My PCOS and Infertility Story

All my life, I have been a chubby girl. Born as the unica hija and only child of a loving couple, I was raised with enough love and attention from my parents. From them, I have learned to eat what is served on the plate and not be a fussy eater. My father would cook vegetables, more of the healthy kind of food, while my mother was not really the typical kind of housewife (she was a career woman), so she didn’t really know how to cook and would oftentimes prepare easy-to-cook meals like processed food and etc. And we all know that kind of food is convenient to prepare, time-saving but not healthy. But still it was part of our diet ever since.

After I reached puberty, I slowly noticed unusual changes in my reproductive health and menstrual cycle ,which was somewhat unnatural. The likes of irregular period or menstrual cycle, excess hair growth on legs and face, baldness, and migraine every before and after period. I did not take it seriously, I just thought that since other girls also experience it, there’s probably no reason to be worried about. Right from then on, it was just like that.

Up until I got married, I wasn’t taking my menstrual cycle seriously. I didn’t thought it was that crucial enough for me to be concern of so that I would get pregnant easily. My only mindset was, if I get pregnant right a way then great, if not, then we’ll just wait for the time.

However, 5 years passed, we’ve consulted with a couple of OBGYNs and I only had one doctor that I really liked and preferred, since her approach was more holistic and homeopathic. The only problem is, she’s from up north and I’m from down south. We were far apart from each other. I wasn’t diligent enough to follow her advice and I grew tired and negligent. I was discouraged.

Fast forward then last year, 2015, almost 8 years passed, we’ve consulted another OBGYN who’s now from our city. She was recommended to us by some good friends and I really liked her because she’s a pro-patient kind of doctor. She’s also easy to talk to. But, my issue with her is her approach. It’s the generic and basic kind of medical approach for PCOS. There’s actually nothing wrong with it and I have nothing against it. I think my problem is the fact the I find it lacking and not satisfying. Her medical approach, I mean. In case you’re not aware, I am a non-practicing license nurse. As a result, I became a bit meticulous when it comes to medical management and treatment. I have also been feeling frustrated or in other words, I was not mentally prepared for the circumstances. I was impatient So I wasn’t able to stay and last to finish the full work-up, that had to be done for three months. It was a failure on my part.

Now, I’m on the process of again doing research on PCOS to educate myself more, and continuing my fitness activity while struggling to be consistent on it. But most importantly, I still have to work on my diet. Up until now, I still eat whatever there is… I can only prepare meals on a very limited kind since I’m still learning my way around the kitchen. This is one challenging one for me because like I said, a lot of things has to be done and sometimes I go out of direction and I get confuse where and how to start. It’s tough because I feel like I’m doing it on my own, no coach or somebody who is also well-knowledgeable to guide me. If I look for a coach or PCOS specialist online, and I found quite a few, it also cost a bit much. I’m not sure if we can afford it.

Nonetheless, I am optimistic that I can do this. I will still be able to get good results. It probably will take more time, but small progress is still progress. I will have it. I must have it!

Finally, my main goal now is to learn how to cook or prepare more healthy meals. Lose more weight. Then let’s see where I can go from there. Of course, throughout this course of action, I will always have in mind God’s promise that He will accompany me all the way. I truly find comfort in the Eucharist and visiting the Tabernacle or the Blessed Sacrament. It’s really a daily struggle to do it and I often fall short, but it doesn’t mean I have to give up. No I won’t give up.

Here’s some motivation for us:   
    
   

  
ps

Please say a prayer for me. It helps, really. *smiles*

 

Love and Prayers,

Jet (@catholic_bliss)

 

Never Give Up

I wrote a little lengthy post on Facebook about my challenges with having PCOS. And I’d like to share it with you here. This is with high hopes of reminding myself that I should not give up no matter how many times I fail and no matter how may times I’m back to square one. It’s all about progress even if it’s small.

Now here’s what I wrote down:

Too many times i have failed… Too many times I say THIS, just to push myself.. And too many times I would question myself if I’ll ever be able to succeed and achieve my goals. This doubt would linger in my head.

