Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Hate it When That Happens

I hate it when this happens, but Eric was right (well, kind of). Let me back up.

On Monday I went to my second chiropractic appointment to view my x-rays. In case you didn’t know, I’m RIGID. Everyone is supposed to have three sixty-three degree arches in their backs, forming a curvy snake shape (Really? Three 63 degree arches? Wow, God, You really rocked the human body!). But me, well, I have acute angles instead…at least in my neck. No wonder I get migraines.

After showing me how whacked out my vertebrae are, the chiropractor adjusted me. It was loud, but painless. In fact, it felt great. I think I got a little buzz off of it. Then the funniest thing happened (I’m getting to the part about Eric being right…).

The chiropractor had previously set up an appointment for me to come in the following day to discuss my “care plan” (I think I may have heard her say, “Show me the money,” under her breath). Then she asked if my husband could come with me to see the x-rays, because that would help him get on board.

Okay- that? Right there? Was weird. Because I hadn’t said ANYTHING about him thinking it was a scam. Was she reading my mind? Or worse…Was she reading my blog? You know, where I called her the head cheerleader and stuff.

I texted Eric who agreed to come (after joking about how they were going to try to make him drink the chiropractic kool-aid). Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon when we are both sitting in the office looking at my severely rigid neck x-rays, listening to the possible health and fertility benefits. Enter: the financial manager to discuss costs. Suddenly, I realized why Eric was there. This was going to be a serious financial commitment to the tune of $3300.

Really? $3300?
Um, maybe…………………………………………………………………………………….later?

So, that’s why I said I hate it when Eric is right. The funniest part of this is that somehow, after all of that, Eric has an appointment set up with them for a consultation next week. Blahahahaha!

Monday, July 26, 2010

No Control

My seventh grade science teacher, Mr. Adair, would probably be disappointed with my fertility experiment due to the numerous variables I have introduced. In fact, I was starting to lose track of them myself, so I decided to take time tonight to recap our many efforts on this reproductive journey. I’ve linked them to my past posts, so if you need a recap, too, it’s only a click away!

1. Prayers
2. Semen Analysis
3. Fertility Diet
4. Prenatal Vitamins
5. Ov Watch
6. Charting Cycle
7. Cervical Mucus
8. Acupuncture
9. Herbs
10. Fertility Bracelet
11. Lunar Phase Fertility
12. Chiropractic
13. Robitussin

What’s next? Hopefully a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to check my pipes. I have a consultation scheduled for Wednesday, and I’m hoping to get it in before school starts.  I guess that will be a big middle finger to getting this thing done "without the help of modern medicine."  Plus, I already took the Robitussin (Does that count?).

By the way, school starts on Friday the 13th... I think that says it all!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Put Some Tussin On It

Well, I guess Chris Rock’s dad was onto something when he told him to “put some Tussin on it.” Last month I came across a blog post at about the effects of Robitussin on cervical mucus and I’ve been waiting until just the right time to try it. Don’t worry; you don’t actually put the Tussin on any sensitive body parts (thank goodness)! Ingesting it three times a day for the five days prior to ovulation thins the mucus and creates a more hospitable environment for the sperm.

It’s important to make sure you take regular or generic Robitussin with Guaifenesin as the main ingredient (not Robitussin with letters like DM or CF behind it—as these won’t have the same effect).

I bought some at Harris Teeter (aka the “Teet”) tonight and plan on starting the Robo-regimen tomorrow morning.

Friday, July 23, 2010

F-Fest Begins!

In a previous post I mentioned lunar phase fertility, a theory presented in the 1950’s by Dr. Eugene Jonas, an astrology enthusiast, who was investigating why many women got pregnant when practicing the rhythm method. This theory proposes that contingent upon the cycle of the moon, a woman may ovulate more than one time during a given month.

After finding a website that would chart this information for customers using their birth date and time for about $40, I joked that I would save my cash for something else like shoes or jeans (although at this point, I’d probably use it for my next chiropractor’s visit).

The moon seems pretty mysterious and powerful to me, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit interested in this theory. Frank, one of my facebook friends from high school practices astrology and Reiki, so I messaged him after I wrote my previous post to find out what he knew about lunar phase fertility.

