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.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Breaking Out the Big Guns

So you know how I wrote in my last entry that it seems that people are unloading their problems on me lately….like complete strangers?? Well I am beginning to really think that maybe that is my calling or something? I was just at the bank depositing a check. I waited in line and walk towards the teller as she motioned me forward. As I walked up she asked how I was doing to which I replied “pretty good, and you?” She then responded with “well I just broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years but other than I am fine.” This started a 15 minute conversation between the two of us that ended with my giving her the advice that she is the only that can control her happiness. How that conversation happened during a quick trip to the bank….I am not sure but just another encounter that makes me think I am going through this to help people. Does that sound weird?? I mentioned I had lunch with an incredibly strong woman last week who had lost a child?? Well she was nice enough to recommend a fertility acupuncturist whose office is about three minutes walking distance from mine. Even though I love Carol, my current acupuncturist, it has been awhile since I have seen her and I believe there is a reason I would meet my new friend and that she would recommend this new acupuncturist to me….so I made an appointment for this Friday. My plan is to ask for treatments to treat yin deficiency and help my body to suppress FSH and product more estrogen. This new acupuncturist works closely with many of the fertility specialists in the state and has knowledge of all the officers I have gone to in the last year and a half. I am very excited to get things started :0) I have been re-reading “Making Babies” and taking my own advise and am incorporating recommendations into my daily routine as I learn of them. Three of those are taking L-carnitine supplements, putting a heating pad on my lower abdomen for at least twenty minutes daily and incorporating Yin foods into my daily diet.

I continue to be amazed at women’s bodies and I mean that in a totally not creepy way. What I meant is that I keep hearing incredibly inspiring stories about women who have beat the odds and conceived. Yesterday a friend from work shared another with me about a close friend of hers who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, had an ovary removed and went through chemo. On the day of her last chemo treatment, she found out she was pregnant. The baby is fine and she seems like she will be able to carry full term. My friend at work said that if the woman from the story could get pregnant while going through chemo and only have one ovary, then I would be just fine. She is right, I have two ovaries with follicles, just need to build up some estrogen to get them going again and stay positive. I went to the meeting with a new acupuncturist, Jeff, a few days ago. He seemed very up on his knowledge and I was very glad to see him when I got to the appointment. That day, Friday, was an “I’m feeling sorry for myself” day and was also very stressful at work. I was so stressed and exhausted that I welcomed the needles he was going to be sticking in me with open arms. When I arrived, we went through a questionnaire, discussed my current lifestyle and eating habits and he looked at my tongue a few times. For those of you who are not into Eastern medicine, practitioners believe you can tell a lot about a person simply by looking at their toungue. Mine, for example, let Jeff know that I was very imbalanced. Great, another man telling me I am unbalanced! Fortunately, this  imbalance can be fixed (not so sure on the others). After filling out my questionnaire, Jeff started my treatment. As I laid down on the treatment table, I felt a nice warm heating pad like object on my back. “Let the relaxation begin!” Next he placed a small heal lamp over my feet. As he started inserting the needles, I was surprised to find that every single needle he poked in made my body flinch. Again for those of you who have never done acupuncture, this means they are getting a good spot. Once the needles were in, Jeff asked if he could break out the big guns and wanting to be as aggressive as possible I said “but of course”. The “big guns” Jeff was referring to was a machine that hooks up to the needles and vibrates them intensifying the treatment. The needles we were focusing on were the ones place over both of my ovaries. It hurt at first but he explained that my body would regulate in just a minute and I would barely feel it and would fall asleep. He was right, I woke up to him knocking on the door. He removed the needles and explained the we were going to discuss the rest of my treatment and what would come next. While I took my needle induced siesta, Jeff had been grading my questionnaire and had a diagnosis and recommendations ready. According to what I filled out, I had six imbalances. Kidney yin, kidney yan, spleen chi deficiency, blood deficiency, live chi stagnation and heart stagnation. Yikes, just like any other test I have ever taken…..a negative result. Next came my question “do you think you can help me get my periods back?” to which he said “I don’t want to promise you anything but I am pretty confident we can have things back in 3-4 cycles.” Three of four months? I thought, well heck I can do that. Next we discussed doing two treatments a week to be a bit aggressive since it has almost been one year since my last period. Then Jeff gave me some instructions….no caffeine, no soda, carry lavender coated cutips in my purse and use them whenever I get stressed (he obviously doesn’t know I was born stressed and that to fulfill this request I would have to walk around with cutips up my nose 24 hours a day). I am also to drink things without ice at room temperature if possible and soak my feet in hot water every night before I go to bed. Next we went over a list of foods I should be eating they include but are not limited to: broccoli, asparagus, spinach, sea cucumber, yams, garlic, chives, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, black sesame, carrots and celery. Fruits goji berries, pomegranate, kiwi, figs and lots of pineapple. Proteins include salmon, mackerel, tuna steak, chicken, lamb and pork. Jeff suggested making a chicken soup and putting a bunch of the veggies he suggested and then add chicken off the bone. He said to take the chicken carcass and scrape the marrow off and put in the soup. Next we discussed how my exercise program could be whatever I wanted until I started a period and then I would have to calm things down a bit. But until then, Jeff suggested working out for 45 minutes, 5 days a week. I was given herbs to take (three, three times a day) and was also told I could drink alcohol but only red wine. At least he didn’t say no alcohol at all :0) I feel very encouraged and hopeful that with the acupuncture and low estrogen doses, I will have periods again in no time!

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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.