Kind of Pregnant

When I worked as a patent attorney, a partner used an argument in one of our cases that everyone thought was brilliant.   The defendants were argueing that they were not guilty of infringement because only a very small number of the products they sold actually infringed.  He argued that infringing a patent is like being pregnant - you either are or you aren’t.  If I were the judge in that case, he probably would have lost with that argument.  I know that’s just not true.  I also would be pissed that he was so insensitive and ignorant about such a sensitive subject.

I did a transfer on July 18th and had a positive blood test on Wednesday. I was pregnant.

But, I AM only kind of pregnant.  There is an embryo growing inside of me.  My pregnancy tests are positive.  But, I won’t be having a baby. 

My numbers at 13 dpo were 23 and today at 15 dpo they only went up to 30.  They needed to be closer to 50 for this to be a viable pregnancy.

I have to keep taking my drugs until Monday for one more blood test, just in case, but this is similar to how my first two miscarriages started so I really have no hope even though my pregnancy tests say positive — I am not having a baby.

My numbers may keep going up for a while but the numbers are low enough that probably when I stop the meds this pregnancy will terminate on its own.  Although for one of my pregnancies, even though the numbers weren’t going up well, there was still a fetal pole, sac and debatably a slight heartbeat on our first ultrasound.  That pregnancy ended with a d&c.

I was really hoping to demonstrate how reproductive immunology works for women like me.  And I still believe that it does.   

Unfortunately, my story is turning out to be one of just how uncertain and difficult infertility is.  It’s not fair and it’s truly miserable. 

Hugging my son and so grateful we have him. 

 

 

 

NATRUAL FET: PROTOCOL

We decided to go with a pretreatment of prednisone.  So I started 20mgs of prednisone May 24th.

Monday, May 2, I started letrozole for 5 days.  I actually forgot to take it one night so I skipped one day but continued to take all 5 pills and finished the prescription on the 7th.  Dr Braverman said this was not an issue at all.. phew!  Lesson learned - be more careful and don’t mess up your medication!!

On Tuesday, July 8th, I took my trigger shot. 

On Wednesday, July 9th, I started lovenox, doxycycline and baby aspirin. I also had an intralipid injection. 

On Thursday, July 10th, I upped my dose of prednisone to 40 mg (20 in the AM and 20 in the PM).  The calendar says to bump up on transfer day but I thought the extra prednisone may help with the ovulation pain. 

Transfer is today!  July 17th. Pray. Pray. Pray. 

 

 

 

 

 

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FET: TODAY

When it comes to my fertility, I want everything to go perfectly.  I eat perfectly and step up my self care game. I don’t want to have any regrets.  But, we never can control it all.

I was freaking out, stuck in stand still traffic coming into the city this morning.  I thought I was going to miss my  acupuncture.  But, I was right on time.  Just to get to the lab and find out the doctor doing my transfer is running an hour late.  But, it’s cool.  I have a chance to update my blog and enjoy the Valium I took.

Who knows, maybe this is all part of some divine order.

FET: Tomorrow

My FET is tomorrow!

I am currently taking lovenox, prednisone, Doxycycline and progesterone.  

I have been preparing for so long, I cannot believe it’s finally here.  

I haven’t been blogging too much and feel a little overwhelmed but will keep you posted.

 

Cycle Day 3: FET

Today, I drove to Long Island for monitoring.  I will be doing a frozen embryo transfer this month. EEK.  

Everything went well at the monitoring appointment, and my nurse sent me a schedule.  I start Letrozole tonight.  

I am really feeling a lot of feelings.  I am excited and nervous, hopeful and humble.  I will stick with my self-care-like-its-my-job routine: each week I am doing acupuncture, therapy, massage and fertility yoga.  I am also taking an occasional hike and eating super well (thanks to Sakara Life - USE MY CODE: REF_NataliesNuggets15 for 15% off). Other than that, all I can do is pray, pray pray.

