Archives

I’m not giving in to the infertility blues!

As I begin a new cycle, I’m tempted to go to that dark place where despair, inadequacy, frustration, and doubt lurk.  Like many women living with infertility, I’ve been there a few times before; regardless of how many times I’ve been there, it’s not a place I’m going today.

despair

There’s no magic reason, no drug or therapist that is responsible for this choice, it’s just me.  As I look at my situation, I have much to be thankful for. Thanks to a NaproTechnology, we have the best chances we’ve ever had!  For the first time that I’m aware of, my body reached the optimum zone for fertility: my estradiol level hit 399 before peak day, optimum ovulation requires it be between 300 and 400; my peak plus seven estradiol level was 116 and my progesterone was 28.  I couldn’t ask for more in terms of chemistry.

And yet I’m not pregnant.  Wish I knew why!  There are some things we’re not meant to know and of course, everything comes in God’s time.  I may very well be like my grandmother (and her mother before her) and give birth after 40.  Who knows what God has planned for me?

baby steps to big dreams

It’s tempting to allow the thought that God does not have motherhood in his plan for me, but I’m not going there, not till I have to.  I will enjoy every beautiful day that is filled with my husband, Frank, and our four beautiful fur babies.  I will appreciate my students for all the joy and richness they bring to my life.  I will appreciate the irony that I have more young women without mothers in my class than ever before, I will be the confidant they need because it gives me purpose on this journey.

I’m not out of hope yet.  My doctor defines that as completing 12 cycles at optimum levels without conceiving.  One down eleven to go.  That’s eleven more tries, eleven more months for my body to get healthy enough to nourish another life.   I feel that I owe it to my body, mind, and soul to give this all I’ve got.

This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  I’m not going to quit or even entertain the thought that motherhood is not in my future.  Why?  Because I’m surrounded by an amazing supportive network of friends, coworkers, church family, even some biological relatives, and of course my amazing husband.  They’ve been my cheerleaders, carried me when I couldn’t get through on my own, and offered innumerable prayers on my behalf.  Their encouragement keeps me going.

friend meme

It would be so easy for them to focus on their own tiny circles and just inquire now and then.  Yet their support is steadfast.  I am blessed to have them in my corner.  During those times I have ended up giving in to despair and allowing myself to feel the letdown of a new cycle, they’ve pulled me out and reminded me what I’m working towards.

Knowing the effects of stress and negativity on the body, I’m not giving in to them.  I refuse to do anything that could make me less healthy.  I’ve given up grains, dyes, artificial foods, changed my lifestyle, and I can see the physical manifestations of these changes.  The evidence that my treatment is working increases by the day.  I won’t do anything to jeopardize that.   I firmly believe that I am on my way towards motherhood and better health.  Nothing, not doubt, stress, negativity, nor despair will jeopardize that.

Listening to God changes what you pray for…

For two years, I have prayed that we would conceive.   I prayed that this treatment or that would take.  I’ve had doctors show me mature ovarian follicles on ultrasound and then not be able to explain why we didn’t get pregnant.  The answer is that there is no Earthly explanation.  These things are beyond our control.  All the technology in the world is not as powerful as what God wants for us.

ovarian follicle

I prayed to God for guidance and asked that he lead us down a path to pregnancy.  Almost immediately a friend introduced me to NaProTechnology.  My endometriosis and grain allergy were discovered.  I was on the path to better health and what seemed like pregnancy.  Again, more than once, my doctor was puzzled about why conception wasn’t happening.

TTC

I know with absolute certainty that I am being called to motherhood.  Who else could have an amazing husband, 4 dogs, a full time teaching career, and still desperately feel an emptiness in her life that only a child can fill?  Why would I have been steered on to NaProTechnology if I weren’t meant to be a mother?  Even if we haven’t conceived after almost a year of working with NaPro, I am certainly healthier than I have ever been because of NaPro.  Looking back on my health a year ago, I don’t think that I would have been healthy enough to become a mom just a year ago.

