Thursday, March 31, 2011


My sister teaches junior kindergarten --- the youngest students on campus. These kids are a crack up. I mean you have to give them rules about everything. And even after the guidelines and expectations are clearly laid out, some poor souls will still have trouble staying on track. They aren’t bad kids. They just need a little more hand holding than most.

I know how they feel. In the world of trying to get knocked up, there are a lot of shoulds and should nots, a lot of rules to follow. When you think about all the things that may derail your fertility, it’s a wonder anyone gets pregnant. Ever. You can’t drink too much or be too fat or exercise too little or exercise too much. You need to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit and enough protein, which should be lean and grilled. And you should avoid processed carbs and artificial sweeteners and real sweeteners and anything fried. And don’t forget to drink lots of water and some tea and take all your supplements. And once you’ve done all that, make sure to have sex at the right time, in the right position with the right lubricant.

If these things came naturally to me, I might already be pregnant. But most them don’t. And even though I’ve read, highlighted and memorized the Making Babies rules, I still have trouble following them. Typically, I’m on good behavior during the week, and I completely fall off the wagon on the weekend, which has a way of extending itself from Friday afternoon to Tuesday morning. Half-time effort is better than no effort, but 50 percent is still a failing grade.

This is why I started to think about my sister and some of her slow learners. The solution (when other attempts have failed) is usually an incentive chart. She will reward a child with stickers for tiny successes and a larger prize for, say, a week of good behavior.

So, yes, I’m suggesting what works for 5-year-olds might work for me. Specifically, I’d like to work on the following areas: taking my supplements, eating more fruits and vegetables, eating less carbs (especially the sugary processed variety), and exercising. I’m not looking for perfection, just a strong B average.

Now, I just need to choose an incentive (other than the obvious of getting pregnant).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's talk about cervical mucus

I find myself talking an awful lot about my cervical mucus these days. Even with friends who don't have kids and are only minimally interested in doing so. When I'm talking with friends who are having fertility issues about cervical mucus? Oh, we could go on for half an hour.

About a mucus. That comes out of our vaginas.

Because let me tell you something about my cervical mucus. It went on a hiatus or something. Pre-birth control, I had plenty. Too much, even. And I'm talking about the "fertile" stuff -- the egg white stuff. Before I knew what this stuff was, I had a kind of "What in holy hell is this crap?" attitude about the sticky goo that presented itself for a few days every month and then just as mysteriously disappeared.

Post birth control, I was seeing a tiny teensy weensy bit maybe one day out of the month, and not for the whole day. I'm not blaming birth control. I have no idea why this happened. I am older and fatter, which probably doesn't help.


Since I started taking the many, many supplements I take every day, as recommended by Making Babies? I'm seeing more fertile cervical mucus. Not like it used to be, yet, but definitely more. I like that. I like that I can see a direct positive result coming from all this crazy junk I do every day to help improve my fertility.

And actually, that's not the only positive result. My skin seems clearer, my hair and nails are growing very fast, and I have more energy. Also, my last period was less painful than usual.

If you're curious what exactly I'm taking every day, here's what I do: Three times a day I take a New Chapter Organics prenatal pill. Twice a day I take a New Chapter B-complex pill. Twice a day I drink 8 ounces of water with 18 drops of chlorophyll in it. Three times a day I take two flax oil capsules. Once a day I take a baby aspirin. Once a day I drink a mug of green tea, and once a day I drink a mug of red raspberry leaf tea. When I ovulate, I'll begin taking chaste tree berry.

I have a couple of friends who suggested I post about how much money I've spent on my home fertility treatments so far. So I gathered all my stuff and put it on the kitchen counter and took this picture. This photo doesn't include a few books I've downloaded and read on my Kindle. A ballpark estimate of all this stuff is probably somewhere around $500. It's a little cuckoo. And I'm done buying new stuff, unless it's refills for the supplements that I think are actually helping me. Or if I determine that acupuncture would help. So basically I'm gonna keep spending money.

