Thursday, August 28, 2008

Praying for O

I've been so optimistic that I am going to O this cycle while going au naturale, since I did last cycle, too. Any day now I should get that EGCM that I've been looking for. I've been getting little strings of it here and there for the past few days and my cervix is high, but the CM is still just sticky/creamy. I'm on CD 15 right now and last cycle I O'd on about CD18. I am crossing my fingers that it starts in the next couple of days. If I don't get pregnant this cycle, I am definitely going to go back on the Clomid next cycle. If I've got it, I might as well use it, right? I'm a little nervous about the side effects, though. They were pretty bad the first cycle (hot flashes, dizziness, emotional instability) and that was only on 50mg. This time I will be taking 100mg. Poor B has to put up with me during all of it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chinese Lunar Calendar

I found this online and thought it was pretty interesting.
According to this, if we conceive this month,
we will have a boy. Hmmm. B would love that!

CONCEPTION 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

January G B G B G B B G B G B G B B
February B G B G B B G B G B G B G G
March G B G G B G B B B G B G G B
April B G B G G B B G G B G G G G
May B G B G B B G G G G G B G G
June B B B G G G B B B G G B G G
July B B B G G B B G G B B B G G
August B B B G B G G B B B B B G G
September B B B G G B G B G B B B G G
October B B G G G B G B G B B G G G
November B G B G G B G B G G G G B G
December B G B G G G G B G B G G B B


CONCEPTION 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

January B G B B G B G B G B G B B G
February G B G B B G B G B G B G B B
March B B B G B B G B G B G B G B
April G B G B G B B B B G B G B G
May G G G G B G B B G B G B B G
June G G G G G B G G B G B G B G
July G G G G G G B G B B G B G B
August G B G B G B G B G B B G B G
September G G G G B G B G B G B B G B
October G G G G B B G B G B G B B G
November G G B B B G B G B G B B G B
December B B B B B B G G G B G B G B


You can choose for yourself whether you want a boy or a girl by following the chart. The woman's age from 18 to 45 (Chinese reckoning) is on the top line while the months 1 to 12 indicate the month when the baby is conceived. By following the chart you will be able to tell in advance whether your baby will be a boy or a girl. Thus, you can plan to have a boy or a girl. This chart has been taken from a Royal tomb near Peking, China. The original copy is kept in the Institute of Science of Peking. The accuracy of the chart has been proved by thousands of People and is believed to be 99 percent accurate. By reckoning, you follow a line drawn from the figure representing the woman's age to a line drawn from the month the baby is conceived. For instance, if the woman is 27 years old and her baby is conceived in January (according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar), then her baby will be a girl. The chart is based on the month the baby is conceived and not on the birth of the baby, B-Male, G-Female. Remarks: A Chinese Scientist discovered and drew this chart which was buried in a Royal tomb about 700 years ago.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Playing Mom

I'm in Ohio right now, watching my sister's little girls while she and her husband are out of town. They took their baby boy with them, so I just have the girls, who are 4 and 6. With this being the start of the school year, I have gotten a taste of what life with school aged kids is like. The 6 year old is in 1st grade and the 4 year old is in Pre-K. Life is definitely hectic when you are rushing to get things done and fit in the kids' schedules. Plus, they want their friends to come over and play, to eat snacks all the time, and not pick up after themselves (because t.v. is so much more fun). I have to admit that these girls are wonderful and make it seem so easy! I haven't had any problems with them, they get along so well. They are so well-behaved and sweet. It is definitely a challenge for me, though, because I am so used to just thinking about myself and my husband (unfortunately in that order most of the time- I'm a very self-centered person and I know that about myself). So, this has been a wonderful experience that I am growing from. I am definitely learning about myself, too. I've learned that I can put someone else's needs before my own. I can wake up at the crack of dawn to get kids ready for school (I'm really not a morning person.) I can keep an orderly house, even with kids and their toys in it. I've always worried that I just want a baby for the fun of having a baby, but I know now that there is more to it than that. I want children. I want to teach them how to spell their names. I want to help them pick out their clothes for school. I want to ask how their day was and listen to the play-by-play of everything that happened. I want to cook their supper and make sure they eat all of their vegetables. I want them to be happy and teach them to love themselves. I want children, because I want to love them. I am so grateful for this experience. I love this maternal feeling. I know I have to give them back, but I'm definitely enjoying this while it lasts.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here is an article I saw on that I thought was very interesting. It definitely talks about a couple of things I need to change.

