What to Expect When You are Not Expecting

My adventure of getting pregnant over 35 starting with clomid

What if? September 1, 2010

I feel like the guinea pig of natural products and home remedies for pregnancy related issues.  I will try anything.   I must tell you that a lot of them are just not working for me.  When I found out I was pregnant at thirty seven I knew that I was already at increased risk for genetic issues just because of my age and wanted to try to keep things as basic and as natural as possible.   We are so fortunate that thus far all of our genetic screening has come back positive- so far so good.  Unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone.  I  have a family member who is autistic that has really given me a different perspective.  Her family has some very strong beliefs on diet and vaccines and shared a lot of information with me that I had previously been unaware of.  I know that there are a lot of controversial theories out there and even though I am not sure where I stand on all of them it is definitely on my radar screen because I am in a high risk category.   There does seem to be a common opinion that there are an increased number of children diagnosed with it.  Even though I am not certain, I don’t take any of the information lightly when thinking about my pregnancy and how I want to raise my own children.

What I have found out is that there is no right answer.  There aren’t a lot of facts because women do not want to sign up for scientific studies when they are pregnant- no one wants to put their pregnancy at risk- so a lot of research is done on animals and what is “considered” to be safe and what should be avoided is not absolute.  Personally I am a  “what iffer”.  Tylenol is considered safe- but what if it isn’t?  High fructose corn syrup and unnatural sweeteners like aspartame are said to be safe by most- but what if it isn’t?  Benedryl was once considered not safe but now is…but what if it really isn’t? Many holistic practitioners would recommend otherwise.  The information is so confusing!  I mean my god it was once acceptable to drink and smoke when you were pregnant!  I think every expectant woman and mother needs to do what she is comfortable with and that is the right thing to do.   For me I am trying to find a balance.  Do I eat everything organic?  No.  (wish)-  do I have high fructose corn syrup from time to time?  Yes but I try to avoid it.   Will I take a sip of a diet coke every once in greatwhile-  sure but no more.  In the case of medication I am not there yet- I am scared to ingest anything other than my PNVs-  Tylenol, prescription pills, herbs you name it.   I may be making this pregnancy harder than it needs to be in dealing with these maladies…but I just keep thinking what if?  I can deal with a lot to keep this baby healthy.  I realize that I am the extreme and am totally ok with it.  I figure though that I should use some of my crazy for good and put the word out on some of the products and remedies that I have tried during the second trimester so far:

  1. Burt’s Bees- Sun block and After Sun-  – not so much-  they seemed to work as a sunscreen but would not absorb into the skin.   Acne solution did not work for me at all.  Hand Cream-  smell you later-  not really a fan of any of these products- wish I was because they are everywhere!
  2. Yoga – Helps with back pain, and relaxation.  Would recommend Yoga for Pregnancy DVD but hey I started out already enjoying yoga.
  3. Jane Iredale –  Cleansing Mitt-  Sucksville.  Their claim- it is supposed to clean your skin without soap and thus no chemicals.  The fact- I tried this for a few days and immediately broke out.  Say hello to the new heater on my chin!  It is also hard to get the make up off the mitt.  The solution- it does remove make up effectively so I think I am going to use it for that only but not regularly.
  4. Simply Divine Botanicals- Amazing.  Their claim- chemical free skincare- The fact- ingredients are natural and they work.   I have oily skin and use the following:  You Can’t Zit Here – AM and PM- Pack Your Bags- Skincredible (daily)- Baby Face- every other night.   I will use these long after I am pregnant.
  5. Moroccan Method Shampoo and Conditioner- hates it- it was like washing my hair with dirt.  It did not feel cleaned or conditioned afterward and took forever to dry.   It left my hair stringy and not very manageable.  I am so glad I got the samples only- because I will not use these products again.   The conditioning spray was ok but not great.  I am sticking with ABBA- still a few chemies but vegan and much more accessible- you can get it at Ulta.
  6. Bare Escentuals Vs Jane Iredale Make Up-  I have now used both products and don’t really notice a big difference in the foundations except the Jane is much more expensive.    Jane Iredale Lip Gloss however is amazing and lasts a lot longer than BE that is a keeper.
  7. Avalon Organic Soap- has some chemies but still gives a lather and smells good.  I will continue using this until I find something better- available at Trader Joes and Whole Foods and not too expensive.
  8. Salt water rinse – supposed to help with bleeding gums and sore throat- been doing this the last few days….seems to help a little but not a cure- will continue and keep you updated.

So what works for you?  Tell me the good the bad and the ugly – anything helped you with stretch marks or what about the god awful swelling I keep hearing so much about?  I would love to hear any suggestions from real people- not the paid advertisements I read online all day- what is the skinny?


