Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fact

Little Boy: Mom, bees can't read, you know why? Cause they're color blind.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Learn Something New Every Day

Zachary: Did you know that elephants love molasses?

Me: Um, no. Where did you learn that?

Zachary: It's on the back of the jar. And it says, "Grandma's is a proud sponsor of the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee."

Me: There's an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee?

Palm Sunday

Don't miss the "Quote of the Day" over at The Deacon's Bench.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Can't Fool Him

Nicholas: Hey, this beef tastes like meat!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Generous Reader Shares Her Story...

..and offers encouragement for those who may encounter difficulties at first with progesterone therapy, including possible allergies...

A dear friend of mine who is a reader of yours sent me a link to your blog "Last Word." I'm thrilled! Please allow me to share my story with you.

My husband and I were blessed with our second child early this year. I have experienced depression before - even clinical depression - but nothing like what I began to experience in my third and fourth week post-partum. Since talking about [the] nitty-gritty of post-partum depression seems to be taboo, I am going to put myself out there and write out what I experienced. The first eight were the worst for me.

  • Guilt, especially "mommy-guilt"
  • Feeling inadequate in taking care of my preschooler and my baby
  • Low or no energy
  • Becoming easily frustrated
  • An inability to handle normal, daily stress
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anger
  • "Foggy thinking" paired with difficulty in conversation and writing
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Overwhelmed
  • Lack of appetite at some times, extreme hunger other times
  • Inability to be comforted
  • Exhaustion/Fatigue - different from the normal post-partum tiredness
  • Emptiness
  • Decreased sex drive
I was in such a state that it wasn't until I was seven weeks post partum, when my NaproTechnology practitioner asked me if I was experiencing post-partum depression (PPD), that I even realized what it was that I was going through.

Thankfully, it was at about the same time that things came to a head and those close to me rallied for support. It's amazing how unaware those close you can be, through no fault of their own.

My Practitioner reminded me that in addition to progesterone treatment for cycle issues, Dr. Hilgers is known for his natural-progesterone treatment for post-partum depression. I contacted his office, which is three states away, and it was determined that I was indeed a candidate for progesterone therapy for post-partum depression.

What happened next I would also like to share for the benefit of others who may experience it, although I am told it is rare. A year prior to my post-partum depression experience, I tried to do progesterone treatment under Dr. Hilgers' care for my poly-cystic ovarian (PCOS) issues. Unfortunately, I had a worse-than-normal skin reaction to the shots. So we tried the oral capsules, but I reacted with my entire body on fire with itching, from the inside out. So, I stopped treatment and focused on a healthier lifestyle, which helped in a number of ways.

When I contacted Dr. HIlgers' office regarding progesterone treatment for my post-partum depression, we decided to try the progesterone capsules one more time. Once again, I had a massive itching attack. After hours on the phone with the compounding pharmacy, Dr. Hilgers' staff, and even family and friends, we made an educated guess that I am allergic to sustained release powder. This was confirmed when I had no reaction to all-natural retail progesterone, Prometrium (which is natural, yam-based but contains peanut oil, so it is not recommended for those with peanut or soy allergies).

Thank heavens!

Within four hours after my first dose of Prometrium, I felt amazing. It was like walking out of a black thundercloud into bright rays of sunshine. My family was astounded, in a good way, at the immediate difference. That day my three-year-old daughter kept looking at me curiously but happily. She even took a nap without argument for the first time in months! That day I ran errands, cleaned the house, made dinner, greeted my husband at the door when he came home. . . . It was a Godsend.

Guided by Dr. Hilgers and his staff, I continued on the progesterone treatment for a little over 3 weeks. My last dose was last night. We'll see how things go from here on out! If my PCOS issues return with my cycles, I will be eager to work with Dr. Hilgers and his staff to do progesterone therapy.

For the benefit of those who may read this, I would also like to point out that many depression symptoms (both "regular" and post-partum) overlap with the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and adrenal fatigue. If your symptoms persist, you may want to have those possibilities evaluated.
I'd like to add here that estrogen dominance which happens as a result of low progesterone levels does, in fact, suppress the thyroid and that is the reason these symptoms overlap.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Progesterone and Peri-Menopause

From a reader...

