Extra things infertiles do that fertile people haven’t even heard of

Time is crawling in my two-week wait.  My basal body temperature is rising very slowly.  I am not holding my breath for getting my miracle pre-IVF BFP.  I believe CD 1 will be another ten days.  Will see Dr. E either this weekend or next Monday depending on her schedule.  In the meantime, I carry on as usual, meaning, going to my appointments, taking my supplements, drinking my ugly-green-algae-looking-but-quite-tasty wheat grass plus orange juice, and making my fertility-enhancing bone marrow soup.  This gets me thinking that many of us infertiles are so willing to try anything that can maybe remotely help us make a baby.  I start to think about what extra things I have done to make sure that I get the best chance of having an offspring.  (The definition of the word extra: anything more than “just relax”, lying in bed, relying on nature to take its course and letting sperm and egg miraculously meet each other to create an embryo that will again miraculously stick to the uterine wall and grow for the next nine months into a live human being.)  Here is the list:

  • Taking basal body temperature (BBT) daily at 5:25am, since August 2011
  • Using ovulation prediction stick/kit (OPK) to predict the surge of LH (I invested in a ton of internet cheapies (IC)) right before ovulation, since August 2011
  • PreSeed, used the proper way with the insert and all, on and off through 2012.  Currently used as lubricant only.
  • Lying in bed for ten minutes after BD, since January 2012, the official TTC month.
  • Missionary position before O, since January 2012.
  • Prenatal Vitamin and folic acid prescribed by my OB/GYN, since August 2011
  • Acupuncture with acupuncturist #1, once a week from January to June 2012, along with herbs that she prescribed in powder form.  Didn’t love her and didn’t go back after Bob’s insurance changed.
  • Maya abdominal massage,  mainly to help ease the scar tissue problem after my abdominal myomectomy (surgery to remove uterine fibroids; basically like a C-section but instead of a baby coming out, a bunch of meat-ball like fibroids were the product of said surgery).  Done once a month from February until June 2012.  Loved everything about it, but not the price tag.
  • Self-care massages taught by Maya abdominal massage practitioner.  Done daily after my period and before confirmed ovulation.  Stopped after June 2012 due to laziness.  Recently picked up again.
  • Supplements suggested by Maya massage practitioner: Vitex in tincture, daily; Vitalzym to help get rid of scar tissue, 3 pills 3x daily; Royal jelly, 1 tiny spoonful in the am.  All stopped after six months.
  • Castor oil pack, suggested by Maya massage practitioner, once a day after AF before O.  Soaked oil in cloth, applied to abdominal area, and placed a heating pad over it.  Sat for about 45 minutes.  Supposed to help with reducing inflammation and scar tissue.  Stopped after one year.  Restarted recently because of the cyst.
  • Prometrium 100mg, twice a day, from May 2012 to August 2012.  Progesterone came back at 9.9 7DPO.  OB/GYN prescribed Prometrium to help increase the level.  Was dizzy after taking it orally.  Switched to taking it as a vaginal suppository from 3DPO to 13DPO.  Stopped after feeling defeated for BFNs.  Plus too much trouble to have to lie down for 15 minutes after insertion.  And didn’t like to POAS and see stark white.
  • Traditional Chinese doctor.  Started consulting with Dr. L, a Chinese doctor from China who was raved by a Yelper because of his help with her and her other friends’ successful pregnancies.  He suggested brewing raw Chinese herbs and moxibustion.
  • Daily cup of stinky and dark-colored Chinese herbs.  Had to soak the herbs for 45 minutes, brew it for 30 minutes, and drink the whole thing.  Repeat the next day.
    Sometimes had to brew it again and mix the two batches together and separate them again into two cups.  Don’t ask me why he wanted me to do that.
  • Moxibustion, an alternative to acupuncture, which is to use a moxa to warm certain acupuncture points on the body to achieve balance.  Done CD1 to CD5 in preparation for the upcoming O.  $150 each time.  3 months of that.  Very pricey.  No pregnancy.  Then switched to whole body moxibustion, done at various time in the cycle, about 2 to 3 times each cycle, to help further balance my body because I was “so weak” (according to Dr. L).  Felt like we dumped too much money into it.  Quit in January 2013.
  • Bob also seeing the same Chinese doctor weekly since August 2012.  Me having to make two batches of Chinese herbs daily.  So tired.  Bob stopped in January 2013.  He was feeling defeated as SA came back even worse than before.
  • Bob taking the following supplements: Men’s daily vitamin, Zinc, Vitamin C, L-Carnitine, L-Arginine, CoQ10, since June 2012
  • Making a morning drink with various Chinese herbs suggested by Chinese doctor to warm my body.  From August 2012 to January 2013.
  • Acupuncturist #2: Dr. K.  Love her.  Been seeing her since March 2013.  Weekly session since then.
  • Bob started to see Dr. K’s associate, another acupuncturist, since April 2013.
  • Powdered herbs prescribed by Dr. K, two different kinds: one for follicular phase (right before O) and one for luteal phase (right after O).  2x/day.  From March 2013 til now.
  • Circle and Bloom natural cycle relaxation and guided imagery recording, done nightly since March 2013 til now.
  • Bone marrow soup suggested by Dr. K, made weekly since March 2013.  Need to shop for bone marrow at a local butcher every other week.  This is to help tonify my Kidney yang and Blood.  Whatever that means.  One bowl a day.
  • CoQ 10 600mg suggested by Dr. M, one of the REs that we consulted.  Stopped because new supplement contains CoQ 10.  From March to May 2013.
  • A completely new set of supplements suggested by Dr. E, my current RE: Total Fertility (therefore not taking my usual Rainbow Light prenatal vitamin and CoQ 10 anymore) 2 pills 3xday, DHEA 25 mg 3xday, Resvoxitrol 1xday, Melatonin 3mg/day (it knocked me out so reduced to 2mg/day)  From May 2013 til now.
  • Wheat grass powder by Amazing Grass, mixed with orange juice.  Since March 2013.  One glass a day.
  • Maya adominal massage revisited: original practitioner on leave.  Found a new one that I like.  Little did I know that she was already 3 months pregnant when I first went to her last month.  Have done it twice so far.
  • Eating organic, unprocessed food whenever possible.
  • I keep thinking that I am missing something.