Now. To segue to The Machine. The update on The Machine is that it's Day 14 and it's telling me I haven't reached peak fertility yet. Which I would not have anticipated. This means I might reach peak fertility tomorrow, putting ovulation on Day 16 or 17, which is a bit later than I thought it was happening. So, I may have been wrong about The Machine. Maybe The Machine knows what it's talking about. Also - there's a possibility I'm not going to ovulate this month. Supposedly The Machine will not indicate a peak fertile day if you don't ovulate. Which would be helpful information to have. More info to follow next week...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Like the Desert

I don't know how to tell you this.

Turns out I am not tired and stuck.

I misled you about my fertility type.

I know. I know. How can you ever trust me again? How can I trust me again?

If it makes it any better, I didn't want to be dry and stuck. I wanted to be tired and stuck. That's how I feel about this whole thing, there is no "dry" about it. Also, dry and stuck just sounds like a Pinto in a dune.

Dry is the "skinny girl" fertility type. That is soooo not me.

The more I read though, the more I couldn't deny it: I'm dry. Always hot? Yep. Not fond of protein? Yep. Feeling "dry"? Damn it, yes.

So, I am dry and stuck. It changes the supplements I will be taking, and the tea I will be drinking, but little else. The diets are still similar, and the exercise is the same. Oh, and it means I can't even have "moderate" wine. You know, because it's drying.

I just hope you don't mind reading my "dry" posts.

I promise I will remain stuck...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Never Fearless

Sometimes I say to John, “You realize if all this works, we’re going to have a baby.”
He nods his head, unfazed by my ability to state the obvious.
“And our life will never be the same,” I add.
He thinks I’m a bit dramatic.

But the death-to-self required by parenthood seems unreal, the lack of sleep exhausting, the opportunities for screwing up unlimited. As absolutely amazing as I’m sure motherhood is, I can’t help but think it’s also the most terrifying experience of one’s life. First the pregnancy, then the labor and after that the endless task of parenting.

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone

I can hear your kind thoughts wanting to softly suggest I stay calm and carry on, everything will unfold perfectly.

And I believe it will unfold perfectly because it usually does. But not until after I panic, cry, scream and lose my mind a tiny bit at a time. That’s pretty much my M.O. for any change. So I’m not overly optimistic that, assuming I become pregnant, the transition into parenthood will be easy. For one thing, being relaxed isn’t my strong suit. I am so much better at worry. Ask anyone.

If I’m not thinking, “What will we do if this doesn’t work out?” then I’m thinking, “What will we do if it does?”

Today my sister described to me the home remedy for a clogged milk duct. It involves sterilizing a needle and pricking your own breast. My whole body shuddered. Then later I could hear my 5-month-old nephew laugh as the dog tried to share her toy with him. We’re talking seriously cute stuff.  

Maybe it is the promise of cuteness that allows people to take a fearless leap into parenthood. I, for one, have never done anything fearlessly and, as it turns out, that includes this trying to conceive business. I think fear is one of the reasons I stuck to my old-fashioned laissez-faire approach to getting pregnant for as long as I did.

Now that we’re really trying, with the supplements and monitor and book in hand, the fear is still there. The thought of either outcome – becoming pregnant or not becoming pregnant – scares me. That said, I’d rather be scared in the company of a cute laughing baby.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Machine

This is an overpriced piece of plastic that is supposedly going to tell me when I hit peak fertility during each cycle. I bought this last week, the day I started my period, in a fit of hope. And I can't put my finger on exactly why, but hope is out the window, running down the street, trying to catch the bus to the bad side of town for a gang initiation meeting.

I just don't see myself getting pregnant any time soon, and I'm not sure why. I'm not giving up -- I'm diligently charting my temperatures and peeing on sticks and drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea and massaging my abdomen, etcetera etcetera, but something in all of these actions feels hollow. Maybe I'm just tired of it. I'm undeniably irritated with the whole situation and would like to take my new fertility monitor out back and crush it with a baseball bat.

