IVF Round Two: Improving Egg Quality 

After taking a few weeks following our miscarriage to discuss everything, my husband and I have decided to do another round of IVF. However, we don’t want our end result to be the same as it was this time. We want to end up with leftover embryos and a viable pregnancy. To ensure this eventuality, serious changes to diet and lifestyle are in order.

Before beginning our stem medications for our first round of IVF, I cut dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, and caffeine out of my diet. It wasn’t enough to make a difference to my egg health in the long run, and it certainly wasn’t enough to effect my endometriosis. I think an anti-inflammatory diet needs more time to work, but after four years of battling infertility, I was anxious to start IVF and finally have a baby.

I know now that I should have taken some time to let the changes I made take effect before diving into IVF (and what would eventually be a $15,000 miscarriage).

I’m going to be real for a minute. My lifestyle went to shit once I had my miscarriage. I started eating all the things I had eliminated (my god, did I miss cheese) and didn’t even leave the house for days at a time, so exercise was not a thing. For just one meal I had a Culver’s Butter Burger with Fried Cheese Curds, Onions Rings, and French Fries with cheese sauce. Oh, and probably a Coke.

I don’t usually eat this way. Fast food has been a rarity for me for years, but I use this delicious example to show you how hard I fell in my grief.

I cannot let this diet trend continue.

I didn’t make good eggs. That’s just the sad reality. I only made two embryos and they were not perfect by any means. My little guys rated 4AB and 4BB, which isn’t awful…but it’s also not great.

Despite 7 of our 11 eggs being fertilized, only 2 made it to blastocyst and those two didn’t stick. The reason? More than likely, it’s because my eggs were not great and I made abnormal embryos. We didn’t know this of course, because we opted out of PGS testing.

I would love to jump right back into IVF. I’d like to go to my clinic tomorrow and tell them to get my prescriptions filled so we can try again immediately, but in my heart I know that doesn’t make much sense.

I can’t do this again if I know it’s going to end the same way. Obviously, I can’t do anything that will ensure things end differently this time, but I can sure as hell try.

If we jump right back in now, I can guarantee two things:

  1. Our debt will become crushingly unbearable.
  2. Having the exact same results will devestate me – something needs to be different and I’m hoping the difference will be the amount of blastocysts we make.

I believe in science and medicine, and I also believe stories I have read about people improving their egg quality.
We have already made some changes to our life.

My husband and his super sperm, have started taking a multi-vitamin. We never really talked about how to improve the quality of his swimmers, because they have always been so good, but since a vitamin won’t hurt him, we (I) decided it was time for him to start taking one.

I began acupuncture for endometriosis.

Endometriosis has no cure, but I believe I can find relief for my symptoms at the very least.

My acupuncturist believes she can help with inflammation, pain, and blood stasis. She also thinks she can improve my fertility, but she wants to “clear out what she can of the endometriosis” before we shift focus to fertility. For the first few months, I will be going once a week.

Did I mention that she also has endometriosis?

I know this won’t be enough.

She has started me on a regiment of Chinese medicine (again, for the endometriosis, not for fertility) and I have added CoQ10 to the mix for egg health, as recommended by my fertility clinic.

Finally, I have to recommit fully to my anti-inflammatory diet.

I will continue with the changes I made to my diet prior to IVF, but rather than starting a month and a half prior to stems, I need to start those changes now. When I started this, I think I believed it to be a temporary lifestyle change for the purpose of getting pregnant, but I need to embrace this as the new normal.

Life happens in steps, and I took a small one today.

I organized my pantry in an attempt to figure out what the heck we had for food before I started working on meal plan for this week.

I sort of wish I had taken a “before” picture now, because that thing looked terrible!

I need to get back on the anti-inflammatory diet, but I also need to save money because of crippling debt and possible future IVF loans. Cleaning my pantry helped me to discover what foods I already owned and could make healthy meals out of (once I add organic veggies and poultry or wild fish), and throw away stuff that would now make us sick.

Fun fact: I had an unopened bag of sunflower seeds that expired a year and a half ago. Since sunflower seeds have a decent shelf life, we likely purchased these when we bought our house (or maybe before that), so I obviously clean out my pantry frequently.

We hope to be physically and financially ready to start IVF again by next summer.

We still have a massive loan to pay off before we can take out a new one, and I need to give diet and eastern medicine a chance to work before I rush right back into IVF. I think a six month minimum sounds like a reasonable place to start?

So for those of you wondering what happens next on the baby front; I guess the answer is nothing…for now.

I hope to fill this blog with stories from acupuncture; diet and meals tips; and more info about the 43,117 pills I now take daily. Since it’s me though, I’ll be lucky to make four posts before this summer…so stick with me.

I mean, hey! I just posted two blogs in two days, so…progress?

Good night!

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