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Monday, January 23, 2012

Adventures in Zoey-mamalandia...

1. You will wear loud, obnoxious bows in your hair. Zoey kept ripping the cute bows I got her out of her hair, so mommy tried to model bow-wearing for her around the condo. All was fine and dandy until I ran downstairs to the car, ran into an neighbor and had a lengthy conversation with him with a giant fuscia kid's bow in my hair. Neighbor said nothing. Yes, I'm a freak, neighbor.

2. You will get so excited about poop. POOP in the potty! yayyyy! I wanted to take a picture of it, but hubby said no.

3. Never discuss the piggy tails. No compliment. No reference or.. OUT THEY GO.

Friday, January 20, 2012

RSV

Ahhhh... so since Skylar has been born, we have had a gazillion trips to the Emergency Room at Childrens' Memorial Hospital. Our first trip, Skylar was one week old, and her feet turned purple! Apparently, it's normal, and it happened when she was born but I had no recollection of the nurse telling me about it. My mom had to remind me. Meanwhile, 6 hours later, my 2 year old Zoey is spotted LICKING THE EMERGENCY ROOM FLOOR!!! Oh dear GOD what a nightmare for a mommy to see! Needless to say, she ends up with croup and misses Halloween. Back to the ER for oxygen treatments.

But that's not all...

Apparently, there is a virus called RSV that is fairly dangerous for kids under 3. It's like chicken pox in that you get it once and no more. It starts out as a common cold and then they get a high fever, ear infection, and very rapid breathing. Zoey ended up lying on the kitchen floor lifeless and that was it... we took her in. Thank God we did, she was immediately put on oxygen and IV once diagnosed and was hospitalized for 3 days. Our newborn was on watch next and yessssss, she got it. Little Smylar started the rapid breathing with only a slight fever so I took her in IN THE FIRST snowstorm of the year and they kept her over night mainly draining her mucus that was in the back of her throat, slightly choking her. She was happy and delightful, smiling at all the nurses and doctors the whole time. sigh...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Need to Edit - IVF tricks

MY FERTILITY DIET
1. The book The Fertility Diet and internet sites.
a. Be in balance with nature. God’s foods. No dairy (who knows why dairy is bad now? I think it’s bad hormones in the cows? Milk isn’t as it once was.)
b. Sweet potatoes.
c. Olive oil and avocado. You need to have meat on your bones! Vanity STOPS with IVF. I am chubby but I will worry about that when I’m done having babies.
d. Teas.
e. Lentils!!! Salmon with lentils (Barefoot Contessa recipe) or lentil soup at restaurants, I can’t make it at home very well??
v. Acupuncture. Look up the statistics on acupuncture’s results on IVF. I start acupuncture approximately 2 months before my IVF cycle month. I went twice a week, missing a few here and there. All my digestive issues and anxiety was alleviated GREATLY by acupuncture. I would run to acupuncture after school (I was a teacher), and then return to school to finish up work. Another teacher once asked me what I was “on” because I seemed so peaceful like a different person. Makes me laugh because I never realized how ‘high strung’ I was until this point. They recommend going before and after your embryo transfer. I didn’t always do this, but if I did, maybe I would be pregnant with twins or more?
1. Dr. Jaena, my first acupuncturist (cycle 2 mainly) near my work in Elgin, IL did pressure points and needles. Sometimes no needles! She had some machine she ran down my back that gave me a report on what organs were healthy and what ones were at risk for disease. Very interesting. She didn’t seem to focus particularly on fertility, just getting my body in good shape overall. Her rates were $55 per visit with the first one being higher. We submitted the bills to insurance and got a lot back. She was not an in-network doctor but we argued with insurance and said they hardly had ANY for acupuncture and they gave us the in-network rate!
2. Lincoln Square Acupuncture in Chicago is very unique. They do community acupuncture where you are in a room with many others. They do needles only, no pressure points like my cycle 2 acupuncturist, but whatever they did, it worked. Price: $20-$40 honor system per visit. Pay what you can afford. Nice!
3. I also went to Pulling Down the Moon, more expensive, on days I couldn’t get into Lincoln Square. More expensive, but total fertility focus. Like a wonderful spa.
4. http://www.ivf1.com/acupuncture-ivf/
vi. Stress. Do anything and everything you CAN to take away stress from yourself during this time. If you are a high-strung person like I am, this is not easy. I made a list of things that made me happy. Seeing family, movies, romance books, NOT watching the news, and being around children were mine.
b. My reading list:
i. The Fertility Diet --- excellent food ideas!
ii. Nurturing yourself through IVF- stresses the pampering and some good resources like RESOLVE?
iii. Taking charge of your Fertility – I did the basal body temps just to know what was going on and be more in touch with my body. Super interesting and helpful. Not as mandatory as the fertility diet book, but something to help you keep your focus.
iv. Medhelp.org - infertility/ivf forum- make friends… anonymous support!
v. Acupuncture and IVF – don’t bother, just do it. Too scientific and a waste… but just go online and see the statistics if you question it.. why waste your time, money, health on ivf without acupuncture? Doesn’t make sense to me.