Honestly, praying is such a gift in times of stress for me.  I am grateful for praying.

Below is a photo of Dr. Braverman's decor.  I will take all three this month.

XX

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Chemical or False Positive with a Clear Blue Easy: You Deciede

I started my period last Saturday.  This is exciting because I am scheduled to do a frozen embryo transfer (FET) this month.  But, it was kind of a bummer because I had thought I saw some very light lines on my home pregnancy tests this month.  Here is a picture of one below.

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I know some people may be like - I don't see anything.  But there is definitely a very light blue line that came up within the window.  I can see it clearly here.  I also got some light lines with Equate brand pregnancy tests consistantly.  But, none of the pink dye tests (FRER; early-pregnancy-tests.com brand) came up positive.

I can tell you - thinking that I might be pregnant really made the weight of struggling with infertility (even secondary) apparent.  I was really happy thinking this might all be over and that I actually got pregnant naturally - for the first time ever.

But, then, my period came - a day early even and that dream was shattered.  

My conclusion is that I either had a chemical; or, Clear Blue Easy and Equate give false positives.  I'll never know.  All I can do now is turn my focus to this month and pray pray pray this works.

I will admit, I am feeling a little nervous.  I am hopeful and I know there is one person who is going to be like "just relax" - easier said than done, friend.  It's a lot.  I have been preparing for this since my last transfer failed in Febuaray.  I had been preparing for my February transfer since the end of July.  So it's been a year that I have been preparing for this.  I also had surgery and have been really strict with my diet for almost a whole year.  Not to mention the regular acupunctire, therapy and massage to stay healthy and sane.   And, now we are just a couple weeks away.

 

Cycle Pushed Back

My last appointment was May 25th.  A couple days before this, I learned some disappointing news.  My  transfer had to be pushed back.  My doctor realized as he looked through my labs that I had been pre-treated for a couple of months with prednisone for a “cytokine-storm” that he found through my old blood work (apparently this test is not currently available) when I had my son.  I had not yet started the prednisone and my transfer was only about 4 weeks away.  So, together, we decided to stop the FET prep for now so I could spend some time on prednisone before my next transfer.

The two weeks before this had been very miserable.  Birth control pills make me certifiably insane and depressed.  Now that I wasn’t doing my transfer, I had taken the birth control for no reason! 

I didn’t even get to stop the pills when I found this out.  It seems that stopping birth control pills in the middle of a pack is not the best idea as it may mess with your cycle.  So I continued taking them until Thursday.  The rest of the time on the birth control pills was not so bad, bc I started on 20 mgs of prednisone on 5/23.  Prednisone is a birth control pill antidote - it boosts me up and pulls me out of the depression.  It also really lowers my inhibitions - so watch out.

I was very disappointed that my transfer got pushed back.  But, ultimately, I am happy we caught this and we are trying to mimic the immune protocol I used with my son as much as possible.  Also, June in CT is amazing so I am going to enjoy my prednisone super strength and the weather and pray the moon face stays at bay.  I just hope to really enjoy this month with my family and be in good spirits when it’s time to transfer, I believe mid-July.

FET Prep: BCP for 2 weeks

I have to take birth control pills (BCP) for 2 weeks.  I am on day 6 and I am miserable. 

Taking birth control pills is particularly difficult for me.  It really affects my mood and threshold to handle stress.  

I looked back at my calendar to see when my transfer might be.  With Sebastian, my transfer was 38 days after I started taking BCP - so that puts the target date for my transfer at June 17th.

I cannot wait until I can stop the BCP and just praying this works.

Retrieval Checklist

- Photo identification for yourself and your partner if they are giving sperm. 

- A healthy snack and your favorite water for when you wake up from the anesthesia .  They may provide you with a snack and water but you probably won’t like it so bring something light that will be easy on your stomach (like crackers or a muffin) that you love and fits your diet.

