Monday, August 19, 2013

Having a baby isn't going to save your marriage.... yea, I said it.

Lately, I've felt the need to write about this.    This topic seems to be everywhere!

Women who "accidentally" get pregnant to keep their husband.
Women who think having a baby will make their marriage improve.

Trying to conceive is stressful.
You grow up with this idea that one day you will find your prince charming.
You will have a beautiful wedding.
You will have a great life together and one day you two will decide to have a baby and you'll be pregnant.   And you will live happily ever after....

But the reality is, crap happens.
Just keeping it real folks.  
PCOS happens
Infertility happens
Stress comes.

When TTC you NEED to be on the same page with your partner.
You have to be.    You can't be doing it all (you need him for some things of course) - but you need to be on the same page with goals.   You need to COMMUNICATE about what you are feeling.   What you are experiencing.   What is frustrating you.   What is exciting you.  He NEEDS to do his best to be there for your appointments, regardless how major/minor they are.  HE needs to communicate his feelings too!  

When Mark and I started TTC we had no idea we'd have problems.   I knew something was wrong with my body since I was a teen but I thought I married a nice fertile man and we could make things work on our own.  We went through A LOT together.   He was there through it all.   And when we finally met Dr. P and got the real scoop, you can bet Mark was right there at those appointments.  

I get annoyed when women vent about how their husband won't get tested.    Yes, there is a pride factor.   But come on men, do it!   It's much easier for you to be tested first.    When I read things like this, I think to myself, "Oh man.... if THIS is uncomfortable for them.... wait until pregnancy DOES happen and life after baby!"

Unfortunately there are men out there who DO want children and their wife DOES struggle and the MAN does NOT get too involved, he figures "Okay, she's ovulating now.   She needs me now.   Literally."    Not the case fellas, you should be there all the time.   Be there with her to hear her thoughts.  Listen to her concerns.  Talk about long and short term goals.   Talk about the what is and the what ifs.  

Marriage isn't always roses and butterflies.   There are tough times.   The thing is you HAVE to communicate.   You have to say the things you are feeling regardless of how brutal they may be.  Thinking a baby is going to make all your marriage problems disappear is foolish.  

When you're talking about trying to conceive you are talking about a LIFE.  
You are talking about LIFE.
A human being.
A baby.
Someone who is going to be 50% you and 50% him.
If you feel having a baby is going to make your marriage better, you need to STOP.  You need to focus on your MARRIAGE first.   Because when that baby comes will be the true test.   There are frustrations with pregnancy and having a child.   You need to be a team.   100% of the time.  No exceptions.   I won't even bring in the stress of finances that can come with having a child....

I mean never in my dreams did I imagine the following things happening while pregnant..... and thank God I've got myself an amazing man..... but poor Mark!   While pregnant he....

  • cleaned the puke out of my hair
  • figured out why I was puking (developed lactose intolerance, lol)
  • stayed up with me while sick
  • gave countless massages
  • helped me with my cravings
  • helped me get dressed when I was too darn huge to do so on my own
  • went to pretty much every doctors appointment
  • asked doctors questions he knew I had but had the "fog" and forgot to ask
  • dealt with emotions.....
  • the list could go on and on....
Then AFTER Elliot got here.... Mark was there to 
  • help me nurse
  • help me shower
  • he got up to rock Elliot to sleep and let me sleep even though he had work the next day
  • helped take care of my incision
  • was there to cover me when things "leaked" and Elliot needed to be tended to (no one told me that could happen, whoa!)
  • listen to my joys and sorrows
  • laugh with me
  • cry with me
  • celebrate with me
I will say I do feel being pregnant was a VERY intimate experience.
I never expected to LOVE my husband more than I already did.
And even now, with Elliot's second birthday approaching I still fall in love with him seeing him as my hubby and as a Daddy.

But my point is a baby will NOT save your marriage.

If there is tension.... find what the cause is... work to fix it.

If there is doubt or insecurity..... talk about it.

If you're not feeling 100% on one level or another .... address it.

Talk to someone whether it is your friend or pastor or mother, talk to someone....get those thoughts out and then find a nice way to approach your spouse and talk to them.

I give single mothers A LOT of credit.
I could not be a single mom.   It's a tough job!

Parenting is such a wonderful experience, and it's a job I love.    But I also know that you need to be on the same page.   You need to have that love.   That trust.   That communication.    

If you're feeling iffy about TTC or your marriage..... talk it out!   

Remember, a marriage is NOT 50/50.   It's 100/100.


Surprising foods that may contain gluten  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week one complete!

Week one gluten free has been an absolute success!

Mark and I are both down in weight, and we're feeling good.

This weekend we finally went to check out the local farmers stand/market down the road from us.   We also visited our local Natural Food Store.    We are seeing that gluten free does not necessarily mean low calorie or a "healthier" option - so we are very much so aware of labels and we've been reading them.

