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Guess Who's Back

I'm actually in shock. So much so that I thought I needed to take time and digest everything that has happened before actually putting it into writing. So much so that I felt it needed its own spot on the blog (who I've sadly neglected for a few months).

Let's do a quick re cap of, well, my journey.

I got my period like most teens. I got it when I was 14, everything was fine, I suppose. I started having sex with my then boyfriend and went to planned parenthood when I was 17 to get on birth control. Pretty proud of myself in some ways right? Anyway, UTI, which meant I had to tell my mom. That quickly turned into a visit to the gyno, a "proper" exam, and a new birth control pill. All set! Is what I thought.

FF to 2010. I'm in my first year of marriage (already somewhat rocky, but there are other blog posts on that if you're interested), and we wanted to have kids (says all couples who think kids will fix things right?). Anyway, I was off birth control before I could count to three and we went at it. I mean, isn't that what we are supposed to do? I got on a prenatal my OB recommended and started having sex daily. Surely we would be pregnant soon. I was 26, Nick was almost 29.

A month in, no period. YAY! That means I'm pregnant, I naively thought. So I tested. I remember being so excited to test, I was certain I would see something positive. Two boxes later and it was clear that the tests weren't defective. I wasn't pregnant. Ok, well lets keep trying. Another month down, same issue (well I wasn't sure it was an issue yet). No period, but no positive test, and again, I went through about 2 boxes. I gave it another month. I started to worry. So I went into the doctor and there it was, "you are not ovulating, you are not getting a period. I am not sure why, but you need to see a fertility specialist if you want to conceive."

My world caved in. I was the problem (cue Taylor Swift song if it had been around back then). I felt like I failed him. I felt like this was what was going to fix our problems and now we have an even bigger problem, now the biggest issue is me.

But we went into the fertility clinic. It was true, I wasn't ovulating, I wasn't getting a period. I was "diagnosed" with unexplained infertility. And instead of trying to see if we could run some tests, figure out what the deeper issue was, we went straight into fertility hormones. Look, I didn't do anything to stop the process, I wanted a baby, I wanted to feel like I could do this, give me all the drugs. BUT I also had no idea what was going on. These are the doctors, they know, they've seen it all right? No period means no ovulation means no baby means hormone drugs.

Well if you've been following you know what happens next. Also a lot of blogs if you're interested, but IUI -> triplets -> reduction -> twins. Born June 2, 2011. I did it. We did it. Kind of. A lot of post birth issues phisycally, but also a blog post on here (you've got your reading cut out for you!). But ultimately we had our twins. Except one minor detail, I still didn't have a period. I still didn't know why and they still wanted me on birth control or something to promote a period every few months.

So a year later, back on hormones I went. I tried an IUD (got lodged up there so took it out), and then was on BCP. They made me feel horrible, truthfully even more than the fertility medications had. So after about a year of those I went off of them. With our marriage still being rocky I really had no energy to care about anything other than my girls and what our life was going to look like if we didn't make it through as a couple. So the last thing on my mind, or at least concerning me, was my non existent period.

FF a couple years, we hit rock bottom and decided to actually work on us. Long story short we became better than we had ever been and continue to be that way today. So we decided we wanted to try for one more. However, seeing that over the past few years we hadn't gotten pregnant, and I still didn't have a period, we knew we had to march into the fertility center again.

Like many, we thought this was going to be easy. It worked well the first time right? Well, 3 years of IVF, 4 retrievals, a long miscarriage and 7 transfers later and we finally got our rainbow baby girl born November 4, 2020. My body, while it failed me for years (again) did what it was supposed to do with a lot of drugs and surgeries. And yet still, I had no answers and no period.

When Eriela was 18months, and I had been done breastfeeding for about 9 months, I knew it was time to talk to a doctor. I had what seemed like 500 vials of blood drawn (no I mean I think it was like 5), and got a call from the doctor telling me that I was "fine."

My jaw dropped. I'm not fine, and if I am, I am tired of being fine. I had 0 sex drive, i felt tired, I didn't have a period and occasionally ran very hot at night (which is very unlike me). I wasn't fine. I was frustrated to say the least. She said my levels were lower than most BUT that I fell in the category of being "normal," whatever that means.

See this was always the category I fell in during IVF. I should be a great candidate for IVF. I should have gotten pregnant well before I did. But I was an outlier, I always was. And no one talks about those.

