It has been a loooong time…..

I feel quite guilty. I left you all hanging….well, most of you who read this probably don’t know me.  You found me while searching for a solution to a problem that I’ve described or gone through – and that is why this old blog is still running.  I’m 50 now and I still have two embryos in the freezer. One boy. One girl.  Both with all their chromosomes and a reluctant mother to be….it is so complicated. We have decided to decide what to do with our embryos this year.  That means either I carry or find a surrogate.  The whole topic makes me nervous so I’ll just change it, shall we?

 

I’m writing about two of my friends who could not get pregnant. Everything failed them.  They had dozens of normals yet they kept on miscarrying.  One went to my RE in Colorado – the great Dr. Schoolcraft and the other to a doctor in LA (she just had twins at 49 so imagine the pressure that gave me!).

Both could get pregnant but not stay that way.

The first one was 42 – she still produced normals but she kept miscarrying. She tried donor egg and still, miscarriage. I urged her to do the one test that she hadn’t done (and boy do they kick those tires at CCRM) – beta integrin.  After transferring all her normals she found out that she lacked the protein. She went through the three month lupron depot hell on earth and then got pregnant with donor egg.  She is happy…but regrets not having this test done as she did want to be biologically related to her child if possible but, as we all know, any child who calls you mom is yours entirely. Genetics be damned!

The next woman was in her mid 40s. She and her husband had tried for ages. They were fairly chipper at the start but then the failures started to wear her down.  She wanted so badly to have a child and they went straight to donor egg.  She tried LIT therapy (I recommended IVIG but she said she didn’t like the risks).  She then got the beta integrin test and it too came up negative. She went through the lupron hell and then added in IVIG and voila – twin girls.

I’m writing because you have to kick those tires. You have to think out of the box and if you need help, I’m here. I don’t know everything but I’ve been around the block a few times and if this isn’t your first rodeo and I’m your last hope – email me.  You can find me at suzanneesmith@yahoo.com.

I know how hard this is and I care.  You owe it to yourself to kick every tire and don’t listen to the doctors if you feel in your heart that they are wrong. I most certainly did not listen and I have my prepubescent tween boy who still sleeps next to mommy on occasion and never goes more than a day without telling me “have I told you how much I absolutely love you?”…..the answer is always the same – “yes, and I love you more”.

Keep fighting, keep trying and don’t stop until you’ve truly had enough.  That was not a Michael Jackson lyric.

Much love to all of you mothers who still have no child to hold. One day you will…somehow but not if you give up.

Next blog post is going to be about a foster care experience.  Heartbreaking. But oh my how it has changed my life.

See you soon….very soon.

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Big news…for IVFers and people in general

Remember when I told you all that I was doing a lifestyle upheaval? I wasn’t kidding. About a year ago I went to the doctor. I weighed around 150 pounds. My cholesterol was 184. My triglycerides were 160 a little too high. My thyroid was .9. My vitamin D level was 18. It should have been 30. My blood pressure was an amazing 166/95. I had anxiety, heart palpitations, psoriasis, and a general feeling of malaise.

After going on a whole plant diet in January I went to the doctor. I had been on this diet for two months. We did a test of all of my vitals including blood work. Guess what happened?

First of all my menstrual period came back. Second, my cholesterol lowered from 184 to 134. My weight is now 142 and I am losing by the day. My vitamin D is 29 just a little under 30 :-). My triglycerides went from 160 to 60!!!! My thyroid is at 1.1 which means it is making more thyroid. My psoriasis is virtually gone. Caveat – my psoriasis will come back if I forget to take my vitamin D supplementation of 2000 mg per day. My blood pressure is now 120/80 which is still high for me but once I begin to exercise I predict that will lower as well.

If you are doing IVF or considering doing it I recommend that you read the China study. This has changed my life. I am no longer feeling ill but energized. I can sprint without feeling drained and my body is urging me to go forward not collapse in exhaustion.

I don’t eat a great deal of meat or animal products and only have milk in my tea. I have soy in everything else or almond milk. Reading that milk and animal products are cancer activators has not only made me worry about my diet but change it completely.

