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  • Writer's pictureErin White

Everything We Did to Help Us Conceive & What We Are Doing Now



This has been a post that I’ve looked the most forward to sharing. A few weeks ago I posted our miscarriage journey where I shared our story about the long 14-week miscarriage journey. The full story is in those 3 blog posts. We (mainly I) did some things when we first started trying just to help move things along. I had been on birth control for a very long time and I was already nervous that it might be difficult for us to get pregnant. Like I mentioned in the previous posts, we had “only” been trying for 6 months, and that was a very long 6 months for us. I know that there are tons of other couples facing much longer periods of trying (several of my own close friends), but it’s not about one-upping each other. Time is time. Whether its 3 months or 3 years, we all feel the same feelings of disappointment when mother nature rears her ugly head month after month. So initially during those first 6 months Zach and I did some minor things to change up our lifestyle. We ate organic (as much as we could), ditched our Teflon pots and pans, threw out all plastic in our kitchen, etc. (don’t worry I’ll go into detail in this post!). There are some additional things we are trying out this go around just because why not right?! And I’m in no way saying that these things are or will be a “magic solution” for getting and staying pregnant (only time will tell). But I also don’t see any negatives in living a healthy lifestyle no matter what stage of trying to conceive you’re in. **As always, please consult with your doctor before adding any supplements etc. to your daily routines. What works for some people, won’t work for others.**


Also, please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you!


So, let’s dive into the changes we made initially. I’m going to try and break this down into categories that make the most sense. I also want to note that it is SO important to have your spouse’s full support when making these changes, Zach was always all in with me and any crazy idea I had throughout this entire journey.



 


ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS


This topic is a big one! Sadly, in the world we live in today there is just no way to be 100% toxin-free. I mean they’re literally everywhere y’all. From our cookware, mattresses, plastic bottles/containers, paint, and so much more.



 

SELF-CARE PRODUCTS


For me, I didn’t really look into my self-care routine until after we got pregnant. But once we did, I analyzed everything from my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions, makeup, etc. and got rid of anything that had harmful ingredients such as parabens and phthalates. I mean even my toothpaste had harmful chemicals. It was so crazy to me that all of this stuff wasn’t safe during pregnancy, and it made both Zach and I question… is it ever safe?? If you do any sort of research, it’s pretty easy to find articles stating the effects of chemicals on hormones. I used two websites pretty religiously to help me find what was and wasn’t safe: Environmental Working Group and 15-minute Beauty. They’re both super informative in looking up what you currently use to see if it’s safe for pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and even during breastfeeding! I ended up using the following products during pregnancy and have continued to use them now:



 

KITCHEN ITEMS

In the kitchen we made several adjustments to our cookware and storage options before deciding to try. We switched out our hand-soaps and dishwasher detergents as well as threw out almost all plastic storage containers. Plastic contains BPA (plus other chemicals) that can leak into our food, especially when heated/frozen. We got all glass containers for our lunches and to store extra food in. We also replaced all of our pots and pans. We switched to all stainless-steel pots and pans and glass cookware. If we decide to roast vegetables we cover any Teflon pans with parchment paper or these baking sheet mats.



 

FOOD

One of the easier choices for us to make was to change up our diets. We already ate pretty healthy before we started trying, but there were some other adjustments we made initially and then a major adjustment we made in January. We started with trying to eat organic as much as possible, which obviously isn’t an option all the time, but we tried our best. We also cut out a lot of processed foods such as chips, cookies, pre-packaged meals, etc. Then in January we decided to go plant based. We started with going 80-20, meaning if we were to eat out or on weekends, we would have some meat. But all week we would eat only plant based/vegan meals. This was a HUGE change for us as we loved our beef and chicken. But honestly once we got started, it got easier and easier. I’m not saying you have to be vegan or plant based to conceive as that is clearly not true. But for us it definitely made a difference in how we felt on a day to day basis. We both felt more energized and just healthier overall. Plus, a lot of natural hormones that are needed to get and stay pregnant are found in plant based foods. For example, natural progesterone is found in broccoli, kale, beans, brussels sprouts, nuts, pumpkin seeds. We started eating a plant based diet in January and we are still going strong today! Zach will indulge in more meat on the weekends/eating out than I will, but we are still both 80% or more with plant based/vegan foods.


