Saturday, February 28, 2009

fertility teapills

i got some new teapills from my acupuncturist. i started taking them yesterday. they consist of fruits and seeds that promote fertility. i'll stop taking the free & easy wanderer plus teapills next week. i need to stop taking them because they encourage a downward flow. that's why they are beneficial for blood stagnation/pms/period issues. definitely don't want a downward/out flow when trying to get pregnant.

i'm on cd6 now. still thinking that next weekend will be ovulation time. i've sent in our paperwork to the cryolab. i also sent in request for the adult photo of three of our top candidates. we have 4 that we are considering. we just discovered last night that donor #1 is now a "please call" for sperm. anna was disappointed because she really likes him. :) i'm leaning more towards #2 anyways, and he's still available.

our midwife center was supposed to have sent in their paperwork. i haven't checked with them yet. that's on the list for monday. they need to do the actual ordering of the sperm, and must have a registered account with cryolab to do so. after i check that all the paperwork is done on monday, anna and i are going to probably put an order in. i don't want to do it too early though. if it's delivered on thursday and it lasts for a week, we should be golden. come on egg-ey do your work! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

are you trying to make me jealous?

just found out another friend is pregnant. let's count it up now.... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... anyone else. :) i'm very excited to meet all these new babies. most of them are due mid-summer. i hope anna and i have a baby soon so it will have these "cousins" to hang out with.

fyi- we might be ttc in a week and a half!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


cd1 started yesterday! that means we're gettin' close folks. i'm excited, can't you tell!! :)

this nifty little thing here is a tampon case you can buy on etsy from abbeychristine.

Monday, February 23, 2009

oh yeah, i forgot about that....

no, i didn't really forget about my blog. i could give a bunch of excuses (travel, work) but really i just didn't feel like writing:)

this might get a bit long, so i apologize early. i'll go back to when i last wrote- just before valentine's.

anna and i flew to boise to see my mom and sis on valentine's. we were there till wednesday morning. it was really nice to see everyone. i was a little concerned about seeing my brother-in-law and his family because our niece and nephew were sick. anna and i managed to avoid catching it though. we ate yummy food the whole time. stayed up way too late. played wii. basically, we lazed around:) it was great.

i didn't stay diligent about my fruits and veggies though. i tried, but we would go out and see people and i would forget to bring fruits along. on tuesday night i was actually craving broccoli so anna made baked broccoli for me. mmm :) i'm back on my fruit wagon now. i was happy that my body told me to give it good stuff. i do feel like i've successfully changed my eating habits. i want this to continue for the rest of my life. it's not just to prepare for pregnancy.

speaking of which, it's getting close:) i'm on cd26 right now and spotting. cd1 is right around the corner. anna and i are trying to diligently choose a donor. we've at least narrowed down our bank to we've found the most potential donors through that site. what we've run up against is sperm availability. we'll really like a donors profile and photo, then realize they don't have ici/premium for us. (fyi- ici/premium is sperm that is good for intra-cervical insemination. it is unwashed- meaning the sperm isn't separated from the semen, like for iui.) the bank updates there info at the beginning of each month so maybe the ones we like will be available again.

we're waiting to hear back from our midwife's office. we can't order the sperm directly; we need a health care practitioner to order it for us. we can have it delivered to our home though, which is a bit of a relief. i can just see us ordering the sperm and then we can't get to the office at the right time to pick it up. ack! :)

acupuncture is going well. i've had a couple things arise recently completed unrelated to fertility. i have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. really hurt, especially because i have a job that requires me to stand most of the day. carleton, my acupuncturist, did some points in my left hand to help my right heel. they really really hurt each time. i don't like them, but it's helped. i also got some mint oil to rub on my foot before bed, and i ice my foot when i get home for work. the other things i'm dealing with now is the beginnings of carpal tunnel in both wrists. this is fairly common for a framer to get. ugh. my wrist are sore and don't feel very strong when i'm trying to do things (like type this blog). i'm going to try yoga wrist exercises to help them.
anna and i are going to try a free yoga class on sunday. it's at a center that i'm interest in joining since i'm stopping kickboxing this week. i need to keep doing something active or i'll go nuts. they also have prenatal yoga and baby yoga for later.

the picture at the beginning is from an awesome website called check it out. i think that's everything. wish us luck in finding that perfect donor :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

my current chart- what the heck?!

here's my chart currently:

here's my chart from last month:

so what the heck. i really believe that i ovulated on cd 12-13. why haven't i gotten the little crosshairs? :( i'm a little frustrated. i wanted this cycle to be nice and clear so we would know what to expect for next month -sigh- i guess i just can't get what i want.

