Sharing Feelings

8 Weeks Babies IVF IVF Success Our Plans Have Changed Blog www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

 

After my 8 week scan I was officially released from my RE’s office.  I wasn’t ready for it.  It was an emotional appointment.  My nurse came and greeted me after my ultrasound and walked me to ‘The Tree of Hope’ where I was able to stamp two sets of footprints, one for each of my babies.  Tears started to well up in my eyes.  I didn’t want to leave this place that had taken such good care of me for the last 6 months.  She hugged me, and I cried.  She told me to come back with a big ol’ belly to visit and to not be shy with pictures once they have arrived.  The hardest part about leaving my RE is that I will go from weekly ultrasounds to practically none at my OB.  I think they do 2 over the course of a pregnancy.  Maybe because I’m high risk from IVF and because of the twins I’ll get more?  It would be nice to see them more often.  I was instructed to stop taking my progesterone because the babies placentas were now big enough to sustain them on their own.  My thoughts were, ‘Um…are you sure?  Just three days ago I took my last progesterone late and had spotting right away.’  I was terrified.  I was to stop back in two days for blood work to make sure my levels were good.  Sure enough, no spotting and my levels didn’t dip at all.  It’s pretty incredible that once the twins hit the 8 week mark, they didn’t need my outside help anymore.  They’re so independent, ha!  My first OB appointment is Monday but I believe I’m just meeting with one of the nurses to get started with basic information and some sort of future plan.  We’ll see how this goes.

We feel extremely grateful that we get to have these two babies be a part of our lives.  It’s exactly what we wished for.  Dreams really do come true.  However, I can say that I feel an overwhelming (at times) sense of guilt.  There is a very large Instagram group of women who are trying to conceive.  We follow each other, send encouraging messages, mourn together and celebrate together.  It isn’t lost on me that many of these women have faced more struggles and loss than I have.  For that, I feel guilty.  Some have been through multiple IUI’s, multiple IVF’s and FET’s and still have not been able to get pregnant or bring home a healthy baby.  Obviously I’m not completely out of the woods yet, and probably won’t ever feel out of the woods until I have my two babies in my arms, but I’ve made it farther than some in our very first fertility cycle.  I truly believe my success is a mix of things.  My wonderful RE did all kinds of tests before just putting me on Clomid, which would normally be step 1 for some.  After determining that I would need IVF, she did more testing to make sure my uterus was in shape enough to accept a pregnancy.  When she discovered polyps she removed them and said it’s likely that a miscarriage would’ve happened if we hadn’t removed them.  In addition, the month leading up to my cycle I drastically changed my diet.  I stopped eating sour patch kids (which was a food group in itself for me), I began eating avocado to increase the amount of good fat in my diet.  I ate that crap every.single.day.  I cut out caffeine other than the small amount naturally found in chocolate.  I also prayed more than I ever have in my life, people prayed for us, people sent their positivity and encouragement.  Our RE’s office is nationally recognized.  They are doing multiple studies at a time to further research and development for ARTs.  Their success rates are some of the highest in the country (68-70%).  All of these things helped us, but there are women who aren’t as lucky and I hate that.

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Sunday Dinner

Sunday Dinner - Slow roasted pot roast in beer, maple dijon gravy or roasted sweet potato risotto

 

After high demand for the recipe on instagram, I’ve decided to post what I made for dinner tonight.  The pot roast recipe is from The Kitchn.  I’ve altered it a bit.  The risotto recipe can be found here.  This one has been altered too, so here’s what I did.

 

Pot Roast

1 4-5lb. Beef Chuck Roast

3 onions, sliced

10 mushrooms, sliced

handful of baby carrots

1 bottle of beer

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

salt & pepper

olive oil

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron pot.  Pat meat dry on all sides.  When pot is hot, sear meat for 10 minutes on first side and about 5 minutes on the other side.  Move the roast to the crock pot.  Add sliced onions, mushrooms and carrots to the cast iron pot and add more olive oil if necessary.  Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add a few tablespoons of beer to the pot to deglaze and scrap up any stuck on goodness. Transfer veggies to crock pot.  In a separate bowl mix together remaining beer, dijon, syrup and vinegar.  Pour over meat and veggies.  Add salt and pepper.  Cook on low (if possible) for 10 hours.  I cooked it on high for 4 hours and it still fell apart.

For the Risotto, I was super tired by the time it came to make this, so I decided to use quick cooking rice.  I used beef stock instead of chicken and beer instead of white wine.  I typically make this recipe with red wine and beef stock, but switched it up tonight.

1 cup quick cooking white rice

1 sweet potato, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 cups of beef stock, warm

1 bottle of beer

salt & pepper

olive oil

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.  Toss chopped sweet potato in olive oil, salt and pepper and put on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, in same cast iron pot I browned the meat in, I add a few tablespoons of olive oil and bring to a medium high heat.  Add shallots and stir for about 2 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.  Add rice and stir to coat.  Add more olive oil if necessary.  Add in bottle of beer and stir continuously until bottle of beer is absorbed.  Add broth, spoonful by spoonful as the rice absorbs the liquid.  When sweet potatoes are done roasting, put into food processor and make into a mash/paste.  Add the sweet potato paste to the risotto and add the last spoonful of broth.  Mix together for a few minutes to make sure the sweet potato has spread throughout risotto.

To plate, put a small layer of risotto and add meat and veggies to the top.  If you’re like me and you love gravy, get a spoonful of the liquid from the crockpot and top your meal with it.

Voila!

