Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brainstorming.

This is going to be ultra vague so bare with me... But before I move on, I must ask. Has anyone tried or know anything about the Cindy Crawford skin line, "Meaningful Beauty"? I am very intrigued by it for some reason...............

So. Back in 2006 when all this infertility crap first began, I had a vision. It was simple yet complete. One goal. To raise awareness for PCOS. Nothing ever happened. It just did not feel right.

Last night. Something new yet so similiar came up, again. This is simple yet specific and absolutely complete. The vision is much larger than ever before. The desire to take the steps. The encouragement from my husband as he now sees fully where I am coming from. We have great support from our immediate support system as well! I am very excited to see what comes about from it all! To see the impact it makes on lives...

For now, until things become concrete and trademarked, I share this with you. Look very carefully before making any guesses or eluding to anything that you may suspect... Just a taste, a guess if you may, of what is to come... God willing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New found Energy!!!!

I was warned. Not once. Not twice. But multiple times. I was warned when it was just the Thyroid medicine. I was warned when it was just the Folgard medicine. I was warned enough to take it seriously. Did I? Nope. That is, until I had my first sleepless night.

I learned my lesson when I took the Folgard at 5pm one day and needless to say, did not sleep hardly a minute that night as I was so wound full of energy! My mind racing...

You see. To begin with, I never have complained about lack of energy so I assumed you would only notice the energy difference if you fell into that category. Not that it would drastically increase your energy levels no matter where you currently stood!

So, on top of already not having an energy complaint, I am naturally a night owl and so not a morning person... This has only become all the more drastic thanks to the meds!

Now? I take my Thyroid medicine first thing in the morning at, on weekdays, 6am. I shower, get dressed and then eat breakfast. Before I walk out the door at 7:20am ish I take two Folgard/Folplex pills for the MTHFR. I have TONS and tons and tons of energy all stinking day long!!!!!

I am wide awake until, at the very earliest, 10:30pm! I then crawl into bed and still wide eyed, trying so hard to fall asleep as I know the alarm sounds way too early for my liking!

The problem? I hate waking up in the morning! *That's not new.* It's that the amount of sleep I'm getting is less as I'm going to bed later and even then, I don't fall right asleep *Not in the norm for me...* so my usual 9-10 hours of sleep a night is down to like six. This may not be a big deal to some but to me, "Sleep Diva", it's a HUGE deal!

Think my body will adjust and I'll be back to my usual sleep patterns??? If so, how long do you think I should give it?? Believe me, I'm going to ask my Dr. on Monday about this as well and get his thoughts... I mean. I'm already on the lowest dosage of Thyroid meds and on the recommended dosage for MTHFR. Not much room for changes that I forsee...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Congrats are in Order!

I am so very excited to announce that within the Infertility Support Group I facilitate here is now celebrating it's THIRD pregnancy! Jenny, I am so over the moon excited for you and if I had your blog address I would send everyone over to wish you all the congrats and a wonderfully smooth pregnancy! :-) First IVF round was a success and suspecisions are that maybe it was a success times TWO!

And onto less exciting but still interesting news on my behalf...

I made another appointment with the new Dr. for Monday, August 3. I will have my lovely yearly along with a chance to ask lots of questions distraction free as I will not have the babies or my husband with me. :-)

My questions so far to ask...

~What are the chances of the polyp going away with a nice heavy period?
~Do they return? How long between surgeries?
~Would he do another ultrasound just for peace of mind that it is still there and surgery is still needed?
~Should I stop the Baby Aspirin prior to surgery or not?
~How soon after my TSH numbers are "stable" can we resume treatments? *Those will be tested every 4 weeks until where he wants it (0.4).*
~What will he recommend first? Are we starting at the ground again with Femara or moving to Injects right away?
~Can we do another Semen Analysis just to see how, if any, Charles' numbers have changed?
~Any other suggestions????

And then we'll proceed with the IVF discussion... You see. We are, thankfully, one of the limited that has the option within insurance selections to pick an option that covers up to 3 rounds of IVF. However, we have to enroll with this different insurance (it's more money every month and the coverage in other areas isn't as good as what we have now but it's okay) the end of 2009 for it to be effective in 2010. So... As the year closes in, we have to make this decision and live with the choices for another year as we're not going to pay out of pocket for something that ultimately would be covered if we just wait a year or less. This is a big decision.

So, in my mind here is the timeline I'm thinking... Let me know what ya think and if it's reasonable or not, seriously.

August 13 - Hystercopy (sp?)
August 20 - Re-test TSH and praying they are almost level (four week mark)
September 17 - Re-test TSH with the hopes it is finally 0.4 ish! (eight week mark)
September 19-26 - In Florida spending time with Grandma and family.
October 21 - Three months to the day that Baby Aspirin has been a daily regime
October 23 - Three months to the day that Forgard has been in my system
November 26 - Share with family that we're Thankful to finally be pregnant!!! :-)

So, I'm thinking if my TSH levels are 0.4 ish in September then we could start treatments then. Unfortunately, I know my body and will probably end up with lingering cysts from whatever treatments we do so if we do not fall pregnant, we'll end up sitting out at least one cycle to recover. So, I think we would be able to get in two (three in all) treatment cycles by the time we are to make a decision on switching up insurance or not... It would also be Christmas time and we all know how stressful this time is so the thoughts are if three rounds do not work that we'd proceed straight to IVF.

