Thursday, 8 December 2011

Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)

Another wonderful pregnancy symptom that sneaks up on you. I started having mild SPD when I was about 5 months. It sort of came and went - nothing I couldn't cope with. There were good days and bad days and it was especially bad when I'd been out walking. I still wanted to get in some form of exercise even though I knew I'd pay the price come night time. Plus everyone seems to ask me whenever they see me or call if I'm 'walking enough' or more subtly, if I was 'moving around'. Kinda scared me into doing it so I don't bite my lower lip with regret when I'm in labour.

Lately it's gone from bad to worse though. I'm in excruciating pain especially when I lay down to sleep at night. Oh boy! You'd think I should be excited about getting in as much sleep as I can, while I can, but going to bed at night is not something I look forward to. Turning over is a nightmare. Getting up to pee as often as I do is unspeakable torture. My legs seem to give way from my pelvic joint, it feels like they're not connecting... I've even asked Dh to move them unto the floor for me but that didn't reduce the pain. It only helped in the sense that he was doing it and I wasn't inflicting it on myself.

After getting up I have to waddle/limp to the bathroom to do my business. Then I have to settle back into bed moaning, groaning and biting my lower lip.

I notice when I take my walks a day before, the pain lingers through the day nowadays. I'm almost bed bound. It's hard going up and down the stairs too. I only go down when I absolutely have to.

This SPD thing has me so drained I don't have any energy to sew. I was able to make two changing pads and a few flannels, other than that I haven't been able to do much else. Plus the cold isn't helping. Its frustrating having to lie in bed all day watching movies and browsing (Oh the horror!).

Tomorrow I'm going to have to force myself to go shopping for my hospital bag. Just the bare essentials. Not gonna break my neck buying stuff I might not need. Don't even have the strength to begin with. I'll just breeze in and breeze out. I need to have the comfort of knowing that if anything happens from now on, at least, I'll be prepared. Plus I don't really see Dh doing the hospital bag shopping. He'll be bewildered at the mere mention of breast pads. Men suck at things like that. As for the other things I'll need, I'll most likely order them online and have him pick them up in-store. Lets just hope my darn pelvis cooperates.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Start Your Day With Water and Lemon

(NaturalNews) Clean water and fresh squeezed lemon is one of the most well tested energy boosters around. Most people in America rely on caffeinated beverages like coffee to get aroused in the morning. These adrenal stimulants produce dirty energy in the form of blood sugar swings and oxidative stress. Water with lemon produces clean energy by hydrating and oxygenating the body to extraordinary energy and mental clarity.

After sleeping through the night the bodily tissues are dehydrated and need clean, pure water to filter out toxins and improve energy production in the cells. Most individuals turn to stimulants like coffee in the morning to give them a jump start. Unfortunately, coffee is a diuretic that depletes your body of water reserves and essential minerals and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium & magnesium.

People feel energized by coffee due to the effects of caffeine on the adrenal glands. Coffee stimulates these organs to pump out instant energy hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones stimulate the body to breakdown stored sugar and release it into the bloodstream. This process causes abnormal blood sugar that increases oxidative stress, free radical formation and overall tissue damage.

This is called dirty energy because it produces a rampant amount of damage to the body in order to activate energy formation. Clean energy produces cellular energy without an excessive load of oxidative stress.

Food as Bioelectrical Energy

The food and beverages we eat provide electrically charged molecules that initiate energy production in our body. An ion is part of a molecule that carries an electrical charge. Positively charged ions are called "cations," while negatively charged ions are called "anions."

Most of the food we put into our bodies comes in a cationic form, while our natural digestive processes (hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, saliva) are anionic. Lemon is one of the only anionic foods on the planet. This means that it carries a very strong negative charge and is extremely electrically active.

Fresh lemon helps oxygenate the body and maximizes enzyme function. Lemon is known to stimulate the liver's natural enzymes. This assists the liver in the process of dumping toxins like uric acid and of liquefying congested bile ducts.

Citric Acid Cleanses the System

Citric acid can also play a very important role in chelating out abnormal calcium stones. It has a unique ability to form soluble complexes with calcium that many have used to eliminate pancreatic stones and kidney stones. This mechanism can also help prevent calcium deposits from building up in the arteries that promote cardiovascular disease.

Clean water with lemon provides the body with hydration, anti-oxidants and electrolytes. Lemon is a rich source of the immune boosting vitamin C. It also has good quantities of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Lemon is a tremendous source of citrus bioflavonoid anti-oxidant phytonutrients that have been given the label Vitamin P.

Vitamin P consists of the flavonoid glycosides hesperetin and naringenin among others. Studies have shown that vitamin P enhances the anti-oxidant capability of vitamin C. These bioflavonoids also improve capillary permeability and overall blood flow. This is especially important for oxygenating tissues and maintaining normal blood pressure. These anti-oxidants have also been shown to reduce swelling, venous backup and edema.

Upon rising take 1 full lemon and squeeze it into 16-32 oz of fresh clean water and drink. Be sure to eat out the membranous parts of the lemon where the majority of the pectin fiber and citrus bioflavonoids are located. Stevia can be added to form sugar-free lemonade. Apple cider vinegar and various herbs can be used to boost enzymatic and anti-oxidant potential.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Natural Labour VS Tooth Extraction

In the wake of the recent pronouncements to allow women have elective cesarean sections without any underlying medical need as well as the studies recently released by Oxford university that claim first time mothers that chose home births are twice as likely to suffer complications than those that have their babies in the hospital, there has been a lot of debate about natural childbirth vs medicated/cesarean births.

Of particular interest to me is the recurring comparison between un-medicated vaginal birth and a tooth extraction. I've seen it on numerous websites as well as heard it bandied around in discussions. People saying, 'Oh, you wouldn't have a tooth extraction without any pain relief, so why go through childbirth/labour without pain relief'. For crying out loud! The comparison equates both pains as being unnatural and to be avoided at all cost. Whereas childbirth is completely natural, a damaged or decaying tooth is in no way a 'normal' part of human existence.

The human body is actually built to grow a little human being and bring it out into the world. Without learning or training, your body knows exactly what to do.

I am personally not anti-pain relief. I'm hoping to get high on gas and air for my labour, but I still choose a natural labour regardless (if all goes according to plan) and I have no issues with women that have other ideas about how they want to labour and give birth. If you want to have a drugged up labour that makes you completely numb to whats going on, or you want to have a c-section because you can't cope with labour pains, go ahead and do it. But please, stop berating women that choose to go through the motions as nature intended as though they are masochists.

End of rant!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA improve insulin resistance and boost cardiovascular health

(NaturalNews) Compelling evidence now exists to demonstrate that heart disease is largely caused by the proliferation of increased levels of small, dense LDL cholesterol particles that have become oxidized in the blood and of abnormalities relating to insulin resistance. Both factors combine to deal a potentially deadly punch to the vascular system, leading to metabolic stress, diabetes and increased risk for a heart attack. Published studies appearing in the journals Nutrition Review and Biological Psychology detail the impact of nutritional intervention with the long-chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA to improve insulin signaling and lower heart disease risk. A balanced diet including fatty fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil or fish oil supplementation are shown to significantly improve biological markers associated with diabetes and cardiovascular pathogenesis.

