First Letrozole IUI cycle CD 8

One week down on my first IUI cycle. CD 8 – I had taken Letrozole 2.5 mg from CD 3 – 7 (5 days). I feel great, I feel normal. While taking the Letrozole I would say I had minimal side effects. The only side effect I noticed was increased emotional intensitiy. I wouldn’t say I was really moody but thing that normally aren’t a big deal, felt more like a big deal. I don’t usually cry.. I cried probably 3 out of 5 days, some may have been for decent reason, but still somewhat out of character for me. I felt slight discomfort here and there but it could have been “symptom spotting”.

One morning on my way to work, medication day 3, I hit a pot hole. Instantly knew there was something majorly wrong, luckily there was a big drive way/parking lot right there so I pulled over. THE STEEL RIM BROKE IN HALF! wtf. My tires are brand new, less than a month. I was pissed. At least I knew how to change a tire so I quickly get to business and send a text off to my boss. The tiny jack that they put with the car didn’t work, It wont turn. I ask a couple of ladies about to bring their kids to school if they have a car jack, they don’t. I’m baffled as to how you can not have a jack at your house. So I call my hubby, who’s sleeping and hope he answers. He does and he’s less than helpful at first saying we only have a farm jack and doesn’t know if it will work “I don’t know what you want me to do” So I bust into hysterical tears and Hubby agrees to come try to help me. Hubby gets there with a REAL jack and problem is solved. I take the truck to work and he finishes changing the tire. I was only 7 minutes late! (I was going to be 30 minutes early to get stuff done).

When things make me feel weak, I need to remind myself that I am not. I am resilient and creative. Within 24 hours I had replaced the rim (from a junk yard), gotten the tire fixed and the car aligned, total cost of $80. This could have easily cost much much more if I gave up and felt defeated. I even got to go to the dog park with my sister while I was waiting for it to get fixed.

I’ve been feeling more stressed financially too. The list of expenses can just go on and on and on. “First world problems” I try to remind myself that I am doing OK, this is just temporary. There will be years of surplus and years of  deficit. It’s nerve-wracking not knowing WHEN I’ll have the IUI, and praying it’s going to happen on my day off.

I’m SOOO excited to get my blood test and ultrasound on CD 10 (Sunday). I don’t care that its going to be super early in the morning or that I have to drive 82 miles and cost me a few hundred dollars. I desperately want to know how many follicles I have, how mature they are. I’m really hoping for 2-3 but I don’t think that’s very common with low dose Letrozole.

I also saw a certified nurse midwife here in town for an annual exam, my RE recommended I start seeing an OB/GYN as I’ve only been to my PCP for annual women’s exams. I told my RE that my goal is a home birth, and although she DOESN’T RECOMMEND IT. She wasn’t trying to scare me out of if, but said to be very careful on who to choose. So I thought the CNM in town would be my answer, but she wasn’t, she was helpful though. She doesn’t even do births but pawns you off to the hospital, she told me there is no way of knowing who will even be doing the delivery until that day (crazy/scary to me), she said that some hospitals make you come in at 37 weeks and induce you, and some hospitals “allow you to come laboring”. Yikes. So I told her I was looking for a more “natural, un-invasive birth”,  I didn’t want to come out and say “home birth” for some reason. She picked up on it and said “home birth?” and told me about a couple of practices that specialize in that. Later that day I looked on the websites and emailed them asking if they work in my area (both are located 1+ hrs away) and they said yes! I’m trying not to put the cart before the horse, but I think it’s good to get an idea of whats going to happen before I get pregnant. I did almost buy a crib that was a really good deal but I stopped myself.

I’ve been exercising pretty regularly, I’m finding it challenging to excercise after work. I’m gone for 12 hours of the day, I come home, eat dinner and go to bed. I should excersise before work but I have no motivation when I’m cozied up in bed. It’s too cold to walk on my break or I’ve been running over so my break has been getting cut short.

Goals are Yoga 3 x per week and walking 2 miles every day.  Last week I got in yoga 3 x and walking 3 x, so slacking a bit on the walking.

I’ve been following my diet pretty well, had some “cheats” on valentine’s day chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered cheesecake bites!
daily “fertility foods”

Breakfast: Decaf green tea with lemon juice or “Bulletproof” decaf coffee

Lunch: 1/2 grapefruit, 2 hard-boiled free range organic eggs, 4 oz canned salmon, Avocado/guac,

Disclosure: following links contain discount to you but also credit to me if you sign up.