The joys of pregnancy! August 9, 2010

It is Monday and I still have the achy breaky headache.  Should I call the doctor?   It isn’t horrible right now just mild but present.  I don’t really have any other symptoms except some back pain which I often get from time to time.  According to my research, headaches during pregnancy are often from stress or I could have a sinus infection.  That could explain my slightly sore throat.    The suggestion is to try all the homeopathic cures and if it is still bad and there is no relief to call the doctor.   I am excited to share that one of the suggestions is to get a message.  Hello I love this-  I love massages and although I don’t think I am any more “stressed” than the next person I feel it is only necessary that I try this before calling the doctor.   If I feel up to it afterwards I may even try my pre-natal yoga DVD.  Pregnancy positive number one- an excuse for yoga and massages!  Holla!

I experienced another one of the joys of pregnancy this weekend.  Pregnancy positive number two- women who have been pregnant before are extremely empathetic and do not expect you to lift a finger in their presence.  I sort of love this.  I attended two parties this weekend and how gracious were my hostesses- they literally would not let me do anything.   Since my head was still in explode mode I loved this but I hate not helping people so a little bittersweet.  First off was a family party at my mother in law’s (MIL) house.  It was a birthday party for my niece but I felt definitely felt like a VIP guest.  They had special water for me, and wouldn’t let me do anything.  It was so nice!  I also went to a BBQ at my girlfriends and she was such a doll- supplying me with water and lemons and totally looking out for me.  My single and newly married sans kids friends….not so much.  I also got a call from a cousin of mine that seriously hasn’t called me since we were in the second grade.  I was quite surprised to hear from her since she never acknowledged my wedding.  When I say didn’t acknowledge I mean never sent in a response card, sent a gift, congratulated me when I saw her in person nothing.   Yet I am pregnant and get a call- it was such an unexpected and nice gesture.   Is there a motherhood sorority that I apparently didn’t know about before?   Am I rushing Mamma mamma gram?  I will do my best to uphold the sanctity of motherhood- I like it!

Like always I think I may have once again made a borderline inappropriate comment.   I always have good intentions that sometimes just get lost in the delivery.  To give some color on my girlfriends we are all between the ages of 36-38.  Most of us married, some with kids , me prego.   Since we elected for genetic screening I learned so much about the Down Syndrome odds and really wish I had known more about them.  There are so many publicized pregnancies of women over forty that I think there is perception that there really aren’t any additional risks as you get older.   No one ever talks about that.  I know that I was under that impression until now.  Had we known what we know now we would have began trying for a family much earlier than we did- period.  Yesterday at the BBQ we were talking about how we planned on having another child as soon as we possibly could after this one.  I didn’t want to sound preachy or scare the girls but wanted to be honest about what I learned and told them how it is kind of a myth that there aren’t risks getting pregnant over 35 and how after going to the genetic counseling we learned that your risks double every year over 35.  I really hope that I didn’t scare or offend anyone in the room because it wasn’t my intention; I was just hoping they could benefit from what I have learned and at least be able to make informed decisions.  I didn’t say “you guys need to get started now”   or anything like that, it was more of a we learned that there really are risks and want have our family as quickly as possible because of the risks associated with it.  The conversation was clearly a little uncomfortable and I wonder -Should I once again just shut the hell up?   Did I cross the line of becoming a preachy know it all or was I a helpful friend?


Mocktail anyone? June 14, 2010

We are six weeks today.  Our bebes are the size of peas and have little heart beats which isn’t audible yet but it is there!  So fun! One week away from our 7 week sonogram and when we will tell people.  Might I just say that I am a little apprehensive about spreading the word?   I really need to take a moment to vent.   Hubby and I decided that we would each tell one person.  I made the fool mistake of telling one of my girlfriends.  I chose to tell her for two reasons.  1. Because she knew we were taking clomid and was texting me about results, I didn’t think I could have avoided her for a month without her asking.  2.  She is also pregnant and I thought this would be a great bond for us because our children would be the same grade in school and she would be super supportive.  She was really excited when I told on the phone but that was it.  I haven’t heard from her in a week.   Did she send me a text to see how I was doing or drop me a card in the mail? No nothing.  I sent her a card the day after she told me she was pregnant despite the trepidation I was feeling about it.  Am I expecting too much here?  I tend to have high expectations of people, but I must admit I am a little disappointed.  Shame on me though, I should have expected this, this is after all the same friend who never gave me a wedding present and didn’t call me for a month because she didn’t like the way I handled an incident involving my husband and a mutual acquaintance.  Whatever.  When will I learn?