Many people discount the effect of mental stress on physical health and cardiovascular disease in particular. Overt demands on the nervous system that result from unresolved stress result in excessive demands on the circulatory system, reduced blood flow to cells and increased levels of damaging inflammation. Combined with a diet favoring poor balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, the stage is set for a dangerous deterioration of the cardiovascular system.

Omega-3 Fats Lower Risk for Heart Disease in Women by 38 Percent

Researchers examined 3277 Danish men and women over a period of 23 years to determine the effect of long-chain omega-3 fats on cardiac health. Scientists found that 471 cases of ischemic heart disease (IHD) occurred during the study period. A detailed analysis of the results showed that those participants with the highest intake of EPA and DHA omega-3 fats (1.4 total grams of EPA/DHA per day) experienced the highest risk reduction for IHD. The study authors noted that omega-3 fat intake: "was especially clear for women, who had a statistically significant 38 percent risk reduction for heart disease. Men also showed a benefiting trend of 26 percent risk reduction."

Further evidence demonstrating the importance of omega-3 fats for optimal human health is published in the journal Nutrition Review. Adiponectin is a potent hormone secreted by white adipose tissue that regulates insulin function and reduces inflammation in your circulatory system. As central abdominal fat increases, adiponectin levels go down, increasing the risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Researchers found that omega-3 fats from diet or supplementation, combined with dietary fiber and exercise, increased adiponectin levels up to 60%, dramatically lowering the risk from inflammatory disease and metabolic syndrome.

An extensive body of research continues to mount showing the importance of omega-3 fats as a cornerstone for disease prevention and ideal health. Stress is a part of everyday life that directly impacts disease development and progression on the cellular level. Research confirms that a healthy diet favoring omega-3 fat sources or distilled fish oil supplements (1.2 to 1.4 grams EPA/DHA per day) can negate the effect of stressors that cause inflammation, metabolic dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

PCOS and Breastfeeding

"There are several different ways that PCOS could potentially interfere with lactation. Breast development largely occurs during puberty and pregnancy as the result of estrogen, progesterone, and during pregnancy, prolactin. Estrogen mediates ductal growth, while progesterone mediates alveolar growth. It is well known that many if not all PCOS women are deficient in progesterone; depending upon the onset of PCOS, there is a hypothetical potential for disruption of alveolar growth during adolescence, not to mention during pregnancy. A recent case study in the Journal of Human Lactation noted a mother who was diagnosed with lactation failure due to insufficient mammary tissue who developed more breast tissue with her second successful pregnancy after treatment of secondary infertility with pre- and post-conception progesterone therapy; she went on to produce a full supply of milk. This case seems to lend credence to the progesterone deficiency theory.

In addition to the progesterone contribution to breast development, there are also the hormones estrogen and prolactin. While estrogen levels can be high in the peripheral tissues of some PCOS women, it has also been noted that androgens, which are generally high with PCOS, can down-regulate both estrogen and prolactin receptors. In essence, a woman could produce enough hormones but not have enough receptors to utilize them, thus limiting their influence upon breast tissue.

Another level of potential disruption lies in the lactation process itself. It is believed that the drop in progesterone at parturition serves to initiate production of mature milk. As this occurs, a process takes over which is driven by two major hormones, prolactin (affects production) and oxytocin (affects delivery). Prolactin receptors begin to develop during pregnancy, and then continue to multiply during the early postpartum period in proportion to the frequency of nipple stimulation. If receptor development was inhibited, the effectiveness of the circulating hormone would be diminished, thus limiting milk production.

Estrogen is a known inhibitor of milk production, especially in the early postpartum period. If the receptors are not down-regulated and the circulating estrogen levels are high, this too could potentially disrupt lactation.

Insulin also plays a vital, though less well-known, role in milk production. Women with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus will not make enough milk. Given this fact, what might be the effect of insulin resistance, which appears to be a significant factor in PCOS, upon lactation? The breast is a sensitive target organ for insulin; if insulin cannot be taken in quickly and efficiently enough, this too could hypothetically cause lactation problems."

Read full interview here:


It never ends, does it? You overcome one challenge and there's another one possibly lurking around the corner


Aluta continua!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Quick Update

Got a call from the Birthing Center today confirming my 36week appointment to determine if I'll be suitable to give birth there. Fingers crossed it happens for me. I'm not really keen on a hospital birth, my mind doesn't even want to go there; although I'm yet to visit the labour ward. I'll psyche myself up to do so next week.

Haven't started antenatal classes. Waiting for Dh to get back so we can go together. I don't want him freaking out on me during labour. He's a tough, manly man, but when it comes to me being in pain he can't take it. I don't know how he'll react. Which is why I don't want a hospital birth. He'll most likely be the ones to bully them into giving me an epidural just to seem me in less pain. I don't trust him to uphold my no meds Birth Plan.

Speaking of a Birth Plan, I don't have one. I mean, I know what I want and what I don't want but I haven't put it down in writing yet.

Haven't done any baby shopping whatsoever. Mainly and only because I hate shopping. What does Bob the sprout need anyway? Diapers and a bunch of little shit here and there... I'm putting it off till the last minute. Waiting for the Christmas sales to roll around. Early this year I did some shopping for my SIL who was due in February. Unfortunately she didn't let me know before the sales otherwise she would have had a mad deal. By the time I got to the shops most items had been cleared out and the ones remaining were very slim pickings. I'm determined not to make the same mistake. At the same time I'll be really pushing it, I'll be about 37 weeks by then and ready to pop.

As for Bob, he's sleeping right now. In my last ultrasound he was lying head down and has been so since about week 14. Lately however, he's been flipping between head down and transverse. I feel him turning around a lot. He's been very active too. I get the super kicks and wobbly belly effect from his activities. When he does that I could watch my belly for hours. I often wonder where he gets the energy from.

Source: Adam

One minute he is kicking me in the ribs. Next minute there's a hard lump on my left side and he's kicking me on the right side of my tummy. The hard lump is his head, and when I rub it he kicks me.... so cute! He really doesn't like it when I lie on my right side. He literally kicks and scratches in what can only be described as someone standing in front of a door, while kicking and knocking real hard. Once I change positions, he stops.

He's been a good baby, mashaAllah. I haven't had heart burn or constipation. My fatigue is getting better with the iron supplements and after sitting in the sun yesterday I feel soo much more energized today. I feel a tad out of breath every now and then, but that's to be expected.

So far it's been a great pregnancy. I've been REALLY blessed and I'm grateful. For once my body is functioning the way it's supposed to. I was so glad to see that my BMI on my maternity notes was NORMAL. What I couldn't achieve before conceiving I did afterwards, thanks to Bob. Feels great not to be lectured about my weight or have to worry about complications.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Winter Flu Vaccine

Whenever September rolls around the NHS starts urging people to get their flu jab. Old people, pregnant women, people with conditions like heart problems, asthma and diabetes, etc,. I received my letter in the post last month. Before then I'd  asked the GP what her opinion was; she said that if one is healthy even in pregnancy, with no known complications, her own personal opinion is that it's unnecessary. 

