Orange Panties and Green Toes

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Women battling infertility are a superstitious clan capable of giving notorious major league baseball players a real run for their money.  We don’t start out that way, but given enough time, crazy suggestions from friends, and a few thousand clicks on the Internet we wind up trying just about anything.

After all, even if sleeping with yellow baby booties under your pillow won’t work, it can’t hurt, right? So why not indulge and have a bit of fun with it?

After having several tough days with food poisoning, work stress, and feeling the effects of Lupron its time to have a little fun and bring some humor back to the blog. Let’s share a laugh at my expense as we explore my fertility superstitions and weigh in on my perception of their effectiveness.

Orange Panties. This is my favorite because it is not very well known and is catching on quickly. The fertility chakra is orange and located in the reproductive area. The idea here is that orange panties tap into this energy to bring luck. As a result, I have a drawer overflowing with all types of the fiery lingerie. I wear these undies to procedures, tests, and while awaiting results. It has only worked for me only one time out of seven, so you be the judge on its effectiveness. There is no downside to this one, unless you count the fact that it can be easy to spot these lucky charms through lighter clothing. A soft orange works just fine and is easy to conceal.

Orange or Green Toenails. As you can see, my toes are green right now. I alternate between orange and green when we are actively trying to conceive. Both colors are considered to be colors of fertility. Green represents lush, healthy life and growth from fertile soil. The upside here is that you may be able to deduct your pedicures from your taxes as a medically necessary procedure not covered by insurance. I would check with your accountant to be sure.

Adoption or Taking a Break. If you have endeavored to overcome infertility for more than five minutes you have heard the story about the couple who got pregnant as soon as they adopted a child.  Or maybe you heard the one about the couple that stopped trying, went on vacation, got hammered, and BAM, finally hit the baby lottery. I think there might actually be something to this one. We began the adoption process during the cycle that gave us Spork. I feel it is possible that finally accepting that we might not have a genetically related child helped me be more open to the process. This is a dangerous game to play, however. You should adopt only if that is what you truly want. Likewise, only take a break if you really need it or are young enough to lose some time. Time is not your friend in the battle for a baby. Its probably just easier to work on acceptance without a gimmick if a genetic child is your immediate goal.

Fertility Statues. I haven’t been to Orlando since our adventure in fertility began, but if I had I would probably take time to go touch the African Fertility Statues located at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! . I do however have a golden fertility egg that sits on my nightstand. A family member gave it to me right before Spork’s transfer and takes full credit for her existence as a result. While I deeply appreciate it, I don’t buy it. The egg has been there for the last three cycles and those of course have been major duds. You might even say we laid an egg on the last three. Maybe it only works one time per family? This is another one that can’t hurt so it is still there on my bedside table polished to a shine.

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Pineapple Juice. Hopeful women everywhere swear that downing pineapple juice around and after transfer improves the odds of success. I tried this for several cycles prior to taking the time to explore its validity. It turns out the juice may indeed improve lining thickness and receptivity. Not just any pineapple juice will do however, the core contains the main ingredient that is responsible for working baby magic.  This ingredient, Bromelain,  is a mixture of enzymes that digests protein which thins the blood and promotes blood flow necessary to create a thick lining. Unfortunately studies have not yet shown that this improves implantation rates. Women who need a blood thinner may be better off having one prescribed at a controllable dosage by their doctor.

Lucky Veins. Throughout the IVF process a patient has many, many trips to the lab for a variety of blood tests. The mother of them all is the Beta HCG test given somewhere between 12 to 16 days past retrieval, depending on the clinic. Most clinics will test Beta HGC several times in early pregnancy to make sure it is doubling every 48 to 72 hours. When I have good results from a test, I tend to stick with having blood drawn out of the same vein for follow-up tests until the streak is broken. Admittedly, it is painful and I am sure it doesn’t work, but at least I limit my embarrassing track marks to one arm for awhile.

That is the extent of everything I have personally practiced but while doing research for this post I found many, many more fertility superstitions that others have given a go. It seems that praying to St. Gerard, carrying rose quartz, drinking out of a pregnant woman’s glass, eating parsley grown from seeds given to you, and baby drool all carry mystical pregnifying powers.

So it seems I still have some work to do. Thankfully I have the day off for President’s Day tomorrow. Now all I need is a pregnant woman with a baby who also wants to give me parsley seeds. Maybe she will want to go shopping for some other unusual items as well.

While I know none of this hocus-pocus is likely to help, it sure goes a long way to making this arduous process a little more entertaining.

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