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Today, I’m going to get personal. If you follow me on Instagram, some of this won’t be a surprise to you. Today I’m sharing some tips to get your body ready for a baby that includes my journey with infertility. Did you know that 1 in 8 couples will struggle with infertility? And that the majority of them will tell you that infertility is the hardest trial they have experienced.
Having gone through it myself, I can tell you that those statistics are absolutely correct. It’s a club no one wants to be in, a struggle I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
I have been blessed with two beautiful boys. When we had them, there was no talk from my doctor about infertility. It took about a year and a half before we were able to get my oldest. With my second, we had no problem at all.
Four years ago, we decided to have another one. It was sooner than we had planned but I decided I wanted to be done having babies and get the rest of our family here. At the same time, I was dealing with a lot of pain. I had always had problems with pain, but nothing like this. About six months later, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. My doctor still would not do anything to help and we continued struggling while I was dealing with growing pain.
A year later, things were the same. No baby. No changes. And I still had the same doctor.
It wasn’t until I got the courage to find a new doctor that we finally saw hope on the horizon. I’m not sure why my old doctor refused to do anything for me, but my new one was a blessing. He had solutions immediately. I ended up having two surgeries a month a part to remove a cyst and endometriosis. I was then sent to a fertility specialist.
Going to a fertility clinic is an interesting experience. On the one hand, you’re grateful to have someone who wants the same thing that you do-a baby. But at the same time, you hate being there. Hate being put in that position. After going through the diagnosing steps, I had to have another two surgeries. This time to remove polyps, another cyst, and more endometriosis (it had been a year from the first surgery at that point).
After the surgeries and some rather horrible drugs, it was time to try our first infertility procedure, an IUI (intrauterine insemination). It failed.
We tried some more fertility drugs that didn’t work. And then added in hormone shots and tried the procedure again. It failed too. That was just three months ago.
At this point, I’m not sure what our future holds. It’s been nearly four years and I still long for a baby just as much as I did four years ago. It’s a roller coaster. The physical pain I’m dealing with is hard enough, but the emotional toll is sometimes unbearable.
But why do I share this? Because I want people like me to know that there is hope. And that, as woman, you need to become your own best advocate, especially when it comes to getting your body ready for a baby.
Up until a few months ago, I was stuck in an endless cycle of waiting. I wasn’t exercising, eating right, sleeping well… Because of all the pain I was dealing with from my conditions and the emotional exhaustion of it all, I excused myself from taking care of my body, waiting to do anything about it until I got pregnant.
But that is NOT the right way to think about things, is it? You can’t wait for an event to make changes. It’s better to prepare yourself, especially if you’re hoping to have another baby.
So, from experience, I’m sharing some tips that will get you and your body ready when you decided you want to have a baby. I’m not a doctor, these are tips that I’ve learned that have helped me feel better!
First, find time to exercise.
This may seem so simple to some of you but it was the hardest for me to do. It was easy to tell myself I couldn’t exercise because of the daily pain I was in. But you know what? There were still some things I could do. I didn’t need to go out and run 8 miles. I just needed to DO something. So my hubby and I got me a gym membership and I set a goal to go at least twice a week. As long as I’m doing something, my body is getting some of what it needs. After two months, I feel so great! It’s not easy to go some days but I never regret it when I come back home. I’m getting stronger and that’s what counts. If we are able to have another baby, I want to continue to exercise and have that habit.
Second, take time to eat right!
I will be honest here-I sometimes forget to eat. Some days, I’ll go until the afternoon before I finally feed my body. And then I feel horrible! I decided I needed to do two things. First, eat breakfast every day. Second, I wanted to be sure to get a good amount of protein and other nutrients each day.
I found the perfect solution in Kellogg’s® Special K® Cereal and Kellogg’s® Pastry Crisps. They are exactly what I need to fortify my body for what I hope is our next chapter-pregnancy! The cereal fills me up each morning and makes me feel good. And when that little bit of hunger hits in the afternoons, I love eating the Kellogg’s® Strawberry Pasty Crisps.
Third, sleep, sleep, sleep!
This one was so hard for me. I’m a night owl and I love staying up late to get projects done, read, watch my favorite shows while it’s quiet, or even get some cleaning done. My kids were night owls too which made it hard for me to go to bed at a decent time because I wanted some time to myself. To remedy this, we needed to change the sleep habits of everyone in my family. We started getting the kids ready for bed sooner which then gave me some free time earlier in the evening. I was finally able to get to bed at a decent time without feeling “cheated”. My husband enjoyed the change too and we have all been able to get a full night’s rest. I’m not as irritable and have more energy during the day to get things done!
Fourth, find time for yourself.
As women, it’s easy for us to forget to give ourselves time in the day to rest, mediate, read, work on a hobby… Most days fly by and are over before you know it. Years ago, I discovered that if I did not get time to myself every day, I was a cranky Frankenstein who nobody wanted to be around! But if I took some time, even just 10 minutes, to center myself, work on a hobby, play the piano, ready, or listen to my favorite music, I was so much happier. I was less stressed. My family knows it makes me a better person too. Find that little bit of time you need to center yourself and I know you’ll find yourself much happier too!
Finally, be your own advocate.
When it comes to your health and wellness, nobody knows your body better than you do. It took me a long time to realize this. My old doctor made me feel like I was just another patient she had to get through in her day. In and out, giving me solutions that didn’t work and leaving me frustrated and upset. I’m not sure why I stayed as long as I did, but after having my husband, family members, and friends advise me to find another doctor, I finally caved and it ended up being such a blessing! I learned then that I should have been the one pushing for solutions, for answers, for help.
Every day, I know what my body needs and I started listening. If I need more sleep, more nutrition, more exercise, more space… I take the time to follow through and do those things. My husband can’t make me do it, nor can my doctor. They can be cheerleaders, advisors, and give me solutions but if I don’t do it, my body won’t be ready for this next step.
To help you stay focused on taking care of your body, whether you’re hoping to have another baby or just want to feel better, I created this printable that acts as a journal and tracker. It’s helped me see my progress and the results I’m looking for!
What do you do to get your body ready for a baby?
Also, enter for a chance to win a Kroger gift card so that you can grab Kellogg’s® Special K products to help you fortify yourself too!
You can find all the Kellogg’s® Special K products at your local Kroger store just as I did!