Thank you guys again for all of your advice and uplifting words/stories regarding fertility!

Despite the negativity and intermittent sadness, there are a lot of positive things that have come of this journey. It has been a major quest in finding myself and becoming more comfortable with my body. I have never really been comfortable with my body. I’m not talking about the “I think I’m fat” stuff. I’m talking about not believing in my own physical strength. Since I was a young girl, the smallest thing would convince me that I was sick or abnormal. I was in perfect health, but I was often preoccupied about what could happen to my body. Eventually, it all lead to my mind constantly telling my body I would have trouble having kids.

Since I have started on this fertility path, I have come across many other women who seem to share my fears and doubts. We are all convinced we can’t get pregnant for one reason or another. It can be “nice” to hear this, mainly because we don’t feel alone. But otherwise, think about how it also sets us up for heartache? If we all believe we can’t get pregnant, the ones that do, are basically… lucky? And the ones that don’t are…what? Doomed?

You either surge to the top of the “feel good” charts or you plummet to the depths of despair when most of the time we don’t actually know what’s going on.

I have been trying to break down my years of negative thinking about what my body can and cannot do, and choose to believe, FIRST and FOREMOST, that my body CAN do a lot. My body can make miracles (baby or otherwise) happen. It is so much stronger than I have given it credit for.

Secondly, I am constantly reading about fertility. I have been researching the heck out of everything I can get my hands on. Diet is such a huge part of all of this. Our exposure to toxins and “bad stuff” can be out of control. These toxins not only mess with our bodies, but can also cause hormonal imbalances which can affect fertility.

Some major changes I have implemented so far:

1) Switched from bottled water to filtered water. I used to drink any and all bottled water like a mad woman. I *thought* I was doing a good job. Now I know better.

2) Increased my daily intake of fruits and veggies. Leafy greens are super important. Since I am terrible about eating veggies, the easiest thing for me is to make sure I have a big salad at dinner. We buy a huge bin of spring mix at Trader Joe’s and eat it all week. I’m not going to lie; sometimes I have to force it down while plugging my nose. I’m dramatic.

3) Decreased my intake of chicken and red meat. When I do eat chicken and meat, I try my best to eat/buy organic.

4) Decreased my fast food. BIG time. This one is pretty self-explanatory.

5) Increased my intake of green tea. I am not sure if this one helps much with fertility, but it seems to soothe me.

6) Take a pre-natal vitamin daily.

7) Take an iron supplement daily prescribed by my doctor (I’m anemic).

This is just a short list of improvements. My diet is definitely not perfect. I know I should be working harder at being gluten-free. Hopefully I can tackle that next!

One last thing, before I end this version of “Fertility Fine Tuning” is I think every woman can benefit from possessing a good understanding of her menstrual cycle.

Do I sound like your 10th grade health teacher?

Seriously though, I have learned so much about what my body goes through each and every month. I am really embarrassed to admit this, but until about a year ago, I didn’t even know exactly when a woman could and could not get pregnant. There I said it. I just kinda guestimated when it came to those types of things.

Now I am learning to be more aware, and I feel really empowered by that.

Anyone else want to share tips about preparing your body for fertility? Or if you’re not TTC, how about tips on how to be a healthy woman today?

January 20, 2011

thelessthandomesticgoddess

9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Pink

    January 18, 2011

    Carly, thanks for showing us an example of changing something negative into a positive, especially with an issue that can be difficult for many women to talk about. In terms of lifestyle, I am trying to 1) eat a balanced diet, 2) get regular exercise, 3) get enough (good) sleep, and 4) cut down on alcohol and caffeine. I hope you'll do a follow up post on any good and informative websites you and your readers have found! Yay for empowerment!

  2. Reply

    AmyJean {Relentless Bride}

    January 18, 2011

    I really appreciate your honesty about such a tough and private matter. I'm struggling with my own transparency on my blog with my personal issues and wanted to let you know that you are constantly inspiring.

    I think all the positive that comes out of your preparation for your impending baby is awesome… One quick question, has your husband also been doing any thing to prepare? and if so, would you mind sharing?

