the list. and more.

I have a confession to make. I am not a good singer. In fact, if there was any talent I wish I had, it would be to be a good singer. BUT, there is something about Baby, It’s Cold Outside that turns me into a professional singer. My voice becomes that of an angel and I am certain that if Cali could sing, she would join me in the duet so that I didn’t have to attempt to sing both the male and female parts. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey is a close second for my angelic voice trophy but I am still working on one note. But you will be the first to hear about my victory when that miracle happens.

I had SO much fun reading so many amazing ideas for my holiday bucket list. In fact my first draft of the bucket list included about 43 items which ended up seeming a little extreme, especially for a first attempt at a bucket list (and given that Christmas is, um, well, just a little over a month away.) So I have narrowed it down and am excited to debut its final version:

  • Put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
  • Volunteer at an organization over the holidays
  • Intentionally acknowledge bell ringers outside of stores instead of avoiding eye contact
  • Drive around aimlessly for at least 30 minutes looking at holiday lights
  • Recruit my sister to reenact a childhood Christmas photo
  • Try eggnog
  • Watch Elf, Christmas Story, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Josh
  • Go sledding
  • Build a snowman. Perhaps a Cali sized one.
  • Make a snow angel
  • Go ice skating at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis
  • Attend a Christmas concert of some sort, whether its at a local church or in a stadium
  • Buy new pajamas for Christmas morning. (Extra points if I match my sister)
  • Pay for someone’s meal/drink behind me in a drive thru
  • Look at stars with Josh on a cold, snowy night
  • Visit a live nativity scene
  • Visit a house that has a live music/light show
  • Try a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks

Two traditions we have in our family will continue – Josh and I always buy each other an ornament every year and our family makes gingerbread houses together. Well, my sister and Josh have a creative house making contest while I take on the role of the Iron Chef Chairman (complete with secret ingredients), my mom becomes the commentator (complete with a paper towel role microphone) and my dad, well, he passively helps with scoring, even though both of them always get 10’s in every category. I am excited for these traditions to continue!

Ok, enough about Christmas. I do realize it’s still only November 20th. For those of you who are interested in an update on our fertility treatments, here you go.

So three weeks ago I visited a chiropractic doctor who also has strong naturopathic experience. Preliminary testing using Applied Kinesiology (which uses bioenergetic feedback through testing the strength of various muscles in the body … I know, big words) helped to assess my state of health.  What was scary and fascinating was that without me telling him what was “wrong with me”, was that my body showed him. I’m going to be honest, it creeped me out a little bit. I bought my paperwork in with me so I know he didn’t cheat and look ahead of time, and he basically asked right away if I had issues with estrogen based on a few indicators, both physically looking at my eyes and through this muscle testing. It seems SO weird that my body could tell him that without him knowing … but I left that appointment feeling encouraged that he seemed sane, educated and knowledgeable.

The next week I went back for urine, blood and saliva testing that would provide him with more information on what was going on in my body. I was able to look at my blood cells and compare them to books and charts – I saw my lab results and saw areas where the numbers were extremely out of range. Essentially what I learned is that my infection levels in my blood were extremely high. And my estrogen toxicity levels came back off the charts high. A long conversation made short, what he shared is that he felt (and what the data supported) is that I likely have a parasite (a strong bug not killed by antibiotics) in my body (intestines to be specific) that is pulling certain parts of my healthy estrogen hormones out, leaving it unbalanced and then as it gets reprocessed, turning it toxic. My own research has supported that this is indeed possible. And it makes sense. My estrogen levels have always been so weird (he shared this conclusion before he knew my history with my estrogen issues) and also, this toxic estrogen can cause a progesterone aid to become toxic as well. (Which also has been a big issue when I am pregnant, I can’t get my progesterone high enough to support the pregnancy.) Basically he said that if we can kill the parasite using herbs and a detox diet, we can begin to have my body reroute how my estrogen is processed and composed in my body. Hey, its worth a shot, right?

