My Fortune Cookie says:: Looks like it’s going to be a good night. #fullmoontonight #ironic
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infertility is kicking my ass.

I have been having a rough few days. I feel like when I am making progress in my journey I encounter more set backs. How can I be soooo high one day and so low the next? It is a very helpless feeling.

It all started Friday. Ok, if I am being honest, I haven’t really been feeling great since the bachelorette party when my bff told me she was pregnant. I guess I have been taking the news harder than I wanted to admit. My inner mind has been driving me crazy for a week. I haven’t been sleeping well, I have been analyzing her situation, my situation, the whole nine yards. Anyways it all caught up with me over the weekend.

My period started Friday. Usually this doesn’t effect me anymore, as I assume it is coming and I stopped getting my hopes up a while ago, but for some reason this month I really felt like maybe I could get pregnant on my own. I have been eating healthy, working out, praying, thinking positive, and I even started my Fertilitea.

I had a crazy busy weekend with weddings, which adds extra stress.

My bff is pregnant, along with about 5 other people I know who have announced their pregnancy within the last week. Its weird how it comes in waves and it is one of those times. oh joy.

Did I mention my period started?

So on top of feeling like shit all of Saturday- I literally was holding back tears the whole way to do my wedding and then again on the way home, I come home to a box and a note from my fertility Dr. {Mind you I have not heard from him or the clinic since our last failed IUI in June.} Inside was my camelback water bottle that I had accidently left at the office the day of our IUI and a note that said,Dear Rikki, I hope you’re well and perhaps even successful with a pregnancy… it really doesn’t matter what the rest of the note says because this fucking set me off. REALLYYYY??? You never called to check on me after my last IUI and now you are writing a note hoping I have a successful pregnancy? Remember how YOU didn’t get me pregnant?? You know I have unexplained infertility right? You know you should never assume an infertile is pregnant on their own? I am super thankful to get my camelback back considering they are expensive and my husband has banned me from buying another one until I got this one back, But really? Really?

Obviously I lost my shit. Totally and completely lost it. Hubs was a saint and so was my Mom.

The only saving grace was that I got my Diva Cup in the mail and I couldn’t wait to use it. Gross I know. But super cool. I cannot believe that this was the little shed of light that was carrying me through the day… I can’t wait to get home and see how much blood I have in my little cup!

I feel like my feelings surrounding my friends pregnancies are not validated. Like when I say I wasn’t that upset or I didn’t feel like crying when my bff told me she was pregnant and I get the response back “good. that’s good you didn’t feel that way.” It is like people are saying “good, you shouldn’t feel like crying, because it is not a crying matter.” But what if I said I wasn’t ok and that I wanted to scream and cry? Is that ok or just selfish?

I feel like no one is empathetic or understands what I am going through. Sure people feel sorry for me or have sympathy, but I do not believe anyone truly understands how I am feeling.

I feel so alone.

I feel frustrated.

I feel like I cannot grieve yet. I cannot grieve because I don’t know what I am supposed to be grieving. I cannot grieve yet because we haven’t gotten any answers. I could grieve if someone told me, “Rikki, you will never get pregnant.” Ok I could grieve that and move on with how I am supposed to have a child in another way. I cannot grieve because we are not done trying. We are in this miserable, shithole limbo.

I feel angry. At myself and every pregnant girl out there.

I just want to feel “normal” again. I want my life back pre infertility, when I was naïve and happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WOMEN BEWARE!

Since most of us have the issue of not getting pregnant and will probably be using feminine hygiene products for a bit longer, I think it is imperative for all women to read this!! I have always thought something was sketchy with tampons and pads, but this is just scary. Needless to say I have already purchased the Dive Cup off of amazon.com.

pads

“The issue of what kind of feminine hygiene products you use is rarely if ever discussed. Yet it’s clearly an important topic for every woman out there.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and also the thinnest. Less than 1/10th of an inch separates your body from potential toxins. Worse yet, your skin is highly permeable — especially the skin around your vaginal area, not to mention inside the vagina itself.