Email to a friend to edit for blog:

Funny that you should email me right now. I've been researching my plan all morning. The Fertility Diet book is definitely right, I thought, but could've been summarized in ten pages.

Nutritionist: I don't think I'm going to spend the money and here's why...
1). the acupuncturist I went to would recommend supplements... and I LOVED them. I could really feel the difference.
2). Book will help. I learned about the importance of natural fats and being too thin (or in my case, too thick!!!). I ate lots of healthy soups through IVF. I have one magic recipe that I'm going to forward to you. haha.
3). Eat God's foods--- it's very hard, a little time-consuming, but it's harder yearning for a baby! Being pregnant is the closest to nature you will ever be, common sense tells us that natural foods align us with that goal. We have a huge cancer problem in our family, and one of my aunts fought lung cancer, got off a liver transplant list (she had a drinking problem... ick), by making her own foods. She even had this pasta maker machine and made her own noodles! She looked 10 years younger with cancer.

The one thing that I learned the MOST MOST MOST through the 2nd IVF sessions is that I needed to be stress-free and happy. During the 2nd IVF session, I did whatever it took to make me happy. I went to dinner with the girls, rented happy silly movies (Wall-E was the one I rented for embryo implant bed rest), stayed away from my evil boss/principal, and was open and excited about it. I figured, if I was going to be sad, people were going to know anyway. Oh, one thing I did which was AWESOME, was I booked an informational meeting at the CRADLE, adoption service in Evanston, so I felt like I had a leg up on other options in case. Turns out, I found out the day before the meeting that I was pregnant, but we went anyway.

I would save the $200 and use it on organic food. I wasn't impressed with the nutritionist, but then again, I read a gazillion books and am already sensitive to MSG and chemicals in my food, so I HAD to years ago. It really depends on how much work you are willing to do on your own.
medhelp.org was helpful for me and my journals are on there... I used my first name "aleasa" . I can't wait until you send me a pic of your baby! Think positive, picture your family in your mind and that helps too--- I couldn't do that, but my husband did. I had to just ignore it and be my happiest and take care of ME... enjoyed my students.
I really hope this helps. You will be a great mom and this experience will make you appreciate it so much. I still don't feel like a mom yet, just like I have a funny little buddy with me all the time. I thank GOD that this IVF technology was invented!!! We couldn't have conceived without it!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Magic fertility soup for Embryo Transfer day

Magic Soup recipe for transfer day:

magic *** Southwestern Black Bean Soup recipe
by Aleasa Thomsen Green on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 11:22am
For fertility purposes, I would leave out the red wine. I had to eliminate any dairy since I'm super sensitive to it. Dairy is the most common allergy so when you're prepping to have a baby-ready body, may be a good idea to eliminate it just in case those rumored hormones are bad for you. I took EVERY step. I also eliminated any high fructose corn syrup and went to "rice cream" instead of ice cream if I had to have it. David made the soup for me and it's my memory of Christmas morning waking up after the ET and the soup smell consumed the condo. I was just sooo happy for some reason??? I hope this passes on good karma for you!

