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My Guide to Getting Pregnant

11 Dec

That title may seem a little silly to some. You may be thinking “How to get pregnant? Hmm. Have sex?” But for too many women simply having sex is not enough.

We tried for 14 months and did everything imaginable to conceive our son so, while I’m not a doctor, I’m pretty sure I could teach a class on fertility and the female body. I’d like to share with you what I know.

Step 1: Pray

Pray like mad and do it early. Before you even begin trying for a baby make your way closer to God. Give Him your heart and ask Him for that baby. The Bible says “you have not because you ask not.” Of course, I’m not in any way saying that if you pray for a baby it will happen automatically. God doesn’t work that way. We were made to serve Him not the other way around. But make your petition known.

Step 2: Make Love

Obviously sex is required. Just do it! There’s no need to have sex every single day. In fact, if your spouse has a low sperm count this is counterproductive. Every 2-3 days is plenty. Sperm can live for several days in there. Ladies, don’t let sex become a chore or a burden and don’t forget about your husband. When you are trying to get pregnant, it’s easy to let love making turn into “just sex”. Keep it romantic. Make your spouse number one. Aim to first love him and put everything else behind that. It’s okay to plan sex around ovulation but don’t dwell on that. If hubby doesn’t want to know, don’t tell him. Trust me, you will have more fun trying and everyone will be a bit less stressed.

Step 3: Get to Know Your Body: OPKs and BBT

So it’s been several months and “just having sex” isn’t really working. Now’s time to pull out the big guns.

What is an OPK? It’s a test (very similar to a pregnancy test) that predicts ovulation by detecting and measuring the amount of lutenizing hormone (or LH) in the body. This hormone is responsible for signaling the follicles in the ovaries to release eggs. The successful release of mature eggs is ovulation so the dectection of a LH surge typically means ovulation will occur in roughly 12-48 hours

BBT stands for basal body temperature and this is the only way (other than an ultrasound or blood work) to confirm that ovulation has occurred. OPKs are great for predicting ovulation but they aren’t fool proof. Sometimes your body can gear up to ovulate and fail causing a positive OPK but no ovulation. This is why OPKs and BBT are best used together. To measure your BBT you need a BBT thermometer. That’s it. All you need to do is take your temperature every morning at the same time before getting out of bed or moving around. A sustained spike in BBT confirms ovulation. Combine OPKs and BBT with charting and you may learn a lot about your body. God created us very intricately and our bodies are so amazing! For more information on charting and tracking BBT go to http://www.fertilityfriend.com

By using these tools you can determine if you are ovulating each month.

Step 4: Make an Appointment

If you have confirmed that you are ovulating each month, are using OPKs and BBT to time intercourse, and still haven’t gotten pregnant within a year, it’s time to see a doctor. Remember, it can take an average, healthy couple up to a year to conceive so patience is important. Don’t jump the gun. Likewise, if you have confirmed that you are not ovulating at all or are ovulating irregularly go ahead and make an appointment. You do not need to wait a year in this case.

Your OB GYN will be able to run some tests and do an ultrasound in an attempt to diagnose the problem. Don’t forget about hubby. He should have some blood work and a semen analysis done as well.

Depending on the diagnosis, switching to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist) may be necessary. There are several options from here including fertility drugs, IUI, or IVF.

More things to try:

Good health is essential. Start taking prenatal vitamins, get some exercise, and think about your diet. Many fertility problems are caused by poor health.

Ask your doctor about natural supplements to help with fertility.

Mental health is important as well. Pray, do yoga, or meditate.

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My very first noticeably positive test 🙂 That photo was taken at 11 days post ovulation/12 days post trigger shot. It was our 14th month actively trying and our very first cycle with a RE. We used Clomid.

Please feel free to ask me questions about my journey. I will help the best I can.

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Fluffy Butts

26 Nov

While I was pregnant with my son, I started looking into cloth diapering. Unfortunately I didn’t look long. I immediately jumped to the (wrong) conclusion that cloth diapering was icky and hard. Afterall, we had a stack of disposables from our baby shower that resembled the Eiffel Tower. Low and behold, when Silas was about 5 months old my disposable diaper stash began to disappear and new packs were costing us a pretty penny. So I decided to give cloth diapering a go one more time.

As you know I love to do, I did a little research. Man, was I overwhelmed at first. Did you know there’s a billion ways to cloth diaper?! Well maybe not a billion but several. You can use prefolds, flats, even flour sack towels and a cover or a pocket, a fitted, a hybrid, an all in one, or an all in two. You can choose insert options such as microfiber, bamboo, charcoal bamboo, hemp, or something mysterious called zorb. That’s a lot for a gal to take in. I’m not going to even attempt to explain the differences to you but I’ll post some helpful links at the bottom of this post. All I know is I’m a pocket with a cbi fan.