Which is interesting, in and of itself. Traditionally the pre-ovulatory phase is the most hopeful phase. Oftentimes it's when I feel my most hopeful, but this time around I'd describe my sentiment as skeptical, at best.

To my husband, it's kind of like a big science experiment. He's an engineer, with confidence in properly-built machines. A properly built machine should solve all the world's ills and get me pregnant. Everything else up til now may as well have been me waving a wand at my vagina. Now that The Machine is here, we'll see what's really going on.

Maybe part of my bitterness is that I don't believe in The Machine, or that it will tell me anything I don't already know.

Day 7 - low fertility. Shocking. 

I think I already know when I'm ovulating and I've convinced myself the real issue pertains to my cervical mucus. Or lack thereof. But that's a post for a whole other time.
Anyway. Sorry for the downer of a post, but this is how I genuinely feel right now. Maybe I'm wrong and The Machine will blow everything I thought I knew out of the water. If that's the case, you'll be among the first to know.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am having to work through a lot of feelings while reading this book and starting on this program. Most of those feelings have to do with the fact I feel every fertility expert I have ever dealt with flat out lied to me, and just did what they wanted, not taking what could actually be wrong with me into account.

In "Making Babies" there are more than six pages of questions your doctor should know the answers to before they start treating you. My initial interview with my doctor lasted about 10 minutes, and only a handful of questions, only about my menstrual history, not my lifestyle or overall health were asked. He didn't ask any questions of my husband once he looked as his lab results and saw his sperm count was good. I told myself it was because he had been doing this for so long he probably could just look at us and know what to do. However, reading this book, I feel he just saw us as two more items on an assembly line. If what had worked for others didn't work for us, it didn't matter, because he got paid anyway.

Every month I would ask my doctor if I could have PCOS. Every month he would tell me that was likely with my history, but that he really couldn't tell since I was on medication to stimulate my ovaries. I asked him about putting me on Metformin, which is recommended for women with PCOS. He said no. I asked about progesterone during my luteal phase. He said my luteal phase was long enough that I shouldn't need it. When I asked about acupuncture he just shrugged and said it was "my money."

A year and a half after I stopped the fertility treatments I went to see a naturopath, feeling like my hormones still weren't back to normal. With two blood tests she diagnosed my PCOS and put me on Metformin. Now, I read in this book that despite the fact I have a "normal" luteal phase that doesn't mean a lot, and that tests should be done to make sure my uterine lining is not just there, but good enough to support an embryo. Oh, and if it isn't? I should go on progesterone. I won't even go into the benefits of acupuncture pointed out in this book, since I am sure all three of us will go into the prickly details later.

I am sure that the fertility doctor I saw is beloved by some. Me? I am ready to show him just how crappy he is. Maybe then I won't feel so angry.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Drug of Choice

Hello. My name is Christina, and I’m a caffeineaholic. And not in your traditional 8 cups of coffee a day kind of way. I like coffee. But what I really love is Excedrin. Excedrin and I have been together so long I can’t remember if our love affair began in high school or college, but I’ve been dependent ever since.

One Excedrin tablet is:
·         250 mg Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
·         250 mg Aspirin
·         65 mg Caffeine
It is the perfect, legal and convenient pick-me-up-and-cure-my-headache drug. Up until a few weeks ago, depending on how I felt and my mood, I would pop one to three a day (on rare occasions even four). It was my multivitamin.
Problem is as devoted as I am to Excedrin, my uterus is not. According to Making Babies, caffeine should be limited when you are pregnant and when you are trying to become so. Coffee especially should be avoided due to its acidifying nature.
The authors didn’t mention Excedrin by name, but I can read between the lines. I figure I better switch my usage from recreational to purely medicinal. As in, my head better feel like my brain is bleeding before I reach for my quick fix.  It’s really for the best. I was starting to suspect every random pain was actually a symptom of liver damage caused by the Acetaminophen.  
The good news is, according to the book, tea (even black caffeine-containing tea) may boost fertility. “Women who drank tea every day --- even just half a cup --- were twice as likely to conceive as women who never drank tea,” Making Babies, page 109.
The authors recommend green tea (up to three cups a day). However, two cups of black tea is within their caffeine guideline of no more than 90 mg of caffeine a day.
90 mg! I get sad just thinking about it. Did I mention I was drinking tea and coffee in addition to my daily dose of Excedrin? And it’s not like I haven’t been down this road before. A few years ago, I quit caffeine cold turkey. Big mistake. Caffeine withdrawals nearly drove me to murder inside a crowded Whole Foods. So this time, I’m going slow, drinking mostly black tea, the occasional coffee and lots of chlorophyll water  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 28