I wanted to add that in addition to being so successful in reducing the symptoms of "baby blues" and PPD, Progesterone is also highly recommended as a form of natural relief for women going through peri-menopause/early menopause. Instead of dangerous hormone replacement drugs which possess a host of horrible side effects, Progesterone naturally abates many of the mood swings, hot flashes and "off feelings" associated with peri-menopause. Thank you for using your forum to help women in this way.

This is certainly true. Progesterone also plays an important role in preventing bone loss and controlling weight, two concerns at the time of menopause especially. Dr John Lee's book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause is a good resource for learning more.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now We Are Six

From a Reader

A reader writes...

I just wanted to add my 2 cents about Dr. Hilger's progesterone therapy. My youngest three children are my "progesterone babies". I needed progesterone support throughout my pregnancies with them. But I always had terrible baby blues. I don't think it turned into PPD, as it was fairly short-lived (less than 1 month) but for those few weeks, I was miserable and so was my family, especially my poor husband, who could not understand why I was crying all the time. Of course, the feelings associated with baby blues are so difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't experienced them. "Everything's wrong, but nothing is wrong....I love my babies so much it hurts...or it scares me..." The anxiety, feelings of hoplessness and despair, fear, and instability are completely overwhelming.

Luckily, I happened to mention my baby blues to Dr. Hilger's nurse. She told me how Dr. Hilgers treated baby blues with progesterone. I was a couple of days into my "blues" at this pont, but within one hour of getting my progesterone shot, I felt emotionally stable again! Not perfect, but still, like a miracle! I couldn't believe how much better I felt. I didn't always have such dramatic results, but the progesterone was such a relief for me.

I told a friend who's daughter was having PPD about it and she contacted Dr. Hilgers also and got relief from progesterone therapy.

I am sure these stories are not news for you, but I wanted to encourage you to continue spreading this information. It could help so many women.



Send me your story, if you have one. I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Decisions

Me: Zachary, what would like for your birthday dinner tomorrow?

(All the others start chanting pizza..pizza...pizza)

Zachary: Um...meatloaf and broccoli and potatoes, but the potatoes are for everybody else. I don't like potatoes.

Me: Why would you choose something you don't like for your birthday?

Zachary: Don't worry, it's just the potatoes. I like everything else.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring, Beautiful Spring!


Last Word

In my inbox and in the combox of Kate Wicker's article at Faith and Family, some people have questions concerning the progesterone used by Napro physicians to treat postpartum depression. I assure you that they use all-natural, bio-identical, plant-derived progesterone. In fact, all the hormones they use to treat depression are natural. These are NOT synthetic hormones. They have no side effects, are not addicting, and are in no way bad for your health.

Also, many people have suggested helps toward recovery such as natural progesterone creams, exercise, and vitamins. These are all great suggestions and very helpful, if not vital for maintaining strong physical and mental health. However, it can be hard to keep up with the regimen and even when you do, sometimes these things just aren't enough. Still others think Napro won't work for them because they have taken oral progesterone at the suggestion of their midwives or doctors without success. These treatments are not the same as Napro and nowhere near as effective.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I will say again that the treatment offered by NaProTechnology and NaPro physicians is immediate and dramatic. While a small percentage of women may not benefit from this help, NaProTechnology has a 95% success rate in the treatment of PMS, PMDD, and PPD. That's right, 95%.

Lastly, while Napro works for me, I'm not suggesting it for that reason alone. I'm suggesting it because through my work as an intern I have become aware that it is working for women all over the world and I would like to see more women benefit.

I would advise anyone seeking this treatment to find a FertiliyCare professional close to you. Your FertilityCare practitioner is trained to identify potential problems, monitor your health and refer you for treatment or prevention.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Always Exciting

Jacob: Quick! Where are Dad's pliers? We've found a parrot!

Actually it looks like somebody's pet parakeet flew the coop and is perched in a high branch of a tree in our backyard. The pliers, if you are wondering, were to snip the branch at the base so they could get him down.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Biggest Problem...

