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.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Aligning my stars

Don’t worry I have calmed down since my last post…well sort of. I am still a little bummed out. While walking to my car yesterday (and feeling sorry myself yet again), I was trying to focus on something else when a couple appeared in front of me. They were running to their car and the woman was holding her bulging pregnant belly. Guess it was time for their baby to arrive….lucky ducks! That is what’s so freakin hard about not thinking about it. Pregnancy and motherhood is literally everywhere. The gym, the office, Starbucks even on E News. Does it seem like a lot of celebrities have been pregnant lately??? I mean come on, I can’t even get a little gossip in now without getting sad and usually that makes me feel better. Oh well, it will happen eventually I have to be strong and in the words of Gloria Gaynor “I will survive.” Just got to keep doing the things I am doing and be healthy and happy. Align the stars and wait to see what happens. Right now it feels like my stars are scattered everywhere. I am really busy at work so I haven’t had time to get the bills organized, the laundry is just piling up, we still haven’t found a new house, I have gained weight and top it off with the fact that I haven’t had a period since last November…like I said they are everywhere. I am working on this though. I have been taking a few minutes each day this week to get paperwork organized, I have been to the gym the past three days and even met with my trainer yesterday, my husband is handling the house situation and I continue to eat flaxseed, yams and soy everyday to help with the estrogen issue I currently am experiencing. On that note….

I have decided that I am going to focus on eating things that support both estrogen production and a healthy endocrine system. Like many southern gals, I prefer to do everything through food. I found a great article at http://www.ehow.com/how_4449618_diet-healthy-endocrine-system.html. It lists items you need to be sure and eat to support a healthy endocrine system. One suggestion is taking omega oil supplements which I was on way back when I was first diagnosed. Perhaps this is something I should look into taking again??? The article also suggests yoga for stress management and states that there are actually some yoga positions that stimulate hormonal balance. Also listed is garlic which I cook with all the time!

This article caused me to want to find what yoga poses I can be doing so I can be sure and do them once a day since I am obsessive….yes I know I have a problem. During my brief travel on the jam packed information highway this morning, I found another article discussing how different every infertility patient is, the reasons for hormonal imbalances and why they seem to be rapidly increasing and things we as women can do to reverse the imbalances. http://www.womenseducationcenter.com/health/natural-hormone-balance.html .

What Can Women Do to Be in Balance?

1. Put themselves first when it comes to health. When women are healthy, everyone who needs them benefits.

2. Walk, garden or relax in the sun for 20 minutes. This produces vitamin D for immunity and bone health and melatonin for sleep.

3. Get plenty of sleep. Cortisol from not sleeping and stress promote weight gain and depression.

4. Eat organic green vegetables and drink organic fresh squeezed juices which contain natural plant sterols. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are particularly helpful in balancing estrogen.

5. Cook in glass or stainless steel. Plastic can have an “estrogenic effect” on the body.

6. Increase exercise, which increases DHEA and other important hormones.

7. Increase weight-training exercises to help build bone mass and stimulate Human Growth Hormone that keeps us young with a positive attitude.

8. Take time to do yoga, meditation and other relaxation exercises which stimulate hormone functions, decrease anxiety and balance brain chemicals.

9. Read books on hormone balance by Johnathan Wright, MD, Uzzi Reiss, MD, or others.

10. Get saliva tested for hormone levels over a period of a month. This test examines your total cycle and is more relevant than a blood test.

11. Go to a health care practicioner who has a long history with hormone balancing. It is a very intricate science.

12. Take a good vitamin made from natural ingredients with antioxidants for food cell function, bone health and hundreds of other body functions.

13. Have fun and laugh. This simple and enjoyable part of life decreases the stress chemicals and helps build the immune system. The bottom line is there are alternatives to the dangerous synthetic hormones that have been prescribed for decades. There always have been. It is up to us to be proactive and seek the solutions that have been around for centuries.

Thought this was such a great article because it suggests we be proactive and not rely on doctors to figure out how to restore balance to our bodies. I wish someone would have given me this article a long time ago. I googled the authors suggested and have a few written by Dr. Uzzi Reiss in my Amazon shopping cart right now. When I go in next week for my gallbladder and thyroid test, I am going to ask about doing a saliva test throughout the month of October to see if anything fluctuates. I am doing most of the other things so I feel like I am on the right track.

A Pep Talk For All You Wonderful Women Out There.....

I promised some friends of mine a few weeks ago that I would stop the obsessive research on how to cure myself….I even made a bet with them and for the last two weeks I have stuck to it. This morning I woke up and checked my blackberry and saw I had my daily update for Team Inspire (RESOLVE). Usually I glance at the daily topics and move on but I went a little further this morning seeing that one of the topic discussions was one I know very well, POF. The person who started the discussion has been diagnosed for a long time and was searching for information on what her options could be.  Seeing this entry of course relit the spark to my need to do research and since then I have scouring through the pages of discussions on POF on the RESOLVE site. I have to say that after doing this, I feel very discouraged and sad. I wasn’t able to find a single story of someone with POF healing their body or conceiving on their own.  I know it may seem a little unrealistic of me, but I still believe I will eventually find out what is keeping my body from ovulating and have a child.  I believe that most of us women who have been diagnosed as POF represent a group where western medicine has just plain failed us.  Basically, there is something wrong with us and doctors don’t want to take the time to find out what it is so they give us the whole “you have premature menopause, but we don’t know why. Sometimes it just happens.” Sorry, I mean I am not a doctor but that explanation is just not acceptable to me especially when it is concerning a process that my body was built to carry out. If a body process has full on shut down, there is a reason for it and that should be a concern to a doctor. I believe that nutrition and lifestyle have a very large part in the growing epidemic of infertility. I also believe that if the same doctors who typically throw aside their patients after their POF diagnosis would just recommend less stress, some yoga and a healthier diet that many of the “infertile” patients would find their problems might be solved.  I also have to say that even after being diagnosed as having “POF” for almost a year and a half, I am still not exactly sure what that means. For the first year, I was told by several doctors that it means I have no eggs and no chances of conceiving. For the past six months, I have been seeing an OBGYN who specializes in working with women with POF who says that I do have eggs just not the hormones to get my body to go through a complete cycle.  I have also read a few books in the past six months that back up my most recent doctor’s opinion on the matter.  Regardless, maybe doctors should figure out exactly what it means to diagnose patients with POF before sending women into the gloom of an infertility diagnosis. I have seen many positive changes in my body over the past year and a half. I went from having flattened ovaries with no eggs and very low hormones to having round ovaries with standing follicles and good levels of hormones. I was able to keep myself from having to go on HRT and have had a few cycles. All of which I was told would not be possible in the first year and a half. Through research of my own, I have had tests run as I see fit to be able to rule possible causes of this problem out and am positive I will eventually find the problem. I believe that my celiacs disease caused some damage and have been on a strict gluten free diet for almost two months.  I am currently looking into thyroid and gallbladder possibilities as thyroid disease runs in my family and I took Yasmin for almost 6 years…for those of you who haven’t heard…the makers of Yasmin & Yaz are in the middle of  lawsuits from women who took their products and suffered severe side effects one of them being gall bladder disease.  All I am saying is to you wonderful women out there who have been diagnosed with POF or any other fertility problem don’t give up. Do some research, change your diet and find a doctor that is up on the topic. Our bodies were made to reproduce and drive men crazy.  Our body wouldn’t shut this process down unless there was a reason for it!!!

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.