After a couple years of silence on this blog, I’m back, not with food, but with hope for those who have suffered unexplained recurrent miscarriages and for any woman who is trying to conceive that might be concerned about their egg quality for any number of reasons. I have some things to share with you.
As my daughter’s third birthday rapidly approaches, I’m filled with the same love, joy, gratitude, and wonder that filled me up the second she was placed in my arms for the very first time. But I have one burning question: what happened to the last three years?
I remember our first year together flying past. Milestones were measured day to day, week to week, then month to month and clothing sizes changed so fast that some outfits were never worn more than once if at all.
But within that rapid movement of time, there was a stillness that I didn’t understand or appreciate. It’s not until your child is completely mobile that you realize how slowly those first months actually passed.
Hold on, mama, because once the toddler years hit and survival mode is engaged, two years will pass in a blink of an eye and all of a sudden you have a threenager slamming a bedroom door in your face while you’re hit with the realization that you never did finish filling out the first year of that baby book.
All of this is to say that there’s a reason I haven’t updated this blog in a couple of years. I’ve been at home with a toddler and time seemed to actually vanish. That, and cooking has become stressful rather than pleasurable so my kitchen hasn’t been a source of inspiration for quite some time.
Of course I’m glossing over all the joys of toddlerhood, and there are so many. I have plenty of funny and heartwarming stories I’d love to share and probably will. But today I want to introduce a different topic and propose some ideas for the direction I want to take this blog.
You see, I have a problem. I am the author of a food blog and I don’t have a whole lot of interest in cooking or talking about food right now.
Perhaps next month I will suddenly have the urge to create recipes and tell you all about it. Perhaps Hazel will slow down a bit and let me cook, or even better, help me cook. I hope so. And whether it’s next month or next year, I know that I’ll be back to writing about food fairly soon.
For now, however, I want to talk about how I came to finally have a healthy pregnancy and end up in this wonderfully challenging predicament of parenting a beautiful, smart, funny, and “spirited” three-year-old. I’ve written a bit about my experiences of recurrent miscarriage in the past. I’ve also mentioned in passing that I had an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in emergency surgery and the loss of a fallopian tube.
However, I haven’t told you about how I finally found hope and then success on my own after five failed pregnancies when doctors could offer no explanation other than my age and no advice except to try IVF.
I will be forever grateful to Rebecca Fett, who put so much time and research into the book It Starts with the Egg. This book changed my life. It gave me hope when I was hopeless and it gave me the courage and tools to try and change my circumstances on my own, before turning to medical interventions that had been recommended but were completely out of reach financially.
For me, the lifestyle changes recommended in this book worked. In three months.
I ate a healthy diet, got some exercise, and avoided certain chemicals in food, cleaning and laundry products, makeup, skincare, and hair care products. My husband did the same. I also took the recommended type of prenatal vitamin and a couple extra supplements. Nothing crazy. Nothing outrageously expensive.
I got pregnant immediately after taking the suggested three months to implement these changes. Even though I was in my 40’s. Even though I had only one fallopian tube.
I went on to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy. In May of 2016 I delivered a perfectly healthy baby girl. This book gave me hope and then this book gave me my daughter. I truly believe that.
I think every single woman who is considering pregnancy should read It Starts with the Egg. Even if you are young and healthy and have no reason to suspect fertility issues, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain by reading this book two to three months before trying to conceive.
If you are experiencing fertility issues, miscarriages, and/or you’ve already tried or are planning on IVF or other fertility treatments, then you definitely need to read this book. This book was written for you. All of you. It even gives advice for men, who are often overlooked when it comes to fertility advice.
I wish that it hadn’t taken me so long to write about this book and my lifestyle changes here. It is difficult to open up about our struggles with recurrent pregnancy loss and I guess I needed time and distance even to discuss our successes in depth.
Moving forward on this blog, I want to share more about specific changes Phil and I made individually and as a couple to clean up our life together in order to increase our chances of having a successful pregnancy.
Some were simple changes, like avoiding fast food for a few months and switching to unscented laundry detergent. Others were a bit more daunting, like getting rid of pretty much all of our personal care products, including almost all makeup, hair products, and perfume then trying to find products that were safer but also effective.
It wasn’t always easy and it still isn’t, but I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences so that it might be a bit easier for those of you who want to make similar changes.
Another thing I want to share is that I have recently become a consultant for Beautycounter, a skincare company I absolutely love that has a mission I can stand behind: to get safer products into the hands of everyone. I use and love many of their skincare and makeup products and I actually first learned about Beautycounter years ago after checking into product recommendations from the book It Starts with the Egg. It’s taken me a long time to get on board, but I’m excited and proud to finally be aligned with this company.
You can follow my safer beauty and skincare adventures at CrossCleanBeauty on Instagram. If you’d like to find out more about the company and products or just start shopping, Beautycounter.com is a great place to start. My PinchMySalt Instagram and Facebook will continue to be a mashup of food, family, chickens, and random things from my life, just like this blog.
So here’s to a new chapter for Pinch My Salt. If talking about our struggles with unexplained recurrent miscarriage and singing the praises of the book that changed everything for us can help just one other person, revisiting this painful subject is more than worth it. And for those who are here just for the food, I’ll do my best to get back to that as soon as possible, too.