He already had my information (b-day, time of birth) so he took the initiative of calculating my most fertile time (for free!). According to Frank, my moon sign is a guestimated 18 degrees Capricorn, so my window to conceive is when the monthly moon sign goes into Capricorn.

He recommended that for the 3 days the moon is in Capricorn Eric and I should—let’s see, how should I put this—go at it like wild rabbits. Sorry, mom!

Well, guess what, it started today. Slightly before 5:00 AM this morning, and runs through Sunday, with the best chance for conception sometime around tomorrow afternoon (according to Frank).

Eric and I have dubbed this time F-Fest (the F is for fertility, of course).  Let the games begin!  Or should I say "continue"...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Give Me a C-N-S!

Bright and early this morning I ventured out to a local chiropractor for an initial consultation that I scheduled after reading about the link between chiropractic and infertility. This particular clinic has designated the theme for July as “Reproductive Issues.” As I crossed the threshold I felt as though I had entered another world.

Cheerleaders greeted me (ok, they weren’t really cheerleaders, but they might as well have been with all of their perpetual peppiness) and Kool and the Gang belted out “Celebrate good times, Come on!” There was even a big sign with “Welcome Annie B,” plastered in neon green across it! I’m so not kidding here.

I flashed back to my senior year when I went to visit colleges, specifically Texas A&M, where they cheered, chanted, sang, howdy-ed and bubbled over with school spirit (If you know any Aggies, you know what I’m talking about, right?). It totally freaked me out (which could be why I eventually ended up at UT (hook ‘em))!

After the shock of the initial fanfare wore off, I was escorted to a small room where the doctor (aka head cheerleader) explained the function of the spinal cord and central nervous system and the effects associated with sublaxation (due to misalignment of the vertebrae). She suggested that this could contribute to my migraines, hormonal imbalances and possibly even our unexplained infertility.

She went on to proclaim that a well-known joke among chiropractors, are sitting around at chiropractic conferences, sipping white wine is to ask, “How many babies are named after you?” because of all the pregnancies that pop up after clients get properly adjusted (Hmm…who knew?). By the way, I’ve been craving white wine—or any wine, or a mimosa—all day now!

She then instructed me to stand on an “X” as she looked at me in a mirror that was cross-sectioned off and examined my posture. Ready? Okay! Slight left hip protrusion, head tilt to the right… until that moment I like, never realized that I like stand like a total valley girl. Gag a maggot (with a spoon)!

Following a brief interview about past accidents, my stress levels and our infertility issues, I was ushered into an x-ray room where a technician took several pictures of my vertebrae. Shortly thereafter I met with the cheerful receptionist again to schedule my next appointment, so the doctor can read my x-rays and possibly adjust me.

Around noon, Eric came home for lunch and got irritated with me because he thinks chiropractic is quackery. Of course they’ll adjust me, he suspiciously conjectured…and adjust me and adjust me and adjust me over and over again until all that’s left in my pockets is lint! I was irritated at this rejection of the notion that some inkling of a possibility might exist that this could work.

Though I, too, have wondered about the legitimacy of chiropractic, it doesn’t really seem any more absurd than acupuncture (and I do love acupuncture). In fact, it makes more sense to me. If I had to choose between chi and central nervous system, give me a C-N-S, any old day of the week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Five Facile Ways To Forecast Your Fertility

1. Ovulation Calendars and Calculators such as are free and easy, especially if you have a regular cycle. Simply enter in the date of your last period, cycle length and luteal phase length (if you aren’t sure, just select the defaults) and click to view your lucky date!

2. Basal Body Temperature is slightly more complicated, but also more precise. For less than $10 you can purchase a basal thermometer at your local pharmacy. This is a super-sensitive thermometer that tracks even the tiniest shift in your body temperature. Use it at the same time every morning before you even get out of bed—when your temperature spikes, ovulation is complete. Since it basically tells you after the fact, chart it for a month or so until you can begin to make your own prediction about when you are most fertile.

