Sunday, April 29, 2012

Unexpected vet trip, relaxing, and learning

This week was a crazy one to say the least. On Thursday afternoon we had to take our dog Jake to the vet hospital due to uncontrollable throwing up. At first we didn't think it was too big of a problem. Then after a couple of hours and x-rays later the doctor told us he would need to stay overnight. Next thing you know Jake is in the hospital for four days and an abdominal surgery later we have a very happy and healthy dog! When we took him he was not keeping anything down and for the three days prior his eating was WAY off. Well when we picked him up today he was back to his normal self! Jake AKA Hoover vacuum ate things he probably shouldn't have.

Before all of this chaos I went to have a very relaxing massage that my work had arranged for me as a thank you gift. It was the most relaxing thing ever. I could really get used to have massages on a regular basis, lol.

The other day I was browsing Pinterst and found this great fact sheet on fast food. It really is an eye opener.  A lifestyle change is a slow change after all.

Facts about fast food

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frustration, and green machine

These past couple of days have been frustrating more than usual. I know I shouldn't complain because I am very fortunate in life, but I am really trying to loose this weight before we start our IVF treatment and I feel like we are at a plateau. I know it will pass but at times it can be frustrating! This Sunday it will be four weeks since we started our lifestyle change and to tell you the truth it has not been as hard as I thought it would have been. Im a sweet tooth kind of person so I guess the hard part for me is the chocolate! I love me my sweets!! Yum!

For the past three days I have been waking up in the morning and preparing what I call my "green machine" drink! Okay so for all of you that know me I am not a big veggie fan. I mean its not the first thing I think of so its hard getting all of my veggies in an entire day. So I came up with a plan! A plan Sarah nods her head at, LOL! I decided the best and only way I could get really all my veggies at once would be to juice every morning. So I was nervous to start because some veggies are just smelly and yucky tasting so I really tried and to my surprise it is not that bad. It does take some getting used to especially the celery part. That said I feel like all that fiber is letting my bowels be best friends again, sorry if that was TMI.

So in my juice i put the following, carrots, celery, cucumber, orange, apple, banana, strawberries, and spinach. I think after a little bit I could start adding kale :)

I was super excited today when I got home and saw my shipment of my vitamins from Swanson's! Thank you April for letting me know about them. I ordered my probiotic from them as well as calcium for when I start taking the lovenox. So, I think I am set for now!

On Monday we had our appointment for the psychiatrist since we are using donor sperm. It was an hour long appointment and very informative. She loves us and actually spoke more with us off topic. She is nice and awesome! 

Now next week we have MANY appointments! I am getting super excited as time passes by!!! *happy face* <------

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend ramblings, crock pot cooking, & relaxing

This weekend has been a fun filled weekend. My mom decided to come and visit both of us from Arizona on Friday afternoon. Ever since then its been a non-stop weekend! Both Sarah and I have had so much fun. On Friday afternoon we went to dinner at Ruth Chris Steak House in Walnut Creek. Boy was that the BEST steak I have ever had. I mean best! On Saturday we went to Santa Cruz and just had fun being goofy and looking at the beautiful scenery.

After coming back we got ready to go out dancing with both of our moms! Yes, we like to dance and yes we went with our moms :) It was very fun dancing with my DW!!
Ready to go out <3

Today has been a rather relaxing and uneventful day. We have been cooking all day long in the crock pot. I love my crock pot!! We made homemade refried beans the healthy way and pot roast, the healthy way.

Yum! They both are delicious and we have plenty of left overs! However, this week has been a very off week for both Sarah and I and eating. We have been so busy that we have been eating out more than usual and our working out has taken a back seat. I hate this feeling. Usually, I would pick the yummy food over the healthy food but not this time. Even though we have been eating out we have made very good choices. The exercise part is the difficult part. So starting tomorrow morning we are going to back on track with both the eating and working out. Luckily we have not gained any weight and have stayed the same. We just need to really kick it up into gear. I mean really! Time is ticking away!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Praying, and a lot on my mind

Yesterday evening we received a phone call from my brother. It was shocking because he rarely calls me. When I answered he started crying I could tell in his voice something was not right. He wanted to tell me that his wife had lost the baby at 10 weeks. I sat down and started crying and all I could say was I'm sorry. I said they have an angel in heaven watching them and to not give up. After the phone call I sat there staring point blank into Sarah's eyes and I couldn't help but cry. She hugged me and told me that everything was going to be okay. I knew it was. After all everything in our life is in Gods hands. He has a future for each one of us and he knew this before we were even in the womb. I know it will all be okay. My heart aches for all those that have to go through this. No one should ever go through this and I pray always for a healthy and happy pregnancy who ever it is. 

