There are sacrifices to be made…

NOTE: The original post has been deleted due to incessant speculation and erroneous rumors

I originally wrote this post about our approach to pregnancy. We had spent months preparing for our pregnancy, reading every book we could find, taking every test out there to make sure that Alexis had the very best start in life, unencumbered by anything that might be going on in our bodies or our lifestyles. We committed to making sure that the 9 months that I spent being pregnant were peaceful, without stress, exertion, full of nutritious foods and, most importantly, as germ and toxin free as we can be without living in a bubble. If we could have gone to a Tibetian retreat, we would have done that 🙂 But since we were left living in a Floridian suburb, we did the most we could: stayed away from large crowds or small spaces with lots of people, smoke, germy places, flus, colds, etc (If you’re interesting to read the reason why something as drastic as that could possibly be important, I suggest you pick up a copy of Pre-Parenting: Nurturing Your Child from Conception or Origins or any other book dealing with epigenetics, the science of how gene expression works and how they interact and are influenced by the environment, including time in the womb).

That did not mean never leaving our house, but it meant doing what we could in terms of the things I mentioned above.

Feeling a little bit Alice today

In the deleted post I also wrote about the studies brought up in the above mentioned books about maternal anxiety and stress, inadequate nutrition and the effects of it on the development of an unborn fetus. It is not a secret that stress releases cortisol that can make many changes to a healthy body, but what has been glossed over until recently is the changes stress can make in a neural, cardio-vascular and hormonal systems of an unborn developing fetus. Growing a baby is such an intricate process, so many things can go wrong under the influence of seemingly harmless external factors. It is absolutely fascinating  ( and scary) to read all that can influence the development of a fetus. Most studies were done on the pregnant “victims” of natural disasters and those who lived through world wars and famines and their babies, so the conditions were, of course, very extreme, but it is not known whether a little external factor AT THE WRONG TIME could do harm. Just like there is no safe amount of alcohol… The conditions linked with prenatal environment are as harmless as allergies and go all the up to ADD, dyslexia, asperger’s, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, asthma, and more, more, more. {note: I did read somewhere that mild non-chronic stress is actually beneficial to the fetus}

One of the things mentioned was homosexuality. According to the studies brought up in the books, there is evidence that maternal stress at a certain period of time of fetal development can result in different brain wiring. One that makes you legitimately attracted to people of same sex, or have a brain wired for one gender and body of another. And that makes it a completely normal occurrence. Not unnatural – completely normal.

Unfortunately, this citing has earned me hundreds of outraged comments and a series of erroneous speculations. It’s like the best case of a broken ( and very stupid) telephone. A citing that was essentially “proof” that homosexuality ( among other things) is a completely natural thing, isn’t a choice and cannot be “cured” was turned into name calling by {predominantly straight} idiots, set out to “defend” the LGBT community. It is even more ridiculous to see someone commenting saying that I am a “homophobe”, when it is the furthest from the truth. I support and always will gay marriage, gender reassignment help, equal rights for everyone regardless of their orientation or preferences, I have a ton of gay and a few transsexual friends that I love, my opinion has ALWAYS been that you are born that way and  who you are attracted to or chose to live with should have no bearing on your rights or attitudes of people. But alas, those who probably know the least of the subject, the close minded straight females, have been spreading rumors about what I am or am not.

So  for whoever it is that is looking for the truth, for my side of the story, here it is:

LGBT COMMUNITY HAS ALWAYS HAD AND ALWAYS WILL HAVE MY SUPPORT NO MATTER WHAT.

And if someone continues speculation, spreading lies and name calling based on something they misunderstood and have absolutely no idea about, that is perfectly fine by me. It would not be the first time that “herd” has gone off on something completely irrelevant.

 

To Alexis: Sweetie, if you’re reading this when you’re older, and by some chance you feel that you’re different (in any way, shape or form), know that you can come to me without judgement and I will celebrate you for who you are and jump happily up and down because you have taken the awesome step of discovering and accepting that you are absolutely perfect no matter what. {even if that means you’re a tattooed piercing-crazy headbanger *cringe* no offense to those who have tattoes or piercing or like heavy metal}

 

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  • tiffany
    May 15, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Hope everything works out! It’s hard not to stress! Take everything one day at a time and you can only try your best and not overly think about it. It makes it easier! :-)!

