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autoimmune paleo

Infertility

Autoimmune Paleo: Our First Three Months in Review

March 23, 2016

Some of you may remember us mentioning that in 2016 we are going Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) in hopes of addressing possible underlying infertility issues.

Well, we’re nearly twelve weeks into the diet and wanted to share with y’all how it’s going.

Of course on the first day, we had a dinner guest, so it really put the pressure on. Making all new recipes to try out on guests? Not my typical style but it’s how the cookie crumbled.

That evening we served Bacon Wrapped Asparagus as an appetizer, Steak, Sweet Potato Fries, and Roasted Brussel Sprouts for dinner, and Apple Pie as dessert.

Yup, it was a very safe AIP meal to serve but I didn’t think serving our guest a hearty helping of Liver Pate, roasted turnips, and cauliflower rice was the right thing to do.

applie pie

And yes, the pie was de-lish, topped off with coconut whipped cream For a grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, everything-free pie, it hit the spot but let’s not act like it was the real deal since it wasn’t. Very close though!

Since that time, I have basically lived in my kitchen.

We can’t eat anything processed so every. single. meal. is made at home. I’ve undoubtedly cooked more in the last few months than in all our years of marriage…which wasn’t that hard to beat since I’ve never loved cooking. It’s growing on me though and becoming quite therapeutic.

I’ve found a few favorites that I basically make weekly. Chicken and Acorn Squash Soup, Carrot and Sweet Potato Chilli, Cherry Pie Bars, Carob Cupcakes, and Bacon are my go-to foods and for good reason.

pie bar

It’s become obvious that I’m bacon-ing and sweet potato-ing my way through life while in fact I am actually supposed to be vegetable-ing instead. EEP! But this next month I am making a more concentrated effort to focus in on the veggies and get my 8-12 cups per day.

I haven’t noticed too many drastic changes yet which is slightly disappointing when other seem to have a night and day difference immediately. I’ve seen subtle changes in my energy levels and my 15-year-long constipation battle has completely resolved…which is a VERY welcome change. I got my hormones re-tested and they’re still trash…but I am holding out hope that as my body heals, those will respond in time.

Hats off to Jonathan, Mr. Supportive Husband of the Year for doing this diet with me although he has no reason to health-wise. He’s begun the re-introduction phase of the diet  and is more or less back to a normal diet with no difficulty.

I on the other hand? One day I was brave and tried an egg…and ended up almost vomiting and passing out immediately after eating it. Then I had a raging headache for a day. So not ready to reintroduce eggs apparently. Another day I ate homemade popcorn and my thyroid was swollen and throbbing for 48 hours straight and I became an insomniac. No corn either I guess. AGH! I am coming to grips that this will take some time and as I heal, I will likely tolerate these foods I am reacting to but not right now.

The plan is to give it several more months and then see what my hormones and thyroid levels are doing and then I will likely begin reintroducing food once again.

Anyone else doing this diet? If so, send your fave recipes my direction! 🙂

Adoption, Infertility, Marriage

How We Plan to Be Open to Life in 2016

December 22, 2015

Some of you may find this post odd.

You would never even think of telling others when you and your spouse are thinking about trying for a baby or your openness to life at whatever phase you’re in.

But we’re open books here at True Good and Beautiful and for better or worse it seems like God keeps calling us to high levels of transparency with the world.

Our infertility battles and adoption journey have been available for you to follow along with since early in our marriage, so in keeping with the theme, we want to describe how we are hoping to be open to life in the New Year:

The Bio Way

Gotta leave room for a miracle, right? 🙂

My one known BIG KAHUNA infertility issue is Luetenized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome (LUFS). No doctors can tell me what causes it or how to resolve it. Some guesses are that the pre-ovulatory hormones are wonky or adhesions are getting in the way of ovulation, since post-ovulatory hormones look normal.

So I am going to make some SERIOUS lifestyle changes in hopes of improving hormones and overall fertility:

  1. I plan to go on the Autoimmune Paleo Elimination Diet to find any hidden allergies that could be causing inflammation in my body. After a couple months on this protocol I will get a hormone blood panel and thyroid workup to see if the diet led to improvements.
  2. I also plan to do acupuncture.
  3. And begin seeing a Chiropractor.
  4. The big treatment we are deciding on is either Clear Passage Therapy or Naprotechnology Surgery. Clear Passage Therapy is essentially abdominal Physical Therapy to break up adhesions and scar tissue getting in the way of my fertility. It’s 20 hours spread out over a five day window and I’ve heard it hurts. A LOT! The cost is $5,500 out of pocket and insurance does not cover it. Surgery (my 4th and 5th) would be to remove adhesions (while likely creating some new ones in the process), endometriosis, and any other abnormalities like uterine polyps. They would place Gortex on my organs during the first surgery then remove it 10 days later to reduce adhesion formation. Insurance would cover a portion of that but it’s also got about a $5,000 out-of-pocket price tag for uncovered techniques PLUS recovery time of six weeks.

The Adoption Route

I know miracles happen, but I have more or less accepted we won’t be conceiving any babies and I have made complete peace with that likelihood. We’re totally fine building our family through the gift of adoption. We LOVE adoption and are honored we’ve been blessed with the desire for it. It’s changed our lives and made us better people and will continue to over the years.

So how do we plan to pursue adoption again in the New Year?

  1. Renewing our Home Study with our adoption agency. Now we’ve been through it, I am sure we won’t be so overwhelmed but this is the low point in any adoption. Paperwork just sucks. Having our lives probed and analyzed  and obtaining fingerprints and background checks is also annoying but we’ve got nothing to hide so we’ll pass with flying colors again. Trying to get it all done with a baby turning into a toddler will surely have its challenges.
  2. Traditional Adoption with hopes of making a private connection again would be our hopes due to financial reasons. Meeting a birth family in Colorado specifically would make things much more cost-friendly but we’d be open to out-of-state again and paying double the fees. Significant fundraising efforts would be needed again, as we’ve had a LOT of vehicle related issues this Fall that wiped our savings ear-marked for adoption. Ugh.
  3. Embryo Adoption is also something we are looking into and if I am being honest, it’s currently where we are feeling drawn. Now, many of you likely haven’t heard about this option since it’s relatively new. Some of you also might be confusing it with IVF therapy but I assure you it’s very different. The Catholic Church hasn’t made any statements one way or the other, and as such, for the time being it’s something couples are free to discern and pursue if they feel called to it. To sum it up, we would adopt our children 9 months earlier than typical and I would have the opportunity to carry and give birth to them. Amazing!!! 🙂 If we go down this route, you will hear a whole lot more about our research and discernment.

There you have it.

The New Year holds a LOT of diet and lifestyle changes for me. I go back and forth between being excited and terrified about going Autoimmune Paleo but I need to figure my whole digestive and immune system issues out; I know there is something wacky and it’s just time to get to the bottom of it all.

No matter what route we choose, it’s going to cost significant amounts of money and I admit, sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow. I am thankful we have financial freedom through being debt-free that we have the ability to cash flow and save for some of the treatments. We said “no” to a lot in 2015 so we could say “yes” to these treatments in 2016. I am also super thankful that others are crazy wicked generous towards us by supporting our work with FOCUS and in our adoptive journey to Miss Josephine Rose…and would likely stand beside us in fundraising for a second adoption.

At the end of the day God will provide. When I remember that truth, all my bitterness fades away. He’s taking us on a wild journey, and I just simply need to sit back and let him act. The more I try and control the worse off we are. God will grow our family however he sees fit and that is all there is to it. I just need to repeat that like a mantra all. day. long. until it sticks!