This week was crazy, for different reasons. Crazy productive, crazy stressful, and also crazy exciting. That’s a lot of crazies! I want to make this FET Prep weekly series more reader-friendly so I will break down the week’s highlights by topics, then go over my mini-victories for the week, and finally things that are a work in progress. I’ll also include my weight loss ticker near the bottom of my posts as I am trying to get to a healthier weight before my FET.
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So I sent a message to my fertility clinic asking about supplements and other suggestions they have for me. I got kind of an underwhelming response of very little info on how to prepare for an FET with supplements and diet. I’m surprised at how little it is compared to what I’m reading and when I compare notes with what others have said helped them have a successful FET. In a nutshell it says, take a prenatal and eat healthy food. I find the lack of information in that message to be really dubious.
I did my own research on the supplements that may help thicken the lining of my uterus, therefore increasing the chances of my embryo implanting. Check out page 183 in the second edition of It Starts with the Egg to read Rebecca Fett’s suggestions on supplements. The vitamins I plan on taking will probably vary from what you need, so buy the book and then check with your doctor.
Prenatal – Thorne Basic Prenatal (with at least 800mcg of methylfolate)
Vitamin E – Solgar (600mg/day or 900IU/day)
Vitamin D – Nature Made (4000-5000IU/day)
L-arganine – Solgar (6g/day)
Bio-quinone Q10 Gold (400mg/day: 200mg at breakfast and 200mg at lunch)
Low-Dose Asprin – Kirkland Signature (81mg/day)
5-MTHF – Thorne 5mg (this supplement is specific to my needs, due to my MTHFR gene mutation)
The WTF Email
So my husband was considering discarding his sperm that is stored at our clinic. He had concerns about continuing to pay for it, especially after our clinic increased the prices this year. He had mentioned this to me recently that he was thinking about stopping the payment and having the clinic discard it. I heard him out and thought he was going to think about for a bit. I mentioned to him in the past I could take over the payments in January 2020. Thursday my husband took the initiative to call them and tell them he was going to stop paying and to discard the sperm. I didn’t know he was going to do this, thus resulting in a s**t storm of epic proportions that ensued.
The first problem, right off the bat, is that he was choosing to discard sperm from two years ago. They say the younger the sperm the better your chances of a successful live-birth. He’s approaching his mid-40s, which I’m learning from different sources is when sperm starts to decline in quality (Better Health Channel, 2017). The second problem, my recent miscarriage was related to a sperm issue which we had not experienced at all in the earlier years of our infertility. After everything I’ve been learning these past few weeks I thought I should step up and take over paying for his sperm storage bill, since he is helping with a lot of other bills. But I was too late, he had already made the phone call to stop his payments and discard the sperm. He sent me a text to let me know.
I sent a few panicked texts to him explaining why I thought this was a bad idea. I told him I was willing to take over payments. So I called the clinic right away and explained that we did not want to actually discard it and that I would take over the payments. I had to print off an automatic payment form, fill it out, yell at my printer for 10 minutes because it refused to scan it in, then I figured out to just take a picture of it with my phone to send it in. I spent the entire afternoon either on hold, playing phone tag, responding to messages from the financial department, while also responding to messages from my medical team. I even double checked that my embryo payment plan was still on track as well, since no change was suppose to happen with that. Their patient service representative reassured me, “Yeah you look good to go with your payments, I don’t see anything due yet for the month for your embryo storage.” I finally took a breath and thought I had everything sorted out.
But then the next morning I open my email and see a message from the clinic that looked like they were going to discard not only the sperm but also the embryo I have in storage. That right there was my what-the-f**k email, as in what the actual f**k is going on to where they would even think it’s okay to send me that email after I emphasized in a voicemail message, and through their online messaging portal, and verbally over the phone with two representatives that I did not want any sperm discarded and now they are lumping in discarding my embryo.
I was beyond pissed, but I gathered enough composure to calmly send out another portal message, then spoke to a representative on the phone who then transferred me to leave a voicemail for the financial department. I later received a portal message that said essentially “disregard that email.” They then said, “Please fill out an updated payment form for your embryo storage” which totally contradicts what they told me yesterday when they told me everything was current. All of this just adds to the reasons I am not going to do any future IVF cycles with this clinic after my upcoming FET. I have only one embryo out of two rounds of IVF, that’s reason enough to give them the boot.
Increased AMH Level
On a completely different note, I finally got some of my recent blood test results back from my local OBGYN office. In December I decided to check my different blood levels, which are some of the ones the Modern Fertility test looks at. For the end of 2019 I opted to get the tests through my doctors office because I already met my out-of-pocket maximum so these tests would be free. But any other time I would have ordered the Modern Fertility test because it is way cheaper than testing at the doctors office. My doctor was out of the office but my nurse relayed the results to me. Here it is:
Luteinizing hormone 9.4
Compare that to…
My AMH (Anti-Müllerian hormone) level went up from 0.19 to 0.63 which I am really excited about. I’m so happy I could throw a party. I never thought it would increase at all, so to see it increase blew my mind. I feel sorry for anyone who does not deal with infertility and therefore does not understand the significance of this event. I’d say it’s equivalent to Jesus walking on water, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Mini-Victories for the Week
Almost completely stopped adding sugar to coffee.
Drinking less coffee now down to just a few times a week.
Taking my blood pressure pills more regularly (thanks to phone alarms 😊 )
Created a daily checklist for FET prep that includes each supplement, cups of water, exercise, etc. I will probably add more to the list if I learn any other things that may benefit me on a daily basis.
Contacted fertility clinic to set date for FET in April.
Eating healthier than I normally do, including more veggies. Nom nom.
Resolved the “WTF email” I mentioned earlier without losing my s**t.
Stopped using my old coffee maker that had a lot of plastic components and tried our new french press. Plastic + heat = toxic chemicals. Will be stopping coffee completely by Week 4 of my FET Prep, exactly 3 months before FET.
Work in Progress
Reduce gluten products from my diet.
Continue to incorporate more fruits and veggies in my life.
Put peanut butter out of reach and a note on it to persuade me from using if I do reach it. Done and done. Now I just need to make sure I don’t crawl up there to reach it this upcoming week. Peanut butter is my kryptonite.
Want to find out how fertile you are? The Modern Fertility test is an affordable option that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. What hormones will they test? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:
AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)
FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)
LH (Luteinizing hormone)
TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)
FT4 (Free thyroxine)
Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI