April 2014 Highlights

April started off on a very low note.  On March 30th, we found out that our first cycle of IVF worked and I was pregnant.  We were ecstatic.  However, blood tests on April 1st revealed that the pregnancy was not progressing and that I would miscarry.  Talk about a cruel April Fool’s joke.  If you’re interested in the details, you can read more about it on my other blog.

I walked around in a daze for about a week after.  It was a nasty combination of emotion and synthetic hormone withdrawal that I hope I never have to repeat again.

We did manage to have a nice time with my family while my brother and his girlfriend were in town.  Here we are at my dad’s flower show.

pack-trials-2014

We met with our doctor to determine our next steps, and I’ve already started taking the medications to prepare for a frozen embryo transfer.

It had been a rough month, so we decided to treat ourselves to a quick getaway when we got a special email deal at a local hotel.  A friend works at the front desk and she upgraded us to a suite when we arrived.  I can easily say it was the nicest, largest hotel room I’d ever stayed in.

quail-room

We spent some time reading in the window seat.  I want one of these in my house!

quail-seat

The windows overlooked the beautiful golf course

quail-golf

Finally, we celebrated my birthday by going out to dinner with some friends and Tom’s parents and then lunch with my parents.  Forgot to take pictures!

We’re looking forward to seeing what May holds for us!

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My Gluten-Free Experiment

Over the last weekend of February I read Wheat Belly by William Davis. The basic premise of this book is that we consume way too much grain, and grain contributes to our health problems in ways we don’t even realize.

I decided I had nothing to lose by going gluten-free during my IVF cycle, and it may even help, so I dove in.

It was both easy and hard.

The hard part was eating out and social occasions. The first challenge came when we went to an Italian restaurant for my mom’s birthday. The menu was full of pastas and pizzas, and literally the only gluten-free item was eggplant. Luckily, it was drowned in cheese and pasta sauce so it was delicious! But it seriously limited my options.

I also had difficulties when we ate other people’s houses. For example, we went to Tom’s mother’s house for a family birthday celebration and everyone else was having pizza. Tom and I brought our own steaks and spinach to cook. Our meal was perfectly fine, but that pizza smelled so good!

It was easy in the sense that I found I really didn’t miss bread or other grains all that much. I was replacing them mostly with dairy (which some people don’t recommend, but full fat dairy is recommend for women trying to conceive), so I didn’t feel hungry.

Did it help with the IVF? I don’t know, but I do know felt a lot better physically! Despite the insane amount of drugs I was injecting myself with every day, I didn’t feel the same fatigue I usually did. Yes, I would get tired, but I no longer had that almost-overwhelming urge to take a nap after lunch. I didn’t feel like I was about to fall over from sleepiness like I normally would. That disappeared within 2 days of going gluten-free.

I lost about 5 pounds, which I wasn’t trying to do, but it showed me just how many calories I was getting from things like crackers, pasta, and bread.

Finally, I broke my gluten fast last weekend when I ordered grilled cheese for lunch at Chili’s. I was already feeling horrible due to the fact I had just gone off all my medications, cold turkey. I figured a little gluten couldn’t make it much worse.

I don’t know if it was the gluten, or the meds withdrawal, or a combination of both, but I basically spent the next 8 hours on the couch. I felt terrible the worst I had in a long time, both mentally and physically. While I don’t think I’ll be gluten-free, 100% of the time, forever (because it’s just not always practical or polite), I haven’t had anymore gluten since, and I’m planning on going gluten-free again during out next IVF cycle.