A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Taking Stock; or, Advice from the Blogosphere

Well, Cycle #4/#11 followed in his brothers' non-baby producing footsteps. Time to see what Cycle #5/#12 can do.

The days before I get my period are always the worst. I try to keep my hopes up, but the fact that yet another cycle has failed becomes increasingly hard to ignore. I rapidly leap from realizing that this cycle didn't work to predicting that no cycle will ever work.

But on CD2, cooler heads prevail. The past 16 months have taught me several good things about my and my husband's chances of conceiving a child. I know that:
  • He's got sperm, of whatever quantity or quality, and at least some of it is capable of swimming up to and poking an egg.
  • I have produced at least one egg at the time when my CBEFM said that I did.
  • I am capable of building a uterine lining thick enough to allow implantation.
  • I've got at least one clear tube.
Those are all positives, I'm aware. And while it's hard to watch other women conceive on their first tries without feeling like a failure, I do believe that left on our own, Lawyer Guy and I would eventually conceive another child.

But I also know that 18 months is long enough to try on our own. 18 months is a good, serious shot. 18 months is time to start looking for answers and possibly even solutions.

We're giving the unassisted baby-making a few more goes and then will visit our first RE at the end of August, right after our sixth cycle of TTC post-miscarriage and right after we get back from Scandinavia. I hope we get happy news before that point, but with only two cycles left, I'm prepared to begin testing.

And this is where you come in! I've done some preliminary research and am considering N.YU Fer.tility Center, based on their reputation and IVF results and the fact that they claim to accept my insurance. (My insurance covers testing and prescriptions but not procedures, so any iui or ivf would be out-of-pocket). I know that there are other good clinics out there, though, and I want to hear from NYC loss/IF bloggers. Please tell me who you see and why you like their practice. If you are not from NYC, never fear, I care about your opinion, too! How did you find your RE? What factors are important to consider when looking for one? How did you make your decision to start visiting a specific clinic?

With this info, I hope to schedule my appointment this month for the end of August. Scary, but exciting!

There's one other issue I'm looking for bloggy advice on. Over the 7 months since the miscarriage, I've put on some weight. Not enough to be "heavy," but enough to feel like my clothes don't fit great and I'm not happy with the way I look. I forced myself not to worry about the weight I was gaining because I didn't want to add stress to my life while we tried to get pregnant. But with that pregnancy who knows how many months away, I need to get back to liking the way I look and feeling good about my body again.

I want to lose 5-7 pounds and don't have a strict time frame in when it has to happen. Does anyone have any good weight-loss strategies? I belong to a yoga studio rather than a gym and I attend 2-3 classes a week. I try to eat healthily, though I do eat too many carbs and too much dairy, and I tend to snack when I'm in the 2ww and depressed. Any advice is appreciated--not just for the kinds of foods recommended to eat (most of which I can probably guess) but also for how to judge portions, figure out how much of what kinds of food to eat in a day, how to keep track of your calories and stuff like that.

By the end of the summer I want to be lean, relaxed, and pregnant, but I'll take the first two if that's all I can get.


  1. Sounds like a good plan. We did two (failed) IVF cycles and an FET with CRMI on 70th and York. It is a PAIN to get to from Park Slope, but the facilities are nice, staff & system professional. We have just gotten a second opinion from RMA. Much easier to get to from here, and stats are also good, but definitely a different 'vibe' - Since we've not succeeded but have been through the ringer dealing with early monitoring & procedures schlepping all through the city, I'd say also consider convenience. NYU might be next for us. I just posted the details of our third opinion (http://gracieinbrooklyn.wordpress.com/) with Dr. Sami David. We wanted a completely differen take on our situation.

  2. Ah, losing weight. I hear ya. I also didn't want the "extra stress" but now I feel just horrible. My only advice is to do whatever you feel like doing to stay active. You have so many options, too, where you are. I really like ashtanga yoga, also. It's more challenging than other types.

    How did I find my RE? My regular OB/GYN recommended her. Now that I'm heading to the Sher Institute this week, well, that's a different story. A woman who leads a support group one of my friends goes to in FL who has dealt with RPL highly recommended them. I'm excited about what I heard.

  3. Hey hun, so sorry about the BFN. I'm just like you that the days leading up to the arrival of AF were always the worst for me. Once she came I was already looking forward with new hope. And similar to you I schedule my first RE appt 6 months after my miscarriage. I'm hoping that will be an appt you can cancel in the next couple months here, but I did find a huge sense of relief when we had that first appt that somebody was finally going to help us. And you just keep repeating those positives to yourself, because the truth is...it happened before and it will happen again. Thinking of you!!

  4. I'm sorry AF is rearing her ugly & unwanted head again. Boo! I don't have any advice as far as RE's go - we're not there yet.

    But I have started really reading the labels of the food I eat. I try to steer clear of trans fat aka - Partially Hydrogenated Oil. And high fructose corn syrup - all items that lead to the "spare tire" on your body.

    Those items scream out to me more so than carbs - which do come in a close second, then sodium. But watch out for those suckers - they are hard to digest and cause "fluff"!

  5. Low carb, heavy lifting, and sprinting are the keys to losing fat. Of course Crossed Fingers up there is right, and trans fats are the devil. Low-carb REAL foods (i.e. meat, VEGGIES, eggs, nuts, healthy oils, and some fruits) are where it's at.

    You know where to find me if you want some guidance.

  6. On choosing an RE: I started with who was in network for my insurance and then found who was the closest to my work so I could easily drop in for early morning monitoring visits, consults, etc with the least amount of effort. The clinic I go to is literally 2 minutes from my office and I really liked and trusted the doctor at the first consult, so it was an easy decision. I hope that you book something and have to cancel the appointment. But if you get to that point, it is so great that you trying to get pregnant will in the doctor's hands and you'll have so much more information on what could be going wrong.

