Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Preparation Survey: What Do You Do When Eggs Aren't Involved?

Okay, ladies, I have another interactive post for you. I am looking for information and it isn't necessarily limited to donor egg IVF, since if you've ever done a FET it's like having the lasagna in the freezer--you just pop it into the oven because all the making of the ingredients is already done. I had a plan all down for what to do to prepare for egg quality--the wheatgrass juice, no alcohol, no coffee, lots of low-mercury fish and organic vegetables and fruits and whole grains (devoid of gluten) and fish oil and CoQ10 and antioxidants and all that fun stuff.

My question is, how do you prepare your uterus to receive? Do you cut all that stuff out when the eggs aren't in the equation? How far in advance? I don't do CoQ10 for FETs or donor because I'm not creating anything, but I do take fish oil religiously and I cut out the coffee and the alcohol, at the very least by the time I start Lupron. I'm not a fifth of gin kind of person but we enjoy our wine with dinner and we enjoy it rather frequently. I cut those things out in a "for the sake of general health" thing (and because drinking on Lupron and Estrogen is not a good idea), and also because somewhere I saw something that claimed that there's a compound in the coffee bean that can inhibit implantation. Which is kind of crazy sounding, but whatever. Plus there's the pineapple core thing. At first I heard all this stuff about how the bromates (bromides? unclear) in the pineapple core could aid in implantation, and so I ate pineapple core like mad throughout the 2 week wait starting with transfer day. But then another study came out saying that it could actually impair implantation. I FEEL LIKE I CAN'T TRUST ANYTHING! I feel like there is a study somewhere that says that if you eat a salad of edible flowers out of a bowl made out of a turtle shell while listening to whale song played backwards, implantation is more likely to occur.

Really, what I'm looking for is: What do you do to improve the chances of implantation for a transfer where you're not making anything but a plush lining? Do you do anything? Does eating full fat dairy matter a whit when you're not in the business of egg production?

I am heading into my next FET a little sooner than I had anticipated, which is great, but now I have kind of a limited time to do my prep. I am working out a lot (that is a fairly loose term where I'm concerned) and feel like I have done a good job just getting healthier and more muscle tone. I really hope that muscle weighs more than fat because I am actually up a few pounds, even though my clothes are looser. I'm walking several miles (anywhere from 2 1/2 to 7) several times per week and doing yoga/pilates tapes, some involving light weights or fusion dance, and my legs and waistline are seeing a visible difference. But, I am starting Lupron in less than a month and so it's tricky... Lupron sucks all my motivation away. And makes me feel icky if I exercise too hard. Anyone else experience this on the Lupron? And forget it once I start the estrogen and then especially the PIO. That stuff packs on the poundage like nobody's business, and at that point you're supposed to curtail your exercise activity. (How they can say reducing your BMI if you're overweight improves your chances at the same time as reduced exercise and full-fat dairy is beyond me.) I feel like I'm basically getting myself in good shape so that I can once again slide into fertility-drug-atrophy.

I would greatly appreciate any and all thoughts on what you have done, what you have thought helpful, etc. when preparing for either a FET or a DE IVF cycle. Getting that oven's pilot light lit, so to say. Preheating for that lasagna.

8 comments:

  1. Hmmm. To be honest, I did nothing beyond take my prenatal (for three years! ha), take all my meds (Crinones and Vivelles), and try to get a decent amount of sleep each night(8 hours or so). I did stop exercising during the 2WW (and still haven't started again). I drove all the way back from Atlanta alone (6-7 hours, not fun), carried my own bags into the house, and went to work the second week of the 2WW. I stopped drinking when I started Lupron, though I continued to enjoy chocolate and sips of my husband's glasses of wine. I cuddled with my cat and watched bad Netflix and tried not to obsess. I'd say I was pretty anxious, and there was a fair amount of crying, especially when I started spotting two days before my pregnancy test.

    Since my test was positive, I don't know what to think. I'd done all kinds of crazy things (and expensive things- acupuncture, etc.) for my three IVF cycles, and nothing for my DE cycle. But the embryo quality was different, and my luck turned out different.

    Here's hoping your luck comes through this time too. I am hoping for you. Try not to obsess too much. This is somewhat out of your hands. The embryo has been created, and there's no medical agreement on what causes it to stick or not.

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    1. Thanks so much! I think I just keep looking for a reason. Or something. Something that I can do that will positively influence the outcome. In a weird way it's maddening that there isn't, because I don't know what that means. Did you nix the coffee, or are you not a coffee drinker anyway? I am not a heavy coffee drinker, maybe a cup a day in the summer and during the school year three-five cups per week maybe (most of it on Sunday at the diner...), but I drop it like a hot potato and maybe that's not necessary? I will do my best to sleep lots and not obsess! Thanks for sharing your routine with me, I really appreciate it.

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  2. Lupron is the devil! I was totally unmotivated to work out because I was exhausted and had body aches or a headache. Not fun.

    Sorry I can't help out with the lining question. I have not had an FET.

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    1. No worries, thanks for helping me feel not so crazy regarding how evil Lupron is. Some people have very few if any side effects on it and I always feel so jealous of those people! Not that I'm glad it's the devil for you, too, but it is comforting to know that there is actually a physical reason (and not just a state of mind thing) that makes me feel so crappy and unmotivated on that particular drug. Can't wait to get going on that one again... ;-) Thanks for your input!

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  3. thanks for posting this, Jess. You always seem to be able to express exactly what is going on in my mind. I guess, for me, I treat my body the same way I do for a fresh IVF. Although this time I only did acu before and after transfer (immediately) and then a few days after, which is when I also started herbs. In the past I did mayan massage and acu and herbs (and yoga) many time throughout the cycle. But this time, it felt like too much, and I just took it easy on the Eastern stuff. I will let you know how it turns out as soon as I know. I pray that this FET is the one for you! xoxo

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    1. Ditto to you, lady! I hope this little frostie is it for you. I do agree that sometimes "doing it all" can really be too much, and then doesn't it lose some of the benefit? Thinking sticky thoughts for you!

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  4. Personally, I drank wine and coffee up to the day before transfer and continued drinking cofee afterwards. (reasonable amounts of both of course.) and I am now happily 6 weeks pregnant after a DE FET. I know a lot of women drank alchohol until transfer with DE. My view is you should not put so many restrictions on yourself that you get all stressed nor do something now that you will regret later if you get a BFN. I don't believe that wine or coffee before the transfer matter so I wouldn't have had guilt if I ended up with a BFN. But, if you believe they can impact success rates, then you probably need to make those changes. Good luck!!!!

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    1. First, congrats on your success with DE FET! That gives me hope as I head into mine. That's great advice, I think sometimes I do restrict to the point of stress, but mostly because I want to believe that I did something that could impact things. Which I am feeling more and more disillusionment with. Solid advice, I think I will give myself a pass until I start Lupron within reason and maybe not be so anti-coffee (since a fat lot of good that's done me so far, and I'm really enjoying my coffee in the morning...). Thanks for your comment!

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