Sunday, March 16, 2014

Alternative Ideas

I've talked with many people and researched for hours (which practically makes me an expert!) about alternative forms of help: herbs, supplements, acupuncture, meditation, etc.  I am always curious to learn new ways of healing and personal betterment, but I have yet to pull the trigger on most of them.  I have pretty much tried every herbal and vitamin supplement that claims to help IF. Unfortunately, I have never seen the changes that they say I will and usually fall off the bandwagon after a few months.

At one point I had a ridiculous regimen of Folic Acid, Zinc, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitex, Maca Root... And B was given several to take, as well.  Unfortunately, nothing seemed to improve either of our issues, and the expense, as well as the craziness, quickly led us down a different path.  I now take a prenatal daily, as well as DHEA, Iron (for anemia- a family condition), and Synthroid (for low acting thyroid).   All of my pills were recommended and prescribed by my doctor, so it is not just from my thorough Dr. Google searches!

Acupuncture has intrigued me for quite a long time.  I know several ladies that combined acupuncture with IVF and received wonderful results.  Whether acupuncture helped or not, I can't say, but it doesn't seem to have hurt anything!  I would love to try it during my next (and hopefully last!) IVF treatment, but I have to do some research with my health insurance, as well as find someone I trust to stick me with needles.  I have heard that it is not really painful, and allows for amazing relaxation.  Who knows, maybe it will really help calm me in every day life.

Meditation seems like such an easy, low key way to help calm my mind and thoughts, yet I have not tried that either.  I find it hard to carve out time in my day to just sit and clear my mind.  I know I have plenty of time to meditate, I'm definitely not booked with tons of activities, yet I still struggle to find a few moments of peace.  A while ago, I found THIS website with some free meditations on it.  I downloaded the trials, but have not taken the time to listen to them.  Much like Scarlett, tomorrow is always another day for me, but it never seems like tomorrow happens!

What are some techniques you use that is not considered the "norm?" Beyond the doctor regimented medications and schedules, what have you found that helped you to conceive or to refocus your energies every month? If you have done anything that I have listed, what were your experiences with it?  I'd love to hear from those of you following along at home!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Calming the thoughts

What do you do to ease your mind and relax? I am a huge reader and love to listen to music.  Whenever I need to quiet my mind from all the fun of IF, I grab a book (or my Kindle!) and clear my mind.  It's a wonderful escape from real life for me, and I always emerge with more positive thoughts and a happier mindset.

Music is my other calming device.  When we had our first IVF, I brought my iPod along and listened to a random smattering of music. Obviously I only put music I like on my iPod, but the mixture was rather eclectic, and at times, a bit much for trying to stay chill while laying on the hospital bed.  For our 2nd IVF, B and I sat down and compiled a list of songs we both enjoyed and created our "Baby Love" play list.  I listened to this play list while I waited for my retrieval and transfer, as well as afterwards, to keep my mind focused.

Since we have been focusing on other areas of life in the last year after our loss, I decided that I didn't just want to listen to my playlist only at the hospital.  I've since incorporated it into my every day life.  Every night I turn my play list on, and fall asleep to the music that means so much to B and I.  Some of the songs have obvious meaning for the list, like our wedding song, "Crazy Love."  Other songs have silly meanings, like "Closing Time," which actually has several memories attached to it (including us rolling with laughter in "Friends with Benefits").  We have our personal band favorites, like Pearl Jam and DMB (of course!), and some newer to us favorites, like Joshua Radin (I absolutely adore him and do not understand the lack of popularity with his music!).

The list is slightly changed from our 2nd attempt, but it is finely honed into a wonderful music experience that truly calms me and brings consistent smiles to my face every night as I drift off to sleep.  I imagine this play list will continue to grow, and hopefully, one day soon, will be instrumental in the birth and subsequent life of our future child(ren).

So what do you do to calm yourself? How do you relax and chase away the IF blues?

One of my fav cd's: