He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

November 25, 2013

We're Moving!

Well, the blog's moving, I mean. Sort of. I've decided to retire Daydream Believer permanently (although I'll leave it standing for archival reasons). Meanwhile, I've started a new blog, A Sensible Wife, that will cover a lot of the same ground, albeit in less of a Dear Diary kind of way and more of a "Hey readers, here's some cool stuff you should see!" kind of way.

I'm not sure yet how much I'll touch on fertility health at the new place -- I'm sure it will come up at some point, but right now I'm kind of in a place where I don't really want to put too much of myself out there in that regard. So I'll have to play that by ear as those issues come to the fore. What the new blog will cover, in addition to natural and holistic health and wellness, is mainly sustainability, preparedness and frugal living. This post will give you more detail and let you know whether A Sensible Wife is your cup of tea. But I think it's going to be a lot more fun and informative, and a lot less whiny and morose. That's my intent, anyway.

Hope to see you there!

June 14, 2013

So far, so good...

It's been two weeks now that I've stuck with my new commitment to healthy eating and my workout regimen. Of course, I haven't eaten 100% healthy 100% of the time, but my cheats were planned, except for when my husband surprised me by making baked ziti, but at least I managed to limit my portion size and restrict myself to one serving during the week, which was really hard, because that stuff is delicious. Tomorrow is a planned cheat day and you can be sure I'll be helping myself to leftovers.

I've been managing to get some exercise at least five days a week (three days of walking and two days of Pilates or other strength training), as far as intensive workouts go, but I'm trying to get SOME sort of movement in every day, even if it's just doing squats or heel raises in the kitchen while I wait for my tea to heat up. I'm also stretching every morning before I get out of bed, which has done a lot for my various aches and pains. It also helps me feel more awake and energetic without needing coffee to wake up.

Oh, and speaking of coffee, I made a decision about that. I love it too much to give it up completely, so I'm confining it to the weekends so I don't become addicted again. I'm making my weekend coffee treats really special by sticking to a good quality roast and cold brewing it in the French press, which makes the best iced coffee.

Anyway. It's too soon to notice weight loss, but I definitely feel better, overall. Mostly, I'm more energetic, and my acne has improved significantly. I've also been more clear-headed, at least until this week.

One thing that hasn't improved is my raging PMS hormones. This week they have been raging away, making me moody and unfocused and highly distractible, making it extremely difficult to get any work done. Thankfully, it's been a slow week, with my client projects wrapped up at the top of the week, so I was able to just go with it. I still feel bad, though, because I could have been using that time to look for new clients. I'd hoped to try to make up for some of all that distraction today, but as it happens I'm STILL ridiculously ADD and, on top of that, I have a headache that's getting worse by the minute. Seriously, it's becoming quite the challenge just to finish this post.

I'd like to make this blog a resource for women dealing with PCOS and the other stuff I'm dealing with, and not just a health progress update blog. I have some links and info I want to share at some point. I'll get on that once I'm no longer headachey and hormonal. For now, I think I'm going to go eat a snack to make sure this headache isn't blood-sugar related, and then lie down for a bit. Ow.

June 3, 2013

Scared Straight

I guess one good thing about learning about my thrombophilia test results the other day is that it caused me to re-assess my health, and to realize that this is an ongoing battle that isn't just about trying to have a baby -- it's about prolonging my life and the quality thereof.

I was really motivated back during Project Over Repair, focused entirely on getting ready for the next pregnancy; then when we were honest with ourselves about it being a really bad time to try to start a family, I relaxed all of my efforts to get healthier. I stopped working out for the most part, and although I still tried to stick to the Zone diet the majority of the time, my attempts were half-hearted. Really, I just wanted to eat comfort foods and take advantage of what I hoped would be my last opportunity in life (before getting back on the trying wagon, which would hopefully end in motherhood) to be as lazy as I wanted to be. I told myself that if I could keep from gaining any of my weight back, then I was doing all right. I thought that since I lost the weight, the insulin resistance would no longer be an issue, even though I still had about 10 to 15 more pounds to lose.

