Before I got married and landed in the office of a Reproductive Endocrinologist (um, two weeks after my wedding but that is truly a story for another day – we don’t need to see the words “I digress” around here) I was a singer and a songwriter. I tried, I tried so, so hard (under the name Suzanne Smith). I loved every minute of it, I did. The photo shoots (yes, I had a real live record contract – three of them w/Polygram, Sony and Universal!). The guy who owned my label is Eddie O’Loughlin – famous for giving the world Salt n Pepa but so many others (including John Travolta!) – is one of my all time favorite people in the world. I love that man like few others – he once told me that I was just too nice to be successful. I think he was right. But wow did I have fun trying! I met coo, interestingl people, I wrote with Rick Astley (SUPER nice guy) and all kinds of artists from the 80s. I almost wrote with Lady Gaga back when she was just some girl…. I was photographed in closed down restaurants (Fez on Lafayette in NYC) and I was in recording studios almost every night of my 20s until the wee hours touching up vocals or rewriting lyrics. I don’t regret a single thing. Next Plateau/Universal still exists and Eddie is the head of A&R on the Voice television show. We keep in touch. Turns out I didn’t really want to be famous – I just wanted to sing and to be loved. Now I sing to kids and I am loved by my miracle 8 year old embryo…..so here is my new blog and one of my songs. I’ll post the others in the coming days as a few of my preschool kids have asked to hear the songs…they were missing! Then just the other day I found them. Kismet. http://suzannesmithsongs.wordpress.com is where I will keep them for now. I know, they are dated sonically but maybe Eddie will find “a voice” to record them and up they will go…or not. One thing harder slightly less difficult than IVF is the music biz – I don’t wish either on my worst enemy. No offense to my record biz friends…. 🙂 And if you know any 20 year old kids who have a great voice, send me an email. HEY, you never know!!! Enjoy, I did….xo
So, about a month ago I tried a “potion”. I’d kept coming across articles and one day, while browsing the local CVS (I don’t know what is wrong with me but I can drop a few hundred dollars on air at CVS, DUANE READE, WALGREENS – lord, help me). I digress. So I wander from my favorite section (the enema section – more on that later) and see a list of magical pills and potions. I pick one up and see that it is not only the stuff I’ve been reading about EVERYWHERE (literally) but see that it comes in sublingual form so I was sold. I took it home, put a big old dropper full in my mouth and let it sit there for 30 seconds. It was around 6:30 in the evening and about 30 minutes later I was feeling UHMAYZING. Did I spell that right? I had energy, I loved the world, I wanted to conquer it! No, this was not an oxycodone. It was sublingual vitamin B12 and friends (ie. the other B vitamins that the world is talking about). I have friends that get infusions and daily injections but not me, I’m taking this stuff under the tongue four times a day and the results are now officially amazing.
Today was the first period I’ve had in ages and not only was it back to the normal consistency (few clots – sorry, TMI gross factor) but it was profuse (just like the old days). I have also been loading up on the Nori for iodine so the combo seems to have worked. So my magic potion – just some sublingual vitamin b with extra 12 has changed my menstrual world and that is a good thing…. A bunch of you have written to me about building linings through acupuncture and I am ALL for that – I should have said that my advice is for those women who have tried it all. Tamoxifen does improve most women’s linings and I’ve love to hear your experience with it and other methods – my RE claims to have had women get pregnant with a lining of 5 and doesn’t give much credence to numbers…but for me, I’m not transferring until I have at least an 8 with a triple stripe. It will happen but first I’ve got a heck of a lot of work to do. I’m going to be posting my idea diet for getting pregnant soon – I’m confirming that everything I write is correct first. Have any of you tried the iodine test yet? Please let me know what happened! I have been getting your comments but keeping them to myself so don’t worry if you don’t want the world to read what you send me. Good luck everyone and also let me know if you have try the potion and how it went….very curious if you have the same reaction.
A number of you asked so the answer is tamoxifen – I know NYFI in NYC uses it and another RE I met recently told me that he would use it to help women with lining issues. If you want his hame, I am happy to refer. I do not know this man well (he is dating a friend) but has had 20 years experience and believes that the HCG booster and having sex prior to transfer helps prime the uterus to be more receptive. If you need the name, I will refer you – just make a comment (I’ll keep it private). I’d recommend this guy but not until I know he is as amazing as he seems. Seems like tamoxifen could help a lot of women with lining issues. Not sure why they won’t give it a try – heck, we did Saizen (growth hormone) off label and that worked like a charm for me (not so much for others, it appears) so why not go with tamoxifen if it works (and it appears to work well!
