Since this spring I have felt the call and tug of a little soul wanting into our family. At first the tug was gentle and patient because I was not ready yet. I flatly asked the soul for patience during our communication through meditation (check out this guided meditation I recorded to help you connect with your soul baby) and prayer.
I hear you, I would say, but I need more time. If you have read one of my all time favorite books, Spirit Babies, you know what I am talking about. I needed more time to heal, more time to detox, more time to restore, more time to devote my attention fully to taking care of Penelope.
And so the little soul has waited all year. Waited for me to do the things I wanted to do get my body and mind ready to carry another baby. And waited for Penelope to be ready, too. She needed to be in on the family decision to welcome in another soul. And of course they waited on my husband, ever the worrier about money and probably waited for us to get settled into our new beach life and for Peter and I to stop fighting so much. But now my baby is getting impatient. NOW, she says! And even Penelope too. She asks me daily, if the baby is in my belly yet. I tell her, soon, love, soon.
So the focus of the last year has been getting my mind right after my miscarriage. The focus of this year has been physical healing by detoxing, healing and restoring my pelvic area: my digestion and my uterus. In some ways, I have had some set backs (this summer when I first moved I pretty much went ape shit for a bit eating grains and sugar and coffee like it was going out of style) but most other ways, I have taken my nutrition and eating habits to the next level and healed my digestion to a place that is not perfect, but is light years from where it was just a couple of years ago. I also focused heavily on increasing my magnesium stores, with Ancient Minerals lotion and Natural Calm for many different reasons, but mostly to guard off from debilitating morning sickness that I have experienced with every pregnancy.
As I get closer to the actual official moment of “trying” these are the other steps I have taken:
No more detox! I am giving my liver a break. Your liver works hard during a detox and it works hard during a pregnancy. Time for it to just take a chill pill.
I am focusing on holding in the energy in my pelvis. No more digestive fire increasing/downward energy moving supplements, herbs (like red clover, peppermint, or dandelion), or therapies. I am focusing on keeping my energy in my pelvis now, instead of flushing it out.
I got better quality probiotics. Natren (Preventrio) is a brand that actually colonizes the digestion system instead of just helping digestion as it is moving through. I am using the non-dairy, even though I don’t plan on being totally dairy-free during my pregnancy, I do want to limit my dairy intake this pregnancy, because I do seem get some inflammatory responses when I have to process too much dairy, even raw dairy.
I starting making herb infusions with nettle, oat straw, and chamomile. Not a tea, but an herb infusion, it’s basically tea that has been steeped overnight. To make tea infusions, take half cup of herbs, put in quart mason jar, fill with boiling water and let it sit overnight.
I also started drinking red raspberry leaf tea. I wanted to see how I reacted to it and gauge whether or not it was a good call to continue during pregnancy if and when I do get pregnant. It is an herb that tones the uterus and I may or not need any additional toning.
I will continue with some of my uterus self care routines during the first half of my cycle (first day of period to ovulation). So for me that meant, 1-2 castor oil packs and one vaginal steam bath sometime in the first half of my cycle and gentle self care massage every night. I will continue to do my nightly baths but only with sea salt and spirulina powder.
I will stop my uterus self care routines at ovulation and ride out the cycle to see if I got pregnant.
Gained a couple of pounds. Well, since I am an ambitious over-achiever, I went ahead and did this early. See above about when I moved and I was eating grains, sugar and coffee like it was going out of style. Even though I have cut that behavior out, I have upped my calorie intake of nutrient-dense food, especially good quality fats, and kept the weight on. Your body needs extra fat for your hormones to work properly. So while I understand how uncomfortable it can be to carry some extra weight before you even get pregnant, it really does make a huge difference.
Got off all caffeine and alcohol. Oh, coffee got me through the summer of transition but it was time to cut that shit out. Caffeine can reduce fertility and increase miscarriage by 50%. I don’t have good enough odds when I am off caffeine and pregnant, so I don’t have the luxury of keeping this drug a part of my daily routine. And I also cut out my red wine. I don’t drink wine every night, usually once a week I open up a bottle of red and drink it for a couple of nights. But that got cut out too. Again, giving the ole liver as much time to recuperate and rest up as possible.
Started charting and taking my basal temperature. I busted out the basal thermometer and then decided to upgrade to this one to test it out. But truth be told, I do not think it is worth the extra money and it was not easy to use, so just stick to a cheapy one. I stopped charting my daily temperatures after Penelope was born because I was being woken up all hours of the night and getting up for the day at a different time each morning. I continued to track length of my cycle and physical indicators, such as vaginal mucous, but gave up on basal temp reading for accurate ovulation window a long time ago. But now its back baby. And how my OCD brain loves it. And this time no more pencil and paper chart! I have handy apps on my iPhone! I linke Kindara the best, but a new one called Glow is pretty cool too and free.
Other supplements I have added in my routine in addition to my normal daily supplements (cod liver oil, probiotics and prenatal vitamin) to aid in balancing my hormones:
1-2 tablespoons of flax/pumpkin seeds first half of cycle, and sesame/sunflower second half of cycle
1 tablespoon of flax oil or capsules first half of cycle/ evening primrose the second half of cycle
Maca, taken the first half of cycle. This herb supports proper hormonal balance in both men and women, encourages a healthy libido in both men and women, supports normal egg health, promote normal sperm health, support normal FSH levels, encourages normal endometrium health, may be beneficial in preparation for IVF
Vitex, taken the second half of cycle. This herb, supports a healthy menstrual cycle, encourage a normal luteal phase (second half of a woman’s cycle), promotes regular ovulation, supports the body’s natural progesterone levels, aids and support the pituitary gland, supports normal FSH levels, ease occasional PMS symptoms
Progesterone cream the second half of cycle
Female tonic, 3 times a day for 10 days at beginning of cycle, ending on ovulation
Zinc, taken the whole cycle, is a super important mineral that aids in digestion, hormone production and immunity. It is an essential component of genetic material. This means that a deficiency in zinc can cause chromosomal changes in either partner which in turn causes reduced fertility and greater risk of miscarriage
Chromium helps regulate your blood sugar, which in turn helps regulate your hormones. If you are eating a ton of sugar, grains and starches, your body is working hard to produce insulin to get your blood sugar back to normal after eating sugar, then your liver has to work hard to get all those extra hormones out of your system. You are better off just not eating sugar, but if you can’t be perfect, then chromium is a helpful tool to get you closer to balance.
I am also going to try lunaception this time too. I always sleep with an eye mask on and need total darkness, but I am going to try and let some light in and just experiment with it for fun. My cycles are very regular and I will be charting, so I don’t know how helpful it will be, but it is interesting.
And lastly for good measure, I am also wearing a fertility bracelet my friend made me. She has an amazing handmade jewelry business called Blue Sky Designs. And another friend of mine made me a special rosary. She has a cool business too, called Trendy Traditions, she is the same woman who made my special rosary for Silas.
And P.S. my husband has refused to participate in any type of detox to aid in our conception and to help create a healthier, stronger sperm which would better our chances to create a healthier, stronger and more vital baby. But he has agreed to take Maca, which for men improves health of sperm. If you have a husband that is more open minded than mine, there are lots of things he could be doing to help such as doing a major detox, overhauling diet and increasing his nutritional stores, herbs for balancing his hormones, and abdominal massage and body work therapies to make sure his parts are working right and his body is making the most optimal and healthiest sperm possible-fertility is not all on women, although I know it feels like that. It takes two people to make a baby and it should be two people working hard to be the healthiest they can be for their baby.