I guess I might have slipped back into a mild depression, too. There were times when it was more than mild -- during winter months I get a pretty bad case of SAD, and then we were dealing with a terminally ill pet, and then the death of said pet -- and those times made me think that in the more mild times I was doing okay. But without the baby goal to drive me, I didn't really see the point in working hard to take good care of myself. Even though I knew it would make me feel better, I just couldn't get started. I made a few half-hearted attempts at working out again earlier this year, when the weather turned to spring, but then spring became unusually cold and wet and I used that as an excuse to give up.

But since talking with my doctor last week, and doing a lot of consulting with Dr. Internet, I have come to realize that these things don't just affect my fertility. They affect my chances of living a long and active life. For my own sake, and for my husband's sake, regardless of whether or not we ever have a child, I have GOT to take the best care of myself that I possibly can, and I have to start making that a high priority.

Just for fun, let's recap all the things that are wrong with me, shall we? Yes, let's:

ADHD (Inattentive)
Hypothyroid disease
Sleep apnea
Chronic insomnia
Insulin resistance
Thrombophilia disorder
SAD and occasional mild depression
Raging PMS, which exacerbates all of the above and makes it impossible to focus and do my work.

And that's leaving out the wrist tendonitis, chronic allergies, my life-long weight problem, sinus and tension headaches, and other things I have reason to suspect might be wrong but haven't been officially diagnosed (I was also diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago, but even though I didn't have an easy childhood, I think that might have been a misdiagnosis, since my symptoms were likely caused by several of the things listed above, most of which are interlinked with each other). The important thing to note is that the PCOS and IR increase my risk of heart disease, cancer and full-blown Type 2 Diabetes, and the thrombophilia gives me a higher-than-average chance of having an embolism or stroke. Joy.

So for now I'm scared straight. I started to make some small changes on Saturday. I committed myself to a daily workout, which I started Saturday and have kept up through today. I gave up coffee in favor of tea, although I haven't made up my mind yet whether I'm giving it up for good or just taking a break to get used to lower amounts of caffeine. At any rate, I was drinking too much of the stuff and something needed to be done. I also committed to sticking to the Zone diet as faithfully as I can at least 90% of the time (I will still permit myself the occasional cheat night -- a girl's gotta have SOME fun).

I also started drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal, because it turns out that old wive's tale about it helping you lose weight is backed up by science! An Arizona State University study found that the acetic acid in vinegar is about as effective at controlling blood sugar as the diabetic drug Metformin. You can read more about the study here and here. At any rate, I don't know if it's just a placebo affect, but in the three days that I've been taking vinegar before each meal I've felt a lot more energetic. On Saturday I actually felt great, despite only getting four to five hours of sleep the night before thanks to insomnia. I've also felt more satisfied after each meal, and less prone to cravings in general.

In the future I'd like to ramp up the Zone diet and start hitting up some farmer's market's for quality produce, switch to organic, and start taking Omega-3 and various other vitamin and herb supplements again, but we need to figure out how to fit all that stuff in the budget first. For now, I'm just going to focus on forming better habits and making time to care for myself before all of this motivational fear for my life wears off.

May 30, 2013

Hope and Peace

Yesterday, I gave myself a day off to process stuff. It was also sort of a day of bereavement, as I felt pretty hopeless about my aspirations to motherhood. Matt and I both alternated moping around and talking stuff out. I didn't really feel like talking to anyone else. I didn't pray much, because I was at a loss as to how to pray about this. Because, you see, after I published my last post, it started to sink in that those other fun complications I mentioned, like eclampsia and placental abruption, can actually, literally kill me.

So it's no longer just a question of whether my sanity can handle risking another miscarriage or other type of pregnancy loss if we try again. It's now also a question of, am I willing to risk my life for a chance to have a baby?

And I don't know the answer. I do know that it seems awfully unfair to Matt. He wants a baby about as much as I do, but I don't think he wants one more than he wants to NOT be a widowed single father, or worse, a widowed grieving father who also lost a baby.

