To test or not to test? That is the question…

Well I have been visiting the RE a lot in the last month and a half and last month after several ultrasounds, I found out that I was not ovulating like I thought I was. I went for an ultrasound on cycle day 12 and my follicles were at 10mm, then went back five days later when they should’ve been at 20 MM and they hadn’t grown at all they were still at 10. So finally I got put on Clomid which is what I had wanted to be on originally. I completed my first cycle of Clomid with no side effects, thank God, and I had a 27mm (whoa) and an 18mm follicle! So needless to say it worked! I already had an ovidrel injection saved from last month so We could finally schedule our first IUI, we completed the IUI last week and so far I am 10 days post ovulation and the tww (two week wait) has been OK but I am getting very impatient and definitely want to test. So far the only symptoms I have had, have been some cramping and my breasts are more tender to the touch. But this could also be my mind playing tricks on me, since I have had these symptoms in the past and have not been pregnant. I am going to try to hold out until tomorrow but it is hard!

My advice to ladies in their TWW— stay busy!
Take a yoga or exercise class
Start a craft or hobby
Go shopping
Hang out with friends or family
Read books or watch movies

Anything to keep your mind busy but stay positive!

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Finchberry Soap Review

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If you are having difficulty trying to conceive and haven’t read the book “It starts with the egg”, I urge you to read it now! The book goes into a lot about egg quality but one of the things the book suggests to do is detoxify your home, health products and food. Most of the things we come into contact with nowadays have chemicals, toxins and hormone disruptors.

But there are plenty of products that are toxin-free though including personal care items, household products and even makeup! The EWG app is great for determining if products are “clean”. When it comes to bath and body, I was always a fiend for bath and body works but after reading the ingredients on their products, I realized they are not the best choice. I discovered Finchberry soaps after being given two bars as a gift and I absolutely fell in love with them!

Their products are chemical, paraben, phthalate-free and hand-made with natural colors and scents. And they smell amazing! They are vegan, hand-crafted and truly a work of art! Seriously…look at these soaps!!

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Beautiful! Just beautiful & again they seriously smell amazing! I love the rosey posey scent! These soaps have a nice lather and are not full of chemicals like most of the soaps and body washes on the market. If you care about what you put on your skin, check out Finchberry! You can find Finchberry soaps at some retailers and online at http://www.finchberry.com

My experience with the Stork OTC

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In my last post, I explained what the Stork otc is and how it works. We received 2 Storks from the ambassador program and they are to be used on your 2 most fertile days, after you have a positive ovulation test. In the packaging are two parts, the conceptacle which is basically a cervical cap like a soft cup inside a very thick, silicone condom. The condom was honestly too thick and too rough for us to use, we attempted using it but could not make it work…but luckily the instructions say you do not have to use the condom part if you don’t want to.

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The next night we tried again but this time we didn’t use the condom part and only used the conceptacle where my husband placed his “specimen”. I just placed the conceptacle in the applicator and 3 clicks later it was in place! You can leave the cap in for 6 hours and you can move around, dance, whatever you want! I definitely prefer this product because natural intercourse can be pretty messy and there isn’t really a way to keep the sperm in there… I would recommend this product for that alone!

I’m also a visual person so I watched this tutorial prior to using: https://vimeo.com/182438539

Disclaimer- the stork otc products were sent to me as part of the stork otc ambassador program. This review is an honest, unbiased review but may not work for everyone.

What is the Stork OTC?

You’ve never heard of the Stork?!? I hadn’t either until I was searching for options other than IVF when dealing with infertility. The Stork® OTC is an at-home conception aid that can help couples conceive. The Stork® OTC may work for any couple, even without fertility issues, but it is ideal for those dealing with male factor infertility (low sperm count or motility).

