Tag Archives: paleo

Cause the weeds are high where the corn don’t grow

I’m feeling really judgy as I overhear the brunch chatter this fine Thursday morning. The complaints are all 1st world problems that have really easy solutions, and the pains these women express are so shallow. Stuff like how hard it is to fit a run in when you have kids to feed, and how many times a day they miss a photo op of their kids being cute because they left their phone in the kitchen. Why can’t I tune them out and enjoy reading the book I’ve packed, the book about shame and vulnerability and our culture.  I start journaling to see if I can glean some kind of lesson from my irritation, and find that I’m going to have to ask my bestie for insight so I text her. Do I think my pain is more validated than theirs, are my complaints any less 1st world than theirs? It comes down to this: they are moms. Since they have the one thing I want most they can’t complain at all.  The guy who grumbles about a work trip to Hawaii in February, the person who gardens in the valley and says its so hard to keep things from overgrowing, the person who loves to fish but has so much chinook salmon they can’t eat it fast enough. See you are irritated now too aren’t you?

We think we would happily trade problems with people who have something we want. I have an response to every whine a mother makes: None of your clothes fit because you haven’t lost the baby weight yet? Trade you my size for yours if I could have great kids like you have. You never have time for yourself? All I have is time with myself. There’s snot on your shirt and crackers ground into your backseat? I can and do wear white often and it looks clean at the end of the day.  Your teenager is ungrateful and disrespectful? Yeah good luck with that.

There comes a point where you have to humanize the villain in this story, after all being a mom is the job I want. I have my things I’m sensitive to and careful about in social settings, my soapboxes,flippant talk of suicide, chemicals in food, being a parent are a few of my things. I made up some stories about who these brunch mama’s. Once I got creative giving them really hard lives that they couldn’t discuss at brunch I was suddenly compassionate of these strangers. I talked with Josh about it for a while and he helped me guess what their things might be, maybe one has a mom who was a world class athlete and she lost her foot in a tragic plane crash so now this woman wants to run to fulfill her mother’s dream, maybe one had a house fire when she was 10 and all the cute pictures her family took were incinerated so now she wants to do what her parents couldn’t and have zillions of photos backed up on the cloud for her kids to cherish. Yeah I gave them a lot of credit, I hear what your saying that its not realistic. But now I want to cheer for them and hope they can  reach their goals, so it was a good mental exercise.

They couldn’t have known that within earshot was a person struggling with infertility. We need to learn to be more sensitive to the invisible pain around us, at least willing to admit that the world is filled with people who are in the fight of their life. I need to be slower to judge people as shallow or vapid, and gently teach what wisdom I have extracted from the 36 years I have been on planet earth. So much goodness can be drawn from being teachable too, knowing that there is much to learn. I do grow weary though, do you sometimes want to quit being soft and strong and teachable? Hard times are real and there’s dusty fields wherever you go. (Yes, I have been listening to Waylon Jennings )

I’m tired of writing and being raw with you all, seeing you at the grocery store hearing you kindly say “I read your blog, how are things going?” It’s hard to be known and seen, it’s hard to report that we aren’t pregnant yet. I’ve been eating beans and corn and hash browns sometimes, I’ve gone days without taking my vitamins, I did yoga only 2 times this summer, and I am hardly interested in reporting data on my fertility tracking app. I’m choosing to have a little more grace with the journey and be less unyielding with my expectations of when and how. We have looked into IUI which is the less invasive way of “helping” to get pregnant (its what you do before IVF) and its not covered by insurance.  I’m told that the IUI procedure is likely to increase our chances of pregnancy by 20%. We may have to go through a few cycles of it and that’s not in the budget right now. The simple joy of eating corn is likely to increase my chances by 20% too right? Corn is in the budget so we are going to back off from the strict paleo way and be mostly healthy with some corn. Here’s to hoping that joy is as valuable a health tool as discipline.

 

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mexican street corn from Spork, my favorite!

 

Last Man Standing

“Rest your head on your mat, open your eyes, see the mat.” I see it. I has tiny circles separated by capital letter I’s and inside the circles are little squares. My eyes get blurry like I’m looking at a magic eye picture from the 90’s, but i don’t see a hidden picture of a dolphin appearing. This is of no consequence to anything. At the end of class he says “open your eyes, meet the eyes of the people sharing your practice today, see each of them” I prefer seeing people to seeing my mat. They have eyes and expressions and they sweat with me here today. Baptiste Power Yoga is hard, and I feel like I am building something when I’ve finished. Daily yoga is my Lenten commitment. I cry every day because they say “happy baby” which is a pose you do towards the end while lying down, and the hot tears drip into my ears. I’m not totally sure why I chose this for Lent. I know that I didn’t want to give up anything since my diet is already paleo and very restricted, and I feel like I have a lot of loss in the balance of my life. So adding something felt like a safe choice, turns out an hour a day commitment is still a sacrifice. Shrugs.

