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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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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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A trip, some research, a new house and some bad news

So I have  been very distracted lately…which is a good thing. I have been very busy at work and trying to figure out how I am going to decorate the new house. We and I should probably just say I, am used to lots of closet and storage space. The new house was built in 1950 and the closets are much smaller then in our last home. My husband doesn’t know it yet, but I have big plans for expanding our master closet. Unfortunately I have champagne taste and I am now on a beer budget. My new motto is “save”. I am trying to save half of every paycheck. Having said that, a friend just turned me on to a website called shoedazzle. You answer questions based on your personal fashion style and then once a month you are sent jewlry, a purse or a pair of shoes for $40.00 including shipping. You get to pick from a group of items everyone month and can skip a month if you don’t like your choices. I love that idea, it’s like the CD club but better. Who ever thought that up is seriously a genius!!! Although I am very tempted to join this accessory of the month club, my husband would not appreciate it as I am trying to pay of my credit card before we make our first payment on our new house. This give me exactly three months to do this. God grant me the power to not hear all the wonderful bargains calling my name.


Yesterday (Thurs) after a trip to the restroom (number 1 not number 2..just in case you were wondering…you never know what I will share with you), I had some really bad cramping in my uterus that hasn’t really stopped since. I noticed yesterday evening that I can a sharp pain on my left lower side and today I woke up with cramps and still have them at 3:00 PM MST. I pray that this is a sign of something good on the way be it a period or a pregnancy. Will take either of those P words. So the next day, Saturday, I woke up with what I call a helmet headache. The kind that starts at the back of your skull and goes all the way to your forehead, thus forming a helmet on the head. I recognized it as soon as I felt it! Prior to starting this pill, my helmet headache, accompanied one monsterous zit were what I welcomed my monthly gift with. There were my signs of the thing to come. A warning if you will. Funny how it used to be a warning but the moment I woke up and felt it on Saturday I wanted to throw a party. Anyway, all day Saturday the cramps remained along with my helmet headache. I was very ancy to see what would happen in the next couple of days. Other then cramps, nothing really happened on Sunday. I did have some breast tenderness and what felt like fluttering in my lower abdomen, one sharp pain on my lower right side that seemed to last for about an hour and vanish. On Monday morning I woke up and drove to work and I noticed as I drove to work that the cramps were still there. Nothing like cramps on a Monday morning to get you in a great mood!!! This is sick but anytime I feel anything happening in my woman parts, I get excited now. So cramps do put me in a good mood. About halfway through the morning I rushed into the restroom and noticed that as I whipped there was some stretchy cervical mucus. So I whipped again. More mucus and a spot of light red blood. Shocked, I whipped again. Another spot of light red blood. And again the same. And again, not more, the blood was gone. What the heck is that about? I wondered as I walked back to my desk. Of course the entire rest of my day was done as far as work was concerned. All I could think about was the mucus and blood I had seen. I found myself drinking more liquids then normal trying to get an excuse to go and check to see if there was anymore stretchy mucus or blood. Each time I pushed open to the door to the hallway disappointed. It was a one time thing. I was so glad I had an appointment with Jeff that afternoon. Maybe he could help me make sense of things.

Jeff was happy to hear I had some changes going on, however he took my pulse and said that I didn’t seem to be pregnant. He said it was probably ovulation or just some blood from my uterus. He said I might see some more bleeding within the next couple of days but if not, not to worry. This was something new and that was something to celebrate. Well Tuesday morning was a snow day so the hubby and I practiced making a baby , ate some really yummy warming food and watched some bad tv. I took a test that morning and it was negative. Just wanted to check since I will be traveling this week. I continued to have cramps and feel little twinges here and there all through Tuesday and even on Weds. I even noticed some pains coming from my pelvic bone. Wasn’t sure what that was about. On Weds. I was supposed to be in St. Louis but due to the weather my flight was delayed. So even though I was scheduled to have the day off, I got up at 4:30 AM, and went into work. I was in a really good mood and noticed as the day progressed at how great I felt. This is a sign of ovulation or a time of being fertile. A feeling of oasis if you will. I found myself really enjoying the day even though I was supposed to be on vacation. I also noticed that like last month around this time, I had little red bumps where the acupuncture needles had been on Monday. I am thinking it must be something to do with my hormones around the end of the month. Proof that there is in fact life in my ovaries. Funny how it happens around the same time of every month. I get the cramps, twinges, face breakouts, cervical mucus and little red bumps of acupuncture. Monday also marked 3 full months of being on DHEA, Estrogen and Progesterone. According to most studies I have read, it takes approximately 4 months for DHEA to do its thing. Who knows maybe next month I will have a complete cycle. My latest plan (I know it changes a lot) it to continue working out, eating somewhat healthy and taking my DHEA until the end of April. Then I will make an appointment with a new fertility specialist for the first week in May and see if they will help me extract my eggs and then perform IVF on me. That is all I have to do. Get my FSH low enough to convince them to perform egg retrieval and then IVF. Please God, I pray that you help my body heal to the point that we are able to make this happen. May 2011 will mark 2 years being off the pill and 2 years of riding this roller coaster of infertility. I still to this day do not believe my body will not bounce back. Silly I know but women’s bodies were created for procreation. My body just went on a siesta probably thinking I would never find someone who would actually want to have a baby with me. Well guess what I did!!! I shocked my parents too who had given up on the thought of me settling down. To me it isn’t a matter of is my body going to start working, it’s a matter of when it will start working. My 30th birthday is in April, that is a huge birthday. I plan to party like its 1999 and then go in for the start of the process of getting my family started.



