5 Tips to Start Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery

Hi Everyone!  It’s been a long time I have posted and 3 .5 years after my last baby was born I am dealing with a new type of infertility.  Hypothalamic Amenorrhea!  The irony of never wanting my period to arrive and now I am praying to get it back.

I am currently working on recovering from HA (4 months all in) and I wanted to provide some tips if you are just starting your recovery journey from HA or your periods are starting to get sporadic.

I created a YouTube video on this topic if you would prefer to watch it here!

The first tip I have for your is to do your research:

I highly recommend Nicola Rinaldi’s book No Period Now what. The link to her site is here.  This book is the HA bible. There is no one more passionate with helping women get their cycles back than Nikola. She has a YouTube channel where she has a few videos and she has been on multiple podcasts. She has dedicated her life’s work to assisting and supporting women to get the periods back. I would be cautious with information overload when first diagnosed. It’s important to know that there is a lot of information out there that can be misleading or even damaging if you aren’t careful. Pay attention to the source of this information and make sure they are qualified to speak to it. I know that I turn to Dr. Google often but it can be slippery slope and you can end up spending hours obsessively looking for an answer or a quick fix.
Tip #2 Understand the Cause(s)
The second tip to start with recovery is to understand why you lost your period and when it happened. If you don’t know why you lost your period then it’s going to be really difficult to change the lifestyle behaviors to get it back or to understand the areas you need to work on. As I mentioned I don’t want to go into super detail in this video but the underlying cause will be some type of stress on your body. This stress is most likely related to an energy deficit caused by restriction on purpose or accidentally, it could be overexercise where your not fueling body and/or extreme stress added to the mix.
Tip #3  Don’t Compare
The third tip I have for you to start your recovery is DO NOT compare! This one is a non negotiable. I do think it is helpful to read stories about others that have gone through the same thing and got to the other side but I would be cautious because you can begin to hyper focus on how long it took others to recover, weight they put on to recover, how much they had to eat or if they could exercise to get it back. If you compare you are going to set yourself up for failure. You will look at those woman that only took 3 weeks to get it back that didn’t have to cut out exercise and only had to put on 2 lbs and you are going to beat yourself up when it takes you a lot longer or when you have to put on more weight and have to cut out all forms of exercise.
Tip #4 Find Support
The fourth tip I have for you is to find support. Support can look different for many people depending on your personality and where you are in life but I would recommend starting out with the HA support group that Nicola created.  If groups are triggering for you then drop out of it and consider some one on one support. If you need more you help on an individual basis you can sign up for coaching through Nicola and others like Kersten Kimura who I worked with.  There are also dietitians and counselors that can help you.
Tip #5 Create a Timeline for Going All In
I want you to create mini goals for yourself if you aren’t ready for the all at once approach. It may not be for everyone but I do think it can be helpful if you aren’t ready to jump all in or you are like most of us where the unknown of when you will get your period back will drive you crazy. What this is is if you aren’t ready to cut out exercise then give yourself a date when you will try to recover or slowly drop out days until your are “all in.
If you like these tips and would like more on HA or anything related make sure to sign up for updates.   What steps are you taking to recover?  Are there any other tips you have for newbies in this journey?  Good Luck.

Our Charlie Brown Tree

Infertility Woes

I have slowly been dealing with all the emotions that come from a failed IVF cycle.  I keep going from being angry to being sad.  Some moments I am fine and then all of a sudden the sadness hits.  I am sure this time of year doesn’t help.  The holidays seem to revolve around children.   This is the time of year that that void seems so much bigger.  I have been asking myself why this is happening.  Why do I feel like I am being punished?  I am sick of the surgeries, injections, appointments, blood work, fears, physical and emotional pain and of course all the tears and heartache.  I want my life back.  I don’t like to use hate but I hate that they have no reason why this isn’t working for us.  I hate that if we were a “normal” couple we would probably be trying for our a second child right now.  But we’re not.  We still don’t even have our first.  At this point I would give my left arm just to have one child.  I am sick of feeling sad.  I am sick of feeling like I am out of place.  I am just sick of feeling like this but most of all I am sick of not having what comes so naturally to others.

