Let’s start this off by saying that the changes I’ve made for Mission: 2016 Pregnancy/Baby haven’t exactly been fruitful. Aside from the spring miscarriage, not even the faintest of two pink lines or the remotest natural pregnancy possibility were had. From all appearances, 2016 has been a gigantic fertility FAIL, and it was no more successful than the preceding four years of TTC. Examples: my cycles in 2016 have been a wildly swinging pendulum, ranging from both scarily long (107 days) to freakishly short (13 days) and everywhere else in between. Maybe four or five times this entire year I’ve actually ovulated. There was an FET, followed by miscarriage #3/chemical pregnancy. Then there’s been these past few months of unexplained bleeding. All fails. Big, fat, giant, sloppy fails.
Even so, I have made some positive changes this year for my fertility health! My hope is that—by continuing them over time and being consistent—they’ll help me reach my end goal of a natural pregnancy:
- Baby Aspirin: I started taking baby aspirin in March, about a month before my FET. I’ve never been diagnosed with any clotting issues, but taking baby aspirin every day somehow makes me feel better. Maybe it’s psychological, maybe it’s physical. Who knows. But it doesn’t hurt to keep taking it. I’ll have to stop taking the baby aspirin about three weeks before my upcoming surgery, but it’s just temporary. I’ll pick back up with it once I’ve healed from surgery.
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: I bought 2 pounds of loose, organic RRL tea back in February and STILL have plenty leftover! I only drink it for the first two-thirds of my cycle, since it really shouldn’t be drunk during early pregnancy. There’s no telling if the RRL tea has actually helped my uterus. But it’s something proactive that makes me feel like I’m actually doing something, so why not?
- Acupuncture. This should actually be added to my “fail” list. I managed to
enduresuffer through six weeks of acu prior to my FET. All my fellow TTC-ers in Blog Land love acupuncture and swear by it. But for me? Not so much. My extreme sensitivity to touch combined with a low pain threshold means that acupuncture is uncomfortable-bordering-on-painful for me. I would leave my acu appointments feeling sore and tense and anxiously dreading the next session. From what I’ve read online, a small percentage of people have this type of reaction to acu. I guess I’m part of the minority here, but I’m not completely alone at least. Acupuncture for increased fertility is apparently not part of my fertility plan.
- Smoking Cessation: I’d quit smoking in summer 2015 prior to my first IVF. After miscarriage #2 from that cycle, I [accidentally but kind of on purpose too] picked back up on the habit. From there, it took me another four whole months to quit again. But then miscarriage #3 happened. And I went back to smoking yet again. It’s a struggle, people! I smoked for twenty years. Not heavily, maybe seven or so cigs a days, but still… A long time. And it’s not something I’m exactly thrilled to admit on here. Anyway, I quit for a third time in June 2016 and have made it six months smoke free! I’m not gonna lie: I still miss it
sometimesa lot. But I feel better overall being a nonsmoker, and continue to take it one day at a time.
- Supplements. This year I added DHEA, CoQ10, vitamin D, mineral supplements, daily prenatals, L-Arginine, ester C, and B-complex to my supplement list. In previous years, I was only taking multi-vitamins. I’ve talked a bit about this before here.
- Sayonara, plastic: During a sudden burst of inspiration, I chucked all plasticware from my kitchen. No BPA in Marixa’s house! One day back in the spring, Jake came home to find me in the kitchen surrounded knee-deep by pitchers, food storage containers, Ziplock bags, jars, and any other plastic-y items in my path of destruction. I gathered them into a trash bag and pitched them all in the trash. Then I went out and spent a tiny fortune replacing everything with glassware. Anything that mimicks estrogen in our bodies is bad in general, but especially so for those of us with endometriosis. So goodbye, you plastic endocrine disruptors, you.
When it’s all said and done, I’ve done all that I know to do. The rest is up to God. His timing will ultimately win, despite all the little futile”isms” I may do in my own limited human strength. I’m still believing in Him to “…make the barren woman [me] a happy mother of children.”
So I bid adieu to 2016 and look forward with hopeful expectation to 2017. Goodbye, year of fertility fails. Goodbye, year of weird cycles. Goodbye, fertility treatments. Goodbye, anovulatory cycles. Goodbye, intermenstrual bleeding. And finally, goodbye, my much-desired embryo who tried so, so very much, but just couldn’t stay comfy more than a few weeks in my womb. You were loved; you are still loved; you will always be loved.
And welcome to a new year of possibilities, of renewed faith, of restored fertility. Of being the year my dreams come true.
My prayer for all of you, my fellow TTC-ers, who are still trying for that miracle baby, or are waiting on edge for that adoption to come through, or are searching to find (or pay for!) a gestational surrogate—or wherever else you may be in your fertility quest—is for God’s peace, prosperity, comfort, and widsom to surround you. I pray that your dreams come true and your prayers are answered for your miracle child in 2017.
All things are possible to [s]he who believes.