The Stork® is similar to an IUI procedure but it uses a technique of cervical cap insemination putting the sperm at the opening of the cervix, as close as possible, to swim up through to an egg, optimizing your chances of becoming pregnant. Cervical cap insemination, the technique of the Stork OTC, has up to a 20% success rate, comparable to documented success rates of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), 16-21%.

The Stork is FDA cleared and easy to use once you have read the directions or watched their how-to tutorial.

How Does It Work?

The Stork® OTC includes two familiar elements: a cervical cap inside of a condom-like sheath (the Conceptacle®) used to collect the sperm and an applicator device (the applicator) used to place the cap (similar to the delivery of a tampon).

After collecting the semen in the cap, the applicator efficiently and easily places it near the woman’s cervix. The cap stays in place, keeping the sperm where it needs to be, for up to six hours, while the woman continues her normal routine, then is easily removed with the attached cord, similar to tampon removal.

The Stork is available at Walgreens, Target and Amazon

Clinical Data for the Stork

STAY TUNED FOR AN HONEST POST OF MY EXPERIENCE USING THE STORK® OTC!!

Fall apart. Start Over. Repeat.

One of the hardest things about infertility is that you are forced to repeat the pain every month that aunt flo decides to show her ugly face…It is a constant feeling of living in the “two week wait”. Waiting for your ovulation window to come so you can start tracking, symptom spotting, and then trying to conceive. Then waiting another two weeks, with some more symptom spotting, waiting to see if you are pregnant.Waiting…waiting…waiting.  And then when you can’t wait anymore and decide to take a test, only to see a negative. It is constant disappointment, month after month.

So how do you change this cycle? It’s different for everyone and some of us can’t change it. The thing I struggle with is the unknown, not knowing if I will EVER see a positive or if it is just not in the cards for me and I need to move on. The best advice  I have been given was from my husband actually, although he makes it seem easy; he says to just expect the worst and hope for the best. He doesn’t get his hopes up and is realistic about the fact that it may never happen. I look at that as leaving it in God’s hands. If it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, then it is beyond my control. I have also decided to invest my energy in things other than stressing about TTC, like yoga, crafting, spending time with my family and friends. It is not easy to let go of “the unknown” but ultimately it is not something I have control over.

Supplementation for Low Sperm Count

 

My husband has severe low sperm counts (4 million per ML, 22 million total concentration)  with normal motility and morphology. Our first RE strongly pushed IVF as our only option, after I did some research, I read about some supplements he could take and about a procedure called IUI that costs a lot less than IVF and although the success rates are much lower, it can help couples with low sperm counts. He has been on the supplements since 10/2016 and we plan to try IUI in 03/2017.

Read about what is a normal sperm analysis here: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003627.htm

My husband is currently taking Fertilaid for men which is like a multivitamin. Selenium and zinc are very important for sperm development and most men don’t get enough of these minerals in their diet. He is also on Ubiquinol CoQ10 100mg a day. Make sure to use ubiquinol not ubiquinone which is a cheaper supplement but not absorbed like ubiquinol. The reviews for fertilaid are very good and they also have additional supplements called count boost and motility boost that can be added to fertilaid.

 

*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or healthcare expert. I am simply providing information that I have been told that may be useful to others.

 

I’m being consumed by infertility…

It’s almost midnight, I should be getting ready for bed….

But here I am searching the web for facts on supplements to increase sperm counts or help with ovulation.

Searching Instagram with the new TTC account I made (which is actually very therapeutic) to talk with other TTC sisters and hear their stories.

Looking at Facebook at all the people I know who are announcing pregnancies or having babies. 

Browsing Pinterest for my secret board about all the baby/pregnancy things I may never be able to use.

Adding data to my Ovia app to know when I will be ovulating.

Buying ovulation kits from Amazon. 

The list goes on…When will it be my turn to announce my pregnancy? When will my mom and dad be able to be a grandma and grandpa? When will I be able to be called “mom”??

I’m trying to keep hope alive but it is difficult not to become consumed by all the things that go with infertility.