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Old Mar 4th, 2016, 10:00 AM   1
milena2015
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Natural pregnancy in the middle of IVF after two MCs, undetectable AMH, high FSH


I've been on this forum at my darkest moments and success stories really helped me get through. So I'd like to share my little success story and tips on what (I think) made the difference. I'm only 12.5 weeks pregnant, so I still worry about the outcome but 1st trimester screening tests were fine so I'm hoping things will turn out fine.

My first MC happened when I was 37 years old, at 8,5 weeks. I had a natural MC, so we don't know the reason. The second one happened about six month later, it was discovered at 10,5 weeks (baby stopped developing at 9.5). I had D&C and we did genetic testing. It was Turner's syndrome. By then I had already turned 38. The OBGYN told me I had bad eggs because of my age.

Naturally, we went to see a reproductive specialist. Turned out I had extremely low AMH, which after retesting in a few months became undetectable. My FSH was between 17 and 21, sometimes 26. Listening to reproductive doctors was painful: you are peri-menopausal, you have no eggs left, the ones that are left are bad, bad eggs, you have only a few months left. They gave us the donor egg talk. The clinic we went to (RMA in NYC) pushed me for IVF. They also told us my partner's sperm had low motility and was 97% abnormal. Thank god, in between the visits and blood tests, I was reading books and forums and slowly arrived to the conclusion that I needed to pause and try to get myself healthy first.

You may think it's an obvious thought -- to get healthy, eat right, get vitamins, etc -- but when you live a relatively healthy lifestyle, almost don't drink, don't smoke, do yoga and eat tons of fruit and kale, you don't think that your diet and lifestyle need much correction. So, reading the book by Julia Indichova's "Inconceivable" lead me somehow to "The Making Babies" book, that book gave me a better idea of what I should be doing with my body and my diet, which let me to acupuncture. I read everything legitimate I could find on babymaking and health and eventually settled on some regiment that I followed religiously for 6 months.

If anyone is interested, I'll write up my supplements/dietary adjustments in a separate post.

I went to an acupuncturist on a regular basis. Fortunately, after D&C earlier that year I had met my insurance deductible and all the visits were covered 100%. I was tracking my BBT, trying to see if I was ovulating. It was a very frustrating time. I thought I started having hot flashes and saw it as a sign of menopause. The acupuncturist was pretty much the only person who addressed all my concerns as I was going through the process.

After trying for four months without any result, the acupuncturist suggested I see a reproductive endocrinologist, however, not someone at the RMA clinic, but someone at a more progressive place, where they work with your body, do natural or mini IVF, and don't go by your AMH or FSH. They check all of the hormones, do regular monitoring techniques and help you with minimal dosage of meds, if needed --- but it's drastically different from a regular RMA practice. The natural IVF place said the numbers were just the numbers, that my partner's sperm was fine, as it only takes one sperm and we were able to get pregnant twice, so things should be fine. They were not overly optimistic and made it clear that with my record it can be difficult but not impossible and didn't put much pressure on me, my age, my eggs and my ovaries. I was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve, by the way. Which is different from peri-menopause.

So, I've worked with them for three months. Surprisingly, that gave me a peace of mind because I could see how many follicles I was growing each months (usually between 1 and 3 total, which is very low), how well I progressed (not very well sometimes) but they never made me feel like I had no chance. Without going into too many details (I can share them if anyone is interested), we've decided to do some egg retrieval, create some frozen embryos, possible do genetic testings and do the transfer when we collect enough embryos. In each cycle we could only retrieve one egg, but it felt very natural and normal, as I didn't have to use too much meds and my ovaries were not abused unlike in a traditional IVF. We've done it for a couple of cycles.

Now, the best part. In the third natural IVF cycle, my follicles were not growing fast enough, it took almost 18 days to get to the ovulation. I was devastated as I thought that was it, the end of my reproductive days. Eventually, three small follicles matured and we retrieved two eggs, both fertilized, one survived to day 5 and is now frozen. We didn't retrieve the third follicle that cycle, dismissing it for some reason, and -- miraculously -- that egg became my pregnancy which happened naturally after we had an intercourse sometime around the day of the ovulation/egg retrieval. Right now I'm at my 12,5 weeks and everything seems to go well. I believe that acupuncture, supplements, my dietary and lifestyle changes have a lot to do with this miracle.

I'm wishing luck to everyone who's on this journey. Please, remember not to lose hope and do everything in your power to maximize your chances to be healthy and produce healthy eggs and keep your mind calm.



