Mind, Body, Spirit Connection

I am throwing the entire kitchen sink at my fertility journey. This is to say that I have signed up for the program I asked about in my last post.

It is The Seed Fertility Program ran by Danica Thornberry, an acupuncturist and naturopathic doctor in LA (www.seedfertility.com).

I have completed the first couple of units in the e-course and I have to say that I really like it so far. It combines video of her running a seminar from the Women’s Wellness Center in LA and journaling. She will also take me through dietary and nutritional choices for optimal fertility.

I have found that I was open in my first two rounds of IVF. When we got the positive beta, saw our bean on the ultrasound and heard his heartbeat, I was at ease thinking that our miracle had finally happened. When I lost him, I lost that openness and confidence in the process. My next two cycles were negative. I am hoping that this program will work to help me find it again. I know if anything, it will open me to remembering that I am a mother and I will mother a child. If it means through another IVF round, naturally, through adoption, or a gestational carrier-I will mother a child.



So, we went in for our post IVF convo a couple of weeks ago. We are now at the point where we have to make new embryos and that means a fresh round. Luckily, we have a fresh round left with Attain. Our RE wants us to do a PGD on the embryos, freeze them, wait the results, and then do a FET. This is a change from what she’d said would happen last time we talked. Originally she said we’d do another fresh round, then a frozen, then look to a carrier if I wasn’t pregnant after all of that (who we now have to find and raise $35,000+ to go through with surrogacy). I was disappointed with the new plan and asked if we could go ahead and take advantage of the fresh transfer since we have it paid for already, then send off for PGD during our TWW and freeze the rest, if negative, then do a FET. She said she’d go for it, but only transfer one for the fresh since she wanted as many embryos as possible to test. PGD gives us a 65% chance.

I’ve been reading a bit on forums and online (google damn you!) and have seen that since 2012 there seems to be data to support that FETs have become almost equal to that of fresh rounds in terms of success, or at least the difference isn’t as great as it once was. This has to do with the way they now freeze the embryos. Now, I’m wondering if maybe I should retrieve, send off, wait, and then FET. Some argue that gives the body a chance to rest and recover. Anyone out there done it this way or know of others who have? Suggestions?

My RE also wants us to get a second opinion on everything. She thinks it will only require contacting two clinics and sending them my records with my clinic’s plan for me. $$$.

She also wants us to move forward in the next four months. If only money really did grow on trees. But, she is offering us 1/2 price on the FET again (what perks for being frequent fliers, no?) and she may have some meds for stims for me (full out of pocket patients over here). This will help tremendously as the PGD is close to $4,000 (I think, A. says so anyway).

I have stopped acupuncture and know I need to restart. I need to workout-moderatley, but workout nonetheless. I also have stumbled across the Seed Fertility Program via another infertility blog. $299 will take me through an e-course that will help me to work through the mind-body-spirit connections of fertility and give me dietary advice. Cheaper than flying to LA to take it in person…Is it worth it? My RE said she wanted me to do some “voodoo medicine” with CoQ10 and antioxidants for A. Ha! I’ve been doing “voodoo” for years now. Part of me says, let’s throw everything at this and see what happens. Thoughts on the mind-body-spirit work? $300 seems steep right now, but $300 is also a drop in the bucket of what we’ve paid at this point.

Suggestions? Thoughts? Ideas on how to raise money short of selling off my plasma or extra organs?

Protect Your Energy

A friend of mine posted this birthday wish over the weekend:

“Birthday Reflection: I hope you celebrate my birthday with me today and for the next 364 days by committing to this: PROTECT your energy. Your energy is your life, where your creativity lives, how you love, and what makes [you] uniquely unrepeatable. Protect your energy from people and things that attempt to siphon it from you. Protect your energy so that your work, whatever it is, can be done. Say no, say hell no, close that door, move to a different house, quit that job, dump that fool, put those hands up and PROTECT your energy. My hope is that we all protect our energy so that our dreams have a chance to come true.”

I needed to see this post at the end of this week. I put so much of my energy into things that I am completely tapped out and having nothing to give to myself. I put too much focus on people and situations that suck out the last bits of energy in my reserves, people and situations that really shouldn’t get as much time as I give them.