 - Comfy clothes.

- Any meds or supplements you usually take in the morning that you had to skip because of fasting.   

- Your favorite brand of maxi-pad.  They will provide you with one but you may prefer your brand. 

- You may be excited and forget your essentials: remember your keys and wallet. 

Prepare for after the retrieval as well.:

- A heating pad for cramping. 

- The healthiest electrolyte drink you can find.  Coconut water is great.   Or make your own.  https://wellnessmama.com/2575/natural-sports-drink/  I don’t recommend drinking Gatorade unless you want a bunch of poison with your electrolytes.

- Pain killers - only if you need them.  These will contribute to constipation so stop them when you can.

- Smooth move tea.  I did one cup for two nights after the retrieval to help with constipation. 

One

Last week I got an email from Dr. Braverman telling me I had one perfect 5 day blast that had been frozen. 

One is all you need. 

He suggested that we do one more retrieval to make more embryos as long as I could bare it. 

But, one is all you need. 

I said that I CAN do one more retrieval but I prefer to move forward with this one.  I feel good about this one. 

And, one is all you need. 

Now we wait patiently for my next cycle to start.  And pray like crazy.

Embryo Watch 2018: Day 4

So I learned today that I have one compacting embryo with a grade: 1.  This is the equivalent of a grade: A embryo.  So this is the best possible news I could receive.

I honestly feel like I have been just going through the motions when it comes to this fertility stuff. I have been going on with life as best I can even though I don't feel my best.  I have been driving to the doctors appointments and dealing with the medicine and the supplements and the acupuncture like it's a job.  But, I feel relatively detached.  Still, hearing that this embryo is doing well did get me a little excited.  I am holding out hope that this could be it.

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Tomorrow, is day 5 and what we want to see is this embryo turn into a blastocyst.  So keep pray pray praying!

Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Mousse

I have really perfected my mousse recipe so I am posting it again in an "express" form.  This mousse is SO GOOD and SO EASY! It's also vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free so it's a very healthy dessert option.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 X 13.5 oz Can Coconut Milk (Native Forest)
  • 3 X 5.4 oz Cans Coconut Cream (Native Forest)
  • 5 oz Cacao (100 discs Firefly Cacao)
  • 18 Dates (remove pits)
  • 1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup (Crown)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla 
  • (Optional: Garnish with raspberries or strawberries)

Steps:

  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
  • Blend everything in a strong blender until smooth (I use my Vitamix)
  • Pour into a large bowl or serving cups
  • Let set in the refrigerator (about 6 hours)
  • Optional: garnish with berries

Enjoy!

Fertilization Result - AAARRGGGHHHHH

Out of the 4 eggs retrieved only 1 was mature.  Thankfully it fertilized. It seems that because we tried to do a low stim without birth control (which is what I wanted), we really only got one lead follicle.  

If that is the case, it could mean that this one embryo will grow into a good embryo and it could get the job done. Still, we are only starting with one.  Since there is only one, it's possible that I get a call tomorrow saying the embryo stopped growing and that will mean the cycle is a complete bust. Hopefully, that doesn't happen and in 5 days we get a call that this embryo looks really good.

With only one or zero embryos though we may have to do another retrieval.  It will extend this journey for another month.  But, I guess it just is what it is.

#prayforeggie

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#talkingabouttrying

This week was the week of my retrieval.  It is also National Infertility Awareness Week.  Ferring pharmaceuticals held a campaign this week to spread awareness about infertility with the hashtag #talkingabouttrying.  I wanted to speak to this because I also believe it is important that women talk about trying and it is a huge part of why I started this blog.

Opening up about my infertility has been such a blessing for so many reasons. Below are the top 5 reasons I #talkabouttrying in no particular order.

1)  To help people find the right doctor

This really was, in the beginning, the top reason why I started speaking very loudly about my experience.  I finally found the right doctor for me, Dr. Braverman, but it was a long path to get to him. And I felt that I had been misled away from him by many of the doctors I met  through this journey.

