Will 2015 be our year?!?

I forgot to talk about the Prometrium that we are adding to the meds this cycle, so I will post details about all my meds tomorrow! For now- enjoy this video update!

Cycle 15: First Time with Injectables!

This cycle we have a couple of things happening: consulting with the surgeon about my thyroid and upping our TTC game with some injectables!

More than likely I will not be able to have surgery this month to remove my thyroid so we decided to continue our TTC efforts until the doctor says "We have a date for surgery." More on the TTC efforts in moment... As I may have mentioned elsewhere or earlier about my thyroid, it is not a dire emergency, but I have been advised my by endo to have my thyroid removed since it has Hashimoto's disease and is so large and not shrinking. My appointment with the surgeon is coming up so more details about that will come later.

This cycle we have decided to add injectables to the TTC cocktail of drugs I am taking and increased the dosage of the Femara to 7.5 mg (I noticed cramping on both sides with this dosage). Eek! Let me tell you, today is CD 9 and I was not looking forward to the Gonal-F injections but we survived! G and I watched a video about how to prepare the Gonal-F injection, followed instructions, and then he injected me! It was easy, stung a bit, and my dosage was doubled so it took two needles, but I am not having bad side effects so far except for a little bit of cramping- so yay!

On Tuesday I go in for a ultrasound to check out the status of my follicles and that's when they will let me know when to do my Ovidrel shot. The Ovidrel is a pen- so it is all prepped and ready to shoot! Wish us luck!

The Journey Continues...

Looks like Cycle No. 14 wasn't so lucky. Our journey continues and we hope you'll join us. We are so thankful for each other and our family and friends who have shown support.

Patience and positivity are hard to come by when you are facing infertility, but the strength of a great partnership makes facing all the difficulties much more manageable.

Acupuncture for Fertility

This past summer when I was seeking out ways to increase our chances to have a baby, I came across many  women who had positive experiences with acupuncture. I really wanted to go but was nervous about making such a decision for some reason. I think I was partly nervous about the cost and partly nervous about the needles- because I hate needles!

Anyway, at our first appointment with the Reproductive Endocrinologist, when he realized I was open to alternative or complementary methods, he suggested acupuncture. He referred me to two different places. Thankfully, I was able to visit both of their websites, compare offerings and fees and chose one. I called and was able to get an appointment that same week. 

At my first appointment, I had to fill out some paper work similar to what you would at a doctor's office. Then, she brought me into the room which felt much like a room you would get a massage. There were a table for the client to lay on, a table of supplies, relaxing music and a little seating area for taking off shoes and consulting.

After being led to the room and told to take my shoes off, the acupuncturist came in. We spoke about my medical history, what my progress with TTC has been like, and then what my goals were for acupuncture.

She then directed me to lay down on the table and roll up my pant legs and sleeves. Since this was my first time I had had acupuncture I only received 8 needles- two in each arm and two in each leg. I did not look while she was placing the needles but when she was done I asked if she minded taking a picture for me because I wanted to share it! Then, she dimmed the lights, put a heat lamp on my feet and played the peaceful music. After about 20-30 minutes, she returned and simply plucked out the needles and sent me on my way.

At my second appointment, we did not have to have a long as a discussion to begin with- she just checked on my cycle and symptoms and placed the needles. I graduated to ten needles for this session (two additional ones put in my toes!) After she was done placing them, I was brave enough to take a picture myself and then start relaxing in the dim peace. 20-30 minutes later, she returned and plucked out the needles.

At my third appointment, I had become familiar with the drill. Cycle update, needles, picture, relax, pluck. I was excited at this appointment because she placed needles in my face and then I started to feel like a real acupuncture client! What can I say, I'm a nerd...
My fourth appointment was exciting. Cycle update, needles, picture, relax, pluck. It was CD 10 so she placed needles on my abdomen to encourage ovulation. I think one important aspect of acupuncture is that the whole process itself is relaxing- the dim lights, peaceful music, the scent of essential oils in the air and the dedicated to just simply being at peace.

At my fifth and most recent appointment, the acupuncturist put even more needles in my head: one in my scalp, one in each ear, and one between my eyes. Honestly, I have not been able to keep count of how many- I still try not to look at them too much, just get a picture right after she places them and then relax.

So, the big question is "Does it help with fertility?" Obviously, I am still waiting on that one since I am in the middle of my TWW, BUT I will say that I believe it has positive effects for those who experience a lot of anxiety over TTC. I'll keep you posted!

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to check out my videos on our YouTube Channel- just click here!

It's What's Inside That Counts...

...and apparently what's inside me is a bit wonky so...

What I take ...
Morning: 100 mcg Synthroid
Afternoon (CD 3-7): 7 mg Letrozole (Generic Femara)
Dinner: PreNatal Multivitamin with DHA and Folic Acid & Fiber+Calcium Supplement
After Dinner: 2.5 mg Prednisone
Before Bed: 81 mg Aspirin ("low-dose")

Details & Reasonings....
The first thing I did last September, when G and I made the decision to start trying for a baby in October, was stop taking the daily birth control pill and start taking prenatal vitamins. I was excited to find GUMMY prenatal vitamins that tasted pretty good- I was worried after hearing horrible accounts of how they make some people sick! For this past year, I have been taking VitaFusion's PreNatal Multivitamin and their Fiber+Calcium PreNatal Support gummies but I recently discovered CVS has a version of the multivitamin so I am giving them a try.

