Tuesday, October 7, 2014

things I did to try to get pregnant, part 1.

Swallowed a fuck ton of vitamins and supplements. In my dogged pursuit of increased fertility, this was my first line of defense. Reconstructing what I've taken - and which did exactly nothing to make me more fertile - is going to take a while. Eventually, I'll write an entire post on just this. If I'm feeling really masochistic, I may even try to add up how much I've actually spent.

Read a book. When you're infertile due to diminished ovarian reserve, and you're Googling ways to overcome this condition, you invariably land on someone talking about raving about Julia Indichova's Inconceivable. Julia, for those of you who don't know, suffered from secondary infertility (meaning, she had one kid no probs before wanting a second and then having major probs). Julia found out her FSH was the same as her age (42) - so high that doctors wouldn't even let her attempt IVF. So plucky, determined Julia set out to lower her FSH enough that she could do IVF, only to find out that she - after just eight months of lifestyle changes - got pregnant naturally. Now she runs a small empire for the ovarian-challenged, advising them to drink wheat grass daily, take Chinese herbs, try acupuncture, and even get colonics (in a chapter titled "Spring Cleaning," no less).

I'm not going to lie; when I read Inconceivable, I got totally fired up. It's an inspiring memoir. Now I sort of think of it as a fairy tale for infertiles. For one thing, I'm not entirely convinced that it wasn't pure luck that gave Jules her second baby. For another, you always hear crazy stories about women who were told they'd never conceive naturally, but then, after getting drunk on a yacht during a Harvest Moon, discover they magically have a bun in the oven. 

Bodies are unpredictable. I know it doesn't hurt to clean up your diet and practice healthy behaviors. But expecting those actions to make miracles? That's a little foolish, if you ask me.

Drank a shot of wheat grass daily. Even before I read Inconceivable, I learned that wheat grass was purported to be the best way to lower FSH naturally. I don't live near a juice bar, and I didn't want to order frozen shots of the green stuff, so I opted for Amazing Grass Organic Wheat Grass powder. I would mix a large scoop of it into two ounces of Trader Joe's Organic Unfiltered Apple Juice and down it first thing in the morning.

At first I took it every day, but then read that too much Vitamin K (which the stuff was rich in) could make the blood too thick (bad for fertility). So then I would stop it during my luteal phase and start it over on Day 1 of the next period. Eventually, I cut it out totally, as I read that for some women, wheat grass could actually increase FSH.

Drank two cups of "preconception" tea daily. Despite its overly precious name, FertiliTea actually tasted pretty good. The only reason I stopped drinking it was because Dr. God Complex freaked out over the lead follie during my first attempt at IVF. Even though I'd been faithfully delivering updated lists of all of my supplements (including this tea) for months, he never bothered to look at them until Cycle #1 started to go south. Then he gave me shit about it and told me that drinking the tea could be the reason his protocol wasn't working. (We don't call him Dr. God Complex for nothing!)

Practiced fertility yoga three times a week. I'd done some yoga prior to purchasing Restoring Fertility: Yoga for Optimal Fertility, so adding this into my mornings wasn't so tough. There are four separate routines, each one corresponding to a different phase in your cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory and luteal. The instructions are to do these routines daily, but I couldn't ever force myself into that. For one thing, my luteal phase was typically 12-14 days. Doing the same thing for two solid weeks is just plain boring. But I'd read that three yoga sessions a week were enough to aid in fertility, so that's what I did. Sometimes, if I knew I was ovulating, I might add in an extra session just so I could get a boost from that particular routine. 

I gave up on the fertility yoga around the time that I had my last failed IUI under Dr. Complex. Three failed IUIs will do that to a girl.

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