Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gearing Up Again

So here it is... the long wait since January is finally coming to a close. I am gearing up for our next, third, and hopefully final IVF attempt.

The wait was long, but it went by somewhat quickly. I had about 6 weeks of utter devastation and holing-up following the negative in January, then March was the for-kicks injectible IUI that lasted forever (20 days of stimming, that was NOT cool) and resulted, unsurprisingly, in nada, and then April. The long stretch of April where I waited for my negative test, and then had nothing to do until the first week of May.

May was significant because it marked roughly 3 months before retrieval, and my intent this time is to really prepare myself in those 3 months. They say that egg development happens 3 months before ovulation, so it's good to start getting ready early. I have made lifestyle changes up until this point, but with every negative test I have a period where I go balls-out nuts and eat crap and drink on a consistent basis and have coffee. And skip some of my supplements, since those are expensive little bottles and I don't see the point in taking them when I know there's nothing doing (how do I know for sure? I'm on the Pill between cycles). But now I am in that 3-month period and I am back to preparation mode.

It was probably ill-advised to start preparation mode the first week of May, which was 1) my 35th birthday, 2) my dreaded annual lady exam, and 3) Mother's Day. I did great until Wednesday and then pretty much threw my hands up and figured 1 week late won't matter. I ate well but drank my fair share of wine, margaritas, and Hendrick's martinis. And started Operation Dullard on Monday, May 9th. It's a little hard, because I really resent the concept that I am not pregnant because I'm not organic enough (my grocery bill argues I am), I didn't feed my body enough bizarre nutrients, I didn't eat enough of the right fertile foods. Those books and websites drive me crazy because it puts the blame squarely on me and flies in the face of reality--smack fiends get pregnant, people get pregnant while living their lives normally and don't know it for weeks, drinkers and smokers and midnight tokers get pregnant. The dorito-snarfing Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino-downing women get pregnant. So why should I suffer through the period before when I suffer enough once we get started with the injections?

Because even though I don't want to buy into the hype, I can't help but feel like I won't ever know if it would make a difference if I don't commit. A lot of these things that I'm doing to gear up are good for me anyway--eating organic and unprocessed (or minimally processed) whole foods is good for you. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like yoga, massage, and acupuncture is good for you. Taking supplements is good for you (although some question that), but until I try, I can't dismiss it.

So here is my Gearing-Up-For-Third-Time's-The-Charm IVF plan:
  • Eat organically and fill my plate with veggies and fruits as much as possible.
  • Drink a crapload of water. 
  • Limit coffee. Get down to decaf or no coffee at all by the end of June. 
  • Limit alcohol. I was going to completely eliminate it, but I figure one drink a week isn't going to hurt anything, up until I start Lupron. A glass of wine or an end-of-the-week margarita has stress-relieving properties that deserve notice! 
  • Take an obscene amount of vitamins. In addition to my current regimen of ultra pure fish oil (lemon flavored, which results in lemon burps instead of fish burps but there's still a whiff of the sea in there... gross, sorry), organic Pure Encapsulations Prenatal Vitamins (Sorry GNC, you've been replaced), OPC powder (grapeseed) and Vitamin D, I am also adding Calcium, L-Arginine (helps with implantation apparently),  CoQ10 (helps promote healthy cellular growth), and baby aspirin (helps with implantation as a mild blood thinner). I am going to need a bag just for my supplements when we go to Maine. 
  • Go to acupuncture regularly to increase blood flow to my uterus and prep my ovaries for their big performance. Relieve stress.
  • Go to Maya Massage regularly to increase blood flow to my uterus and rearrange my innards to their optimal positions, and relieve stress.
  • Continue my Yoga For Fertility Class for stress relief and body prep. 
  • Go to counseling to prepare my mindset for this next cycle. The last cycle was nothing short of devastating and I want to figure out strategies to go into this next one so that I am prepared to come out of it saner and more resilient, no matter what the outcome is.
  • Bring back the hilarious and beneficial Vag Steam Bath, to prep my uterus and get it ready to take on some new Tennants. Horrible pun but it made me giggle... 
Seem like a lot? It is. It's a lot to keep track of. I have to be totally ready for when I start Lupron at the end of next month. It is almost like a second job, all of this preparation for my body and mind. I hope that it's worth it. Bryce has his own list of preps to do (much shorter, as he is an important contributor but not the residence). It is a tremendous investment, and we are ready for our payout!

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