Prepping (grumbly tummy and sobbing at acupuncture)

I have an appointment to set up my IVF protocol on October 4th.  In keeping with my summer resolution, I’m doing all I can to prepare.  I’m working on getting healthy and I’ve started going to acupuncture.  All a part of feeling “productive” I guess.

I have friends that have gone through IVF (some successful).  Several of them went on a “fertility diet” to prepare for the procedure.  No dairy, no soy, no wheat, no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine.

The alcohol and caffeine are the easiest to cut it out.  I feel like I’ve been pregnant so often in the last couple of years that these have been cut out most of the time.  Dairy, soy, wheat and sugar…that’s another story!  I love bread. I love bread with cheese on it!

I’m not going to go 100% on the fertility diet.  I think that would be setting myself up for failure.  I also think it would take away from some of the joys I do experience in my life. My husband works long hours (this month he’s on nights and we don’t even cross paths until the weekend).  Our time together is important.  We like to go out to restaurants. Cutting out all of those foods all the time would mean cutting out the restaurants (or at least the good ones).  I have to find the balance, so I’m cutting those things out Monday to Friday and doing my best to cut down on the weekends.  Did I mention I’m also a vegetarian and my kitchen is under construction?? It hasn’t been easy, but I’m managing (grumble grumble).

My favourite part of preparing has been the acupuncture.  This is something I have always wanted to try. The only thing that held me back was the expense. It’s still expensive, but considering the cost of IVF I want to do everything that will work in my favour.

The Naturopath that I’m seeing does a combination of acupuncture and CranioSacral therapy. I didn’t even know what CranioSacral therapy was before I started and admittedly I was kind of a sceptic.

On my first visit, after a full medical check up, the doctor placed the acupuncture needles in me.  For the CranioSacral therapy, she told me that she’d be placing her hands on parts of my body.  At first I didn’t feel anything beyond good old fashioned relaxation.  She held my feet, she held my legs, she held my arms.  Then she placed her hands on my hips.  I was instantly overcome with sadness.  A knot formed in my throat, tears rushed down my face. It took everything in my power not to full-out sob.  Next, she placed her hands on my shoulders, back to relaxation. The tears were gone. Then she placed her hands under my head, lifting and supporting it  – the sobbing started right back up.  To clarify – I’ve had my head held before, I get my hair washed at the salon – this was different, I can’t even explain it.  When it was over I felt that a huge weight had been lifted.  I feel like I should have done this ages ago especially after the losses.  This might be exactly what I needed to help me let go.

I have gone back once more since the first visit and had a very similar reaction.  Relaxed most of the time and this time the tears started when she held my pelvis.  It’s no coincidence that these areas are what are bring the sadness forward. Time for me to heal.

Boot Camp Baby Bomb

you can't choose when

Last year, around this time, I signed up for a boot camp with a friend.  It was in the time just before I got into the fertility clinic. Another little window for exercise.  I stopped the class when we started to “try”. There was no way I was going to lose another baby.  I know that exercising is very likely NOT the reason that I lost my babies, but in the back of my head there is always the wonder and blame.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have gone swimming”

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done those push ups”

“Maybe, maybe, maybe….”

To take the class in the first place, I of course had to fill out the medical questionnaire.

  • Recent Surgery? Yes, two D&Cs
  • Medication? (insert long list of fertility drugs here)
  • Recent Weight Gain? Yes (see above)
  • Reason to want to “Get Fit”?  So that I stop looking pregnant/ So…

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Boot Camp Baby Bomb

Last year, around this time, I signed up for a boot camp with a friend.  It was in the time just before I got into the fertility clinic. Another little window for exercise.  I stopped the class when we started to “try”. There was no way I was going to lose another baby.  I know that exercising is very likely NOT the reason that I lost my babies, but in the back of my head there is always the wonder and blame.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have gone swimming”

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done those push ups”

“Maybe, maybe, maybe….”

To take the class in the first place, I of course had to fill out the medical questionnaire.

  • Recent Surgery? Yes, two D&Cs
  • Medication? (insert long list of fertility drugs here)
  • Recent Weight Gain? Yes (see above)
  • Reason to want to “Get Fit”?  So that I stop looking pregnant/ So that I can get pregnant

Tonight I went back to Boot Camp.  I have a small window to “Get Fit” so it seemed like a great idea! (And I’ve already filled out the stupid form, so I won’t have to fill it out again!)

Feeling extra sporty, I rode my bike to Boot Camp. I got there a little early and was waiting outside the studio with my friend.  A woman who had been in the class with us the first time arrived and spotted me.

“It’s so great to see you!” and she gave me a big hug.

As her body pressed up against mine, I realized that for someone who’s been doing Boot Camp for a year, she hasn’t lost ANY weight.  Then I realized why her stomach was so big.  I almost threw up.

I thought I was going to be ok.  I held it together and kept eye contact with my friend.  This will pass.

Then the woman came into the class with us.  She was going to do Boot Camp.  My eyes started to well up and my friend (bless her) pulled me outside the studio right before Niagara Falls started to pour out of my face.  I tried to explain to her (whilst blubbering like a three year old and gasping for air) that it was just so hard for me to watch pregnant people working out. Especially a class like that.  Don’t they have their OWN classes to go to?  I know that it’s healthy for pregnant women to work out, but after so many losses, it’s hard to watch someone putting their pregnancies at risk right in front of me.  I’m sure it’s not even a risk. I’m sure she’s doing all of the right modifications etc., it’s just difficult for me when EVERYTHING I do is a risk. It’s difficult to watch someone who is pregnant be easy and care-free about it.  Those days are so long gone for me.

My friend was amazing.  I can’t say it enough that I have the best “team”.  I told her how important it was for me to do the class and use this time to get in shape.  She helped me build up the courage to go back in, and she even blocked my view of Ms. Pregnant the whole time.  Thanks to the support (and the blinders) I left feeling great and I will go back.  “Get Fit!’

So I think we’re going to do this…

Tomorrow morning my husband and I have an appointment with the infertility counsellor I’ve been seeing for the past couple of years.  It will be strange to bring him to see her.  I’ve been talking to her alone for so long.  “Pavlov’s Dog” syndrome is totally in play with her.  Every time I go, I cry – even when I’ve been having a good day! I actually started to tear up when I saw her photo in an IVF information video!  I’m really hoping to control some of the blubbering tomorrow. (I guarantee my husband won’t be blubbering)

So here’s why we’re going:

Meeting with the counsellor is the first step for couples considering the IVF process.  We’ve had a few months to really think about it and talk about it.  The adoption could still take at least a year.  I’m 38 years old  – If we’re going to try, it has to be now.

The plan is to do IVF with genetic testing. If the embryos test abnormal, the process stops there. At least that would give us (a very expensive) answer.  If all goes well, we can start in October.  This gives me a little more time to eat the right things, keep exercising and wrap my head around it all.

Here goes…