I know that finding NaPro was part of God’s plan for me.  I’m just not sure that pregnancy is.  I’m not giving up on pregnancy, I’m just finally ready to recognize that it may not be part of God’s plan for me.  I don’t know if God is calling me to adopt, I know that I need to honor the fact that he may be doing so.

adoption

Like many women, I’ve been so desperate to conceive that I’ve looked for signs of pregnancy around every corner.  Each month as it becomes time to try again, I keep looking for signs and changes.  I couldn’t see any.  What I did see was a hidden support network for adoption that was quietly waiting for me to recognize it.  There’s a woman at my church who is both a foster mom and an adoptive mom, another friend of mine was adopted by relatives, a co-worker of mine is an adoptive mom who swears that her children are her biggest blessings.  It seems that God has given us a support system to guide us on this next phase of our journey.

Adoption is not something we pulled out of the sky, rather it’s something that we believed we would do later on in our lives.  We’re both young and don’t envision ourselves having an “empty nest” in our 50’s.  Since we’re in our 30’s at the moment, and I see children who are in need every day, adopting a child in need is something that we decided to do long ago.   And now, we find ourselves needing that child as much as he or she needs us.

baby steps to big dreams

This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop pursuing pregnancy, it just means that we have signed up as a foster to adopt family.  We are recognizing that there is more than one way to answer God’s call to parenthood.

So, I’ve changed what I’m praying for.  I used to pray that God would help us to get pregnant.  Now I pray that God will bless us with a child.

Spotlight illuminates what’s missing for this infertile girl…

Sometimes infertility makes me feel like a starving person sitting in front of a rotating dessert case!  It seems that everywhere I turn I’m surrounded by the babies others are blessed with, and while I am nothing but happy for them, I can’t help but feel this mix of heartache, jealousy, envy, and fear.  What am I afraid of?  Secretly, I’m afraid that I’m doing all this and nothing is going to come of it. dessert case

It seems that everywhere I turn I hear the word baby! People going on vacation with their children, baby showers, cousins “So and So” are coming to the party with their new baby, television reporters calling this year “the year of the baby”.  Princess Kate and her baby boy…Millions of grown human beings with jobs, lives, bills, etc. await the naming of one baby…Seriously? I feel as if I’m in the middle of an SNL sketch.

Earlier this week, while at the gym, I was chatting with a friend of mine who is also a fellow NaProTechnology patient.  Having friends who understand this experience makes it so much more bearable.  We commiserated over not having answers and needing to know that we are doing everything that is humanly possible to make motherhood happen.  To quote her, “At least if it doesn’t happen, I’ll know it’s not because I didn’t do something, it’s because God wants something else for me.”

Being around people who don’t or can’t understand is what is hardest for me.  They are kind enough to ask about improvements in my health but don’t understand why I won’t share all the details with them.  The answer is simple, because it’s my business and if they knew what they were asking for cluelessthey’d probably stop asking.  Although, I would love to see the look on someone’s face if I ripped out my Creighton Model Fertility Monitoring Chart and started to explain every little detail!  Can you imagine the look on someone’s face as I explained the stretch of my CM and how it’s related to the hormones reported from that day’s blood draw?

Sarcasm and humor aside it was a heck of a day for me. I spent the day with a relative.  We had lunch, we did some shopping, and over both, there were times where I wanted to hide, scream, and burst into tears.  At first I didn’t want to be rude, so when she asked how things were going since my surgery, I replied that I am in deed healthier than before.  She mentioned a relative of hers who is trying to lose weight but can’t.  I suggested that she go for allergy testing because my inability to lose weight was due to an allergy to grains.  She asked if she could refer her to my doctor.  I explained that Dr. C. doesn’t take everyone, so unless she’s trying to conceive and can’t, she’ll need another doctor.  And we were right back on the subject of my uterus again.

After much prodding, I explained that I have endometriosis and ovarian dysfunction and these things take time to treat!  I wish they could make me good as new again because I’d be pregnant by now if that were possible.  I wish I could have excused myself and gone home.  However, we rode there together, in my car, and despite my need to hide, I was stuck.

