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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Today on Economically Organic:
Save the carrot shaving from your juicer and make carrot cake or carrot muffins yummy! You can also save them to put in a salad.

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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Am Woman Hear Me ROAR!

I am officially changing myself for the better. I had two people tell me that they wished they could be as upbeat and positive as I am all the time. Not bad for someone who was once considered narcissistic and negative at one point in my life huh?? Ok fine, I’ll admit I am still extremely sarcastic at times but I don’t feel like I have this big black cloud hanging over me anymore. I find that I am able to better handle stress and bad news and feel really good and energetic throughout the day. I am also finding it easier to see my glass half full instead of half empty which I have always had a hard time doing. Why set yourself up for disappointment…is what I used to say but now I believe that seeing the glass half full is a much better way to live. Heck maybe I will picture my glass completely full of a yummy frozen strawberry margarita! I know I have already stated this and you are probably tired of reading it but I have made the decision to enjoy everyday of my life like it is the last one. You never know when your last day is going to be and I don’t want to be sitting up in heaven wishing I had enjoyed life down here more…and yes I believe I am going to heaven. There may be some people I have come across in my life that believe there is a special place in hell for me but I live my life as a good Christian and believe that is where I am going. There maybe a brief quiz at the pearly white gates but I will eventually get in. It was nice to see that the changes I have made to myself and my life are being noticed by others and not just by me. An hour after receiving the compliments, I was working away at my desk when my phone rang. I looked on the caller ID and it read CU Denver. I thought it might be a student looking for an internship so I answered in my most professional sounding voice. It was my OBGYN, Dr. Santorro (specializes in working with POF patients). She called in regards to my high FSH result I had received a few days before. She said she understood that I had gotten upset but that it wasn’t anything to be upset over. Patients with POF can have an extremely high FSH reading one day and a few days later it can be extremely low it just depends on what your ovaries are doing. She said it can be really difficult to test the FSH for POF patients and that I would be better off just listening to my body and watching for any changes and then whenever I think the time is right “jumping” on my husband is a good thing to do. In her experience, it seems that in POF patients the ovaries typically store up follicles for three months and after the third month will have a cycle (this was good news). Then she said something that I really need to remember….patients with POF have trouble not getting frustrated especially if they are compulsive at having control on things. You have to relax and keep doing things that are healthy for you to do. As I thanked her for calling and hung up the phone, I made myself another promise, I was going to stop trying to control everything in my life and relax….or at least try and relax. I don’t do that very well, never have. I come from a long line of high strung women on my mom’s side. My Dad is very laid back and occasionally I feel that coming out in me …but not very often. I need to explore that side of me more and learn to let “freakin” let go of things. The unexpected news from the doctor put my good mood into the almost annoying range but I didn’t care. I just worked away at my desk and when I got to the gym five hours later I skipped right in to the kickboxing class and got through it with no energy problems at all. It felt great to work out, I am going to try and do it more often while I am trying to get Aunt Flo to start visiting again. I have a lot of new goals right now so why not set another one….I would like to be back to the weight I was at when I received my diagnosis….that means I have ten pounds to loose. I stopped running when the doctors told me running was bad for fertility and grew in to then out of all of my fat day clothes. Sweatpants have become a big part of my weekend wardrobe and although it is comfy….it is not a sexy look for someone in their twenties. I am not going to obsess about my weight or try to loose it to fast. I would like to loose it by Christmas which gives me five months. My hope is that by Christmas, I will have seen more positive changes to my body and that I will have had one or two visits from Aunt Flo by then. I know it will take some time to heal my body but like I have said way to many times before…if people can cure their cancer, I can regain function of my reproductive system. I am changing my life one day at a time and for that I am grateful I am going through this time in my life. Because of the diagnosis, I will live the rest of my life must more aware and healthy then I would have if I hadn’t gone through this. I have helped other women going through something similar, have helped people to make better decisions on nutrition and have learned to appreciate how much better a glass half full looks then one that is half empty. I am a new woman or maybe I have finally become a woman?? Anyway hear me ROAR!

