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How we finally got pregnant after 7 years of infertility.

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I almost titled this how I got pregnant in 1 month. I can’t remember how far along we were in the trying to conceive process but I remember reading a blog titled something to similar to that. I believe her advice was along the lines of making sure you are tracking your cycles, and timing your intercourse at the right time. Great advice, if you have nothing else going on. Infertility is not one size fits all kind of problem, I wish it was.


For the sake of it, let’s start with the basics. Of course, you should know, I am not a medical professional, and I can only relay my personal experience, and that should never replace any doctor’s advice, but if you have been given advice by a doctor that you don’t personally agree with, please seek a second opinion from a different medical professional. If we had done that in the beginning, it could have saved us years of heartache.


I also want to add, that for the sake of this article, I am going to be more basic and not go way into detail. However, in the future, I do plan to get more in-depth with step by step. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me.


Tracking your cycle


First, I would recommend a few starting tasks regardless of where you are in your journey. Get a BBT or basal body thermometer. I used Femometer Brand. I liked it because it automatically uploaded the temp to my phone for me to track my cycles. There are many great options to use, but the most important thing is finding one that works for you. You can track this on paper or through an app, but this is important because the temperatures will help you understand your body and your cycle better. This can help you determine when and if you are ovulating and when is the best time for you to try to conceive.


BBT
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I have used the paper tracking in the past, and I love it for a lot of reasons. However these days I use Flo tracking app. I've also used pre mom, Ovia, Glow, and probably a few others. I recommend trying a few different options until you find one you love. But a good reason to start with the paper, or a good note to keep in mind is simply don't blindly trust the apps to tell you when you are ovulating. They use an algorithm to determine that for you. If you download multiple apps (and I have down this) put in the same information, you'll notice that it will give you roughly the same time frame but now always the same ovulation date. When you track on paper you can few that temperature shift and once you do it for a couple of months you can see if a pattern is developing where you ovulate around a certain time. I have pcos which means sometimes I don't ovulate so I had to learn other ways to track and find out how to tell when I'm ovulating.


Alright so you've got your paper, and your thermometer. Chances are good the day you are reading this is probably not the first day of your cycle and that's ok. If you want to try to get the hang of it you can start today if you know what cycle day you are on, or you can wait till you start your period.

To calculate cd 1 you'll need to know what day you started if you're not sure it would be more beneficial to wait.


Here are two examples of what a full month of tracking may look like.


bbt chart


bbt chart

So the top one that person tracked their temperature, cervical mucus, period, and used an OPK kit. So looking at their chart they have a large dip on cd 15 which indicates they likely ovulated that day. If you are trying to get pregnant I would definitely try this day if possible. The hearts on this chart indicate when they tried. You can see during the dip their cervical mucus is egg white which is also an indication of ovulation. You can also see that they had this for four days which is indicative of their fertility window. Most experts recommend trying to have sex multiple times during this window and your cycle to optimize your chances. SIDE NOTE: On the other hand if you were wanting to avoid getting pregnant and this looked like a typical cycle for you from month to month. You would want to avoid unprotected sex between cd 10 and cd 19. But of course again that really only works if you are tracking all of your symptoms, cervical mucus, temp, ect. But I know lots of wonderful women who use the fertility tracking method as a means of trying to conceive and prevent pregnancy. I just feel that sharing this aspect is important, nothing is more powerful than knowledge. If for some reason you don't want to use birth control, or one of the other options available this is an option. Wanting to be pregnant or being infertile isn't the only reason to have this knowledge. Of course it's not 100% lifestyle things can cause a delay in ovulation where just for example. Let's say you ovulate every single month without fail on the 14th cycle day. But you're moving, have an important test coming up, or in some way something unusual has happened that might cause stress on your body. Your period and ovulation can be affected by this causing it to come later and if you aren't tracking all of your body's signals you may not even realize it.

Anyway back on track. Now let's say you started your period, you didn't know it was coming so you didn't take your temperature this morning. That's totally ok. Just first thing tomorrow take your temperature log it under cycle day 2. To start you want to really try to wake up at the same time every morning and do this. Even if you go right back to sleep afterwards that's ok. When I was actively tracking I struggled with this on the weekend which is why I got the Femometer because I kept falling asleep on the weekends and not writing it down.

