Today I Will be Mostly Eating….


I’ve been thinking about things I can do to improve my lot in time for the next cycle of IVF. We’ll be getting started again in early July. That’s not a lot of time when it comes to ‘improving one’s lot’ from an IVF perspective. Do you know it takes 3 months to create an egg? Well, yes it does. So I’ve actually already made the eggs we’re going to use in early July. That doesn’t stop my brain from wanting to do SOMETHING though. So I’ve chosen two things, let’s hope they make a bit of a difference between now and then.

1. DHEA. I’ve started taking 75mg a day of this slightly scary supplement in addition to all my other supplements. Side effects include hair loss, irritability, anger and a booming voice. I’m worried I may turn into Mr Bronson but I’ve decided to go for it anyway. Studies show it can improve ovarian function, which sounds pretty damn good to me, hair loss or not.

2. Eating more protein and less carbs. This study shows an 80% improved pregnancy rate amongst women who eat 25% or more protein in their daily diet, and less than 40% carbs. Amazing right? Sign me up….

….I signed myself up a few days ago. Since then I’ve been keeping an online ‘food diary’ using the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app. I had no idea how hard it is to eat more protein. The first thing I noticed is that I really don’t eat that much. That is a very strange thing, because I feel like I eat loads and loads – yet I’m averaging less than 1200 calories a day. Really? Yes. My eyes are definitely bigger than my belly. I have a few mouthfuls and I’m done. This is going to become an issue, see below.

So there’s that. And then there’s eating more protein. I need to eat around 90g a day which is 30% of my daily diet. So far today I have eaten a yoghurt and some blueberries (6g protein), TWO hard boiled eggs (yuck, seriously?! 12g protein), a little big of salmon and some edamame (15g protein). I’m pretty full now. And I still have to eat another 55g of protein today. WTF? How can 2 eggs only be 12g of protein?

Anyway I can see the way this is going….


I guess I need to befriend the protein shake (25g  protein in one drink – hooray!). As I don’t eat much meat this is going to be tough. The low carbs thing is also hard. Do you realise there are carbs in everything? I think I may have to give up sugar, bread, rice, potatoes, fruit, booze and vegetables. Not quite sure what I am going to eat for the next few weeks but it may resemble something that Fred Flintstone would enjoy.

I really want to give it my best shot though. If it works, it’s worth it. Maybe I’ll develop some killer pecs in the interim. If you have any easy ways of eating high protein, low carbs in about 5 spoonfuls please let me know.

Another Spin of the Wheel of Fortune


People loved the idea of a ‘wheel of fortune’ back in the Middle Ages – ‘Rota Fortunae’ – I wrote a paper about it once. What comes up, must go down. The fickle finger of fate. Well,  we’ve decided to have one more spin of the wheel with my own eggs. Maybe I’m daft – I don’t know. At the moment that’s me in blue, getting squashed by the wheel (see picture above).

Our consultant was very keen for us to try again. He said our last cycle was exemplary – 7 eggs, 7 fertilised, 7 blastocysts. If we can replicate similar success again he thinks we have a reasonable (1 in 4’ish) chance of it working. Back in the day I probably would have felt excited. This time I did not – it’s impossible to say the last cycle was ‘exemplary’ when it didn’t work!  Anyway, I need to stop thinking like that. If we’re going to do this I need to think positive and upgrade the PMA.

We’re going away in June so I’m going to wait until early July to start the next cycle. Same short protocol as last time….and I’m going to start taking DHEA too. I’m not sure it will make any difference in 7 weeks but I guess it’s worth a try. I’m also still on CoQ10 and all the other stuff. And – I’m going to try a high protein, low carb diet. This study suggests it’s well worth a try.

Do I need my head testing? Possibly. Am I going to get my hopes up again? Definitely. Is this our very last time trying with our own eggs? HAS to be.

We’ve been at the bottom of the wheel for the last 12 months, the only way is up right?


Our little embryo didn’t make it through the thawing process. Embryologist kindly pointed out on the phone that ‘90% make it so this is very unusual’. I’m gutted. Why is this so hard?

Our lovely consultant called straight away. He explained that this ‘defrost failure’ has nothing to do with the quality of the embryo, it’s just down the sheer bad luck. Our embryo was the 1 in 10 that didn’t make it. This has been a really terrible week.

Tomorrow is Defrost Day

Fingers crossed our plucky little embryo makes it through the thawing process in the morning. Apparently only 1 in 10 fails but who knows? Luck hasn’t really been on our side this year.

Anyway like Daley Thompson used to say, POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE. Transfer is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon unless I get an unwanted phone call from the embryologist in the AM. Watch this space.

Fanny Bullets


Not a superhero….my favourite name for progesterone pessaries, one of the things I hate most about IVF treatment.

I,  erm, ‘inserted’ my first one this morning in preparation for the frozen embryo transfer on Wednesday. I’ll be on three bullets a day for the next two weeks. That’s a whopping 1200 mg of progesterone. Is that 1.2g? I think so.

Anyway it’s a lot, and I’m now preparing myself for Mega Bloat and the Constipation Factor, the sidekicks of Fanny Bullets. I’m drinking copious amounts of water and eating oranges. Oranges?! I dunno. I’ll try anything that might keep things moving down there. It’s the worst.  My helpful husband is always keen to suggest prune juice, which is always a great suggestion if you don’t have to drink it yourself. Anyway hopefully it will all be worth it this time around, I will happily drink all the prune juice in London if this works out for us.