Saturday, 29 March 2014

To get IVF ready you must look after your mind, body and soul

Day 12 of stimulation, day four of cetrotide...

"People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.” Steve Maraboli  

Today I can't stop crying. I have sobbed my heart out this morning and I know for certain there's much more to come. Gonal F, the synthetic version of the follicle stimulating hormone is raging round my body. I am bloated, I can ping my left and right ovaries about and I am the antithesis of the hormonally balanced woman. It makes me want to shout:


But this is our path and we must follow it faithfully. There's no point moaning or fussing about the injections as it is what it is. Good will come out of all of this effort and money saved and spent. It has to. The past 10 days or so have caught up on me and even without the synthetic hormones I think I would be forgiven for cracking up (just a little bit).

You see, we've been getting it from all angles recently - I'm not sure why the universe is throwing some seriously unwanted karma in our direction but it is. I'm trying to put a positive spin on it all and that ultimately, the revelations of the past week have freed us from a cycle of pervasive negativity - that what has happened is a good thing. But the hormones are scuppering up my rational thought processes and making me feel really low today. There's been way too much drama and I've had enough, my wonderful Hubster and I really don't need any of this nonsense right now, really we don't.

Going by the title of this blog I think you can guess that I've been focusing on things that I do have control of - my mind, body and soul. I started off with the above quote as this is exactly what I am doing. No more will I be made to feel inferior due to someone else's negativity. We often rely on our family to be a support and just 'be there.' We can sometimes put our trust and confidence in someone when we know deep down that we are being a little naive, as we have been burnt previously. Our desire for things to be different, for them to be 'right' and our belief that everyone is nice deep down, that any negativity and hate that we may have been on the receiving end over the years has dissipated. Our desire for things to be different can cloud our judgement. I forgave in the belief that I wouldn't be hurt again, but I was and so was my Hubster. I feel guilty for letting my Hubster get hurt, that it's my fault and I'm angry at myself for letting it happen. I believe in forgiveness and I forgave this person and slowly let them back in; I started to trust them again and so did my wonderful Hubster. I have forgiven a lot of people for wrongs they have done to me over the years. Wrongs that happened to me from people I trusted. It's hard to forgive, really hard. To get to the point of forgiveness you have to be brave enough to face how these wrongs make you feel: angry, hurt, upset, mad, questioning, the list could go on. And then you have to deal with these emotions and put them to bed, throw them away, discard them. If you don't do that then you start to hate the world and I don't want to hate. Hate is a very powerful word that has powerful consequences. Unleash your hate on the world and the people around you and one thing you can be sure of, you will end up alone with your hate, hating more and more. I don't want to ever be like that so I am trying to muster the power of forgiveness once again but I need to go through the motions first - I'm not quite ready to forgive.

What I've learnt over the years is that the people that harm you are the ones who are not brave enough to deal with their issues and they take their negativity and warped view of the world out on you. They are all about the 'me, me, me' they believe the world owes them something and they are constantly angry, looking for bad in everything. I pity people like this. They are their own tormentors. You can try and help these people but be wary, their negativity is infectious. There comes a point when enough is enough and when they unilaterally reject your love, compassion and are just plain nasty it's time to turn your back on them and let them find their own path as these type of people can't be helped. 

Well no more. From now on I am taking myself out of that negative world as it's dragging me down. I am naturally a positive person who has a lot of love to give, I don't have a negative view of the world, life is what you make it and I am making my life happy as I just don't want to be miserable. We have one life so let's just live it.

Bye-bye negativity. This picture says it all and I am proud to say that I listen to my heart and not my ego.

Some people may call me a fool. But my heart was unequivicoly broken last weekend, both my Hubster and I have been reeling from the hurt caused. So we have turned our back on a situation and have been licking our wounds and cementing our relationship further. I have all the important members of my family loving and supporting us and if anything, the drama over the weekend has made my relationship with someone who is so very dear to me so much stronger. I rely on him, he is my rock when really it should be me looking out for him - let's just say we look out for each other. Right now I'm leaning on him to help me make sense of what happened last weekend, and to help me get through this IVF cycle as on top of everything else - it's suddenly gotten a little intense and for someone who is almost 13 years my junior he really his totes amaze balls. He is caring, intelligent, philosophical, charming, handsome, lovely, funny; the world is a happier, smilier place with him in it and when I needed him - he was there. Thank you. I know he'll be reading this and I hope he knows that I'm talking about him and I hope my words haven't upset him as he is the last person in the world I would ever want to hurt. My job is to be his protector, to look out for him and to fight his corner, he's been doing that for me recently but I will step up soon - I promise. I love you! I can't really expand any further (and I don't want to) as there's only so much of my dirty laundry I can wash in public. I really do not want to focus my energy any longer on what happened as my body is telling me that it needs me right now.

Yep - my body sure does need me right now.

I've had numerous scans and blood tests this week. I had an inkling that I was responding well to the Gonal F as I have been feeling hot, have had headaches and yes I've had insomnia (although due to exhaustion caused by full-on drama I have been able to sleep - much thanks goes to my trusty IVF Believe CD for getting me off to sleep every night this week), and the bloat has started (I couldn't do my trousers up the end of yesterday - luckily they stayed up and the top I was wearing allowed me to undo the top button - thank the lord for small mercies). 

