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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.

Friday, September 9, 2011

An Update and a Cry For Help

I am feeling a bit better today, well at least on the baby thing. I woke up with cramps so perhaps my upping the dosage of DHEA is doing something??? I started my savings account today for IVF. It will be a slow building savings but at least it is something and will give me piece of mind that as I build the account up, my chance at becoming a mother gets closer and closer. I am little upset that all my bills seem to have hit me all at once and I feel like I did when I was in college again. I have a very little amount of liquid funds until payday this Friday. I don’t have any reason to spend money but like most people, I don’t need a reason, I can very easily find a reason. This lack of funds is my fault, while on my trip at the mall with my friend, I did some retail therapy. I have no regrets and I want to point that out, I just wish I would win the lottery already! Well my plan to up my DHEA dosage seemed to be working yesterday. I had cramps yesterday morning and was planning on going home and attacking my husband. I made a nice Italian meal, lit some candles, turned on some Dago hits and sat and watched the Real Housewives while I waited for him to get home. As I waited, I felt a cold coming on. By the time he got home, I was congested with a sore throat. He wanted nothing to do with me and I can understand why. Nothing says “I’m sexy” like snot and dirty Kleenexes. I had to chuckle though when he got up in the middle of the night and made sure I was covered up. Makes you feel good to know someone is watching out for you like that. I know I said I was taking a blogging break but I just have so much going on in my head right now. I have been doing a bunch of research on DHEA and I really believe this is going to be the magic pill...literally. I just have to take it for a bit longer. I don’t care about the acne, I have actually gotten used to covering it up and the hubby told me last week during one of my “I’m ugly with acne” moments that he loved me and was never going to leave me so to man up and stop complaining. If a little acne is all I had to put up with to have the child we are longing for then we would take it. I hate when he is right but he was…sigh. I had a frustrating conversation with some coworkers this morning on our way to coffee. I was discussing how frustrated I was that everyone I knew that had fertility issues have gotten pregnant…..everyone that is except me. They said that I just had to stop thinking about it and I was telling them that it is simply not possible to do that. They told me to let it be in gods hands. I have already done that, but I am only human and cant not think about it. How do I do that??? I mean I went off the hormones to help me not think about it as much and stopped acupuncture for awhile to but I am going to start back up next week. I need to relax once in awhile and it forces me to do so. I am going to save a few paychecks and get hypnotized in July. Perhaps my body just needs to be told under hypnosis to take a chill pill and start working correctly. I know that sounds crazy but I am going to try everything. Like I said before, I am the human fertility guinea pig and will stop at nothing to get what I want. Dang it my whole has been that way!! Fight for what I want and I will eventually get it. This will be the same way…..even if it is with someone elses eggs.




Well this weekend my husband had another long and emotional talk about the baby thing and how he simply can’t handle it ruling our lives anymore. He told me to just go in and do IVF with donor eggs, use the insurance and see if it works. If for some reason it didn’t work, then we would save for treatments without insurance. I started crying and told him I simply wasn’t ready to give up on my body quite yet. After the conversation was over and after some shopping with my mother, I sat down and did some research on hypnotherapy and infertility. There is a woman who specializes in this who was recently interview on the balancing act on lifetime tv. Her name is Lynzi Eastburn and in the interview she discusses that most of her patients are given less then a 1% chance of conceiving when they come to her. She also states that she believes the anyone who truly wants a child should be able to have one. I have left a message to make an appointment and am currently waiting for a call back. I am going to try this before I make anymore decisions. Also during the weekend I saw on a few gossip magazines that Catherine Middleton may not be able to have children due to a childhood illness and also saw on the tv that Khloe Khardashian may also not be able to. In some of the research I read through this weekend, the fact that infertility in women seems to be continually rising was discussed. Do you think it could be our nutrition or lack of proper nutrition and the fact that 90% of us have used birth control at some point during our lives? I mean they have proven that hormones given during menopause can be harmful to our bodies so I am a bit confused as to why they haven’t come out and said the hormones in BC are just as harmful. Doesn’t it seem obvious?