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 6:47 PM

      I know it will be hard. Stress and anxiety comes from the very moment you get that positive. But I will try to do what I can. I’m lucky I have such a supportive husband. In the end, my goal is to simply know I’ve done everything I can. And so far these changes I am going to take, while hard, don’t seem to inconvenience me much. We’ll see.

  • Captivus
    May 15, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    What an awesome post. I never knew half this stuff! Dont blame you for taking these actions though, not after you explained the possible consequences! I’m sure it will be so hard! I’m hoping the best for you and yours!

  • Ashley
    May 15, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Hopefully your online friends will be a source of fun and comfort… that way you can stay within your goals and still feel supported!

  • Brittney
    May 15, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Do you seriously believe that your child can acquire “homosexualism” because of something you did while he/she was in the womb? (Also, homosexualism isn’t a word. )

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Word corrected. That was a dumb mistake.
      And yes, there have been many studies that linked maternal anxiety with how the sex & gender understanding develops in one’s brain. If a lot of cortisol is released at the right ( or should I say wrong) time it can mess up the connection between what gender a person perceives himself/herself to be and the actual sex of the person. One of the studies they did was on mice and those pregnant mice that were subjected to stress at the right period of gestation had a significant amount of pups that exhibited homosexual behavior. And we’re talking large percentage. I have many gay friends and love them to death, but if i can stay calm and less emotional during pregnancy, it will hopefully help the baby’s development, but at least won’t hurt the baby. And if I end up having a gay kid regardless, I’d be perfectly fine with that.
      Same goes for dyslexia, ADD and other disorders. Can’t hurt to be careful.

      • Brittney
        May 15, 2011 at 7:24 PM

        I realize my last comment probably came off rudely, so I apologize for that.
        Your strategy (for lack of a better word) for your pregnancy just seems a little radical to me. Obviously, you’re entitled to live your life as you choose, I just hope you remember that it is still important to do things that make you happy while taking care of your unborn child.
        I hope you don’t completely close yourself off from your friends, because if you do it is likely that you will push them out of your life completely. Speaking from experience (I just had my first son in January), pregnancy can be a very lonely time even without closing yourself in your home. I hope you can at least find an online support group/ board where you can connect with others.
        No matter what, I wish you the best in your journey. Remember, it’s ok not to do everything perfectly. That can be a stressor in itself.

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
          May 15, 2011 at 8:00 PM

          Yes, I do realize it’s radical. Believe me more people than you think it’s too much. However what those people don’t have are all the materials I’ve read and studies I’ve found. I think you’d see where I am coming from if you did.
          But I have 2 things going for me why I think it won’t be as bad:
          1. I already work from home, so I get out on the weekends only. So that wouldn’t be much of a change
          2. Most my friends live out of state and we get to see each other once a year.

          And finally my hubby is my best friend so I don’t mind being stuck with him for 9 month. I have so many hobbies I never have time for + general sickness of pregnancy … I don’t think I will be too eager to get out.
          I do have a HUGE online community of friends of all sorts, so that will be fine. Plus I am keeping my options open after the 20th week once all the major organs are developed to possibly get out there if I’m feeling lonely.
          I don’t want to alienate any of my local friends but at the same time, I’d feel better if I made sure that I stay home, and my baby is more important. So I’ll stay in touch with them over FB and phone and see how it goes.

          Otherwise you might see a whiny post here some time in the future about how sick I am of not having fun 🙂

  • goodgalpal
    May 15, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    I am curious what prenatal vitamins you are taking, and the reason(s) that you selected them.

