Tuesday, December 16, 2014

11 day Luteal phase... IVF #2

So apparently my luteal phase is pretty weak without meds, or at least it was this cycle.  I was shocked that I started my period yesterday!  I'm not sure if it is because I stopped taking the progesterone after we decided not to do the transfer or what? But let me say.... it is BAD.

Dr. R. mentioned that a lot of times it is best to wait to transfer if someone has been hyper stimulated and many people have better outcomes on the FET.  Our lining gets overstimulated too which is not great for implantation apparently.  The down side, however, is a horrific period. I feel horrid.

What's Next

The good news is I only have to wait for one more period before we do the FET! Yay!  One down one to go!  The bad new is I bet I'm going to be super late, thank you PCOS!  I plan to get back on my natural supplements ASAP to help this cycle along! I am also feeling like a little cleanse would be good to help get some of these hormones out of my system... maybe after the holidays! ;-)

I am looking forward to spending this CHRISTmas time with my family, and then we are headed to Cabo Mexico for New Years!  I hope everyone has a blessed Holiday Season!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Drum Roll... IVF #2

I know I know, I lagged on posting!  But don't fret...

Monday night I tossed and turned all night.  I had nightmares about our Embryo's!  This was a totally different experience than last time.  I wasn't getting daily updates from the Embryologist to let me know how they were doing.  They just let the embryo's be.


Tuesday morning, I was on pins and needles waiting.  And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.  I mean I wasn't really sure if we were going to transfer or freeze or even if we had any left!

FINALLY! The phone rings.

It was Dr. R.  We have "TWO BEAUTIFUL BLASTS!" What joy... and relief!  He let me know that they are the top quality and there were three others they were "watching" giving them another day to see if they will make it to blast.  He also said, since we had such beautiful embryo's, he felt we were safe to wait and let my body heal and recover... if we had just "okay" ones he would have transferred. Honestly, I'm relieved!  I was MISERABLE.

It is always hard waiting, but I really need to be here for my kids who are here now.  They need me now.  I could not afford ending up in the hospital... or something worse happening to me!  OHSS is serious.


Days two, three, and four post ER were the worst in my recovery.  I was beginning to have trouble breathing and even had to sleep with two pillow so I stayed propped up!  I couldn't lay on my side to sleep without having sharp stabbing chest pains.  Lets just say sleep hasn't been the best.  When walking, I would have sharp shooting pains in my belly, not in my ovaries or pelvic area, but my stomach.

I called Chris and let him know the good news!  It was perfect.  We only fertilized seven because we didn't want too many, just enough.  I couldn't stop praising God the rest of the day...and I still am of course!

The Next Day

I get another call!  This time it is our Embryologist who Rescue ICSI'd our last batch and made Rocco and Maximus... Christine S.!  She is so sweet!  Sbe couldn't wait to hear about my boys and then let me know about our other embryos. We ended up with three more to freeze.  Three six day blasts.  At first I didn't know what to think.  Should I be happy? Upset? Worried?  We cannot have five more kids.

Again, we ICSI'd seven eggs out of 36, because we were told only 1/2 would fertilize and then we would likely end up with two blasts... now five! 

"Lord, we said, just enough!" My plan was two and I guess His was five!  This was his plan not ours.  I have no idea how the thaws or transfers are going to go... if they will all make it... or make a baby!  

These embryo's are in His hands.  I know His plans are greater than ours, and I have faith that we will have just enough.


Seven days post ER, I finally feel the OHSS disappearing.  Even yesterday I was in pain and needed a lot of rest.  Today I easily played with my children on the floor.  Today was a good day.

Picture taken two days before Egg Retrieval. My IVF miracles.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Three days post egg retrieval... IVF #2

Well, it really started to hit me yesterday. My stomach was in so much pain. It hurt to walk, just like I remembered last time. It isn't that I feel cramps at all, but my stomach feels bloated! It feels like gas pains, but is likely just water. Although I'm already down five pounds since egg retrieval! I was also SUPER constipated so I had the hubs go and get me some Milk of Magnesia and wow, do I feel better today! That stuff really works. Pain meds and anesthesia really does a number on your system.