Think my expectations are realistic or am I setting myself up for complete letdown?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Update along with De-Cluttering and Organizing

Yesterday I received a phone call from the nurse at the new Dr. office to inform me that the surgery has been scheduled for August 13 at 10am. I am not to eat after midnight on August 12 and arrive at 9am to prep. They will be removing the polyp along with doing a D&C. Although I must say, I'm rather nervous about this... I believe I am going to go back in after my period comes and goes just to have another ultrasound to confirm if the polyp is still there or not as I do not want to have surgery unnecessarily! Obviously. Of course, I'm hoping that I'll fall pregnant between now and then and thus negate the need for any surgery but well, we all know how likely that is to happen... :-( So it's scheduled. I'm prepared.

Thankfully, I'll have plenty of distraction as Charles and I will be keeping my nanny boys for almost a week while their parents enjoy a much needed and deserved vacation! It's so pathetic how excited Charles is (okay, me too!) as he absolutely adores these babies!!! It'll be fun and then we'll give them back and get our much needed and deserved recovery. :-)

Today has been a wonderfully productive day! Charles has been lounging all day since the last 8 days straight he has been batteling heart palpitations without rythm or reason.

BTW- He's been drinking Calm Tea which is a balance of Calcium and Magneseum along with taking Passion Flower which is a natural beta blocker and has noticed a significant change! Previously he was having them like consistantly, like more times than you can count in an hour! But not every hour... Now, he's had six today. TOTAL! So something's working! :-)

We went to Weekend's Only outlet to do some price shopping on new couches as we absolutely do not like ours. They are six years old now and not so comfortable anymore. How long do couches last anyways??? So Charles wants leather... I don't. I can only imagine the dogs putting their paws on the couch and poking holes in it or scratching them not to mention the wrinkles and all that they get after wear. What do yall think? Leather? Suede? Jean? Montage? Suggestions, please! One of us needs to give so I need good reasons to or to persuade him to! :-)

So since we have been lounging today, I decided to do something productive as I have no reason not to really. I have been totally organizing and de-cluttering and collecting items for a garage sale! So ready to get rid of and have a clean fresh look to every single room in the house! Any tips or tricks that work for you that you would be oh so kind to share since, well, I'm far from a pro at it to begin with!!!! :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

My how almost three months ages a baby! :-) My newest niece Allyson born early May then and now. Crazy huh? But Isnt she adorable? I cant wait until we give her a cousin hopefully somewhat close in age!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update from new Dr. Visit

Today I finally spoke with the nurse in regards to my test results! This has been the first downfall we've had from the office but one we can certainly live with! :-)

I was told my hemoglobin (sp?) came back normal/negative. Whichever the correct answer it. No problems. For the fun part?

My Testosterone is 66.8 and the first time ever measured before. I was told this is within normal range and from what I've read online, it is... Any thoughts?

Now, my TSH was tested yet again. This time it came back at 3.80! So... I can't help but wonder if the extra high one at almost 6 was a lab error or a fluke (what causes a fluke?) or just something strange. Maybe even someone elses' results! Which brings me to my next thought...

If this one out of four TSH draws was indeed a lab error then what out of the 13 vials of blood I had done was indeed correct??? Is it all just a lab error? Am I really positive for something that I was told I was negative for and vice versa??? What are the chances that I would have a lab error or misread on just my TSH and everything else is correct???

I'm still taking the Armour Thyroid medication, day two was today, and along with that the Baby Aspirin and tonight I picked up my Rx for the Folplex which is similiar to Folgard just different manufactors? Oh yes, and my Flintstones multi vitamin I'm still popping as well. :-)

So since my hCG test came back negative, I'm not pregnant. :-( It's okay. I expected this. I am having the hystercopy (is that the right terminology?) sometime in August to remove the Polyp and do the D&C to test my lining. Of course, I'm hoping and praying that we fall pregnant before the surgery so it's not necessary but I'm certainly not holding my breath for that either!

So onto the good news... We should, crossing all fingers and hoping for the best, be able to start up full fledge trying again in late September or early October! Which means... We would have a baby after the whole escapades of April and May birthday's on Charles' side of the family! Not to mention, we may very well be pregnant when we head to Georgia for Thanksgiving this year to celebrate with our families!!!!!! That would be absolutely wonderful... I know. I'm getting ahead of myself but one cannot help but have a sense of new found hope with this new Dr!!! :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cold water tail

videoApparently when i bathed the dogs this weekend i have Jill cold water tail, again. :-( i even bathed them inside to avoid this but obviously i did not have the water warm enough. Poor puppy. I hope you can make out the limber tail. :-( charles asked if i broke it! I said no of course and had to remind him of that bathing issues...