DSC_3411

We got our tree early this year.  We had a big hole in our living room where the fuse ball table used to be.  We sold it because it was basically just a coat rack.  Well we definitely learned something from going to pick out a tree early.  It is not a good idea to go on their first day open.  We pretty much have a Charlie Brown tree.  All the trees were wrapped up when we got there because they had just opened.  What we thought looked to be a nice big tree when they unwrapped it ended up being a not so full, drunk person trimmed it, crooked top looking tree.  We tossed some garland, ornaments and lights on the thing and called it a day.  It is a bit skimpy in the garland and light area.  This will be the second Christmas that we have struggled with trying to have a child.  To be honest, I just want this year to be over.   This has been probably the worst year of my life.  I am happy for that because it is almost over and it can only go up from here.  2013 will either bring us a pregnancy, baby or a soon to be adopted child.  I can only go though so many more cycles.  Hubby is 11 years older then me so we really don’t have a lot of time.  We are considering looking into adoption next year.  I figure I will only have about 2-3 more IVFs in me before I give up and move on.  The thing is with IVF it knocks you down and only when you are staggering back to your feet is when you are hit with another cycle and knocked back down.  I am tired of this game.  My life revolves around IVF.  I want to be happy again and I want my heart not to feel so heavy.  I know that having a positive attitude can make any situation better but sometimes we just have to give in and mourn.  Tomorrow is my pre-op appointment with my Dr.  Hopefully she will give us our next steps and let us know about the costs of PGD. I just hope we get some answers soon.

Strong Enough

Infertility Woes

I have good days and bad days.  Sometimes I manage to get through a few days with no tears.  Some days I wonder how I will ever get through this? Am I strong enough?  I ask myself am I selfish for feeling the way I do or for sheltering myself away from my friends with children?   Will I regret this?  I am only trying to save myself from pain.  It is a way of self preservation like that video said I posted about awhile ago.  I just got invited to two baby showers last week which I will have to regretfully decline the invite.  No one wants the lady who cries in the bathroom at their shower.   I could probably hold myself together but really all those onesies and baby talk will feel like another twist of the dagger.  Infertility has changed who I am.  For one thing I never used to cry.  Now I am happy if I week goes by with no tears.   It has made me stronger and weaker at the same time.  It has made me put myself first and to stop caring what other people think about certain things.

We had a wedding last weekend.  I have never felt so left out. There were about 5 babies there that were under the age of a year.  Topic of choice was pregnancy and everything baby related.  You can imagine me the infertile sitting at the end of the table pretending to do something on my phone while the ladies all conversed about their pregnancies.  No one looking my way because why would they? I don’t fit in.  I feel singled out.  Even my mother in law said something like “Isn’t their baby so cute?” and then apologized and said she needs to stop saying that stuff in front of me.  I am happy she understands but then on the other hand I am sad as it reminds me of what I don’t have and that we are different.

FET #2 Update

I started Provera Sunday and am only on 5 days of it.  So good old AF should be showing soon.  Tomorrow is my birthday and I would consider it a birthday gift if AF arrived because I know that transfer is that much closer!  We also got the letter approving the FET from insurance so another plus.   I wrote the first part of this post a few days ago.  I am actually feeling better today.  Things should be looking up. This one will work…..it just has to!  Or else I may go off my rocker!

Weekend

We have another Wedding this weekend but this time we are not staying over.  I may have over-served myself last weekend on both Friday and Saturday night.  I am still getting over my hangover!  This is why I don’t drink anymore. Hangovers from hell.  Since we were away the whole weekend I missed out on my early morning gym trips.  I did go early last Friday because I had it off.  There was a beautiful sunrise.  How can you not feel good going into the gym when you see this….

I should be able to make it this for an early morning session this weekend  or at least on Saturday.  I may even try to get the hubby up to go with me.  I have cut back on cardio this week and may continue to do so.  I don’t want anything to ruin my chances for a BFP this cycle!