Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yikes! Bad Blogger

I'm a terrible blogger! I've always wanted to be good at it, but life seems to get in my way. I'm going to try to do better!

Wow, November was the last you heard from me. A LOT has happened since then.

Let's start with September 2011. I found out in early September that I was expecting. I was thrilled. The doctor's had told me that it would take a little while for me to get pregnant due to my PCOS. I followed Natural Family Planning and took my temperature every morning. When I knew I was ovulating I made sure my husband and I did our thing :) It worked! I was over the moon.

On September 25th I woke up with some bleeding. It wasn't very much... just a little brown spotting. I didn't think much of it because I had read that this could happen early in pregnancy. As the day went on I noticed more bleeding. It wasn't stopping. I started to get really worried. I called my mom and my aunt and asked for their opinions. Should I go to the hospital? It was a Sunday so my doctor was not available. At around 1:00pm my husband and I decided to go to the Emergency room. We did a lot of waiting and worrying. I was finally taken back and given an ultrasound. The doctor then told me that the baby was measuring at 6 1/2 weeks. I was 8 1/2 weeks. It seemed as though the baby had stopped growing. He called it a threatened miscarriage. I was devastated. I didn't know what to do. All I wanted was to cry. Why? This wasn't fair. What did I do?

The doctor sent me home in tears. That night I ended up miscarrying. It was the worst experience of my life. Not only was it emotionally the worst thing I've ever been through, but it was physically the worst thing I had ever experienced. I was up all night with cramping and stabbing pains. each trip to the bathroom tore my heart apart. The worst part: seeing the sac drop and flushing my baby down the toilet. Now, I realize that at 6 1/2 weeks it wasn't a "baby", but to me... that was my child. I was miserable. The next few days were a blur. I was in pain physically and emotionally. I didn't want to talk to anyone. My husband was great and supported me as best he could.

I went to my doctor the next week for an ultrasound. He wanted to make sure that I had passed everything on my own. My ultrasound and blood work showed that everything had been passed. The doctor printed a picture of my empty uterus and left the room saying, "I'm sorry it's only a picture of your empty uterus." I was in shock. How could an OB doctor say this to a women who just lost her baby? I vowed never to go back there again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Many years ago my roommate taped a quote on my computer screen. I didn't realize how often I would need to say it to myself in the future.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust in the LORD with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

Friday, September 23, 2011


I have been taking my temperatures and charting them for a few months now in order to know when I was ovulating. My temperatures spiked toward the end of my cycle and remained high. According to my fertility book, if your temps are high for 18+ days it means you could be pregnant. I wasn't convinced after I hit day 19 since I was sure getting pregnant wasn't going to be easy.

My period was about a week or so late when I started to wonder. 18+ high temps, late period, I'm starting to feel really tired. Could I be pregnant? I really didn't want to take a test and see the negative so I kept putting it off. I became even more tired, my stomach was a little crampy, and and I was hungry all the time! This has got to be it.

On Sunday, September 4th I took the test. Immediately the plus sign showed up!!! I am pregnant! My heart raced and my palms got sweaty. Was it true? This couldn't be happening. It had to be a false negative....

Over the next week I became more tired and hungry. My stomach continued to feel boated and cramped. I finally called the doctor to set up a confirmation appointment.

The doctor doesn't want to see me until I'm 10 weeks. They want to be able to see the heartbeat on the ultrasound. It is killing me to wait that long, but I'm down to 2 weeks! I can't wait!!

I haven't had a lot of symptoms. Yes, I'm tired, hungry, crampy, and I have to pee a lot, but I am not vomiting, my boobs don't hurt, and I'm not having an cravings. I'll chalk it up to luck :)

Photo taken from Me, Myself, and I blog

Thursday, September 1, 2011


After becoming extremely frustrated with my PCOS symptoms, I decided it was time to take charge and try to rid myself of them. I did a lot of research online and read many blogs and message boards about PCOS and different remedies. I found the website SoulCysters and got a lot of GREAT information. Here is what I decided to try:

The doctor gave me a prescription for prenatal vitamins. I have been taking them for about a month and a half. I have noticed that my nails grow very quickly now! My face cleared up for a little while, but the acne is back.