1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 - 1lb optional ham
3-4 onions chopped
1/4 c fresh parsley minced
2 carrots chopped
6-12 garlic cloves minced
1 lb dried black beans
8-12 c chicken broth
2-4 corn tortillas - torn up
2 c dry red wine (optional)
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. hot red pepper sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 bunches cilantro minced

In large pot saute olive oil, ham, onions, carrots, and garlic. Add soaked beans (drained & rinsed- see package), parsley, broth, tortillas, wine, and dry seasoning. Boil, reduce, simmer until beans are tender. Puree soup in blender (ok to leave chunky) and stir in 1-2 bunches fresh minced cilantro. Serve with toppings, rice, avocado, onions, cilantro, green olives, chilies, cheese, sour cream, lemon/lime.

...and then there were FOUR.



Ahhh... the art of family portraits with FOUR of us. Do you choose the one where YOU look good or your babies look good because Lord knows it's impossible to get a good one of all of you!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And then there were FOUR....

Skylar Diane born 10/7/11. Lovely Cesarian delivery. Fairly easy recovery with husband and family help. Feeling almost completely healed after a month. Slight pain in the left side of the incision but don't even feel as weird bodywise as I did after Zoey's birth.
When Zoey was born we marvelled at the amazement of a newborn in the house. With baby number 2, Skylar, we marvel at how adorable Skylar is and seeing her through a 2 year old's eyes. It's adorable how Zoey sings Twinkle little star' to her, gives her gentle loving little rubs on her head and feet, and is CONSTANTLY standing at her crib peering down at Skylar saying, "Oooooooooooooh baby Skylar, whacha doooing?." She is absolutely in love, but does suffer jealousy. She has NO ill will at all toward Skylar which is so beautiful and we are so grateful and proud of Zoey for that. In the beginning, I felt so distant from Zoey and helpless about it. She looked at me so oddly when I was in the hospital bed nursing a newborn. Most memorable time was when we were home and I was rubbing Skylar's head and kissing her and Zoey saw it and closed her eyes real tight and hid her face in her Daddy's chest. I cried. I didn't mean to hurt her like that. Since then we have been able to spend some alone quality time together and I constantly reassure her how important she is to us and how we love her so and how lucky Skylar is to have a big sister like her. Now Zoey and I share the experience of a new baby in the house and it's fantastic. Zoey is in her full-blown 2 phase, but she is so smart and talking so much that I forget how little she is. She absolutely NEEDS her nap times and routines or her behavior is difficult.
We are just loving every challenge and David and I just look at each other and smile every day at least once. Don't get me wrong, we look at each other and NOT smile too... haha! Nothing's perfect!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

IVF: our brutally honest journey, (but worth it)

