Sounds good, doesn’t it? Like it would be yellow and pretty and smell yummy. Wrong. It’s kind of nutty and very bitter and resembles coffee in color more than chamomile tea. But it is one of many things I’m changing lately to try to have only healthy things flowing through my body.
We have all but decided to go forward with IVF and have a tentative start date of December 31st. (Yay, shots, happy new year!) We would begin initial meds (birth control, which is so odd for any infertile woman to take) mid-December and stimulation would start the last day of 2012. I hear the stimulation phase is the most intensive of the IVF process from a time and attention perspective, including shots a few times a day to stimulate your body to grow lots of follicles and every other day ultrasounds to monitor their progress. This growing and watching leads up to a shot triggering the ovaries to release the eggs, retrieval surgery to get those puppies out, fertilizing them, letting them grow in the incubators, and transferring back in 3-5 days. That’s IVF in a nutshell. Oh, and the two week wait before finding out if it all worked.
It feels exciting to be moving toward beginning but also scary. Obviously we’re wanting to do all we can to create a baby-friendly environment, hence the dandelion root. I have to admit that it can feel very depriving and borderline masochistic to do all of these things. But as my co-worker recently reminded me about scaling back with work hours, all mothers have to make sacrifices for their children and I’m just getting an early start. This angle actually does help me a good bit, legitimizing and encouraging me forward in these decisions.
So, what I’m doing lately:
- Eliminating processed foods, including diet coke (gasp)
- Cutting way back (if not out) dairy, sugar, and soy to prevent inflammation and hormonal spikes/imbalances
- Dandelion root tea and/or drops 3x/day and warm lemon water every morning for liver cleansing
- Udo’s Omega-3 oil blend, vegetarian source of DHA (also ick)
- Being a good girl with drinking lots of water
As a vegetarian I’m used to having a limited diet, but adding these changes on top of that was beginning to feel overly restrictive and, enter feeling sorry for myself. But I’m beginning to, instead, focus on being creative with all that remains — which, in reality, is most really good things. If I were doing that Thanksgiving gratitude-a-day thing on Facebook I would say: Whole Foods iPhone App. I’ve gotten some inspiring recipes on there and it’s helpful to view my market trips as time to stock up on good things to build up and nurture my body. Mmmm, seltzer water. Who needs diet coke? Okay, fake it ’til you make it.
So as we’re looking to jump on the IVF track here in a couple weeks I’m yet again struggling a bit with the balance between doing my part in it all and yet acknowledging that I can’t control this process. I’ve even wondered if we should postpone IVF until threeish months after I’ve consistently implemented all of these changes because what goes in my body now affects eggs that will be ovulated in three months. But then I step back and wonder about all of the people out there who make terrible health decisions, abuse substances, live on doritos and are still pregnant. These things help but are they enough on their own? No. Dandelion root can’t create life. Omega-3s can’t create life. I’m praying for an accurate perspective right now.
I also don’t want to get in a position of blaming myself or putting all of the pressure on me to perform just right in order to become pregnant. As I’ve said many times before, a baby is not something I can earn or make happen for myself. I would have done it by now. The parallels with God’s grace really can’t be overlooked here. I couldn’t make Him love me or earn my way into a relationship with Him. It’s just a gift. I don’t know how all of that works and applies in this situation with a failing body, but I do want to remind myself that He gave me that best gift already and that He is the same God I’m crying out to hundreds of times a day now. He is a God who hears and I have seen that before.
In the meantime, in all the waiting and the hard work, I’m taking pleasure in the small things, like the holiday with family, the Christmas tree being up, a fire in the fireplace, and my amazing new fuzzy slippers.