Today was a hard day for me, when I got in my car I was searching for a music station and God spoke to me as he does in so many amazing ways and KLOVE turned on. They started playing beautiful music and I could feel God right next to me saying its okay. Where ever you are in life you have to place your faith in God and all will be okay.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week 2 Weigh In Results

My time sure is flying by. We have two weeks under our belt. This week was good with our weigh in any loss is great! I lost 1.2 pounds for a total of 8.4 and Sarah lost 3 for a total of 7. I think were on the right track.

This weekend has been nothing but relaxing which is a nice thing after this crazy, stressful week. After all is said and done I am finally on the correct medication and tomorrow I have another doctor's appointment to go over another med I should be taking. After this I think I am good! Phew!

The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy for us. We have countless appointments with our IVF doctor, genetic counselor, IVF counselor, accupuncurist and more blood work. I am super excited to be getting this process even more closer! Can't wait! :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Never give up, ever

Ever since I was little I remember my mom always telling me to never give up no matter what. I never really understood what she meant. One thing I knew was that it stuck with me. As I grew up and faced challenges I always told myself to never give up just because its hard. Erasing all those negative thoughts when times are hard can be a daunting task, but not impossible. Sarah and I both faced something we never thought we would. We stuck through it and found love and happiness through it all. We knew that with God's grace everything was just going to be okay. God never gives you what you can't handle, and that is the truth. After many talks with doctors, and blood work after bloodwork we found out that my homocysteine levels are normal which is the greatest sigh of relief this entire week. This means that my chances for blood clotting are gone. This is great because we will have no complications with blood not flowing through me. I still have to take a cocktail of meds every morning and then when we are ready to we will add injectables to the mix. I feel as though its a blessing to have found all of this out. Now it's time for me to just sit back and relax.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MTHFR Mutation

Wow, where do I even start? Before I start talking about MTHFR let me tell you how I got here. Before we decided on a IVF doctor we decided to do our research. After much research we found our self going back and forth between two facilities. After reviewing data, and researching everything possible we made our decision. Until today. I had to get some immunology blood tests done at clinic A and I recieved the results which came back as me have a MTHFR mutation. Now at first my heart sunk to the floor and tears flooded my eyes. I felt lost, what was this. Why me? After much research and talking to my RE I found out the following about my mutation gene.

First off, its not an abbreviation for a swear word. Trust me at first I wanted to think it was. MTHFR is an acronym for Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. It is both the name of a gene, and the name of the enzyme which that gene produces. Individuals with a mutated copy of this gene produce an enzyme that is less effective at breaking down the amino-acid homocysteine. The mutation can occur at one of two sites on the gene. Since we receive two copies of each gene, one from our father and one from our mother, there are a few different possibilities for the disorder. The C667T mutation can be heterozygous, one mutated copy, or homozygous, with both genes having the mutation. The same is true for the A1298C mutation. Compound heterozygotes have a single mutation at both the C and A locations. A person with the homozygous C mutation can only produce the defective MTHFR enzyme. These individuals are at the highest risk for developing hyperhomocysteinemia - an excess of homocysteine in the blood, especially if their dietary intake of folate is low. High levels of homocysteine damage the blood vessels, leading to an increased chance of developing blood clots, which in turn elevates the risk of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack and stroke.

So having this MTHFR mutation means you don't absorb folic acid, B6 or B12 correctly. At first, you may think well who cares, but this is huge! You need all of these to have a successful pregnancy and to be able to hold the pregnancy long term without miscarriage. I mean this is huge. Many women out there have this mutation and have no clue. After much talking to a couple great ladies out there who had this mutation gene and have been able to have successful pregnancies, I have great hope. I just have to make sure I get a cocktail of medications before and during. Basically, I can't take over the counter folic acid but a much higher dose.

I'm glad to have found this out now and not much later.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So how does IVF work??

When we both decided to do IVF we knew what it entitled but its always nice to see videos or diagrams on the process. While in the search for a good video on IVF I found a wonderful video. I hope others find it a great video!

So on the quest for more information on just how IVF works I found the following....

Embryo development 101

Viewing all of this makes me even more excited than ever before!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I could really go for some Mexican food...