Before I started taking Welbutrin, I would find myself anxious and fixated on these people and the situations, going around and around with whatever conflict they presented in my life until I was completely empty. If a conflict presented itself, I would fester and get so worked up about it and a need for a resolution even though that resolution was something I had no control over. The medication has helped with allowing me to not spend too much time focusing on things I cannot control. I have found that a problem might present itself to me and I focus on it for a bit, then I move on.

This week reminded me of the me before I started taking medication to help with my anxiety. This week it was more difficult that normal to give a conflict enough time to sort out my feelings and then move on. I was carrying around anger and frustration for several days this week over something that did not deserve that much of my time and energy. When my friend’s post came up on my feed, I felt like she was speaking directly to me. I hope it speaks to some of you as well. The last sentence especially.

My energy is better spent on things that bring me happiness and working towards my dreams. I have to find ways to protect myself from those out there that drain me and take me away from what I want my life to be, or bring out the version of me I don’t want to be. I have to find ways to protect myself from situations where my time is not well spent burning off energy that I need for myself and what I want from this life.

Acupuncturist or Therapist?

I kept my appointment with my acupuncturist today.  With the last miscarriage, I was so scattered that I totally forgot I had the appointment until I was leaving work at 5:30, well after they’d closed. I scrambled to make the apologetic phone call and she answered it with grace and understanding.

I’d seen her the week prior before the ultrasound where no heartbeat was seen.  She and the receptionist were happy to see me as I crossed the threshold into the office. Last week I shared that the morning sickness, or feeling like I was constantly carsick, was taking a toll on me. She was eager to hear how I was feeling and whether my symptoms were getting better.  I hadn’t planned to have the conversation in the middle of the waiting room, but no one else was there and I just couldn’t pretend until I got back to the treatment room to share what had taken place in just a short 7 days.

They were both devastated and sincerely concerned, which I appreciate.  She asked about where that left us and what the RE had shared. I explained that we’d get the pathology back in a few weeks, so until then it was sort of a waiting game.  I shared concerns about my thyroid and how I wanted to be sure to have them run blood work on it and she agreed.  Then we headed back to the exam room.

As she began to place needles in various symmetrical locations on my body, she asked how my husband was doing and if we were talking.  What I intended to be a short explanation of how immediately we hadn’t been able to really talk, but that we were talking and dealing with it together, turned into a long detour about my parents’ health.

Friday following my D&C I had plans to go home. I’d made these plans well before we knew about the lost pregnancy. My mother called and shared that my step-father had a scan for other medical concerns, but in the process they found nodules on his lungs.  He’s smoked since he was fifteen and even with all the pleading in the world and hypnosis, he’s not been able to quit. He’s now 72.  My mother has early signs of dementia.  She started forgetting her words about two years ago.  Her longterm memory is great, but short term and simple words are a struggle.  I went home to sit with my mother in the waiting room and to help with bringing my stepfather home from the procedure.  I talk and talk about their health problems and my concerns for a good 25 minutes with my acupuncturist.  She listens intently to how they have purchased a dream retirement home, but have not made headway to actually move into it and sell their other home. How they live in limbo and neither is a home, a place of refuge and protection, but rather a burden they struggle to maintain. How they spend hours driving between these homes and the effect this non-move has had on their lives and social connections. She listens as I share how I’ve pleaded with my mother to get a specialist to treat her instead of her regular doctor. How my stepfather acknowledges the issue, but his depression and drinking have him and my mother trapped in an eternal state of stagnation and have left me beating my head against a very stubborn wall.

As I dry up, I realize that I simply wanted to say that I had to go home Friday to help my mother with my stepfather’s surgery, so my husband and I had just been able to really talk on Sunday. I feel guilty for unloading all of this on her. She’s my acupuncturist after all, not my therapist.  I apologize and she says, “you haven’t unloaded anything on me and there is no need to be sorry.”

I am thankful I didn’t cancel the appointment. I am grateful for this woman who heals me not only with eastern medicine, but also with grace and understanding.