Two Years and Counting

I’ll Be Picking up Pineapple on the Way Home
April 16, 2008, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I haven’t picked up The Infertility Cure in a few weeks, but I remember that there was a fairly sizable section on what foods to eat and avoid when you’re dealing with IF and using TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). I was curious as to why Dr. I. hadn’t prescribed any certain foods for me to eat or stay away from, other than the yams I was supposed to eat prior to ovulation (which, I admit, I didn’t eat.) I guess that was because I was still in my follicular phase, and apparently luteal phase is more important. She definitely gave me the food restrictions today!

First things first, I had the IUI yesterday. It took the shortest amount of time of all of the IUIs. My appointment was at 1:00, and I was back in my chair at work at 1:39! How about that! Dr. H, my assigned doctor there, actually did the procedure. M’s post-wash sperm count was 13 million, which we were happy about. Since we didn’t think we’d be having the IUI this week (or at all) we hadn’t abstained for the usual three days, so we actually figured the number would be a bit lower than that. The procedure took all of about 15 seconds, then I was left to read my book for about 20 minutes. That, and silently will those swimmers to reach their destination and get nice and comfortable. No cramping last night, which was nice.

Today I had my third acupuncture appointment. Boy, did I hve a lot to fill her in on. She was flabbergasted by my up and down chart, and the fact that we did the IUI yesterday, rather than last week like we figured it’d be. I asked her if there was any correlation between my first cycle acupuncture and the first cycle that was out of the ballpark weird, with very late ovulation. She said she didn’t know for sure, but that the acup. could definitely be responsible for the larger than usual follicle and the extra thick and triple-layered endometrial lining. I told her this was the first time the nurse actually commented that my lining was triple-layered, so I don’t know if it was ever triple-layered before. Dr. I said that’s what you want just prior to ovulation.

So, onto the food restrictions. She said I need to eat two slices of pineapple three to four times a day. I can probably swing eating a little pineapple, although I don’t particularly like it. It apparently has an enzyme called bromelain, which is supposed to somehow aid in implantation. Has anyone ever heard of or tried this? From what I’ve read on the internet, it sounds like the pineapple core is where the bromelain is. And we all know you should trust everything you read online! 😉 The internet also has answers ranging from “Yes, I ate it twice a day and got pregnant!” to “No, it doesn’t help anything, if an embryo is viable it’s going to implant regardless of what fruit you eat.” I don’t know what to think about it all.

She also said I should not eat dairy. Now, this is a problem for me. I consume a fair amount of milk and cheese, and I love them both. I’m not completely clear on the problem with dairy, so I’ll read back in the book to check on that. She did say that this is for the whole cycle, not just in the luteal phase. I could try to scale back the dairy consumption, but I’m not sure if I can cut it out completely.

She told me to consume warm foods and drinks. Fruit should be room temperature, water shouldn’t be cold, and no ice. She said this is because I have a kidney and spleen deficiency which makes me cold a lot of the time. This is true. I can’t tell if this is for general health, or if it’ll actually help with getting pregnant. I’m sure there are things that are good for overall health, but for right now, I’m pretty much concerned with what’ll help me get pregnant. I know that sounds narrow-minded. I do want to be healthy overall, and I’ll take steps towards that goal, but I’m just not sure if I can completely cut out dairy and cold things. I will try though.

Another problem for me is my size/weight. And I know many of you will gag as I say this, but it is an issue for me, so I will spell it out. I’m a thin person. I’ve tried to gain weight over the last year, in the hopes that it would help me in the getting pregnant department and make me more, I don’t know, suited for pregnancy, I guess. I started going to B.ody P.ump at the Y twice a week, which I love (it’s a weights class, not aerobics, and I wanted it to help me gain muscle, which it has) and I started incorporating some whole milk dairy products—or at least some with a bit more fat. I use 1% milk sometimes instead of fat-free, and buy whole milk ice cream instead of low fat. (As a side note, it is my opinion that Breyers makes the best vanilla yogurt. It only has about five ingredients, and they’re all natural. No xanthan gum or anything else that is made in a laboratory.) I also try to eat more regularly throughout the day. The only other exercise I do is walking—not power walking, per se, but not just a stroll either. Over the past year, my weight has stayed exactly the same. I don’t know if the exercise I do is canceling out the extra calories, or what. But the strange thing is, when I lay off the exercise (thinking I’ll try consuming the extra calories without the exercise burning them off), I actually lose weight! I’m completely backwards, I tell you.

So, I’m at a loss. I try to eat some dairy foods with a bit more fat, but Dr. I says I need to avoid dairy. She says I’m thin and could stand to gain a bit of weight, but she tells me to lay off the B.ody P.ump (until I get pregnant and have a child) and “saunter” instead of fast walking. I feel like I have a pretty good grip on healthy eating habits, what to consume and do if you need to gain weight, but a) it doesn’t seem to work on me, and b) it doesn’t help in the getting pregnant department.

