Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't trust the cosmetic industry....

After my miscarriage, I decided to go through all the products I use, one by one to see if any of them deserved replacing for the next time around.

One of things maximally used was a sesame body oil (from Neutrogena). I had bought this a long time ago from Costco, ironically because a pregnant woman had raved in her reviews that it had helped prevent stretch marks. Most annoyingly this never had an ingredient list printed on the back. I finally got around to running a google search for its ingredients this weekend and I was shocked.

One of the things it contains is butylated hydroxytoluene, and look at the data on it!

BHT (BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE) - Fragrance ingredient, masking agent. Known human immune system toxicant. Strong evidence suggests it is a human skin toxicant. Animal studies show skin irritation, brain and nervous system effects and endocrine disruption at low doses. Tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results. Animal studies show reproductive effects at high doses.

Another is propylparaben.

PARABENS (BUTYLPARABEN, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN) Preservative. Animal studies show reproductive effects at very low doses. Studies show endocrine disruption at low doses. Animal studies show brain and nervous system effects at moderate doses. Strong evidence suggests they are human skin toxicants. Tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results. Parabens were found in breast cancer tissue.

I used to slather oodles of this on my skin daily! So much of it used to go directly on my belly, inches away from my child! All of this crap is fat soluble which means it CAN enter your system when applied on the skin!

Won't ever know if this caused my loss and anyway its water under the bridge, but the lesson I've learned- check EVERYTHING you use.

Good websites to investigate your products:



Monday, August 30, 2010


The window for my next insemination is  going to be around September 4th.  But the universe has a seriously messed up sense of humor.  About a month ago, I started hanging out with a new group of people. I have a lot of fun with them, and we spend about nearly the entire weekend hanging out with each other.  The more time I spend with one of the guys there, the more I realize I really *like* him.  We get along extremely well, we always laugh at each other's jokes and we really get what the other person is about. Nothing romantic, but I am starting to think that if we went out, we would be really great together. I don't know his back story (one of my friends is trying to get it), but it looks like he is single right now.

If I had even an inkling that he liked me back, I'd comfortably put aside Plan B atleast this month and see where things would go.  The problem is, I have no idea. Declaring myself to him  is too risky.  Pride issues aside, I'm loving the new group too much to want to rock this boat. Waiting and watching would be logical, except I really don't want to spend 1-2 months waiting just to finally figure out that he is not on the same page, and just sees me as a friend.  And then there is the thing that I am literally itching to proceed. Women who have been in the same place will understand this perfectly, but nobody else will.

The last time I inseminated, it was without a second thought. Now, I am fully aware of the ramifications of going to that doctor's office, and I feel like I'm standing at a vital fork in the road and I'm not sure which is the right one to take.

I'm going to spend a lot of time yelling out my favorite epithet, in a very loud and drawn-out manner this week!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Clutching at healthy straws

I really have to get out of the habit of starting a post at midnight. Kinda ironic as this topic is supposed to be about the healthy lifestyle.  For the past few days, I've been thinking how much pregnancy and the subsequent miscarriage has changed me. Before I got pregnant,  I never shopped  for organic produce,  never read labels,etc.  Once I was in the cycle I was going to try in, I did become a little more conscientious. But I still got tipsy once that cycle. I started but did not take the full dose of prenatals nor did I eat much fruit. So all in all, while I cannot be accused of gross carelessness before the IUI, I was not being too careful either. Of course, from the day I got sperminated (shameless plagiarism) it was organic food all the way, fresh fruit daily, lots of dairy, full dose of prenatals, etc.

After my loss though, I think I've gotten a bit cuckoo.  I've started seeing hidden enemies everywhere. Anything that is not organic has a skull and crossbones tattooed on it by my overactive imagination.  Just the thought of alcohol makes me feel ill, though there are so many times I want to go back to my old days of getting mildly buzzed occasionally.   I've stopped using almost all my Bath and Bodyworks products after reading the ingredient list (it reads like a chemical soup).  If I've gone though an entire day without eating oranges or strawberries or something loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, I feel uneasy. I've thrown out my yellow-dye laden Clinique moisturizer and replaced it with this natural line of products by Evan Healy (no regrets whatsoever, love this brand).  Just before I go to sleep I gulp down my hideously expensive but all natural prenatal vitamin (New Chapter Perfect) and conenzyme Q10. Any day now I should be getting Methyltetrahydrofolate and I'm cursing myself for not starting it sooner in this cycle (nevermind that my prenatal already supplies ample amounts of this).