Dinner:  Healthy meal from Green Chef or Sunbasket meal delivery (which I’ve been loving) with chia seed / flax-seed/ spirulina / Kiefer / pomegranate juice mix.

Bed time: Mixed nuts Pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts and goji berries, red raspberry leaf tea (RRLT) with ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and melatonin. 20 min fertility meditation from YouTube.

After ovulation I’ll add pineapple core for a few days, bone broth, switch from RRLT to dandelion root tea.

Supplements:

CoQ10, Vitamin code Raw prenatal (contains folate, not folic acid), Fish oil, Baby Aspirin, Magnesium, Melatonin, Methylated b12 & b9 combo.

My RE said that baby aspirin and the methylated b12/b9 are likely unnecessary. I purchased them during my last TWW before we had the chance to discuss the MTHFR mutation noted on my genetic screening. I have the 1286 mutation which is not the kind related to blood/heart problems or increased miscarriage. She said that taking them wouldn’t hurt but should discontinue the baby aspirin once I get a BFP.

It’s a beautiful day out, I’m going to take my dogs for a hike, come home do some yoga, do some chores and just relax today.  I’m planning my next update for Sunday after my check up!! Baby dust to everyone, feel free to leave a comment or link to your blog if  you have one. 🙂

 

 

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Cycle 1: Letrozole Medicated IUI

Can I take a moment to toot my own horn please…. I am beyond excited to find out that Hubby’s sperm analysis was off the charts good!  I Give 100% credit to following fertility blogs/research and supplementing accordingly along with excellent diet and adequate excercise! If you’d like a detailed post about how we got his sperm in tip-top shape please write a comment or send me a message!!!!

Concentration : 88 mil/mL – normal is greater than 15 mil/mL

% motility : 66% – normal is greater than 32%

Morphology %: 10% – normal is greater than 4%

Our Doctor also informed us that my egg quality and quantity is much higher than average as well! We are very hopeful our first IUI will be a success. But it leaves a screaming question: Why can’t we conceive naturally? We have the “unexplained” infertility diagnosis. Hopefully this is a blessing in disguise that they couldn’t find anything major, and our efforts have not been in vain. On paper we look like the picture of fertility. The doctor offered its possible to proceed with laparoscopic surgery for me, to find out exactly if there is any endometriosis/scar tissue problems but she didn’t recommend it. It is an invasive procedure, and she is not convinced that they will find anything. The Dr recommended trying IUI and possibly revisiting surgery later, if the IUIs are unsuccessful.

Our doctor recommended using Letrozole on CD 3-7. Her recommendations for Letorozole came with a long explanation of how letrozole is safe, and described an event that tarnished Letrozoles reputation for fertility treatment. Basically she told us that the person that said Letrozole causes birth-defects was unfounded and was not even a published research paper, but was a media sensation. The Dr. let us know that Letrozole usually has less side effects than Clomid, it doesn’t diminish the uterine lining like clomid does/can, and has a higher pregnancy rate than clomid.  She let us know there is a risk of twins around 7%. The nurse gave me detailed instructions on the IUI protocol.

I started my period 2 days later, Gave our nurse a call and she sent the RX to the pharmacy in town. It only cost me $2.94! I start the drugs this sunday, I’ll be taking 1 .25mg tablet once per day for 5 days (CD 3-7), On day 10 I will have blood work and an ultra sound. This will land on a Sunday so I’ll have to drive to the farther away office: 82 miles round trip.

On CD 10 I’ll also start OPK’s in the evening. I have been using OPKs for months now so I’m experienced with taking and reading them. The office recommended the expensive digital smiley one, but I’m going to stick with my cheapies. I usually get a positive on CD 14, but I’ll be curious to see if the meds make me ovulate sooner. I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to do my IUI on my regular day off, so I don’t have to call out of work!

I can’t begin to explain how overly happy and excited I am to do this! After 3+ years of TTC naturally and being let down over and over and over, I have a renewing of hope. Wasn’t it Einstein that said “Insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a different outcome” ? I told my sisters, but no one else knows (except readers which right now I have like zero) . I have told a few friends were going to start “trying” now, leaving out the fact that I’m trying the hard stuff now lol.