Fun update: we went to the naturopath on Friday morning for our most recent fertility results. These results have to do with my dear sweet grooms body not mine, and so I asked him yesterday if its okay for me to write about. “This is our journey, Kate, not mine. Be as transparent as you need to”. Our culture has taught us that one’s manhood is tied to his performance and sperm count, I challenge that to say this guy’s manhood is tied to his response when asked to be vulnerable with his numbers. Together we have done so much work to improve our fertility, and now we embark on a new leg of the journey towards being parents. ( I doubt anyone really watches my song links, but I literally listen to this song everyday. it is the title of this post. Last Man Standing )

In November I wrote about the odds being stacked against us for natural conception, here are the details of that, and the fantastical new plan to beat the odds. The swimmers need to be at least 60% quick and zooming, we’re at about 30%; We need at least 20 million of them and we only have 16 million, lastly only half of our guys are normal the other half have two heads and coiled tails and stuff like that. Upon receiving this news (on his 37th birthday) he had his game face on and was ready for the next step, our ND calmly asked “how hardcore do you want to be.”  “Very” was my champions answer. She explained oxidative stress like this (3 minute animation)  and told us that  carrying some extra weight is the main cause of his oxidative stress. Well he has been hitting the gym an hour or more a day, 5-6 days a week since November and while he has lost some weight he needs something more dramatic to jump-start his metabolism.

 

Drum roll please….

Enter the HCG diet. Daily injections of this cool hormone will cause him to burn fat cells as energy, and somehow survive on 500 calories a day. Don’t worry guys its only for 3 weeks and then he can resume normal (is paleo diet normal now) eating. Did I almost pass out at the office when I heard about this, and saw the price tag, and comprehended the commitment level? You bet your buttons I almost did. So I’m in the waiting room looking at the patterns in the carpet and sipping water and being told to breathe, and my bad-ass groom is getting the instructions to take injections at home and how to count calories and scheduling weekly followups with our ND.  My head is spinning. Sally you will be proud of how Dr.Science this post is, the rest of you might be rating this post high on the EW! scale.

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Here’s us on our wedding day

I honestly don’t even know what to expect in the next 3 weeks, but did I know what to expect the last 3 weeks? NO one could have known that we would be sad and mourning the loss of a perfect little baby in our family, and it felt like I couldn’t breathe at some moments. Today I showed up though, and I might show up again tomorrow. Its a daily thing. We wake up grateful and put one foot in front of the other, we look each other in the face and try to see one another. So far that’s what I’ve learned from yoga-show up and see. We do not know what will happen in the hours and minutes we spend on this earth, sometimes its awful and unbearable and we feel crushed. The man I have married is so clearly the best partner for me in this journey. He is grounded and focused and kind and compassionate and also really tough. We are sharing our story so that you can see into us, and can lament and rejoice with us at the appropriate times. If you have experiences with this diet or infertility or grieving lets talk about those things and learn from one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve got a million miles ahead of us

You bet I’m listening to Justin Beiber <I used to believe we were burnin on the edge of somethin beautiful> I still believe that Justin! <Don’t fall asleep at the wheel, we’ve got a million miles ahead of us> Okay, I won’t! Also watching Tim Burton’s Alice In wonderland. The flowers are so mean to Alice, am I right?  “She’s not even wearing the right dress” they gossip about her as she passes by. Then Absolem says “You are not hardly Alice” everyone is against her! I have loved the story of Alice in Wonderland since I was a small girl, I think it’s all the other worldness. It’s certainly not the rabbit that makes me love the story, rabbits are all together  untrustworthy. At least the Hatter believes in her from the start; she has some friends, some help in her journey.

I have felt so incredibly loved by many of you kind humans. You have gingerly and tenderly asked if you can ask the state of things in my womb. Your nice, all of you so nice; not at all like the gossiping flowers. Yes you can ask, and I promise to tell everyone everywhere when we have succeeded in our dream to have a baby. In the meantime we are plugging along trying to stay paleo and stay active and healthy, taking our vitamins and such. I’m focusing on gratitude and staying positive.

This time last year we were preparing for 3 days in the hospital. I was making cookies for the nurses and visitors, and getting my Christmas all in order, and making plans to lay low and recover for 6 weeks (an eternity). I will spend next week baking and gathering with friends, working on choreography to teach in December, and going to yoga. I love to look at the passing of time, don’t you? We get further from the things that were painful, yet new potentially painful things are on the horizon. It gives hope though to look back and see how you have used time.

