We are oh so slowly prepping for our next IVF. We are throwing so many new things at this next cycle I honestly have no idea what to expect. In reality, my confidence is so shattered that I am not anticipating much success.

I think the most significant adjustment is that I have severely limited gluten and dairy. As I had no concrete knowledge on how to go about such a change, this was quite a learning process. It involved vast interwebs research, interviews with crunchy time friends, discussions with a doctor and a nutritionist, and recon at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. The conclusion was I needed to identify the diary and gluten items I could not live without and find alternatives. If you are curious how it’s going, all I can say is this insanity is still in its infancy, so I have no major conclusions as of yet.

Next, I am now taking micro green pills, mitochondrial supplements, and vitamin E. These have been added to my current regimen of baby aspirin, vitamin D, and acupuncture. CO-Q10 has been wiped from my list, and DHEA is still up in the air.

My husband is taking an antioxidant supplement and Clomid. He has severely limited his alcohol consumption and is eating very cleanly. After a few months on this plan he will repeat the sperm DNA fragmentation test.

Dr. Braverman and I discussed the decisions made throughout my prior IVF protocols. It was scary to hear his thoughts, as many of them mimic my own conclusions. My ovaries should of been gently surpressed (I have a repeated history of lead follicles) and estrogen priming should of been implemented. Every single IVF cycle was too short, in fact, I should of stimmed for longer than 8 days. For my last cycle, 3 days of human growth hormone was concluded to be not enough. Also, my Gonal-F dosage should have been stepped down throughout the stim process. Dr. Braverman does suggest very high initial stim dosages (like 750IU) and eventually stepping down. This level of stim medication sets off a warning bell for me. Has anyone stimmed with these types of dosages (after suppression) and been successful? I am very curious for any feedback. Particularly from those working with Dr. Braverman, however all experience with high stim dosages and success are welcome.

We are not focusing on the embryo transfer process at this time, so I suspect I won’t post about it for a few months. I believe we will start IVF #4 in January. It will (hopefully) be a freeze all and embryo banking cycle.

This may all seem like progress, but emotionally, I am not doing well. I am avoiding most people. I cry a few times a week. I tear up everyday. I am in a funk. I am tired all the time. It is a challenge to take care of myself like I used to, so I started making lists. I saw the dermatologist. I scheduled the orthopedist. I visited the acupuncturist. I got a pedicure. It is only 7 weeks out from my miscarriage, and I am still waiting for it to get easier, to feel more like myself. However, I just feel like I’m just going through the motions.

11 thoughts on “Prep

  1. So glad you are on the road to answers. Hopefully, with diet and new supplements and new protocol your road will take a new turn to success. Always thinking and praying for you. Chin up, your time will come, it HAS to.

  2. Taylor, just going through the motions is still moving, and moving forward with a plan is fantastic! We are doing the same and won’t start our IVF #5 till January as well. Using these next few months to let my new RE’s protocol of meds (DHEA, CO-Q10, low dose aspirin, Synthroid, and Metformin) get working. She is the first to find or address that my TSH is high and my insulin levels were a little out of sorts as well…sigh. I know each disappointment feels like another crushing blow but time will help as it always does. The hope that this next one will work is what keeps you and me moving. ;^)

  3. I have been diary-free for three years now and gluten-free for several months. I know the woes of missing dairy! If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to email me. I LOVE to talk about food 😉

  4. Grieving is tremendously exhausting. I’m so sorry it’s hard.
    And on top of that having to analyze so many aspects of so many things (diet, your husband’s treatments, medication dosages & adjustments…) has got to be overwhelming. You seem incredibly informed, as always, & involved in making sound medical decisions.

    I sure hope the dairy restrictions don’t continue the whole pregnancy. Every waddling mama battling heartburn deserves to chase away the indigestion with some ice cream, but MOST expecially, YOU will deserve that!

  5. I’m still trying to come up with the right words to your previous post and I’m at a loss. But, I will say that a plan is a plan is a plan and you are moving forward, even if it feels like a snail’s pace and even if it still feels painful. I can’t imagine what you are going through, you are enduring far more than most ever will. Please stay strong as best you can. Thinking about you.

  6. I saw your comment on my blog and I’m happy to chat either via text, phone, or email. Email me and we can figure it out.

  7. Fake it til you make it. Just try not to get too overwhelmed or stressed out. Grieving is a process not a period of time, you will do it until you’re ready not to anymore. And even then, there are times when it will still slap you in the face like some kind of drunk girl.

    Be kind of yourself, be gentle. Go slow, and a little at a time you will find your way back.

  8. I know exactly how you feel. I’m so sorry for your loss, I know how frustrating and heartbreaking it is. All I want to do all day is sit on the sofa, eating and drinking all the things I’m supposed to be avoiding, and not doing anything I should actually be doing. It does get better eventually though, even if it doesn’t seem like it now.

  9. I’m a Dr. B patient too! I’m 40 y/o and my protocol, LA8-e2v, calls for 600 units gonal-f at the start, and by the end I was still on 600 units of FSH because we doubled up on the menopur which contains FSH too. I need to stim at least 11 days for eggs. This higher-FSH protocol worked GREAT for me. I just found your blog so I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re 35+ I caution you against DHEA, we older gals usually have too much testosterone as it is, and don’t need to add additional androgenization as it’s bad for egg quality. Also wondering why no more CoQ-10 for you? Dr B approved me being on 800mg/day for egg quality. This last ER with him (I’m also doing the freeze all and FET later plan) I got 3 blasts (my only prior IVF attempt had more eggs, but they all arrested around day 3-4.) I am also on low dose metformin 500 mg day even though I’m not insulin resistant or PCOS (again, for egg quality.) Anyway, lots of luck to you, and I have lots of research in the FAQs on my blog, if you’re curious about what other stuff I do for egg quality.

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