    I am taking Rainbow Light brand.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      At first I was taking Solgar prenatals, because it was the only brand that didn’t go crazy going over 100% DV ( there are too many vitamins that can cause toxicity and birth defects to play around with that). But about a week after taking them I just felt like a all in one vitamin is not for me. It had too much E for my comfort ( as little as 75% of DV of vitamine E has shown to increase your chance of giving birth to a baby with heart defect by 7 times), it had both iron and calcium which shouldn’t be taken together since calcium prevents iron from absorbing. Plus calcium needs to be taken at 500mg at a time, more than that won’t absorb. So I was starting to feel like I am better off simply putting together my own pre-natal and take those pills at the right times. So since I get plenty of A,C and K vitamin, I skipped those. I bought iron at 150%DV ( which is 100% for preggos. i take that between meals since certain things in veggies can interfere with absoption), folic acid at 400mg, a B vitamin complex at 100% that includes another 400mg of folic acid, zinc at 150% ( since I am a vegetarian, i don’t get much of that, usually about 50% from food), copper ( since when you take zinc you have to take copper- they’re in a strict balance with each other and can cause insufficiency) at 100%DV, DHA and EPA, Calcium +D that i take separately from iron twice a day, and then the rest of the minerals we all get plenty of from food sources.
      Sorry if you expected a simple answer 🙂 But that’s the only way I feel confident that I am getting exactly what I need without too much of the not-so-good thing.

  • goodgalpal
    May 15, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Actually, I prefer the longer reply with more info in it. I am trying to decide what I am going to use for the longer term once I am actually pregnant.

  • Mrs.Umm
    May 15, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Did you really just put homosexuality in the same category as a learning disorder or mental disease? You can’t catch gay. And, if less people thought that way, we wouldn’t need sites like this: http://www.itgetsbetter.org

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM

      Oh God, no! Of course I didn’t. I thought that some people might take it that way as I was writing that sentence but I was hoping that must would understand that it’s simply in the same category because both were linked to maternal anxiety.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      You can’t catch gay and more than anything it’s not a choice. It is smth you are born with. I’m sure as more studies are done we will be able to understand the mechanics of it. One of my best friends in the past was a transsexual, my sister in law is lesbian, I have a million gay friends that are very dear to me. That’s why I read quite a bit about it, especially the transsexual part. It’s who you are and who you are born. However the point of the post is not to point fingers but to simply explain our choice and why we are doing it.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      Oh and I don’t know if you read my comment above, it explains about the studies.

  • Mrs.Umm
    May 15, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Where can I find these studies and research in full? Have they been proven through the scientific method, or are they just theories?

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      The first time I read about was a few years ago when I was researching trassexuality when my friend “came out” to me. Just wanted to understand it better.
      And then recently, when I was reading a book about pre-natal psychology ( mentioned in this post, you can follow the link), the author was talking about early brain development in a fetus, maternal anxiety specifically, and brought up a few studies on mice showing the effect anxiety had on future pups. I’m not sure if it’s possible to find those studies online, but if you manage to, I’d love to read them in full as well. If you’re going to get pregnant in the future, it is worth buying the book mentioned, it’s brilliant. If not, then it probably doesn’t make sense to buy it since the information on homosexuality there was limited to 1 chapter that ahd to do with maternal anxiety.
      I’ll try to find and copy/past a few excerpts from it for you.

      • Mrs.Umm
        May 15, 2011 at 8:47 PM

        I’d hold his work in higher value if he had published anything not-for-profit. The only ‘research’ I can find by that author is published for monetary gain. NOTHING in reputable medical journals.

        • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
          May 15, 2011 at 8:51 PM

          Who are you talking about? Verny? It’s not his research. He just put together a lot of studies that he found and wrote a book. See the comment with what I found in the note section.

          But either way, I am not here to tell anyone anything about homosexualism. For me it’s smply about taking care of myself and my baby. Even if it’s based on research that in unsubstantiated. In the end, all the author is saying is reduce anxiety. So if that won’t “influence” the sexual orientation, we know for a fact it will at least help with learning disorders and mental problems.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 8:42 PM

      The effects of prenatal maternal stress on offspring behavior in rats,” Psychological Monographs 76 (38), 1962
      W. R. Thompson, “Influence of prenatal maternal anxiety on emotionality in young rats,” Science 125 (1957): 698-699

      Is what I found in the note section.

      If you’re really interested, I can send you the jpg files of the chapter about maternal stressors and sexual orientation

  • Jen
    May 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    Um, rats are not people and those quotes say nothing about homosexuality.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 9:35 PM

      Most studies are done on animals, because you cannot do those studies on humans. So rats is the only thing we have to go off of. The processes in rats are exactly the same as in humans- that’s enough for me.

  • Rachel
    May 15, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    This seems like an excellent way of getting out of doing every housework. No grocery shopping, or laundry?

    This seems like a little extreme. Wait, no, this seems a lot extreme.