There was a time in our life when we were completely in the dark on this issue, feeling inadequate, embarrassed, defective, and worried about being judged for our inability to expand our lonely little family. Screw that. As soon as I opened my big mouth and shared, a plethora of support and crucially helpful information flowed my way. Ask and ye shall receive!
Such is my purpose for writing and sharing our journey through infertility. The causes shall remain private, because after all, it is not our fault and we there is no one to blame. My husband and I are in this together and we worked through all the hardships and knowledge-seeking as a team. There were times when my heart ached for him… he actually took the false-positive pregnancy incident way worse than I did. I knew it couldn’t be, but oh how he believed. Yet, our first failed IVF cycle left me so lost and nutty that he took me to Mexico for two weeks to refresh and replenish. It was all meant to be, and I am grateful for what we have endured to get where we are.
IVF is such a closed subject for so many reasons. When we first started investigating our options, I was working in Catholic and Lutheran schools. The insurance actually had an exclusion for IVF coverage due to religious purposes, and they were not required to adhere to Illinois state law requiring ‘some form of infertility coverage.’ Catholic school teachers had to keep their journey a secret! The downside of religion. You have every right to utilize this amazing technology to have a family. Not supporting it is like being gay. People are going to do it anyway behind the church’s back. Why make us feel bad when it’s something we can’t help?! Secrets rot our insides. Dishonesty is unhealthy. I finally had success with IVF when I was open and honest, and was amazed at how many wonderful people came out of the woodwork to help us.
IVF vs. Adoption.
For a long while I wondered, “Maybe we’re meant to be foster parents and help out poor underprivileged children?” Yeah, that’s not easy either and actually costs MORE in some instances. For my second IVF cycle, to prepare for potential negative results, I booked us at an informational adoption seminar at the Cradle in Evanston, IL. Turns out, I was pregnant, but was great information and I highly recommend it.
A funny side story. I told my aunt one day, “Well, maybe I’m just not meant to have babies?” To which my aunt replied, “You MORON, maybe you just weren’t meant to get knocked up in high school!” hahahahahaha! Oh, that made me feel better, but was she telling me I was a slut? Ha! God bless the woman for making me realize my ridiculousness.
Another question I had early on was, “Are IVF babies normal?” Thank God, yes! Books and research told me that the only difference is the first trimester, everything else is the same as everyone else.
Affording infertility treatments.
This is the question of the hour for so many. We struggled for years to figure out how we would afford IVF. My husband’s job at the time was out of New Jersey, which does not cover IVF. Illinois law DOES require ‘some coverage.’ We needed to work at a company based in Illinois. I was interested in becoming a teacher, but not yet certified. I found out that there is a provisional teaching certificate to cover the shortage of bilingual teachers in Illinois, a Type 29 certificate. With this certificate, I found a bilingual Kindergarten position in a district 40 miles outside of Chicago. Yes, I commuted 80 miles round trip for a teaching job that provided us with adequate IVF insurance. Public school districts have EXCELLENT insurance plans!
Diagnosis.
The first test the doctor orders was an HSG, or hysterosalpingogram. This is a seriously cool test. They act like you’re going into major surgery, but you lie on a table and they inject dye into your uterus to see if your tubes are open… that eggs may come out at all. Was neat to see on the screen the shape of my uterus that up to this point, I had only seen in science books. You can see more information on these on youtube.com or via www.webmd.com . An important not on the HSG is that my husband’s NJ insurance covered this test because it was just a diagnostic. Diagnostic coverage is more prevalent, apparently.

