nutrition? what’s that?

Right when we decided we were going to start trying, I decided to improve my overall nutrition and better watch what I intake. I’m already a pretty health person, getting at least 1-2 servings of fruits and/or veggies per day, and I stick to whole wheat bread/tortillas, and I balance my lean with my not-so-lean proteins. I also exercise on a daily basis, whether that be going on long bike rides with the Mister or walking my pups. (sidenote: I LOVE to hike! I wish I had more time to do some hiking and exploring of trails!) However, I knew I wanted to make a few extra changes for my future baby’s sake:

More calcium
Less pop (I already only drink this occasionally on the weekends, but I still want to cut back)
Less caffeine (and gradually move to none)
No alcohol
More fruits and veggies
No processed or deli meats
Up my exercise until conception

After deciding to make these changes last Friday, here is how my weekend progressed:

Saturday: Breakfast–Coffee, whole wheat toast with PB
Bridal Shower–4 small glasses of sangria, 1 glass of water, a turkey and cheese sandwich, and a piece of blueberry/peach pie.
Visiting with the in-laws–1 Coca Cola

Sunday: Breakfast–Coffee, whole wheat toast with PB
Retirement Party–plate of strawberries (only half were covered with chocolate…), 2 Oreo Balls (yum!), 1/2 a plate of cheese, water
Graduation/Welcome Home Party–1 Slushie, 1 small glass of wine, plate of fruit, 3 dinner rolls (NOT whole wheat…)

Monday: Breakfast–Coffee, whole wheat toast with PB
Dinner with the in-laws–hot dog, baked beans, potato chips, strawberries, 1 Coca Cola, and water

So far, not so good! However, I have improved throughout this week. I’ve begun taking my prenatal vitamins, I’ve been drinking milk every day (and I’m not a fan of milk, so this is a big step for me!), I’ve had at least 2 servings of fruits and/or veggies every day, I’ve stuck with whole wheat items, I’ve cut back to 1 cup of coffee per day and I’ve only eaten deli meats once this week (but it was heated enough to kill any harmful effects!). I’ve also exercised every day despite the horrendous weather we’ve been getting in the Midwest this week. I can guarantee I won’t be this vigilant every week, especially when cravings kick in (I’m a sucker for chocolate cravings and I will not say, “No”), but at least I’m making a good effort, right??

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surprisingly excited.

In my introductory post, I said that I was surprisingly excited about being ready to conceive. There are numerous reasons why I’m surprised at my readiness. One is that for the last 4 years or so, I was convinced that I never wanted to have children. I have no patience, I feel like I lack that “motherly instinct,” and I enjoy the freedoms that come from being childless. I’m not knocking existing parents here–you’re braver than I ever imagined I could be! I have also feared for the health of any child I would conceive. While we’re both relatively healthy people, the Mister and I both have mental illnesses, and the Mister has 2 learning disabilities that can all easily be passed down to our children. I don’t know how many of you are aware of Punnett Squares and how they work, but they show (on the most basic level) how traits can be passed down and the percent of chance that a trait has of being passed down. Although mental illness can be passed down from generation to generation, there’s no way, as of yet, to use a Punnett Square to trace what the percent of chance a child has of getting the gene that could lead to a mental illness. However, I’ve made my own Punnett Square to give you a visual for my fears:

Punett Square

Although this Punnett Square is in no way scientifically accurate, it shows why I’ve been scared to reproduce. The Mister and I will both be passing down normal genes, genes for Depression and for Anxiety, and my Mister will be passing down genes for Bi-Polar. According to this (non-scientifically accurate) Punnett Square, we might have as much as a 91% chance of passing down Bi-Polar, Depression or Anxiety traits, and if that’s not bad enough, then there’s the chance that our future child could learn bad habits and coping mechanisms from us and have to suffer through the same struggles we’ve suffered through!

It’s actually exhausting writing this all out. Can you sort of understand why I’ve been on the more reluctant side about starting a family? Between the fears of whether or not I’ll make a good mother, and my fears about passing on our negative traits, and the fear of losing some of my freedom, I’ve had no problem avoiding motherhood!

avoiding

However, what I began to notice about my reluctance was that it all revolved around fear. I hate fear. It paralyzes you; denying you of life’s greatest adventures and pleasures. When I realized that I was avoiding becoming a mom because I was fearful, I tried as quickly as possible to shun the fear! Sure, there are still moments when I ask myself, “Are you crazy?” But for them most part the fear has subsided and all that’s left is surprising excitement. I’m really, truly, very excited to begin this journey with my Mister by my side!

ovulation time!

Today is the day. I can feel the cramps and tightness in my lower abdomen that signal the release of an egg. That nagging feeling in my side has never felt so wonderful–although I won’t completely sugarcoat it, it still sucks to be cramping up! So, in celebration of me ovulating and allowing myself to go through my natural cycle without any birth control for the first time in 9 years, here is a gruesome, but pretty awesome, collage of an egg being released! Happy Ovulating–and may the odds be ever in my favor!

 

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no religious preference.

I’m well aware that this post might make some people uneasy. It might make people think that I’m not going to make a good mom or that I don’t care about my children’s souls. It might make some people think a whole assortment of things, but I ask that everyone who reads this post stays open-minded. I would not make this decision if it might hurt my future children, and I’ve learned enough from the way I was raised and the lessons I’ve learned to know how I feel about this particular subject. So all I’m asking is that as you read this post you simply remain open-minded!

After trying Catholicism, evangelical Christianity, and being in-betweeners (people who don’t really know if they believe in a god or not, but also don’t want to deny the existence of a god either), the Mister and I decided about a year ago to just be open-minders (people who are open-minded to others and their beliefs, but who don’t believe in much of anything religion-wise). Disclaimer: all definitions in this post are my personal definitions–you probably shouldn’t quote me!

All this jib-jab isn’t for nothing; our decision to be open-minders has affected how we want to raise our future children. I don’t mind if my children learn about others’ religions, faiths and/or cultures, but I will not be raising my children with a defined religion. I’ll teach them to be kind and compassionate, to serve those who are lesser than them, and to try to find justice and peace in their world, but I will not be teaching them that they have to believe in any god(s). If my future children end up believing in Yahweh (Judaism), God (Christianity), Buddha, Allah, or any of the Hindu gods or goddesses (just to name a few of their options) then, hey, more power to them. I will still love them and will support their decisions as long as they’re not causing any harm to themselves or others (as with every decision they’ll make in their lives). 

The reason I have Isis (the Egyptian goddess of fertility) as my main page banner and Artemis (the Greek goddess of fertility) as my avatar is because I believe it’s important to be knowledgeable, cultured, aware of others’ beliefs, and to have a little mysticism in life. Although I don’t actually pray to Isis or Artemis for good fertility, I can embrace a little mysticism and hope for good fertility vibes from all women (real and mythical) who have passed before me!  

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making the big decision.

After 8 years of being a couple and 4 years of marriage, my husband–my “mister”–and I have decided that we would like to try to conceive a child. We decided on Friday May 17, 2013, which was the day after my last birth control pill for that cycle. I started my period the next day and finished my period on the 22nd, and two days later we started trying. Now I know we probably didn’t need to start trying that early because I probably wasn’t most fertile on that day, but we very much enjoy our sex life anyways, so we figured we might as well give it a go! Today is the 10th day of my cycle, which means I’m beginning my most fertile week for this cycle so you better believe we’ll be getting busy about every other day to try to get a bun in this oven! So, we’ve officially begun our journey towards conceiving, pregnancy, and parenthood, and I’m surprisingly very, very excited (see future posts to understand why I say, “surprisingly”)!