Posts

The number one question that makes me shudder. Not because of the insensitivity of it, but because I have NO FREAKIN’ IDEA what being pregnant feels like. It’s like my brain will fully not let me believe it. I guess one would say that I knew that I wasn’t pregnant because I didn’t ‘feel pregnant’. And maybe when I am, I will feel this elusive emotion that everyone talks about.  Your brain remembers patterns, and my pattern is disappointment, every month so I’m unsure that I will ever be able to ‘feel’ something that I’m so worried I never will get to feel. Does that make sense? I’ve heard from other woman who have had to go through the fertility treatment that they’ve taken pregnancy tests for months on end just to make sure they really were STILL pregnant. I can see myself doing that.

My Monday started off good – I was 3 days late on my period, and that was making me feel pretty positive! Even after the spotting started and I questioned every characteristic of it, I still had hope!!

  • Oh well it’s just a little bit, should be okay
  • OH well it’s brownish pink so still okay
  • it’s a lot but still only when I go to the washroom …
  • Oh now it’s a little more, might still be okay

But I woke up this morning with the full on flow looking me right in the eye. Even after seeing that they still make you do a pregnancy test, just to make sure.

The hospital called me and we discussed the possibilities of jumping right into the next round but the monetary repercussions of going back to back aren’t worth it and they suggest for your well being  to skip a month.

Part of me is relived. The emotional toll this takes on someone is just so crazy I’m not entirely sure I can put it into words. Plus, we are going on a New York City trip next Thursday and that would really impede on our travels/relaxation that is so desperately needed.

The other part of me is worried, another month of not being pregnant, another month older. As woman we are constantly chasing that youth and hanging on to those fertile years. Doing everything we can to stay looking and feeling young but time is just not on our side. Just this past week I’ve had a sprained wrists and I did something funny to my left foot. You know, that ‘something funny’ feeling we all get once in a while that may or may not go away on it’s own but will definitely be back if you wear those heels again. What were you thinking anyway??

So I am officially inseminated. Weird, right? Let me back up a bit and start from the beginning of the week. Everything went exactly as planned – just kidding, NOTHING went as planned.

When we were sitting in the first orientation back in May and they were going over what will happen, how we may have too many follicles and that would prompt the cycle to be canceled and how we may need a trigger shot of HGH if they suspect I won’t ovulate early enough, I thought to myself both times, “that won’t happen to me”. What I DID think of was the trauma I went through with the hystersonogram and how they couldn’t get my cervix to dilate and they just kept poking longer and thinner objects on my insides. If you recall, that was when they decided to do the laparoscopy surgery because it was too painful for me to endure the rest of the procedure.

I’ll get to that later.

First, let’s go back to the beginning of the week – Monday, my day 10 ultrasound. Everything goes according to plan and everything looks good.

“No concerns for overstimulation this time, just keep testing every day and call us when you detect a surge in your urine. If no surge detected on Wednesday, call us”, I was told. The week had many obstacles – the iui couldn’t happen on Wednesday as I had my friend Niki’s bachelorette and it couldn’t happen on Saturday because my partner was going to be away working on an important job site. He would be able to produce his sample, but not be there for the insemination, which I really would have preferred him to be there, like come on! Although, I had many lovely friends offering to come with me – not sure how much fun that would have been for them, though.

Of course, no surge Wednesday.

Thursday they’re optimistic about my follicles but not that I will ovulate. “Come back Friday- we’ll decide tomorrow if we have to cancel or go ahead”.

On my way to the hospital, on Friday the 13th, I run over some doves. First of all, birds USUALLY fly away when you drive towards them but not today! I cry. What a great start: omen looking grim.

Follicles look good, but I have to take a trigger shot that night to force my follicles to ovulate and release an egg. Of course, I LOVE needles!! (grrr) But that means the insemination will happen on Sunday!  The whole week I’m dreading it happening on Saturday because I didn’t want to be alone. Although I would have had a friend with me, to be honest I really want to make sure Jason sees every agonizing thing I have to go through, that’s my real motive. That’s also why I make him watch while I get the trigger shot.

“Look at all the crap I have gone through, so you better appreciate this damn baby if it ever happens!” – I’m only half joking.

