New Mama Musings

Thursday, January 04, 2007

TMI...or Not Enough? You Decide

Something weird happened to me a few days ago: I got my period.

This isn't weird just because I'm still breastfeeding, which can delay the return of one's fertility after giving birth.

No, it's weird because other than once or twice as a young adolescent, I've never menstruated on my own. It's because I don't ovulate (and thus don't have a period) that I underwent IVF to get pregnant with Henry.

So the fact that my period showed up now, well, it's amazing to me.

A lot of women complain about having to deal with a period and say how wonderful it would be if they never had one. But it always made me feel a little bit less, a little bit freakish.

As I learned more and more about health, it also started to worry me. Whatever the hormones are that cause normal cycles were out of whack in my body. What other implications might that have?

I'm sure some would say that it was the pregnancy that somehow "jump-started" my body. And maybe it was. But my guess is something more specific: high doses of vitamin D.

Last spring, searching for a solution to Henry's sensitive stomach, poor sleeping and slight rash on his cheeks I started doing a lot of research on nutrition. It was sometime in the summer that I stumbled across some information about cod liver oil and in particular, the high doses of vitamins A and D it contains.

What I read convinced me to start taking a dose daily. (I also gave Henry some every day for a while, but I've become lazy about that.) Within a few weeks my skin, which has been prone to outbreaks practically my entire life, cleared up.

Henry eventually stopped spitting up completely, though I'm not convinced it was anything more than time that helped with that. He still sleeps rather poorly and the rash comes and goes (his doctor says it's keratosis pilaris).

But the state of my skin was enough evidence for me to think the cod liver oil was contributing something to my diet that I had been lacking, so I continued to take it.

Then I read about a study in which women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (which can cause anovulation, among other things) were found to be deficient in vitamin D. Only a few months of vitamin D therapy normalized menstrual cycles in over half the women.

My infertility specialist had dismissed the cause of my anovulation as a PCOS-variant, which I took to mean that she didn't really know what my problem was, but didn't really care, either, because her job was merely to get me pregnant through high-tech intervention.

Don't get me wrong; I liked my doctor. But this whole journey confirms my feeling that there are very few in the medical profession who know much about nutrition as a basis for healing, and that we are our own best advocates.


  • Very interesting commentary. If this can help my skin clear up, then I'm RUNNING to my health food store tomorrow. :) Thanks for sharing and I share in your excitement of the coming of your first moon in a looooong time. Honor it, your body is so wise. :)

    By Anonymous Leigh, at 10:10 PM  

  • Wow! Tell me more about Vitamin D and skin. I had beautiful skin when I was younger. My 30's have been hell on my body.

    And dare we/you/everyone hope that this really does jumpstart your body into cycling??? :)

    By Blogger bfmomma, at 10:41 AM  

  • "But this whole journey confirms my feeling that there are very few in the medical profession who know much about nutrition as a basis for healing, and that we are our own best advocates."

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    This is a very exciting development, and I hope it truly is your body moving into a healthy rhythm. And may all the wonderful, subsequent possibilities become yours.

    By Anonymous gearhead mama, at 1:56 PM  

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