Author Archives: mamamango

About mamamango

Recently, God has made it clear that I am to become a foster mama to little babies. I am a runner, aspiring writer, amateur photographer, and teacher. My friends and family are very important to me, and I couldn't do life without them. Since I began this blog several years ago, I have had many life changes. I met my wonderful husband, we dated, we got married, and now we have a little baby of our own. I am now growing and learning as a stay at home mom. I have stopped fostering, as it is not the call our family feels at this time, but I am so grateful for the time that I got with the two little boys I had the calling and opportunity to foster.

Before SAD

This is a piece of memoir that I wrote about 7 or 8 years ago that I find very relevant to post in this space. It is a part of my history from which I have learned and grown.

This was before knew what Social Anxiety Disorder was…

“Megan, please stay behind to speak with me,”  Jeannine requested. Only, to me, it sounded more like a command.  It wasn’t. I just couldn’t stand the thought of being in trouble. College students aren’t supposed to fear getting in trouble.

“What the heck is wrong with me?  I can’t even do that right?!” I thought, bemused; annoyed; angry

I had mistakenly thought that I was free for the day, that I didn’t have to sit scared anymore in a room of twelve people, searching for a new way to nod my head or make an affirming sound, avoiding eye contact with anyone, for fear they would expect me to say something or ask me to talk, running out of things to look at in a room that was chock full of interesting things to look at.  Books. Shelves and shelves of books that took up an entire wall on one side of what doubled as Jeannine’s office and classroom. Another wall made up almost entirely of windows that looked out on to green grass and plants and blue sky. Knick-knacks and bobbles were everywhere, eclectic pieces from trips to Germany, hiking trips, and flea markets, gifts from students and photographs. Nothing seemed to match, yet everything seemed to belong together perfectly, the entirety of the room personifying Jeannine.

There was a degree from UC Berkeley, 1972, hanging on the wall.  It said, “Jeannine Thompson, Masters in German Language and Literature,” which made me think back five years to Frau Weaver, my 7th grade German teacher.  I went to a hippie school for a couple of years, and in those couple of years, I was taught German, Spanish, and Japanese.  I remember virtually nothing from any of those three languages. What I do remember from German class is hausafgaben, or homework, and orange hest, or orange notebook.  Two things I’m sure are of no interest to Jeannine, my current seminar teacher for my twelve-unit college course, The Human Enigma, otherwise known as Libs 101.

“So, Megan,” came Jeannine’s soothing voice, shaking me from my visions of Frau Weaver in all of her burly, uni-brow, silver-haried glory.  “I need to talk to you about your status as student of the Hutchins Program. It was only October, and I was enrolled in what most students on campus referred to as the “hippie program” where getting your general ed out of the way meant way more than sitting in a lecture class of 80-100 eighteen year olds.  It meant you only had one class of 10 or 11 other students to worry about, and it was pass/fail.  There were no grades!  For this, we were the envy of all of our undergrad peers, the ones who were in those lecture hall classes striving for “A;’s”.

What no one seemed to mention was that the one class was 12 units and that you were required to read twenty plus books, an equal number of articles, studies, short stories, and research bound together in a catalogue, and that you spent three hours a day, three days a week discussing these works in addition to the paper you wrote every week.

“My status as a student?” I managed to croak out.

“Yes,” she beamed down at me, kind blue eyes from behind rimless spectacles, her always lipsticked mouth parted in an easy smile.  “Megan, if your silence continues, I will have no choice but to dismiss you from the program.” My eyes filled with tears, I refused to look up, not wanting Jeannine to know I was crying.  I felt a tell-tale drop fall on one of the hands resting in my lap. “A huge part of a seminar-based program is the conversations we have with each other in class. Now, I know you’re doing the reading, because your papers are some of the best in the class.  Why aren’t you participating?”

My already quick pulse sped up.  My palms were sweating. There was a ringing in my ears.  I felt the pressure of needing to give a response, of not knowing what to say, of feeling broken, like I was wrong and couldn’t do anything right.  I looked up at her, and tears began to flow freely. “I don’t know,” I heard myself say. “I just can’t. As I was talking, I looked up at the ceiling and then out the window and after that just beyond Jeannine’s left shoulder.  My eyes darted around as I spoke simply so I wouldn’t have to make eye contact. I was too embarrassed. It was too much connection. “It’s like the words get stuck on their way out. I often want to say something, to contribute, to pose a question, even, but I can’t…” I trailed off, still crying silently, tears streaming down my face.

