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.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bad Habbits Die Hard

So my giving up Caffeine is not happening as easliy as I had thought it would. I find myself craving a diet dr. pepper or ddp as our office calls them. I crave that cold, refreshing taste of the stuff. It would be differnt if I felt that cutting out caffiene from diet had helped when I did it before but it didnt help so why should I suffer when clearlt one caffienated beverage a day obviously wasnt the answer to my fertility problems. I have got to stop working and start living.  Tomorrow is Weds, I swear I am not going to have an ounce of caffiene tomorrow....well wait a minute does chocolate count?  When I woke up this morning from a deep sleep I quickly realized two things. One, I had overslept by an hour and two, I had really bad menstrual cramps. They lasted until about lunch time and then dissapeared. I also noticed my digestion was very on top of things today. Not sure if those two things could be related??? I have a feeling that when I go to see Jeff, my acupuncturist this week, he is going to get even more frustrated. He expressed his frustration last time I was in. He doesnt understand why I am not responding but was optimistic. He is currently taking a class on follicule stimulation...lucky me I guess. I will have to be the guinea pig on all the new techniques he is learning. I know it is all going to be all right and that this will all be worth it. Just wish it could happen already. I am not asking for a pregnancy right now, just a visit from mother nature with that nicely wrapped package. Oh who am I kidding, I would take the monthly gift unwrapped, in fact she can just throw at me and I will try and catch it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Catch Up Post....Sorry for the delay.

As I started up my computer this morning, a reminder from my calendar popped up….it read “one month of taking DHEA”. I smiled and thought to myself what a blessing this medication has been to me. I feel like myself again. I can laugh and have a good time without having to force myself to do so. I know this sounds weird but I have feeling back in my skin. I get excited to see my husband and my skin even has a new glow to it. I have hormones again people!! I was so glad to see Jeff yesterday after work that I got my appointment time mixed up with last weeks and arrived an hour early to find he was on break. I was forced to ride the elevator down two floors to our family jeweler to get my ring cleaned and checked and search for some Christmas gifts. As I was standing there talking to our jeweler, my stomach started to feel a bit queasy. So that would make three days in a row of reeling queasy at random times of the day, but knowing me it is probably the flu. After talking for about 30 minutes, I went back up to the 4th floor and walked into Jeff’s office. He had a room available so we started my treatment. I told him about all the things that had happened since I had last seen him. The runny CM, the back aches, the queasiness , the breast tenderness and the headaches. He said they were all very good signs but they didn’t necessarily mean I was pregnant. He said that even if I wasn’t pregnant that these were all very good signs and that eastern medicine doesn’t work overnight. I had only been on my medications for a little over a month and seeing as many changes as I have already seen this month should be celebrated. He said that although he doesn’t jump and do little jigs in front of his patients, the symptoms I have been reporting to him in my past couple of visits have made him very happy….and to hear him say that made me happy. I was only able to fall asleep for small increments of time during the treatment. I was having a hard time relaxing my mind with the baby wishes, unpurchased Christmas gift ideas, work issues and everything else swimming around in my head. I did feel relaxed when I left. Jeff said to wait and test on Friday and that we wouldn’t make an appointment for Friday just for me to call him on Weds to see how I am feeling. I have been considering buying a test and taking it tomorrow. This is just killing me ….You know the saying “the curiosity killed the cat?” Well it killed my baby buzz. Against the advice of my acupuncturist Jeff, I stopped on the way back from lunch and got a test and immediately took it when I got back to the office. Of course as I sat there waiting I had so many mixed emotions but mostly didn’t want to have made all of this up in my head……well it said “not pregnant” plain as day. So I will be saving the second test and will wait until Saturday morning, one day past when Jeff calculated was time for me to take it. I know what I felt. I know I felt myself ovulate, I know I had cramps after and I know I have had the runny CM. Those things I didn’t create in my head. Now could I be making myself sick probably but I don’t think I could create a low back pain with my jeta mind tricks?? Oh well, til Saturday it is. Regardless of the results, I know what I have been seeing and felt, just so frustrated right now but I guess that is what I get.

Ok so last night I went home and did a cardio blast class on fit tv. It was very high impact (even though Jeff said only low impact right now) and I felt like I had accomplished something once I finished. My husband and I went and grabbed dinner and then I jumped in the shower to rinse off and get ready for my Weds. When I was in the shower I just happened to look down and notice that my left nipple looked kind of swollen and was pretty much twice the size of the my right…..which is not normal for me. Then I noticed that on my lower abdomen where the acupuncture needles were placed on Monday, I had little red marks and where the one that had been placed in between my eyes on my face, there was a little bump that hurt. I thought this was really weird but figured I might be having some sort of allergic reaction….story of my life. When I got to work this morning, I opted for the more healthy breakfast choice of pineapple and banana. I sliced the pineapple in little pieces and then cut up the banana and put it all in a bowl. As I started to eat I noticed that the pineapple tasted different and for the third day in a row, the banana tasted like dirt. Wondering what was going on, I walked into a coworkers office and asked her to try and banana and tell me if it tasted normal. She looked at me like I was crazy but tried it and said it was fine. I recently started using crest 3d white toothpaste and am wondering if it would change my tastebuds? The thing is that Monday and Tuesday when I had a banana, I had already washed away the newly brushed feeling off my teeth with two glasses of green tea and a pumpkin spice latte so I am really not sure what the heck is going on. I am going to stop on my way home from the gym this afternoon and buy another pineapple and some new bananas to see if they taste different later in the day.

