Friday, December 20, 2013

Infertility and Depression

I think we've all been there...feeling pretty low because our bodies just wont do what they`re supposed to do.

With the holidays come up soon, I wanted to share this article that I think gives some helpful hints to keeping yourself healthy and happy while going through the tough road of infertility.

Check out the Natural Fertility Info.'s article on dealing with Infertility and Depression Naturally.

Remember to take care of yourself first, especially during this time of year when the focus is so heavily on families. Just doing a couple small things might make it all just a bit more bearable!

Happy Holidays to you all!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Infertility - How your man can help...

Often infertility is projected onto the female role, but it's important to remember that - even if your partner doesn't have male factor infertility - there are always things he can do to help.

* There is much debate about whether or not any of these factors actually increase infertility in men. Some studies say yes, others say no. I say it's worth a shot - and it can't hurt!

#1 - Protect your swim team! Keep "manland" to a normal body temperature, stay away from hot environments - like hot tubs or even hot baths. Try looser under garments to keep the air a-flowing through those hot spots and try not to rest laptops or cell phones in your lap.

#2 - Drink and Smoke Less. I'm not going to say quit, because to be honest - that's your call. But the less you consume, the healthier you'll be. This includes drugs.

#3 - Have lots of sex! Every couple of days will ensure a constant supply of sperm in her body - just in case she ovulates earlier than expected.

#4 - Say "no" to lube! Or...choose wisely. Some lubes have sperm killing features - which doesn't really work with trying to concieve. So if you have to use it, make sure you find one intended for TTC.

#5 - Limit exposure to chemicals. The fewer chemicals in your body, the healthier you'll be. Pesticides have been shown to reduce fertility, so if your partner works with them in farming or landscaping, wearing gloves or a mask might be a good idea!

#6 - Exercise! Working out keeps your body in tip top shape, and helps your systems to work smoothly. A healthy body = healthy sperm (with the exception of certain diseases).

#7 - Relax. Stress affects both female and male fertility. Relax, find fertility friendly ways to de-stress and try to enjoy the process.

* Please note this isn't based on any professional expertise. It is just based on personal experience. Each case of infertility is unique, and you should speak to you healthcare professional about what you can do to increase your fertility.

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Interview with Melissa

Lisa at Amateur Nester has started a great new blog series of interviews of woman who have been personally effected by infertility and she's just posted an interview with me!  My story is not the most dramatic, but I think it can be related to by others, so I am honored to have been included.  Read the post HERE and check out Lisa's blog while you're there!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Stork Award

Megs at Work is for Suckers has nominated us for The Stork Award!  Thanks Megs!  This is a new award that's been circulating that was created by Teresa at Where the *Bleep* is Our Stork?  I've read Teresa's blog for a long time before she became contributor here and she's an amazing person.  I love this award and I'm honored that Megs chose our little blog for this award!  So thanks again Megs and thanks to Teresa for creating this award!

Here's how it works:

1. Include the Stork Award icon in your post
2. Link the person(s) who nominated you
3. Answer the 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate as many bloggers as you want to receive the award
5. Ask your nominees 10 new questions
6. Link your nominees and let them know they've been nominated
7. Post the Stork Award icon on your blog side bar if you are so inclined

Here are Megs questions and my answers:

1.  What is your guilty pleasure movie/music/book/TV show?
I have a lot!  I'm not super trendy, so I end up liking things that others might think are lame.  I listen to a lot of soundtracks from the TV show "Glee" (Yes, I'm a big Gleek).  My spotify is full of Glee music.  I also love to listen to Broadway Musicals.  I love to read romance novels and a couple of my favorite series' involve vampires, highlander time travelers, and witches.  As for TV shows, I watch a lot of competition shows, America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, and Dancing with the Stars are my favorites.

2.  The best vacation you ever went on?
I don't have a lot to chose from here, I don't get to travel too much.  It's a close call between my honeymoon in the Bahamas, my spring break trip to NYC my senior year in high school, and my trip to California this past May.  Since I had to work in CA and I was super homesick in NYC, I'll go with my honeymoon.  It was the first time I'd ever seen the ocean or been to a beach and the Bahamas were really beautiful.  Being on the cruise ship to the island was really cool too.  My husband and I got totally roasted the first full day there, which totally sucked (this was our HONEYMOON.  We would have liked to have been able to stand being touched a little more), but we still had a really amazing time.

3.  If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I think I'd like to be telekenetic.  Maybe that's the lazy person's power, but still, it would be cool and very handy.

4.  Time travel is a thing, but you can only go back and observe - you can't change anything.  What time period would you want to witness?
Wow that's hard.  I think I'd have to say back in Shakespere's time.  I would have loved to watch them perform those famous works.

5.  What would you choose as your last meal?
Texas Roadhouse chopped steak, salad, and steak fries and rolls.  And dessert!  Probably chocolate cake. YUM!

6.  The best book you've read in the last 5 years?
I feel sort of lame but I have to say the Hunger Games Trilogy.  I loved it.

7.  What do you love about where you live?
Almost everything and everyone I love is here.  It's familiar, is the only place I've ever lived.  It's big enough that everything I need is here, but small enough that I feel fairly safe raising my kids here.

8.  What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who make little sounds that distract me like picking at their fingernails, humming under their breath, clearing their throat, etc.  It distracts me.

9.  Who was your favorite teacher in high school and why?
It's a close race between Ms Joseph, my french teacher, and Mrs. Redding, my British Lit teacher.  They were both so sweet and kind.  I used to spend my free periods with them, just talking.

10.  What was your bravest moment?
Wow, another hard one.  I don't really consider myself brave.  And I haven't been in too many situations where I've had to keep calm in an emergency, thankfully.  Maybe during AJ's labor/C-Section.  Or when Tyler had to have an endoscopy, I had to be brave for him, keep him from guessing what was happening beforehand.  I didn't feel brave, but I kept it together around him.

My Nominees:
1. Rach at A Little Bit More
2. Alissa at Miss Conception
3. Amber at Old Lady No Baby
4. Hope at A Crack In Everything
5. Mandy at Hakuna Matata
6. Heather at Battlefish

My questions:
1. What do you consider to be your best personality trait?
2. When you are stressed, what is something you do to relax or cope?
3. Describe your dream home.
4. What is the best piece of advices you can offer?
5. What are you looking forward to right now?
6. When  you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you stick with that?
7. What is your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?
8. What is something you've always loved that most people think is lame or silly?
9. What website do you have to visit every day?
10. Do you believe in magic?

Thanks again Megs!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TTC Post: Clearblue Advanced Digital Pregnancy Test

This post is geared toward our TTC readers and may include information that is not helpful for some of our readers.  If you aren't in a great place right now, please feel free to skip this post.  We want our readers to take care of themselves first!

There has been a lot of buzz recently over these new Clearblue Advanced Digital Pregnancy Tests.  They recently became available in the US, although they've been around in Canada and Europe for awhile.  Basically, it's similar to a traditional digital test, but with the added feature of predicting how many weeks it has been since ovulation.  The readout will say "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant" and if it is a positive result, it will be accompanied by either "1-2", "2-3" or "3+" (weeks, that is).  These test can be useful in pinning down ovulation date, but can be confusing in terms of estimating a due date. This is because the result does not mean a tester is (for example) 2-3 weeks pregnant, at least not in the way that a doctor would judge them.  It means it is estimated to have been that long since ovulation.  Doctor's typically date a pregnancy from the first day of your last period, so by the time a woman is 3 week past ovulation, they are most likely closer to 5 weeks pregnant, thus putting their due date approximately 35 weeks from that time.

