Tag Archive: Infertility


Managing PCOS Naturally

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that is one of the leading causes of female infertility in the world. PCOS affects your body in the following ways: infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation (not ovulating properly), polycystic ovaries, excess acne and hair growth, insulin resistance, weight gain (and difficulty losing weight), increase chances of developing type 2 diabetes/high blood pressure/high cholesterol/heart disease/endometrial cancer.

When I was first diagnosed with PCOS in 2010 the only part I cared about (or remembered to tell my husband when I came home) was the infertility and how this disorder was going to impact our family building. As we came to the end of our fertility treatments I came to realize all the other ways PCOS is ravaging my health. I am not willing to go on birth control; I do not want to take all the chances of a miracle out of the equation. Western medicine does not offer a lot of ways other than BC to manage PCOS, the other medications offered make me very ill. I then began researching how to manage this disorder naturally with supplements, diet and exercise. There was no how to guide that I came across so I have been piecing the Cabrielle Body Management System together as I go.

When it comes to the diet and exercise I am still working on integrating the rules I know I should follow into my life. Women with PCOS should exercise AT LEAST 3-5 times a week for an hour at a time. Cardio is your friend, even when you think it is trying to kill you. The dietary changes you need to manage PCOS are relatively easy to follow; most of your protein should come from meatless sources, avoid white/highly processed carbs, have at least one serving of full fat dairy a day, avoid sugar in all its forms. The most important part to managing PCOS naturally is to take supplements daily. Are you ready for this massive list? To answers your questions ahead of time; yes I take all of these daily and yes it is a pain in the butt. However, it is the best way to manage PCOS that I have found and it truly makes me feel a thousand times better. These supplements increase chances of healthy ovulation, support proper endocrine/metabolic function, regulate hormones/menstrual cycles and prevent disease. If you have questions concerning a specific supplement and how it helps let me know.

Supplements for PCOS:

Prenatal Vitamins- once a day

Fiber- 3 grams twice a day

Selenium- 200mcg once a day

Flax Seed Oil- 1,000mg twice a day

Zinc- 50mg once a day

Cayanne Fruit- 40,000STU twice a day

Cinnamon- 500mg twice a day

Glucosamine- 750mg twice a day

Blue Cohosh- 500mg twice a day

Calcium- 600mg twice a day

Vitamin D3- 400IU twice a day

Solary Fertility Blend SP-1 (from the Vitamin Shoppe)- 2 pills twice a day

Evening Primrose Oil- 500mg twice a day

Vitex- 400mg twice a day

Red Raspberry Leaves- 450mg twice a day

Biotin- 5,000mcg twice a day

Magnesium- 400mg once a day

Super B Complex- 1 pill a day

**** All dietary, activity and supplements should be approved by your physician before you begin changes.

Hope Amidst The Storm

Hope is a vital thing; we need it as we need nourishment, shelter, fellowship and love. In the middle of your personal storm it is important to add in hope, in whatever form it is available to you. Hope is always there, sometimes we have to reorganize things, look under the rug and open all the drawers in order to find it but hope is ALWAYS available.

This week we had another bump in our family building journey. For the third time (fourth if you count the failed IVF embryo implantation) we experienced an early miscarriage known as a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy occurs when the egg and sperm meet and form an embryo but the embryo is then unable to implant in the uterus which results in the death of the embryo. (For a better understanding of a chemical pregnancy visit the following website: Chemical Pregnancy) Every loss is heartbreaking to us both.  We have ended fertility treatments not because we have given up on having biological children but because we are no longer willing to put our lives and emotions through the chaos of fertility treatments. We therefore have decided not to use any form of birth control and to allow God to lead our family building. We are still (and will continue regardless of having biological children) working towards our goals of adopting and we are open to any way God brings children into our family. This makes the possibility of great joy and great heartache a common theme in our family building journey. It can be easy given this roller coaster of emotions to spiral down into despair, doubt and heartache.

This is a key time to find the hidden hope in the situation. Many who have struggled with fertility have moments of feeling there is no hope in the face of loss. There is hope to be found in this situation. Here is my life boat of hope: we are able to get pregnant. At some point the egg and the sperm are connecting and forming a baby in my body. That means there is a chance of an embryo implanting inside my uterus someday. We grieve the loss of another miraculous baby but we are fully placing our trust in God to build our family in His time and in His way.