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Dr Visit!

After much frustration with previous physicians both in the world of Infertility and general practitioners, hubby and I decided to take the plunge and go see a highly recommended Ob/Gyn who specializes so much in Infertility that he is actually starting his own clinic and will be doing IVF in 2010... For now though, our co-pay is less since he's a regular Ob/Gyn by Insurance standards. :-)

I digress.

On Monday we walked into this cozy office with very pleasant staff members. We spoke with the Dr for some time despite a particular baby not cooperating 100%. It was okay as this Ob/Gyn had actually "brought these babies into the world..." After the basic introductions and his line of "between Chris Rock and Robin Williams" which explained his humor I knew we would be just fine under his care.

He spoke very confidently that we would indeed get pregnant and believes that once all my "issues" are fixed that we may not need any intervention to do so! That's super exciting! He was not your traditional Dr. He was easy to talk to and I felt as though he listened and directly addressed our questions and concerns. He wants me to take Baby Aspirin and Folate, no questions asked. He won me over as he not only delivered twins vaginally but also is willing to do water births if requested! I have never met an Ob/Gyn who was so willing to actually work with the patient and grant their wishes to the best of their ability! WOW!

He said he wants my TSH to be 0.4. Hoovering just above Hyperthyroidism and then gave an incredibally long explaination on why. He wanted to give me Synthroid but becuase I requested, he gave me Armour Thyroid. It was the first natural one that came to mind although lately, it's become rather contradicting...

He ran a PCOS panel on me that basically addresses my Free Testosterone and Androgans (sp?) which I have never had tested before. Crazy. I know. He also tested me for some other things which I cannot remember. Argh. They took four more vials of blood... Which brings my total to 24 vials in right about a three week period! CRAZY!!!!

He took a culture from my cervix to test for some virus/bacteria that he says is extremely common and prevents pregnancy from occurring. I did not catch the name though...

He then did an internal ultrasound and totally explained everything to us as he was doing it. That's uinque! At least in my experiences. Showed us my uterus which is not tilted by runs horizontal? Said I have already ovulated as I have a Corpus Luteum Cyst and when questioned how he knew it was that he said that it has a thick exterior and showed this to us. It was fascinating! Said my Endometrial lining was too thick at 14mm... I believe that's the number it was.

Then he spotted something that has never been seen before in the hundreds of previous ultrasounds I've had done... A polyp. He took a breath and then said, "or it may be that you are in the very early stages of pregnancy... Let's do a hCG blood test." He's betting it's a Polyp and I, unfortunately, have to agree. Said he wants to do a hystercopy (I believe that's the right terminology) and at the same time do a D&C to test my uterine lining for anything else that may be going on.

Overall. I believe it was a fantastic visit! I'm very pleased that we took this step and cannot wait to get the results and take the next step!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Prenatal/Multi Vitamin?

As I've blogged about before, I currently take 2 (one AM and one PM) Flintstones Multi Vitamins a day. I have noticed great progress with my nails looking fantastic! (That is compared to currently since I have not taken any for the last month with the move and all.)

In my further google searching, I came across a MTHFR Forum and one link was on Neevo Prenatal Vitamin. I have never heard of this... Something about it having a different form of Folic Acid, one more easily absorbed by your body and thus better for MTHFR individuals???

So I guess my question is... What do you take? Noticed any side effects, good or bad? Ever heard of Neevo?? Taken it? Would you recommend it?? :-)

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Ours was eventful to say the least, but not in a good way. Welcome Monday!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Natural, Organic, Healthy for you!

In light of the last couple of weeks with my twice tested TSH, T3, T4, Free T3, and Free T4 results I have come to the conclusion that a drastic change is in order! I did some googling, oh must love Google!, and found that one's Thyroid can be disrupted due to toxins in your body clinging to the T4 thus it cannot be transformed into the metabolic T3 ones body needs.

This is what I am concluding is happening to my body since none of the medical professionals so far that I speak with can tell me anything... My TSH has bounced around and my T4 has consistantly stayed in a good normal range while my T3 has been the problem all along.

For your thoughts...

October 2006
TSH - 2.0

March 16, 2007
T3- 2.9
T4- 6.5

LabCorp results from b/w on June 24, 2009
TSH - 5.780 with the range being 0.450-4.500
T3 - 74 with the range being 85-205
T4 - 6.5 with the range being 4.5-12

Missouri Baptist results from b/w on July 10, 2009
TSH - 3.02 with the range 0.34-5.60
Free T3 - 2.80
Free T4 - 0.79
*I was told these were all within the normal range...*

So I started wondering what toxins I have in my body which is resulting in the T4 not convering to T3... I found that Selenium is a fantastic vital nutrient that is needed to remove toxins and assist with Thyroid functioning. Too much can become very toxic but too little can cause Thryoid malfunction.