    All the best to you though, I suppose.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 10:12 PM

      Hahaha! You have a good point! But as far as housework, I bought natural cleaning supplies that I will be using, which works with me. Hubby can do grocery shopping no problem. I’ll probably be so sick the first few months, I wouldn’t be able to go anyways. Laundry is fine as long as it’s with natural laundry detergents.

  • Ashley
    May 15, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    I’m not sure why people are criticizing Elena on her own blog…if you don’t like her ideas then maybe just don’t read. She clearly feels strongly about things and wants to do it her way which is totally her right. Her husband is on board with their plan so maybe we should just wish them luck. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 15, 2011 at 10:34 PM

      Aaaawwwww, That’s sweet Ashley! Thank you!
      I don’t mind people expressing their opinions as long as they do it in a polite manner. But yeah, it is strange when people go crazy over something that you chose to do. I think it has to do with thos whole desire of conformity for everyone.

  • telegraph_ave
    May 16, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    I think you’re doing everything right.

    If we were living in a perfect world, with all people having a healthy lifestyle, eating properly( by “properly” I mean vegan or vegetarian) and thinking in a positive way, going out and communicating with others during pregnancy would have a much smaller potential to cause any negative consequences. But, since it is not so, I suppose that you “strategy” is a good way to avoid the detrimental sides of our reality.

    I will be rereading your blog a lot once I get pregnant 🙂 Good luck with everything!

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2011 at 6:27 PM

      That’s exactly where I was coming from. Definitely come back when you are ready to start a family. I’ll also be doing a page with a list of books I’ve read.

  • telegraph_ave
    May 16, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    *I should have said, “I will be rereading your blog a lot once I decide I am ready to have a baby” ))

  • Verna
    May 16, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    I agree with Ashley. It’s your blog, your pregnancy, and your life, you can do whatever you want. I think you’ll be a great mother, you’re obviously very concerned about your baby already. I think it’s wonderful! Thank you for all of the information, too!! Good luck with everything!

    • RHG
      May 16, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      I agree – I’m restricting myself from certain things (like chocolate, caffeine) completely, even though in moderation they are said to be fine…I’m in a high-risk pregnancy and am learning as I go…I am blessed that my lifestyle allows me to avoid a lot of things, like stress/anxiety…I figure making these small changes aren’t a sacrifice so much and if they turn out to be wrong, I’m assured that I’m certainly not harming the kid – so what’s the fuss if it isn’t welcomed by other mothers doing something different.

      • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
        May 16, 2011 at 7:13 PM

        That’s exactly what I am trying to do. To avoid any harm as much as it is possible to do, becase I can and the only one inconvenienced by that is myself. When the kid is born, she/he will lead a normal life, because it’s necessary for him/her to experience life to the fullest, which includes taking risks and socializing, etc. However, I cannot justify taking risks (even miniscule) risks that could result in any negative impact on my child, only because I want to have fun and party.

        • Verna
          May 16, 2011 at 7:20 PM

          I think that’s a resonable goal. We all abstain from things during pregancy. Some are more cautious than others but we are all doing the best we can to raise healthy children. I think it’s great that you are doing so much research and sharing it with everyone and doing what you and your husband feel is best to take care of you and your baby during pregnancy. Of course you can’t be sheilded from everything, but why put yourself at higher risk when you don’t need to.

          • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
            May 16, 2011 at 7:53 PM

            I agree! I know, not everyone has the option to avoid all the risks, especially those with older children. So everyone makes the best out of what they have. I can avoid some partying and smoke, so of course I’ll do it. I doubt I can “keep my friends away” for longer than the first trimester. So I’ll try to hold out till mid 2nd trimester when all major organs are formed and then we’ll see what happens.

  • blanca
    May 16, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Good luck, I can’t wait to see how your pregnancy adventure turns out, I don’t think I know anyone who stayed indoors like your talking about doing. I’m curious to see what happens. Just wondering will you be leaving the house for doctor’s appointments?

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      Yes of course! I won’t be locking myself in the house. I will just try to do my best to avoid any type of situations that have a possibility of harming the fetus.
      I will be going to all doctor’s appointments. I will be going to the beaches and parks. I’ll be walking daily. And then after about 4-5 months I’ll reevaluate it if I’m going stir crazy. But I’m hoping I cam stay strong and keep myself occupied.