I am about to begin preparations for the FET transfer of my two normal embryos. I will give myself two months of solid activity and work my body into shape so that I will have the best possible result. I know that my body can do this if it is fit and I am mentally ready and clear. I hope you will look at my result and consider a plant-based diet. Do not forget that eating meat for animal products is not a bad thing in moderation. I still eat meat infrequently (probably once or twice per week). I prefer to get the amino acids and protein my body needs from beans, legumes and soy/tempeh etc but I am still having the occasional lamb, red meat (did you know that chicken has more cholesterol than red meat??). The China study was a big eye opener for us. My father in law had zero cholesterol problems. Yet his heart and arteries were completely clogged with cholesterol. How can this happen? Eating animal products every single day has serious implications for our health. When you read this book or watch the movie “forks over knives”, “Food Inc”. and all of the other eye opening messages out there you will come to your own conclusions. I hope this post helps someone out there who is considering IVF or just getting healthy in general. My husband likely saved my life and I owe him for making these amazing shakes (filled with kale, spinach, ginger, cranberry, goji berry, oranges, acai and the list goes on!).. I will keep you posted!

I am turning 45 next month. I will be putting a 5AB and a 4BB (chromosomally normal embryos) into my body. This is scary stuff and my last chance. Here comes the kitchen sink.

Vials and vials and vials of blood…..and nothing where I need it

I’ve been to every doctor in Atlanta now. It is official. My doctors in NYC are also playing a part – faxing records, making recommendations. Today I saw a doctor who will, at the behest of my regular doctor, prescribe IVig so that my body calms down and does not attack the fetus (and her brother). I’m also about to induce the period with progresterone. Everything is getting ready including me. Not even interested in wine so I know it is time. It is really time. It won’t be before the end of February but likely March. The doctor I saw was very nice…same old questions. How many miscarriages (holds back tears), where did you have miscarriage #4 (holds back tears), but why did you put back a chromosomal abnormal (tells doctor he misunderstands and then the tears start and…..that was enough to make him stop drilling me for questions about children dying inside of me). I don’t cry normally about it except when I get asked or when I see photos of the child who is my cousin’s born 2 weeks late on my due date. That is hard to think that my body rejected a perfectly normal female…a daughter. I can write about it and I’m fine just don’t ask me about it in the glare of florescent lighting…yeah and why don’t doctor’s in this city have halogen…..GOD I MISS NYC. Sigh.

I’m exhausted though, truly. My preschool is growing a little faster than anticipated but that only allows me to hire some people that I wouldn’t have been able to hire previously. We seem to have reach a great stride but, as with anything related to children, every day is a different one. We had a little troll action on the internet which was amusing (especially since they don’t know I’ve been through this before and know how to maneuver the system). I made sure to get a subpoena filing in action for future reference – dumb that they don’t know IP addresses lead you straight to the person. Straight to their computer. Libel and slander are serious things when you have a business. They wrote idiotic things about me, the teachers and our curriculum (which made me laugh, truthfully but I’m going to treat it seriously). I’ll be interested when I get the names back of the offenders. Some of our parents were so wonderful, they all offered to write reviews and get involved (and some did) but I still think that is a waste of time. I have a few aces in the hole when I need them – enough said.

My husband has an interview (thanks to his college roommate and my son’s godfather – he was one of the people in the UK who had a huge hand in created TARP – or “the bailout”. So the reference is about as good as you can get,). So who knows where life will take us but I know one thing – the school has changed so much for me that I cannot imagine ever not being here. Commuting to NYC? Hmmmm.

So we are in the last stretch of the FET process and if things don’t go my way with the testing, it will be surrogate time. I’m not going to lose genetically perfect embryos just because my body likes to kill everything that enters it.

Next week the OB. Same one who saw me for the internal bleeding at Piedmont. Truth said, I’m going back to NYC if I do get pregnant. I cannot imagine not going to Janice Marks.

Better cross that bridge when I come to it or there will be random tears. For now, I’m holding on to hope.