Moving forward slowly

Officially, since I am on a 'break' from IVF for a while, I should not be here, I should not even be thinking about TTC related things. But of course that is easier said than done. So these are the items that are keeping me sane, thinking that I am still doing something:

Thyroid checkup

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism back in 2004. Stupid of me, but I did not take any action until 2008, only when I was barely able to keep awake due to my extremely fatigued thyroid. But since then, after taking Thyroxine regularly, it has been in control. Or so I thought. My thyroid levels seem to fluctuate between various tests. Also, I hadn't noticed earlier that my blood test ordered by my FS back in August contained results for Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb), and that it was quite high (>1000 IU/mL, where normal range should be 0-35). So in the last few weeks, I read about TPOAb, and how it could cause infertility (basically, the antibodies could attack the embryos thinking it was a foreign substance). There is no scientific solution yet to reduce these antibodies or reverse the immunity war inside my body unfortunately. However, I came across a few bloggers mentioning that the antibodies may be triggered due to certain food allergies. So, my first plan of attack is to keep my thyroid regularly checked up, and next is to try to eliminate common allergens from my diet. 

Good food bad food

As the first attempt to see if I have allergies to food items, I have gone dairy free for more than two weeks now. Its not been easy for me as I depend on dairy items, I just love them. One of the few Hypothyroidism symptoms that I don't have is weight gain. Instead, I have always struggled with gaining weight. In fact, my FS warned me not to lose any weight. So this restriction of food I love is killing me. So while I am waiting for the fuller control of food to kick in (see next section below), I am feeding myself dairy free food from the fast food nearby to attempt to gain some weight before it falls all over again. It is probably 1 step forward and 1 step back, but I think the real test will be the next stage of my food watching anyway, so I am going to keep my faith in junk food alive till then. 

Coeliac disease screening

Coeliac disease is an another autoimmune disease, this one is caused by intolerance to Gluten (protein found in Wheat, rye, barley, and oats), which in turn causes small intestine cells to be attacked/inflamed resulting of course in low absorption. But besides other symptoms, infertility is one of the known outcomes of the disease. So while waiting for the next round of IVF, I decided to get myself checked for this disease, hopefully to rule it out. I have given my blood sample today, and will probably go for intestinal biopsy after the results are out. One of the requirements for Coeliac disease screening is that I should not be currently following Gluten free diet. But, with or without the test being positive, as soon as the tests for this disease is complete, I plan to go Gluten free. I may not have the actual disease, but I might still have the allergy (to be confirmed). Meanwhile, I am continuing my research on the disease, and Gluten free life. 

If you have any tips on how to maintain a dairy free and gluten free diet, and not break your budget or go crazy, please, I'd love to hear from you!


Because I'm happy.....Not

I had to try and see if writing this out helps. I wrote about my BFN before. I wrote about my faith being shaken, but I was actually still quite calm for quite a while after that, probably because my periods were not here yet. Well, its here now, and with it, the emotions, and positivity went downhill as expected.

Yesterday, two days after my official BFN, my sleep was broken by something at the very early hours of the morning, and the first thing that appeared on my mind was the line from Pharrell William's song 'Happy' - I was 'singing' "Because I'm happie ee ee" in my mind before my mind was sane enough to think anything. A few long seconds later, the next thing that came into my mind was "I wish". Of course, the second thought was the one that suited my circumstances better. Because I started spotting soon after midday.

I think this article sums up quite well what happens after a BFN - Kübler-Ross model, commonly referred to as the "five stages of grief" - Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, although I did not have those steps distinctly and in that order. Wednesday to early Friday morning, I was mostly in the Denial phase. I was thinking - the two different brands of pregnancy test strips that I used might just had been ruined by the summer heat in the past few weeks (although they were not in direct sunlight of course). Or like the very small percentage of women out there, maybe it won't show in the tests until I am 5 or 6 weeks. Just imagine the surprise my FS gets when I tell her that actually, the test result has changed. Or so many other crazy things like that. The sane side of my brain was saying that my periods is delayed just because I just came off crinone, and although I am a bit late according to my O date, I am still within the 28 day cycles that I sometimes have. But who listens to the Mr Sane Corner?

By the end of Friday morning, Anger had started to creep in, as I could feel what was in store that day. My usual morning prayers were distracted and forced at best. I was mostly asking him what I had done wrong (although someone who saw me praying probably thought I was an epitome of someone with total faith and at perfect zen). The Bargaining phase had started quite early for me, before the official test date for me, as I was not getting ANY symptoms. It continued till Friday afternoon. Reduced or no caffine, more healthy food, water, fruits, nuts, you name it. But by Friday evening, I was thinking what's the point. Depression kicked in quite quickly. I could not see any sense in controlling anything anymore. Wine, here I come. Forget about getting ready for the difficult interview that I don't have a lot of time to prepare. In fact, since we decided to get some time off IVF, maybe I should go back on pills so that I don't obsess about conceiving naturally. I even blamed myself for not taking care of my hypothyroid early as soon as it was detected in 2004. I was young and foolish thought that I am not going to depend on a tablet daily for rest of my life. Without reading into the consequences. I was sure that is coming back to bite me now.  Maybe I deserve it for being so arrogant. I cried myself to sleep. And got angry at my husband that he was not weepy like me (who does that?).

I am yet to get to the Acceptance phase. I am waiting to get the "its going to be OK" perspective. I know it will be difficult as there is no concrete pliean for now, except to wait a bit longer before doing anything. But I know I will at least be counting my blessings soon enough.

Maybe the song was stuck in my mind for a good reason. Even if it is totally opposite to what I am feeling, the music does lift my spirit. A bit.  And I find myself tapping my feet and even dancing to it sometimes. Even though I am feeling sad inside. See, I am already counting my blessing. This time for the Pharrell William's song. Baby steps is what I am deciding to call it.

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happie ee ee