As far as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is concern, a woman’s body and hormonal balance is one hot mess! I’m glad that I have found some good sources on this, which also it gave me enough explanation on the whys and whats of this condition. And I’m pretty sure not everyone will understand this but probably a few could identify themselves with some of the signs and symptom I have also been experiencing. I’m not saying I’m an expert on this but I have been reading a few facts on what really is PCOS and it’s overwhelming that you get a tons of information which of course you also have to filter and discern plus another tons of information on the different remedies and approaches in managing this condition. I must say that this is definitely one cross I am carrying not to mention infertility problem. But we will get there some time soon.

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Having PCOS, specially when you have it for a while now, is hard. It’s hard and it’s a challenge in reversing it because not only will you need to fight for your physiological problems but you also have to battle on your mental struggles. Like I say, PCOS also concerns women’s hormones and these hormones affects our emotion and mental state. Talk about estrogen, progesterone, insulin, and etc. So no wonder, I would sometimes experience mood swings, sudden feeling of sadness, being emotional in an unlikely way LOL! I’m not trying to make excuses but really, it then just makes all sense! I’m assuming that some would then raise their eyebrows and think, she’s just overreacting. Now that’s what I meant that not all will ever understand.

That’s why having this condition makes it a lot more tougher than I thought. I have to think and consider my diet, my fitness plan, the effects of PCOS in my body and how to handle it: infertility, depression, obesity and cravings, body image issues like hirsutism and baldness or alopecia, family and social life, faith and struggles.

All of these, sometimes, just overcomes me. Sometimes I would think that “I can manage”. But sometimes it’s just hard. Way way too hard for me to bear. Then I go back to saying, “Never give up, Jet! Keep doing what you need to do and pray unceasingly.”

I know we all have our piece of difficulties, we all have our crosses to carry, and our fair share of problems in this so called life. But we also have the capacity to carry it with more hope and joy. We may never exactly know the end of the journey but I find it comforting that along the way, I get to change for the better (that is if I continue to do what is right), learn about life and NOT only live for myself but LIVE LIFE ALSO, FOR OTHERS.

I am writing this not to get sympathies but more so for understanding and awareness. I am still one blessed woman, because I’ve had the time and luxury to be able to think this through and write it down now here at the mall. I also count my blessings which I totally find a good habit to do.

Then again, I say to myself…and to you, let’s not give up!

What is LOVE?

It’s been a while now since the legalization of SSM in the US happened. And truth is, I got affected.

I got worried and I couldn’t just take it if I’d be silent about what I believe and know is right. If you are a believer, a Christian or specially a Catholic and want to know my side, please read on. But if not, then it would be hard for you to understand where I am coming from. Remember that this is a faith-based blog, a Catholic one to be exact.

This is also something very personal for me because I have a handful of friends and family members who are homosexuals and I hope they know that I love and care about them very much. 

It may be a challenge for them to believe me, because they might think, or you might think that I am close-minded and that I’d be judging them.

But on the contrary, I know that I’m in no position to do so, I am also a sinner and I fail many times. But like I always say, I STRUGGLE. I struggle to live my faith and to sincerely show God that I love HIM. 

Which leads me to my first question.

What do you think is your purpose in life? And do you really believe in Heaven and eternal life?

It may sound so cliché but for the past couple of years, I’ve come to a conclusion that our ultimate purpose in life is…. to LOVE. 

Generally, we are all called to LOVE GOD and others. And that’s absolutely good enough purpose for me! I am here For LOVE and To LOVE. For that, I’m hoping to reach Heaven when my time is up.

To authentically love, we can go to Heaven after we pass in this earthly life. That’s how simple my principle in life is! Just look at the lives of the saints. But it’s not that easy as it may sound, because LOVE means:

1. To Sacrifice

To truly love, we ought to deny ourselves of self-indulging pleasure and superficial things that we want but do not really need. 