Also read that Soy inhibits the Thyroid's proper functioning, but only in individuals sensitive to Soy. I do not know if this is me or not but have eliminated all Soy from our diet just in case anyways... It has an Estrogenic effect which I do not need any help with. :-) BTW- Did you know that Soy ingredients are also found in most breads? Charles and I spent hours yesterday in the supermarket trying to find simple everyday products without Soy in it!

We are only going to ingest products that contain no antibiotics, no preservatives, no Soy, and in will up our intake of Vegetables and Fruits.

Along with the toxic googling, I came across many sites where Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil is fantastic for Thyroid functioning, upping ones metabolism, and overall general health. It is, afterall, the second highest natural source of Middle Chain Fatty Acids with the first being found only in breastmilk. For this reason alone, many doctors recommend giving babies and children coconut milk for these added and much needed Middle Chain Fatty Acids.

I read story after story where just after the first day of taking the recommended 3 tablespoons a day, noticible changes were seen. Last night, Charles and I both took our first tablespoon (we're breaking it up into one tablespoon three times a day) just before bed. Call it a coicidence or what-have-you but I woke up this morning and my basal body temperature was in the normal pre-ovulation range! Mine lays on the low side usually. I also had amazing egg white cervical mucus (this is the most fertile cervical mucus one can get and is ideally only seen around ovulation).

Needless to say, we're going to continue taking this Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil and see what happens... :-) If you or someone you know has taken this as well, we would love to hear some stories both good and bad!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"In The Know" Infertility Short Films

I think this is a fantastic way to share how Infertility does affect more than the man and/or women themselves physically. It affects everyone around them who has a heart. Although the deadline is quickly approaching, I am asking you to take some time and submit a video! Let's overwhelm the judges with videos from various perspectives and perhaps gain some more attention on Infertility... Who knows. Maybe insurance companies will begin to standardize coverage? ha! That was a joke. :-)

So... Here is the info! If you submit, I would love to see your video as well if you don't mind!

Those who have been touched by infertility can participate in the competition by submitting a creative, inspirational short film about their path to parenthood (or the journey of someone close to them). The film must be under 10 minutes in length. The deadline to submit entries is August 1, 2009. Submitted films will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and competition finalists will have their films screened at a festival in New York City this fall where a winner and runners-up will be chosen and awarded prizes. The winner will receive $1,000 and two runners-up will each be given $500. Click here for complete contest guidelines.

For the full info, go to Fertility LifeLines website! Now let me get to work on my video... :-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hello Blogging world!!!

Oh my! I have missed blogging... I've missed the therapy writing is for me. I've missed receiving the encouragements and advice from you all! I've missed reading blogs and staying up to date on what's going on with the rest of the world! Oh my...

Let me first say that I truly appreciated all my "guest" bloggers taking the time to pop in over here to keep my blog readers somewhat entertained. :-) Thank you so very much mom for taking over my blog and well, for not telling the story of the banana pudding blow up. That would have totally been embarrassing! :-) Thank you for the wonderful words, encouragement, and stories that were shared by Cathy, Krissy, Marcelle, my cousin Jill, and my mom! THANK YOU!

I have so much to post my thoughts on from more MTHFR C667T Hetero jabaz to Thyroid issues to overall health and well being to chiropractors to acupuncturist to de-stressing my life and getting new hobbies. See what happens when I'm without Internet for alomst three weeks??? I don't want to bombard you with all this at once so over the next several days, expect lots of info overload! :-)

For now, Charles and I are going to go crawl into bed after one adventurous day. You see, earlier today I had quite the experience... No photos to prove it so you'll just have to take my word. I ate Sushi for the first time, ever, today! It was all due to peer pressure from L!!! hahaha! Good news. I didn't throw up like the time after I ate Calamari (sp?) nor did I experience any allergic reactions, which I didn't expect anyways. Bad news? It wasn't so delicious that I could eat an entire plate but that's okay. I tried something new. :-)

Then, Charles and I headed to the movies and I was tortured to watch the new Harry Potter movie. I'm not so much a fan. The most enjoying part? Finding creative ways to not breath in the guy's next to me air he just exhaled as it stunk to high heavens!!!! I so almost offered him gum several times throughout the movie! There was also a lady who got up and on her way out decided to hit every single chair going and coming. And another two gals behind us were so into the movie that they cried and were just appaled by some of the things happening not to mention talking throughout. I resisted the urge to text message throughout the movie but did read texts. :-) I'm just not a Harry Potter movie person. I like "happy go lucky" movies where you leave feeling good. I love romance movies. Movies where no one dies or I'm not on the edge of my seat gripping the arm rests waiting for something to happen. Not for me. I want to laugh and cry and have a big crummy smile glued on my face.

