Pregnancy // Things we did differently the month we conceived...

January 01, 2019

Happy, Happy New Year! I'm starting back on the pregnancy posts and wanted to keep it in order so firstly here are the things we did differently on that positive month in which we fell pregnant, if that's something which interests you... {I know that in the end we weren’t trying for all that long but I know that this was the kind of blog post I was seeking out when going through that time and also I’m one of those people who has to read/research everythingggg if I set my mind to something so I hope it might help?}

  • Took royal jelly capsules for the first time. My cycles were always longer than average, at about 32-35 days, but the month we got our positive I took these royal jelly capsules {along with bee pollen from Panzer's Deli - similar here and bee propolis} from day 1 of my cycle to the time that I ovulated and the oestrogen definitely made me ovulate a lot earlier. Could it have happened without royal jelly? Possibly I guess but I’d heard so many wonder stories from people taking it and I’m sure it played a part in this. For this reason we call this baby ‘baby bee’! Those magical bees with all their amazing bi products and health/fertility properties. Ben was also taking this. I have to warn you to be careful with bee products though, to make sure you're not allergic to them and start very slowly with the dose, we alternated so took royal jelly everyday for the first 16 days {don't go beyond ovulation} along with either the pollen or the propolis - not all at once. Please do your own research, I'm simply sharing what worked for us. And once you are pregnant, don't take any of it as it hasn't been proven safe {I'm still not taking them now I'm breastfeeding just in case}.
Update - since writing this blog post, I've had countless messages from followers saying they tried the bee products and are now pregnant. This makes me SO happy to hear that there are other baby bees out there too.
  • Had a lot of cinnamon. Not really intentionally, although I had heard it was good for fertility, but that month was October which was the time I had lots of pumpkin to use and so made a lot of pumpkin cakes with cinnamon but also pumpkin porridge with a shed load in plus walnuts. Again, did it make a difference? Who knows but it can’t do any harm? 
  • In addition to these things we were doing every month now too; 
  • Both taking a pre-conception vitamin {these}. We’d been doing this for three months before we started trying to get this into our system as it can take that long to have an effect on egg and sperm production. 
  • Neither of us drink any alcohol or caffeine so this didn’t affect us but felt good that it should be helping us. The official advice is to try and cut down on both. 
  • Eat a good healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Again we didn’t really do anything different here but we did try and add more nuts and fish in which are both good for fertility. 
  • CUT OUT TURMERIC. I can’t stress this enough. Ben and I had been having a lot of turmeric in our smoothie everyday for about 2 years after we heard how anti cancer it was and a strong anti inflammatory. We thought we were doing ourselves the world of good. But at the same time we weren’t getting pregnant. I read one day that you shouldn’t have anti inflammatories like ibuprofen in the 2 week wait as it can stop a baby implanting and suddenly it clicked. What if turmeric is doing that too? I googled it and realised that it wasn’t only bad for me, but in some studies, it’s effects on stopping growth are so strong that it could actually stop sperm from swimming altogether. And the cucurmim was being considered as contraception. {!}. We immediately stopped taking it and felt so annoyed with ourselves. It was 2 months after we stopped that I then got pregnant. Again, who knows the true effect but if you’re trying for a baby I’d avoid if you were taking lots of it daily like we both were. 

  • Have acupuncture. The first month that I came off the pill, my hormones were crazy and the cycle was going on forever. Acupuncture was recommended and so I went to a natural fertility clinic near me in St Albans and booked a block of 8 sessions. I loved it so much. Partly as my acupuncturist Mana, half Thai and half Chinese, was this really wise lady who had taught all around the world and knew both eastern and western medicine. Acupuncture helps to balance your body, and is recommend alongside anyone going through IVF as it has been proven to have a positive effect on fertility. Mana told me that as much as I wanted a baby soon, if my body wasn’t ready then it wouldn’t support a pregnancy. She focused on getting my body ready through the balance of acupuncture and I used to pretty much float out of each appointment after falling asleep every single time. She’d also always tell me ‘just enjoy making baby, relax, have fun’. Wise advice Mana. 
  • Probably TMI but we heard rave things about this pre-seed, erm let’s call it fluid?, which is proven to work with sperm rather than against. We used it a few times when we remembered but equally we didn't want to kill the mood each time thinking 'we're only doing this to make a baby right now'. I don't think we even used this the month we got pregnant though.
  • Used these ovulation predictor tests {OPKs} to track when you’re ovulating if you have irregular cycles. I found this so useful as I was ovulating for the first few months around day 18/19 which was much longer than I expected. You should pee on these sticks twice a day from day 10 of your cycle and wait for a positive. With a positive you’re then likely to ovulate within 24 hours. Remember to have sex in the days before ovulation though as that’s the key fertile window because sperm can survive for up to 7 days whereas an egg only lives for a maximum of 48 hours. But it should help you to work out your pattern. You can also do something called 'BBT' which is basal body temping where you should take your temperature on a special thermometer everyday at the same time before getting up and chart it to look at your pattern {there are apps/graphs for this} but I didn't use it as wouldn't have been able to remember to do it every morning before sitting up in bed.
  • Look up the ‘sperm meets egg’ method which talks about how to increase your chances of falling pregnant each month. Which includes, unsurprisingly, having a lot of sex. 
  • Learn about your cycle. After 10 years on the pill, I had no idea about my body at all really. Everything I thought I knew was just fake hormones. So it was such an education for me to really listen to my body now it was all real. To recognise the signs of ovulation like rosy cheeks, feeling super attracted to men and if you’re anything like me, you’ll get addicted to tracking your TMI WARNING, cervical mucus... which really is the biggest indicator of all for when you’re fertile. Google this if you’re not aware, I won’t explain all here... 
  • Even if you’re not trying for a baby, understanding your cycle and the way it affects your mood is so important. I realised how on top of the world I felt around ovulation and how everything seemed so bleak around my period days. 
  • For tracking all of this use a fertility tracker app. I liked Ovia but then discovered that Glow is the best one to use and is more intelligent. It will adjust your calendar when you input ovulation/your period and make it easier to predict for next month. I found it useful to know where I was cycle wise and also input all the times we tried which shows as a little heart {like some weird kind of adult sticker reward chart 😂}. 
  • Remember that making a baby isn’t always easy. It’s so hard to get caught up in the trap of remembering those people who just got pregnant by accident from one night. Or that you’ve been told ever since school to ‘be careful having sex, you will get pregnant {and die that mean girls reference haha} but in reality it’s hard. There are about 5 days each month when you’re fertile and even if you’ve done everything perfectly and are both healthy, there’s only about a 25% chance. Every pregnancy is a true miracle. Friends and Ben tried to remind me of this when we were trying and I remember thinking ‘well there’s an awful lot of miracles around!’. I found it useful to watch a video on youtube of the science behind conception/sperm trying to meet the egg though to remind myself of just what a journey against the odds it really is. 
  • Don’t stress. Easier said than done but you want your body to be as relaxed and happy as can be. 
  • The official advice when trying for a baby is not to worry until at least a year of regular trying for women under 35 I think. Which just feels like forever if you’re anything like me and super impatient. But remember those odds. 
  • Listen to these podcasts which really helped me to focus and rationalise everything; Emma Cannon on the Parent Hood {by Marina Fogle} and Emma Cannon on the Motherkind podcast. And this post on Clemmie Telford's blog made me feel like I wasn’t the only one feeling wildly out of control. 
  • Keep enjoying life. Book those holidays you want to take and make the most of being baby free because as much as you want it, I imagine that life will never be quite the same again. 

R <3 xx

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