Thursday, September 27, 2007


Although the desire for pregnancy has consumed much of my energy for the past year, one thing I've managed to avoid is charting my basal body temperature (BBT). None of my doctors are particularly interested in it, and I wasn't about to sign myself for anything else to do that would cause me to focus on my fertility or lack thereof. But it looks like that's about to change.

Last week I went for my first appointment with my new acupuncturist--she wants to see my charts. She was really nice about it, tried to sell me on the idea, "it's about checking in with yourself, knowing your body better," but I'm still not excited. I'm not sure exactly why I'm so resistant to the idea. Maybe hidden in my BBT charts we will find some key to my troubles, or maybe I'll just spend my first waking moments with a thermometer stuck in my mouth and a chart on my bedside table, reminding me that I'm trying to get pregnant.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I think it's time to get this out there. For almost a year now, I have been carrying around a pregnancy calculator wheel in my purse.

Now, before you think I'm totally crazy, I don't look at it every day (anymore). I guess it's an occupational hazard, having easy access to such things. Maybe it's time to let go of the pregnancy wheel, but it just feels good to know that I can quickly and easily check my estimated due date based on my LMP or date of ovulation at any time, if for some reason I needed to.

I guess this speaks to the issue of planning. I'm a bit of a planner. This issue (wanting to be pregnant, knowing I could be at any time, yet not knowing when it will happen, understanding that it may never happen), is particularly tricky for planning purposes. I wouldn't agree to plan our last vacation until it was no more than 6 months away, just in case I got pregnant in the meantime, I wouldn't be more than 6 months along and could still travel relatively comfortably. I guess at some point I'm going to have to let this go. It might be time to get rid of the wheel.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Just Relax

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to "just relax" I could probably pay for a cycle of IVF. It's a great idea, but have you ever tried to "relax" about one of the most important things in your life, something that you want with all your heart, but have no control over? It's not easy. Nonetheless I decided to give it a really good try this past week. We spent a week in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. It was pretty close to paradise, and quite possibly the best vacation ever. Maybe it was the timing of it that made it so fabulous, but honestly, we had a great time. I'll spare you the details...lets just say a week of nothing to do but whatever you want at a great resort on the "Mexican Rivera" with the love of your life is good for the soul.
I haven't uploaded our pictures yet, but our hotel was just to the right of this frame. We spent most of our time right there on the beach and snorkeled around those rocks. Did I mention we had a fabulous time?

Oh, and about parabens. Some of you were asking what they are. Well, they are a class of preservatives used (rather ubiquitously) in cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos (though you can find products that are "paraben free"). Officially, they're considered safe, but recently there has been increased controversy. They are what is known as xenoestrogens, which means they act like estrogens, but can't be metabolized by the body in the way that plant and human estrogens are. The most concerning effects are related to reproduction and breast cancer. There's a good article in wikipedia about parabens and xenoestrogens if you're interested.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Infertility Cure

It's a pretty lofty title. I'll let you know how it goes.

The acupuncturist I mentioned earlier, who specializes in women's reproductive health issues, recommended it when I asked for some research on the subject of alternative therapies and success rates with infertility. The author has personal experience with infertility and the introduction is full of women's testimonials praising her work (she's an acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner) and sharing their amazing success stories.

I hope someday soon I'll have a success story too. In the meantime I'm picking up my yoga practice again, starting acupuncture, eating organic as much as possible, and trying to avoid plastics and parabens (a prescription from my acupuncturist). If nothing else I should be good and purified after this whole process.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Weigh In

Today I bought a scale. I haven't had one since I moved out of my parents house when I was 18. So why did I suddenly feel the need? Well, one of the first things my Repro Endo told me at our initial consult was that I should gain a few pounds (incidentally my mom had given me the same advice a few months earlier). My weight fluctuates between 115-120 and has for the past 15 years or so I guess. At 5'5" that makes my BMI 20 (less when I'm below 120 lbs.). Anything 19 or less for BMI is considered underweight. There is apparently a delicate balance in terms of weight and fertility. Too little and you're less likely to get pregnant, but too much hurts your chances too. Go figure. As if there wasn't enough turmoil surrounding weight and body image.

So back to the scale. I decided if I'm going to get serious about gaining this weight (my goal is 128-132) I needed some way to check my progress. It's hard for me to try and eat more without knowing if it's doing any good. I've never been someone who eats for the sake of eating. I eat when I'm hungry, and if I'm busy sometimes I don't eat then. I've always been good at feeding other people (literally and figuratively), but denying myself. A big part of my self-care plan is listening to my body and feeding it. So far I've switched from skim milk to soy milk (I don't like the taste of 2% or whole), am trying to snack more (nuts are my friends), and end most nights with a bowl of ice cream (if you missed the ice cream post you should check it out).

Today I weigh 120.6 lbs, so I still have 8-12 lbs to go. I'm not opposed to gaining weight, but I've been essentially the same size for the past 15 years. I'm generally happy with my body and feel like I am a healthy weight. It's scary to think about intentionally gaining. I'm trying to remind myself it's not about the weight, I'm getting my body ready for a pregnancy. If you have some good calorically dense, high fat (and healthy) snack ideas I'm looking for suggestions.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Negative is a word that we throw around a lot in health care. Sometimes negative is good, i.e. "Your HIV test was negative". But for a woman trying to get pregnant, negative is not what you want to hear when your talking about the results of a quantitative Hcg (blood pregnancy test). That's what I got this week.

It wasn't enough that the home pregnancy test was negative (yes, I caved and took 2 last week). Since it had been 2 weeks since my IUI and I still hadn't started my period I had to do the blood test, then wait anxiously for the results. I totally expected it to be negative, but when I actually got the call I kind of lost it. Lucky for me I had a friend who took me to the beach.

It was late afternoon on a beautiful sunny day so we walked and talked for several miles down the beach, only seeing 5-6 people the whole time. It was just what I needed. So much about the ocean is therapeutic for me, the smell, the sound, the vastness and connectivity of it. It helped make a no good, very bad day into one with a more nuanced meaning; loss and sadness with beauty and friendship.