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Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Learning and Learning…

It’s been a quiet weekend! Jud and I are both sick with a terrible cough and sinus infection — ugh! We had a lot planned, but pretty much slept all weekend. Hopefully all the rest and medicine will help me get through tomorrow. I have to head into the city for work, which is always tough on my body. I rarely get sick, but this illness knocked me on my butt — I am sure the stress of last week’s miscarriage and D&C weakened my body just enough to allow all the germs in :-(. Yuck!

On the bright side, all the down time has allowed me an opportunity to learn even more about preparing my body for IVF. I’ve been reading about what to expect — lots of needles, doctor’s appointments, and sore ovaries! I am fortunate that I work from home most days , but my job can be very demanding and stressful, so I am looking for ways to de-stress my life by adding yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation into my daily routine as well as getting back to my normal cardio workout regimen. I am also meeting with my acupuncturist this week to begin treatments to nourish my body! I love acupuncture — it has helped me so much over the last few months! I have noticed a big difference in my energy level as well as how I sleep. Beyond that, my allergies have completely gone away and my stomach issues are also pretty much gone! I also think it’s helped me in my fertility journey, and will be a big part of me getting and staying pregnant with IVF.

I have also taken some time to learn more about supplements and vitamins — what should I add to my current vitamin and mineral selection? It’s so exciting to read the recent research. It gives me a lot of hope that there are changes I can make to increase my fertility. The most exciting research that I came across is the use of Melatonin with IVF cycles. Melatonin is an herbal supplement that helps people sleep, but is also has been shown to do remarkable things to help a woman’s fertility. It has a remarkable power to protect the eggs from harmful chemicals, which means better and more eggs during an IVF cycle! Woman who take 3mg of melatonin each night produced more eggs during their cycle and had a much higher pregnancy success rate (compared to what they had during their first cycle)! Even if a woman isn’t doing IVF, melatonin helps — especially women with PCOS — to produce higher quality eggs, which means a lower rate of miscarriage. Here is one of the studies about using Melatonin (http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_70654.asp) — so exciting!

I am also back on Weight Watchers. I am by no means fat or obese, but there is a lot of research showing that woman who have PCOS benefit from having a lower BMI – closer to 20 or so. I am currently around 24, so could stand to lose a few pounds. My goal is to lose between 8-10% of of my body weight, which should be relatively easy over the next 4-6 weeks. Yay for positive changes :-). It’s so nice to have some control in all of this — it honestly makes me feel better to know there are things that I can do to help my chances!! Time to keep learning ūüėČ

Some Good News!

I met with my OB/GYM today to get his opinion about this last year and all things fertility-related. It was a good appointment. He was very reassuring and told me that he was certain we would have a baby. We discussed the treatment protocol we’ve used this year¬†and the¬†outcomes of each cycle. He wasn’t overly concerned about the chemical pregnancies — he said they are very common and that most women don’t even realize¬†when they have one. Since¬†we are undergoing¬†fertility treatments, the doctors¬†track every part of my cycle, so I know the instant that I’m pregnant, which means I know when I have an early chemical pregnancy. He was slightly concerned about the ecotopic pregnancy, but since I had a clear HSG and a intra-uterine pregnancy after the ectopic, he said we should be okay in the future. He also recommended another procedure to looks for uterine fibroids or any other defect on the wall of my uterus that might cause the embryo to not get enough nourishment. Finally, when I asked him for his recommendation about what to do next, he also recommended IVF. It makes me feel better to have a second opinion and to have another doctor tell me that everything will be okay…

Brussel Sprout and Potato Hash

Tonight I tried a NEW recipe with one of my favorite ingredients ‚ÄĒ Brussel Sprouts! I just love Brussel Sprouts — they are tasty and healthy and pair well with salmon.

To make the hash, I first added a little olive oil to a big pan and then added some diced onions. As the onions were cooking, I quartered the brussel sprouts and added them to the pan. Next, it was on to the potatoes. I sliced them very, very thin and added them to the pan. I let this cook for 20-25 minutes. Finally, I added garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest with a little garlic salt and pepper and cooked for another 10-15 minutes.

The dish was delicious and healthy! Who knew that lemon juice went so well with Brussel Sprouts? I can’t wait to have the leftovers tomorrow for lunch!

Getting back to normal…

It’s such a weird thing — you wake up one day pregnant and then go to sleep the same day not pregnant. And, then within days, it’s time to get back to “normal.” Physically, I feel fine — no cramping and no pain… Emotionally, I am also doing okay, but still feel a little numb.¬†It’s hard to believe that all of this happened in the last week.

Starting tomorrow, my life gets back to normal.¬†I am going¬†back to work, which I am excited about. I love¬†my job — helping people achieve their¬†dreams and goals!¬†I¬†can also go back to working out and eating my regular healthy diet.¬†In the morning,¬†I have an appointment with my OB/GYN.¬†It will be interesting to hear his opinion on what we should do next in our journey to have a baby. We had planned to move to IVF, but then we got pregnant naturally in December, so I am not sure if IVF makes sense…¬†But I also want to make the best decision for my future health and the health of our future baby.

We will have a lot of decisions to make over the next few weeks, and no matter what we decide, it will be part of our new normal.

