This story is shared to encourage all the women out there who are desperately trying to conceive, even though they have endometriosis. There is always hope and there is always a way. We have to believe in the possible and focus on moving forward.
I was born in 1975 on the Eastern Shore of Delaware (DE) in a small town where everyone knows your name. Traveling around the country you’ll see nothing but industrial chicken houses, soybean and corn fields. I didn’t live the country life, just in a nice development because my mom is a city girl from Philly and my dad is a city guy from upper New Jersey. Mom has decades of family from DE and I have no idea how dad ended up there.So this begins my story. Growing up where convenient foods and the microwave rule the kitchen. Both parents work and mom is an okay cook, not really relying on fresh foods though. Coke and Doritos were a staple in the house, along with various bright colored cereals, sides that come in a can or box and microwavable foods. The older I got, the more fast food places came into play, because it was quick and convenient. I was a late bloomer, starting my period not long after my 14th birthday in 1989. For the first year at least, it wasn’t reliable, missing months but when it came, it was painful… so I thought. It would also last about seven days, heavy at first but would linger till about day 7.I’ll fast forward five years to February 1994 where I met my hubby to be. January 1995, I moved out and moved in with him near Baltimore where we both worked and I kept the cooking lifestyle I/we grew up with. (Let me just say that it should have been a lightbulb moment when I knew I was in a sexual relationship and not on birth control… ever.) In Aug 1998 we tied the knot and I knew we wanted to have children. With help of our sister in law and my obstetrician, we were trying to figure out why we weren’t getting pregnant. In April of 1999, I went in for my first laparoscopy where I had confirmation of endo and cysts that were removed. I also went on a yeast free diet for a few months to try to clean up my system. In January of 2001, I found out I was pregnant! My sister-in-law just finished her training in The Bradley Method and a certified Doula, so I was in good hands (she was crunchy before crunchy was cool). In September I had our son at a birth center with no interventions. It was hard work and painful but worth every moment. I was determined to give him the best in life, so I became a stay at home mom, I breastfed for 18 months and I would shop just for him at Fresh Fields (Wholefoods), making my own organic baby foods. My sister-in-law gave me medical prescriptions for nutritional healing because I was more interested in healing with herbs when sicknesses would occur, especially for my son.We knew we wanted more children and for our son to have a sibling, so we started trying again. “So why is it becoming more difficult for me to get pregnant again?” I began raging in my mind. I asked my obstetrician what options there were and he gave me a prescription for a round of Clomid. I also started reading in those health magazines I picked up at Wholefoods and found out about parabens, how they are estrogen mimickers. I started buying products that didn’t contain parabens. The round of Clomid didn’t work, so in January 2004, I decided to have another laparoscopy done, because nine months after the first time I got pregnant, right? Our diet really began to change and was full organic (but still eating nasty foods, just because it says ‘organic’ doesn’t mean it’s good for you), shopping at Fresh Fields, especially since our preacher’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and got rid of it by diet alone. I needed ways to save money and a friend introduced me to Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan, making my own cleaning products for pennies. I did another round of Clomid in February 2005 and March I found out I was pregnant only to have a miscarriage at six weeks. Devastated.In June 2005 we bought a house, after fixing and painting and decorating I got back into me again. About this time, the same friend mentioned above also introduced us to raw dairy (just for our son… so far), but I hadn’t yet read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell. May of 2006 I had a work up of food sensitivities and took eggs, oranges, chocolate and baker’s yeast out of my diet. I found out that soy is a phytoestrogen, another mimicker and cut soy out as much as possible (that stuff is in just about everything!). I also wanted to increase my chances of conceiving so I started acupuncture. The round of Clomid didn’t work, neither did acupuncture. In the meantime my periods started becoming more unbearable, with spasms on my left side, which were my warning signals that it’s coming. I consulted my obstetrician, he gave me a prescription for Tylenol 3 and I asked what options there were because it was getting worse. I wasn’t able to get out of bed without being in excruciating pain for at least the first 24 hours. I could barely take care of myself let alone my six year old, so he had to take care of me