So today has been a big challenge for both of us. Our minds have been playing tricks on us and one of them is to crave bad food. We both laughed at each other because we both said if we could go out and eat all that we wanted and not gain an ounce it would have to be Mexican food! Well after fighting our urges we got home from a day filled of errands and cooked grilled chicken with salad and red potatoes. We fought this temptation!

This morning I looked at our calendar and as each day passes it gets more real that we really only have 2 months and 26 days until our appointment with our IVF doctor. At first, we thought time was going to be against us and now it seems as though time if flying by! Im actually getting more and more excited for the day to come and finally we can be on our journey that we have longed for.

P.S. this running thing is kicking our butts!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week 1 Weigh In Results

Happy Easter to all!! We are starting to get ready for our Easter dinner with the family. Just wanted to do a quick update. Today was weigh in! I was feeling rather nervous due to the fact that we decided to make cookies yesterday afternoon and as night time came it was so hard to say "no" to them! To say the least our weigh in went really well! I lost 7.2 lbs this week and Sarah lost 5 lbs. Finally! Now, I only have 32 more pounds to loose versus 45. I like the 32 better LOL!

Easter is going to be a BIG challenge for us because at every family function we go to we are surrounded by yummy food. I have faith in us that we will try our hardest and come out feeling good. We decided to get our run done in the morning and was it a beautiful day!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Acupuncture and a whole lot of nothing!

Today has been a very lazy Saturday to say the least. We have not really done much and that's okay with me. For some reason we have no problem waking up really early on weekends but when it comes to the weekday that's another story. This morning we decided to just get our workout done with so we wouldn't have to worry about doing it later in the day. We are doing this mobile app called "couch potato to 5k" and so far its very well worth it! The thing I like about it the most is that it changes each time you run. One minute you run the next minute you don't and so on. Best thing is we knock our workout and our dog Jake gets his workout as well :)

After, our workout and Saturday cleaning duties I had my weekly appointment for acupuncture. Every week until we get closer to the ER and transfer we are going to go once a week, once we get closer we will go twice a week. I think the nice thing is when we go through the ER and transfer we can have our acupuncturist meet us there so we can get a session right after!

Now, I don't really mind the needles when they are in me but I guess in some places it feels a tad awkward. You can only see my stomach but I actually have them all over my body. 

After coming home we decided to make organic chocolate chip cookies. They are delicious!

Tomorrow is our week 1 weigh in! May the numbers be in our favor :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Toxic Truth-BPA

Recently in the news I have seen many claims about how bad Bisphenol A, or BPA is for your health. It has been linked to many horrific, common health problems:  heart problems, asthma, fertility problems,cancer, and so much more. That right there is enough for me to say no to BPA products. Now, you may think this is just a tad much, but after much research, there is nothing good about BPA but think about it.

What if those cans of vegetables and soup contain such a chemical that can cause health problems down the road? Those cans could have the chemical bisphenol A, or (BPA) in their linings — which means that the food in them might contain BPA, too.

BPA has been used for years in clear plastic bottles to make them more durable and in the liners of food cans to make the products last longer. Consumer Reports recently tested numerous name-brand canned products -- soup, juice, vegetables, tuna -- and found at least some amount of BPA in almost all of them. The chemical was even found in some products that were labeled BPA free. A few studies have linked BPA to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, infertility, PCOS, insulin resistance, and diabetes. That's pretty scary stuff considering that we get almost 30 percent of our food from cans. Liners of metal cans aren't the only place where you can find BPA, though. The chemical has also been found in baby bottles, polycarbonate drinking bottles, and other beverage containers.

Current federal guidelines on BPA levels don't take into account the hundreds of recent animal and laboratory studies done on the potential health effects of BPA levels. However, the Food and Drug administration will soon decide what level of exposure of BPA is safe.

Trust me, I know just how convenient metal cans can be, but why take the risk with BPA?
Use glass, stainless steel, or ceramic bottles whenever possible. I think the best thing we can do is to try and make meals from scratch as often we can, using the freshest ingredients. Below is a wonderful video on the toxic truth about BPA and what plastics to avoid and which ones are okay. I think this is just a great thing to be made aware of because I know that I wouldn't want to take any risk at all.

