T-Minus 12 Hrs

The day we’ve been waiting for is almost here and I cannot describe how excited I am. The excitement also comes with a little anxiousness but instead of pretending like the anxiety is not there, I am doing my best to adjust mentally and be more positive. I think accepting the emotions instead of trying to “tuck them away” has made such a difference in my emotional health this cycle.

In hopes of staying relaxed, my week has looked like this:
Monday – Create some card designs
Tuesday – Restorative Yoga class
Wednesday – Acupuncture
Thursday (today)* – Thai Yoga massage

*Now I also spent this evening vacuuming, laundry, and other household items. I do not want to have to worry about it this weekend (for either me or my husband to do) so we just got everything done tonight.

Tomorrow morning I’ll head to acupuncture, then go in for the FET, and then head back to acupuncture. I think I was too active after the last transfer so I plan on a modified bed rest schedule for a few days. I received great advice on ways to keep busy while on bed rest and here is what I decided for those days and also until my beta:

Recs

1) Coloring books – Thanks to @survivinginfertility for this recommendation. They are supposed to help your mind relax. Barnes & Noble had a great selection and I picked books with Mandala and Mendhi designs.

2) Cookbook – My husband and I love to cook together. Once I’m off of the bed rest, we are going to pick a recipe to cook everyday and just have fun being creative in the kitchen with each other. I’m hoping this will help pass the time until beta day 🙂

Hope you ladies have a great Friday!

Advertisements

The dreaded PIO shot

image

When I went through my teaching class with the nurse and got my calendar, I remember dreading the day that I would start the PIO shots. She was so calm when explaining how to do the injection and I questioned if she was crazy or not because of the side of the needle – 1.5″ needle…sure, no problem.

My pharmacy sent the PIO separately from the first round of meds and the box sat unopened for 4 days before I thought I should stop the avoidance tactic the the night before the injection was scheduled. I pulled everything out but did not see any type of directions with tips, etc on them so where did I turn? YouTube. Searching ‘PIO injection’ yields all sorts of videos and my husband and I spent 15 or so minutes watching a few of them before he suggested we stop because he could tell it was not doing anything for my nerves.

image

The next morning we grabbed everything we needed and I texted and called a friend to help walk me through the steps and also give some suggestions. If you follow my Instagram account, you saw some of the text exchange 🙂 Here are some of her suggestions and some things I found on my own (all were lifesavers during this process):

– Roll the PIO bottle in your hand to warm it up a little bit. This makes it easier to draw it up in the syringe.

– There is going to be some pressure trying to draw the medicine back into the bottle. Either draw extra into the syringe (knowing there will be some that will go back into the bottle) or firmly hold the end of the syringe to not let any go back into the bottle.

– If the medicine is warm it makes it easier to go in. We soaked a wash rag in hot water and placed the syringe on it and then rolled it up like a burrito for ~ 30 seconds.image

– For the injection itself, she recommended I lean over a dresser or something of similar height and bent my knees while my husband gave me the shot. We have a tall dresser in our bedroom and our bed is tall so I leaned over the bed in the guest bedroom.

image

– Either you or whoever is giving the shot should massage the area afterwards. This helps prevent it from staying in one area.

The last item that I never thought would be recommendation but turned into one would be to film video the injection (does this age me that I typed film first?). I use the front-facing camera, pressed record, and keeping only my in the shot, talked to her going step by step over everything I did that she recommended and then just talked to her about various things….including calling myself crazy because I never would have thought I would be recording my thoughts while get an injection. Talking through it made the process go by quicker and kept me relatively relaxed during it.

So after all the work-up and stress I put myself through in anticipation of the PIO shot, it was not bad at all. I’m only 2 days into the injections but they are less painful than most of the other ones I have done. In all disclosure, the area where we did the first injection is a little sore but I think that it is because I did not move around as much as I should have after the first shot (we ran errands but that also involved a lot of time sitting in the car). My opinion may change in the coming weeks if the soreness gets worse, but so far PIO is a breeze.

Oh hormones…

There is nothing like a box of fertility meds to throw you off your normal pattern. While this may not be the typical response to the meds, I’m sharing my story so it’s out there just in case it will help someone else. Not all of the meds below are specifically fertility meds but I am including all meds that are on my treatment calendar.

BCPs – I was on ~day 4 of my period when I started a generic pack of birth control pills. I forgot how nice my skin was when I was on BCP in the past (you know, when I thought I needed them to prevent a pregnancy when we weren’t ready for kids). I didn’t have a major breakout but the little one I had cleared up much faster than it ussually does after my period.

Baby Aspirin – Nothing to note here that I was able to notice. I started this the same day as the BCP.

Prenatal vitamins – The calendar from my dr calls out to make sure that you have started them but I haven’t stopped taking them since we started TTC. I like the CVS gummy prenatals. They will run a BOGO sale every once in awhile and I stock up then.

Lupron – I had one prior experience with Lupron prior to this cycle because I used it with Ovidrel to trigger a few months ago and it was not a positive one terrible and caused me to have welts. Within 30 seconds after the inejection, my skin turned red, became very itchy, burned, and of course the wonderful welts started. I remember googling as quickly as possible and found out that some people have this reaction is the drug gets on the skin.