And now I'm off to snuggle in bed and sleep in tomorrow for it's the weekend. Since it's to be beautiful outside this weekend, low humidity, I do believe we'll try to tackle the outrageous weeds we have in the various garden areas... Shall be fun!

Thanks for hanging in there thru all this! And for what it's worth. We are still not with Charter and paying $40 a month but instead have perfectly fine service for $20 a month with AT&T!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mom yet again!

The story I promised earlier this week....

When I found out I was pregnant with Meghan her big brother literally jumped up and down and clapped his hands. He was so excited to have a baby sister. You see, in his 5 year old mind he determined that since he was a boy the baby must be a girl. I tried to explain to him that I may have a boy in my belly, but he would not accept that fact.

When I was 6 months pregnant we moved to San Antonio to join Meghan's dad who was in the Army. We made some great friends there in a short time. One couple, Cliff and Cathy had the most adorable little baby boy, (9 months old) Adriel, with huge blue eyes and white curly hair. He was such a happy baby and we instantly fell in love with him. Matthew loved to go play with the baby and then decided that baby boys were certainly "more cuter" than baby girls. Cathy had wanted a little girl as badly as I did, because Adriel had a big brother. Matthew and Cathy made a deal that if I had a little girl baby then we could just switch babies, we'd take adorable Adriel and Cathy and Cliff could have the little girl.

May 30 Meghan was born. She was about 4 hours old when Matthew held her for the first time. I've never seen such a look on a big brother's face. He was talking to her and kissing her when I said, well Matthew, I guess we better call Cathy so she can come get Meghan and we'll take Adriel home. his reaction...."NO WAY MOMMY! this is the cutest baby I ever seen!" I wish I had the picture to add to this blog, it's enough to bring a tear to your eye.

I know everyone will be happy to have Meghan back Friday. She's gone through withdrawals not blogging, but it has given her more time to work on her book. That's a good thing! If Meghan needs me to be a guest blogger again I will not make any promises to not tell embarrassing stories!

Thank you again to all her guest bloggers. You have all been so good for Meghan, she is very blessed to have each of you in her life. You can find me in the comment section periodically and I have a tigger costume so I'm sure it can be arranged to get a picture of me "bouncing like tigger" when Meghan does indeed tell me I'll be the queen grandma! Much love and fertility to each of you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mom again

The good news is that Meghan will have Internet Friday! YIPEE! The bad news is, until then I will blog a couple more times for her.

I thought I would start a debate.... a fun one. Should you find out the sex of your baby before he/she is born? While I understand why parents want to know if it's a boy or a girl before delivery, I hope Meghan does not opt for that when the day comes. Not that you aren't thrilled to no end to meet your baby boy or baby girl that first time, but there is absolutely nothing like that magical moment when The Doctor announces... You have a son! or You have a daughter! It's better than winning the lottery.

When I was pregnant with Meghan I wanted a little girl sooooooo badly!!!!! When getting an ultrasound once, my Doctor said, I have a perfect view, do you want to know the sex of the baby. I said NO, Meghan's dad said yes. The Doctor said, sorry dad, the mom rules. He was not happy with me. I was afraid because I wanted a little girl so much, that if I found out I was having another son, for one split second, I would be disappointed. I knew the sex of the baby wouldn't matter one ounce once I had him in my arms that very first time; but would it matter before? I didn't want to find out. Anyway, I love surprises, my husband never has to worry about me snooping around before holidays/birthdays.

One Christmas, (right at that age when you aren't quite sure if Santa is real or not, but you don't want to say there is no Santa just in case there is....) my older sister and I were snooping around for Christmas presents and we found them! Boy we thought we were all that! We knew what every present was, for us and our little brother and little sister. The problem came Christmas morning when we rushed to see what Santa had brought, you know, since we knew what mom and dad got us, well... there under the tree were not only the gifts from mom and dad, but also from Santa. :( That clenched it for us, there was no Santa. Yes, we still played with our toys but opening them just wasn't the same that year. The "magic" wasn't there that morning.

Now, I'm not saying that knowing the sex of your baby beforehand is like ruining your Christmas. I know it's very different, I'm just suggesting that maybe waiting would add a thrill that you would not have otherwise.

Now, to wait for the comments on why you want to know or don't want to know the sex of your baby before delivery. Oh... and in two days a very sweet story about Meghan and her big brother Matthew, on the day she was born.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Guest Blogger - Cathy - Acupuncture

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility

Ah, yes. Being poked and prodded by tons of little needles. Just what every girl dreams of. The real kicker -- we line up and fork over money to have it done to us.I am definitely one of those "crazies".

My husband and I, Cathy (your friendly guest-blogger for today's post) are gearing up to begin our first cycle of IVF in just a little over a week. Attempting to maximize our return on this lovely investment, I decided to explore a little acupuncture. It just so happened that right around the same time I was thinking I should find a good doctor and schedule an appointment, my local infertility group here in St. Louis - yes, the same group that our beloved Meghan organizes and leads - had a guest speaker on this very topic, none other than the infamous Christine Kleinschmidt with the WellBody Accupuncture Clinic here in Maplewood, MO.

