Infertility, Grownup Stuff and Finding Myself

Forbidden Fruit
A fraud. That's me. I have a blog called Swiss cheese, but 4 months ago I gave up cheese. It's not that I don't like cheese anymore -- it's that I can't eat it anymore. Not my idea, of course, but a "strong suggestion" from my acupuncturist. That's because cheese is no good for fertility and neither is caffeine. (I haven't had a caffe latte in FOR.EVER.)

We're trying very hard to make a baby, but my body is just not cooperating. I have a condition called PCOS. I didn't even know it existed until my doctor diagnosed me. Basically, it means I rarely if ever ovulate. Fortunately, a change in my diet, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and supplements have all contributed to some positive changes in my body. I am hopeful that motherhood is in the cards for me someday, but I suppose it's not God's timing for me yet. I have always wanted to be a mother, and I pray that it will happen for me soon.

I wasn't sure whether or not I should share such personal information here since usually my posts are pretty lighthearted: nostalgia for Switzerland, tidbits from weekend trips here and there, my passion for Fair Trade and resale/thrift/vintage, etc. I decided to divulge because I wanted to talk about infertility some place other than one of those mommy blogs or forums. Not because I don't appreciate those sites (they're quite helpful, though sometimes a little overwhelming with so many acronyms to learn: BD is baby dance, TTC is trying to conceive, OPK is ovulation prediction kit, HPT is home pregnancy test, BFP is Big Fat Positive and the list goes on). It's just that this blog is about my life and now all of a sudden fertility, or lack thereof, is a big part of my life. Plus, pretty much everyone at work already knows about it because I just got so sick and tired of everyone asking me when we were going to have a baby.

Fertility stuff is in my face every day. Every morning I take my temperature. Twice a day I take prenatal vitamins, fish oils and herbal supplements to balance my hormones. I don't eat soy, gluten, dairy (except for BUTTER, I can't live without BUTTER), sugar or caffeine. I can only have a couple of fruit servings a day. I eat lots of vegetables, eggs, and meat. We buy organic, free-range, grass-fed as much as possible. I cook dinner every week night. The past 4 months have involved a huge lifestyle change, not to mention I lost my dad only 8 months ago and we're trying to buy a house.

When did life get so complicated?

I don't even know if teaching is my calling. Needless to say, I've been feeling a little lost lately, but I know I'll get through it all. This is the girl who decided in 9th grade that she was going to attend NYU and made it happen. She's the girl who decided she wanted to spend the summer in Italy for free and lined up a nanny gig to hang out with an adorable 3-year-old along the shores of Lago di Garda. She's in here somewhere -- she just needs a little more time to find herself again.


  1. Hey Amanda, I'm glad that you are not trying to cope with this on your own, like I did while I was dealing with PCOS and infertility. I would do it all different today and I feel that opening up to friends and family would have made things easier. Martin was conceived 19 months after we started trying and on my second round of Clomid. It will happen for you and Isaiah too, just never stop trusting your body is capable of it.

  2. Hi Carla, thanks for your comment! What surprises me is how common PCOS is among women, but I had gone more than 30 years without ever learning about it. It's not something that doctors go around telling you about unless you have it and then if you have it, no one wants to talk about it. I hope that my opening up about it will raise awareness about this condition. Maybe people will be more sensitive about asking women, "So, when are the kiddos coming?"

  3. Geez I never heard of this . If you looked at me I got pregnant lol I wouldn't have minded a bit of what you have lol
    I hear a lot of people today have problems and don't know if it's because of the food, environment birth control or because women wait too long to have children or maybe too much stress. All of these things play a part in life today.
    Hang in there girl and good luck:)

  4. Hello A Lady's Life -- Thanks for your comment. I do worry a lot about the food, birth control and environment thing. Conventional food has so much junk going on, it's scary. As for waiting too long to have children, that's not how it works with PCOS. Some women with PCOS discover it in their early 20s. It's most likely a genetic disorder. Though I was only recently diagnosed, I've had the symptoms since puberty. One symptom is infrequent, irregular menstruation. I didn't get my period until I was 15 and then it didn't come again but every few months.

    By the way, I know you were joking, but I would never wish PCOS on anyone. It's devastating for anyone dealing with it.

  5. Hi Amanda!
    I think it's very brave of you to share this, as the whole topic of infertility is just so tabu. When it seems that everyone around you is getting pregnant and you're not, it just makes you feel like such a failure. Sounds like you have alot of stress and anxiety in your life at the moment and that also won't help with conceiving. Hang in there - sending you positive vibes.

  6. Hi Vicky, Thanks for your message. I really do think stress has a large role in this whole situation. I've been meeting with a therapist every few weeks to help me manage everything. I think the hardest part is erasing all the stress! Isaiah and I plan to go away for the weekend for our anniversary, which I hope will help relax me a bit...

  7. Hi Amanda! Thanks so much for sharing this with us on your blog. I know I feel the same about talking about uber-personal stuff on AsianCajuns. I never know how much to share, but when it's something that is such a large part of your life (and becomes more important than clothes, travel, food or fashion), I feel like it is empowering to your readers to share it. So thank you!

    I'm not currently trying to get pregnant, but I've read a lot about PCOS because I was recently diagnosed with endometriosis. That's actually why I went vegan and mainly raw for January (still vegetarian though I've had some gluten and cheese these past few weeks). I'm taking evening primrose oil and trying to balance things as naturally as possible, so I know what that's like.

    Thanks again for sharing this, Amanda!

  8. Hi Lar! Thanks for your words of encouragement. I really want to stick with natural therapies for a few more months. If still no baby, then we'll see about other solutions.

    Hope you're feeling better! Thanks for sharing your story on your blog as well ;)

  9. Hi (again :)) Amanda! Thanks so much for your comment on my post and asking for an update. The diet has made me feel much, much better all the way around. It has definitely made the endo pain much less severe which makes me do a happy dance every time I think about it.

    Apart from reading Kris Carr's book, I've been reading Carolyn Levett's books about endometriosis. She also has a recipe book which I found really helpful (so hard to keep thinking of things to cook!) and it follows a lot of the same ideas that you would use to help PCOS (basically rebalancing hormones -- so no gluten, sugar, dairy, meet, soy, etc.).

    Do let us know how it goes for you!


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