Dr. Braverman practices Reproductive Immunology.  Unfortunately, at the time I was trying to have my first child, a lot of doctors at top clinics would speak negatively about treating immune issues in pregnancy.  They would say things like "the immune system does not affect pregnancy" and some would even say reproductive immunology was "quack medicine".  Looking back, knowing what I know now, I believe it would have been more honest of them and helpful for me if they had simply admitted that they do not understand reproductive immunology and how the immune system affects pregnancy.

In many ways listening to what these doctors said about reproductive immunology kept me from getting to Dr. Braverman, who helped us finally have our son after two miscarriages.

I am still so mad that I was misled by my doctors and I hope to help other women not feel this way.  It's important to me that women who are suffering from repeat miscarriages or failed IVFs because of immune issues know that Dr. Braverman is a valid option for them. 

Luckily, reproductive immunology continues to be more accepted.  Also, I am ecstatic that through #talkingabouttrying, I have helped countless women find Dr. Braverman and I am so proud to have played a part in their ability to finally have their miracle baby.  

2) To hold doctors accountable so that we receive proper care

Word of mouth is how many businesses are held accountable.  But, since so few people talk about infertility, fertility clinics (aka businesses) don't suffer the consequences as readily for their patients/customers bad experiences.  Instead, many women suffer in silence.  I believe this leads to a lower standard of care for fertility patients. 

To expand on this consider what  one of my managers always told us while I was working in the service industry at a restaurant.  He told us to make sure customers did not leave unhappy.  That if someone was unhappy to get a manager involved to make sure they were happy with their experience.  He said that if someone left unhappy on average they would tell something like 100 people and if they left happy they would only tell about 2-3 people.  Those negative reviews would certainly impact the business negatively.

Before moving to Dr. Braverman's care, I felt that the standard of care at fertility clinics was very low.  I believe a huge part of the issue is that women are not talking about their negative experiences to their peers as often as they would an experience at a restaurant.  When no one talks, no one is held accountable and the bad behavior does not change and does not need to be remedied.

I absolutely believe #talkingabouttrying will improve the quality of care infertility patients receive. 

3) So we don't feel alone

This journey is uniquely difficult and because of the stigma many have had to walk through it alone.  To feel connected with others makes this difficult journey more bearable.

Since I started writing this blog and sharing on Instagram, I have had many people reach out to me in private thanking me for sharing my story.  It is so wonderful for me to give back this way to others.  And their thank you's mean so much to me as well. It is heart warming. 

Additionally, this struggle is often times jarring and not easily processed. So, to continue to reach out and be in the trenches with women who are struggling helps me process my pain while also helping them not only connect to and process theirs but also hopefully help them know they have someone by their side as they pick themselves up again and keep trying.  We both benefit from this human connection in so many ways.  

4) Meeting the most amazing, strong & beautiful women

I describe women struggling with infertility as warrior goddesses trudging through the depths of hell and I truly believe it's an accurate title, especially for those in my reproductive immunology groups.  Many of these women have been struggling for years and/or have had repeat miscarriages and/or still births. I have seen women go through nightmarish circumstances and get back up again and fight and build the family of their dreams.  They endure these experiences with such grace and I admire them so.

These same strong women have also helped me so much with their example, knowledge, support, generosity and love.  I am most grateful for #talkingabouttrying because of these beautiful souls I have been able to experience, admire and learn from.

