I took it easy for the first couple of days after our insemination. I really wasn’t sure how to feel. Part of me wanted to be so sure that it had worked and that positive thinking could only increase my chances of pregnancy. Another part of me wanted to assume that it had not worked and start getting ready for my next cycle to try again, to avoid a massive disappointment. To the world, I was calm and cautious. I was constantly telling my wife that it probably didn’t work, but really, truly, deep down I knew I was fooling myself and that every fibre of my being wanted to believe that it had worked. It was a confusing time, to say the least.
Every time I was hungry or tired, I would think that it was an early sign of pregnancy and get a boost of excitement and joy. And then I would immediately get a wave of sadness because I knew I was just trying to convince myself desperately that it had worked. And then the next minute, I was telling myself that it HAD to have worked, I was so healthy and everything was so perfectly timed. One of those 40 million sperm just had to have found their way around my uterus. They just had to. I wanted to try and get off the fertility emotional roller coaster as much as possible, but unfortunately it was pretty unavoidable.
Distraction became an excellent tool for me during these two weeks, and I focussed on the things that I could control: taking my pre-natal vitamins, eating healthily, going to yoga and trying to decrease the harmful chemicals in my environment in preparation for a potential pregnancy.
I had been taking my pre-natal vitamin (along with vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium and evening primrose) pretty religiously since Christmas, as I have read that it’s a lot more effective if you start before you’re actually pregnant. A baby develops it’s neural tube during the first four weeks of pregnancy! It is so amazing to me that something so critical is being formed so early in life.. This little ball of cells that is the size of a poppy seed is just laying the foundation for a human brain and spinal cord. No big deal.
In addition to my pre-natal vitamin, I also decided to adopt a plant-based diet for my pregnancy. I have been vegetarian for a long time now, but I have been noticing sensitivities to dairy products and I have been hearing that dairy isn’t all that great for us in large quantities anyway. Of course, diet is something that is very personal, so I’m not advocating one way or the other, but for me switching to a plant-based diet just made sense. It’s made me add in even more fruit and veggie options and I feel really great. We’ll see how everything works out with potential pregnancy cravings and such, but pickles are vegan and I’ve found some really amazing vegan ice cream substitutions already, so I think I’m set.
Yoga has been an amazing addition to my life. I have practiced on and off for many years now and getting back into it recently, has been awesome. I feel more calm and grounded, not to mention I have killer triceps (well, I think so anyway) from all of those downward facing dogs I have to do. I am aiming to stay as active as possible throughout my pregnancy, not only for myself, but for the baby as well. There’s lots of great evidence that exercising while pregnant is not only good for moms, but it’s good for babies as well!
The number of crazy chemicals in our environment is a bit scary. I hate to use that general term (and I am also aware of the naturalistic fallacy when it comes to “natural”and “organic” products), because there are a lot of chemicals that are completely safe and very useful. But one need look no further than the BPA madness from a few years ago to see that there are not a lot of safety regulations in place for many home and personal products. Without being too obsessive (which is definitely easy to do when you start reading product labels) I started to cut down on the obviously harmful cleaning and personal products in my life. We started purchasing unscented products and made more use of our Norwex cleaning cloths that just use water to clean. I ditched my deodorant and found an amazing homemade recipe (I told you I’m a huge hippy!) that actually works very well (full disclosure: I sweat a lot, so I can tell you that with a high degree of confidence). I also have only been purchasing shampoos, lotions and make-up products that are paraben and phthalate free. In general, as I run out of a product, I just don’t replace it with anything. I have cut down all of my personal products quite significantly (my wife can gladly attest to this) and just try to use less of everything! I know that I can’t get rid of every harmful chemical in my environment, but I figure it’s my due diligence to make sure everything is a safe as possible.
I’ve been listening to a great pregnancy and birth podcast (check it out here, if you’re interested) lately that had an expert in pre-natal psychology on for an interview. Yep, pre-natal psychology. As in, the psychology of babies still in the womb. Well, that totally blew my mind. Of course, I know that babies had brains and some level of consciousness before they emerge into this crazy world, but I never thought that there was an entire field of psychology dedicated to it! This expert brought up the very interesting point that parenting really starts from the moment you’re pregnant. He spoke about how important it is to sing to and talk to your baby in the womb, and even mentioned some “games” that you can play with baby when they start really being active. This really resonated with me and reinforced my efforts to foster a happy, healthy body for my future baby to share. It was so motivating to think in a small way I was already a mama! Well, maybe a mama. I started brainstorming ideas for how to connect with my child before he or she was born and started daydreaming about my wife and I singing our baby to sleep every night.
Aaaand, just like that I was back on the fertility roller coaster. The two weeks just dragged on and on. I mentally crossed off each day, counting down until I could go for my blood test and find out if our dream was coming true, or if I should start getting ready for my next cycle.
P.S.-I do not receive any compensation for the above recommendations (let’s face it, I’m not that cool), they are just experiences that I wanted to share from my heart to yours! 🙂