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.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Hard Weekend.......and Some More Decisions...I Think

This weekend was a hard one to get through. Although I had many fun things planned with friends and family, I hit some unexpected road blocks on the drive towards the entrance to my infertility free summer.  I had my hair done for the first time since November, yes I said November. Although I am no longer feeling ghetto fabulous with my roots fixed and my layers freshened up, I left the salon a little sad. My hair dresser who I love is 5 1/2 months pregnant with a baby she conceived by accident after trying for two years and loosing a baby. I am extremely happy for her but so jealous that I havent been able to conceive after trying for two years now. I feel selfish as I type that I left feeling sad for myself instead of excited for her.  Why is it that it seems that I am the only woman I know that has trouble conceiving that still hasnt been able to get pregnant. I helped two close friends who were given 0% chance, watched my cousin's girlfriend who was told she couldnt conceive do so, I mean not to sound selfish but Lord when will it be my turn??? I managed to shake off the 30 minute cry fest I had in my car and join my husband and his family at the Rockies baseball game where I thought I was perfectly fine until my husband got up to use the restroom and didnt ask me if I needed to go so I could go with him. As ridiculous as it sounds, I proceeded to start a fight with him because he didnt ask me. I feel like lately nothing he does, no matter how hard he tries makes me happy. It didnt hit me until the next day while I was driving to meet a friend for lunch that it must be something hormonal. I remember when I would be on the same birth control for awhile and it was time to switch, everything he did annoyed me and I know some of my friends who had the same thing happen. That is how I have been feeling lately so although it sounds horrible....maybe hating on my husband is a good thing?? Perhaps it means my hormones are kicking in (obvisouly not at normal levels)...or its the steroid DHEA kicking in. I am on roids so .... The best part of the night at the rockies game was that I have never in my life been shown on the jumbo tron or televsion while at a professional sporting event. On Friday night it got chilly and I didnt have a coat being that it is mid May so my mother in law had her CU snuggie she had packed just in case. I took it when she offered and had been wearing it for about 30 minutes when the kid in the row behind us started dancing in between innings and before I knew it there were my husband and I on the jumbo screen snuggie and all. I was mortified!!!! Of course no one could see my cute outfit underneath....just the snuggie which I even had my arms through the sleeves of.  The next day I got up with my husband and helped him get ready for a golfing trip, did my Zumba work out on the Wii (which I love if any of you are thinking about purchasing it) and text a friend to see if she wanted to do lunch and walk around the mall. On my drive to the mall, along with recognizing my hormonal issues, I also had a chat with God and asked him to please not forget me because it feels like everyone elses prayers have been answered while my husband and I continue to hurt. I reassured him for like the millionth time that we would be amazing parents and wouldnt take one second for granted.  I was feeling really good as I walked into th restaruant to meet my friend who had her almost one year old with her.  We had a nice lunch and were about to pay when she told me she had struggled with whether or not she should tell me but that she thought she might have accidentally gotten pregnant again. I smiled and asked how she felt about it. I truly was happy for her but I felt my heart start to sink back into my stomach and felt like I was having to fight my pizza I had just eaten from coming back up.  At that moment I felt like looking up at the sky towards God and say "Really?" I mean I know you shouldnt expect anything from God, that it isnt the way it works but I feel that I have literally watched everyone around me, even though who were told they had 0% chance, conceive. I had just gotten back to a place where I felt I could move past the day before and then this. I shook it off again and we started walking around the mall. We were making our way to the elevator so we could get to the second floor when out walks a family of 5 with three children below the age of three and one more on the way. I ignored it and didnt make a single comment. I ended up having a really good time, I had shaken it off again. My husband and I had a party at one of his best friend's house that night so I purchased a new top at bebe and a new pair of shoes and some new perfume, I was ready to go out on the town. I knew that one of the women who had been given 0% chance to conceive and had conceived after going to my acupuncturist for a few months was going to be there with her adorable baby bump but I got all gussied up, had a few glasses of wine and walked into the party like I was the amazing woman I am. I didnt expect for there to be four other very pregnant women at the party as well as my friend. Let's just say there wasnt enough beer or wine at the party to help me shake that one completely off. It was either booze or food that I would have to bury myself into so I choose the booze. It worked, I hung out on the patio playing beer games for most of the night and visited with my friend and gave her a little gift I had purchased a while ago for her baby.  I woke up this morning feeling ok. I had a clothing swap brunch at another friends house. I thought the idea was so great and I was very excited to go and take the clothing I have had in the back of my car to go to the resale shop and have a few mimosas. There were a total of 6 women including myself and as I walked in, I recognized one of them. She used to live in the same apartment complex as me the year I met my husband. I hadnt seen her in almost 4 years. She looked great, we started talked and she shared with me that she was four months pregnant. One, she was so skinny you couldnt even tell and two they had concieved on their first month of trying. I smiled, gave her a congratulations hug and went in the other room to make myself another strong mimosa, walked back in choose my items, thanked the hostess for the invitation and politely exused myself. This has been a very emotionnally draining weekend fo rme. For some reason along with the hormonal mood swings, which I need to get in control of before I drive my husband away, I have also been exhausted when I have no reason to be. So tired that my eyes are hurting. I dont know if this could be a side effect from upping my DHEA dosage???  I read online this morning about a bunch of POF cases where they were told to only take 25 mg of DHEA which did nothing until they upped their dosage to 75mg. I had been taking 50mg until last week when I upped it myself. I am going to do it for a month and see what happens. Well I think I am going to end this day, I am tired and have a long week of work ahead of me.

Trying to Make Up My Mind on the Next Step

As I laid on my coach last Thursday (3/31), I had a hard reality check as I watched Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy cry in the elevator as she admitted she was jealous of another character on the show for getting pregnant without even trying. For those of you who don’t watch the show, Meredith is the main character. Her and her husband conceived and lost the baby due to a miscarriage and since then have not been able to conceive again due to her having a “hostile uterus”. In the elevator scene last week, she is hysterically crying in her husband’s arms stating that she is the one who is taking her temps, tilting her pelvis up after intercourse, eating healthy and their coworker has a one night stand and gets preggers just like that. I had to change the channel for a minute to make sure that Meredith’s fake breakdown on tv wouldn’t cause a very real life breakdown for me. Although in some sick way, that made me feel better, I didn’t want to think about my fertility issues. Just wanted to be a couch potato and enjoy my Thursday night. This episode was after the previous week’s episode of Private Practice ( a spin off of Grey’s Anatomy) where that main character, who has been told she can’t have children, thought she was pregnant and found out at the end that it was just the flu. Can’t a girl just eat fattening food and watch her programs without being brought back to reality? I mean isn’t that the point of watching tv? To take a break from life? That is the whole reason why the Jersey Shore is so popular!! Last week I was experiencing some interesting symptoms. I was not wanting to take a test but after four straight days of having breast tenderness and feeling nauseated around dinner time, my hubby came home with a test and made me take it. I know what you are thinking and no I wasn’t imagining it. To tell you the truth I was so busy last week I didn’t even have time to think about the whole baby thing. The test was negative and I just decided to move on quickly before the sad feelings had a chance to sink in. I just don’t understand why I keep having different things happen and then NOTHING! So frustrating. While sitting at a Rockies baseball game on Saturday night, I was sitting there enjoying a beer (yes, beer, I gave up the gluten free thing) when I starting getting a twinging feeling on my lower left side. It lasted for about 20 minutes and then I had it again on Sunday morning. Kind of weird. Back to the gluten thing. I am not exactly sure I have celiac. When I had allergies tested in 2003, I was told it appeared I had a sensity to it but not that I had celiac. When I called that office back, they wouldn’t give me my actual blood test reading so after not having wheat for over two years and watching everyone around me eat all the yummy treats in front of me, I have had enough. I have been eating gluten for about three weeks now and nothing had happened as far as side effects. I have noticed that as previously diagnosed, I cannot eat dairy. I get a hive on my face no less than 20 minutes after ingesting dairy. I am going to get everything retested this month, April 2011. I pray that celiac is not diagnosed but until then, I am going to enjoy life and eat whatever I want as long as it doesn’t have large amounts of dairy in it. Life has recently started to change for me. I have had a few opportunities come my way and I am currently weighing the options and trying to make a decision. One would be just life altering for my husband and I. So much more money and would allow us to save for IVF or donor eggs whichever we end up having to do. The other would be a very good learning opportunity but not much more money. Decisions, decisions. Perhaps I needed to make this change before being ready to have a child??? After all God knows best right?

I woke up about an hour before my alarm clock went off this morning so I just laid in bed thinking about the year that my house was built, 1950. How different life was back then. Only 35% of women were in the workforce back then and most women were housekeepers and mothers. What the heck would I have done back then? I have to think that no man would have considered marrying me back then once they found out having children is more difficult with me. I am willing to bet though that without all the stressors of life in 2011, my fertility would be completely normal. I laid there looking out the window down my street and pictured all the women in the neighborhood walking around in their full skirts, wiggle dresses or pencil skirts. I followed this daydream with some research on the mafia in Denver. According to my husband “there is no such thing as the mafia” but according to google and historical sites it was full blown in the 50’s. The head family in Denver ran a local restaurant/lounge that is still very popular today, and is in my neighborhood. I pass it everyday on my way to work picturing what it must have been like to eat there around the time our house was built. It is almost like I feel as if I lived back then or something?? I know what you are thinking “ok weirdo” but I seriously love the 1950’s. Just such a great time in history to me.