The day after ER I was feeling so good that I kind of talked my dr into doing the transfer on Tuesday! However, he is having me text him a report of how I'm doing each morning. I am honestly a little scared to do the transfer now after reading some horror stories about OHSS on google. Ugh! I'm not sure what to do, and I'm praying for some clarity!

I did get a report on my eggs 1 day post ER... Seven out of seven eggs fertilized and we have 28 unfertilized eggs in the freezer! Wow! I guess I did harvest a good batch!

I won't get another update until Monday or Tuesday, likely. I guess they just let them do their thing since we are planning on a five day transfer. No news is good news for us!

I'm a little nervous about all seven fertilizing, but it is definitely better than last time where ZERO fertilized! Prior to doing this, I was told that when ICSI is preformed, about 50%-70% will fertilize. I'm a little shocked with 100%. I'm praying for just one or two to make it. We want just enough.

I will hopefully have more updates soon!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

No IVF Is Alike... IVF #2

Sorry I've been MIA. My computer crashed a few days ago and I had to drop it off at the Mac store. The same part keeps going bad on it, but it's under warranty so I keep getting if fixed. Very frustrating.  I'm typing this on my IPad ;)

I have so much to catch up on, but I'm going to keep this post quick... I had my egg retrieval TODAY!  I got pushed back a day bc my follicles needed an extra day of growth. I have good new and bad news...

The good news... They retrieved 36 eggs from me today! I honestly don't remember being so uncomfortable as the last few days prior to ER. My stomach was so full and bloated, my kidneys even ached when I had to pee, which was quite often. I would have to grip the bathroom counter to help with the pain.

More good news, ER did not hurt as much! I feel quite well and I have two little blessings that wanted to cuddle with mommy in bed :) I'm feeling very thankful and blessed!

The bad news... I over stimulated :( they don't want your estrogen over 4000 and mine was about 4,300. I'm so bummed!  It isn't safe for me to get pregnant so we  are planning to freeze what we get and do a FET  after I recover. Boo! I'm bummed but trying to look at the bright side. I don't want to get sick and end in the hospital when I have two littles to care for.

Our plan now, praying for some really good news in he morning since we ICSI'd SEVEN eggs this time immediately. Freezing any other mature eggs right away too! I can't wait to get the call in the morning. PRAYING!

Thank you for checking in Amanda! I'm alive!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

We're almost there... IVF#2

A few days ago my tummy started getting that full, don't touch me feeling.  I totally DID NOT remember how uncomfortable growing eggs is... and I do grow A LOT of eggs!  A few days ago I reread my last IVF experience and I had forgotten so much!  I explain how I am feeling so well here for IVF #1.

IVF#1 I had 29, and it looks as if I will be right back up there.  My stomach is bloated (not cute), and I can't handle any pressure, which mostly comes from my twins who want to jump, sit, and wiggle on me. My tummy is off limits!

I went in for a check yesterday and my follicles were measuring 13-15mm, we want them at 18mm before we trigger with HCG.  It is looking like ER is going to be Wednesday, which means I will be triggering tomorrow night! Eeeeek!  Fingers crossed we reach 18 tomorrow... it feels like we are here today!  I can't handle much more growth! LOL!

Thanksgiving was great.  We spent the day at my parents.  Very relaxing and so nice to be able to spend time with my family.  I hope you all had a beautiful holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Here we GROW again... IVF #2

I started my Stims three days ago (three shots/day!) and I went in for my CD3 blood work today.  Everything is looking good... except my poor tummy that is covered in bruises.

Here is my current schedule...

I'm down to 5 units of Lupron in the morning.  Lupron  is super easy, no pain.  The Menpur (pictured above) is a bit of a pain because I have to mix the liquid with the powder, which makes it thicker and harder to inject.  I push a little in at a time, other wise it burns.  I also rub it for a bit after or it feels like it balls up under my skin.  The Gonel-F is a pen and is super simple and I take that one in the evening. I go back for blood work and ultrasound Wednesday to check my follicles... I can't believe we are already here!  Next week is ER and it will be here before I know it!

The menapur

The needles are not big, but are big enough to bruise my tummy!

