I woke up today and for the first time in a long time I was excited about getting my period. I marveled at this for a moment, before I grabbed my yoga stuff and headed off for a Bikram class. Bikram yoga is an acquired taste, but one I have in abundance. After class, AF truly arrived, and I knew that my IVF cycle had begun. Tonight I will receive my first subcutaneous injection of Lucrin (10) in my abdomen. I’m a little nervous about administering the injection myself but I figure it won’t be half as scary as driving over the border by myself for the first time will be, so I’m going to suck it up, stab myself, and then have a piece of chocolate as a consolation prize. I could go get a chocolate milkshake like my dad used to buy me after the dentist as a kid. I shall see how I feel. Reaching this point as been a long time coming and it feels good to finally take this step. For most people, creating a baby doesn’t need the extra help of science but for me it does. I’m grateful for this help and truly know that there will be a positive result.
In anticipation of the cycle I’ve made sure to have a big patch of wheat grass ready to be juiced, homemade granola (recipe below), a cleared calendar, and a positive attitude. I know how hard the latter can be for me at times, so I downloaded a visualization audio cd from fertile heart.com to help with this, and have established a daily routine that I will follow. I’m trying not to let the worry wort in my brain come forth with fresh alarms, such as, what if IVF babies have a higher chance of disabilities, or what if my car has a flat in Tijuana, etc. I am nothing but creative. I’ve also decided to stay far, far away from statistics and forums discussing those same statistics. Numbers have no feelings.
I wold like to share with you what my established routine will be during the cycle (as soon as classes finish next week).
1. Morning Visualizations.
2. Shot of Wheat Grass & Journal Writing
3. Breakfast of homemade granola and rice milk
4. Yoga (every other day)
5. Shower, etc.
6. Lunch of a fresh juice, soup or a salad
7. Writing (working on a new novel)
8. Acupuncture (every other day)
9. Dinner – Fresh Juice
10. Evening Visualizations
The granola recipe I’ve come up has come about through trial and error and research. Basically, you can put anything in your granola that you would like and it tastes much better than the store-bought stuff, half as sweet, and tailored for you.
4 cups of uncooked oats
1 cup of sliced almonds
1 cup of walnut pieces
1/2 unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup of dried cherries/cranberries
1/2 cup of unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of raisins
2 tablespoons of flax-seed
1/4 cup of real maple syrup
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of cardamom
2 tbsp of sunflower oil or olive oil
1/4 cup of water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the oats with the water, syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, and oil. Spray coconut oil on a large baking sheet. Spread it evenly on the baking sheet. Put in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes stir the oats to get even baking. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. The time can vary depending on how crunchy you like your granola. I prefer it crunchy so I bake for the full 20 minutes, sometimes longer. I can usually smell when it’s ready.
While the oats are cooking, in a separate bowl mix all of the remaining ingredients together. Take the granola out of the oven and mix in the remaining ingredients. Once thoroughly mixed together put back in the oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Take granola out of the oven and cool.
The granola can be eaten by itself as a healthy snack or with milk of your choice. I prefer organic rice dream but regular milk is fine as well. My husband loves the granola as well, so I think it’s a simple and easy way to get some fertility nutrients.
Another thing that I would like to share with you is my daily vitamin intake. I found that through months of research and reading tons of fertility blogs that vitamin regiment is hard to find. Now, this is my own concoction based on self diagnosis and blood test results from a OBGYN.
1. Prenatal Multivitamin with Folic Acid (New Chapter brand made with organic vegetables and herbs – does not bother the stomach at all). 3 times per day (this is a pain but the vitamin rocks). I learned not to skimp on prenatal vitamins. The cheap ones have questionable ingredients, the ones in the middle sometimes bother the stomach, and the good ones, well are worth it. Although, pricey. $50 for a 2.5 month supply.
2. Ultimate Omega (purified fish oil) with CoQ10 made by Nordic Naturals. This is a great brand, and one that I highly recommend. It includes EPA (650 mg) DHA (450 mg), Omega 3s (1280 mg), and CoQ10 (100 mg). I usually just buy the Omega 3s but when I found the Ultimate with CoQ10, I switched over. I tried ubiquinol, which is a stronger version of CoQ10 but it hurt my stomach, so I needed an alternative. Now I can combine the Omegas with the egg building stuff. Sweet. It is pricey though. $30 bucks for a 1 month supply. Don’t tell my husband.
3. Vitamin B6 (100 mg). I haven’t really found a brand that I’m loyal to yet. I’ve tried everything from the Riteaid brand to the fancy one at Whole Foods. I’ve never had a B6 vitamin hurt my stomach and my doctor told me that whatever my body doesn’t use, it will get rid of on its own. I take the B6 to extend my luteal phase because I have a luteal phase defect. B6 extends my luteal phase by 2 days, which is exactly what I need.
4. Vitamin D3 (5000 I.U) by Country Life. Roughly $6 bucks a bottle. I take the D3 because there has been some recent research that has shown that women with lower Vitamin D levels statistically have a harder time becoming pregnant. I had my levels tested and they were just on the okay side, so I decided to supplement with D3. You can sit in the sun for 20 minutes a day and get your required daily dose, but my schedule is so busy that I find it hard to make the time during the day. Walnuts are also a good source of D3, so I had them to my daily granola as well.
5. Pure Royal Jelly (1/4 tsp) made by the same name. This stuff is exactly what you might be thinking it is – the queen bee’s daily meal. It does look like honey, except whiter and thicker. It isn’t sweet (but can be sweetened with honey) but rather a little bitter. I wouldn’t call it delicious, but I wouldn’t call it awful either. I’ve tried to mix it with honey and put it in my morning tea but it only harden and then breaks into little bits that settle at the bottom. The Royal Jelly is supposed to increase the quality of your eggs, so I added this to my regiment. It is expensive as well. $20 bucks for a small jar. I will see how long it lasts because I just started taking it.
6. Evening Primrose Oil (500 mg) by Sprouts. I take this to increase the quality of my cervical mucus. I’ve noticed that depending on the month the quality and quantity goes up and down. Evening Primrose Oil is cheap, and so far I’m not loyal to any brand.
7. Aspirin (61 mg) by Bayer. I’m taking a low dose aspirin with calcium in the month leading up to my IVF cycle and during it because aspirin has shown to increase the uterine lining. This will be helpful for implantation. In addition, since I have a short luteal phase, strengthening the lining will helpful. Not to mention that the fertility drugs can weaken the lining.
I hope this information helps the delayed mamas and anyone supporting them.