We cry, we hug and we cling to the knowledge that our family is going to be beautiful and miraculous in its own unique way. Hope is the key to it all, despair will not win or rob us of our joy in the process of adopting. ❤

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Deciding to end our fertility treatments was one of the hardest and easiest decisions of my life. Tyler and I had many discussions between us, with our friends, family and doctors before we decided that treatments were not the right path for us. I want to begin by making it clear that I feel the medical advances in fertility treatments are amazing and a wonderful opportunity for all those longing to fill their empty arms. We are both extremely thankful for the experience of fertility treatments; even though we did not end the experience with a bundle of joy we think the journey was an important one.

Since the beginning of our family planning we knew we wanted to adopt. There are so many amazing children in the world and we would love to open our hearts, home and family to children who need those things in their lives. Initially we decided to try to conceive a biological child so I could experience being pregnant at least once; it is a miracle that we all take for granted. Throughout our journey we both experienced different winks and nudges from God guiding us towards the world of adoption. However, we are both human and stubborn and it is not always easy to let go of our own plans and dreams in order to follow the path God has laid out for us. We soon came to know that becoming pregnant was not an important goal to either of us anymore, having a family was the only goal we were working towards and we were open to building that family in whatever ways God has planned for us. After our last disastrous IVF cycle we decided that we were done chasing our own plans and that it was time we fully embraced the beauty of adoption and the path God was leading us down.  So great, there is a new plan and it is adoption, that should be simple enough. Ha- Ha-Ha. Oh, how foolish of us. Adoption is as complicated as fertility treatments and even more expensive. We were at a loss where to even begin.

When you decide you want to adopt the first questions you have to answer are some big ones; domestic or international adoption, do you care about gender or race, what age child do you wish to adopt and last but definitely not least how on earth are we going to afford this? Adoption costs range widely from less than $5,000 for foster-to-adopt up to $80,000 for international adoptions. I don’t know about the rest of the world but on one income while I finish college we definitely do not have $50,000 stashed anywhere. Believe me, I checked. Believe it or not those questions are just the tip of the iceberg, but answering them can (in theory) guide you to the right resources. These questions were hard for us to work through because my answer is this, “I will take any baby from anywhere and be as happy as can be”. Not exactly a helpful answer when it comes to narrowing down our options, my poor husband. We are still gathering information but I think we have narrowed the following aspects down: we want to do domestic adoption of an infant; we do not care about race or gender. We eventually want to do foster care to adopt to build the majority of our family. We would like to experience having an infant at some point so that is what has guided us to infant adoption first and then foster-care to adopt for ages 2 and under as our next step.

The next decision we need to address is when we want to start the process. We are thinking over the next year we will slowly put our nursery together and start saving money and fundraising to be able to afford to adopt. This will allow us to start the adoption process sometime after I graduate in December. So here is where we are currently: we are moving next week, researching adoption fundraising, and I am attempting to unbury myself from the piles of homework that surround me. Keep an eye out for fundraising updates and nursery updates.

P.S. Any fundraising ideas would be greatly appreciated. 

Holy transition period, Batman! Here I sit surrounded by boxes, luggage from my last trip to Michigan and school books that need my attention immediately. Add in four pets and a husband that drives me crazy and keeps me sane simultaneously. Tyler and I are in the midst of an unbelievable transition period in almost all aspects of our life. Here is the back story:

Tyler and I met in 2003 and got married in October of 2010. We lived about 20 minutes apart in High School and ended up working at the same Domino’s Pizza. We quickly became close friends, almost everyone we worked with, our families and many of our friends tried to tell me that Tyler and I should date. I could not believe that such a wonderful man cared about me in that way, and as he is extremely shy and never expressed his feelings things stayed at “just friends” for years. After High School I moved from West Virginia to Michigan (where my family is originally from) and we maintained our friendship. In the winter of 2007 Tyler came to visit me in Michigan and it seemed we were finally moving forward; due to an injury, a snow storm, and a misunderstanding it was quite possibly the worst visit of all time. For some reason that crazy man was willing to try again, Tyler returned for another visit to Michigan in the fall of 2009. This time we were finally in the same place at the same time and we finally admitted what everyone around us knew, we were in love. Things progressed quickly once we were finally open and honest about our feelings. We began dating and a few months later I moved back to West Virginia. Then in October of 2010 Tyler made my dreams come true when we got married in a small ceremony. Thus our little family began.