Even before asking I'd already made up my mind that I wasn't going to subject myself to the vaccine. 

Today at the pharmacy, when I went to collect my iron tabs, the pharmacist was trying to 'guilt' me into getting the shot. He told me he had 20 pregnant women in his pharmacy a few days ago and was out of supply at the moment if not he would have given it to me. Fat chance of that! Why do they always assume everyone is game for everything they are offering? He made me sit down and read the leaflet about the safety and importance of the flu shot for pregnant women (as if I hadn't already done my own research, as if I would knowingly put my baby in danger). I sat down and read it out of politeness and then politely told him I'd think about it. 

I'm not getting the flu shot and that's that. I'm not too keen on the Vitamin K shots they give new born babies either. It's administered to babies here. Though optional, I haven't heard of it being done in other parts of the world where I know tonnes of people that have had babies there who've all turned out okay without it. 


Thursday, 3 November 2011

How To Reduce Risk of Miscarriage

If you're pregnant or intending to become pregnant, you may be concerned about having a successful pregnancy, since women with PCOS have poorer pregnancy outcomes than other women.
One thing you can do for a better outcome is carefully review your use of pharmaceutical drugs while pregnant.
A Canadian study has revealed that women who take either antidepressants or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) while pregnant have a significantly higher rate of miscarriage.
Women taking an antidepressant while pregnant had up to twice the abortion rate of those who did not take antidepressants. Paroxetine, venlafaxine or the combined use of different classes of antidepressants were the most risky.
Women taking NSAIDs during the early stages of pregnancy had 2.4 times the risk of miscarriage compared to women who did not take NSAIDs.
Individual drugs have different risks. Diclofenac tripled the risk; naproxen (Aleve) had a 2.6-times increased risk, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) doubled the risk. Combinations of drugs were associated with a 2.6-times increased risk.
We all have little aches and pains at times. This is usually caused by inflammation. You can actually reduce chronic inflammation by improving your diet. There are also many natural herbs, antioxidants and other natural products you can take as well. None of these have the side effects that NSAIDs have.
As soon as you become pregnant, please consult with your doctor about the benefits and risks of every pharmaceutical drug you take.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

My Ideal Birth

Every expectant mother has an idea of how she wants her birth to go. In preparation for natural birth, which is what I'm really hoping and praying for, I've been learning to embrace pain. Rather than tensing up when I feel pain, I'm learning to relax my whole body and embrace it's temporal nature.

I believe in the 'women have been doing it naturally for centuries' school of though, and that no matter how bad it is, you'll always want to do it all over again once you're done. For me labour should not be a clinical experience, like having your tooth pulled out. It's a natural process one the female body has been created for. So I'm not preparing for the worst pain in my life but for the most enjoyable euphoric moment in my life. Through positive reinforcements I hope to manage the pain. I'm trying not to even think of it as pain, but as  discomfort.

I came across this video of a French woman giving birth. What struck me is how contrary it is to what we normally associate with child birth nowadays; woman screaming, people running helter-skelter around her. I know not every birth is the same and not every woman is the same, but still, I think her own experience epitomizes what I would like my ideal childbirth to be as far as a normal, uncomplicated birth is concerned. She's so relaxed through the entire process and the pure joy on her face when she holds baby in her arms is beyond words can describe.

Enjoy, if you are a sucker for babies being born....

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I made a maternity dress for myself yesterday which I wore to my hospital appointment today. Loved it! Just a simple jersey jumper dress with a sash on the empire line that accentuated my bump in a really cute way that made people give up their seats for me on the train. Ha! I don't usually like what I make for myself, thank God the hormones have changed that for me. I could have happily strutted down a runway in it. The best part is it only took me a few hours to put together and in terms of materians alone cost me roughly £4. Considering how stupidly expensive maternity dresses are - I'm talking about a full length maxi dress here - I can't wait to make more of 'em. I just might put up some pictures of me wearing them (if the spirit moves me that is. I'm not making any concrete promises).

The doctor said everything was okay, except my iron levels for which she prescribed iron tablets. My Glucose Tolerance Test was last week. I lied about eating 12 hours prior to the blood test when in fact it was just 11 hours because my butt was already feeling numb and I didn't want to sit there for 3 agonizingly boring hours. Still turned out fine. Phew! No Metformin for me then. Alhamdulillah.

It seems for the first time my body is working the way it should. I haven't been over-indulging, but I certainly have been eating things that I had sworn off pre-Bob; things like cakes, juices, biscuits, crisps, white rice, potatoes, etc. Still I've been able to restrain myself. Even my weight gain is mostly on my tummy, for now anyway, which is also good. I was starting to get worried though I'm not obsessing over it.


I got my first real kick from Bob today. All the previous ones seem like practice kicks in comparison. I'm talking a proper kick here, akin to being punched in the gut. The kind of kick that made me go wtf! under my breath and briefly stop whatever I was doing. I got it just below the ribs, which is what I've been praying for so it's all good.

His head has been nuzzled in my bladder since week 14. Even before I started feeling the kicks, I could feel something digging into and bouncing off my bladder (if that makes any sense). He changed positions to sideways briefly but now he's back there again. I hope he stays that way till birth.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Manage PCOS Naturally

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome seems to be an increasing problem in Industrialized, Westernized countries with as many as 1 in 15 women in America suffering from this disease (some suggest it may be as high as 1 in 5). Many medical professionals view PCOS as a problem to be managed -- often by drugs alone -- at best. There is increasing evidence, however, that PCOS may be managed naturally, or even reversed.

PCOS is a condition of hormonal imbalance in which insulin resistance and high androgen levels are present, and it often includes other variations of hormone imbalance. The effects of these imbalances include reproductive, cardiovascular, and metabolic dysfunctions. Symptoms include male pattern hair growth (excess and darker hair on the face, abdomen, or chest), acne and irregular periods as well as ovarian cysts, high BMI`s, and perhaps most notably, subfertility (difficulty becoming pregnant). The severity of PCOS varies from woman to woman, as do the symptoms. It is possible to have PCOS without ovarian cysts, without overweight, and without fertility trouble. However, these are the most familiar complaints, and PCOS is often thought of primarily as a dysfunctioning of the reproductive system.

One of the best places to start when trying to control or reverse PCOS without pharmaceutical drugs is through dietary changes. Evidence is increasing that shows that a low-carbohydrate diet is essential for managing PCOS w
ell. Science backs up anecdotal evidence of practitioners. Those with absent cycles had their cycles return in just a couple months and in all PCOS patients signs of high androgen levels began to subside after the same time on the diet.

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed significant improvements in women with PCOS when they went on a carbohydrate restricted diet. All the women who completed the study saw significant improvements in weight reduction, waist circumference, body fat, insulin, total testosterone, and free androgens. 57% of the study participants also saw significant improvements in their menstrual cycle regularity. 

