Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fertility and Stress

I'm a bit behind with my posting...last week the fertility group discussed stress and its effects on fertility.

I've always heard that stress can have adverse effects on the body, but I was surprised to learn about some of the effects it has on fertility. Some of the fertility-stress facts I learned are that stress:

  • Is the most significant block to getting pregnant
  • Disrupts hormone production
  • Can hinder adequate blood-flow to the uterus
  • Can lead to poor follicular quality
  • Negatively effects the FSH test - can result in false results 
 Those of us who are unfortunate enough to be on the infertility roller-coaster know that it is just that...a roller-coaster. There are good days, bad days, and really really bad days. How do you relax when your mind just won't let you? Here are some of the stress-relieving techniques we learned about:
  • Create positive affirmations, and recite them daily
  • Think positive
  • Meditate
  • Do deep breathing exercises
  • Create a gratitude journal

So what does all of this mean for me? Well, infertility is extremely stressful in and of itself. And that stress causes more stress which, in turn, causes a chain reaction in my body. I really wish I could turn off the worry like a light switch, but I can't. But I WILL make a concerted effort to deal with my stress head on, rather than keeping it all bottled inside.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fertility Diet

This week in the Fertile Attraction group we discussed...FOOD! Fertile food, that is.

I was surprised to learn that low fat and fat free isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'm so used to suffering through watery skim milk and rubber cheese...but I guess I can learn to like full fat yogurt, cheese, and milk...if I must! *sigh* 

In truth, I'm already on a diet; (aren't I always? I swear, for someone who has been dieting her whole life, how the hell can I still be fat??????) but I'm excited to make some simple changes. My current diet is about 1,000 calories or less a day. For breakfast I have a GNC protein shake (made with skim milk), followed by a banana mid-morning. For lunch, I have another GNC protein shake (made with water) and an apple, or nectarine, or peach. Mid-afternoon I have a serving of high fiber cereal (dry), or a Fiber One bar. Sometimes I'll have another piece of fruit on the way home or before dinner...which is usually a chicken wrap and a salad, or something like that. I've decided to ditch the skim milk and go for organic yogurt with the morning shake, and for the afternoon shake I'm going to add some greens.

I'm debating adding a fertility superfood like maca to my diet too. I had a short two week run with royal jelly....but wasn't aware that people with severe bee allergies shouldn't take royal jelly! That explained my recent asthma attacks, migraines, hives, leg swelling, and dizzyness! My Dr. said I could have died....ooopsie doodle! SO, needless to say, before I add maca or anything else to my diet, I'm going to thoroughly check it out first!

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Turning 35 as a childless freak

I turned 35 today. The earth was not swallowed by a black hole, I was not struck down by a bolt of lightning, and I didn't wake up with a head full of gray hair. And NO, I didn't expire!

If I thought I had a hard time when I turned 30, I DREADED turning 35. I know that in the scheme of things, 35 is not that old...but in terms of life span, my life is pretty much half over! I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed, and overwhelmed at the same time.

Underwhelmed...this is it? This is my life?

Overwhelmed...I have so much left to do! I haven't accomplished even a fraction of what I intended to accomplish by this age. I saw myself married, with a brood of kids - remember my 18 year plan??? - a happy housewife with a happy husband and a bunch of happy kids....with my 5th or 6th novel, best seller of course; on its way to production. Well, I AM married! Dear husband is a wonderful soulmate, if such things exist. I love him indescribably, and he is the reason I am able to get out of bed on most days, when the depression is a physical pain - not just a mental pain.

I think the main reason I'm having such a hard time with this turning 35 business is due to my fertility issues. I'm now in the "Advanced Maternal Age" category. Our struggles will only get harder from here....any pregnancy is automatically high risk...risk of a baby with chromosomal defects goes to 1:400 My eggs, if I have any left, are now dusty...coughing and sputtering like a '75 Mustang! All of this because I didn't have a baby in my 20's? Or even early 30's????

I've been trying to maintain a healthy level of sanity as this dark day doomed on my horizon. I've been thinking of my friends, and how gracefully (or at least not maniacally) they turned 35. And for some, then 40. 45. Even a few in their 50's. I've been visualizing their grace, and trying to use it as an example for how I should act. But then we come, full circle. The reason for their happiness? KIDS. Kinda hard to be upset about getting older and having dusty eggs when you're already blessed with kids! Advanced Maternal Age doesn't apply to already-moms, no, that's another pain reserved for us barren semi-women! I've had clueless moms say things to me like, "You're 34 and have no kids? What do you do with your time, you must be so relaxed on the weekends!"  Yep, that's me. Mrs. as a cucumber.

