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 email@example.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.
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.
I don’t know – am I? I thought I was 6 weeks tomorrow but who am I to argue with my RE? Sorry for the lengthy absence but I’ve had nothing to say. In times of stress I tend to retreat and shut everyone out.
I was doing fine, actually. I fully intended to wait until Friday the 5th of December for my ultrasound but…I woke up this morning and scheduled an ultrasound. I KNEW it was too early but my curiosity and nervousness got the better of me. And, as expected, there was no heartbeat. All that could be seen was a gestational sac and a yolk sac. My RE assured me that this was completely normal and that early ultrasounds are discouraged for this very reason – it just causes more stress. He instructed the nurses to prohibit me from having another ultrasound until next week – which made me laugh. When I quizzed him about my need to do IVF in the future (I mean…IUI did work and IVF did not) he told me that I basically got lucky (I’m not sure I agree with him but that is another story). Then he rolled his eyes and reminded me that I should focus on the good news and not start planning for the failure.
Before some wise ass tells me to “think positive” and stop being so negative – I would like to say just one thing. It is easier to fall from a chair than a cloud. I read this on my IVF message board and couldn’t agree more. So back off and understand that my negative thinking is protective. Thanks. And to all my friends who call and email and worry about me – I’m fine. I just don’t feel like talking about it. I’ll be back soon, I promise.
My next ultrasound is scheduled for a week from today – Monday. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to keep my mind occupied but considering I have a very active toddler, I’m sure it won’t be hard.