Friday, November 29, 2013

Fertility Friday: Acupuncture

Since opening up my acceptance to non-conventional, non-westernized methods of approaching this whole fertility thing, I started seeing an acupuncturist. I had read a study that supported the use of acupuncture in conjunction with other fertility treatments as beneficial, so I figured why not. 

Weird, right?

I was pretty nervous because, well, someone was going to stick needles all over my body and from any pictures of acupuncture I've seen, there are just needles everywhere and your in your skivvies and whatever. But it wasn't like that at all. 

I got to my appointment 15 - 20 minutes early, just like going to any clinic/doctor for the first time. Filled out the same paperwork: how old are you, what are you symptoms, when was your last cycle, blah blah blah. I feel like I should just have an infertility resume that I can just give them so I don't have to fill it all out again. 

Oh, yes, I have experience in consecutive treatment cycles and over 5 years of experience with hypothyroidism, I think I'm a perfect candidate to frakin be pregnant already!


The acupuncturist just went over all the paperwork with me again, took my pulse, looked at my tongue, and then had me hop up on the table laying on my back with a pillow under my knees. He sterilized each area where the needle would be going and then just popped them in there. He put 2 -3 in each foot and each leg, 2-3 in the back of each hand and 2-3 on my forehead and 2-3 in my hair in a line straight back from my nose. 

He had warned me that I might feel an 'electricity sensation' running up and down or itching or heaviness but I really didn't feel anything. If I wiggled it just felt as if something was brushing up against a hair. There was the tiniest of pinches on one of the ones he put into my hand, and one of the ones in my forehead made my forehead tighten up for a few minutes at first but other than that, I really didn't feel them and it wasn't uncomfortable or painful at all. He  had me hang out for 10 minutes and then came back in and 'stimulated' the needles, it just felt like he twisted them, which didn't hurt either. I hung out for another 10 minutes, he came in and took all the needles out and told me to just take my time getting up because some people feel dizzy. 

I didn't feel anything really, I felt relaxed but I was just focusing on my breathing for 20 minutes so it may just have been from that. I did, however sleep like a log the night after, which he said I would, so if nothing else, that was awesome :)

I go back in the first week of December for my second round, we're going with an every other week thing since I'm still getting things figured out with my new doctor. But, from my first experience I'd say acupuncture is a potential thing that definitely doesn't hurt and worst comes to worst you get some extra meditation time. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fertility Fridays: Liquid Sunshine

All of my blood work came back really quickly and I was able to get back in to see my doctor yesterday. From all of the results everything was in a normal range, although potentially not 'optimal' for me specifically.

The one glaring result that my doctor was concerned with, was my low levels of vitamin D. The 'normal' range for vitamin D levels in an adult female is between 30.1-100.0 ng/mL and I'm limbo-ing low under that bar at 19.5. 

I'm familiar with vitamin D, and I know that vitamin D3 is the best to take. I started taking vitamin D last winter to help chase away the winter blues and it did a great job. However, once the sun came out, and after I moved to Zion and worked outside, and especially since moving to the sun state, Arizona, I've become incredibly lax in my vigilance towards my vitamin D routine. My doctor said that a lot of people in the Northern Hemisphere are vitamin D deficient (D for deficient, I guess) and that I should be taking 5000 iu's a day every day. 

She told me it should help with that 2 pm crash that leaves me wanting to sleep the day away and my apathy. (Funny story, I guess my 'depression' manifests itself more as apathy than actually weepy, moody depression...this explains a lot...sorry house, dishes, laundry, sewing...everything).

As I do, I googled the link between vitamin D deficiency and fertility and found several studies that claimed 93% of women facing infertility have a vitamin D deficiency. 

Say what? 
Why has no doctor ever tested my D levels before? 

I also learned that vitamin D is fat soluble whereas most vitamins are water soluble and that vitamin D, although a vitamin, is actually a hormone as well. And that the whole dang shebang is pretty much the vitamin equivalent in function to the thyroid, it controls/contributes to the function of EVERYTHING. Awesome, right? So thyroid on the fritz? Strike one. Vitamin D levels also on the're just driving a fertility lemon at this point.

So, summary for all that, I'm taking 5000 iu's a day in conjunction with switching my levothyroxine over to nature throid at a slightly higher than equivalent dose to what I'm on now.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bikram Yoga: Or the most I've EVER sweated in my life.