    As for losing weight, I don't have any tips, but I try to only eat when I'm hungry, only keep good for me food around, and exercise more. I've been trying to run three times a week (starting last week) both to drop some poundage and for stress relief.

    Sorry about the negative, I was really hoping that this was your cycle.

  7. We are at NYU, in large part because they take our insurance. But I also checked out the SART data on success rates for IVF (they dont' track IUI numbers) for women in different age groups, and those were reassuring. You will see the nursing staff at least as often as you see the doctors, if not more, so any reviews you read on line about the nurses count- big time.

  8. Oh Sloper, I hear you. I've out on 10-15 pounds and feeling super un-cute does not help the IF situation. I started a *serious* slim-down last week. Hubs and I are using the Lose It app for the iPhone. (He's tore an ankle ligament last month and can't exercise, poor guy!) Simply tracking what I'm eating makes me SO aware of all of the mindless calories and snacking. Also, a tip I heard 5 years ago, that I really believe in, is the 25% rule. Exercise 25% more and eat 25% less (each week, each day, each meal, each sweat session). Personally, I am trying not to increase exercise too much, but thinking about eating 25% less than I normally do.

    The RE advice is a my whole blog right now. :) I wish I'd found one who had awesome IVF rates from the get-go. I wish I didn't think all I needed was thyroid meds or Clomid. I wish I'd assumed the worst and been more aggressive. I wish I'd switched docs as soon as I felt like I was a cog in a wheel (the cysts). Alas...

  9. In times like these, there's really nothing else to do but keep up the fight, stay strong and look forward. And although I've just started working with the NYU Fertility Center, I must say I'm very impressed by them so far. This is their area of expertise and they've seen it all. Wishing you every happiness!

  10. Sounds like a good plan, and I hope you don't need that RE appointment. I know, though, that you'll feel so much better in the hands of an RE if it comes to that.

    As for choosing an RE, I started with the doctors that were in my network, talked to fellow IFers in the area, and researched online reviews and SART rates. Take the online reviews with a grain of salt...you don't know who's writing them!

    Ugh, the weight. I gained weight when I went off the pill. And when I started eating normally to try to be healthy for TTC, I think my body was a little shocked after years of bad eating and over exercising. I'm definitely "fuller" than I was pre-TTC. I keep hoping I'll get pregnant, have the baby, then get all hard core exercise/dieting again. But, alas, that has yet to happen.

  11. I've been using Dailyplate.com through the Livestrong website. I have only been using it for a couple weeks, but I've been writing down everything I eat and trying to control portions since the beginning of May, and I've lost almost 8 pounds. I haven't really been exercising much other than walking when I can, but that website is great because it tracks calories and will give you a caloric goal based on your BMI and what you want to lose. There are over 600,000 foods on there that are "verified" for their nutritional value and even if what you've eaten isn't on there, you can find something comparable.

  12. Sorry about the BFN. I'm trying to count my blessings, too (I'm ovulating and there is some sperm), but when it doesn't work month after month, it gets hard anyway.
    On losing weight -- I try not to eat while working or being distracted otherwise (cookies next to the computer are eaten before I know it...) and generally pay attention to whether I'm really hungry or not. Which can be difficult with delicious food ;) And exercise. Hoping that you'll be all three things soon!

  13. Oh! I can at least help with the last thing:

    I've used this website (http://caloriecount.about.com) to keep track of my calories/vitamins/nutrients and I've found it to help quite a bit. It has a TON of foods listed, including things by brand name, restaurant, etc. If you put in what you ate on a given day, it will tell you how many calories it was, the nutritional content, and what you need to eat more and less of. If you put in a weight goal, it will help you track that, too. It's free and it totally helped me when I put on the post-miscarriage 10. I truly think that's a thing...

    Anyhow, good luck with everything else!

  14. Sorry about the negative. It sucks. Every time, no matter how ready you are for it, it still hurts.

    On the weight loss, I've put on 8 lbs from the whole IVF thing (there are periods when you arent' supposed to do too vigorous exercise, and then there are periods when I am so unhappy that I just shovel in cookies. So I write down everything I eat and then put calories next to it (from the internet calorie count sites) and it keeps me mindful. I've also gone almost 100% organic/ sustainable/ and I cook a lot more, instead of eating out or doing takeout so that I know what is in my food.

    On the RE: have been at Columbia for 2 cycles (neg) and like my RE (Choi) and the nurses, but find the overall experience akin to the DMV. But they were preferred with my insurance and very convenient. Now that insurance is out am swapping to Cornell now -- it is tougher to get to, but I love my RE and think that their lab and facilities rock. We will see if that matters!

  15. I'm sorry CD 1 reared its ugly head, but glad that CD2 has you making plans. I think taking a little time to sort through RE options is a good idea, but here's what I would do: make a consultation NOW at each of your top 3. (NYU and Cornell are both top centers, and if you'd like any specific info, please feel free to e-mail me).

    The sticky thing is that those places - especially the top docs - get booked up weeks and sometimes months in advance. The other sticky thing is that the top practices only let you make one appointment with one doc. So, for example, at NYU you need to pick one, you can't make multiple appointments with different people.

    The weight loss thing is tough. I'm sorry, because it's one more thing added to this pile of tough. Not much to suggest (except maybe check out the nutrition section of "Making Babies", which seems to tailor things specifically to women based on their reproductive histories?) just a lot of sympathy.

  16. hey there - not sure if you check your gmail, but sent you an email. hope it didn't sound too know-it-all-y. i think you can't go wrong with nyu, but wrote you some pros for cornell too :o)