I plan to update on CD 8, CD 10, IUI day, Somewhere in the TWW, and 14 DPIUI.

Stay strong ladies! Cut that caffeine, ditch the alcohol, eat your superfoods, take your meds and supplements, keep up with exercise, do your self-care!!!!!! Our baby spirit is getting ready to enter our lives.

TTC Diagnosis and treatment plan

Today Hubby and I have our second appointment with our reproductive endocrinologist (RE). We will be going over all of our results from the last month of testing, and hopefully will be hearing their plan, comparing in with my plan and agreeing on our next step. Last month I had hormone blood tests, genetic blood tests, an intravaginal ultrasound and a HSG x-ray. Hubby had a semen analysis, STD testing (they make everyone do it) and a genetic blood test. We both are carriers of 1 autosomal recessive disorder, which the other partner doesn’t carry, so our risk is minimal.
ALL OF OUR RESULTS ARE “NORMAL”!!!! how aggravating when you search for answers and get none. Hubby has been a heavy marijuana user for many years, I finally convinced him to give it up about 5 month ago. Research suggests it can lower fertility, and can make low-fertility people completely infertile. It takes about 3 months for sperm to regenerate. Weed can make sperm “hyperactive” where they use up all of their energy too early; they’re supposed to lay dormant while they are washed into the cervix and uterus THEN activate to get from the fallopian tube to the egg. I also think I may have a “hostile cervical environment”, I’ve never had “EWCM”. I have clear cervical fluid around time of ovulation, and not a lot of it. We’ve been using pre-seed or astroglide TTC during our BD, still BFN every month. Hubby has had multiple “relapses” where he has smoked, I think I’ve finally convinced him to give it up 100%. It’s hard to say if occasional smoking would do anything, but when you’re trying everything and that’s the one “No-no” that keeps popping up, it could be related.

I was diagnosed with MTHFR mutations, 2 copies. The genetic councilor was very clear that this USED to be thought to be a cause of infertility/early miscarriage, but now is not even recommended to be tested for fertility purposes (then why is it still in their testing protocol?). In my opinion (I am not a doctor but I do have experience in the health field) Nothing is completely unrelated. If I have a genetic mutation that makes it 70% less efficient to utilize vitamin B9, which is needed in every cell in the body, it likely can effect all body systems. I am going to asked what the recommended supplements are. I’ve already bought Methylated B-12 & B-9 combo to add to my prenatal and I follow a strict “fertility diet” were I eat tons of food through out the day that have folate (and the other vital nutrients) . I’ll ask if they recommended baby aspirin after ovulation too.

This month we drove 304 miles for infertility treatments, and paid $1630.72.

I’m keeping a running tab for tax purposes. I’m assuming that we will be paying more than 10% of my annual income to treatment this year. My insurance deductible (& Out of pocket max) is $7500 so that alone is more than 10%!!!  Its going to be a tight year financially, but over all it will be worth it (hopefully!!!)

My plan is to do 2 medicated IUIs, move onto 2 fresh IVF’s and if they is remaining embryos then FET 2 embryos each cycle until we have no more embryos from the fresh IVFs. If we still do not have a child after that, I think I will be OK with moving onto other options, like fostering.

At least there is an end in sight, and we’re tying. I couldn’t keep just doing OPKS and 5000+ old wives tales and forum “tips”, its soooo emotionally draining. This morning CD 28, 13 DPO  I  POAS and BFN. I’ve been testing since 10 DPO. Its soul crushing, especially when you psyche yourself up everyday during the TWW.

This year I am dedicating to ART (advanced reproductive technologies) and its going to be expensive, and its going to be painful, and hopefully it won’t take the whole year, but I am ready to dedicate all of my 29th year of live to becoming a mother. I’m concerned about work/treatment balance, I have no idea how I’m going to make this work.

BUT I am resilient, I am resourceful, I am determined. Nothing in life has every come easy for me. This is just another huge hurdle I have to over come, that millions of people take for granted.

I’m so excited to start treatment, I will updated again after our visit  when our doctor gives us their recommendations!

What To Expect HSG Test & Slow Fill Tube.