...with the "World's First Compostable Chip Package" that my Sun Chips now come in?

It's so noisy. It's the LOUDEST bag ever. It isn't the noise so much I mind as the fact that on account of it, I can't exactly "sneak" them anymore. Go away. These are mine.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Counting the Costs

Little Boy: (Admiring my wedding ring in the sunlight) Wow. That is so beautiful and shiny because it is made of gold and diamonds. Those are worth a lot of money. You could sell that ring and make lots of money. (Pause) But I guess then you wouldn't be married to Dad anymore.

To Be Clear

Progesterone therapy is only a better way to treat PPD when it works and for various reasons it may not always work for all women all of the time. Women suffering PPD who are not helped by progesterone therapy should discus other medications with their doctors. Lastly, there is nothing that suggests these women are any more depressed than women who are helped by progesterone. No woman should ever be ashamed to seek the treatment she needs. Again, I say this a matter of chemicals, not character.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Better Way...

...to Beat the Baby Blues: Postpartum Depression, Let's Talk.

I've returned from my eight day intensive first education phase in the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and I had not planned on blogging as I'm settling in here and preparing to meet with my first clients as well as get back into a routine and spend some time with my boys, whom I've missed. Then, this morning, I saw Kate Wicker's feature article at Faith and Family, Beat the Baby Blues: When Postpartum Depression Hits Home. The article is candid about an issue that many women suffer from silently and it offers helpful suggestions for finding balance when changes and adjustments to family life have thrown us off. I had to write about this topic, however, because the article does not not even mention one the most effective treatments for postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is defined as a major depressive disorder with postpartum onset. The postpartum period can be a great challenge to a woman's mental health. The physical, social, psychological and hormonal changes during this period are sudden and extreme. It is not uncommon for women in this period to experience fatigue, bouts of crying, loss of interest in daily activities, inability to enjoy activities formerly enjoyed, difficulty concentrating and remembering, irritability, feelings of guilt, inadequacy or worthlessness, excessive anxiety over the child's health, and even thoughts of death or suicide. Postpartum psychosis is a more severe condition and is usually associated with other underlying or preexisting psychological disorders.

The well being of mother and child, and by extension the whole family, depends absolutely on the mother's mental wellness and so medical treatment for postpartum depression is urgent. Women should be encouraged to seek treatment immediately and the social stigma that women who suffer depression are somehow "weak" needs to be eradicated. This is not a matter of character, but of chemicals.

The true solution to depression brought on by a hormonal imbalance is to bring the hormones back into balance. However, this is not the solution offered by most doctors. A woman who talks to her doctor about postpartum depression can expect to be given a choice of two solutions: the birth control pill or antidepressants. Both these solutions can effectively mask the ill effects of hormone imbalance, but neither addresses the underlying cause and each comes with its own attending side effects.

NaProTechnology, or Natural Procreative Technology developed by Dr Thomas Hilgers of the Pope Paul VI Institute, offers a better way to treat postpartum depression. They have found that the use of progesterone therapy results in dramatic improvement in the symptoms of depression. Further, it is a natural treatment and has no known side effects. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that the use of supplemental progesterone during pregnancy can even prevent the onset of depression in the postpartum period in the first place.

More women need to know this. The word should get out that there is a real solution to this very real problem and women and families need not suffer. Of course progesterone therapy alone is not the complete answer to postpartum depression as the physical and social changes a woman experiences still present a challenge, but most women find that these other areas are much more manageable when chemical imbalances have been corrected.

I've had my own experiences with postpartum depression and progesterone therapy and I would be happy to share my own story, but that is a post for another day.

Where to go for help:

As with all NaProTechnology solutions, treatment for PPD should be administered in cooperation with the woman's own individual and natural cycle. A FertilityCare professional can assist you in tracking your cycle and monitoring your health. Physicians are better able to treat you when you present a record of your health in the standardized format. FertilityCare professionals can teach you how to keep these records. Find physicians and FertilitlyCare professionals in your area.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ruminations

Little Boy: (After eating more than his fair share of something he likes) I wish I were a cow because my tummy is full. If I were a cow, I'd have three more tummies to fill.