    🙂

  3. Reply

    Jen @ Living a Brighter Life

    January 18, 2011

    Thanks so much for this post! I'm one of those people who has thought I would have trouble trying to conceive from the time I was a teenager. I'm really trying to change that now as The Hubs and I are about to start TTC.

    I also had very little knowledge until a couple of days ago when I read how conception really happens. I think it is crazy that there is such a small window of opportunity for everything to line up just right!

  4. Reply

    -J.Darling

    January 18, 2011

    Stress also plays a HUGE part – probably the largest! I love that you listed Tea as something you're doing that is healthy for you.

    Having been in the "unable to concieve, my body is defective" world, I can tell you something that really helped me.

    Get a hobby – a physical one. Do something you don't think you can do. A friend convinced me to do a women's only Sprint Triathlon, and it truly changed my life. I realized that I've been short changing myself (body, mind, and spirit) for far too long. I finished. I wasn't last, but I was in the tail end of the group. But I didn't care, because I finished.

    Think of it this way – if you do something you don't think you can do, you'll have an amazing bit of wisdom to impart to your child that the sky really IS the limit.

  5. Reply

    honey my heart

    January 18, 2011

    i'm still not at the ttc point, but know that there is a lot to learn before i get there. your openness about your story is quite helpful in getting me to think of what could come and keeping my health in mind. thanks for posting the list of healthy lifestyle changes. i need to implement more of those into my daily life.

    ps green tea is like my zen 🙂

  6. Reply

    Mo

    January 18, 2011

    Good for you Carly!
    I'm a bad example of being healthy because lately I eat anything in sight and just barely manage to make it to the gym a few times a week. At my best, I was eating lots of greens, yogurt, and whole grains and running 2-3 miles 4-5 times a week. Um, and then grad school started, heh.

    I am so glad learning more has empowered you. ::hug::

    PS: What is ttc? See, I'm 99% sure I am more clueless than you ever were about pregnancy!

  7. Reply

    Krista

    January 19, 2011

    i try to be healthy, but i view food differently than you. and i don't buy into the gluten free trend for all – it works for some people (including a friend of mine!) but i don't believe that gluten is bad for most people. i don't eat meat (seafood excepted) now, but when i did, i didn't worry about hormones / chemicals much. in canada, less hormones are in use, reducing exposure. but i think your philosophy towards food is GREAT! and taking a pre-natal multivitamin and having tea – GREAT! Anything relaxing (like tea) is good for you – and as a bonus, green tea is filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants, as are fruits and veggies!

  8. Reply

    thelessthandomesticgoddess

    January 21, 2011

    @Pink: Good idea! I think I will write a follow up post with resources/info I have found along the way. And I agree – getting good sleep is SO essential!

    @Amy: L has been doing a few things to work on his own health. Mostly basic improvements: better diet, exercise, and taking a multi-vitamin. I have found this website to be quite helpful, too: http://infertility.health-info.org/natural-fertility-conception/natural-fertility-conception-home.html. There is a tab at the top called "Improving Sperm Quality." Check it out.

    @Jen: I know! Can you believe that? To think if younger sexually active people knew that. The home pregnancy test industry would be in the crapper 😉

    @J. Darling: Thank you so much for the suggestions! I am so encouraged and inspired by your journey and what you have done to stay physically fit. Keep it up 🙂

    @honey my heart: It's never too early to start! Isn't green tea the best? Love it.

    @Mo: Thanks, Mo! TTC = trying to conceive 🙂

    @Krista: Yeah, I'm still figuring out if gluten free is right for me or not. Fertility folks have been talking about it a lot. We'll see. The food in Canada sounds much healthier than the U.S.!

  9. Reply

    Nellie

    January 24, 2011

    I'm not TTC yet, but I really appreciate your words on acceptance. I've recently realized how uncomfortable I am in my own skin. I also don't think I'm fat, but I do think I look too young. I am too short. I am too this, I am too that, and I not enough. Constantly telling myself that I'm not enough is exhausting. It's really debilitating. Thanks for speaking these words.

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