“Sometimes I have believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast” Alice says this to cheer herself into doing something impossible. Here’s why movies are so great, 90 minutes in she is much more muchier and she’s absolutely Alice. She isn’t confident that she knows who she is or what she was brought here to do, but she’s got a hunch and a few fans. We have some news that the odds for natural conception are stacked against us a little bit, but we aren’t giving up. Thank you all for cheering us on, and believing in our dreams with us. Seriously, when this kid gets here you are all invited to party like its 1999 with us. (I hear that party=naps to pregnant people so be ready for napping fun times) Till then, pop the champagne we have so much to be grateful for. Would you comment telling me why your grateful? (even if its your nice new baby, I promise to be grateful with you instead of being envious) I’m grateful that I’m not about to get operated on. Your turn.

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Go & make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely

I do not keep lists, I often misplace my keys, and I’m usually late because I’m so present in the current moment I fail to look ahead for the next.  BUT when it comes to public bathrooms I have a system: 1st sit down 2nd secure the necessary amount of toilet paper 3rd unleash the torrent. Under no circumstances should you do step 3 before step 2.  I do not like to be caught unprepared in that vulnerable situation.

Being prepared isn’t always enough, is it. Sometimes being prepared is downright impossible. Its so nice and tidy to have a plan, and to avoid uncomfortable experiences where you are in need and have to ask for help. Lately my life has been filled with reaching my hand to a stranger in the next stall, hoping they can be my rescue. I don’t like being rescued, it violates my sense of autonomy.

More than my disdain for assistance, is my gratitude that even strangers are willing to help.  I had this new doctor who said that if I want to do nothing to remedy my condition that would be ok. He didn’t push his treatment plan, or a drug that he gets paid to represent, and didn’t jump to worst case scenario. That is one point for allopathic doctors in my book. However, he did send me to do a radioactive iodine uptake test.

I’m going in the morning at 8:45. It has to be Wednesday because they can only receive nuclear mail once a week, it comes from a weapons grade nuclear plant in the Midwest. Aaaand I’m supposed to put it in my body, which everyone including 2 naturopathic doctors think is safe and harmless. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!! (I actually may be)

I’m grateful to have so much support as I go into strange new kinds of medicine. I have this one friend who researches things for me, she assures me that the best possible outcome is on its way. Like googling what kind of spider that was that I just killed, she is not afraid to look up freaky procedures and the risks and benefits.  She messages me the most qualified reasons I should hope for good health, and reminds me that it could be worse-a lot worse.

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friends. remembering friends.                            Hbd Sarah, we still miss you.

 

 

Asking the neighboring potty breaker to pass me a portion of T.P is not the worst thing that could happen. Once again I’m reminded that community is what we all need. That vulnerability is valuable, and helping someone even if we barely know them is joy inducing. For now the balance of receiving help and giving help is tipped in the accept direction. I anticipate a season when I can dispense assistance freely, I hope to be generous as my tribe has been with me. You people are awesome! Stay tuned for radioactive Kate updates.

use the sleeves of my sweater, let’s have an adventure

When i was young I was existentially opposed to talking about the weather. It seemed to me shallow, and that any meaningful conversation was not to be started with talk of whether it is raining and how wet everything is. As I have been forced to grow up some I can see that the weather is something we all experience and thus can be the beginning of connecting with a stranger. Meaningful conversations can only occur if one human is connected to the other. So lets apply meaning to our visit today by starting with how incredibly long the Autumn has been here in Central Oregon. Thursday is “remember remember the 5th of November” and we have yet to see the snow fly here in town. While I have the Egg Nog chilled and ready to drink for the next season, I’m really enjoying the showy changing of leaves in my neighborhood. Come down to the far end of Delaware ave and see the large perfectly symmetrical maple tree in its brightest yellow flood of color. You’ll thank me.

