Friday, September 04, 2009

Just feeling a little down - TTC#2 after infertility

It took us the better part of 5 years trying and surgery for both of us for us to have our son, now 2.5. We overcame a lot and our little guy is such a blessing. Still there is the memory of how life was affected by infertility that lingers, and since we have been TTC again, the specter of infertility still haunts.

My partner really wants another baby and we haven't used any protection since the baby was 6 months old. We are often too busy and tired to TTC that much, but I broke out my fertility monitor and we have been timing the best we can and still nothing.

I'm still nursing my son, so it is very possible that breastfeeding is impairing my fertility. But my son is allergic to dairy products, and very attached to nursing -- and given that I'm now 39 and have another fibroid, I know that our chances of another aren't so great as they might have been (in another lifetime, I suppose).

My fibroid has started aching again, a sign that it is very active. This one grew quite a lot while I was pg, and it was last the size of a small orange, though it might have shrunk post pg. Then my period has been getting heavier over the past 6 months, where I'm starting to wonder what's up. My luteal phase is too short (it might be due to nursing) as well.

Then this week I found out that friends of ours, who have a son around the same age as ours, just lost their second pg (about 14 weeks in, related to hyperemesis complications). I just got again and I'm just feeling so glum and sad and miserable -- for their loss (how devastating), for my own uncertainty about whether it will be possible to have another, and for all the heartbreak that went on for us in the past with TTC.

My schedule is so tight between working and watching my son. I recognize that I should probably start talking to my OB, acupuncturist, and a naturopath again but it is so hard to make time. Which make it all the more frustrating.

Intestinal Flora in C-Section Delivered Babies

Since my baby was born more than two years ago, and has developed eczema and other skin rashes, I've spent some of my rare free time researching causes of eczema with many sources pointing towards intestinal health. Given that I delivered by c/s, I've wondered what the affects of intravenous antibiotics to proper intestinal colonization by beneficial flora.

Add to that information that I too have been having increasing digestive issues that I think may be Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and I'm more than convinced that my little boy and me are in the need of a little overhaul of our intestinal flora.

I'm a bit dismayed that the importance of probiotic is not discussed with mothers of babies born via c/s. I did think I was eating well enough, but perhaps this one more stint with IV anti-biotics sort of tipped the scale against me (I also had IV antibiotics during my two d&cs and abdominal surgery to remove a uterine fibroid, in the two years before I became pg with my son).

Here are some articles to reference. I see so many new moms posting here about GERD, eczema, etc. and it may be possible that intestinal flora might also be at play.

[quote]This study shows for the first time that the primary gut flora in infants born by cesarean delivery may be disturbed for up to 6 months after the birth. The clinical relevance of these changes is unknown, and even longer follow-up is needed to establish how long-lasting these alterations of the primary gut flora can be.[/quote]

Fecal microflora in healthy infants born by different methods of delivery: permanent changes in intestinal flora after cesarean delivery.
Grönlund MM, Lehtonen OP, Eerola E, Kero P.

Allergy development and the intestinal microflora during the first year of life.
Björkstén B, Sepp E, Julge K, Voor T, Mikelsaar M.

Gut Flora: A Digestible Account of Probiotics - The Naked Scientists 2005.12.28

I've also found information about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), as a method to control appropriate bacterial levels in the gut. Other than eliminating known trigger foods for my son's eczema, I haven't yet ventured this far. I'm going to find an appropriate naturopathic doctor to work with (if I can find one). Here's more about the SCD:

PecanBread - site target at using SCD with kids

Breaking the Vicious Cycle - SCD Beginners Guide