The second one shows just that one dip, and I wanted to include both to highlight that not everyones cycles are going to look the same. The top one had a slow dip over a couple of days, the bottom one had a quick dip. The main thing is you want to see that dip and then the rise. The rise should ideally be higher than the temps before the dip. One the top chart you can see before ovulation the highest the temp went before the dip was 97.6 and the after the dip (ovulation) you see the lowest it got was 98.8. These shifts are related to the hormones in your body the second half is when progesterone is starting to increase. Again another side note that I have learned, if you are using OPKs, know you ovulated, but this second half isn't having a good rise. For example on the top chart instead of being at 98.8 say it was 98.6 or below I would seriously consider talking to a fertility expert and having them check your progesterone to see if you might need supplements. When I was pregnant with my daughter my progesterone was actually low and I had to supplement. Being low put me at a higher risk for miscarriage, and it's definitely not something I want anyone to experience.

Next, if you have been trying for a while (more than 6 months to a year) with no success, or you’ve had 1 or more miscarriages, I highly recommend reaching out to a fertility doctor who can run tests to see what is going on. Depending on your situation, you could need additional medicine to support a pregnancy or you may need to change something in your diet or lifestyle. I can't stress enough that the truth is infertility is different for everyone. But once you've started with the basics, if you still aren't seeing results the best thing is to consult a professional.


For us, it was all of the above. We were told by more than one doctor that we would need IVF and by a couple of other professionals we would probably never have kids. The label of infertility was a heavy one and seeing fertility doctors was incredibly stressful, but I am so grateful that we kept pushing forward. But the reality is there are many couples who aren't able to bring home a baby, and more often than not money is the thing that stops them.

But as far as my story I was tracking my cycles and getting our diagnosis which was PCOS for me and low sperm count for my husband. We knew we had to start making lifestyle changes. We looked into ways to reduce our daily toxins. This part we are still working on many years later because the hard truth is it's constantly a battle to reduce your exposure to toxins.

If I were doing it all over again I would start with buying clean products. To clarify by no means did I or am I saying throw out all of your products now and buy new ones. Please don't do that unless that is something you want and can afford to do. Instead when you run out of your everyday tolietries and are looking to replace them seriously consider and think about the brands you are using.

We looked at household cleaners, shampoos, soaps, laundry detergent, all of the things in our home that contained chemicals that could be harmful to us. Basically, we mainly looked at phthalates, parabens, and fragrances.


Products in Our Life


The next thing to look at is what items in your home besides these products might contain toxins.

Household items such as the shower curtains and liners, and cookware may contain toxins. But the upside is these things also need to replaced at some point. I was surprised to learn that it is recommended that you change your shower curtain every six months. We definitely didn't do that, so we took that as a sign to grab a new fertility friendly liner. Linen or polyester are considered better options here is one they we got: Shower curtain. But the main thing here is to look for PVC, VOCs, and phthalates free.

We looked at and replaced a lot of items in our home but truthfully we did not have the means to replace every single thing. Some things we didn't want to give up (like our Keurig). Some please don't feel like if you can't afford to do all the things that you aren't doing enough.

If you want to and are able look at your mattress, you curtains, your sheets, things in your home, or come in contact with your body, food or water are the best place to focus your time and money.


Some item we chose to replace included a new water filter, and an air purifier.


Also when we were out making purchases we tried our best to avoid the heat printed thermal tapes and use e receipts instead. It's wild when you are confronted with all the toxins that we come into contact everyday. It definitely shocked me at time, and still with my little girl I'm constantly thinking of how can I improve our home for us and for her.


