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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cleaning out the cupboards, a trip back in time

Do you hoard beauty products like I do?  Like the cupboard full of body washes, lotions, hair products and make up that you used once or twice or used a lot but then found some newer, better product but didn't want to toss the old stuff?  Over 4 years, I've collected a double sink cupboard full of crap and on Sunday I said, "Enough!" and grabbed a big trash bag and purged the old stuff!

I found tons of pregnancy tests that expired in November, I'm guessing 2 years from the date I ordered them.  I threw out my digital Ovulation thing because I don't think having it sit in a cupboard for that long is very good and I also threw out the sticks that went with it.  I tossed out cheapie OPK's, a HUGE bottle of Metformin (wow, those pills really are HUGE, it wasn't just my imagination), an old bottle of spironolactone and dexamethosone,preggy drops (supposed to help with nausea, did not work at all for me) and cocoa butter (I don't like smelling like cocoa butter when I go to work and let's face it, I rarely used it during pregnancy and I've had stretch marks since I was twelve so I don't care to have it around.  I'm hoping for  tummy tuck after the next baby and it should take care of some of that mess!).

It felt good to get rid of it because everyday I'd get something out of the cupboard and it was a constant reminder of just how hard I had to try to get pregnant and I deserve a break from it all!  And we all know when I try to get pregnant in a year, I'll probably buy it all over again huh?  But until then, the trash man can throw it in the back of his truck and drive off into the sunset!

It's amazing how many products I bough to get pregnant and stay pregnant

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vitamin for your men to help with fertility!

Conception RX was strongly suggested to us by my doctor even after my husband's sperm test can back as okay.  We bought the pills and that month I got pregnant and he'd only taken them for a week.  I don't think it helped us get pregnant because he hadn't taken them long enough, but every bit helps so it might be worth looking into!  Just a warning, these are not cheap but then again, what part of infertility is.  http://www.theralogix.com/index.cfm?fa=products.conceptionxrmsf.default&dvsn=reprohealth

More information on taking Metformin before and during pregnancy

I was so sick of taking pills while TTCing that by February when I was told I had to take a break because of a large cyst, I was not diligent about taking my Metformin. When I was 6 weeks pregnant and just found out I was pregnant my doctor said "You are taking your Metformin right?" When I told her I'd skipped a lot of doses she ordered me to get back on it ASAP and that I was at a higher rate now to miscarry (she was not being mean, just preparing me). On this website here http://www.ivf.com/pcostreat.htmlit does say, "Women with PCOS who conceive either spontaneously or after ovulation induction have a much higher risk of miscarriage. Liddell has shown that polycystic appearing ovaries (on ultrasound) are more frequently seen in women with recurrent pregnancy loss, the presence of PCO on ultrasound did not predict the outcome in subsequent pregnancies. AND We have initially noted that women who conceive following metformin, Actos or Avandia therapy have an unacceptably high (>30%) risk of miscarriage. Dr. Glueck notes similar increased risk of miscarriage following metformin therapy." Please follow that link to read the rest of the findings but this was very similar to what my doctor said.

Webmd has a GREAT article here http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/news/20020301/diabetes-drug-helps-prevent-miscarriage about Metformin helping decrease the rate of miscarriage. The article is from 2002 but the findings are fascinating to me. This part of the article really caught my attention, "Roughly 9% of the women who took the drug miscarried (six of 65), compared with 42% of women who did not (13 of 31). Among the women in each group who had a history of miscarriage, the rate of pregnancy loss was 11% for those receiving treatment and almost 60% for those not treated."

And we all know how hard it is to GET pregnant, I'm just hoping this information may help one of you stay pregnant and avoid a higher risk of miscarriage. I tried to research online if Metformin did not help with miscarriage and I could not find articles that said that, everything pointed back to how it does help.

I'm sure it would be difficult to talk about and is unlikely someone will respond, but I'd love to hear if someone has had a successful pregnancy while using Metformin during pregnancy after having a miscarriage while not using it. I hate to even write that, it's asking a lot but I'd really like to know everyones experiences.

What happens when you don't eat any vegetables or fruit?!

