Monday, May 18, 2015

Can Essential Oils help with fertility?

When I was struggling to stay pregnant I went to a reflexologist, which is a similar concept to acupuncture.  She would always use essential oils.   I never asked why she used them. I thought it was for the fragrance.

In the last five months, I have discovered essential oils.  It all started after a winter where my boys and I passed cold after cold to each other.  I heard some friends talking about essential oils and how they help treat symptoms and ward off colds.

I thought it sounded liked some hocus-pocus, hippy approach.  As fate would have it, I got home that day and my 2.5 year old said he was really cold.  I felt his head and he was burning up with fever.  We had just gotten over the flu two weeks before.  I decided to order the Premium Starter Kit from
Young Living Oils and an oil my friend raved about called RC.

I have to say I was intimidated when the kit came.  But my results using have been amazing.  To name a few benefits, I treated Evan's ear infection without antibiotics.  The doctor confirmed he had an ear infection but was healing on its own and don't give the RX unless the pain comes back.  My kids have had probably twelve ear infections between them and his was the first time I was ever told not to start medicine right away.  I used Young Livings Purification and Lavender on the outside of his ears and down his neck.  I used thieves oil on his big toe to fight the infection.

When I got sick, I used RC and it stopped my runny nose and coughing for hours.  I used their Panaway blend when I hurt my shoulder and eased pain working minutes.  And like a moron,
I wiped out on my driveway taking out the garbage.  I seriously got road rash and was bleeding.  I made a mixture of oils to disinfect and soothe the pain and it helped tremendously.  I also realized my husband should be the one taking out the garbage.

I solved sleep issues for me and the boys with cedarwood and lavender.  And when I got back from taking Josh to the ER after a bloody injury, I used Stress Away to take the edge off.  It actually worked.  It sounds like what people say Xanax does.

Bottom line, everything I have tried to use the essential oils for has worked.
I keep hearing about an oil called Progressence Plus Serum.  It is supposed to help
women with fibroids (the bane of my conceiving existence), PMS, hormonal migraines, weight loss, and INFERTILITY.  

I wish I had known about Progressence Plus years ago.  I truly would have tried anything and Young Living Oils are organic and all natural.  Progressence Plus is derived from a particular yam. The application is one to two drops behind your neck each night before bed.  The recommend using at night because it can make you sleepy.  Sounds like it couldn't be easier.

Leave a comment if you have tried Progressence Plus to help with fertility issues.  I would love to hear if it helped you.

 If you want more info, here is the link.  I am happy to answers general questions about essential oils- it is my latest obsession.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mirena? Mire-NO!

At my six week follow up after having Joshua, my OB recommended the Mirena IUD.  I was hesitant to get it because of the low dose hormones but she insisted it really didn't affect people.  Sounded good to me.  Four weeks later I went to it put it.

I had read horror stories of it being excruciatingly painful.  It wasn't.  It felt sort of like getting an HSG, if you have ever had one, but so much quicker (like seconds) and not that intense.

Within two days of having the Mirena inserted, I put on 8 pounds.  And I was on a post baby diet so I know it wasn't what I was eating.  8 pounds.  And I couldn't get any more than a pound off the entire time I was on it, while dieting.  Next, I realized I was feeling moody.  Just sort of down and that is not my personality.

I went back to the doctor and was seen by a nurse.  She told me that people don't gain weight from Mirena and it something I am doing wrong with my diet.

I left and researched it on the internet and there were lots of other people that had this weird weight gain phenomena.  The common link seemed to be people who got Mirena before they had lost the baby weight.  Next I saw countless accounts of women saying they felt like there were in a fog and then had it taken out and life went back to normal.

Next, I never stopped bleeding.  I had it in for four months and maybe had 10 days I wasn't spotting or having a period.  This birth control works great, because you are never going to want to do it if you are bleeding all the time. I think eventually your period is supposed to stop all together but that never happened for me.

Reading that all these other people had similar side effects convinced me to have it taken out.  Eight hours later, it was just like I read, I felt a fog lift off me.  It is hard to explain in words, but I just felt better.  I wish I could saw I lost 8 pounds over night.  I lost about 2 in a couple days.

Apparently, side effects are rather rare with the Mirena.  I guess I am just one of the lucky ones.

Got some 'splaing to do

I have gotten a couple of e-mails since my last post asking where I disappeared to.  Well a funny thing happened.  Not terribly long after I was pondering what my future held in my post "Unknownitis", we started filling in the blanks.

First, we decided to leave the city and move to the suburbs.  As we began looking for houses, we decided to throw some more stress into the mix and started trying for baby number two.  Our grand plan was to have them three years apart.  Clearly, we weren't in the express lane with having our first, so we started trying early.

I decided I would be breezy and by breezy I mean I would be completely obsessive but not chart my temperatures.  I began by getting round up all my old friends: The Clearblue Fertility Monitor, Sticks, and pregnancy tests.  My Ob had given my a prescription for progesterone to combat my luteal phase defect.