Prior to taking the med this cycle, I researched and found some of the side effects – headaches, hot flashes, insomnia, weakness, cold or flu symptoms…etc. Where is the meme that says something along the lines of “for once I want a side effect to be extreme sexiness”. 🙂 The first week wasn’t bad and I though I might be one of the lucky few who did not experience the side effects.

hot flash

With the drop of estrogen once I stopped taking BCP, the hot flashes and headaches started. The headaches weren’t too bad and I just made sure to drink plent of water throughout the day. The hot flashes were the worst. I am taking the Lupron at night so the hot flashes would go throughout the night. Me on little sleep is never a good thing but me in little sleep and my hormones being off – I was a mess. Not emotional per se but my normal type A self just didn’t have my normal drive and  became rather apatheic (I’ll touch more on this further down). Thankfully the worst of it only lasted two weeks because I started Estradiol at that point.

Estradiol (AKA the fertility version of the little blue pill) – Yes, the pill is blue. Yes, it did increase my sex drive. Yes, it took away all of the negative side effects of the Lupron. This one deserves a gold star! Side note: I did talk to my acupuncturist (who treats a lot of patients who see my RE) and she said that everything I was experiencing was normal.

One thing I touched on above was my change in attitude. I fought feeling anything last cycle and this one I’ve embraced it. I’ve started a vision board and reevaluated some life goals I have. It has been a breath of fresh air and I’ve started working on some projects that I have always wanted to do but always said I was too busy with work, etc to devote my time to a side project. I’ll share more of that later once I get further along.

Hopefully this helps anyone who is curious as to possible side effects of these meds. I have another ppt tomorrow and will be start the dreaded PIO shot on Saturday. What does everyone else think about the meds?

4th of July recipes

For my Instagram ladies – here are the recipes I mentioned in the post a week ago. So sorry I’m behind! We had a bad storm on the 4th and my car was hit by a large tree branch. What we thought was just cosmetic damage has turned out to also include a cracked radiator – I bet you can only imagine how fun this has been 😉 Sometimes I hesitate to share the negative items that are going on in life because it’s not like reading about infertility is the most uplifting topic and adding to it can make for quite the depressing post. But I refuse to pretend that it’s all rainbows and unicorns outside of this diagnosis. Life happens and it’s all in how you deal with it. Now onto the original post that was started last week….

_______________________________________________________________________

The Dip

I first tasted this dip at a BBQ at a cousin’s house. I’m sure this recipe is floating somewhere on the internet but I have no idea what it is called. It does not look the prettiest but it tastes delicious!

image
Ingredients
2 8oz containers of cream cheese
2 cans of Rotel (I used 1 Mild and 1 Original)
2 sausage rolls (I use Tennessee Pride but any brand can be used)
Tostito chips

Sausage dip

1) Brown the sausage in pan over medium heat. Drain off the fat.
2) Whilte the sausage is cooking, put the cream cheese and Rotel in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds. This will soften the cream cheese.
3) Add the sausage into the bowl and mix thoroughly.

image

Enjoy! It’s a simple recipe that is always a hit. If it cools down too much, you can pop it into the microwave or oven to heat it back up.

Berry Swirl Cake

Berry Swirl Cake

I first found this Kraft Strawberry Swirl Recipe a few years ago when searching for a cake with a light icing to mke during summer.  I’ve made some small changes as I’ve made this each time:

– The recipe calls to put the regular cake mix and strawberry cake mix half and half in the pan. I found that too difficult so I put the regular cake mix in and “plop” the strawberry mix in on top. Then I swirl with a fork.

image

– For the icing, I use 1/2 cup of sour cream instead of the 2/3 cup called for in the recipe.

– I use blueberries, rasberries, and strawberries instead of just strawberries.

image
– When I ice the cake, I ice the bottom layer, add the strawberries. and repeat with the top layer (using different fruits for the top layer). I do not add icing to the side of the cake.

image

image

Hope everyone had a great long holiday weekend and easy week back into work after!

A full month…

…since my last blog post. Time has passed so quickly and I did not realize it has been quite as long. With the Memorial Day holiday, work travel, and an unexpected hospital trip for a kidney stone, life has been busy in our house! I also have to give credit to the ladies on Instagram. I started blogging to meet other women on this TTC journey but I have found that there is more interaction on Instagram. It has been so nice to see the raw honesty, cheers for people who have had good news, internet hugs and words of support for those who are hitting some bumps and just the overall day-to-day connection. 

Believe it or not, I met someone on Instragram who lives in the same city we do and met her for some frozen yogurt. It was hard to explain it to a friend ahead of time – I mean how many people do you meet on the internet and then go on to meet in real life? If it is more common then I’m just not aware of it 🙂 We had a good time and I’m looking forward to the next time we can do something.