3. Fertility Monitors are more expensive than other methods (ranging from $150 to $250), but also give you up to seven days advanced notice prior to ovulation—especially great for those of us with slightly irregular cycles. The Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor is a digital reader that requires you to urinate on test sticks to predict ovulation. The OvaCue Monitor uses saliva to predict fertility. If you aren’t into bodily fluids, check out the Ov Watch, a digital, sporty, watch-like monitor that can be worn while sleeping.

4. Ovulation Predictor Kits are similar to pregnancy tests, since you have to urinate on them and wait a few minutes for the results. Although they don’t give you the heads up that the fertility monitors do, they are less expensive, averaging $35 for a one month supply.

5. Cervical Mucus changes throughout a woman’s cycle. At your most fertile time, cervical mucus is the consistency of egg whites and can be stretched up to about two inches between your thumb and forefinger. It’s your body’s natural lubricant to help the sperm on their journey to the egg. It may sound invasive, but it’s free and easy!

It’s up to you to decide the method that best suits your needs… or try a combination to discover your fertile days on your TTC journey!

Stick It In Me

Oh, calm down, now—I’m referring to acupuncture! Today I participated in my second fertility acupuncture treatment at Re-Soul in Charleston.

After checking out my tongue and taking my twelve meridian pulses, to the rhythmic beats of Ali Farka (Did I mention this chick has great taste in music? Oh yeah, I did in my previous acupuncture post, Pins and Needles), AmyJo, my acupuncturist, herbalist and future BFF (just kidding, Val) commenced sticking me with tiny needles.

Last time twelve needles pierced my upper back, but today I was stuck with fifteen. Six in my hands (as pictured), six in my feet, two in my legs near my knees, and one in my upper sternum, all relatively painless.

AmyJo mixed up a new concoction of herbs for me, a recipe she recently discovered at a workshop she attended in Seattle. According to her, this potion will give the “emperor a throne”…Honestly, I’m not sure what that means, but as long as he stays clear of my uterus, we’re cool.

Unfortunately, these herbs taste way worse than the last batch—a flavor reminiscent of kerosene. I got the hiccups after taking them and thought I was going to vomit. I’m going to try to slam another shot’s worth before brushing my teeth, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep this up (or down, for that matter).

Next week: Acupuncture appointment number three with a cherry on top—Eric will get a treatment, too! Don’t worry, honey, AmyJo said you can rest assured that the needles won’t go anywhere near your yin or yang.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hang on for the Ride

Today I rode the hormonal roller coaster-- figuratively speaking, that is. I recently started reading Eat, Pray, Love. In the beginning of the book, Elizabeth Gilbert recounts her fears and lack of desire to have a baby, which contributes to the demise of her first marriage. Her sister compares having a baby to getting a tattoo on your face—something you better be pretty darned committed to! I woke up giggling about this analogy, since I found it incredibly humorous. Not that long ago, I, too, was unsure about whether or not I wanted to birth a baby.

Not in a Prissy-from-Gone-with-the-Wind-birthing-no-babies way, but actually being the one to gain weight, get hemorrhoids, have my size 9 feet (and maybe nose) grow, get cut “down there”, squeeze a human out of my vajayjay and so on. Thankfully, I’m totally over that now (wink)!

As I stepped into the shower this morning, I was feeling extremely positive about this whole fertility situation. I’ve been reading other peoples’ blogs about infertility lately, and so many of them are sad and depressed. Many are jealous of their friends and family members who are starting or growing their families. Then, they feel guilty about being jealous.

Luckily, I don’t share those feelings. Although I can understand them, I have more of a “que sera sera” attitude. If we can’t get this done the natural, vajayjay ripping way, we’ll get it done another way and love our babies—biological or otherwise.

I carried this attitude to my breast exam appointment (which was slightly less invasive than my last bra fitting at Nordstrom’s). After getting felt up, I chatted with my primary care physician about the possibility of scheduling an HSG (where they shoot dye into the fallopian tubes to see if there’s anything blocking the yellow brick road).

Since we’re an Air Force family, everything has to get proper clearance for take-off. Coincidentally, our doctor is going through IVF right now, so she is very empathetic to our situation and wrote the referral right there in the office. I left the base hospital in a fabulous mood.

When I got home, my hormones must’ve kicked into overdrive, because I started getting a migraine-- which reminded me that I had forgotten to get my migraine medication refilled at the base hospital. Grrr! So, I slathered my face and head with Stop Pain and laid down to take a nap.