 5) Teaching our communities how difficult it is to struggle with infertility

When we share our stories, hopefully some people will better understand the struggle of infertile women. The pain of infertilty and in some cases losing our children in utero that we want so badly is often misunderstood by our peers who have not walked through this darkness.  This misunderstanding from the community can make our healing even harder.  There is a term for this in psychology "disenfranchised grief." I speak more about disinfranchised grief in this article.  http://www.nataliesnuggets.com/blog/2017/10/17/infertility-is-miserable-how-to-dis-disenfranchise-your-grief

My Retrieval Is Tomorrow

This week I have been preparing for my retrieval and it is also National Infertility Awareness Week.  I have really enjoyed sharing my story and all the amazing women I have been able to meet during this otherwise difficult journey.  So, I am going to keep sharing my journey so that other women know that they are not alone and so the other women who have similar issues to me know that Dr. Braverman is the right doctor for them as well.

I have been in relatively good spirits this week.  Using a lower stim protocol has definitely made this retrieval more bearable.  I have been a little sore in my lower abdomen, I believe because I am making more than the normal one egg this month.  I also have had one day (Wednesday) where I felt super drained and tired.  But, today, I feel great (besides the headache and that I am lactating from the HCG trigger shot) and am excited for the retrieval tomorrow.

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At my last appointment Dr. Braverman saw 5 follicles.  So, that means we will likely get 5 eggs tomorrow.

I hope they are all fertilize and grow well so we can move on to the next step: the transfer.

 

 

Monitoring: CD 7 : Relatively "low stim" Protocol

Today I drove to Long Island instead of NYC for my monitoring so I got to see Dr. Braverman himself.  Everyone at the office was super lovely.

Dr. Braverman said that I have 2 follicles on my right side and 1 follicle on my left.  So, we are hoping to retrieve 3 follicles this cycle.  

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He actually mentioned that he may want to bank some more embryos before we transfer.  And, I guess that may be smart, depending on what we get this time, but it does push off getting pregnant and having a baby by a month.  And, waiting is one of the hardest parts of the fertility journey.  But, I am focusing on what I have.  I am blessed to already have one miracle baby and I have follicles coming up so potential for another baby.  And, I am really optimistic this will work this time.  Also, I am in a great situation with a great doctor.  So if it's important to be smart and bank more that's what we will do.  But, I actually am getting ahead of myself.  Let's just see how this retrieval goes.

Tonight, I am going to start injecting 300 iu of Follistim (this is why it's my "relatively "low stim" protocol" - bc that's a lot of Follistim!! but for me it's much less stimulation medication than I have used in the past) with my 5 mgs letrazole.  Hopefully, it helps all 3 follicles grow grow grow healthy eggs that turn into healthy embryos.

Next appointment is Monday.  Talk to you then!

 

 

My "Low Stim" Retrieval Protocol

Hello!!

I have exciting news!  I received my retrieval protocol.  Jump to the bottom if you'd like to see it.

I haven't written for a while as I've been pretty tired from my recent procedures.  My last post talks about my laporosocpy and I also had my tongue tie corrected (aka frenectomy) as soon as I completely healed from the lap. I'll have to talk about my frenectomy in another post.  But, I was run down after having those procedures back to back - I also just didn't have much, fertility-wise, to talk about -- until today!

My period started last Saturday. So, today (CD4), I went in to have my blood drawn and sonogram done to check out my ovaries.  I am happy to say the doctor saw some nice follicles in there.  I had about 2-3 on the left and 3-4 on the right.  For a grand total of about 5-7.

And, I just received the relevant portion of my retrieval protocol. I am super happy to say we are doing a natural start, which means no birth control pills.  I love this because birth control pills make me loopy.  HOORAY!!

Also, I was told my protocol would be "low stim." AND, it is IF you compare it to my last cycle but this much gonal-f could probably blow a very fertile person's ovaries up. So, we are using "low stim" relatively here. Hopefully, for me it's just the right amount.

I am super excited to start and am feeling very optimistic.  

Below you can see what drugs I will be taking.

Today 4/17: 

  • Letrozole-Letrazole 2.5mg 2 tabs at bedtime.

