So I have here a cup.
Which I must return to Boston IVF filled with a “specimen”…
Of my sperm.
A few weeks ago Kate wrote about changing her (our) diet from non/low-fat dairy to include more full-fat dairy. The studies she had read about a possible link between low-fat dairy and infertility surprised me. Certainly this would be more well-known if it is true! I grew up with a low-fat diet, as did most people I know. Who in their right mind would drink full fat dairy? All that excess fat and calories are just unnecessary, right?
As most of you know, I am a videographer. Last month I started work as director of photography on a documentary about small farmers and food legislation with two local film producers. One of the big focuses of our documentary is the production and distribution of raw milk. I had never really heard of raw milk prior to this project (which, in case you haven’t heard of it either, is unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk… basically milk straight from the cow). Apparently the USDA and FDA try their hardest to keep this milk out of the hands of consumers. There are a few states where raw milk is legal to sell, but in most states it is illegal, or at least highly regulated, making it very difficult to obtain. Apparently in NYC there are Speakeasy-type establishments where people are illegally obtaining raw milk!
What I am finding, though, through working on this project are the HUGE health benefits of raw milk. Many milk drinkers who had digestion problems or lactose-intolerance switched to raw milk and were cured, drug-free (yes, apparently what most people think of as lactose-intolerance can often be more of pasteurization intolerance, but since no one can get their hands on raw milk, many don’t realize that). People have had serious allergies to all kinds of different things that have been cured by a diet of raw milk. We heard about an Amish community, too, that was experiencing widespread infertility problems, and were advised to switch to unpasteurized dairy. Lo and behold, many of the women became fertile as a result of the switch! So, is this some miracle drug? I don’t know… maybe. I have been drinking some as we have gone from farm to farm, and I have not turned into Superman yet, but there are some pretty remarkable findings. And what I am also finding is how important dairy fat is to us humans, especially women. WE NEED FAT. And it doesn’t mean we’ll be fat; quite the opposite, in fact. So Kate and I are slowly and reluctantly working our way UP the milk-fat chain. It feels strange and completely counter-intuitive… but it tastes so good!
(I DID bring Kate (illegally, actually) a ½ gallon of raw milk last week. A couple glasses and bowls of cereal did not immediately jump start her baby-maker, but it can’t hurt, right?)
Our appointment with the infertility specialist is tomorrow morning. I’m feeling:
- Hopeful that he will be able to identify why I am not ovulating/having my period and fix it, quick!
- Anxious that maybe it won’t be that quick after all.
- Intimidated by how much I don’t know about my body.
- Prepared — I have a food log, temperature charts, hormone test results, important period-related dates for the last 5 months, and relatively detailed medical history to take with me. Not to mention a list of questions a mile long!
- Scared by the idea that we even have to set foot in a place with “IVF” in the name.
- Frustrated that I couldn’t just have my period like a “normal” person after going off birth control.
- Excited to get this whole thing over with and to get preggers!
- Confident that I have made healthy choices thus far (even if my exercise schedule got a little too intense), and that as a young, healthy woman, there is a very good chance I’ll be able to conceive naturally very soon.
Wish us luck…
Quick little update: I went to my first “real” yoga class on Tuesday night (in place of the cardio kickboxing class that I normally do on Tuesday nights!). I’m trying out this cute little studio just a few blocks from my house. Couldn’t be more convenient; I like the idea of strolling down the street, yoga mat in hand.
First thought: It’s hot in here. The room is kept at 80 degrees, and it was a relatively humid day. At first it felt slimy and gross, and then I succumbed to being sweaty and it felt lovely. I was all noodley by the end of class.
Second thought: Man, there are A LOT of pregnant women here! Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many pregnant people in one place at one time. And no, it wasn’t a prenatal yoga class :)
So, I’ m unsure about the causality, but I’m pretty certain there’s a correlation.
Pregnant people do a lot of yoga.
A lot of people who do yoga are pregnant.
Ergo, yoga = pregnant?
Yeah, yeah, the logic’s not quite there. But maybe some of the baby love in the yoga studio will rub off on me?
Phew! Last night was a busy one. I forced myself to go to the gym after a long, busy day at work (trying to get back into my normal routine after our long weekend vacay). We were out of milk, so I stopped at the grocery store to grab that and a few other things on my way home. My walk home from the grocery store, usually about 12 minutes, took almost 20 because I was weighed down by purse, gym bag and a gallon of milk (2%!). Once I got home I was greeted by our labradoodle, Schnitzel, wagging his tail because he knew he was about to get a walk. Normally Benjamin walks Schnitzel while I make dinner, but Benjamin was shooting in Connecticut last night, so I was doing double-duty. I threw the milk in the fridge and headed back out with the dog (or should I say, was practically dragged down the street while Schnitzel ran ahead of me like a sled-dog).
On our walk I remembered I had to pick up our weekly delivery of vegetables (we are doing a community supported agriculture program (CSA), which is when you partner with a local farm and pay them at the beginning of the season, and they give you a portion of their fresh, local produce once a week). Once I picked up the box, though, I realized how difficult it was to carry the cardboard box full of veggies (maybe 10 lbs.?) and walk the dog (who weighs about 3/4 as much as I do). I was twisting and cursing and grunting, and I even rushed the dog through doing his business because I was having trouble balancing the box and the leash and the bag of poop.
And it got me thinking — how will I ever walk the dog and carry a baby? Or walk the dog and drive (is that what you say? drive?) a stroller? And the led me to other things, like… How do you bring groceries in with a baby in a car seat? Do you leave them in the house and go back out to the car for groceries? Or do you leave them in the carseat while you run in and out of the house with grocery bags? My guess is that you figure these things out pretty quickly. Because you have to. It’s a balancing act, I’m sure.
P.S. For all of our adoring fans (ha!) who want to know what happened in Richmond… nothing happened :) We had a lovely evening with our friends, and when we went to bed I re-took my temp. I knew the reading would be different since it was late at night, but I figured if it had dropped back down, that was a pretty clear sign that the spike was an aberration. That it was, my friends. 97.6.
No matter, I’m playing phone tag with the doc now to start on the drugs next steps.