For hairloss:

The lady who cut my hair last told me to try this shampoo. She said it contains a lot of protein that will help strengthen my hair. That way it won't come out as easily. What have I found? I love the shampoo and conditioner. My hair is so soft after my shower and it smells great! I haven't noticed much in the way of "stronger hair" though.

The SoulCysters website had a whole message board for hair loss remedies. A TON of ladies said they use the above items every other night on their scalp and have had a lot of success. I decided it was worth a try. I use 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 10 drops of pure lavender oil, and 6 drops of pure rosemary oil. Mix together and apply to "balding" areas. The mixture makes enough for 2-3 applications depending on how much I use. It smells great, but is a little strong :) My husband said I smelled like a garden! Anyway, I have been doing this for about 2 weeks now. I have noticed that I am not losing as much hair in the shower now. I still lose a lot of hair, but not nearly as much! I have not noticed any regrowth yet, but hope that this will start soon :)

Other symptoms: The Soulcysters board and other informative websites had a lot of information about an herbal supplement called D-chiro-inositol. It is a supplement that addresses insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Our bodies use up the DCI 8-10 times faster than "normal bodies". Therefore, we need to add more DCI into our diets. A study showed that many (not all) women with PCOS showed lowered free and total testosterone, lowered blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity and a corresponding improvement in glucose disposal, and increased frequency of ovulation when taking the supplement. Many women on the message board swear by this supplement and some have even said that it has "erased" all of their PCOS symptoms (even the cysts on the ultrasounds). I thought this deserved a try! It is expensive, but worth it if it helps!

I have been taking this for about 2 weeks now. I haven't noticed any difference in symptoms, but I still think it's too early to tell. Like I said before, my hair doesn't seem to be falling out as quickly and my acne cleared up for a little while. I don't know yet if it helps with ovulation, but will definitely be updating ya'll as I find out :)

So, that's what I am doing to remedy my symptoms. The DCI helps ovulation which in turn helps women conceive. Here's to getting all the help I can get!

Monday, August 22, 2011


*I wanted to start this post by saying that the point of this blog is not to get pity or attention. I want to record my journey not only for myself, but for women out there who are struggling through the same thing. This blog is meant to help myself learn about the syndrome, my bodies symptoms, and it's reaction to different forms of medication/herbal remedies. This is my journey.*

PCOS bring about a plethora of symptoms. Some women don't have any while others, like lucky ole me, get them all. I have done a lot of research and have talked to my doctors about the typical symptoms of PCOS. When I was first diagnosed I asked what I could do to help my chances of getting pregnant and ridding my body of the unwelcome cysts. "Well, the first thing we tell women with pcos is lose weight though diet and exercise. Obviously you don't need to do that". Okay, so now what?

I am 26 years old. I am 5'3 and weigh between 126-130 pounds depending on the day. I watch what I eat (I follow Weight Watchers) to keep my body healthy and to manage my weight. I am also physically active. I began running year ago and just completed the Insanity workout system.

This is me! I realize this is an embarrassing picture,
what the heck!

My point is that I guess I don't have ALL of the symptoms of pcos. I am not overweight and I do not have diabetes. However, developing diabetes is very possible if I don't maintain my weight.
So what symptoms DO I have?

Acne- My face is disgusting at times. I look like a 12 year old going through puberty. Acne covers my face and stays for a very long time. I get cystic acne (the large, deep, under the skin kind that hurt like hell), whiteheads, blackheads, etc. My chin, nose, forehead, and behind the ears are the worst places. If it weren't for makeup I wouldn't leave my house. I have seen more than 1 dermatologist, I have tried several prescribed medications, and have even tried all the face wash/acne systems. Nothing has worked.

The black and blue in front of my ear is cystic acne as well as the lowest spot. Behind my ear shows the other acne (the red).

Hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, back, stomach, thumbs, and toes. This is due to the high levels of androgen. I've got it all. Gross, I know, but I shave it, pluck it, wax it, or hide it with makeup. For the purpose of these pictures I grew it out longer than usual! My hair is also pretty light so it's hard to see.

