Tag Archives: ARGC

I have lost weight

I have been meaning to write this post for about 3 weeks. But a few things have been happening and I have been pretty busy and a bit pre-occupied more recently.

Anyway, after the “I am fat” post, I have religiously stuck to a diet and exercise plan. I have been really disciplined and determined. In fact I have become pretty single minded when it comes to losing this lard!

The diet plan was basically cutting out all sugar and eating salad, nuts and yogurt, and not much else!

Exercise-wise, these days I can only manage 3 days per week in the gym, but with the help of the lovely Kelly, I had begun to see some real results. Sadly, I cannot do any more personal training with Kelly as she has childcare issues, so I’ll just have to motivate myself now.

So I have lost 1 stone! Pretty pleased with those results. I’ve posted a before and after picture. To be honest, I really cannot see any difference but the scales say otherwise. I’ll take that!

Can you see a difference?

I still have a whole one and a half stone left to go. *sigh*Image

 

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I am Fat

I am fat

I am fat

I am fat.

I’m not entirely sure how I now manage to weigh 2 stone more then my pre-ttc weight. The last stone has crept on after I had my son, in fact that last stone crept on in the last 3/4 months.

My arms look like the Michelin Man, and I look like I’ve swallowed a duvet.

I am not a pretty sight. Luckily I’m not at the stage where I have to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate my ever increasing thighs, but I’m ever so close.

To top it all off, I do not feel very good, neither health-wise, nor mood-wise. After  my failed IVF I decided that enough is enough. So I contacted Kelly from Fit not Thin @FitNotThin.

Initially, I was convinced my expanding stomach was due to damaged muscles due to carrying a baby, but given that I gave birth to him nearly 2 years ago, cant really hide behind that tired old excuse, can I!? And Kelly confirmed that there is not much wrong with my actual stomach muscles. Although, she could be wrong, she had to press down through an awful lot of fat to reach them, that’s for sure!

So here’s what’s happening, I am no longer eating cake. I am not eating carbs. I am eating salad. Lots of salad.

I see Kelly 2/3 per month. The sessions are excellent and all about weights and using the vibrating machines at the Re-vitalise Studio in Hove. I’m really loving it.

Sadly, I have also discovered a correlation between my coffee consumption and weight gain, i.e. the more coffee I drink, the more weight I gain.

Goddammit, no coffee, no fags and no cake.

 

 

 

 

Smoking Preggos

Last night I went to the pub. The whole place was heaving with families and pregnant women.

I felt completely surrounded by those lucky, happy preggos.

Some of them were smoking. SMOKING!!!!

I was so upset, I actually cried. Granted I’d had a couple of sherry’s by that point, but seriously, HOW CAN THEY DO THAT TO THEIR BABIES???? How?

So I cried out of anger and frustration and jealousy.

One of the preggos asked me if her smoking had upset me? And I said no. How could I get into an argument about this in public? How can I explain to her that I will never, ever be as blessed and as lucky as she is right now, without sounding like I’m completely barmy?

I tried to explain how I felt to my friend, who just kept saying how lucky I am to have had my son, and yes, I know I am lucky, and more thankful then you could ever imagine, but I’m sad for me and I’m sad for a future that will never exist. But most of all I am sad for my little boy, because I feel like I’ve failed him.

Anyway, this walking away from TTC is much harder then I thought.

Hormones

I’m fairly sure my hormones are all over the place at the moment. What makes me say this is that I have spots! On my chin and on my back and its not from the DHEA as I haven’t been taking it recently. Plus I have definitely had some angry moments recently. (mostly aimed at my poor husband).

If my hormones aren’t “right”, then I doubt my baby making capability is 100%. In fact I’m certain that if my hormones are functioning properly, I’ll never make a baby without the aid of IVF.

This is what I am doing to try and correct this problem.

  •  I have cut out caffeine
  • I have stopped eating wheat and any “white food” – I’m trying to lower my gluten as I’ve heard good things about gluten free diets or at least low GI diets
  • I’m not having any artificial sweeteners – aspartame is now banned in the US, so that cant be good
  • I’ve started taking Wheatgrass juice again
  • Agnus Castus
  • Vitamin B supplement
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Fertility Tea – it contains Red Raspberry to regulate menstrual cycle (mine has been all over the place recently – uh oh – is that the menopause looming????!!!)

 I am also exercising. I just feel that if I can make my body as healthy as I can, then things might start to work properly.

I have also been helping a friend who might have PCOS. I really think going on a PCOS diet could be really beneficial for her.

 I’ve also started listening to the Zita West CD. Its very relaxing and I hope that its doing some good. My FSH has always been bad but recent tests have suggested its ok. The Zita West CD talks about optimal amounts of hormones being released. Hope its doing me some good.

What more can I do to balance my hormones? Any idea, tips or tricks, let me know!

