Surprise! The reason for my absence

I shared a while back my struggle with infertility and my journey to try and correct any issues I may have. I wrote about the nutrition advice I received and my updated fertility plan, which is listed below:

  • I’ve started taking Optivite to help with PMS symptoms and a possible luteal phase defect (I rarely have a luteal phase at least 14 days long, and I consistently spot before my period).
  • I need to take cod liver oil again
  • I’ve started taking Evening Primrose Oil to help with pms and cervical mucus.
  • I need to see my new doctor and possibly get my thyroid check and go forward with infertility testing and treatments.

If we can’t conceive without assistance, the least I can do is limit or eliminate my pms symptoms and get healthy! It can be very frustrating to not conceive, but we are still trying to be hopeful.

Well low and behold, we finally conceived!  On September 2nd we were pleasantly shocked to have a positive pregnancy test! I had cancelled my doctor’s appointment the day before I found out I was pregnant!

Several factors may have contributed to us finally getting pregnant:

  • Diet change since March 2011 – eliminating processed foods and cutting significantly or eliminating grains and eating more animal fats
  • I was on the second cycle of Optivite
  • It was my first cycle using Evening Primrose Oil
  • Because my fertile mucus didn’t seem that abundant, we used Pre-Seed, a sperm-friendly lubricant (even though we did not have any success with it prior to this cycle).

 

So we are 10 weeks today and hoping for a healthy pregnancy!

at 6w5d (which coincides exactly with a drop-back temp I had 3 dpo)

 

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Nutrition and fertility (and pms)

This post was originally going to be about pms and nutrition, but as I started writing it, it became more about the nutritional changes I am trying to make to help with my infertility. Is infertility a taboo subject? I don’t even like telling people we are trying to conceive let alone that we aren’t successful; but I felt the need to share my experience (and maybe vent a little as well).

I’m freakishly interested in nutritional science. I really should have gone to school to be a nutritionist. As of right now I would have to take 60 units UNDERGRAD work to even qualify for a Masters; because, you know, a bachelors of arts is useless.  I really should just go back to school to change my career path. My husband might have a heart attack at the thought of more school loans, but I would be working and making more money in the long run (that’s my argument, anyways). Especially since I’m not working right now and we aren’t getting pregnant.

I became interested in nutrition a little bit when I started practicing Natural Family Planning and even more so when I had a couple friends who decided to use NFP and had some cycle issues. If you take a class to learn NFP then you become a member of Couple to Couple League for a year, and can maintain membership for $35 a year. With this membership you get a subscription to their magazine and the counsel of their staff. If you have any cycle or fertility issues, you can contact them and they can try to help. The NFP instructors can help with issues as well, and if they need more help they call in CCL.

My very first cycle (over 3 years ago) I recorded showed a luteal phase of 5 days. An optimal luteal phase would be 14-16 days (some say it can be as low as 12 days, but there are some that say 12 days is too short). I just so happened to have an appointment with my doctor shortly after and brought it up to her. What did she have to say about my cycle defect?

“Well, since you aren’t trying to have get pregnant we won’t worry about it, and when you want to get pregnant we will just put you on Clomid.”

If only I knew then what I know now; I probably would have said something to her.

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A natural choice for birth control

Years ago when I was beginning to think about birth control options I felt uneasy about hormonal birth control. I personally didn’t like to take medications or take hormones to alter a perfectly working system. I resigned to the fact that maybe I would just use the ring or an IUD if it came down to it because I figured it would be easier and assumed the hormonal impact would be less.

When my husband and I first began dating (um, yeah, we may be high school sweet hearts…) his cousin was in the seminary and he sent me a book called Life Giving Love by Kimberly Hahn. The book was quite influential in two things: my spiritual life and my sexual one. Much of the book was about Natural Family Planning. Later on, Marc (the husband) and I also had attended a conference by Chris West on the Theology of the body and it reaffirmed some of my newly founded beliefs. But this post isn’t about religion; it’s about birth control (although they were entwined for myself).

There are several birth control options for couples these days. Natural Family Planning or the Fertility Awareness Method, are symptom-thermal methods of birth control. THIS IS NOT THE RHYTHM METHOD! The rhythm method makes the assumption that everyone ovulates on the same timeline – not true. Your doctor may say that NFP is the rhythm method and then tell you that if you want to conceive you should have sex around day 14 (which is actually the assumption of the rhythm method -how ironic). With NFP/FAM you chart your waking temperatures (thermal) and cervical fluid (symptom) observations to determine your fertile window and act accordingly when you are fertile (to either abstain or not). This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week so I wanted to highlight my experience and how it works.

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