Fertility Diet: The nutrients you need to conceive

When it comes to getting pregnant, the old adage "you are what you eat" rings true. "What you eat affects everything from your blood to your cells to your hormones," says Cynthia Stadd, a nutrition specialist at the Berkeley Center for Reproductive Wellness and Women's Health in New York City. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a nonprofit that promotes reproductive health, you should allow three months to a year for dietary changes to take root. But if you're already in the throes of baby-making, don't fret — it's never too late to get a leg up. Read on for tips on getting your diet into baby-making shape.

Drink alcohol sparingly

An occasional glass of wine or bottle of beer probably won't hurt your odds of conceiving. Just make sure you aren't pregnant when you imbibe, because alcohol can harm a developing fetus. That means the time to be a teetotaler is between ovulation and menstruation, says Mark Leondires, a fertility specialist and medical director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut. "The best time to have a worry-free drink is the day you get your period."

That said, if you have irregular cycles (which can make it harder to know when you're ovulating) or generally have trouble conceiving, play it safe and avoid alcohol altogether. Although studies of alcohol's affects on fertility are inconclusive, some do show a slight link between drinking and difficulty conceiving. When Danish researchers looked at 430 couples trying to have their first child, they found that women's ability to get pregnant decreased as more alcohol was consumed. Women who had fewer than five drinks a week were twice as likely to get pregnant as those drinking ten drinks a week. (In this study, no link was found for the guys, but that doesn't mean they're off the hook — see below.) • For nonalcoholic alternatives, see our list of the best "virgin" drinks.

Curb caffeine

The research on whether caffeine can affect fertility is mixed. Experts generally agree that low to moderate caffeine consumption (less than 300 mgs a day or about two 8-ounce mugs of coffee) won't get in the way of getting pregnant. But you might want to cut out caffeine altogether if you're having difficulty conceiving or undergoing in vitro fertilization, says fertility specialist Leondires. He says that caffeine constricts blood vessels, slowing blood flow to the uterus and potentially making it harder for an egg to grab hold.

Going cold turkey and eliminating all caffeine at once can cause nasty headaches. So if you decide to kick your caffeine habit completely, you might want to do so gradually. Every day, replace a little more of the caffeinated brew in your cup with decaf, until you've weaned yourself. Once you've acclimated to life with little or no caffeine, you may find steamed milk with a shot of flavored syrup a nice coffee substitute — and the calcium will do your body good.

Rethink refined carbs

Carbohydrates may be out of the dietary doghouse, but that doesn't mean you should eat them with abandon. Lots of refined carbohydrates, like white bread, pasta, and white rice, won't directly lower your likelihood of getting pregnant but they will shortchange your body.

The refining process strips 17 key nutrients from grains. Among those lost are several that boost fertility, such as antioxidants, B vitamins, and iron. A woman trying to conceive should pack her diet with as many nutrient-rich foods as possible, and whole grains are a great place to start, says nutrition specialist Stadd.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's newly revamped Food Pyramid you should aim for about 6 ounces of whole grains a day. That's roughly the equivalent of a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a couple of slices of whole wheat sandwich bread at lunch, and a serving of whole wheat pasta for dinner.

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common cause of infertility in women, pay extra attention to whole grains. PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that can get worse when insulin levels in the bloodstream surge. The main culprits behind big insulin spikes are refined carbohydrates. Fertility specialist Leondires explains that when women with PCOS eat too many refined carbohydrates, insulin flows into the blood, feeds back to the ovaries, and can lead to irregular ovulation.

Eat your greens, and reds, and yellows

Think of produce as Mother Nature's multivitamin. Fruits and vegetables not only deliver a wealth of vitamins and minerals, they also overflow with free-radical-busting micronutrients, like phytochemicals and antioxidants. Marauding free radicals are harmful molecules that sneak into the body on the heels of everything from sunlight to car exhaust and can damage the ova, sperm, and reproductive organs.

Get the most nutritional bang for your buck by buying brightly colored fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, red peppers, and kale. The more vivid the hue, the more nutrient-packed the produce. Restock your fruit bowl and produce bin weekly, and aim for eating about 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies a day.