It hurt less when I awoke, so I surfed the net and checked my email. I happened upon an article from Self magazine about the silence of infertility ( and got all teary eyed, feeling sorry for the people in the article who were too ashamed to talk about their infertility with their friends and family. People who spent over 100K for IVF that didn’t even work! I felt lucky to be me—supported by my husband, family and friends!

Then Eric came home and we somehow got on the topic of adoption while we were making dinner. I started crying thinking about how long it could take and how expensive it is. I may have even shed a few tears into the baked eggplant.

But then I remembered my positive attitude from this morning and tried to re-embrace it. And my headache had gone away. So, I just got glad in the same britches I got sad in (stole that one from my momma). The roller coaster came to an abrupt halt and I hopped off that ride! Now, I’m back on solid ground.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


A few days ago I received a group email from one of my good friends in my ladies’ group from church requesting baby gear for a friend of hers who just found out she was SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT!?! Excuse my French, church ladies, but WTF?

Sure, I’ve seen this episode on TLC several times before, but when it’s someone I know (okay, it’s really someone someone I know knows) it makes it a heck of a lot stranger. According to The Caveman’s Pregnancy Companion (a little ditty Eric and I picked up at B&N), by the seventh month, the baby is the size of a pot roast. His or her head, eyes, hands, feet, digits, genitals, lashes, brows and nails are developed. He or she pees (ew), kicks, moves around, and reacts to light and sound outside the womb.

Did this unsuspecting mother-to-be mistake her seven months of pregnancy for one serious case of kick-ass indigestion? Was there no morning sickness? No ta-ta engorgement? No night time urination? No buttons popping off suddenly tightened clothing? And, what about, well, you know, the most obvious sign that something might be awry in vajayjay land?

It’s possible that I’m lacking empathy here (and therefore in need of extra prayer from my fellow church ladies), but, as Mark Twain so aptly put it, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!”

By the way, it’s a boy! If you’re feeling generous and have any baby gear you’d like to pass along to this brilliant Betty, let me know and I’ll make arrangements.

Friday, July 16, 2010

One Month Down, Two to Go

In sixty days (or 1,440 hours, but who’s counting?) I will turn 35 friggin’ years old. About a month ago, when I brought it to my husband’s attention that this monumental b-day was approaching, his response was, “Damn, baby! You’re old!” Since he’s only four months my junior, I’ll dismiss that comment as “cute” and let him live (plus, he IS an integral part of this here baby-making scheme).

Interestingly enough, today also corresponds with day 1 of something else I’ve been expecting. I think that’s an adequate explanation.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nailed it

Clickety clack, clickety clack! “What’s that sound?” you may ask. My fingernails tapping away on the keyboard, of course. Since I began taking prenatal vitamins about one month ago I have noticed that my fingernails have grown longer and stronger than usual. Not Guinness-Book-of-World-Records-haven’t-cut-them-in-so-many-years-they’re-curling-under long, but definitely longer than they usually make it before peeling off.

Supposedly, it’s a myth that prenatal vitamins cause fingernail (or hair) growth. The elevated hormones that come with pregnancy, however, can cause the extra growth. I’m not sure I am totally sold on the myth theory, since my fingernails are obviously (at least to me) longer than normal. My dark roots are following suit, too, so I’ll be making a salon appointment when we get back to Charleston.

On an unrelated note, day 32, and still no shark week. What’s up with that?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No Tea Party For Me

To steal a quote from the White Rabbit, “I’m late; I’m late, for a very important date!” Today is day 31 of my 29-30 day cycle. In the spirit of masochism, I urinated on ye olde pregnancy test #2 just to confirm the accuracy of the one I took on Sunday. Ditto.

A watched pot never boils, right? In fact, a watched pot will boil-- it just seems to take forever. I guess that’s what’s happening here with the rebooting of the ovarian operating system.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baby Dust

Two days ago I posted my blog on facebook, or “spacebook,” as my Uncle Kenneth (RIP) called it. The response it generated was quite overwhelming. Not only is everyone rooting for us to get knocked up with their comments (*like*), but my inbox was flooded with encouraging emails and testimonials from empathetic girlfriends who either are or have been in the same position (figuratively speaking).

