One of my new bloggy friends, Fertility Doll, is blogging this month with the theme #itwillhappen in regards to fertility and life. I was inspired by this and have decided to believe and meditate on IT happening for me too, IT being both making a baby and finishing my book. I’ll post about the book later, but here’s why conceiving, growing, and giving birth to a healthy baby IS going to happen for me. As you’re reading think of all the awesome things you’ve got going on that can help make IT happen for YOU as well (I know I sound like a gosh darn life coach, please excuse me). We all have fertility strengths and weaknesses and here I’ll be celebrating mine (while trying not to punch myself in the face for sounding so positive). I wish I could say that this inner celebration will continue indefinitely, that I’ll be miss bright shining future from here onward, but let’s face it, optimism isn’t a never ending joy ride through happy town. For now, for this moment, however, I do believe it WILL happen and here’s why. These are the things I use to talk myself off the ledge. You know that ledge well if you’re struggling to make or keep a baby. It’s that place where thoughts like these teeter unsteadily, thoughts that you’re defective, hubby’s defective, or that you’re just defective together. For now I’m pushing these mofos into the never-rending ocean of doubt below! Wheee! So without further adieu, here’s why it’s going to f’ing happen for me, sooner or later:
1. Sperm! After 6-months on Proxceed, hubby’s sperm has surely improved. In fact, getting pregnant at all (with stage IV endo and male factor sub-fertility) was testament to the fact that his swimmers are ready for the Olympics. We’ll call last time the trials, and hope next time brings us home the gold. He’s also STILL limiting drinking, exercising 3 times per week (at my urging), and gagging down my healthy smoothies.God, love him, because I certainly do.
2. Nutrition & Fitness. I’m doing EVERYTHING I can nutrition and fitness wise to continue to prepare my body (and hubby’s spermies) for conception and a healthy pregnancy. The book Brighton Baby further confirmed my hunch that switching back to eating meat after 15-years as a vegetarian was the right choice for ME. I was an unhealthy veg, subsisting on endocrine system disrupting, estrogen mimicking soy products up until 6-months ago (apparently HORRIBLE for those with endometeriosis like me). These are the few more things I’m continuing to change to prepare my #itwillhappen body:
- I’m feeling better then ever eating organic poultry and grass-fed beef, #Paleo2013 baaabaay. Did you know grass fed beef actually contains omega-3 fatty acids?. Yup, it does, and I knew nothing of the sort until about 3 weeks ago. I’m also really truly trying to get 5 to 7 servings of fruits and veggies a day. It’s challenging, but smoothies are a great way to sneak in some kale (bleh). Today I’ve had kale, banana, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, and avocados! I’m headed for some berries now to make 7 servings. (Yes, I’m bragging because this is the result of LOTS of washing, chopping, and dressing).
- I’m monitoring my protein intake, inspired both by the study about egg quality and IVF (could translate to natural conception too, right?) and also by one cited in Brighton Baby that claims eating at least 40 mg of protein per day prior to conception can prevent preeclampsia. I dare you to start monitoring your protein intake. Like me, you might be shocked how carb heavy your diet is, EVEN if you’ve cut gluten out like I have. I’ve learned that unless you’re a marathon runner, you probably don’t need more than 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. Those 100 grams should come from healthy sources like sweet potatoes, fruit, bananas, and brown rice.
- Also inspired by Brighton Baby (sorry, but this book changed my life and I’ll have a post dedicated to it soon!), I’ve switched my prenatal to a food sourced vitamin. Food sourced vitamins are far more potent than synthetic ones (and you can smell it. Pee ewwwww.). While I HAVE read the articles about how some benefit from synthetic folic acid, I can truly say I feel GREAT having made the switch. I’m actually shocked at how sharp and energetic I’m feeling considering I had a miscarriage/D&C just two weeks ago! Good nutrition and vitamins are likely helping, not hurting, my healing and happiness.
- I’m back to working out after a week of recovery, but I’m easing into it. I’m doing easy intervals on the treadmill for 35 minutes and completed my first, hour long, barre workout two days ago. Thank God for exercise, because for me it’s the ultimate anti-depressant.
3. Work! I’ve been picking up freelance contract review jobs (in addition to being a writer, I’m also a paralegal about to take the bar exam. Maybe.), and have been churning out some fiction word counts I’m proud of. I will finish that book, I WILL finish that book, I will (maniacal mantra I should tattoo on my forehead) finish that book. Less obsessing and reading internet message board chains about miscarriage and infertility, equals more novel writing! I’m doing it and it’s getting me that much closer to both of my “its:” A book, because you’ve actually got to write one to have one and a baby too because time’s going by, getting me that much closer to another cycle to try again. I’m really enjoying worrying less and living more. I even had ONE drink the other night and enjoyed every minute of it.
4. Chinese Medicine. The cycle before I got pregnant, after 1.5 months of consistent acupuncture and herbs, was truly the most painless and harmonious I’ve ever had. I BELIEVE in the regime they have me on at Tao of Wellness. I believe that Chinese Medicine (CM) has the power to be just as effective as western medicine. Whether it’s psychosomatic or science, it has worked for me so far in reducing endo inflammation and pain, so I plan to keep at it. The herbs are nasty, the sessions costly, but we’ve decided to stick with CM for 3 to 6 months before moving on to IVF (we won’t need to because #itwillhappen, right?!).
