Monday, April 25, 2011

National Infertility Bust a Myth Day 1: Perhaps this is God's way of telling you that you two aren't meant to be parents!

Wow. Where to begin. As few are aware, this week is National Infertility Week. To help raise awareness of this disease that so many couples suffer, including my husband and I, as well as for an upcoming "march" on Washington for better legislation / insurance support, Resolve has asked women to speak out. The goal this all important week is to disspell the many myths surrounding infertility and for us not to be silent any longer.

When I first starting thinking about what my first blog for the week was going to be, I immediately thought of  "relax, and you'll get pregnant." While that is an important myth to dispel, I've decided to touch on one that hits much closer to the heart.

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby on and off for 8.5 years. I say on and off, because we've had to take breaks to work on us, to find jobs, or to grieve over a negative pregnancy test that we felt certain was going to be positive.

During a Fertile Soul retreat this past October, Dr. Randine Lewis had us perform an exercise, whereby we write things that come to mind with our non-dominant hand. It was during this exercise that I realized that I was holding this horrible feeling in my subconscious...

That I wasn't worthy enough, in God's eye, to be a parent.


Did I just write that?!? Do I really feel that way?!? After I gathered myself, I realized, that yes, I feel this way.

And that realization hit me hard. Very hard. You see, until that moment, I didn't even realize that this was a repressed feeling.

I consider myself a spiritual person, not so much a religious person. I believe in God, and Jesus, and that Jesus died for my sins. I believe in God as a amazing, loving father who wants to help steer you in the right direction. Not an oppressive God who is out to punish you (I mean, if he were this oppressive being, why would he have sent his Son to die for our sins?)

So, here was this thought that came to the surface, and all I could think was... what have I done to not please him? I don't go to church, but I pray often. Was I being punished for that? Was I not worthy because I didn't love myself enough? Had taken my husband for granted on more than one occasion? Had spoken ill words about someone?

I'm still praying to find those answers. Or to at least know the answer that I am worthy.

So, when, at the end of this last retreat 1.5 weeks ago one of my Fertile Soul Sisters approached me, I was stunned. This isn't anything I've shared with anyone but with my husband and one friend. Didn't even share it at the retreat, because I'm working through this thought. That gift my Fertile Soul Sister gave me, was the knowledge that God wants all of his children to have children of their own. She stated, "I not sure why I feel the need to tell you this, but there's a book I want to recommend to you. It's a book of how God's dream is for all his children to have children of their own. Can I share that with you?"

For her to approach me, on her own, without prompting, or knowledge of this private, internal struggle, with this message, made me know that God has something in store for me. And that I am worthy. And I'm not being punished. And that He loves me. 

To learn more about Infertility and Resolve's National Infertility Awareness Week, please go to the following links:

Basic understanding of infertility

National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Would Die for That

This past weekend, my husband and I attended a Fertility Retreat. You ask, "What is a Fertility Retreat?" Well, it was a place for us to find a sliver of hope, discover we're not alone in our quest, and realize that this journey has impacted both of us equally.

I didn't know what to expect when I signed up for "The Fertile Soul" Foundation Retreat. I mean, I read the description of the class, I read the book a few years back, but I really didn't know what to except. And with that I was really surprised when my husband decided to join me.

You see, I started this blog a little over a year and a half ago to document my journey on becoming a Bio-Mom, instead I let it become about food and exercise. I honestly have been avoiding that topic with myself and my husband for a really long time, not just with this blog. The last time I went to that place of hope I was let down, in a major way. It was hard on me. It was hard on him. It was hard on us. So much so that we let that dream die. People with kids don't understand how every negative pregnancy test takes a piece of you with it. And for me, it took a little more each time. And with it, it drove an unspoken wedge between the two of us. I think subconsciously I felt that if I became a little more distant, then he would find someone who could fulfill his desire of being a dad. Something, that I have obviously failed at.

Ironically, that hope started to reignite within us when we were "fortunate" enough to both be out of work for six months - at the same time. It's during that time that we started healing our wounds, and started rebuilding our relationship. And since there was no talk of children-to-be (or not to be), failed pregnancy tests, what our next steps were going to be, or accusations and misconceptions we were placing on ourselves, we were finally able to just focus on us, and so our relationship became strong again. And then the most amazing thing happened... We start looking at this journey as a couple, something that was happening to the both of us, not just the individual.

Even with that said, I was little surprised when my husband said he wanted to go to the Fertility Retreat with me. The Retreat I knew nothing about, but knew was going to be good thing to experience.... And that's where we are today in our journey.

The Retreat was a mere 2-days, but what we gained was worth more than that. We listened intently on how it wasn't either of our faults, how we weren't defined by any diagnoses imposed on us by "Western" doctors, how we held the power to get pregnant naturally (and if not, how that didn't make us any less than those that could), and finally somewhere along the process... we discovered that we had a little bit of hope left. Just enough to fuel this desire and passion of being Bio-Parents parents.

I realized more than anything, that I WOULD DIE FOR THAT.....

Has It Really Been 3 Months?

Wow! I can't believe it's been close to 3 months since I last posted. While I didn't mean to be gone for so long, I have had a lot of changes occur during the time I was away.

I traveled to Disney World with my best friend for a Girl's Only Trip, and learned that Disney is the best place to visit if you have food allergies / intolerances. I was treated like a queen by all the restaurants, and not once did I worry about what I was going to eat. They know how to do it right! Since I didn't have to worry about my food, I was able to fully enjoy the extremely short lines (being truthful here, not sarcastic).

