8 Things You Need to Know about your IVF Protocol that No One Told You

Hi Maybes!

I’ve been a little quiet because…..I just finished my first  protocol for egg retrieval. We’re going to freeze and transfer in a few months once we get this thin lining resolved.

Updates on my cycle soon to come.

Having just finished the whole processes of stimulation and retrieval, I feel like there are things no one told me,practical things, that I never knew, so I’m going to share a few things I think might be useful to know before your start.

Step. Your. Sock. Game. UP
Seriously. You will be in the stirrups more in these 10-12 days then you probably have been in all of your adult life. Give yourself a boost of confidence. Give your doctor and staff something fun to look at. Keep them guessing.  Wear fun socks. Trust me on this.

Drink A Lot of Water

Why? Because you will have blood drawn every time you go in. Every. Time. You’ll feel like a pin cushion. If you’re like me (and hopefully you’re not), and have small and hard to find veins, drinking lots of water will help you a lot. Even if you’re a standard blood draw, being well hydrated makes your veins plumper and easier to find. It will make this part of the appointment go a little bit smoother.

My arm on day one of monitoring…
One of my arms on the last day of monitoring.

Give yourself an extra 5 minutes your first dose day

When taking your injections , its important that you dose at the same time every day, or as close as possible.  On your first day, or your first day adding a new medication, give yourself an extra five minutes, especially if its something like Menopur, that has to be mixed by you.

It can be a little cumbersome sorting out all of your needles and viles, mixing, and measuring. Add in at least a one minute pep talk to yourself the very first day to hype yourself up to stab yourself with a needle.

On that note….

PM dosing

The needles for the injections are not that bad

They really are thin, tiny needles. Unless you have a real fear of needles, you’ll be a pro at jabbing yourself after about three doses. Except for the trigger shot. THAT needle is longer, and a little wider, but it goes in your butt, not your tummy, and is intramuscular, going into muscle, so it needs a little more length and needs to be a little wider. Its all relative, because non of these needles in more than a few millimeters across.

For this process, a little tummy fat is a good thing!

Many of the stimulation meds are given subcutaneously, meaning under the skin. Usually you have to pinch an area of skin/fat on your abdomen. If you have a lil extra there, it will be a good for these purposes for this.

You can’t be Shy (because you may have to do your shots in a public space)

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me post about my first public dosing. Long story short: I had the bathroom all to myself, them someone came in. With her nosey self, she lingered around, taking forever to wash her hands and re-applying her lip stick oh so meticulously, to see what I would be doing since by that point I had my supplies laid out. After a while I just said “F it! She gon’ learn today ” and proceeded with my shots.

I had 2 more times I had to dose in public restrooms. Fortunately, there was room and shelf (or shelf like) space in the stall where I was able to have more privacy. Except for the lady at the road stop that was telling me her whole life story from the other stall….

Bloat. All of the bloating. And Gas

I’m telling you because I love you. After a few days of stimulation meds, you will be a little bloated, OK, a lot bloated. And gassy. You’ll feel the pressure and heaviness of those enlarged ovaries (which is great!), but it makes you feel very bloated and full.  Your injection areas will be a little swollen as well. Its uncomfortable, but manageable.

 

Your mind will be a little foggy. You will have emotions and moods

This is commonly said, but I wanted to clarify. For me, it wasn’t the violent, quick, up and down mood swings, it was little things. I cried about something every day the first five days. Things that would usually just annoy me, made me really pissed off.  Things that wouldn’t bother me at all made me upset. It’s like PMS turned up a little. There were times in the middle of an emotional moment, I said to myself “why am I crying?” or “What is wrong with me?” I was very on edge.

The fogginess, I imagine is similar to what pregnant women call “pregnancy brain”. I just didn’t feel like myself. I forgot a lot. I felt like I was operating out of body a lot of the  time. It was just a general lethargy and sluggishness I fought through pretty much every day once things really go going. Some of it may not have been the meds, but also the overwhelmingness and newness of starting my first IVF cycle, and all that it meant. Just know that you will be in a strange head space, rather its med induced or not.