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Hypnotherapy at the Zita West Clinic

I was lucky enough to attend a session of hypnotherapy with Zita West’s practitioner, Maureen at the Clinic in London.

It’s a first for me, having never done anything like his before, so I really didn’t know what to expect.

I arrived at the lovely clinic and was only kept waiting for a few minutes before being whisked to the very top of the building by Maureen, where we talked about my situation. I loved the way she spoke. Really such a positive person and we also talked about her family too.

We talked about some of the negative thoughts I have about trying naturally for baby number 2, my negative feelings about my own body, and my fear of letting my place of work down by having another baby. She really did help me “re-frame” some of my negativity and put a more positive spin on it.

Then the hypnotherapy session started. I lay back on the reclining chair and she began to speak. It was very much like you see on the TV, designed to make you relax but not at any point did I feel I was not in control of my body, my thoughts or my actions.

She set a wonderful scene. I was to imagine myself on a beach surrounded by lovely greenery and a bright sunny day. The session was focused on relaxing and using counting and imagery to do so. When I think back to the day I get a really strong imagine in my mind and its fantastic! It truly does help me feel less anxious and more relaxed.

The actual hypnotherapy last for approximately 20 minutes.

I enjoyed it very much, however, I can see that you would need a number of sessions to really benefit. I really felt very positive when leaving the clinic.The session also gave me some “self hypnosis” tools. When I think about it, it helps me relax and feel less stressed about the whole baby situation.

All in all, its was a fantastic experience, but I think I need to do it a few more times.

I sell Fertility Tea! Go to my website http://www.assistfertility.co.uk

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Zita West Clinic

Last week I met with THE Zita West at the Zita West Clinic in London.

I had responded to a shout out on her Facebook page. She was looking for a couple who would be happy to have a consultation filmed for a pilot TV show she was doing. The consultation would be free and I was lucky enough that she chose me!

It was the first time I had been to the Zita West clinic, although I do take her vitamins.

Zita West is known for being a specialist in preconception, assisted fertility, pregnancy and post natal support. She has written books and been on the TV, most recently the “This Morning” Fertility week. She also has a large range of products, including, vitamins, relaxation CD’s and candles. Her clinic offers all sorts of therapies, including accupunture, nutritional reviews, the list is pretty long!

The clinic was very easy to find as its not far from the ARGC, where I had my last round of IVF.

The clinic is lovely! It’s bright and modern inside, and smelled amazing. Her candles were burning and are very lovely.

We weren’t kept waiting long and Zita herself came and met us in the waiting room.

She is very petite.really well groomed and lovely!

We were filmed having our consultation. Luckily I dont mind that sort of thing as I’ve done loads of public speaking in the past but I think my husband was slightly uncomfortable.

Zita looked at our history and did a stomach examination on me. Her conclusion was very positive. The biggest issue she found with me is that I lack a mind/body connection.

Basically, I have negative thoughts and feelings associated with my body and my reproductive area, and that I do not believe I will ever get pregnant naturally. I have no connection with my baby making parts! This negativity is due to the horrible first encounters I had with the NHS, who diagnosed me Menopausal at the age of 31. And my IVF failures.

Zita also pointed out that I do not relax atall. Both myself and my husband never do anything to relax.

This was all good stuff and areas of my fertility I had never considered. I can action points from her review which is brilliant.Image

She also gave me and my husband a tonne of her fabulous vitamins, including her new one, Inositol, which supports ovarian function and I think it also aids weight loss! Bonus! Also she gave me a relaxation CD to do for 20 minutes per day.

Best of all, she has booked me in to see a Hypnotherapist. I cannot wait!!! Never done anything like that before and I’m so excited.

It has been a great experience and I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet her.

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twitter @assistfertility

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I sell fertility tea, go to my website http://www.assistfertility.co.uk

 

IVF Treatment on the NHS

This is a story about why I wouldn’t want IVF treatment courtesy of the NHS. This is my story and not a reflection on everyone’s experience of NHS treatment. Nor is it a reflection of everyone who works for the NHS. It is simply my story and my opinion.

After the outcry and attention surrounding the NHS upping the age limit for IVF treatment and the woefully poorly written blog on the Mothercare website (now kindly removed due to its ill informed nature), in which the author speaks about how no woman (with a few exceptions) should be granted access to IVF Treatment on the NHS, I thought you may all like a different take on things. So this is about why I would not want the NHS to treat my infertility, nor would I want any NHS funded IVF. Again this is a personal story so if you are going through IVF courtesy of the NHS, your experience may be very different. And hopefully it is.

My story starts back in 2009, when I first started trying for a baby. After months of trying, I took myself off to the doctors for initial blood testing. When I got the results back the doctors said she would be referring me to the “specialist” at the hospital, as my hormone levels were, and I do quote, “not quite there yet”. At the time I didn’t think much of the comment as I was very new to the fertility world and assumed that having been on the pill for so long, it would just take a little while for my hormones to return to the right levels.