It's almost midnight, and I've survived this day! Whew...I can breathe! make it through the next 365 days...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Marketing Mommyhood

Choosy mom's choose Jif.
Kix. Kid tested, mother approved.
Mom's depend on Kool-Aid like kids depend on mom.
Because that's the kind of mom you are. (Kellog's cereal)

Mom, mommy, mother...everywhere I look. I can't even go to the grocery store without a visual assault of what a poor excuse of a woman I am! Will Jif taste just as good if I have no kids? Can I still drink Kool-Aid, even though the kids that depend on me have four legs and tails?

Marketing strategies and slogans have always been an irritant to me, even before my fertility struggles. I've never been the type to buy a product because a 30 second TV spot tells me to, especially because I envision a group of misogynistic men sitting around a table discussing ways to help me have a happy period. Always.

And don't get me started on print ads.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cracking the code

Okay, okay, that was mean! I didn't even explain what my previous post meant, for those of you lucky enough not to speak infertility! Here's the original:

I stopped BCPS and have been TTC for over 5 years. I am so tired of the POC; and holding my FMU to take my BBT...just to get a BFN after a stressful/exciting 2WW before AF arrives to ruin my day. Gotta CIO again.

And the translation:

I stopped Birth Control Pills and have been Trying To Conceive for over 5 years. I am so tired of the Process of Conception, and holding my First Morning Urine to take my Basal Body Temperature...just to get a Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test) after a stressful/exciting 2 Week Waiting period before Aunt Flow arrives to ruin my day. Gotta go Cry It Out again.

I will post a list of more abbreviations're gonna need 'em!

Sunday, July 25, 2010 a nutshell


  • I have more than 10 books on "how to get pregnant"
  • I have a basal thermometer
  • I have an ovulation monitor 
  • I have an OV Watch
  • I have a saliva microscope
  • I have tried charting
  • I have expensive, semen-friendly lubricant
  • I have fallen asleep on my back with my legs in the air, or a pillow shoved under my hips
  • I no longer feel butterflies when I take a pregnancy test...why bother? I know the answer is no
  • I sometimes wish there was a stork that would drop a baby off on my porch
  • I can speak to you in codes: I stopped BCPS and have been TTC for over 5 years. I am so tired of the POC; and holding my FMU to take my BBT...just to get a BFN after a stressful/exciting 2WW before AF arrives to ruin my day. Gotta CIO again. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother

I've seen this on several different fertility websites and blogs. I'm not sure who "Anonymous" is, but I can definitely relate with the sentiment!

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother
...There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.
I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books,
but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.
Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.
Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.
I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body, I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.
So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immerse power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes I will be a wonderful mother. -- Anonymous

Baby Lost

3/10/10 (Repost)

Baby Lost
by Me

Six years gone by, I still question why
In a painful rush you left the womb
Never really here, but gone too soon
We never got to meet you
Or count your fingers and toes
Don't know if you had Daddy's eyes
Or Mommy's monkey toes
I never held you at my breast
You never laid on Daddy's chest
You left before we knew you were there
Yet I carry you with me everywhere.

Is it better to know or not know?

2/01/10 (Repost)

So I got an email from California Psychic's offering me a free 10 minute reading. After much deliberation and deleting, undeleting, deleting again, then undeleting again, I decided to make the call and have my two burning questions answered: 1. Will I get a job soon? 2. Will my husband and I ever have kids?

The psychic I spoke to was nice, if a little cold. She said she was a straight-forward psychic and would tell me what she saw, not what I wanted to hear. (My first thought? Uh-oh.)

So my first question...I have been out of work for 6 months, will I get a job soon? Her answer - "I'm not gonna say the word communications, but I do see you in a position where you'll be wearing a headset." This was a little worthy of a head scratch...can you vague that up a little? My first thought was that could be anything from phone sex to working the McDonald's drive thru, right?

On to my second question...My hubby & I have been trying for a baby for over 4 years...will we ever have kids? Her answer - "Have you seen a specialist yet? There are so many options out there. But I definitely don't see your future as just being the two of you. You've recently spent a significant amount of time with a precocious little boy who has sparked something inside you. He's made you see what you are missing in your life and how much you are aching for motherhood." Still kinda vague about the if or when...but WOW, was she right about being sparked by a little boy...or three. My recent visit with my nephews sure did bring out my nurturing side even more, and yes, I do ache for motherhood.