March 29- The Big O?

Ok so really weird. I of course have been regularly checking my cervical mucus (man, I hate saying that... It just sounds gross) but I need to be straight forward with this stuff. So as I'm sure we all know it's supposed to change throughout your cycle. Well, given that I don't have a cycle at the moment, it has pretty much stayed consistently the same. (Although I'm not Sahara dry like I was two months ago before I started all the herbs and supplements). Anyway... Last week for a few days I noticed it was sticky. And one day even pretty egg whitish. I wasn't jumping up and down excited but it did piqué my interest. Then for the last week my boobs have been SOOO sore. Which is really strange. Like shower water hurting them. So when I was at my TCM/Acupuncture appointment this week I told the Dr. all that and she said it sounds like I ovulated. That I would know in about ten days (so early-mid next week) by whether or not I'm surfing the crimson tide. I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm too afraid to. But it's hard not having it perpetually in the back of my mind. That would be like me telling you not to think of a yellow school bus. See... you're thinking of one. So yeah... if it happens it happens but I'd be really surprised. Besides, I'd rather think I won't get it and be pleasantly surprised than get my hopes up and be disappointed. Although who am I kidding, I'm sure I'd be disappointed either way. All I can do is wait and see.

I'll keep you posted...

March 18- Finding Hope in Discussion Boards

When the hubs and I were first starting TTC, I had no idea what TTC stood for. In fact, I can remember looking articles up on getting off birth control and getting your body baby ready, and seeing different forums where people were talking in what seemed to be a different language. "My DH and I have been TTC and waiting on AF to XYZ." I actually had found a web page that had all the abbreviations and what they mean! At the time, I had thought it seemed crazy that there were so many people were using this jargon that they had cheat sheets out there and couldn't imagine having THAT much trouble getting pregnant to where I was part of a "community." Funny how life likes to throw curve balls. Right between the eyes.

So here it is, months after I found that decoder page and I can officially say I've joined the likes of all those others in the discussion forum world. Granted, I'm not on them every day, but I have made some posts and had some conversations. And I've gotta say, it was the best decision I could've made. Women on them are SO unbelievably nice and supportive and have gone or are going through the same thing! The best part is seeing all the success stories. Where medical articles are all doom and gloom, preaching slim chances and donor eggs, these are ACTUAL women who have had POF and went on to get pregnant naturally. Even better, most of them have done all the same alternative things I'm doing (supplements, TCM/acupuncture, massage, yoga, etc.) and despite their initial prognosis of never being able to have a baby, they did!

One of the most common responses people posted was that I needed to find a better fertility Dr. I had already figured that one out between the success stories I read where women had to find a more positive Dr. who was willing to work with high FSH and supported alternative therapies and the recent email responses I received from my fertility Dr. The last one I sent I had just read some posts about Antral Follicle Count so I asked him what mine was. He responded a few days later with, "It was very low." Well no shit, Sherlock! I pretty much gathered that! I wanted a number. But he made it clear with that stately me that he was done with me. Which I am absolutely fine with that! I need someone who is willing to step up to the plate and try to help me, not blow me off and make me out to be a lost cause! One girl's story was talking about how she was getting her numbers tested every few weeks! And that her FSH was up, down and all over the place. A lot of people also said that FSH is supposed to be taken on Day 3 of your cycle, and since I'm not having a cycle at all I shouldn't hang my hat on that number. My TCM Dr. concurred.

So I have been looking all over my state for a Dr. who will work with High FSHers, but no luck so far. I did keep getting posts that I should go see this Dr. Check in NJ at the Cooper Institute for Reproductive Hormone Disorders. That he has been known to get women pregnant after the had already hit menopause. I researched his office and they do accept out of state patients. You just have to go in for an initial visit and then pay a small fee for him to keep up with you via phone and email. That you have to find a local Dr. that is willing to work in conjunction with them. The good thing is I grew up in Jersey and still have family there only a half hour from the facility. Since I have off in the summer (I'm in the education field) it would be a good time to go. So I wrote a very long and detailed letter and faxed it over to them. They said they received it and would pass it along, but I haven't heard back yet. I'll have to call soon and see what's up. My guess is if all these women are suggesting to go see him, he's probably pretty damn busy!

I also had someone from the Fertility Authority contact me through one of my posts! They are a comprehensive fertility network that helps people find the right fertility Dr. (it's a free service). They asked me to send them the details of my diagnosis in an email. We emailed back and forth with her asking questions and me answering and she is working within the network to find a Dr. best suited for my case. (Which I don't think will be easy in my area, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of High FSH Drs in FL). But just the fact that they contacted me and are trying to help, I think it's pretty awesome.

My suggestion to any of you who are going through this devastating disorder and are needing some positivity sent your way... Check out the forums. Even if you don't join and post, there are a lot of success stories out there. I will say that I'm very glad I joined and have sent a few messages. Especially because I've gotten a lot of ideas, suggestions and help from people where I wouldn't have had I not posted!

Until next time, here are links to some good infertility forums:

March 5- Castor Oil Packs

One of the things the fertility massage specialist told me about was castor oil packs. She was going to show me how to make them at my next appointment but I haven't been back yet. So I decided to check it out on my own. Here is what I found:

Stimulation of the lymphatic system occurs by applying the Castor oil pack over the reproductive system. This helps to cleanse the reproductive organs and promote healing of damaged tissues where the pack is applied. The promotion of circulation by the castor oil pack will bring in fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood to the reproductive organs, including the uterus.