I have always known that having children was going to be a challenge for me, I have never had regular cycles and my Mom struggled to have me and my sister Chazlynn. In the spring of 2010 I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss the plans Tyler and I had for starting a family. Becoming a Mom is the one constant dream I have had in my life and Tyler was anxious to know the joys of fatherhood as well. The visit with my doctor changed those plans dramatically. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), one of the leading causes of infertility in women. My doctor gave us the contact information for a world renowned infertility specialist and I clung to hope like it was a life raft. We began treatments immediately, which involved daily medications for me as well as driving two hours every other day to be monitored. My body does not like to release eggs during the normal course of a menstrual cycle. My ovaries begin to form the eggs and then hold on to them like they are prized jewels and not the missing ingredient needed to make a new Rudisill. We did around three months of treatments when I broke the first time. Nothing was working, I did not like our medical team, every failed cycle broke my heart and we were in the middle of a huge disagreement with my in-laws. All of which made us decide that we needed a break to identify our goals and try to enjoy being newlyweds. Shortly after our break I started experimenting with herbal supplements to try and regulate my cycles. This worked wonderfully at first, my cycle regulated and in the summer of 2011 I was able to say the words I had been dreaming of my whole life, “Honey, I am pregnant”. That moment will forever be etched in my mind, I was so sure that my prayers had finally been answered and that I was going to be a Mom. Our joy however was quickly followed by heart break when two weeks after I found out I was pregnant I lost the baby. Words cannot describe the heartache that followed, the loss was so early in the pregnancy we had not even announced it to everyone. I felt betrayed by my body in ways I still am healing from. Tyler was a rock throughout the experience and his love, our family, friends and God are all that kept me whole. We took a deep breath, prayed and moved forward. In September of 2011 I had another early miscarriage. Each time we lost a baby I felt my heart break deeper. I could not come to grips with my body’s seeming unwillingness to carry a baby to term.

In the spring of 2012 Tyler and I decided we were ready to try treatments one last time. Tyler was always a great support for me during treatments but since he is as fertile as a man can be he did not personally have to go through many of the treatments. We began the medications and, this time, daily monitoring (only an hour away this time) to prepare for an IVF cycle. I am fairly certain fertility treatments are some form of torture at least that is how it seemed to me. My body does not handle the medications needed for an IVF well, I was sick the entire time. Additionally, the emotional toll is impossible to describe. Every day I had to inject myself with medications and drive an hour to the doctor’s office to see if it was working yet. Nothing is simple with my body so the medications did not work as planned and the doctors were beginning to question if they ever would. Then miraculously the medications took off and my body became an overachiever in the egg making department. For those who are unfamiliar with IVF, the eggs are then removed surgically and fertilized in a lab. Due to lab error all of my husband’s sperm died before fertilization and we had to race two hours away to get another sample there in time. This delay caused over half my eggs to die and the remaining few were then fertilized. My heart broke over this loss but I was sure our child was coming from those remaining eggs. One by one our embryos died and only one was left by the time it came time to implant the embryo. Our embryo implanted, our bank account laughingly empty and our hopes high we had the longest two week wait of our lives. We would soon learn that this was another loss and the embryo was unable to implant fully.

Tyler and I then had a long heart to heart and decided that although we could continue trying to conceive a child naturally, we both felt our family building was meant to come from another avenue. Adoption was always a part of our family plans, we decided to skip to that part and bypass the emotional and physical pain of fertility treatments. We also discussed what needed to happen in our lives to prepare us for adoption: I needed to graduate with my teaching degree and we needed to buy our first home.

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Picture of our embryo- Fall 2012

Where are we now:

We found our dream home, a charming Cape Cod in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. It has three bedrooms, a garage for Tyler’s Camaro (very important) and a fence for our dogs Lolli-Pop (a Schipperke) and Snowflake (a Peekapoo). We are packing away and getting ready to move next week. As an Army brat I am used to moving and I could pack a house in my sleep, Tyler has never left the county where we currently live West Virginia so he is having a new adventure. I am also finishing my last semester of class work and I am preparing for my student teaching in the fall so I can graduate in December. We welcomed our first Nephew last week, my sister Chazlynn gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and named him Micajah. My entire family lives in Michigan and I just returned from my trip north for the birth. We have two beautiful nieces as well; Jocelyn and Payton who live a few miles away from our current home, and will only be forty minutes away once we move.

What will this blog be about:

I found through our family building journey that there is little to no information or support for couples who decide to forgo treatments and embrace adoption. This blog will focus on us trying to build our family and our home. You will find information on adoption, adoption expenses, home making (decorating, cooking, projects, etc) and the occasional educational tip or story. We may not be building our family in the traditional way but it is sure to be an adventure, an adventure you are invited to join.

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