Most of these commiserates are thirtysomethings like me, but few of them have openly shared their fertility challenges because of pain and isolation they have experienced. We spent the majority of our twenties curled up with our contraceptives of choice, fearing pregnancy like the black plague. The pervading assumption was that once we stopped the preventative maintenance our bellies would swell with offspring. We held friends and acquaintances who cried in our arms because of accidents, which I now prefer to call “surprises.” We took baskets of baby paraphernalia to showers for our young married friends and shuddered at the thought of being responsible for anything more than ourselves (and possibly our pets).

Then we grew up, got married, planned families, only to discover that it wasn’t as easy as we once thought. For me, writing this blog is almost cathartic. I take pleasure in exploring the nontraditional, finding humor in the midst of disappointment and shocking and awing my friends and family. It’s pleasing to think that others might find some morsel of comfort within these lines.

Thanks to those of you who have shared your tips and stories with me, from IVF to adoptions to surrogacy (and all the positions in between). And to those of you who aren’t quite there yet, baby dust!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mean Girls

This is the fertility vase of the Ndebele Tribe!

Does that mean anything to you?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Big Fat Negative

Since I was a little girl, it has been virtually impossible for me to wait for a surprise. Before every Christmas I would wait until my mom and dad were busy, quietly sneak into the living room, carefully unwrap the ends of my presents and peek inside to see what I would be getting. Eventually, my mother must have wised up to this, because one year she stopped putting names on the gift tags, so the gifts remained a mystery until the big day. Foiled again!

On the eve of game day for the Crimson Tide, in the spirit of spoiling surprises (and not being able to play the aforementioned waiting game), we broke down and invested in Clear Blue Easy. The result? As you probably guessed by the title of this post, it was a BFN (big “fat” negative, y’all). At first, I was disappointed and frowny, but then we went to Pei Wei and my pre-dinner fortune cookie opined, “You are a lover of words, someday you should write a book.”

I have since decided to embrace this opportunity to continue my fantabulously hysterical blog with hopes of one day turning it into a best seller (Thank you, Confucius). Anyway, how else would I spend the remainder of my summer?!?

Better luck next time! For now, its T minus 9 months and holding.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Waiting Game

Just in case you were wondering (and I’m sure you were), today is day 27 of my 29-30 day cycle. A mountainous pimple making its debut on my right cheek and my sore ta-tas are probably glaring signs that Aunt Flo is on her way. Plus, I was a teensy bit short tempered last night when I shouted a less than kind suggestion (which may or may not have included a particularly offensive expletive) to our loud, intoxicated neighbors through the hotel wall. (Note to the Westin Riverwalk: Although your beds are extremely comfortable and your rooms impeccably decorated, your paper thin walls have driven a colossal wedge between us. Take a good look at this blemished face, as it will be your last! ). Nevertheless, I am still holding out hope that there might be a bun in this oven.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Name Dropping

It’s not just us common folk that have trouble multiplying… famous people have fertility challenges, too.

Some have success with IVF, such as: Courtney Cox and David Arquette, Christie Brinkley, Marcia Cross, Jennifer Lopez (rumored), Celine Dion, Brooke Shields, Julia Roberts and Danny Moder, The Dixie Chicks (Martie Maguire and Emily Robison), Jane Seymour, David Beckham and Victoria Spice, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, and Gillian Anderson.

Other stars, like Angela Bassett, Kelsey Grammer, Diedre Hall, and Katy Sagal chose to use a surrogate.

Adoption was the option for Jamie Lee Curtis, Hugh Jackman, Sharon Stone, Sheryl Crow, Mary Louise Parker, Diane Keaton, and Kirstie Alley.

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton went through several failed attempts at IVF, but conceived naturally later.

