TTC After Loss: Our Plan, This Time Around
Hello everyone, sorry it’s been so long since you’ve heard from me. Craig’s team won the 107th Grey Cup in November, I started a new job, and we visited Arizona for Christmas! We were cleared to start Trying to Conceive (TTC) again in November and if I’m being honest, it’s been a terrifying journey.
It’s been a little over two years since we started trying for a family and unfortunately, I have crappy fallopian tubes. For those of you that haven’t been following our journey, it took us twelve months to get pregnant. The first time was in November 19‘ and it ended ectopic in my right fallopian tube, treated with the chemotherapy drug Methotrexate. I received an exploratory laparoscopic lysis of adhesion surgery and a tube clearing in April 19’. My surgeon found my abdomen and pelvis full of old scar tissue separating both tubes and ovaries. Our interfertility issue was finally uncovered. In August, I flew down to Arizona to receive an HSG test at a fertility specialist and was told both tubes were open. We began TTC immediately and got pregnant the first month. Unfortunately, this pregnancy turned ectopic in the right tube again. When it was finally discovered, I was already internally bleeding and was rushed into emergency surgery.
To say this journey has been a ride, is an understatement. Now we’re TTC again and I’ve had to make a decision on how I’d like to walk through. I’ve taken every supplement, seen every specialist, and done just about every weird thing known to man to try and get pregnant. I’m a control freak, through and through. It’s by far my worst characteristic. However, this journey has brought the absurdity of this characteristic to light, because you absolutely cannot control if you get pregnant or not. Honestly, that was the hardest part of this entire thing. It’s funny, every single fertility book I’ve read says the same thing, scientists still don’t understand how pregnancy occurs. In any particular month, the odds of getting pregnant are 15-25%. That’s it. Insane right?
As a believer, I constantly grappled with the fact that ever since I can remember, being a mother has always been on my heart and it wasn’t happening. Why wouldn’t God grant me this desire? As months continued on and it wasn’t happening, I felt like if I did one more good thing towards fertility, like an exercise program or taking a supplement, God might grant us a baby. Except, that’s not how God works, he isn’t transactional. Why he allows some of us to get pregnant and others struggle, we will never understand this side of heaven. Moving into this new journey of trying, I’m focusing on doing the things that are good for my sanity and my health. Most of these things just happen to be good for fertility too. I’ve had a few people asking what things I’m doing on a monthly basis to try and get pregnant, so I’m going to list them below. The thing is, we can only do the things that work for us because it can be extremely overwhelming by all of the things on the internet to do and not do.
TTC Weekly Steps
Supplements: Robust prenatal with sufficient folate, vitamin D, Vitamin C (for inflammation), and 500mg of primrose oil (pre-ovulation for insufficient fertile cervical mucus). I take everything but the primrose oil at night because the prenatal makes me a bit nauseated if I take it without food in the morning.
Treatments: Acupuncture is covered under our extended health benefits and I will be getting acupuncture again just before ovulation once a month. In addition to acupuncture, massage therapy is covered and I get a 90-minute massage, once a month, just after my period. It relaxes me and since I get deep tissue, I feel safer that I get it during times that I know I’m not pregnant.
Exercise: I am sticking to a 4-5 week workout program, weight lifting and cardio. I love going to hot yoga, but am only doing it before ovulation. I also don’t go in the sauna or steam room at the gym after I know I’ve ovulated. In addition to exercise, I put my legs up on the wall with my butt touching it for ten minutes a day after my period is done, just to bring blood flow to my organs. I love it. I stop this once I’m ovulated.
Diet: Just for overall health, I am eating 90% healthy. I’m not obsessing so much over organic vegetables and fruits, mostly because it’s SO expensive up here in the wintertime. However, this balance makes me feel good health-wise and it’s good for overall fertility.
Around and after ovulation, I don’t drink more than 200mg of caffeine a day. If I do get my period, I treat myself to an extra coffee a day, for that week.
Ovulation Tracking: I ordered an Ava bracelet and used it for about six months, but honestly, I didn’t get much from it. I have a normal 28-day period and ovulate around day 14, most months. I’ve had confirmed ovulation on multiple occasions by ultrasound. I have sold my Ava and do not temp. While it was interesting seeing a temp rise, I found it impossible to temp at the exact time every morning. What I do, is use the cheap LH strips from Amazon every month just a few days before my projected ovulation. Seriously, don’t buy the expensive kind, it’s not worth it. You can buy 100 strips for super cheap, the same thing with HCG strips. Also, I track my period and symptoms on an app every month.
The Deed and Timing: I’ve seen a couple of fertility specialists the last two years and I’ve been given a ton of information on timing. What we’ve been told and what we practice is sex every day four days before my projected ovulation and on the day of ovulation- I begin tracking with LH strips four days before as well. I can feel ovulation now, so I know when it happens due to all the scar tissue in my abdomen. We try and time sex around the 24-hour mark, it’s good to make sure sperm are strong and fresh – not depleted. If your spouse has a low reserve or low morphology try having sex every 48 hours. Once you get a positive LH strip the egg will release 12-24 hours. It will live 24 hours once released into the tube and if it isn’t met with sperm, it will ‘die’.
During the deed, we’ve been told “doggy-style” is the best for positioning with sperm getting through the cervix and into the uterus, especially if you have a retroverted (tilted) uterus like me. In addition, when your husband is about to, you know, have him not pull or thrust out and have him hold steady “in”. lol So awkward but it beats you hearing this from a doctor like I did.
Tips & Tricks:
Don’t test for pregnancy before 12dpo, unless you really have crazy symptoms. You will seriously drive yourself crazy, if you do. Also, always test in the morning.
Stay away from blue-dye tests, always get pink/red dye tests. Blue dye tests run and often give false-positives. You don’t want that.
Get some friends that understand what you’re going through to talk to, that you won’t feel like a broken record every time you’re disappointed on the journey. They make all the difference. Also, you are more than welcome to always message me!
If you have any questions of ANYTHING, leave a comment below. <3