Friday, February 21, 2014

Answers to my Big Neck, Large Thyroid, Wacky Hormone Problems

I had my BIG thyroid specialist doctor appointment last Friday. I wasn't nervous. I knew of the issues based on blood work and ultrasounds that my other doctor had already completed. 

I wrote about my initial symptoms and thyroid issues in this post. To break it down: I have put on a TON of weight in a short time since babies, I am tired all the time, I am always cold, I have extremely dry skin, and I  just don't feel like myself. Oh, and I have a GIANT neck!

Dr. Sokol is amazing! I have never had a doctor take that much time to really dig deep into my medical history. He spent an hour going over all of my past tests, charts, biopsies, ultrasounds, and listening to my stories. He explained everything as he went and made me feel extremely confident and comfortable with his expertise.

Yes, I have hypothyroidism. I will now be on Synthroid medicine the rest of my life. I will need it to regulate the thyroid gland. He made it clear that my thyroid glands were both so large he wasn't sure that the meds will actually shrink the size of them. But the meds will help with all of the other above mentioned symptoms. I already am starting to feel more like myself. I feel like I am in a better mood after only a week of taking the medication. 

I do have to get another biopsy done this spring. My thyroid gland has grown 60% in 18 months so he is a "tiny bit" concerned about thyroid lymphoma. Of course, this sucks and is scary to think about. Dr. Sokol followed this statement up with that he is nearly certain this is not the case but wants to rule it out entirely. 

One of our conversations involved Dr. Sokol mentioning that he wished I had seen him back when I was 21 and the goiter was first noticed. (I was never referred to a specialist since my TSH levels were always fine.) He said that I may have never had infertility issues and I definitely wouldn't be in the position that I am now. 

Yes, it ticks me off that this entire 4 year infertility battle could've been avoided. However, I would NEVER in a million years wish it away. Jeremy and I would not have Max and Harper without those four years of struggle. It was meant to be. I wouldn't change it. 

Now I just take my lovely, yellow pill every morning (FOR...EV...ER-imagine this in the voice from The Sandlot movie) and hope that my symptoms continue to improve. I am hoping they do. I am ready to be back!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am getting ready to go to my thyroid doctor appointment. I am hoping to get those much needed answers that I wrote about earlier.

Last week, I did my first craft with Max and Harper. Here are the Valentines that we made their friends:

And here are my sweet Valentines. I never thought I could love as much as I love these two!

It will be a quiet Valentine's Day for us. Just perfect though!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Seven Months!!

 I know that I say this nearly every month...but holy cow, how are Max and Harper 7 months old?!!

We just had their six month check-up last Monday. Max has been battling a couple of ear infections and then we had scheduling issues so their appointment was a little late. They took their shots like champs. I did better too. After the third trip to the doctor for vaccinations, I am getting used to the traumatizing event.

Harper has officially passed Max on the weight scale! She loves to eat! She loves her some baby food and can eat Max under the table. I don't think that we have found a food that she doesn't like. She takes a "beating" from her brother too. Max loves to pat her face and pull her fuzz ball hair. Harper hasn't mastered the crawl but she gets where she wants and quickly. She can angle her body and roll anywhere she wants to go. That and her backwards scoot and she is a mover. She also loves to sit and play for long periods. She gets so excited and it cracks us up. Love that girl! She says Ma-ma-ma-ma especially when she is tired and needs to be rocked. She also says Da-da but she said Mama first. Woo-hoo!!!

Harper weighed 17 pounds and in the 66 percentile, 25.5 inches and in the 9 percentile, and her head was 17.5 inches and in 61 percentile. So...she is a thick, short girl with a big ole head! Ha!

Harper wears size 3 diapers and 6-9 month or 9 month clothing. She still can wear some of her 6 month clothing too.

A common surprise expression

Here is a sweet video of Harper giggling uncontrollably. She sure loves her brother and thinks he is hilarious!

Max is a crazy, ornery boy! Love him! He is on the move. He crawls using a wounded animal scoot. But he is fast! We turn our back and he is into something else. We have started baby proofing the living room where he spends most of his time but we have more to still do. He is a pickier eater. He really loves pears and green beans but other foods he could take or leave. He giggles a lot. His smile brightens the room. He has TWO tooth! They just popped up overnight. Craziness! He says Da-da-da but no sign of Mama yet. Punk!