Hysterosalpingography – a long fancy word for fallopian tube x-ray. This procedure is used to help determine if the fallopian tubes are open or blocked. An iodine based dye is pushed into the uterus through a thin catheter that is inserted into the cervix. The doctor and radiologist take several radiographic images of  the uterus and fallopian tubes for their exam.
This test is usually recommended as part of an infertility diagnosis. My doctor required this procedure to be between day 6 and day 12 of the menstrual cycle. The idea is that bleeding should be subsided, yet ovulation has not occurred, so there is no potential harm to a developing baby. I was still tested for pregnancy before hand. When I arrived they had me pee in a cup, obviously it was negative, just like it has been the past 36+ months but who’s counting.

The nurse/radiologist (I didn’t ask her title) brought me into the room. They wouldn’t/couldn’t allow for Hubby to come in with me, stating that the room was too small (I didn’t even think of the radiation aspect too). Back there she had me sign a consent form, asked me if I had been taking the doxycycline that was RXed to me for the procedure (1 AM, 1 PM pill the day before, day of , and day after). I had, but I forgot to take the 800 mg ibuprofen they recommended before the procedure (*I DIDN’T FORGET THE VALIUM!). She said don’t worry about it, you can take some after if you need it, a lot of people don’t. They had me undress from the waist down, socks can stay on, and sit on the table.

The Dr. came in and introduced himself and described how the procedure would work. Since I had already googled tons of info on HSG I was pretty confident I understood what was going on.  It was nice that he was clear and with his information. The Doctor asked me if my RE had told me anything about my uterus. I told them that she said I have a pretty uterus and we can’t say that to everyone! But I also let him know she detected a slight depression on the top side of my uterus, but it was measured to be not significant enough to be considered a septum or abnormal.

Step 1 Lay back butt to the edge of the table, put your legs up into the stirrups. Their stirrups were padded and actually were more like a rest for your legs than say a gyno app just has the metal foot holders. It was strangely comfortable.

Step 2 Dr. Inserts speculum, you know the cold metal thing used at pap smears. I felt no pain at all, but it was cold and a tiny bit of pressure when opening, totally tolerable.

Step 3 Dr. uses antiseptic to clean the cervix 2 or 3 times. This was also cold, but not painful at all.

Step 4 Dr. inserts catheter and inflates something to hold the cervix open. Released/removed the speculum. This was some pressure/cramping but not really pain – more of like a feeling you get when your period or ovulation is going to occur soon (in my experience). Dr. Said that this is usually the most uncomfortable part.

Step 5 Dr. inserts dye into the uterus/fallopian tubes. Nurse exposes radiographs frequently.  I felt cramping and moderate intense pressure. I let my Dr. know it was hurting, but tolerable. He had asked me to tell him about anything painful, I think this info can be beneficial to them as the procedure progresses. I was feeling this way because only 1 tube was fully open, the other tube was “slow to fill/spill”

Step 6 Dr. may ask you to rotate your hips to get different angled images or guide dye into slow filling tubes. From my understanding the nurse can help you move if you have trouble. My Doc was surprised when I immediately shifted after he asked me to and said “You’re a good turner” I’ll make a mental note of weird things my Dr.’s say to me. 

Step 7 watch the show. My doctor was great and explained the procedure as it was happening on the monitor we both could see. My left tube was more at a low angle, and the dye went right through. The right tube appeared to be at an incline, so naturally its more difficult to push dye up hill, hence the hip turn. Eventually the dye spilled out the other end I felt so relieved. 

Step 8 The Dr said he was going to do one more thing, but the catheter had come out so he didn’t do what ever he was going to do he didn’t tell me, I think it may have been just an ending x-ray after they wait a little while, I had read about this part of the exam but I cant remember what it was called.

After the procedure was over he went over his observations and talked about clinical significance. According to him, and he told me multiple times, it doesn’t matter that the tube was slow to fill, the dye did come out the other side, so the tube is open. I felt good about that, but skeptical, if its slow it’s surely not “excellent” so I began my googling once I got into the car.

The nurse had given me a wipe, paper towels and a panty liner and pad. She said there would be about 1 TBS of dye that will come out.  She said to refrain from vaginal intercourse for 24 hours (or until you can tell the dye is all out). I was wearing a thong so I put the panty liner in. I should have used the pad.. not fun walking to the car and feel like your about to dye your pants. Being the classy lady I am I shoved some paper towels in my pants once I got in the car.