What’s so awesome about cloth diapering? Well obviously it saves money. Most families save upwards of $1,000 a child! But it’s also good for the environment. Did you know it takes a disposable diaper 250-500 years to completely decompose in our landfills?! Yikes. And it’s better for your baby. No harsh chemicals.

Is cloth diapering hard? Honestly its not. Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as convenient as disposables but it is no where near as difficult as I’d imagined. In fact, its pretty easy, just a few extra loads of laundry and a slightly bulkier diaper bag. What about the poop? That was my main concern. The poop isn’t so bad either. If my son has a poopy I just clean him up like normal then take the diaper to the toilet, shake off the solid stuff, then spray off the diaper (with my shower sprayer but eventually I’m getting a diaper sprayer lol), and toss in the wet bag til laundry time. Pretty simple.

I love cloth diapering! And my son’s fluffy tooshie is so cute!

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Link as promised:
Types of Cloth Diapers

Check out Diaper Junction for all your cloth diapering needs. Click the pic below to go there NOW 🙂

Wear All the Babies

20 Nov

Isaiah 40:11 KJV

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Just as Jesus carries his children, so will I carry mine.

When I was pregnant I did a lot of research. A whole lot. Like a ton. I spent hours on mommy forums reading about everything from cloth diapering to sleep training. It was then and there that I discovered babywearing. I have to admit I wasn’t sold at first but the more I looked in to the more I fell in love with all the beautiful carriers. So what did I do? You guessed it, I did my research. I am by no means a professional babywearer but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t totally obsessed at this point. So I’d like to share with you what I know. I would encourage you to do some more research. You may just find yourself a little infatuated as well.

First things first, what is babywearing? Babywearing is simply wearing your child in a carrier on your body. It allows you to both keep your little ones close AND be handsfree to do all your mommy-wife duties.

What are the benefits? As I already mentioned it is a great way to be handsfree and get things done while simultaneously bonding with your baby. Need more convincing? Studies have shown that babies who are worn cry less than babies who are not. Coincidentally, worn babies may have more time to calmly study their surroundings and actually have higher IQs. I can’t prove or debunk this but seriously, look it up. Babywearing is great for discreetly breastfeeding in public, easier than maneuvering a stroller in and out of crowds AND there are some pretty rockin carriers out there. Also, and this is pure hearsay, I’ve heard that babywearing strengthens baby’s back and neck muscles. Maybe its pure coincidence but my son rolled over at 11 weeks, sat up and crawled at 5 months, and is now pulling up at 6 months.

As far as types of carriers, you have plenty of options.

Types of Carriers

Narrow based (“Crotch Dangler”) – The most common type of carrier (BUT LEAST RECCOMENDED) is a narrow-based, or as some like to call them, “crotch dangler” carrier such as a Baby Bjorn or Snugli. There’s tons of myths floating around out there about these, but also a lot of truth. Contrary to popular belief, these carriers WILL NOT cause hip dysplasia. They CAN however exacerbate an already existing condition. My son’s pediatrician checks his hips at every appointment. I assume this is routine and, if so, you probably are aware if your child has hip dysplasia. If you do have a child with hip dysplasia you should avoid this type of carrier. If your child has normally developing hips, “crotch danglers” are safe but NOT ideal. Another concern with this type of carrier is the overstimulation front facing can cause. The best positioning for baby when wearing is facing mom, in a seated position, with carrier knee to knee and knees above bum similar to the shape of the letter M.

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Ergonomic Options

Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) – carrier with straps and buckles such as an Ergo, Boba, or Tula. These are easy (once you get the hang of it) and quick. You can use them on the front, back, and sometimes hip.

Mei tai – similar in structure to a SSC but instead of buckles you have long ties that wrap around your’s and baby’s bodies. If you are looking for a budget friendly option Infantino makes an awesome mei tai for around $30.

Ring sling – a long piece of fabric with rings attached to one end. You place the rings over one shoulder then thread the other end of the fabric through the rings to make a sling.

Woven Wrap – in my own opinion, the best but most intimidating carrier. Ironinically these have the simplest form (just one long peice of fabric) but are the most difficult to learn how to use. It can be a bit overwhelming at first with all the brands (Girasol, Natibaby, Kokadi, Dolcino, etc.), sizes, and carry options. Don’t let this scare you off. It may take a bit of practice but once you learn how to wrap you’ll never go back. There’s almost infinate possibilities for wrapping: front carries, back carries, hip carries, carries for everything! Color and pattern options are also nearly limitless (some women collect wraps like others collect shoes). If you need a tutorial, check out Babywearing Faith on YouTube. She’s awesome!

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My small but lovely stash 🙂

How do I babywear safely?

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Check out some of the carriers available at Diaper Junction (click the image below to go there now!)