It’s Thursday and even though I am still in a great mood, the cramps are gone. No more bleeding has occurred and I don’t have much cervical mucus today. As I sit here on the plane I am wondering what the heck is going on in there (my uterus).



Well my trip visiting family flew by and I had so much fun. I am very blessed to have such a great family on both my mom and dad’s side. My recent visit was on my mom’s side for my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. I always laugh, eat and shop way to much while I am there but it is worth it. We ate some bbq, went to the mall ( a few times), went sledding, drank margaritas and went and saw a movie. If I ever had any doubts as to why I seem to overhsare and never get embarrassed, a quick to visit my family would explain it to me. Most of my family are very opinionated, sarcastic and lover to call you out on things. Family get togethers could be a script for an SNL skit. Dinner conversations involving digestion, smell of diapers and snot. Extended family members making awkward comments about you sitting on their laps and trying to get a large group photo in the middle of a restaurant while other people are trying to eat are just a few things that went on during my trip. Sledding day would also make a good skit as well. On super bowl Sunday I was sitting there holding my cousin’s adorable little boy and had a sharp pain on my lower left side. Passing it off as gas (since I had eaten what felt like the entire world during my visit) I didn’t think much of it but I woke up yesterday (Monday) with the same thing and all day had a large amount of very sticky, goey white mucus. Not sure what that means but there was a lot of it and I could feel little twinges around the area where my ovaries are on both sides??? Kind of hurt at some points throughout the day. Trying to relax and take time for myself, I put some laundry in the washer and flipped on a lifetime movie. I laid down and watched lifetime movies all afternoon with my two Chihuahuas and shopped on my IPad. I was sure to have some alone time with the hubby just in case the twinges were a sign of ovulation approaching…and of course because I hadn’t seen him in 5 days. This morning (Tuesday) I have the twinges on my left side again. I am thinking it can’t be from gas since it has been happening for three days in a row now. Jeff had asked me at my last appointment if I felt any twinges. So I am guessing they are a good thing?? In other news, We still don’t know if we are going to get the house we put an offer on and closing is supposed to be a week from tomorrow. Wish we could find out how appraisal number two went so we could know if we will be moving next week. Not that I am a planner, I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants (they are cute pants though). I would just like to know if the search for a home is over or if we will be starting to look all over again!



As luck would have it…..and I have to say I have had some good luck lately..Jeff called to reschedule my appt on Friday and I was able to discuss some of my symptoms with him. He asked about mucus, smell of mucus, color, vision issues. He said it sounded like things were trying to work but it is like starting an antique engine that has been sitting in the garage for quite awhile. I picture myself to be a fancy antique car and not a fixer upper…anyway he said they were all good signs. He told me to have lemon with everything I eat today. To roll a tennis ball along the bottom of my feet and be sure to do a footbath tonight. He said all signs are pointing to things with my liver. Come on ovaries make me proud. We can do it put a little ass in to it (hehe) love that song. A little Ice T for you. Something funny that came up while my mom and I were waiting to board our plane yesterday. I was joking with her saying that maybe my ovaries preferred humidity and stopped working when I moved to the dry climate in Denver. She giggled and said that you never know but that she had actually heard that altitude could make a difference. That she had actually heard that more women in the state of Colorado have MS then the read of the US. That is kind of crazy.