I took a coy glance at Jeannine, risking the eye contact.  She looked at me with a glint of compassion in her eyes. I looked away, down to my hands in my lap.  After only a beat, she said, “Megan, what happens in those moments that the words get stuck? What are you feeling?  What are you thinking?”

I thought for a moment.  “I feel scared. I start to think about what people will think about what I’m going to contribute, and then I talk myself out of it and then back into it and then back out of it again.  When I do make up my mind to say something, by the time I’ve gathered my courage to say it, either someone has said it already, or the moment has passed and it would be stupid or inappropriate or out of context to say it.”

What struck me is that Jeannine never asked me why I had chosen this program.  She just accepted that I wanted to be there. Why did I choose this program? I knew when my mom told me about it that it would be terrifying and that it would be supremely difficult for me.  I hated the spotlight. I hated to be the center of attention. I struggled when teachers called on me in class. If I felt there was a pressure situation to speak or that there was an authority in the room or that there was a situation that was very formal or structured, you would be hard pressed to get me to speak.  So why did I decide to join this seminar based program where I would have to face all of these situations? I ignored my fears; I told myself that I would be different in college, that I would feel different, that it would be okay. I pretended like it wouldn’t be a problem, and here I was, only a few months into the semester, and I was facing being kicked out.  I never dreamed this would happen.

Jeannine interrupted my thoughts, “If you want to stay, I will consider passing you on probation with a few caveats.”

All I could do was nod my head.  It felt heavy, like I hadn’t slept in days, weighed down by grief, stung by the realization that it wasn’t different in college.  I was still the same person I had always been. I was still that little blonde girl on the kindergarten playground, the one the kids pointed at saying loudly, “That’s Megan; she doesn’t talk.”

“The first thing I need you to do is prepare for seminar.”  Jeannine was talking to me again. I fell out of my thoughts to listen.  “I know you’ve been doing the reading, but I need you to prepare notes with the specific intent of sharing them with the group.  I think if you prepare that way, you might be able to share more readily.” I nodded in affirmation. “The second thing I need you to do is go to the counseling center here on campus and make an appointment.  I want you to talk to one of the therapists there and see if they might not be able to help you with whatever it is you’re going through.” I nodded as a few more tears came out. Another adult was telling me there was something wrong with me.  Why could I not escape this? I wanted Jeannine to comfort me and tell me that everything was going to be okay. That’s all I ever wanted, it seemed, yet I never got it. Instead, she said, “Okay, please meet me back here on Monday before class so we can look over the preparation notes you make for our next seminar.”  I thanked her and left the room, heading off to my weekend, relieved that I hadn’t been kicked out but reeling in the unfairness of it all, hit with the reality that there was a lot at stake if I couldn’t get my words un-stuck.

I went straight from that meeting with Jeannine to the school counseling center.  I found out that all available counselors there were students obtaining hours towards their licenses.  I was promptly assured that they were closely supervised by seasoned, licensed therapists. That made me feel a little bit better, but then, it didn’t really matter how I felt about it.  This was just a condition of my position in the Hutchins program. So, I made the appointment.

“I’m not really going to get anything out of this,” I reasoned.  Why would I? I’ve been to therapists before. I’ve been totally open and honest with them, and they couldn’t make me better.  Why would this be any different? At least I would have someone to talk to, a captive audience to listen to me for 45 minutes or so each week.

The very first thing my nameless, faceless therapist in training asked me was if she could tape-record my session so that she could share it with her supervising therapist.  I agreed, wondering if my tape would ever actually be listened to. Knowing what I know now, I sincerely hope it never was. That would ease my mind quite a bit considering how things played out.

The very next thing she asked me was, “What brought you to therapy?”

This is what I said: “I’m here because I’m on the verge of being kicked out of my undergrad program because I can’t talk in class. It is a 12-unit class, which is a seminar of only 12 people and our professor.  I am too afraid to say anything. My professor promised to pass me on probation if I took some steps to try to fix the problem. One of those steps is for me to come here.”

