This post is a guest post by Karla Czerwinski, one of the wonderful women who contacted us through the app. Her story of healing brought a tear to my eye. Please enjoy it below – Kati
July 9, 2011, was the happiest day of my life. I married my best friend Joshua and we embarked on the amazing journey of married life together. About six months into marriage, we decided that we wanted to start trying to conceive. I started charting my temperatures consistently and each month I became more and more confused. My husband and I took my charts to our local Natural Family Planning (NFP) office and even the woman helping us seemed a bit confused by them. I purchased some books about fertility and charting; I spent hours doing research online; I compared charts with friends, and soon I learned that there was cause for concern. Based on what I learned I had a strong feeling that I knew what wrong. Being that my husband is a physician, he thought I should go to my gynecologist. So, I made an appointment, and, with my charts in hand, I went to see her.
It just so happened that I went to her office on day 21 of my cycle. So, she drew a progesterone level. The next day, she confirmed what my charts already told me. I was not ovulating. She went on to talk about my options, which were these: 1. Take 30 days of estrogen and 10 days of progesterone. Then, take 5 days of Clomid, in an attempt to chemically induce ovulation, or 2. Go see a reproductive endocrinologist. I told her I needed time to talk with my husband about it and told her I would get back to her. Of course Joshua and I talked, but I also spent time doing research online and really getting in touch with my intuition. From experience, I have learned that my body knows what it needs, and it will relay that to me, but I am the one that needs to listen to it.
For years, I ignored what my body told me. If it told me it was hungry, I ignored it because I controlled my diet and my weight through calorie counting and measuring portions. At times when my body told me it was satisfied, I continued to eat because I loved the false sense of comfort and satisfaction that eating gave me. If my body told me it was tired and needed to rest, I called it lazy and made it workout. At times when my body craved movement, I told it that I couldn’t because I was alone and had the opportunity to eat as much as I wanted to eat. After realizing that I had a problem, I went to a treatment center. After being discharged, I wanted to get better, but I really wasn’t sure how. I did the best that I could. I gained to a ‘healthy’ bmi and I ate the calories prescribed to me by a dietitian, but I still saved calories during the day so that I could binge at night.
I never knew the extent of the damage that I was doing to myself and my fertility until I started charting. My charts showed me that my body was not healthy. Yes, I was at a ‘healthy’ bmi, but my body was not functioning the way that it was designed to function. My reproductive system had shut down. Once I learned that my behaviors were putting my fertility in jeopardy, I found the desire to make real, healthy, and lasting changes. With God as my savior, I started trusting my body. I listened to my true hunger and fullness cues. I moved my body when it wanted to move and rested when it sent me signals that it needed rest. With each month that I took better care of myself, my charts began to confirm that my body was responding. And before long, my charts confirmed that I was ovulating. Then, I noticed my luteal phase getting longer. As I healed my mind and body, I was also restoring the precious gift of my fertility.
I am so thankful for the insight that charting my fertility gave me. Had I not charted, it is very likely that I would have continued to believe I was healthy and that I was ovulating, since I had a menstrual period each month.
If there is one thing I could pass along to other women, it would be to cherish your amazing body! Society will try to tell you that you can never be thin enough, never work out long enough or hard enough. Those are lies. The truth is … we are all beautifully and wonderfully made. We are blessed with beautiful, amazing, curvaceous bodies designed to bring life into the world. Now, that is something to celebrate!
*If have questions or concerns about your charts, I encourage you to contact the wonderful people at Kindara. Their mission is to help women be the healthiest and happiest they can be. Additionally, if you are seeking support, feel free to email me.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and blessed life.