Commitment Issues

thYup. I said it. I have commitment issues. I absolutely cannot commit to anything that I’ve been told to do that might help me get pregnant. I know it sounds absurd. Of course I would do anything and everything to increase my chances of providing a sibling for my beautiful boy, but I honestly just call bullshit on the whole thing. I cannot convince myself that anything will work and so I can’t stick with any plan that I’ve laid down for myself.

Diet:

“A low carb, low calorie, high protein diet is the best diet for trying to conceive. It will definitely increase your chances of getting pregnant.” That’s what the NP at my reproductive office said as she filled out my referral form for the office nutritionist. I wholeheartedly believed her in that moment. I’ve seen the success stories resulting from a diet change and subsequent weight loss. I was an avid follower of the keto diet and saw hundreds of testimonies of women that tried for a baby for so long and were finally blessed with a “keto-baby” less than 6 months after starting the diet. I, too, wanted to be one of those success stories. So I went to the store and spent $200 on meat and veggies and low carb snacks. I was ready to commit. Two days later, my husband came home to me laying in bed chowing down on my son’s chocolate chip mini muffins and washing it down with a big ole glass of chocolate milk.

Why? Why did I give in to temptation? It’s because I can’t sustain this belief beyond a few days. There are just too many other facts rolling around in my head making me question the validity of the statement. Yes. I know that being at a healthy weight will make for an easier and safer pregnancy. But low carb, high protein being the key to pregnancy success… What about teenagers? They get pregnant one night in the back of a car when the condom breaks or on the one night stand where they forgot to use protection. There are no OPK’s and ovulation tracking apps being used. It’s just by chance that it happens. Do you remember what your diet looked like as a teenager? I know my diet of chicken fingers, mac n cheese, and pizza would never be viewed as ideal pregnancy intake. And then there’s my best friend. She just delivered another beautiful baby girl 1 month ago. She basically gets pregnant just looking at her husband. Her diet consists of bagels, pizza, and mashed potatoes. This is not an exaggeration. This was the food they served at her wedding because it’s basically all she eats.

This is why I can’t commit.

Medications:

“Be careful of certain medications that can limit fertility.” We’ve all been told this before. I tapered off of my anxiety medication way back in August to see if that was having an effect on my ability to get pregnant. I refused Versed for a surgery I had a few months back because I wasn’t sure what kind of effects it might have on my chance of getting pregnant that month. When I have a headache, I refuse to take ibuprofen just in case it causes my uterine lining to bleed and affect implantation of the embryo. Seriously…IBUPROFEN? What about Heroin? Any concerns there? Because I have taken care of plenty of heroin addicted babies and children born to methadone using moms. These women are on their 4th, 5th, or 8th pregnancy in a 2 year span! Obviously, these medications are not affecting fertility at all. They aren’t even taking pre-natal vitamins (which I’ve been on for 10 years to make sure I was covered if a pregnancy occurred spontaneously) or getting pre-natal care. Yet they carry babies to term and deliver (although drug addicted) relatively healthy babies. It really makes no sense to me!

This is why I can’t commit.

Toxins:

“Limit your exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals, especially those found in cleaning supplies in your house.” Ooooh! Maybe thats it? I can’t get pregnant because I use 409 to wipe down my counters after my husband cuts up raw chicken and spills blood everywhere. OK! I switched all of my cleaning supplies to organic. I am researching and purchasing essential oils so I can use them in place of  laundry detergent and medications. I want my home and surroundings to be as free of toxins as possible. Buttt then something happens that makes me again question the advice I am getting. This nurse that I work with was talking about how she adds bleach to the sink when she washes her dishes. Like actual bleach! BLEACH that is now on her dishes that she serves food on. Guess what? She’s pregnant with her 5th baby. She is one of 8 children. And her mom is one of 9 children. All of the women in her family clean with pure bleach. All of the women in her family are baby making machines!

I used to work in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at the hospital. That is the job I had when I conceived and carried my son. We conceived naturally and I had an extremely normal pregnancy. I’ve read countless articles about the questionable safety of being a PACU nurse. There has always been concern about the anesthetic gasses that are exhaled by the patients immediately post-op and therefore inhaled by the healthcare workers. Apparently my body (and those of all my PACU co-workers) thrives on the inhalation of gasses when attempting to conceive. Because now, I am safely tucked away in an office, 3 floors above the PACU, completely removed from all that harmful gas, but I am not pregnant am I?

This is why I can’t commit.

Stress:

“You have to reduce your stress levels. High cortisol levels will decrease your chances of conceiving. Stop worrying so much and just relax. It will happen.” Ugh! The dreaded “it’ll happen when you’re not expecting it” advice coupled with the “just relax…” idea. Do you know how impossible it is to stop stressing about something that is as important to you as growing your family? You can’t. And honestly I don’t buy the whole low stress thing as a whole. I mean sure, as a nurse, I know what high cortisol can do to the body. I’ve read articles and blogs of women who switched careers or quit high stress jobs and got pregnant that very next month. But I just can’t support it 100%.

Problem 1… I have the lowest stress job ever! I am an assistant nurse manager. I am not at the bedside taking care of sick and dying patients. I am not the manager that has the stress of everything resting on their shoulders. I’m just the assistant. I make my own schedule. I’m salaried, so if I’m running late it’s all good. I can just stay late to make up the hours. I don’t work long overnight shifts or 10 shifts in a row. My situation is a dream. Especially compared to the demands of my PACU staff nurse position that I held when I conceived my son. Now that was stressful. Getting yelled at by surgeons every day. Having patients try to punch you in the face when they come out of anesthesia scared and confused. It was rough. Apparently my uterus preferred that job over my low stress career choice.

Problem 2… I have a friend who has 4 children and found out her husband was cheating on her and planned to leave her. She had to put her children in daycare and find a job ASAP. One night while attempting to “de-stress” by going out with some work friends, she made the decision to move on in the form of a one night stand. 6 weeks later… BFP! Really? Really? I’m using OPK’s, temping, and having timed intercourse here and can’t get pregnant. But an ill-timed tryst with a random guy… BOOM! Pregnant.

This is why I can’t commit.

Alcohol:

“Limit alcohol intake when trying to conceive… it will help maintain a healthy environment for you and it will increase your husbands sperm count.” Uh huh. I tried. I really tried with this one. For 3 months my husband and I basically swore off alcohol. We didn’t even go to places where alcohol would be lest we smell it and get drunk by osmosis. Ok. We didn’t go that far. But seriously we did not have a single drink in 3 months. Do you know what we got for it? Absolutely nothing. Actually, I’m pretty sure my cortisol levels were higher than ever without my weekly ritual of a bubble bath, candles, and white wine while reading a good book. So that can’t be good.

But if you’re the type that needs scientific proof… I got that for you. We did IUI this month and last month. My husbands sperm count prior to starting fertility treatments was borderline low, but we were mostly concerned about his motility and morphology. Since starting the treatments…aka stopping alcohol consumption… he has had his lowest sperm count to date. It seems like the longer he goes without a beer the less his sperm feel like doing their job. Perhaps, they have banned together in a sperm union and decided they would no longer work if we don’t bring back happy hour at the end of a long day. I mean seriously people… his last count at my IUI 3 days ago…1.2 million! Thats it. 1.2 MILLION! The doctor said have faith… “it only takes one.” I barely heard the rest of the conversation because I was on  my phone mapping out which vineyard we were stopping at on the way home.

F*** alcohol reduction. If a college girl can get knocked up at a party on 4th of July weekend after a 4 day tequila binge than I think my husband and I having 1-2 drinks per week is going to be a-ok!

This is why I can’t commit.

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