I've been eating so well for the past 5 weeks but yesterday I was so off my diet because of
1) I had to fast for my blood test for my thyroid issues that when I was done getting blood drawn, it was 10:30am and Starbucks was 1 block away, enough said.
2) My husband called at lunch time and asked if I wanted to just meet him for lunch real quick since he knew I packed my lunch but he was right down the street so I went thinking I'd just order an iced tea, then go back and eat my sack lunch.
3) I did not plan our dinners for the whole week so I improvised with 2 cranky kids and a starving husband and we ate breakfast for dinner which we NEVER do, maybe like twice in 7 years:(

So here's how my food journal looks like from yesterday:
Breakfast (I usually eat at 6:30am, didn't eat until 10:30)
Grande Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks, no whip cream
Starbucks reduced fat Turkey bacon breakfast sandwhich

Carl's Jr. kids cheeseburger meal with an iced tea.

2 homemade chocolate chip buttermilk waffles with butter and syrup
2 pieces of bacon
Scrambled eggs with cheese
1 can of Sanpellegrino Limonata

After dinner
I huge ass gingerbread cookie

Really Brandi??? Really! Look at that, not a single vegetable or fruit but tons of carbs and fat. I actually did have protein at each meal but when it's covered in fat and cooked with grease, I don't think it counts. This is so the old me it's sickening!! By 7pm, I wanted to fall asleep because I was so tired and had no energy and I ate double my weight watchers points. And you know how easy it is to just KEEP EATING Like that!! And in a week I could gain back everything I lost in 5 weeks which is currently 6.2 pounds.

It's important that women with PCOS eat low sugar diets and I've been so good about it. And the truth is, besides the chocolate chip waffles which were to die for, the rest was so not worth the extra fat and calories. I'm totally disappointed in myself!!

If you all haven't visited Marth McKittrick's website, I want you to at http://www.martha-nutritionist.com/pcos.html . She understands PCOS and wrote 2 chapters in my favorite book on PCOS! You can even hire her to customize a meal plan for you. She wrote an article about nutrition and PCOS here http://www.obgyn.net/pcos/pcos.asp?page=/pcos/articles/pcos_and_diet_mckittrick .

Monday, December 20, 2010

Metformin? Help!

I'm hoping all of you can add your advice and what your doctor has told you on here so we can all collectively figure out the Metformin madness!

Are you currently taking it and at what dose?
Did you take it prior to getting pregnant, during, and/or after?
Has it helped you lose weight?
Why did your doctor say you should or should not take it if you are not pregnant?
If you were on Metformin and trying to get pregnant, do you think it helped or were you only prescribed it after you found out you were pregnant?

I am not on Metformin currently, I was however on 2000mg (is that the right measurement, mg?) sporadically while I got pregnant because I was just so sick of taking it that I only took it here and there but I was immediately on it, full dose when I found out I was pregnant. My doctor said the miscarriage right is very high if Metformin is stopped during early pregnancy. She also said that anything less than 1500 was a waste of time and I add this only because I've heard several people taking 500 or 1000, maybe something to research and see if low doses are still helpful? My doctor doesn't think Metformin is necessary now and honestly, if I can lose weight on my own at a pound a week, for me, that might be true but do you think there are other things it could do for me and therefore I should be back on it?

I admit, I hate taking pills or the thought of being on pills the rest of my life, so if I can skip them, I'm all for it. But I do wonder, if I want to try to get pregnant in a year, would it be good to have my body on Metformin now or just wait again?

So confusing! Fill me in, what have your doctors told you or have you read about Metformin!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Here we go again:( 2nd thryoid biopsy scheduled.

On Tuesday I had a thyroid ultrasound which revealed one of my nodules has grown out of the 2 they are watching.  The other smaller nodule was biopsied last summer and revealed it was not cancerous.  The other one they thought was fine but now that it's growing they will biopsy it to make sure.  I'm also getting a blood test tomorrow that tests for a certain thyroid cancer. Yay me!  Getting a biopsy hurts!!!  Last time I started to sweat and almost blacked out but that's mostly because I couldn't lay on my back when I was pregnant without passing out so this time it should be better.  The worst part for me was the numbing medicine they stab into my neck with a needle!  Fingers crossed everything turns out okay and I'm sure it's going to be fine.

My favorite picture of the moment!

I just got pictures back from the photographer and this is my favorite of Dylan and myself!  I can't necessarily scan it because of copyrights and this might not even be allowed but I just had to share!  Also, I feel awful that I cannot show off Monkey but until the adoption papers are signed, I have to follow the rules the state has so I cannot post his picture but you will meet him soon!