As we all expected, I wasn't actually breezy, I was more like the dictator of conception.  Romantic right?  9 days past ovulation I tested.  As I waited nervously, the faintest, and I mean faintest of lines emerged.

I told my husband, who was in an utter state of disbelief, and then I called the fertility doctor to get seen immediately. I didn't have to go to the fertility doctor, but I like that you get monitored weekly.  After the trauma of miscarriages, I needed all the reassurance I could get.

The nurse calls and tells me my HCG was at 24, expect to miscarry. Kudos to her for her exemplary bedside manner.  I remind her that I am 9 DPO.  She wasn't impressed and told me if I didn't start to miscarry come back in two days.  Two days later my numbers were about 50.  The nurse said my numbers doubled but were still low and she thought  I would miscarry.  I asked to speak to a doctor.  He comes on the phone and says my numbers are low.  I said I was 11 dpo.  He said, oh, then you are fine, congratulations.

And those were the first few days of carrying Joshua.  The pregnancy was relatively uneventful.  He was another anterior placenta baby, which worked out great for me because he was active enough to let me know he was alive and kicking, but his kicks were buffered so I wouldn't be kept up all night by his acrobatics.

During this time we decided to build a house.  I spent my days playing with Evan and taking him to classes, working on the house, and feeling guilty that Evan's world was about to be turned upside down.  He was very clear that he wasn't in the business of being a big brother.  He literally would take my clothes and pillows to cover my belly.  If someone asked if he was excited to be a big brother, he would shout "NO!".  But his most notable act of defiance took place four days before my planned c-section.

It was a Thursday- my last morning Evan would be at preschool before the baby would come.  I had big plans.  I had a pedicure lined up and planned to spend the rest of the time preparing for the baby's arrival.

The night before, Evan started fighting us about bed.  He was still in a crib, and in an effort not to make hate this baby more than we all anticipated he would, we didn't take his crib from him to give to the baby.  Back to the bedtime war.  He had been in a sleep sack up until a week before when he started unzipping himself.  He hoisted one leg over the crib railing.  I threatened, "if you jump out of your crib, you will never sleep in it again".  He loved that crib.  He returned his leg to the crib and began whining.  I left the room and then thud.  He flipped out of crib, and landed flat on his back.  On the hardwood floor.  I about died.

And so, what was to be my last carefree morning turned into a frenzy of converting a crib to a bed, buying new bedding, and decorating a room, so Evan would be happy to see his beloved crib was no more.

A couple days later Joshua was born.  He was much calmer than Evan had been and seemed to be an easy baby.  Being a second time mom, I was convinced, I wouldn't stress the small stuff.

Every thing went according to plan until my little guy ended up getting meningitis at 10 days old.  After he recovered, we were on lock down for six months.  We had to minimize his interaction with kids and Evan did too.  He could only go to school - no activities, because they didn't want him to bring home germs.  That made for a long winter.  Joshu is a littler fighter and is completely healthy today.

The week after Josh turned one, we move to our new house.  I honestly felt lame, for lack of a better juvenile term, not living in the city.  I felt like an impostor watching the evening news, since I didn't really live in Chicago.  But life is easier.  You don't have to add 30 minutes to go anywhere to make sure you can park.  You don't have to feed meters to go anywhere.  And playdates- it was so easy to just have people over and go to there houses and park in their driveways.  The boys loved having a basement and a yard.

And now you are up to date on the 40,000 foot view of our lives these past two years.

Friday, August 22, 2014

And it all comes back

Today I saw on Facebook that a friend of my husband had a baby.  I actually fought back tears reading the news.  Years ago, before I even started trying, his wife confided in me that they were having trouble getting pregnant.  It took them nine years to get their baby.  Nine years.

I feel my life was changed for the year and a half we struggled to keep a pregnancy.  The disappointment, the feeling that it will never happen for us, the pangs when it happened for other people, the tests, the doctor appointments, the rise and fall of testing every month.

I want her to know that all she has been through will one day be something she will be thankful for having endured, because it all led to their beautiful baby girl.

I thought about how I felt when I first brought home Evan, rocking him in his glider at night.  I used to think that no baby could ever be more loved or more wanted.  But then life happens.  Cuddly babies turn to obstinate toddlers, and hard core negotiators.  And somehow, that feeling of immense gratitude that glided me though colic, teething, and sleepless nights dissipated.  So today, when I saw our old friend's news, I felt the yin and yang of parenthood.  Babies are miracles, the greatest gift you could ever dream of- not a guaranteed rite of passage.  And babies are hard. Toddlers are harder and if I don't stop and give myself one of those time outs I am always threatening, I will lose sight of how lucky I am to be fighting over bedtimes and sweeping the floor around my 1 year old's chair four times a day.  I could just get a Roomba.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Several months back I was talking my baby for a walk and we passed the neighborhood school.  It occurred to me then, I really have no idea where we will be living when Evan is ready for kindergarten.  In all honestly, I don't know where we will live when he is ready for preschool.  And the latter presents problems because I need to start trying to get on waiting lists.