  • Meegs
    May 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    If you want to lock yourself away, that is your right, however it seem crazy excessive! You say you want to keep stress down, but then say that you are eliminating having fun… it seems you are just setting yourself up for failure.

    Also, how you do reconcile locking yourself indoors to keep away from harmful things, when many sources say that indoor air is often just as polluted as big city air!
    From the EPA website: “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.”

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      I totally agree with you on the indoor air quality. My problem is not with the outdoors at all. I love being outside. It’s larger crowds, germs and toxins I’d like to avoid. I will still be going for daily walks, going to the beach and parks. But our goal is to take it easy and avoid anything that might have a negative effect. It is extreme for most people’s lifestyles, especially those with kids, but we are in the position to be able to do that. The only people we will be inconveniencing is ourselves and we are both willing to do that.

  • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
    May 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Also, there’s another thing I’d like to say to both supporters and critics of my method…
    It’s not about whether this is right or wrong, whether the studies are substantiated or not. It’s about what makes sense to me and whether I am willing to take a chance in case the studies are onto something there.
    There’s no questions about links between maternal anxiety and learning disorders, ADD and dyslexia, or certain illnesses cause birth defects or miscarriages. It’s not news anymore. The studies on homosexuality make sense when you read them, even though they might be flawed or not mainstream. Hell, people used to think smoking doesn’t cause harm.
    I guess, in the end, there are some women who justify drinking a glass of wine a week during pregnancy while others would never let themselves do that. It’s how much risk you’re willing to take with your unborn baby, even if it means taking precautions that are out there at the moment. Some women are in a position to make such sacrifices, others aren’t not. In the end, it’s each woman’s choice to behave in a way she feels is safe for her baby. Being too careful can never hurt even if it pisses of a few people.

    • CitizenJane
      May 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      Are you willing to believe anything you read as long as it’s in a book?

      • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
        May 17, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        CJ,

        I am willing to consider everything that is said in books, as long as the logic that is presented makes sense to me. Whether I decide to act out on it or take the risk that it might or might not be true, it’s solely up to me, don’t you think?

  • Julie
    May 16, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    I was wondering if you have done any research on the effects of time spent near electromagnetic forces and computers can have? Or the off-gassing that occurs inside homes? I also hope that being cut off from your friends and only having contact with one human being does not negatively impact your marriage. Because that might cause you some stress. Especially when he brings home a cold and you may feel like blaming him. Do you plan to have more than one child? If yes, do you plan to keep your older child away from society for 9 months so you don’t catch anything from him/her while you are pregnant again? If no, have you researched the impact of being an only child? Will you be leaving your house to visit the doctor? If you have a midwife come in, will she have come into contact with other pregnant women who have not made the same choices as you?

    Some questions you might want to think about.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2011 at 7:08 PM

      Yes, I have thought about all those things, but I appreciate you bringing them up:
      I was wondering if you have done any research on the effects of time spent near electromagnetic forces and computers can have? Or the off-gassing that occurs inside homes?yes, I have done reasearch and am doing anything possible to eliminate that, however there’s only so much I can do. Most people are either stuck at home 8 hours a day or at work 8 hours a day which impacts them the same way. Off-gasing and electromagnetic forces both happen at workplaces and homes. I intend on taking lots of walks, going to the beach and spending normal amounts of time outside.
      I also hope that being cut off from your friends and only having contact with one human being does not negatively impact your marriage. Because that might cause you some stress. Especially when he brings home a cold and you may feel like blaming him.
      My husband and I are the best of friends, we work together 8 hours a day and we play together. We have all mutual friends and we’ve been married for 8 years while being together 24/7 and that has been a problem as of yet, therefore I don’t expect it be a problem. As far as colds, my husband intends on being just as careful about germs while I am pregnant.

      Do you plan to have more than one child? If yes, do you plan to keep your older child away from society for 9 months so you don’t catch anything from him/her while you are pregnant again?
      We’re approaching this pregnancy in that manner because we can right now. When we have another kid, obviously, we won’t be able to be that strict and will do what we can to avoid those same things but in the end do what is best for both our children.

      Will you be leaving your house to visit the doctor?

