TW: My Big News!
I wanted to share some news with all of you. Our FET (frozen embryo transfer) was successful and I’m pregnant!
I’ve been very open and transparent about my fertility journey with family, friends and patients for several reasons:
- I firmly believe that the more people/couples who talk about their struggles with getting pregnant, the more it will become a normal topic of discussion amongst family and friends. And the more easily it’s discussed, the more support a person/couple will receive to help them through this difficult time.
- I find it therapeutic to talk about it instead of holding it all inside
- I hope that my story and struggles reaches the eyes and ears of whoever needs to hear it so that they don’t feel as alone and can reach out if they need support
I get a lot of questions from people going through the same thing as me – whether it be family, friends or patients. So I figured I’d answer most of them here.
What I did before starting any fertility treatments at all
I’m a Naturopathic Doctor by trade, so my diet has always been relatively healthy. That’s not to say that I don’t indulge in the occasional cupcake, mint chocolate chip ice cream or poutine! However, my diet has primarily consisted of plant based whole foods for a very long time.
My grandparents always used to shake their heads at me and tsk as they would say in bewilderment “if you could only eat soup and salad for the rest of your life, you’d be happy!?!”.
I also stick to the lean meats and I LOVE seafood.
My only big food aversion is eggs and that’s apparently been the case since eggs were introduced into my diet when I was still an infant. I’m NOT a fan.
I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. So no smoking wasn’t difficult for me.
I also very rarely drink. I probably ballpark around 1-2 drinks a month, with mostly 0 drinks a month. The summer patio season is what brings my average up a bit bc my best friend and I love to sit on a patio, chat about anything and everything, and have a sangria because who doesn’t love a sangria!?!
I tend to enjoy one cup of coffee a day tops. So I tried to be mindful of the caffeine I was having and made sure not to go over the 1 cup a day.
As soon as my husband started discussing and being open about being pregnant, I started taking a good quality prenatal supplement regularly.
I get a monthly adrenal supporting and immune boosting IV vitamin bag. I’ve been doing this for years and find that it’s a great part of my self-care plan. It keeps me feeling energized and more importantly it keeps my immune system in tip top shape.
I also exercised regularly for years. As every other dog parent knows, if you have a dog, you’re going out for at least several walks a day! And with Zoe being as high energy as she is, we go on extra long walks and throw in a few runs every week as well! I easily log 10,000 steps on a regular day, and on my run days and weekends, that usually goes up to at least 20,000 steps.
I always make sure that I get at least 7 hours of sleep. I’m very fortunate though bc my superpower has always been falling asleep – my head hits the pillow and I’m out!
And one big positive that came out of my whole crazy experience in the hospital last summer is my stress management skills have GREATLY improved. I make sure not to take on too much. I make sure to focus on the positive. And this one took me a lot longer to implement, but I try my beat to ask for help when I need it.
What I did before my IVF retrieval
This might surprise you because I’m an ND who focuses on fertility patients myself, but I’ve been seeing an ND myself who also focuses on fertility. I’ve actually been seeing her for a year now. I was put on my customized supplement plan and followed it closely.
I firmly believe that everyone going through the process of getting pregnant will benefit from the support of an ND. So I walked the talk, and I’m better for it.
I also received regular weekly acupuncture sessions with my ND and my acupuncturist. Full disclosure: I hate needles and have a MASSIVE needle phobia. However, I know all of the benefits that acupuncture has on my IVF, so I sucked it up and went to my weekly treatments.
I cleaned up my diet even more. I indulged once a week at most. I made sure to not drink any alcohol. I also cut down my coffee drinking to half a cup a day.
I continued with my exercise routine bc it helped me manage the stress that I was having with the whole IVF process. I had a lot of fear going into the retrieval because the last time I went for a fertility treatment, terrible things happened!!
I talked to both my husband and my inner group of girlfriends about whatever was on my mind.
And I continued to ensure that I was sleeping well every night. That’s not to say I had some super restless sleep leading up to my retrieval!
What I did after my retrieval
I was lucky because my retrieval happened on a Saturday morning, which allowed me to go home and take it easy for the entire weekend before I went back to work on Monday. I just continued with everything just like normal.
What I did before my transfer
I essentially did everything that I did before my retrieval regarding my diet and lifestyle.
This time, I worked a bit more on my mental health regarding the procedure bc I was a HUGE ball of anxiety throughout my retrieval. Thank goodness for my fertility medical team and my husband.
I spoke to my therapist and also downloaded some mediation series for me to listen to during the wait time leading up to my retrieval.
I doubled up on my acupuncture sessions and also tweaked my supplement plan with my ND.
What I did after my transfer
I had my transfer on a holiday Monday, so I relaxed for the remainder of the day. I went for a long walk by the lake with my husband and dogs, and had a movie night on the couch that evening. Then I went to work the next day just like normal.
I tried to take my mind off everything that MIGHT have been going on and trading into every single mild symptom that I experienced. That I will fully admit that it was essentially impossible to just go on as if everything was normal.
I was definitely freaking out inside waiting for the other shoe to drop and to have to be rushed to the hospital again, but also excitedly dreaming up all of the what ifs with that elusive BFP that I’d been working towards.
I had a requisition form to get my hCG levels done just over a week after my transfer and I promised myself that I would patiently wait it out. That was thrown out the door when I found myself constantly obsessing about every little tiny symptom that I would experience.
So I reasoned with myself that it was better to know than not know, so I started testing my urine hCG levels a few days after the transfer. Of course it started out negative because I started testing too early.
However, day by day, a super faint line started showing up. I thought I was seeing things at first. But with each subsequent daily test I did, the line got darker and darker.
I was incredibly happy and excited, but also terrified that it was a false positive or that the hCG levels wouldn’t be high enough on the blood test.
Jeff and I are incredibly fortunate to be one of the lucky ones where IVF worked for us on the first try.
And here we are today
I attribute out success to a variety of things:
- my awesome healthcare team;
- my work on my diet and lifestyle;
- My supplement regimen;
- my work on my mental health and stress management; and
- my acupuncture
I truly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of those things.
If you’d like to work with me to support your fertility journey, CONTACT ME HERE to set up your complimentary 15 min discovery call/meeting and we can get started.
What’s a discovery call/meeting? It’s where we get to know each other better to ensure that I’m the right practitioner for you and that you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Naturopathic Medicine before we move forward with an initial Naturopathic consultation.
Here are the other posts on my fertility journey that you might be interested in reading:
- My CRAZY IUI Story
- My IVF Story: Part 1
- My Surgery Surprise
- My IVF Story: Part 2
- My Fertility Journey on Facebook for #CIAW2020
- My Fertility Journey on Instagram for #CIAW2020
And here are a few more posts on fertility that you might also be interested in:
- Fertility: How Naturopathic Medicine Can Help
- Acupuncture for Fertility
- The Effect of Obesity on Fertility
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Trying to get pregnant? Test your ferritin levels!
- CoQ10 & Fertility: What’s all the fuss about?
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