Along with all my IVF meds here is what I am doing naturally to improve our success...

1. Taking Pregnitude 2x a day
2. Prenatals
3. CoQ10 - Chris and I are BOTH taking this
4. Daily exercise
5. Clean diet
6. Baby aspirin (per my Dr.)
7. No alcohol - Neither Chris or myself
8. Shakeology everyday - major superfood supplement shake we LOVE
9. Trusting the Lord.  I feel peace.  I have invited the Lord to be part of this and want His perfect will for our family.
10. Fermented Fish oil, Kombucha - boosting my immune system so I stay healthy during this process (we do not believe in Flu Vaccines)

More updates to come!  And thank you for checking out my blog all of you! :D

Saturday, November 8, 2014

IVF #2 is Officially Underway!

I started my period on CD41.  I was so frustrated it took so long, but I was just getting back on track with my natural supplements so everything was a bit out of whack.

CD3 I went in for my baseline... blood work, ultrasound, and consult.  C also came to get his bloodworm and drop off a sample for the SA.  We brought the boys with us as well and made it a family trip ;-)  They didn't come back with my for the U/S and had a total meltdown instead.

We aren't telling any of our family about moving forward with IVF, just like last time.  It is going to be a bit more challenging with appointments and a set a twins, but we will make it work.

Why aren't we telling anyone?  We don't want opinions.  Its no one else's business.  We prayed about moving forward with IVF for a long time, just like we did last time.  IVF is such a personal choice and one that people can have very strong views about.  We love our family.  My mom is my best friend and would totally support us as well, but it is still fun to keep somethings private... and hopefully be able to share a miracle surprise!

When I need reassurance, I seek the Lord.  When I struggle, he give me strength.  When I pray, he guides my steps and answers me. I truly feel calm about this IVF, as I did last time.  I trust the Lord and know that what ever happens, it is in his plan for us.  That is so comforting.

The Results

Chris's SA : 40 mil, great motility, but only 2% morphology!  

We didn't wait the full 48 hours (36 hours) of abstinence and he had a little trouble completing the task, so to speak.  As for the morphology, it is no wonder we aren't getting pregnant!  His sperm cannot penetrate my eggs so we are moving forward with ICSI again :)

Sara's: All my numbers were exactly were they were supposed to be!  I can't remember the exact numbers, but my FSH and Estrogen meant I am still fertile (here's hoping!)  The first u/s I did over 5 years ago to check my ovaries, I had about 40-50 tiny cyst on each one!  This time, only 8-10!  How amazing!  Natural medicine and clean eating does really work!  

So Now What?

I started my BCP's.  After being drug and hormone free for four years now, let me just say, my body did NOT like this.  I started the pills (2/day for three days) on CD3.  I had a head ache (and I have one right now!) and was extremely exhausted for a week!  I was taking naps when my boys napped, like 2-3 hours a day!  My body is hating me :(

I go in Tuesday for my hysteroscopy (no fun!) to check my uterus for any changes, especially since I had given birth to twins, had a c-section, and two surgeries to remove my uterine septum.  He is also doing my trial transfer. 

We are on full steam ahead!  Its all happening so fast! Last time, things couldn't move fast enough, now, its going to be here before we know it!  

I start Lupron on the 12th and Stims on the 22, and a tentative Egg Retrieval on the 5th. Eeek!  I just received my GIANT box of meds today.  It is so crazy!  

I'm ready.

Lets do this!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Still waiting...

So frustrating.  You are finally ready to go ahead with it and I'm still waiting to start my period.  CD35 and no sign....

In the mean time, I am doing the 21 day FIX!  I am getting my body ready to get pregnant (God willing).  I gained 10 lbs last year while healing my body from anemia (thank you PCOS) and adrenal fatigue.  I've been working out with the P90x3 consistently since May and I really LOVE it.  But the FIX is really helping me with my portions.   I'm day 8 on the fix and I can already tell a difference in my waist!  Be sure to follow me on my FACEBOOK PAGE where I am posting meals and other health info :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Here we go again...

Looks like we are moving on for baby #3! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!  It is shocking really and hasn't totally set in!  I mean... I can't believe we are going to do this all over again!  But, I'm also very excited!