I might not blog much but I’m always thinking, always researching and always talking about infertility, the science, the process and I keep my ear to the ground (I mean, I’m listening to A LOT of people). I need to post more about what I am learning because it seems, like so many other things in the world we live in, that information isn’t getting out there. People put so much trust in their doctors and the process that they don’t question why they have failure after failure. The internet is a dangerous thing – someone posts an article and it becomes the truth. Let’s take for example carrageenan (a substance used to thicken liquid – essentially a type of seaweed). There have been a number of studies linking it to inflammation (and inflammation leads to…cancer). What the studies do not tell you are that there are two types of carrageenan – and one is a heck of a lot more harmless than than the copious amounts of sugar one eats every day (which absolutely feeds cancer). I’m not saying the stuff is safe but the key is moderation and thoughtful research/discourse. Just because one person says something is true does not make it so. We have to become our own advocates and know how to uncover the truth. In our attempt to find a quick solution to something that ails us, pains us we often neglect the due diligence process. We get behind people like the Food Babe or Dr. Weil or anyone with the hope that their advice is going to fix whatever ails us. I’m getting somewhere, I promise.
It seems that there are a few smoking guns when it comes to infertility – diet and toxins that we are putting in our mouth are too big to ignore. Back in our great-grandparent’s time women started having kids in their teens and the AVERAGE age for their youngest child was 42. Plenty of woman got pregnant in their forties and there were no infertility experts back then nor were there petri dishes. Sure there were “spinster aunts” that never had children but the fact remains, the food was cleaner, the soil was full of goodness and pregnancy was far more dangerous to a woman than the items that they placed on their dinner plate. So the point of this FIRST topic on doing your homework is that you can’t trust anyone when it comes to your body. Not your doctor, not the internets, not me – nobody. You have to collect information like a scientist (and that is hard when you are feeling bat shit crazy on lupron) so I get it. I’m going to ask all of you who are struggling or even just starting this process to take a hard look at what you are eating and how you are living your life. Go and get a detailed nutritional panel to make sure you have enough vitamins and minerals in your body to sustain a pregnancy, get your uterus looked at professionally with a hysteroscopy by more than one person – because septums are a leading cause of miscarriage AND they are sometimes hard to spot depending on your cycle. And get a toxin panel (thank you, K) because many of you are running around with a high amount of nickel, aluminum, and all kinds of garbage that will either keep you childless or do damage to your fetus.
Try one little experiment – buy some over the counter iodine and rub a dab on the inside of your wrist(about 3 drops spread over a thin area of skin – about the size of your inner palm) Wait and see what happens. If that iodine disappears within six hours (per Dr. Bhatia of Atlanta) you have a deficiency – you really want to see it after 24 hours. Mind disappeared in 20 minutes. I’ve added a sheet of nori (for making sushi) into my diet and so much has changed. The point is that you cannot get pregnant if your body cannot sustain a pregnancy. Your fetus knows what kind of environment it will enter – a stressful, chaotic one, one in which there is little food for people who went through food deprivation and so on. The evidence is there that your mass of cells can decide if the environment is not a good one – if you don’t have enough folate for its development. So get yourself checked out by a naturopath. Make sure your body has what it needs to support a pregnancy. I’m going to list every single test that you should consider and why. In the meantime, get as clean as you can with your eating. I’ll share resources with you because I didn’t start this blog to hear myself talk – I want to help my fellow sisters (and brothers) in IF and help all of us work together to become parents (no matter how that happens). I’d also like to suggest that you do some research on the HCG booster – the evidence is looming that having an HCG shot prior to a FET primes the uterus to accept a pregnancy.
For those of you with uterine lining issues, write a note in the comments. I know a doctor who will help you build that lining using a drug that works – it is off label for building linings but many REs are catching on (just not fast enough).
I’m going to be posting more because I’m getting ready for potential transfer – but a lot of things need to happen first. I do believe in the power of intention and, on that note, I hope you will keep your thoughts positive and understand how powerful you are and how incredible your thoughts can be..if you believe something negative, you will attract something negative. I promise this happens to me ever single day and to you as well…..