I didn’t stop on my way home to get more bananas but I did try to eat another one when I got home and it still tasted like feet. I also noticed that after my job, I had some cramping on my left side and felt extremely bloated the rest of the evening. I have also noticed that there seems to be a bad smell constantly following me around these days. Last night at the gym the woman to my right had a large amount of scented something on which was almost choking me and the lady to my left seemed to be burping up her garlic lunch so we could all enjoy it. Both of these smells seemed to be overpowering. Now as I sit here at my desk this morning, I keep getting a whiff of a strange scent but can’t figure out what it is. I have checked myself not me, bottom of my shoes…nothing, no spoiled food in the snack drawer so what the heck is it???? I also found myself almost breaking down into tears for no reason during a meeting this morning. What the heck is that about??? Who knows, I started taking the progesterone as instructed yesterday. I have been hoping that I wouldn’t need to take it because I would be expecting but since I appear to not be preggers it’s goodbye baby dreams and hello progesterone. I was thinking about it the other day. I just don’t know what I could have possibly done to take a perfectly healthy functioning reproductive system and turn it into this. I mean, I had a lot of clotting when I was younger which is a sign of hormone imbalance but shouldn’t almost two years of taking extremely good care of myself be enough to help restore things??? I am getting to the point where I am so pissed off about this whole thing that I don’t even care about having a baby or getting my periods. I mean heck, with the DHEA and the hormone supplements I feel great so guess what Aunt flo, since you have ignored my open invitation to come visit, you are now disinvited! If you do decide to show up you can sleep in the basement. Just like the butt I work with that is mean to me for absolutely no reason, I have done nothing to you either. You just leaving and not even giving me another chance just shows that you are no monthly friend I need around anyway. You have been replaced with some very effective drugs. If you want to be my monthly friend again, you will have to prove you can live up to your end of the bargain.

So on Friday afternoon, I bit the bullet and took the second test and got….a big fat “NO”. This sent me into a downward spiral of despair that I had to act my way out of since I had plans with my husband’s family to go to the Denver Parade of Lights and dinner at the Hard Rock CafĂ©. My nephew is adorable so with him around it was a little easy to act happy. My husband and I were miserable the entire evening and fell asleep on opposite ends of the bed. Still upset about the day before, I woke up on Saturday mad at the world and proceeded to take it out on my husband starting a huge fight over nothing. We made up, and decided to spend the entire day alone with just the two of us. We did some Christmas shopping, went to dinner and even went out for drinks. We felt normal again like when we were dating. During dinner he put his arm around me and said “you know, the doctor said it is 10% chance not 0%. We can’t give up but we can’t keep focusing on only this because it is making us miserable.” I agreed and we didn’t mention it the rest of the night. I haven’t actually even thought about it while sitting at work this week. Granted it is only Tuesday, but I find myself trying to get back into the swing of things. I noticed that there are pictures of events my friends have recently been at that I haven’t been invited to. I have a feeling it is because they don’t want to have to hear about my issues. I feel awful that I have made it that way and want so badly to make it up to my friends. So if you are reading this, I am sorry for any birthday parties, girls night out or any other event I have skipped in the past year and a half. I disappeared and this pathetic person has been standing in as me. Well I booted her out and I am ready to enjoy my life again. Please forgive me, I promise if I go to lunch with you or attend a party you are at we will not have to discuss whether I have ovulated or what crazy new holistic procedure I am currently trying.

I had Monday acupuncture appointment yesterday. I was feeling really confused and frustrated after the negative tests and wanted to talk about it with Jeff. He was very helpful and explained that what I felt was most likely ovulation and three things could have happened…One, I could still be pregnant and just not know it. Two, I was pregnant and wasn’t able to sustain a pregnancy because my body wasn’t ready or three, my body did release an egg but my hormones weren’t in line for the whole process to run it’s course. He also explained that just because I ovulated doesn’t mean I will get a period. There are a lot of women who go months in-between periods. He said that “we will get things working again and I promise you that once you are holding your baby/babies, you will realize going through this hard time was so worth it.” I don’t care if he was just trying to make me feel better because I really believe it is going to happen. There is a reason my ultrasound picture displayed a change last March and there is a reason I ovulated last month. My body is eventually going to start working again, patience….