Excessive Hair Loss- Women with pcos experience male patterned hair loss. This is due to the androgen and testosterone levels. I lose hair ALL the time. I know it's normal to lose some, but you wouldn't believe how much I lose. The hair dresser told me I was balding and I cried. I knew she was right, but it's hard to hear!! She told me about some shampoo and conditioner that are supposed to help grow hair (Nioxin). I tried it... it didn't work. She told me not to use Rogain because Nioxin had a better success rate. She recommended I use Biolage to strengthen the hair I do have. *sigh*

Notice the balding. My hair is also dirty. These were taken before my shower :)

After a shower.

Few or no Menstrual Cycles- No pictures here. I went 6 months without a cycle. Now they come whenever they feel like it!

Depression- I wouldn't have said I was depressed. I thought it was my anxiety getting the best of me, but maybe it was depression. Whatever it was, I wasn't myself. I wasn't bubbly, energetic, or happy all of the time. People around me could tell that something was wrong. I went to the doctor to see what could be done about my severe anxiety. She prescribed me Celexa. It has really helped my mood, but I'm still tired all the time and it's very hard to get me to want to leave my house.

Infertility and Miscarriages- Well, I haven't had any miscarriages yet because I still haven't been able to get pregnant. We haven't REALLY been trying, but we also haven't NOT been trying. I stopped my birth control in April and have let nature take over. I pray that miscarriages won't be a problem :(

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How it all Began.

I realized that something was wrong with me in August of 2010 when I hadn't had a menstrual cycle in 6 months. I took pregnancy test after pregnancy test and they all came out negative. I chalked the first few months up to the side effects of stopping birth control pills after 6 years, but started to worry when I hit the 6 month mark. I also had some extreme pains in my pelvic area and was worried something was wrong with me. While in Ohio visiting my parents, I doubled over in pain. I couldn't walk, talk, or breathe. I literally felt like I was dying. My mom wanted to take me to the ER. I decided to take some serious meds and sleep it off. The next day there was still some pain, but nothing like the day before. I made a promise to my mother that I would see the doctor as soon as I got back to Virginia.

I made an appointment with my OB/GYN and was told that my lack of menstruation was probably due to my losing weight and exercise regimen. The pain? ” Probably just cramping”. *sigh* I knew there was something else going on, but am not one to fight. I went home. A few weeks later I doubled over again in pain. This time I was at work. In the middle of a meeting. There was something wrong with me. It was not my diet, it was not my exercise. Something was wrong.

I went back to the doctor and wasn’t leaving without an answer. She did an internal exam, asked about my symptoms, and gave me a sad look. “It seems as though you have polycystic ovaries”. I broke down and started crying. I felt bad for the doctor. She tried her best to console me saying that there were a lot of women with PCOS that have gotten pregnant and that I’m young so I should be fine. I wasn’t really listening because when she said the words, “polycystic ovaries” all of my dreams of having children went out the window. I realize that that’s a bit dramatic, but that’s how it felt.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to be a mother. People would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Yes, I would say a stay at home mom or a pediatrician (so I could be around kids). People would ask me what my biggest fear was. I would tell them not being able to have my own children. I got a LOT of slack for that at times because people thought I was terrible that my biggest fear wasn’t losing my husband while overseas and whatnot. Sorry people, I want to be pregnant, feel my baby kick, go through the birthing experience. I want a child that looks like Dan and me.

The doctor sent me to the hospital to get my blood drawn and set me up with an appointment for an internal ultrasound a few days later. I called my husband and cried. I called my mom and cried. I won’t lie… I was depressed for at least a week.

My internal ultrasound showed that indeed I did have PCOS. I have/had 12 cysts around each ovary. In fact, that horrible pain from before? It was a cyst bursting. I asked the doctor what that meant for me and having a family. He said that it may or may not cause infertility. It’s different in all women. He put me back on birth control pills to manage the pain/menstrual cycles and sent me on my way. He said when I was ready for a family I was to come back to talk about Metformin and/or Clomid.

This is not my ultrasound. I borrowed this from



Friday, August 19, 2011


Hello! I'm Caitlin and I'm 26 years old. I was diagnosed with PCOS in December 2010. What is PCOS you ask? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

"Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which there is an imbalance of a woman's female sex hormones. This hormone imbalance may cause changes in the menstrual cycle, skin changes, small cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other problems."

This blog will be all about my struggles and triumphs with PCOS and TTC (trying to conceive).
Enjoy :)