Thankfully, my instructor was gracious enough to cover a little bit more. 
I mean, at least they were shorts.

For my birthday my Mama Lady got me a month of unlimited Yoga. Bikram Yoga.
I've been practicing Yoga on and off for the last 5 years but I had never tried 'hot yoga' so I was excited for this opportunity.

As soon as I walked in the studio my first thought freaking stinks in here, why did they use carpet instead of an easier to disinfect surface. OH MY GOODNESS ITS SO HOT! 
Namaste, right?

So I squelched my panic and rolled out my mat in the beginners section, like instructed, and laid down regretting coming into the studio 10 minutes early and just hung out in savasana. Just trying to convince myself I wanted to be there.

Now, I'd subject that Bikram yoga is a lot more like Pilates than the 'yoga' I was used to. The instructor claps his hands, doesn't necessarily do the poses so much as just instructs them and over all I would say (ugh, without trying to sound to ohm about it all) less of a spiritual/meditative environment.

The poses weren't necessarily difficult if you factored out how stinking slippery-sweaty EVERYTHING is. I was actually amazed how much I sweated during the class. About ten minutes in and my legs were mimicking weeping rock. By the end of class it literally felt as if I had just gotten out of the shower. A salty, yucky hour and a half long shower.

I made sure to hydrate well the day before and the hours leading up to my session. I ate a good breakfast that morning and I banana about an hour before I went in at 2:30 but still, towards the middle (I hope it was the middle, an hour and a half turns out to be a REALLY long time) of the practice my vision started to get a little dark around the edges. I didn't feel dizzy, which I would expect with starting to black out, but I decided to hang out in child's pose for a bit. After watching a couple other people take breaks, I noticed that no one was going into child's pose to rest but just sitting down with their legs out or laying on their backs, so I just followed suit with that.

45 minutes in, I was sure the class was almost over. Nope. So I'm hanging out back there sipping water and trying not to look like a totally goof when the instructor decides to say "Hey! It's Cambra's birthday today! Let's all sing to her while in triangle pose"

I shook my head and mouthed 'please, no' and 'that's ok' but whatever, I guess.
So 20 something sweaty, tired bodies sang happy birthday to me and I don't know if I could feel any more ridiculous.

Anyway, my goal for the class was to ... get through the class and I accomplished just that. Afterwards I felt really great and I slept like a rock last night. I feel a little bit like someone injected my body with lead, but I'm not really sore. I'm supposed to go back for my second class within 24 I'll have to do that after my acupuncture appointment today.

Yea, acupuncture, who the heck am I?
I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, November 18, 2013

27 Goals for the 27th Year of Life

Birthday outfit and puppy bites. sweet.

Welp, I'm officially over the fence-sittin age of 25 and have been plunked firmly in my 'late twenties'. ew.

In celebration of my 26th birthday, and...eagearness(?) to fully claim this 27th year of life:

27 Goals for my 27th Year of Life:

1. Have a baby (ugh, seriously though)

2. Go to the Ocean

3. Get my sewing space organized and functional

4. Make my bed every day (about time, yea?)

5. Regain my flexibility to do a full forward fold.

6. Regain flexibility to extend into a solid 'bird of paradise'

7. Quit carbonation (again) (RIP Slurpies)

8. Complete a multi-pitch climb without crying

9. Be able to complete 10 respectable push-ups in a row 
(I did my first legit push-up in my entire life this year, haha, yikes)

10. Listen to/read 3 talks from every week

11. Attend the temple once a month

12. Keep my heart and mind open for more opportunities to serve

13.  Start/Finish my teaching certificate

14. Make something for my home

15. Sew Russell an awesome button up shirt 
(must be awesome to qualify)

16. Watch the sunrise with Russ

17. Throw a New Years Eve party

18. Prepare my first Thanksgiving dinner by myself

19. Have a real Christmas tree! 
(This is our year, I can feel it!)

20. Finish writing that darn book I've been running away from

21. Teach Echo a new trick

22. Sign up for and run a 5k

23. FINALLY acquire my dream white bedding

24. Try a food I've never tried before

25. Go on a boat

26. Leave the country 
(I'll come back, I promise)


27. Complete foster care training to see if it is a right fit for us.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fertility Friday: Second Chances

After experiencing the harshness and hot flashes that is Western medicine's approach to fertility treatments, the last couple weeks I have been looking into more natural approaches. 