Then we find out that if it’s raining on Saturday, he has to go to work on the Sunday instead. More uncertainty but it all worked out – on that front, anyway.

Now here we are, day of the insemination. On the day of his analysis, 32mil good quality sperms were produced out of 58mil. The amount they want is 7mil so we are looking GOOD in the sperm department.  But no, today, the one important day, the only one that matters, only 1.7 mil only are usable sperm. I’m unsure what the rest of the sperms do, swim in circles? Who knows but they suck and we only have 1.7 mil sperm to use.  Luckily, we only need one good one.

Next step, dilate cervix to insert the sperm (I say sperm way too many times in this blog… sperm). Now, remember back at the beginning of this blog I said I was scared about the cervical dilation since I was traumatized by the hystersonogram last time? SAME thing happens. I’m in that room with my feet up in the air for 20 mins while they try to get through my cervix. They finally did after they tell me to cough on 3. I should have filmed it so I could show my future child what his mother went through to have him/her. That’s what mothers are good for, guilt – right?

Anyway, here we are and I’m crampy, still bloated from the HGH shot and eating all the ice cream.

We’ll know august 2nd if this little sucker implanted. Wish us luck!

Last week I left you on a positive note. The IuI process was well on it’s way and I was thinking i would be getting inseminated later this week. Well, as you can tell by the headline, things didn’t turn out like I expected.

Way back when I first started writing about this process, I might have mentioned we did an orientation meeting to go over the whole process and what to expect. I didn’t even bother mentioning that they said if we had too many follicles forming, that they would skip the current round to avoid multiple pregnancies occurring because I didn’t think that that would happen to me.

Joke’s on me though because it did. I walked in Monday super excited to see what was going on with my little follicles. The doctor wasn’t my doctor that morning but that’s normal. However, she didn’t know my case personally and made me feel quite upset when I left. I had 3 maturing follicles and  instead of talking to me, she went over to the head nurse and they discussed my case in front of me without letting me know what was going on.  They talked about my age, a few times and being 36 I’m no spring chicken so I immediately thought the worse.

They told me to come back Wednesday morning to make sure no more were maturing and that my actual doctor would be able to discuss matter further at that point. Frustrating but I wasn’t fully discouraged yet. In fact, we still followed instructions and had intercourse that night.

 

Wednesday morning rolls around and I’m at the hospital 20 mins early and I still had to run up the stairs to beat some people going up the elevator haha I go in the little room after listening to AC/DC playing full blast. Way too early for that, let me tell you. I pace around the room for about 10 mins and I could hear my doctor and the nurse discussing my case but couldn’t fully understand because, well, AC freakin’ DC.

 

I finally go in, jump on the table, spread my legs as we have to do, frequently during this whole process. (Men, count yourselves lucky that all you have to do is ejaculate in a cup a few times).  Low and behold, the follicles are bigger and have doubled so they cancel this round. The good news, says my doctor, is that my reproductive age is younger than actual age so this isn’t a big deal. I asked if we should try on our own and he says, “absolutely not, that’s what happened to Octomom”.

 

Feeling discouraged, I tell some of my friends and clients about it. Some people said to try anyway, what are the odds that all 6 eggs get fertilized? Well, even if there is only 1 single percent change, i still wouldn’t take it.  The risk for carrying multiples are very high for the woman but also the babies (article here).  So now my ovaries are overstimulated causing me some serious swelling, bloating, discomfort and fatigue and I have to do this all over again next month.

 

If you’re sitting at home reading this and you’ve had a child by simply having sex at the right time? Congrats. I am absolutely confused on how that happens as you are likely equally confused on why i am unable to conceive.

Thinking back over the past few years people have made so many comments, so many thoughtless words to me that I’m not sure if they were deliberately hurtful or they were seriously that ignorant on what infertility meant. I’d like to think it was the latter and that people are genuinely not hurtful on purpose.

 

BUT just in case you know someone dealing with this, just listen, ask once in a while how they’re doing and ask questions. Here’s what NOT to say (I’ve compiled this list with what others have told me as well about things they have heard while they were going through fertility treatment)

#1 “why did you wait so long to have a baby?” – none of your goddamn business
#2 “aren’t you worried you will get a child with autism?” – well, NOW I am, thanks!