on a positive note, anna and i are going to see my mom, sister and friends tomorrow! yeah!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

donor search

right so since our potential insem is about a month away, anna and i going to be searching for a donor more seriously. i think we've narrowed it down to a couple different banks, and

the cryolab has a lot more with the qualities we're looking for in a donor. basically we want a male anna:) we're going to see my mom and sister this weekend and i'm going to try to get their input.

any insight out there? i know a number of people are reading this cause you tell me:) i'd love to hear from you. you don't need to sign up on blogger to leave me a message.


i'm really not feeling motivated at work today. i'm sleepy... it was hard to get up for acupuncture.

acupuncture is going well though. today was my fourth visit in two weeks. i've been getting needles in pretty much the same spots each time. he'll add some if i have a complaint (back issues, etc.). today he went to put one in the side of my left hand and it hurt like hell! immediately it was on fire and felt bruised. he took the needle out right away and rubbed at it with a cotton ball. even that hurt. i knew it wasn't hurt by the needle (like a regular pin prick). it was totally different. he told me this meant that the qi was flowing well there. this is what i found out about the spot online, called hou xi (si3):

Location: At the end of the transverse crease proximal to the 5th metacarpo-phalangeal joint when hand is half-clenched.
Indications: Stiffness or rigidity of neck, tinnitus, deafness, occipital headache, lumbago, paralysis of upper extremities, night sweating, epilepsy, malaria

the purple writing are things i have. i'm going to ask him more about this next time. i really want to know how this works exactly. i haven't had night sweats for a few days now (since last acu. visit). could i have been helped by the acu., the supplement i'm taking, or is my body just doing it's own thing right now? the spot didn't hurt anymore by the time my session was done. there's no indication at all that i had pain there. crazy.

i started taking a chinese herbal supplement on monday, prescribed by my acupuncturist. it's called jia wei xiao yao wan, or free and easy wanderer plus :) here is what the website for the company that makes the supplement said:

Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan has helped countless women relieve anger, irritability, stress and excess heat associated with premenstrual syndrome and monthly menstrual cycles. This special herbal formula regulates qui, nourishes the blood, clears heat/excess yang and generally harmonizes the body. alleviate excessive heat/yin deficiency and sweating.

i have to take 24 of these little ball shaped pills a day (12/am, 12/pm). the are maybe 3/16" in diameter. pretty small. they are black and remind me of onyx. the reason why he prescribed these is due to my trouble with controlling my emotions sometimes, mostly with pms. i have night sweats, like i mentioned. also, he believes i have stagnant blood. i knew i "ran hot" compared to other people. i'm usually warmer than anna, and she calls me "furnace" when we cuddle. i also get annoyed very easily around my period. i've learned how to deal with it mostly but it boils over sometimes. anyways, i'm curious how these little pills with help when i'm pmsing.

i'm pretty positive i ovulated on the 10th. i'm waiting to see how high my temperature rises before i'm totally sure. i had a positive opk (ovulation predictor kit), ferns on my ovulens, low temp (with a spike the next day), fertile mucus, along with secondary conditions. this means we are less than a month from trying to get pregnant. eeeee! :)

i was looking at the calendar to see when this could be happening. if i have a luteal phase of 12-13 days again, and my follicular is about 13-14 again. i could be trying to get pregnant the weekend of my birthday!! holy crap. that would be a great birthday present.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


i got a positive on an opk this morning. woo hoo. i've been testing the past two days.

Monday, February 9, 2009

5 years!

anna and i have been together for 5 years now. it seems to have gone very fast and very slow at the same time. when we got together we were in our last year of college. we fell very hard for each other. i lived about an hour and a half away from her. that didn't matter to us though. we would often drive to see each other for one night and drive home for class in the morning. :)

we decided to not go out to celebrate this year since we're saving for a baby. we decided to make a french dinner, and that theme kind of carried out through the day.

we got up at a semi-decent time yesterday morning and headed to bellevue for french pastries and coffee. we shared a ham and swiss croissant. i had a pain au chocolate, and anna had a cream cheese and raspberry croissant. i had a decaf americano as well. oh man was it all good. i've been craving a pain au chocolate since i saw that we could get them from our produce delivery company. it wasn't as good as what i had in france, but it hit the spot. and the coffee was yummy too. i've been missing it lately, not for the caffeine aspect, but the flavour.

after breakfast, we walked around and got anna's hair cut. then we went to whole foods. man i love that place! i could spend the whole day in there! i loved how they had fruit test-tasters, and brie, and veggie chips. it was likely a healthy version of costco, haha. we bought all of the ingredients for our dinner, after wandering around like dazed neophytes.

we went home and had ginger chicken noodle soup from a local organic company called "eat local" with a bit of the baguette we bought at breakfast. we lazed about for the rest of the afternoon until we started to get hungry again.