Max weighed 16 pounds, 12 ounces and in 35 percentile, 25.5 inches and in 9 percentile, and his head was 17.5 inches and in 61 percentile. So he is on the tinier side except for his big noggin!

Max wears size 3 diapers and is in 6-9 month or 9 month clothing. He still fits into most of his 6 month clothing too.

Here is a video of Max showing off his wounded animal crawling abilities.

My babies are growing like crazy and each milestone is bittersweet. I love to see them learning but it breaks my heart that my sweet babies aren't tiny babies anymore. Sigh! Heck, they have almost been out of my womb longer than they were in!
Watching the snow fall.

Sweet baby girl

What are we watching, sister?
This is the best it gets with impatient, on the move 7 month olds!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

All About Mama

I have fond memories of my 5 week postpartum post. It was this post that I was only 20 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight. Ahhh...the memories!

Have you noticed there have been no more "anti-belly" posts since then? That was on purpose. Let me fill you in on "Mama" (Harper says that now by the way!).

I was cleared for exercise at my 6 week postpartum appointment. So, I started jogging/walking in the evenings when Jeremy would get home from work. I would do a 1-2 mile run on the weekends. I was trying to ease my way back into running after a 9 month break from it. It was going really well.

I was exercising and watching my portions. Man, I was going to be back to my size 6 jeans comfortably by Christmas! Ha! I went back to the doctor to get my Mirena placed. At the weigh-in...I had gained weight! What?! How was this possible? I was doing everything right.

October rolled around and I was back to work. Granted my workouts were shortened and eventually non-existent. I was exhausted. I attributed the fatigue to being a twin mommy with a full time job.

I started noticing that my pants I was able to wear in August, I couldn't fit in anymore. Thanksgiving break required a trip to get new work clothes to get me through until I could get more of this darn weight off.

In December, I was on the couch wrapping Christmas presents when Jeremy noticed that my neck was enlarged. If he notices must be true! (I could cut off my hair and dye it purple and he may not notice!) I immediately felt my neck and knew my thyroid was much bigger than normal. It felt like a golf ball.

Why did I know it was my thyroid? You see, I have seen a thyroid doctor since I was 22. My OB at the time noticed I had an enlarged neck. I was sent to see the ENT. It was discovered that I have a goiter from Hashimoto's Syndrome. I have had biopsies done and no cancer. I have had bloodwork done and no hormone issues. I have known about these issues for years. I had to have my levels monitored during pregnancy and again, no issues.

When I felt the giant golf ball in my neck, I called my ENT to get an appointment. Luckily, he could see me the morning of Christmas Eve. I got new bloodwork drawn. I always have normal levels but not so lucky this time!

My doctor said that I clearly have hypothyroidism. This means my thyroid is under active. It isn't producing enough hormones to regulate my metabolism. Apparently, even the most normal functioning thyroid can be thrown into a tailspin after a pregnancy. So no surprise that my already jacked up thyroid is struggling.

Here are some of the many symptoms of hypothyroidism. I pretty much have them all! I now have answers to these questions:
Why have I gained 45 pounds in 4 months? (Seriously, that's what I have gained!)
Why am I tired all the time? (The babies sleep for 10-11 hours so no blaming them.)
Why am I still losing hair by the handful? (Pregnancy hormones are done with.)
Why is my skin unable to be lotioned enough? (I go through gallons of Jergens.)
Why am I always so freaking cold? (I seriously could set our thermostat on 73 and still not be warm enough!)

I have felt so awful since really October. I haven't felt like myself. I am depressed that I am now a size 10!!! I am down on myself for not having the energy to do anything outside of being a walking zombie. I feel sad that I can't be the mother I want to be. 

Where do I go from here? Well, I see a specialist next Friday (Happy Valentine's Day to me!). I am hoping that I will have more answers after that visit. I am expecting to be on medications and well monitored. I am also assuming that I will eventually have my thyroid removed, like my mother. I will take thyroid medicine the rest of my life if it means that I have a chance of feeling normal. 

I haven't even felt well enough or confident enough to try and work out. I am hoping with the medicine that I will have the energy to get my body and mind back. 

So, Mama is hopefully going to get her groove back soon. Then, I can start posting anti-belly posts again!

The twins' 7 month update coming next week, too! Lots of changes and accomplishments! Here is a sneak peek at Max & Harper!