From the book of Edward Sri’s, Men, Women and the Mystery of Love, he shares what authentic love is,

The fullness of love is looking outward toward my beloved and seeking what is best for that person, not just what is good for me. This, in fact, is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines love: “To love is to will the good of another [St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 26, 4, corp. art.]” (CCC, 1766, quoting Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, I–II, 24, 1).

2. Self-giving

When we love, we do not anymore only think of ourselves, but we think of others as well, because we already hold accountable for them. We become our “brother’s keeper”, or we become responsible to and for our spouses.

Matthew Kelly writes in his book, The Seven Levels of Intimacy: 

But in order to love, you must be free, for to love is to give your self to someone or something freely, completely, unconditionally, and without reservation. It is as if you could take the essence of your very self in your hands and give it to another person. Yet to give your self—to another person, to an endeavor, or to God—you must first possess your self. This possession of self is freedom. It is a prerequisite for love, and is attained only through discipline.    This is why so very few relationships thrive in our time. The very nature of love requires self-possession. Without self-mastery, self-control, self-dominion, we are incapable of love….    The problem is we don’t want discipline. We want someone to tell us that we can be happy without discipline. But we can’t…. The two are directly related.”

So when we aim for Heaven, we just do not aim it for ourselves, but we also have bring others with us.

3. To suffer, be free and victorious

Love is not a bed of roses without the thorns. It IS a bed of roses WITH the thorns. And because we make sacrifices, at some point we feel pain and we do suffer. But it doesn’t mean we are unhappy. 

Little do we know that after everything, victory awaits. And we gain freedom from a love that is self-giving.

As St. John Paul II says:  

Love consists of a commitment which limits one’s freedom—it is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one’s freedom on behalf of another. Limitation of one’s freedom might seem to be something negative and unpleasant, but love makes it a positive, joyful and creative thing. Freedom exists for the sake of love. (135)   

Now I’d like to borrow how Edward Sri explained this further and will quote him,

So we see that freedom is given for a purpose: for the sake of love. God gave us freedom so that we could choose to live for others, not just ourselves. The purpose of freedom is not to equip us to live a selfish life, slavishly pursuing whatever pleasurable desires come our way. We have freedom so that we can choose to rise above those self-seeking passions and commit ourselves to other persons, serving them and their needs. Therefore, while the modern individualist may see self-giving love in marriage as something negative and restrictive, Christians view such limitations as liberating. 

And with that said, why else would we feel deprived or unfortunate? Why would we think less of ourselves?

We should feel honored! Because through loving, we become heroes. It may not be in the eyes of humanity, but it’s definitely heroic in the eyes of God. 

Then in the end, we will get to share all the glory and honor God prepared for us in Heaven.

What else is more rewarding than that?! Nothing, for sure! 

  
 

Open Father’s Day Letter

(For my father-in-law)  

Happy Father’s Day Pa! I’d like you to know that you are a blessing to each and everyone of us. 

I honor you for your good and loving heart. Sometimes there may be pain but it just goes to show that we are alive and we are living… What matters is now. We move on and continue to live.. We continue to love…

I honor you for your courage and bravery. You have fought many battles, there may have been victories and failures but you have surpass it all. I say it because you are here with us and you have succeeded. You are a living testimony of success.

I admire your passion and hard work and I honor you for that. The sacrifices you made have all been worth it. In God’s eyes, Pa, you deserve all good things in life.

Thank you for being a father to us, that inspires us to be great at what we do. Thank you for your laughter and smiles that is contagious. Thank you for mentoring and guiding us. Thank you for the shared stories that allows us to learn and simply spend some quality time with you. 

Thank you for your understanding towards me and to where i am coming from, your daughter-in-law. I have the utmost love, admiration, and respect for you. I’m not sure if you feel or sense or see it, but in my heart, I do. I might fail to show it but I could always try. 

You and mama have raised your children well. I see this everyday with my husband, and for that I feel blessed and thankful to you and to God. Your son, my husband, is simply the best. Again, thanks to you!