Last night, lying in bed, I finally mustered up the words to pray, and was given enough peace to let me sleep. Today the peace is still with me. I did some more research on thrombophilia and the associated pregnancy risks, and now I feel a little more hopeful than I did yesterday. From what I read, it seems like those risks are usually pretty well mitigated with anti-coagulant drugs. Still, I'd like to meet with one of the clinic's high-risk obstetricians and have a discussion before we decide anything.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to take Matt's advice and take it one day at a time and not worry about a future that I can't possibly know for certain, and focus on taking the best care of myself that I can, and on continuing to grow and stabilize our business and finances. I need to be stricter with myself about eating a low-glycemic diet and working out regularly. I've been lazy on both counts because I'm pretty happy with my current size, but I could definitely be more fit, and my doctor seemed to think that losing a few more pounds might help. It certainly couldn't hurt.

May 28, 2013

Finally, something to update about.

Well, it's been over a year since my last update here, mainly because there hasn't been anything new to report in the TTC realm. We're still in a holding pattern while we focus on building up our business and trying to achieve some financial stability. But today I saw my lady-parts doctor, and I got some news. And it wasn't very good.

I turned 40 last month, which you're probably aware of if you follow my main blog, and of course I'm dealing with a hefty amount of baby panic as I am keenly aware that our window of opportunity won't be open much longer. So today I went in for my annual checkup, and Matt and I had a talk with the doctor about the considerations of trying to conceive at my age, with my history. She had looked at my chart before our meeting and told us something that surprised us: that thrombophilia workup that they did on me a few years ago, that I for some reason was under the impression that it came back negative? Turns out it was actually positive. Which means that I have a high risk of blood clotting that puts me at a higher-than-average risk of miscarriage.

So. This is what we're dealing with: I'm 40, which already puts me at a disadvantage both for being able to get pregnant and for being able to have a healthy pregnancy. I have PCOS, which makes it hard to get pregnant. AND I have thrombophilia, which makes it hard to stay pregnant, and if I do, it also increases my risk of things like pre-eclampsia, stillbirth, and an abrupted placenta. And the PCOS puts me at risk for developing diabetes, which in turn puts me at risk for gestational diabetes.

I don't know what we're going to do. I do know that we're heartbroken, and we need time to process this information. I know that there are things that can be done to mitigate the risks. I can take Metformin to keep my blood sugar stable during pregnancy, and I can take anti-coagulants to decrease the risk of blood clotting.

But even so, the risk is high, and I just don't know if I can go through another miscarriage. And I DEFINITELY don't know how we'd be able to handle a stillbirth. I feel like that kind of makes me a wimp; that some of the wonderful women whose IF blogs I've followed have gone through several, and most of them, to my knowledge, have ended up with their babies eventually. Part of me feels like if we don't persevere in this, we're betraying any potential future babies who are counting on us for their existence, if that makes any sense. And of course, as a woman of faith, I feel like I should trust God to get me through whatever happens, even if it feels like it might break me. And trust that if God's plan for us includes children, then all of these obstacles won't matter.

And I do so very much want to be somebody's mother. And to have Matt's baby.

But a big part of me feels like maybe God is trying to tell us that we're not meant to have children. And that it would be such a relief to just make up our minds to be child-free, and get on with our lives.

And I'm also angry. Because it's not fair. Not only for us, but for all of the couples out there dealing with IF and all this related crap, who are kind and loving and level-headed people who would make great parents and want so badly to be parents, while there are people in the world who don't want children and yet don't seem to be able to NOT have babies, who literally treat their babies like garbage. Right after we got home, the TV was on and tuned to the local news, and -- warning, this is not pleasant -- there was a story about a newborn baby being found and rescued from a sewer pipe after his parents flushed him down the toilet. I didn't hear the whole story because I had to turn the TV off before I threw something at it. I will never understand why God allows this disparity -- why there are so many people who don't want to be parents who have NO PROBLEMS getting and staying pregnant, while there are so many people who would give anything to have children of their own but can't. I guess that ensures there are good people available to adopt the unwanted babies, but then again in this day and age it seems like it's rare for the unwanted babies to survive long enough to be adopted, and as a result the adoption waiting lists are so long that even adoption feels hopeless.

Anyway. That's where we're at right now. Like I said, we need time to process this new information, and to talk it out and pray about it. But we need to come to a decision soon.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...