While the POASA (that pee-on-a-stick-addict) in me is excited that these tests are available in the US now, I also know that there are limits to this information, and it isn't quite so cut-and-dry.  Since this test works by detecting the level of HCG in the urine, it can be easily skewed by things like an ectopic pregnancy (which produces higher HCG levels sooner), multiples, and the time which an egg implants.  For example, if implantation occurs fairly early, like 7 days past ovulation, the HCG levels in the blood will be higher sooner than if implantation does not occur until 12 days past ovulation.  With my second son, my HCG levels at 14 DPO (and we knew the ovulation date was accurate due to a trigger shot) was only 12, indicating that the egg had only implanted a few days prior, perhaps as late as 12 DPO. So there is some ambiguity there.

Do I think this is a good tool?  Yes!  But I caution women to read the instructions carefully and if they have concerns about their results to consult with a physician.

The article discussed in this post can be found here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guest Blogger Heather: Using Emotional Freedom Technique for Infertility

We have our very first Guest Blogger at Ask an Infertile!  Heather from One Step At A Time wrote this really interesting how-to on EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).  Thanks Heather!

Everyone acknowledges the “emotional rollercoaster” that is infertility. You deal with it every month in another cycle that did not work, and then you wait every year as your peers have their children and you are still childless. The burden of hope, the financial decisions that need to be made about treatments, the choices of clinics, dealing with what everyone else says… it never ends. All in all, it becomes very easy to become derailed emotionally from who you want to be when it feels like you’re never going to get there.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is like acupuncture without the needles. You tap on certain meridians while saying affirmations.
The real beauty about this technique is that its starting point is in self-acceptance. I believe that only in truly accepting the place that we find ourselves in, do we have a chance of moving forward. This was further brought home to me while reading this post. A study was done where subjects were either told that they would have a colostomy bag for a limited time, or forever. Guess who was happier? The ones that accepted it would be there forever. So for us, accepting infertility and all the good things in the present is a lot more healthy than pining away for an uncertain future.
EFT begins with the setup (example) statement: “Even though I fear I will never have a baby, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. You say this three times, while tapping on the sore spot or Karate Chop point. (To see more pictures of the points please go to my site here).
You then tap on a series of points and say a reminder phrase:
Top of the head: “So much fear I’ll never have a baby.”
Top of eyebrow: “All my friends have babies.”
Side of eye: “I’m so sick of waiting for mine.”
Under eye: “Tired of waiting.”
Under nose: “Worn out and losing hope.”
Chin: “Feeling despair and sadness.”
Collarbone: “When will it be my turn?”
Under arm: “I want my bundle of joy.”

Now switch it over to positive choice:
Tap on the Karate Chop point on the side of your hand: “Even though I feel like I never will have a child, I’m choosing to love and accept what will happen. Even though sometimes I feel hopeless that we will never have a family, I’m choosing to have faith that things will work out. Even though I lose my faith sometimes, I’m choosing to focus on the good things in my life right now, and believe I will be a mom someday.”
Top of the head: “I’m appreciating my husband.”
Top of the eyebrow: “I’m grateful for my dogs.”
Side of eye: “I’m grateful I have time to do things that I want.”
Under eye: “I know there’s a greater plan at work here beyond my human comprehension.”
Under nose: “I know things are going to work out.”
Chin: “I have faith that somehow, it whatever form, we will be a family.”
Collarbone: “It’s not necessary when and how I imagined it would be, but it will be the way that works for us.”
Under arm: “I’m accepting what is now so that the future will take care of itself.”
Finish off by doing an alternate tap, which means we will acknowledge both the positive and negative in the situation.
Top of the head: “Hopeless.”
Top of eyebrow: “Hopeful.”
Side of eye: “Sad and despairing of the future.”
Under eye: “Focused on the present joy.”
Under nose: “Depressed.”
Chin: “Uplifted.”
Collarbone: “Scared.”
Underarm: “Surrounded and supported with the current loves in my life.”

I hope that was useful for dealing with just a portion of some of the emotions infertility can bring up. Please visit my blog at for more resources and check out my very cute son!