So the past week has been very interesting. I turned 30 on Monday, so sad. It appears that since turning 30 on Monday, I continue to do stupid things in the morning while getting ready for work. On Monday during a mad search for a missing cardi, I went to look behind a shelf in my closet and caught my chin on the side of the cabinet leaving a nice cut on my face. On Tuesday I seriously tried to leave the house twice wearing my house shoes and wore a skirt all day long that had the price tag still on it and hanging out for all the world to see I got a sale at banana republic. Wednesday, I went to put my robe on top of the closed toilet lid and didn’t notice my husband had left the lid open so I dunked my robe in the toilet water. This morning, Thursday, I went to turn the water warmer in the shower making it to hot. I quickly tried to turn the faucet handle to get some colder water and it fell off leaving the scalding water on. I had to try and position myself against the wall to where the water couldn’t get me and then screw the handle back on. I am seriously afraid for what tomorrow morning might bring. Perhaps I should wear a helmet or at least a chin guard. I have allergy testing in the morning so I will be taking off work. Time to finally find out what I can and can not eat. Lord, please don’t make me be celiac. I can take the dairy allergy but please I need gluten in my life! I have been taking mental notes of all my friends and coworkers stories this week. After hearing a very horrible story during a lunch meeting on Tuesday, I decided to log onto the Conceptions website and do some research. Conceptions has a discounted IVF program that includes donor eggs, if needed. They also have a program where if the IVF doesn’t take the first time, you can try again two more times. I took the estimated cost on the website and times it by 20% which would be what my husband and I would have to pay and it calculated to a little over $4,000. Right then and there I made the decision that if we haven’t conceived by next Feb 2012,I will be making an appointment at Conceptions. As soon as my bonus hits my account I will be starting that IVF/donor egg process and will ending this awful place my hubby and I have fallen into. I have also decided to try and convince my doctor to put me back on birth control for a few months to see if perhaps getting back on it and then going off it might restart things for me??? If that doesn’t work I am going to try and get a prescription for prometrium which is used to try and jump start things when people first get off of birth control. I took it for two days before being told it was useless for me to take it. I believe that if I had kept taking it and hadn’t gotten a blood test done that day in May 2008, everything would have been fine. Instead, the blood test came back, followed by an upsetting phone call, a series of even more upsetting doctors appointments and my body goes into shock/shutdown mode. Yep, there are definitely a few things I would have done differently….but then again then I wouldn’t have started this blog and learned my love for writing….so I guess there is one good thing about this. I have also decided to take myself off of the estrogen and progesterone. It has not done anything to help me cycle and this way I will know that any change, no matter how small, is happening because of me and not because I have just put on a new estrogen patch. I will continue to take the DHEA and thyroid supplement I am on but that is it. This woman is done spending $50 on hormones a month. Another decision I have made is that I am just going to plan on having to do IVF with donor eggs and try not to focus on the no baby thing until next Feb. That means I have a little less than a year to save some money, take some trips and prepare myself for pregnancy.

So it has been a few weeks since I have opened this folder and felt like dumping in my deep thoughts. I have been dealing with being 30, planning an Easter Party, switching jobs and dealing with the day to day stuff. So much has happened in the past few weeks, I just don’t know where to start… it goes. After not receiving any answers from the doctor’s office who originally did my allergy testing, I decided to take matters into my own hands (scary I know) and get retested. I contacted Colorado Allergy Associates and went in for the needle test and had blood drawn to test for the big G…Gluten. Like an answer to my Italian husband’s prayers, it came back negative. This meant that I had past the first test. Apparently there are two blood tests done for Celiacs testing and Labcorp forgot to test for the other one so I am currently waiting to hear back on that along with some thyroid and immune system testing. I have started eating flour and dairy (which also came back negative, not one sign of a hive from the needle) and have been enjoying it. Can I say that jumping back into the pool of doughnuts, cookies and pizza a few weeks before vacation was probably not the best thing I could do while trying to get bikini ready? Well it has been worth it! I haven’t felt bad at all! I am so happy and feel so liberated like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Before you start sending me messages yelling at me, I am aware that a diet with low amounts of white flour and dairy are better for fertility. I am simply taking a break from it all right now. I have taken myself off the hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and am just working on living my life right now. I am so tired of taking medications, going to acupuncture and everything else I was doing before. You know what, if it is meant to be then it will be. I am exhausted and am taking a break. I have been working out, going to happy hours and taking trips. I only get one chance to be in my, dare I say it again….thirties and I don’t want to spend all ten years in doctor’s offices and Walgreens. The hubby and I have decided to just take this summer and have fun and then once fall is here we will talk about our options. Sounds good to me!!!! A friend of mine at work told me she had a dream and that she believes I am going to get pregnant soon because of this dream. She, like my husband, is Italian and they believe that if you dream about fish, then someone is going to conceive. Well in her dream, a group of us were at dinner and I was the only one who ate fish. During the same dream the whole group went to the aquarium…..that is a lot of fish to be in a dream. I hope that it is true!!! Could be for her though, you never know. I have been doing a lot of reading trying to decide what my next step is going to be and I am going to ask to go back on birth control for a few months. I have read over a handful of cases where this actually helped stimulate ovulation in cases like mine and have also read that you are most fertile when you first go off the pill so…..while we are on our summer break, I figure this would be the perfect time to take the pill and see if it works. It is really a win, win for me. The hormones in the birth control pill will make me feel good and could eventually make my hormones come back :0) Only time will tell but I am excited to see if it will work. I am sad as this weekend approaches. Mother’s Day, May 8th, will be the two year anniversary date of the dreadful doctors appointment I had with the fertility specialist when they told me I had only a 10% of conceiving naturally. Two years! And I am still trying to prove them wrong. I wont let it get me down though. In that time I have watched as two couples my husband and I are friends with who were given 0% chance of conceiving got pregnant. It may be a low percentage but it is better then 0.

