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Here is Kate’s story of how she advocated for her health and infertility struggles. She also writes a blog Busted Plumbing that you should take a look at. If you like her story be sure to leave a comment below to help her win the $250 AMEX card!
When my husband and I first started trying to get pregnant almost seven years ago, I never dreamed we’d run into any road bumps along the way. When my period disappeared after stopping birth control, I thought “this is it!” Yet all pregnancy tests came back negative, and my cycle never returned. After eight months, I finally went in to see the doctor to figure out what was going on. An ultrasound revealed dozens of cysts in my ovaries, and I was sent home with nothing more than a question mark looming over my head. A phone call from the nurse with the results of the ultrasound left me even more perplexed… she told me I have something called “polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS”. No further explanation, no request to come back in and review what this diagnosis meant or how I could manage this disease. Just a prescription was given to re-start my period.
In the absence of information from my doctor, of course in today’s world of modern technology I turned to “Dr. Google”. If I had the problem of too little information from my OB/GYN, then it was the opposite problem with the internet… way too much information! My head was swimming with statistics and gloom-and-doom stories of infertility. Not only was I devastated that we were having trouble conceiving, but now that my health could be facing serious risks. I knew I had to take a proactive role in making positive changes to my health!
I began by finding a new doctor… one who would take the time to explain my PCOS diagnosis, what it meant for fertility and my overall health, and how I could manage it better. I also researched reputable internet sources, ones that utilized modern scientific findings and not just “scare statistics”. This information helped me formulate an action plan through a combination of changes in diet and exercise, traditional “western” medicine, and alternative techniques like guided meditation (Circle+Bloom!), acupuncture, and herbs. I experienced heartache along the way–like finally being able to get pregnant but then experiencing miscarriage after miscarriage (at least five over three years). Through some experimentation, I found a combination that felt right to me and my body… and I learned that achieving a healthy body isn’t through some “one size fits all” program.
Perhaps the most critical component to becoming my own advocate was finding a community. Meeting other women like me, who had a PCOS diagnosis, and were also actively seeking solutions too helped me to learn from other’s successes and failures. Twitter, message boards, and blogging were all instrumental in making these connections–plus it helped me to help others become advocates for themselves, too! I hope to convey to others it isn’t just about body, it’s about mind too… and while “just relax” doesn’t help anyone, changes in your head and heart can help make physical changes a reality too… this is a big reason I’m such a big advocate for the Circle+Bloom system! Also, being able to find humor in situation helps to lighten a heavy heart. I began writing my blog “Busted Plumbing” during some of my darkest days, and somehow found the strength to laugh in the face of infertility and loss.
Fortunately, my story has a happy ending. All my efforts to manage my illness finally resulted in a healthy, full-term pregnancy… and son in December of last year! If I had just shrugged my shoulders after leaving that first doctor’s office and resigned myself to that diagnosis, I might never have had my son. I’m so happy I chose to take an active role in my health, and I hope now that I may inspire others to do the same!