Ok, so today started off badly. I got up late and was rushing into work. I was about half way to my office when I squirrel ran out in front of my car. I am one of those types of people that doesn’t really want to kill any of God’s creatures if I can help it so I swerved and missed the clueless animal but almost hit the person next to me and got a honk and the finger for my good deed. Why is it that when someone honks at you, you automatically get defensive and pissed off? I just don’t understand why, but that is one of the quickest ways to get me going….and not in a good way. I pull myself together and was feeling pretty good about the fact that I didn’t wave the same gesture back at the driver next to me and was relaxed and ready to start my day as I pulled into the parking garage. As I was getting my things ready to get out of the car, I looked down and realized my husband’s keys (car, house, garage,etc) where in my purse. Of course! I had to drive all the way home to give him his keys, so he could get into our detached garage and drive to work. You see, he has an extra car and house key but unfortunately we didn’t think to make an extra key for the door leading to the garage!! Don’t worry, I will be taking care of that this weekend. So here I sit trying to shake off the morning and relax. I decided to make an appointment for hypnosis in July. I am extending it out that far because it is $300 for the first session and I am going to break that up between a few paychecks. I am after all, saving for IVF and want to be practical.



I have been doing some research…ok I admit it, I haven’t stopped focusing on it…but at least my husband thinks I have :0)

Visualization

Doctors willing to work with high fsh’ers

http://thefertilesoul.com/chinese_medicine/?p=15

trying to decide if I should go back on my hormones

getting hit on by someone clearly over the hill instead of the hot buy in line at the grocery store

need to take adrenal supplement

reduce sugar intake

need to balance endocrine system

1) Nutritional status – the reproductive system, like the rest of our body, has certain nutritional requirements. Most of my patients are asked to avoid sugar, wheat, and dairy. They take nutritional supplements specific to their TCM pattern of imbalance. Most women with high FSH or poor ovarian reserve take supergreens like wheatgrass, royal jelly, and Co-Enzyme Q-10, to name a few.

2) Blood flow – a woman of age 40 typically has five times less blood flow to her ovaries than a woman of age 20. This dramatically impedes the attention that the ovary requires during the follicles’ all important growth phase, the 90 day process before ovulation in which the quality of the egg is determined. The follicles insist upon adequate oxygenation and circulation to function efficiently (i.e., with a healthy egg, capable of fertilization and implantation.) I teach women exercises which redirect the circulation to the ovaries. And, as always, their bodies respond.

3) Hormonal balance – the endocrine system is a delicate interplay of the reproductive hormones, stress hormones, and emotions, in symphony with each other. This system operates via feedback, which means that anytime you introduce an outside hormone into its influence, it shuts that system down. Synthetic hormones can’t cure hormonal imbalances, they can only override them. The endocrine system is the most sensitive bodily system which requires the perfect balancing act of multiple factors, inside and out. Like all other mammals, our bodies do not want us pregnant when our endocrine systems are stressed. At our retreats, we employ natural techniques to rebalance the hormones. These methods gently encourage the reproductive system to operate efficiently, while reducing the internal stress response. When we abide by nature’s own directives, an internal order awakens inside, and automatically knows the rules.

http://greenglasslove.blogs.com/out_damned_egg_out_i_say/2005/03/_high_fshthe_be.html



There is a fertile soul retreat in July here in denver. Really want to go but it is 1500 dollars!!!



ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE, POOR OVARIAN RESPONSE, POOR EGG QUALITY DIAGNOSIS

Femoral massage to increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus

Supplement the diet with wheat grass juice

Royal jelly

Co-Enzyme Q-10

Supplements to boost the essence – dong chong xia cao, tu si zi, fu pen zi, gou qi zi, che qian zi, wu wei zi, lu jiao jiao,

DHEA and L-Arginine can be used for Kidney yang vacuity without heat signs.



RECIPE: Fertile Soul Cookies

July 10th, 2010

The sweet healing properties of these cookies help soothe symptoms of PMS. Oats calm the heart, while coconut nourishes yin fluids like semen and cervical mucus.

Yields 12-15 cookies

Cooking time: 15 minutes

1 cup brown rice flour

½ cup tapioca flour

½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

¾ cup rolled oats

½ tsp xantham gum

¼ cup melted clarified butter/ghee

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup agave nectar

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, crushed

1/8 cup goji berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flours and oat, coconut and xantham in a bowl. Next add melted butter, vanilla and agave nectar mixing until thoroughly combined. Finally add chocolate chips, goji berries and pumpkin seeds and chill in the refrigerator about one hour. Drop spoonfuls of dough unto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven, and leave on pan for an additional 5 minutes.