Studies show that celebrity fertility issues are, in fact, more common than the names they pick out for their children. Studies conducted by me, that is…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

To Stress or Not To Stress

Two extremely polar views exist about stress and fertility. Most experts claim that stress can negatively impact fertility, especially stress that comes from not getting pregnant. Studies at Harvard University have shown that women who undergo stress-relieving therapies before fertilization have a greater chance of conceiving. Doctors in New Jersey used leg and foot massages on women as experimental treatment before embryos were transferred and noted some measure of success. Personally, I find this a totally awesome and reasonable reason to request a foot massage from Eric (who, by the way, also gives a mean pedicure).

Another school of thought exists among astrologists who believe that lunar phases can impact fertility. According to this theory, the moon can trigger a woman to ovulate twice during her menstrual cycle. They claim that stress and sexual activity can increase this possibility. Each person’s lunar cycle is dependent on the phase of the moon on the day they were born. For a mere $49.99 one can order her own Personal Lunar Fertility Guide, available in only two business days!

Although I’ve never been gaga over astrology (with the exception of checking my horoscope in the back of Teen magazine during my formative years), I do like the idea that stress can trigger double ovulation, allowing me to lay two eggs in one month. You see, stress is my friend. We go way back. We spend most of our time together during the months of August through May (can you guess my profession?), but he frequently pops in for a visit during the summer months, too.

For now, I think I’ll save my $49.99 for something else. Perhaps some organic veggies, another OV Watch sensor, half a pair of shoes, or a quarter of a pair of jeans… or maybe a damn good foot massage.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good to Great

I mentioned in a former post that after my one experience with the fertility doctor in Georgia I never went back. Well, my better half did return for a semen analysis (you know, to check the old baby batter). A week or so after the test, they called him to give results. The verdict? “Good but not great.” Being the typical caveman that he is, he let that ride without further question. For a while, I did too. When I started blogging about our fertility ventures, however, I became increasingly curious and asked him to get the Semen Analysis Report so my investigative reporter alter ego could Google every aspect and get a more specific prognosis (if you want it done right…).

In order to get the report, he had to call the fertility doctor’s office and get a release form faxed to him, complete it and fax it back, and they faxed him the report. Unfortunately, after he faxed the release back, he was called out to work on the flight line, far, far, away from the fax machine. Whilst he was working away, his report came in without a cover sheet. The title, “SEMEN ANALYSIS REPORT” flashed across the top of the page, bolded in all capital letters. His name was further down, across from the heading, “Collection Method: Masturbation.” One of his female superiors politely rescued it off the fax machine (probably after some other cavemen got a few chuckles out of it), placed it in an envelope and scribbled a reassuring note across the front (something to the effect of “This looked like personal medical information, so I put it in an envelope. P.S. I didn’t read it”).

I have to say he was an awesome sport about the whole thing! I think if it were me I would still be avoiding eye contact with that person. I guess that makes my caveman a little more mature than me. Hmmm… go figure.

The report basically analyzes several main aspects of the semen: general characteristics (such as color, volume, viscosity, odor (!) and round cells), motility, morphology and viability. According to the key, or reference range, provided on the test all of his numbers fall into the normal ranges, with the exception of morphology. Out of 100 sperm, 6% were of normal morphology (it appears the other 94 either had too many Krispy Kremes or need to work on increasing their vocabularies). This sounds like a low percentage, but it really isn’t too far off. The normal range is above 14%, and between 4% and 14% is “good prognosis/ sub-fertile.” Thus, the genius doctor’s categorization of “good, but not great.”

The test was “administered” last October, and according to my book on natural conception, people fluctuate between periods of fertility and sub-fertility. Hopefully the warm, summer weather will get those little tadpoles back in action. Now, if we can both align our fertile periods, we’ll be good (but not great) to go!

Off the Wagon

Okay, it’s confession time. I have totally toppled off the fertility wagon! Not only have I forgotten to wear my Ov Watch on four occasions, take my prenatal vitamin on three occasions and drink my fertility herbs on five plus occasions, but traveling and the fourth of July holiday have also eff-bombed up our fertility diet.

My sweet momma bought a ton of organic fruits and veggies for us (she really wants some grandkids), but traveling back and forth to the hospital in Shreveport to stay with my cousin has made it hard to find time to eat them (Refined Carbs 1, Fertility 0). Plus, I had a couple of cups of coffee on Saturday at Cracker Barrel. The chaos of the last week has blitzkrieged Operation Fertilization to smithereens! Although I suppose it’s not a total loss because we haven’t smoked, drank or taken illicit drugs (or eaten sushi). Yay us.