So I looked up what to get in order to make one of these bad boys and headed to buy the supplies. One of the items needed is some kind of wool flannel stuff that I couldn't find, but Whole Foods gladly ordered it for me. Being who I am, when I find something I want to try I bed to do it immediately, so I had to Macgyver
myself a replacement for the wool flannel thing and wound up using an old pillow case. I read you are supposed to keep the pack on for at least 90 minutes, but given the fact that by the time I'm finished with work/gym/shower/dinner each night, I don't get much down time. So I made up the pack before bed. (It's a bit of a pain in the ass to make btw). After ten minutes of having it on the craziest thing happened. Even though I didn't have it anywhere near my face, I could TASTE something in my mouth. It was sort of metallic-y. (Not to be mistaken for Metallic-A) ;-) So of course the next morning I immediately hit the Internet to see if anyone else had this happen and while I didn't find any articles on it. I did see a lot of people posting about it in random places. The common answer was that the castor oil draws out heavy metals from the body, including fillings in your teeth! Whaaat?? Not that it will pull the fillings out or anything. But wow... Craziness.

So I've been doing the packs every few days, just another added thing to my regimen. It's a lot, but I'd like to think it will all be worth it in the end...

Below is instructions (from the web) on how to make the packs. Warning: they are a bit messy and castor oil stains like a mofo so be careful.

How to Make a Castor Oil Pack


A soft, clean, thick material like flannel, wool, or cotton (organic is best)

Castor oil

A glass bowl or glass jar that you can pour the castor oil in over your flannel

A hot water bottle or heating pad

Old clothes that you don't mind getting stained since castor oil stains fabric

A plastic bag (I find kitchen or regular garbage bags work best)

A large towel


Put on your older clothes.

Take your piece of flannel and place it in your bowl or glass container and pour enough castor oil over it to soak it (make sure it's saturated, but it doesn't need to be dripping in oil).

Get your hot water bottle or heating pad ready.

Place your towel on a flat surface (either a couch, your bed, or the floor). For added protection you can also put down a garbage bag so that your bed or couch won't get stained from any oil that manages to escape the plastic cover.

Once you lie down, place your saturated flannel over the affected area of your body.

Cover the pack with plastic.

Place the heating pad or hot water bottle over the pack and let it sit for at least 60-90 minutes. During this time you can rest or read a book.

When the time is up, remove the pack and clean the area with water and a bit of baking soda.

You can keep the pack in a plastic bag in a cool place or the refrigerator. I keep mine in a sealed glass jar in one of my kitchen cabinets. Just add another tablespoon of castor oil for the next session.

March 1- Emotions Wreaking Havoc

Despite all my posts, I'm not always a ray of bubbly sunshine with an ever-so-optimistic outlook. Truth be told, I don't always feel that way. It has been a rough week. As positive as I'm trying to be, I still go through bouts of... Well a trail mix of different emotions really. I'm in the process of moving from a condo to a new house, so the hubs and I are there EVERY night after work/gym renovating and painting it. No rest for the weary. So I'm sure that doesn't help. But just tonight there I was painting a stencil on the wall and I was getting flustered that I had to keep going over stuff and I was hot and sweaty and then broke down in tears on the floor. My husband came over and sat next to me with a look of "how can I fix this?" If only he could. Quite frankly, I just haven't been myself since all this went down. I WANT to be. But I haven't figured out how to get over something that is ongoing. So open-ended. It's hard to be my usual fun-loving self when I feel broken, scared, anxious, determined, angry... All at the same time, at any given moment. I break out in a sweat and I don't know if it's a hot flash or my hormones coming back or the a/c not cool enough. That's been happening every so often and when it does I first start thinking it's my body starting to produce hormones again but then can't help but think maybe it's just the menopausal symptoms and I downward spiral from there. It's seriously an emotional roller coaster. I can go from being all gung ho that I can beat this thing to thinking about the fact that my ovaries, organs in my body, are not functioning and what that could mean for my health down the road. And these thoughts all take turns bouncing around in my head all day! It's maddening at times. Especially since I DO have a life to live outside of this internal nightmare I can't seem to wake up from. And looking stuff up doesn't always lead me to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sometimes I just come across negative stuff about POF that makes me question if my fight is futile.

Then there's dealing with people. It's not necessarily the friends and family that's super supportive or the ones who don't really know what to say. It's the strangers who put their inadvertently put their feet int their mouths unbeknownst to them. For example, when purchasing new appliances for the house the sales manager said, "oh so you're moving from a condo to a house?" Then looked at my parents and said, "won't be long before you're grandparents, huh?" Umm yeah it might be. And then when we were visiting my in-laws we were at one of their friend's dinner party and the comments were flying like bullets at a shooting range. First someone just came right out and asked my husband when we'll be starting a family. He had a good generic answer of "we're working on it" to which they replied, "we'll don't wait too long!" Yeah ok. Then when we were leaving a little early since we were a bit jet lagged someone said, "leaving so soon. Oh, is somebody pregnaaaant?!" Smack smack. I should start saying, "no, my ovaries don't work." Ha! Can you imagine the look on people's faces?!? Why do people even say things like that? You shouldn't go poking into people's personal lives, especially if you don't know them! But yeah... Anytime anyone mentions something like that, the words come at me like shards of glass and it takes a while to shake it off.

But ya know... It's the hand I've been dealt. It is what it is. So while I may wallow in it every now and then (and deservedly so) as my mother always says, I need to "pick myself up with my bootstraps" (though I've never seen these so called boots with straps) and just keep on keepin' on.