Saturday, May 15, 2010

april showers bring ... may flooding


I wasn't going to write about this. I really had planned to hold it in until I know more. But I always write about what's on my mind and this time is certainly no different.

Yesterday, the first blow that came during my doctor's appointment was my OB telling me that this was an ectopic pregnancy that would not be viable. The second blow, which rattled me only slightly at the time, but hit me full force today, was when he turned the ultrasound monitor around to show me several large cysts on my left ovary that have him concerned.

Concerned because I have a history of cancer in my immediate family. And because he is extremely conservative and aggressive - which I highly appreciate - he promptly scheduled a detailed ultrasound for me in a few weeks once my HCG levels are down. Pending the results of the ultrasound, a biopsy may or may not be performed. (I'm obviously hoping for the "not".)

I've spent a lot of time on Google over the past few 24 hours and I'll admit, I'm feeling pretty shaken right now. Because as it turns out, and it might be totally psychosomatic, I have a lot of the same symptoms that one might experience if there was a problem.

Although I pray that this is just a benign issue that will resolve itself - or not pose any threat - I can't help but be thankful that if not for this pregnancy, I might not have known what was going on until who knows when? Nonetheless, today it took everything in my power to not break down and sob uncontrollably in front of my children. Try as I might, I could not block the image out of my mind that I won't be there to see them growing up and well, that completely knocks the air right out of me. I'm sure my wildly fluctuating hormones aren't helping the situation any.

(And that whole move to Virginia is back on the table. We're supposed to be there by July 5.)

I don't know about you, but this stuff is stressing and depressing the heck out of me. So until I have something more chipper to report, I'm taking a blogging hiatus. But before I go - thank you, a million times over, for your notes and prayers and phone calls. I am reading every word that you send to me. Sometimes, twice. Or ten times. Or printing them out and carrying them around.

I don't feel like I'm quite so alone in all of this and for that, I'm extremely grateful.


  1. You are soooo Not alone.
    Try to cross the bridges as You come to them and not before....Life often has some funny turns and blind corners.
    My Prayers will continue

  2. I'm so sorry for all your trials at the
    moment Jen. I am sure all will be fine and
    very soon you will be looking back at the
    dark days with a sense of relief they
    are all behind you.

    I love reading your blog because of who you
    are; your sense of humour, family values
    and your fantastic morals. I've written
    before that you are an inspiration and
    I really do mean that.

    I'm praying that all this is safely behind
    you v soon and you can start the next exciting
    chapter of your life with your gorgeous
    family. X

  3. Oh geez.........I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. If you take a blogging hiatus, please at least post your detailed u/s results and friend me on Facebook -- Joy Moore Hall -- so we can keep in touch.

  4. Thinking of you Jen. Sending a big, warm, reassuring hug from my side of the world to you.

    xxx Em

  5. been thinking of you and sending warm thoughts your way -- i'll miss your posts but it seems like with all you have going on this is a smart decision. get things taken care of and take care! and keep reminding yourself that hormones during a miscarriage (and for a while after) are very out of whack.
    Hugs from Minnesota!

  6. As I said before, my prayers are with you and your family. As much as we'd like to know the why sometimes, God's plan is always perfect. He only wants the best for us. Sometimes it takes days, months, and years to understand his plan. Sometimes we never know. All you can do is pray.
    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

  7. I am a long time reader but i dont think i have ever commented, just wanted to let you know that i am thinking about you also, I share your stories with my fiance and he too is thinking about you. I wish you the best! and im sure everything will turn out fine.

  8. Many hugs to you! As always, thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. Dear Jen . . . I read you every day and while I don't comment often, I have laughed and cried with you. I know the pain of miscarriage, and the extra pain that comes when the miscarriage doesn't happen on its own. I hope that in the coming months, your beautiful children will help to heal that pain. I also know the stress of moving across the country . . .my dh is active duty army and we are due to move to Europe in a few short months. I want you to know that there are many of us out here praying for you, praying that God will give you peace and heal your hurts. You and your family are cared for by hundreds of us who do not even really know you, but feel we do, because you are so open and honest with us. May the God of all comfort bring you and your family the peace you desire.