In her niche, Christine is very well known and highly respected, especially in the St. Louis area. It's hard to visit a clinic or local message board and not find at least one woman who has been to her. To begin our evening, she gave us a very high level idea of the basic premise of acupuncture which is to promote good overall health and get rid of unwanted pain, like headaches and PMS symptoms, among many others. I'm not a big fan of needles, but according to most people you barely feel a thing. With the *right* person, I've head that you DO feel totally wonderful and relaxed post-session.

Ok, so who's not on board with this so far.Customized protocol and relaxing atmosphere are key As she pointed out, and as I've recently experienced, not all clinics will give you one-on-one care or a super spa-like atmosphere with your session. In Christine's opinion, she feels it's just as important as the after-effects of a session. I whole-heartedly agree. The clinic I just finished my sessions with came with very little privacy during treatment, which meant a lot less de-stressing. Let's just say, for me, it was like an appointment with my stylist on a very busy Saturday. Not ideal, if you get my drift.In contrast to that, Christine said she takes time to get up to speed on all the patients aches and pains, past medical issues, current meds taking, and, with regards to infertility, a list of problems and tests results that have been addressed. From all of this, she develops a treatment plan that is personally designed with your body in mind.

For those who are TTC or planning to undergo infertility treatments, she will take into account where you're at in your cycle and proceed accordingly. Again, what is not to love about this! For those TTC, what can acupuncture really do? From her perspective, she feels women can benefit in three key ways:
  • A more regulated endocrine system which equals less stress. Because a woman's body is a mass of fluctuating hormones, it's important that each particular hormone is released in key amounts at a given time of the cycle. While we all just HATE to hear "relax and you'll get pregnant", she confirmed that there is merit in this to some degree. Of course we all know regulated hormones won't fix it for everyone, but I'm sure it can help.
  • Better quality eggs because hormones are more in sync and eggs that are all recruited at the same rate in the case of IVF (where they all mature at the same time, vs having some small ones that never amount to quality in time for retrieval). She did comment that quantity won't really be affected much because you essentially have what you have. However, even in the cases of low antral follicle counts, improving the quality of what IS there can go a very, very long way.
  • Increased blood flow to vital reproductive organs, whether that means to the ovaries during the follicular phase or for implantation during the luteal phase. For women, like myself, who are dealing with scarring, or for those who have had ectopic pregnancies and may have adhesion's, this can help to deal with improving blood circulation to those areas where perhaps they are lacking somewhat.

When is "too late" to start acupuncture treatments? Certainly, sooner rather than later is better to begin treatments. If you're prepping to do an IVF cycle, for instance, the general rule of thumb Christine recommends is approx 2-3 months prior to your cycle. However, even if you're set to begin stims in just a few short weeks, it's not too late. In Christine's opinion, "it's never too late". You can always benefit in some way from acupuncture treatments. In fact, some women choose to go with the so-called "German Protocol", which means they go in for one treatment before and one treatment after their IVF embryo transfer. This protocol basically stems from a study that was done in Germany back in the 2002 that showed out of 160 women that participated, 42.5% of those who did acupuncture with their IVF cycle ended up pregnant, compared to 26.3% who didn't do acupuncture with their IVF treatment.

We all know not to get our hopes up about one singular study, but to many those numbers make acupuncture worth exploring.Should I see an acupuncturist who specializes in infertility? What I took away from her talk was this. There is one distinct difference among those who practice acupuncture and that is how many literal hours they have had under their belt. In the state of Missouri, for example, a chiropractor can offer acupuncture treatments to his/her patients with a minimum of 100 hours, however, in order for someone to become a true "licensed acupuncturist" they must have a total of 1,000. Pretty big difference if you ask me. According to this site, nationally, they are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of academic and clinical training or 5 years of apprenticeship. They must also pass national or state certification exams, much like physician's board exams, in order to practice. In Missouri, those who met this standard will be designated as Licensed Acupuncturists (LA).Combine this fact, with the concept of specializing in infertility and having treated women specifically with this in mind, I asked if there was harm in going to someone who didn't have a lot of training in dealing with women with infertility issues. She said that, generally speaking, you would likely, bare minimum, walk away feeling nice and refreshed. You may not fully benefit from acupuncture if that person doesn't understand which points to target, but it wouldn't likely hurt your odds either. However, she did say that with one exception. In the case of IVF, the time around retrieval and transfer is the most critical time. Depending on how your body is responding to various meds, your acupuncturist would be able to adjust his or her treatment based on your RE's most recent assessment of your blood estradiol level and ultrasound findings.

To me personally, I imagine that sort of fine-tune expertise would be highly valuable in a cycle where you want to make every little bit count. Give it a try. You never know what it could do for you.