Expect to succeed in this process but first, kick every tire. I’ll help lead you to some great articles and most importantly to the fact checkers, the scientists who are not paid off by Kelloggs or Coca Cola to tell you that something they add to their amazing food products is safe- but one thing – let me know when I am wrong. I have too many people reading this blog daily – literally thousands – looking for hope and advice and I cannot give out bad information. Expect to see a lot more of me – because what I am reading and experiencing is promising for the future and might help one of you. I didn’t go through all those shots and sleepless nights not to give back, and give back I will. Keep fighting the good fight.
I’ve been busy (my normal excuse) but I am now determined to not let life control me but start controlling my life. Sooooo, we are pretty much deciding that I am going to transfer to me and see what happens. We cannot do the GC thing and I need to get this resolved. I really should have just transferred two years ago when the lining with 7 and triple striped. So back to acupuncture, continue along same low carb diet with healthy fats and try to get my uterus to agree. My son is just crushing me with the pleas for a sibling so I am going to give it my best shot and see what happens. These 500 buck storage fees are killing me, too. I did recently go to an alternative MD who was amazing. She took a ton of blood (20 mins worth!) and I was sick for two days after. Hello anemia? She found that I have an iodine deficiency (you can take a little and dab it on your wrist – if the mark disappears within two hours (some say six) you are deficient. You can easily fix that with a bit of Nori (throw in an avocado and some tuna or sardines and you have an easy and healthy lunch). Whatever you do, get your vitamin and nutrient profile especially if you are prone to miscarriage. Thyroid, lack of Vitamin D (which acts more like a hormone than a vitamin in that is affects just about everything you do) and other essential nutrients can cause problems so make sure you have crossed that off your list – and dig deep. Go to a rheumatologist for a thyroid check (Quest isn’t good enough for some of these tests – you need a more sensitive lab). I’ll be back with more news.
Finally – if you have a septum, GET IT REMOVED. I recently read a study that indicated an 80% failure rate for implantation when a septum is present. That piece of info was significant for me because (depending on the doctor) I have one. CCRM went in to look and does not see it but now I’m scared. I will cross that scary bridge when I come to it (and so should you). Ask for every test – beta integrin, you name it. YOU are in charge of your life and don’t leave this all up to the experts. They have 130 patients at any one time – do not expect them to remember ever little detail about your body (that is your job). Now go get googling…..I wonder if google would give me a fertility degree? I’m not up on the latest acai studies but it only takes a day or two? Oh, like I need another job. Hope you are all well and that success is knocking on your door!
I keep forgetting that I have this blog (not really). It is just another reminder that I have work to do and a decision to face. We had a minor cancer scare this week which was nothing (thankfully!) and I am now looking at a June transfer. I am turning 46 and if I do not use the embryos this year I think it would be wrong for me to do this to potential children and my family. I know everyone has different perspectives and what works for one person wouldn’t work for me. So this is it. I am going to put back all I have and hope that with my new health regime (ahem, my new as in PLANNED but unrealized) plus a little Viagra to get the lining to grow will help. The female version just went over the counter in France. More on that for another post.
I’m just writing to say that no, I have not done anything other than think about scheduling an appointment with Dr. Schoolcraft but that I am going to. No surrogate, just me. This is pretty scary as I am one heck of a stress machine but it is time for me to stop making excuses and use the embryos I worked so hard to create over four years ago. Imagine all that time on ice. If this works I will believe in miracles – well, I guess I do today because I can stop worrying about losing my husband. It as all nothing.
I wish I had written this a long, long time ago but it took a friend cycling to make me realize how important the following information will be for those of you going through IVF, IUI…. Do not ever let your follicles get too big. My former RE likes to trigger when the cohort (most of the eggs) are measuring 17. The simple fact is that eggs (especially older eggs) often will not have great outcomes if they get much larger than 22. Heck, even 20. If you are doing an IVF cycle and you notice that most of your eggs are in the 18 or 19 range then you should have triggered…plain and simple. Do the research and see what happens when your follicles get too big…
When in doubt you need to question. Try a low dose cycle for the heck of it (you can always convert to an IUI). I find it interesting that I produced the same amount of eggs on 300 menopur/300 follistim as I did with a 150 menopur/150 follistim – sometimes more isn’t better…in fact, sometimes more is not good at all. Just a little PSA.
Let me know if any of you have had bad results with large follicles (or the reverse and don’t forget your age!). Good luck to everyone trying….