I’m going to start by backing up quite a ways. As I’ve discussed on here many times, Hackie and I have been trying to conceive our rainbow baby for quite some time now. I have thyroid issues as well as irregular cycles, which complicate things. Since we started trying for baby #2, my thyroid dose has been changed five or six times in both directions. With each new cycle, I think I’ve got it under control and that this will be the month. It has been beyond frustrating. In January/February, I did what I always do – charted, counted days, wished every time the clock read 11:11 or 2:22 or 5:55. On February 11th, I was home sick with pink eye and a horrid sore throat. I took a pregnancy test and saw the faintest of faint lines. This was a Monday. Tuesday, the test wasn’t any darker. I didn’t have a good feeling, but I was still hopeful. I went for a blood test after school and my amazing OB sent me the results later that night… HCG = 10. Pregnant, yes… but just barely. That Friday, I started bleeding. I had a miscarriage, or in medical terms, a chemical pregnancy. Hackie and I were pretty bummed. We’ve become pretty resilient though and were able to enjoy our weekend and I was able to enjoy my week off from school that followed.
I then had another change in thyroid dose and another full unsuccessful cycle. I had had enough. Something else had to be done. I consulted with my OB and, with her support and encouragement, searched for an acupuncturist. I found someone local who practices acupuncture and nutrition and who specializes in fertility and endocrine issues. It almost seemed too good to be true. After a quick email, he felt confident that he could help me and I set up my appointment.
In preparation for my appointment, I had to gather three years worth of medical records, which included everything from my labor and delivery. That was hard to read through. With everything nicely organized, I went to my first appointment. He spent two hours with me discussing my medical history and diet. He confirmed for me that the severe anxiety I had experienced in 2006 was probably the start of my thyroid problems, which I had always suspected. He also explained that I probably have a lot of inflammation and that my immune system is working overtime. This is very common with people who have Hashimoto’s which is the type of thyroid disorder I have. The inflammation and antibodies in my system can lead to a host of various symptoms including irregular cycles, trouble losing weight, fatigue, pregnancy complications, miscarriage, and pre-term labor – all of which I have experienced. The recommendation was to tackle this problem where is most likely begins – diet. I was afraid of that…
After this initial appointment, I was feeling quite overwhelmed and bummed out. It felt like one more thing I had to deal with – first the loss of our sweet Maya, then after a few months the devastation of not being pregnant with our rainbow, and now add to that all of these ailments and isms that I have to deal with. It’s a lot all at once. Still, I am determined. There is one ultimate goal – experience a healthy pregnancy and bring a healthy baby into this world.
What came after my first appointment was a blood test – it’s called the MRT food sensitivity test and it tests about 150 different foods and chemicals and how the blood reacts. I had to wait a week for the results. In the meantime, I cut dairy and dramatically reduced the amount of refined sugar I was eating (I have a big sweet tooth). I had already started to feel better and lose some weight.
My results weren’t as bad as I thought. I’m most sensitive to spinach (haha) and moderately sensitive to about 20 other foods and chemicals which include cocoa, vanilla, cow’s milk, and cheese. The cocoa was the biggest bummer as anyone who knows me will tell you that my favorite food is chocolate. From these results, I was put on a very strict diet of the least sensitive foods. I’m currently on day 3 of the first phase, which is 12 days. There are about 20 foods I can eat and I am eating no processed foods. I’m pretty amazed with how well I’m doing and how quickly I’ve been able to give up so many of the foods I like to eat. It was a really good thing that I cut gluten about three months ago. That way, I didn’t have to cut so much all at once.
We grow up in a society where eating is multipurpose. Food is social, food is celebratory, food is reward. Really, food should have one purpose – to sustain life. I’m starting to learn this more and more. I’m confident that I will be able to stick with this new way of eating and I’m blessed to have the support of my husband and so many other close friends and family. I’m determined to feel better, have more energy, and again, reach that ultimate goal. This will work. This has to work.