Thursday, June 30, 2011

Infertile? ... Update on our Journey

Inability to conceive; Unable to get pregnant

Primary infertility describes couples who have never been able to become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex (intercourse).

I googled Infertility because I wanted to add a photo to this blog and that definition is what came up (before I hit "images")

Anyway it struck me because today this defines us. When we first started this journey last July we decided to take it slow, we knew going into this that we would have some struggle but we thought we were prepared. Well now that 12 months have passed, we are each a year older, and we've seen how hard this can be. We've decided to take a more active role in Trying to concieve. Since we started TTC I have only recorded ovulation twice. Dam PCOS!! During one of those ovulation times we got our BFP, but it was short lived. I discussed all this with my OB and we've all decided to start clomid. I had my HSG and except for some cramping it went ok, and my tubes are all clear, yay! Josue still doesn't want to do a SA just yet but he has all the paperwork for when he is ready. I also had my pre-clomid u/s which went well, so I started my prometrium to induce a period and hopefully we will start clomid to induce ovulation in the next day or so.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Inositol, Choline and PCOS

Recently I have been doing a lot of research on my disorder PCOS. Trying to find natural remedies to help with my symptoms. I found this article and many like it that encourage woman to take Inositol and Choline supplements since we have decreased amounts in our systems, and lowered abilty to absorb them. At work recently I was asked to help write a booklet on our new weight management program. We started offering what are called Lipotropic injections to our patients as part of the program. To better explain the injections I wrote the following excerpt as part of the book. I've decided to include it in my blog in case there are any other women with PCOS that are interested.

Lipotropic nutrients are compounds that promote the flow of fat and bile to and from the liver. In essence the produce a “decongesting” effect on the liver and promote improved liver function and fat metabolism. Lipotropics decreases fat deposits and speeds up the metabolism and the natural removal of fat from the human body. By definition, a lipotropic substance decreases the deposit, or speeds up the removal of fat within the liver (lipo = fat, tropic = stimulate). There are three key amino acids used to make these lipotropic shots are Choline, Methione, and Inositol.

Choline supports the health of the liver in its processing and excretion of chemical waste products within the body. Moreover, it is required for the transport and metabolism of fats and cholesterol within the body, which is important for the healthy support of the endocrine, cardiovascular and hepatic systems.

Methione is one of the sulfur-containing amino acids and is important for many bodily functions. It acts as a lipotropic agent to prevent excess fat buildup in the liver and the body, is helpful in relieving or preventing fatigue and may be useful in some cases of allergy because it reduces histamine release.

Inositol a nutrient belonging to the B vitamin complex is closely associated with choline. It aids in the metabolism of fats and helps reduce blood cholesterol. Inositol participates in the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to control mood and appetite.

Vitamin B12 is also added to the injection which is essential for helping to form new, healthy cells in the body. It also boosts energy, helping to increase activity levels.

The different ingredients of the Lipotropic B12 mixtures are known to provide the following attributes:
• Co-enzymes that are required for proper metabolism of fats, and have the ability to remove fat from the liver
• energy boost
• speed up thought process and improve mood
• building blocks for cell walls
• essential components for normal cell and brain function
• help control cholesterol levels and gallstones
• helps emulsify cholesterol and detoxify amines
• helps keep healthy skin tone and strong nails
• promote healthy hair growth, and controlling estrogen levels
• help with transforming carbohydrates into energy

Because of the article Rebecca Rice M.S., L.Ac. wrote and others along with my own research, I decided to talk to my Doctor about taking the injections myself. I'm not sure if they will help me get pregnant or not, but it sounds like a great injectable supplement either way so with my Doctor's permission I started taking them.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yummy ways to keep cool this summer!

Sugar Free Strawberry Popsicles

12oz of Diet Lemon Lime Soda
20 Large Strawberries
2 cups crushed ice
10 drops of liquid stevia or more to taste (clear, lemon, or vanilla flavored are good choices)

Blend all ingredients together well
Pour into six Popsicle molds

Makes 6-8

Rainbow Sherbet Float
3 Scoops of Fat Free Rainbow Sherbet
8oz of Sprite Zero
Put them in a glass and enjoy :)

Cherry Limeade Freeze

4 Scoops Lime Sorbet (can be homemade, sugar free, fat free, etc)

12oz of Sprite Zero

1oz of grenadine

(you can also just use Black Cherry Soda)

Blend together and pour in a glass

Freeze for a couple hours

Enjoy :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sugar Free Ice Cream Cake

