My Story

Hi there, welcome to my blog. Yes I am a drama queen and yes I have been deemed “infertile” by a few of the medical experts in the great State of Colorado but that hasn’t made me give up my quest to have children quite yet. My husband and I have been on the emotional roller coaster of infertility since March of 2009 when I stopped taking birth control after being on it for ten straight years. I have been keeping a journal since the start of this process and thought I would share it with all of the other incredible women out there who may be going through the same thing or similar thing that I am. At age 28, I have been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). With no history of fertility problems on either side of my family and normal periods before going on the pill, I was left to accept that I have this condition and that there is no medical explanation for it. Since receiving this diagnosis from a fertility specialist in May 2009, I decided I simply wasn’t going to accept that I wasn’t going to have children with my own eggs. I jumped into the world of Eastern Medicine, worked with an Endocrinologist and even went on a fertility diet trying to get my ovaries to start functioning normally. The conclusion I have come to is this…..having Celiac Disease (Gluten/Flour intolerance) and continuing to eat flour throughout most of my childhood and part of adulthood caused my body to produce anti-bodies that have now started attacking the organs/glands in my body. After a visit to an endocrinologist in December 2009, it was determined that I have ovarian antibodies which are essentially antibodies produced by my body that only attack the endocrine system. No doctor has actually confirmed my self diagnosis that the Gluten Intolerance caused this but Celiac Disease is an auto immune disorder and any auto immune disorder can cause your body to attack itself. I am currently waiting to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist to see what the next steps for me will be. I have read that doctors can try and stimulate the Pituitary Gland to get your Endocrine System running again or that you can be given steroids to help restore ovary function. I am hoping to receive one of these treatments in the near future but only time will tell. In the past 10 months, I have watched many of my close friends become pregnant while I remain a sad statistic. This blog contains my thoughts as I struggle through the process of figuring out what in the world is going on with my body and how I continue to try to stay upbeat and positive about my fertility and enjoy my life. I hope that my blog can help others would love to hear from other women going through the same thing, inspiring stories or anyone who just needs encouragement. I know and understand how difficult every day can be once you have received the POF or infertile diagnosis and want you all to know that I am here for you. Please note that some of you may feel I am sharing to much information (TMI) and for that I am sorry. If you want to read my blog…you get all the details. You never know what will be helpful to someone else right? God bless everyone and I wish you luck on your fertility adventures:0) Remember mind over matter!

My intent is to raise awareness of the issues. Please do not rely on this or any other article when making decisions that will affect you and your health. These are things I have decided to try after much research.
I am sorry I have to even ask, but this research stuff is starting to get expensive. I am just asking for $1.00 donation for posts you feel have helped you. I will use all donations to help fund my research and doctors appointments and of course report back to you. Baby dust to all of you and dont worry we will all find a way to have children.

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Infertile – a horrible word used to make women who are already feeling bad about themselves want to jump into a pool of chocolate fudge and eat their sorrows away only to realize that not only can they not get pregnant but now they don’t fit in their clothes. A word so easily tossed around by doctors that they don’t even realize they are saying it and a word that you never under any circumstances should google unless you want your brain to explode.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Let's Get It Started!

First, I am sad to report that the blizzard that was supposed to come overnight didn’t hit until this morning, which means I am writing from my desk and not from my warm bed :0(. My temperature is still coming in at a steady 97.1. My temperatures have never been this steady since I started charting so this is very encouraging. My acupuncture appointment was great yesterday...thank you for asking. Carol, my acupuncturist, helped me to better understand where my body is in the ovulation process and where the follicles come from. When you have visible follicles in your ovaries that don’t appear to have burst, your body is starting a new cycle. The follicles that are in your ovaries will kind of compete to see who will mature first and release an egg. Occasionally more then one will mature and that is what happens with multiple births. I bet you are wondering where the follicles come from aren’t you? Well it was explained to me yesterday that when women are born, we are born with a follicle “pool” filled with all of the follicles we will ever have. Each month, certain follicles are chosen from the pool to move up into the ovaries and compete to see who will mature. Follicles that do not win the competition (do not want to call them losers because in my book…any follicle is a winner) go back into the pool to compete the next month...this must mean I have some sort of pool right? But I’m wondering if the pool is large enough to do laps in or just wade around in like in a kiddy pool? The fact that there have not been follicles in either of my ovaries in past ultrasounds must mean there is some sort of supply there….at least that is what I think. I mean, follicles don’t just appear from nowhere. According to what I learned from Carol at my appointment yesterday, I am going to assume that I should be ovulating…if things work correctly…within the next 5-7 days. This possibility is making it very hard to concentrate on anything but what my ovaries are doing and is making me want to drink a lot of water so I can run to the bathroom and check my cervical mucus. I knew I shouldn’t have thrown away all of my “time of the month” underwear but who knows maybe that was part of why things are working again. Throwing away the underwear could have been part of my letting go of the control and moving on. My acupuncture treatment was great and I have the acupuncture seeds in my ears to stimulate my entire endocrine system. I am to press them 3 times a day for about 30 seconds each. Did you know that there are over 200 acupuncture points in just our ears? Did you also know that practitioners of Traditional Chinese medicine can treat and/or diagnose just about any ailment you might have through your ear? Here is an article explaining ear acupuncture more in depth and I have also included a chart showing some but not all of the ear acupuncture points on the human ear.

