Although I’d like to think I handle the tough gluten-related topics on this site, it’s not too often I delve into actual “medical” discussions.
Why? Ummm…lawsuits, expensive trials, prison time and taking showers with a bunch of criminals would top my list.
Or maybe it’s because I just don’t think I’m qualified since I haven’t studied…you know…actual medicine. I know that doesn’t stop a lot of other bloggers from spewing nonsense, but I feel I have some responsibility to the community here. I’m a celiac and I know the crap that this disease is and that’s usually where my focus is and doing my best to educate and raise awareness.
That being said, I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly from GlutenFreeLabels.com last week. We communicated online for a bit, she sent me a sample package of her Gluten Free Labels (which I love and completely recommend to help keep you safe in the kitchen – discount code below) and it turns out she lives 20 minutes from the Dude ranch, so we met up for coffee.
Her celiac story, her inability to have children and how the two became connected had my jaw on the floor. So I asked her if she would be willing to share her story on this site because I think it’s an important one to tell.
Kelly said that if she can just help one person to conceive based on her story and her struggles, it will have made it all worth it.
With no further ado, here is her story, as told by her husband Ben.
Celiac and Infertility
“We live our lives forward and understand them backwards.”
The person who first told me this quote was a Nun, since passed, but a chaplain at the CHOP, where my preemie girls were saved through prayer, love and a miraculous medical team. She was speaking to me as if to ease my mind on the “why God did this to me” aspect of going through such a traumatic event.
Everything happens for a reason, and we would soon understand it, but right now, we are subjected to living through it, suffering through it, and the clarity will come later.
We were no strangers to being “medically treated”. It was 2010, January, and we went through IVF treatment 7 months ago to get our twin girls for whom we were praying to survive. But the story actually starts a year earlier, when we had been trying to get pregnant for 2 years. Getting pregnant starts off fun, really fun, until, of course, it’s just not working.
A guardian angel entered our life that time. She was a landscape architect, a chatty suzy, but someone you warmed up to quickly and had no fear in sharing her story. She told us that she spent 17 years trying to get pregnant, before finding out that she had Celiac Disease, and it “might have been” impacting her ability to get pregnant.
She changed her diet, conceived, and delivered a baby. We had been through 2 miscarriages at this point, and listened intently to anything anyone said that might offer a reasonable shot at getting pregnant. So, we asked our IVF doc for an allergy test, to test for Celiac Disease, and sure enough, my wife had it. 6 months of a gluten free diet and another round of IVF later, and we had our twin girls, preemie, but they were here.
We’ve since made it a mission to bring awareness to the ability of gluten to be so disruptive in the lives of young couples. How much could a little bread and cake hurt, after all? Well, it can destroy your intestines to the point where you cant absorb nutrients, so that you are mal-nutritioned, so that your body will not be able to provide enough for another life to live inside you. A little bit can hurt a lot, almost as much as two miscarriages and 3 years of pregnancy woes.
We don’t want to see anyone go through what we have. Our IVF clinic now tests for Celiac up front, sparing others the pain of a miscarriage. Our story has had an impact on them, and we have made some sense of our past because we know that they’re helping others.
But we’re go-getters, my wife and I. We don’t think people realize how bad “a little gluten” can really make you feel. Have you seen an intestinal lining of a person with Celiac Disease right after being diagnosed? Yuck, see to the right. We’ve created a product line around preventing cross contamination. We aim to spread awareness about living gluten free, and how to prevent people that eat gluten free from getting sick from “a little gluten”.
We’ve created attractive gluten free labels and silicone, oven/dishwasher-safe tags as a way to prevent cross contamination in gluten free kitchens. We feel that through proper organization/labeling and some new products we are introducing, we could make life a lot easier for households like ours forced to prevent gluten intolerant people and Celiac disease sufferers from getting sick.
So, we live our lives forward and we understand them backward. We are still coming to grips with why we had to spend 4 months at the hospital with our girls until they came home, and yet another 2 years with our daughter, Gianna, trached with 24/7 nursing care.
But we do know why we had trouble getting pregnant, and we hope you all benefit from the understanding of it. We are doing everything we can to prevent others from suffering the same trouble we did, shouting from the rooftop for them to get tested for Celiac before even trying to get pregnant.
If you are interested in hearing more about our story, stop by our family blog. We blogged our journey from pregnancy through having 3 now happy and healthy babes.
But more importantly, if you have Celiac or are Gluten Intolerant, we encourage you to stop by GlutenFreeLabels.com and buy labels and tags for your kitchen. Don’t let “a little gluten” get in the way of you getting pregnant or staying healthy.
Hi. It’s the Dude again. How can you get the labels?
Simple. Just click the button below.
Use the coupon code BigSavings for 20% off your order. Compliments of Gluten Dude.
Stay safe…with style.
Now if somebody would just make gluten-free labels for people, I could avoid this: