by Infertility Blows

Rules. There are so many rules when you’re trying to conceive. So many things to think about. Worry about. Do. Not do. Who can keep them all straight?

Be fit, but don’t workout too hard.
Well, that’s confusing. 

Don’t overheat. Sauna’s, hot tubs, hot yoga = bad.
They are? So long Y7.

Pretend you’re already pregnant. No drinking. No coffee. Why risk it?
Sounds simple, right? Well, not when you love a glass of wine or look forward to your morning cup of joe, and have been “pretending” to be pregnant for THREE years. 

Soft cheeses are out. In fact, dairy should be put to a minimum.
Take my heart but not my cheese.

Prenatal Vitamins are a must, but watch-out for Folic Acid, the synthetic version of Folate (which is natural, i.e. BETTER). Say “yes” to lean meats, berries and whole grains.
So are bagels in or out? Someone just TELL ME.

And the lists go on. Conflicting articles, conflicting messages, conflicting opinions. So many, that it gets hard to know what to do and what not to do.  Now, please don’t take this the wrong way. I, like all of you, would do ANYTHING for my baby when it starts cooking. The struggle is all the worrying before the cooking begins. Because if you are a worrier – like myself – you understand what it feels like to second-guess every little thing you do, only to cramp-up and bleed anyway. Which in my experience, is an even bigger let down when you’ve been “playing pregnant” for two weeks.

When you’ve spent two weeks out of every month thinking, Well, I could be…so maybe I shouldn’t xyz, there will come a point where you just can’t take it anymore. If you haven’t reached that point yet, I commend you. You are stronger than I. But promise us, the women who have, that you will not get down on yourself when you do. Because it’d be nearly impossible not to.

Let me put it into perspective. We’ve been “trying” for approximately 40+ months. That’s a long fucking time. Some of you, I know, have been trying much longer than that. And it blows. Pure and simple. I’m sorry you are and have been going through this.

Over the past three years, I’ve had months where I limit exercise and months where I haven’t. Where I’ve drank and where I’ve abstained. Where I’ve eaten something raw, and times where I’ve avoided anything that once lived in water.

Even last night, I went to dinner with my girlfriends and we had sushi. It was amazing. The company, the food, everything. We kicked off the night like many girls nights do by ordering cocktails. Now this month, I have no reason to believe that I could be pregnant. With IVF around the corner and our medicines already ordered, my husband and I took needed time off from timed intercourse. There was sex, but not on a clock. And yet, there I was, about to order the Mashiati something or another (that was delicious by the way) and that common worry set it. But what if I am? 

The what if’s will crucify us if we let them, but how do we stop?

Some women are able to play it safe all the time. But some of us are not. It’s hard to change your lifestyle completely on the terms of what if. So in an effort to not feel so alone in this…Can we try and be less hard on ourselves when we’re already putting our bodies through the ringer?

I’ve read the message boards. All of them. And I know that people are divided on this topic, swinging in the category of why risk it? Or the everything’s “okay” until you test positive crowd. But can’t it be okay to be unsure? To know that on an assisted IVF or IUI cycle I’ll cut everything out that could be harmful and that on a natural cycle I may not?

In a way, I’ve come to hate those forums. They’re flooded with countless opinions and limited questions answered. No one is looking for additional shamers. Don’t you think we’re already hard enough on ourselves?

So can we just promise to remind one another to relax? Eat the cheese. Do the workout. Do what feels right to you. Stop judging others in your shoes. And promise to make ALL necessary changes when you see those glorious two lines on a test?

I’m IN. Are you?

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