After the MC, I began taking one low-dose aspirin at night, per my OBGYN. At a time when I was desperate to make whatever fixes I could to in order to make sure another one did not happen, she said that taking the low-dose aspirin was the only thing proven to help. Therefore, I take one of these each night.

Upon being diagnosed with hypothyroidism I started taking generic Synthroid (levothyroxine). I started out at 25 mcg with my original doctor and then when I went to the Endocrinologist he increased it to 50, then 75 mcg. My blood work throughout this time was showing improvement, and even got into the "normal" range, however, my doctor said that my TSH levels should be even better for pregnancy (from 0.4 to 2.5). When I started going to the Reproductive Endocrinologist he said I should take the brand name for this drug in particular because the generic version is known to have varying percentages of ingredients that make a noticeable impact. After my baseline blood work with him, he consulted with my regular Endocrinologist and increased my dosage to 100 mcg.

In addition to increasing my thyroid medication and changing it to brandname only, my Reproductive Endocrinologist had me start taking Prednisone because some of my blood work showed elevated levels of DHEA Sulfate. I don't have the finer details of the reasonings for this one, other than the Prednisone should help decrease the DHEA Sulfate so that I will have more DHEA in my system instead.

The last medication that my Reproductive Endocrinologist prescribed was Femara, or the generic which is Letrozole. Apparently, one's AMH levels in your blood work indicate if you should start with 2.5, 5, or 7 mg. I was in the higher end of the normal range and therefore he started me on 5mg for my first go-round. Femara is supposed to be a great alternative to Clomid for infertility issues because it has less side effects. I have never taken Clomid before, but I can attest to minimal side effects, possibly none. The first day that I took it, I already had a huge headache but it last for over a day so I am not sure if it had anything to do with the medicine.

Today is my last day of Letrozole! I am continuing my weekly acupuncture visits and will begin testing for ovulation with my Wondfo strips. I will share more about these aspects of TTC in my next post.

Take care!

P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment below or share! Also, check out our YouTube Channel here!

Lucky No. 14?

Today I start my day off with some delicious turbo coffee! AND it is fully-caffeinated.  This is an occasional treat I make for myself because on days like today it is my silver-lining.

Most of you may not know, but since October 2013 G and I have been TTC (trying to conceive for those unfamiliar with the TTC-world). We have told a few family members and close friends about this decision, but now we are making it more public. 

The reason for this is because over this past year I have spent a lot of time on blogs, forums, and YouTube channels, and found comfort, knowledge, and help from other people's experiences, so I want to share ours in a sense to pay-it-forward. Be forewarned: this is going to be an honest, open account of our journey toward parenthood- it is not for the prude and it is not for the heartless.

On days like today (CD 1) when it has become blatantly obvious that our efforts have once again proved fruitless (pun not intended?) I like to indulge in some of the things I have been limiting during the TTC portion of the month. Don't get me wrong though, the love and support of my husband, G, is the number one thing that helps on these days, but tangible items like caffeinated coffee, sushi, and wine have their own "healing effect".

Anyhow, today is CD 1 of our 14th cycle trying. This cycle is especially significant because it marks our first month using fertility medication in conjunction with the other medications that keep my body in balance. My next post will be about the medications specifically, today I am just here to lay the foundation.

Back in 2013, before the mark of the New Year, we were blessed with a BFP in our 3rd cycle. We were totally thrilled. I woke up G with the positive test and baby Toms shoes, we took secret 4-week belly shots and tons of pictures of the positive test. However, our happiness did not last long. I began to MC in January when I returned to work. I believe it is human nature to speculate many, many reasons for MC and there is so much that goes through the mind of a woman during this time but I just cannot articulate it in this post. Perhaps, that will be the topic of a future post. All I want to establish today is that it happened- and we made it through together.

In the several months post-MC, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's disease and started taking medication (and eating more salt!) to help balance out the hormones associated with that. In these past several months we have had nothing but BFNs, but looking at the science of it, one should not be shocked- my body simply is not ready {enter RE}. As I mentioned before, this cycle (Lucky No. 14),  is when I will be taking fertility medication, under the supervision of my Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. L. Once I get the actual medication in my hands- be prepared for the next blog post and YouTube update!

To make things a little easier to follow, to the side is an acronym infographic from HelloBee that I found incredibly helpful when we first started this journey to parenthood. HelloBee is a great resource for information and connecting with other people who have gone through similar experiences.

To bring you up to speed in a different fashion you can watch my first video on my YouTube channel here (don't forget to like and subscribe!). This is actually a video I filmed back in June 2014. I have had the desire and intention to keep a record of my experiences but have been nervous about making it public- but here it goes!

Like I warned earlier, these posts (and videos) are going to be open, honest accounts- not for the prude or heartless. We are sharing our experiences in hopes that we may help others out (you are not alone) and also so that our friends and family can understand. So, please be kind. Be back soon!

<3 L