Fruits of our labour

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Last year we bought a house. The garden needed lots of work, still does. I’ve been slowly chipping away at it.

We inherited a lovely little plum and pear tree. Both have been struggling, they are old, scrawny, ravaged by slugs. They hadn’t produced fruit in years we were told. We decided to put a compost near them to see if that might boost their growth.

A year of organic compost later, the nutrients and goodness feeding them for the last year has turned these sad, barren little trees into lush, solid, strong trees bursting with luscious fruit. I have been pulling gorgeous, delicious fruit off them for weeks. They are so sweet and so tasty.

I can’t help but make the comparison to my withering miserable old womb. Progressively with each loss my awareness and attention of my womb has increased. Progressively over the past year I’ve been giving it more love and more attention and more nutrients and more goodness. Maybe one day it will flourish too.

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The Sauce

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I stopped drinking this year on New Year’s Day 1 January 2013.

It’s not official or anything and it’s actually been over a year but there were a couple of alcohol fuelled meltdowns after each loss last year so I don’t count last year. Haven’t touched the stuff properly since New Year.

Do I miss it? Hell yes.

Why am I doing this? Is it because I won’t allow myself to live a little? No.

Is it because drinking has a negative affect on fertility? No (but I suppose that’s the upside of quitting).

It’s because I know as soon as I get back on it there’ll be no stopping me. I can’t just have one drink or a few sips. All the months of anxiety and anger and grief will come flooding out with every sip. It’s an exposure I can’t afford. I reckon I’m not far from reaching the bottom of pit-o-despair as it is. A little help from the sauce might just expedite me there on a direct train.

The relief and release from having a drink for me is fleeting. It feels good at the time but then my sadness reappears even stronger. I don’t want to feel worse right now, I want to feel better.

Currently, I can’t even attempt that little glass of vino with dinner for fear of needing to shotgun it directly from the bottle. Or becoming that belligerent dinner guest who tells all the fertile couples off for being so flippin perfect all the bloody time. Or better yet, turning into that emotional sobbing slobbering mess everyone is afraid of during a work function.

I can see it all play out in my head. The pats on the shoulder, the nervous uncomfortable glances exchanged between friends, their rushed excuses for a quick getaway. Perhaps you’ve had enough now, let’s get her home. I can feel the hangover from the hangover already. If I’ve already destroyed my kitchen during a sober meltdown what am I capable of during a trollied tantrum? I best not find out.

I wasn’t out getting shitfaced every night of the week but I sure did enjoy the taste of nice a glass of wine or a homemade cocktail. A few units a week, at social gatherings or a meal out, or just to unwind. But tasting anything remotely boozy now fills me with dread. It’s like my body’s warning me to tread lightly.

I am getting some grief for it. Why don’t you just chill out. Why don’t you just have a few drinks. It’ll loosen you up. Yes I think A drink (singular) might do that but I don’t have the control to stop myself and you probably won’t want to be around when I turn into the Shitfaced Incredible Hulk after my second.

On the upside, quitting has made me feel healthy! I’m contributing to my wellbeing and fertility! Or so I tell myself. I’m improving the quality of my eggs and all that other good stuff. And I guess if I can control any part of this process, this would be it.

I’m not saying I won’t try to have a glass of wine on holiday next week. Because I probably will. I’ll test the waters and see how it goes. At least if I turn into a miserable sobbing cow it will be with The Hubs and he is used to it!

Long walks & quinoa

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I can get into that. If this guy can live 123 years on that stuff, it’s good enough for me. I’m not saying I want to live that long but hey it’d be nice to stick around long enough to see the fantasy kids and have fantasy kiddies of their own. And if these things are this guy’s secret weapon then I’m in.

1) Quinoa. I love quinoa. It tastes good! The protein, the fibre, the omega 3, the lysine, the iron, the magnesium. All good stuff! Easy to make and supportive of our digestive system. Item 1 … Check!

2) Walking. Hey I love long walks. What’s not to love about a little fresh air, getting the circulation going, touching base with nature. I can do that! Check!

3) Drop the sugar. I think there’s something to that. Might have to wean myself off the Ben & Jerry’s then. Less enthusiastic … check.

4) Let’s hope the first three are enough to crack the secret of eternal life because I don’t think Sainsbury’s is carrying skunk this season.

Juiced

It’s Saturday morning. I’ll try to keep it light.

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Although Operation Sweet Pea (preconception plan) is more like boot camp the way I force myself kicking and screaming into rigorous routine (I’m an all or nothing kind of girl), there are some bonuses. One of the things that makes me smile is making and drinking fresh organic fruit and veggie juice for us both. I try to juice everyday and notice when I haven’t. I love the feeling I get from it, and love the idea that it’s sending nutrients directly into my bloodstream.

I’m feeling slightly guilty saying that stupidly because during my treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine I was told to stop juicing because raw foods have a detrimental affect to my system overall. More than any of the strict rules I complied with during the treatment (you can read them here), this one broke my heart. I have difficulty seeing how fresh organic vegetables and fruits can be bad for me. As a vegetarian I rely on raw food.

I was trying to satisfy the eastern, western and personal protocols in the last pregnancy and it consumed me. It was probably a way to channel my anxiety of being pregnant (and terrified of losing it) into something constructive. But I was so hard on myself. I took all the joy out of eating. It became a chore.

The time spent watching dust collect on my much loved juicer made me rethink things. I have to decide which elements of treatment to abide by and which to skip. I am going to allow myself to pick and choose because this is my body and I’m calling the shots. Rightly or wrongly, my days of feeling pressured to follow a protocol 100% are over. There has to be a little give and take in this process because it’s hard enough as it is. Otherwise I’ll just beat myself up more than is necessary for not sticking with the plan.

This time things are going to be a little less structured, a little more organic, So I’ve decided to keep on juicing and just enjoy how it makes me feel, hoping that will have a positive effect on my health and fertility.

I’m going to write down my two favourites that I’ve come up with so I can keep track. These use fruits or veg known to enhance fertility and I’ve included the benefits of the ingredients so I remember why they’re so good:

Juice 1
1/2 Grapefruit
(increases cervical mucous)
1x Beetroot
(detoxifier, prevents birth defects, high in folic acid)
1x Carrot
(regularises ovulation)
1x Apple
(antioxidant, boosts immune system)
1/2 Lemon
(reduces vaginal acidity)
Handful Basil
(antibacterial, antioxidant)
1/2″ Ginger
(increases blood flow to the womb)

Juice 2
1x Apple
(antioxidant, boosts immune system)
1x Kiwi
(Blood thinning, high in folate)
1/2 Lime
(antioxidant)
1/2 Cucumber
(high in folate and B vitamins)
1 Kale leaf
(antioxidant, boosts immune system, reduces inflammation, enhances egg maturation)
Handful Mint
(antibacterial)