The next test I remember was the MAN test. I will NEVER forget this test. Why? Because the lab called me and told me they detected no sperm at all, but it seemed odd. I told them to run the test again. Hung up the phone and not 2 seconds later, I received a call from my mother-in-law that my sister-in-law was in labor having her second child. Now I’m not a jealous person, but boy, I really felt something. I mean the coincidence?! Hearing we may have NO luck of ever conceiving and getting a happy phone call about my beautiful nephew, Zak, being born. Luckily, thankfully, and gratefully, the lab called me back and found my husband’s “super-sperm!” Phew. We were ready to proceed.
IVF Cycle 1:
Cycle 1 was psychotic for me. We decided to start in May, and I was ending my first year of teaching, taking a Grad School course, and deathly afraid of needles! The doctor puts you on the birth control first in order to regulate your menstrual cycle and have you be their reproductive puppet. They can tell you when to stop the pill, you bleed, then the IVF cycle begins.
When starting IVF, be prepared to be late for work, if you’re working. I’m surprised I didn’t get fired the first round. I didn’t know I had to be at the lab for blood tests and ultrasounds almost every other day for two weeks plus. The waiting room was crazy busy and it felt like an assembly line system. Very cold and impersonal. I was very stressed about being late for work. Teachers are not allowed to be late. Had I known, I would’ve scheduled us for the following month during summer break.
After your tests, they call you with levels and readiness and you will be instructed to administer your shots.
The first SHOT!
Ahhhh… the first shot. The first shots are an ovulation suppressor. The doctor needs you to ovulate at THEIR convenience. Let me be honest here. I did not do well with the first shots. My husband prepared the needle and before I was to put it in my belly, I had to run to the bathroom no less than 4 times with nervous stomach. I was sick to death afraid of that needle! There are two needles you may find in IVF: subcutaneous and intramuscular. The subcutaneous ones are hair-thin and tiny. Subcutaneous needles are what diabetics use mostly. They do not hurt, it was all mental for me. I imagined a dear friend who is Diabetic who I would go drinking with. She would check her levels with a finger stick, mid-drunken stupor, and give herself a shot in the belly right in front of us all. Without even the slightest flinch. It will sound silly, but I thought of her, imagined I was her, and stuck that sucker in. Done deal. Shots got easier and soon I was/am a pro.
There are videos online to help you administer and prepare your shots. For me, they were on my clinic’s web site, but some are on youtube. I was not told that it should be 2-3 inches from your belly button the first cycle, nor that it’s a good idea to administer the shot at the same time every night. For this reason, we cancelled any plans during the two week shots phase, even missing a funeral unfortunately. I would poke the needle tip around the area to see where I was least sensitive and then squeeze the skin, and poke it through. I recall a slight tingly/stinging after the shot and I would lie down and rest right afterwards. Also, I had minimal bruising if any at all.
The shots I had were Lupron, to suppress ovulation, Ovidrel, a trigger shot to make the eggs drop before egg retrieval surgery, and Gonal-F, the shot that stimulates egg production. At one point I was running out of some of them and had to give myself 3 or 4 shots in one night. These shots are expensive! I donated all my unused medicines to the clinic. If you are short on funds, ask if there are donated meds for you.
At this point in the process, you will have a gazillion doctor appointments first thing in the morning for blood draws and ultrasounds with the non-vibrating vibrator. Lovely. Your employer may hate you if you don’t get fired, but taking the week off is bad because you may need to focus on other things. Hell for teachers. FCI was assembly-line-like, but the blood draws were gentle. The ultrasounds measure how many follicles they see and their growth. One ultrasound was a saline ultrasound by your doctor to check for fibroids and other problems with your insides. Once everything is in alignment, they call you and tell you to do the trigger shot at exactly X:00, 16??? Hours before your ER (egg retrieval) mini-surgery.
Please note, at this time also, you will want your husband to have a frozen sperm specimen left at the lab, just in case there is an issue with him on the day of your egg retrieval. Very important step. So I asked my husband what is in that “husband” room, candles and porn? He laughed hysterically that I would think men needed candles. Duh. Do I not know MEN at ALL?
Psycho Chick.
This is the part I don’t like to be so open about. Probably right before egg retrieval time, I started getting a little crazy. Crazy in a paranoid, oversensitive way. Crazy in that I couldn’t focus on anything to save my life. Was a miracle if I could get through a cooking recipe or do my lesson plans for school. I had the worst A.D.D. in history. Yes, I was Dori from Finding Nemo. The first cycle was the worst because I didn’t KNOW the hormones would do this to me. I had different meds also the first time and produced a ton more eggs and fertilized embryos. I wasn’t quite as nuts the 2nd and 3rd cycle where I had less eggs (3-5) and a different medication. During my first cycle, I was in a fast-track summer class with a horrendous professor. She was plain evil, and there were only four students in the class. She would call us out on every question in the book to check if we read and embarrass you to no end if you could not answer or B.S. her in full detail. After my egg retrieval, it took me a half an hour to walk to class from my car all hunched over in pain so I would not miss my class. At the final exam she pulled me aside and told me in so many words that if I was going to be a mother and a teacher, that I would have to learn to focus. I stared at her and didn’t say a thing, stunned at her insensitivity. I just couldn’t even think to defend myself. I cried for hours and hours and for a couple of days at her comments. I was scared myself that I couldn’t focus, but I reread my final exam and she was over-reaching in her criticism. So I didn’t elaborate, but my answers were adequate. My only “B” in grad school. Now I know that I cannot take classes or do anything extra during an IVF cycle. It’s my time to spoil myself the best I can. And that is exactly what I did for my two successful cycles: Cycles 2 and 3.