Diet


Outside of the the everyday toxins, we took a hard look at our diet. We made a lot of changes to the types of foods we ate and bought. We didn’t completely stop eating out but we did try to minimize how much we ate out. When we purchased food, we tried to buy organic, grass fed, free range, ect. Was that completely necessary? I’m not sure. But did it hurt? probably not. It can be pricey, so do what works for you. In my opinion, I think choosing a better quality food that you enjoy eating is the most important direction. I also want to add, I did not completely cut out foods I enjoyed. I still ate “junk” food, I just tried to limit the amount. I also didn’t calorie count, just instead of not really thinking about what I was eating, I tried to overall be more mindful. We did read and utilize recipes and meal plans by various professional individuals but two of note I would highly recommend are Dr. Kiltz Keto Diet, and Rebecca Fett’s “It Starts With an Egg”. I feel that I should also add we didn’t do a strictly keto or Mediterranean diet, but more of a mixture.


Exercise


We also changed our lifestyle in regards to exercise. We found a rock climbing gym that started as a fun birthday surprise for me. We loved it so much, we started going 3 to 4 times a week. We walked around the neighborhood, we hiked every weekend we could, we spent lots of time outdoors, and indoors in the gym. We truly felt like we were living again, and not just waiting to get pregnant. We took a yoga class once a week. We got an elliptical, and a treadmill but honestly we didn’t use them nearly as much as I had hoped we would. We did spend a lot of time turning our hopeful nursery into a home gym so that we could work out at home. My advice here is find something you enjoy. Not just exercising to exercise but something that makes you happy. For us, finding people at a local rock climbing gym, a yoga class and hiking outdoors was right for us, but it might not be right for you, and that’s ok.


Supplements


Also, per our doctors we began taking different supplements. I recommend consulting with a professional before starting any supplements especially if you are taking any other kind of medication. For my specific condition of PCOS I took Ovasitol, a once daily prenatal vitamin (My Kind Organics certified organic Whole Foods vitamin), Bio-Quinone Active CoQ10 Gold, Thorne Vitamin D/K2, R-Lipoic Acid, N-acetyl-Lcysteine, Collagen powder, vitamin c, and SeroVital.

Andrew took a Vitamin c 3x a day, FertilAid, and Bio-Quinone Active CoQ10 Gold.

In addition to supplement,s I took a levothyroxine for my thyroid condition, and Leterozole 2.5 mg 5-9. He also took Clomid 3x a week.


All in all, it’s a lot to add into your routine, and at the same time I choose not to go too in-depth with all of the changes. I plan to provide more details in the future. We were planning to start IVF in April 2021. February 8, 2021, we got our order for our Saline Infused Sonogram, the last thing we needed to start our IVF and order our meds. February 15, I took my last dose of leterzole, and truthfully, I don’t remember the exact details. Something came up, and my SIS had to be pushed. We had planned for it to be done in March, and then start IVF in April. During our two week wait, I had seen a few different mamas to be post reels getting negatives, negatives and then finally their big fat positive (BFP in the trying to conceive community). I hadn’t recorded any previous tests with my face in it. For some reason, I decided when it was time for my March test I would. I knew it would be negative. But maybe hopefully in April after our IVF we would finally get that positive, the positive that would lead to bringing our baby home.


The morning I woke up, tip toeing to the other side of the house, I set up the camera on my phone, took the test, and recorded my reaction. I had my disappointed face ready. My hopes down low. When I turned the test over, I did a double take. Shocked, speechless, am I seeing things? Is this real? I made an appointment, and I didn’t tell anyone. After it was confirmed, I made plans to tell Andrew.


The day of, I told him I had planned an IVF photo shoot to announce to our families we were doing IVF and just basically document the process. Seeing his reaction that day was definitely a top 10 moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.


It look a long time and a lot of heartache to get to our beautiful baby girl. Of course, I wouldn’t change a thing.


Thanks for reading,

Angie






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Hi, I'm Angie


Hello there! I'm Angie, and I appreciate you taking the time to visit. I proudly embrace the role of being a mom to a delightful 20-month-old, while also embarking on a personal journey of self-discovery. Moving forward, I intend to delve into a wide range of topics, such as our daily routines, effective cleaning strategies, and dive deeper into our adventures with ASQ-3 Testing, helmet usage, and any other exciting aspects that arise along the way.

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