Oh, and BPA can be found in more than just plastic. Research this and you will find just how bad this is and how its slowly killing us. The saddest thing is that most of the BPA found is in child and baby product. Babies have the most of the chemical in their system from their bottles! Moms, check your bottles. Remember, plastics 1,2,4, 5-good. 3,6,7 BAD! Check labels, and check bottoms of plastic of your kids products. Thank goodness California has banned BPA from baby bottles. They did a study testing babies' blood as soon as they were born, finding high levels of BPA already in their small system from their moms. Get informed, stay informed. Be your own advocate!!

Well enough ranting!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Peeps, Chocolate Candy & Running

So it begins....everyone at work is bringing in Easter candy/treats. Today I got 1 package of Peeps, a small box of See's candies, a See's peanut butter egg, and peanut butter cups! Oye! Do you know how hard it was to not dive into both and eat every inch of chocolate...I mean who doesn't love chocolate?! Especially See's chocolates! Well I think that I did pretty good...only one chocolate and I put it away. Now I just have to get through these next couple of days so I don't have to worry about all the yummy food!

Today after work we decided to do our workout since we both slept right through our alarm. It felt weird sleeping in past 6. I actually kept tossing and turning the entire time we slept in. I kept kicking myself for not getting up and just going. Oh well, lesson learned. I downloaded this app on our iphone called "Couch potato to 5k". It states that in 8 weeks you can run a 5k without stopping. I will have to see how that works out! Today we did our first session, and it was intense. Keep in mind that we walk a lot but running has never, ever been my forte. Well after our thirty minute workout we both gave each other a high five and laughed. We laughed because we knew that we are both really out of shape! I am so glad that we are fixing this now!! So our next session is tomorrow morning at 6! Yikes, we will see how that one goes...seeing as though my legs are sore right this minute!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Only keeping it between me and you

When we first started our TTC journey I remember a gal telling us to keep it between us. We agreed that that was best. After our first IUI we wanted to talk to everyone and anyone. We thought that maybe just telling our family would be okay. Well we did. Just our parents.....until I opened my mouth to one of my co-workers. I was overwhelmed with emotion at the time. Well I didn't think it was bad until the continuous questions were always being asked, including this morning. As I was walking through one of the patient units she came up to me and asked me "are you pregnant yet?!" Really....I guess its not her fault but it made me a tad sad, but before I let her see that I knew everything was okay. I brushed it off and knew that in time it will happen and to even be able to go through this journey with my wife is the most exciting thing ever! I love sharing with others because we understand each other and can give advice when needed. Support can be such a great and comforting thing. I got back to my office and plugged in my iphone and put on The Beatles, and played one of our favorite songs....Here come the sun. Its a beautiful song :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Thinking Positively

Last night we set our alarm to wake up at 6AM so we could go on our walk. Now keep in mind that we both love our sleep, then again who doesn't? So when we were talking about waking up the night before I was totally giddy and couldn't wait....until the alarm started barking at me. I wanted to snooze my alarm and roll back into bed. As soon as I started to doze back to my deep sleep Sarah woke up and started talking really loud, I mean loud!! "Wake up!". I looked at her and said I want to kill you! We got up put our sneakers on and got our doggy Jake and headed out the door. At 6AM it was still dark and cold. We brought our phone with us to know exactly how long our walk was and before you knew it our walk was done and the sun started pealing through. We finished our 1.6 mile walk had a healthy breakfast, took a shower all before 8AM. It was nice. For once I didn't feel rushed and I left for work on time.

We have 3 months and 4 days until our IVF appointment and we are trying so hard to get ourselves into shape mentally and physically. So when it comes to work munching on unnecessary food is just not allowed. Now I'm sure others feel this way but sometimes I feel that their is food all the time in our office. Someone is always bringing their "leftover" food so they don't eat it and gain weight but heck lets all just eat it. Trust me, its easy to munch on those cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies, but not for me! I said no to all of it! As hard as it was it felt good in fact when my other co-workers started eating it I went to the stairs and climbed them four times and that right there was a realization factor for me. I had to tell myself that I could do it and think positive.

After work I got home and opened a package from my dad. Inside was this plaque.

Wow! If that doesn't hit you when you read it then I don't know what will. I started thinking... Patience and preserving which is being in a state of peace, calm, hopefulness, faith; having an attitude of gratitude, and thus, the magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish, it's because we choose to keep a clear attitude, positive, hopeful, faithful and always have that feeling that no matter what happens in life or on our journey of TTC that we are positive and unaffected by the big bumps pushing all those non believers, unrealized, and unfulfilled people away from us.