Another study published in the same journal showed similar positive results, detailing their study of protein versus glucose on women with PCOS. This study showed an immediate drop in cortisol and DHEA levels during a protein challenge and a spike in cortisol and DHEA levels during an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. DHEA is a precursor hormone and is often too high in those with PCOS, as is cortisol. They conclude that:

"Glucose ingestion caused significantly more hyperinsulinemia than did protein, and it stimulated cortisol and DHEA. Protein intake suppressed ghrelin significantly longer than did glucose, which suggested a prolonged satietogenic effect. These findings provide mechanistic support for increasing protein intake and restricting the simple sugar intake in a PCOS diet."

Detoxification is also helpful in those with PCOS, as toxins can adversely affect hormone production. The average American lifestyle no longer includes physical activity, which can impair natural detoxification pathways such as sweating and regular bowel movements. Talk with a qualified health-care practitioner about your options.

Weight-loss is also key, and studies have shown that women with PCOS with overweight who lose just 5% of their body fat can improve their cycles and ovulation.

Other aids that should be considered include getting sufficient sleep (In one study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers found that insulin sensitivity decreased in subjects by 19%-25% after only one night of poor sleep) and taking supplements B-12, B6, folic acid, fish-oil, vitamin D, cinnamon, and anti-androgens, such as saw palmetto and spearmint tea.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What Does PCOS Mean?


Someone recently asked us, "what does PCOS mean"?

PCOS is short for "polycystic ovary syndrome" or
"polycystic ovarian syndrome".  A "syndrome" is a pattern of
symptoms that frequently appear together.  It's not a specific
disease such as cervical cancer.

We have identified at least 30 different signs and symptoms
that may indicate you have PCOS.  You may have only a
few symptoms, or more than a dozen of them.

You can see a list of PCOS symptoms here:

The most common is "polycystic ovaries", which means an
excessive number of underdeveloped follicles on your
ovaries.  However, you can have polycystic ovaries but not
have PCOS.

The most distressing aspects of PCOS are inability to
ovulate and become pregnant, w e i g h t gain, h a i r  loss,
unwanted facial and body hair growth, and acne.

But PCOS has quite a number of serious consequences that
are not always so obvious, including liver disease,
hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, appetite disorders, depression
and anxiety, high blood fats and blood pressure, and
impaired lung function.

There are also longer-term consequences of PCOS that you
will definitely want to prevent.  The most prominent ones are
a much increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease
and some cancers.  A less prominent one is possible brain

Perhaps you're hoping that when you reach menopause,
your symptoms will simply go away forever.  Your
symptoms may change, but the underlying health
consequences of PCOS do not suddenly vanish when you
reach menopause.  Studies have shown that they persist
beyond menopause.

So what does PCOS mean?
Your challenge is that PCOS is a systemic, complex
disorder that needs to be actively managed by you for the
rest of your life.  It is not the type of disorder that can be
effectively controlled in the long run by short-term measures
such as taking birth control pills.

You need to go to a deeper level and develop certain health
practices that will help your body to naturally minimize the
symptoms and long- term risks of polycystic ovary

If you don't get to work on improving your health practices
today, you may pay a heavy price later on.

You don't need to let PCOS ruin your life.  You can take
action to build and protect your health.  You can still live the
life of your dreams, but it will take some dedicated work.

A good place to start is by reading The Natural Diet Solution
for PCOS and Infertility e- book, which describes health
practices designed specifically to help you get the upper


Monday, 17 October 2011

Sewing for Bob

Sorry if this blog is more about impending childbirth than the trials and tribulations of PCOS. I know reading all this is extremely un-interesting when you're not in the pregnancy phase yet. In the past I've unsubsribed from a few PCOS blogs after the Cysters got pregnant and were gushing on about it. I was happy for them and all but it was supremely boring to me. I'll try and put up PCOS stuff from time to time, when I come across something interesting, otherwise yakking on about pregnancy is just how the cookie is crumbling at the moment.


Being a seamstress/designer can come in pretty handy when you're having a baby as I've come to learn. Sure there are some things you can buy cheaply that aren't worth spending hours working on like onesies and such (unless you want to customize it specifically for your baby or recycle some old stuff rather than chucking them away). But at the end of the day it's a labour of love. You're not making it because you can't afford to buy it, but because you are making it for your own little one. On the other hand, there are some things that are not really worth buying especially if you can make your own. Like nursing and maternity clothes, for instance, which you only wear for a few months. It's easier to knock something up in a few hours or nip and tuck your old clothes, saving a fortune.

Being a generally hands on, self-sufficient person - if not that we live in the city I'd be growing our food, raising our livestock and spinning our yarn, lol - I prefer to make things rather than buy. When it comes to DIY around the house, I'm the one that fixes things up while Dh, the total opposite to me, just stands there looking befuddled. I can easily change fuses, light bulbs, and knock things around without breaking a sweat. Heck it was even me that set up our digital TV when we decided to stop paying for cable. It's odd that he is a computer techie but totally useless with little things around the house.

On a side rant, he really annoys me when he wastes half a bottle of washing up liquid whenever he does the dishes. I stand there leering at him as he pours it on the sponge and proceeds to wash dirty dishes under a running tap. I tried rationing but that didn't work. Now, I'm not known to be a nag, but I've had to do it to get him to realize the folly of his ways; wasting washing up liquid (money) and wasting water (money). Thankfully he is well adjusted now.

As I was saying, when it comes to Bob, birthing and nursing, there are a few things I figure I could knock up that would save us some cash. Doing my research on what I'll be needing vis-a-vis what can be made and what can be bought has saved me rushing out to scratch the proverbial shopping itch (not that I have any these days). When I do get an itch to shop it's more for fabrics than anything else. I'm a fabric whore!

So, I've made a list. I already have the materials for making most of them lying around. My hope is to cross out each item in the coming weeks.I'll mostly be using modified patterns from free online tutorials. There's so much one can do if one had the time and the skills. I may add a few more things if the need arises.

For Bob:

- Diaper bag
- Diaper changing mat
- Burp cloths
- Nursing covers
- Blanket
- Towel
- Diaper roll

For Me:

- 2 Front opening night dresses for labour (I'm eyeing a bed sheet for this)
- Nursing pads (loads of pure linen pieces lying around)
- Dressing gown (with a hood)
- Winter maternity/nursing dresses

For now it's just basic baby stuff. I think making clothes for Bob will be better appreciated when he's much bigger.

I'm so excited, I just need to get one final order out of the way for a client over the next couple of days then I can stop sewing for other people and focus on me and Bob for the next coming weeks. Yey!


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Getting There Slowly

Today we had a tour of the Birth Center. It was fantastic! So calm and homely; almost like a hotel room except with an imposing white bath in a corner of the room. It is en-suite with a double bed, TV, CD player, exercise ball and spacious balcony. Now that I think about the balcony, I'll be giving birth in the dead of winter so it won't be a great idea sauntering out there to walk off my contractions. Unlike a hospital you can have an unlimited amount of visitors at any time of the day. Also unlike the hospital where you get booted out the minute you're able to stand on your own two feet, you can check yourself out whenever you're ready to leave. You get a midwife to yourself. A WHOLE ONE. Not one midwife flitting between 9 different women in labour.