*Bonus Don’t call new people you meet by the name brand of one of your meds

This seriously happened to me, but I didn’t say it to his face. A group of my friends and I had just met some new people, and later I was trying to remember one guy’s name. It had a “V” and an “L”  in it somewhere. I said this with all seriousness:

Me: What was his name? Vivelle? Oh wait, that’s my estrogen patch.

 

 

 

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…But She Refuses to Go Down

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.
-Mike Tyson

Sorry Rhonda! Visual of a Life Mouth Punch
Visual of a Life Mouth Punch. 

 

I would like to say before I get started that this post has been in draft for about 4 days, so it wasn’t inspired by Rhonda Rousey’s loss. Today was the only day I could edit and add graphics, and well, the images from the fight were  perfect for the post.  No shade to Rhonda.

Here we are. Going through life, making plans and setting goals. For many of us, we visualize ourselves with a job in the career path we want, maybe even starting our own business. Buying a home. Saving money. Losing weight. Some of us are so detailed that we have age milestones for each goal: Buy a house by 28.  Be department director by 30. Get married before I’m 40.
But if you’ve lived life at all, you know that these plans can indeed be put down by a quick life punch in the face.

Life has dealt all of us several blows I’m sure. Some didn’t land, so you walk around thinking you’re the champ of winning at life. There were a few that landed, but didn’t really hurt too much:  ‘You call that a punch, life?!’
There were probably a few sneak punches that you didn’t see coming, and they had you stunned for a few seconds,  but you managed to shake it off.
But then there are the real power punches that damn near take you out: A parent dying. Losing your job. Divorce.
Infertility is definitely one of those mouth punch situations.

wpid-screenshot_2015-11-13-06-58-40-1.png

 

So, do you drop to the mat and give up, or shake it off and keep going?
What’s the new strategy?

Black and Married with Children posted a great piece about handling the disappointment of not having children by a certain age when you thought you would.  The post is geared towards single women, who can have children (as far as they know), but other circumstances have stopped them or prolonged the process. It really doesn’t matter, because the advice is useful regardless of the reason for having your motherhood dream deferred, or taken.

The key points are:

  • Grieve the Loss
  • Release the Dream
  • Redefine Motherhood
  • Embrace Your New Reality

The bottom line is don’t let this thing keep you down. Feel the pain of it all, allow for the moment of shock, then shake it off and get back in the fight. There are still many more rounds to go. If it kicks your ass, demand a rematch.

 

Check out the full post from Black and Married with Children here

Just like a Felon

I know I’m late, but the new thing I love is podcasts. I’m addicted.  Serial. The Read. Freakanomics. I even sub to a wedding planning pod cast. They’re entertaining, informative, and they help me get through my long commute home,  so I’m always looking for a new show to subscribe to.
I recently started listening to Death. Sex. Money. , which describes itself as  “A podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.”  Since I newly discovered this series,  I’ve been catching up on past episodes. So far, an excellent pod cast and quickly becoming a favorite.

Today’s catch up episode was from April 25, 2015. An interesting interview until the subject uttered this sentence: “I think people without children should not be allowed to vote”

 Insert record scratch.

There are so many great side eye GIFs out there, selecting one was difficult. But the Dowager wins today.
There are so many great side eye GIFs out there, selecting one was difficult.
But the Dowager wins today. Me when I heard his “joke”

The person speaking was W. Kamau Bell. Comedian, blogger, and former talk show host. Now to be clear, I know that it was said in jest, because, he is a comedian. However, I still found it not funny and incredibly insensitive.  I was offended, and actually a little shocked. I don’t think he was trying to be an asshole, but that’s definitely how he came off in that moment.

I admit, I don’t know a whole lot about Bell, and I wasn’t very familiar with him before his talk show, Totally Biased. I know he’s a comedian. I’ve liked most of what I have seen from him, which is why I picked that episode to listen to. I  wanted to learn more about him. From what I have heard  from him in the past, and even in that particular interview up to that point, he is an intelligent and aware individual.

So why then, even as a joke, would he say something like that?