What was due to take 12 days has taken five; as of Wednesday it looked like I was ripe for egg collection a mere five days after starting the stimms. Hoorah you may think - this is a good thing? But no, it isn't really - it means my body isn't in synch and I'm not ready to have my eggs harvested just yet thank you very much. 

Despite all of the drama I have been keeping very calm (today is the first day when I feel like its gotten on top of me but that really is down to the hormones taking over my rational judgement). Thankfully my hormone levels have been quite level (in IVF terms). There was a possibility that I was going to have to go in today for another scan and blood test with a view to having egg collection on Monday but I have been granted a little time to continue brewing my eggs. I am however back in for a scan and another blood test on Monday, I have a feeling I should be near enough ready then. As of yesterday I had 14 large follicles that could be seen on the scan but I can guarantee there will be more than that when it comes to egg collection time.

I thought I'd show you some photos of how I go about injecting Cetrotide - it's a wee bit fiddly but I'm starting to get the hang of it:

Below you can see the syringe with the giant needle on it and a vial of powder. The liquid from the syringe needs to be squirted into the vial and mixed with the powder.

Next you'll see the liquid and powder mixed in the vial - when all the powder has dissolved and there are no air bubbles you can draw the liquid back up into the syringe. It took me a while to nail this - it can be quite tricky.

You then need to change the needle ready for injecting. The needle below is a lot smaller than the one used to mix the powder and liquid but I promise you - it's a large needle that I really dislike having to jab myself with. My belly has become quite sensitive now, every injection makes me bleed and bruise (I don 't like jabbing my thigh). No part of IVF is fun, that's why it's important to try and keep a lid on simmering anxiety and to remain focused on the here and now. Just get the jabs done quickly, safely and with minimum amount of fuss. The energy you use getting in a tizz is wasted energy, stay calm and the whole process will be easier. In fact staying cool and calm should be the way forward full stop, particularly during IVF. Focus your energy where it's needed - right now my energy needs to be focused on producing lots of nice eggs and for my womb lining to be thickening nicely.

Yikes. It's all happened a little quickly and I've been feeling very much overwhelmed by the situation. We've had so much stress to deal with that the nurses told me to stay super chilled, give myself some TLC and if I can get signed off work for the duration of my treatment then do it. When I had a scan on Wednesday and saw my super large follicles I knew there and then that something had to give - there's only so much pressure I can take so I took the nurses (and my consultant's) advice. I went back to work, tidied a few things up and then put my out of office on. I am blessed to work in such a supportive environment, my workload has been crazy recently but I am under doctor's orders not to stress and to take it easy so I'm being signed off sick. My body's over reaction to the drugs, despite the much smaller dose of Gonal F is reminding me of my previous fresh cycle when I got OHSS and I need to do what the professionals tell me, we all know the link to stress and fluctuating hormone levels so I am 100% convinced that the drama of last weekend has affected things and I can't let that ruin my chances of becoming a mother. Take it easy, keep stress levels to a minimum and focus on making my body ready for what I hope will be pregnancy.

So, I must look after my body as well as my mind and soul - this means I must eat lots of protein and put good stuff into my body. Luckily I've been making spirulina and maca smoothies for the Hubster and I every morning since June 2013. They're not exactly yummy but we've learnt to like them and they make us feel amazing.

Here's my recipe for two pints of the green stuff:

Two bananas
One apple
One pear
Three handfuls of frozen blueberries
One handful of spinach
One tablespoon of powdered maca 
One tablespoon of powdered spirulina
Four tablespoons of low fat yogurt

Put all of the above ingredients (chop the fruit) in a blender, fill the blender up with water so it's at the top of the ingredients, then whizz on full power for about a minute. You will have a jug full of dark green goodness. Pour and drink. Word of warning - don't gulp it otherwise you will gag. 

Since starting the morning with a 'pint of green' every day I can tell you that both our energy levels are up, our skin is clear and we look seriously healthy - this pint of green goodness lasts us until lunch time and we feel great because of it. Even when we do get pregnant I'm keeping it up as I can feel the tangible benefits. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is 65% protein and is full of immune boosting amino acids - it is THE WONDER FOOD and I don't know why more people aren't on to it?! It is also an appetite suppressant and has been touted as the world's answer to hunger as it grows naturally across the world. If you are looking to lose a few pounds you'd be wise to incorporate spirulina into your diet. Maca has been used in Peru for thousands of years, it levels hormones in ladies and increases testosterone production in men and can increase libido (very important when you're trying to get pregnant!) Blueberries are antioxidants that aid concentration, bananas are full of potassium and release slow energy, apples and pears are full of vitamins C and K as well as copper, fiber, potassium, and flavonoids and spinach is full of folic acid (folic acid is good for men who are trying to get fertile fit as well as women).

So there we go. My mind has been wobbly but is in good shape, my soul has been struggling to make sense of recent events but I am confident that all is well and it is OK and understandable to feel how we have been feeling, and my body is 'enthusiastically' responding to treatment. I'm putting good stuff into it, I'm relaxing and trying to keep my cortisol levels to a minimum and I am surrounded by love and positivity. I've rejected negativity - the world is a good place.

Laters xxx

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