How I Prepared my Body for Pregnancy
A lot of people have been asking me what I did to get pregnant. I write this entry in response to that, though to be honest, I feel a bit foolish doing so for I am very much aware that every pregnancy story is different. Nonetheless, I proceed for those who have expressed interest, in the hope that my experiences will be of benefit to some.
In one of my recent blog entries I have shared that my husband and I have gone to workups and have tried two unsuccessful IUIs. I took all the ovulation medicine required for those procedures, went through all the tests - to no avail.
What I didn’t get to share yet was that I also tried acupuncture treatments with Sister Regina in QC. This was in the latter part of 2016, I think, and I made probably four trips to their clinic and drank ginger tea for weeks. I stopped going because the stress of driving to QC from Paranaque far outweighed the benefits, at least for me.
When I took my mom to see the famous alternative medicine practitioner in Binondo, Dr. Tan, I also had myself checked by him. Feeling my pulse, he accurately said that I had PCOS, and I also obediently bought, boiled and drank those Chinese herbs he prescribed. Our house stank for a couple of weeks, haha! Stopped going because again, it was too much of a hassle to go to Binondo, and I got busy. This was probably late last year.
A friend of ours had a fertility amulet. Pride kept me from asking for it, as well as a tiny voice saying that when I do get pregnant, it will happen not because of anything I did, so that all the glory and recognition would be God’s.
And that’s exactly what happened.
This child of ours that came at a time when we’ve stopped “trying”, was an unexpected gift given in His time and only through His way.
Our General Health and Diet at the Time of Conception
I do understand though, the need for others to ask what our status quo was when we conceived.
Joey and I have always tried to maintain good health practices. During the months (one could also say years) leading to our conception, both he and I have always been involved in one exercise or another. Being a triathlete since 2009, he has always been swimming, cycling, running or lifting weights at the gym. He was actually in training for a half-Ironman race last March, the month we conceived.
I, on the other hand, was into Pilates and running. Sometimes I would go to a yoga session or join Joey on one of his swims, but it was really the former two that I was more consistent with. I love Pilates because of its gentle slow-burn and how it has helped a lot with my breathing for singing, running for the freedom it makes me feel. If I remember correctly, I’ve also just recently climbed Mt. Daraitan before getting pregnant, making it the last mountain I’ll get to hike in a long while. Suffice it to say that both Joey and I like, and are used to, moving.
Diet-wise, I am more of a healthy eater than Joey, haha! I limit my intake of junk food and sweets though I do give in once in a while, but never to binge. Our menu at home is your regular Filipino fare: boneless bangus, homemade tapa and chorizo in the morning, pesang manok, the usual. I did ask our Manang Klim to forever remove spam and the temptation of it off our grocery list, hehe! Corned beef and tuna are the only canned goods allowed. We also stay away from white rice as much as we can, opting for the healthier brown rice or quinoa.
Ooh, we did try to do intermittent fasting January / February I think, as I’ve heard that it can do wonders for the PCOS-afflicted. Both Joey and I weren’t consistent with it, though, especially for him who was in the middle of training. Maybe I just did it four, five times? Joey probably less? Can’t remember.
Enjoying Intimacy as it was Designed
I think though, that the major change would be our letting go of expectations and just enjoying intimacy as it is, a gift to be relished with each other, with no afterthought given as to whether we had just made a baby. It just was, we just did, and it was, to choose a safe yet absolutely inadequate term, quite nice. Nothing was scheduled or pilit.
Since I had PCOS, identifying my exact time of ovulation was hard and rather pointless. I did take note of my cervical mucus though, and informed Joey of those times when it was egg-whitey in consistency. I’d get excited because it signalled an optimal time for lovey-dovey, and we’d take advantage of it again not to make a baby per se, but just to enjoy each other.
I have to disclose though that I’ve gotten into the habit of lying down, propping a pillow behind my back and resting my legs up on the wall after you-know-what for maybe twenty minutes, ever since our OB had me do exactly that after our two IUI procedures. My Ninong Raemond and other people have advised me to do that before, and I never gave it much merit until I was asked to do so in our OB’s clinic.
Could it have gotten me pregnant? Maybe, maybe not. All I know is that I’ve been doing it for a long time already but it has never really amounted to anything, that is, until God Himself stepped in.
Believe that God Can
In all honesty, I think it was just me who felt pressured to get pregnant. Joey was just his regular go-with-the-flow ibibigay-kung-ibibigay self. And between the two of us, siya yung talagang may mas matibay na pananampalataya.
I remember his exact words as we ended the five-day prayer and fasting week last January (asking God for a child was up there at the top of our petition list):
“O, buntis ka na.”
I just smiled at him, weakly at that, my faith still in wait-and-see mode.
And then, two months after, I was. And as I’ve recounted in my previous blog entry, we got pregnant just as I’ve started One2One with my discipler, Phoebe Sebastian. It was only when God opened my heart to see how present and alive He is right now, only when He opened my faith to what He can truly do, that indeed, there is nothing impossible with Him, only when I understood this from the very depths of my soul, were we given our gift of a miracle.
It was only after I fully received the gift of Him did I receive the gift of our Lilibubs.
Husbands, Pray For, and With, Your Wives
A few months back I started re-reading the book of Genesis. I was particularly struck by this verse:
“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.” Genesis 25:21 (NIV)
I remembered how Joey prayed for and with me those five days in January. Learning of how God answered Isaac’s prayers for Rebekah taught me of how powerful a husband’s prayers for his wife can be, and vice versa too, I believe.
Prayers talaga, prayers lang. At buong pusong pagtitiwala sa Kanya.
Be Prepared Physically, but also, Live While Waiting
So to those asking me for advice on how to get pregnant, I suppose I would have the following to say:
Eat as if you were already pregnant. You wouldn’t want to feed your future baby a junk food-heavy diet, right? Try to go for the healthier options as much as you can.
Get ample exercise. Find a workout you truly enjoy and stick to it! No need to be super driven - just get moving!
Enjoy doing the deed. Try not to think of ‘making’ a baby, just enjoy loving your husband in ways that only you can :)
Travel, go on dates, go out with friends, LIVE YOUR LIFE. The baby will come in God’s time. Fill your season of waiting with beautiful memories.
Have yourself and your husband checked just to “get a lay of the land”. (General advice is after a year of unfruitful unprotected sex.) Admittedly, this could be counterproductive in that it might make you praning, but I’m a firm believer of how being aware can help you make informed choices. Once you know, surrender it all to the Lord in prayer, and be one with your husband in your next course of action. The Lord also blesses the womb through IVF, IUI, acupuncture, etc. He has many ways. Ultimately, I think, it is our hearts that He searches.
Which brings me to the last and most important advice of all..
PRAY TOGETHER, SURRENDER, TRUST, AND BELIEVE THAT IF IT IS THE LORD’S WILL, HE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN ANYTIME, EVEN IN THE MOST DIFFICULT OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” John 1:3-4 (NIV)
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Genesis 18:14
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
I can spend my entire life trying to understand this last verse, and I will most likely fail. But if there is one learning I can derive from it, it is to strive to put Him first, and everything else will follow.
Thank you for reading! I hope I helped in some way.
God bless you :)