Onto updates with our treatment cycle…I started BCPs early June and added Lupron on Sunday night. My friend @godstimegodsplan recommended I take the Lupron at night. So far nothing too bad as far as side effects. I get hot at night but other than that it’s been pretty status quo. I was warned that sometimes the headaches from the medicine can be pretty bad so I have been focusing on drinking a lot of water to try to help – not sure if it actually will but there is no harm in drinking a lot water! My first monitoring appointment will be at the end of next week and will include bloodwork and an ultrasound. Hoping that it all works out and that we’ll be able to continue with the cycle.

We’ve found that the process can seem rather long when looking at the entire calendar all at once but if the rest of the cycle goes as quick as the last month has, then it will be here before we know it. We’re passing the time with by just looking at the next fun event we have – friends in town, my Goddaughter’s 2nd birthday, meeting our niece who was born this week, visiting friends in the city we used to live in, and spending some time at the beach. 

Hope all you ladies are doing well! I’m working on a project with a friend and hope to be able to share some details on it soon. 

Fitness Accountability

We have just over 2 months before our anticipated transfer date and I plan on spending these next 60+ days getting back in shape. I am not upset with where I am now physcially but would like to tone up and feel stronger. Life can get in the way and unfortunately I am not always the best at carving out time for myself to get to the gym/fitness class/etc or if I have managed to schedule the time, it’s one of the first things to go when other things start to creep in. Thankfully we are at point where the weather is nicer and it stays light longer so I can fit in some pool workouts early in the morning or after work. To help with accountability, I’ve made a calendar for the next month and will print it out and hang it on the bathroom mirror. Hoping that between planning the workouts will help keep me on track (the same way meal planning does). Here is what it looks like:

Sun  Mon  Tue  Wed  Thu  Fri  Sat 
5/24
1hr cardio
5/25
Thigh circuit 
5/26 
Arm circuit
5/27
Slow Flow 
5/28 
Thigh circuit
5/29
30 min swim 
5/30
1hr cardio
5/31
Yoga Zin
6/1
Thigh circuit
6/2
Off day 
6/3
Slow Flow
6/4
Thigh circuit 
6/5
30 min swim 
6/6
Arm circuit
6/7 
Yoga Zin
6/8
Thigh circuit 
6/9
30 min swim
6/10
Off day
6/11
Thigh circuit
6/12
Arm circuit
6/13
1hr cardio 
6/14
Yoga Zin
6/15
Thigh circuit 
6/16 
Off day
6/17
Slow Flow   
6/18
Thigh circuit
6/19
Arm circuit
6/20
1hr cardio

1 hr Cardio – I will more than likely split this up into a 30 minute run and 30 minute swim but am leaving myself the option. 

Thigh Circuit – Found on Pinterest. The workout is here

Arms Circuit – Another one found on Pinterest. It is from Women’s Health magazine and can be found here

Yoga Zin – This is a restorative yoga class offered by a studio near my house. It really focuses on stretching and relaxation and    while I was unsure if I was going to enjoy it when I first heard about it, I’ve found it to be my favorite class they offer. 

Slow Flow – The same studio I take the Yoga Zin class at offers this class as well. It is a beginner’s yoga class.   

 

What are your favorite workouts? Anyone want to join in on the monthly fitness challenge?

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

We are usually a chicken enchilada household but when I was browsing Pinterest, I found a few recipes using a variety of veggies instead of meats or beans. They sounded good to me but I knew I would need to add some sort of kick for my husband. I’ve made these a couple of times and each time it’s a little different but here is a general idea.

image

Ingredients (*I try to use as much organic as I can; I noted below what I used.)
Corn or Wheat tortillas (I used non-GMO corn tortillas this time)
8 oz organic tomato sauce
8 oz organic chicken broth
cumin
Himalayan salt
3 sweet potatoes
2 cloves garlic diced
1/2 large sweet onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
3 handfuls organic spinach
18 oz organic black beans
1 jar salsa (we usually use Cowboy Caviar from Trader Joe’s or Mrs. Renfroe’s Chipotle Corn Salsa)
shredded Mexican cheese
sour cream

*I usually make these as enchiladas but this time I layered the ingredients because the corn tortillas were too small to roll up easily.

image

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hr. Wait until there is about 20 minutes left on the timer and then start the below.

2) Saute the garlic and onions. Add a dash of cumin to the veggies. Then add in the peppers and add a pinch of salt and another dash of cumin. Finally add in the spinach.

image

3) Put the tomato sauce and chicken broth into a saucepan with about 1 teaspoon of cumin. Simmer on low.

4) Add in the black beans and half jar of salsa to the pan with the veggies. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

image

5) Take the sweet potatoes and scoop out the insides. You can either dice them into cubes or smash them. Keep the oven on because you will be putting the dish in soon.

5) Place 1 layer of the tortillas into the bottom of the glass dish. Drizzle the sauce onto the tortillas. Layer on the veggie mixture and the sweet potatoes. Top with the sauce and some cheese and then add another layer of the tortillas. One you get to the last layer of tortillas, top with some of the sauce, the remainder of the salsa, and a little more of the cheese.

image

6) Bake for 20 minutes on 350. Serve with sour cream.

Enjoy!