From an article on altitude

"Menstruation and Contraception

Menstruation (periods) may be upset during the acclimatization process, and while this seems unlikely to cause harm, it could be inconvenient. Lady climbers may wish to take additional "requisites" or make medicinal arrangements beforehand. Oral contraceptives may be less effective at high altitude, and there may also be an increased risk of thrombosis, as with any oestrogen-based medicine. These matters should be discussed with one's doctor."



http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/mary-ann-liebert/does-hypoxia-impair-ovarian-function-in-bolivian-women-indigenous-to-VNsgfqTf2f This article discusses some questions that have been brought up regarding fertility reduction in populations at high altitudes. This is due to them not getting as much oxygen or Hypoxia. Also mentioned in the article is that cold weather state populations tend to have some dietary insufficiencies like Vitamin C. This can also affect fertility. Also discussed in my research was that moving can cause stress which affects fertility. Well it has been 10 years since I moved from the Dallas area but I have to say that I still think about everyone there all the time and am sad I can’t be with them. I haven’t really embraced my life here in Denver. Perhaps it is time to enjoy Denver!! Do I smell a ski trip coming on???? I hope I don’t break anything, I am so accident prone.



This week has brought on some more twinging over both ovaries. Thursday night as I was driving to meet my husband for dinner, I got a sharp pain on my lower left side and had the exact same thing as we were finishing dinner. Then today (Friday) during my acupuncture treatment, I had a dull pain on my lower right side. Jeff said these are good signs that there is some life in there. I told him about the book I have been reading that discusses how things in our subconscious can cause illness or organs to not work properly. I have really been trying to take a few minutes throughout each day and repeat a few positive statements in my head like “my FSH is low and my ovaries are perfectly round and full of healthy eggs”. My favorite one is “I will start my period this month and be pregnant by my birthday in April.” I am playing Jetta mind tricks on myself…anyway Jeff suggested I see a hypnotist. He explained his experience with one in the fertility field and gave me her number. It could very well be my mind causing some of my problems. The very minute I caught wind that something was not working correctly with my reproductive system, I went into shock. I f I felt it, I can only imagine what my body felt. It is worth a try. Jeff suggested just giving the woman a call and talking with her first. I can do that.



I called the hypnotist and scheduled a free consultation. I am not sure if I will be able to get an actual treatment though, it is $150.00 a session and for fertility they said they like to see patients for three months straight. That is not in my budget. After all the money I have already spent since being diagnosed, that is just to much. I am interested in speaking with her about receiving one treatment and learning how to distress on my own. Perhaps that would be a better solution? I have continued to repeat my positive thinking exercises a few times each day and am feeling really good lately. I know this sounds funny but I have noticed more people being friendly and helpful towards me when I am out in public. I wonder if being positive allows us to project a more approachable vibe? Yesterday, Valentines Day, I had a twinge on my lower left side which is still there this morning. I am sure that I am about to ovulate, I just hope everything goes ok. I am sitting here wishing it to be 3:30 so I can be off to the gym and just received an email from a good friend from college. She is going to a baby shower for a friend of hers that tried for 6 years to get pregnant and was given a 5% chance of conceiving. We were given a 10% chance which I don’t believe. We will be just fine but it is good to hear stories like that. I would like to talk to her and see what she did to be successful.