We had a family get together yesterday and I was quite impressed that I fooled everyone into thinking I was drinking.  It is so easy when you are the hostess.  I made myself mocktails that looked just like drinks and even sipped on a glass of my non-alcoholic wine.  OMG the Fre Chardonnay was delish!  I totally felt like I was having a glass of real wine and the taste is amazing.  I am thinking about switching to that even after the pregnancy- who needs a hangover?  I was also excited because daytime is my best time and I didn’t get sick at all while people were over.  I find that if I eat every two hours during the day I feel good.  If I don’t I get light headed and woozy.   The worst time for me is at night.   I get soo nauseous and feel the worst then.  I definitely have early evening/night sickness and morning sickness.   I have a lot of consternation about all this eating.  I don’t want to be a whale and gain too much weight but if I don’t eat I get sick.   I try to have a snack before going to bed because I am less woozy in the morning that way.  Let me tell you that is hard!  I feel so awful at night that I am literally eating my way through sickness- talk about powering through! Oh vey!

I did yoga for 45 minutes yesterday so I am also wondering if that helped me with having such a good day.  I have set a goal is to walk or do yoga every or every other day for 30 to 40 minutes.  Walking really helps with the nausea and I am going to get some exercise in the process and yoga helps with my circulation and strength.  Since my schedule is so hectic and attending a class would be to challenging I can do both of these things on my own time.  On Demand has some great yoga workouts and I have various DVDs so there is no excuse.  I haven’t been that great about keeping a healthy regimen and now is the time.  Being healthy for my family and starting a solid routine now will be something that I can carry all through parenthood.   I want to set a good example and help my children to form healthy habits early on.   How can I do this if I am sitting on my fat duff all day?   Time to get to stepping!  Another health area I am researching is skin care products.  Since chemicals are absorbed through the skin I think during this pregnancy I am going to change up my products and go with organic and natural products both in what I eat and what I slather on.  I switched my entire make up regimen to Bare Essentials and my next task is skin care lines and baby rub it down and make it smooth like lotion!  Any recommendations?


Downward Dog May 17, 2010

So no surge yet.  I thought for sure it was coming today.  Hubby and I decided to get a jump start on our sexy time activities and start a day early in case it was a faulty predictor kit!  Good to get back into the saddle!  I took a long hot shower poured a glass of wine and then a little somethin somethin!  We are going to do it every other day for the next couple of weeks.   I have read conflicting stories on positions that can affect conception.  Some say doggy style, some say lady driver, some say it doesn’t matter.  I have also read that it is best to lay with bum propped on a pillow for fifteen minutes afterward to keep the man juice in.   Have you heard anything else?  We’ll try it! We are doing it all- it can’t hurt can it?

Also been trying to do some yoga this week as they say relaxation can help.  I totally get why clomid can make it harder.  I am trying so hard not to stress out because my hormones are going crazy and I find myself really emotional.  Everyone knows that emotions can be upsetting and bring on stress.  Doesn’t stress affect ovulation too?   I keep telling myself to keep everything in perspective and asked my hubby to be supportive if I fly off the handle at stupid things.  He has a hard time understanding out of control emotions but says he still support.  What a doll- he totally thinks I am crazy right now but for the love of the bebe is keeping his cool.  I am doing my yoga and spending a lot of time snuggling with my dogs.  Can we just say this weekend is for the dogs??


Stick It! May 13, 2010

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Another day….another pee stick. According to the instructions the best time to do my ovulation predictor kit is mid day.  For those of us working women that means a public restroom.   Could there be a more annoying place on the planet to take these tests?  Perhaps a port-o-potty!  I mean it’s not like you can come out of the stall and lay it on the counter wash your hands and wait.  Who wants their office or anyone else to know their business?  So how do you keep the thing flat for 3 minutes- in a public bathroom stall?  There is just no appropriate place to put it down.   Rather, I find myself with a conundrum- Do I squat for 5 minutes in heels?  Pull up the pants?  Make a tp seat and wait it out?  Does anyone have this one figured out?   Any ideas??  Normally- yesterday- I was able to wrap it in tp and shove it in my bag and hustle back to my office.  So how crazy is this, my husband and I work together and he likes to be involved in reading the results.  Today he had a lunch meeting so I did the balancing act that everyone else probably does and I had to discuss.  I found myself trying to balance on heels, pull up my pants all the while holding this stick flat.  I was totally unprepared in the stall- the long scarf (which was attached to my top) ended up in the pee water!  How fun that I even after my attempts to clean it- I had to wear it all day!!  I just took a mental shower just thinking about it!

I accomplished a few other baby making tasks today: A little wo-manscaping for in preparation for the surge, ordered a few yoga DVDs to keep me relaxed, and ate healthy meals.  I was also thinking about the term infertile.  I hate it and for some reason it the idea of it being associated with me is infuriating.  I don’t believe that I am infertile more impatient.  From what I have read conception works in mysterious ways and there are so many factors that can affect it.  I think what is the most natural contraception in the world has to be stress and I am trying to do whatever I can to keep it at bay.  So this impatient person is going to finish the day with a little candlelight yoga and a good night’s sleep as for my ovulation predictor- I guess I’ll stick a pin in it!