Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Goodbye Weird Diet, Hello Krispy Kreme

Back in the days when I thought I was pregnant every month and I was in complete denial over the possible need for major medical intervention, I started looking into some natural ways of boosting my ovarian reserve and, in particular, my egg quality. I read Randine Lewis’ book “The Infertility Cure” practically in one sitting and decided to do a series of three phone consultations with her group. Based on their diagnosis – which, to be fair, other than a couple of minor imbalances, was mainly advanced maternal age, but a definitive diagnosis nonetheless - I started introducing Chinese herbs, acupuncture and their recommended diet for my case. Little did I know that I’d be pursuing these recommendations for an entire year. Here’s the advice I’ve been following since last January:

• Specially formulated chinese herbs, twice daily
• Acupuncture every other week, and weekly leading up to and during an IVF cycle
• A diet devoid of sugar, wheat and dairy products
• No caffeine
• No alcohol six weeks leading up to and during an IVF cycle
• Wheatgrass shots
• Supplements: Fish oils, wobenzyme, royal jelly, pre-natals, baby aspirin
• Femoral massage
• Qi Gong breathing exercises
• Daily meditation
• No running (that’s been particularly hard)
• No anti-histamines or pain killers other than Tylenol

Now, if you’d told me a few years ago I’d be denying myself many of the things I love (eating, red wine, the occasional cocktail, running), I would never have believed I had it in me to show such willpower. Not in a million years. It’s incredible what you’ll do when you really want something.

J the Elder’s daily cocktail of supplements and no-nos consists of the following:

• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Multi-vitamin for men
• Zinc
• B12
• L-Carnitine
• Grape seed extract
• No hot tubs or baths
• No anti-histamines or any pain killers other than Tylenol
• No working out or running during an IVF cycle (as instructed by CCRM)
• No caffeine leading up to and during an IVF cycle (including chocolate)
• No alcohol during an IVF cycle

He’s been fantastic about following these guidelines, too.

Who really knows what helps but, given the choice, we’d rather be safe than sorry. And if any of these things just boost our chances by the smallest margin, they’re worth it.

So, given that this is our last cycle and we now have a couple of months to wait until the embryo transfer, I’ll be able to go back to normal food and drink starting tomorrow, at least for a while. This has been a major source of excitement for me for some considerable time. Here are some of the things I seem to be craving:

1. Apple pie from The Treehouse in Peachtree Hills (no ice cream with it though)
2. A one-pump soy chai from Starbucks
3. Just one doughnut from Krispy Kreme
4. Bread, bread and more bread
5. Lashings of butter on my baked potato
6. Smoothies
7. Macaroni and cheese (huh?)
8. Burritos with sour cream and cheese
9. Quiche, any style at all
10. Neuhaus dark chocolate pyramids from Belgium (can anyone tell me how I can get my hands on them in Atlanta?)
11. Cooking and baking proper food for us, with flour, cheese, butter and sugar; what a concept
12. Red wine
13. Margaritas (must be consumed with Jill and Amy)

At the last egg retrieval with CCRM I distinguished myself by downing in one the can of ginger ale the nice nurse gave me when I woke up (probably slurping as well) and shoveling the entire plate of crackers that was handed to me in my mouth in the space of about ten seconds. I foresee a similar scenario tomorrow morning. At least they’ll expect it now.


  1. Oh my word! You're a good girl! I tried to be, but then gave up years ago. Now I just eat healthy, and don't drink during an IVF cycle. Luckily for me, I don't drink coffee anyway, but I do need my one little cup of tea.

    You asked if I was doing microarray or CGH - we are actually doing FISH / PGD. CGH cannot test for my DH's particular translocation. In a way it's good, because PGD results come in within a day or 2 of the biopsy.

    When are you leaving from Denver? I can't make up my mind if we should fly on Thursday or on Friday.

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  3. Nikki, I really miss tea, too. Goodness knows if any of it helps....

    Wow, so you'll find out very quickly how many normals you have. Do they do the biopsy on Day 3 or wait until Day 5? I'm guessing Day 5 since you're doing a freeze-all.

    Erm, don't tell CCRM, but if I feel up to it we're going to leave tomorrow afternoon and drive the first 4 hours. I might lie on the back seat. We drove from Atlanta, so that way we can shave off some of it tomorrow and have less to drive for the next two days.

    I'll be thinking of you tomorrow at 9am! Good luck and I can't wait to see your update.

  4. Oh you guys drove here - that makes sense then to start back earlier than later.

    Thanks for your wishes - and I am sending you a ton of eggy vibes too. Best of luck with everything, and likewise - I cannot wait for your update!