, I won't learn it in the near future.  So, I took the appointment.  When I arrived, it was kind of like being processed into a military establishment of some kind.  I couldn't bring anything in with me except two forms of ID. I was searched, fingerprinted, and photographed.  My prints were also scanned before I could enter the testing room and after I finished and was allowed to leave.  I know, right?  Back in the day, you sat down with a paper test.  If you got more than such and such % of the questions correct, you passed.  Not anymore.  Now, you take the test on a computer.  Google CAT testing if you want to see how it works.  The computer pulls test questions from a database of thousands of questions.  The questions asked are at varying levels of difficulty.  The computer is interested at what level the tester can answer questions correctly.  So, as you test, the questions will get easier or more difficult depending on how you answer.  When the computerized "Man Behind the Curtain" determines that no matter how many questions he asks you, you will continue to perform at an acceptable level, or that you will continue to bomb it, the test stops.  You don't know how you did, you're just told, "Thank you and good-bye."  Mine shut off on or around question 78.  I felt like I failed, but then again, the thing was designed so I would get half of the questions wrong anyways.  If that doesn't mess with your head, nothing will.  When I got to my car, I pulled my phone out of the glove box and googled the ammount of questions most people had the test stop at (I know, I know).  The first search option was 70.  Apparently, about 60% of people who have it stop there pass.  It still didn't make me feel any better.  So, I went home and refreshed the website every 30 minutes (ok, more like 20).  At 3:30, I got a message of congratulations. 

After that, things moved fairly quickly.  My card arrived on Friday morning.  Since I had already applied for licensure with the state, I just faxed it over to them.  I received word this morning that I was licensed.  I have spent the majority of the day tweaking my resume and applying for jobs.  Granted I have 10 years of healthcare experience, and five of social services experience (I worked in two fields at the same time), but I've never practiced in this role before.  My hope is to enter a job with a larger, more stable company that offers decent benefits before adding an addition to my family.  I've wanted to change my career focus for awhile now, and I'm really glad I waited for this step to be complete.  Eventually, I will want an advanced degree, but I'm fine with becoming a mother before that happens.  Like I've said, I have my whole life to do most of the other things I want to do.  So, it's onward and upward for me!

Oh yeah, I received an email yesterday telling me that the national registry wants me to provide feedback on my testing experience.  I'm not sure that they could handle my feedback so I declined.  Ok, ladies, I'm reading all of your blogs/posts and will be commenting soon!  Let me know how you are all doing!  I feel like I've missed so much, and really, it hasn't been that long at all.  Cheers!  ~K               

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sweet!

I haven't been very hush hush about my extreme disappointment over the fact that my chosen cryobank has refused to let me pick up my "juice" from the facility, which is 10 minutes from my house.  It makes absolutely no sense that I have to pay $100 to have someone drive such a short distance.  I expressed my extreme disappointment with this (I mean, it is MY property after all) on many occasions, including interviews I have been a part of.  Well, I got an email this morning saying that they are now allowing pick ups with a 7-day storage tank.  Sweet!  One less thing to pay for!  I'm sure I had nothing to do with it, but still, maybe my bitchiness helped in around 0.009% of the decision making process *wink, wink*.  Have a fabulous afternoon my dears!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

So, I've got something to tell you....

I should be completing my mass casualty incident training online right about now, but I'm feeling a little stir crazy.  I have one week of school to go, and I just want to be done already!!!  So, I'm taking a break to open the windows and talk to you, my online comrades!  Ok, here's a topic that a lot of SMCs and SMCs in the making have had to tackle: when and how do you tell a someone or a potential someone about your TTC plans?  This of course is different than when you are a single parent, which brings its own set of challenges altogether.

I have been writing lately about how I wouldn't be opposed to dating the right guy if he were to come along.  Well, lately, there have been a couple of men that I have felt a connection with.  And, like I told one of them, I didn't want to miss out on a good thing because I was too afraid to try, even given my circumstances.  But, it doesn't always go as planned.  For example: one of them was a friend of a friend.  We had known each other for a few months, and I initially put my crush on hold because of my TTC plans.  But, after some reflection, I decided to give it a shot.  So, I started to drop some not-so-subtle hints that I was interested.  Not like me at all, btw.  I'm more of a school-girl crush type.  Then one night, we were out with mutual friends, and he was acting kind of strange.  A friend told me that he figured out my plans, and doesn't want kids.  Now, I'm the type of person who likes direct communication.  So, I took him aside and laid it out there.  It went something like this:

Me:  "So, I've been told that you are aware of certain plans of mine.  I wanted to talk to you about it myself, instead of you learning more about it someone else."

Him:  "Oh?"  (Not helping: see below).

Me:  "I mean my plans to have a child on my own."

Him: "WHAT?!?!?!?"  (Shocked look on face, hands running through hair).

Me:  "Wait, you didn't know?"

Him:  "Uh, no." 

Yeah, oops about covers it.  So, actually, he didn't know.  And this, children, is why you never believe what others tell you until you know for sure yourself.  Well, he was very supportive of my decision, but, he doesn't want children of his own.  I considered having a fling with him anyways, but then decided against it for a variety of reasons.  He has a lot of his own things going on and, even though I will not be TTC for at least a couple of months, a child will eventually become part of the picture one way or another.  So, he's going to stay a good friend.  And, I'm ok with that.  

But, another part of this conversation brings up a good point:

Me:  "Well, this was in motion long before I ever met you.  And, I wasn't really looking for anyone when I did.  I just want to let you know that I'm not trying to mix you up in this.  I'm not looking for someone to father my child or take care of a child that doesn't belong to him."

Him: "I never would have thought that about you.  That never crossed my mind."

Ok, but do men seriously think of these things?  Was he being polite, or was he serious?  I know as a whole, this is not the typical SMC agenda.  We choose to be SMCs, not "baby mommas", for a reason.  I know I don't need to say this for the benefit of any SMC readers, but for everyone else, let me say that if I really didn't care where my baby came from, I would have simply counted to 13, gone to a bar, and saved the large quantity of money I'd already spent.  But, do men really get that?  I've dated guys with children before, and their co-parenting situations were never ideal for them or for their children.  Their view of women was skewed to the point where they didn't trust many of them anymore.  These were the guys that brought up birth control before I ever did.   The relationships ended for reasons that had nothing to do with their children.  In fact, one of the hardest parts was saying good-bye to the kids.  It makes me think.  And, so what if I had a child with an ex-partner, as I nearly did once?  (The father of my child had no offspring, btw).  How does that automatically make me any less of a mother or a human being for that matter?  I never thought twice about being with a man who had children before he met me, regardless of the circumstances.  Why are all single moms lumped into the same category of being just "baby mommas?"  Can't we just be moms?  And, are there men out there that understand that?  

Just some food for thought on this nice spring day.  I'd love to hear from all of you.  How did dating while TTC work out, if you chose to try it?  Am I really paranoid,  or do you think there's some truth to my thoughts?