Today (this post is being written on Tuesday) is Day 28. You know what that means! In theory, I'm either going to start bleeding or ... I'm not.

My mantra on Day 28 is:

I will not take a pregnancy test
I will not take a pregnancy test
I will not take a pregnancy test

To date, the mantra has not worked. Last month, I refrained all day, then finally broke down and took a test on the evening of Day 28. It was negative. The next morning my period arrived. It's all a scheme to get me to buy more pregnancy tests, I tell you!! 

There have been times when I've been almost certain I was pregnant. This is not one of those times. Actually, this is one of those times when I am certain I am not pregnant.

I am convinced that when I actually get pregnant I am going to know it. Probably because I will be projectile barfing. I have a long history of barfing at the slightest provocation, so I am fairly certain pregnancy will not be an exception to that rule.

Also, my basal rate temperature is really low right now, which would indicate the opposite of pregnant. Nonpregnant. Unpregnant.

So! What I like to do on Day 1 of any given cycle, after I've moped around feeling sorry for myself for a few hours, is -- I like to have a plan. A plan is a nice distraction. A plan helps me believe I am doing something productive, something that will eventually lead to conception.

My plan this month is manifold. It goes as follows... As soon as my period arrives I:

1. Am joining a gym.
2. Am going full throttle on all of my weird supplements, including royal jelly and chaste tree berry.
3. Am buying that Clearblue monitor thingy everyone is raving about.

It is a good plan. Maybe it will work and I won't need a plan after the plan. And a plan after the plan that comes after that.

Postscript: It is 4 p.m. on Tuesday and my period has started, as expected. After I finish typing this, I'm going to buy the Clearblue monitor and write up a schedule for the four thousand supplements I'm supposed to take every day and call 24 Hour Fitness to get my calorie burn on. This bitch is going down (not me. The not-getting-pregnant thing). 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How I Eat Now

I have been eating everything I shouldn't if I want to get pregnant.

I mean, I kind of suspected I was. I am not a very healthy eater. I am extremely picky, and at certain times in my life subsisted on pasta and Taco Bell because I didn't want to eat anything else. I didn't worry about it when we started trying to get pregnant though because all of the doctors told me it didn't really matter. After all, they were pumping me full of hormones, so what impact could a tossed salad really have? Every time I would ask they would tell me if I wanted to lose a few pounds I could change my diet, but really that would be the only reason. I always laughed at that, since it was the hormones that had caused me to swell well beyond my comfortable weight. The minute I went off, I dropped ten pounds.

One of the key components of "Making Babies" is eating well. They say the naturally fertile eat a "rainbow" of foods. I don't think they mean a rainbow of various colors of beige. So, all of a sudden I am having to open my maw and choke down things I haven't eaten in years, if at all.

I started with foods that could be dipped or hidden in other foods. Carrots are amazing in that way, as is spinach. Then I started putting various vegetables in with my pasta. I made myself start with them, eating the pasta last as a reward, and to get the taste out of my mouth. I am now starting on eating fruit. Berries are easy mixed with yogurt, but whole fruit like apples and oranges are tougher. I mean, they just take so long. All that chewing. And don't even get me started on "salads."