What I learned about the HSG afterwards is that many women get pregnant shortly after having a HSG procedure. It seems that the pressure of the dye flushes out mild blockages. This information was very anecdotal (TTC forums) but there was hundreds of posts claiming the HSG was the determining factor of their pregnancy. Boy, was I excited when I started reading this. I particularly felt hopeful when hearing this as my tube was “slow to fill” and the pressure I was feeling during the procedure felt significant, once the dye spilled out the Dr. told me that this mean the tubes are open (did he open it?).

I learned that having one tube blocked doesn’t make you infertile either, the eggs can be picked up by the other tube or it may just take longer than typical to get pregnant.

I also learned that tubes may be open, but still not functioning properly. The HSG only tests if the tubes are anatomically normal, it does not test if the villi (finger-like projections that guide the egg down the tube) are working. It is assumed that if the tube are open the villi are functioning normally.

If both tubes are blocked its recommended to do IVF to conceive, or other procedures to help re-open the tubes.

So I’m hoping this procedure cleared out my tubes and this will be the cycle we get out BFP! This cycle we’re also using Pre-seed. I follow a lot of other “regimines” for TTC but to each their own, eating healthy, taking supplements, staying active and avoiding alcohol/caffiene/drugs(obviously) are paramount. I think I’ll also be adding 81 mg baby asprin after ovulation because of my recent MTHFR mutation diagnosis. (more on this next post)

This is my last month TTC before we start actual Medication/IUIs/IVF with my RE. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to get my BFP now… girl can dream right!

 

First Fertility Specialist Visit

We arrived at the clinic 15 minutes early. The receptionist checked us in. I forgot my ID at home, this was not a good thing. They were gracious and let me use other forms of identification but said I needed to bring my ID in ASAP and bring it every time. Due to the nature of the procedures identity is very important to them. *note to self, don’t forget ID!* Hubby and I waited in the reception area, which was empty besides us (2 pm must not be a busy time!). Soon after they called us back. Hubby wasn’t sure to stay or go so I told him to come. They showed us into an exam room, Hubby stayed there while the medical assistant took me down the hall to check vital signs. She weighed me and took my blood pressure and pulse. We went back into the exam room and the medical assistant said that our nurse would be in soon to go over our new patient health history that I had completed before our first visit. The nurse came in and was very nice, she was thorough with going through our information. She explained what was going to happen during the rest of our appointment today, and said she will meet with us again at the end to wrap up any questions.

The asked me to undress from the waist down and sit on the table, Hubby was welcome to stay or go, he didn’t really want to stay, but I asked him to and he did stay. I want him to see/understand the whole process so I can have someone to relate to about it. I feel so alone dealing with infertility as no one sees what goes on “behind closed doors” so to speak.

Doctor came in, she was very pleasant. She did an internal ultrasound with some 3-D photos too. The ultra sound was not uncomfortable at all, maybe a little weird at times but not painful. She looked at my ovaries, said she could see follicles and saw an empty area that she said “looks like I ovulated from” she measured my uterus and took some photos. She saw something unusual so decided to take a 3-D ultra sound too. the 3-D ultrasound revealed a slight dip on the top of my uterus, but it was less than 1 cm so still “normal”. She said that some people have a septum down the middle of the uterus that can make it very difficult to conceive, but I didn’t have this. Lucky me everything was normal. There was some slight concern that I may have endometriosis, because I had told them that my sister had this. She pressed on some areas and there was no pain, she said that when people have endometriosis they usually feel pain in some of these areas. They told me to re-dress and then we will meet in the Dr.s office to talk.

In the doctor’s office she asked If we had any questions. Our questions mostly pertained to what do we do next. She recommended blood work, pap smear and a  hysterosalpingogram (HSG) for me. Blood work and semen analysis for Hubby possible visit with a urologist. I had previously seen a RE a little over a year ago where he did blood tests. The Dr. said that the results were good, and she doesn’t expect much of a change but says they should be updated. This was a relief to me, I had seen another doctor, but they had never contacted me with the results of my blood test, and I had never returned or called to find out. Mostly because Hubby did not want to pursue treatment at that time. The doctor told me the HSG is a simple procedure and you get results immediately to see if my fallopian tubes are blocked, there is no strong reason for her to believe they would be blocked, but it is important to know for sure. The doctor also talked to us a lot about genetic blood testing. They strongly recommended it, but it was not mandatory. I agreed to the genetic testing but I’m pretty confident I’m not a carrier. They are also testing for MTHFR mutations. I have read a few blogs where the women have these mutations and are prone to miscarriage, my sister recently had an early miscarriage, so I do want to (hopefully) rule this out.