Am I shunning another round...or seven... of clomid or femara? 

Am I anti IUI or IVF?

What I am, at this point in time, is looking to give my body a second chance. 

I'm giving my body back the full confidence that it can do this. I can do hard things. My body can also accomplish hard things. 

I've always been the type of person to 'get over' a cold on my own, or tough out a headache, etc.. I never wanted to have to take ibuprofen, or any other medicine for that matter, if my body could work through it by itself. When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it took me several solid months to come to terms with the fact that I had to take a pill, for the rest of my life to help my body just function how it was supposed to, not to even mention get pregnant.

I know that taking a tiny pill isn't a hard act, and that others have it so much harder than I do. It was just the idea that I wasn't able to do it on my own. My body couldn't even do what it was supposed to be doing. Maybe its a commentary on my confidence, but it was really difficult for me to get used to needing daily medical intervention. (Even though it was small intervention).

After the thyroid medication came more pills, clomid, femara, metformin, others I don't even remember the name of. And the more pills that came the more I accepted that my body was broken, that I couldn't heal or be capable of getting pregnant or carrying that pregnancy on my own. I felt entirely invaded at first. Not wanting all the pins and needles and questions about my body, intimate life, eating habits, exercise habits to be laid out for a stranger to examine and pass judgement on. 

I finally let go of the idea of getting pregnant as an intimate experience shared only by my husband and me. I came to terms with third and fourth parties playing a role in this part of my life that was never supposed to be theirs. 

But with that, I let go of the fact that it was mine.
 I was always conscious of eating healthy, being active and in general taking care of myself, but I approached my fertility with a blind hope that someday, somewhere, some doctor would give me the right pill, perform the right surgery, chance into the right timing and we would finally have our baby.

I had completely given up on thinking my body could do this, and I put blind hope into finding the thing that could. 

Maybe it is something that comes with age, or experience, but I've come to find out that doctors aren't always right. Am I a doctor? Do I have their training? No, and that isn't what I am trying to say. With the understanding that doctors aren't always right, or always 100% right, I have come to terms with giving my body a second chance.

I don't want another pill or injection to make this happen one time (Don't get me wrong, I'll take it if that's what I need). I want to heal my body and give it the attention, exercise, detoxification, sleep, timing, whatever, it needs to be able to do this. Or at least assist in this. 

So, I'm giving my body a second chance. I'm seeing a naturopathic doctor and next week I'm beginning acupuncture treatments. 

I want to say I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I don't want to just hope with crossed fingers anymore. I'm done being infertile, entirely over it. 

Its time to fight back.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fertility Friday: Stop Naming Your Children...

Seriously though...

Maybe its just because we're Mormon and Mormons have babies. Lots of babies. Every one of them. Lots of Mormon babies. Which is awesome, don't get me wrong.

But, I sit here with a dozen names picked out for my hopefully future children and watch as they get plucked up one by one. 

Now we could play the hey, we are naming our kids XYZ so don't name your kid that (immediate family and cousins, close friends, you know) and play the whole guilt trip infertility card. 

"Yea, we've liked the name XYZ since we started trying to get pregnant...5 years ago, hopefully no one takes it. How far along are you again? Do you have a name picked out" 

Yea, not anymore you don't.

But, it just so happens that we have decided not to tell anyone our names we have picked out until we actually have the kid. Yea, we're going to be those obnoxious people. We just don't want other people's opinions on the matter. If we really like a name (that we already refer to our non-existent kids as  ((awww creepy cute))) we don't want to hear "ew, my cousin's, mom's, ex-boyfriend (who was really a jerk)'s, best friend's dog's pet kangaroo was named that and he bit me once. 

It is just one of those ridiculous things with infertility that we really can't do anything about. We can't tell our loved ones not to use 'our' names...that they don't even know...but by golly if the world could just hold their horses for one moment and stop snatching up the heaven babies and let one (or two, we don't care) come our way we wouldn't have to head butt you our heads...

 when we hear you've named your kid the name we've been holding onto for years.

Easy as that.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

For freeeee??

We've been slowly chipping away at furnishing our first 'post college' apartment.

We're still just about as frugal as it gets, wanting to spend our money elsewhere...