There is one great thing about eating differently though, I mean other that the fact it could improve my fertility and help me not die when my daughter is six, and that is that I am thinking more about what I eat. I am no longer just grabbing something when I am having a sugar crash, but considering what I have not eaten for the day, and what I still need. I shop more carefully, looking at labels. I try to buy fresh and organic, and (gulp) eat it before it goes rancid. It's not just a different way of eating, but also thinking.

Hopefully it is a small change that will lead to bigger changes later. You know, like having two children.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Supplemental Health

I'm a bit in awe over my new routine. Erin and I harassed the good folks at Whole Foods on Monday, and life hasn't been the same since. After spending a small fortune on holistic remedies (and we really did show restraint), I had to plan how I might tackle taking all my new wonder cures.

This is what I came up with, and it doesn't even include drinking the raspberry leaf tea.

Upon rising: Drink two tablespoons of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar mixed with water. This advice comes from the book, The Insulin-Resistance Diet. The vinegar water may have the same effect as metformin if taken before a carbohydrate meal. So I thought it would be a good way to start my day.

Breakfast: Along with the actual food, two prenatals (the daily dose for this particular prenatal is six tablets), one B-complex and two fiber pills. (The fiber has nothing to do with fertility, but Tired & Stuck folks are known to have digestive issues. So there.) I'm also taking a teaspoon of flax oil for its healthy omega 3s and 6s. This would be fine mixed with yogurt or poured on toast, but I'm always rushed in the mornings so I've just been drinking it straight. Which makes me gag.

Mid-morning: 18 drops of chlorophyll mixed with at least 8 ounces of water. This stuff turns the water so green it's practically black, but the taste is mild, like the slightest hint of a grass stain in your mouth.

I like that these are "professional prenatals." We mean business now.

Lunch: Two prenatals and a low-dose aspirin. The book says aspirin is good for most women trying to conceive, and I actually had a doctor who recommended it as well.

Afternoon: Another glass of chlorophyll water.

Dinner: Two prenatals, one chaste tree berry pill, and 1/4 teaspoon of royal jelly. Royal jelly is very tangy, like sour milk.

Bedtime: One drop of vitamin D3, but only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday to avoid taking too much.

I was afraid all these pills and potions would make me nauseated. But so far the only side effect has been from the chlorophyll, which is known to produce dark green stool, which means I'm ready for St. Patty's Day in a whole new way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


One of my favorite hobbies is diagnosing myself with new diseases.

I'm rarely correct and oftentimes ailments I believe I have (thyroid tumors, panic attacks, and ectopic pregnancy, for example) are explained by doctors in more simple terms (vitamin deficiencies, anemia, cramps).

But this time? Well, I've really done my homework this time, and I can tell you almost beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a luteal phase defect.

*commence eye-rolling from my mother*

(My mom believes her Mexican genes trump all. I should be able to merely think about being pregnant, and it should occur. She keeps saying, Believe me, you don't have a problem getting pregnant, because she and my dad conceived me in about 30 seconds when she was 25 years old. Anyhoo!)

Now, you may be asking: What, pray tell, is a luteal phase defect. Unless you are a frequenter of fertility blogs, in which case I'm afraid you're probably already all-too familiar with such things.

The luteal phase refers to the days in your cycle following ovulation, when all sorts of magical things should be happening. Ideally, as a woman trying to get pregnant, there should be a zygote somewhere up in your junk be-bopping along on its way to your uterus, where it should then implant into the endometrium and dear God why do I know all of this?

If you have a luteal phase defect, your luteal phase may be too short, or your progesterone may be too low, both of which result in insufficient endometrium, therefore preventing implantation of the embryo.

After two months (admittedly not that long but I haven't been following the Making Babies plan for that long) of measuring my basal rate temperature in the mornings, what I'm noticing is that my temperature is spiking and dropping in the luteal phase, which is not good. Ideally what it would look like is this:

Here the temperature continues to rise, eventually reaching what is called a "triphasic pattern," indicating pregnancy.

