August 12, 2010
This was my first injectibles cycle. I had put my estrogen patch on around CD21 of my previous cycle so that I would be “primed” for the next cycle if that one didn’t work. And it’s a good thing I did! On CD2 I had an antral follicle count (AFC) of 13. A personal best. This is the first time I’ve been in double digits so that’s really exciting for me! I fully credit the estrogen primer. And perhaps also the diet – maybe even more so the diet. Or it could just be that all these meds have “jump started” my system. Who knows? All I know is that each month my AFC seems to climb.
On CD2 I had a date with wandy and got the go ahead to start the shots: 150iu of Bravelle mixed with 75iu of Menopur/day.
First acupuncture appointment ever. It went OK. Not sure what I really think of it yet.
After four of those shots (CD 6/Med Day 5) I had another ultrasound. I still had 13 follies – but none dominant yet. My estradiol was 84 so they debated upping my dosage but decided to leave it alone.
On CD 9/Med Day 8 I had another ultrasound. Uterine lining was good at 7.4. I still had 13 follies (although I apparently lost one on one side and gained one on the other) and I had 6 follies over 10mm in the running(!). The six were all very uniform in shape and size (all ~ 11mm) so there was some worry about having too many follicles – especially with estradiol =333. This is an entirely new and unexpected problem for me to have. My dose is reduced to Bravelle 75iu + Menopur 75iu.
Second acupuncture appointment. Definitely relaxing. But I’m still not sure it’s any more relaxing or helpful than a massage. Or taking a nap. But I’m still keeping an open mind since I think I have been sleeping better at night.
CD11/Med Day 10: another ultrasound. I now have 7 follies in the running ranging from 11.9-14.6. Uterine lining is at 7.3. Estradiol ~600. This was a crazy day. The fellow who did my ultrasound really wasn’t sure what to do. So I had to wait on a call from my RE. Then things exploded. You can read about it here: Take A Walk on the Boardwalk.
June 18, 2010
It’s been an eventful week and I’ve been posting a lot. So I decided to post a much shorter version of it all with links back to the long versions in case you want more info.
In the past week:
- Clomid failed me
- Right Guy and I talked about our options after the clomid fail
- RE and I came up with a new plan that doesn’t involve Clomid
- I finally got a post up about bio-identical hormones and I found a great explanation of the Controversies of Hormone Replacement Therapy
- I finished the website for my cousin’s new Age Management Medicine practice and agreed to be paid in services. Which means that I also:
- Started a new low glycemic diet
- Had a bunch of blood tests (results are still out)
- I am more committed than ever to stick with the swimming
June 16, 2010
So I started a new diet this past Monday. Before I explain it let me just be really clear that this is not a “fad” diet and there’s nothing UN-healthy about it. It’s not Atkins or South Beach or Caveman. It’s simply a low glycemic diet. My cousin, an MD, is recommending it (if you missed that post you read it here). There is zero danger to my health and it won’t interfere with trying to get pregnant. In fact, this is the same diet that many doctors recommend for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive (TTC). Insert shout out to Jennandtonica and her recipe for Kale here. I even sent a (presumably) fertile friend that link. Since I don’t have PCOS I have no idea if this diet will do anything to help me on that front. It’s also the same diet a coworker was put on when she developed gestational diabetes. So it certainly can’t hurt it. And my RE agrees.
The premise behind all this – and pardon me if I go all conspiracy theory on you here, I take all this with a grain of salt – is that we eat too much sugar. When fat became the enemy, the food industry starting taking the fat out of processed foods. But then it didn’t taste very good. So they added sugar. Have you read a label recently? It’s ridiculous. Even before the science behind this was explained to me I was outraged that there was high fructose corn syrup in my can of tomato soup. And why on earth do they add sugar to fruit? I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth so it’s easy for me to avoid sugar – when I know it’s there. (Carbs are another story however.) But plain old sugar is lurking in so many places these days and it goes by many different names (high fructose corn syrup and maltodextrin to name two).
In addition to all this added sugar we’re also eating a lot of carbohydrates. Because carbs are often low in fat. So we think we’re being healthy by eating a bowl of pasta with some spaghetti sauce that probably has more added sugar in it than you realize (yes, you often need sugar to cut the acid from tomatoes but I’d rather add it in myself so I know how much I’m getting). But ultimately carbs break down into sugar. Not all carbs are created equal. Whole grain bread is better than white bread. But it’s still a carb which is ultimately a sugar. As is alcohol. So why is sugar so bad? I’ll explain the science behind it as I understand it. Some of it theoretical so don’t take this as the Holy Word on Nutrition.
Whenever you eat your blood glucose goes up. Unless you’re diabetic, your insulin then also goes up in order to bring the glucose down. This is all perfectly normal. But the glucose goes down a lot faster than the insulin. So the more sugar you eat the higher the spike of glucose and the more insulin you need to bring it down. And then you eat again before the insulin has a chance to return to normal. The overall effect is that your insulin stays higher than it needs to be. Why is this bad? Here’s the theory on that: Scientists believe that human growth hormone does something really beneficial to us while we sleep. They’re not sure what, but they are pretty sure it’s a good thing. Apparently insulin and growth hormone have the same or similar receptors. I think all of that is scientific fact. Here’s where the theory starts: Some scientist believe that insulin is interfering with the magic of growth hormone. Think of it like a USB port on your computer. Suppose you only have one port and two devices that need to use it. You can only use one at a time, right? It’s essentially the same thing here. If your insulin is up and using the port then the growth hormone can’t use the port to work it’s magic. My guess is that this is also why getting a good night’s sleep is so important for good health (that’s something else I’ve been trying to be better about lately).
So anyway, the diet is a low carb diet. But, unlike Atkins, it’s not a no carb diet and you don’t get to eat all the fatty meat you want. It’s all about pairing foods properly – never eat a carb by itself, always pair it with a protein. Eat every 3-4 hours. Eat LOTS of vegetables. You can even have the starchy ones – just be mindful not to over do them. Same with breads and grains – try to stick with whole grains but don’t eat too much of them. The diet has taken the FDA food pyramid and turned it in to a food diamond. At the pointy ends of the diamond (ie what you should eat the least of) are good fats and grains. In the middle is vegetables, water, lean meats and fruits. Organic everything is preferable and anything processed should be avoided.
So that’s what I’m doing. For the first two weeks I can’t eat any grains and should avoid the starchy fruits and veggies. And alcohol. I originally set my start date for the diet as CD 15 thinking I wouldn’t be drinking in my two week wait anyway. Now there’s not two week wait. After the two weeks, I can add the good carbs back in. I’m supposed to follow the diet for 6 days a week and pick one free day a week to eat whatever I want. Apparently it’s better to cheat for a whole day than a little bit at a time. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to follow this diet (I am addicted to Triscuits after all) but I think I can manage to be really good for two weeks and pretty good for two more weeks. So I’ll do it for a month and then reevaluate. It will be interesting to see how much weight I’ll lose. I’m pretty I will lose weight and although that is a goal of mine the bigger reason behind this diet is to just be as healthy as possible. That’s the only thing I can control on the TTC Roller Coaster!