Fertility acupuncture

I wrote a few months ago about my first experience with acupuncture. I had a great groupon deal and overall I really enjoyed the experience.

Since then, I’ve had to find a new acupuncturist that’s closer to home along my commute. I had my first appointment with her yesterday and it was amazing!

I started by filling out a bunch of paperwork. There was a three page checklist of a variety of symptoms, some of them being really strange things. For example, cold toes, sweats easily, feelings of dread, etc. We sat in her office and went over all of my health background. I told her how long we’ve been trying to get pregnant, our miscarriage, medicated cycles, and now moving on to IUIs.

She asked a lot of strange questions about my cycle. At first I was caught off guard, but then I felt like it was important to know. Even my RE hadn’t asked about this stuff before! After going over all of the health information she took my pulse. I had to rest my hands on a pillow and she gently pressed on my wrists at different angles and pressures. Then came the fun part – the tongue!

As part of the Eastern Medicine tradition she examined my tongue. Initially I just stuck it out of my mouth like a child. She instructed me to open my mouth wide and stick the whole thing out! Then…. she drew a picture of my tongue! Next to it she wrote RED underlined three times. I guess I have a really red tongue… As soon as I got in the car to go home I pulled down the mirror to look at my tongue!

After all of this she finally started to piece things together. She said she felt like my energy was stagnant. I’m putting all of this energy in, but it’s stuck. And I’m stuck. When she said this I almost teared up. The day before I was just talking to my husband and how I feel stuck in this horrible process and all I want to do is move forward with my life. She said she could tell that emotions are playing a large part in my overall health and right now I’m not balanced. So we’re going to work on supporting the IUI process through acupuncture and more importantly, stress relief.

I know most of us hate hearing about not stressing out about this process. Because how can we not?! But when she was talking about stress with me, she wasn’t saying, “just relax, it will happen.” She was reminding me that I’m a whole person, not just a woman going through fertility treatments. I need to be conscious of my whole body and take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel like I have another person on my team now. She even circled on her personal calendar when I might ovulate and do the IUI so she could help keep track too. I feel understood and supported.

The rest of the appointment went smoothly. She inserted needles into various calming points to help me relax. Then she put a few in my stomach and over my ovaries since I’m currently taking letrozole to help stimulate egg production. I relaxed with the needles in for twenty minutes with aromatherapy and felt the weight of the world melting from my body. I really can’t express how wonderful acupuncture feels.

So I went ahead a set up another appointment next week, hopefully a day or so before the IUI. She mentioned that I should try to come in the same day at the IUI, but reminded me to not stress about it if it doesn’t work out! Ha! She already knows me too well!

If you are ever considering acupuncture, I say go ahead and try it! Even if it doesn’t help the physical symptoms it will definitely help with the emotional ones. I really look forward to my appointments as a piece of time each week to take care of myself.

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TWW crazies

I didn’t really expect much from this cycle as we missed the timing for our IUI. We were pretty good about doing the deed so we’re not out completely. 

The first week of the TWW we went on vacation to Asheville, NC. It was amazing! We agreed to “no baby talk” and just enjoyed time together. My husband and I are both foodies so we decided to go on a food tour. We sampled seven farm to table restaurants and I honestly ate some of the best food I’ve ever tasted! To balance gorging ourselves silly, we hiked Chimney Rock and a few trails off the beautiful blue ridge parkway. It was exactly what we needed!

   
    
 
Once we got home though, all of my vacation serenity disappeared. First, I started to have very mild cramping. Initially I thought this was a good sign! Three days later, I’m still cramping. I expected AF to start any hour but it still hasn’t showed. I was so convinced that this cycle was done that I told my husband to go ahead and call to make his appointment to freeze his sample for our next round. I even bought a six pack of beer to enjoy but decided to hold out for AF. But it still hasn’t started!!!

Next, this morning I had the TINIEST amount of blood when I wiped. So again, I just waited for my period to show. Nope!

Then I remembered I did the same thing when I was pregnant before. I felt cramping and figured my cycle was starting. A few days later, when it didn’t, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. 

So I’ll go ahead and test tomorrow morning. I’ve seen negative tests for the past two years and I’m not expecting anything different. I almost feel like going in to get my beta level tested because of my previous 55 day cycle in response to clomid. I’m hoping it’s not doing the same thing on letrozole. 

I’m really trying to not let myself go there but I can’t help but hope this is finally our chance. *fingers crossed*

It 

 

Expect the unexpected

Any Big Brother fans out there?

Expect the unexpected. That’s the lesson I learned from this cycle. The plan was: take letrozole, ovulate like I typically do on day 12-13 (4th of July weekend), IUI, success!

Here’s what actually happened: take letrozole, surprisingly don’t ovulate until CD 16 (what?!?!), miss IUI because husband is out of town on a flight.