so what was the plan for dinner?? a five course french meal. we started with a yummy butternut squash and apple soup paired with a chardonnay. mmm-mmm. (ps this is the first alcohol i had had since the 30th, i decided that a special event was an exception to the no alcohol rule) of course we ate the soup with the baguette. next was a roasted rack of lamb, made by anna with bread crumbs, rosemary, and garlic, and my risotto with asparagus. that risotto took forever! it was a really large batch and i had to keep adding broth a 1/2 cup at a time. worth it! we had some zinfandel with this course. that was followed by a simple spinach salad with our homemade olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. then, we had a cheese plate. we talked to a cheese guy at whole foods that helped pick out some yummy little treats. we had a gruyere, a double cream brie, a chevre, and some peppercorn white cheese. we paired these with table water crackers, baguette, apples, and grapes. we drank which ever wine tasted the best with the cheese we ate. it was so decadent. the grand finale was...... mint chocolate chip gelato from caio bella. oh. my. god. this is our favourite. it tastes like you are chewing on cool mint leaves with a bit of cream and chocolate. you can't help but savour every bite.

we were full but not overly stuffed by the end of it all. we made dinner last an hour and a half. wonderful. it was so nice to just sit there and take our time enjoying each others company. i took photos of each course. i'm going to try to figure out how to attach a slide show to make it easier for people to see.

oh yeah on the baby front:) i'm getting close to ovulation again. i'm kind of nervous because this is the last cycle before we ttc. my temperatures have been higher than last month. i don't know what's causing it. the fertility tea? the acupuncture? deep breath. wish me luck.

Friday, February 6, 2009


ok i need to rant about work for a little bit here. why do people ask why it costs so much!?! do i ask you why it costs so much to clean my teeth, to poke me with needles, to bring me groceries? no. i don't. i consider what you are doing for me and the benefits. i understand that you are doing me a service. it costs for your time, for your materials, for the delivery of those materials, for making those materials.

i'm a custom art framer. there is so much that goes into this. it's not like i step into the back room wave a wand and *poof*, it's done. you use my time, my knowledge, my expertise. you use my companies time, gas, storage, materials. these materials are made all over the country. they are made out of trees and dyes and metals. it takes work for all of these things to be created. yes there are materials that cost less. the reason they cost less is they are made with cheap crap material!

another thing, why are people doing things when they don't have the money? they come in to frame a poster. i give them the price. they say "oh i don't have the money for that". i adjust. i bring it as low as i can without giving it away (and losing money). they still can't do. well why the hell did you come in here!?! i try, i really do try.

don't get me wrong. i love my customers, most of the time. i love my job. it's very rewarding, too. but i swear...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

acupuncture and menstruation

i googled "blood stagnation related to menstruation in acupuncture". i found a number of different things, but this was the most helpful.
from :

The menstrual cycle is a good indicator of a woman's general health. A cycle that is regular with a flow that is adequate and without discomfort indicates that blood production and circulation are healthy.

Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, a stressful lifestyle and emotional upset may encourage blood deficiency and the obstructed circulation of blood and Qi (vital energy), leading to irregularity, pain, mood swings, headaches, or fatigue.

Acupuncture and herbal therapy, as well as changes in lifestyle and diet, can alleviate the underlying deficiencies and obstructions, as well as addressing concerns such as endometriosis, fibroids and cysts.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Menstrual Irregularities:
If your menstrual cycle is associated with feeling cold, depressed, a low libido, and fatigue, especially after your menstrual flow, you might have an internal cold condition and/or deficient Qi and blood. Poor dietary choices, a lack of exercise, and anxiety/depression are often contributing factors. Acupuncture and moxibustion are used to warm and encourage Blood and Qi in the lower abdomen. Tonic herbal formulas are used to build adequate Blood and Qi. Three formulas in my dispensary have proven useful for this presentation: "Tang Kuei and Peony Formula", "Women's Precious", or "Astra Essence".

If your menstrual cycle is associated with irritability, breast tenderness, mild cramps, abdominal bloating, migraines and/or excessive sugar cravings that come a few days before your flow, and are generally relieved with the onset of flow, you probably have PMS. This translates to a condition of stagnant Qi and/or Blood in Chinese medicine, and a disharmony in the Liver and Spleen energetic organ systems. Contributing factors include living with consistent frustration, anger and/or anxiety, and possibly a lack of exercise and poor diet. In Western medical terms, PMS is a hormonal imbalance in the endocrine system. Acupuncture can influence the hormonal imbalance to restore harmony and smooth the flow of Qi and blood. Herbal formulas work at a deeper level to unblock the Qi and Blood, helping to foster a cycle that unfolds gracefully and moves gently. Herbal formulas in my dispensary that have proven useful, include: "Free and Easy Wanderer", "Women's Rhythm", and "Women's Balance".