The doctor then brought us down to the financial manager. The doctor said we would likely be starting with something less invasive such as natural IUI or medicated IUI, but this will be determined after the other tests are completed. The manager briefly went over insurance coverage with us, and had me sign the paper work for the genetic testing. She asked if we had any questions. I had questions about pricing but with no diagnosis there wasn’t much of a reason to get into the nitty-gritty.

They had me do the blood work before I left. Boy was I surprised to see how many vials of blood I was about to give. I think it was at least 7. The phlebotomist asked me to verify my name and birthday on each vial. I joked about how I was glad I have an easy name.  She poked me, it wasn’t too bad. She asked if I needed apple juice but I said I was fine. Then she walked me back to the reception area.

I left feeling hopeful. Maybe a simple IUI is all we need? I guess time will tell once we find out about the sperm and fallopian tubes!

Hubby is returning next week to do  blood work and a semen analysis. AF is due next week so I can do my day 2/3 blood test and schedule my HSG for CD 6-12.  I really want to start ASAP so hopefully we don’t have to wait and this month we’ll do our first IUI!!

 

Questions for the Reproductive Endocrinologist Consulation

I’m sooo excited my first visit is in 2 days! I am trying to rack my brain now for questions I have for our first visit.

What is causing our infertility?

What additional testing do I need to do before diagnosis/ treatment?

What Treatment do you recommend first, how long do we have to try this?

What are our chances of having a live birth?

Can we skip right to IVF?

What is the timeline from first visit to embryo/sperm transfer?

What lifestyle changes are most important?

How much caffeine is OK, for male/female?

How much alcohol is OK, for male/female?

Is my weight OK?

What foods should I consume?

What foods should I avoid?

What supplements should we take?

Do you recommend alternative therapies during treatment? massage/acupuncture ext.

How much exercise is recommended?

Will I need time off from work?

What is the cost?

What are payment options?

 

 

Fertility Goals

So It’s January first. We all know what that means, a new year a fresh start. A time where many re-evaluate their lives and Identify areas that you desire to improve. This year I took it very “seriously”. I allowed myself to relax a bit in December, with all the “rules” I tell myself to follow regarding fertility.
If you’re like me, you scour the internet daily searching for the answer to infertility. Reading about vitamins, minerals, super-foods, “do’s and don’ts”, what kinds of exercise to do, sex positions, lube, medications/herbs to avoid, old wives tails. I could literally go on forever, but you know, you’re here too with me.
What I’ve been SO disappointed about is the lack of actual research in regards to what is really significant, and which is of miniscule importance. Almost all of the “Tips and tricks” have some sort of decent reasoning behind them, so I usually just follow the advice, and see if it works for me. (Pst, none of it has and I’ve been doing this for almost a year.)

There are some “Rules” that I think are MUSTS, but most is just suggestion. So my goal for 2018 is to focus on the “Musts” and indulge with the suggestions. This means I’m not going to buy 100000 vitamins and crazy (expensive) super-foods. I am going to trust my doctor to tell me what is vital, and what is not. Up until now, I’ve had no post-doctoral educated guidance on my fertility. Hubby is tired of taking 25 vitamins a day. With that being said I probably will continue doing some of the suggestions that aren’t proven. Mostly in my diet making sure to include all the regular “super foods” like wild salmon, fresh farm eggs, grass-fed beef, broccoli, asparagus, garlic, grapefruit, chia/flax seeds, pomegranate juice, spirulina, decaf green tea with lemon, ginger tea, red raspberry leaf tea (CD 1 to Ovulation) and dandelion root tea the rest of the cycle, Pineapple core (1-5 DPO). Unless advised otherwise.  I also want to try to take the Chinese medicine “warm womb” more seriously. This means keeping your feet warm at all times, ingesting only warm food and liquids during your entire TWW. In my opinion, this kinda makes sense to me, I am very cold all the time, I can see how this could be less than hospitable for implantation, and it really couldn’t hurt.

