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.

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The “new” me…..is really boring

I’ve begun the clean up of my body. I am losing 1 pound per day and paying quite a price for it. Try drinking 12 ounces of broccoli, kale, spinach, apples, goji berries, acai, beet and maca in the morning (every morning) with the emphasis and bold on the word BROCCOLI. My husband started this kick off to help me with a particular problem (cough*tmi*cough) constipation that can last two weeks. Yes, I know…but it has always been that way. Well today it wasn’t. I am not going to make this a post about my bowels but deal lord, help me. Whatever he gave me went right through and took the two weeks with it (and almost made me faint). Yes, that was a visual you didn’t need.

I’m not drinking, take the occasional anxiety med (lie, more when I am stressed) but am even stopping those. I used to never need them – just having them in my purse was enough to keep away panic attacks but right now I don’t know whether to sit or stand, walk or run. Owning my own business has been a great thing but I literally do the job of four people (sometimes the job of 7 when the cleaning crew don’t show up).

So I’ve started a plan to offload my responsibilities and stop doing everything to let others stand up (or not) – I learned very quickly that if you do everything, people will also learn very quickly that they don’t need to do things because it will magically get done. I guess I had to knock my head against the wall a few times to realize it (but hey, I’ve never been someone’s boss before – well, not officially).

Back to baby things – I put myself on the pill to see if a period would come. Here I go again playing doctor. It is just frustrating not knowing when a period is going to come. Who knew I would hit peri menopause at 44!! I think the gazillion IVFs had something to do with that because my mother had maxi pads hanging around until she was almost 60. Unbelievable. And….Who wants to wear a mattress between your legs? Why do people use them in this day and age (though I will never get over the OB – who wants to use their dirty finger to – oh just gross).

I’ve covered a number of topics today that are likely to gross you out and never read this blog again. If you want to check back in late March or early April (when the topic is FET preparation not my bowels – that is IF they let me do it (another story, I just have to keep my mouth shut).

Lastly, I hope some of you are watching the documentaries and informing yourself about our food – Fork over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (etc). I wanted to do something about what our family ate a year ago but it really took my husband to get on board for it to happen. I recommend that you adopt some of the ideas and the fertility juice blends when you are cycling or preparing for a FET. It can’t hurt and you will feel better, I promise.

Over and out….

Confession

I totally screwed around with my most successful cycle and dialed my gonal f down when the doctor was going to overstim me.  Does that give me an automatic MD?  Well, you know your body and I don’t think I’m the first person to play doctor. 

And take the saizen if you can get your doctor to give it to you – after my last cycle, my old RE asked me for the CCRM protocol so I guess they are using it now.  It is the reason I will likely have a kid at 45 (now I just jinxed myself – so brazen!).

Just had to tell someone.

Preparing for pregnancy and a smoothie for fertility (not my recipe)

Here is what I am doing for the next three months (combined with yoga, meditation and exercise – walking mainly and weight training) as I prepare for a March FET at CCRM.

•    Taking a baby aspirin (low dose and coated)
•    Relaxing/mediation – going to a “healer” who also adjusts you as you lay there for up to three hours if you want – miracle find and so relaxing (only in ATL)
•    Acupuncture targeted at increasing fertility. I am going local and then heading to Dr. Wu in NYC (he is the best, well IMHO).  I am certain implantation occurred because of him last time…

Perhaps add in L arginine during the cycle (not before) to help with lining issues, doubling up on my vitamin D (everyone is low and it is a huge issue – forget calcium this is why we have such a huge problem with osteoporosis…)  On to the smoothie:
•    And last but not least, drinking Lori Bregman’s fertility smoothie everyday!
Image

Lori Bregman’s Fertility Smoothie

Ingredients (links are to Lori’s favorite products):
•    frozen mixed organic berries
•    almond or rice milk
•    protein powder (something natural and clean, without a lot of additives or soy)
•    2 shots of wheatgrass (I use a frozen one by Evergreen, but you can use powder or fresh shots instead)
•    maca root powder
•    acai berry 
•    mixed powered greens
•    royal jelly (*Do not use if you have a bee allergy)
•    bee pollen (*Do not use if you have a bee allergy)
•    liquid omegas

Instructions:
Read dose/serving information on back of each product. Mix everything together in a blender. Use more or less milk to achieve a desired consistency.

