Friday, January 14, 2011

Part 1:The Beginning

So basically we've tried everything under the sun for the last year and a half and still have no baby to show for it.

I've been on prenatal vitamins since I got off the pill in Jan 09. Once we really started trying in the summer, I read What to Expect Before You're Expecting and Taking Charge of Your Fertility (excellent book I would recommend for all women to read whether TTC or not) and was doing everything "right". I ate healthy, tried to limit stress, stayed away from alcohol and caffeine, took my vitamins and DHA, had Ken taking vitamins too (multi, C & zinc), tried varying our "attempts" (ED, EOD, E36hrs)... and nothing.

I did find that some fertility boosting foods seemed to help with my CM (baby carrots, sweet potatoes, and grapefruit juice help). By charting, I know that I ovulate every month, we have good timing (despite Ken's crazy work schedule), my LP is long enough, and my FSH is normal (per at home test).

Well, I thought maybe the stress of teaching and some family drama around the holidays may have been hindering our chances... so I decided to try something that would help boost fertility and help me with stress at the same time.... acupuncture. It had been a year since going off the pill (now Jan 10), with 6 months of good timing, and I wanted to make sure I had tried everything before my annual with my OBGYN in April. As always, I like to have all my ducks in a row. Ken was even able to get an SA done so we could make sure everything was ok on his end too.
I had remembered at my last annual exam, my OBGYN mention that his wife did acupuncture.... so I did my research and decided it was worth a try. The cost is similar to a massage (which I was getting quite often due to stress ruining my neck/shoulders) so I figured I'd give it a try. She is my OBGYN's wife, so I knew I could trust her.

My first acupuncture treatment was on January cycle day 6 and I was nervous and a little skeptical as to whether or not it would actually help. I had to fill out a long questionnaire about my general health since Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic approach... treating the whole body and all symptoms. So even though I was getting treated mainly for fertility, she was going to help other areas of my health that needed it (i.e. my stress level, anxiety, muscle tension, energy level, etc). I have to say.... acupuncture is awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an ailment they'd like help with. I barely felt the needles and it's the only thing that has ever really relaxed me (other than sleeping!). I got some Chinese herbs to take once a day and several handouts and suggestions about foods to eat/avoid, including these articles:
I had already been eating most of the foods on the "do eat" list and it was no biggie to add in the others since I'm already a pretty healthy eater anyways.  The hardest part... no more wheat. Which essentially means a gluten-free diet. And cut back on dairy (no more eating all the cheese I usually ate).... and only full fat dairy a few times a week. I never realized how much dairy I ate or how many things have wheat or gluten in them until I had to give it up. But I felt so much better after my diet change and now that I am a pro at this gluten-free thing (3 great cookbooks and thank God for all the gluten-free options at Whole Foods), it's really not all that bad (just more expensive.  And if it helps me get pregnant, it will all be worth it. 

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