Really, we were both hoping and praying for a magical little miracle to happen. But it didn't.

Our appointment was Sept. 26.  I was anxious.  I wasn't sure how it was going to go.  Chris wasn't 100% he wanted to go through it again.  We had concerns.

I walked into the RE's office and my eyes started tearing up!  The nurse looked one look at me and remember me immediately! Its been FOUR YEARS since I walked out of there, also with tears in my eyes (happy tears of course!).  We made it full circle.

Dr. R is amazing, honestly.  He gave me a big hug and was excited to see how Rocco and Maximus were doing.  We all chatted for a bit casually.  Then came the questions.

We were concerned about embryo's in particular.  Lets recap... Last time, I made 29 eggs and I was on the lowest dose of medicine apparently.  I DO NOT want 29 embryos.  I honestly have a tough time making more than we need.  He suggested to ICSI 8 of them and we would likely get 2 blasts.  That seems like a lot to me still.  I suggested 6, and he agreed that would suffice.  We would then freeze any extra eggs, incase it doesn't work, so I would at least not have to go through the entire IVF process again with egg retrieval.

Has anyone done this?  I literally had a nightmare last night that we had all of our ICSI'd eggs become perfect blasts.  I do not think I could live with myself.  I could not have all of these babies.  I could not live knowing that I had kids growing up somewhere with another family near by (if we adopted them out), and I do not think I could destroy them!  What to do?!  I guess I'm still really torn on the number.

We have a little time to figure it out, pray, pray, pray, and TRUST God will guide us into the best outcome!

Right now I'm in the waiting phase... currently in the middle of my cycle.  I have to wait to start my period and then start the BCP's. We have a little time to figure it out again.

Thoughts welcome!

I thought I would share this picture I took of my twins today.  They are truly best buddies... and are asking for a little brother or sister! We are praying!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Are The BEST PCOS Supplements for Battling My Symptoms?

It's been a while since I written about fighting with my health.  It's not perfect, it never will be, but its better than its been in a long time.  After writing my story, I've had some definite ups and downs with my health.  I fought anemia and adrenal fatigue this past year.  I switched up some supplements had some successes and some definite failures.  However, after much trial and error, and having so much success with Pregnitude alone, I found my perfect and favorite PCOS stack (which I shared on my INSTAGRAM) and I thought I would share with you!

Pregnitude. It is pharmaceutical grade Myo-Inositol with added folic acid.  I had been using Source Naturals Myo-Inositol, but I didn't have the same success.  Pregnitude works to improve insulin resistance, just like Metformin, but it comes without any of the side effects.  It is all natural.

Gelatinized Maca.  It is better than raw Maca, because it is more concentrated and more digestible.  Maca is a Peruvian superfood, known to help balance hormones, give energy, stamina endurance.  Both men and women benefit and helps with sperm mobility and production as well!  I take 2 tsp. per day.  It has a nutty flavor and mixes easily in my smoothies or shakeology.  I also make Maca Chia power balls that are a delicious treat to healing.

Vitex Chasteberry.  I am using the tincture, which tastes totally disgusting, but it is much more effective than pills.  I take 1 dropper full in a shot glass mixed with water 2 times a day, like I do with pregnitude.  Vitex is an amazing herb that helps increase progesterone naturally and thus balancing the hormones.  PCOS causes an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen leaving women Estrogen and testosterone dominant.  I have never been good about taking this one because of the taste, but using a shot glass helps.

I just recently added after stopping Natural Progesterone Cream.  Natural Progesterone cream also helps to balance hormones, but it can also cause fat storage and make it difficult to lose weight.  I was having this problem and I couldn't figure out what was going on!  I was then told by a wellness consultant it was likely the progesterone cream. Ugh!  I immediately stopped it and switched to vitex.  I look forward to seeing if it helps.