What I ate...

I've struggled with being obese since I was 11 so I'm like this perpetual dieter.  I'm on my 4th attempt at Weight Watchers and I'm loving there new program.  My ultimate goal is to make lifetime by reaching my healthy weight and becoming a leader.  There are no leaders in our area under the age of 45 so I'd like to shake it up a little!  Here's what yesterday looked like for me:

1/2 C. egg beaters
1/2 C. diced red and yellow peppers
2 T. Kraft Mexican shredded cheese
1 T. Tilamook Light Sour Cream
A little salsa

12 oz black coffee with 1 packet Splenda and 1/4 C. SF Coffeemate Vanilla Creamer (yes, my coffee looks more like milk than real coffee, lol!)

1/2 Cucumber sliced, 2 regular carrots cut up
2 T. Ranch dip made with Tilamook Light Sour Cream and Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix
Fiber One Bar

Whole wheat sandwich round
4 pieces Hormel fully cooked bacon
Sliced tomato
Lettuce Shreds
1 tsp. Light mayo and mustard
Diet Coke
Salad with veggies and spray Balsamic vinaigrette

Weight Watchers Pesto Fettuccine with Peas which consisted of spinach fettuccine noodles, lots of peas, ricotta, pesto, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, salt, and shredded rotisserie chicken that I bought from the deli. 

Before bed
12 oz black DECAF coffee with 1 packet Splenda and 1/4 C. SF Coffeemate Vanilla Creamer
2 gingerbread cookies (not that I should have had 2 but my sweet tooth was in high gear at the moment!)

I need to add in my water more, I drank a little hear and there but I did not drink enough of it!  Also, I need to start adding a yogurt or glass of milk to up my calcium, but all in all, not a bad day!

Should I Give Up?

I hear this repeated so often in the messages I receive on my YouTube channel and it makes me sad but at the same time....I was once there asking the same question so I know these ladies are not alone.  Realistically, when should you stop trying to get pregnant?  When do you just take a break?  What is the last straw for you before you decide you are done trying?

Here is the YouTube video I recorded when I found out I was not pregnant and decided to take a break but only a week before I conceived....

Women who have PCOS or experience infertility are in "The Club."  The same club where women who accidentally get pregnant (not to mention over and over again!), missed one dose of birth control and got pregnant, decided it would be nice to have a baby in June so they could take the summer off and therefore planned it and BAM got pregnant just in time for a June due date.......just aren't members of The Club.

When talking to non-members, it's sometimes easy to think you should stop trying early on, after a year, after the first couple doses of Clomid, that first IUI, second IVF attempt, etc. because if you were meant to have a baby, wouldn't you already be pregnant?  I say....BS!  I fully understand that some women literally cannot get pregnant no matter how much science, baby dust, praying and baby dancing they do, sometimes it's just physically impossible.  But all I have to say about that is for the majority of women, you have a whole lot of tests, procedures and trying to go through before a highly educated fertility specialist gives you the news that you will never get pregnant.

I'd say the 2 biggest obstacles I hear women with PCOS tell me is money and access to the right doctors.  My first appointment with an ob/gyn to tell her we'd tried for years on our own and were not pregnant still was followed by 4 months of spending $1000-2000 a month OUT OF POCKET.  Because the idiot diagnosed me as infertile, put that on the paperwork submitted to insurance so of course they were not going to pay anything to do with getting pregnant because to them it was like asking for a surgery on my wrist even though my entire arm had been amputated!  Okay, that's a little extreme, I have all my limbs, but you know what I mean?  It was after those first 4 months that I seriously contemplated giving up and moving forward with a private adoption because I knew I financially could not spend $20,000 trying to get pregnant and have it not work and then  be broke and not even be able to adopt.

Then I met my amazing "doctor" who is a  Nurse Practitioner and specialized in infertility!  She diagnosed me with anovulation and 6 weeks later I was pregnant with her help and all I paid was 10% copay!  I love that woman!

Many people are limited by the doctors in their preferred network, military doctors, etc. but in reality, no one can tell you that you can't see other, better doctors because it's your body!! But the catch is you might have to pay out of pocket.  Do it.  Get a second job, sell your car and drive a beater, cancel cable, get a basic cell phone, sell crap on ebay and craigslist....do whatever it takes but do not throw your money away on crappy doctors!! 

