|Add a little stevia and you're golden.|
I've never considered myself a huge ginger fan, but it's probably because the first experience I had with it was a much too generous helping on the side of an unsuspecting Asian dish. Without warning, I took a huge bite and proceeded to turn bright red, eyes watering, like something straight out of a cartoon. If you've ever swallowed a huge ass piece of ginger like that you know, it's too late....there is no rewind button for that! I learned my lesson and have been brave enough to find other ways of enjoying it in smaller amounts. This tea is the bomb! And yes, it really does help with digestion! Ginger is supposed to have many beneficial "warming properties" according to Chinese medicine and also helps to clear out phlegm and assist in a less hostile environment where sperm and egg meet.
I've been drinking a cup everyday along with huge spinach salads full of raw veggies. I've been in major cleansing and rebuilding mode following the methotrexate injections for the ectopic. That stuff robs your body of folate. I'm on a mission to rebuild right now with lots of folate rich foods, like wheat germ in my hot oat bran every morning and spinach salads everyday for lunch. I am a total copycat and stole this salad idea from the Costco deli after falling in love with theirs, and now I just make my own at home. I don't think I could ever get sick of these...
|Spinach salad w/ red onions, grape tomatoes, hard boiled egg, grilled chicken,|
black walnuts, dried cranberries, grated parmesan & lemon poppyseed dressing
|Salty + Sweet = heavenly snacking|
There are only 120 cal & 6 g fiber in 3/4 cup and only 3 ingredients (carrots, non-hydrogenated canola oil, sea salt). How many other chips can say that? I am so addicted it's not even funny! I'm salivating now, so excuse me while I grab a handful. :)
I actually came on here to blog about my Counsyl genetic counseling phone consult but clearly just went off on a food tangent. Thanks for bearing with me! I should probably update on the fertility front while I'm here...
Yesterday morning, I had my phone consult with the Counsyl genetic counselor. They offer this for FREE when you have the testing done. I've got to say I was uber impressed with my counselor Beth's knowledge. Apparently she had twelve years of experience in a prenatal genetic testing setting prior to working with Counsyl and I could tell by the way she was answering my questions. I understood most all of the report reading it on my own, which I talked about in my previous blog, but I did have some concerns still regarding the MTHFR diagnosis.
Beth told me that this diagnosis is somewhat controversial and that there was a great deal of hype about it in the early 2000's, including some opposing findings on pregnancy loss. She said that while it is true many people with MTHFR do lose pregnancies, what they know now is that it may not be THE CAUSE of the losses. In reality many people who have MTHFR might also have other clotting factors/autoimmune issues present. The rate of pregnancy loss in the general public is high as it is, and so is the fact that 1 out of 3 people are carriers of MTHFR. It's virtually impossible to isolate MTHFR on it's own saying it's "the cause", due to the common occurence in individuals who bear other conditions. It would be inaccurate to say "Emily lost the baby because she has MTHFR and wasn't treated", when in reality, I do have the presence of 3 blood clotting disorders known as well. So, many of the studies regarding MTHFR are somewhat flawed, because they ultimately show a relationship of correlation and not necessarily causation.
Counselor Beth also said that someone with a mild diagnosis of MTHFR and no other known issues would not need to necessarily take blood thinners during pregnancy. It's only when the other clotting factors are present that this would be necessary, because having a mild form of MTHFR on it's own is not going to cause your blood to clot or cause pregnancy loss.
What MTHFR can do in various combinations is to block the absorption of folic acid in SOME people, not all. In my case, she kept reiterating how this was a mild condition. I asked if I should have my folate levels checked and she said NO. A more reliable way to tell if your body is able to absorb folic acid properly is to have homocysteine levels checked. This is a better indicator if you are absorbing folic acid properly or if you have anything to worry about.
Luckily I just had my homocysteine level checked as part of my RPL (Recurrent Pregnancy Loss) blood panel, and my level was 6.3 on a scale (5-12). I'm so glad I had that test done by the way! It's nice and low which shows the MTHFR is NOT affecting my ability to absorb folic acid, and further proof that my diagnosis is really not much to worry about. It's when homocysteine levels are elevated, that there could be cause for concern. As I mentioned in my previous blog, some dr.'s do advise taking Lovenox and aspirin upon pregnancy as a precaution for the MTHFR condition, especially when paired with other blood clotting factors. I'm already taking baby aspirin daily and have my script for Lovenox ready to go the minute I find out I'm pregnant, so I'm all set there.
So, I guess you can say I'm not going to worry my pretty little head about the whole MTHFR thing. I'm not an expert on MTHFR by any means, so if you have this condition please seek your own medical advice in relation to the combination of enzymes you possess and the severity of your diagnosis based on your own individual circumstances. As for me, I'm glad to know it's there, but also glad to know it's really not going to change my protocol when it comes down to it. Going on with business as usual here!
I did inquire about hubby's abnormal 45x, 46xy karyotype as well for a second opinion after the last genetic counselor couldn't give us many answers. Counselor Beth basically said she unfortunately had the same feedback...that this karyotype is one of those things that "just may or may not affect anything." She said she wouldn't necessarily recommend doing PGS with our IVF based only on the fear of passing down this abnormal karyotype. She did, however, suggest that PGS could be very beneficial for us solely based on my age of almost 35. She talked about the aging of eggs, the prevalence of chromosome abnormalities, rate of miscarriage, Down's Syndrome and other trisomy conditions. She said that age and risk factors such as these would be the larger reason for choosing to have PGS done on our embryos and NOT hubby's chromosome analysis.
This means we've had 2 professional genetic counselors now tell us that it's basically "up to us" if we want to do PGS with our IVF. We know that PGD is clearly not needed now that we've done all of the genetic testing, but PGS still remains a personal decision. We will continue thinking on this and discussing it. I haven't even priced the entire PGS procedure as an add on to IVF either, but at this point it's not about money for us...it's about doing what is best and having the best probable rate of a successful pregnancy.
Of course, we are still praying for a miracle this month to avoid IVF altogether, so please keep us in your prayers as we give it our best shot. Fertility Friend is predicting ovulation in about 7-10 days, so we'll see if it's right. Testing with OPK's begins tomorrow!