What's not to love about all that? Of course it's all predicated upon me being low risk or no risk. We'll find that out at 34 weeks.

The only snag in all this nicely flowing bits and pieces of my fantasy birth is we've just moved out of that council and it's a good 25 minutes drive away from where we currently are. Dh has traveled and he didn't want to leave me alone by myself because he wasn't sure how long he'd be gone for. Also we plan to move into a bigger place before Bob comes so he thought it would be a good idea to stay with his brother pending when he gets back and we find a suitable place.

I don't know how long I'll be here. I'm not sure if we'll be lucky enough get a new place in the same area so as to be able to use the services. As a result of that particular uncertainty I'm reluctant to discharge myself from there all together. Considering if I were to go ahead and have Bob there I won't be able to be visited by midwives while still living here because we will be outside their catchment area which then puts me and Bob in an awkward position. Arrrrgh! This is too much for one pregnant woman to digest right now...

We'll just have to see. In the meantime I will not to fall too much in love with the birth center and brace myself for a possible hospital birth just in case.

It won't be easy moving as I get closer to my due date, but I'd rather have it done and dusted before Bob arrives no matter how inconvenient it will be. I pray really hard that our prayers are answered, insha'Allah. There's nothing like bringing a baby home to its own home. And again being in your own home its easy to settle into a routine and to have things exactly the way you want it. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Don't Give Up!

It's hard when you have PCOS, you feel your body has turned against you. It's even harder when you're trying to conceive and everyone else around is getting pregnant. It's annoying when people say things like, 'your time will come', or 'relax, it will happen', over and over again. Aside from the infertility aspect of it, it's equally annoying when people look at you and think you're a glutton and wonder why you just can't lose the weight and be normal like everyone else. It is really hard for us, and not just the physical aspect of it, but the psychological aspect too; depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, etc.

Everyday is a battle; a battle with your body, and a battle against those that just don't understand and are all too eager to venture unsolicited opinions.

Whatever life throws our way, I personally believe that everything happens for a reason and God does not place a burden on us that's more than we can bear. God does not make mistakes. He gives us challenges so that we become stronger and seek a deeper meaning to our life.

Having PCOS has taught me not to take things for granted. It's taught me not to envy others for what comes easy to them; knowing full well that we all have our unique challenges in life. It's taught me not to let other peoples opinions of me get me down. Being diagnosed explained a lot of things, and helped me understand myself and my body. I know now that this body has been entrusted to me and I am responsible for it. It may not always do what I want, but must take care of it to the best of my abilities.

With PCOS you can either get philosophical about it, look at the positives and rise above it, or you can chose to let it drag you down and wallow in self-pity. I choose the former.

Overcoming Infertility.
Early this year I realized something; that it's possible I may never have children. No woman wants to be told this, no woman want's to hear it and no woman wishes it on herself, but the sad reality is that NOT ALL women will be able to have children; PCOS or no PCOS. It dawned on me that what if I was one of them. Why then should I be miserable, grumpy and angry at those that pop out baby after baby effortlessly? Why should I bow to society's closeted definition of what I ought to be? Why should I feel bad when people make stupid comments and why should I look away, slightly ashamed and deflated when others look at me with pity, as if I was lacking a major appendage, when they ask how many children I have?

I remember that day clearly. It was on a weekend and Dh had traveled. When this realization came to me I was overcome with grief. I grieved that day for the child (children) I may never have. I cried my eyes out as if I'd truly lost a child. For hours, I just cried. I let out all the anger, pain and frustration. Then I dried my eyes and for the first time I understood, and it finally sunk into my head that everything is by God's Will. I promised myself not to be miserable, to approach conceiving with a very level head and to do my best, and to accept whatever comes to me. After that I was able to be happy, genuinely happy, for others whenever I heard about their pregnancy or child birth.

It's a personal journey we all have to make. For me it wasn't the end of the world. And if it turned out that I couldn't have children despite everything and I was blessed financially, I would adopt orphans instead. That was my Plan B; to enrich the lives of others rather than wallowing in what I didn't get. I've always loved children. It breaks my heart to see them suffering through no fault of theirs.

I am thankful for all I have now, for Bob who we wanted and waited for but never saw coming, and I always pray for those that are trying to succeed in their quest for motherhood. May all you Cysters be blessed in your efforts; whether it's seeking a healthier life or trying to have a baby.

"May God grant us all the serenity to accept the things that we can't change, the ability to change what we can and the wisdom to know the difference."


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Times Two

It seems when you are with child everything is twice as hard. I've had a nasty cold/flu thing going on for the past week and oh boy, let me just say I've never felt this way before. This would be the second bout of cold since Bob came along. The first one was equally nasty. Normally I bounce back quickly from my colds. Because what I normally do is douse myself senseless with Night Nurse and let my body fight the battle. After a couple of days I'm back on my feet.

Obviously I can't drug myself, so I have no choice but to let it run it's evil cause. The first night it snuck up on me, which was on a Tuesday, I woke up with a throat that looked like a bunch of footballers had been running around them in their spiky boots. I rushed to the hospital only to be told off by the doctor. After waiting for over an hour, she said she only agreed to see me because I was pregnant, otherwise I can't just waltz into the hospital and expect to be seen; unless I'm bleeding, running very high temperature, suffocating or the baby is not moving. She then sent me on my way with paracetamol and advice to drink lots of warm tea with lemon and honey.

Every week we read stories in the papers about people who visited their GP's only to be told 'its nothing'.  Unfortunately it turns out to be something and next thing they're dead, like cancerous pain in the leg that is diagnosed as muscle pull. Or we hear about people dying from illnesses that could have been treated early because they were afraid to cause 'a fuss' by going to see their GP. Also I've been told by my pregnant friends that things like this are bound to happen. They've warned me not to be afraid to go to the hospital; that it's better to be told off and have peace of mind than to sit at home worrying to death and putting baby at risk. I completely agree. So didn't mind being told off by her one bit.

After all I'm not a hypochondriac. Truth is I felt really horrible that morning. My throat closed up and I couldn't even swallow water. I couldn't imagine making it through the rest of the day feeling that way.

That was last week. For the past few days I've been having bouts of coughs that end up with me doubled over in the bathroom throwing up. I'm sure I've consumed the equivalent of a truck of lemons, and still, I wonder when I'll start to feel normal again. I feel sorry for Bob, who kicks me when I cough hard. Plus when I sleep I'm off for about 9 hours, I just hope he's not starving because I don't even have an appetite. I'm frightened to death every time I wake up and don't feel him move. 

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Forgetting Labour

My major fear about pregnancy was not losing my figure, developing unsightly stretch marks, the eventual post breastfeeding saggy boobs or even the acne specking my skin. It's the labour, specifically the tearing that has got me trembling in my bones. I have a very short un-flexible perineum which tears from time to time whenever we do the deed after going for weeks without it. So I figured with a huge baby popping out it can't be too happy about taking all that pressure.

