Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Make Your Own Rules Diet Review

Two days until the transfer! Every day I get more and more nervous - today I've wanted to cry a few times, though I suspect being injected full of hormones has something to do with it too.

On days like these I'm really happy to be able to do a little bit of yoga, just to center myself and focus on something besides being nervous. I'm not sure how much I've talked about my yoga practice here - long story short, I went to classes for about a year when I first moved here, and then took an eight-or-so-year break, and maybe a year and a half ago I started again. The catalyst for restarting my yoga practice was a keynote speech about yoga and fertility by Tara Stiles.

Though I take weekly classes taught by a fantastic local teacher, I sometimes follow along with Tara's flows at home via YouTube or DVD, and I really like her philosophy of making yoga accessible and relatable to everyone. And now she's taking that yoga philosophy and applying it to a more holistic approach in her new book Make Your Own Rules Diet.

I think "diet" is actually misleading, because it really isn't a diet book. It's more of a lifestyle guide than anything else, with an end result of you trusting your intuition and listening to your body in order to make good healthy choices for your body and your soul.

Tara breaks the book down into three areas of focus: the mat, the cushion, and the kitchen. The mat section details some easy asanas (positions) and provides a couple of flows. The cushion section takes you through meditation. And the kitchen, of course, is all about simple vegan recipes.

I played with two recipes from this book in the past few days, and am excited to purchase the book so that I can play with even more. I love that the recipes are so easy - a lot of vegan recipes that I see in cookbooks rely on fancy ingredients that I don't really have on hand, and I'm not a natural vegan so the quickest way to my heart is to show me how easy it can be.

The first recipe I tried was the Roasted Acorn Squash Soup. It has only six ingredients: acorn squash (I tried yellow this time), onion, olive oil, red pepper, water and almond milk. Super simple, and now we have dinner for the next couple of days (because I doubled the recipe)! One thing I will say about these recipes is that they're so simple that they could use a little dressing up with spices - I used some red pepper flakes and cracked black pepper for a little bite.

The second recipe I tried was the Healthy Frosty. Now if you're a frequent Wendy's customer and is the kind of person who likes dipping their fries into their Frosty, you will notice that this is not a faithful reproduction. But I kind of like it better! Again, only 7 ingredients, and the addition of cinnamon really gives this smoothie the flavor boost that it needs. Also, blended frozen bananas are awesome. So awesome, that I made this smoothie and immediately drank it, leaving no time for a photo. Oops.

There are also a couple of schedules that you can follow if you want to try the yoga-meditation-eating philosophy for a week or a month.

Anyway, if you're interested in taking a peek at the book, you can do that and more at Tara's website. I highly recommend yoga and meditation especially for those of you who are dealing with the stress and uncertainty that comes with infertility. It helps me immensely.

Monday, September 29, 2014

We're a go!

Not that I had any thought that we might not be able to make it to transfer day because of my estradiol or progesterone levels, but the nurse called today from this morning's test and let me know that we're good to go, and they'd see me on Thursday.

I hung up the phone and immediately felt more nervous than I have in a really long time. Please please please work this time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Preparing to Thaw the Embies

I was going to call the nurse today because nobody called me with the results of my estradiol test, but before I could, the embryologist called to ask how many embryos we wanted to transfer. I told her two. She said that if one of them doesn't survive the thaw, they'll thaw the other two and then refreeze one. That's pretty cool that they can refreeze!

Anyway, after I spoke with the embryologist, she transferred me over to the nurse so I could get the estradiol number. She said I was at 556, which is pretty normal, and reiterated that my lining was fine, and told me to stay with the same dose of delestrogen. She also confirmed that yes, I should be injecting the progesterone in the same area as the delestrogen.

Only a week until the transfer now! Eep.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lining Update and a Harvest!

I was just outside cleaning up the back yard. It's supposed to rain tomorrow and was pretty gray today so I could put it off no longer; I did the final mowing of the dry weeds in the dry lawn, chopped down the hops, pulled up last year's leeks and kale, raked the fallen pears, and picked four figs off my tree! They're the first figs I've gotten and they were great.

I also harvested my first pumpkin! There's another one that's about as big as both my fists, still growing away - hopefully it matures by Halloween.

And not more than two minutes after I finished and flopped down on the couch, I could hear it raining outside. Was that good timing or what!

