Friday, October 10, 2014

things I did to try to get pregnant, part 3.

We're almost at the end of the list! I've saved two of the craziest things I've done to try to get pregnant for last, so let me start with something more sensible.

Switched to fragrance-free body wash and lotion. This was one of Dr. God Complex's newer rules, as the chemicals in fragrance are both a) toxic and b) known endocrine disruptors. Sometimes I miss my scrumptious-smelling Bath & Body Works stuff, but honestly this was one of the easier changes I made. Now I use Aveeno's Skin Relief body wash and Skin Relief 24HR moisturizing lotion (or, if I can't find a deal on those, sometimes I'll opt for a store brand knock-off version).

Ate a lot of pineapple. After my first IUI, I tried the ol' eating pineapple core to encourage implantation thing. Basically, pineapple (particularly the core) is rife with bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory that also can help thin blood. This, supposedly, encourages implantation. Basically, you take a pineapple, peel it, and then cut it crosswise into five chunks with the core intact. Then you eat a piece every day for five days.

Here's what they don't tell you: the pineapple burns, man. My entire tongue hurt from all of the acid. When it didn't work the first time, I didn't repeat the experiment. I did, however, try pomegranate juice and tart cherry juice (the former is good for your lining, the later is another anti-inflammatory). Recently I've been hearing more about eating raspberries, but I never did try that one.

Used raw (pasteurized) egg whites as lube. Those of you who aren't fertility-challenged may be unfamiliar with egg white cervical mucus (EWCM). It's pretty much what it sounds like - cervical mucus the texture of egg whites. When you get it, you know that you're at your most fertile. Basically, the stuff helps keep sperm alive long enough for your egg to drop and magic to happen. At some point in history, women eager to get knocked up decided to help nature along.

Before you judge, please know that I am not the only woman ever to do this.

But I did do it. Maybe three or four times? I was always worried about injecting bacteria into my lady business. Plus, let's be honest: it's kind of gross. First you have to bring the egg to room temp. Then you have to separate out the yolk. Finally, you load the whites into a syringe (like a needle one without the needle tip) and inject them inside of you. You have to put a towel down on the bed to protect from spillage, and because everything's so wet and slippery, the ensuing sex isn't so hot for either of you.

Dabbled in Mayan fertility massage. I have three words for you:

Alien. Spirit. Babies.

We've been telling the punchline to this story for so long, sometimes I forget that the Mayan fertility masseuse never actually uttered the words "alien spirit babies." But. She did talk a lot about babies being spirits who choose their parents. This was in reference to me being a stress monkey. Stress was weighty, she told me. If a spirit baby felt that weight it would choose to be born to someone else. I needed more levity in my life, as levity attracted spirit babies. I should go play with toys! I should go color!

Have you ever met a Type A overachiever for whom coloring was NOT stressful? When I was a little kid, I wouldn't buy a coloring book that told a story, because if I messed a picture up too badly I wanted to be able to rip it out and not ruin the flow of the book. (True story.)

I spent a lot of time with Kooky. I got my period the day of my first scheduled session with her. This was the start of my first attempt at IVF, and I was throwing everything at the wall to see what would stick. Turns out you can't do Mayan fertility massage when you're on your period. So, instead, she and I had a long talk about why I was seeking fertility massage in the first place. This ended up being a 25-minute impromptu therapy session in which my uterus was personified as a temperamental woman. (This is also when I was told to color and invite more levity in my life.)

My actual massage took place a few days later, after my period had gone away but before I'd been on stim meds too terribly long. The whole session lasted about two and a half hours and was nothing like what I expected.

So the thing about Mayan fertility massage is that it's supposed to help break up adhesions, increase blood flow to the pelvis, and help correct prolapsed, fallen, or tilted uteruses (uterii?). I learned early on that my uterus was flopped on top of itself, but Kooky didn't seem to think this was a big deal. She spent a lot of time wedging her hand under a roll of belly flub, just above my pubic area. And then tried to have conversations with me about visualizing my womb as a beautifully decorated home, so as to be more enticing to the spirit babies.

Part of the session required me to imagine a giant tube coming from the center of the universe and into my head, pulling in positive energy. Then I had to imagine all of the stuff I don't need shooting out of my belly button like a whale spout...all while I made these deeply gutteral noises. (No, I am not making this up.)

But even though there was a part of my brain going, "Am I really doing this?" I found Kooky's soothing voice and gentle hands incredibly comforting.

There was more impromptu therapy. Kooky got me talking about my fears with (in)fertility, which led to me crying on the table. But then she'd, like, blow away negative energy (literally blowing, in short, sharp puffs). And she kept spraying tourmaline all around me and talking about flower essences and clapping her hands. Honestly, it was like something you'd see on TV or in a movie.

There was massage mixed in, but it wasn't like a two-and-a-half-hour-long spa massage. And yet I did leave feeling calm and centered and hopeful. I did not, however, get pregnant as a result.

So that's it. Everything I've tried over the past few years, in all of its embarrassing glory. Can you tell how badly I wanted to put a bun in my oven?

Read Part 1 of this series here.
Read Part 2 of this series here.

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