      Of course. I will be doing all the normal things pregnant women do, including hospital birth, except for I will take special care in making sure that my unborn baby is shielded from as much as possible.

  • Drea
    May 16, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    I wish you all the best in your endeavor, I really do. However, I would encourage, no STRONGLY encourage you to talk to moms from all walks of life what they did and didn’t do in their pregnancies or during the TTC timeframe.

    As the mother of a special needs child, I did what I was supposed to leading up to my pregnancy. I had excellent prenatal care, took my vitamins, avoided all the bad foods, etc. Yet, I still have (and dearly love) my very special boy. He was conceived on our 1st cycle and was born via c/s on his due date (failed inducation) His brother? Took 18 months to conceive. This time, while I was on meds to help with that and had some issues with gestational diabetes that was controlled with diet., I did what I wanted. Not to say I was out partying or doing bad things, but I worked full-time, had a stressful life (including a special needs child and an unemployed husband), drank fully caffeinated soda, and chocolate was a staple in my diet. And even though he’s perfectly well-rounded and a chatterbox, he nearly killed me after I hemorrhaged after delivery. Two days in ICU and a transfusion taught me the most important lesson of motherhood: you can plan all you want, you’ll never get it all perfect.

    I wouldn’t trade either of my children or my birth experiences for anything in the world. I also don’t spend a SINGLE moment (anymore) obsessing about what caused my older child’s delays. I concentrate, instead, on making sure he has a good life, full of good people that have his best interest at heart.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      Oh honey, I totally understand you! I know how unpredictable pregnancy, delivery and motherhood can be and that I can plan all I want, anything can still happen. It’s such an intricate process and that’s why I am aproaching it so seriously. You did everything perfectly in your first pregnant, so you know that your child was born with special needs because that’s what happened, and not because you did something wrong. You did everything you could.
      You love your children the way they are, unconditionally, that is exactly why I want to do anything I can to give him/her the best start. Not because I won’t love my child who has dyslexia or ADD, but because I would rather make my own life more difficult than risk ( even by a little amount) that my child’s life will be more difficult in the future.

  • Jenn
    May 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    While avoiding cigarette smoke & harmful toxins is in general a good idea, if you aren’t pregnant within the first few months of trying, are you going to avoid all contact with outside people until you are pregnant? What if it takes you a year to become pregnant? Or are you going to use your period as an indicator you are not pregnant and it’s therefore safe? I’m not trying to be snarky, I promise. I’m generally curious as to where you are going to draw the line on avoiding all toxins and outside influences on your fetus. But hey, if you can get your hubs to do the grocery shopping for awhile-bonus 🙂

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 16, 2011 at 11:39 PM

      The way we see it is we’d try to be careful while TTCing, but as soon as my period comes we’re fine again until the next ovulation. Otherwise, of course all easy to avoid toxins are avoided regardless of my cycle.
      F.e this first month of TTCing (5DPO), we had planned a birthday dinner for a friend and a boat trip the next day. I was trying to justify why it’s ok to go ( my biggest reason was I just didn’t think I’d get pregnant the first month+ovulation came a day late and 3 days after our last intercourse). My husband sort of got mad at me, saying that we had devised this plan of doing everything perfectly and taking care of me at the first possibility of being pregnant and here I was welching out on it the first chance I got.
      So we discussed it further, wondering if there’d be any danger while the embryo is implanting. We decided there would be, since it’s such an easily “upsettable” process.
      We still went to dinner, since we promised, but I had to tell everyone that we were trying and that I would appreciate it if they didn’t smoke around me at all ( instead they all tried to feed me donuts lol). Once the party moved to our friend’s mansion, whenever they’d smoke outside, I’d stay inside and hubby would come to keep me company, until the smoke disappears. So we took that chance because we were relatively confident that a dinner would do much harm as long as noone was sick or smoked around me. We, however, didn’t go on a boat trip the next day.

      So yeah we do take it seriously, and that’s how we chose to approach this pregnancy, not taking even possibly non-existent risks.

