Slideshow

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.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wine free...no longer me!

I found a great natural fertility website that I wanted to share with everyone. I found it by doing something that is not for the newly diagnosed….I googled. I typed in fertility superfoods and up came http://natural-fertility-info.com/5-fertility-superfoods-you-should-know-about.html. OMG the information on this website is great. I got so excited when the page came up, I didn’t even know where I wanted to start. Once I got my mind to focus and stopped hyperventilating, I decided to start with what I had search for. Natural Fertility Info lists superfoods: Maca, Royal Jelly, Bee Propolis and Bee Pollen and Spirulina. I know what you are thinking what the heck is Maca? Well according to the site ….


Maca has been traditionally used to help:
Balance hormonal levels in women*
Increase libido in both men and women*
Increase egg health*
Increase seminal volume, sperm count per ejaculation, and sperm motility*
Lower FSH levels
This site had me at “lower FSH levels”

How does Maca work?
“Maca is a nourishing food for the endocrine system, aiding both the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands (all involved in hormonal balance.) Maca has the ability to affect key hormones in both women and men without containing hormones itself. Maca helps to stimulate and nourish the pituitary gland, acting as a tonic for the hormone system. When the pituitary gland functions optimally, the entire endocrine system becomes balanced, because the pituitary gland controls the hormone output of the other three glands. In women Maca works by controlling estrogen in the body. Estrogen levels that are high or low at the wrong time can keep a woman from becoming pregnant or keep her from carrying to term. Excess estrogen levels also cause progesterone levels to become too low. Taking Maca may help to increase the progesterone levels, which are essential to carrying a healthy pregnancy.” This was enough for me to leave work for the sole reason of purchasing a Maca supplement but then I read this.. “Estrogen in men produces erectile dysfunction, low/lack libido, low sperm count, and lowered production of seminal fluid. Men who use Maca have been shown to have an increase in libido and healthy sperm.” That’s it, going to vitamin cottage tomorrow after work to see my new and helpful buddy. Do you think he is going to think I am addicted to taking supplements? The site also lists “Who should use Maca?” Maca would really be good for anyone preparing or trying to become pregnant. It is a food, so it is healthy to take daily. But it can specifically help women who are experiencing:

-Poor egg health
-Endometriosis
-PCOS
-Recurrent miscarriages
-Preparing for IVF
-Infertility due to stress
-In addition, hormonal stability sharpens the mind and generates a sense of well-being.

The next one listed is Royal Jelly which I was taking for a long time and stopped in December. I will consider taking it again “Royal jelly is another fertility specific superfood which may help to increase egg health, quality of egg, and genreal fertility. Royal jelly is the food that is fed to the queen bee which is what makes her the queen bee. She goes on to live 6 years and lays up to 2000 eggs per day. Most bees live less than two months.Royal Jelly is rich in vitamins, A, B, C, D,and E. It is also contains minerals including calcium and iron, all of the essential amino acids plus antibacterial and immune stimulating properties.” I didn’t know that with bees, it can cause the queen bee to way out last all of the other bees. Must be pretty potent stuff, like the fountain of fertility youth. Why can’t this stuff come in juice form? I would chug a gallon of it a day. I also didn’t know that it helps the immune system. Why did I stop taking that again…..

Next was Bee Propolis and Bee Pollen. “Bee propollis and bee pollen are two more fertility super foods from our friends the bee. These foods are rich in nutrients. Bee pollen contains 50% more protein than beef and is rich in every vitamin and mineral. Bee Propolis is a powerful immune system stimulant and inflammation aid. It also helps women who have endometriosis. Bee propolis and Bee Pollen are available in capsules or in a base of honey. They can be taken everyday. I like to take all three together in one product.”

Last listed is Spirulina. “Spirulina is a tiny aquatic plant has been eaten by humans since prehistoric times and is grown worldwide as a healthy food. Imagine a vegetable with more protein than soy, more Vitamin A than carrots, more iron than beef, profound source of protective phytochemicals, naturally low in fat, source of the essential fatty acid GLA and is easy to digest.” This is listed in my superfood powder I put in my juice every morning.

This site also has suggestions for a great fertility diet and discusses a very encouraging statistic from a Harvard study on women and their diets. By following a good fertility diet & making simple lifestyle changes, women had an 80% decrease in infertility. Basically you eat healthy and organic, exercise daily, stay away from dairy and soy, drink plenty of water and make sure you eat one of the superfoods I just listed above each day. You can even join a 21 day fertility diet challenge and there is a link for a fertility smoothie book. If you can’t tell yet….this site is my new favorite thing. There is even a reminder list of the things you need to try and eat everyday! There are a few things mentioned that I am currently not taking/eating that I am considering trying. One is eating sea veggies like kelp and nori. They are said to help lower FSH and can be eaten with sushi or in a salad. I will have to see if I can find them at the store over the weekend.

I picked up Gluten Free Living at vitamin cottage earlier this week. It is a great magazine, I am going to subscribe to it. One of the articles in this last issue lists alcoholic beverages that are gluten free. I was shocked and extactic to read that wine “is recognized as an alcoholic beverage that is safe for those who follow a gluten free diet.” There have been some questions raised about the use of wheat to seal the wooden barrels but there is no evidence of this happening. Oh man, I am definitely going to get a bottle of nice red wine this weekend so I can reward myself a few times a week with a drink. Red wine is good for you and it will help me relax. Don’t worry I wont take in as much wine as I do supplements each day. The article in Gluten Free Living also lists brands of Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Gin, Scotch, Ready to drink cocktails, blender drinks and special liquors that are gluten free. A website is provided in the article www.glutenfreedrinks.com. So now that the weekend is approaching, go print out that list and have a good time. Now that we know we can have fun and stay gluten free.

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.