Egg Retrieval Surgery.
The worst thing about ER (Egg Retrieval) for me was my big goofy uninhibited talking! They put you under twilight anesthesia where you are awake and talking, but have no feeling and no idea what you’re saying. After they retrieved my eggs (I think it’s a long poker stick that pops the follicles like balloons and sucks out the eggs), they tell my husband to go to the “husband room.” The first cycle, I embarrassed my husband to no end… I yelled in my drugged stupor, “Wait… I’M SUPPOSED TO HELP YOU!” and I grabbed my breasts in front of a very small office and all its staff. I’ll never forget when I woke up that cycle. My husband had the weirdest look on his face… he was never sure if it was REALLY me or not. He told me later what I said. Not cool. He is embarrassed as it is. The most important detail of ER is how many eggs they get… they tell you when you wake up. I had 14 the first time (that failed), but 4 and 3 the other 2 (successful cycles). Pay no mind to quantity… you want quality and a healthy, sticky uterus!
After your ER surgery, you go home with your pain meds and rest. You can’t lift much or you have the risk of twisted ovaries, as well as HSS (hyperstimulation syndrome). I am so lucky I had the best care and none of this happened to me! Be careful with this and don’t overdo it. You will feel pulling in your lower belly for awhile. I barely remember this pain and didn’t need many pain meds. Later, the lab will call you to tell you how many of your eggs fertilized. Find out how many cells they are and what fragmentation. Here is what’s good: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Ours were… xxxxx
Embryo Transfer Day.
This is my favorite day of the process. You are so full of hope and excitement. They make you drink water, put you in the room, show you the embryos on the ultrasound machine if you’re lucky and insert them with a gel-like substance. Only drawback is the amount of people up in your ‘business!’ For me there were 2 lab techs, ultrasound guy, doctor, and a nurse hanging around my vagina. They will give you a valium before you go in (bliss!) and send you home to sleep and lie down all day. The doctor also prescribed Endometrim, a vaginal progesterone insert to help support a pregnancy. I had to take these for weeks when I was pregnant.
Decision time. This is where you need to choose how many embryos you will implant. This is so very touchy for everyone. We implanted 3 each time because of my age and we weren’t afraid of twins. I was 37 the first and second cycles, and 39 the third. My two pregnancies from cycles 2 and 3 were both singletons, no twins. Here is a scenario that breaks my heart. Sometimes couples will opt to reduce one of the babies in the uterus. I met a couple who did this and had them tested for gender. They had a girl and a boy in there. They opted to keep the girl. There was an error and the boy was born. The couple I met said they look at their boy and think, “Sorry Jack. We were going to… “ The unthinkable. Just a thought.
*** This is where your care of yourself is MOST important! Spoil yourself, eat wholesome whole fertility superfoods, and be happy. Envision your happy future. Do NOT think of negative outcomes. Imagine that happy phone call from the nurse with the good news after the two week wait period ends. Make a vision board of your dreams from magazine cut-outs.
My successful cycles. Here is what we did during my successful cycles. We specifically chose the office in Highland Park so we could take my favorite drive through the ravines and mansions on the lake on beautiful Sheridan Drive for our major procedures. When we come home from the transfer, I go straight to bed and sleep off the valium. While I’m sleeping, my husband makes me a “magic” southwest black bean soup with excellent fertility-friendly nutrients: black beans, corn tortillas, herbs. Worked for me! When I awake from my valium-induced sleep, my home smells like the best soup… it’s like Christmas morning. We then prop me on the couch with my favorite things and watch a family-friendly movie to make me feel all happy inside. We watched Wall-E and Despicable Me.
Also, to prepare for this, get your progesterone up with natural progesterone foods. I ate a TON of FRESH pineapple… cut it yourself!, and walnuts, and pumpkin seeds in my successful cycles. I did NOT do this in failed cycle 1. I will get into more detail about my successful methods later.
Two week wait. Agony. The waiting is so hard! Are your dreams going to come true? Ahhhhh! I made sure I kept busy and needed to be working during my two week wait periods for my successful cycles.
Cycle 1 2ww. Failure. The first cycle I was on summer break and bored and just thinking about IVF and what I wanted, not good for me. I had a run-in with an evil professor and crying bouts from her comments. I rode my bike (no-no), and didn’t pay much attention to diet. I was a nervous mess. No acupuncture to balance me out. No support system.
Cycle 2 2ww: The second cycle, I didn’t even think about IVF after the transfer day. I enjoyed my Kindergarten students before the holiday break and found out I was pregnant on a snow day that was supposed to be the last day of school before Christmas break. I did NOT want to go get that test done. I was stranded due to the storm in Elgin where I was teaching and had to go to a nearby hospital lab for my test since I was so far from Chicago. My aunt, who I stayed with that night, practically kicked me out the door to get my test done in cycle 2. I remember getting the test done, driving back to the city and being completely exhausted, but having to have McDonalds. I ordered a fish and a burger… just had to have that meat. I got home and immediately laid on the couch to sleep. The agreement was that they would call my husband and he would tell me when he got home from work. He was so excited he called me and woke me up and yelled at me how pregnant I was. Great feeling… I wish that bliss on all of you.

