Absolutely changed. Absolutely me, just evolving.
Yesterday was the first day without tears, but I also didn’t leave the house. Heh. Oy vey. Today I left the house to have my first appointment with a new naturopath who has a strong focus on fertility, and it was both enlightening and exhausting going through everything. Fortunately I’d emailed her in advance with my timeline, records, and basics, but still we dug deep and I left worn out.
Did I mention new naturopath is 20 weeks pregnant?
Fortunately, she mentioned it to me with great sensitivity at the very beginning when I made my appointment and emailed her my story, which I appreciated, and it gave me time to process and prepare. Fortunately as well? She’s barely showing. If she’d have been huge-bellied, I’d have walked out the door.
Anyhoo. It was what I needed holistically to finally feel like ALL of me was being reviewed, not just parts of me. Not just the medical perspective of my uterus. Not just needles for blood flow and the like. But all all ALL of me. Yay for that.
A few things we’re checking out and addressing going forward in preparation for round 5:
- Testing for the MTHFR gene mutation which can affect both fertility itself as well as increase miscarriage rates.
- Taking me off the Rainbow Lite prenatals which has folic acid and switching me over to Pure Encapsulations which has methylated folate. Did you know there was a difference between folic acid and folate? I didn’t until today (great article HERE)! Folic acid is synthetic and not produced in the body, and can actually be harmful for those with the MTHFR gene mutation (up to half of women). Folate, on the other hand, is fantastic and much better for all women trying to get and stay pregnant.
- Testing my thyroid antibodies and going beyond doing the standard thyroid blood tests for my hypothyroidism. Turns out having these antibodies can TRIPLE the rate of miscarriage, and these antibodies are NOT just found in those with Hashimoto’s Disease – they actually can pop up when one gets pregnant. Who knew.
- She has encouraged me to take black cohosh to help with my endometrial lining. While it’s always gotten into the acceptable range of thickness, it’s been shown to improve both thickness and quality of the lining. That being said, some doctors say to absolutely not take any herbs during the cycle, so I’m going to do some more research before potentially starting that. Anyone out there try black cohosh during your IVF cycle? Would love to hear your thoughts…
I’m still assessing whether she’s going to be the right primary care doctor for me as these days I tend to ask a lot more questions and think a lot harder when I tell my story to providers and hear what they have to say. I also look at how much they are listening, how they are reacting, how we mesh, how trusting I feel at the end. She was different than the more bold personalities I’ve been used to, but that might not be a bad thing. I’m not sure if she’s comfortable with all of my questioning, as I’ve learned after this many infertility treatments that if I don’t ask, I’ll never know, and blind faith gets you absolutely fucking nowhere. So, we’ll see.
Along with that appointment, yesterday my husband and I also went to visit our therapist for the first time since the miscarriage. It was basically a huge download of the past month and a half or so from both of us, from the miscarriage experience itself to the concept of trying again for a 5th cycle (which we didn’t think we’d want to do originally), to experiences with the narcissistic members of both sides of our family that coincided within a week of each other and caused both of us to really remind ourselves that family doesn’t have a damn thing to do with DNA. We’ll be going again in a couple of weeks as we prepare for the next embryo transfer, with one on one sessions for each of us to dig a bit deeper and work on the wounds that have come from this chapter in our lives.
While therapy is always stressful, what was beautiful was that she noticed how strong and close we were as a couple. This experience has brought my husband even closer than we already were, and we have grown in our marriage in so many wonderful ways.
Last night, in thinking about what another blogger or two have said recently, I dared him to think of what our life might be like without children. Not what our life would NOT be like, but what we COULD do, to try to think of it – if at all humanly possible, and let me tell you that was crazy tough – in a non-negative way. Not positive yet, but non-negative. It’s a start. We all know that we grow up with big ideas for our life, and then we all learn as well that making those big plans is the sure way of watching your life go in a completely different direction that you never could have anticipated. You think you get married for life then you realize you deserve more than an immature, self-absorbed alcoholic. You think you’re going to graduate from college in 4 years then you realize you just have GOT to explore new geographies. You think you’re going to grow up and be a high school English teacher and you realize the last thing you want is to be stuck in a classroom with a bunch of hormonal teenagers (bless their hearts, hahaha). You think you’re going to remarry that awesome someone and be able to get pregnant right away like your other friends in their late 30’s and early 40’s did, and then you find out your eggs are kaput. You think you’re going to do a round or two of IVF and your biggest worry is that you’ll have twins, not realizing that you will see three BFNs and a miscarriage.
You just never know. So why not be open to everything, no matter what your big dreams are? They may come through for you in a completely different way. You just never know.
So that’s where I am today.
And this poem below, one of the best ever written? This is for all of us. Phenomenal woman? That’s me. That’s you.