I know, it sounds a little “quackish”. I have to admit I was skeptical as well. It all sounded too good to be true. BUT, without sharing my hours of time with him and all my personal medical history and other “issues”, the diagnosis does make sense to me. And is worth trying. If anything, I become healthier and hopefully clear up this infection. So since I am more prone to having insulin resistance (a common issue with PCOS), I am currently on a no/low carb diet, continuing to be gluten free and extremely cautious about my sugar intake.

So how’s that going for me? Um, well, it kind of sucks. Changing my diet is extremely hard but is something I know will be good in the long run, regardless of whether it increases my fertility or not. I have to laugh, if I would have written this blog on Friday it would have sounded something like “I hate my life. I hate not eating carbs. I hate these herbs. I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want a baby. I would rather jump off a cliff than do this one more day.” But thankfully the carb/sugar withdrawals are improving and I no longer feel as if I want to throw myself into a pit of lions when someone mentions bread. Baby steps right?

Its funny (sort of, in a non ha-ha sort of way) that this journey would lead me to a path that involves self discipline. Something I suck at. (Stink at. Sorry Mom.) I truly would rather give myself a million shots a day than pass up a french dip sandwich or order of French fries. (Ohhh, French fries. Dangit.) It’s SO hard for me to exert willpower with things I don’t like or want to do. The only thing keeping me going is trusting that God has put me on this path for a reason and remembering that I am more than capable of resisting the temptation of devouring a bag of potato chips or guzzling sweet tea. Any extra prayers you can send my way as I continue to battle myself and develop healthier habits would be great!

Self discipline ... I repeat this verse often. I HAVE this, I just have to develop this ....

Self discipline … I repeat this verse often. I HAVE this, I just have to develop this ….

I was nearly in tears earlier today as I read Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 26. “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” I tend to pray often “Let this cup of suffering be taken from me! Answer our prayers. Hear my cries. Bless us with a child.” But it is SO hard to pray the last part of Jesus’ prayer … “Yet I want your will to be done … not mine.” The Message version of the Bible says He prayed ““My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do You want?” I pray that God gives me the strength to pray Lord, what do YOU want? The great blessing in this prayer is that regardless of what He answers, we can trust His character, His goodness, His love. I may not always understand His methods or reasonings, but I can always trust that He is acting with purpose. Even when it hurts. I wish He moved according to my schedule and my plan. But when He doesn’t (and I find He rarely does), its our ability to tap into His strength that keeps us going. And when He finally does answer a request, I am always astonished and amazed at how much better His answer was then the one I was asking for.

Though Jesus knows our triumphant outcomes, though He sees the joyful ending just around the bend, He still gets down in the middle of our sorrows and holds us close, mingling His tears with our own.” There is an ending to our story. And we trust that He is working even when the journey seems long. I am putting all my trust in the fact that He WILL provide us with a triumphant outcome and that He will be glorified in the end. My story is not my own.

So as I moved forward with this new path, combing his herbs to cleanse and detox with my own researched herbs to attempt to help my body ovulate (Maca Root, Royal Jelly, and Vitex fruit for my TTC interested friends …), I am trusting that this is all part of His will. Even if it’s realllllly hard right now.

Some of the vitamins I am taking ... I am supposed to get through all of these in ONE month. Gulp! Literally ... I feel like I am taking pills and drinking water alllll the time.

Some of the vitamins I am taking … I am supposed to get through all of these in ONE month. Gulp! Literally … I feel like I am taking pills and drinking water alllll the time.

Oh! And good news! Knowing the cleanse was approaching, I dove into my bucket list a little early and enjoyed a Peppermint Mocha with my sister. And man, it was delicious. So I have one item off my bucket list!

Try a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks

Trying a Peppermint Mocha .... CHECK!

Trying a Peppermint Mocha …. CHECK!

I will keep you guys updated with pictures and stories on how things are going with that. As always, I am so thankful for your support, prayers and shared hope for us and what is to come.

Never give up!

Never give up!