Two Good Eggs

Two cracked eggs find the sunnyside (and funny side) of trying to conceive

Rotten eggs, sharp objects and renewed hope

on November 18, 2012

I apologize for being MIA for a bit.  When we last met, I was awaiting the results of my first IVF cycle.   A bit has happened since then.

First, I went in for my 4-day scan and learned that I was not responding to the meds.  Cyrus the Cyst was gulping all the meds and my follicles were unimpressive.  They turned my IVF into an IUI, and before the end of my TWW, the evil witch cackled her way into my bathroom.

I thought I had prepared myself emotionally and mentally for the likely unsuccessful first attempt.

I was wrong.  It hit me pretty hard.  I was devastated.

Then, I spoke with my doctor on Monday to find out next steps, assuming I’d get a ray of sunshine and a little “hang in there” pep rally.  Notsomuch.

Turns out, after the increased stim dosage my estrogen should have ‘risen exponentially’.  Instead, it actually DROPPED.  I asked what causes this.  He flat out said, “Bad eggs.”

That hurt.  Bad.  I was broken.  My body is broken.  My heart – broken.   He tried to polish the rough edges by saying that my reserve number is still normal “for my age”, and I do still have some good eggs.  It’s just that the proportion of bad eggs to good is high.

Next steps:  Try a much more aggressive protocol.  THE most aggressive protocol.

We were toying with the idea of taking November off from IVF because all of the shots would be scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving.  With family in town, and a 12lb gobbler in my fridge, the idea of hiding 14 boxes of shots behind Tom the Turkey was less than appealing.  Plus, the stress of entertaining, etc., was getting to me and I just felt like we might need a break.  Then, like Captain Hook, I heard that incessant ticking of the clock chasing behind me like a crocodile.

The day before we were supposed to go in to learn the “most aggressive protocol”, we got a call from the financial manager at the fertility clinic.   They’re receiving some conflicting information from our insurance company.  After being assured by the insurance company directly that our treatments were 100% covered, the payments are coming in at 50%.  Until they could get it ironed out (which they “hope” to do this week), they are required to collect 50% at the time of consultation “just in case” the insurance doesn’t come around.   Translation – they required $4,000 at our appointment the next day “just in case”.

For those who don’t know me personally – I do NOT have a money tree in my backyard.

We need more than 10 hours notice to come up with that kind of money (especially after expecting that our treatments were covered).  We decided this was a sign that we should, in fact, take November off from IVF.  Give the doctor’s office a chance to reconcile with the insurance company, get our finances in order “just in case” and just relax a little.

So, I took a cue from Sunnyside and scheduled some acupuncture last week.  First time I’ve ever gone, and I freaking loved it.  My acupuncturist specializes in fertility issues and did more than turn me into Pinhead.  She talked to me about my diet -not in a “you should drop a few pounds” kind of way (lucky for her).  Rather, she enlightened me regarding how certain foods contribute to ovulatory issues, some chemicals raise your estrogen too much, some supplements reduce inflammation in your uterus, etc.  I was totally intrigued.   So,  my personal treatment plan for the next month is as follows (please understand this is a VERY abbreviated summary of the detailed information I received)

  • eliminate ALL diet coke (I may die)
  • eliminate ALL cheese (inflammatory food)
  • eliminate as much dairy as possible (inflammatory, and estrogen-adding)
  • begin getting 90% of my protein from organic vegetables; any meat protein should be organic (non-organic increases estrogen)
  • eliminate at least some of my white carbs (too many white carbs (like the diet coke, too) cause your body to not use insulin correctly, which can affect egg development and ovulation)
  • switch to a food-based prenatal vitamin
  • add DHEA 3 x day (25mg each)
  • add Co-q10 1 x day
  • add acedolphilus pearls 1 x day
  • drink herbal tea and water
  • twice a week acupuncture for the next 4 weeks
  • twice a week yoga

I have a lot of information on WHY all of these suggestions were made (based in research at Harvard, as well as doctor/patient testimonies).  I’m happy to scan and email to anyone who is interested.  It’s very intriguing, and makes a lot of sense.

Also, she recommended a book called, “Making Babies – a proven 3-month program for maximum fertility“.  It shows the correlation between natural treatment (like Chinese medicine, herbs/supplements, acupuncture, etc) and improved fertility.    I can’t vouch for it yet, but I’m currently reading it.  I promise to do a book review of it when I’m done, as well as an update on how this new diet/program is affecting me personally.  If I find that the book is valuable, expect to see it in a giveaway soon.

So, that’s where I’ve been.  And where I’m going.  It feels good to have something different to focus on, so that we don’t feel like we’re pushing pause completely.  And, it feels good that what I’m doing now is addressing the insurmountable stress that has been building over the past year, and more specifically, the past 3 months.

I don’t know where this path will lead.  If nothing else, maybe I’ll be healthier.

Have any of you had success with acupuncture or such dietary focus?  I’m interested in all of your stories – successful or not.

10 responses to “Rotten eggs, sharp objects and renewed hope

  1. I’ve just recently started researching diet tips and would love to see your notes if you don’t mind sharing! Thanks – and here’s hoping it helps both of us!!

  2. I read that book and loved it. I also had to change my diet drastically in order to have a normal cycle and get pregnant. For me, it was going gluten and soy free, which I did for a year and a half before we were planning to try. We got pregnant right away, and I know that changing my diet is the reason. I hope it helps you, too.

    I hope all the new paths you’re taking help, and perhaps the month off from IVF will be just what you need. 🙂

  3. First off let me say I am so sorry. I know you are healing and that ping in your heart won’t go away til you hold your baby and you will!!! Soooo with that yes I have been doing acupuncture for almost year on and off. I am now taking a powder herb with about 20 Chinese things in it. Lol I mk the tea three times a day. I have also taken schu gon, woman’s precious, menses, and several others. I truly believe acupuncture and dhea helped my egg quality from my first ivf to my second. Always keep ur feet warm and ur uterus! 😉 I gave up all coffee and caffeine. Sooo hard! Plus I really like anything cold and I cut out all cold drinks. Good luck!! I’ll keep checking bk to see how you are doing!

    • Scrambled says:

      Thank you so much! I can’t wait to hear more about your journey. Warm feet, eh? Good to know! I can’t wait to see what the DHEA will do for me. I go for my second acupuncture today. Keep me posted on how you do!!!

  4. Courtney says:

    I’m sorry to hear this. I think the month off will be good for you – especially if they can get the insurance stuff sorted away early in that month. My insurance paid all claims, but the negotiated rates were 70% (roughly) of the billed rates. Maybe that’s what’s happening and the clinic just doesn’t understand that?

    Good luck!

    • Scrambled says:

      Thanks, Courtney. I hope so. If nothing else, maybe it’ll de-stress my body and help my head and heart relax a little. I need to get focused on the good, and let go of the bad – so maybe this will at least help with that. Thanks!

  5. Georgette says:

    How old are you? I would SERIOUSLY reconsider the DHEA advice. It’s androgenic, meaning it raises your testosterone in the follicular fluid, and older ladies like us (I’m 40 and I thought you were over 35, forgive me if I’m wrong!) have too much testosterone there anyway. More testosterone = worse eggs. The CoQ10 is a good idea, though– up to 800 mg day. Also L arginine, myoinositol, and melatonin while you’re stimming. And you should absolutely go gluten-free, it’s hugely inflammatory. Please email me or check out my blog for more info… wishing you the best!

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