Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So this is what causes ovulation pain......

Human egg makes accidental debut on camera

A doctor about to perform a partial hysterectomy on a patient has inadvertently caught the moment of ovulation on camera. The pictures have been published in the New Scientist magazine, and will also be reproduced in Fertility and Sterility.
Observing ovulation in humans is very difficult, and previous images have been very fuzzy.  Jacques Donnez, of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, observed the process, and commented, ‘the release of the oocyte from the ovary is a crucial event in human reproduction’.
The pictures have changed the perception of human ovulation, which was thought to be an explosive affair, whereas, in reality, the process takes about 15 minutes. The follicle, a fluid-filled sac on the surface of the ovary, contains the egg. Prior to the egg’s release, enzymes are released that break down the tissue in the follicle, causing a red protrusion to appear. A hole becomes visible in the protrusion out of which an egg is released. The egg then moves to the fallopian tube, which transports it to the uterus. When the egg is released it is only about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
There are no immediate scientific findings resulting from the pictures, but they do give a greater insight into the ovulation process. Professor Alan McNeilly, of the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Unit, said ‘it really is a pivotal moment in the whole process, the beginnings of life in a way’.

I also think it's funny that we women have been saying that we feel ovulation and that it is not a quick affair.  But now that they have caught it on film, they believe us.  Maybe one day they will believe us when we say that PTLS is real!  Here's hoping :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fertility Affirmation

Here is a really neat fertility affirmation.  I think it is great whether you are trying to conceive or not.  Some of us are just looking to give birth to a new version of ourselves, one without pain, one that has renewed hope for each day before us.  :)

The Golden Light for Fertility

As the Universe divides, Heaven and Earth are spontaneously manifested. 
Clear light energy becomes the Heavenly Realm
Dark, heavy energy becomes the Earthly Realm
In my being, the energy of Heaven and Earth unite.
My being is the Temple of the Universe.
I cultivate the way of storing the energies of Heaven and Earth.
My mind is the infinite Heaven.
My mind is open and peaceful, and I let all willing and beautiful spirits engage me.
My body is the vast Earth.
My body is full of vitality, nurturing and ready for life.
My ovaries are the golden sun rays, which warm up my entire pelvis.
My uterus is a rain forest, where all lives grow and perpetuate.
My uterus is a house; it is comfortable, cozy, relaxed and ready to receive.
My spirit is true.
My wishes are genuine.
May the Universe  bring comfort and peace to all lives.
May the Universe select me to carry on the spirits of mankind
By conceiving and giving birth to willing spirits
To fulfill my destiny as the Universal Mother.

Monday, March 28, 2011

What's age got to do with it...??

I am thoroughly amazed at the misinformation out there about the side effects of tubal ligation.  Many of the websites that even admit  there might be problems after getting your tubes tied clearly state that if you are older (mid to late 30's or beyond) that you will be in the "safe" area where you are not going to notice any side effects.  And if you do, it is because you are stopping the pill and you don't really know what your body can do.  All I have to say is, AGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.   I was 39 when my tubes were tied, and I had an immediate bodily reaction to having this done.  I had not been on the pill for 11 years.  I had been using natural family planning, and had conceived quickly and easily at 37 and 39.  I knew my cycle, I could set my watch by it, and it drastically changed.  I am also irritated that so many young (20's) women are having this done and being told that the side effects are just from getting older.  Those of us who made it to "older" before having this done know that what you are experiencing is not normal, and not a product of getting older. 

It is OK for any of us to decide that we are done having children.  All children should be wanted, and loved.  But if at anytime you know in your heart you are done, well then you have every right to be.  I think we all need to stand up and clearly shout to the medical community that they are selling us on a myth of a safe form of birth control that simply doesn't exist.  It causes problems in young and old. (relative terms!)  I know that I would have much rather taken the chance on having another child then put up with half of the pain and suffering that came with having my tubes done.  Our doctors need to recognize this, and give us better advice. 

One last note:  I also want to recognize that I do not want to take away any one's right to chose sterilization.  I have heard from young women who know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they NEVER want to have children.  This is their right, their choice, and their life.  I want them to be able to make that choice without having someone turn them down due to age.  But, most importantly, I want them to have ALL of the information about the side effects that could in sue.  I think that science could come up with a better way, a safer way, if we demanded loudly that was what we wished.  (Don't say Essure, it has it's own problems!) 

Blessings to ALL :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

On pins and needles....

I keep talking about how great I feel after having the tubal reversal, and I think that its because I was so surprised at how fast I felt better.  It is wonderful.  But what do you do to relieve symptoms of PTLS if you can't afford a reversal right now?  One thing that I found, which consistently helped me, was acupuncture.  I'm sure theres a handful of you out there that are really unsure about acupuncture,  so let me describe what happens at an acupuncture session.

