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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Things I’ll Never Try Again: Juicing Detox

I’m not one to fall for fad diets. Usually these kinds of trends are so transparent in their gimmickry that I laugh in their very face and wonder how people can so easily be duped. Paleo? Atkins? Raw food only? It Works? The Hcg diet (for realz, it’s an actual thing)? Psssh….  Everyone knows that these passing diet crazes are little more than mega money makers conjured up by some faceless corporate giant in order to make heaps of cash from unsuspecting consumers. Not me, though: I am exempt from falling for such blatant sales pitches. Right?

Wrong.

Because then… sigh….. BECAUSE THEN… I went online the other week and stumbled across the subject of raw juicing. It seems that turning produce into juice will apparently detox the body, provide natural energy, boost weight loss, and, in general, turn followers into Super Woman (or man, if you please). The more I read on the topic, the more juicing seemed worthy of a shot. In my ongoing quest to naturally overcome my infertility and prime my body to accept conception, a juicing detox seemed the next logical step. I mean, who doesn’t need a detox every now and then, fertile or otherwise? I failed to see how juicing could NOT be good for you. Onto that bandwagon I jumped, full speed ahead.

I decided to start slow with a three-day juice cleanse, which consists of 5 juices per day + 1 meal of fruits and/or veggies; the only beverages allowed are water and caffeine-free tea. Then I’d work my way up to a three-week cleanse followed by a month long cleanse. The whole concept was totally up my alley: I’m already a vegetarian, I own a juicer, and summer produce is at its peak right now. Perfect! Why not concoct weird liquid produce beverages in my spare time?

So I went out and bought all this:

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Glug glug.. bet this is making you thirsty!

 

Then I dug this guy out from storage in the far recesses of my basement:

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This actually is a pretty wicked $50 juicer for the money. Just sayin.

 

I cleared off my kitchen counters and went to town! I juiced yummy juices:

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Not just pretty… tasty too!

 

…and dead nasty juices:

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Ever wanted to know what drinking a bell pepper tastes like? Try one of these and wonder no more!

I hope this doesn’t ruin the ending for you: As you can probably tell from this post’s title, my plan didn’t work out too well. It didn’t take me long to begin wondering how someone could stand drinking this crap for three whole days, let alone three weeks or an entire month. Cause, man, I was strait up starving while I “cleansed!” I mean, like, seriously famished! And when I’m hungry I get cranky angry. And  missing consecutive meals plus sudden caffeine withdrawal are surefire migraine triggers for me. Not a good combo.

By the end of the first day I was hungry, irritable, hard core migraining, and fatigued. All told, I juiced four of the five recommended drinks and made it through exactly one of the three cleanse days. I’m not proud of the fact that I—as usual—plowed enthusiastically into some niche health idea, only to fizzle out in the end and not follow through. Nor am I proud of the fact that I actually briefly bought into the idea that drinking liquefied produce would somehow “cleanse” or “detox” my body. I guess we all fall from grace sometimes.

Silver Lining: There actually are some legit delish juicing recipes out there (caveat: I don’t recommend juices containing raw onions or peppers. Some things should never be drank. *shudder*). Since there’s no practical way I could cook all the produce I’d purchased before it turned, I’ve instead been making lemonade out of lemons—so to speak—and have begun juicing one juice each day as a midmorning snack at work. But as far as subsisting on juices and vegetables? Not so much. Everything in moderation, my friends.

Next up in the series of personal health fails: That time I went gluten free.