This sign has been taped on my mirror since March. I put it there after 5 months had gone by without getting pregnant.
I know that 5 months is really not a long time, especially in comparison to the years that many of our friends tried/have been trying. I can only slightly relate to the sadness each month, the confusion and frustration that can swiftly set in, the roller coaster of hope and despair. But we felt these things. We had assumed, with our healthy lifestyle and diet, it wouldn’t be that difficult to get pregnant. With a book borrowed from Cher, called The Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer, we had been charting my cycles – a process known as fertility awareness or sometimes natural family planning. It felt like we were doing everything right. Because of the charts, I knew exactly what days I was ovulating, when we should be trying and when we shouldn’t. And it wasn’t working.
By March, I was starting to get exhausted from the emotional ups and downs. I found this definition of the word WAIT: To remain or be in readiness; to serve the needs of, be in attendance on. This totally shifted my perspective. I realized that waiting wasn’t passive. That I should be doing more, more than sitting around and hoping for a change. So we really studied my charts, and we found a pattern that indicated I had low progesterone levels. Progesterone is the hormone necessary to sustain a pregnancy. In her book, Singer mentions that sometimes eating sugar or white flour, even in small amounts, causes the body to produce excess insulin, which causes the ovaries to stop making estrogen and secrete testosterone instead, which stops ovulation and consequently, the production of progesterone.
Now, I wasn’t eating a ton of sugar or white flour, but it seemed possible that a muffin or cookie on our sporadic trips into town could be causing an interference in my cycle. So, no sugar. No flour. We both started taking insane doses of cod liver oil and I started this prenatal vitamin. And we were pregnant, by the end of that month.
I am well aware that this does not scientifically prove that a no sugar/flour diet will help you get pregnant. I know that many couples have much more serious problems and issues that can’t be solved with cod liver oil. But I am 100% sure that diet and nutrition play a HUGE role in fertility, and that by charting her cycles, a woman can at the very least have a wealth of information to study and analyze. She can feel like she is actively involved, rather than just passively waiting and hoping. As a way of trying to get pregnant, trying NOT to get pregnant, or just for general health and knowledge about your own body – I truly think that fertility awareness should be a method that we think of less as “alternative” and more as common sense.
That little sign is still taped on the mirror…because now that we are in MONTH NINE (what?!), I am once again waiting patiently and trying to remain in readiness, strong and lively for our baby.