#3 “Oh that’s weird, we had NO problems conceiving” – great, thanks for letting me know

#4 “My friend was having the same problem, and then they stopped trying and it happened!” – How the hell do you stop trying to have a baby when it’s all you’ve been doing for 2 years? Stop trying to have a baby means to stop having sex.

#5 “Maybe if you just relax a bit it’ll happen” – great, tell me ovaries I’m relaxed please.

#6 “You can always adopt!” – nope. I don’t want anyone else’s kids, that’s not the point.

The Coffee Conundrum

I “quit” coffee a few weeks back to see how it would affect me and cut out an extra stressor in my life. I realized it affected me more than I thought it did but I also just LOVE coffee. Over the past few weeks I found my brain constantly trying to rationalize just having a cup of coffee. I had set rules and as long as I followed them I was happy with myself. I went a while without drinking it and then it seeped into a weekend thing. I would have it later on in the day but the past 2 weekends I had it when I woke up. Like, this morning for example. And yesterday…. and then on top of that, last week I had it 3x during the week. This is a major fail on my part, I’d say. Not to mention, twice I had horrible stomach pains. SO as of today, back on the no-coffee wagon. It’s a good time to jump back on as I officially started the IUI process yesterday.

Intrauterine Insemination Process

The First step for this process was getting my monthly bright red flow, as they call it at the fertility clinic. I woke up yesterday morning half dreading the day but also hopeful about my friends memorial and then I saw it: My period decided today was a good day to show up. Two days early. I saw it as a sign from Amy beyond the wall telling me “go on love, have that wine today – you’ll need it”. I call the hospital, even though I had already scheduled to go in on Monday morning to set up an ultra sound which, I really have no clue what they will be looking for while I’m on my period but I will update you guys on that next weekend because I will have 100 questions for the doctors.

Also, I decided to look up the success rate on the first round of IUI treatment and it’s 10% for woman over the age of 35. Great. I gotta lower my expectations quite a bit going from here.

Goodbye Friend

I wasn’t sure I wanted to use this headline for Amy’s Memorial or for the departure of fish from my diet this week. I chose the first one.

I had lunch with my friend Meagan and by lunch I mean we had gelato at 2pm on Tuesday. She looked frazzled and stressed and I just wanted to hug her. She asked me to help her with the decorations for Amy’s memorial and we wracked our brains trying to figure out what to do. We are both type A and I think we stressed more than we needed to. We borrow plants from Meagan’s mom and one of  my generous clients (that was also in a super convenient location

haha) and bought colourful decorations from the dollar store. I personally think we did fantastic with the short notice but I might be biased.

 

The day came and I met up with friends for a lovely brunch and mimosa’s at Earl’s. My partner was so generous enough to drive our little drunken butts to the memorial. I’m unsure if I would have cried more or less if I were a bit more sober. The whole experience was exhausting and I

 

was hoping it would put some closure but I’m still unsure what that closure is. I guess we just move on and remember the good times.

RIP Amy <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding “the One”

I’m continuing with my process of eliminating meat and doing pretty well. You see, all this is about diets and finding the right fit for you. The best diets are the ones you don’t have to think about. I’ve helped many clients find ‘the one’. The One Diet that works so easily for them that they lose weight and can eat pretty much what they want as long as it falls within that diet. For some people it’s eating clean, others it’s Whole 30, Intermittent fasting, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian. The point being, you shouldn’t have to hate what you eat.

I had a conversation the other day with a client about how her kids eat so differently and they both are thin. I commented that as adults we try to force ourselves into these diets because we think they work better than others. Her daughter eats carbs carbs carbs all day and is basically vegetarian and her other daughter is a meat and potatoes kinda girl. Both thin, both completely different eating habits.

That triggered me into remembering that for a huge part of my life, I was a vegetarian. From the age of 12 I quit eating meat. I always disliked meat and the texture and one day I saw a hanging moose in my garage and I freaked out. “That’s it!” I told my parents, “no more meat for me. I am now a vegetarian”. I can’t remember exactly how my parents reacted, but they were very accommodating to say the least. My mom would make me my own separate meals than the rest of the family so she could ensure I was still eating enough. But i ate carbs. Lots of them and I was always thin! In fact back then I only ate fish. No eggs or anything else. Today I want to keep eating fish and eggs but I wanted to try a whole week with only eating eggs sometimes.