I think a big difference really has been time management.   We have meals planned for the whole week and the fridge stocked and ready to go with fresh produce and prepared gluten free lunches and snacks.

I'm curious to see how we do this week.   I am down two pounds and noticing some other differences, curious if they're "real" or not.   I am done my steroid at the end of this week so once that is out of my system will be the real test.

No complaints!   Feeling great!

My next read will be this book.   :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 3 complete!

Day three of going gluten free is complete.

I'm learning a lot.   I've never been one to count calories, but thank God for the handy dandy scanner with the myfitnesspal app on my phone.   One scan-a-roo and bam!   Food logged!   

I'm not even missing gluten.   I do feel more energized already.   And I swear I'm peeing a lot more.   I have no major complaints other than I wish we had a Wegman's near by.    Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to buy a product just because it says "Gluten Free" or "GF".... but I'd like to make some homemade meatballs this week or a meatloaf and I can't seem to find gluten free breadcrumbs.   I'll stop off at a natural food store.    There is a rumor though that a Wegman's is coming.

I stopped off at my local Giant today after my workout.   I had inquired about a GF section in the store and they had said that all food is mixed in with the "normal food" (HA!).   The bagger gal was telling me how her mother went GF and lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight just by giving up the gluten and walking a little bit more - no major changes - but her RA improved and her weight went down.

I'm also looking into the idea of bento boxes.   A dear friend of mine uses them, and it seems so fun!

Book Review

I recently download a very simple book on making the transition to becoming gluten free.

Living Gluten-Free for Dummies was a very informative read!   I absolutely loved how straightforward and funny this book was.

Below are a list of points I highlighted in my Kindle:

  • Gluten and Glucose = not the same thing.
  • Gluten is a mixture of proteins in wheat, rye, and barley.
  • Foods with flour in them (white or wheat) are common culprits
  • Bad foods:  bagels, beer, bread, cookies, cakes, crackers, most baked goods, pasta, pizza, pretzels
  • Wheat free does not equal gluten free!
  • Wheat can be at the root of several health problems.   Even though 10,000 years is a LONG time.... wheat has only been apart of the Agricultural Revolution for a short term.    
  • Humans do not fully digest wheat.    They have to adapt in order to tolerate wheat.   Human's aren't cows.  We have one stomach with one section, not one stomach with four sections.
  • Gluten free diet can help relieve the following conditions:  fatigue, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, heartburn, acid reflux, headaches, migraines, inability to concentrate, weight gain, infertility, joint/bone/muscle pain, depression, respiratory problems
  • Celiac disease can be tested for.   You can test negative for celiac but still have a gluten sensitivity.
  • Best way to tell if you are experiencing a gluten sensitivity is to give up gluten for at least one week (recommended three) and see how you feel.   Then reintroduce gluten slowly and if you felt better without it, there ya go!
  • Villi in small intestines are restored when you go to a gluten free diet.    Some people with lactose intolerance find they can once again have dairy after some time gluten free.
  • You don't have to go broke going gluten free, you do not have to give in and by products advertised as "gluten free."   Meat.  Cheese.   Eggs.   Fruit.  Veggies.   Most nuts.  
  • Allergic symptoms to gluten can be respiratory causing coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, throat tightness, and even asthma (THIS IS ME)
  • You do not have to have gastrointestinal issues to still have the sensitivity to gluten.   There are lists of over TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY extraintestinal symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, vitamin deficiency, headaches, irritability, fuzzy brain, infertility, abnormal menstrual cycles, dental issues, seizures, inability to concentrate, nosebleeds
  • Common misdiagnoses:  IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, unexplained anemia, migraines, unexplained infertility, anxiety, depression, hypochondria, chrohn's
  • Why doctors miss it:   not enough exposure in med school, symptoms are vast and sometimes absent, physicians may thin the patients are exaggerating or just plain "crazy", physicians may be uncomfortable if they feel ignorant, routine blood tests don't pick it up
  • Blood test:  tTG-IgA, EMA-IgA, AGA-IgA, AGA-IgC and total serum IgA
  • Popular gluten free foods: beans, dairy, eggs, fish, fruit, legumes, meat, nuts, poultry, seafood, veggies
  • Key to success: MEAL PLANNING
  • Don't expect others to understand or take your lifestyle change seriously.   Remember this is for you.   Your body.   You know you.   
Popular restaurants with gluten free menus:
  • Bonefish Grill
  • Boston Market
  • Burger King 
  • Carrabba's Italian Grill
  • Chili's Grill
  • McDonald's
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • PF Chang's China Bistro
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Wendy's
  • All you can eat soup and salad places
  • Breakfast houses
  • Steak Houses
  • Thai/Vietnames places

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gluten Sensitivity and PCOS

Yesterday, I went to the ENT for some concerns I had with my allergies but also my acid reflux issues.   Last summer I had my face ripped off for the most part to have total reconstructive sinus surgery for a variety of reasons including inflamed/infected nasal polyps (gross, I know).    Well, my polyps are back and he truly believes that not only is it allergen induced (doing allergy therapy now) but he thinks it is a result of my GERD.   I've had GERD for years and have been told and have read it's sometimes part of the PCOS package.   I've never needed medication for it until now.