What I unknowingly handed her was the diagnostic criteria for Selective Mutism, an anxiety disorder most often found in children, that is very much related to Social Anxiety Disorder.  What follows is the diagnostic criteria taken directly from the DSM IV, a tool used by therapists to diagnose their patients:

Diagnostic criteria for 313.23 Selective Mutism

  1. Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations (in which there is an expectation for speaking, e.g., at school) despite speaking in other situations.
  2. The disturbance interferes with educational or occupational achievement or with social communication.
  3. C. The duration of the disturbance is at least 1 month (not limited to the first month of school).
  4. D. The failure to speak is not due to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort with, the spoken language is required in the social situation.
  5. E. The disturbance is not better accounted for by a Communication

Disorder (e.g., Stuttering) and does not occur exclusively during the

course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other

Psychotic Disorder.

Neither she, nor her supervising therapist ever diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder, which is why I sincerely hope that her supervising therapist never listened to the tape of our first session.  How I wish I had researched my symptoms, Googled them, or something. I just thought there was something wrong with me. I never thought it was a disorder.  I just thought it was me; it was my fault. I needed to put on my big girl panties and get over it. Only I was trying. And I couldn’t.

The therapist at the school counseling center did little for me, although I did keep up my end of the bargain so that Jeannine would pass me on probation, as she promised, which she did.

I improved in little ways throughout the next three and a half years of seminars, but most professors came to know that I was better on paper than I was in person.  Some would prompt me to speak, asking what I thought about this or that, which, while terrifying, was sometimes helpful. Others were content to know me through my papers, allowing me to listen and nod and make affirming noises.

I would not finally get diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder until four and a half years later.  One of the things that saddens me about that is that I never got to go back to Jeannine and explain what was happening to me in that first seminar of my freshman year.  I never got to share with her that what I was facing has a name and that I was learning to overcome little pieces of it step by step.

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Social Anxiety Disorder

I have hinted at anxiety and fear a lot in the space. It shocked me today, as I was looking through past posts, that I have not done an official post about social anxiety disorder. I am fairly open about having this condition, as I believe it helps other people have an insight into me while also diminishing the stigma that surrounds mental health. If you speak it, it has less power over you. Here is a piece that I wrote several years back while I was a part of a writing workshop. It still rings very true today, so much so that I was tempted to take notes as I read back through it.

Social Anxiety Disorder rules you unless you rule it. If you want to live a “normal life”, the most important rule is that you have to do things afraid; terrified even. These things include but are not limited to: public speaking, parties, staff meetings, dinners, church events, dates, meeting people for the first time, small talk, classes, conventions, Back to School Night, conferences, shopping trips, sitting next to someone you don’t know on a plane or train, having a difficult conversation with anyone, including people who are close to you, and the like.  

You are allowed to feel your feelings, but you are not allowed to believe them. Know that they are almost always irrational. They are real, but they are not trustworthy.  

Thoughts are also key. To function “normally”, anxious thoughts must be combated. They, too, are lies and must be replaced with the truth. The problem becomes figuring out what the truth is. The lies feel more real than the truth, but then, feelings are not trustworthy.

The banter of the imaginary audience that runs like a tape loop through your head must be silenced. No one is staring at you or thinking how much they hate you. No one is thinking about how awkward you look or how socially inequipped you are. People do want to talk to you, and they will not think you’re dumb if they do. You are worth getting to know. Even if you happen to say or do something stupid, it is not the end of the world.  Feeling embarrassed will not kill you, and it is a normal emotion that everyone feels.  People will not refrain from getting to know you or being your friend just because you said or did something to embarrass yourself.  

Since neither feelings nor thoughts are to be trusted, it is important to have someone, multiple someone’s, even, who understand Social Anxiety Disorder and can remind you of the truth. They become key people when you’re in your car, driving to a function, crying uncontrollably because you don’t want to go, feeling terribly stupid for having such a gross overreaction to such a “normal” event. The anxiety can be that intense.

There is no magic pill for anxiety, but there are tools you can use to diminish anxious feelings and thoughts. The first and most important of these is to educate and prepare yourself for social situations. When going to a new location, it is always helpful to scope it out first, before the actual time of the event.  This can be done a few days before, or even the day of by just arriving a little early. Ask questions about the event you will be attending. Ask what the schedule will be, what you should wear, what to expect, what will be expected of you. Find out how many people will be there and who will be there that you know.

Establish your “safe people”, the ones you will be able to approach easily when you have no idea who to talk to and feel completely alone in a room full of people who are staring at you wondering why you’re standing alone like a deer in headlights. These should be people who you know well and are comfortable with, who know your struggles and will welcome you into their conversation without thinking twice, people who will work to engage you when you are too fearful to do the work of engaging someone else. People who will be content to have you stand with them and not say much at all if that is your need.