I guess it was a couple years ago that I started making the birthday cakes for special occasions in my family. I really enjoy doing it so when I my sister asked me for an ice cream cake this year I was up for the challenge. I wanted to secretly make it sugar free since I am on this new stevia kick. So except for the little pink and yellow chips on top this cake is sugar free. Feel free to use real sugar. But I was pleasantly surprised how yummy this was. :)

Chocolate Cake

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups Splenda No Calorie Sweetener Granular
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, shaved (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF Grease two 9-inch round cake pans

Combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and add to mixture. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in boiling water slowly and mix thoroughly. Add shaved chocolate. Pour into pans. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for ten minutes then remove from pans to wire cooling rack. Then put the cakes in plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

Make the ice cream while the cakes are freezing.

Ice Cream

2 cups 2% milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup of Splenda or 1 Cup Stevia Extract in the raw or 3 t of powdered Stevia
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (I bought pure mint extract, but peppermint is easier to find and just as good)
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup shaved pieces of Simply lite milk chocolate bar (trader joes)

1.In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, Splenda, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the Splenda has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.
2.Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate shavings. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later place it in the freezer until ready to use. ( you may want to have the cake ready at this point because it is better if the ice cream is soft to 'frost' the cake with it.)


Ok I'll admit it I didn't make this part I was planning on make fresh whip cream, but I read that it wouldn't freeze well so I used all natural Sugar Free Whipped topping from Whole Foods. However Cool Whip will work just fine.

Putting the cake together:

Pull the cakes out of the freezer and place the bottom layer on your serving dish or on a plate. make sure the top is flat. "Frost" the cake with a very thick layer of soft (but not liquidy) ice cream. Put top layer of cake on top of the ice cream and wrap with plastic wrap. Put in the freezer until an hour or so until you are going to be serving it. When you are ready to frost the cake with the whipped topping do so. For fun you can add some sprinkles or maybe some more chocolate shavings. Place back into the freezer until you are ready to eat.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

HMO vs PPO and Infertility

As long as I can remember I've had an HMO. I had a PPO as a kid, but I don't really know much about it. Once we started TTC we looked into our pregnancy/baby benefits with Aetna HMO. We thought it sounded great, it was only going to cost 250.00 for the whole pregnancy/delivery. I was very content even though Claim Jumper had just bumped up our insurance cost 300.00 dollars a month.

Then last month we were told that the Landry's Company (the owners of the Restaurant where J works) were switching us all to United Health Care PPO (only). I was worried that we were going to have to spend so much more money, I always thought PPO's were for rich people, and we are far from rich. I love my HMO doctor, so I had no interest in a PPO "so I could pick any doctor" The HMO of course wouldn't pay for any infertility testing or procedures but neither will my new PPO. I seriously couldn't find one good thing about this new insurance. It is costing us 100.00 more per month, we have a huge out of pocket yearly max, and a deductible that isn't cheap! After looking into our new benefits I freaked out! It is going to cost us 3,000 dollars to have a baby! and even more if we need a c-section.

Once I got over the fact that this is what we have, and we're just going to have to take it. I also tried to be grateful that we have insurance at all. I know so many people that just go without it. I talked to friends about it and got some good information. My Boss and some others even convinced me that a PPO will be good for us because I can go to any hospital, and in emergency situations you get much better care. Sad but true.

Anyway there is a good point to my long story. I work at a whole health medical clinic. Kinda like in the show Private Practice. We have a GP, an OB/GYN, and an RD,  we even are starting a preventative weight loss program.  It is a great working environment, and I am constantly learning. After work last week my Boss and I were discussing my new insurance predicament. She told me that I can see our OB/GYN if I wanted to. I felt a little awkward at first but he is so awesome that you just immediately feel comfortable with him. He told me that if I wanted to he would be more than happy to help Jand I get pregnant. I could be his patient and he wouldn't charge me, he would just bill to the insurance. If we choose to have him deliver our baby we get to deliver at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, which I hear is very nice :) How amazing is this!? This would never even be a possibilty if I still had the HMO. It's funny how God works in this way sometimes. You think you want one thing but he tells you that you need the other thing. I realize we may not get pregnant right away but after trying for 11 months I needed some new motivation. This good news is exactly what I needed. When you have your husband poking at your ovaries and asking them to start working and you lose your chance at carrying a baby to term your spirit gets crushed, you need some new found sprirt. I found some recently and I am so grateful.

So here's hoping for a spring baby!
Ok So maybe that wasn't the best title it should be more like Daniella ramblings about insurance etc, but I was trying to be catchy.