What he was trying to say, in a horrible,  inconsiderate way, is that parents see the world differently than they did prior to becoming parents, and make most, if not all decisions considering the lives of their children, knowing even the smallest decision affects their lives. I get it, but the premise is still a little off.

Now, it’s really not my thing to be the comedy police. As they say “everything ain’t for everybody”, so if I don’t find a comedian (or comedienne) funny,  I just don’t listen to their comedy or watch their shows (I’m looking at you, Kathy Griffin and Martin Lawrence. Black Card revoked for Martin,  I know). However,  some things, to me, are universally not funny: racist jokes, violence against women centered jokes, sexual abuse jokes, etc. I say all this to say that I’m not bashing Bell as a comedian,  or even as a person. I am simply saying that he is representative of what the world thinks of us child free women, and men: We are some sort of selfish, not-fully-formed, adult-type person.

Yes. Being a parent changes you. I don’t think anyone would argue that point.  And yes, I’m sure as a parent,  your decision making shifts. But the implication here, is that somehow, by not being a parent,  you are incapable of making quality,  well thought out,  long range decisions.  Which then implies that by not being a parent,  you are some how less of an adult.
I haven’t even gotten to the sheer insensitivity this shows towards the 1 in 8 couples who literally can’t have children.

So even as a joke, he’s essentially saying that because someone consciously chooses not to, or is unable to procreate, They should be denied a civil right? Cut out of a crucial function society. No better than a felon to him I guess. (BTW, I am not someone in favor of felons losing their right to vote once they have served their time)

So the soldier who cannot have children because of the injuries he sustained in Afghanistan, and his wife shouldn’t have a say in choosing the person who shapes the foreign policy of this country? You know, because he has no ideas or insights about such things because he’s not a father.

The couple that has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars just to become parents doesn’t have a stake in the healthcare system here in this country? I mean, they only have been navigating through it for years. What could they possibly know since they don’t yet have any children?

“Its just jokes.”  “Why are you going so deep with it?”  “Calm down.”  You might be saying.

I get it, he’s a comedian,  and a new dad, so its just for fun, and he’s experiencing the world in a new way right now.  Cool. But I should hope those two things don’t instantly render you insensitive or arrogant.
For so many people,  that was just a flippant,  funny thing to say. But for the couple who just suffered a second miscarriage, or is on the fourth round if IVF, its painful.
To the women and men who have made the choice not to become a parents, it’s down right insulting.

To Kamau I say:

Come on, bruh.

In the words of one of my podcast faves, Crissle, Words mean things. Even as a joke, words can be painful. You as a Black man should know this.  Choose your words wisely.

Being child free, rather by choice or circumstance, does not invalidate ones humanity or adultness. For those who are childless by circumstance, that type of statement can be painful.

If you have an issue with my child free status, take that up with God.

Update: Per Kamau’s twitter I stumbled upon this conversion. Looks like he stands by his “joke”, which is unfortunate.

Listen to the full podcast episode here.

How Congress Celebrates NIAW….

…and it’s not by recognizing the week with a proclamation.

Sounds about right....
Sounds about right….

Someone I know shared a little nugget about Congress and their plan to overturn a DC law that prevents women from being fired for using IVF or getting pregnant out-of-wedlock. At first, I thought it had to be some kind of Onion type article, but no. This is an actual thing.

That’s right, people of D.C.: members of Congress just voted to let your boss fire you for personal decisions you make at the doctor’s office — because your boss believes those decisions aren’t consistent with his religious beliefs. Now, the whole House may take a vote on this discriminatory measure.

 

(For those that don’t know, click here for a little history about how/why Congress can do this in DC.)

So because you don’t agree with how someone starts their family, they can be fired? That sounds real Christian. (feel the sarcasm)  I really want someone to show me the passage(s) of scripture where God said IVF will send you to hell. Don’t these people know there was infertility in the Bible, even a miscarriage?

I can’t even deal with this.
This is why it’s so important to speak out and educate others about infertility issues. I choose to believe if people understood more, they wouldn’t say and do rude or insensitive things,  and they wouldn’t make these types of judgments.