I asked her if she had any recommendations as far as what I can eat to try to gain weight. She said carbs are ok—pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes. I’ll stick to my oatmeal in the morning. I’ll try to eat some nuts or something as a mid morning snack. She said to eat soups (they’re warm), so I can do those for lunch, or leftovers from dinner the night before. My dinners are fine—we eat healthy and obviously the food is warm, so I’m ok there. I’ll have to skip my ice cream and nutella after dinner though.

There are a few things about this cycle that are different than previous cycles (aside from the obvious late ovulation), and I can’t help but think that maybe they mean this cycle has a better chance of working. Like Dr. I said, we’d like for me to have a 14 day luteal phase, but hopefully it’ll just keep going on and on and all these instructions will be a moot point because I’ll be pg. That’d be best case scenario, but I’m not holding on to that thought tightly.

I did ask her if she sees many IF patients, and if many of them get pg. She said she sees lots of IF patients, and just recently, she had four patients all get pregnant in the same month, one with a single pregnancy, one with twins, one with triplets, and one with quads! That made me ask her about the incidence of multiples. I said I was glad I was still in the realm of a single pregnancy, not being on meds and doing IUI instead of IVF. She surprised me by saying she finds that more multiples are born to women having IUIs than IVF. (Those IUI women are on meds, however.) The reason is that when you stimulate the ovaries through meds, then do an IUI, which gives you a chance of fertilizing everything in there, it’s easier to end up with multiples. With IVF, doctors and patients can decide how many eggs to fertlilize and/or how many embryos to transfer, so you know what you’re getting. At my clinic, the doctors have a policy to rarely transfer more than two, in order to make it safer for the mother and babies.

This had never crossed my mind—that there’s a large chance of multiples on IUI + meds. It makes sense to me now, and honestly, makes me even more wary of going the IUI + meds route (which is what I think they’ll suggest next time we go back to talk to the doctor in May, if this cycle doesn’t work out.) If I ever decide I’m ok (personally, not in general or for other people) with IVF, I know for a fact that we will only fertilize two eggs. I will not allow a possibility of triplets or more for me. Given my size, I don’t think it’d be healthy for the babies or me. I’d be ok with twins, but God willing, I’ll just take one at a time!

9 Comments so far
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I was so glad to read your post tonight. I thought that I was the only thin gal in the IF world. I am getting ready to have my first IUI in May. I’ll be keeping you on my blog reader to see how everything goes. I wish you the best!!

Comment by Michelle

Thanks, Michelle. Good luck with your first IUI! (I didn’t want to leave a comment on your blog, because i couldn’t tell if you had anything IF-related on there anywhere.

Comment by Lauren

Interesting post. I think I may go and eat some pineapple now. I *love* pineapple.

Comment by sarah23

The higher incidence of multiples is usually linked with the use of injectible meds. Clomid has a very low rate of multiples (like 8%) and nearly all of those are twins. Letrozole is about the same. In my 3 months on clomid and letrozole, I never had more than one follicle reach maturity. But if you are nervous, you can set a limit at which point you would cancel the IUI if there are too many mature follies. But hopefully all of this will be a moot point and this cycle will be successful.

Comment by Jennifer

Mmmm, pineapple. Maybe I should go out and get some, too, in this last week and a half before we get the results for our IUI.
On the weight thing, I wonder if you start to lose weight when you stop exercising because you’re losing muscle mass?

Comment by andrea_jennine

I’ve been eating fresh pineapple all week since my IVF transfer on last Saturday. I also tried to follow the infertility diet but I was unable to give up dairy – I like it too much. I’ve been able to cut down on cheese quite a bit and I buy only organic milk now, and organic plain lowfat yogurt instead of the kind with fruit and extra sugar in it.

If you do IVF they will only put 2 embryos back because of your young age. In my case they would’ve put back 4 if I had them, but unfortunately my eggs are almost gone so we only ended up with 2 embryos good to go on transfer day out of 6 eggs retrieved. If you do have to do IVF you will do fine because they will have many more eggs which will result in more embryos and then the doctors will choose only the best 2 to put back. I’m hoping you don’t have to move to IVF though. I’m confident that eventually the IUI will work for you.

Comment by soapchick

Yes, I am absolutely gagging as you talk about your thinness. 😉 I don’t struggle with that at ALL!

Interesting post! I hope all the acup. and diet changes will help and that you’ll end up with a successful cycle…resulting in pregnancy, of course!

Comment by glenna

Hey girl… Like Michelle said, I thought I was the only thin person in the IF world. I’m 5ft8 and weighed 125lbs as at Dec 2006. I’m now 135lbs approx. I tried to gain weight before my wedding by taking lots of cold chocolate drinks with whole milk but since you need to avoid dairy… I also had horlicks in chocolate & a drink called complan daily. Variations of body building actually help as well but I’ve found that I put on the most weight from stimming and all the range of drugs I’ve had to pump in my body for the last 2+ years. I think, I’ll stop by for some pineapple today… can’t hurt can it?

Comment by Grace

Pineapple – good for implantation and durimg 2ww, but stop when preggers as contains bromelain which is good for lining, but brings on uterine contractions.
Aspartame – BAD – an aftificial sweetener BANNED in 7 European countries, found in sweets, diet drinks & sugarfree drinks & chewing gum – causes MISCARRIAGES.

Comment by Bumpaliscious

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