This is why attention needs to be paid to the ingredients used in tampons and sanitary pads.

Most items that come in constant contact with your skin will end up in your bloodstream and distributed throughout your body. This is why I’m so fond of saying “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat if you had to.”

Putting chemicals on your skin may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body.

However, when chemicals come in contact with your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs. And once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down.

In my opinion, the realm of feminine hygiene can be likened to a “ticking time bomb.” Because when you consider your exposure over the course of a lifetime, it really adds up; the average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons in her lifetime — or as many as 24,360 if she’s on estrogen replacement therapy.

And that’s just tampons… Many women use countless sanitary pads in place of, or in addition to tampons. When this same ‘average’ woman has a baby, she may also use maternity and nursing pads.

What’s Really in Those Sanitary Pads and Tampons?

In the featured article1, Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart, reveals just how little we are allowed to know about the ingredients used in feminine hygiene products.

In fact, manufacturers of tampons and sanitary pads are not required to disclose the ingredients used because feminine hygiene products are considered “medical devices.”

When Andrea called Procter & Gamble directly to find out what’s in their Always Infinity pads, the only ingredients the service reps could give her were: foam and a patented ingredient called Infinicel2 — a highly absorbent material that can hold up to 10 times its weight.

In the above video, she demonstrates what happens when you burn an organic versus a conventional sanitary pad. The 100% organic cotton pad, made by Natracare, burns slow and clean, leaving virtually no sooty residue at all.

The Always Infinity pad on the other hand, with its mostly undisclosed ingredients, create lots of black smoke and thick residue — indications that the pad may contain dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives.

In fact, according to her research, each conventional sanitary pad contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags! With everything we now know about the hazardous nature of plastic chemicals, this alone is cause for concern.

For example, plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates — which give paper tampon applicators that smooth feel and finish — are known to dysregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain a myriad of other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances. Synthetics and plastic also restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area.

The Price You Pay for ‘Clean’ White Tampons and Pads

Furthermore, to give tampons and pads that pristine, “clean” white look, the fibers used must be bleached. Chlorine is commonly used for this, which can create toxic dioxin and other disinfection-by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethane. Studies show that dioxin collects in your fatty tissues, and according to a draft report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxin a serious public health threat that has no “safe” level of exposure! Published reports show that even low or trace levels of dioxins may be linked to:

  • Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
  • Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
  • Immune system suppression
  • Hormonal and endocrine system disruption

Meanwhile, the FDA’s official stance regarding trace amounts of dioxins is that there are no expected health risks associated with trace amounts of dioxins in tampons… Naturally Savvy notes that 10 years ago, House Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation that would have required research into the potential health risks of any ingredient used in feminine hygiene products, including endometriosis, cervical, ovary and breast cancers. Unfortunately, the legislation did not pass, and it does not appear that any such research has been done.

Could You Be Absorbing GMO’s Via Your Tampons?

Andrea discovered a number of shocking details about the potential hazards posed by tampons and sanitary pads during her research for the book, Label Lessons, such as3:

  • Conventional tampons contain pesticides… Cotton crops make up just 2.4 percent of the world’s land, but each year a whopping $2 billion is spent on pesticides to spray this one crop.
  • Tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and other artificial fragrances are nothing short of a chemical soup laced with artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.
  • Conventional tampons most probably contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According the USDA, 94 percent of all the cotton planted in the US is genetically engineered.

As Andrea questions, is inserting a GMO tampon into your vagina several times every month any different than ingesting GMO food? For all we know it may be worse, considering the fact that your vaginal wall is highly permeable, allowing toxins direct access into your bloodstream — be it pesticide residue or a GMO protein.