      And where do I draw the line? I do what I can, just like we all do. Some women work and they can’t stay home, others have kids. I work from home, so I’m fine. Will I give up my laptop because of radiation? No, but I will use precaution. But I’ll stop using chemicals, because hubby volunteered to clean everything that requires chemicals, and have been for about a few months now since we’ve been preparing to start TTCing. I won’t go to the grocery stores, because of all those germy carts and people, because hubby has no problems doing it himself. I won’t hang with friends because it’s a small sacrifice to make for a few months. So I do what I can and try to be as selfless as possible and think of whether it can harm the baby and if it’s smth I can handle….
      Would I do it all if my husband wasn’t here to help? No, I have to eat and clean. If I had a job and couldn’t quit it for monetary reasons? Obviously not.
      But luckily I am in a position to do what I can, which what I am doing.
      I hope that answered your question.

  • Sarah
    May 17, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    I think I might be missing your logic.

    Not having social interactions with friends and other people can actually become stressful after an extended period of time. That seems to be exactly what you don’t want. Plus, you might lose all your friends in the process.

    Also, your body does do a really great job at being a natural filter- hence the reason for morning sickness.

    Are you going to keep your baby under house arrest when it’s born? They need those exposures so they can develop and immune system. So do you. Even when you are pregnant. You don’t want to lose the one you’ve worked so many years to gain. It needs daily maintenance.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      If staying away from people becomes more stressful, I will re-consider it. But right now, that’s what we want to try to do, AT LEAST during the first trimester. And what kind of friends would they be if they could be so easily lost, because I make a decision to take care of myself while pregnant. All my friends, even the sceptical ones, respect that decision.

      As far as the baby, I am not planning on sheltering the baby at all, because that would be detrimental to its development. I, on the other hand, am willing to sacrifice my comfort for even the smallest risk of any kind of problem.
      As far as immune system, husband will be bringing plenty of that home. As it is, I work 6 days a week, and see friends only on the weekend, I doubt that is contributing to much of my immune system building.

  • sbhughes
    May 17, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    So what about the rest of us who work outside of the home and have other kids? I guess our fetuses are just screwed…

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      I do not see anywhere in my post where I insinuated that ALL women should be doing what I am trying to do. Or that it’s the only way, or that those who don’t do it will end up having “bad babies”. Most babies turn out completely normal because those risks would have to be large or repeating for any damage to occur. However, since it’s my first baby and I can manage it, I’d like to do it that way for the peace of mind. Noone has to start feeling guilt over not doing enough. Being healthy, exercising, not exposing your baby to toxins and being positive is the least any pregnant woman can do, and that’s what all of them are doing.
      I’m just taking it to the enxt level, because I want to.

  • Bridget
    May 17, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    I think you’ve got it wrong…it’s not 60% of pregnancies end as chemical pregnancies, it’s 60% of miscarriages are classified as chemical pregnancies. Source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/miscarriage.html

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      You got my hopes up for a second, but then I looked up other sources and they all say 50-70% of conceptions end in early miscarriages.

      I think it’s both, 60% of misscarriages are actual chemical pregnancies, as well as 50-70% of all conceived eggs end in CP. Since msot women don’t even know they were pregnant I’m sure it’s hard to get the right number. Either way I think it’s smth every women is deathly afraid of.

  • Samantha
    May 17, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    While I respect your right to choose how to behave during pre pregnancy and pregnancy as well as the freedom to say whatever you like on your own blog, it can come across as offensive and even hurtful to others to suggest that a mother somehow contributed to a miscarriage or sacrificed the wellbeing of her child.

    Once the baby arrives, it becomes impossible to shelter them from every danger. Impossible. Everyone wants the best for their kids.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Sam, it was never my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings, especially someone who has gone through a miscarriage. Miscarriages happen for MANY different reasons. Just like one can do everything perfectly but then still give birth to a baby with problems. That’s how nature is. It takes its own course. However, in the world that we live, I’d like to take an extra precaution. That way if something happens, I can at least feel that I’ve done everything I could. And me writing about what I’d like to be doing during my pregnancy has nothing to do with other women’s situations or miscarriages. The fact that people get upset might mean that they must be feeling unnecessary guilt over what I am saying. Some women chose to breastfeed, others don’t, some co-sleep, others let the baby cry it out. Everyone makes their own decisions, but to get offended at other people’s decision is silly. If I decide to not breastfeed, should I get mad at women listing the reasons why they decided to breastfeed on THEIR OWN BLOG? That’s just ridiculous.
      I’m only going off of things that I read and that make sense to me personally. If people get offended by studies and publications that link certain things that happen during pregnancy, they should take it up with them – I listed the pre-natal psychology book in the post where I got some of the information.
      In the end, I am simply writing about how we have decided we’re going to deal with our pregnancy, not telling people what to do or think, or what’s right for them.
      Does it guarantee that nothing wrong will happen? Of course not. But will I do everything I deem necessary to prevent it? Like hell I would!

