Big News, Y’all!

I’m pregnant!

If you want to know the backstory of how vulvodynia, anxiety, and depression affected our decision to have baby #3… read on!

Baby shark due due due due due July 2020!

😍

After having the twins in 2014, I was diagnosed with vulvodynia… but the symptoms had been happening for years.

[If you’re new to my blog, vulvodynia symptoms include: stabbing vaginal pain, an intense burning sensation, and rawness]

For our whole marriage I tried to ignore the pain. I developed severe anxiety around any kind of closeness with my husband (even hand-holding or being alone with him made me feel PTSD and it really took a toll on our marriage).

[Note: AJ was doing nothing wrong. It wasn’t HIM… it was the pain my condition caused and the fact that I was trying so desperately to prove that I wasn’t broken that led me to continually try something that always ended in severe pain]

After the twins were born and doctors were validating my condition, AJ and I decided to take time to let my body heal and hopefully reprogram the PTSD-like triggers I had revolving intimacy (aka: we stopped attempting intercourse which obviously is how one gets biologically pregnant without fertility treatments).

Along with the generalized anxiety I have, I developed anxiety and PTSD when it came to having kids. I felt like vomiting every time I thought about attempting intercourse again to try to get pregnant. I wanted to vomit when I considered what adding a third child would do to the balance and equilibrium we had found.

We avoided the subject for years and I came to a place where I felt pretty comfortable that the twins would be our only kids.

Over time, my triggers around closeness to AJ melted away. We built a safe place for me that no longer involved intercourse/pain or the terrifying feeling that I was broken and unworthy of love. We went to therapy together and individually. I did everything my doctors recommended and I tried a bunch of holistic techniques as well.

I stopped thinking about having another child and settled into the life we had built.

Over this past summer I had the thought, “I wonder what it would be like to have a third child“ and I didn’t want to vomit.⁠⁠ I was still anxious. But that gut reaction of terror had subsided. I talked to AJ and he was so pleased. He really wanted another kid, but never put pressure on me… instead he let me heal.⁠⁠

After deciding to try for another baby, I started to feel triggered again. I worried constantly about the intercourse aspect of things. I considered artificial insemination because then I could associate the pain with the doctor’s office and not my husband. I talked it over with a group of friends and one of them encouraged me to try intercourse one time. We could stop at any point if it was painful and then we would know. Then I could do artificial insemination and we could continue on with the new normal we had found.⁠⁠

So we tried. And it wasn’t painful. I am used to the fetal position after intercourse. Stabbing pain and a burning pain that lasts for hours. But… none of that happened. I am still in shock that I am finally pain-free.⁠

⁠In time, I got pregnant!⁠⁠ I can honestly say we are over the moon about it. ⁠

(art by Lovetta Reyes-Cairo, she is amazing!)

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I haven’t written in a while about my vulvodynia. I had a CRAZY 2019. And I haven’t quite known how to put it all to words.

Here is a recap: I was diagnosed with MCAS, worked on Intuitive Eating, started EMDR trauma therapy, sunk into a massively deep depression that lasted for months, struggled in our marriage, worked through it together, found amazing healing through EMDR, decided to try for another baby, discovered I am finally pain-free (and no, it’s not a fluke this time), started a business, got pregnant, had a miscarriage-scare but don’t worry… the baby is fine, discovered I have a bunch of cysts on my ovaries (who knew?), bought a house that needs renovations, packed & moved & did a craft fair all in three weeks, and had a perpetual cold through the past two months.

So… yeah. That about sums it up.