Long story short: i lived, I feel okay, I’m not run down and it’s like my body is happy I’m not eating as much meat and fat! My mid section was growing and I blamed it on the fertility drugs, but I’ve lost the 5 extra pounds I had gained and I’m back to my happy weight of 120lbs.

That being said, I want to reiterate that just because this worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Many people gain weight on a vegan diet. Many people gain weight on a paleo diet. I have clients who eat Whole 30 and are looking amazing and I have clients I have made go vegan and are losing weight like it’s their job. Find the diet that works for you and stick with it. If you enjoy something, you will be more likely to stick to it.

Happy Sunday!

I was scrolling through Instagram last night and I was starting to salivate over all the delicious treats that I could get after work today. Treats from local shops such as gluten free cupcakes, gluten free donuts, ice cream, the list went on and on. It took me a second, after I had planned out my whole route to purchase these items, to remember that just LAST Saturday i had done the exact same thing and I still have 3 cupcakes and a pint of carrot cake ice cream in the freezer.

I seem to do this thing where I hoard healthy food just in case one day I don’t have the time to cook, or I become poor all of a sudden and I still have that vegan chili I made a year ago (which, to be fair is probably not good anymore and just this second i realized i should eat that stuff sooner rather than later).  On the flip side though, I find it impossible to leave treats in the freezer for another day. My mind thinks,  “If it’s there, i will eat it and I might as well just eat it to get rid of it because it’s tempting me and I’ll just want more!”. (My mind works in run-on sentences). All of that is bullshit because if it’s there i’m thinking of it and if it’s not I’m still thinking of it because I am seeing it all over social media. I wish I could say I were stronger than my cravings, but i am not. So this morning, I went through my list and deleted all the accounts that post delicious, but unnecessary, treats.

So now what?

I’m still pissed about the weight I had gained thanks to the Femara but I wasn’t doing anything about it. Meaning, I wasn’t changing what i was doing. It’s so important to reassess every part of your weight loss journey because we get into this habit of thinking, “well, doing this has worked for me before so it will work again i just have to keep doing this” even though ‘this’ isn’t working anymore.  So if it’s not working, we must change it.

What I ate this week

First and foremost I always make clients record their food for 7 whole days. Why seven? because that gives me a look at their whole week including weekends. When making a meal plan and calculating macros, we always use a calculation that will make clients ideally lose 1lb a week with a 3500cals deficit. I say, ideally because nothing when it comes to weightloss is easy. Not one single person will be the same. Some clients lose weight immediately with any small changes, and others it takes us months to get the perfect plan.

So keeping that in mind, I am a meal prepper so I eat the same freakin’ thing every single day for a whole week. Let’s take a look here:

  • 1 cup of coconut almond milk (80) with matcha latte (30cals)
  • 1/6th of a butternut squash and veg frittata that had about 250g of feta cheese and 10 eggs (250cals)
  • kale, potato and white bean stew (164cals)
  • apple (80 cals)
  • coconut bar (190 cals)
  • broc and cauliflower soup vegan (120cals)
  • Hillarys vegan burger (120cals), sauteed veggies (147cals) a fried egg no oil (72 cals) and cheddar cheese (200cls)
  • handful of cashews (160cals)

total: 1383 cals for the day and I did cardio and yoga so I need to be consuming calories.

If a client sent me that, I wouldn’t say they are overeating but i would make their choices better. I would start by removing unnecessary snacking. If you find yourself snacking frequently, that is because your meals aren’t nutritional enough. I also find that I end up eating right after i ate a meal before waiting to see if I’m actually hungry.

By simply removing the morning ‘latte” and the Jennie’s Coconut bar (or larabar – any bar really) I would be saving 300cals/day. So in a week i’m saving 2100 cals which equals to 8400 cals/month which is 2.4lbs/month. I think that’s a good start.

So what is the takeaway from today’s blog post?