In addition to changing our food diet, we also started to pay more attention to our fluid intake. I enjoy La Croix at night just to change up from water and we both had some alcohol weekly. But I stopped drinking the sparkling water because most brands come in BPA-lined cans. Other than that, we both drink filtered water or mineral water out of glass containers. We both also have a nutrient dense smoothie every day. I drink mine in the mornings and Zach his in the evenings. We never really drank during the week (unless it was just an awful day and wine was needed). But we would indulge in some over the weekends. We definitely cut down on alcohol intake when we were really trying to conceive just to help our odds.



 

SUPPLEMENTS

Both Zach and I take vitamins and supplements in addition to eating our primarily plant-based diet. I would absolutely check with your doctor before starting any supplement or vitamin regimen. I have always used all natural products for supplements and I researched what the best prenatal vitamins are best (especially for vegan/plant based eaters). I took a prenatal with a DHA supplement, a vitamin B complex, and a calcium supplement. For Zach, he also takes a multivitamin, vitamin D, vitamin B complex, and Fish Oil. Another thing that Zach and I started drinking after our miscarriage (because why not?!) was another drink supplement (for men, for women). It had great reviews so we both have been taking it for 3 months. I also switched most of my vitamins and supplements over to a monthly subscription through Binto. It’s a company that is geared towards women’s health that allows you to take a quiz to find what supplements and vitamins are best for you and your situation/goals. They also have nurses double check your answers before sending off your first package. I highly recommend this company if you’re wanting to ensure you’re taking the proper supplements to conceive! They’re very reasonably priced and super helpful! Use my promo: fitwithfaith for special savings!



 

EXERCISE

Luckily for Zach and myself this wasn’t something we really needed to change. We are both very active and exercise 6 days a week with a healthy combination of lifting and cardio. I highly recommend adding an exercise routine to any couple trying to conceive as it has a positive link with fertility. This article answers some great questions surrounding conception and fertility and exercise.



 

STRESS

I am the world’s worst worrier/stressor. I will say I have gotten a lot better throughout this process but it’s a bad habit that I have. And let’s be honest, it can play a HUGE factor in trying to conceive. Obviously, life is insanely stressful all on its own, add trying to have a baby and holy stress. Even with making super healthy life choices, it can still be super stressful to think about all of the things that are/aren’t safe for you and your future baby. I remember breaking down one day (or week let’s be real) about all of the products I could/couldn’t use during pregnancy and fretting that I was missing something! It’s too stressful to worry about all of the hidden toxins in our environment and food, as well as trying to research all the supps/products we can or can’t take. It’s not going to be easy (trust me I struggle daily), but it’s so important to try to eliminate as much stress as possible. Here lately Zach and I have been doing nightly meditation to help us relax and get better sleep. I would highly recommend checking out this program for some great guided meditations.


 


TRACKING

It’s so important to make sure you’re actually ovulating every month. This is something easy to chart if you use an app plus other methods monthly. They recommend tracking for 2-3 months to get a good baseline of your body before trusting their predictions 100%. The first go around I used 2 apps: femometer and flo. I didn’t upgrade off of the free options as I didn’t feel like it was necessary. I bought the femometer basal body temperature thermometer and took my basal body temperature (BBT) every morning before I would get out of bed (even before you pee – super important!). This time I didn’t want to mess around, I felt like the BBT listed above was great don’t get me wrong. But I didn’t wake up at 5 AM on the weekends, or sometimes I would get out of bed before remembering to take it… so I just didn’t feel like I personally was as accurate as I should have been. So this time I went ahead and purchased the Ava bracelet. I’ve really enjoyed it because it tracks my temperature (plus other parameters) all night long then I just sync it in the morning. It’s been such a relief to not have to worry about waking up at the exact same time daily! I also tracked my ovulation through ovulation strips. I used two different kinds and liked them both, linked here and here. I really found that between my BBT and the ovulation prediction kits, I was able to pinpoint my fertile window fairly accurately every month.



 


IN CONCLUSION…

I hope that you found that information helpful in some way! I also highly suggest that everyone do their own research as well as talk things over with your doctor. I spent a lot of time researching and reading in order to learn as much as I could about fertility and pregnancy. I also want to state that everyone’s journey to pregnancy and during pregnancy is different. Clearly what works for Zach and I might not work for you. In the end you know your body so start having those conversations with your doctor if you’re concerned.


If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments!!


Kommentare


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a wife to my amazing husband Zach and a momma to an angel baby and now a beautiful baby boy. I am an anxiety warrior, a follower of Christ, and a devoted wife, mother, daughter, friend, and sister.

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