Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I don't know why it took me this long to try acupuncture. I mean, I've been studying Making Babies as though it were a holy screed for the last two and a half years, and the book clearly says acupuncture and Chinese herbs would be beneficial for me.

Timeliness is not my strong suit, I guess.

Anyway, I decided on Friday to just go ahead and do it. I called the office to make an appointment and they were like: Would you like to come in today? And I was like: Sure.

So I went in and met my acupuncturist, K. She asked a lot of questions about my medical history. She is officially the first person I've sought fertility help from who's asked me how I have dealt with my miscarriages emotionally. Just her caring enough to ask made me a little teary. She confirmed that Paleo is the best diet I can be on right now in order to minimize insulin surges.

I asked for her thoughts on the crinone gel I'd recently been prescribed and she said it can certainly help, but that her take on my condition is that my eggs need to be nourished and built up so they'll be strong. When I produce a strong egg, my body will react in accordance with the proper hormones. I'm not totally sure I agree, but I do agree that I'd like strong, nourished eggs.

For the treatment portion of my visit, she felt my pulse, palpated my stomach, and felt my cold hands and feet, at which point she declared that my yang is stuck. Although she pronounced it "yong." My qi is deficient and needs to get ... efficient. This information totally jibes with what Making Babies has told me.

She popped some needles in my forehead, lower abdomen, legs, and feet. Then she did this moxibustion thing I'd never heard of, where they heat some kind of dried Chinese plant and touch it to the needles. I think the theory is that it stimulates circulation. She placed a heat lamp over my belly and a heating pad at my feet. I was instructed to let my heart grow with unconditional love and send that love down my right arm, into my hand (which was resting on my lower stomach), and into my ovaries. I began to picture my ovaries as purple mirror balls. It was involuntary, what can I say.

I was left to relax for ... I don't know. Half an hour? I laid there and listened to the hippie music and got nice and deliciously toasty, and once I got bored of sending love to my glittering ovaries, I let my mind wander wherever it wanted to. I didn't fall asleep -- I'm simply not that chill of a person. Perhaps on a future visit I'll be able to relax that deeply.

When the session was over, K asked if I'm familiar with basal body temperature charting. Um. YES. She wants to see my charts. She is the first person I've sought fertility help from who's expressed the slightest interest in my charts. My personal belief on this subject is that most doctors have no clue what the temperatures mean.

K also wants to see my most recent blood work, so I got that for her as well. She prescribed some herbs and gave me a moxibustion stick to light and hold over my stomach. I told her I will try anything. Why not?

When I got home, there was an email waiting for me with my treatment plan inside. I'm to go for weekly sessions for one full cycle, and then reevaluate. She also strongly suggested I buy a certain book ... you guessed it! Making Babies! I believe I've stumbled upon the holy grail of acupuncture practices.

Because I had such a positive experience, I'm seriously considering not taking the crinone gel when I ovulate this cycle. Is that insane? I just kind of want to see how my body responds to acupuncture first ... maybe give it a couple cycles. We'll see how I feel after the next session on Friday.

To top it all off, I got a card in the mail today from K, just welcoming me to the practice and wishing me a happy weekend. Which is way more than I can say for the multitude of doctors I've seen and paid wayyyy more money to. Now, if it works? I'll be completely sold.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

a new drug

So I asked my doctor for progesterone and ... she prescribed it! Wonders will never cease when it comes to Dr. C. Why in the world I couldn't get a fertility specialist to test me for progesterone, I will never understand. Oh wait, I do: it's all about the money.

I'll be taking crinone gel. Please tell me you've heard wonderful things about this stuff and any tips/tricks you know when it comes to using it.

Meanwhile the battle of the bulge continues and I've embarked on the Paleo Diet. I know -- so obnoxious. It's one of the most restrictive diets I've been on, since it doesn't allow most dairy, legumes, or any grains. But after a lot of reading, I believe there is actually a significant amount of scientific evidence that backs up this way of eating.

And, there's also a butt-ton of evidence that the American government can't be trusted when it comes to what we should eat. Their food recommendations are always going to be tainted by the whispers of food lobbyists, who need us to keep eating corn syrup and getting cancer so they can make a lot of money.

Aside from all that, I'm just trying to relax. As the infertiles are constantly commanded to do. I should probably stop reading blogs, in that case. Today I read a blog written by an apparently fertile woman who was telling the quaint and adorable story of how she found out she was pregnant. This happens frequently. I read a blogger when she's single. Then I read about her wedding plans. And then I know it's coming ... she gets pregnant. Life keeps chugging along for some and stalls for others.

And then I read another blog by an infertile who finally had a kid after three IVFs, and her message of the day was basically: Don't sit on your hands. Make this happen for yourself. It's not how you imagined it was going to be, but you're going to have to accept that and start getting pushy with your doctors if you want this to happen.

It really rang true with me, since I do feel like I've sat on my hands quite a bit, waiting for a miracle. Thankfully, I started facing reality after the last miscarriage. Hence the battery of tests, and now the progesterone. I really only plan to give progesterone one or two cycles before I move on to something with a little more oomph. Time only moves forward and it's time to un-stall this process.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

some thoughts about the luteal phase

... or as it is known by those in the know: The Two Week Wait.

- Is it just me, or are you always starving during the 2WW, too? I find dieting so much easier during the first two weeks of my cycles. But as soon as I ovulate, it's like I need all the food, NOW.

- my temperatures are still really low, with no thermal shift. This would seem to indicate my body is not responding to the increase in progesterone. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, my progesterone numbers are considered normal. Perhaps on the low end of normal, but normal enough to indicate I am ovulating. Should I just ask for progesterone?

- I asked Dr. Google how I could naturally bump up my BBT numbers, thereby hopefully increasing progesterone, and wow. Talk about mixed messages. Never trust Dr. Google.

- For example, there's one dude who says you should eat more sugar, and eat lots of whole foods, to the point that you are overeating, and you shouldn't exercise. I'm like: Hey. I am a living example of why that particular "method" doesn't work. Also, it's a little scary when people who aren't doctors dispense medical advice on the internet.

- The rest of the internet thinks I have a thyroid problem. Multiple tests have shown that, clinically, I do not.

- Plenty of internet geniuses think I should cut out gluten. I don't even know, you guys.

- Making Babies is not helping me the way I want to be helped right now. It alludes to a possible luteal phase defect. And the book and my doctor seem to disagree about what adequate levels of progesterone are ... I'm leaning toward simply asking for the progesterone supplement once this cycle is over.

- Mostly I just want to stop thinking about this forever.