Beware of Toxic Shock Syndrome

It’s important to remember that tampons can create a favorable environment for bacteria growth. Micro tears in the vaginal wall from tampons allow bacteria to enter and accumulate. One recognized risk from tampon use is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which may be caused by poisonous toxins from either Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. TSS can be a life-threatening condition, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Should any of the following symptoms arise while using tampons during your period, make sure you seek medical help:

Sudden high fever Vomiting Diarrhea
Low blood pressure Seizures Rash on palms or soles of feet
Muscle aches Redness of your eyes, mouth and/or throat

 

To minimize your risk of this potentially life-threatening condition:

Avoid super absorbent tampons – choose the lowest absorbency rate to handle your flow Never leave a tampon inserted overnight; use overnight pads instead When inserting a tampon, be extremely careful not to scratch your vaginal lining (avoid plastic applicators)
Alternate the use of tampons with sanitary napkins or mini-pads during your period Change tampons at least every 4-6 hours Do not use a tampon between periods

Many of today’s feminine hygiene products are made primarily from rayon, vicose, and cellulose wood fluff pulp… not cotton — let alone organic cotton. Rayon and viscose present a potential danger in part because of their highly absorbent fibers. When used in tampons, these fibers can stick to your vaginal wall, and when you remove the tampon, the loosened fibers stay behind inside your body, thereby raising your risk of TSS.

Fortunately, there are safer alternatives, and since the FDA regulates tampon absorbency, all tampons on the market must meet the same absorption guidelines. According to Dr. Philip Tierno, a Clinical Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at NYU Medical Centre, 100 percent cotton tampons “consistently test under detectable levels for TSS toxins.” Based on her own research, Andrea recommends the following brands of tampons and sanitary pads listed below. I’ve also created an exclusive line of organic cotton feminine hygiene products, which you can find in my online store.

  • Natracare
  • Diva Cup
  • Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Organic Cotton Tampons
  • Glad Rags Organic Pads
  • Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Tampons

– See more at: http://www.theunknownbutnothidden.com/women-beware-feminine-hygiene-products-contain-toxic-ingredients/#sthash.WzEqrJRG.dpuf”

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ever upwardI am so excited I could spit! In the mail today was Justine Brooks Froelker’s new book, Ever Upward!!! I can’t wait to start reading it tonight. Thank you Justine for the little note, it made my day 🙂 Get your copy now…

 

 

ever upward

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Climbing My Way to Happy.

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I cannot thank my little sis enough for introducing me to rock climbing. She recently moved back home after graduating college from UC Santa Cruz and is an avid rock climber. If you know those banana slugs you know what hippie, liberal, nature, climber, freaks they are. I have to say they are on to something.

Since she has been home I have started climbing and I am IN LOVE OBSESSEDDDDDDDDD. {It happened again tonight. The shear feeling of happiness and joy filled my heart. Filled my whole body. The happy sweet spot.} Climbing is exhilarating, challenging, and just plain awesome. I am facing fears and letting go of them. I am breaking boundaries mentally and physically. Climbing is a powerful tool for self discovery and overcoming self-imposed limitations. It is You vs. You. In life and especially with infertility, I feel like it is a constant game of Me vs. Me. My mind constantly talking. My body letting me down. With climbing I feel like it helps you quite the inner mind games and focus on what is true to be and in the now. I am learning to trust my body again, which I have started to loose faith in because of infertility. My body is a lot stronger and more powerful than I have been giving it credit for. Climbing is also proven to be very therapeutic. Here are some other benefits I have been noticing/what rock climbing will help you with:

Goal setting

Relieves stress

Full body workout

You vs. You

Gives you Confidence

Perseverance

A smokin’ hot bod

I don’t know about you, but some of these sound like things we have to deal with on a daily bases with infertility- goal setting, perseverance… But how about practicing those things in a positive way and gaining some of the things back that infertility has stolen from us like confidence, stress release, a smokin’ hot bod? I know it’s hard sometimes to step outside of the baby making world when you are so deep in it, but I am telling you, once you take some real quality time for yourself mentally and physically, things will start to change. I have said it before and I will say it again, happiness is the one emotional I believe everyone is striving for the most and is the hardest to keep. All I know is that I am happy. And I will keep climbing towards that happiness one hold at a time.

Remember it’s not just about how high you climb, but how high climbing makes you feel!

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