I get these weird coughing spells, or wet coughs from time to time.   Sometimes a random runny nose.   Or my voice goes caput for no reason.   Or I eat something and then I feel like my airways are closing.   I avoid fatty foods and greasy foods and dairy and red sauces but lately as I lose the weight, it seems to be getting worse.    I've been on prednisone a few times this year and it's not fun.   It's not.   But it is what works.   I've been gaining and losing the same five pounds for about 6 weeks now and I finally had it and went to see him.

I'll be doing prilosec in the morning, calcium in the afternoon and zantac in the evening to help this for now.    I need to keep working on my weight loss as well.    I felt so frustrated and upset because I work SO HARD and I feel like I hit a wall ALL.  THE.  TIME.    I'm also on a 12 day regimen of some pretty strong prednisone so I REALLY need to watch what I'm eating and my weight etc because prednisone is just a recipe for weight gain.   A lot of it IS water weight and DOES come off but it's always recommended to have a food journal with it to make sure your body isn't playing tricks on you.  

After having a good cry about being back on prednisone and having the polyps back (they're not bad, but they have potential to get worse - he said on a scale of 1-10 and ten being the worst I'm at a 5)....I posted in my weight loss group for feedback, help, support, etc....

Well, a friend of mine in there is GOING THROUGH THE EXACT SAME THING.  Her doctor swears she has a gluten sensitivity and the only way to assess for that is to basically reduce/give up gluten for at least a week (they recommend three) and then reintroduce it.   If you feel better without it and worse with it, then there ya go!   There is research supporting gluten sensitivity and GERD go together, but not too much.   The bulk of the research I saw was that gluten sensitivity can impact A LOT.

So it's goodbye to weight watchers and hello to something like Atkins for me now.   I've basically spent 5pm-midnight last night reading and reading and reading all the research out there and talking with friends who have experienced this and their friends as well.

The ENT (and the Internetz) has provided me with a list of ten things to help combat GERD.    Right now I'm on medication to help but the goal is to go OFF the medication.   I also need to talk to Dr. P (My RE) because it says in some of the research that acid reflux can be increased due to the birth control pill.... ironically after years of hell and infertility I'm now "hyper fertile" hence me being on the pill.  

Here is the list of 10 things to do if you have GERD and my feedback.  As you can see, I'm pretty disciplined and I'm really certain at this point that the Gluten and GERD thing go together.

  1. Avoid spicy foods, any foods with red sauces --- I do this!
  2. Eliminate all fast food and fatty food/greasy food ---- um, duh!
  3. Say bye-bye to soda, citrus drinks and caffeine --- I do not drink caffeine.   IF I do have juice it's always watered down to 1/4 juice and 3/4 water.   Soda is a rare thing for me and when I do have it, it's typically ginger ale (which ironically settles your stomach)
  4. Lose weight --- Story of my life.   I am pleased to say I just joined Curves and I have a trainer which I'm super excited about.
  5. Do not gorge yourself at meals --- I don't.   I'm the fat girl who never eats enough.   Go figure.
  6. Do not exercise after eating --- I don't  We do go for a walk after supper from time to time but it's a nice gentle walk, not a power walk.
  7. No snacking 3-4 hours before bedtime --- the problem with this is we eat supper at about 6/6:30 and I go to bed by 10pm.... gonna have to work on this
  8. No smoking --- ew!   I don't
  9. Elevate your bed --- I've done this in the past and it makes me more uncomfortable.   
  10. Communicate with your doctor - ALWAYS  
I will probably post more on this topic as this truly is a new adventure for me.

I will say to all my cysters out there, especially those of you TTC.... RESEARCH "Gluten sensitivity and PCOS"   I encourage all my hypothyroid and Hashimoto's friends to do the same as well.   

I've been reading like crazy!   While I'm not sure this IS the problem because I haven't "done the experiment" yet, my hypothesis is that we have found the culprit.   The more I read last night the more I found myself saying, 'Oh my God, this is me!'  or 'You have got to be $%#@ kidding me!?!?!'   

Action Plan:
  • Continued research
  • Food diary on
  • Work with Rx regimen (prednisone for the first 12 days)
  • Reduce gluten intake/possibly eliminate gluten
  • Re-visit with ENT on August 29th
  • Write this down to discuss with RE
  • Take it one day at a time
  • Get better, feel better

Friday, August 2, 2013


Posted for my cysters who requested some information regarding egg quality and egg quality supplements.

Inositol Link 1

Inositol Link 2

Thank you, Fitbit!

My Fitbit Charge HR broke.   I took it off and it just ... broke.    I got in contact with FitBit customer service and even though my...