 

Anyway….

You can catch the full ACLU article is here

Also, a take on this from The Frisky here.

 

 

Coming out of the Closet: I’m a Beyonce Fan

Lets take a break form Infertility and Fibroids, and go Off Topic! A new category you will see more of, because sometimes, you just need to talk about other things.

 

Hi, my name is Jai, and I’m a Beyonce fan.  There. I said it for the whole interwebs to see!

 

rs_634x845-140424061203-634.Beyonce-Time-JR1-42414

I got a new iPod for Christmas, a much needed upgrade, and I noticed as I upgraded iTunes (again) and re downloaded music, that I have a lot of Beyonce music. Like, a lot. More than I thought I did.  Now, I would never categorize myself as a Beyonce hater, because there are segments of  people who have an irrational hate of all things Beyonce (the polar opposite of the Beyhive: those that love everything Beyonce says, does, and thinks). I just never really would have categorized myself as a fan. I liked a few songs, but not a fan. I see myself as an artsy music girl. I love Erykah Badu, Mos Def (Yasin Bey), Janelle Monae, Santigold, Jay ElectronicaPrince! (who is my absolute favorite artist of all time) Surely, I don’t have room in my heart to be a fan of Beyonce’s. But, she did perform with Prince at Grammys in 2004, and he did say she was talented, and more knowledgeable about music than he thought……

(The low key shade though…)

Maybe I was still feeling some kinda way about the shade-tasic way the original Destiny’s Child broke up. I was a DC fan, but the day I turned on the original 106&Park in my college dorm and saw the Say My Name video with two new, random chicks, I was in shock. So much so that it was the topic of discussion in my crew for at least three days.

Maybe because I felt like I was too old to be a Bey fan. By that I mean that I’ve noticed that women who are really big fans of Beyonce are usually 30 and under.  They would have been tweens or little girls during the whole Destiny’s Child era.  They were a nice group of young ladies to look up to: stylish, talented, sassy but not raunchy. Those girls followed Beyonce’s evolution over time from a child and teens point of view. Adoring her every move. Women and girls 30 and under idolize her. They truly look up to her as a role model of success, style, and womanhood.

Plus, I always felt like she came across as a little vapid in interviews. But I see now that it was all an evil genius move. Well that, or her “people” never really wanted he to come off as having a mind of her own. Either way. Now, she seems more willing and comfortable speaking her mind and doing what ever the f she wants!

I have a friend, Shay, who went through this conversion a few years back. She and I were the last 2 standing in not being Beyonce fans in our circle. In fact, she referred to her as Beyowolf. Then, some time after the 4 album came out, Shay gave in, and joined the legion of Bey fans. It was just me, and I was refusing to go down.

As I recently went through my music library, I noticed not only did I own a lot of her music, I liked it. Like, those are my jamz! Doing choreography in my living room jamz. So, after I broke down and bought the Beyonce album on iTunes (yes, I got it a year later because I refused to be on the Beyonce bandwagon. That’s how serious I was about not being a fan), I had a long talk with myself and had to admit: I’m a fan. I respect her drive and push to make music and stay on top of the game, her ability to stay relevant, be a trend setter even.  Her style. Her stage show. As a former dancer, I LOVE the dancers she hires. And the choreography?!  The production. The costuming. Slaying! The fact that she manages to stay genuinely curvy and be in shape. I’m just here for all of it.

Now, I’m far from a Beyhive member, I won’t take it that far, but I am a fan. I just am.  And its OK. I can like Miles Davis, and Portishead, and The Foreign Exchange…..and Beyonce.

OK Bey. You win.    Bow down, bitches indeed.

UPDATE
Just as I started to settle in to Beyonce fandom, I may have to take it all back. Beyoncé is slated to sing Take my Hand, Precious Lord at the Grammys as a part of Common and John Legend ‘s performance if Glory from the movie Selma. The problem? Ledisi (Who is an awesome singer in her own right) sings this song (as Mahalia Jackson) in the movie. So why is Beyonce singing it, when Ledisi will be in attendance at the Grammys because she’s nominated for her own song? Good question. I can only guess there are politics involved. The better question is why did she except?
Major side eye, Bey.