  10. Sending you many prayers at this difficult time. It so often seems like things go along smoothly for a while and then everything seems to happen all at once, and you are getting it in spades these days. You have shown incredible fortitude in the past and I am sure you will pull through this. I admire your strength and courage.

  11. you are absolutely not alone. rest and try to find some zen during your break. love and hugs

  12. Oh no. I am sad to read you are taking a hiatus but of course that is completely self centered of me. You need to do what you need to.

    Just to reassure you, ovarian cysts are not incredibly uncommon by any means. I get them, my mom has had them and they meant nothing at all. So try not to let your brain run to far ahead and STAY AWAY FROM GOOGLE!!

    I can't believe how big Henry looks in that picture. OMG he looks huge!

    Please know that those of us out in the blogosphere are thinking of you and sending lots of love your way.

  13. oh hun! *hugs* just hang in there and stay off of Google!!!! googling illnesses for me is always discouraging. I'm praying for you and the kids.

  14. Jen, Isn't it amazing that this baby has been a blessing to you, even if you never got to meet it in this world? My prayers will continue to be with you- both physically and mentally as you deal with the road ahead. We will all be here cheering you on when you're ready to return to the internets.

    Marla @

  15. I'm so sorry -- I will continue to pray -- for all the things going on in your life --- you are a strong - wonderful person! -- you have a loving husband - and beautiful children -- you will get thru the "flood" -- hugs to you --

  16. No words... just big hugs from across the country and a lot of prayers.

  17. So, you don't know me at all, but if I can help you in any way as you make the move, please let me know. We live in DC, which I've posted about before. I'm not as familiar with NOVA, but happy to help in any way. Just know that there is a friendly, non-stalker, former carolyn's boards family with 2 year old twins in the area if you need us.


  18. Hang in there. Take a hiatus from Dr. Google as well, until you know more.


  19. jen, no matter where you go or stay as long as you keep asking god for his will, you will have peace in your heart and soul.

    i don't know you but have read your blog for the last year or longer and know for a fact that you are a good mother, a great wife and are not afraid to speak up. you have the courage to be brutally honest with you and the rest of the world and that it's priceless.

    prayers your way for his will and peace for your entire family with lots of hugs!

  20. You can choose to be frightened or not, Jenna. YOU CAN CHOOSE. Why give yourself an ulcer or a heart attack over something that may turn out to be just cysts? I had 'em. You just remove them and move on with life. If it's more, then you deal with that when you know it. You are in control of your mind, if not your body.

    I fought my endometriosis for years---crippling pain, inconvenience, infertility, and embarrassment you would NOT believe. And surgery after surgery. I know what it is to feel out of control of your body. But I chose to be in control of my thoughts and my spirit. YOU CAN CHOOSE.

    Good for you for taking a blogging hiatus and focusing on you and the family. Applause over here.

  21. My heart goes out to you, Jen. I know it is hard not to think evil stuff, but don't. Half the women I know have ovary cysts, I have had them (maybe I still do, haven't checked lately...), it is very common.

    Most of all, I am so sorry for the way your pregnancy developed. Words fail me, but I am praying for your family and that God you send you peace.

  22. Ooh, one more thing: I found a lump in my breast just before I turned 30. Went to the emergency room that day, had it aspirated to no sound conclusion, had it removed shortly thereafter and waited for results. So see, I know where you are, exactly. So my urging you to take control of your mind--your spirit, your outlook, your attitude---comes from a very similar experience, not just dopey positive thinking. I could've worked myself up, but what would have been the use? Physically, you take action; mentally, you take control.

    On my 30th birthday, I got the news that the lump was benign.

  23. A power GREATER THAN US is in charge and ALL WILL BE WELL. xox

  24. I am so so terribly sorry for this news. I, along with so many other people who follow your blog and friends from Carolyn's board, have been praying. I will continue to pray that the days ahead are not too physically painful - emotionally is a whole new ball game but they get my prayers too. I am also very hopeful that the discovery is nothing more than something simple. If it proves to be what you are hinting at - than this baby gave you a sign, a gift that will be treasured. I will pray even harder it is really something simple.