First your acupuncturist will have you fill out a health questionnaire, just like when you go to a new doctor.  You'll tell them about your medical history, meds you're taking etc.  But here's the difference as I see it:  instead of them asking you what's wrong with you, they ask you how they can HELP you.  It really is an entirely different attitude.  Then the practitioner will take you back to a room, usually a very relaxing setting, and they will  go over your information.  Then here's the weird part for us westerners.  They will ask you to stick out your tongue.  The tongue has a strong blood flow and allows them to check on vascular problems.  Then they will feel your pulse.  Both tell them many things about the state of your health.
You will then lie on a table, face up (dressed, but your might have to lift your shirt), and they will insert needles into specific acupuncture points to help balance and align the body.  Now, I know that the needle part is what loses some people.  They are very tiny diameter needles, they are barely inserted into your skin, and most of the time you won't feel it.  When you do feel it, it is just a tiny sting for a half a second.    You are also only getting about 10 needles in at a time depending on your needs.  Each needle comes in a sterile package and is disposable and only used on you.  You might have one on your arm, leg, abdomen, etc.  They are spread out.  Then you will be left to rest and listen to some relaxing music, with dimmed lights and a heat lamp on your feet.  After about 30 minutes, you're done and the needles are removed.  It is a very relaxing experience.   I felt such relief the first time that I had it done, that I actually started laughing.  It was wonderful since it had been such a long time since I could laugh!

So, now you're probably thinking, but how do you know it works?

1) It decreased my pain level
2) I had a period, after not having one for 3 months
3) I had my hormones tested before acupuncture by coincidence due to the missing periods, after 12 sessions I had them tested again and all of my values had increased.
4) It brought me a little bit of peace.

Acupuncture isn't expensive, about $30 bucks a treatment in my area, and it's worth a shot to bring some relief if you are really suffering.    :) 

Blessing to all!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting the word out...

When I had my first consultation with my tubal reversal doctor, I told him that I regretted my tubal ligation with every ounce of my being.  I spoke of it being the biggest mistake of my life, and told him clearly how miserable it had made my existence on this earth.  After listening quietly to everything I was telling him, he asked such a simple question,  "How were you talked into this procedure?  What did people say to make you think you had to be sterilized?"


Tears welled up in my eyes and I wasn't sure I could even answer him.  There were so many factors that I didn't know how to sum it all up.  And quite honestly, even I was wondering just how I was talked into something that I swore I would never do.

There were so many personal factors.  My husband and I were surprised by our 4th pregnancy.  I will never say she was an accident, because every child is a gift from God, but she was definitely unplanned.  As the months went by and the pregnancy progressed, I became more and more uncomfortable.  I had gestational diabetes, she was a big baby, and I had the belly and the backache to prove it.  My hubby started saying, "This is never happening again.  One of us is getting snipped."  I blew it off thinking that sterilization was extreme.  A permanent solution to a temporary problem.  After all, I was 38 and I figured that I didn't have too many more reproductive years left.  Family and friends also began making the push.  They would make rude comments about having four children.  I heard how I was overpopulating the earth, how there were surgeries to "fix" this kind of thing, and the ever popular "if it was me I would kill myself."  I was able to blow it off for most of the pregnancy.

And then the financial crisis hit.  My husband works in the construction industry, and work simply just disappeared.  We went through our savings, and retirement and there was a baby on the way.  He panicked
and so did I.  He pushed again for sterilization.  I finally agreed that if I had a csection I would have my tubes tied, otherwise a vaginal birth meant he was getting the snip.  When I made this agreement it was with the knowledge that I had normal vaginal births with all of my other big babies.  In my mind, it wasn't going to be me.  I never thought anything more about it. 

My doctor asked again and again at every visit, if I was ready to have my tubes tied.  Finally, eight months pregnant, and exhausted I gave in and signed the papers simply to shut him up about it.  But I was clear, and it was in my file, only with a csection, and NO foreign objects! (Rings or Clips).   He insisted that at my "advanced maternal age" that it was the way to go.  I would never notice a difference.  All the fun of sex without the worry.  And then he added, "after all, hasn't your body been through enough with four kids?  Don't you DESERVE to have your tubes tied?"  Hmm...good sales pitch.

Then another sad event really effected me.  My sister and I were pregnant at the same time.  She was carrying her third child and was so excited to be pregnant.  It had taken her years to conceive.  Unfortunately she lost the baby and it was devastating to her.  I tried to be strong, but it was devastating to me too.  I started to worry that I would lose mine as well.  I told myself that if I could just get through the pregnancy that it was probably for the best if we stopped having children.  I didn't want to experience that kind of devastating loss.  I didn't think I had it in me.  But I still wasn't set on sterilization.  There was time to think about it.  After all, he wouldn't be having it done until after the baby was born, and maybe then we would change our minds.  There was time. 

