Planning for Cycle Number Four
Just like with our first cycle, where we had scheduled our Paris trip immediately following, Dan & I decided it would be smart to head out of town within days of the final cycle’s pregnancy test. Not having the finances to do this as we’re saving our miles for a bigger holiday after we know our kid situation, we are instead just getting away for a few days midweek to Puget Island, about an hour and twenty minutes west of Portland, where I found an Airbnb in the form of a super cute farm guest cottage. Yes please!
So I decided to modify the holistic side of what I’ve been doing in the past, which was a hard decision but ultimately reflective of what I’ve learned since starting fertility treatments last spring.
As those of us more seasoned IVF’ers know, there’s a million different forms of advice on what to do, what not to do, what to avoid, what to immerse yourself in, etc. For me, it’s not about “this specific technique will suddenly make me fertile” – that to me is just putting all your eggs in one basket and is emotionally risky. Rather, I want to immerse myself more mentally this time around, and give it my all from all perspectives.
During the first half of 2015 when I was doing my IUIs, my ND was super involved, getting me on a whole bunch of supplements to prep my body for the treatments, along with regular acupuncture. Yet when the first of our DEIVF cycles began late last summer? Acupuncture was the only suggestion, and there was no follow up, no suggestion for what to do to support implantation, etc. I didn’t really think about it at the time but after fail #3, I realized I wasn’t getting her full attention and while I love her personally, I don’t think her experience extended to those in donor egg land or deep into assisting/preparing for implantation (beyond acupuncture). No dietary suggestions, no look into the rest of my care, my mental, etc. Not her fault, just not her practice you know?
So over this time I’d been occasionally reading the blog of another ND/LAc practice on my side of town as there were some interesting posts about fertility, implantation, nutrition, etc., and finally thought, well dang, it wouldn’t hurt to at least check her out right? I really liked her post on yoga poses for fertility…
Well all I can say is the first two sessions were definitely worth it. Like night and day from my regular ND (who is still my care provider for basics) when I walked in, it felt like an intimate spa…darker, softer, quieter, with no outside street. And my first appointment? 90 minutes. Not a typo – I was there for an hour and a half talking to her about everything related to my health, infertility, treatments, mental/emotional state…seriously, everything. That and a look at my tongue and my pulse and 25 minutes of acupuncture with breathing techniques incorporated…I felt well cared for, and prepared to move forward with her for the next eight weeks. She’s out of network, so I have to meet my deductible first, but my husband really encouraged me to do what feels best for our last try…we want no regrets. And the bonus? Unlike my regular ND, she’ll come with me to my RE’s office on transfer day to do my treatment right then and there which is important to me (my RE has someone who did it for me on tries 1 & 2, but I didn’t vibe with her at all).
Along with this, I’ve decided to try a different massage therapist to do my abdominal massage the week of transfer. While I like the woman a lot who did my first three, this time I want to try someone who has advanced level training in the Arvigo techniques of Mayan abdominal massage, so I found a woman in my area who does it and seems to have a wonderful focus on fertility and prenatal, not to mention great reviews. (BTW the link I provided has a great search feature that works globally, for anyone else interested in seeing who does this bodywork near them). Gotta love Portland, as there were about 20 practitioners in our city alone!
Keeping on the Warm Side
The biggest challenge for me comes in the understanding energetic foods – i.e. traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) recommendations based on my body – that she recommended for me. Because I run hot, I need warm/neutral foods she said to get my body as prepared as possible for the transfer and to support implantation.
Well that means I’m screwed if I eat ice cream! Maybe that’s the devil I’ve fought LOL…so husband and I had our final strawberry popsicles last night (it’s 86 today, 92 by Friday…that’s 33C to my overseas amigas…WTF is up with this “spring” weather!), and because I’m going to take another break from alcohol, he had his last bottle of stout as well. Good husband, good husband!
Anyhow, this is one of those “worth a try” elements of this final cycle…NOT something that I believe will or won’t make the difference, just something fun to do to see how I feel eating 70%+ of these foods, as she has prescribed. Fortunately, there’s lots of things I love on the warm list – I eat sweet potatoes like there’s no tomorrow, and almond milk chai is my jam (amen to that year’s supply of Prana Chai we have in our pantry from Australia – so worth it y’all!). Oh god did I just say “is my jam”? Oy…
The other decision I made this week was to choose solitude. Not loneliness, but simple solitude, away from social engagements that right now I simply know I’m not able to give of myself to. You know when you feel like you have to be “on”? Right now I have to keep that focused on my coaching work and upcoming recruiting engagements, as personally I need to concentrate on eliminating obstacles. From the belly to the skin to the breast to the heel, too many parts of my body are demanding my attention…not to mention my heart and mind…and so right now, it’s going to be about Me.
Fortunately I have been learning to ask even more for what I need and be willing to take the risk that at the next juncture in the road, my social circle may look different. It sure does since I got married two years ago, I must say. Familiar faces have faded (or simply shown their true colors when the chips were down for me), new faces have emerged (who I am grateful for), and right now, in this chapter, I just have to trust that this Me Time will help me move deliberately, thoughtfully, and calmly into June 23rd.
As always, a shout out to my husband who complements my heart so well and loves me so unconditionally. Lately he’s been taking to what I can only describe as a “cheer pose” after he comes in after work and kisses me hello. It’s highly amusing and my heart does a little sing-song every time I hear him call out “wife!” when he sees me 🙂 He doesn’t push me to be anything I’m not, he brings the logic back in on days where my heart on my sleeve sometimes covers up my sensible shoes, and inspires me in his own calm that comforts my heart.
Today I’m going to do something crazy – I’m going to be hopeful. What a concept…
“Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.”
~Henry David Thoreau