Archives for category: infertility

I know that a lot of people stumble across my blog, thanks to google. Many of them are looking for hope and encouragement in their fertility journey. Since infertility will always be a subject close to my heart, I want to get this information out there in case it might be of help to someone. 

When we were trying to improve DH’s sperm count, motility, and morphology, I researched natural ways to help. It seems there is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet for natural supplements, but it’s all scattered around here and there and takes forever to sort through. As I sifted through everything, I compiled this list. 

Keep in mind, I have no medical degree and I certainly am not advising anyone to take this huge pile of supplements. In fact, I can’t even tell you that it will up your count or quality at all. All I know is, whether or not it contributed to the miracle conceptions that God blessed us with, it certainly didn’t hurt. Most of these supplements are good for your general health, regardless and are things DH needs to be on to keep other health issues at bay. So, here goes.

Vitamin C – 1,500mg

Vitamin E – 800iu (I prefer to use the natural version of vitamin E, vs the synthetic)

Zinc – 60mg

B12 – 100mcg (We actually take a b-complex that is methylated for better absorption. I’ll gladly tell you what it’s called if you want to know.)

Selenium – 200mcg

CoQ10 – 100mg

L-Carnitine – not sure of amount

Vitamin A – this was in a multi he was taking at the time, so I’m not sure on the dose of this either

Flax oil and/or Fish oil – 1,200mg 

L-Arginine – 500mg

Vitamin D – 5,000iu

Astaxanthin – 12mg

Obviously, you should check this list over with your dr before taking these things. Particularly if you are on medication as the supplements and meds could interact. I just wanted to put this list our there in case it could help someone else. 

*For reference, DH’s last semen analysis (he’s had many) was 1million, sub par motility and 0% morphology. We have gone on to have 3 successful pregnancies through ivf and spontaneous conception since that test. 🙂 

So, last week I typed up a nice update for 16 weeks, and my computer ate it. Second time it has done that to me. So I have no 16 week update or picture since we were too busy to take one last weekend. 😦

We went to the work picnic for DH’s job last weekend and had a blast! The kids rode on lots of kiddie rides and really enjoyed themselves. It was a long day and I was exhausted that evening and still pretty worn out the next day. But thankfully the weather was pretty cool, and with lots of hydration, I felt really good all day and only had a few minutes where I felt lightheaded. When that happened I just went and got more water. It was so fun to watch the boys enjoying the rides. 🙂

And also lost in the 16 weeks update is the news that we chose a name for our new little boy. Zane Trey; because Zane means God’s gracious gift and Trey means third. Zane was actually a name we considered for Levi and we like it for it’s meaning most of all, but also, we can call him Z. And how cute is that!! 🙂

How far along? 17 weeks 5 days (as of 6-16-17)
Symptoms? Feeling really good the last couple weeks. My only real complaint is restless legs syndrome. Which I have regardless of pregnancy, but it does seem to get worse during pregnancy. Right now it is really constant. I’m doing lots of stretches to try to help it, and to some extent, it does seem to help… or at least give temporary relief. Aside from that, I am at that stage where I feel pretty much myself.  *Side note: I skipped taking unisom the night I wrote this update and I was quite queasy the next day. So I’m definitely staying on that for now.*

 

Sometimes I look down at my belly and I’m kind of caught by surprise. Wow! There is actually a little person in there, growing and living their life. Stretching, kicking, rolling, sucking his thumb, sleeping and waking up, having hiccups… even going pee, if everything I’m reading is correct for this stage. That’s amazing! Because most of the time, I don’t really feel like all of this is going on in there. I mean, I know it is, but I’m just going about my day, rushing to get stuff done, focused on a million other things…. and I look down at my belly and I’m just struck by the wonder and the miracle of life. It’s truly a gift. Every moment.

 
Weight? I actually forgot to weigh myself today. Earlier this week I was +11 pounds.
Bump? Some days, the activity I feel is still pretty minimal. I’ve had a few days where baby just moved all day and then I’d hardly feel him. I still have to be sitting or laying pretty still to really notice the movements. But one day this week I looked at my belly when he was kicking and I could actually see my belly move! I think it got lost in the update my computer ate, but DH felt him kick once by surprise. He put his hand on my belly to shield the baby when we were all playing on the floor and he was afraid one of the boys would accidently knock my belly. Well, DH got quite the surprise when baby kicked him! 🙂

 
Baby and maternity buys? I’ve started buying a few more maternity/nursing items. I had almost no summer maternity clothes since I was so small with Tru, and with Levi, I was pregnant during the winter. So, I’ve ordered a few more shirts online to come in next week. I hope they fit! I have bought 1 pair of capris and I’m making do with those and maxi skirts, but ideally, I hope to get a couple more pairs or maxi dresses. I’ve bought lots of nursing bras. I found a bunch on clearance for $2-3.50!! Talk about a bargain! I don’t know how much more the girls are going to grow though… I may have to switch entirely to stretchy sleep bras full-time like I did when I had Levi. I just couldn’t find comfortable nursing bras anywhere over a D. I’m super picky though.