and himself. Of course he said, ‘hysterectomy’. One night, January 2008 I was suffering from endo pain (stabbing in the right side of my lower back), the 800 mg Ibuprofen and a dose of Tylenol 3 weren’t cutting it, and the spasms were the worst I’d ever experienced, and I had given birth… naturally!! (The only time I wished my husband was a dentist to give me a shot of Novocaine!) I woke my husband and told him to call the ambulance. After a horrific five minute ride (which felt like an hour) to the hospital (yes, I know my husband could have driven, but the pain was so unbearable and I needed to be seen right away!) Finally, after squeezing the life out of the nurse’s hand and able to communicate in between spasms, they finally gave me Valium. Hallelujah! I told my obstetrician and he gave me a prescription for Valium. So here I am taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen, Tylenol 3, Valium and it still didn’t cut the pain. This was my wake up call! After reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Enhancing Fertility Naturally, & The Fertility Cure in March 2008, I went to Tia Sophia for better acupuncture and Chinese herbs and tracking my cycles for months.I finally got my hands on a brand new Nourishing Traditions at a local used bookstore (you’d be amazed at what valuable resources people get rid of!). The more I began reading it (mostly at night in bed), the more my husband’s ribs started to ache and the less sleep he got. It’s all about ‘Listen to THIS!!!’ And having your gross factor rise to the sky. It’s dumbfounding what the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) allow for us to consume, but then try to take away our rights when we find nature’s way to eating. It always points to dollar signs. They could care less. Research became my way of making real use of the internet, social is a far cry. Knowledge is power, research is key. Food Inc. also helped tremendously, especially for my husband. We started raising our own chickens, which was easy because the previous owners raised chickens. We really jumped on the crunchy bandwagon and started getting a reputation as ‘hippies’. Fine by me! Even my seven year old was telling everyone who would listen about what he learned in Food, Inc. I also came across Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health; on page 214 in the section for women is a recipe for ‘Womb Tea’. I began buying herbs through our Frontier Co-op, purchased a French press and began drinking this tea everyday… well, at least I would try to every day. I would make a lousy addict, I would forget to take whatever I was supposed to be addicted to! It took about a year of drinking this tea to finally get some control over this endo pain every month. Being able to function on first days and lowering my intake of painkillers. By the time we went on our 45-day trip across the US, visiting 23 National parks in June/July 2009 was actually bearable enough to enjoy the trip and not be laying up somewhere until it passed.A few days before and a few days during my cycle, I drink GT’s Gingerade Kombucha. Not only does it contain enzymes, probiotics, and detoxifiers, but also ginger fights inflammation, cleanses the colon, reduces spasms and cramps, stimulates circulation, headaches, hot flashes, and nausea associated with menstruation.These past 4 years have never been better as far as endo pain is concerned. I’ve taken control of what goes in and on my body. I eat chocolate but only good chocolate that’s at least 75% or more dark. I eat organic (I follow the Dirty Dozen list). I do eat eggs, but only from our own chickens. We watch as many documentaries as we can, educating ourselves and others about food. Food matters, Fresh, Farmageddon, Genetic Roulette, Forks Over Knives, King Corn, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, and many more.Last August, with help from a wonderful friend who encouraged me to open up my own shop on Etsy, selling body products using pure, natural and minimal ingredients. I also give credit to The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep for inspiring me to make my own and sharing it with others.Looking for the cure of Endo, like many other diseases, is like getting on your bike and start pedaling backwards, you’re focused on curing it, but you’re not getting anywhere. Does anyone see where this whole ordeal stems from? Why don’t we look at the CAUSE?! It all comes down to what you put into and onto your body. I tell my son, “You are wonderfully and naturally made. Don’t put anything in or on your body that you don’t recognize as something that is produced naturally.” You consume, breathe, clean, and put onto your body a plethora of chemicals and guess what? Your natural body is going to reject it either right away or eventually. Eating the way nature intended will fuel a natural operation of bodily systems.Let food be thy medicine & medicine be thy food. ~Hippocrates. Guess what? You rarely get sick.When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is correct, medicine is of no need. ~Ayurvedic Proverb.
Thank you, Christal, and all the hope for the future.