If your menstrual cycle is associated with painful, difficult periods, with more severe cramping, and you have endometriosis and fibroids, you most likely have a more advanced form of Qi and Blood stagnation in the pelvic region. Again, this is often associated with a very stressful lifestyle and living with consistent frustration, anger and/or anxiety, and may affect the ability to conceive. Acupuncture is excellent therapy to help remove the blockages in the affected meridians. Herbal formulas promote blood flow in the pelvic region to disperse the blood stasis, and can eliminate pelvic masses. A number of formulas in my dispensary are useful for this type of presentation: "Women's Rhythm", "Women's Precious", "Cramp Bark Plus", "Unlocking Formula", "Bupleurum Entangled Qi Formula", "Women's Chamber".

The above are the most common menstrual irregularities. PMS alone is estimated to affect more than 50% of women in North America, with 5% suffering so severely that their lives are seriously affected.

Treatment for menstrual irregularities is generally carried out over three to four menstrual cycles. During this time, acupuncture is suggested 1-4 times per cycle. Herbal formulas are individually selected: you may be asked to use one or two of the above formulas at different times in your cycle: two tablets taken three times a day, seven days of the week, is the usual dosage.

If you do any menstrual irregularities, you might consider acupuncture and herbal therapy as a safe and effective form of treatment.

For studies on the effectiveness of Chinese medicine for menstrual irregularities: Press "library", press "research", press "gynaecology".

Monday, February 2, 2009

needles and chard

i've had a fairly nice day. i had kickboxing this morning. it kicked my butt as usual. my arms still feel a little weak as i type. ha! after i had my second breakfast (yes i eat twice when i have kickboxing), i took olive for a nice long 45min walk. the sun was shining and we were the only people out it seemed.

the bump in the road today was i had to take malo to the vet again. his aural hematoma came back hardcore. his whole little ear was swollen. :( he need to have surgery again to drain it. fortunately the vet guarantees all surgeries, so we only needed to pay for his antibiotic. phew. he was one drugged up kitty when i brought him home. he was walking like a drunk man and when i went to pet him, he got surprised and fell over. i laughed a little but was sad for him.

i had my acupuncture appointment. the acupuncturist was much younger than i expected, but he was very nice. i explained that my original intention for acupuncture is for fertility. we also discussed by back pain and sleeping problems. he was very easy to talk with, even regarding menses. he asked questions that no doctor has asked. very enlightening. he thinks i might have blood stagnation. he came to this supposition (warning TMI to follow) because of the clots in my menses and the color. wow... i always assumed that was just a regular period thing. we're going to explore this more and see if getting my body aligned affects this. another interesting this was he checked my tongue, then checked my pulse on both wrists. he then asked if i was a very emotional person. :) ha silly question, even you reader that haven't met me might notice i'm emotional. he asked if i had trouble controlling my emotions. mmm... yeah. acupuncture can help this too.

anna and i make some pretty awesome meals, if i do say so myself:) tonight i made a recipe that anna found online called: chard and potato bake. yummy. i thought you guys might like to try it sometime. dark leafy greens are very good for you. here is the recipe and some pictures:

1/2-2/3 cups of olive oil (the original recipe called for 1 1/4 cp.- it was good but didn't need so much)

1 medium onion- chopped

5 (or so) cloves of garlic-minced (we're obsessed with garlic, so i did about mmm 7)

2 tbl. chopped fresh parsley

6-8 small potatoes (orig. recipe calls for red, i used yukon or new potatoes- can't remember)

8 cups chard- washed and chopped or shredded. also you need to pull the stems off all the way up the leaf. they aren't too flavorful. (we've been using rainbow chard- very pretty- see the pics at the end)

1/2 cup cheese- grated- whatever kind you prefer, we use cheddar

whatever meat/faux meat you prefer, not necessary- i used 4 chicken sausages cut into bit-sizes

8 whole eggs

saute onions in two tablespoons olive oil until amber-color. add garlic and parsley and saute briefly. remove pan from heat and set aside.

in a separate bowl (i use the kitchen aid so i have a big bowl and can add while mixing easily), mix chard and potatoes. add saute mixture when it has cooled.

in another bowl, whisk eight whole eggs and add to the chard. add olive oil and grated cheese. add meat/"meat" if using. mix well.

spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray or brush with olive oil. pour chard mixture into pan, spreading evenly. add salt and pepper to taste. bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 90 minutes. if mixture gets too brown, loosely lay a piece of foil on it. we recommend adding parmesan cheese 10 mins before it's done cooking. yumm-o

this is the dish right as i put it in the oven, and after it was cooked.

serving suggestion! :)