Goals to focus on:

  1. Exercise regularly. My goal is 10,000 steps per day, and minimum 30 “active” minutes per day. As you may know it is suggested by many to do daily, low to moderate workouts. This means if you’re ultra fitness insanity, you might consider toning it down. On the other hand if you’re only exercise is walking to the car/fridge, you probably should up your game! I was somewhere in the middle. I thought I was more active than I really was.  I bought a fitbit Charge 2 last April, and was shocked how little I walked during my work day. I probably only did moderate exercise once a week. So I changed my habits:
    **Parked farther away so I get more steps walking to my car.
    **Walked on my lunch break, depending on time I would walk 1 – 3 miles, 4 x week. ** Started taking Zumba at the gym, I got a groupon for 25 classes, I didn’t really enjoy it though since I had to go after work, and really just wanted to go home, not go work out for an hour, and I suck at dancing so I felt uncomfortable. **Got and Online Yoga account, This I really enjoy and use frequently. I also got as a groupon for a whole year for like $10. **Now that it’s sub-zero temperatures, I stopped walking on my lunch break sadly. SO I have to and add my walking back in. I have a treadmill, in the basement, that is ancient and its gloomy down there and I hate it, but I walked 2 miles last night and am proud of myself. Watched netflix the whole time lol. My goal is 10,000 steps per day, and 30 active minutes per day. I strongly suggest getting a Fitbit charge 2, or other similar health tracker. It really adds accountability and non-bias recording. It makes you want to be more active, it gives you gentle reminders to get up and walk if you’re idle too long. It knows if you hit your goals, so there no pretending what “counts” for exercise. I love that it tracks sleep too.
  2. Eliminate Alcohol. This one is a work in progress for me. I used to be a bartender, alcohol was a major part of my life. All social gatherings were geared around alcohol. I’ve had to cut out many people in my life, and leave my job as a bartender to get away from the constant flow of alcohol. Peer pressure is real, I couldn’t say no, and when I start, I don’t stop. It’s a problem that runs in my family too. So I did eliminate alcohol last year, for 6 months straight. My current relationship with alcohol is only during my period, I usually will get a 6 pack and have 2 per night for 3 night. It’s suggested that alcohol is eliminated completely when you’re TTC, the reasons are unclear as if low amounts are OK. So my goal is ZERO!!
  3. Eliminate Caffeine. Similar to alcohol, it’s a blanket statement to eliminate caffeine when TTC. It may be ok in low consumption, but it may be harming to fertility, especially when there are other factors involed, its best not to chance it. I currently have caffiene 3x week, I have 2 cups of 1/3 caffinated coffee. I buy 3 bags of coffee – 2 decaf, 1 regular (organic) and mix them into a container and use that on my days off, which is 3 days per week. Im not sure how much this caffiene adds up to , but its more than zero. When I have my period I induldge in a Starbucks coffee. I’m going to ask my Dr. what she recommends in regards to caffiene consumption. I may have to go to zero!
  4. Eat Healthy. This is not much of a challenge for me, but I did let myself slip all of December, and put on a good 10 lbs. Being that I am of a healthy BMI already, my focus is to eat highly nourishing foods. I have been gluten-free for about 10 years now because of a sensitivity. Last year I went “Keto” – low carb/grain free/sugar-free. for health/fertility reasons. There are so many documentaries on why the standard American diet is extremely unhealthy, and how our food supply is covered in endocrine disrupting chemicals. I believe 100% that our infertility is caused by environmental factors.
  5. Self-care. It is very important to reduce stress when TTC. The best way to do this is to practice self-care. Identify multiple ways to relax on a daily basis, and do these things. Journaling, drawing/coloring, aromatherapy, crafts.
  6. Improve sleep quality. There is a sweet spot of sleep quantity, 7-8 hours is recommended. Getting less OR more harms fertility. ELIMINATE THE BLUE LIGHT at least 1 hour prior to bed time. No phones, tablets, TV. This is going to be hard for me. I am planning on charging my phone in a separate room. Luckily my fit bit has a silent alarm so I’ll use that to wake up. I may end up crate training my dogs. I currently have 2 Dobermans that sleep ON me every night, they frequently get up and change positions and wake me every time.
  7.  Reduce spending.  This is a goal of mine related to fertility because I need to create room in our budget for all of these new expenses relating to infertility treatment. Obviously a lot of this will come out of my savings, but I am going to cut out as much unessessary spending as possible.