 
Cravings? No use talking about aversions now. 🙂 Thankfully! I’m still hitting the salads almost daily. That’s about the only thing… oh… bean burritos. I love those! 🙂

 
Best moment? This morning I asked Levi “Why is my belly getting so fat?” And he smiled and pointed at it and said “There’s a baby in you body!!” which just melted my heart. I think he actually gets it now. I mean, I’m sure it confuses his little 2 year old self, but he knows there is a baby in there and it’s growing and it kicks my belly. I’m really looking forward to the boys being able to feel the baby but so far, they don’t have the patience to hold their hand there that long.

 

Next appointment? This coming week at 18+3 is the anatomy scan and check up. It’s over 5 weeks between appointments this time but I feel like it went pretty fast! I do want to ask the Dr about the baby’s heartrate. I have recorded a clip for her where it’s skipping beats. I remember the boys both doing that and it resolved, but just to be safe, I want to run that by her since this is happening all the time.

 

I really want to get an update posted about Truett. I decided to stop monthly updates at 3 years old, but I feel like I need to do an annual update or something. This little boy is growing and changing so much all the time and I feel like I’m cheating myself by not writing all his cuteness down. And I need to do a general life update too!

Dear God, thank You for another wonderful week. For how well I’ve felt and for all the kicks and movement I’ve been able to enjoy this week. I pray that this sweet baby will continue to grow and be healthy and strong. I pray that our appointment and ultrasound will go very well. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

IMG_7269 (2)

DH keeps cutting these pictures too short so the bottom of my belly is hardly in the shot… must talk to him about that. 😉

Ok, maybe not really. But it kind of feels that way right now. My sil asked me to read this book every day and she and her bff are also reading it. The book is “Love Unending” by Becky Thompson of the blog Scissortail Silk. I can’t link you to it at the moment and to be entirely forthcoming, I don’t follow her blog. But my sil does and she is in love with Becky’s writings. 
So I bought the book online and yesterday we started reading it. It’s basically a 21-day challenge for your marriage to get back to were you were when you first fell in love. “Rediscovering your marriage in the midst of motherhood.” 
Now, personally, I believe that having kids was vital to our marriage. But I know that it also does create a bit of a space between parents. Infertility drove a huge wedge between us, so having kids was a colossal relief for us. I understand that many couples don’t have that initial hurdle so having kids is not the healing balm that it was for us.
That said, yeah, romance is often times the last thing on my mind. And motherhood has a way of leaving me “touched out” at the end of the day and just kind of done in general. I’m snappy with the kids and DH. I’m not in the mood to think about what DH wants and needs. I’m selfish. There, I said it. It’s true. And the point of this challenge is to stop trying to “change” DH into the perfect husband, and instead, refocus my outlook so that I can be the positive change that I want to see in him.
Today’s challenge was to speak kindly. It was not an utter fail, but I could have done better. What I realized today was that I have set the tone in my family that nobody listens when I’m being calm and nice. I have to start getting snappy to get DH’s attention when I need help and I found that the boys respond similarly. I think I needed this wake up call because I don’t want to be that way! I want to speak calmly and respond peacefully and set that tone for my family. 
I haven’t told DH that I’m doing this. I feel like my sil and her bff are enough accountability and I don’t want DH to see me fail on a challenge and possibly point it out to me. I think that would make it alot harder. Also, I thought it would be interesting to see if he notices my efforts and thought that if he does, that might be a good indication of what I need to keep working harder on. 
So yeah. It feels like a bit of an undertaking at the moment because today was hard. And I see that I have a long way to go before I become the person that I expect DH to be. Becky made a great point; the change has to start with someone. Why not start with me? 

I like the fact that I can journal along in the book while I go through it. I think it will help me absorb the material better. And gives me space to add my own thoughts and feelings.

It’s late and I should be sleeping but my mind is racing… maybe it’s just because I drank coffee too late… enjoying that kuerig a bit too much lately! 😉 Anyway, I haven’t done a “life update” in nearly a month so, here goes.