All done

The D&C was a relatively quick and physically painless procedure. We had to get into the doctor’s office early this morning — around 730 — to prep for the procedure. First, the doctor did another ultrasound to confirm the baby didn’t have a heartbeat. In a weird way it was comforting – one last chance to say goodbye and to confirm that this was actually a necessary step. Then, he answered any additional questions we had and explained how they would test the fetal tissue in an attempt to discover what went wrong. Next, the nurse had me change into a gown and keep only my warm Broncos socks on. My hubby and I then were brought to a pre-op room where I sat in a very comfy chair with a warmer and blanket on. The nurse was SO nice and walked us through the procedure and explained each step of what would happen. I read a lot of instructions, then signed a bunch of papers. Next, the nurse took some blood and started an IV. She added some meds to the IV and took me to the restroom to make sure my bladder was completely empty. When I got back to my chair, the anesthesiologist had arrived and explained again what would happen in the operating room. Then it was time to head back to the operating room, so I followed the nurses back and sat on the operating table. We were talking about Tim Tebow because the nurses noticed my socks and then somehow we started to talk a little politics. I laid down on the table and the nurses positioned my legs and the anesthesiologist added the sedative and pain meds to my IV. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room warm and cozy under the warmer and blanket and the head nurse was on her way to get my hubby. I had no pain, but felt very tired. I was very happy to see Jud – we sat and chatted and waited a bit for the doctor to come back to check-in with us. He explained that everything went well and that I should go into the office in one week for bloodwork to check my hormones. I also have to set up a follow-up appointment with my fertility doctor in a few weeks to discuss next steps.

After talking to the doctor, Jud drove me home where I spent a lot of the morning sleeping. I also drank ginger ale and ate ritz crackers to calm my tummy. I am feeling well physically, but still tired and a little queasy. My acupuncturist recommended eating 1-2 whole eggs to heal my cervix and uterus, so I had two eggs for lunch. Yummy!

Finally, I have to say thank you to all of my wonderful loved ones who have supported me through this! First and foremost my fabulous husband who always makes me feel better! Second, my mom who flew out to be with me through all of this awfulness. Third to all my friends for doing everything from bringing us food to eat (thank you, Janet) to calling and texting me to letting me cry on your shoulder! I am not used to asking for help, but you all made this terrible news easier to handle and this procedure bearable.

D&C

We are on our way to the doctor’s for the D&C. I have my warmest socks on – yay Broncos (Thank you, Amanda) – and am as ready as I’ll ever be for this procedure. From everything I’ve read and my conversation with the nurse yesterday, it’s a relatively easy procedure with the worst being the anesthesia. The doctor will dilate my cervix and remove the tissue. The physical recovery time is quick, but the emotional pain will never really go away. I have meeting with my OB on Thursday and my follow up with my fertility doctor some time in the next week or two. For now, I will focus on healing physically, and then will focus on whatever is next in our fertility journey. Hugs

Why Gluten-Free?

Gluten is by no means evil, but if someone is sensitive to gluten, then it can hinder their¬†fertility and has been linked to recurring miscarriage. I first gave up gluten at the suggestion of my acupuncturist 9 months ago. After removing it from my diet, I noticed a big difference in how I felt, how I slept, and how much energy I had. Giving up gluten is not easy because it’s¬†an all-or-nothing game — you can’t kind of give it up, you have to eliminate it completely. I also have a condition called PCOS, and for some reason, gluten tends to exacerbate issues associated with this syndrome. Although I know gluten isn’t great for me or my fertility, I have¬†been adding some gluten back into my diet typically when we go out to dinner or when we’re travelling — it’s just easier than bringing food with me, trying to order something at a restaurant, or feeling guilty that I am not eating something at someone’s house. Going forward, I will re-dedicate myself to a gluten-free lifestyle. I feel better when I am not eating it and believe that it will help me get and stay pregnant.

If you want to learn more about gluten and fertility, check out these articles:
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art1507.asp

http://www.livingwithout.com/blog/inside_living_without-2407-1.html

January 23, 2012 — another loss

Today confirmed the awful news from last week’s ultrasound. Last Wednesday, we went in for our 9 week scan excited to see our baby again. We had seen it at 7 weeks growing perfectly with a strong heartbeat. I felt pregnant — still nauseaous, exhausted, and craving random foods. The appoitments started well enough — we saw the baby and it measured perfectly, but then our doctor paused¬† and I knew something was wrong. She was struggling to find the heartbeat, and when she did find it, it could barely be seen on the monitor. Our doctor explained that this wasn’t a good sign, the heartbeat should be beating at 120-170 BPM, and our baby’s heartbeat was only 70 BPM. She said that she was “very concerned”¬†and scheduled us to come back today for another scan. We went back in early this morning, and my worst fears were confirmed. The baby stopped growing midway through my 9th week and there was no heartbeat. The doctor was very kind and recommended a D&C to remove the pregnancy, so I will be going in tomorrow morning for this procedure. The procedure should be quick and relatively painless — they will put me under a general anesthetic open my cervix and remove the pregnancy. I will have some cramping and bleeding, but should be home by 10:30 tomorrow morning.

The emotional pain is, of course, more difficult than the physical pain. This is my 4th lost pregnancy over the last year, and I am frustrated and saddened by this outcome. It’s a new beginning starting tomorrow, and I will do everything in my power to improve my chances for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Blogging for a Baby

Hi All! Thank you for supporting me in my journey to have a baby. I have always wanted to be a mom, and never dreamed that it would be this difficult. We have been trying to make this dream come true for the better part of 2 years, and have had many ups and downs, but still no baby. We began fertility treatments a little over a year ago, which has led to many answers, but also many more questions. I have been so fortunate to have the support and love of my husband, family, and friends, and have never felt alone in this journey. I share my story in the hopes of helping others and to chronicle this very important and life-changing experience in my life.

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