Saturday, August 19, 2006

A New Food (and Nail Polish) Order

I'm trying to figure out all the new eating and lifestyle issues that are no longer theoretical.

Since the whole IVF egg retrieval and transfer, I was told not to exercise strenuously, not to color my hair, not to swim or sunbathe.

To prep for it, I darkened my hair a few weeks back so I wouldn't have to touch it up for awhile, cut back all gym visits to strictly walking, skipped a social beach outing last week, and, for the two procedures, took off my toenail polish. The idea is that the retrieval is surgery (I was under anesthesia), and the docs want to be able to see if you're getting enough oxygen. Your nails will look different, maybe turn blue, if you aren't, and polish gets in the way.

I love having brightly colored toenails, hadn't seen my unpainted toes in years, and taking the color off proved why. My toenails are pretty unattractive without a decent pedicure. The dark pinks and reds and metallic blues I prefer leave a lot of yellowing behind. No wonder I keep covering them up.

So yesterday, my fertility doc nurse confirmed I could paint my nails. I'm aware that there are arguments that cosmetics have chemicals in them, and I'm vaguely thinking of stories where pregnant women didn't do anything cosmetic during their pregnancies. But Dr. Google and Fertility Nurse both said that pedicures during pregnancy are A-OK.

(Of course, Dr. Google pointed out that in later pregnancy, one's belly gets too big to be able to cut one's own toenails, so the pampering of a pedicure is pretty much a necessity. While my belly is as flabby as usual, and I can certainly still see my toes today, I seized on the pampering part and walked into my local nail salon.)

So now my toenails are a beautiful crimson. I'm pleased to wear my open-toed shoes once again and I no longer cringe looking footward.

But the food requirements are a whole new way of thinking. While I've been eating this way for two weeks a month for a year since trying to get pregnant, now there's no upcoming two-week break. Or at least, I'm hoping there's not.

In a way, eating while pregnant is a bit like being diagnosed with diabetes again, except the food categories are different. Cold cuts (the kind I typically devour at lunch) like packaged turkey or ham are OUT. Soft cheeses like Brie and gorgonzola (also favorites) are OUT. They can all carry listeria, which is OK for the adult immune system to fight off, but not at all good for the defenseless developing embryo. Yes, you can heat these things up and supposedly kill the bacteria, but it's probably better just to avoid them.

No sushi, no rare or undercooked meat, no uncooked eggs (like in a Caesar salad drssing or, um, cookie dough ice cream, or in my favorite use of the product, raw dough eaten directly from the package).

Avoid nitrates like those found in hot dogs. No pepperoni. For some reason, the nurse said thouroughly cooked bacon and sausage are OK, but I keep thinking "they have nitrates, how could those be good?"

Even cooked fish has restrictions: no swordfish, no other thick fish (too much mercury), and only thoroughly cooked shellfish like scallops and mussels (both of which I love and tend to order out. Does that mean I should worry that my restaurant meals might somehow be undercooked?) And finally, only one can of tuna a week (and heck, I'd typically mix it with mayo which is full of fat, so why bother with the extra fat calories and artery-clogging mess anyway?) and only 12 ounces of wild caught salmon instead of farm raised salmon. Farmed salmon apparently has more PCBs (I can't remember what they do, but it's nothing good) and is more likely to be the kind the Mister and I buy at our local BJs (such good prices on seafood, but I know it's not organic) or supermarket. So now I'll probably be shopping at Whole Foods more often, where the food looks beautiful and healthy, but just isn't easy on the pocketbook.

(Oh, and no more smoked salmon, either. Farewell, beautifully-dresed bagels.)

So yeah, more food restrictions, and unfortunately, they're mostly proteins, which as a diabetic I tend to like because they don't futz with the blood sugars as much as the carbs and the fat.

Oh wait, there's more. I'm avoiding diet Coke, the liquid that carried me through my diabetic teens and adulthood. (Hey, no sugar! It's a free food! Let me drink it by the liter.), because there's nothing in it that would be considered good for a growing embryo. I don't drink coffee or tea much, which is good, because you're supposed to limit caffeine intake. Chocolate, which I've actually figured out how to bolus for (most of the time), should probably be restricted to stay within that daily caffeine limit (150-300 milligrams), and finally, Splenda and NutraSweet, also the saviors of my diabetic eating habits. They're probably OK, but enough (non-diabetic) women I know restrict or avoid them entirely, so I've taken to sprinkling a teaspoon of actual white sugar on my oatmeal. I feel like a diabetic blaspheme doing this, but I just up my bolus for the meal and have so far been OK.

