So many of you have been asking me what (if anything) I did different for this last transfer. I am happy to share it all, BUT please know that just because I did/ate certain things A. doesn’t mean that’s why it worked and B. doesn’t mean you should do them (before speaking with your doctor to make sure you’re doing what’s right for you!)
Ok, disclaimer out of the way so here goes.
For starters I changed reproductive endocrinologist (RE). Not clinics, just doctors. I had asked Dr. Quaas, my “new” doctor some questions prior to jumping ship and he made me feel calm. He reminded me that NOTHING was wrong with me and that I just needed to keep trying. He said “sometimes this happens, but if you keep going it WILL work.” For some reason that made me feel good, more at ease and I finally looked at this process as just that, a process that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, like flipping a coin. That night I emailed my nurses and asked if I could switch doctors.
For the record, my previous doctor at Reproductive Partners SD was AMAZING! But Dr. Quaas and I just seemed to click better. We are both VERY chatty and it made me feel like I could ask and talk about anything (and I did) which also eased my mind leading up to transfer.
So, that was that. I had a new doctor, pretty much the same protocol, but new doctor.
I’ve done the patches (got up to 6 one transfer), the vaginal estrogen and even a combo of the two and my lining never got past a 7.5ish. While most doctors (including mine) will say that is a great lining thickness, after 6 tries, I had to put my foot down and insist on at least a 9. Why not? It’s not too thick of a number so it can’t hurt, and maybe that’s what I needed. So I started on estrogen injections once I started my FET prep. These go in the rear same location as progesterone injections, YAY. I had done those for my 6th transfer however we upped the dosage to .5cc’s every 3 days. And guess what? My lining grew to a 9.8! It took two weeks but we did it. After that, drugs were business as usual. We started PIO shots 6 days prior to transfer and I started taking prednisone every night and doxycycline twice a day also 6 days prior to transfer day (day 6 is transfer day and the medications stopped that day). I continued progesterone in oil shots (PIO) nightly during the two week wait as well as my estrogen dosage.
Another big change for me was walking. After so many failed FET’s I was petrified of walking. I was scared to move too much, to walk more than 20 minutes a day, to vacuum you name it! So, this time I decided to let go. I mean I didn’t go to spin class or anything but I walked about an hour each day (after my usual 48 hours of mild bed rest per my clinic’s orders). I didn’t worry if I walked over an hour or under. I didn’t stress about going up and down the stairs or lifting a pot or a pan (yeah I was that neurotic), I just did my thing without over thinking and of course over doing it. I strongly believe this helped a lot. Walking/moving promotes blood flow which I believe helped this little one stick. So I’m not saying you should go on a 3 hour run, but I do think it’s important to move. Just please make sure you move and do things that you won’t regret or be mad at yourself for IF for some reason your FET doesn’t work (I’ve been there and done that and it sucks), but ultimately you know what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
Did I catch your eye? Ok so no we didn’t have sex before transfer, in fact Nick was out of town 7 days prior to my transfer and literally came home the night before! So yeah, we didn’t have sex anywhere near transfer day BUT I did have an orgasm. I know, don’t blush, its ok we can talk about this. I’ll spare you the details, but anyway I did 3 days before transfer. I mean those hormones made me very much in the mood so it was an easy decision. Again, it promotes blood flow. My doctor was ok with it (of course you know me I did ask before) so if you’re worried I would just ask! After that however, no orgasm or sex until we saw the heartbeat at 6 weeks.
Alright, after sex comes food, ha I mean it’s just the nature of the game. Anyway, let’s talk food! My diet, as it normally did, consisted of a Mediterranean diet. Sometimes lean fish, lots of nuts, quinoa, whole grains, veggies and fruit. Honestly that’s how I normally eat BUT I did take out my turkey jerky and other processed snacks that I was eating. Not all of them (still had some nut bars and cookies etc.) just tried to take it down a notch. My big thing was no animal fats. I don’t usually eat that much anyway but the bit that I was eating I cut out.
I ate two brazil nuts a day starting a few weeks before transfer, I ate seaweed regularly, red raspberry tea leaf (but stopped about 5 days before transfer) and of course my cup of Pomegranate juice a day. I ate pineapple core a couple days prior to transfer and continued for 5 days after that. I did not have any caffeine (however I eliminated caffeine over a year ago), or iced or cold drinks and tried to focus on warm cooked foods especially after transfer (promoting a warm uterus). I DID have a glass or two of wine on the weekends whenever we went out up until the weekend before transfer (mainly because I was on prednisone and you should not mix the two if you don’t want to puke). Bottom line is that I didn’t overly stress about my food. I did my best but I still had dessert every night, and I didn’t deprive myself if I felt like eating something termed “unhealthy,” I just tried to make good choice most of the time. Oh and I did NOT get McDonald’s French fries.
I also have something called SIBO (if you want details about that it’s in another post on my blog), but I first and foremost tried to adhere to my dietary restrictions for that.
Tests and supplements:
I have Hashimotos disease. So, I wanted to make sure my thyroid was doing well. I also checked my vitamin D because I do believe that plays a huge role in pregnancy. And guess what? My vitamin D levels were VERY low. I started on 1000mg capsules daily and I KNOW that helped. Luckily my thyroid was ok and I even went to my endocrinologist to have her test it and test my T3 and T4 levels too. They were all pretty normal (for me) so we didn’t have to do much for those. However, peace of mind is huge so not having doubts about that made a huge difference.
I did decide to go on vitamin E. My endocrinologist said I could do a small dosage a day, id dint need to but it wouldn’t hurt. So I started that as well a few weeks before transfer and continued until BETA day. Mu acupuncturist also tested me for other supplements and she suggested I start Fundamental Sulfur II, Molybdenum and a few other Chinese herbs (of which I cleared by RE). I also, of course, was on Thorne prenatal vitamins. Again, this is what my body needed. You may not need any of these and you might need a totally different selection. If you take anything away from this is to ask, ask, ask! Get tested for whatever you can and remember not to compare to anyone out there since we all need different things to nourish what we’ve got.
This all leads me to acupuncture. Well not sure how it led me to that but here we are. While its nothing new, meaning I didn’t start acupuncture for this transfer, I did continue to see her. I saw her every week; I saw her two days before transfer and then two days after transfer. I didn’t overdo it and she, Niseema, was very clear on the fact that getting acupuncture the day of transfer is not necessary. However, if it gives you piece of mind, then do it! Just remember that acupuncture usually won’t have an effect on you unless you do it for a couple months before transfer. That’s not to say that I don’t recommend starting whenever you can, BUT for the best results you should see someone for a couple months.
So that does it. I kept my feet warm (I used my heating pad on my feet at night in bed), I made sure to get enough sleep at night and even took some naps during the day. I listened to my body and I tried so hard not to read into any symptoms (which I’ll outline on another post soon). Ultimately I don’t think just one of these things got me pregnant. I believe that my embryo was very healthy and strong. I believe that these things, foods, supplements etc. contributed to a successful transfer but mostly I think my peace of mind and my outlook on this transfer made a difference. I finally accepted that my body was very capable of getting pregnant. I accepted the fact that there was nothing left to fix and that IF it didn’t work I WOULD try again.
I didn’t test before BETA, I never do. Nick was leaving again that morning and thankfully my clinic rushed my bloodwork and we found out an hour before he left for another 7 days. I feel so lucky and so thankful to be where I am today and it only reminds me that hope is strong, mindset helps and sometimes the coin just lands on the right side.