Am I Doing Enough?

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I’m ending a multi-day bout of online infertility “research” feeling guilt-ridden.  Am I not doing enough to get pregnant naturally?  Each website contradicts the next: drink green tea, but avoid all caffeine.  drink warm drinks, but not hot or ice cold drinks.  eat fruit, but don’t eat raw food (should I be cooking my fruit??).

I’m overwhelmed.  Am I unwittingly turning my uterus into an inhospitable icy wasteland that shuns helpless embryos?  Am I causing my body to be nothing more than a land of inflammation and zig-zagging insulin levels?  Am I making endometriosis worse by drinking this cup of coffee?

Oh yes, coffee.  That vice I was all starry-eyed to give up last month.  Only today—on CD 11—am I finally putting my money where my mouth is.  Well, technically it’s still a work in progress: I had one cup of half-caff early this morning.  Currently I’m sitting at work staring at my office mug and resisting a very strong urge to brew my daily second cup of joe.

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My coffee mug, sans coffee.

An OPK sits nearby on my desk, waiting to be used on my next pee break. The perks of having the office to myself this week = leaving random OPKs on my desk and blogging from my office at 11 a.m.  Fertility consumes me even here.

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Just another day at the office.

When I read websites, articles, and books—which I do in abandon—about how to get pregnant, I walk away from them feeling like a selfish monster who isn’t doing everything possible to “prime” her body for pregnancy.  For optimal egg health maybe I should live off of seeds, quinoa, wheatgrass, and room temperature organic water.  Maybe I’m not trying hard enough.

The honest reality could be that the damage has already been done.  Look, I’m all for natural approaches to fertility and not heading strait to IVF; it works for many women.  But the fact is, I lived below optimum health for years…  YEARS!  Like, I ate crappy foods, barely exercised, and liberally drank alcohol.  I unknowingly basked in BPA, phthalates, and parabens.  So did Jake.

But here’s a fundamental difference: whatever damage Jake may have done to his swimmers by engaging in these activities isn’t forever.  Presto—his body just makes new ones, so his now-healthy lifestyle means his sperm are healthy too!  But I don’t have that luxury, my body isn’t making any new eggs.  Are a few years of progressively healthier living enough to undo a lifetime of exposure to Bad Things?  I wonder.

All of this culminates into excessive feelings of guilt.  Ate a piece of cake?  Ninety days until my eggs recover from the insulin spike!  Had a cup of coffee?  Just trashed my chances for conception this cycle!

While the rational, even-keeled part of me understands that balance is key to all things in life, another part of me—the part borne from my fertility “research”—tells me that I’m just making excuses.  That I’m too selfish to want to give up X, Y, and Z for my baby-to-be.  What kind of future mama am I anyway if I can’t sacrifice everything possible now?

Then I take a step back and remind myself that my life, my times, our season, our miracle—it’s all in God’s hands.  Not that that absolves me of responsibility to live right and do all that we can to achieve a pregnancy… because it doesn’t.  I usually dislike the expression, “Let go and let God, ” but right now it rings true.  I don’t want to make TTC into an idol.  I’ve done everything I know to get pregnant (or have I?? guilt, guilt, guilt….).  At some point, that needs to be enough and let faith step in.  At some point.  At this point.

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Author: Marixsa

Navigating the infertility waters and encouraging other mamas-in-waiting along the way.

5 thoughts on “Am I Doing Enough?”

  1. OMG girl. Do NOT feel guilty. I want you to know that you HAVE done and continue to do all that you can do for your future babies. You ARE a great future mother, there is nothing selfish about drinking a cup of coffee (or 6…).

    It is so hard to make large sacrifices when we don’t know the end yet. And yes, giving up something that is part of your daily routine IS a large sacrifice!!

    But this isn’t the end yet. You are still going, and I am still here hoping and praying for you and rooting you on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the truth in terms of how we are made to feel… But don’t feel this way. You have done everything you have been made to do and it will work out. It will! The rabbit hole is a horrible place to go down. I told myself, No! not going there! Hoping and praying for your happy ending!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have done so so much to change things to help yourself conceive. Way more than most would do so well done! Try to let yourself enjoy life too – eat that piece of cake, have that cup of coffee. That’s not being selfish, that’s being a happy human!
    I don’t know if you’ve seen the articles but they’ve found evidence that women actually may be able to make “new” eggs to replace damaged ones… some mice managed it (so think mouse! 🙂 squeak!) xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for making me cry today. And I mean that in such a good way. I am sorry that the guilt creeps in. You’re doing everything you can. You’re advocating for your wee-human-fetus-home. Despite the contradictory everything that you’re reading, you’re doing all that YOU can. As well as you can. Strip that guilt away. Don’t make me fly out there to smoosh you, although nothing would give me greater pleasure.

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  5. I don’t think I know of anyone who has been more committed to trying to conceive. Please don’t feel guilty as it’s so obvious that you’re going to extremes to increase your chances of success. You are the one I wish for the most as I know you have stoically faced so many challenges. To feel guilty for having a piece of cake is just not right. Infertility is more than just a naughty piece of cake every so often. Eat the cake and enjoy it. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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