(Un)Necessary Prep Work?

I’ve been making a few changes chez Turia in the last couple of weeks.

It started when a friend of mine sent me a link to this soundbite (this is a different link from the one she sent me, but it’s the same story).

Basically, this doctor found in a small study of women undergoing IVF that women who ate a diet that had less than 40% carbohydrates and 25-30% protein had vastly improved outcomes with embryos reaching blast, pregnancy rates, and live births.

I was interested enough to send it to my sister, who’s a trained microbiologist and therefore my sounding board for anything scientific.

She was intrigued too. It’s not the actual study- just a report of the presentation of the findings. And the sample size was small.

But I figured, what the hell. I’d already made some changes to my diet as part of my “be mindful of what I eat” resolution, so I figured a few more wouldn’t hurt.

I’ve swapped out cereal and oatmeal at breakfast for eggs or Greek yoghurt.

I’ve swapped out sandwiches at lunch for quinoa salads, salads with tuna or chicken or hard-boiled egg, or home-made soups that include legumes.

I’ve cut out grains entirely for snacks.

And I’ve pretty much left dinner alone, because I don’t think eating pasta for dinner once a week is going to be a deal breaker. Q. has responded with enthusiasm to my request to include more meat in our dinners on the nights he’s cooking, and I’m making sure dinner on the nights I cook is heavily centred around lentils and other veggie proteins (I have a lot of trouble cooking meat- I went vegetarian before I learned how to when I was a teenager, and I can manage ground meat and chicken breasts but struggle with everything else. Plus I don’t think we should be eating meat every night anyway.)

Maybe it’s all pointless, but it’s worth a shot.

Other things I’ve started doing:

  • taking metformin again
  • taking coQ10
  • taking a B complex vitamin with extra B6
  • taking a multivitamin with extra folic acid
  • taking baby aspirin

And I’m still taking my vitamin D (2000 IU a day).

And yet, I could look you straight in the eye and tell you I wasn’t sure if I would do another IVF cycle, and I wouldn’t be lying.

Does that sound weird?

It feels a bit weird to me, but it’s true.

We had originally thought if we did another IVF cycle we’d do it in May after we got back from visiting my sister and future brother-in-law.

But once I decided I wanted to start taking the supplements and change my diet, we decided to push back into July, to make sure I’ve had the three months needed to make a difference.

We’re still not sure we’ll go through with it in July, but I decided that if we were keeping the door open, I needed to prepare so that if we did try again, we’d know we gave it our best shot.

I don’t want to do another IVF off the cuff, have it fail, and then wonder if things could have been different if I’d taken a couple more months to prep my body.

I realized that not taking the supplements, for me, was tantamount to saying “we’re done”.

And we’re not. We’re on the fence still.

So I needed to start taking everything to keep both options on the table. At worst, if we decide in July or August not to go ahead, we’ve spent a bit of money on unnecessary vitamins.

I don’t like being in limbo, but it’s not for much longer, because we will either cycle in July/August, or we will be done.

At that point the age gap will be five years, which was always our cut off date. And we’ll be almost a  year out from our last FET.

July will be the moment of decision.

For now I’m just taking it one day at a time, sitting with both options, noticing (but not judging) how I feel about things, and hoping that my digestive system will adjust to the new regime soon.


Filed under Choose Happiness, Food, Medical issues, Second Thoughts, Siblings

5 responses to “(Un)Necessary Prep Work?

  1. I am having a really hard time with the protein. As a vegetarian, I can’t get 100+ g of protein without eating a protein bar and a protein shake each day, and I don’t think that’s sustainable or healthy…. so maybe meat is back on the table for me? Ugh… I wish this was based on more than “every PCOS book ever” and “that one Dr’s small study with unknown other variables”… and yet.. anecdotally, friends on the Whole30 and other high-protein diets seem to have experienced higher fertility. More anecdotes must mean reliable science, right?
    Also, check your multivitamin in combo with your B-complex and your folic acid – you can over-do the B vitamins, since they are fat-soluble, with negative health and fertility consequences. So unless you know you are deficient, don’t take more than the daily recommended dose of any one of the B-vitamins (niacin, B12, folic acid, etc.).

  2. This was by far my best cycle, 5/5 fertilized eggs became blasts. In past cycles it was only like 15%. And this cycle I ate paleo, fairly strictly, for 4 months prior, and my husband for about 2 months. I’m not sure if it was that, or the IMSI, or a different protocol, or what, but I definitely recommend the lower carb, higher protein diet leading up to IVF!

  3. I get this. And how I get how much easier it would be if it weren’t a choice. I wish I had wise words for you, or a crystal ball. But I do know that no matter what you choose, or how the cards fall, you are going to be better than okay.

  4. Pingback: What to eat (that is the question) | Res Cogitatae

  5. Pingback: Oddities | Res Cogitatae

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