4/18:

  • Letrozole-Letrazole 2.5mg 2 tabs at bedtime
  • Prednisone- 10mg daily

4/19: 

  • Letrozole-Letrazole 2.5mg 2 tabs at bedtime
  • Prednisone- 10mg daily

4/20:

  • Letrozole-Letrazole 2.5mg 2 tabs at bedtime
  • Prednisone 10 mg daily
  • GT-Gonal F 300 units
  • Rx Scripts-blood & sonos

4/21:

  • Letrozole-Letrazole 2.5mg 2 tabs at bedtime
  • Prednisone 10 mg daily
  • GT-Gonal F 300 units

4/22

  • Letrozole-Letrazole 2.5mg 2 tabs at bedtime
  • Prednisone- 10mg daily
  • GT-Gonal F 300 units

4/23

  • Letrozole-Letrazole 2.5mg 2 tabs at bedtime
  • Prednisone- 10mg daily
  • GT-Gonal F 300 units
  • Rx Scripts-blood and sono    

4/24

  •  GT-Gonal F 300 units
  •  Prednisone- 10mg daily

4/25

  •  2 Ovidrel injections
  • GT-Gonal F 150 units
  •  Prednisone- 10mg daily

4/26

  • Prednisone - 10mg daily

4/27

  • Retrieval day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Laparoscopy

Today I am recovering from my laparoscopic surgery (lap).  This is my second lap.  My first was in 2012, before conceiving my amazing son.  Since, my recent transfer didn't work, I decided to go full on Braverman which includes having a second lap.

 Pre lap selfie

Pre lap selfie

What is Laparoscopic Surgery?

A laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis is generally used to diagnose and treat endometriosis.  Yes, you have to have surgery to confirm you have endometriosis - crazy, I know! It is a minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia. It involves four small incisions in your abdomen to insert tools and a small telescope. Your abdomen is also filled with CO2 gas. This allows your doctor to view tissue or take a tissue sample, called a biopsy. They may also remove cysts, implants, and scar tissue caused by endometriosis.

Dr. Braverman now is having all his patients have laser destruction of the peritoneum including the cul de sac during their laps as he has found this significantly increases your chances of having a successful pregnancy.  You can read more about this on his blog here

 Battle wounds

Battle wounds

 

Definitely Research Endometriosis Surgeons Before Hiring One

Interestingly, my first endometriosis surgeon was ahead of the times. I had my peritoneum and cul de sac destroyed during my lap way back in 2102 with Dr. Martin Robbins in Maine, with whom I had a great experience and I would highly recommend.  This time my surgery was with Dr. Vidali, who works with Dr. Braverman and operates in Hoboken, NJ so a shorter trip this time. I also had a great experience with Dr. Vidali.  If you are considering a laparoscopy for endometriosis and to increase your chances of pregnancy, I would recommend both of these surgeons.  It is very important that you choose a surgeon that excises the endometriosis as many surgeons are doing more harm than good for their endometriosis patients.  This is certainly not a time to trust just ANY doctor.

Recommended Endometriosis Surgeons

Dr. Martin Robbins - from personal experience.

Dr. Andrea Vidali - from personal experience.

Dr. Tamir Seckin - Dr. Braverman used to recommend this doctor often (now generally Braverman patients go to Dr. Vidiali) and I have a personal friend and many friends in my reproductive immunology groups who have had good experiences with this doctor.

Dr. Mark Pillitteri - Dr. Braverman used to recommend this doctor often (now generally Braverman patients go to Dr. Vidiali) and I have many friends in my reproductive immunology groups who have had good experiences with this doctor.

My Recent Lap Experience 

I don't remember my lap with Dr. Robbins as well since it was so long ago but I do remember how thorough Dr. Robbins was.  He even came to our hotel room to check on me.  Dr. Vidali also gave Dr. Robbins' work a great review when he saw the photos and notes.  

My lap with Dr. Vidali was just yesterday so I can tell you in detail how it went for anyone who is about to have one and wants to be prepared.

I met with Dr. Vidali a couple weeks before the surgery for an exam and to discuss the lap.