 Look at all of them, Chinese Medicine continues to amaze me. Ok enough about the seeds in my ear. I got home after my treatment and started cooking what was supposed to be my ovaries’ welcome back dinner…yes my husband and I decided to have a dinner in honor of them…if you think this is weird…wait until I have a period and we have a christening for the first tampon..just kidding I would never do that. My husband walked in, started munching on the guacamole I had made for him and turned on college basketball. I had been thinking to myself most of the day and wanted to know his opinion on whether or not he thought I should try and get some eggs extracted while things appeared to be working. That was originally my plan..try to get things working to where I could get some of my eggs extracted just in case. Well when I asked him, you would have thought I was accusing him of having an affair or something. He immediately got really angry and stressed. He asked “how could you ask me something like that, like it is nothing? Like it is just a small procedure like a teeth cleaning?” We ended up fighting for the better part of an hour. He was convinced that I was just looking for ways to stress him out and I was trying to convince him that I was just trying to be pro-active and wanted his opinion without him getting angry. After pushing the pan I was cooking dinner to the side and turning off the stove and stomped upstairs to get away and calm myself down so that I didn’t loose the effects of my acupuncture treatment. I started putting together a gift for my cousin and once that was done I started going through paint samples for the walls in our extra bedroom. While completing these two tasks it hit me, I have just become so numb to all of the fertility talk that it just doesn’t affect me like it does my husband. I literally live and breathe this stuff every day, I live for researching every new method, supplement or massage that could help my body heal. I am able to write about mucus, temperatures, ultrasounds and many other fertility related subjects without even thinking twice so it is hard for me to remember that through our fertility journey my husband has been doing the complete opposite of what I have been doing….he has been acting like it isn’t happening. I am not saying he hasn’t been supportive, it’s just that in order for him to cope with what has been going on, he doesn’t focus on it as much as I do. That is why I didn’t think anything of asking him about egg retrieval while we were making dinner and also why I was confused and frustrated at his reaction. You mean my eggs are not an appropriate dinner conversation? How about your sperm then?? It was decided that we were going to just enjoy our marriage and each other until our appointment with the fertility specialist in May. If we are not pregnant by then and I have not had a period (complete cycle) by that appointment then he said he would consider egg retrieval. I really feel like we will be pregnant by then but I feel comforted knowing that option two is waiting in the distance for us if we need it. It was also decided that we would be going out to dinner since I had thrown our dinner across the stove while trying to make a dramatic exit during our fight….seemed like a good idea at the time. We went to a local Mexican place for a much needed margarita, some more guacamole and tacos. As we were sitting there eating dinner, I felt the muscles in my lower abdomen twitching and then I had a weird cramping sensation near the area I imagine where my left ovary is…I promise this wasn’t the Mexican food. I think it was my body reacting to the acupuncture treatment. As I laid in bed waiting to fall asleep last night, I did an ovarian massage and had another conversation with my ovaries, this time I was focusing more on the follicles but still felt like I needed to include the ovaries as well...didn’t want to make them jealous of their new friends. All I said was “let’s do this.” Then I started signing the Blacked Eyed Peas song “let’s get it started” in my head. That can be my reproductive system’s theme song for the next couple of weeks. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Hopefully I will have a spike in temperature over the weekend to report! Baby Q…it is time….come meet your mommy and daddy today!

Reading Materials/Other Items That Have Helped Me

  • Inconceivable
  • Making Babies by Sami S. David, MD & Jill Blakeway, LAc
  • pre-seed Fertility-friendly Intimate Moisturizer
  • restoring fertility - yoga for optimal fertility dvd - you can feel it working!
  • Taking Charge for Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
  • The Infertility Cure by Randin Lewis, Ph. D.