Now, all of these are good, if expensive habits. What is slightly bothersome is that I'm seeing these as talismans that can somehow protect my next child.  Like, if I flood my system with enough antioxidants, it will neutralize every free radical and I'll make a genetically perfect egg. I know it does not work this way, but I've gotten careful to the point of paranoia.

For example: I had gone out for dinner last night. At the end of it, we got two brightly green toffees. 6 months ago I would have dived for it.  My friend took one and said it was really good, but all I could see there was all the artificial coloring that had given it its bright, lovely green color. How times have changed!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Introductions and explanations

I never imagined I would be a blogger, because my routine life, with its usual romantic/professional ups and downs never offered much to talk about.  Its been a fairly nice life to live, but making it engaging enough for a virtual audience would be a job for a true writer.  Which I'm most definitely not.  However, when I began  TTC as a single woman, all of that changed because I realized I needed people willing to listen and virtually pat me on the back as I go along this not-so-straightforward journey.

I had decided that if I had not met the right guy by the time I turned 30, I'd have a child by myself.  A pretty shocking and unusual idea for an Indian girl, but its one that I was oddly comfortable with from the start. Getting here has not been as easy or uncomplicated as these 2 sentences make them out to be, with plenty of tear-soaked pillows along the way. But still, here I am, at peace and even excited about the concept, although 10 years ago it would have seemed like something from a bad dream. 

My desire to be a single mother has been mostly secret. My employer or colleagues at work have no idea. A few of my close friends know, but its just a handful.  My immediate family does too, and they are incredibly supporting given the circumstances.  Problem is, we TTCers tend to be obsessed with this process.  Only women going through (or who have gone through) the TTC process will be even mildly interested in our lengthy regurgitations.  The others are a different cup of tea.  When you first break the news to them, you can have them in thrall for at least half an hour.  After that (if its not your poor, loving mother), you get a few minutes of an interested audience to provide a pithy progress report.  They care, make no mistake about it, but oddly enough, are not willing to listen to your every thought on the topic.  I was utterly and completely ok with this when the going was easy- now things are different.

My journey so far- I'm 30 years old and come from a family of of disgustingly good fertility.   Every test ever run on me looks fine, and I ovulate regularly. On April 17th (a date etched in my memory) I had my first IUI. 10 days later, a second beautiful (and terrifying) line appeared on my pregnancy stick. Thereafter I was in comfortable-and-happy pregnant woman land until my 12 week ultrasound where a doctor found that the my baby whose heart had been beating merrily 4.5 weeks ago was now shrunken and dead.  It was like being slapped in the face really, really, REALLY hard.  There are far worse things that have happened to people and so far I've been blessed in many ways in this process, but it was devastating anyway.

Almost 7 weeks later, I'm in a cycle I want to use to get pregnant. I'm changing REs and have an appointment with a new practice which is reputed to be wonderfully attentive (the doctors do the inseminations themselves) and they are supposed to actually listen  to you- shocking indeed. I'm pretty sure I will ovulate on the 3rd or 4th of September. I'm terrified to try again, yet terrified of waiting to know whether I am one of those who will have problems carrying children.  My baby had normal chromosomes, and for a while, all of it looked perfect. Why pregnancies fail are a mystery.  For somebody who is an scientist with a halfway decent understanding of the human body, having a mile-long list of possibilities of why this happened, but no real answers is agony. It might happen again. And again and again. Or it never might. If it does though, I think being able to talk about it more might help.

I need a boatload of editing, and I promise to make the next posts shorter. I'll get better with time, I hope. Thanks for reading.