I am sorry for keeping you hanging for this long. You have probably guessed from my lack of posting that I am not pregnant. I am still confused on what exactly happened in November. I know what I felt, I felt an egg release, I had back aches and cramps and my boobs were sore. Jeff said that my body might not have gone through the complete ovulation process or had been pregnant for a short time. He assured me that things would work out and to not get frustrated and to remember positive changes (even if they had not resulted in a pregnancy yet) are something to be thankful. He asked me to take a test once a week and has felt something going on in my pulse for a few weeks now. He said he couldn’t quite make out what it was, that it definitely wasn’t a pregnancy pulse but there was definitely something going on. Although I am very happy to have had these positive changes, getting in the Christmas spirit just wasn’t very easy this year. This made me even more sad because the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually my most favorite time of year and this year I wished I could blink and make it be over. On December 19th, I met my mother to do some Christmas shopping. I felt like I had pretty much wet myself and was worried that maybe I had started my period so I ran to the restroom just to check things out. I didn’t find any blood but I did find a large, thick, glob of mucus. Not sure what it meant I stretched it between my fingers for a minute then whipped it off my hands, flushed and ran to meet my mother for lunch. The glob of mucus stretched really far and had a dark tinge to it. I was so glad that I had an appointment with Jeff the next day. I just had to know what this glob meant. I decided to do some research on my own to make the time go by. Basically what I found online was that the glob could either be a mucus plug or fertile CM. What Jeff told me the next day is that it could mean what I read or that it could also be semen and my mucus mixed together, that sometimes that happened. He took my pulse again and said that there was definitely something still going on and gave me some new pills to start taking as soon as I got my period. Not sure if this is a mind trick he is trying to get my body to have a period by being optimistic and giving me the pills….I hope it works :0). I was able to get into the Christmas spirit just a few days before the actual day but I am grateful I was able to enjoy it instead of hiding my head under a pillow the whole day. I had another appointment with Jeff a few days after Christmas and was excited to report that I had been having a lot of clear CM. While the needles were in, I had a few twinges on my left side and was able to relax and enjoy the treatment. That is where I sit now. Waiting to see if I get a period by the 5th of January. I pray that something changes but if not, I always have next month. I am working from home today which is a good thing because the weather is just plain freezing right now and I am feeling to lazy to scrape the snow off my car. A friend of mine who I referred to Jeff just a month ago called to tell me she is pregnant. She said that a few days before she got a positive result on a HPT, Jeff was taking her pulse and said that she was either about to get her period or that she had the pregnancy pulse. Her getting pregnant makes me more confident that Jeff is the person to help make this happen for my husband and I and that there is definitely something going on in my body..since my pulse said so! I am so happy for my friend. Congrats, you guys have earned this!

It is not the end of January, the 21st to be exact. Although I have seen a few changes in cervical mucus, I am frustrated to report that there are still no signs of a period and according to the last test I took about 3 weeks ago, I am not pregnant. January 31st will be 2 months on DHEA and my estrodiol and progesterone. It feels like it has been a lifetime waiting for them to kick in. About once a week, I venture to the website describing the success of a 43 year old with POF who took DHEA after four months. It keeps me thinking positive and helps me move on to think about something else. Jeff is getting frustrated too. I am currently taking 6 menotral pills, three times a day to try and bring on a period. He even brought out the big guns at my last two visits. I am very confident and at ease at the fact that the DHEA will bring things back around. I have been thinking a lot about this lately, so I am going to type it out and see if it makes sense to anyone else. I accept that something has caused my reproductive system to go array however I believe that all the craziness that occurred when I was diagnosed could have caused my body to go into some kind of shock causing things to completely stop working. I believe my subconscious could be partly to blame for all of this. Since starting the DHEA and hormones in December, I have been very at ease. I honestly believe that will be what brings things back to good working condition. According to studies I have read, I need to take the DHEA for at least 4 months before I will see an improvement. My plan is this, my hubby and I just put an offer on a new house. We will close the 15th of Feb and once we get settled in, I will be going to see another fertility specialist. I want to try and harvest some of my eggs and after 4 months of taking DHEA, things should be ready to go. I have really been slacking on the whole fertility diet thing and to be honest the gluten free diet as well. I just want live and enjoy my food without first questioning how it might affect my cervical mucus or cause my body to attack itself. I have not been eating tons of gluten, just products that are questionably gluten free and I have felt fine.  My goal is to start on a good fertility diet on Feb. 1st.  I read while doing some research today that women with POF can ovulate more then once a year but that most do at least once a year, that is where the 10% comes from that my doctor told my husband and I at our last appointment. So basically they are going off statistics and guessing at what is wrong with me....well exuse me if I dont put all my "eggs" in that basket. So to sum this up, my doctors still dont know what is going on, are basing what could or might happen based on statistics and I have continued to improve as I proceed with my acupuncture and eastern medicine treatments.  I just know that this is going to be over soon. Feb 1st I will get back on a good fertility diet and move on as if my diagnosis never happened.

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.