Friday, December 18, 2009

Cycle Details

Here are some details on this cycle for those that are interested:

The Diet: Pretty much doing the same stuff, although I have to admit that I've not been as strict and I need to start uping the fruit and veg like I did before. Still no caffeine, but I have had alcohol more than I did last time (which was none). I have been drinking Diet 7UP. Last time was nothing but water and herbal tea.

Meditation: I haven't done any, but probably will when the cycle heats up.

Exercise: Pretty much nil except walking the dog. I am very upset with myself for this as I think that exercise really helps with the stress and general health. Ironically the puppy I got to keep me company on long walks had made me more home bound; first he couldn't walk on a leash, then he couldn't walk very far, now it is winter. *sigh* I really must do something about this.

Acupuncture: This one I am really concerned about. I haven't gone to acupuncture since my failed cycle. I have really struggled about what to do. I believe that acupuncture helped with my last cycle. I was going to start up again in November, but work was just too busy for me to start slipping away early for appointments. Now in December I am feeling too broke due to real estate taxes, personal property taxes, Christmas gifts, and trying to prepay as many medical expenses as humanly possible for tax reasons. If this cycle is a bust I will always wonder what if...

Supplements: I am now taking l-arginine, wheat grass, royal jelly, and a fertility vitamin blend suggested by my RE. What the!!! The same RE who told me that supplements wouldn't help when I was begging for suggestions after IVF #3 now thinks that I should be taking anti-oxidants. This makes me grumble.

Tony: Tony did the hormone testing suggested by the RE after failed IVF #4. Based on those results he is now taking one tab of Clomid every other day and and HCG injection once a week. I gather from Google searches that these treatments for men are rather controversial and probably won't do much to help. Our RE has said as much, but I'm glad he has presented this as an option for us to try. Tony is also taking antioxidants.

Protocol: I am doing basically the same protocol as before with a couple changes. I will be taking human growth hormone (so I guess I can't compete in the Olympics). My RE's opinion is that HGH might help one in eight women, but he normally doesn't suggest it due to price ($1600 for me). Again I am glad that he is giving me the information and the options. I have also tested positive for elevated natural killer cells and will be doing intralipids. I actually think this is good news and might answer why last time failed. I will be just devastated if we make shit embryos this time and don't get an opportunity to see if the intralipids will help implantation.

The Bottom Line: I'm glad that we are trying new things, but sometimes I wonder if I am grasping at very expensive straws.

I feel a lot of anxiety about not doing acupuncture, but I just think that the expense would cause me too much stress. We have really drained the savings account lately paying for testing and the extra prescription meds.

I am also bummed that I have not been following the diet as closely. I feel like I am in an Eastern medicine death spiral where I think, "It takes at least three months to take effect and I don't have three months so why bother..."

I've started taking day at a time, it will all be happening before you know it.

P.S. I've cranked up the Hope-O-Meter...slightly.


ASP said...

Wowzers! Sounds like everything is going to be kicking into high gear before you know it! Praying that this is the BFP that you've been waiting for!

I wouldn't dwell too much on the acupuncture thing. I think it's the one thing infertiles get hung up on thinking that it's going to be what makes the cycle work. Yeah, it may work for some but I've also seen BFP's without acupuncture. When I got pregnant the first time, I had stopped acupuncture a few months BEFORE the BFP. 1.5 years later with multiple medicated cycles- 2 reputable acupuncturists and not a single medicated cycle has worked with acupuncture. I won't be doing acupuncture this next cycle just because I feel like it's a waste. I'd rather get a massage once a week vs. an acupuncture session. They're both relaxing but massages just feel good. Everyone has their opinion and this mine based on my experience with it. Personally, I think that yoga or meditating could be just as good as an acupuncture session.

Good luck, GF! Going back to Iowa for the Falalala? We are. "Welcome to Iowa! Hope you brought something to do!" ; )

Amber said...

It's so stinkin' hard to not dwell on every little detail. I did it with my m/c too. Maybe if I hadn't eaten this, or taken that hot bath, or gotten stressed out... You just never know what's going to make the "big" difference, and in all reality, most of it probably doesn't matter. You just need one little egg and one little sperm to hook up and stick around a while. Seems so easy! I'm hoping this cycle is the one for you...

Tracey said...

Don't worry about what you can't do or haven't done - clearly you are doing/have done everything under the sun to make this happen. I know it sounds cliche but every cycle is truly different. I'm 4dp5dt in my 5th IVF cycle and this cycle has been by far the strongest ever - who knew? We almost gave up. And we got our first first frozen blasts so we know this isn't the end of the line - which is precisely where we thought we were. Will it work? Who knows...but I know it won't be for lack of trying.

Paula Keller said...

I'm glad that hope-o-meter got a jolt. :)

I never tried acupuncture, but I'm not too sure how much stock I would place in that. For my first two IVF's, I was pretty strict with my diet, and this last round I just didn't care. Like, I think I even had a drink while I was doing stims and I probably quit caffiene right before stims.

I don't know what worked this time. We did add Lovenox on a whim, and I suppose I MAYBE have that to thank. And then there was the whole 5 day transfer, which I'm guessing helped. But mostly I'm kind of thinking it's about luck. Like, maybe the RE was right all along when he said that I've just been on the bad end of the stats. I don't know. Maybe it's just luck sometimes?

I'm really hoping this works out for you. May 2010 be your year to beat infertility's ass.

JB said...

I go back and forth about the diet, acupuncture, etc. My RE advises against aerobic exercise during stims, and in particular after transfer, so I am happy to oblige and be a sloth. :) My last IVF cycle was my best to date (although clearly still fell short), and I ate a high protein diet during stims and sort of kept it up after transfer (with protein shakes). My ratio of good eggs to expected mature eggs was better, which could be diet related. I find the coordination of acupuncture appointments to be stressful for a compulsive planner like me, so I have forgone that route since the first IVF cycle (I had been doing it for a year before that, when we thought mere drugs and IUI would work - hahahaha). For my next IVF cycle in January, I am committed to a high protein diet again (who doesn't love steak and eggs for breakfast?) and will probably go for a couple of massages for stress relief. I don't know how much more I could do that would make a huge difference, beyond trying to manage my own expectations to maintain sanity.

In preparation to cycle again I have been avoiding manicures, hair highlights (mostly), and anything else chemical-ly during a 3-month cycle break; my husband has been on clomid to get his swimmers into better shape (maybe). I have also dropped 10 lbs of IVF bulge during our break (still have the previous several year's worth of medicated cycle fluff, but you gotta start somewhere). With these subtle changes, I am ever-so-slightly hopeful this cycle will be our best ever.

Given our excellence at failure, it will probably be our last IVF cycle before turning to DE IVF or adoption, so I certainly hope it does the trick. Hope yours does, too.

Liz said...

Wow I have never heard of a bloke taking clomid.

I know exactly how you feel about what is worth doing and what isn't and maybe that session of acupuncture could have made all the difference. And then I think of all the people who do the diametric opposite of what they 'should,' and get knocked up and wonder if anything is worth it.

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