  25. Saying prayers for strength to get you through the next couple of weeks as calmly and quickly as possible, and for ultrasound results that are perfectly normal (or at least 'normal' for someone who gets cysts regularly~ like me!).
    (((hugs))) for you and Charlie.

  26. OMG Jen, saying a prayer for you. The universe does move in strange ways, why else would you be having a ultrasound at this stage in your life?

    hang in there, will be thinking of you till you come back.

  27. Hugs & Prayers for you, my friend! Life is tough right now, but it will get better!

  28. Oh no, SO sorry to hear. Keep thinking good thoughts in spite of these challenges being thrown your way. I check your blog all the time to see how you are doing, but barely have time to comment. However, I just felt compelled to tell you that I have a feeling you will be just fine. Sending prayers your way.

  29. Just thinking of you during this difficult time. You handle all this stress with such grace. I know you don't intentionally try to inspire with your writing, but you do. Thank you. Will keep you and your family in our prayers.

  30. Continuing to pray for you...hopefully April showers and May flooding bring the most amazing summer you have ever deserve it!

  31. Poppa and Kathleen5/15/10, 5:14 PM

    Jen: We cannot read any comments...they all show "O" Why is this?
    Love and peace:
    Alex and Kathleen

  32. They ALWAYS find cysts on my ovaries in early pregnancy ultrasounds that are there because of the increased hormones. (((Hugs))) I'd tell you not to worry but I know that's way too difficult to do, when it's happening to you. So instead I'll tell you that you are in my thoughts!

  33. I know it sounds trite but try not to worry until there is something to worry about. Yes easier said than done as I know all too well.

    How in the hell did Virginia get back on the table? It really doesn't sound like a place you want to be but not being a mind reader I can only guess it's the right decision for you and Charlie right now.

  34. When it rains, it pours. Sending lots more prayers your way. It is evident from your blog that you are an incredibly strong woman. You will get through this. Wishing you the best news over the coming weeks. You are in my thoughts.

  35. Hi Jen, I just went through the ovarian cancer scare. Consider getting some intermediate bloodwork, while you are waiting for the HCG levels to drop: a CA-125 etc. This could give you some peace of mind while you wait for the sonogram. Sending good thoughts your way.

  36. I don't know whether you are reading the comments even though they are not posting;


    I really wanted to say that I'm thinking of you every day, and praying hard.


  37. More.hugs,


  38. I am so incredibly sorry for everything that you have been going through. I admire how strong you've been through it. I will keep you in my thoughts, and I hope that after you've had time you will update us on the results of your test and of your job.

  39. I have to tell you, about 3 years ago, I had the same thing - but a HUGE cyst on my left ovary -out of no where - this was found in March and I'd just had a pap in Jan. so this was growing fast whatever it was. My doc said it was the size of a volleyball! Had an oncologist present at the surgery, etc. but THANK THE LORD JESUS, all was benign. I pray the same for you, Jen.

  40. You are amazingly brave!
    <3 Melanie

  41. Of course you aren't alone. Not only do you have 4 kids who are there to hug you, you also have a soul partner of a husband.

    As for a move - moving isn't such a bad thing - look at it like an adventure - the tears of leaving who you love (for us it was our dogs and our friends) - I know this is a wierd thing to put in a positive - but you know what - you will keep the good friendships and your time there can be stored into a "happy memory", the joy of finding new friends, school, house, suburb. I love the excitment of the unknown. Plus - you aren't alone - so new adventures for everyone (which with kids is really eye opening and awesome). I wish you were moving somewhere that meant you could see more of your kids (like an expat overseas posting) - much more fun - plus really big holidays to visit whereever you like.(parents/relations/skiing etc)....but you really need to be BRAVE to pull that off (which I think you guys actually are).