But there wasn't time.  I required a csection, and since I had signed the consent forms the doctor asked if I still wanted to have it done.  My husband smiled and nodded when the doctor asked.  I felt I had no choice.  It was our agreement.  It was probably for the best.  It wasn't what I wanted, but it was what everyone expected me to do.  I was so tired.  I couldn't think.  I had already been given something to relax me, and I agreed.  I even remember making a joke about getting a dog if I wanted more kids.  The pain relief for the csection wasn't working well and I was intermittently feeling what they were doing.  Some spots were numb, and others weren't.  It was awful.  The first moment I saw my daughter, I wanted to stop the ligation.  But I was in so much pain, and so drugged, it seemed like the blink of an eye and they were done.  They never announced that they were doing the tubal, nor did they ask me again.  It was too late.  I told myself later that I would just have to live with it.

Just days after she was born, I sat crying in the bathroom wondering how I could be so stupid to make such a horrible mistake.  I couldn't explain it to others.  There was this deep sense of hurt and loss.  But there was very real physical pain as well.  As weeks went by, I waited for the physical pain to stop.  I knew that the emotional pain was my own dragon that I had to slay.  And I started thinking again, "How did I get talked into this?" 

I went back over the literature that I was given.  It was made to seem like it was such a simple and easy procedure.  The consent form said the risk was from anesthesia, that it was permanent, and that there was a risk of ectopic pregnancy.  That's it.  I thought about what the doctor said, and how I would never notice any difference.  And yet, I had low mik supply for my baby, my hormones were insane, and I had intense anxiety that I had never had before.  Worst of all, was this horrible stabbing pain in my right ovary.  I began to look up on the Internet and read about ptls.  I felt tricked, duped, like my doc had pulled a fast one and was laughing behind my back.  If I was already feeling bad, this made things ten times worse.  No one had every mentioned the physical complications, let alone the emotional ones.  How did I get talked into this??  How stupid could I have been?? 

My husband repeatedly told me he was sorry.  He didn't know.  How was he supposed to know?  I had looked up tubal ligation on the Internet, but it said the same things that my pamphlets said.  Permanent, non hormonal, slight chance of ectopic pregnancy, freedom from birth control.  It was just the side effects that they failed to mention.  I was angry.  If anyone had mentioned any of the side effects to me I would have run for the hills.  NO way, NO how, could you have talked me into a tubal knowing what I know about them now. 

So, I began researching and found alot of really interesting information about the careful wording about sterilization, and how women are encouraged to get it done.  So, I did the only thing that I thought would make me feel better.  I wrote about it.  If I could change one woman's mind, then it will be worth all my typing!  Check out my article at associated content:

And while your at it, check out a really great blog about ptls, by someone who has also lived to tell the tale of suffering from a TL.  Thankfully, she has also had a reversal and has started a new chapter in her life! She has a great video blog that you have to check out as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's a Sun Shiny Day...

I woke up this morning feeling wonderful, like all is right with the world.  I hopped out of bed, made pancakes for the kids, and got the oldest two off to school.  This sounds like it might be a normal day for a mom, but it wasn't too long ago that I didn't have the energy to even think about making pancakes.  When my kids woke up and saw that I had cooked for them they seemed shocked.  PTLS robs us of so many things, but I realized today that it had also robbed my children of the loving mother that they had before I made the mistake of having the tubal done.  I used to do so many things with my kids.  I love them more than anything in this world, but I literally checked out of their lives after the tubal.  I went through the motions, but I really wasn't there for them.  I was lucky that my husband was great with kids and he took over.  He was the primary caregiver for my youngest after she was born because I was in so much pain.  She bonded with him and still prefers daddy to mommy if she has a choice of who to be with.  It was if I was an outsider in my own family.  I would watch them playing in the backyard, but I didn't want to join.  It was like part of me just wasn't there anymore.  I think one of the best things to come out of my tubal reversal is that I finally feel like I am back in my own body.  I am able to look at my kids and really see them.  I laugh at their jokes.  I am present, and I don't want to miss a thing!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My story of PTLS