  • I made it to the gym 8 times in January, which is ok considering I didn’t get to go the whole first week. I also worked out a whole ONE time at home. (Don’t laugh) I do feel good right now, strength wise. I have been doing 3ish +/- miles on the elliptical, 6ish miles on the recumbent bike and 1 mile walk/run on the track per session. My goal is always 500 calories but lately I think I’ve been exceeding my goal by a bit which makes me happy. I also do lunges, squats and wall squats. I usually take about 1.5 hours so I’m going relatively slow. So far all my exercise is leg-focused but that’s only because I don’t burn as many calories doing upper body. I need to suck it up though and start back on my arms again or I may look off balance someday. 😉 Haha. 
  • I haven’t mentioned this before that I recall because I have been hoping it would go away, but I can’t keep my heart rate down during exercise. As soon as I step on a machine, it’s already in the 120s to 130s. I don’t know what my resting HR is but I will literally check my HR 2 minutes after I start WO and it’s already that high. By 5 minutes its anywhere from 155-180. And I can’t make it stay down. As I mentioned, I go very slow. I talked to my Dr about it in July last year and she said to give it a few months to see if it improves, but it’s not or if it has, its been very mildly. So, I guess I’ll have to talk to her again. At first I felt sick and would black out and have to lay down. Now, I feel fine generally. Maybe this is my norm? I just know that I can’t go to the cardio classes because when I have, I felt horrible, blacked out and had to stop. 
  • Enough about exersize! I just realized that I never concluded Truett’s fever testing. Basically, we are still watching and waiting to see if the fevers continue. I’m frustrated. His tests (ESR, CRP, hemolysis) came back worse this time but the Dr couldn’t rule out his cold throwing the results off. I’m not so sure because that fever was 6 days long. Seems unlikely to have been the cold, especially considering all of us had it and didn’t have fevers (aside from Levi running around 100° 1 night). But then again, everyone responds to illness differently. So, in 6 months if he doesn’t get any more weird fevers, he doesn’t have to go back to rheumatology. If he gets any, we are supposed to journal them and discuss them at a follow up. I’m mommy so obviously I’m still concerned. But I’m also trying to trust that its nothing and Tru just is more prone to high, long fevers. 
  • I’ve been watching my cousin’s 14ish month old baby this month and aside from waking up at dark:30, the boys and I have enjoyed having him here. It is so fun to watch them play with N. I notice that Tru watches out for N and gives him toys. Levi bosses N and steals his toys. 😉 This is good though because I’m getting the chance to teach Levi to share. I make Tru and Levi share all the time of course but their dynamic is a little different.
  • DH is finally supposed to start in the office at work full-time next week. It’s been months since he was promoted but they only just got someone to replace him on the truck. DH has been training this week and loves it so far!! 

Ttc update for my records and the 2 people who want to read it. 😉 Feel free to skip.


Meh, I don’t think the Femara worked this month. I don’t really think I ovulated… I never got a positive OPK and I never felt ovulation. I’m late for AF now but dragging my feet to call the RE. I know I should… he told me to if I went over 30 days on a Femara cycle, so I’d better I guess. I think I have a cyst though because I feel this feeling in my left side that is unusual and harkens to cyst-growing activity. :/ All HPTs (and there have been many) are 100% bfn. Not even the benefit of an evap. 😉 So, yeah. That’s about it. 

  • I need so much to go to the gym tomorrow. I haven’t gone since 3 days before Christmas. Partly because we had colds, partly because we had company and haven’t had much time at all. I planned to go today but ended up having to drop a (4th this season! DH is on some kind of a roll!) deer off at the processor almost an hour in the opposite direction. So tomorrow, Lord willing, I’ll get to go. It’s better now that both Tru and Levi like the childcare and Levi doesn’t cry when I leave. He used to so much that sometimes I’d have to just go back home. 
  • I finished my 5th day of Femara yesterday. Last month the only side effect I noticed was (tmi?) dryness. Well, and ovary pain. But that just gave me hope it was working. 
  • After my post about Tru’s fever, that night it went up to 104.9f again. The next morning (01/02) I called the rheumatologist’s office but they were closed for the holiday. The on-call dr sent us to urgent care for blood work and to rule out pneumonia, uti, and ear infection since Tru had a cold. The blood work showed elevated CRP and ESR. Like last time he had a high fever (without being sick) but higher levels this time. I don’t know if that might have just been because of the cold? … I have tried twice to get in touch with his Dr through email and voicemail but still have not gotten to talk to the Dr about the results or if he needs a follow up. I guess I’ll have to try calling again tomorrow…
  • I am soooo overdue to post a Levi update! I hope to get one posted soon. He has grown so much lately in maturity and size. I love his squishy self so much!! He is constantly talking and talks so well for his age. Can’t believe he’s almost 22 months! 
  • Tru keeps hugging me and saying “I love you so much, Mommy!” And then, being the jokester that he is, he will say “I don’t love you so much.” and giggle to try to get me to tickle him. 😉
  • I finally started mudding in my living room so I can get it painted! I have the colors picked out. Light gray with a dark gray/hunter green accent wall. I hope I’m happy with the way it looks finished. 🙂   

And because this picture keeps cracking me up…. 