Now that you have the right doctor or the best doctor you financially can get, how many attempts at pregnancy do you make?   First off, let's just be honest, if you are overweight (I weighed 192 when I got pregnant on my 5'2" frame so I was about 60-75 pounds overweight) the doctor will suggest you lose weight.  There are plenty of studies to back up the fact that losing weight in many cases can help you conceive plus if you are obese, trust me, it's much easier on your body if you are not carrying around the extra weight so if you feel like giving up and you haven't yet lost weight, I think effort needs to be put there right away.

Think Clomid is a cure all and you've tried it 3 or 4 times and still not pregnant?  WRONG!  If you follow the statistics, I believe it's somewhere between 25-30% (I'll research and update this later) that actually conceive on Clomid so yes, the majority will not and it'll take something else!  So don't think you are the only person that did not get pregnant on Clomid!! 

In closing, I'd just tell all the TTC'ers to take it one month at a time.  If you are stressed about what the next 6 months or a year may be for you if you DON'T get pregnant, stop it!!  Live in the present.  I regret all the hours and days I wasted sitting there thinking about how I probably wouldn't be pregnant next month, in 6 months etc.  It made it so hard when I did get my BFP to actually enjoy the moment and the first words I spoke to my husband were "Don't get too excited, it could be a mistake."  Damn me!  I wish I could take that moment back.

Where are you at with TTC?  What have you tried and have you decided when you may decide to stop?  I'd like to hear from you all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Favorite Soothing Toy for a Colicky Baby!! And "normal" babies:)

I'm so in love with this giraffe from Cloud B !!!

My mom gave Dylan this giraffe (and also the Sheep Cloud B sells but this one is my favorite!) and I could not believe how Dylan calmed right down with it. It also was great for when he was sleeping because I could turn the volume all the way up and he was less likely to wake up when a door opened slightly or I opened a dresser drawer. Yes, he was a light sleeper and when your baby has colic and finally goes to sleep, you will do just about anything to make sure you are not the one that causes him to wake up before he's ready!!  And now that Dylan is one, he still goes to bed with it and he now knows how to push the buttons so sometimes it gets turned to the more fun sounds and he sits in his crib and babbles at it.

Also, it's awesome to hook (with a velcro strip that's attached) to a car seat or stroller to keep your baby entertained while you are out and about!

When I received mine, they were really hard to find in our area except at a couple expensive boutiques but now I've seen them in Toys R Us ($24.99), Barnes and Nobles.........but my favorite place to get them is Amazon.com (here is the link to the travel Cloud B Giraffe)!!  They run about $15 and since I give them as baby shower gifts ALL THE TIME, I usually buy at least 2 or 3 at a time so I can get the free shipping. 

Thyroid Ultrasound

It wasn't until I listened to my voicemails last night that I was reminded I had an appointment with the endocrinologist on Wednesday.  She books 10 months out, you think she's a pretty popular doctor that a lot of people want to get in to see??  Me too!  She's smart as a whip and is so different than the a$$hole I had to see with my first OB/Gyn.  Since I was pregnant, I had developed a hypothyroid and I took Synthroid my entire pregnancy.

After Dylan was born I developed "Postpartum Thyroiditis" meaning my thyroid fluctuates between a hypo and hyperthyroid but mostly a hypothyroid.  The problem with synthroid is this, you are not supposed to take it within 2 hours of eating and 4 hours of eating dairy.  I seem to consume dairy a lot since I got pregnant and that 4 hour stretch before I can take a pill is killer.  It basically means I can't have dairy with dinner and that just doesn't work for me!  So I've developed this really awful habit of skipping my synthroid pill.  It's silly because I finally found a doctor that can help me and I'm not even taking her advice!

During the last trimester I had a thryoid biopsy and it didn't come back as cancer but they are watching the growth of 2 of my nodules.  Lately my neck has felt very lumpy so I was actually really glad to be have this appointment coming up soon however I think I'm going to get a well deserved lecture on taking my synthroid...every...single...day:(

Do you take synthoid or if you are pregnant or just had a baby, do you have thyroid issues?  Here is a link to Hypothyroidism:)

New videos posted on Youtube!

Join me on YouTube to get an update on everything that has happened in the last year and my thoughts on motherhood!  Here is the link to AKgirl26 on YouTube:)