My name is Catherine, my husband Frank and I were diagnosed with infertility in 2011. Infertility is still pretty taboo in our society, so taboo that Catherine & Frank are pseudonyms. If you’ve been diagnosed with infertility, like me, you may have questioned who you are as a woman. You may have been asked when you’ll be starting your family, and perhaps, you’ve gotten the look at least once.
It’s the same look that a child gives a toy it has just broken. It’s the look that says, “Oops, that’s no good anymore.” I can’t stand that look, it makes me feel like a leper, like a whole different class of human being, one who has a defect and is to be treated as such. Although our diagnosis of unexplained infertility is no longer unexplainable, I’ve long ago grown tired of that look and the soft sympathetic voice that always seems to follow it.
I wanted to vomit when the doctor first told me my diagnosis was unexplained infertility. It was something I couldn’t talk about with anyone other than my husband and a few close friends. I needed answers and there didn’t seem to be any. As I was researching infertility online, every single add, webpage, blog, and group championed the benefits of infertility treatments. I got as far as IUI, intrauterine insemination, and became incredibly ill. I felt that I was putting my health at risk and jeopardizing my chances of pregnancy, not increasing them. I know that fertility treatments work for lots of women, they just didn’t work for me. The more I thought about them, the more they didn’t sit right with my morals and beliefs either.
A friend turned me on to a NaProTechnology doctor who was able to find the cause of my infertility and diagnose some digestive problems I’d been having. After sitting with him for one hour, he diagnosed my inability to digest grains and told me that it was responsible for the 24 pounds of weight I had gained in a year’s time. He also diagnosed me with endometriosis and identified it as the cause of our infertility; he recommended that I have a laparoscopy to excise the adhesions.
I had the laparoscopy just after the New Year and was blessed with a seamless recovery. I have been working on eliminating all grains and soy from my diet, which is easier said than done. I can’t tell you how many foods have hidden soy or grains in them. From bouillon cubes to kielbasa, don’t be surprised to find a grain or soy hidden as a filler or preservative. As a result of my surgery and the major lifestyle changes I’ve made, I’ve lost weight, the fatigue that was once a constant in my life has disappeared, and my once horrendous menstrual cycles are now fairly mild.
A year after first meeting with my NaProTechnology doctor, I had lost 17 pounds just by removing grains from my diet! Eleven months after surgery, our dreams came true! We conceived! NaProTechnology had gotten us our miracle baby! Unfortunately, in the eighth week of our pregnancy, we lost our baby. There was nothing we could have done. Our baby stopped growing and simply passed away. I am now experiencing a miscarriage and look forward to the next phase of this journey, where we are able to heal from the pain we are currently experiencing.
As difficult as it is to talk about my own journey, if no one had told me that there is another way, I don’t know where I would be. If I kept this to myself, I’d feel guilty, as if I were denying another woman the opportunity to become healthy. I can’t do that; I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t share this information. As a teacher, sharing information is at the core of who I am, and so I feel compelled to share my journey with you.