Anyway, I had my endometrium ultrasound and an estrogen level (blood) check this afternoon. I was too late in the day for the results of the blood draw to come in, so I'm sure I'll be called about that tomorrow. The doctor had kind of a hard time measuring my uterus as it was in a weird position(?), but I heard him call out 7.6mm and either 8 or 9. The nurse who called me this evening seemed to think that was kind of thin (I have no idea what's optimal) but pending the results of the blood test she just asked me to stay at my normal dose of delestrogen for today. I'll start the progesterone on Friday, and then re-start the antibiotics and start a steroid on Saturday in preparation for next Thursday's transfer.

#Microblog Monday

Happy Fall!

I'll be back this evening to update you on the ultrasound and blood test I'm having this afternoon. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Quick Check-in

I think I'm finally mostly recovered from last weekend's Shrewsbury Faire! (Except for a cold, but that's another story.)

For those who don't know, I am the soprano in a small local renaissance-themed music group. The group has been around for 19 years, and five years ago I started with them as a pinch-hitter when their soprano quit at the last possible second before Shrewsbury. Literally the last possible second: I got the call on Thursday night, arrived on Friday night after work, sang through all the songs by headlamp, and performed on Saturday morning. Thank goodness I haven't had to experience the same nervousness since that weekend. :) Anyway, since then we've purchased a period tent so we can camp in the faire itself, and we have added small skits and new music to our repertoire, and expanded the faires that we perform at to three.

Shrewsbury this year was HOT. Fun, but HOT. I guess it's hot every year, especially when you're running around in full elizabethan garb in the sun, but this year was no exception. We performed well and then collapsed in the shade of our tent and sat there wilting the rest of the time, drinking water and sweating it straight back out.

Cory came out on Friday night to give me my first shot of delestrogen, which went very smoothly, and the rest of the weekend went by in a blur. This week did too; work is pretty busy and I got some overtime, which is nice. It's supposed to be 90 again today, but there's rain and mid-60s in the forecast which I'm excited about, and I can feel and see and smell the fall in the air. The pear trees still have some pears hanging on but the leaves are already starting to drop. And now I'm starting to think about HALLOWEEN! My favorite holiday! I need to start working on costumes and decorations. I usually wait until October 1, but I have a few crochet projects coming down the pike and I'm worried I'm not going to get them all done in time. So today I'm spending some time with a hook and stitch dictionary for awhile, and some time on the internet looking for some costume patterns. Ah, fall, how I adore you.

Monday, September 15, 2014

#Microblog Monday

This evening I received my second shot of delestrogen, and I have to say - Cory is a whiz at giving shots. I'm pretty lucky. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blood Test & Injection Training

This morning we woke up briiiiight and early to go to a 7am appointment. (Cory actually woke me up from a Portlandia-related dream I was having at 2:30am, by accidentally slamming the garage door; but I got up at 4:45 and we left at 5:30.) Note to self: leave a little earlier next time, we got there with about three minutes to spare because of rush hour traffic.

I have to say, I love the phlebotomist at ORM. She's really sweet, but the best part is that the needle doesn't even sting when it goes in. (I don't really have needle issues, but I can tell when someone knows what they're doing!)

After my 30-second blood draw (and a pink camo bandage), we told the phlebotomist we also had an injection training scheduled, and after several minutes she came back to tell us it wasn't ever scheduled but she would find us someone. It ended up being someone from the third-party reproduction unit, and she was awesome to chat with.

So Cory will be giving me delestrogen and progesterone in ethyl olate. He played with the needle a little bit to get a feel for it again (it's been three years), and the delestrogen is pretty thick and goopy. But the nurse had a good pointer for us and also some good news!

Tip: If you are receiving intramuscular injections, you're supposed to not tense the muscle that the needle is going in. The nurse said she used to just tell people to put their weight on the other leg, but she found that if you actually put your leg up on a chair or a drawer, you can't tense the muscle of that leg, and the needle will go in more easily that way.

Good News: ORM at least is using a new form of progesterone - instead of progesterone in oil, it's now progesterone in ethyl olate. That makes the required needle smaller, and the liquid itself much thinner and easier to inject. And it won't leave sore lumps in your butt! I was happy to hear that after only three years they were able to fix one of the most unpleasant parts of injections!

