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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Power of Coping

Here's the thing with pain and sorrow... we all deal with it differently. 

For some of us, we are built to be resilient. Those are the ones who hardly cry, at least not in front of us. The ones who everyone else turns to for strength. They are the rocks of the world. The ones who keep the world from crumbling to pieces. I am married to my rock.

Some of us have to work really hard to keep it under control. 
And then, some of us can't. 

I am not naturally a strong person. I am strong because I work really, really hard to make myself this way. It is not in my blood, but I see where I could end up if I don't take control.

It is an everyday effort. Anyone who has ever suffered from a loss knows that at any moment you can be flooded with emotions. These emotions are not easy to control, and nor should you all of the time. It is good to cry.

So I cry... and then I pray. As I begin to pray, I immediately give thanks

Yes, I give thanks. 

No matter what happened, I know deep in my heart that there was a reason for it. I am grateful that this has made me stronger. It has made kinder. It has made me want to be a mother more than ever. I am grateful for my little angel. For the short 15-weeks that she was growing inside of me, she changed my life.  I feel more alive than ever. 

Our 1-Year-Anniversary, Asbury Park, NJ
The most rewarding part is that I never knew I could love my husband anymore than I did before, but I do. Going through such a challenge together can either make or break your relationship. I am so grateful that it made my relationship so much stronger. I don't know what I would do without my rock, and for that I am forever grateful.

John and I celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary last Sunday. Just like I did on our wedding day, I felt like the luckiest girl alive. It amazes me how much we have been through in our first year of marriage. It amazes me how much I love him.

If you have read my posts before, you know I am a strong believer in homeopathy, as it has helped me with my health in so many ways. 

When we first received the blood work results that the baby had a high chance of having Trisomy-18, I was distraught. I could not even speak without completely breaking down. I felt like my entire body was collapsing. After going three days like this, and unable to hold a conversation with anyone, I went to see my Chiropractor/ Homeopath. When I began telling him what had happened, he pointed out my breathing. I was taking huge gulps of air in between every few words, fighting to hold it together and to communicate what I needed to say. He immediately recommended I take Bach Relax Serum, and Ignatia. Bach is that product that everyone should carry around in their purse. It is the flower essence for anxiety and stress. It is my happy serum, and it's all natural. Ignatia is used for this exact situation, stress. The two helped to calm me down just enough so I could think rationally, and begin putting my coping skills to use. After we loss the baby, he suggested I add adrenal drops and Sepia. The addition of the two helped balance my hormones and provide my body and mind the opportunity to heal.

Sometimes when we go through sorrow, we are in so much pain that we forget what we can do to help ourselves. All it takes is someone reminding us. I am so grateful that my doctor gave me the push I needed, and so I followed his suggestions, and then I was able to do what I know best: meditate, run, and write.

Wise Fortune Cookie- Wise Hubby :)
Every morning I start my day with giving thanks. It really helps put into perspective all that is important and good in my life.

 After I give thanks, I go downstairs and I meditate. Meditation has helped me deal with so much heartache. It has taught me how to breathe, clear my mind of worry, and live in the moment. It has transformed me from a high anxiety perfectionist, to a calm, easy going person.  I am currently doing Deepak Chopra's guided Abundance meditations. The mediations have been another catalyst in helping me to recognize all of the abundance in my life. As Deepak Chopra says in day 1, "Today I behold all of the abundance that surrounds me..." regardless of what we are going through, there is still so many wonderful things to be grateful for.

As I mentioned in  my last post, writing has always been an outlet for me. Writing that last blog post gave me so much strength and so much joy in a time of sorrow. It is because of you, my readers, who reached out to me through private messages, and Facebook posts, that really gave me a sense of pride and power. You gave me strength. That day was the first day I felt happy. Your stories and words of encouragement, really touched me. I know I am not alone. Thank you.

It is so wonderful to see how many people come through for you when you go through something like this. Now that is something to be grateful for.

Ella after our run in the woods, she is the BEST running partner!
Sometimes when we deal with pain, we feel like our bodies are going to explode if we don't punch something. The best thing to do is to release this energy.  No, I am not suggesting for you to punch your husband or the walls... but pushing your body to exercise everyday. I am pushing myself harder than ever, and running is my drug. I prefer not to do it alone, as being alone can often be hard when you are vulnerable. My husband is waking up early every morning with me to do an intense 30 minute P90X3 workout. Working out together and releasing that energy together, makes us both more calm, and it releases those feel good endorphins. We start our day feeling accomplished, and knowing that now we have more time after work for each other.  Since John works later than I do, I take that time to bring Ella, my fur-child, for a run in  the woods. I find that when I am alone and bored, is when I am flooded with those sad emotions. The combination of running and being immersed in nature, makes me feel so powerful and so grateful for that power. Running has saved me many times in the past, and it has yet to disappoint. Running with my best friend, couldn't bring me or her any more joy!