Despite trying to divert the conversation to things other than babies, children, and anything related to family, I endured questions and suggestions about possible maternity leave should I get pregnant.  There were back handed compliments saying that I’ll be a good mother someday, if I can get pregnant. She wishes she could have had more than one child… but didn’t before her first marriage ended.  How will Prince Will and Princess Kate do with their new baby?…What will they name the baby. ….

Finally I had enough.  I listened politely throughout all the Will & Kate stuff, but when the conversation came back around to me, I needed to express myself.  I was polite, respectful, but I stood my ground when I said:oh no you didn't

“I don’t think you understand.  For me it’s not a question of when I get pregnant.  It’s if I can get pregnant.  My odds of getting pregnant are only 60%.  That’s good but there’s still a fair chance that I’m doing all this to be left without a baby at the end.  No amount of stories about a friend who got pregnant after so many years of trying make a bit of difference for me.  This is the reality I’m living with, and for anyone who hasn’t been in my shoes it’s impossible to understand.  When people constantly bring up babies and starting families, it’s very hurtful to me.   I know you mean well, but all you can do is pray. ”

I wish people would understand.  I wish they knew that talking to me about other people’s babies is like talking about bathing suits to someone who has had a mastectomy.  It does nothing but remind me about what I cannot and may never be able to have.  Would they ever point out someone’s beautiful hairdo to someone who is going through chemo and wears a wig?  Not at all.  But somehow when someone is living with infertility some people think they are being supportive by continually raising the issue but what they are really doing is rubbing salt in wound that will not heal.

Reflecting on a year of infertility part III

I tend to be long winded; I actually started blogging to have an outlet to express all that was going on throughout this journey through the muck of infertility.  I was pretty sure that my husband, Frank, and my close friends were getting tired of hearing all that I had to say about what was happening.

keyboard

Here’s a quick recap: My NaProTechnology Dr diagnosed me with endometriosis and an allergy to grains.  I had surgery to remove the endometriosis and was back to work in two weeks.  I am so glad that I chose to make the drive to New Jersey and have my Surgery at the Gianna Center at Saint Peter’s Hospital.  I was back to work within two weeks and was told to wait two cycles before trying to conceive again.

While I waited for my body to heal, I observed some amazing changes in my chart.  My cycles became more regular in length, there was less pain associated with menstruation, and when I say less, I really mean that I went from a 10 to a 1.  I had less bleeding at the end of my cycle and the bleeding that used to happen mid cycle completely disappeared.  I still had some unusual tail end brown bleeding, which my doctor suggested might clear up as my body healed.

Since we had been told not to try to conceive, there was no pressure to wait for a positive, there was no disappointment.  I just enjoyed observing the positive changes in my body.   The weight I grained before Dr. C figured out my grain allergy was slowly coming off, I was starting to recognize my body again.

weight loss

Menstruation happened with minimal pain.  The once crippling cramps and abdominal pain that began two to three weeks before menstruation were replaced by two days of abdominal discomfort.    This reduction in pain was due to taking an OTC medication called pycnogenol, a natural anti-inflammatory derived from French maritime pine bark.

Things were going great, my pain was down, I felt better overall, but my weight loss had stopped.  I cut out chocolate for a week thinking that I might be overdoing it with sweets.  Even then I didn’t lose an ounce.  Something was up, it was time to hunt for grains again.  I had been trick by grains hiding in kielbasa, bullion, flour blends, and even shredded cheese.  But I was almost certain I had eliminated them all.

Still I had to try and see if there were a few I missed.  I went through my cupboards and fridge but everything in there was grain free.  I checked the chocolates I was eating, thinking there might be corn starch or corn oil that I had missed; still nothing.  It wasn’t until Sunday night when I was loading up my medicine case for the coming week that I thought to check the medications I was taking.

rice flourMy vitamin D3 was grain free, as was my magnesium, my glucosamine, my kelp tablets, my B6 and my B complex, and my prenatal vitamin.  It was down to the pycnogenol.  And there it was, hidden inside a tiny 100mg capsule, rice flour!  The capsule was smaller than an average pain relief pill, there had to be less than ¼ teaspoon of rice flour in there!  However much there was, it was enough to nix the weight loss.