After we got our training and our handouts, the nurse drew circles on my ham hocks with a Sharpie so Cory knows where to poke. (I'm assuming they'll do that for the progesterone when I go back in two weeks.)

After our appointment, we had some breakfast and stopped by an RV dealership for a moment, so Cory could try out a teardrop trailer. We've been thinking about purchasing one, but Cory is so tall I was worried he wouldn't fit. Turns out he's not 100% comfortable but he says it'll work for a few nights at a time. So now we just need to figure out where to buy, and how much we can afford!

The office just called and let me know the results of the blood test - I'm nice and repressed, so we're a go for this cycle! I have good feelings about this cycle, now that the polyp and extra tissue is gone. (Of course, any time I say that out loud, I think "crap, I've just jinxed myself!")

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm such an adult.

I had a frustrating day today. Work was especially busy, and... well, I went off birth control on Friday, and didn't realize until this afternoon that that's probably the biggest reason for my mood.

This evening while I was picking up some groceries, I also grabbed a bottle of stainless steel cleaner. I have lived in this house for THREE YEARS and I have never cleaned my refrigerator with stainless steel cleaner. (I've just used soap and water and it has looked "fine.") So I spent three minutes wiping the fridge down with the cleaner and it made my entire day much better. I keep looking over and admiring its gleaming shininess. Heh.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September Dots

* I can't believe it's September already.
* Last night was my final night for the birth control pill, with three left in the pack. Phew, I was worried I was going to have to buy another pack just for one or two pills.
* I'm still avoiding dairy as I take the doxycycline. It's hard to avoid dairy. As a result, I'm not avoiding all dairy - I've had some small amounts of butter and milk in baked things but I try to make sure it's not in that window of 2 hours before to 2 hours after I take the pill.
* My friend went up to Seattle to get fitted for her radiation apparatus. I saw her on Thursday (and brought her a hat to wear on her soon-to-be-bald head) and she was doing pretty well, though that's not always the case.
* Last night there was a 100-acre brush fire on Timberhill in north Corvallis. We were in town until right after the firefighters were called in and we didn't notice it even though we were right there. When we got home we heard about it so we ventured back out to see it. We ended up meeting a coworker across from the tennis club and watching the flames. It was pretty scary - I think there might have been one condo that was damaged this morning but it sounds like they may have saved almost all of the houses up there. Cory got some good photos - if you're friends with me on Facebook you'll see 'em.
* Tomorrow is my singing group's long rehearsal for the Shrewsbury Faire which is next weekend. One of our members wrote a play and we've been working to memorize it in a very short time. I'm really worried about it because I feel like I'm not in the right head space to memorize - and as Queen Elizabeth I have the most lines of anyone. So I'll spend some time working on that today.
* It's supposed to be in the upper 90s today and all I want to do is go to the beach. But Cory is working and I have to memorize stuff. Bah.
* I didn't take a shower after being in the smoke last night. I can smell the smoke in my hair. I think it's time to go take care of that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Long Weekend

This post was written yesterday, and for some reason it showed up on Feedly but never showed up on Blogger, so I'm reposting it! Sorry about that!

I'm writing this from the little bed in my mom's spare room, where I'm enjoying a lazy early morning watching the sun come up and feeling the cool morning air from the open window that is my headboard.

I had a very nice few days here in the high desert. I brought my grandma with me and we have mostly just stuck around the house, chatting and eating good food and enjoying each other's company. Linus came too, and yesterday he and I went to Wild Ride, a new brewery in town, with my cousin who lived with me for a short time a couple of years ago and now lives over here. Wild Ride doesn't serve any food, but it was dog friendly and even the other visitors were super dog friendly - the lady at the table next to us cuddled with Linus for quite awhile. I definitely recommend it if you are ever in central Oregon with a dog and require a beer.

The IPA was hers, and the bourbon porter was mine. I thoroughly enjoyed what will be my last beer in awhile.

So as of today I'm off alcohol, caffeine and dairy. The dairy is because the doxycycline I started this morning doesn't play nice with dairy, but that will only be for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully the others will be for about nine months longer. :)

We go home today, Grandma and I, and then I will probably go visit my friend for an hour or two if she's up for it. Tomorrow she leaves for treatment in Seattle and I may not see her for awhile.