Link

Get Involved with Infertility Awareness

9 Jul

Get Involved with Infertility Awareness

Let’s Get This Ball Rolling

8 Aug

After waiting for AF for an eternity, she finally showed. Yay! Who would have thought that would make me happy ?! Now I am ecstatic about my first cycle with a RE. I have an awesome feeling about this month. God has showered me with peace.

We got the results of hubby’s SA and, thank you Lord, he has a count of 45 million!! Still waiting on the morphology, but Dr. D seems to think it will be great as well. What a blessing?!

I started Clomid on day 3 and will be taking an extended dose ending on day 9. Along with the Prednisone (to lower DHEA levels thanks to PCOS) and Novarel (trigger shot) I feel like we have a very good chance of conceiving this cycle.

I go in on 08/15 for my mid-cycle scan. Very excited and saying my prayers.

Tip: If you are using fertility drugs without insurance coverage, I strongly suggest using the Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. They are super affordable!! Our Novarel script was going to be :$210 at a local pharmacy but we paid $60 at WSP and it is being shipped for FREE!! Here is the number for the pharmacy: 1-800-424-9002

Parsley Tea for Inducing Menstruation

19 Jul

I was browsing around on BabyCenter (as I do multiple times a day because I’m a bit obsessed) and I stumbled upon a post about using a ginger infusion to induce a period. Curious, I sought the wisdom of Google. I did find some information on the ginger tea, but even more hits on parsley tea.. so I changed my search.

Turns out, parsley is a mild emmenagogue (a fancy word that means it causes the uterus to contract). As a result of uterine contactions, parsley has been known to stimulate the shedding of the lining and induce a due or overdue flow. It is also used to induce a natural abortion, which I am in no way shape or form condoning. In fact, I would recommend that you do NOT try this herbal remedy if there is a chance you may be pregnant.

I am definitely not pregnant as evidenced by a negative HPT and very low BBT readings.

I want to try this remedy because I am impatient lol. I am starting treatment with an RE as soon as I can get this cycle going and if Aunt Flow doesn’t come soon I will have to take Provera. I don’t want to take Provera for 3 reasons: 1. It gives me terrible nightmares, 2. There is the potential of having to wait almost 4 weeks for it to work, and 3. I would be more than thrilled to start on my own and get this show on the road. So I’m giving this parsley thing a go and we will see what happens.

There are two ways to use parsley to induce menstruation:

Way #1: Parsley Tea

To make parsley tea you will need:

1) Parsley – fresh is preferred as it is more potent but dried will also work.

2) Hot, not boiling, water

3) a pot

4) and a pitcher or container

This is very simple people. You really do not need a college degree, but kudos if you do. You are one step ahead.

Put some water in a pot in the stove and heat it up. You want it to be hot not boiling. Boiling water can actually weaken the herbs effects. Don’t ask me how.

While the water is heating toss some Parsley into a pitcher. There is no exact measurement for how much to use. I put roughly a handful of parsley per cup of water. Too much won’t hurt you, but too little may not work. If you are using dried herbs, a tablespoon per cup should suffice.

Now pour the hot water over the Parsley and let it steep for at least 15 minutes. The longer it sits the more potent it will be. When you are ready to drink, just scoop out the herbs with your hand or strain and enjoy. I use the word enjoy lightly because this stuff is horrible!! I liken the taste to a Christmas tree. It tastes like green spice if that makes any sense.

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Drink 3-4 cups per day.
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Way #2: Insert into Vagina

Okay so this method is a little odd. Needless to say, I was reluctant to stuff cooking herbs into my who ha but hey it’s worth a shot I guess.

You should only do this with fresh Parsley. Take a sprig and wash it then push it up in there so that it is touching the cervix. That’s it!

Change the sprigs as you would a tampon; every 8-12 hrs.

So how long will this take to work? Unfortunately the jury is still out. I’ve read anywhere from a couple hours to a week. Keep in mind that it may not work for everyone.

My Experiment

Day 1 – I started drinking the tea at about 6pm. I drank two cups back to back at 6 and another cup before bed so 3 cups total.

I went jogging around 7:30 and while jogging I noticed sharp cramps around my cervix. This lasted for about 5 minutes then went away. Not sure if it was related to the parsley.

Day 2 – I drank 1 cup of tea in the morning and nearly lost my breakfast. Yuck!! I had two more cups after dinner (yuck again). I also inserted some fresh parsley vaginally and left it for about 8 hrs.

So far no spotting, barely crampy, I wonder if this will work?

Day 3 – I decided I just can’t do it anymore. My body is literally rejecting this stuff. When I smell it I want to vomit. Giving up.

Conclusion – Well it didn’t work for me, I started Provera 4 days later when AF never showed. Did it work for you??

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