If there is a teacher or group facilitator involved in the event, educate them so they can meet your needs. If you don’t, you will inevitably be called out in front of a group, one of the most terrifying things that can happen to you when you have Social Anxiety Disorder. To this end, it is usually beneficial to let people know about your Social Anxiety Disorder. It can take some of the pressure off of you, and most of the time, people share that they never would have guessed you were feeling anxious.     

Plan extra travel time in case you get lost or there is traffic. The last thing you want to do is add the stress of being late to a function that is already difficult for you to attend due to your social anxiety.

Caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and lack of sleep are terrible companions to anxiety. They intensify it. Resist the urge to drink caffeine to keep you awake. It may seem like a good idea when you’re trying to be productive during your day, but it will inevitably make you more anxious, slowing your productivity. Much better to take a power nap. Try not to consume sweets as a reward or in an attempt to eat your feelings. Swings from high to low blood sugar can increase anxiety. (This part cracks me up as a new mom who consumes copious amounts of coffee. I was not yet a mom when I wrote this.)

To someone with Social Anxiety Disorder, drinking alcohol can feel like the perfect solution to facing social settings. Drinking seems to calm you down and allow you to feel more comfortable. What alcohol can actually do is cause you to have an irregular heartbeat or lower your blood sugar level, both of which lead to feelings of anxiety.  

Though the most important rule of functioning with Social Anxiety Disorder is to do things when you are afraid, there is an exception to this rule. It is important to be able to gauge when a given situation or event is too difficult or intense for you to handle. When this is the case, you should not push through to do it afraid. Pushing yourself to tackle an event or situation that is too much for you can be devastating and may even result in a full fledged panic attack; an actual panic attack, not the kind that people often say they have when they’re exaggerating the truth to prove a point or put emphasis on something.  The kind where you can’t breath and are convinced you can’t get enough air, your heart is racing, you shake and tremble, you can’t think straight, and you are fearful and have to get out of whatever situation you are in that triggered the attack. If you have never experienced an actual panic attack before and don’t know what it’s like, you may even fear you are going crazy or you’re about to die.  

Recognizing the difference between anxiety that can be pushed through and anxiety that is too intense to be pushed through can be extremely difficult since both thoughts and feelings are untrustworthy when you’re in an anxious state.  This is another one of those times to call on your friends who understand Social Anxiety Disorder and can help you to determine whether or not you should push through your anxiety this time.  Ultimately, though, you are the one who has to make the decision.  After a time, you instinctively know whether or not you are making the right decision, regardless of what you may be feeling.

Which brings us to a very important rule. When you make the decision that a given situation or event is too much for you, you must be gentle with yourself, respecting your limitations and being okay with them.  The decision to opt out of an event or situation does not mean you have gone backwards in your battle with Social Anxiety Disorder. It just means that you are respecting your own needs in that moment. You may not like that missing out on a given situation or event is your current need, but they are called needs for a reason. Just because they are needs, doesn’t mean that you want them to be needs.  

In times that you are feeling bad about yourself for not being “normal” like “everyone else”, it is important to step back and remind yourself of the truth.  Look at where you have come from and all of the progress you have made. Remember that you are not like everyone else.  Everyone else doesn’t have to deal with the anxiety you have to deal with each day.  They may face fears, but theirs is not the intense and persistent fear of social situations that lasts, many times, through entire parties, events, or presentations, rather than for just the first few minutes.  Theirs is not a lifetime of doing everything afraid. Comparing yourself to people who do not have Social Anxiety Disorder is a dangerous practice. Living with Social Anxiety Disorder is about progress, not perfection.

*Disclaimer* I am only an expert on my own anxiety, and these are my rules for myself. One size does not fit all. If it helps you, great. If not, that’s okay, too. This is an insight into me and hopefully can also be helpful to others who live with social anxiety disorder.

Seeing What Sticks

I’m currently trying to bring in a little extra money and trying some different things. It’s hard to determine what I have bandwidth for during this season with little littles, but I am trying a few things to see what sticks.

Scribie is one of them. It is an online audio transcription site. You get paid by audio hour to transcribe short audio files. I just got started but like it, as I am a fairly fast typist and enjoy that I can choose to work on a file at any time since I do not have consistent times to work.

If you want to check it out, head over to their site via my link. If you sign up and pass the test, I get a little commission from it. Happy transcribing!

https://scribie.com/freelance-transcription?rc=0ca965837cc741589e2d9ffed8967e1ebfb92fb7#intro

What do you do to bring in a little extra money?