Be finicky about fish

If reports of high mercury levels have you steering clear of seafood, it's time to reconsider. Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids for optimal fertility, and fish is the best source. Even so, the news about mercury contamination in fish can be scary for moms-to-be. Mercury is toxic to a developing fetus and can linger in a woman's bloodstream for more than a year.

The good news is that not all fish contain the same amount of mercury. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that women trying to conceive can safely eat up to 12 ounces (roughly two entrées) a week of low-mercury fish, such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, or catfish. The FDA advises avoiding canned white tuna as well as fresh or frozen swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, tuna steaks, shark, orange roughy, Spanish mackerel, marlin, and grouper, because they have the highest mercury levels

If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, or you just don't like fish, try flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are the richest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids and are easy to find in health food stores. Buy the seeds, grind them in a coffee grinder, and sprinkle them on cereal or toast or add them to a smoothie. If you're in a rush, buy a bottle of flaxseed oil and drizzle 1 tablespoon a day over salad, popcorn, or a baked potato. (Just don't cook with flaxseed oil; the heat destroys its beneficial nutrients.)

Pump up on iron

Fill your body's iron reserves before you get pregnant, especially if your periods are particularly heavy, says Sam Thatcher, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Center for Applied Reproductive Science in Johnson City, Tennessee, and author of Making a Baby: Everything You Need to Know to Get Pregnant. "Bleeding every month is a constant source of iron depletion," Thatcher says.

Load up now, because once you're expecting, your body has difficulty maintaining its iron stores as your baby siphons the mineral from you. To make matters worse, too little iron at the start of pregnancy puts you at risk for postpartum anemia — a condition affecting 27 percent of new moms that causes your red blood cells to fall below normal and zaps your energy level.

If you don't eat much red meat or you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, take a multivitamin with iron. And, to be on the safe side, ask your healthcare provider to test your blood for anemia at your preconception checkup.

Be leery of listeria

Listeria is a harmful bacterium found in ready-to-eat meats, soft cheeses, and unpasteurized dairy products. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get sick from eating listeria-laced food. Those trying to conceive should also be on alert because listeriosis (the infection caused by listeria) can cause a miscarriage early in the first trimester — possibly before you even know you're pregnant.

To kill listeria, heat high-risk foods in the microwave until they're steaming hot. To reduce bacteria growth on leftovers, set the refrigerator's temperature at 40 degrees or below. Toss any food that's been at room temperature for more than two hours. Foods to avoid completely: Raw sushi, refrigerated smoked seafood (like lox), soft cheese made from unpasteurized (raw) milk, and other unpasteurized dairy products.

Don't panic over protein

Last year, scientists at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine scared followers of the Atkins diet by hyping their study findings that mice on a high-protein diet were less fertile than mice on a normal diet. What does that mean for women? Absolutely nothing, says Leondires. "The reproductive cycle of a mouse is so dramatically different from a human being's that a cross-species jump just isn't valid."

That said, fad diets and fertility don't mix. "Avoid any diet that excludes an entire food group or puts too much emphasis on one type of food," says Melinda Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Instead, aim for two to four servings of up to 3 ounces of protein a day, including fish, lean meats, nuts, and legumes.

Fill voids with vitamins

Getting all the nutrients you need for fertility from food alone is tough. Hedge your bets by taking a prenatal vitamin or regular multivitamin. Although prenatal vitamins will give you the key nutrients you need, they may be more expensive and they can be harder on your stomach because they contain higher levels of nutrients than a regular multivitamin. (Some experts suggest taking your prenatal vitamin right before bedtime to help ward off an upset stomach.)

If you decide to take an over-the-counter multivitamin instead of a prenatal vitamin, be sure to follow these important guidelines:

• Make sure it doesn't contain more than the recommended daily allowance of 770 mcg (2,565 IU) of vitamin A, unless it's all in a form called beta-carotene. Getting too much of a certain kind of vitamin A can cause birth defects. (The kind that occurs naturally in food is safe, so you don't have to worry about overdoing it by eating foods rich in vitamin A.)

• Look for a multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. This B vitamin protects babies from neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. It's especially important to get enough folic acid before you get pregnant, because your baby's neural tube will form just three to four weeks after conception, when many women don't even realize they're pregnant.

• Choose a multivitamin that also delivers a healthy dose of vitamin B12. Preliminary evidence hints that B12 deficiency may also play a role in some neural tube defects. Because vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal-based foods, women who rarely eat meat or follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet should either look for a multivitamin that delivers the entire B12 recommended daily allowance (2.4 micrograms) or consider a B12 supplement.

