When my husband and I began to think about having a baby, I stopped taking birth control pills and began charting my cycle. Soon into charting, I recognized a problem: I wasn't ovulating or having a period. We went through about six months of testing different hormone levels in my body, using progesterone to induce a period, and ultrasounds to finally determine I have the endocrine disorder PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I thankfully don't have many symptoms of PCOS; in fact, the only symptoms I have are cysts on the ovaries and an abnormal ratio of lutenizing hormone (LH) to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). (In some European countries if a woman doesn't have these two symptoms plus insulin resistance, PCOS is not officially diagnosed. But in the US, the diagnosis is given when one has 2 of the 3.)
With this diagnosis, the doctor gave me the option to take Clomid, which would cause my body to ovulate (and thus allow me to get pregnant). But instead, I decided to take a holistic approach.
Starting February 1, 2011 I: stopped drinking alcohol, stopped consuming caffeine, gave up refined sugar, gave up dairy, and ate gluten on a limited basis. I also began seeing an acupuncturist once a week and took herbs prescribed by her. Within a month, my body was cycling normally. We went through a couple cycles to make sure everything was working fine before we tried to get pregnant. We got pregnant our second month of trying.
In no way do I claim to be an expert on PCOS. All I know is what worked for me. And even though it was hard work, I encourage anyone struggling with this to read everything you can get your hands on about the disorder and maybe, if it's the right choice for you, try a natural approach.
I had a wonderful pregnancy with little-to-no complications. I had about a month of debilitating tailbone pain that I believe, in retrospect, was related to the deep hip openings we did in my prenatal yoga class. But once I stopped yoga, my back was back to normal. Other than that, I experienced normal aches and pains of pregnancy, but nothing major.
I documented my whole pregnancy on the blog:
The day we found out
Bates was born on his due date, February 26, 2012. We didn't know the sex, so our baby boy was a wonderful surprise.
I decided early into my pregnancy to have a natural childbirth if possible.
Decision to go natural
My wonderful birth story
Other Pregnancy Posts
What I'll Miss About Being Pregnant
Baby Shower #1
Baby Shower #2
Baby Shower #3
Eating While Pregnant