Cheers, dear readers,It’s Cathy here speaking on behalf of Conceive Hospital sharing my story of our infertility journey. I appreciate anyone reading along becoming more aware of other’s struggles, while making an effort to try to understand the ups and downs of attempting to conceive.
As my story continues…
After my close friend conceived literally within weeks after going off of the birth control pill in her mid-30s, I had a very small panic attack, followed by a quiet determination to learn everything there was about trying to conceive… wait, not trying… DEFINITELY conceiving. I thought: “I’m a smart person, I love to do research and learn from others… I will do my best to find out the easiest and most efficient way to become pregnant, pronto! It will be absolutely FANTASTIC to be pregnant at the same time my friend is! We will have so much to talk about, and anticipate – a great bonding experience!” Eric and I started to liken our young kittens to our future children – such as when we were taking them to the vet or anything “parent-like”, we would say, “I bet this is a little taste of parenting” and we would smile to ourselves. Soon, we would have our own bundle of joy on the way. I helped plan many baby showers for all of my friends and co-workers, buying the decorations, going to the local Babies ‘R’ Us stores to get all of the cute things that babies need for their proud, soon-to-be-parents. Someday, that will be me! Someday, I will borrow maternity clothes from my friends. Someday, Eric will be the father of my child… how lovely. One of the reasons that I married Eric was I thought that he would be a FANTASTIC father. He’s so caring, smart, patient, responsible… oh, and handsome too. It’s the baby-daddy lotto! Yay!!!
Eric and I went to a wedding of one of my close friends. It happened to be right when I was ovulating. I had already bought and started taking pre-natal vitamins. We literally started our “trying to conceive journey” that night. It was November of 2009. How cool would it be to get pregnant right before the holidays and announce it to just a few close friends at Christmas time! Well, of course, that didn’t happen. Each month that went by, I got more and more serious about it. I joined a website calledFertilityFriend.com that helped you track your ovulation via temperatures, mittelschmertz (literally “midcyle pain” or feeling cramps when you are ovulating, which I did every 13th day of my cycle), marking down when you “make whoopie” as well as your pregnancy test results and which day that you take them. It had many articles in their “Charting Your Way To Conception” column about how to monitor your entire cycle to know EXACTLY when were the best days to conceive. It also had quizzes that you could fill out to test your knowledge on the subject matter. I love tests! I took test after test, until I scored almost perfectly every time. I was becoming a charting expert. It was only a matter of time now. I had this stuff DOWN!
February of 2010, we went to Costa Rica for vacation. I was convinced that we would take a pregnancy test on that trip and it would come up positive. What an exciting trip that will be! I was taking prenatal vitamins religiously, eating very healthy, working out (but not too much), and only having a couple glasses of wine here and there. We took the pregnancy test on the trip, and it turned up… BFN (that’s Big Fat Negative for those that are not involved with the “trying to conceive” community.) If you are not aware, the TTC community (Trying To Conceive) is a large group. I have learned that about 10% of couples have trouble conceiving. With technology what it is today, we now have online communities to turn to, to speak to others and hear about their triumphs and struggles, and offer support to each other – these “strangers” yet sisters (it’s virtually 99% female) across the country and the globe. We were disappointed at the test result, yet noticed our disappointment as a positive sign that we really did want to become parents and were emotionally ready to do so.
When we got back, I did even more research, and started reading e-books with such titles as Personal Path to Pregnancy. As a result, I started to change my entire diet to a “pre-conception diet makeover”. Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE to eat, love having chardonnay with my evening meal, etc. But to stack everything possible in our favor, I was willing to make dietary sacrifices to conceive our baby. I stopped drinking caffeine (I wondered: will my caffeine laden co-workers notice that I started stocking the lunchroom with decaffeinated coffee? How embarrassing if they know I’m trying to get pregnant and am having difficulty). I started drinking whole milk – something that I haven’t done since I was a wee tot. Many articles said whole fat milk when you are trying to conceive is the way to go, partly to get the extra calcium for your unborn child’s proper growth. I learned to stay away from certain cheeses like Brie (oh, but I love Brie!), feta, blue cheese, even deli meat because they may cause an infection called “listeria” that pregnant women are particularly susceptible to that could have an affect on the possibility of miscarriage. I stopped eating all sushi (oh, how I missed sushi!) as well as swordfish due to their high concentrations of mercury, which I read could be harmful to your unborn baby. I even bought tea for the evenings that was supposed to make you more fertile. I was pulling out all of the stops!
I was excited at the future and convinced that with my determination, studious research, and positive attitude, the glorious positive pregnancy test would come up soon. Then we would get to tell all of our family and friends the wonderful news! The highs when you are trying to conceive can get pretty high I found. Maybe you felt the same during some days on your journey.
Please join me next week to hear more about my personal journey down the infertility path. I look forward to speaking with you. And I wish you the best on your journey.