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The race to preserve my fertility has spanned 10 years, this is my story. When I was 19 years old I had appendicitis. The CT scan taken prior to surgery also showed a large cyst on my right ovary the size of a tennis ball. My appendix hadn’t ruptured but instead had sprung a leak allowing a large amount of bacterial fluid into my abdomen. It was not safe to remove the large cyst at the same time, so I went in for another surgery 3 months later. Upon the removal of the large cyst it was discovered that it was actually a large cluster of multiple cysts, with this surgery I lost about half of my right ovary. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. The symptoms had been there for years but two and two never put together. I was prescribed a different birth control pill to help manage my PCOS.
Three months later I was still having pain and discomfort and underwent yet another surgery. What had not been present only 3 months prior had reared its ugly head, I had an aggressive case of endometriosis to accompany my PCOS. I was also diagnosed with interstitial cystitis so there were now multiple causes contributing to my pain. With each surgery, and the fluid from appendicitis, there was more and more scar tissue invading my abdomen causing more problems from “gluing” my organs together, even further contributing to my assumed infertility.
Over the next several years I underwent numerous treatments, switching to treat the different diseases trying to find a balance. I did 3 rounds, lasting 6 months each, of Lupron to treat the endometriosis by putting my body in a chemically induced menopause. The last round was cut a bit short because of the side effects of the medicine on my then newly diagnosed heart condition PSVT. I had 4 more surgeries during this same time to remove cysts, scar tissue, and lesions from the endometriosis. This span of time was a blur of surgery, medications, and induced menopause, all of which seemed to be taking a toll on my overall health.
By the age of 25 I had given up, I couldn’t take anymore, trying to preserve my fertility in any sense seemed like a hopeless cause at this point. I had just had a knee surgery for a rare tumor on top of everything else and I just didn’t have any fight left in me. I was always in pain of some sort and as time progressed my chances for having children continued to dwindle. I made yet another appointment for an exam, my fears were confirmed, it was suggested that it was time to have a hysterectomy as I had run out of treatment options. I had ruptured three cysts that month and continued to have hemorrhaging on and off. I requested a two-week time period to digest the news so to speak and let them know I would call after that time to schedule the surgery.
A few days after that appointment I had a strange feeling. I looked at my high dose birth control pill pack and noticed that I was a few days late in getting my period. Though this is common with these medical conditions, it was a bit less common while on the high dose of medication I was on. I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive.
I was already pregnant at the appointment, but it had been too early to show up on their urine test. With all my surgeries coupled with my conditions I was fearful that the pregnancy wouldn’t last. I had a high-risk pregnancy, and much to my surprise it did in fact last. At the end of the pregnancy I got pre-eclampsia, so I was induced a week early.
After 24 hours of labor my stats and my baby’s stats started to drop, we needed an emergency c-section. We welcomed a healthy baby boy, Ralph, in November of 2015. He was my miracle baby, something I never thought would have been possible with all I had been through. He was a surprise pregnancy, a surprise we will forever be grateful for.
Having Ralph gave me a sense of hope for my conditions to allow us to have another child. A few months after Ralph was born I was having a different abdominal pain, I had chronical cholecystitis and needed to have my gallbladder out, yet another surgery on top of all the others, and my recent c-section. My now husband and I were in the process of wedding planning when I started to have bleeding problems and pain again. Both the endometriosis and the PCOS had risen again.
Ralph was only a year old when I was informed that my time was limited to have another baby with the progression of my diseases. It wasn’t ideal to think about possibly being pregnant for our upcoming wedding, but we weren’t going to let that chance slip away.
We tried for more than a year with no success. I did basal temperature tracking, ovulation tracking tests, counting the calendar days, everything we could do was already being done, and nothing was working.
Having Ralph had given me a false sense of hope, it also made me greedy. He was such an amazing addition to our lives that we wanted more of that love, and we wanted another child to complete our family.
I became discouraged, depressed, stressed, and more from putting so much effort and hope into getting pregnant again. I looked at various fertility clinic websites, and the prices were more than out of our budget.
Then I saw CNY Fertility’s website, it seemed like a good match for us feeling wise, and financially. I scheduled my consultation appointment in January I believe, with my appointment being in March. In the mean time I joined a few of the CNY Fertility support groups suggested by one of my friends who had just successfully become pregnant with the help of CNY Fertility. It was suggested by many in the groups and from Dr. K’s video chats that I start the strict Keto diet while waiting for my consultation.
The strict Keto diet of beef, butter, bacon, and eggs was a challenge to adapt to. To start, I gave myself a little bit of leeway with some additional foods consisting of avocado, cheese, heavy cream, naturally cured Italian meats, and a little bit of Bibb lettuce dipped in oil and vinegar when I needed a palate cleanser so to speak to break up the heaviness of the BEBB diet. Two weeks into the diet I felt successful in achieving the transition, I felt great, my skin was clearer, my psoriasis better, asthma improved, I had more energy, I wasn’t in pain, I hadn’t ruptured an ovarian cyst recently, and I was losing weight even though I hadn’t cut my calories. I was detailing my diet successes with another person in one of the Facebook groups when something clicked. There were too many good changes for them all to be from the diet.
I had one pregnancy test left, it was too early to be testing that month, and I was more focused on getting started on the diet that we hadn’t put much effort into conceiving that month. I took the test anyways, I was discouraged before I even looked at it with all of the previous negatives I had seen. I went to just throw the test out, but then I thought I’d be wasting money if I didn’t at least look at it. So, I looked at it, and it was positive. I was shocked, my heart was racing, and I was in complete disbelief.
My first month of starting the BEBB(I) diet was successful. This diet did what more than a year of everything else could not, it allowed us to conceive without much effort.
My family had all thought I was crazy for pursuing this diet and lifestyle change to try to conceive, but I was willing to do anything that might give us a chance to have another baby. I had to cancel my consultation appointment before being able to have the pleasure of meeting the CNY Fertility staff.
We had a successful pregnancy despite getting gestational diabetes this time around. In November of 2018 I had a c-section at 39 weeks with which we welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Ruby.
I am complete because of CNY Fertility, the void I felt and the emotional strain from trying to conceive is gone because of Dr. K. despite not having met him. I followed the advice from his chats and the support groups from his current patients, and it worked for us. What I thought would never be possible became a reality, and I am forever thankful. I have PCOS and endometriosis, and I now have 2 beautiful children. It took 10 years of suffering to get to this point, but well worth the wait, and the pain.
It is possible, and I hope that in sharing our story someone else might find that last bit of strength to continue their fertility journey and try something different because without the BEBBI diet I wouldn’t have been able to write it.
Favorite Team Member at CNY :
Helpful resources Katey & Sam found :
CNY Fertility support groups and K's Keto support groups on Facebook.
Unique Moments :
Hope, Inspiration and Advice :
Miracles can and do happen, explore every option, don't lose hope. Support each other, take the good and the bad from the journey and turn them into love. Take care of your mind and your body, mental and physical health are both important.