  1. Don’t do too much right off the bat.
  2. Record what you’re eating – take photos or keep track in my fitness pal
  3. Assess the food quality and habits
  4. If there is anything that stands out as ‘unnecessary’ – take it out!
  5. Fruit and veggies are never a bad way to go when it comes to snacking, bars will always add extra calories and cravings. If you find yourself reaching for a snack bar midway through the day, reconsider adding more fiber or protein to your lunches and breakfasts

 

As I had mentioned in the first post to this trip, we had 850 EU each to spend for food and that was our budget. We exceeded that budget quickly in Barcelona and even quicker when we got to Nice. I was already pretty bummed about missing out on some primo-gluten France delicassies so the […]

I decided I wanted to go to Barcelona last year when I started learning Spanish. I had booked the trip and was super excited to indulge in all their seafood and Mediterranean culinary glory when a friend if mine broke my bubble.

“You aren’t going anywhere else in Spain except Barcelona?” She asked me. No, no I am not – I replied. 

“Oh well they speak mainly Catalan there,” she tells me. Crushed – what the heck?? 

Okay, no problema. It’ll still be amazing. The food will be fresh and spectacular I’m sure. As you know or may not, I eat gluten or soy and I’m sick for a week. In the past eating on vacation was a stressful endeavour for me as I would always inevitably get sick. I assumed it was the cheap alcohol (or just alcohol in general) but now that I know how gluten affects me, those past trip issues were resolved. As long as I avoid gluten in Spain, all should be good.

The city itself is beautiful but it is SOOOOOO saturated with tourists it’s unbearable. There are restaurants that line the streets but that made it very hard to pick one. They all seemed to offer the same stuff. I ate paella twice, and fish and grilled vegetables twice. They all seemed to understand that I couldn’t eat gluten but most waiters were incredibly unknowledgeable about the ingredients in their food. 

Now time for wine tips on travelling healthily: 

  1. If you’re going to drink beer and alcohol all day every day then that’s your prerogative but remember that alcohol is high in carbs so avoid eating extra carbs and reach for the protein and fat. There are many good ways to do that, cheese and prosciutto is a plenty here. Jamon, grilled fish and veg – you got this.
  2. Buy and make your own breakfast. I made eggs, avocado and prosciutto daily or Greek yogurt and fruit. 
  3. Try to eat high protein and fat and avoid refined carbs. If you’re here for the deserts, then you’re already committed to not eating healthy so skip along 😉 
  4. You’re going to walk….and walk, and walk. We walked 78301 steps in total while we were here. So if you’re careful, you might LOSE weight on vacation. Now the extra salt and alcohol will dehydrate you and bloat you so be careful. 
  5. The produce is a plenty. Maybe fruit is your lunch, that’s totally fine! It’ll be cheaper to Order salads than full meals so keep that in mind. 
  6. Pack nuts and protein bars such as RXbar in your luggage to keep on you while you’re out and about. (I ate every single bar I brought – they come in handy at airports and planes because finding gluten-free food in Europe airports is a shot in the dark)
  7. Drink lots and lots of water! water keeps you fuller and a lot of people confuse dehydration with hunger so keep those water bottles full

Let’s revisit my meals in Barcelona: 

Breakfasts: I wanted to save money as much as possible and when I wake up I’m usually hungry fairly quickly so I wanted to avoid having to wait for Jason to go and eat breakfast. He usually doesn’t even eat breakfast so to save stress and to make the best of our AirBNB’s, I bought eggs, avocado, prosciutto, greek yogurt, bananas and nuts. 


Lunches are super cheap in Europe (well, cheaper than dinner) so meals such as fish, paellas and salads were easiest to find. We somehow got off schedule with Europe and were eating late lunches such as 2pm and 3pm when everything was usually closed. We had to find places that specified that they served all day. Jason and I were also off schedule, he’d get most of his calories from beer so he didn’t eat much 😉 haha 

Dinners were usually leftovers for me. Jay would eat a burger or something easy. The first night we were there we shared paella. In europe they serve a massive amount of it so I had leftovers for pretty much the whole time we were there. The other times I would eat an appetizer as a meal and splurge on wine.