Cinnamon and Chromium.  These are usually combined into one or two pills.  I take these to help with insulin.  It is recommended that we take 2000mg Cinnamon and 1000 mg of Chromium.  This is also great for those with diabetes.  I have major issues with blood sugar.  I have never been diagnosed with insulin resistance, but I am definitely hypoglycemic.  It has been a bit worse lately too!  I began eating 5 times a day years ago to help with this.  I have to really watch my carb/protein intake as well.  I can not eat carbs by themselves and I ALWAYS pair protein with them.  Again, good for everyone!

I use this cinnamon, but you will need to add a little extra Chromium.  This only has 2oo mg.

MEGA GLA.  Gamma Linolenic Acid  helps not only during TTC (Trying to Conceive) with healthy Cervical Mucus, but also it is known to decrease floating androgen's in the body.  This helps reduce acne, excess body hair and hair loss. I take 2 per day during the first half of my cycle and 1 pill the second half.

Tumeric. Another superfood that is great for everyone!  Its main function is to reduce inflammation in the body.  When our bodies are not running well or in balance, it can become inflamed.  For myself, it shows up on my face.  I have struggled my whole life with horrible acne.  When I splurge off my diet, or don't take my supplements like I should my face loves to tell everyone.  You cannot hide acne.  Tumeric does help with that, however, and many other things...

Ironically, much of the research done on PCOS and supplements is always geared more for infertility or TTC.  But what comes after baby?  We still need to be in charge of our health, we still have an imbalance of hormones that can lead to disease!  Fighting PCOS Naturally is doable and much safer than taking any drugs.

Have you had any success with these supplements?  Where are you at in your journey?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm Baaaaaack!

Okay!  I know I said I was shutting this blog down, but I just couldn't do it.  For some reason, I decided to click on my old gmail email and low and behold, I had a ton of comments from when I did the Pregnitude review!  How funny!  I am loving my other blog, Loving Life Naturally, but I really miss the community aspect we had on here.

I didn't know what God had in store for us (I still don't, I guess).  But, for some reason I feel God leading me to write on here again...  Maybe it is because we just made another appointment with Dr. R!  Eeek!

Fertility update...  We have been patiently waiting for a miracle over here.  We haven't used any form of birth control in over two years and sadly, no baby.  Thats okay though!  I think its just been in God timing!  I am finally able to get up and breath again with my two!  However, I just ordered Pregnitude again, because I really feel I have had the best success with it, in controlling my PCOS, along with the addition of Natural Progesterone Cream (we are all deficient).  I was using this Myo Inositol, but I don't feel like its the same quality as pregnitude, unfortunately, because it is a lot cheaper!

So why are we seeing Dr. R?  To discuss the possibilities of baby #3! Our appointment isn't until September 26. So in the mean time, we are PRAYING over here for God to say YES or NO!  I only want to follow his plan for us.  I'm OKAY if it's a no, but I am ready for another little one :)

Anyway, Can you believe my boys are now THREE years old!?  We just celebrated their third birthday on August 5.  Here is couple updated pictures of them...
Maximus and Rocco

Rocco and Maximus
Yes, we had a pirate party for their third birthday!  It was a blast!  The boys are BFF's and have the greatest time together.  They are so much fun and we love them so much! They are busy busy boys.  I would love to say they are extremely brilliant, creative, lovable, caring, cuddly, sweet, like every Mom says about their kids, and its true! And of course have their unique personalities and individual qualities. Maximus is more passionate about everything and Rocco is Mr. Mellow yellow.  They also test my patients, and have humbled me beyond measure.  I have cried out to the Lord for his help in parenting my strong willed boy (Maximus), because only by his Grace and strength can I do this!  They have brought me great joy and I have to say going through IF, has been a blessing!  I would never change it.

 It is getting easier talking about infertility to strangers.  Because I have twins, so many people randomly and I would like to say thoughtlessly ask me if they are from IVF.  I used to become speechless, but I now realize that they are not MY story, they are the Lords!  From the beginning they have been His!  Before we every conceived, I promised the Lord, the children he gives me would be His. So, I can now RAISE MY HEAD HIGH, and tell strangers of the great miracle the LORD did to have these two for us.  How can I keep that to my self?  Hopefully, that story blesses them in some way!

So will the Lord give us another miracle?  We'll have to wait and see!  Stay tuned... and prayers welcomed!  God Bless everyone!
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