A couple days before the lap he told me to do kind of a mini bowel prep.  I was told to only consume clear liquids after noon the day before the surgery and drink a small 7 dose bottle of Miralax. I was worried because I am a super hungry person and love to eat, but the Miralax made me just nauseous enough that I was not in the mood for food. So I really only drank water and the Miralax after noon. Dr. Vidali didn't have to go near my bowels for the surgery and that I believe is why the mini bowel prep was ok.  I have heard that some of his other patients have had to do a full bowel prep.

The hospital also called the day before.  The nice woman asked me a few questions and told me not to eat or drink after midnight.

I arrived to the hospital at 9 am and the surgery was scheduled for 11 am.

I was rolled in for surgery around 11:45.  I have to tell you hospitals are weird places and it felt strange and a little scary being rolled around in a bed down the sterile halls.

At some point I woke up briefly after surgery and was in pain and they gave me more pain meds.  

I didn't wake up again until around 3 PM.  But, I believe I slept for quite a while in the recovery room after the surgery.  I was kind of awake at some point and could hear myself snoring.  I don't really snore  (I did as a kid but not as an adult) so not sure why I was snoring but I was drugged up and there was nothing I could to do stop the snoring so I just snored away.  After I was awake for a little while, they checked on me and rolled me back to my room.

Dr. Vidali stopped by to see how I was doing and let me know how the surgery went.  He showed me some photos that he took. He didn't have much to do because my last lap was so good. He only found one small spot of endometriosis on my right side, which he excised.  It was in a spot where I have been having pain for a while so I am hoping the pain will now be gone. I also had signs of inflammation on my uterus which he removed.  He also went over my peritoneum including the cul de sac again with the laser.  So I am super cleaned out, looking good and after a few weeks of healing I'll be ready for my next try for a baby.

Bring Your Own Healthy Clear Liquids for After Surgery

After surgery they only let you drink clear liquids.  I recommend bringing your own.  I didn't mind sticking to clear liquids because even though I was a little hungry I just didn't feel like eating too much.  I was offered water and ginger ale by the lovely nurse.  They offer you tap and Schweppes at the hospital.  NJ tap water is full of god knows what (I tasted some and it wasn't great - sorry NJ) and Schweppes is full of gmo corn syrup and natural flavors (which usually is just a way to hide unhealthy stuff in your food)  - there is no real ginger in it so I really don't know how they even are allowed to call it ginger ale.  They also offer you Jello and crackers.  I brought my own gluten free crackers as well and just skipped the Jello (which is also not great for you check out this food babe article regarding how unhealthy Jello is).  So basically the hospital just loads you up with a bunch of GMO sugar after your surgery.  

Something that really bothers me is that hospitals will feed their patients this completely unhealthy food. A bunch of GMO sugar is not good for you.  How is it beneficial to offer this to their patients who are trying to heal? 

As someone with auto immune issues my gut health is of particular importance to me so I am careful about what I put in my body.  If this is a concern for you, I also recommend bringing your own clear liquids to your lap that will hydrate and nourish you after surgery.  Non-gmo ginger ale (ideally organic with real ginger), organic coconut water, gluten free organic rice crackers, organic pasture raised bone broth (if you have an awesome thermos) and a nice bottle or two of Mountain Valley Spring water are all great options.  I am sorry if I sound like a snob writing this paragraph but I do believe that clean healthy food options help one heal more quickly.  

The next step after drinking your clear liquids is waiting to urinate.  It actually took a while for me to have to go at all.  I think we ended up leaving around 8:30 PM.

Then it's time to get dressed.  You will be sore so you will need someone to help you get dressed. Bringing really soft loose clothing and slip on shoes will certainly make this easier.

My Recovery

My lap was on Thursday and today is Saturday.  Yesterday, I was more sore than today.  But, even yesterday I was able to walk around and make my son dinner.  It was easier if I didn't lift anything and had help getting out of bed but I managed lifting my 7 lb dog and getting out of bed if no one was nearby.