This was my motto with acupuncture. Now, that has been extended to "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." because, as I eluded to earlier, I decided to try the less-experienced acupuncturist and that was one huge belly flop. Feel free to read all about it back at my blog: http://www.ajourneytoconception.blogspot.com/. It's a great example of how an acupuncture visit for fertility should NOT go :-)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Guest Blogger - Krissy

Hello all, I feel honored to be given the opportunity to write as a guest blogger on my good friend, Meghan's blog. My name is Krissy, also known as Buzzy's Mama on the blog http://www.thebuzznless.com/. I have known her for over three years now ( OMG - where has the time gone? -- we met on a pregnancy forum when we were both beginning our trying to conceive journey, she in Georgia and I in Mexico of all places) and consider her a truly exceptional person, a very strong woman and a fantabulous (Yes, fantabulous which if you didn't already guess is fabulous + fantastic) friend. Though we live nearly an entire country apart (because I am no longer in Mexico but Washington state), we have gotten to know each other very well on many levels and have shared in some of life's most exciting and devastating moments. I would like to dedicate this post (although I am still not entirely sure of what it will be about-- just gonna let it flow) to Meghan and our friendship. *

There was literally 12 hours spent contemplating what I would write next and as I passed over topic after topic in my mind nothing seemed appropriate. But then this morning as I was sitting, watching my one year old play and looking down at the prominent bump that is my abdomen, feeling like a poor excuse for a mother because I can't get on the floor and play and my poor daughter probably thinks I am such a major dud, I began thinking. Thus my topic was born.
5 Reasons Meghan Will be the Greatest Mom

#1: When a girl/woman tries as long and hard as Meghan has to create a baby there is no doubt that there is an incredible emotional investment. This investment may seem superficial to some who have never tried, or were able to fall pregnant the first or second or third month or even within the first six months. But that is not true. Her investment runs deep, to her core. She has become vulnerable physically, emotionally, mentally and biologically allowing a space in her heart to open that one day will be filled with a love for her long awaited child that no one except someone who has shared the experience will understand. She will appreciate her child(ren) that much more, she will enjoy every moment that much more, and she will see the life of her child(ren) through the eyes of a woman who struggled deeply in order to create those children. This is the number one reason Meghan will be the greatest mom.

#2: She is a well rooted Christian woman. The foundation of all things that make us who we are is what our parents were before us and Meghan is nothing but an unwavering soldier of God. Her children will grow up in a clean, respectful, loving, Christian atmosphere where God is first and foremost. Though this technically should be the number one reason Meghan will be the greatest mom but in my opinion, they both hold the same weight of reasoning in very different ways.

#3: Meghan has vast experience with children working in day cares, nannying and through family. From newborn infants to toddlers, to children and teens she knows them all and is very open minded about the care of each individual age group. She is logical but not narrow minded and is great at accepting advice (wanted or unwanted) from third parties.

#4: She sees things through "rose colored glasses". Her glass is always half full. She is optimistic, no matter what life throws her way and is able to overcome life's obstacles with little distress. A HUGE plus for any mom.

#5: And the 5th and final but definitely not the least reason why Meghan will be the greatest mom is because she has what every great mom needs; the love and support of a great dad. Charles (Meghan's husband) is a great support system and understands as much as a man can understand the trials and tribulations Meghan has had to go through to successfully make their dream of becoming parents come true. He has been there for her through all the attempts, all the cycles that ended in sadness. He has been there through all the medical testing, has endured some of it himself and all the while holds Meghan's hand in anticipation of what will come next to bring them that much closer. Therefore he will be a greater dad when the times comes as well, because he knows the struggle. And when you put a great dad, together with a great mom there is no twosome who can't conquer more in this world.

Just my two fifty cents. If you know Meghan and agree, leave some love for her in the comments. If you don't know her, you should. She is a FANTABULOUS person!That's all for now folks.Much <3

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guest Blogger - Out of Africa

Out of Africa“Making Babies to Finding Family come in… Come in Finding Family….. “So who am I and what am I doing on Meghan’s blog? I’m Marcelle crossing over from Making Babies ( http://www.makingbabies-sa.blogspot.com ) invited by Megs to Guest blog on here. Now I’ve never been a Guest Blogger before, so this is quite nerve racking for me. I asked M what do I blog about? My blog is full of my own thoughts, but to come onto someone else’s blog and hopefully do it justice is a task in itself. Megs said I should talk about myself and what I do. Well Megs and I are infertility warriors and close friends. I live in South Africa, (was going to say Sunny South Africa, but at the moment we are in the middle of winter and freezing our toes off.) with my 5 year old daughter McKenna and Husband Craig.

Just over a year ago, I started an on line business called Making Babies. ( http://www.makingbabies.co.za ) South Africa needed affordable fertility products and a local support forum. Oddly enough South African women weren't as comfortable about talking about the female reproductive tract and infertility heartache as my fellow American friends were. The Making Babies Social Network ( http://makingbabies.ning.com ) was born shortly after launching my online shop. We are growing in numbers with the latest tally sitting at 134 members. I'm very proud of our group. The support is awesome. Of course we welcome members from all over the globe too!