Here is what my chart looks like this cycle:

According to the book, this is an indication of low progesterone, with a possibility of a luteal phase defect (which is determined for certain via blood and other tests). I could run off and get the tests done, but since I'm trying to get pregnant as naturally as possible, I'm going to do the following:

1. Lose 40 pounds. The more fat there is, the more estrogen there is. Too much estrogen can prevent ovulation. Being overweight also coincides with an increase in androgens, which also prevent ovulation. Not to mention an association to wonky insulin levels, which can affect fertility.

2. Take chaste tree berry, an herb that can help lengthen the luteal phase.

3.  Drink red raspberry leaf tea, which improves blood flow to the uterus.

4. Try a number of other natural remedies that I'll discuss in a later post. 

My annual papsmear is in June, and I'm hoping that by then, I'll have lost the weight and maybe even have conceived. We'll see! In the meantime I'll continue charting my temperatures to see if they improve, and I'm sure you'll be hearing about it. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Starting Out

I expect to fully be following the "Making Babies" plan by the end of April.

I know, I know, no time like the present. I should be jumping right in, taking the bull by the horns, seizing the day, not letting moss grow under my feet, catching the worm, and other maxims that look great on samplers and in Robin Williams movies. Unfortunately, I am not that kind of person. I am a frog.

Oh, come on, you all know the story about the frog. You put one in a pot of boiling water and it jumps right out. However, if you put it in cool water, and then slowly up the temperature, it doesn't even notice that it's getting cooked. I am a frog. If I try to implement all of these changes at once, I will go running to the nearest 7-11 for Twinkies, a 40 ounce and spermicide. However, if I make the changes gradually, letting my life adjust to each one before moving on, I just might end up cooked.

You all know that by cooked I mean pregnant, right?

I am starting out with my diet. Slowly I am introducing things I should be eating, and taking out the things I shouldn't. I'm still doing whole grains half-assed, but I have given up my daily refined flour bagel with "creme cheeze." I am cutting down on the diet soda, and on the wine, hoping that will make it easier to quit both completely later on. Oh, and I am eating vegetables AND fruit. Not in cocktails either, like as vegetables and fruit. I know, it's weird, and seems totally unnatural. Oh, and I am still letting myself lapse, having pasta, or pizza with nothing but cheese when I want it. I'm easing in, letting myself know that it will all be okay, and getting used to the changes one by one. And I'm not jumping out of the pot.
After this I plan tackle the acupuncture, the exercise, the supplements, and all the things I'll to do to "get to know" my cervix.

I might need until mid-May...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Road to Here

I tend to believe everything is exactly as it should be, even if it’s not exactly the way I’d want it to be. But if someone had asked me 15 years ago if I’d be more likely at the age of 33 to
a)      have 6 kids or
b)      have no kids
I would have guessed I’d be the happy mother to half a dozen children by now. That is a young mind for you, nary a clue how life might unfold.
Early warning signs of trouble ahead included a longer than normal cycle (30 to 40 days), painful periods and spotting before, after and sometimes in between periods. It’s not like I didn’t ask doctors if these things were normal. I did. The typical response was a random blood test and a recommendation to try the Pill, which I always declined to do.
There were also the Natural Family Planning (Creighton Model) classes John and I took before getting married. The instructor said my temperature charts were just too unpredictable, so she advised I rely on my cervical mucus instead to avoid or achieve pregnancy. That should have been a red flag.
In fairness, not all the doctors have been oblivious. One, a few years ago, ran a ton of tests and then told me my hormone levels weren’t ideal. No worries. I was certain my hormones weren't any worse than a crack addicts and they get pregnant all the time. Other doctors have suggested Clomid, which seems extreme without a diagnosis and at least trying holistic options first.
That said getting pregnant naturally is no piece of cake. (Mmm, cake. Did I mention needing to eliminate junk carbs, kick my Excedrin addiction and lose weight?) I’ll leave my disdain for making life changes for another post. For now, let me say I’m excited to have company on this journey, though I would not have thought making a baby would involve anyone other than me and my husband. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When it's not like it should be


In hindsight, there were a few clues that something was off and having a baby wasn’t going to be as easy as it seemed to have been for many of my friends who followed this precise procedure:

1) Have sex.
2) Get pregnant.
3) Have a baby.