I will keep this close to my heart and remember to never, ever give up. No matter what is thrown at us! 

 Lexi & Sarah

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Maximizing our odds, chemical free, organic food

So I got a packet from our IVF treatment center and it goes over everything, from start to finish. Very useful information and one in particular. I remember talking to the nurse on the phone in regards to this but it was great to read it on paper. Its called "Maximizing your odds". Who wouldn't!? It goes over some very important steps to take before your IVF cycle.

Your physical condition could make the difference between successfully achieving a live birth and going through years of frustration of unfulfilled dreams. 

-Consume an abundance of essential fatty acids: (Need to eat more of this!)
Deep-sea fish and fish oil from non-polluted sources (PDF)
Flaxseed and pumpkin seed oils
Broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, kale, collards, cabbage and brussel sprouts
Raw seeds
Eggs (no more than one a day on average)

-Eliminate or minimize intake of trans fatty acids (very important): (Didn't buy any of these foods!)
Fried foods (if you must have occasional fried food, use coconut oil only)
Vegetable shortening
Animal fat
Hydrogenated vegetable oils
Junk food

-Vitamins (I need to buy vitamins, I was taking prenatals)
It is important that both partners take high-potency, high-quality natural multivitamins and mineral supplements of your choice purchased from a reputable source. The female partner must take a minimum of 1mg of Folic Acid a day. 

-Exercise (Starting walking tomorrow morning)
Unless you exercise regularly, several times a week, start daily walks (outdoors!) for a minimum of 45 minutes each. 

-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
Many everyday products off-gas VOC's. It is very important to minimize your exposure (both partners) to VOC's: 
Petroleum products (avoid car exhaust fumes and solvents, use disposable gloves when filling up your car) (I think Sarah is just going to have to pump my gas, LOL) Off-gassing from plastics and building materials (do not drive a new car when trying to conceive, do not remodel your home or buy a newly constructed house) 
No exposure to cigarette smoke (both partners)
Eliminate or minimize use of perfumes and colognes (unscented deodorant is ok). (Put a post-it-note to remind myself)
Do not dry-clean your clothes (I never dry-clean my clothes)
Eliminate air fresheners at home and in your car(s) (Took out all air fresheners)
Consider purchasing a VOC-scrubbing air purifier for your bedroom if you sleep with the windows closed (search internet for "voc air purifier")

-Fire Retardant Chemicals 
There is evidence that flame retardants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs), can reduce fertility. Nearly all Americans tested had trace levels of flame retardants in their body. Try to minimize your exposure to flame retardants by using bedding and pajamas that are fire retardant free. 

-Smoking (Don't smoke, never have!!!)
You must not smoke. Cigarette smoking, including passive cigarette smoke exposure, has been shown to have a dramatic adverse effect on oocyte (egg) quality and could also decrease the male fertility potential. 

Smoking appears to accelerate the loss of eggs and reproductive function and may advance the time of menopause by several years. There is an increased risk of miscarriage and genetic abnormalities in offspring among smokers. 

-Stress (Need to stress less, working on it :)
Get plenty of sleep and try to minimize your everyday stresses. 

-Acupuncture (Started acupuncture two weeks ago)
It is ok to have acupuncture. 

-Chinese medicine 
It is ok to use Chinese herbs as long as they are for strengthening your health only and do not have any female hormone-like effect.

So after reading this list I started going through our house and getting  it "ready" as much as I can. I do think that change is one step at a time. I went grocery shopping and bought some groceries to add to what we already have. While there I bought unscented deodorant and fragrance and dye free glass cleaner, laundry soap, fabric softener, and toothpaste. Sarah thinks its a tad much and shes mad that our clothes wont smell like peach and mango, but I want to make sure we are as prepared as possible. When you dive in spending so much you want to do it right, right?

This is what $135.00 bought us in Organic food 

After putting away all the groceries we got to cleaning and getting the house ready for the week. Sundays are our clean, laundry, etc. day. So I cleaned with all the new products I bought. On my journey to stay clear away from scented cleaners I decided to make my own. I love vinegar and it has soooo many purposes so I mixed it with water and used it to clean around the house. So, the house is cleaned from top to bottom and I even moped our floors with our Shark steam cleaner, just add water! LOL

Alrighty, I think I might have written too much, Sarah wants dinner. So were off to cook dinner. At this point in the afternoon I want to eat everything in sight!! 

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