With one day to recover from 5 fun filled days on my little road trip, I started my new job. I was thrust right into things... being assigned 8 projects my first week. I can honestly say that I love being back in the Project Manager world, specifically with the network / server systems groups. I hadn't realized how much I missed it. Almost at my 2 month anniversary, I can say that I have found my work home and I finally feel a sense of stability (which has been long lost for close to 4 years, if you count the year of ups and downs at HomeBanc before they closed the doors).

Although I have enjoyed being part of the working crowd again, I have to say it's taken a toll on my health. I completely fallen off my workout schedule - working out a total of 3 times in these past 2 months. I have also developed a Coke addiction... having 2 cans a day. Add in the month of October with Candy Corn, and that put me over the edge with a High Fructose Corn Syrup addiction. Which lead to me falling off my gluten, casein, and soy-free lifestyle a little over a week ago.

Now, another bronchitis notch on my belt, a 5 pound weight gain, feeling sluggish and gross all the time, and I am ready to get back on the wagon...

And between you and me... The pizza and junk I've had hasn't been worth anything. I can honestly say, I don't know why I would ever want to eat the overly processed food I've eaten the past week ever again in my life.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What happens when I have Gluten, Casein and Soy?

When I often tell people that I have an intolerance, or allergy, to gluten, casein and soy, their first question usually is: "What happens when you have it?"

Well, in my quest to be "normal" (again with that normal word), I indulged for dinner Sunday night. I pretended, after being on a gluten-, casein-, soy-free diet for 6 months that I didn't have a problem to any of these foods and went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Yes, it was tasty, but not enough for me to EVER want these foods again! The results are documented.....
The symptoms began within minutes of ingesting the glutinous meal of chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes (both with white gravy), fried okra, hash brown casserole and 2 biscuits. What I first noticed was that I became very itchy... my face, my arms, my scalp. The next symptom actually surprised even me, as it was a first to be correlated - my left knee started hurting badly. It felt as if someone was stabbing me with small knives right above my knee cap. I also started feeling as if I was congested, mucus built up in the back of my throat and in my nasal passages, and I started clearing it. During the ride home, my husband had to ask if I was going to get sick because I couldn't stop burping. My response "no, I'm just gassy!" By the time we got home, I had a stabbing headache, was extremely bloated (to the point where I looked and felt like I had regained all the weight I've lost in my stomach), started to get very tired and felt like crap! It was at this point that I really started to regret my decision to be "normal" for just one meal.

Note: Since I have noticed a decrease in joint pain since being on this diet, I assumed that either the gluten, casein or soy was causing an inflammation in my joints. Until I experienced this symptom within 30 minutes of eating, I hadn't been 100% convinced - I mean not every symptom I experience is related to my problems with these foods. But this one is clear.

During the night, even though I took 4 tums, I suffered from acid reflux (almost throwing up in my sleep). And vivid / terrible dreams. I also had extreme night sweats where I woke up with my hair drenched.

The next day brought on more symptoms: stomach pains, lack of energy, trips to the bathroom that almost cleared me out of the house, more headaches, loss of concentration, and just feeling like shit. What surprised me here was that I couldn't control my mood (even by working out which generally gives me a great feeling afterwards). I felt so out of control, I basically told my husband to leave me alone... I was irritated.... at him for saying "hi", at the people talking on the TV, by the way I felt. I couldn't stand it! To feel that out of control of your emotions is scary, and isn't very pleasant.

This brings me to today, two days after my gluten, casein, soy binge. I woke up feeling like I have a cold. I have an extremely sore throat, have been very lethargic all day (have taken 2 naps), have felt hot to the touch (but not feverish), feel muscle achy, and have been coughing off and on throughout the day. 

Interesting Note: A few days after I had my skin prick allergy test, which didn't show a skin reaction / anaphylaxis allergy, I came down with a sinus infection and bronchitis. Due to the way I'm feeling now, I think my assessment that my recurrent sinus infections and bronchitis were in part related to my diet is correct.

My symptoms are known to last up to a week after having any offending foods, so I am eating a very clean diet (with lots of veggies and water) trying desperately to heal the damage I just caused. I am also making sure my workouts are as intense as they can be, helping my body rid the toxins out of my body (although I didn't work out today). Here's hoping I don't have any more symptoms pop up.

But one thing is for sure. I have determined that I am normal.... even with all my food restrictions... and that I don't have to have the occasional indulgence prove this to myself any more, because the way I feel after I have these foods is NOT normal!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

20 weeks apparently is just "one of those days"

I have these types of days every so often. They are triggered by random events and by old routines.

What kind of day am I referring? Those where I just want to be "normal" again. Those where making food decisions isn't centered around what I have to avoid, but more of what I'm in the mood to enjoy.

Today seems especially rough. I think because in the past 20 weeks (to the day) I have only had 3 or 4 slip-ups. Times where I gave into my cravings, or my desire to be "normal." I always regretted my decision to veer off course - always. Enough to know that I remember the pain that I was in, or how awful I felt for a week after indulging. And, since my last "indulgence" and quest to be "normal", I decided that was my last. The pain and symptoms that I felt, far outweigh that desire.

Even though I've made that decision mentally, it still doesn't prevent me from having one of those days. After resisting all temptations a weekend, out-of-town wedding can offer (like cake), you would think I would be celebrating internally. Instead, I find myself resisting temptations to be "normal." It seems like all the commercials on TV are calling to me today... Pizza Hut pizza, Wendy's frosty, DQ's blizzard. Even the sub-par, over-cooked baked potatoes loaded with sour cream, butter, and cheese were calling my name at Sweet Tomato this afternoon during lunch.

But, even though I have had all these temptations dangled in my face, so close to reach within the past 3 days, I have finally done what I hoped I could do in the past but failed. I have resisted these temptations. And hopefully, I can celebrate this feat tomorrow, when I get over "one of those days."

The Makings of a Family | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL