Even though this vacation to Nevada has been really relaxing I wish I would have planned it for a couple weeks earlier. The first reason being that this particular January has been exceptionally cold in Alaska, and I wish I would have gotten out of our cold snap sooner. The second reason I feel like I planned my vacation a little too late is the timing of it fell within the crucial three-month window prior to FET. The three months prior to FET are important for building up a thick uterine lining to improve the odds of embryo implantation. I’m not aware of definitive evidence that stress in and of itself causes implantation issues, but I do believe that stress can contribute to poor health decisions (i.e., drinking, smoking, overeating) that can in turn affect implantation.
I tend to get stressed when I travel at times. A delayed flight, waiting in a crowded airport, and squishing like sardines into the ever-shrinking plane seats are just some of the typical stressors when flying. But now the news is talking about the threat of coronavirus. To top it off both of the airports I went through (Anchorage and Las Vegas) had confirmed cases of coronavirus. I later learned the news seemed to overinflate the actual severity of the issue, using dramatic language that might lead viewers to believe it’s an epidemic, knowing that helped put my mind at ease somewhat. A few years back the major risk to pregnant women and women TTC was the Zika virus. I think if you want to play it as safe as possible don’t schedule a vacation during your three months prior to FET, unless it’s a ‘staycation’ or you are traveling for your actual FET.
Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts
Countdown Until FET: 69 days (as of 02-15-2020)
Taking it Easy
You know the type of vacations where you are go, go, go non-stop with so many activities and you have a specific plan for each day, well I chose not to do any of that for this one and it has been working out pretty well. Although we’ve been busy, it’s been nice to not be the ‘planner’ and to just go along with whatever everyone else wants to do. This vacation, I chose to just let go and take it easy. I’ve been to Nevada a few times before and already saw the major must-see things, so I didn’t feel the urge to create a must-see list this time around. I just let my husband and mother-in-law plan the events.
I think this vacation has been a nice balance of relaxing and also going to different events. It’s nice to go to bed and not have to set an alarm for the morning. It felt like such a luxury to be able to sleep in as long as I wanted. There were only a couple days that were warm enough to be outside in the sun since we’ve been here. It’s been crazy windy, so much so that they actually have a high wind warning in effect. The wind is so strong it sometimes shakes the house. It was kind of funny to see about 40 tumbleweeds whip across the street at the same time. Not a good time to go for a walk and catch a prickly tumbleweed to the face. No thanks. I’ll stay inside until it dies down. It’s also been cold outside most of this week, in the 30s and 40s mostly. I learned this cold snap in Nevada was pushing down from Alaska. How typical, just when we try to leave Alaska’s cold weather it follows us.
So although the weather has been crappy most of the week while on vacation, we still had fun doing other things. We saw Shin Lim, the magician, at his Vegas show. Normally I am not into magic shows, but this guy I swear is a true wizard. I saw him on America’s Got Talent, where he showed a card to the camera and somehow was able to make the numbers on the card actually change. Here is his show on AGT where he does that trick at the 20:00 minute mark. How in the actual eff did he do that? I was definitely impressed with his show in Vegas. I won’t give away too many details of the show, but it is definitely entertaining and I highly recommend you go check him out.
I also went to my first Tournament of Kings show, and I nearly s**t myself several times when the pyrotechnics went off. I felt like an idiot with how many times I screamed with each burst of fireworks. You definitely won’t fall asleep with this show, I’ll tell you that! So if you aren’t familiar with the Tournament of Kings, it’s a show where the performers act out a medieval storyline. The audience sits circled around the actors as they have epic battles using swords and also do jousting with real horses.
We did some other cool things on our trip too. We drove to Mount Charleston. I didn’t expect to see snow in Nevada, so that was pretty cool (cheesy pun intended).
Of course we went to a handful of different casinos and tried our luck on the slots. Well, I mostly watched Kurtis try his luck on the slots. I’m not much of a gambler. The first time I ever visited Vegas years ago I had very little money. I would go from casino to casino and sign up for their players club card, where you would get free plays on the slots. It wasn’t worth much, maybe $10-$15 but it was still fun to try it out and not worry about losing money. I did a little of that this time also. I tend to enjoy playing bingo more than slots. The first time I ever played bingo back home I won $1,000, beginners luck of course.
Keeping up with Supplements While on Vacation
I am not being super strict about following a diet while on vacation, although I could have been. I had a very laissez faire approach with my FET prep while on vacation. Although I did try to consistently take my supplements.
Here’s what I did to help me stay on top of taking my supplements while on vacation:
Reuse old prescription bottles for free pill organization.
Take a marker and write on the cap when you plan to take your medicine. For example I wrote “AM” on the ones I take with breakfast and “PM” on the ones I take with lunch. Since I am also taking L-arginine multiple times throughout the day I decided to create my own travel bottle specifically for that supplement.
Set phone reminders to take supplements.
Most supplements for FET prep recommend taking with a meal. But if you are not yet in the habit of remembering to take your pills after you eat, setting an alarm in your phone can be really helpful to make sure you don’t miss your dose. You can remind yourself in other ways like putting a post it note on your mirror or refrigerator. Do whatever works for you.
Keep a snack in your purse at all times.
This snack should be your designated backup in times when you cannot have an actual meal with your supplements. For example, if you are going on a long road trip or flight and you are unsure of when you will be able to have a meal with your supplements, that snack in your purse will help you to stay on track with your supplement schedule.
The Game Changer
I plan on adopting in the future, whether I have a biological child or not. And I’ve considered adopting through the foster care system. But what is one of the biggest obstacles that keeps so many people from starting the path to becoming a foster parent? I’d say it’s becoming attached emotionally to raising a child who after some time ends up going back to their biological family. I can honestly say I am not ready at this point in my life to handle that possibility. I’ve read articles and memoirs from foster parents who say it was one of the most painful experiences of their life. Some said it was as painful as grieving the death of a loved one.
I’ve been visiting my husband’s family in Nevada this past week, and my mother-in-law was a foster parent. I explained to her that one of my hesitations for becoming a foster parent was that I didn’t know if I was emotionally ready to handle getting attached to a child that would end up leaving back to their biological family. But she explained that she learned that some foster parents choose to only foster children whose parental rights have been permanently relinquished, and are therefore adoptable. That right there, was a total game changer for me. I did not even know that was an option. I thought it was inevitable that as a foster parent you had to expect that possible loss, I didn’t realize you could avoid that whole scenario altogether. Now it’s just a matter of finding out if that option is available here in Alaska too. The plan for now though is to continue trying infertility treatments until I turn 35, which is over a year from now.
Mini Victories for the Week
Kept up with supplements while on vacation.
Got more sleep and relaxed more this week.
Asked more questions and did a little more research about the foster care system.
Work in Progress
Contact the Seattle Clinic to find out if I need a repeat SIS before my upcoming FET.
Reduce caffeine intake from 1-2 cups down to less than one cup next week. Eventually completely cut out caffeine sometime soon.
Get back on a 1200 calorie per day diet.
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AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)
FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)
LH (Luteinizing hormone)
TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)
FT4 (Free thyroxine)