My fears were allayed today when the midwife said that for most first pregnancies tearing is very common, but massaging the area beforehand helps mitigate the extent. It was a relief when she said also that they prefer women to tear on their own than to issue episiotomies because self-tearing healed better and faster. They only perform an episiotomy if the baby is in danger and they have to deliver it quickly.

I've concluded that they don't call it labour for nothing. It's painful quite alright. At the same time the pain is not so great that a woman decided after that to never have a child again. Between my grandmother, mother, MIL and sister they have 24 children, all born naturally without medication and pain relief.

For a first time mother I'm fussy and worried to death not knowing what to expect. I'm equally aware that no amount of reading can prepare me for labour, natural though I want it to be. I can only cross the bridge when I get there. What I am discovering as I go along is that at that moment it will feel like the worst pain in the world, and I might scream for them to cut me open and pull the darn thing out, but once it's over, I have a strong feeling I'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. Even if I had 3rd degree tear (God forbid) and I was in pain for weeks and months, I'd still want to do it all over again half a year later.

Even now my early morning sickness feels like a distant memory. It doesn't feel as horrible as it was then. If you'd asked me then to rate my discomfort I'd give it 10 out of 10. Right now I'd probably give it 2 out of 10 because I can barely remember how bad it was.

I've stopped freaking out because nature has a way of taking care of these things. I just need to trust my body, train it as best as I can and leave it to do its job. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years, my aunts would pop one out and be back on their feet the following day with house chores, and Bob's your uncle!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

PCOS and Pregnancy

I thought I should touch briefly on how my PCOS and pregnancy have been getting along.

My acne is back full force. Not just on my back, chest and face, but it seems to be popping up on my tummy and thighs as well. I’ve always had acne, and it went away pre Bob, but it’s really bad around now, worse than when I was a teenager with hormones dribbling down my nostrils. At times like this I wish I were dark skinned. I can only hope after my hormones get back to normal the black spots will lighten up somewhat over time.

-I’ve become more hirsuite on my chin, chest and belly. I read that it’s normal for hair growth to increase due to the pregnancy hormones, but when your tummy looks like Chewbacca and you’re pulling hairs off your chin, you’re not exactly going to be high-fiving random strangers with glee.

-Weight gain was happening slowly and now seems to be speeding up on its own accord. I’m only now back at the weight I was pre Bob. I lost 8kg early on due to morning sickness and general lack of appetite. I still try to eat healthy as best as I can, but when I started getting headaches from eating low GI foods, I realized I needed to step up my carb in take. The one thing I’m happy about is I’ve been able to tolerate my morning oats. That’s really helped with constipation and putting some food in my belly when I couldn’t stand much else.

-My glucose tolerance test to detect gestational diabetes is going to take place next month. That determines whether or not I get put back on Met. Fingers crossed.


Midwife appointment is next week Thursday. Loads of stuff to discuss, particularly my extremely short to non-existent perineum that’s been giving me sleepless nights. I’ve been having nightmares about tears, fistulas and every horrible thing that could go wrong during labour. Considering I want a completely natural childbirth I want this particular issue cleared up before I’m cowered into an epidural.

Antenatal classes also start next week. Yey!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

So Sad

The sister of Dh’s childhood friend committed suicide recently, sparking numerous discussions on and off line. Generally people don’t think a young girl of 25 that comes from a wealthy home, had a very good job, was highly educated, beautiful and intelligent should take her own life. That she had been depressed for a long time didn’t make her suicide come as any less of a surprise.

There’s something about depression in Nigeria that makes people not take it seriously. Because unlike other conditions its symptoms have no outward wounds or signs, you don’t break out in hives, your nose doesn’t turn purple neither do your ears fall off. A depressed person is trapped in a silent, vicious cycle of self-doubt, insignificance, helplessness and loneliness. There’s something eating away at their soul and shredding their insides to bits. Sometimes all it takes to pull them out of it is for an acknowledgement from another person that the pain they feel is real and they are not alone. The more people try to remedy them by ignoring it or expecting them to snap out of it without talking to them about it, the worse it gets. And it eventually builds up to a climax. Only a sufferer can understand the internal turmoil that leads to a person taking their own life.

There are many rumours about what triggered her suicidal tendencies; apparently she’d tried to kill herself last year. I don’t know which of these stories are true, and I don’t want to repeat them here for fear of slandering the dead but what strikes me is the glee with which her tragedy is being reported, in a ‘serves her right’ tone. As if people who are materially blessed can’t bruise too. As if suicide is a rich mans disease. Whatever her problems were, I’m sure with proper counselling and support she would have pulled through. Whatever mistakes she’d made, she needed to hear that it’s not the end of the world.

A lot of Nigerian parents maintain an emotional distance from their children. How many of them say the words ‘I love you’ to their children? It’s not just enough to put a roof over their head and food in their stomach; those are the very basic duty of parenthood. I know you can’t give what you don’t have, but parents should be more discerning of their childrens emotional needs. Some children need more hugs than others. Sometimes children go through situations where they need to be told that they are loved and appreciated and valued and should never think less of themselves no matter what life throws their way. If this poor girl really felt less of a human being, she didn’t need more money thrown at her to make her happy again.

I can’t imagine how her family feel. It’s heartbreaking when someone you love dies, more so when they take their own life. 

Monday, 18 July 2011


The scan went very well. Alhamdulillah!

Dh and I were very excited we got there 30minutes ahead of schedule but only waited about 5mins to be seen. It was so clear right away! I could see the huge smile on Dh's face when he saw his little Bob. Some women would have cried but I'm not one to cry in public, haha...

We got to see Bob's head, eye sockets, hands, feet, spine, stomach, strong heartbeat - he looked perfect chilling in there like nobody's business. Just like his mum who loves sleeping on her stomach he had his back to us the whole time. The sonographer tried to jiggle my tummy to get him to turn but he wasn't interested. He occasionally turned to the side but that was all the cooperation we were going to get out of him. As a result the sonographer couldn't get a clear view so his neck couldn't be measured to access our risk of Downs Syndrome. The blood test option which is the alternative to neck measurement is too early to carry out because I'm 14 weeks. So he told me to come back next week Monday (at 15weeks) for a blood test. I told Dh I might not go because knowing or not knowing will change nothing for us.

Bob's measurements showed that I am actually 2 days ahead. The gestational age is 14 weeks + 2 days, which would put my EDD at 14th January instead of 16th. But he said it doesn't matter since it's not a big difference and left it unchanged.

There are many woman who don't leave their first scan smiling, and for that we were very grateful. We didn't get any pictures or videos though. I rather wait to see my baby.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

First Scan

Tomorrow is our first scan! Actually it would have been our first if I didn't have the previous 3 scans earlier. I'm excited and scared shitless nonetheless. I just want everything to be okay, really.  It's too early to tell what kind of Bob it is.