I came across this in my archives. I wrote it about 2 years ago but wanted to share it again in case it could help anyone else.
I guess I should start with a disclaimer – I’m not a dr, DUH. I don’t know everything or even really that much about clotting issues but I have them so… take that. 
I have been wanting to write about this for awhile now but today I read a blog that was the final straw. As you know, I have MTHFR which is short for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase – not what you thought, ha! I am homozygous with the C677T variation. All a really long way of saying that my body has a hard time methylating b vitamins especially b12, b6 and folic acid. I can’t absorb most b vitamins unless they are in their methylated forms so I have to buy a b vitamin supplement that is already broken down. (It’s called Homocystex Plus.) MTHFR also causes blood clotting issues. It’s actually more common than you think but hardly anyone gets tested for it because A) they don’t know to, B) drs are pretty ignorant about it (sorry drs. study up on this please!) C) practically nobody understands it or how to treat it, D) it’s expensive to test for and it’s usually on a whole panel that requires 14 vials of blood. ( I also just found out the other day that I had actually tested positive for Anti cardiolipin antibodies and have an elevated prothromibin time. Nobody thought it was important to tell me that but I read it in the report that I have a copy of from when I had that testing done. Thankfully, they are also treated the same as MTHFR.)
 
The fact of the matter remains, MTHFR causes infertility, implantation failure, both early and late term pregnancy loss and is incredibly easy to treat. Drs can disagree with that all they want but many other Drs agree with that statement. But you know what? It’s just one of a whole bunch of little known and “minor” issues that potentially cause clotting especially in the smallest blood vessels – in the uterus where the baby is trying to dig in and implant and where the placenta is drawing it’s life giving blood and oxygen from. 
 
MTHFR and a host of other “minor” clotting disorders can be treated by injectable blood thinners such as Heparin and Lovenox along with low dose Asprin. The blood thinners and asprin are started after ovulation/egg retrieval or asprin can be used continuously (which it usually should be if you have a clotting disorder – check with your Dr) and blood thinner shots can be started with a positive pregnancy test. You should also be on a methylated b vitamin supplement (regular b vitamins are not usable by your body) if you have MTHFR. Most drs will prescribe you a high dose vitamin b compound but it’s not as useable as just getting a high quality methylated supplement.
 
So, back to the blog that was the final straw. A woman with RPL who’s latest loss was at 20 weeks! Finally, for her SEVENTH pregnancy, somebody had the brains to check her for clotting disorders and they found that she had a “minor” one and given her “history” they decided to FINALLY treat her with Heparin. (Ya think??) Carried that baby to term. Case closed. I could also tell you the story of my friend who had at least 9 losses but carried her last baby to term and used blood thinner during that pregnancy. 
 
Obviously I’m not saying that blood thinners could prevent all loses. Definitely not!! There are genetic issues in the baby sometimes that cause losses, infections, incompetent cervix and a host of other reasons which I don’t really need to spell out, but clotting related issues can often times be treated! 
 
My RE didn’t seem to consider my issues to warrant any action. I talked to my IVF nurse though and she said if I wanted to cover all my bases, I could go on a low dose of Lovenox. I think they were mostly just letting me use it so I would feel proactive and so that they could say all my bases were covered. Turns out, as it was quite obvious during my pregnancy with Truett, blood thinner was quite important! So much so that my dose has been upped for this pregnancy. Again, I’m not saying it is fail proof. But with Tru, thank You Jesus, it helped! I hope that this time, the blood thinners will help keep my baby safe in there. Please God, protect this baby according to Your will and help it to get all the blood and oxygen flow that it needs in my womb. I pray that it will be safe in there and live and grow and be well and strong and healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen. 
 
All that to say this, if you have stumbled over this blog and you have had repeat failed IVF’s, RPL, or unexplained losses, please push your dr to test you for clotting and immune issues. And if they find ANYTHING, I don’t care how “minor” it is, (because let’s face it, when blood vessels are clogging, is there really anything “minor” about that?) and I don’t care how they feel about issues like MTHFR, get on Lovenox or Heparin and Asprin. If your dr refuses to treat you, see another dr! This is serious business. I have seen this happen SO MANY TIMES on SO MANY BLOGS. Women couldn’t get or stay pregnant, after tons of failed cycles or so many devastating losses, got treated and bam. Finally they have their baby(s). 
 
Something to think about. 
Shared: Implantation Failure, Failed IVF’s, RPL, Unexplained Infertility – Please Read This – http://wp.me/p34rdD-tI

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