All the Time in the World

The rest of the evening was surprisingly peaceful. I went to see Cheri (Mrs. W) against the advice of Ann (the kinisiologist). I wanted to go and talk to her and get her opinion on what she thought was going on with my body. When I arrived at her office, she was taking another patient back for a colonic so she suggested I do a long session on the Mignun bed and then we could talk when she was done. As I laid down, my eyes were filled up with tears as I tried to hold them back. I had already had one emotional outburst earlier that day when the nurse told me my results. Wanting to avoid having to apologize to a second person for my out of control emotions, I pushed back the tears and laid down. I was glad I was able to lay on the message bed for so long. I completely relaxed and fell asleep for brief moments. When it was time for us to talk, I felt much better and emotionally stable. We talked about my results from the kinisiologist reading and what Cheri thought of them and how I felt about them. We also talked about my recent test results. Cheri explained that when a person starts cleansing (whether it be through meditating, kinesiology, colonics, yoga, acupuncture or change in diet) the body has to be worse before it can get better. When you start doing any of these things, you have to “stir up the bad stuff” in order to get it up and out. This is why, she thinks, I had a higher FSH result then I had last time. Since the last blood test, I started the diet change and all of the cleansing and had a kinesiology reading only two days before the blood draw. What Cheri was saying made sense to me. Like cleaning for example, you know how when you first start organizing a room it can look worse then when you started? But as you put things away and organize slowly but surely the room gets cleaned? That is kind of what I am doing right now, slowly re-organizing and restoring order to my “messy room” otherwise known as my body. Cheri also explained that although you should listen to your doctors and get results of tests, they shouldn’t be the end all be all. We all have the ability to listen to our bodies. Cravings, dreams and aches and pains are all examples of ways our bodies talk to us. She said that if I didn’t want to take a test, then I shouldn’t take it. The human mind (subconscious) is a strong thing. We talked about this in great detail as I explained my regrets on going to the doctor when I first went off the pill and taking a blood test. I told her that I believed that once they told me I had “premature ovarian failure and that I wouldn’t have kids with my eggs” that it had been engraved into my brain and that until recently I wasn’t sure how to get it out. It wasn’t until yesterday when I finally got angry that I truly felt inside and out that my diagnosis was incorrect and that what is going on was caused by my taking birth control for over 10 years and my celiacs (genetic or not). I decided right then and there that the appointment with the fertility specialist on August 6th was going to be cancelled. My husband and I were not ready for the next step anyway. He is still against using a strangers eggs and I believe that if we wait for my body to repair itself, we will have plenty of eggs. Heck, maybe I will donate eggs after going through this whole ordeal? I need to get healthy and both my husband and I need to be in a better place financially. Next, Cheri and I discussed that as our bodies start to shut down, they do so in stages. First, it shuts down systems that are not essential for survival. One of those is the reproductive system. Although they are nice to have, functioning ovaries are not essential to live and breathe every day so that is why my reproductive system shut down instead of say my digestive system. Then we discussed how in Cheri’s experience (30 plus years), it typically takes about a year to reverse most damage made to the body unless you are working with cancer or another extremely serious illness and then it typically takes about 2 years. She promised me that I wouldn’t regret sticking with the cleansing and diet changes and we discussed me only coming once a week since I felt twice a week was too much and how important meditation and breathing were. Cheri explained how she handles stress in her every day life. For example, yesterday morning she was presented with an unexpected bill, as she got in her car she felt her body tense up and her heart race, she took a deep breath and said to herself that she was ready and accepted whatever came her way to help her pay the bill. A few hours later, she received a call from a new client which would help pay that bill. As I listened to her explain how she deals with stress, I thought about how I truly believe that if you accept things the way they are and believe things will work out, they will. I believe that if you play the victim all the time and are always expecting the worst, then the worst will come find you. Havent you ever noticed that bad things always seem to happen over and over again to the same people? There is a reason for that? If all you see is negative, how is a positive going to be noticed? During our conversation, I realized that I wasn’t sure why I wanted to have children right now, so badly. I think it is really something I was thinking about when I went off the pill and when the doctors told me it was something I couldn’t do and what seems like all of my loved ones started getting pregnant, it went from something that I was thinking about doing to something I just had to do. Like when you are on a diet and trying not to eat sweets. You go for a few days of avoiding all tasty treats and then one morning you wake up laying next to an empty ice cream carton and spoon. As soon as someone tells us we can’t do something, it’s like our subconscious immediately just has to do it. Yes, I am a woman and most of us have this motherly instinct and yes it’s something I would like to eventually do in my life but now that I think about it, it’s not something I honestly want to do right this second. My husband and I are not truly ready to be parents right now. I have quite a bit of debt (from my failed shopping therapy) and we are currently living with my in-laws until we decide what city we want to live in. So with not much money, no house and an un-healthy reproductive system, I can see why the universe wouldn’t want to align the stars (so to speak) for us right now. True, many babies have been born into way worse conditions but I like to think someone up there knows what’s best for me and now is not the time. My husband is almost three years younger then me and yesterday was only our two year wedding anniversary, so we have time. As my discussion with Cheri came to an end, I decided that for now, I no longer cared about getting pregnant. My main focus was going to be to restore my reproductive system and have periods every month. Once I got to that point, then maybe I would think about having children. So to all my organs I cursed yesterday, I do need you but I understand you need me too. Let’s just put yesterday behind us, I am very sorry and I know you are doing the best you can with what you have. My husband didn’t utter one word about my bad test result last night which I was grateful for but I know he is upset. His mother waited for him to go to bed and told me that he was really upset but felt like things were going to be ok. Before she went up to her bedroom, she patted me on the shoulder and for the first time in a long time, I realized that I actually believed it was all going to work out. I will heal my body, restore my reproductive system and become a monthly buyer of Playtex products. People have healed there bodies and brought them back from much worse, it is just going to take more then three months to reverse over 10 years of damage. So “patience young skywalker” and “may the force be with you”. Take a deep breath and relax, I have all the time in the world so I need to enjoy it and stop focusing on something I’m not even ready for right now.