ad·ven·ture: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
There has been much talk of adventure in my tribe. “Ships are safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for” John A. Shedd from Salt in my Attic. We are encouraging one another to untie our ships and see what awaits us a few hundred miles from shore. My groom and I feel that we have been at sea for a while. This adventure is not particularly fun as some of our adventures have been. I resonate more with the hazardous description. With a heavy dose of optimism we are finding our way through what seems like a little storm.
We went to the pre-op appointment yesterday and got some happy answers to our most brow furrowing questions.  Like “can i see the little punks after you take them out” and “will my intestines ever be on the outside of my body”.  (yes, and no) The thing I was looking least forward to confirming is that I will in fact spend definitely one, probably two, and possibly three nights in the hospital. I wrestled with that as I tried to fall asleep in my dark room last night. Today I have concluded that the real reason is that I will have to receive around the clock care from strangers, depending on them to help me with normal things. I’m a nurturer by nature, I have chosen 3 career paths that are overtly care taking. Accepting nurturing is not my best position. I know I’m not alone because I spend a fair amount of time convincing people that they need me to take care of them; “thank you for trusting me” is how I close each massage session. So I’ll take some of my own medicine and imagine that my possibly 3 days in the hospital is like a retreat for me… Spa weekend! Okay, maybe not quite a spa weekend, you get the idea: Positive visualization.
A word about drugs. I took the Lupron injection after a blissful two weeks in France. It has made me constantly overheated, and wicked tired. Like fall asleep halfway through a glass of red wine while watching my favorite show at 8  pm kind of tired. At first it also made my heart beat all caddywumpus, and ruined my appetite. (both of which have passed now) It seems to be doing the shrinking job though. If you are person who asks God for things for other people, i would like to solicit your petitions for extremely shrunken fibriods by surgery day- which is November 25th. The smaller they are the better chance i have at having a reconstruct-able uterus. Overall not that bad of an Rx if you ask me.
Lastly many of you have offered to help and i can’t say how lucky i feel to have a tribe like that. Its hard to imagine needing help, and in what way really. I have been ordered to drink 4 cups of bone broth daily after surgery for 10 days. So maybe homemade bone broth would be helpful since that’s a lot of cooking for my groom. ( i guess i can make some now, but i don’t have that big of a freezer!) I will certainly be concerned about my little dog, so if anyone likes to walk dogs it would be a relief to know that my creature is being cared for as i am incapacitated. If you think stopping by the hospital to visit a lady in recovery would be fun on Thanksgiving or black friday then you are invited. I’m not a person who likes being alone much, and even if  two of you just catch up with each other as i doze in and out of consciousness i would feel like i had a party in my room and that would be funner than being all alone with nurses and machines. I’ll make cookies the day before i go in for visitors, k? k.
Really and truly thanks for following along with my journey. I’m still scared, but knowing that people think i’m brave makes me feel like i can go forward from here. I hope the snow does come, and soon. My life always seems to reflect in the seasons, does that happen to you? While the snow can be a bother to drive in, and to shovel, and for the heating bill, it seems worth it to me. The soft white silence it brings, the floaty way the flakes fly, and the way it makes you want to cuddle up together is its reward. I’m ready for winter, and for holding still, and for *gulp* being taken care of. But really though, come to my end of Delaware and see the colors before they’ve fallen.
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One slice of perspective to go, hold the cheese please.

Its been 5 weeks without dairy entering my mouth-hole. with the love and support of my friends and my fabulous partner i have survived. The acupuncturist says i have a dampness in my body that is creating excess phlegm, and that’s why i have fibroids. Cheese is the main perpetrator of dampness. I’m taking something like 21 supplements with breakfast, 2 with lunch and 11 with dinner. I’m also collecting my saliva in tiny vials to be mailed off and analyzed by hormone scientists. Also i must mention that i’m drinking a tincture of many many many herbs half an hour before each meal. My new healthcare regime has become quite high maintenance. I’m doing breathing exercises in my garden most mornings and trying to go to bed at a respectable hour.  I’m very aware of everything pertaining to my body, and its starting to feel self focused.

But that’s not all. the world keeps turning, and time keeps ticking, and life keeps handing us things.Someone i love lost their brother to suicide, another loved one was diagnosed with ALS, and my lovely father in law is making progress in his healing from the scare in February where we almost lost him. I try not to carry these things, as they are not mine. What i try to do is make sense of suffering, of pain, of loss. I think of Jesus in the garden the night before he was betrayed. “Father everything is possible for you.Take away this cup from me; yet not as i will but what you will.” My prayers are often similar, i find that i’m begging for healing for my friend with ALS. “do a great miracle” i say “this is your chance to shine” i say with my most persuasive tone. What is the Father took the cup of suffering from his son…what if Jesus did not die . Where would all of humanity be? If you believe what i believe about the Cross, that the purpose was for Him to defeat death once and for ALL, the history and future of humanity would be drastically different. What i hope this means about my lumpy uterus and the bad news i find around each corner, is that suffering is worth something. But what i know that it means, is that God knows suffering. He gets it, because he did some suffering while he was here.

Why does that matter? Because the creator of the universe, gets me. He walked among us experiencing the human condition, even the unjust treatment that was his brutal death. I keep saying “its not fair” and He knows that. I can’t explain why he doesn’t save us from these gross unfairities. (yeah i make up words when i’m passionate,ok?) The other thing is that God is God, i’m just kp. Do i know how to “keep the sea inside its boundaries, and clothe it with clouds, and wrap it in thick darkness” have i ever “commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east” nope. I just brush my teeth and drink coffee in the morning. For now I will let Him just be Himself, and i’ll just be me. Little old whiny, begging, me. Complaining about giving up cheese and ice cream for a while. The God i worship knows things i do not know, could not know, probably don’t want to know. What I know is that My name is Katharine, and I am not alone. Not. Alone.