The scan would have been the perfect birthday present if it didn't come a day late though. Yup, it's official, this is the last year I get to use the phrase 'in my late twenties'. Dh gave me a big suprise with tickets to the London Eye later today. Yey! He's the only person that buys me gifts on my birthday. I haven't bought a present for anyone since I left high school not even for my Dh. Where birthdays are concerned, I'm not at all sentimental. I don't celebrate them in the conventional sense of celebration. My idea of celebration is being alive to thank my Creator for all my years here on earth, for my parents and for all He's blessed me with (I know, I'm boring). And if I was invited to a birthday party I'd bake or cook something rather than buy gifts. If you want shit, go buy them yourself!

I'm so excited about our outing! I prefer spending time together instead of another bottle of perfume. We've both been paying lip service to visiting the sights in London. If he's not away with business, it's always been one thing or another that comes up. Now with a baby on the way and us being less likely to have time to be tourists he figured the sooner we get it over and done with, the better. And a good thing too. I love that guy. I've wanted to have his baby from the first time I laid eyes on him.


As far as my symptoms are concerned nausea and sickness had abated whats left is a nasty taste in my mouth after I eat. I'm still tired but not exhauseted. Appetite has definitely increased although I'm not putting on weight. Bbs pain has gone away significantly. It still aches some days more than others, so do my nips but they're more tolerable and I can enjoy sleeping face down again. I'm not technically 'showing' yet though I seem to be piling on fat around my stomach even though I'm not putting on weight overall which is strange and slightly worrysome. I'm hoping it's not PCOS flaring up on me. I haven't been exercising though I'm still maintaining my healthy eating as best as I can.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Hospital Birth VS Home Birth

Yesterday the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists made a recommendation for more women to have their babies at home instead of the hospital. There’s been a lot of furore from proponents and critics alike. The RCOBG claims that home births are safer, labour is easier for the mother and leads to less complications. However, the statistics, critics claim are skewered because while proponents claim that home births are safer those that don’t go well and end up in the hospital are classified as hospital births gone wrong rather than home births gone wrong.

I was listening to Julia Hartley-Brewer on LBC yesterday and she was vehemently against home births. She had some valid points worth consideration, mainly that:

- Birthing should not be about ‘the experience’ but about getting the baby out as safely as possible while keeping mum as healthy as possible. For her it’s was a purely clinical procedure. She thinks its selfish of women to put their babies at risk giving birth at home knowing anything could go wrong at any moment and emergency medical intervention will not be immediately available. She herself had to have an emergency caesarean after baby’s heartbeat started declining. (She also admitted she was drugged to the teeth)

- A lot of fairy tales have step mothers precisely because childbirth was the single biggest killer of women since the early ages. A lot of these women died unnecessarily because something went wrong during home labour, likewise a lot of babies died when they could have been saved. She doesn’t see why women should shun the potentially life saving advances in modern medicine for an archaic method with an unfortunate track record.

- Infant mortality is lower in countries with advanced medical practices than in countries where traditional birthing practices are still in use. 

- It’s more expensive because you hog two midwives for a home birth, whereas in the hospital one midwife can attend to multiple woman simultaneously.

For her it’s a clinical procedure, like having a tooth pulled out. You go in, get medicated, get it out and all is well.

The advocates of home birth who called into the show also had some valid points:

- A woman is more comfortable in her home surroundings will be more relaxed and is more likely to have a shorter and comparatively less painless labour than being in a hospital.

- Being in a relaxed atmosphere she can manage the pain better, is less likely to need pain relief as well as episiotomies.

- Midwifery has come a very long way since the middle ages. Midwives nowadays are very capable and react accordingly should labour deteriorates and the woman needs medical intervention. They also work with the women all through their pregnancies to ensure they are making an informed choice and are aware of the options open to them.

- One medical intervention leads to subsequent medical interventions. For instance a woman that’s been given an epidural is more likely to require forceps delivery than one who was not given one.

- Finally, with hospital resources stretched thin and budget cuts everywhere women are better off giving birth at home so they can get the full attention they need at that crucial moment in their life rather than being cared for by frazzled, overworked midwives who are prone to errors.

I’ve heard and read personal experiences of women from both sides of the spectrum; all very subjective. None of my ‘mommy’ friends have anything good to say about hospital births. They had complaints like rude midwives, midwives that gave them episiotomies, midwives that didn’t give them one, feeling pressured into doing things that wasn’t in their birth plan. With most things related to the female species, what was a wonderful experience for one woman might be a horrible experience for another. However on the whole there are MORE horrible hospital experiences than there are home birth experiences. What’s weird though is that the women that talk about successful hospital births are mostly women whose labour took a turn for the worse and needed intervention and were ‘saved’.

I’ve been considering my birth plan so this discussion has come at an excellent time. A birthing center is the closest thing to a home birth. We have one that is literally across the street from us. There’s a hospital 15-20minutes away. The birthing center is 100% midwife run. There are no doctors or anaesthesiologists. Like a homebirth it’s only for low risk pregnancies. There are birthing pools, balls and all that jazz but you don’t get assigned a midwife, they work on shifts and if there’s an emergency they call the ambulance.

The hospital is where my endocrinologist works. Last year he said he was looking forward to having me give birth with them. We only met once but he made me feel comfortable. I’m hoping his attitude is a reflection of the maternity ward (wonderful logic there). It’s the closest hospital and if something were to go wrong (God forbid!) I’d definitely end up there.  On one hand I would feel comfortable walking across the street to have my baby and walk ing back home to rest after that. On the other hand I’m thinking, this is my first baby, I don’t know how my body is going to react. For now I’m classified as low risk, but anything could happen. No woman prays for it, but that’s the reality – you just never know what’s gonna happen. In any case I don’t want to regret not doing a 15 minute drive should something go wrong.

In a few months time I’ll get to visit both places, have a look around, speak to the staff and maybe get a chance to talk to some fresh mums about their experience (if I am allowed to) before I finally make up my mind. I think its important to know what options are available so one can make an informed decision. 

Meanwhile the debate continues. 


Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Sede, I'm just seeing your reply today in the 'junk' comment. I have no idea why it flagged your comment. I'm really sorry if you thought I purposely didn't publish your comment or was ignoring you. 

Stupid blogger!!!!

You've been through a lot. I'm sorry the ovulation induction didn't work. It might have just been that your internal system is too inflamed to respond. You are on the right track though! One thing I will say is FIGHT FOR METFORMIN! You have to be your own advocate. Not all RE's are ‘adventurous’ enough to take the Metformin route with thin cysters, however there is evidence to suggest that even thin cysters do benefit from Metformin. Do check out SoulCysters, there are links to scientific/peer reviewed articles that you can print out and take to your RE on your next visit as evidence to suggest that even with thin cysters using Met with Clomid (ovulation induction) has been shown to be more effective than just clomid alone. You've done a lot and clearly your body is still not ovulating, at this point it's worth a try. Some women have to beat down the doors of their RE's before they listen to them. If he/she isn't listening, then change RE's.

Piling on fat around the abdomen is a classic symptom of IR even if your blood work comes back normal. My fasting glucose was normal, so was my testosterone. Apparently the typical glucose test doesn't pick up IR. Sometimes a woman can still have pcos but her hormone profile appears normal.