Before we get the big “FAIL” stamp, I have to put this in perspective, as it was only one week shot to hell. And, we did manage to maintain the baby dance schedule during peak hours, which is probably the most important aspect. In hindsight, I probably should have realized that vacations and strict fertility diet plans don’t mix.

Now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, I feel much better. With about ten more days of vacation, I intend to cowgirl up on the vitamins and herbs. The diet may be postponed until our return to Chucktown (picture Eric jumping up and down, brownies in hand, as I write this).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

And Venus Was Her Name

Bananarama crooned about a “goddess on a mountain top,” but I’m pretty sure that Venus of Willendorf was not what they had in mind when writing these lyrics. This 26,000 year old (that makes her about 25,966 years older than me) figurine of a voluptuous (aka “curvy” on, nude female with exaggerated genitals from the Paleolithic era is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Discovered in Austria in 1908 by archeologist Josef Szombathy, this statuette is considered an icon of prehistoric artwork.

Many people speculate that her gargantuan jugs, expansive belly and magnified vajayjay lend to the theory that she was created as a symbol of fertility and womanhood. Interestingly enough, she has no face, but very intricately designed hair that coils from the top of her head downward. This faceless representation reveals that she is more an emblem of the fascination with the female body, rather than a sculpture of some caveman’s girlfriend.

Hopefully this is no predictor of impending changes due to pregnancy weight gain; because it appears the Venus is in serious need of a mommy-makeover. Just looking at her makes my boobs ache. Lucky for me, Eric has already agreed (after some arm twisting) to procure a personal trainer for me for at least 3 months after we have a baby. I’m thinking of adding a clause to double the length of time in the case of twins.

As for Ms. Wilendorf, she may not make the cover of Vanity Fair, but she is definitely present in numerous art history textbooks. She’s got it! Yeah, baby, she’s got it!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Too Tired. To Write. Till Tomorrow.

You may have noticed that I recently skipped a few postings. Between driving a thousand miles, keeping vigil at the hospital as my orneriest cousin recovers from a terrible car accident, and squeezing in the “deed”, I have been too exhausted. To form complete sentences. But I. Intend to try harder. From here on out!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fertility Rocks!

In my quest to learn about everything fertility, I came across an article about a fertility bracelet worn by Jacqueline on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I’ve never experienced the pure pleasure of actually watching the show, but the article revealed that this particular housewife got pregnant after wearing the bracelet, so I decided to research fertility gemstones and make my own.

Several websites claim that certain natural gemstones such as carnelian, moonstone, and coral contain minerals that can affect the body and enhance fertility. Others claim that particular gemstones and crystals can influence the chakras, thus improving reproductive energy. This sounds a little hokey to me, but I figure it’s worth a shot. Plus, the last time I made jewelry was in elementary school when friendship pins and braided string friendship bracelets were “like, totally gnarly, dude,” so I thought I’d give it a try.

First, I found a bead store on the peninsula called Beads on Cannon. It would have been more aptly named Beads in Da Hood, Beads Behind Metal Bars, or Beads: Don’t Come Here Unless You’re Packing a Cannon, because it was in a rough part of town (emphasis on the rough)! No eye contact was made as I scurried from my car; past shady characters camped out on their porches and abandoned buildings muraled with gang tags.

As I opened the barred doors to enter the store, the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” circled in my mind (remaining there until I finished shopping and began wishing one of the clerks had volunteered to escort me to my car (as I wondered if my rims and wheels were still intact (luckily they were, as apparently they are not “spinny” enough for this crowd))).

Inside the safe haven of the store were beads galore-- two stories of wall to wall bead strands, with hip, friendly staff members to guide me to each type of stone on my list. I even found some egg-shaped freshwater pearls which are particularly symbolic, due to the patience required in their creation and the touted aphrodisiac qualities of oysters.

The bracelet was a cinch to make, with the exception of the clasp, which Eric kindly attached for me. So, in the end it was a team effort (hello, symbolism). Stay tuned to find out if this real housewife of Charleston County will be pregnant in the next episode.