Teachers Pay Teachers

In my previous life I was a teacher. I taught middle school for 10+ years. Now I look forward to beginning the homeschool journey with my own children, which both excites and terrifies me. It seems there is so much to learn within this community and way of teaching, but I digress.

Really, this is a shameless plug in case anyone reading this would like to open a “Teachers Pay Teachers” store to sell curriculum, worksheets, lesson plans, etc. I am going through my old teaching materials to try to bring in a little extra money here and there. If I have time, I may even create something new.

Here is my link in case anyone is interested.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Signup/referral:mrselinares

Polyhydraminos

My pregnancy with my second baby was nothing like my pregnancy with my first. In fact, they were so different that I was convinced that I was having a girl the second time around. I didn’t really feel sick at all. I wasn’t falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 or 9pm, but I did feel exhausted from chasing around a toddler all day. Mostly it wasn’t quantifiable. My body just felt different.

My labs showed that my thyroid was slightly off early in pregnancy, so they monitored that but never showed a cause for concern. I passed my blood sugar test, which meant I did not have gestational diabetes. The genetic testing looked good and showed that we were having a second boy, and our high risk ob said our ultrasounds looked great. It was smooth sailing as far as high risk pregnancies go.

Then,  at what was supposed to be my last appointment with the high risk ob, he told me that my baby was measuring big and that my amniotic fluid was measuring higher than it should. I was 33 weeks pregnant at this point, and he was telling me all kinds of scary things. He asked me multiple times if I was sure that I didn’t have gestational diabetes. I was sure, but I double checked with my midwife just in case something was off. It wasn’t. He was telling me that my baby was going to be so big that I wasn’t going to be able to push him out and that if things didn’t change I would need to have a hospital birth instead of my planned birthing center birth.  In addition to all of this, he also warned that there is a higher chance of prolapse cord when you have polyhydraminos. This means that when your water breaks there is a danger that the umbilical cord will come out first, which is very dangerous. This was very scary to me, especially given the fact that my first baby kicked a hole in my water bag. I was fearful that my water would break and my baby would be in danger.

He was looking at the baby’s cheeks on the ultrasound and kind of clicking his tongue at me, showing me that the proof was there that my baby was going to be huge, 10+ pounds.

Version 2

This very same doctor told me my first son would be huge, too.  He wasn’t.  He said he would be 8+ pounds. He was 6 pounds 10 ounces, born at 39 weeks exactly. When I mentioned this to him and asked how this baby could be so much larger, he didn’t like that I was questioning him. He asked me how much I weighed when I was born because supposedly the mother’s weight at birth is the best indication of what her babies will weigh.  I told him 10 pounds but that I was a month late and that my mom had to have a c-section because she wasn’t going into labor. He then argued with me and told me there is no way I could have been a month late and that doctors would not let that happen. When I responded that it was the early ’80’s, he said they wouldn’t even do that in the early ’80’s…this conversation was clearly going nowhere.

If his logic about babies weights being correlated with their mothers’ weights was true, my sister and I would both give birth to large babies. I was 10 pounds, though I lost an entire pound a day later due to all of the fluid retention from the c section my mom had, and my sister was high in the 9 pound range. My first baby was 6 pounds 10 ounces, and my sister’s kids were both in the mid 7 pound range. Not exactly huge.

When I researched polyhydraminos on my own, I found that much of the time there is not a known reason for it. Occasionally it can mean that the baby has some kind of a swallowing defect and therefore is not swallowing the fluid and peeing it out like he should be.  In my case the doctor ruled that out right away. He could see on the ultrasound that there was no such defect. The rest of the time the best they can do is guess at what is causing it.  The “go to” is that mom has gestational diabetes, which I did not. Even though I had been tested for it and had gained very little weight in my pregnancy to that point, he decided to hypothesize that the reason for my excess amniotic fluid was that I was eating too many carbs. As such, he put me on a strict low carb diet. I was to eat as little as possible without completely starving myself, and as few carbs as humanly possible. No bread, no fruit, nothing processed, etc. The hope was that eating this way would cause my amniotic fluid to decrease by my next appointment two weeks later.

The next time I went in to the office, I saw a different doctor, at the suggestion of my midwife who was very familiar with that office. I was so glad that I followed her advice. While he did concur that my amniotic fluid was high, and that I did indeed have polyhydarminos, he painted a much different picture of the outcome and asked a lot more questions than the previous doctor did.