Tags: cookbook, Cooking for Fertility, Dr Lewis, Kathryn Flynn, Rande Lewis, recipes, The Fertile Soul

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Chocolate Mousse with Tofu and Avocado



Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits, including it’s arginine content, which encourages blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Tofu is a healthful alternative to whip cream and eggs, and it preserves the creamy texture of this delicious mousse (along with the avocado). Using a low glycemic sweetener is important to stabilize blood sugar levels, and it is important for energy level, metabolism and balanced reproductive hormones.



Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Serves 4 to 6



10 ounces dark chocolate, melted

1 package silken tofu

(optional: 1/2 an avocado)

2 to 4 tablespoons agave syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon vanilla extract



In a blender or food processor, puree the tofu (and optional avocado), along with the agave, vanilla and cinnamon until perfectly smooth. Add the melted chocolate and mix until fully combined.



Pour mixture in a bowl, and let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

To YOUR health!







I would just like to say that I am giving into this diagnosis. I am tired of dealing with hit. I am going to focus on the positives, I don’t have to worry about purchasing tampons and pads every month, I don’t have to worry about when I can and cannot wear white and my hormones are always the same (good for the hubby). I have scheduled a consultation with a doctor in St. Louis to speak with him about IVF with high FSHers. I am curious to see if he has worked with someone who has POF. He was on the list of specialist who are willing to work with high FSHers. I am also going to make an appointment with a new fertility specialist here in Denver is July to see what they have to say about working with someone who has a high FSH. I think it might be different if you have POF but it is worth giving it a try. I am going to leave out everything that has happened and see what they come up with. I am going to see if they give me the same POF diagnosis or if they will give me a different diagnosis. I have chosen July for a few reasons, 1. I started the visualization and meditation exercises recommended by The fertile soul website by Dr. Randine Lewis, started the fertility diet in cooking for fertility (ok fine I cheat a little each day but it has got to be a little better then it was before) and my family is coming the last week in June. I figure having a month of positive thinking and eating might better my results…might sound silly but the mind can be a powerful thing.





I found this incredible website fertileheart.com where women discuss what they are going through in trying to conceive. The site has forums, call circles and advice from Julia, author of invonceivable.



• Notice the language you use. Your body is listening to every word you say. Are you infertile or do you have difficulty conceiving? Words can function as powerful fertility drugs htat increase fertility and they can also diminish the life force coursing through you. Consider deleting damaging fertility related diagnostic terms such as "poor responder," incompetent cervix, advanced maternal age especially when used by the Fertility Authorities you encounter on the road toward motherhood.



• Take note of any painful beliefs and images you may have about motherhood. The Fertile Heart Imagery Practice is aimed at repairing beliefs and images that no longer serve you.

So I have been a busy little bee lately. I have been doing a lot of research on hypnotherapy/meditation and fertility. I purchased two CD’s and downloaded them to my ipod and make sure to take 30 minutes each work day to do listen to a 20 minute meditation. It makes me feel better and I am also working on keeping my thoughts positive. I have been doing the meditations for a little over two weeks now and I am amazed at how much more relaxed I feel. I think stress is a big part of my problem right now. I also ordered cooking for fertility and am trying to follow it as closely as I can with my hectic schedule but basically it just tells you to follow a typical Japanese diet. Cooked veggies with grains, some wheatgrass and some green tea. I switched my workouts from running (which didn’t seem to be doing much) to dancing (wii zuma and just dance) and kick boxing. The cooking for fertility books listed dancing as a better exercise to do in order to get the blood flowing. I am also doing the abnominal messages every night before I go to sleep. This is to help the ovaries get the blood they need to be healthy. I have an appointment with Eastburn hypnotherapy in July and ready their book “it’s conceivable”. I have a good feeling about this. They will help me to relax and picture my life the way I would like it to be and to let go of all the crap I am holding in. I am also going to go to the chiropractor. They, like all the other doctors I have worked with, claim they can heal anything wrong with your body….and of course I have read some stories from medical journals regarding women who were unable to conceive, had their bodies realigned and then poof they were pregnant. I mean why not? Seems like I have tried everything else and I would like to go anyway. After years of dance classes I am sure I could use a good crack.