Cycle 3 2ww: Chasing a toddler, whole different ball game. What IVF? I didn’t even have time to notice any symptoms, however, I did add pineapple to the mix and same diet, acupuncture, and no exercise strategies. I had symptoms at the end of my 2ww period, like super picky eating. I was telling my husband one night that I had no idea if I was pregnant or not and he laughed and reminded me that I had been going to bed no later than 7PM every night. Duh. Totally different sleep needs.

Magic Soup recipe for transfer day:

magic *** Southwestern Black Bean Soup recipe
by Aleasa Thomsen Green on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 11:22am
For fertility purposes, I would leave out the red wine. I had to eliminate any dairy since I'm super sensitive to it. Dairy is the most common allergy so when you're prepping to have a baby-ready body, may be a good idea to eliminate it just in case those rumored hormones are bad for you. I took EVERY step. I also eliminated any high fructose corn syrup and went to "rice cream" instead of ice cream if I had to have it. David made the soup for me and it's my memory of Christmas morning waking up after the ET and the soup smell consumed the condo. I was just sooo happy for some reason??? I hope this passes on good karma for you!

1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 - 1lb optional ham
3-4 onions chopped
1/4 c fresh parsley minced
2 carrots chopped
6-12 garlic cloves minced
1 lb dried black beans
8-12 c chicken broth
2-4 corn tortillas - torn up
2 c dry red wine (optional)
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. hot red pepper sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 bunches cilantro minced

In large pot saute olive oil, ham, onions, carrots, and garlic. Add soaked beans (drained & rinsed- see package), parsley, broth, tortillas, wine, and dry seasoning. Boil, reduce, simmer until beans are tender. Puree soup in blender (ok to leave chunky) and stir in 1-2 bunches fresh minced cilantro. Serve with toppings, rice, avocado, onions, cilantro, green olives, chilies, cheese, sour cream, lemon/lime.