My Celiac story begins after my third baby (Weslie) was born. I slowly noticed that I couldn't feel as good as I did before having her. It wasn't just the usual postpartum symptoms. I had some postpartum, but my health wasn't the same. I knew something was off but had no clue what it could be. I kept getting horrible chest pains and headaches. The doctors told me I had anxiety, which was what it looked like. I had never felt anxiety before, so I agreed with the diagnosis, but deep down, I knew that wasn't it.
When Weslie was 10-12 months old, we stopped preventing pregnancies. I had my first miscarriage, which turned into three more miscarriages. To conceive for us was always easy, and it never took more than three months, so this only added to the confusion of everything. After this string of miscarriages, I started getting awful stomach aches that never disappeared. I was in constant pain. My hair stopped growing, and I dealt with acne, bloating, and low energy; my chemicals were all out of whack, and I had constant brain fog. I didn't want to eat anything because everything hurt my stomach. I was in and out of doctors being treated for everything but celiac disease. I was told I had anxiety, stomach ulcers, IBS, and many other things.
After more than a year of doctor visits, I finally found an excellent Gastroenterologist doctor that listened to me, and he knew they were all overlooking something. He did a massive panel of blood work that was nine pages long. Shortly after, on July 2014, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Looking back, I was so fortunate to have a loving doctor that took extra time and explained the ins and outs of celiac disease and how it affects our bodies. Leaving the office, I decided to remove all gluten from my diet. So, cold turkey, I started my gluten-free journey.
After going gluten-free, my health slowly began to improve. The stomach aches went away, along with the headaches. But we were still unable to conceive during this time, and I thought that maybe I just wouldn't be able to get pregnant again until I was diagnosed with PCOS in November 2017. After my PCOS diagnosis, I went down some rabbit holes online, looking for homeopathic ways to address the symptoms. After all the drugs they put me on over the past few years, I no longer wanted pharmaceutical solutions. My hormones were a wreck. I can't find the articles, but I read enough things that convinced me that going dairy-free was worth a shot to help with PCOS. So slowly, I went dairy-free to see if it would help my symptoms. The experience of detoxing from dairy is an entire post. It was insane how my body changed for the better without dairy. To our surprise, I was pregnant three months later with my rainbow baby, Scottie! Shortly after Scottie was born, we got pregnant again and had Cove in 2020. Going GF and DF allowed my body to heal, so I was healthy enough to carry my babies! Still blows my mind!
Please don't make the mistake of thinking it was smooth sailing from then on. Ohhhhhh, no, the universe, God, or whoever had different plans. The same year that Cove was born, 2020, that's the year Kolbie was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and Celiac Disease. Call me crazy, but I now believe God knew I needed to be prepared for our life with Kolbie's new diagnosis, and I was. I could care for my daughter with both diagnoses without being so overwhelmed because, keep in mind, I still had a newborn and Scottie as a toddler. Geez, life was hard then.
Kolbie's diagnosis set the fire under me. I wanted her and many of you and your kids to feel normal. I launched a meal plan subscription to help those with food allergies and diabetes feel not so overwhelmed with feeding yourselves, your kids, and your family, and shortly after, I launched seasonings that didn't exist in the gluten-free world.
Clean Monday Meals exists because of so many of you. The countless heartfelt messages of gratitude, love, and support have carried me through the hardest times. Because of this community, I feel less alone in my personal diagnosis and the diagnosis of Kolbie Girl. I will forever be grateful for this platform and the love I feel from all of you. Thank you for supporting me and my family in this journey.
Note: I haven't shared my story in a really long time, so I added it as a reel click here if you'd like to watch it.