To Option Number 2 Please….and Step On It!

I just got the results and I am sad to report that I am sitting here crying in my office again!!! Deva vu to last May when I received the news that changed my world as I knew it. My FSH went back up from 43 to an 87! WTF???? I have been doing all the right things. Keeping a good attitude, drinking wheatgrass everyday, juicing every morning, working out. This is not fair! The frustrating thing is that I know my body has been healing and been trying to ovulate. Even as I write this, I have a strange cramp in my lower abdomen?? It’s just that I don’t know what is the correct date to draw blood for the FSH test since I don’t have a period or a normal cycle. If I don’t know what is the best date to test, I will never get a low enough test result for any fertility specialist to let me use my eggs in an IVF procedure or harvest them. My number results are all over the place because my body has been doing different things at each time blood has been drawn. The average woman’s FSH fluctuates up and down on a daily basis depending where they are in their cycle. I am not letting this get me down (at least after I finish this crying spell). It is simply one blood test result out of the hundreds I will get over my lifetime. After I get this cry out of my system, I will not get upset about it again. I will not play the victim, victim’s are the ones who accept a bad diagnosis or a bad test result and let it run their lives. I will just re-read “Making a baby” and start eating every food the book mentions to help with fertility. I will start doing things like drinking and running that I want to do and live my life like I want just with a few dietary changes. If a baby is meant to be in my life, it will come. I will start having an occasional drink with the hubby, eating chips with my salsa (as long as they are gluten free) and running in the afternoon. These are just a few off the huge list of things I have given up on my quest to have a baby. It’s gotten to the point now that I am taking the same approach I used to use when deciding on whether or not to stay in a relationship (when I was single). Either this person wants me the way I am, as me or they should go find someone else. So either my future child wants to grow inside of me and have me as their mother the way I am or they don’t. An occasional drink here and there, snack full of carbs or a little cardio is going to affect that decision then I don’t want to be a mother. I deserve to enjoy life a little, you only live once and for the past year and a half I have lived my one life to live in a glass box watching everyone around me enjoy themselves. Either the stars will align and my fertility will improve or it won’t. That’s right ladies and gentlemen; I am officially pissed off and tired of this crap. If my ovaries want to keep taking monthly siesta’s fine! Mother nature or Aunt flow whichever you prefer to be called….if you don’t want to come visit then fine. You tend to be a messy house guest so at least I wont have to clean up after you. As for my brain, if you would stop thinking about crap that doesn’t matter (like how to get back at the person that just cut us off) and concentrate on the functions you are supposed to be taking care of maybe things would be different. We have a serious focus issue. Even as I am trying to write this, all I can think about is how good the dried cranberries in my salad look. How can I expect you to focus if I can’t do it and I am the one controlling you??? The point is, this girl, excuse me, woman is tired of this whole thing. It’s been a year and a half and today’s results put the “D” in DONE. I am done waiting for my body to work. FSH, I will be walking into the fertility specialist’s office two weeks from now and telling them to give me the drugs to lower you. You refuse to do it yourself so now I am going to force you. Then ovaries, I will be using someone elses eggs to try and get pregnant. You officially have no purpose so go ahead and continue sleeping….it’s not like I have any use for you anyway, you have been replaced. That’s right, I am ready for donor eggs so am officially exploring the second option….now I just need to convince the hubby. I am also going to get re-tested for Celiacs. I have been thinking that maybe there is some truth to what the kinesiologist said last week. Perhaps I am not allergic to Gluten and have taken it out of my diet when I shouldn’t have thus starving my body of some important nutrients. If not, then I guess I will continue to eat gluten free. I really need to jog right now..why can’t it be 3:30 PM so I can get out of here?

Two Years and a Much Better Person

At this exact time and date two years ago, I was getting ready to walk down the aisle. Today is my two year wedding anniversary, time flies when you are trying to heal your body right? My husband and I have come a long way since then. We thought we knew everything about each other but as most of you who are married know….we thought wrong. For whatever reason, marriage seems to complicate things. It takes two people who are in love with no issues and turns them into two strangers wearing matching wedding bands. I thought I knew my husband before we were married but it has honestly taken the past two years for us to really to know each other and find our “niche” if you will. In a way, I am grateful we didn’t get pregnant when we started trying. We weren’t ready then. We had so much growing we needed to do as a couple and I had some growing to do as an individual. I never fully appreciated anything I had in life be it my health, family, friends and material possessions. I took advantage of my monthly gift, my job, my husband and so on and so on. I just expected my body to carry out the necessary functions of life, never giving anything back to it but a ton of Diet Dr. Pepper and cheese. I deserve what I got, I took a pill that suppressed my reproductive system to make things easy on me. I don’t blame my body for wanting to show me what I didn’t appreciate. This whole experience has taught me to love and appreciate everything more….not just my body. The message at church yesterday in summary was that as Christians, we need to treat everyone with the same kindness and not turn our backs on others, especially loved ones, simply because we don’t want to deal with the inconvenience. By taking the pill, I was avoiding the inconvenience of having a period every month (on months where I took the pill straight through…couldn’t have a visit from aunt flow on my wedding day) or worrying about alternative methods of birth control. I simply turned my back on my reproductive system and for that I have paid a hefty price. I know that when I get my results back today that it will be a sign that my body is finally forgiving me and that mother nature is ready to start her monthly visits with me again. I understand it will be a probationary “period” the first 6 months to make sure I continue with my end of the deal. I promise to have chocolate and a heating pad waiting each month for mother nature’s arrival and also swear that I will never complain about it even if they last two weeks at a time! I was at a party for a dear friend this past weekend. As I was standing in the kitchen watching everyone at the party I noticed that with the exception of one younger woman who was single, I was the only woman within child bearing age (out of 12) that didn’t have a child. My mother who was standing next to me, must have been meeting up with my brain waves because she just grabbed my arm and said “don’t worry it will happen for you”. I just looked at her and said “I will not be the 1%, I refuse”. For those of you just joining this blog, 1% is the percentage of women with unexplained fertility in the United States. I choose to be in the 99% that do get pregnant and have healthy reproductive systems. My diagnosis is simply that just words typed onto a piece of paper and put in a file that has probably collected lots of dust by now being that it has been a year and a half since my last appointment with the fertility specialist. I will not accept my diagnosis, it isn’t true. I have long lasting side effects from taking the pill and in a few months, things will be just as they should be. As I sit here and wait for the doctor’s office to call, I feel grateful for the opportunity to learn everything I’ve learned about nutrition and alternative medicine. I feel lucky to have been connected with such great people online and read so many amazing stories about amazing women who have also chosen to ignore their own medical diagnosis and proven doctors wrong. Wish me luck, only a few hours until the moment of truth. Mother nature I am ready for your next visit and doctors office I am ready for the best news I have gotten in a awhile. No time for a case of the Mondays, to much to think about already!

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.