I’m glad your Dh is supportive (screw the inlaws!). There is a lot he too can do to improve the quality of the swimmers. Eating organic food has been proven to boost sperm quality. I read somewhere that organic male farmers have their sperms in the range of 50million or so… (can’t remember exactly).

I know how you feel and it’s a good thing you’ve decided to go down the natural route but don’t put too much pressure on yourself in the process.

Do you know how people always say you should relax and it will happen? I swear to you I’ve heard it so often I felt like stabbing people in the eye whenever they said it to me. But there is some ring of truth to it because the cycle I got my BFP I had abandoned all hopes of conceiving that month. I reluctantly BD’ed and I was even jabbing my left ovaries in frustration when I realized I was ovulating from the left tube that month. And it happened.

So please, do try and relax, even though it's easier said than done. Look at the positives: your tubes are open, everything else is normal and Dh’s swimmers can be boosted. The acupuncture will help regulate things down there. Go easy on the herbs though. You can use OPK’s to monitor your cycles in case you get any surges to see if your body is trying to ovulate. You can get highly sensitive ones off Ebay at a ridiculously cheap price and trust me they work just as well.  

Tips to bring on AF – you’re already doing most of it!  Since you’ve just started the natural approach it might take a while, but you are certainly on the right track. Having estrogen dominance (you can Google natural ways to reduce estrogen dominance) can disrupt the cycles. Adding lots of fibre to your diet helps with that because fibre helps get rid of excess estrogen. Cutting out refined carbs – sugar, white rice, white potatoes, anything made with white flour REALLY helps trim tummy fat. So does regular exercise, which you are already doing. I go the extra mile to avoid cosmetics that contain endocrine disruptors like paraben. I only use natural oils to moisturize. Eating organic food, regularly detoxing also helps. Other tips, in terms of what I did personally –

- Having a glass of diluted vinegar or fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning and during the day before each meal.
- Regularly consuming flax seed (linseed) to increase omega 3 levels which also help reduce oestrogen dominance. I noticed this the very month I started taking it. The whole seed works best, but if you can powder it and use it immediately that too is good. I prefer the golden one to the brown, but they’re essentially the same.
- Also I forgot to mention us African women living in the non-tropics tend to be vitamin D deficient compared to the average Caucasian. You can take vitamn D3 supplements or get more sunshine if you think you’re not getting enough. Some women have brought on ovulation just by increasing their vitamin D levels.
- Cinnamon with meals. If you can’t stand the taste you can go for the pills.
- I read that turmeric helps reduce inflammation. Didn’t try it personally but you can research it.
- Green tea. Lots of it. It’s high in anti-oxidants. Some cysters swear by it.
- Spearmint tea and peppermint tea. I personally swear by them.
- Try not to eat heavy meals after 7pm because its more likely to be stored away as fat.
- Try to eat as much raw food as you can in terms of fruits and veggies. An alkaline diet as a result of cooked foods worsens inflammation. Juicing helps!

That’s all I can remember for now. If any more come to mind I’ll add to the list. I didn’t do all these things overnight. They became a habit over a period of time, so do take it easy. You’ll get there, I believe you’ll ovulate by God’s Grace. Remember you’re not trying to batter your body into ovulating but nourishing it and healing it so it can do its job properly. Have faith and think positively. Don’t poke your ovaries out of frustration, hehehe… I truly and genuinely wish you and your Dh the best.

Do keep me posted I'd love to hear about your journey and if there’s anything else you think I can help with, I’ll be more than happy to help, :)

Friday, 1 July 2011


A while ago I blogged about how the Channel4 program Embarassing Bodies tackled the embarrassing symptoms of PCOS by prescribing drugs rather than advising sufferers on how to manage their condition through lifestyle changes. They seem to have taken a cue by trying alternative methods, because in last weeks episode another woman with hirsutism (excess hair) came on the show and rather than been sent away for laser treatment, she was told to try and loose some weight. And it worked! She lost some weight and all her excess hair went away. No need for drugs, no need for expensive laser and she was all the better for it. Needless to say, I was really pleased for her and for the show, for prescribing a drug free approach.

I’m bemused when I read women complaining about their PCOS symptoms. I’m especially annoyed when I read women say things like, ‘I’ve tried everything, and nothing works.’ Have you really tried EVERYTHING? What exactly have you done and how long have you done it for? PCOS takes years to manifest, it’s not going to go away after a few weeks or even a few months; but you will notice improvements almost immediately if you are doing the right thing.

There’s a PCOS support group on Facebook that I participate in. I’m seriously thinking about unliking the page because it doesn’t seem as if any of the women there is serious about the condition. The advocates of natural methods are in the minority. Over 90% of women there are medicating their symptoms. Very few believe in the exercise/natural/lifestyle change route. In fact they even slated the owner of the page once for posting the long term effects unmanaged PCOS can have such as increased chances of heart disease, blood pressure, miscarriage and type II diabetes. A recent study showed that women with PCOS have arteries that are 10 years older than their actual age! That’s something to seriously consider if you think popping pills alone will make it all go away.

I may sound harsh; but this is my pet peeve. Women would rather bury their heads in the sand than face the reality of their condition! Then the same people moan about how nothing seems to be getting better and they wonder what they are doing wrong. Women who only listen to what their doctor says even though it’s obvious they are not getting better.

You have to believe that you have some control over your body. You cannot control your genes, but you can control what you put into your body that can cause a gene to express itself. Take insulin resistance, for example. You may have a natural predisposition to being insulin resistant. But if you don’t eat refined carbohydrates, sugar, and junk food, your body will never have cause to trigger insulin resistance.

It’s also important you educate yourself so you don’t get taken for a ride. Just because you can afford fertility treatments does not mean it should be your first line of action. I’ve read about women who’ve spent tens of thousands on IVF only to end up going down the natural route and falling pregnant. In reality, if you are overweight, no self-respecting doctor should prescribe fertility treatment (unless for very specific reasons) because losing as little as 7-10% of one’s weight is enough to jumpstart ovulation. Imagine the amount of money wasted and the emotional turmoil you put yourself thorough, only to find out at the end of the day that doing a low GI diet with regular exercise was all that was needed to get pregnant?

Do your research. Even conditions like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism also linked to PCOS all have a genesis. These conditions didn’t just spring up on you overnight. There must be something you are doing too much of or not doing enough of that’s causing the condition to linger. Remove the cause, give your body the right fuel it needs to heal and you’re cured. Put your health first. Even if you don’t have the money, I’m proof that with very little money you can still afford to eat healthy and exercise. I walk everywhere, and I mostly shop in farmers markets where you get more bang for your money’s worth of fresh produce!

If you believe your PCOS is something you have to ‘suffer’ with, that’s exactly how it’s going to be for you. But if you believe it’s just a bump in your life that you can get rid off, and lead a healthy, symptom free life, then that’s exactly what you’re going to get. It all comes down to you, how proactive you are, how dedicated you are and how far you’re willing to go to take control of your life