Some Days are just Bad Days

I try to keep everything pretty positive around here. I generally have a positive but realistic attitude about life in general.

I haven’t yet began to dive I to my fertility issues here, but today, I’m going to jump ahead a little.

Two weeks ago, I went in to speak with my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist, a doctor who specialize in fertility) about her analysis of my current situation after some tests and information form my surgeon. She gave her thoughts (details to come) but the basics were that we should start the process sooner rather than later, and IVF would be the best bet. She ordered a blood test (AMH test) to check my ovarian reserves, (eggs I have left).

 

It took this chick 3 sticks to actually draw blood...
It took this chick 3 sticks to actually draw blood…

Well, today I got my results, and they weren’t that great. My level is at a .6, which is below average for my age.

 

I am extremely disappointed and sad. I allowed myself to cry for the first time in a long time about my infertility, because it all got a little more real today.

The journey is not over, and I know I will bounce back and keep pushing, but today is just a bad day. It was not the result I was hoping top hear.  However, I wouldn’t be true to the purpose of this blog if I didn’t share this experience.

 

Please visit the following links for a full explanation of AMH testing and how it relates to fertility

10 Facts about Anti-Mullerian Hormone Levels (AMH)

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (Including Graph)

 

A Pause for the Cause: Thoughts on Ferguson, MO and Michael Brown from a Future Mom

I am a very socially and politically aware person. However, I try to keep politics and social issues (not dealing with women’s health) out of this blog. Mainly because I want to keep this a neutral place, and for the most part, a light place. But there are always exceptions. The events of this past week is one of them. As a woman, a Black woman, and a daughter, niece, partner, and a potential mother of Black men, I could not let this moment go by without using my voice to say something.

Unless you live in the deep woods with no communication with the outside world, by now you know about the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer, and the subsequent anger and protest in the town of Ferguson, MO. Before I go any further, let me make these few points clear in an attempt to lessen any confusion or misinterpretation.

1) I understand that most law enforcement men and women do their jobs properly and risk their lives every day. To those men and women, I give my respect and support

2)  I am aware that there are some people in the midst of these protests that are agitating by looting, fighting and shooting. I do not condone violence, including looting of stores and riots.

 

With those points out of the way, lets get into it. Michael Brown was shot by a police officer. He did not have a weapon. Allegedly, Michael and a friend were walking in the street when an officer approached them in his vehicle and demanded that they move to the sidewalk. At this point, details and accounts vary, but some type of altercation/tussle happened with said police officer and Michael.  He ran, but stopped, putting up both hands in the universally recognized sign of surrender.  There are multiple eye witness to the shooting and its aftermath.  The Ferguson Police Department  left Michael’s body in the street, uncovered for 4-5 hours. When they did retrieve the body, there was no EMS or coroner van, just a police SUV.  In the following hours and days, the police department would not release any information on the incident. The citizens of this community, many witnessing the shooting and living under the tense relationship between them and the police, began to protest. Some people took that opportunity to loot and riot. As tensions mounted, the police donned full on riot gear and used teargas,flash bombs, and other heavy equipment in an attempt to control the situation. The protests continued. Anonymous gets involved.  Days passed with no word from the Governor, the Police Chief, or the President.  Several journalists and media outlets report harassment, threats, and an attempt to block them from covering the events. After all of this, the Governor of Missouri and The President speak out. After almost a week, the police release the name of the officer, Darren Wilson. They also release footage from a local corner store that allegedly shows Michael stealing cigars and arguing with a store clerk. The family is upset about this newest revelation and accuse the Ferguson PD of smearing Michael’s name. The police Chief releases another statement that the offending officer did not know Michael was a suspect when he approached Michael and his friend for jay walking. That night, some people loot and riot…again. A curfew is instated as of Saturday afternoon, August 16. The unrest continues….