We live in the city and while there is more than enough room for 2 adults and one toddler, things will be too close for comfort with another baby.  On one hand, I am in no rush to leave the city.  Even though we don't have a yard, we are a very short work to the largest park in the city and can even walk to the city zoo.    We know we wouldn't sell this place to get another place in the city.  A move means a move to the suburbs, which means a significantly longer commute for my husband who now takes a bus and need be, it is about a 15 minute car ride.

I feel there are a lot of factors when determining when to have a second child.
1) finances- luckily we have much of the gear from the first child, but would need another bed and likely a bassinet, which we didn't use the first time around.  Evan costs us about $200 a week in food, diapers, classes, and supplies, so I can assume through toddlerhood we would double this.  Plus they pick up more activities and expenses with age.

2) Spacing of kids- ideally I would like three years apart between kids, but after the struggle to have the first kid, I can't assume it will just happen.  It could take a long time- so do I start early or start when I would want and prepare myself the age gap could be much greater?

3) Housing- this is a big one.  We have a three bedroom place but the third bedroom is on a different floor.  We use that room as a guest room/office/ and my workout room that I use daily.  I would be sad to give it up.  I never had the baby stay in our room because my husband was working.  As soon as he cried, I turned off the monitor, closed my bedroom door, closed his door, and took care of him so my husband could sleep.  I don't want a baby that doesn't sleep through the night sharing a room with Evan and keeping him up.  So either the new baby could sleep in our room, or I will be post c-section sleeping on a pull out couch in my former workout room.  It just isn't ideal.  But it isn't ideal to move while pregnant, with a newborn, or two toddlers either.

I suppose there are no right answers.  Change is difficult, but I don't want to jump the gun and sell our city home until I know we need to move.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Here's What they Don't Tell You

If you are having problems getting pregnant, people want to lift you up by telling you all the good things that life without kids means.  Sleeping for starters, freedom to come and go as you please, seeing a first run movie in the theater- you get the picture.

Here is the big one you probably have not been told- with children comes disparaging comments about your parenting from your in-laws.  If things were strained before, just wait until baby comes along.  I get along well with my in-laws, but sometimes I cannot believe the things that are said.

Let's take today.  My mother-in-law comes over to see Evan.  I am slightly freaking out about his lack of language acquisition (another post to come on this) so I have been making a conscientious effort to label things and repeat words.  He thinks animal noises are funny.  Please forgive this digression, but why are there so many baby products geared around farm animals?  Maybe this is ethnocentric because I have lived in a city or suburb my whole life, but it seems like overkill.  Evan alone has a tracker toy that totes along a wagon of animals, a little people farm, and a page in his 100 first baby words book dedicated to farm animals.  They sell baby flash cards of just farm animals.  I guess they are cuter the Little People meter maids and streets and sanitation workers.

As I was complaining-  Evan picked up his animal book and I started doing my new word game with him.  In my view, there is only so many times you can ask, "what does the cow say?" and get no response.  So now I ask, "what does the cow say when he is happy" and I say moo all excitedly and tickle him, and then I ask "what does the cow say when he is surprise?" and I bark  moo and lift him unexpectedly. I run through a rainbow of emotions and the move on to another animal who is also feeling overly emotional. He thinks this is hilarious.  So she asked why was I doing this.  I responded, "to help him build vocabulary and to learn to label his feelings?" And she says, "you need help." with her mouth cocked up and this judging look in her eye that my sister-in-law and I have seen all too often.

It is not like I can snap, "I would like to see you do better" since the product of her parenting is my husband.  I guess these judgments come with the territory, but I could definitely do without the snarky remarks.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can I be Breezy?

My good friend from grad school introduced me to the term "breezy".  As in, "Do you think he is going to call you." To which she would respond, "I am not going to worry about it, I am trying to be breezy," as she slyly glances down to see if her phone forgot to ring and she had a missed call from the man being discussed.  Well for her, a man, a good one at that, did call back and she was married last year after being "breezy" about getting engaged.  And now, with that same breezy attitude, she is taking a stab at getting pregnant.

We met for lunch this week and I asked when she was testing and she said she wasn't sure, in a couple weeks, she wasn't tracking her cycle.  Of course, on account of her being breezy.  This is so antithetical to everything I stand for, I rudely retorted, "You are not 16 in the back of a '67 Chevy, you need to do some planning here!" We are super close, so I can say this sort of thing to her.

And so the reality dons on me, that I don't think I can breezily try for baby number two.  I kind of thought I could take things as they come.  However, I was speaking to a friend who went through several rounds of IVF to have her daughter.  Since it was such a struggle, they "aren't preventing".  Yet every month, she starts to feel nervous during the TWW and gets disappointed when she isn't pregnant, even though she isn't fully trying yet.

Part of me thinks, no matter what happens in TTC a second child, I am a mom and love being one, and we could be happy as a family of three.  Then reality seeps in and makes me realize I might be internally a fertility freak again, living by the reading on my monitor and waking everyday at same early morning minute to get an accurate temp reading.

I think it is fair to say I don't wear breezy well.