When you first start IVF and begin to prepare your body the list of things to avoid is relatively short, but as you get into the retrieval and transfer process it grows exponentially. Here is the list.
The first items listed are doctor’s orders. The last three are items I have added because somebody somewhere swears it will work and dammit, I am desperate.
When Actively Cycling or After Transfer DO NOT:
- Take illegal drugs (Darn!)
- Gain too much weight
- Lose too much weight
- Drink alcohol
- Intake caffeine (this one is hotly debated so its good to just generally avoid it)
- Swim, take baths, use saunas, steam rooms, or hot tubs
- Exercise (walking is fine, keep pulse below 140)
- Have sex (after beginning progesterone supplements or after transfer…10 weeks of “pelvic rest”!)
- Lift more than 10 pounds (after transfer)
- Eat gluten
- Eat foods that contain hormones
- Eat anything that is not organic
When you look at this list it is mind boggling that anyone ever gets pregnant anywhere at any time. In fact when I learn that someone is pregnant I am often tempted to ask them how it happened. Pregnancy and birth are miracles, but for those of us who are eluded so expertly by them it is hard to understand that it usually does happen naturally. I am constantly amazed and surprised when this is the case.
Many, many women going through IVF follow the above instructions to the letter, some of them even between cycles. They are devout followers of the code. Practically nuns.
I am decidedly NOT one of those women.
With Spork I broke a number of those rules. In fact I broke more of these rules in her cycle than in any other (Hmmmmm…..).
But for the most part I try to follow the rules and be a good girl. UNTIL…
The cycle is over and I am not pregnant. When that happens like it did last week there is a level of debauchery that occurs at my house that is truly a sight to behold. This past weekend it involved four bottles of red wine, hot tubbing, and a new favorite liqueur “Rum Chata” (Thanks devil girlfriend who introduced me to it, you know who you are). There was dancing in the kitchen at 3 AM. Early morning dancing is typically a sign we have gone off the rails. It was a crazy fun and ultimately painful weekend. I needed it.
But the weekend is long past now and I have it out of my system. Back on the wagon. Following the list to a “T”. Except for the sex, baths and exercise. I still get to do those for awhile which is important because running is how I stay sane and bathing is my preferred method for getting clean after doing all the running someone like me needs to do to stay sane. I don’t need to mention why the other one is important, do I?
Does the debauchery keep me from getting pregnant? Maybe. But probably not at this point. Better behavior earlier in life would probably have been a good thing. My old eggs have been with me since birth and we have had some damn good times together. But one weekend of silliness probably doesn’t make much of a difference. Heck, maybe my old eggs need to have a little fun now and then too. Who knows.
Hopefully it will be about 10 months before we have another “Weekend of Wickedness at the Winslow’s”. Probably many more since I intend to nurse again (and make it longer this time!). For now I will have to enjoy my detox tea with rice and vegetables.
But at least I can still take a hot bath and go for a long run, among other things.