So, we scour Craigslist like its our job and the other day we found this:

Now, I know for a fact that this is a $40 Ikea cheap-o table, but was free. 
So, yea, its mine now.

With a little bit of patience and $20 bucks we now have this happy green and gold little number:

Now on to filling those picture frames behind the couch...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dear Nice/Obnoxious Neighbor

It is always nice to see you outside and have our same quick conversation where you are not so subtly trying to make me bilingual. 

This is not a big deal, I appreciate the effort but when you want to give me a half hour impromptu foreign language lesson...make it not the only time that day I need to be somewhere.

I really do like how much you love my dog. 

However, since you and your daughter have started over reacting, throwing your hands in the air (like you don't care) excitedly yelling his name every time you see him (including when you are inside or on your porch and he can't even get to you) he has started approaching every.single.person this way. He also has now thinks his name is Chiquito. Granted, he only weighs about 5 lbs, so him pulling on a leash isn't hard to manage but by golly its freaking annoying, especially when we have people over.

I can see from everyone he talks to you as they pass by that you are genuinely sweet to the whole neighborhood.

It'd "totes" be cool if you were outside to enjoy the perfect weather here in Arizona, just like the other 90% of our apartment complex with their screen doors open...instead of going outside to have your 15th cigarette for the morning. It just so happens that when you smoke on your porch, right under my porch, something about the air currents/wind/whatever pulls it all right up into my house. I now smell like a smoker without ever making that choice.

In conclusion, I will still make you baked goods if you stop riling up my dog, filling my house with smoke and making me late for the few places I have to go.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Getting back on the sewing horse

My dearest friend Kait has provided me with some motivation to get sewing again. 
I'll be shipping these twirly-little-dresses-to-bes off to sell in her booth down in NC
I'm so excited for them to all be done!

15 to go....

Oh, and on the same note as making things again...We have more El Cap shirts on Etsy, check out my shop in the side bar!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fertility Friday: Metformin

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that a doctor had put me on metformin. 
I also mentioned that they didn't really have a substantiated reason for doing so. 

I read about all of the horrible affects of Metformin, along with those who claimed no side affects whatsoever. Well, lucky me I'm touting with the bunch who claim 
'this frakin sucks'.

I started metformin around the same time I was finishing up my last extravadance at the costume shop.
(*read* 50 hour work weeks and late late nights mixed in with finals) and around the same time as our last round of Femara.

Let me just tell you how excited a pill-a-phobe like me was to be on both a cancer drug and a diabetes drug at the same time all in the name of having babies. 
I was  not. It scared the whits out of me honestly.

I'm still grappling, at times more than others, with not being able to just 'get pregnant' without some sort of medical intervention. I mean, I don't even like taking Ibuprofen, so this whole pill popping business is not something I'm too keen on...but if it's what will work, I'll do it every day for the rest of my life.

Anyway, back to Metformin. My doctor mentioned that for women with PCOS, Metformin has helped substantially in their ability to conceive. (*note* he didn't say that I had or didn't have PCOS, he just kinda threw that out there) He also said that in fertility testing, Metformin had positive affects that they weren't really sure how they came about, so I should just start taking it to see what happens. 

I started out with 1 pill in the mornings to get used to it, starting at 500mg for the first week or two. I did just that and every day felt a range between sort of sick for the majority of the time to please shoot me in the head and don't you dare block my path to the bathroom sick. It sucked. Psychologically it especially was hard because I was most sick in the mornings and at night, so every morning I woke up to imagining my 'morning sickness' of sorts wasn't due to me taking some random drug but that maybe...just maybe...

So, that was great.

After the first week, I tried taking a pill in the morning and at night and it nearly debilitated me. I don't know what it was about that up in the dosage but I was sick ALL THE TIME. Full on sweating, running to the bathroom, laying in bed, sick. I talked to my doctor about this and he said to just go back to taking the one pill in the morning, because one was better than none. Even though he gave me no specific reason why it was 'better' at all. Ugh.

After taking the one morning pill for 2 - 3 months and having nothing happen, especially after my polypectomy I was just done feeling sick. Especially since I was guiding canyons and ATV tours and other hour+ long activities with no access to a restroom, for the I just stopped. I still have refills on the prescription and I still look at it from time to time and research it now and then but I just don't see myself going that route again...

as always, we'll see.