I peed on another stick last night just to make sure it was still positive. I know it's very early, and I know the HCG/beta test I had on Tuesday was strong, but I just don't feel all that different. Boobs: unsore. Nausea: haven't felt it. Food aversions: good God, no. I'd still eat the refrigerator if I could. The only thing I feel is the very occasional abdominal twinge. I'm aware that I may be slammed with morning sickness and may be thinking back on this time as when I felt blissful (when I am not worrying about high blood sugars), but I wanted a little reassurance last night.

And yep, two more pink lines. I still can't believe it.


julia said...

As a first time pregnant person, I know you're probably going to ignore this advice, but seriously - don't worry too much about a lot of those restrictions. I stayed away from tuna - but I do anyway, because of the mercury - and raw sushi, raw eggs and lunch meats. I went easy on the super rare steaks, but did eat them once in a while. I ate a lot of fruits and a lot of salads. I ate cheese (I couldn't give that up). I drank one big cup of coffee a day. I tried not to get too bunged up about it. I stayed away from most of it, but honestly, if you follow the rules to a T, you'll be eating carrots, celery and chicken for your entire pregnancy.

Johnboy said...

Good grief. As if things aren't already complicated enough!

Good luck with it!!

Flmgodog said...

I have been away from the blogs for the last nine days, I am cautiously opptimistic for you and Mr. Lyrecha!!!
I understand how you feel about all the restrictions. You have gone through so much already to have something go wrong by what you put into your body!!!
Take care~~

Minnesota Nice said...

Ooooooh.......I should not go online so close to bedtime for you are making me hungry in a major way.
Here's hoping that the little tadpole stays safely snuggled in his/her spot

Sarah said...

I second Julia, I was cautious, but not crazy with my diet (didn't help that I C-R-A-V-E-D salami).

Don't worry about not feeling too much just yet. I never had the sore boobs, the dead tiredness didn't hit till closer to 8 weeks, which is also when my "morning" (more like 1am) sickness hit.

Kerri. said...

I have nothing to offer as far as pregnancy advice, as I've yet to have the pleasure of carrying a baby, but I have to say that checking your blog gives me goosebumps every time. I love reading about the two pink lines. I love hearing about how you are shopping at Whole Foods because that is best for your pregnancy. I love hearing that you are avoiding Diet Coke because YOU ARE PREGNANT.

Nothing brings me more joy on this Monday morning than reading about how you are challenged with a new regimen. Because I know what that means. And I know what this means to you and Mr.

Goosebumps all over again.

God, I am so happy for you guys.

Scott K. Johnson said...

I very much appreciate you sharing your journey with us.

You are dealing very well with all of this information - I must admit that when I read it I get almost overwhelmed with all that you've got going on (in terms of do's & dont's, etc).

Wishing you & the Mr. all the best - and please, let us know if there is anything we can do for you guys.

serenity said...

Wowza, a ton of foods you can't eat, eh?

I like julia's assvice. Remind me to listen to her when we get those two lines...

Must be awesome to keep seeing the BFP, huh??? I am SO freaking happy for you.

Even if you have to give up your Diet Coke. :)

Nicole P said...

What Kerri said - for sure. Congrats again - can't wait to read more!

caren said...

Nicole stole what I was goiing to say... I am still excited for you... Thanks for the updates :)


bun said...

hello, i found you today through babyblogorama, i think you might be a pregnancy buddy for me. i am at exactly 4 weeks today. anyway i am so glad you posted all those things i'm not supposed to eat. since i'm new to all this, i'm doing everything wrong already. in the past week i have eaten deli turkey, pepperoni, smoked salmon, some unidentified cheese, deli turkey, a coke, rare steak (YUM i just love it rare) and hot dogs. i could just kick myself now. i hope the little bugger is OK. :(

well i'll be watching your blog since we are close in pregnancies. i don't have a blog but maybe i should start one? but if i did on blogger then some of my friends would know i'm pregnant. anyway... nice to meet you!!

Kelsey said...

This is so exciting! Thanks for the list of no-no foods... I'm going to copy it and save it for when it's my turn! :)

Congrats again and keep the updates coming!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Something that is little known is that raw cheeses such as blue cheese, goat cheese, gorgonzola etc when eaten during pregnancy can cause your child to have a cleft pallet or hair lip. I was not aware of this and ate a lot of salads with these cheeses during pregnancy. I wish I would have known...


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