      Once the baby arrives, it is different, because then, by being overly cautious, I’d be inconveniencing other people besides myself, like my baby, and that’s not something I want to do.

      BTW, your twins are absolutely adorable- congratulations! Two twin girls is my dream!

  • Sandra
    May 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnancy!!!! Hopefully the next 9 months will be happy and healthy ones.

  • Verna
    May 17, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    This decision doesn’t affect anyone besides Elena and her husband, who agrees. Why is everyone getting so worked up about it? Goodness! Are you starting to be sorry you posted about this at all? ; ) I think you’ve made a very interesting point, that I’ve never really heard about before. Thank you for sharing your information!

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

      Hahahaha, Verna! It’s amazing to see how other people’s healthy decision bother some. But you know, when we stopped drinking alcohol months before TTCing there were plenty of people that would just get upset that we’re doing that, or when we went vegan, some of the “less emotionally balanced” of our friends were appauled at how dare we stop eating meat. hahahaha!
      And no, I am not sorry I posted it, as long as the discussion is respectful and polite. My husband and I are kind of getting a little bit of a laugh over this one. I am not afraid to write about things I strongly believe in on MY OWN blog 🙂 I am not calling anyone names, or judging anyone, just doing what this blog was designed for, which is describing my journey through pre-conception and pregnancy.
      BTW, If you’re at all interested in any of the stuff that I mentioned, I’d strongly recommend you read the book I wrote about in this post and make up your own mind on whether you think it makes any sense or not. I think you’d enjoy it, being pregnant and all, whether you decide you agree or disagree. Either way, it’s really fascinating to read, as long as one doesn’t let their mother guilt take over.

  • Lisa
    May 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I would like to say Elena, that while I think that it is a bit radical to do it the way you are doing this, it is completely your decision and people should not be criticizing you for it. That made me angry since you carefully wrote a post, and people were criticizing you. I think that in an ideal world, it would be nice if every pregnant mother could get to do this. Kudos for trying something different!

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 4:36 PM

      You know, Lisa, I do agree with you that it is radical ( hello, I don’t know anyone who’s doing that 🙂 lol), but at the same time I have the opportunity to do it ( with working at home and hubby being SOOOO accommodating and feeling as strongly about it as me, if not stronger). My working friends can’t imagine doing that and I totally understand, but then also my other friends who are planning to be pregnant in the next few years, have read the same books at my recommendation and are totally approaching it the same way as me, since they can also step away from work for a period of time, or at least for the first trimester, plus half of the second. So we all do what we can and think is right, that’s all.

      • Lisa
        May 17, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        I agree! I think that people should do everything in their means to make their pregnancies safe and their babies healthy, even if other people do not like what they are doing.

  • Verna
    May 17, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    I know you aren’t looking for agreement on this subject, but for what it’s worth, I don’t drink a lot to start with, so it’s easy for me to stop completely during TTC, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Also, being a stay at home mom, and not being super social anyway, I don’t spend as much time out socializing as most people do anyway. Now, I’ll know it’s good for the baby too! ; )

    I will definitely check out some of those books! I don’t know when I’ll actually get around to reading anything, but I’d love to learn more. Thanks again, for sharing all your information!

  • Verna
    May 17, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    I don’t have a nook. (Not that fancy yet! ; ) haha) Thanks, though! I’ll check it out as soon as I get a chance.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Sorry, by nook I meant the app on the iphone/ipod/ipad or your computer. those are free.
      have fun, let me know what you think

  • Elizabeth
    May 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

  • Mama
    May 17, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    …..and what, I wonder, will you do with your second pregnancy? Very hard to make these sacrifices while chasing a two year old.

    • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      May 17, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      I’ll do what I have to …. while chasing a two year old. I’ll try to minimize any risk but in the end do what i have to do to take care of my other kid, while taking care of my unborn baby. Hopefully, hubby will be helping as much as he is now.