I am feeling remarkably better today.  Still sore but I have not taken any pain medication today.  I am still resting and taking it easy though.

The worst pain has been from the gas left over in my abdomen from the surgery.  The day after the surgery there was a lot of pain in my right shoulder and side.  It's like really bad gas pain in a really weird part of your body and it hurts. Today it is much better.

I know some people have a much more difficult recovery from this surgery.  Some may have had more endometriosis removed and that may cause more pain.  My body also seems to heal remarkably well from surgery.  I was up easily walking around the day after my c-section as well.  So if you feel worse than I described above that is completely normal.

Finally, they don't allow you to shower for 48 hours after the surgery so showering before the surgery may be a good idea.  I am certainly excited to shower tomorrow.

 Post lap selfie.  Looking a little tired and puffy but loving my Green Immunity Broth from Embody Wellness get the recipe here http://embodywellnesscompany.com/green-immunity-broth/

Post lap selfie.  Looking a little tired and puffy but loving my Green Immunity Broth from Embody Wellness get the recipe here http://embodywellnesscompany.com/green-immunity-broth/

 

 

 

Going Full on Braverman

After my failed transfer, I warrior goddessed up and decided to get my baby. So, I am going full on Braverman.  

What does full on Braverman mean?  It means covering all my bases and leaving no stone un turned.  It means getting a laparoscopy to look for and remove endometriosis and taking his supplements.  I am taking Endo Optimize Endometriosis Support, Endo Optimize Myo-Insotol and Ends Optimize Greens Formula. Here is a link to the supplements.  

It also means doing another retrieval and transfer with him and following his immune protocol,  without much questioning from me.  I am one of those patients who asks a lot of questions.  But, at this point, I do trust Dr. Braverman (I already have one child because of him) so I try to not to question too much.

I had my laparoscopy yesterday and will give you all the details in my next post.

 

 

Not Giving Up: Warrior Goddess Style

I was done.  I swore it up and down.  One IVF and I was done.  

But, after my recent failed IVF, I was very not ok.  I was go about your day like nothing was wrong but end up bawling ugly tears periodically and then screaming at someone for no reason kind of not ok. I really thought it would work first try.   

I have been working through why it didn't work.  And once we get the immune panel back we will have more information.   

But, I am not done. 

I've had some pretty clear signs that continuing to try to have a baby with Braverman as our doctor is the right thing for us to do.  

And after deciding to keep trying, I have actually felt ok.  No more crying or screaming.  I have renewed hope.

So I am going to put on my warrior goddess armor and slay.  I am going to get my baby and then I am going to live happily ever after. 

 Warrior Goddessing

Warrior Goddessing

First, I have to have a laparoscopic surgery to remove any endometriosis that's come back since my last surgery and remove my cul de sac (more on this in a later post).  Then, I have to wait 6 weeks to heal.  Then, we will do another IVF and pray pray pray that it works.

Do I want to have surgery?  Do I want to continue to take drugs that make me look worse and feel worse physically, mentally and spiritually and live in the limbo and stress that goes hand in hand with the IVF process. He'll no.

 Warrior Goddess, Natalie with her first Braverman baby and super spectacular side kick, Sebastian.

Warrior Goddess, Natalie with her first Braverman baby and super spectacular side kick, Sebastian.

But, I am going to do it?  YES.  It is likely the only way we can have another biological child and a sibling for our son.  So, I am going to warrior goddess suit up and complete our family.  I am going to trudge through these depths of hell - with the most positive attitude I can and keep my focus on all the great things in my life.  I am going to pray and believe my body is healthy and strong and I will stay super healthy and strong through the process.  And when we have another baby, it will be another joyous time in our lives just like when we had our first very loved child and we will know it was all worth it. Then, I will be better than ok.