What it all Does: 
•    Powdered Greens, berries and acai: Feed and promote healthy cell growth and help nourish the blood.
•    Wheat grass: Lowers FSH levels, nourishes cells, helps restore hormone balance, and helps alkaline your PH levels, which makes it better for sperm to live in.
•    Maca root: Nourishes the entire endocrine system, enhances fertility and brings hormones into balance. Also increases sex drive, vitality and gives you tons of energy.
•    Royal jelly: Balances hormones, supports the endocrine system, helps raise estrogen levels in women, and helps increase sperm quality and testosterone levels in men.
•    Bee pollen: Contains high levels of vitamins, acts as a natural aphrodisiac, nourishes the ovaries, increases fertility, regulates the menstrual cycle and helps produce healthy eggs in women, and increases sperm count in men.
•    Protein powder: Repairs and builds healthy tissues.
•    Liquid omegas: Helps stabilize your moods, lowers inflammation in the body, increases blood flow to the uterus, regulates the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and cervical mucus in women, and increases sperm mobility in men.

If anyone has other ideas for FET prep or pregnancy prep for all ages or specific doctors, make a comment to help others…

2013 is going to be the year….we are in waiting mode

My posting has been erratic at best, I apologize.  There is only so much you can say about having nothing to say….but now I do.  I’m gearing up for a transfer and I need help.  Your help.  YOURS?  Yes, yours.  I am at my wits end about how many to transfer.  I’m terrified of two things – getting pregnant with twins and not getting pregnant at all.  My history with Alex included preterm labor but I had a lot of stress around the time it all went down (husband lost job).  I now have FIVE GAZILLION amounts more stress (own a preschool – hello!?!).  I literally have children that I look after and over all day long and I fret.  I am a little “type A” as my husband says.  Ya think?  These kids are someone’s entire life and you better believe that a boo boo or bite or whatever happens in the course of the day is something I’m involved with – I also love being around them which isn’t great since I’m CMV negative (that is for another day).  But I’m going to be 45 and with two CGH normals – one 5AB and the other 4BB – I have a good chance of both implanting.  I think my son was a lower quality embryo and developed slower but the 5AB is a great shot and it is a girl and the 4BB a boy.  I also worry that if one works then how can I go back for the other?  I’ll be 50  by the time my body recovers and I just can’t do that – already 45 feels a bit old to be doing this.  Anyway, I am going to do it.  My DH and I have been having stress arguments. It is normal, I know but not helpful.  He seems to think I should just put them both back in but doesn’t understand that means I will be laying around for 9 months (not running a preschool).  Oi vey.

So how many?  My gut says do an ESET with the higher quality first (the girl) and then if life is so kind as to give us the means to afford a surrogate, we go for the 4BB a year after she is born.  That feels weird and freaky to say so let’s just hope I didn’t jinx myself.  

I’ve always thought I’d have three kids and well, who knows.  I just hope it works.  Something about finally doing it is making me a little unhinged.  It feels so final and what if it does not work?  I have no plan B.

So what do you think, internets?  Should I transfer both?  I did carry to full term even if I was 4cm dilated for about 5 months.  

I am also concerned that the CGH process is going to hurt them – and I’m concerned about my age – although my OBGYN told met hat if I get pregnant it is the same odd as a younger person because a muscle is a muscle and mine has proven to work once.  Whatever the heck that meant, to be honest.  Muscles fail too, you old goat.  MUST.ONLY.SEE.A.WOMAN.GYNO.

Oh and I recently had a huge scare with a lump – that was handled poorly and made me nearly jump off the bridge.  Thankfully it is all normal – so far.  

Lastly, I have an UP band which is an annoying little wrist bandt hat tells you how much sleep, what you are eating and how deep you sleep, etc.  It basically is ruling my world right now. I’ve lost a few pounds since its arrival on Christmas so I guess I like it.  Actually, for what it is going to help me do (have a baby, I hope) it is a fantastic thing and great motivation.  It even buzzes me if I don’t do anything for over 10 minutes.  I guess that is the definition of lazy – not moving your hand for 10 minutes.  Right.

Over to you – help!!!!  I’m looking at a mid March transfer if I can get grumpy husband to agree to all the malarky involved (the trip out, the blood and the cost).  It has to be done and hell, I’m doing all the work.  Decisions.

Happy New Year, Readers.  I promise to be a little more interesting in 2013.  This has been a weird year.  Next year I’m going to rock and roll and i hope you do to (whatever that means to you).  Now off to make an appt in my calendar to schedule an appt with Schoolcraft.  That might take a minute or two (or a week or two).  Onward and upward!

Just when you thought nothing could surprise you…

I’ve been debating posting what I have on my mind. I’ve really thought long and hard about it (yes, I’ll get to it but there is a back story so indulge, please and thank you). I’ve had a pretty horrible few years months. I’ve not told anyone about all of the things bothering me. In fact, I’ve kept almost everything to myself for so long that I’ve become used to it. This blog is about as close as I get to spilling my guts about what is really bothering me and most of you have no idea who I am (er, I suppose).