... and my walls, and husband, are all intact.

I know I will never forget my baby. It was a painful 15 weeks, but I wouldn't change a thing. I now have a little angel in heaven, and I can't wait to one day meet her and hold her in my arms. She has given me strength, and I am so grateful for that.

I hope this post finds others who trying to cope with loss. Just know that you are not alone. With time, and with a little self-love, you will get through this. You just have to take control and do what you need to do for yourself

With love, gratitude, and strength <3

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How I got pregnant with PCOS, and how I am healing after the loss...

Writing has always been a positive outlet for me... and in time of loss, this is something I know I have to share with whoever is willing to read...

I do not intent to focus this post on the loss of our first child, but rather on HOW I got pregnant.

As some of you may know from my past blog posts, I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome and at the age of twenty-five, I was infertile.  By a miracle, or the miracle of nutrition and homeopathy, we naturally conceived.

So, I am taking a sad experience, and turning it into pure positivity. There is so much I am grateful for right now, and just getting pregnant takes the cake.  After such a terrible loss, it is hard for us to recover and come out of that dark hole, I am writing my way out of this hole in hopes to help at least one person. With the help of nutrition and homeopathy, I am healing both physically and emotionally.

 The story begins where I left off on my last post, a little less than year ago: my experimentation with calcium. Shortly after that post, I discovered (or my extremely research savvy sister, Lauren aka Ginger discovered) a supplement called Vitex. Vitex may in fact be THE natural cure for hormonal imbalances, like infertility. If you want to read more detail on what Vitex is, a great source can be found here.

Vitex comes from a beautiful purple plant from Greece and Italy. My personal favorite color, representing royalty! 

After doing much of my own research on Vitex, I thought, what do I have to lose? So I purchased Vitex as a extract from (for a very reasonable price, mind you, as compared to in stores). 

On July 16th (yes I keep track of exact dates! It's what us infertile women do) I began taking one-full tincture of vitex directly under my tongue (quickest way to the bloom stream), one time a day. After about one month I added a second dose later in the day. 

Now as you may already know with natural and homeopathic remedies, the cure is not immediate, and you must be patient. Remember that these remedies are fixing imbalances in your body, this takes time! Where compared to modern medicine (which I do no oppose to, there is a time when modern medicine is absolutely necessary, and it is important to know when!) the cure is often right away, as the imbalance is not particularly fixed, but blanketed (reasons why once you begin many medications, you are on them for life... and if you stop the problem can very likely occur again). 

So like I was saying... I did not see immediate results.
However, I did begin to notice my mood changing for the better (with PCOS we can often be a little moody, thank you hormones!) and I began having less break outs on my face. 

Two months later, on September 13th, I got my period... and it was a  pretty normal period, or what I remember normal being like (remember that I did go almost 2 years without one!) Then, two months after that, in November, I got my period again! Finally, a little over a month later, at the end of December, it was back! By this point, I would consider my periods rather regular in just a few months after beginning Vitex.

Of course when the end of January came around, I was disappointed that I did not get my period, a sign that most women, or at least those with regular periods, would assume meant they were knocked up... but when you go years without a period, and then random months of getting one, you don't think much of a missed period. I of course just figured my PCOS was not done with me yet! 

About a week later I began getting symptoms which I thought at the time meant my period was indeed approaching (swollen boobs, fatigue, hunger, feeling dehydrated...) but after two weeks of that, and still no period, my husband insisted I take a pregnancy test. In my mind, regardless of all the things I have been doing to reverse my infertility, I did not think it was possible that I could be pregnant. So I did what my husband asked, and lo and behold, I was indeed pregnant! We could not have been any happier...

My pregnancy was very normal, I was sick as a dog (and hating everyone who told me that they never suffered from morning, or what I call ALL DAY sickness-- who was the jerk who decided to call it "Morning Sickness" anyway?), and the loss of our baby had absolutely nothing to do with my PCOS. But rather the very rare occurrence that can happen in fertilization, where either the egg or the sperm picked up an extra chromosome, in our case it was the chormosome 18. The results were that our baby had a fatal abnormality called Trisomy 18. We were unfortunately dealt a very challenging hand... but are grateful that we did the genetic testing, and were prepared for the loss of our baby. 

It has only been a few days since we lost our first child, and I can honestly say that time heals all things, and that I am not great... how could I be? But, given the situation, I am doing okay and getting stronger everyday, thanks to the support and love of my family, friends, and colleagues, and also with the assistance of my homeopath who helped me to begin healing before the baby even passed. I would like to save that post for another time, so please check in in about a week for a post about healing naturally after a loss.

Thank you for reading my blog, and for all of the love and support. Writing this post is one more step to my healing-- and I hope with all of my heart that this post reaches someone who has fertility issues, and like me, does not want to take fertility drugs... and that she too can find success.

With so much love <3