So my current daily routine looks like this: 1 cup of Chinese herbs, wheatgrass with OJ, 2 pills of Total Fertility and 1 pill of DHEA in the morning.  Two pills of Total Fertility and 1 pill of DHEA in the afternoon.  Bone marrow soup when I get home.  Two pills of Total Fertility, 1 pill of DHEA, and one pill of Resvoxitrol after dinner.  Listen to Circle and Bloom before bedtime.  And 2 pills of Melatonin right before bed.

If it’s after AF before O, add castor oil pack at night and self care massage before bedtime.

Wow!  Kudos for reading this far along!  Isn’t it crazy what we do to try to make a baby?

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20 thoughts on “Extra things infertiles do that fertile people haven’t even heard of

  1. It’s a full time job! Since I got my BFN this week I can’t even be bothered to take my folic acid. I’m also throwing out the Chinese herbs because since my acupuncturist made some very unsupportive comments I just don’t trust what’s in them. Paranoid – moi?

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    • Oh I’ve had moments like that. Like trying TCM for six months and my body seemed to be getting better and worse and all over again. I stopped going to my TCM doctor. Sorry about your BFN!

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    • Sometimes I feel that maybe I am not doing “everything” that I can. However, I think I’d be very overwhelmed with even doing more things that other have suggested. I am already having a hard time keeping up with the pills.

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  2. That is quite the list! You are the first person I’ve heard that has done moxibustion. Did you like it? It just seems so weird to me/us. We are supposed to be doing it (per our acupuncturist) but haven’t been!

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    • I liked it and it’s a lot of work on the practitioner’s part. Because the practitioner doesn’t just put needles on your body and walk away for 30 minutes. He/she has to heat different points one at a time. My hubby’s acupuncturist does it for him and I do it daily for him at home for 4 points, 1 minute each. He likes it alot especially when he’s being served like a king. 😉 If it’s recommended by the acupuncturist, I think it’d be good for you.

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  3. I just had moxa at my acupuncturist. My hair and clothes smell as if I’ve smoked a joint. Who knows if it even works. At least my acupuncturist doesn’t charge extra for it. I call acupuncture “magic voodoo needles” coz that’s kinda how it feels. But I still go every week.

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    • Yup. And our bedroom these days smells like that too because I’m doing moxa for him most nights of the week. Imagine sleeping through that smell. I totally believe in TCM tho.

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      • You do moxa for your fella? What does it do for him? How do you know how to do it?

        On the one hand I have a small dose of skepticism about TCM … but on the other hand I think there are limits to what western science knows (they’re constantly finding out new things and redrawing the boundaries, right?) and so I figure going to acupuncture each week and chilling out on the bed and chatting to the acupuncturist about my menstrual cycle as easily as if we were chatting about the weather is pretty nice. I feel like I’m hedging my bets 🙂 Plus their clinic is one of the main streets of Bondi Beach, a few doors down from my favourite book-nerd cafe where I curl up with chai and my ipad afterwards ….

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