SO my amazing friend who I met through IG, because what an amazing community I've got, told me to speak with her naturopath. I never thought about it but I figured why not, at this point western medicine is not seeing me or hearing me. So I spoke with Dr Maura. She completely knew what I was talking about. She made me feel seen and assured me that while she may not be able to get my period back, I would feel better if I followed her protocol once we received the test results back.

I did a dutch test (The DUTCH Complete™ is the most advanced hormone test, offering an extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones and melatonin, along with their metabolites, to identify symptoms of hormonal imbalances), and pricked my finger a few times and sent those into the lap. When my tests came back she sat with me for over an hour going through everything. Turned out I was perimenopausal! I was in shock. Kind of scared because who wants to have that diagnosis at 38! She assured me that we could work through some of it and made me feel so calm.

So we did. She gave me my protocol. They encompass about 15 different herbs (all over the counter) and two tinctures. Please note that everyone needs different thins so I am not recommending you follow this by any means as all of our hormones are different!

I also started something called seed cycling. Seed cycling is the practice of eating specific seeds during the two main phases of your menstrual cycle (follicular and luteal) to help promote the healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone levels. It’s a gentle and completely natural way to reduce PMS symptoms, boost fertility, and can help stimulate menstruation if it’s absent (amenorrhea), and other symptoms as a result of hormonal imbalances. I used beeyawellness and it has made this process so much easier.

This is what she thought I had, amenorrhea. She told me exactly what to take when and I started. This was March 2022, just before my 38th birthday. I was hopeful but both Nick and I thought, ok no way is this going to work. Maybe I'll feel better but I haven't had a natural period since I was 17!

Anyway, I was very dedicated. I traveled with all my pills and seeds and tinctures and decided if I was going to do this I had to be all in. In all honesty it wasn't that hard. Definitely not painful and if all else failed I was only nourishing my body so what the heck!

I got my first period in May. I was actually so scared, I had no idea what was happening and then I realized, wait, this is my PERIOD! Nick was in shock. My friends were in shock, we were all in shock. I mean what on earth was happening?

It was heavy but of course it was, this was technically my first bleed post my cesarian with Eriela! I called her immediately and she told me how to re start the protocol according to my cycle. I had to start the follicular phase that day even if I had already started. Cycle day one meant first day of follicular. "Let's keep going and see if you get another one."

About 45 days later, I did. Again, in shock. Not only that but I had symptoms. I realized I was PMS'ing, I was bloated a week before my period and crampy. But I had no clue that these were symptoms for me as I had not really experienced this maybe ever. YAY! I had symptoms!!

My periods lasted about 5 days, so nothing crazy. I finally felt like my body was doing what it was supposed to do.

Of course my head went into a tail spin. What if I had tried this years ago, what if I didn't have to go through all that loss? Why hadn't ANY doctor suggested trying this?? I was angry, sad, but also I knew it would do me no good to sit there and "what if." But still, it's hard to not think about.

Period three came the first days of September. Followed by period four, are you ready for this? Thirty four days later!!!! My first "regular" cycle.

So why did I write all this.

Well I just want to spread awareness. I have no idea if this would have worked years ago. I also have no idea if this would work for you. But what I do know is that there are other ways to heal than just science and medicine. Look, I am 100% a believer of science, I mean all of my children are here because of it!! I vaccinate my kids, we see a pediatrician but we also now see a pediatric naturopath because why try to heal anything minor for them through food or other homeopathic health.

I've also realized how different we all are. How we don't all fit in one group or diagnosis. I've realized that both science and naturopathy can and should coexist because if someone were to have suggested trying this non invasive, MUCH less expensive, method of getting my period back, I would have.

Sadly the response I still get from many doctors is a shrug. Like they don't want to admit that maybe there are other routs that could help or at least make an impact in someone's health WITHOUT drugs, added hormones or antibiotics. And the funny thing is, my naturopath, Dr Maura, as well as my kids' always suggest seeing a doctor if they think it's something that needs to be seen by them. Both can co exist!

So I leave this here. In hopes that if you are where I was you give this a try. I am (and feel) the healthiest I have been in years. My sex drive is back, I feel happy and I am really understanding my body, finally after feeling like I didn't know who I was for so many years.

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