This is my first post one month after having tubal reversal surgery.  All I can say is how incredible I feel!  I had my tubes tied after the birth of my 4th child in December of 2009, during her csection. (Filshie Clips)  Side effects started immediately.  The first thing that I noticed was I was not making as much milk as I had with the other kids.  I  just had a child two years before and had not had any problems with milk supply.  I had actually breastfed him up to 18 months, stopped for two months and became pregnant with number 4.  But this baby had to have bottles to supplement with, despite pumping and taking milk enhancing supplements.  The next thing that I noticed was that I didn't have that happy peaceful feeling that I usually had during that post partum period.  I was full of anxiety, sure that something was going to happen to one of my children or my hubby.  When I went to my six week appointment, I talked to my doc about this and all he would do is send me to the psychology department.  By the time I got my appointment with them I also had my first period.  This blew me away because I had never had a period so soon after birth, and it was horrible and painful.  I attributed it to the csection since it was my first time not having a vaginal birth.  I also still had horrible pain on my right side and I had no idea if it was from the csection or from the tubal.  At the time, I didn't know that they had used filshie clips.  I was adamant that I didn't want anything foriegn left inside of me.  No clips or rings!  The psychologist said she didn't think it was post partum depression, and encouraged me to go back to the doctor and explain the pain.  When I went back to the gyno, complaining of pain by my right ovary, I told her that I was concerned that it was where they removed a peice of the tube for the ligation.  She told me that I was "stupid and didn't know where my ovaries were".  I was so embarassed and angry.  But I was also scared.  I was in pain and she wasn't listening.  The nurse was in the room when she said this, and she asked the doctor if an ultrasound was in order but the doc wouldn't do it.  Then she said she would give me a localized pain injection in  case of left over inflammation from the csection.  If it made me feel better, I could come back the next day for a second longer lasting dose.  The pain shot helped, but when I went to go back the next day she wouldn't see me anymore.  She passed me off the primary care doc.

The primary care doc was quite nice about it all.  He agreed to give me another shot for pain and I explained that I was afraid that it was where they had removed a piece of the tube.  He looked up my operative report and said he didn't think that was it.  (but again, didn't tell me why)  When he had me point out where I was hurting, he said he couldn't give me a pain injection too deep as it was right above my right ovary.  It felt great to know that I wasn't "stupid" after all.  The pain injection only lasted for a couple of days much to my disappointment.  He scheduled me for an ultrasound. 

By this point I was feeling horrible about the Tubal Ligation.  My periods were heavy and irregular.  I had horrible hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety and depression.   My hair was falling out, my nails were breaking way back into the nail bed.  But the weirdest thing was I had a rash on my back that itched like crazy.  Each time I would ask about these symptoms I was told they were all in my head.  I couldn't wear jewelry anymore without getting a rash.  I always had an allergy to nickle and that was why I didn't want to have any clips inside of me.  Then finally my periods stopped altogether.  I needed answers and fast. 

My ultrasound found nothing.   I had blood work done that was "unremarkable".  Then I kept having this nagging feeling that I needed a copy of my operative report.  I requested both the operative and pathology reports from my surgery.  When they could not find a pathology report, I knew that something was up.  When I got the copy of the operative report I found out that the doctor used filshie clips for the ligation.  I was sick.  There were metal clips in me that I couldn't do anything about.  Yet, I thought maybe it was a blessing.  I had already been looking into tubal reversal and had read on numerous sites that fishie clips were the easiest to reverse.  I didn't know what to feel at that point, but I was relieved to feel like I had an answer to my pain. 

On to the next gyno.  She believed me about the pain and said that women with all types of ligations complain of the same pain that I was describing.  (Where was that on the informed consent form?)  Her solution to my pain was to take out my fallopian tubes.  I was shocked.  How could causing more damage be a good thing?  She said it would be a four to six week recovery.  She ordered a CT scan just in case one of the clips came off and had migrated.  Great.  Another worry.  CT scan came out normal. 

By this point nine months had gone by and I had no more answers or relief.  I finally started another period and it was the most painful and intense period of my life.  It lasted twelve days and was unbelievably heavy.  I was wiped out and told my husband that I couldn't take anymore.  I finally sent my operative report off to the Center for Fertility and Gynecology in Tarzana California.  I had a phone consult with Dr. Marc Kalan.  He was compassionate and understanding.  This set my tubal reversal in motion. 

Waiting for the reversal was the hardest part.  Finally the last few months he put me on birth control pills which helped the pain during ovulation and slightly lessened the heavy flow. 

Finally, 14 months and two days after making the horrible mistake of having my tubes tied, I had the reversal surgery.  I woke up feeling peaceful, and the pain that I had been feeling since having the TL was gone.  I feel back to normal, anxiety is gone, I've had my first normal period since giving birth, and I can move without pain!

I am starting this blog to help other women realize that having your tubes tied is not what it is advertised to be.  And while I realize that there are many women happy with their tubals, there are many more who have horror stories like my own.  All women deserve informed consent, and a right to know what side effects they could have.