Archives for category: TTC

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. 🙂 

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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

I *think* I ovulated yesterday. I used CBD Advanced OPKs this month and got my flashing smiley face (high fertility) on CD 14 and solid smiley (peak fertility) on CD 15. I definitely felt like I was ovulating yesterday. My ovaries hurt SO BAD! Especially the left side. 
TMI but my RE said to BD on days 10, 12, 14, and 16. I was totally not going to follow that schedule because of using the OPKs and not wanting to make things happen if the mood wasn’t there. But it so happened that it just worked out that way. 
Anyhow, I still have tenderness in my ovaries today so I don’t know what that means. Hopefully nothing sinister. My LP is usually 13 days so… now, we wait. Lord if it’s Your will! 

Remember how how I said that maybe I had ovarian cysts that were preventing my cycle from coming? Well, it finally did come on CD 47 (!!!) which is the latest I have ever been without being pregnant. But I really don’t know why it was so late. 

On CD 44 I went to see my RE. We basically had a pre-conception consultation and talked about the possible cysts and ran blood work to check where all my hormones are falling at now. Progesterone was elevated so I definitely did ovulate, according to the Dr, which I was almost certain I had. And I am about 100% certain I didn’t ovulate late yet I was 3 weeks late to start….? All the other tests came back within normal levels. (Testosterone, thyroid, FSH etc) 
They did an ultrasound while I was there and the Dr asked if I had ever been diagnosed with PCOS because my ovaries almost looked that way. Even I could definitely see lots of black spots (cysts) on them. I told him I hadn’t been diagnosed with that before (thankfully!) so he ordered AMH on the blood work as well. It came back at 6.87ng/ml which is within normal range but actually higher than when I was 22. ETA: I am actually a little confused about this. Higher AMH is usually thought to be good because it points to higher ovarian reserve, but I’ve also read that it can indicate PCOS…  He didn’t say anything about the cysts making my cycle late though so maybe my theory was bogus. The Dr didn’t seem overly concerned about the cysts…? I am supposed to follow up in Feb. 

He asked if I wanted to give a couple cycles of medicated TI a try before doing a SA and possibly moving on to other treatment (I am thinking if we move on to more advanced treament, it would probably be AT LEAST another year). I decided to go ahead and try Femara 2.5mg for 2 months. Because, why not…. If he thinks it’s worth a try then I might as well try it. I opted not to take Clomid because I had such a horrible time on it last time I tried it 6 years ago. I’ve never tried Femara before but I am on day 2 of 5 now. I guess we will see how it goes. I have realistic expectations but I also know what my God can do so I am leaving it in His hands. So, yeah, that’s where I am at right now. Very thankful for good test results! 🙂 

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