I got back on vitacost and ordered a brand of pycnogenol that did not contain rice flour.   Of course the brands that were grain free cost three times as much as the other brands.  I decided to see how I felt without pycnogenol.  Big mistake.  For a moment I forgot all of the pain that endometriosis was, but it only took one cycle without pycnogenol to remind me.  While it’s true that I was feeling great after surgery, a few weeks off the pycnogenol and that all changed.

It took my husband, Frank, to convince me that my body and my health were worth the extra money.  So, I ordered the new pyconogenol and within two weeks the pain was gone.  Let me tell you, the expense was worth it!  If you are living with endometriosis, please ask your doctor about pycnogenol, it allows me to live almost pain free.

Reflecting on a Year of Infertility Part II

 

(Fair warning, this is one of those posts that’s a bit more medical than others.)

naPro poster

My first appointment with my NaProTechnology doc was in October.  It was so different from other doctor’s appointments!  Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor, listed to what was going on with my body, he said that what told him was substantiated by the data on my Creighton Model Fertility chart.  I learned so much about what was happening with my body that day.  I learned more than I had ever learned in an hour (and that includes what I learned in Grad school).  I was diagnosed with endometriosis and a grain allergy during my first visit.  I felt like a deer in headlights when Dr. C said I needed surgery.  How could he know?  How could he be so sure?  He explained that my chart plus my history screamed endometriosis.  Without giving you a life story, here’s what I was dealing with:

  • Long cycles that had consistently gone between 30-50 days.
  • Pain that began two to three weeks before menstruation and steadily increased in intensity until about 12 hours before menstruation.
  • Mood swings that began 2-3 weeks before menstruation and increased in intensity till menstruation.  At times they hung around till I was done bleeding.
  • 7-14 days of red bleeding plus brown bleeding before and after menstruation.
  • Weight gain and bloating that began more than a week before menstruation.
  • Constipation that began a week or two before menstruation and got worse the closer I got to menstruation.
  • Breast pain and increased breast size beginning more than a week before menstruation.  Sometimes it was so painful that it woke me up at night.
  • Extreme fatigue bordering on exhaustion for more than a week before my period.
  • Contracting Mononucleosis.  Apparently that was a sign of how weak my immune system was.
  • All of these symptoms lessened during the 15 years I was on the pill and then returned within 12 months of being off of it.

Dr. C said he didn’t know why other doctors had missed this.  Knowing what I know now, I don’t know either.  All I know is that I went to a NaProTechnology doctor looking for answers and I got some.  I was excited and I was terrified.

I couldn’t say yes to surgery before discussing it with my husband, Frank.  He is my rock, he is my everything.  He has been so supportive on this journey.  He agreed that I needed surgery for my health, never mind that it improved our chances of achieving a pregnancy.

We wanted to have the best experience possible with the procedure, so when we were given a choice of surgeons we explored both options.  The first was the best available surgeon in our area, but he was not a NaProTechnology surgeon.  The second was a NaProTechnology surgeon who was about 4 hours away.  After a visit to the first surgeon’s office and a phone interview with the NaProTechnology surgeon, it was an easy choice.  I chose the NaPro surgeon.  It was an easy choice.  Even though I met with the first surgeon in person, he made me feel like a number, like to him I was just a uterus that happened to have a face attached.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s good at what he does, but it felt like I was patient X whom he had treated a thousand times before.  By contrast, the NaProTechnology surgeon listened to me.  He told me what he would do during surgery.  He explained that there were many possibilities of what he might find and then explained what he would do in each situation.  He treated me as if I were a unique person, I felt as though he really wanted to help me, the person, not the uterus with a disease.

Maybe I’m being overly dramatic, but let me just add, that the recovery time with the first surgeon would have been 4-8 weeks, and my NaPro surgeon said his patients typically returned to work within one or two weeks.

It took a while to get a surgery date. Between the phone consult and the day of my surgery my pain increased tenfold. Two days before surgery I was taking 12 advil, and that was barely keeping the pain dull.   We booked a hotel room and drove 4 hours to the Gianna Center, my NaProTechnology Surgeon’s office.  I had an exam and an ultrasound.