So Mother’s Day aka 2 year anniversary since my infertility diagnosis went pretty well. I got up, went on a jog, planted my vegetable garden and then spent the afternoon with my family and our dogs in Golden, CO. I wasn’t upset for one second of the day which was nice because I was expected to be emotional the entire day. I just can’t believe it has been at least a year and a half since I had a bleed from a period and two years since being diagnosed with POF. I still refuse to believe the diagnosis is true and continue on my three month break from taking hormones, going to acupuncture and the fertility diet. I am just enjoying life which is pretty easy to do when you aren’t worried that the nacho cheese you are eating might affect your fertility. I feel so liberated right now. Between taking this break and reintroducing gluten into my diet, I am a new woman!!! Now all I need is to get my cycle back and I will be ready to take on the world!!!

I have been feeling really great this week. My skin is flowing, no new breakouts, I am energetic and a little skinnier (thanks to Zumba on the Wii), all in all I am feeling pretty amazing. I don’t even care that the temperature outside dropped from 80 to 36 and it is raining. I put together a more then fabulous outfit, pulled out my favorite Coach umbrella and walked out the door this morning. It’s cold rainy days like today that bring me back to the days when the weather was like this and I had bad cramps so I would stay home curled up in my sweats and watch lifetime movies or Jerry Springer. I just long for that again…not the Jerry Springer….the cramps. I know that they will eventually come back to me but I am an impatient person and I have already waited for two years, I can’t stand it much longer. I was doing some research yesterday on stimulating ovulation after the pill and came across yet another story about a woman diagnosed with POF who had three children conceived naturally. I am beginning to believe my theory on POF. It is simply a diagnosis for those whom doctors have no idea what is going on with their bodies. It’s not that we don’t have eggs, hormones etc, it’s that the temporary lapse in cycles is being cause to flag something else going on in our bodies. Those that get pregnant do so because they have fixed the underlying problem by accident. I mean by now I have had so many deep thoughts recorded on this blog but don’t you think this makes sense??? I mean why would I have one doctor tell me I have no eggs to have that statement stomped on by my current doctor telling me I do have eggs??? Which is it? Plain and simple….I had normal periods, took birth control for almost 11 years during that time my body shut down that process realizing that the drugs had taken over and now it doesn’t want to start back up again. I really think the solution is to go back on birth control for a few months and see what happens.

I have decided that I am a bit bored with this whole thing now. I am just plain sick of it, in summary I am boring myself. That is why I haven’t been writing as much. I am freakin tired of dealing with this infertility crap, I just want it to disappear so I am going to make it go away for the next couple of months. I am going to be a drinking, tanning, shopping and all around relaxing type of girl this summer. Once August has arrived, I will consider what I want to do regarding IVF and/or birth control. I just want a break. I will still of course share my deep thought with you (when I have them) but can’t promise there will be many as you tend to not think that much when you are drunk…just kidding I wont be drunk…at least not the entire summer. The point of this entry is just to let you guys and gals know that my posts might not be as common this summer. Please try not to cry, it makes thing awkward for both parties. Ok now that I have that off my mind, who saw the Private Practice last night. It broke my heart watching Addison (who desperately wants a child and can’t conceive) perform a late term abortion and also watching the poor little girl who was adopted loose her adoptive family because her brother was beating her due to jealousy. So hard!!!

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.