And finally, I pray for your good health. I pray that God will continue to give you that true peace and joy in your heart, because you truly deserve it. I pray that you continue to be a blessing to everyone because there lies the true happiness we all seek.

Once again, happy father’s day Pa!

I/We love you very much!

With much Love and Affection,

Jet and Jo

Ps. 

These are just words but every bit of it comes from the heart. 😘

Blessed with PCOS

 

Women with PCOS may wonder why the heck having a PCOS is a blessing. Well to be honest with you, it’s tempting to think that it’s a curse, but would it help if I just whine and rant here until the end and continue being bitter? I absolutely think not. So here’s my take why a woman should consider her PCOS a blessing.

  • PCOS is not a decease (yet), it’s a syndrome. If left unmanaged or unaddressed, it will lead to many complications to a woman’s organ system. BUT! There’s a big but there! Most cases, PCOS can be reverse ones we decide to make healthy lifestyle changes. So we shouldn’t waste time. We should decide now, and live a healthy life.
  • PCOS teaches you to be faithful. 

I have gone through this, and even up to now, my current condition teaches me to be faithful in what I know I ought to do. It’s never easy but with this strong faith, it gives me more hope. In being faithful, I also continue to persevere and persist even if I fall to the pits of laziness and discouragement many times, because I know I have to be faithful to God and to myself.

  • PCOS teaches you to be humble. 

Humbling oneself is quite a challenge. With many people giving you unsolicted advice, or just plain thoughtless comments, or even concerned hearts just wanting to share their thoughts, you cannot control what they say, and sometimes it just hurts you. I struggle with this, most of the time, but in trying to accept whatever they say and not affect me in a negative way is liberating. You just have to make peace with what is right now. And do what you gotta do to make things better.

  • PCOS teaches you to be patient. 

We have been hopeful for 8 years and up until now, we still are. Though, there are times when I get to question God’s plan for me, but what then sinks in is the fact that I also have to be patient. It takes time to see results (talking about weight loss) and God’s perfect timing may not be like ours (ex. getting pregnant).

  • PCOS teaches you to truly love yourself and others. It also gives your spouse an opportunity to show his all out love and support for you. 

Loving yourself and taking care of yourself is very important. I’m definitely not talking about being vain here. But I am a body-positive advocate, in a healthy way, of course. I’m talking about loving yourself NOW, both in and out.

  
As for me, I’m overweight and that’s not healthy because I am at risk of many diseases considering that I also have PCOS. And for me to show that I care for myself is to accept how I look now (not body shaming) and strive to be more healthy each day. The key is to struggle daily.

  
It also a blessing that my husband has openly accepted what we are now. We are still a couple and not a family yet. He understands what PCOS is and he tries his best to give support. But more significantly, he doesn’t love me less just because I cannot bear him a child. For that, I am truly blessed and thankful to God.

But then if your husband is just passive and not really that supportive, I still urge you to continue praying for you and your husband. Prayer is very powerful and it can make a difference, because it is effective.

PCOS is not the end of the story. It is just a beginning of a life that is meant to be lived with full of hope, fun, physical exercises, prayers and healthy eating.

Love and Prayers to You,

Jet

  

Why We Moved Our Sons Out of the Ateneo

Praying for ADMU and its Administrators.
Dear Mama Mary, pray for us!

TheStrugglingDad

We decided that we had given it enough time, we had tried and we had been disappointed and hurt. It took us seven years to finally decide to transfer our two boys out of my alma-mater, the Ateneo de Manila University. In 2006 when we were applying for our eldest son to enter primary school, the options were to send him to where I went as a child, the Ateneo (which is usually the case for most of my contemporaries) or to send them to the all-boys equivalent of our daughter’s school, run by PAREF (Parents for Education Foundation), a lay foundation established to strengthen the diminishing role of parents in the education of their children. Knowing how watered-down the formation was at the Ateneo I consulted a priest-friend (and Ateneo alumnus), who told me that a child’s formation in faith is not necessarily solely determined by what they are…

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