 

In this case I see several issues:

1) Police Brutality

2) Racial Profiling and the default criminalization of Black males

3) The violation of the First Amendment by police in the attempt to prevent the people of Ferguson from protesting and attempting to restrict journalists from covering the situation.

4) The militarization of local police

 

I’ve already gone on long enough, so I’ll try to make my points brief. All of the above listed issues should disturb you as a human and as an American. If the fact that people’s rights are being violated does not bother you, no matter your political affiliation, religion, ethnicity/race, please make an appointment to have your humanity checked.

Police brutality and harassment over petty offenses like jay walking have been going on in Black neighborhoods for years.  Is it poor police training? Is it “broken windows” and “zero tolerance” policing policies? Is it over zealousness? Prejudice? Probably a mix of any of those elements at any given time or situation.  I can expand that point  to say its been going on in poor neighborhoods for years. Because of the years of tension and mistrust, the relationships between minority and poor neighborhoods and the police is fragile at best. This strained relationship leads to everyone, cops and citizens, being on edge all the time. Point number 2 means one thing:  Black men are criminals. Period. No amount of money, education, success, or clothing options can change that in some people’s eyes. And some of those people happen to be police officers. That leads to profiling, and sometimes worse. It happened to Henry Louis Gates Jr, a Harvard professor, it happened to Tyler Perry, and it can happen to any Black Man or boy. When was the last time a WASP man was stopped for simply walking in his neighborhood and asked for his ID? I’ll wait. When was the last time it happened to a Black or Brown man? Probably 5 minutes ago in any given town or city.

The issue is that if it doesn’t affect you, you have no idea. Many people across America can’t understand what’s happening in Ferguson because they have never lived under those conditions. They don’t understand the anger. To them, the unrest just looks like chaos and disorder, but these are the actions of the unheard.

Dave Chappelle explained the relationship between Black people and the police (and White people’s reactions)  the way only he can in his 2001 stand up routine “Killing them Softly”: (We need a little levity right now) The clip is kind of long (7 minutes), but in order to get the full idea you have to watch it all.

 

 

What he said was 100% truth.

What about the blatant disregard for the First Amendment?

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The actions of the Ferguson Police Department definitely trampled on two of the three rights of the people in Ferguson. The people are angry and frustrated. They want answers. They want justice. They have the right to assemble and protest. Even with social media,  live Tweets, and cell phone video, we still need stories covered from a journalistic point of view. Of course Ferguson police  didn’t want the world to see what they were doing…look at what they were doing. The fact that two journalists were pushed and punched, detained with no cause given, then released, without an apology or explanation is frightening. “Where they do that at?!”  Apparently, in Ferguson, MO. This sounds like a story from Iraq or Russia. Not the United States, but it was.

This all makes me think about my journey into motherhood. When you face difficulties getting pregnant, you often stop and ask yourself  ‘Is this really what I (we) want to do?’ You think about the money, the meds, the heightened risk of complications during pregnancy, along with the questions any woman considering motherhood would ask herself: Am I ready? Do we have enough money? Am I going to be a good parent? As a Black woman, I also  have to also think about bringing a Black male into this world. The thought that no matter how well I raise my son, no matter where we live, he could still be a target is sad and disheartening. He doesn’t have to be a gang member, or a drug dealer, or a bank robber. His skin tone would be enough to label him dangerous and suspicious. How would I deal with that? I don’t want to add the “how to deal with cops as a young Black man” speech with the standard teenage speeches parents give about sex, texting while driving, drugs and all the rest. How do I explain to my future son why we even have to have this talk? How do I explain that some people just can’t get past stereotypes and unfounded fears? That they’re too close minded to learn and see who he really is?  I hope that by the time any child I would have is old enough, this will be a thing of the past.  I’m sure Michael Brown’s mother had the same thought 18 years ago.