    Plus - without this pregnancy you would not have had any idea about the cysts. If they are a problem - you are going to be there ahead of the game (ie before full blown issues may have pointed to it. I had cysts with my first pregnancy. It doesn't necessarily mean cancer (and I say this after having a mother die of pancreatic cancer last year - so not niave on such issues).

    Hoping you feel better soon.....and remember - it doesn't always have to be sunshine and lollipops on a blog (but I also understand that there are crazies out there who can't cope with that).

  42. :::hugs:::

    I have no other words except to say that I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  43. I’m sure I speak for lots of blog readers when I say we will miss you while you take a break but will be here waiting when you come back to us! I was reading this and thought you could use it right about now as well:
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.

    He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.

    Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;

    but those who hope in the LORD
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

    Isaiah 40:28-31

  44. I haven't commented over these past few posts because quite honestly I've been at a loss for what to say. I don't want to say the wrong thing, and nothing seems 'right', probably because in these situations, nothing is... so I'll just keep it simple in saying that you are in my thoughts and prayers!

  45. You are in my thoughts <3

  46. I'm thinking about you. You are a remarkably strong and resilient woman. I gathered that much just from reading the tiny bits you write on your blog. I can't even imagine how much more stronger and more resilient you actually are in real life.

  47. Jenn, so sorry to hear about the baby and all the stress you have been under. I had PCOS and had lots of large cysts on my ovaries at various times. I did do fertility treatments (IUI)and eventually did have to have a full hysterectomy op. I do not say it to scare you, but at various times I did have cysts and they were from PCOS, which is treatable. I'm sorry about the pgcy, and I know that that plus your move is very stressful. I am glad that you had the u/s because it did find the cysts before any of them ruptured. Hang in there and take as long of a break as you need. We will be here when you are ready to come back. Many, many hugs. I'm sorry to see you leave CA too. I know that had to be a hard decision for you. I'm in N CA, but my family is in San Marcos and high school friends all over San Diego county, so I'm down in CA a bit. I will miss seeing your posts from SD, but I know that this is a new chapter in your life and maybe being closer to family will be good for you. Take care, Molly

  48. can't imagine what you're going through but just a note to say that I don't know you other than reading your blog but here's some *hugs* and *prayers* coming your way.

  49. Hi there, I'm so sorry for this terrifying news. I'm sure you're 1000x more well-versed on this whole thing than I am, but to me the first thing I think of when I think of strange cysts on the ovary and a failing pregnancy with up and down HCG levels is actually a molar pregnancy. So in case nothing was actually visualized in the tub (to confirm ectopic), maybe it's worth mentioning this to your doctor, although frankly I"m a bit embarrassed to even say this b/c of course I'm sure you have already considered this, and he/she has as well. Anyway, I hope we get to hear an update once you know what is going on. I wish you the best of luck and I know these next few weeks will be tough but hang in there. A history of cancer in the family does not cancer make- even with some suspicious cysts...

  50. Still thinking of you and sending positive thoughts. Sending peace and strength to get through this week and the next ones. I hope you get some reassuring answers soon.
    Oh, and good luck with the move if "on the table" again means it is happening.

  51. Jen, I just wanted to send out my heartfelt condolences on all you have been through! I can't imagine what a stressful time this has been for you and Charlie. I'm glad you are taking a break for yourself, although I will sorely miss your daily dose of humor. Many hugs and hope we see you back here soon!


  52. Praying just are an amazing woman and mother I hope you can find your place of peace again! please come back as soon as you can I need to read your blog like the air I breath!! Thank you for being so open and honest Praying hard until you return....oh and if you can listen to0 KLOVE online it really helps so much....

  53. I will be praying for you! You will get through this!!

    Much blog love.

  54. Okay Jen. You can overcome anything. You've got strength in numbers. We will help you in anyway that we can and are with you no matter what... (As long as we don't have to do that walk! ;-) Just kidding!!)

    We all went to Mass Saturday night for you...I put your name in the prayer booklet in Pinehurst, NC and will do the same here this week. ;-) Praying, praying, praying!