I had to wait months for an appointment. When I finally got my appointment, I was beckoned into the consulting room, where there were two student doctors sitting inside as well as the specialist. He asked me what the doctor had told me about my test results, I answered him, and at this point, he turned to the student doctors, and laughed. Yes that right folks, he laughed at me, chuckling, “hormones not quite there yet – hahahah”. He laughed like I was a naive, clueless, little girl, and frankly I probably was at the time. I had not idea what to expect or what would unfold at this meeting. Can you imagine how that felt, given I was feeling pretty horrendous about everything anyway?

I was then informed by the specialist that the problem was with my hormones, especially the FSH level, and it was that, that was preventing pregnancy. He then asked me if I was having any hot flashes, told me I was menopausal and said that my only option would be donor eggs or adoption. Astounded much??!!

He lent across the desk and handed me a piece of paper, written on it was the names of 2 local private IVF clinics. He said the NHS would not treat me for any aspect of my condition because I didn’t meet the criteria for treatment and I would be too difficult to stimulate at IVF stage.Plus it wouldn’t be worth it because my eggs would be poor quality.

To say I was stunned is an understatement. Talk about ZERO bedside manner, compassion or thoughtfulness. I was only 32.

As I got up to leave he stopped me, seemingly stunned that I wasn’t crying. Not one to shy away from a confrontation, I said to him that if he refused to treat me, I would go find someone that would. The man simply had no compassion and no sensitivity to the situation. The enormity of it was overwhelming to me. He may have dealt with many women all in the same situation, but this was my life and he couldn’t even be bothered to treat me with any respect or empathy.

I eventually ended up having 2 rounds of IVF at a local clinic which was utterly soul destroying. In my opinion that clinic gave me some seriously sub-standard care, especially as I later discovered that the horrible specialist I had met at the hospital was actually a consultant there, and had been let go or encouraged to leave, due to never getting a woman pregnant. His skills and expertise in the area of IVF and fertility were clearly, nil. The man was simply just not up to the job. Or lacked the motivation and drive to get it right.

So after practically saying “ta ta” to my sanity after these 2 failed rounds of IVF, I got online and googled my ass off to find the best clinic in the UK. Which lead me to the very wonderful, ARGC. I owe them so very very much. Yes I paid them £15K for the pleasure but I still owe them. Their commitment to find a solution to my individual problem. Their creative use of drugs to maximise success.  Their extensive testing.Their commitment to immune testing too. Mr T is quite simply an angel. We are so very lucky to have him in the UK.

It is my understanding that the NHS do not test immunes, they do not prescribe things like steroids, they do not use blood thinners to help implantation etc. I also understand that they do not work at the weekend, so its tough luck if you need your eggs collected then, you just have to wait.

Once my care was passed back to the NHS from the ARGC at 12 weeks pregnant, I found that there was a serious gap in their knowledge of how to care for ladies who had gone through IVF, as I was still on certain drugs – progesterone, aspirin and clexane. My mid wife was so baffled by my journey, my IVF and the drugs I was still on that she promptly referred me back to the hospital to see another specialist this time.

This specialist, again totally baffled by why I was still on drugs and why I had been prescribed the majority of my drugs in the first place,  told me to stop taking everything, advice I promptly ignored. By this point my disillusionment with NHS treatment and care was huge!

My experience of infertility care by the NHS is very poor. I haven’t accessed much NHS care previously, I don’t go to A&E lots, I don’t even have an NHS dentist, but the one and only time I needed them, they failed me.

Maternity care at the hospital was something else entirely and I actually found that very good indeed, in fact, I was shocked at how good it was. There was a time I considered having the baby in a private hospital just so I wouldn’t have anything to do with the NHS. I’m not quite as angry now thankfully!

It is my option (and my opinion only – so please don’t take offense), that the NHS simply does not have the skills, the innovation, the ability and the motivation to treat those of us with fertility issues that are not straightforward. They are unable to think around a problem and come up with any creative solutions. It is my opinion that they are baffled by anything new, anything innovative and a little “left field”.Their solutions are very off the peg as the desperately try to force you into a “one size fits all” solution. Sadly I am left with only negatives thoughts and feeling about the NHS.

IVF is heartbreaking and scary. Its the most god awful rollercoaster ride you will ever experience. And a failed IVF is hell. Therefore IVF treatment on the NHS for me given that myself and my husband both have fertility issues, would have been a pointless exercise and a waste for all involved.

There is no denying the NHS is seriously stretched and something needs to be done, but my experience was a nightmare.

Connect with me more:

I sell fertility tea go to http://www.assistfertility.co.uk

Twitter: @assistfertility

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