I had sex. Lots of times. To date, I have not gotten pregnant, nor do I have a baby. 

And the clues as to why were as follows.

For starters, my period was going haywire. It responded to every emotion, happy or sad. I quit my job and my period was eight days late. My grandfather died and my period was a week early. 

Then there was the fact that I was on a progestin (instead of estrogen) birth control pill for several years. Progestin pills are not as reliable at preventing pregnancy as estrogen pills, and to be as reliable as possible, you must take them at the same time every day, without fail. 

I can barely take a shower at the same time every day without fail, so you can imagine how reliably I took my birth control. My husband and I were supposed to use a “back up method” of birth control if I was even merely three hours late taking the pill. We never used a back up method.

Here is what the information packet that comes with my birth control pill says about the effectiveness of the progestin pill: 

About 1 in 200 users will get pregnant in the first year if they take all pills perfectly. About 1 in 20 “typical” users gets pregnant the first year of use. 

To put this in perspective, I have a friend who got pregnant while she was taking this pill. She now has an adorable baby as proof!

At any rate, since I quit the pill, my cycle has been all over the map, ranging from 24 to 29 days. After my last period started, I decided to buy the book Making Babies, and you might say that if my infertility (if that’s what it is) is a murder mystery, then I’m a detective who’s all over the case.

I’m cutting out processed foods and adding more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to my diet. I’m trying to cut out alcohol and caffeine. I’m massaging my abdomen.

 This is what it's come down to.

I’m using a heating pad on my abdomen. I’m testing my urine for lutenizing hormone, which tells you when you’re going to ovulate. I’m taking my temperature every morning for the same reason. 

 This temperature spike is supposed to indicate ovulation.

I’m observing my cervical mucus. 

I have not, to date, begun to check my cervix’s position every day, but I am pretty sure that those dark days shall come to pass. *shudder*

More on that in a future post. 

What I’m trying to say is: Trying to get pregnant is all-encompassing. You don’t want it to be but it demands your attention all day, every day. It’s like being pregnant, without the benefit of actually knowing for certain that at the end of all this, a baby shall emerge from your nether regions.

And this stuff I’ve mentioned – it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is so, so much more involved. Which is why we started this blog. We could go on for days, weeks, and months about this stuff. And we probably will.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why This Book

Fertility is a billion dollar industry in the United States.

I will give you a minute to let that sink in.

Seriously, it's like every wedding planner out there has a smarter cousin who decided to go to medical school and make the real money. Eight hundred dollars for cake? Phsaw! How about sixteen thousand for one round of IVF -- which might not work? Yep, smarter cousins.

It isn't just doctors making money off malfunctioning naughty parts either. People are selling tests, drugs, herbs, salves, exercise programs, juice regimes, lubricants, and a litany of other things all with the promise of helping couples conceive. Oh, and books, we musn't forget about the books.

I have been trying to get pregnant since the economy was still good and bacon was only for breakfast. In that time I have bought, and discarded, at least a dozen books. Most of them were simply unreadable. Some of them were too cutesy and wanted to infantilize the whole situation. I mean, I don't need to read about "baby dust" before going in for a transvaginal ultrasound. And calling sex the "baby dance"? No. Just no. Then I found "Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility." I expected it to end up on the discard pile as well. It did not.

I feel like this book is different. First off, it doesn't say everyone should be doing the same thing. In fact, it says people should be doing wildly different things depending on what they think is wrong. Second, it wants to treat the person before it treats the infertility. Good health is the main objective, on the idea that good fertility will follow. Third, it tells you how long you should do it: three months. I figure I can do anything for three months.

Of course, the big question is does it work? Well, hell, I don't know yet. I know I would like it to. And I know I am ready to share the journey with you, Erin and Christina.

If nothing else, it only cost me twenty bucks.