 

One of my favorite book series and movie franchise is The Hunger Games. The people revolted and they were forever punished by an oppressive government and a yearly sacrifice of children for entertainment (and as a form of repression and control). When it becomes too much, the people organize and…(I won’t tell it all because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read the trilogy). When I read these futuristic novels or watch those types of movies, where the government is extremely repressive and brutal, I think there is a small shred of plausibility in this, but it  is mostly a work of fiction. Until I see it happen. Until I see police throw tear gas and flash bombs at people who are (mostly) peacefully expressing their frustrations and the need for answers and transparency. When journalists are harassed, roughed up, and arrested without cause.  Most importantly, these citizens have a right to do these things under the First Amendment of our Constitution. It makes me again wonder: what kind of world will I bring my future son or daughter into? Will they be allowed to express themselves freely? To speak out against injustice without fear?

Panems "Peacekeepers" but how much peace are they keeping?
Panems “Peacekeepers” but how much peace are they keeping? Is this where we are headed?

I wonder if I want to bring a child into a world like what I’ve seen over the past week. A world I know exists, but  try to rise above or have hope that it will some day be a thing of the past. Instead, it seems as that not only is it not going anywhere, its getting worse. Going backwards. And it makes me sad for our country, but it also makes me angry. I am in no way naive or unaware of what happens in the world. I feel that I can’t afford to be. As they say: “I stay woke”, but  I generally just choose to be hopeful. There is good in the world, and being aware and hopeful for me is the best way to go about things.

 

If I am so blessed to bring life into this world, I will do my best to teach tolerance, love, compassion,  self awareness, to speak up against injustice, and possibly the dos and don’ts of being stopped by police as a Black man.

Lets hope I can leave that last one off.

 

Justice and Answers for Michael Brown and his family.

Peace and Healing for the Ferguson and St. Louis, MO community.

 

 

 

Jump In. Jump Out. Introduce Yourself!

My name is Jai! (yeah)

And I’m a blogger (yeah)….

Ok that was fun, but lets really get into it. About me and about this blog.

In 2013 I found out I had uterine fibroids. Not one big one, not a bunch of tiny ones; 10 golf ball-lime sized (5-8 cm) fibroids. The good news: none of them were in my uterine cavity. The bad news: those fibroids were pressing on my bladder, causing an issue with my right kidney. They were also  distorting my uterus so that it was and pressing on my right ovary and distorting and stretching my right fallopian tube. (more on that later). I got them removed in a successful laparoscopic assisted  procedure. Great! We’re done with this until they come back, which they eventually will. Now I can go back to life as I know it. 

Except I wasn’t.

As a result of the damage the fibroids did to my ovary and just general after effects of surgery (and you know, hitting that magic 35 number) my fertility is in question. At a time when it seems like everyone around me was having a baby. I may not be able to have a baby (or have one the old fashioned way). Really uterus? You had one job. 

My face after finding out all that was going on with my lady parts...
My face after finding out all that was going on with my lady parts…

 As I researched and talked to people, I found that fibroids are very common in women, especially Black women. I also found that many women struggle with their fertility for various reasons. Infertility was a secret shame of so many women, especially Black women. We don’t have a good track record in the Black community of talking about health and medical issues in a real way. Any issues really. Where can you go for support?   Who can you talk to about it? Your mommy friends that get pregnant when their husband/boyfriend just looks at them sexy? Your family who are quietly tapping their foot and waiting for their “grand baby”, niece/nephew or new little cousin? Your girlfriend who doesn’t want kids anyway? If you just so happen to have a friend or co-worker that has gone through or is going through what you are, its like a miracle that you found each other. Finally! Someone who knows what I’m talking about and how I feel.

So, I’m going to blog about it. I’m going to talk to the world about my journey.

I want to share my story, because it’s the story for so many other women, and create a place that’s informative, supportive, and fun. It can be hard when you’re going through this to remember to laugh and enjoy life a little. Nothing about surgery, medical bills, test upon test, and the uncertainty of fulfilling a life long desire to become a parent seems fun or funny when its happening, but we need to let go sometimes to keep our sanity.

I want my experiences to help and encourage some one else, and for women to know they’re not alone. To make sure that my people know (I’m looking at you Black America) that infertility is something that happens to us. A lot of us. And we need to support each other and be brave enough to be seen. 

So welcome to this corner of the world. For the mamas and all the maybe mamas!