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Keeping myself busy

IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

 

To keep myself busy over the last few days while I anxiously await transfer day, I have been cooking up a storm.  I’m trying to use more healthy fats and eat more whole grains.  I made one of my favorite soup recipes from William-Sonoma’s ‘Soup of the Day’ cookbook.  It was the only cookbook I registered for when we got married.  YUM!  Here’s a look.

IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com  IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com  IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

And I got to use my immersion blender, which is always fun.   IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

 

Then we did two nights of burgers on wheat rolls.  Night 1: Mozzarella stuffed burgers.  Night 2:  Mushroom, bacon, swiss burgers.

IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com   IVF Diet - Our Plans Have Changed Blog.  TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

 

Everything is really tasty and it took up some of my time to make it, but not enough.  I’m really anxious.  My blood work came back ‘excellent’ today.  I should receive a call tomorrow to let me know what time my transfer will be on Thursday (if there will be one).  There is always a chance that our embryos would have stopped dividing or that they may be lagging behind where they should be, though it’s not likely.  I’m just trying to keep myself distracted.

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Harmony

IVF Day 5 TTC Infertility www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com Our Plans Have Changed

 

Today was our fifth night of shots.  One stung, one didn’t.  I can’t seem to figure out what makes some shots hurt and some not.  Tomorrow morning we have an appointment to check my progress via ultrasound and blood work.  I am hoping to see some follicles because I can definitely feel my ovaries getting larger.

My husband is in painter’s clothes because he has painted another wall in our house!  We’re using Harmony paint from Sherwin Williams which is safe for pregnant people, not that I am one yet.

I have changed my eating habits in preparation for our IVF cycle (mentioned in a previous post).  I have not had caffeine in about two weeks now, haven’t had a diet soda in a week and a half and haven’t had chewy,fruity or sour candy in weeks.  That is a big deal for me.  I love candy, a lot.  I’ve been eating the guacamole salads every day for lunch.  It was just during the week at first but I’ve started eating them on the weekends too.  Full disclosure here – I have had some peanut M&Ms, Dairy Queen (1 small blizzard that I ate over 2 days) and chocolate covered raisins which count as fruit in my book.  So I guess I’ve had a bit of caffeine in the chocolate I’ve eaten but it’s much less than my typical Diet Dr. Pepper.  We’ve been cooking at home just about every night so I can cut out butter to replace with olive oil.  I have also only been drinking water.  WATER, people.  I hate water.  I add lemon juice to it most of the time to make it taste better to me.  I’m hoping that with all of these changes, it’ll put me in a better position to have a successful IVF experience.

Kyle and I are both feeling really good about this whole thing today.  Positivity is filling our house.  Also, I got to hang out with babies so my day was pretty good!

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Fertility Diet Plan

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and have found articles suggesting the perfect diet for fertility and/or IVF success.  While I don’t believe that eating any magical foods will unblock my tubes, I do think that eating healthy could up our chances of having a successful IVF experience.  I found an article stating that the live birth rate could be up to 3x as high for women who eat avocado during IVF.  I should’ve probably started this by saying I am not a dieter, I do not wish to lose weight or eliminate any particular thing from my diet.  Food is my love language.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.  I enjoy food, all kinds, including sour patch kids and Wendy’s.  Get over it.  I think the most important part of ensuring that I’m eating better is cooking at home.  We find that our food tastes better than what we spend 2-3 times the money on to eat out at a restaurant and we can control the butter, salt and fat contents if we make it ourselves.  Here’s what I’m eating this week.

Breakfast: Blueberry Power Muffins – I found this recipe on pinterest for blueberry muffins with oats and greek yogurt.  I used whole wheat flour instead of white flour, added walnuts and used plain greek yogurt and added honey.  These were very easy to make and with blueberries, oatmeal, greek yogurt, whole wheat and nuts you can’t really go wrong.  (just ignore the fact that butter and sugar are included)

Blueberry Power Muffins

 

Lunch: Guacamole Salad and Chicken Salad

Here’s the recipe for the Guac Salad.  I don’t have a picture of it yet because I’m going to make it each day at lunch so my avocado doesn’t turn.  The Chicken Salad recipe, I found here.  It calls for greek yogurt instead of mayo and I left out the cranberries.

Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt

Snacks:  Veggies and Dip.  I love veggies and dip, it is a staple in my house.  I like cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, celery and broccoli.  I use a 16 oz. container of Sour Cream (full fat).  I’ve read conflicting articles about low fat dairy vs full fat when trying to conceive.  I mix it up.  All the greek yogurt I eat is low fat so I do full fat for everything else and 2% milk.  I buy Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix and mix it all up and viola, all done.  It’s easy, it’s yummy and it’s not all that bad for me.  The dip only contains 10% of your daily sodium.

Veggies

Ranch Dip

Dinner:  Grilled Turkey Meatballs with Whole Wheat Linguine and Tomato/Basil/White Wine sauce plus Olive Loaf and Oil for Dippng

I made the meatballs with ground turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, hot sauce, Worcestershire, A1 and some scallion pepper seasoning.  We discovered last week that you can grill them and they’re super yummy.  I used jarred tomato basil sauce and added white wine and put it all over whole wheat linguine.  We also have a loaf of 3 olive bread so I grabbed a chunk and made a bowl of olive oil, minced garlic, pepper and crushed red pepper for dipping.

Grilled Turkey Meatballs

Olive Loaf and Dipping

Whole Wheat Linguine with Turkey Meatballs and Tomato Basil Sauce with White Wine

 

Here’s to being as healthy as I can be!

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