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Old Mar 9th, 2016, 15:07 PM   2
Vonn
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What a story! Congratulations and thank you for sharing it. I would love to hear your diet and supplements when you conceived. I wish you a wonderful rest of your pregnancy & a happy and healthy baby!!!



 
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 13:25 PM   3
milena2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vonn View Post
What a story! Congratulations and thank you for sharing it. I would love to hear your diet and supplements when you conceived. I wish you a wonderful rest of your pregnancy & a happy and healthy baby!!!
Thank you for your wishes! I'm 14 weeks and things are looking good so far.

For my diet, at first I followed Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility. I identified myself as a dry type and ate what they recommended, including consuming more cooked and warm meals as opposed to salads and raw veggies. No ice-cream or cold drinks. Stopped drinking coffee, even though before I couldn't imagine my life without it. All the changes came easy because the mind agreed to them Almost no drinking, maybe a few sips of wine here and there.

Supplements: prenatal vitamins Rainbow Light, 35+; vitex (chasteberry) for ovulation and overall hormonal regulation; CoQ10 (ubiquinone) about 300-400 mg. It's not clear what the dosage should be so I just went by what the most reliable sources advised. Fish oil daily.

At some point my endocrinologist suggested DHEA supplement, so I took 25 mg 3 times a day. Make sure it's micronized, pharmaceutical grade. It's supposed to boost the quality of eggs. I discovered I was low on Vitamin D so I took 5,000 IU of VD. In addition to this, my accupancturist prescribed me herbs (no pills, either powder or something that you cook yourself, if possible, from pharmacies that use natural/organic herbs) and I was taking herbs as teas twice a day. Me and my partner both ate organic for the most part. I was also eating more lamb/red meat for iron and other good nutrients. My partner took some supplements to improve sperm, although the doctor kept saying his sperm didn't need that.

I was not sure how much of all of the supplements and vitamins was getting absorbed by my system so I also took Royal Jelly for vitamins daily in the morning and Maca root (added to soups) a few times a week. Instead of coffee and black tea I was drinking raspberry leaf tea, nettles tea and clover tea. And, of course, light exercise: some yoga, walking, swimming, biking, etc.

Overall, it sounds like a lot, but once you make these adjustments in about one month everything goes smoothly and doesn't require a lot of work.

When I got pregnant, the tests indicated I had hypothyroid (TSH 5.7). I think I developed this problem earlier, maybe it was triggered by one of the previous pregnancies. My reproductive endocrinologist put me on levithyroxine 25mg once a day and it seemed to work. The reason why I mention it here: if I knew I could have a thyroid problem, I would've checked earlier and would've tried to get it under control before the pregnancy. My acupuncturist says thyroids are tricky and can start giving you problems even when TSH results are still within the norm, which can cause problems getting pregnant. So, something to keep an eye on.

Good luck with everything!



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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 19:04 PM   4
milena2015
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And I forgot to add: charting BBT caused more anxiety than anything else. I couldn't sleep well, thinking of the next morning and wondering what my body would tell me, whether I ovulated, or whether the temperature stays up and indicates a possible pregnancy, etc.

The only thing I've learned from BBT charts was that with my diet and supplements my temperature stabilized and got higher overall, which is a good thing. Also, I've noticed that I did ovulate but sometimes it took a few days, which indicated some kind of difficulties and I wasn't conceiving. Working with a reproductive endocrinologist really helped get me piece of mind.

She didn't interfere with anything at first, no meds, but she would tell me how many follicles I grew, how fast they were growing, and it gave me a break, because not knowing what was going on in my ovaries was the most anxiety-provoking.

At some point I started listening to Baby and Bloom pregnancy meditation recordings. It was really helpful to relax and calm my brain down although I'm not sure if the recordings help with conception per se



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Old Mar 31st, 2016, 12:47 PM   5
ReadynWaiting
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Milena-congratulations on your pregnancy! Your story gives me hope as I'm on a similar path. I have been seeing a naturopath since Feb and have made some necessary diet changes and added some different supplements on top of Accupuncture twice a week. I feel like things are moving in the right direction as my body feels warmer and healthier. I followed The Making Babies program when I got pg with my dd. Thanks for sharing your story.



 
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Old Jun 14th, 2016, 17:05 PM   6
happy138
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That's great and really inspiring. Wish you have a healthy pregnancy



 
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