My dear friend Megs, who not only has been there every step of the way during my 3 year (plus) Trying to Conceive journey. Has also been a strong supporter of my business. Encouraging me and keeping my passion alive for helping other women who are struggling to conceive. It was also Megs who I entrusted with the first rough draft of my eBook – Baking Maybe’s (www.makingbabies.co.za) I’m eternally grateful that you took the time to review and comment hun. Thanks for every time I need a quick “pick me up confidence” boost. You have always supported my decisions and been so excited for me. It means more than you will ever know. You have shared all the important events in my life over the last three years. We have cried, laughed and danced. When I needed to have my faith restored you were there! I'm super excited for this new journey that Megs and Charles are on. Deep down in my heart I just know that soon we will all be admiring a beautiful POSITIVE pregnancy test. It's then that I'm going to wish I wasn't miles and miles away. But rather in your living room, jumping up and down, screaming and crying with joy! Until that day my friend, may you live each day with the peace and happy giddy feeling that soon you will be a mommy. An awesome mommy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

videoThis is what we learned today... To roar like a lion. How cute is this or what! N is the only one that will do it. A prefers to hit the high octives. :-) ha ha!

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Guest Blogger - Cousin Jill

As many of you know as followers of “Finding Family with Empty arms”, Meghan and Charles are in the middle of a move and are not able to get on the internet. We’ll all have to keep them in our prayers and hope the transition is as smooth as possible. She does such a good job at keeping everyone up to date on her progress so I am sure we will get updates as they come.

Today, Meghan asked me to post a new blog as a guest of hers to tell you a little about me and my business. I am Jillian Rokowski, Meghan’s cousin. I started a Medical ID Watch company called Watch and Alert LLC at the end of last year. Meghan has been so amazing at trying to help me get recognition and awareness out there but I realize that many people still don’t realize what we are working towards.

I am a juvenile diabetic (diagnosed at the age of 10). I have been completely insulin dependent for the last 12 years. My diabetes has provided lots ups and downs along the years but I have been lucky not to have any complications or medical emergencies so far. Most people however are not that fortunate, yet they do not take the necessary precautions to list their conditions in plain view in case of emergencies. The reason I started my business is to help other people who have conditions to feel comfortable with a piece of jewelry that not only shows their condition, but it is comfortable and serves a dual purpose of telling time.

My reason for informing you about my purpose is to ask for suggestions or feedback. If you have anything you think might be informative to help me spread awareness about my watches and what to look for or how to getting them to people with medical conditions like mine, please feel free to contact me at jillian@watchandalert.com or visit my site directly at http://www.watchandalert.com/

I hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I didn't burn down the house!

My first real adventure cooking... Just as i promised. :-) lemon and garlic chicken with sweet potato fries. Hopefully it is edible....

Guest Blogger - MOM!

Oh Meghan.... it's a very dangerous thing to ask your mom to write a blog for you! I was given strict orders to not tell any embarrassing stories, that's no fun since I have plenty of them. I suppose that means I can't tell everyone about the time Meghan decided to make home-made banana pudding in a glass bowl on a gas stove which caused the glass bowl to explode spreading shards of glass and home-made banana pudding all over the kitchen, since that would be considered an embarrassing story. My, that's a long sentence, but it's not a story.

Meghan did ask me to pass along her latest result from the 13 vials of blood taken from her last week. It seems Meghan has a copy of the MTHFR Gene. What in the world is that? This is something Meghan has limited knowledge about. She is asking for those of you who have this or have information about it to comment. I guess I better get online and research.

I've been keeping up with Meghan's blog since she started it. (it's a mom thing) I've cried for her and for each of her followers who have not been successful in getting pregnant. While I can't relate to Meghan's or other's infertility I do know what it looks like on the other side. By that I mean, infertility affects more than just the infertile couple. It affects family and friends as well. Nothing is worse than watching someone you love endure suffering. My heart has been broken countless times as I watch Meghan suffer physically and mentally. While I've always been proud of Meghan, sometimes I think I will burst with pride as I watch her use her own grief to minister to others.

One day I'll be bouncing like tigger when I learn I will be queen grandma.

Monday, July 6, 2009

This has been one CRAZY week! And by the way... We still do not have cable or internet connected at our house yet. You see. Yesterday it was to be connected but the guy never showed and charles got pissed and cancelled it all together. So. Now we are trying to find another provider that has access to connect to our remote house. Anyways. I have had a friend figure out how to blog via my cell phone so this should do for now... Only temporarily as i want my blog back! :-) and here are some photos of the move. Jill and i made many trips back and forth between houses. Enough to empty an entire gas tank in one weekend! That is a lot of driving! While we were making the trek over and over again, jack was at the vets getting his teeth cleaned. Ya know. Because every dog brushes their teeth every day and all... :-)

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