I’m assuming my initiation with maternal instinct was like most little girls. I had a clan of “baby” stuffed animals and dolls by the time I reached kindergarten. They were gifted to me but I saw each one as my very own privileged responsibility. I named and cared for them with meticulous detail (my own mother called this the beginning of the formation of my bossy personality) with a combination of mimicry and innate skill.
To my delight, I was able to hone my instinct on a real live subject, my baby brother. At eight years old I was a self-professed “mini mommy”. And I was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself! I taught the little guy to read by three and he went on to attend Duke University and is recently completed his MBA at Hass Business School at University of California, Berkeley. #proudsistermom
Fast forward a couple decades and add in the love of my life, my college crush, star wide receiver, spiritual soul mate, conscious expander and model partner. The day we started dating it was as if my biological clock sounded the alarm! I could finally visualize becoming a mom, for real.
So, imagine my horror when my womanly system suddenly shut down. I was 31 years old, active and relatively healthy, but my cycle just disappeared! A trip to the doctor exposed an enlarged thyroid and further blood work pointed to Graves’ Disease, an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Because thyroid hormones affect a number of different body systems, signs and symptoms associated with Graves’ disease can be wide ranging and significantly influence your overall well-being.
I was heartbroken. I couldn’t see taking drugs daily for the rest of my life, but I knew I’d do just about anything to have my own child. My then boyfriend, now husband, had shifted from a vegetarian to a vegan diet in celebration of his 30th birthday, yeah he’s a unique one, and I had already embraced the vegetarian lifestyle, but let’s be honest – it was driven by love and I hadn’t even decided if I was going to stick to it when my health issue arose. The love of my life challenged me to give veganism a try for the 30 days before my appointment with a specialist. So this desperate, meat-loving, fast food junkie with eyes on the motherhood prize committed.
After 99 days, a month as a vegan and a few acupuncture appointments my “friend” returned! And believe it or not, when I went to the specialist they couldn’t find anything wrong with my thyroid and my levels had returned to normal.
I’m now the proud mother of a three year old son and 1 year old daughter. (And yes we’re raising them vegan but that’s a subject for another blog posting).
Now you won’t find me preaching the vegan gospel, unless you directly ask me to, but the facts of my story and the two healthy beings that came through me are undeniable results of a major shift in my lifestyle choices. Veganism may not for everyone, and maybe it doesn’t even interest you, but if you’ve made it this far in my writings, I hope I’ve inspired you to take a second look at a hurdle in your own life and find a creative way to jump over it. My road to mommyhood was paved with veggies. What will your road to success look like?