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What Do You Believe In?

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

Is there anything you wouldn’t try to conceive a baby? Sometimes I think the answer for me is no, but it depends on when you ask me. When I’m in the middle of a cycle, taking nightly injections of progesterone, daily suppositories (twice or three times daily), estrogen in some form or another, prenatal vitamins, baby Aspirin, pill upon pill, shot upon shot, it often feels like I would do—and have done—almost anything I can to try to have another kid. Ironically, it’s when I’m really in the thick of things—no matter how emotionally and physically draining it is on me and my family—that I think I would move mountains to have another child.

It’s when I have a little more distance that I sometimes think otherwise. Failure can do funny things to people: It motivates me to want to try harder. A negative pregnancy test immediately sends me into, “Okay, what’s next?” mode. But once I’ve returned to my semi-normal, half-sane self, I realize how content I am with the family I already have, and might be done with all this infertility nonsense. More than just content: I’m happy. Blessed. Incredibly grateful for having such a beautiful, hilarious, healthy child, whom I didn’t have a single struggle with to conceive. Maybe this is our fate. He’s the biggest accomplishment and blessing in my life. How could I not be content with that? And he is so full of life and personality, sometimes I think he’s enough for us.

But mostly that’s me telling myself what I want to hear, because all this scientific stuff I’m putting my body through—and the medicines I’m injecting myself with—feels like the least natural thing to do to have a child. The way it makes me feel, the side effects, take a very big toll on me. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t react well to any of the fertility drugs. The shots don't bother me at all—and my husband’s good at giving them—but it’s the after effects that make me feel very icky. And then the guilt of me being sick and crabby starts to weigh heavy on me…and it’s all so unfair to Preston, who just wants his perky mommy to play with.

I wish there was another way, frankly. This has become so scientific for me, but I’m not really one to believe in a more holistic approach to medicineI wish I did. I wish I believed the acupuncture I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on is doing something to boost my fertility. I’d love to believe that eating healthier has also helped. I’d love to believe that doing a femoral massage to bring more blood flow to my uterus and ovaries is helping strengthen my reproductive system—but I don't. What I do believe? That believing in these things is part and parcel to them working.

The other day my acupuncturist told me my uterus was cold. Pardon me!? I wasn’t sure if I should take offense to this. But she meant the temperature. She asked me to feel it, and it was a little chilly. I wore flip-flops to the appointment and it was about 70 degrees out. I didn’t feel chilly at all, but apparently my uterus was icy. She explained how important it was to keep my uterus warm, and gave me some tips (dress warmer and apply hot compresses or a warm heating pad to my stomach).

I got an email recently about another fertility-booster called Premium Oyster Powder. "Oysters are not only an aphrodisiac; they are nature's gift for boosting fertility,” according to the founder, Thierry Lerond, of Nutrilys Del Mar, a company that develops marine-based supplements. “The high levels of zinc and amino acids found in oysters are key ingredients for increasing fertility, assisting fetal development, breastfeeding and preventing post-partum depression.” I'm actually tempted to try it.

I’d love to believe in something other than just science and nature when it comes to my fertility. What do you believe helps boost your fertility? Is there anything you’ve tried or can recommend? Hey, I'm open to anything at this point! Leave a comment.

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