Well I just got back from my follow up appointment with the new fertility specialist. We started out with an ultrasound, which I have learned can be the worst part. Having had problems locating my left ovary in the past due to my bowels covering it up, I made the appointment in the morning and chose not to have anything but a tall pumpkin spice latte this morning before my appointment. The technician and my doctor were able to find my left ovary. Although it was very small, it had two standing follicles in it as did my right. My uterine lining looked healthy and so did my cervix. I was told to get dressed and meet the doctor in his office. I got dressed and my mom (I asked my mom to attend with me for emotional back up) started our walk down the hall to the office. We sat down and the doctor started working through all of my medical history I had dropped off for him a few days before. To summarize, my FSH seems to be steadily increasing and although I have eggs/follicules, he is reluctant to try and stimulate my eggs because he doesn’t think we would get any fertilizeable eggs. The reason he thinks this is because my eggs seem to be responding enough to start the whole ovulation process but seem to stop responding somewhere in the middle of my cycle, leaving the follicules to sit in my ovaries and this could be a sign of poor egg health. Not having ever heard this information, my mom seemed to get emotional and really upset and asked “how did this happen to my daughter?” My doctor then explained that it is either genetic or spontaneous/random and judging by my lab work which has tested for literally every chromosomal defect or desease I could have, in my case, it is random. The good news is that my body seems to be just fine other then this one small defect and at age 30, I consider that to be very good news. I went into my speech on how I would like to get a doctor to just give me a chance to try and stimulate my ovaries to try and get my eggs out and the doctor explained that I had already been doing that with the DHEA and hormones I have been taking. DHEA is supposed to take the most healthy eggs a woman has and put them at the top of the pool to use first, and it didn’t seem like any of my eggs were floating to the top of the pool and that maybe that was for a reason…..point taken..dang it. Then he told me to contact a doctor who had been the one who started with all the studies and IVF treatments with POFers and see if he would try and stimulate or if he thought it would be to risky. If that doctor gave me the go ahead, then my doctor said he would have no problem with it. I was given a summary of my information to send to this other doctor and then we discussed donor egg facts. My biggest fear in going to this appointment today, was that I would be told I wouldn’t be able to carry a child at all, whether it be with my eggs or with donor eggs and that didn’t happen. I can most definitely carry a child and the donor egg program at conceptions is $10,000 less than the other clinics in Colorado and they can almost guarantee you will carry to full term. They check for genetic defects and can insert certain sexes (male female) when it is time to insert the fertilized eggs. That is crazy to me!!! They will also keep the eggs from the donor for you so that you can use them to have another child, should you choose to do that. To me, this seems like a pretty great option. I am going to contact the other doctor next Monday and see what he has to say. Regardless, I am not upset at all. I think this has become strictly clinical with me and I am just ready to start my family. After having gone through all of this with my mom and I, the doctor looked at me and asked “how are you feeling with all of this?” I just looked at my mom who had tears in her eyes and said, “I am fine. I am just ready to move on from this stage in my life and become a mother.” The doctor replied with “yes you have just been through so much.” Then he looked at my mom and said “you have a really great girl here. She is strong and truly incredible.” That is the only thing that was said to me today that almost made me cry. I have managed to come out of this bull shit….excuse the language but I am expressing myself here people….strong and confident and ready to take on the world!!! Take that POF, put that in your non responding pipe and smoke it why don’t you!!!! Sorry, got off on a small tangent. My mom then asked if the fact that I had a bunch of xrays when I was a baby could have caused my ovaries to be nonresponders and the doctor then looked at me and asked if we had discussed that. I just nodded and looked at her and said, mom if that were the case then I never would have started my period as a young girl. My mom breathed a sigh of relief and sat back in her chair. I am glad I could do that for her. I hate that she would blame herself for this after being such a great parent. Next I explained that I had $15,000 with my insurance to use and that I would have to come up with the other $10,000 for the procedure. He said to take my time and discuss things with my husband and let him know what the other doctor responded with. They took my vitals and I was out the door without a negative thought or tear. I had managed to walk out of an appointment with a fertility specialist without wanting to go binge shopping or hide under a blanket for a week. This tells me that I am truly ready for the next step and whether that is IVF with my eggs or someone elses I am officially ready!!! I just have to come up with $10,000 for the procedure. If you have been following me and/or having used my blog to try and get pregnant, please consider donating $1.00 for all the research I have done. I have spent over $30,000 to try and heal my ovaries and during this time I have encountered at least 12 other women who like me couldn’t get pregnant but with my help were able to conceive. I am very happy I was able to help but now, I hope that you can help me.

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.