If you're unsure what to take, ask your healthcare provider to recommend a supplement for you.

What about his diet?

When it comes to fertility and diet, men don't get off scott-free. Lisa Mazzullo, an ob-gyn and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, recommends that fathers-to-be take a daily multivitamin that contains zinc and selenium for at least three months before conception. Studies suggest these minerals aid in healthy sperm development. Why the three-month lag time? It takes that long to develop healthy sperm.

The sperm your partner ejaculates today was actually created 90 days ago, says Amy Ogle, a registered dietician in San Diego, California, and co-author of Before Your Pregnancy: A 90-Day Guide for Couples on How to Prepare for a Healthy Conception. "Genetic preparation is going on during sperm development, so that's pretty heavy stuff."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another Cycle Begins

Well, Aunt Flo showed up yesterday. I'm glad she didn't wait too long, because it's so much more disheartening to see that big fat negative on a test. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to put off round 2 of Clomid until next cycle, because I'll be at my sister's house in Ohio at about the time I should ovulate and B will be at home. Kinda hard to baby dance when you are a few states apart. That's okay, though, because if I don't take the Clomid this cycle I should ovulate after I get back from Ohio, so we'll still get to try this month. It's so hard to not get discouraged, though. We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary in July, so that means we have been trying to get pregnant for over 5 and a half years. I've been so optimistic since starting Clomid, but the delays in being able to take it are starting to get to me. I think it's getting to B, too. He doesn't really talk about his disappointment every time AF shows up, but I can see that every month that passes without that coveted BFP gets harder for him. This evening I was telling him about all the girls in my group that are pregnant now and he just shrugged his shoulders and didn't say anything. I asked what was wrong and he said, "I know you like hearing about all that, but I don't really want to hear about anybody else getting pregnant. I guess I'm just a little jealous." I can't help but cry as I type this. I'm sure part of it is the hormones, but I can't help but feel like I'm letting him down. I'm broken and it's my fault we haven't been able to have a baby. That's what it boils down to and it hurts to know that. I know, I know...we have to be patient, everything happens when it is supposed to, it's all part of God's plan, it will happen some day. I just want that some day to be today. I don't think that anyone who hasn't been through this can understand the ache you feel in your heart when you think about it. My arms literally ache to hold my baby. It sounds weird, I know, but the ache in my heart actually spreads to my arms and I can feel a tingle/ache along the inner part of my arms. I never knew that wanting something so badly and knowing it was meant to be a part of your life could cause such a physical reaction, instead of just a mental or emotional one. As much as I want this, I know B wants it, too. I don't know exactly what he's feeling, because he doesn't talk about it very much (he doesn't want to make it harder on me), but I know he is almost as desperate for a child as I am. He's always telling me about names he hears that he wants to add to our list of baby names. For the record, his top picks are: (Boy) Roman and Brody, (Girl) Jasmine and Sabrina. It breaks my heart that he hasn't been able to use any of them yet. Okay, enough tears. Chin up. It's time to be positive. I think I need to come up with a good mantra to get me through days like this.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back to Business

Well, I survived the move and the stress that came with it. That is saying a lot! Now that we're getting settled, I can start temping again. I'm not exactly sure what day, specifically, I ovulated, but if it was the day I think it was, I should be about 15 days past ovulation. I'm a little bit tempted to take a test, but I keep feeling like AF is on her way. It hurts a lot less to get your negative from her versus getting it from a test. I figure, if I haven't started by this weekend, I'll take a test. I will have to at some point, if I want to start my next cycle.

I do need to give a shout out to Shayla, from our group. She is visiting her family in Switzerland and, while there, found out she is PREGNANT!!! The ironic thing is, she was on a break from taking Clomid! She's the second girl in our group that that has happened to. Denise, the other one that got preggers while on a Clomid break, just found out she is having TWINS!!! I have to say that, even though I wish it were me every time I hear someone say they are pregnant, I couldn't be more happy for these two women! No one deserves it more than them (although, Andrea- I think you deserve it just as much! you are the backbone of our group and I CAN'T WAIT for you to get your BFP). Well, that makes FOUR pregnant ladies in our group: Kristen, Teri, Denise, and Shayla Clomid really does work. Whodda thunk? Definitely gives me hope!
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