Yep, no IUI this cycle. I went in this morning for a monitoring appointment and today should have been the day. Unfortunately, Marcus was dispatched out of town flying and won’t be home until tonight. We have absolutely no control of his flight schedule (since he flies corporate/charter jets) and can’t predict what days he flies. It just so happened every single airplane in the fleet was flying today. My doctor said we could go ahead and do the IUI tomorrow, but she said it would be just as effective to try on our own and line things up better next cycle.

I could go back and “woulda, coulda, shoulda” this cycle, but I’m not going there. Yes, I’m disappointed. But I’m pretty used to it after 2 and a half years of trying to get pregnant. And I’m pretty used to being let down by my husband’s work schedule. They are just things out of our control. We’ll just do the deed the moment he walks in the door tonight and hope for the best. It looks like two mature eggs this cycle so at least we’re upping the odds a bit. (Oh, did I mention my dad is staying the night at our house tonight… this should be fun)

So there’s the new plan. Oh, and we’re freezing his damn sperm next month! #pilotwifeproblems

keep-calm-i-m-a-pilot-wife

I laugh at the thought of doing an IUI while he’s own of town. I could tell me future child, “I got pregnant with you while your dad was in Florida!” hahaha.

CD 3, let’s go letrozole! 

I got up pretty dang early considering I’m still on summer break, but for good reason! I rocked my interview this morning! I was the first one in and I felt like I really connected with the principal. We were able to just have a conversation about the preK program and I blew her away with my portfolio yessssss! I have another interview tomorrow and then next Wednesday. I think it’s safe to assume I won’t be returning to the school where I worked last year. 

After my interview I took my first letrozole pill. It might sound crazy, but I swear I feel it working already! I started feeling cramping on my left side, and now I feel twinges in both ovaries. I also got a headache about an hour after taking it. But if that means it’s working then bring it on! Grow eggies grow! 

I spent the rest of the day babysitting my favorite boys. One of the boys is only 6 weeks old. I held him for a while today and his mom said to the baby, “Rub your feet on her tummy and give her some baby dust!” It was cute and I’ll take any extra luck I can get! 

CD 1… Here we go again

Today is CD1! I ended up having a perfect 28 day cycle last month, which is awesome considering I’ve had cycles varying from 16 to 56 days since December. Maybe it’s because I took a few months off from medicated cycles. Maybe it’s because school is out and I’m more relaxed. Maybe it’s because I did acupuncture! Either way I’m happy and feeling good for our IUI.

I called in for my prescription for letrozole, which I’ll start taking Thursday. If I ovulate around the same day I usually do, we’ll be inseminating right around or on our anniversary! 

My plan this cycle is to take it easy, stay relaxed, and trust that my body can do what it’s meant to do. I’ll be doing lots of yoga, walking, and acupuncture to stay healthy. My fingers are crossed! 

Looking for the answers in the pouring rain

I had my follow up appointment with my RE this morning. My husband was able to weasel his way out of a few flights to come with me, which I was extremely grateful because I needed his support today. 

We went over my past two cycles on clomid and my doctor concluded that medicated cycles aren’t working for us. She’s switching me to letrozole and strongly suggested doing an IUI next cycle. Pretty much what we expected going in. 

She apologized for giving us bad news. That’s one thing I really appreciate about my doctor. She’s very calming when I’m feeling anxious. We joked about the effects of clomid and laughed about my asparagus throwing episode. She bluntly stated that infertility is extremely unfair and emotionally draining. I feel like she’s not just treating my medical side effects but acknowledging the emotional ones as well. She’s rooting for us and she told us to not give up, even on our “off” cycles, because there isn’t any reason why it can’t happen. 

We also talked about my progesterone levels. She didn’t seem concerned about them but she wrote a note in my chart to monitor them. She also unexpectedly brought up IVF. I know that’s where we go when IUIs don’t work, but it’s scary to think about how fast this is all progressing. No one ever imagines themselves in this position. It’s all feeling more real now. There isn’t a magic pill for us. It’s getting more intense and scary. 

So we’re probably going to do a June IUI because I’ll be off from teaching and can focus all of my energy on baby makin’. In the mean time, I’m going to try acupuncture and spend the next month and a half getting in tip top shape! 

After our appointment I was feeling down. I still am. It’s a lot to process and I’m trying to accept that we’re most likely not going to conceive on our own. My husband knew I was down so he ways bring very optimistic and cheerful. He gave me lots of hugs and took me out to lunch at a restaurant I like. He even brought home flowers this evening! He’s the best! ☺️

 So if you’re reading this: thank you bub. Even though I may not always show it, you always make me feel better. We’ll get through this together. I love you.

On a side note, the title is a lyric from the song cigarette daydreams by Cage the Elephant. It’s a bit emo but the lyrics are beautiful and perfectly sum up how I feel.