My low carb diet change caused me to lose 5+ pounds but only reduced my amniotic fluid by 1 centimeter. My fluid level was 26cm, and at the same point in my pregnancy with my first, my fluid level was 13cm. No denying it was a lot higher this time around. This new doctor reassured me, though, that it was not that far from normal and that by the end of pregnancy fluid levels begin to go down naturally, too. He agreed that I should be eating a low carb diet and that I should eat as little as possible, mostly vegetables, since the baby was quite literally taking every nutrient from me.

He also addressed the fears that we had from the previous doctor about the baby’s size. He noticed the cheeks on the ultrasound, too, and asked us about our first son. He wanted to know his weight, length, and head circumference at birth, as well as see a picture of him from the day he was born. One of the things he explained to us was that the way they estimate the weight of the baby in utero is by a formula using measurements of the head, abdomen, and femur. This formula can be off for many reasons, one of them being if your child has a larger head than normal at birth, which our first son did. He was all head with chubby cheeks and a skinny little body. When the doctor heard of our first son’s measurements and saw his photo, he assured us that our second baby would not be 10 pounds.

He also addressed my fears about prolapse cord. I was instructed to sit down as soon as my water broke if it happened outside of the birthing center but that given the baby’s position and how things had progressed, there was a lower likelihood of having a prolapse cord with this pregnancy. Amen for all of the reassurances.

By the following visit, the doctor told me that my numbers were on the high end of normal and that he felt totally confident that I could safely give birth at the birthing center. He wanted me to continue my low carb diet to keep things moving in the direction they were moving, and wished me well, asking me to give him an update when the baby was born.

Spoiler alert to the birth story. The baby was born at 37 weeks 5 days weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces.

 

Bicornuate Uterus

When I had my first ultrasound when I was pregnant with my first, we found out that I had something called a bicornuate uterus. I was referred to a “high risk” ob and had extra ultrasounds with him so that I could be monitored for any complications throughout my pregnancy. I knew there was a slight risk for preterm labor, but I had a healthy pregnancy and birth, giving birth naturally at 39 weeks when the baby kicked a hole in my bag of waters.

When we found out I was pregnant for the second time, our happiness was short lived. We had only known for a few days when I began bleeding and ultimately lost the pregnancy. My doctor called it a chemical pregnancy and said there were a variety of reasons it could happen. It could have to do with “advanced maternal age” (I was 35) or there could have been an abnormality with the cells that caused my body to reject the pregnancy. Or it could have been something else. Basically there was no way of knowing, and we could try again whenever we were ready.

This happened two more times. Three chemical pregnancies back to back. I went in to my ob each time it happened, and they checked me out and sent me home saying the same things they had the first time. The third time I came in, my ob asked me why I was there. In her mind, I knew what was happening, so it wasn’t necessary for me to come in if it happened again.

I told her that I felt something was wrong that I had three chemical pregnancies in close succession and that I was looking for answers, especially since I hadn’t had any complications before I got pregnant with my first. She agreed to order bloodwork to see if there was anything else going on that could be causing my pregnancies to fail. During our conversation, I mentioned the bicornuate uterus, which she had forgotten about, even though she had been the doctor who found it when I was pregnant with my first.

It was then that I learned about the complications bicornuate uterus can cause while ttc. This was something I was not told about when we first learned I had a bicornuate uterus because I was already pregnant when we found out I had one.

There is something like a 67% chance of miscarriage each time someone with a bicornuate uterus gets pregnant. The initial success of the pregnancy depends on where the embryo implants. When you have a bicornuate uterus, there are some places that are not desirable for the embryo to implant. If it implants in one of those places, the body knows that it will not be a pregnancy that will be able to be carried to term, and it expels the embryo, resulting in a chemical pregnancy or a miscarriage.

Just hearing that there was a reason for three chemical pregnancies was helpful. It gave me some understanding and something to pray about. Gratefully, shortly after the third chemical pregnancy, I got pregnant again, and the embryo implanted in a place that resulted in a successful pregnancy that I was able to carry to term.

It’s About Time

It’s been too long. I tried to redefine this space a little when my first was born. He’s almost 3 years old, and I’ve only made two posts since then! Now I am a mama of two, and it is time for another update.

I’m not sure what this space will become, but I am going to try to commit to writing one post a week. Writing is good for the soul, and maybe what I write will help someone. You never know.