Today, Weds, I have had some weird pains in my lower abdomen but this time it was in the middle more like by my belly button. During pilates, I also got a strange pain along the side by my ovaries. Not sure what is going on??? The strange pain stayed with me throughout the afternoon. As my husband and I were walking out of our closing on our house I noticed that I had the pain on my lower right side. Then this morning, Thursday, 2/17, I have what feel like menstrual cramps and I feel like I am bloated. I need to call and cancel my acupuncture appt. for tomorrow so I can take the day off and move but am thinking maybe I should see if I can get in today. I would like him to take my pulse see what is going on. I decided to take Friday off and help my husband with the move so I have to cancel my appointment with Jeff. While speaking with him, I mentioned some of the things I had been feeling and he suggested getting an ultrasound to see what is going on. I gulped when I thought about all of the horrible experiences I had already encountered getting those things but reluctantly agreed to call my doctor and schedule one. They were able to get me in the next morning. I was so scared when I got up the next morning. So afraid I would feel stupid if no positive changes showed up on the ultrasound. Since my doctor was busy that morning, I saw another doctor. He went through my chart, made me repeat at least twice that my body doesn’t cycle all the way and made me promise I wouldn’t get discouraged if I didn’t see what I wanted to on the screen. I told him I couldn’t promise that, that being a mom is something I have always wanted. He threatened to not perform the ultrasound if I was going to get discouraged so I promised him (lying) that I wouldn’t get upset. I laid down and waited for some good news. My uterine lining was not very thick which meant my estrogen wasn’t high. My right ovary although not collapsed and no lesions (as suggested on other ultrasounds) didn’t have any foliicules . He said something about two acf’s not sure what that meant. My left ovary (the side I have been feeling most of the twinges) was not visible because it was hiding under something. Every ultrasound I have gotten, one of my ovaries has been hiding. I feel like they are scared just like me. So as the doctor pulled out the tool he looked at me and said “So unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this is your month, but please don’t get upset because you could get pregnant at any time, just takes one month of your body going full cycle”. I acted the part and smiled and said yes I know but 10% chance isn’t very high and I am turning 30 this month so we may have to look into other options like donor eggs. The doctor discussed donor eggs and how expensive they can be. I told him we had insurance that covered that and he came back with most insurance programs cover IVF but do not cover egg retrieval or donor eggs. Two blows to my heart in the same appointment. I told him I had read so many cases where women who couldn’t get pregnant naturally explored other options to have a baby then as soon as they had one, their bodies started working again. He agreed that there did seem to be a correlation there but wasn’t sure what it was. He said he hoped I felt better soon and walked out of the room. Felt better? It’s not like I have the flu or strep throat!!! As I left I sprinted out of that office and I heard my nurse say “see you later Melissa”. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Didn’t want anyone else to see me crying. This was going to be a mad cry and I wasn’t sure what I was capable of as I let the tears fall. I got to my car and let it out, slammed my steering wheel a few times, told God I wasn’t sure if I could forgive him for this and started the drive home. I really do feel that way though. Here I am helping everyone I can from documenting everything. I have helped friends and loved ones work through their fertility problems and get pregnant so when is it going to be my turn? Why give me a period at all if you are going to take it away from me? I truly feel that what is going on is happening from a higher power then me and I don’t think I can forgive him for taking the one thing I have always wanted. My entire life, I have always felt that need to be a mother. I have had to sit here and watch everyone around my age cousins, friends, coworkers get pregnant with little or no problems and having beautiful babies. Some of them are even about to start round two when I can’t even get tickets to the event!!! I pray that God will forgive me for whatever it is I did to have my reproductive system to shut down. I am sorry for the under age drinking, the diet pills to stay awake, the sex before marriage, spending money on myself when I could have given more to charity. I would give everything I own away at the chance to conceive naturally. So right now, three days after the ultrasound, I am feeling very sad and down and am having to push through and act happy since we are moving into a new house and I don’t want to ruin this moment for my husband. All I need is one month of my body doing what it should, just one!!!!

3 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm sorry your body is being a jerk! Maybe the fresh air in Denver will help!

    I hope your move to Colorado is a good one! I moved here from California and LOVE it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have tears running down my cheeks reading your post. I am so sorry your heart is aching again. All I can tell you is I get it. My husband has a federal givernment job (good insurance is why I tell you that) and NOPE they won't cover any donor egg stuff. The dr's told me IVF is not any otion for me past on my high FSH and no Follicles and my POI/POF. The infertilty roller coaster has been almost 10 years now. I turn 40 this year. Just 8 months ago I got my period (I was shocked) and I got it for 5 months in a row. I made dr's appoints I did everything I should have done to try to seize that and finally have a child. Well WAM FSH test showed my highest FSH ever and ultrasound showed no follicles!! and no period since. I felt like I just slapped int he face like HA HA Hello I am your body and I just wanted to F_ _ _ _ with you for 5 months and give you fasle hope that this might happen for you and than WAM shoot you in the gut and say NO WAY!! It is so unfair and wrong. If you want a book on Donor Egg I can mail you one. We were on the wwaiting list and considered it but decided to not go that route and create our family through adoption. Being a mom to our daughter (adopted from China) is the best thing ever!!! But as you can see the desire to achive motherhood in that way never does go away. I am sorry! Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello! Let me tell you - I am in the exact same boat, minus the celiac disease (although my bff has that!). I am 30 and just diagnosed with POF. I was on the pill for 12 years and just got off last September (2010). Since then, my period is MIA. FSH is WAY to high.

    I got the same story as you - small ovaries. I'm doing all the same stuff you are - yoga, acupuncture, diet, supplements. I was given a 10% chance, and yes, I was obviously told DE is my only option. I am sitting tight and seeing what happens. But it is devastating, as you already know.

    Just want you to know that all of the emotions you are experiencing is exactly what I am going through. Thank you for your posts. They are hilarious (and sometime heartbreaking), but I need it.

    I'll be waiting for more posts!

    ReplyDelete

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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.