Tag Archives: pregnancy

A Controlling Personality, a Patient Husband, Some Infertility, and a Microscope

As soon as Craig and I were married, I scheduled an OB appointment and made an action plan for getting pregnant. I didn’t want to waste a single month and just going with the flow is SO not the way I handle things.  

I bought a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and read it through a million times.  (I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.) I took my temperature every morning for months and charted it religiously with Fertility Friend.  I knew exactly when I ovulated.  I told myself that like anything else I had done in my life, if I wanted it badly enough, if I worked at it diligently, I could make it happen.

After all of those years of thinking that getting pregnant would be relatively simple, I was amazed at just how difficult it actually was.  Though I could work at, the outcome was completely out of my control.

After a few months of negative pregnancy tests, I stepped it up a notch.  I put us both on a vitamin regime that had us each taking fistfuls of vitamins morning and night. 

I also bought a microscope. Yep, I sure did.  I will never forget the look on Craig’s face when I told him that I would need a samples. Every month, I prepared my slides and got down to business.  (You know how they say if you are camping and a bear enters your campsite, upturning everything, you should totally lay low?  I’m pretty sure that was what it looked like from Craig’s perspective.  He looked at me like he was reminding himself not to engage with the bear.)

In the process of all of this,  I completely lost my mind.

When we hadn’t gotten pregnant after six months of trying, we were referred to an infertility specialist who was kind and patient with us.  She tried not to laugh at me when I walked into that first appointment with a binder full of printouts of my months of charting.  I went into full presentation mode, pointing out where I had ovulated and when we had had sex.  When I look back on this time, I can see that I had lost touch with sanity a bit.  I was completely consumed with getting pregnant and lived life in two-week chunks—waiting to ovulate and waiting to see if we were pregnant.  In hindsight, I can also see that I wasn’t the best wife to Craig during those months.  We were newlyweds, but I couldn’t relax enough to enjoy those precious months.  I was singleminded and consumed.  He is a patient man and I will never forget the way he stood by me and helped me to hold onto what little bit of sanity I had left.

Our infertility specialist put me on Clomid and I went in once a month for a shot that would release my eggs so that Craig could go in and give them his … ummm … contribution for the IUI.  For every month that we did this, I got a cyst, which meant that we had to take the following month off so that my body could regroup.  The IUIs weren’t successful for us.  We never could figure out why, as every month I had numerous eggs and they were placing the sperm exactly where it needed to be.  In August of 2006, we got the news that I had yet another cyst, so I wouldn’t ovulate yet again.  We were advised to go home and try to relax so that the next month might be more successful. 

And relax we did.  For the first time in a year, I lived each day for the beauty of that day.  We truly enjoyed just being together that month. 

Then?  Yeah, you know where this is going…my period was late and we got this…

We were absolutely shocked.  I can’t tell you how many times we had been encouraged to try not to worry so much.  I had reached a point where I knew that if one more person told me to relax, there would be bloodshed.

It took us eleven months to get pregnant with Katie.  Eleven months of anxiety, tears, anger, and confusion.

But, we are a statistic.  We relaxed and this is what we got…

Looking back, I realize that those months of trying made the joy of having this amazing baby girl even sweeter. 

She was worth every single moment of effort and I will be ever grateful for her.  I learned so much about myself, about Craig, and about patience.

Anyone need a slightly-used microscope?

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Taking a Closer Look…How Safe are your Baby Products?

From the moment we found out that I was pregnant with Katie, I became obsessed with researching the ways in which I could give her the best possible start in life.

One of the most helpful resources I found in those early days was Skin Deep, an amazing database that ranks the safety of cosmetics and personal care products in the following categories: skin care, makeup, hair care, nails, eye care, feminine hygiene, dental and oral hygiene, and fragrances.  One of their main goals is to provide information to protect children, babies, and infants in the womb from harmful toxins.

The Skin Deep database,  put forth by the Environmental Working Group, utilizes an easy to understand traffic light system that helps you to rather quickly learn whether a product is safe, if you should use it with caution, or if you should avoid it completely.

In those early days, I had visions of Katie fresh from the bath, with that familiar Johnson & Johnson scent.

A quick search of the Skin Deep database for Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Head to Toe Baby Wash was shocking.  Skin Deep gave it a yellow light, with a ranking of 4, which they call a moderate hazard, since the fragrance used raises neurotoxicity and allergies/immunotoxicity concerns.  Yeah, no thanks.

The point?  I would have trusted that Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash would be a safe choice for my baby.  The simple bottle leads you to believe that it is gentle, formulated for babies, and completely safe.  We ended up choosing California Baby products for our kids, but there are many other safe choices.

Grab your products and visit the Skin Deep database and see how they’re rated–you might be as surprised as I was.

I’d love to hear about any surprises or confirmations you come across if you’d like to leave a comment.

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