As you can see, I’m a proactive,#makeithappen kind of girl. I can’t just sit around and cry about it (not for longer than a day or two at least). I can’t just sit here and hope. I have to DO. I’ll admit that at first the miscarriage made me angry, made me curse all the effort, all the doing, I put into my healthy living (no alcohol, caffeine, gluten-free, fruits & veggies, probiotics, high quality vitamins, 4 hours of exercise a week). But I began to realize that it likely contributed to my ability to get pregnant in the first place (in addition to my lap in December and Chinese Medicine). So now, more than ever, I feel like my body and mind and soul are ready for a baby. Now more than ever I truly believe that “it” will happen.
I love all of these positive thinking blog posts! It seems like you’ve taken control of everything that you can in preparation for a healthy pregnancy. You have MANY reasons to be hopeful and believe it will happen. I’ve recently started eating meat on occasion too (sticking to humanely raised and killed animals). I was a vegetarian, but as time goes by I find myself scrutinizing my diet more and more and wondering if I’m doing something wrong (related to fertility). I have a lot of guilt about it, but will do what feels right regarding my fertility.
Have you mentioned in your blog what herbs you’re taking? I’m interested.
I can totally relate to the vegetarian diet guilt. I was living on soy products all day every day and immediately noticed a difference in my horrendous menstrual pain when I cut them out. Without that protein source, and only able to handle so many bean and rice combinations, I slowly began integrating meat (high quality, humanely raised) back into my diet. It’s been an interesting experience that has taken some getting used to!
As for the herbs, I get them from a clinic in Santa Monica, California called Tao of Wellness. They’re available for phone consultations and will send you the herbs, but I would recommend googling Chinese Medicine practitioners that can consult with you online via Skype and don’t have Los Angeles prices. I’ve heard there’s a great woman in North Carolina and I’ll post her info if I find it. As for exactly what I’m taking, I don’t know. I’ve been hesitant to ask because knowing me I’ll try to become a google certified herbalist and completely mess things up. For once I’m just sticking with the professionals! However, I am curious what my concoction is (looks like tree twigs, bark and leaves) so if I do find out I’ll be sure to post!
Reblogged this on Fertility Doll and commented:
This line cracked me up – belly hurts from laughing.. “while trying not to punch myself in the face for sounding so positive” . Steph shares why she’s joining #itwillhappen this month.
Go follow Steph 🙂
Btw.. isn’t it annoying how I keep hashtagging it? I can’t help it!
Soy is evil and I didn’t know it until two years ago too. Please share the natural vitamins info 😀 Maybe I should buy the book.
Here’s to the month ahead!
The books is RIDICULOUSLY awesome! I just made a delicious veggie miso soup last night from a recipe in it. Oddly the soup made seaweed taste good and is supposed to stimulate the thyroid, which stimulates sex hormones. I will be posting on my supplements shortly!
I’m so glad you’re enjoying the #itwillhappen meme.
You are awesome! I love all these tips- you are so on it. And I had no idea that high protein intake prior to conception can reduce the risk of preeclampsia. I need to keep reading your blog to learn all these new things.
You are right about the soy. I went through a soy phase a few years ago. The result was irregular periods and fibrocystic breasts. I think it contributed to estrogen dominance. I hate how soy is sold as a health food. It’s awful stuff in large quantities.
I also believe that you will get your healthy Rainbow Baby. I love that you are taking life by the horns in the meantime. XOXO
Hi Steph!! Thanks for finding me!! I’m so sorry to read about your loss and hope things get easier for you with time. I’m so glad to be able to referrence your journey through CM!! I’m so interested in acupuncture, but the costs have me a bit frightened!! It’s been such a pain learning how to readjust life around endo, but you seem to be doing pretty well!!
Thank you for the well wishes. Losing a baby was indeed hard, but gave us hope. After my surgery I was told I had a 1% chance of conceiving naturally. To that my Chinese Medicine doctor said “Bah!” Since January I’ve been brewing and drinking herbs three times per day, while getting acupuncture treatments weekly (both are necessary for optimum results). And you’re right, it’s been expensive! VERY expensive! I’m actually in the process of appealing my insurance company’s decision not to cover it. After all, I have a chronic pain condition and for the first time EVER I experienced a pain free, nausea free, diarrhea free cycle (the surgery didn’t even seem to do much). My CM doctor’s are convinced that this means the re-growth of the disease has slowed. And I’m convinced that quieting the inflammation in my body is what helped me get pregnant. With that said, I advise that you call your insurance company to see if they cover acupuncture at all. Some plans do. I’ll also be posting the letter I write in blog form, as well as any feedback I receive about the appeal. In addition to CM, I’ve changed my diet radically, but my plan has been a tad different than many of the endo diets out there. I eat LOTS of meat, after being a vegetarian for 15 years. I cut out ALL gluten and basically eat Paleo, with the occasional corn tortilla or brown rice stir fry thrown in there. I also drastically reduced my caffeine and alcohol consumption. I feel better than EVER!
As you can see, I’ve got a lot to say about endo! I’m sure you do to. Looking forward to reading more about you my new endosister. Hang in there and keep sharing. Cheers!