I have to stop for a moment and tell you how awesome my surgeon is.  The guy is as close to Luke Skywalker as any human can be.  His office and surgical techniques are state of the art.  First it was an ultrasound, then he wanted to do an exam.  Since we were in the ultrasound room where the lighting wasn’t good he pulled out a speculum.  I’ve seen plenty of speculum before, but this one was different, it had its own light source.  You thought I was kidding when I told you he was Luke Skywalker?

Surgery was scheduled for the following day.  I was nervous and excited.

Click here to read Part III

Reflecting on a year of infertility Part I

Napro II

It’s been almost a year since I first heard the dreaded word.  A nurse who thought she was out of earshot told a doctor, “Your patient is a little upset about her infertility, but she hasn’t really been trying very long.”   That’s how I learned my diagnosis, by overhearing a conversation I should not have heard.

It was like someone had reached in and ripped out my uterus and rendered me broken.  That’s how I felt, just broken; like the Barbie after her head popped off, something that just couldn’t be of much use in its current condition.  I’ll spare you the story of how much I cried.

I held it together in the office and asked what my options were.  I was told that before IVF, IUI was successful, but first we needed to have some tests.  It was an SA for my husband, Frank; and an HSG for me.  We were both pronounced pretty normal.

We went full steam ahead with IUI.  It wasn’t something we were excited about, but it was something we were willing to deal with to get a baby.  We were told we had a “good chance”.  The unfortunate part was all the drugs they pumped me full of during the treatment.  I got 50mg of clomid on days 5-9 and had two follicles, but they were small.  I also got two hundred mood swings, and was pretty psyched that my head did not do an exorcist style spin.  After turning into a screaming banshee, the HCG shot made me feel as if I were getting the flu, I was sure I was pregnant.  HA!  AF came and went.  My doc told me that I had some unfortunate side effects and should try again.

I got 100mg of clomid on days 5-9, then the HCG, which made me even sicker than the first round.  My cycle started to get weird similar to the way it was when I was in my teens.  I asked the doc about it, could the abnormalities in my cycle have something to do with our failure to conceive.  I got a “maybe but we really can’t be sure, every woman is different.”  I’m surprised that I didn’t ask him which cereal box he pulled his degree out of!  But, I was desperate and the treatment he was giving me was all that I knew existed.

Round 3 wasn’t much better.  I was more ill than in rounds one and two.  As the day for the HCG shot approached, I just knew I couldn’t do that to my body again.   I never made it to the HCG shot.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t put my body through such agony again.  I called the nurse and asked what my options were.  I was crushed when I was told that IVF would be the next logical step.  That seemed so illogical.  IVF would mean pumping me full of even more of the drugs that seemed to be slowly killing me.  There was no way that I would consent to that.  My heart told me that no good could come from feeling that way.

My friend, Jordan, mentioned that she was a NaProTecnology patient.  She had endometrosis and was scheduled for surgery.  She explained the differences between NaPro and the way my doctor had been treating me.  As a result of her treatment she felt better and was healthier, while I had never felt more ill in my life during my treatment.  What did I have to lose?

I started charting my biomarkers using the Creighton model fertility monitoring system.  My charting consultant agreed that I needed to see a NaPro doc asap as my chart showed some serious abnormalities.  I know I’ve written similar posts where I elaborate on how awesome Dr. C was during our first phone conversation–I’ll try to keep it brief.  I immediately started taking vitamin D3, magnesium, and a B complex vitamin.    I was feeling better before my first visit. Click here  to read Part II

Some Information About Charting:

IMG_0393[1]NaPro Technology asks that a woman monitor her own health by charting her bio-markers.  If you’re considering NaPro Technology, then charting is something that you’ll be doing daily.  It’s not a lot of work.  It involves monitoring your health by interpreting the messages your body is sending you through your bio-markers.

Before I go any further, let me say that this post is for those who are truly interested in learning to chart using the Creighton Model Fertility Care System.  It’s going to contain some references to anatomy, fluids, and what to do with them.  If you’d rather not read on, I completely understand and encourage you to continue reading the next post in the series on NaProTechnology which will only reference bio-markers and not explain how to document them.