Let me backtrack…

I went to visit my husband’s family for three weeks in June. It was the first real holiday I’ve had in three years and I REALLY needed it.   This has been a challenging year for many reasons not just waiting for the doctor to approve my chosen surrogate.   I was hoping to relax, recharge and hopefully come back to the great news that Dr. Schoolcraft had approved my surrogate after the “difficult cases” meeting and that our journey could begin. I was rather sure AND as my husband said after reading the pleading letter to the good doctor “there is no way he won’t be moved by that” or something of that nature.  I had pretty much secured the loan from our credit union for most of the costs, I was set. The IS (intended surrogate) was getting a little tired of waiting and I didn’t blame her. But knew that it would crush me and ruin my one chance to rest after a hard few years.  I didn’t think three weeks would make much of a difference and knew that a calmer me would make me able to deal with whatever the decision was with a clearer head.    So I went to the UK blissfully unaware that meetings had been had in Colorado and fates had been sealed. Who knows, they hadn’t called me back despite a few phone calls and emails so I assume that is what was going on. I certainly was not going to have  another hundred or so dollars to talk to him again (plus the 8 dollar phone call charge – love that touch).   I try not to think of the money we’ve spent so far and the phone calls….which have been about 2 minutes long.  What is the hourly rate for that?  A million dollars an hour?

I digress.

So I went to the UK and had a fantastically craptastic time thanks to some work drama.  The highlight was going to Paris for the night, eating a chocolate ice cream cone and working off the calories (and almost dying of heart failure) trying to keep up with my 5 year old ball of energy who literally ran up the Eiffel tower to the first level.  Let me say that the Eiffel Tower is a big deal at my school.  We talk about it a lot.  We draw pictures of the steeple at our school (we reside in a church) and the kids love imagining it with all the lights on it at night.  I have little replicas that they love to hold.  My son was a ROCKSTAR at school for going up the Eiffel Tower so it was worth it….even if I cried all the way down and back on the Eurostar….imagining horrible things that never happened, arguing with my husband over almost everything and nothing and missing my friend who died last year.  You know, the one person you have in your life that you can call and talk to for a few hours and you both walk away from the call having unloaded and feeling like you connected with another person who gets it?  He was that person for me.  I know I’m all  over the place but I just needed him at that moment and well, now….and I don’t have him or anything like him anymore.    Enough with the pity party.  I’ll be fine, I just get sad sometimes and talk to the air imagining he is here and listening (minus his incredibly catty stories about people we know from high school and who is now gay and who is divorcing and….you know, a little harmless gossip with an old friend).   He was gay, for the record and when he died we hadn’t talked because I was so busy, I didn’t return his few calls.  Not because I didn’t care, I was too busy working to save my family.  Another blog post… another regret.

God help me I will get to the point.

So I get back to the US and solve a few of my pending problems, get the news from CCRM, digest it. tell the surrogate via FB (because I could not speak I was so upset)…  A few weeks go by and I’m thinking about how perhaps I could try one transfer with me and then move the other embryo to a clinic (my husband’s wishes) and transfer to her.

Then Aurora happens and I immediately look to see if she is OK (on FB – she lives in that vicinity) and she is gone.  Poof.  She blocked me.  She erased me from her life.  My husband was very relieved that we didn’t proceed further with someone who clearly didn’t see us as anything more than dollar signs…I took it a bit harder..  I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.  The idea of someone carrying a child for me wasn’t easy.  I had pangs and yearnings and questions but I made peace with it because of her.  I also felt a connection to her and knew she would care for my children (if they do turn into children but with a normal CGH embryo made a few years ago, you have a good chance in the right womb).

The person that I almost let carry my children blocked me on facebook.  Just.Like.THAT.

If that isn’t a kick in the pants, I don’t know what is.  All I can say is I hope she isn’t following me.  Fool me once and I get the picture.  I’ve now learned that life is not only about choices but also how you react to the choices of others.

I just keep on thinking…what if she had my children living inside of her and blocked me.  What if, what if, what if.

Maybe I have a guardian angel.  I don’t know.

Let me leave you with the good news – my period is back again.  Heavy too.  I think I am going to build a lining, folks.  I think I’m going to do this myself.  Soon.  44 and pregnant.  Think I’d get a reality TV show?  Good LORD, my friends from high school are having grandchildren now.

Enough counting chickens.

The End of Post 125

One cranky email sent

Ok, here we go! I sent off the email. I want to get this show on the road. Stay tuned. If I don’t hear back tomorrow, I’m going to step up the calls and emails. I hate being that patient but enough already. I rocked my child to sleep in a room with a crib last night. Five years and the damned thing is still up and I’m stuck. STUCK!

So expect news soon…then I’m going to need help figuring out what to do if they say NO.

Time to make a decision grid like in 8th grade. Pathetic.

BAH! How did I get here again???