    My Father overcame a 3 month diagnosis to give us 5 years. Because of people like him - these things ain't so scary. Although it is alarming, attitude and perseverance is the key. We have to believe! and you have to much to do!! ;-)

    Tonight go for a long walk, do 25 sit ups and 10 full push ups!! (next week up each by 5)AND keep your chin up! Literally, it helps with the push up! ;-)

    Love ya lots. Love, Marg.

  55. Praying for you all.

    I'm a working triplet mom in Northern VA and would be happy to welcome you to the area.
    (We also go to a great church!)

    Email me anytime

  56. Oh Jen, hang in there. You are in my prayers every day, you are going to be FINE, I just know that. Please update when you can, because I'm the biggest worry wart on the planet and I want to see the "Whew, I am FINE!!!" post :)

  57. Jen I haven't quite known what to say so I have been quiet (but praying a lot for you). I am so sorry for your loss, I do know what you are going through. I can't count the times I cried because of all the teenagers & women who didn't want children (in my mind) that were having babies left and right and I was unable. Finally...I got pregnant and then proceeded to lose our baby. I still hang Christmas ornaments for our child (28 yrs later), I miscarried two more times before I had our first son who just turned 25 this month. After our first son was born we decided to take things as they come and come they did 2.5 yrs later (son) and then again 2 yrs later(daughter). After three healthy pregnancies I lost another child. I don't think it is something you ever forget or "get over". I still think about our children that aren't here on earth with us, but it does get easier.
    Your little angel brought you something so precious though. Prayerfully things with the cysts on your ovary will turn out okay but if it wasn't for your angel and the complications, you would be unaware of the problem. I find that AWESOME again perfect timing!
    I am glad that your Dr is being aggressive, when I first saw a spot on my tongue that concerned me, my Drs. put it off as being nothing because I hadn't ever smoked or drank and didn't fit the profile. Also it didn't "look" like cancer and the area on my tongue hurt and they said cancer on the tongue doesn't hurt. After several appointments and being persistant, I was sent to have a biopsy done. It came back cancerous so I had an appointment to be operated on within a week. If I had listened to the Drs to begin with I would have waited because it didn't look worrisome to them and who knows how things would have turned out. Because of it being taken care of "early" I was able to only have the cancerous portion cut off with no after treatments(it was malignant).
    I didn't mean to write so much but in closing I just wanted to say that I am glad that you are who you are, keeping it real and writing about what is on your mind. If you hadn't told "us" about the new situation just think of the prayers that would not be said on your behalf. I pray for peace and health for you. I also pray for an easy noneventful move for your family (if it happens).
    Oh by the way, I know it isn't Wednesday but I just wanted you to know because of your inspiration I have now lost 13 pounds in just three weeks!! I am so pumped! It has been almost too easy this time. I already feel so much better that I can't imagine how much better I will feel to get to my goal weight. Thank you!
    I will continue to keep you and your entire family in my prayers.
    Hope you will be back soon, I miss you:(

  58. Just catching up on your last few posts! I wanted to tell you I am sorry to hear your pregnancy is ectopic, and that now you have cysts to worry about as well, but I'm glad you discovered them sooner rather than later, and I hope they are benign. I hope you are not still feeling as if you had to choose your life over your baby's. I want to encourage you to remember that, since the pregnancy was ectopic, it was just as non-viable as if you'd already had a miscarriage; so please don't feel as if you gave yourself an abortion. Rather, you kept yourself safe for another day, for your family and possibly for another chance at #5, by stopping the ectopic before it could rupture and cause you severe damage or death. It was so sweet reading about the lamb on Mother's Day, and what your children said about jumping on one leg (I laughed). I continue to keep my fingers crossed for you that things work out for the best. You and your family remain in my thoughts.

  59. I hope a break helps. Hugs honey. Wish I had better words, something that would help, but I know there is nothing. Just know, we're here. Whenever you are ready to come back.

  60. I have been wrestling with myself if I should comment. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and I am praying for you and your family. I am praying that God will give you peace during this time because He is a God of peace.

  61. I am so sorry my heart aches for you! Keeping
    you in all my prayers