Thanks for continuing.  So charting… When you chart using  the Creighton Model, fertility is defined by the presence of cervical mucus.  The closer to ovulation you are, the more mucus there should be.  The better the quality of your mucus, the better your chances of getting pregnant that month.

The basics of charting:

  • Any day of bleeding (red, brown, pink, or black) is a red stamp
  • Dry days- days without lubricative mucus- get green stamps
  • Lubricative mucus days get white baby stamps
  • The last day of lubricative mucus is considered peak day.  Mark it with a P
  • The three days after your peak day get green baby stamps.
  • All days with white baby stamps plus the three days after peak are considered fertile.

IMG_0392[1]

 

Determining the quality of your mucus:

Throughout the day, each time before you use the bathroom or shower, you’ll do a quick observation of your cervical mucus.  Observing mucus takes less than a minute, after a while it becomes something you do as a habit, though it does take some getting used to.  Before you go, you wipe from front to back across the perennial body (the space between your front and back door).  The perennial body is the only skin on your body that can tell the difference between the sensations smooth and lubricative.  I’ll talk more about that in a few lines.

Each time you wipe you’ll make decisions about the sensations you feel.  Is it dry? Is it smooth?  Both of these will get green stamps.  Is it lubricative? If so, it’s a white baby stamp.  Any bleeding gets a red stamp.

All mucus is not equal…

Before using the bathroom and showering, you’ll be checking for mucus.  After you decide the sensation, that is whether your mucus is dry, smooth, or lubricative, you’ll make an observation.  After you observe the mucus for color and shine.  You’ll try and grab some off the tissue using your fingers.  If you can get some off with your fingers, next you’ll see if it stretches.  The greater the amount of stretch there is, the better the quality of your mucus.

Recording on your chart:

Throughout each day, you’ll make observations about the quality of your mucus.  At the end of the day, you record your most fertile sign.  For example if you record smooth sensations 3 times, but lubricative 1 once, you mark the 1 lubricative sensation on your chart and use a white baby sticker.

Some Closing Remarks on Charting:

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t!  This was just a brief introduction to charting.  I’m not a NaPro teacher,  and for the record, they are way better at explaining charting than I am.  When you decide to go with NaPro you’ll meet with your teacher one on one and she’ll teach you to chart over several sessions.  She’ll check your chart and help you learn what to look for.  If you see abnormalities in your chart, she’ll help you get an appointment with a NaPro doctor and get on track towards better health and hopefully pregnancy.

If there is anything that I can help you with please do not hesitate to ask!  You can either reach me by commenting on this post or by messaging me privately through facebook.  I’ll do the best that I can to help you get started!

Best wishes to you on your Journey! Love, Catherine

An Introduction to NaPro Technology:

NaPro picMany of the ladies following my Facebook page have inquired about NaProTechnology.  What is it?  Is it expensive?  Where can you find a NaPro Doc?  What can NaPro do for you?  NaPro has done a great deal for me up to this point.  To read my personal story, check out these posts: A Friend Introduces me to NaPro Technology, First Experience with NaPro Technology, First Visit With My NaPro Technology Doctor, Surgery the Moment I’d been Waiting for, I Had My Laporoscopy Now What?, and Time to Try Again.

This post is not about me.  It’s about you.  In this series I’ll try to answer some of those questions as I educate myself and pass this info on to those who need it.  Whether or not NaPro is right for you is something you have to decide for yourself.  Whatever choice you make, you deserve to have all of the information available.  I’m happy to share some information about NaProTechnology with you.

What is NaProTechnology?

NaPro Technology was developed by Dr. Thomas Hilgers who founded the Pope Paul VI institute for the Study of Human Reproduction.  Whether you’re Roman Catholic or not; you’re probably aware that the Roman Catholic Church does not support the use of birth control.  This was first articulated in a document called Humanae Vitae, which was written by Pope Paul VI in 1978.  NaPro is a reproductive science that ethically observes, diagnoses, and treats a woman based on the unique messages her individual body is sending through cervical mucus.

NaProTechnology stands for Natural Procreation Technology.  If your Rhythm Method alarm is going off, please hear me out before you make your decision.  Like many other methods of tracking a woman’s cycle, NaPro Technology patients chart their cycles using bio-markers.  You start by charting your biomarkers (cervical mucus) using the Creighton Model Fertility Monitoring System.  The charting is color coded and helps you identify days of peak fertility and infertile days.  The system can be used to achieve or to avoid pregnancy.

chart sample

How Can NaProTechnology Help a Woman Living with Infertility Achieve Pregnancy?

Once you chart your biomarkers, you’re able to observe patterns in your cycle and compare them to the patterns which indicate good health.  If you’re like me, you have limited medical knowledge, and may not know what to do if you chart doesn’t follow a regular pattern.  That’s where NaPro Doctors come in.  It’s their job to read your chart and interpret the messages your body is sending.

Through charting, my NaPro Doc was able to diagnose endometriosis that other doctors had missed for 15 years.   I’m not saying that every woman living with infertility has endometriosis, that’s for the NaPro doctors to diagnose.  All I’m saying is that they’re good at what they do, really good.  By reading your individual chart they can identify what is happening inside your body.  Once they identify it, then they treat you as an individual based on what your chart and blood work tell them.

Want to Learn More About Charting? 

Time To try again:

NaPro chartAfter my surgery, I was almost relieved that my doctor made us wait two cycles before we began trying to conceive again.  I didn’t experience the two week wait.  I was actually happy to get my period.  It was exciting to watch the changes in my chart and compare pre-surgery abnormality to post surgery improvements in health.  I didn’t have any more bleeding mid cycle.  I had less brown bleeding before and after menstruation, my cycle length decreased from 37 to between 24 and 28 days.  All because of one surgery! I was in heaven.

Then it was time to try again.  Ug.  I know that without the anticipation and let downs, we’ll never have a chance of conceiving.  Still, trying again meant that we’d be let down month after month until we achieved.  Because we’re using NaPro technology, we’re not using the good old give it a try and see if it happens method.  NaPro isn’t artificial reproductive assistance, but it’s not your grandma’s wait and see eitther

D3I am taking various supplements to help my body ovulate and be an ideal environment for a baby to grow and develop in.  I take 8000IU of vitamin D every day, 500mg of B6, and 500mg of magnesium.  I get my blood drawn every other day before ovulation to check my estradiol levels, then a peak plus 7 blood draw to check my estradiol and progesterone levels.  Dr. C. had me on hormones before my surgery, but I’m not taking them anymore.  He thought that my body would be able to function normally after surgery.  Both my chart and the lab work confirm that he was right.

It’s pretty awesome knowing that my body is getting healthier.  I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.  I have no fatigue, no pain, I should be grateful!  Truly, I am.  But no matter what, I know that I won’t experience that feeling of completion and fulfillment until I hear my own baby’s cry.

I had my laporoscopy, now what?

A laporoscopy is considered noninvasive surgery, and in truth it was noninvasive.  I was up and around and back to work in two weeks.  Yay for Dr. B!  He is the best NaPro Surgeon on the east coast—eh, I think he may be the only one.  Regardless, my recovery time was quick, my stitches healed within a week.  I was back to work within 2 weeks.  Standard recovery time with another surgeon is anywhere from four to six weeks.  So yeah you could say NaPro Technology wins with recovery time from surgery as well as results!

gianna center

You would think that all would be well to try again since I recovered so fast, but not so.  Dr. C. requested that we wait for two cycles after surgery to allow my body to heal.  This was difficult for us as a couple since I felt the best I had in literally years.

The only change after surgery was that I got tired faster than I ever had.  It took a while, but I was back to my normal energy levels about three weeks after getting back to work.  And by week four, I was less tired than before surgery.  I was able to get through the day without pain medication, my mood had improved and, I just felt like myself again!

I got lots of questions from friends and family.  They asked: “How could you have this for so long without knowing it? How did you recover from your laporoscopy so quickly?” And my favorite,  “How long before you can get pregnant?”  I wish I knew the answer to the first and the last questions, but I don’t.  I know it will take between nine and twelve months for my immune system to get back to normal, but I can feel my health improving day by day.