Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Toxins everywhere!

I learned yesterday about parabens, which can lead to hormonal issues and cause reproductive problems. I already knew that phthalates are linked to reproductive issues and is possibly partly to blame for rising infertility rates and declining sperm counts, but I didn't know about parabens.

I've found a great deal of supportive evidence, but I can't say I totally understand it. All I know is that in this fragile state my embryos are in right now, and with how long we've tried to get this far, I don't want to risk anything by using the wrong shampoo or body lotion.

I went through my bathroom and threw out every item with parabens. It filled about 1/2 a kitchen-sized garbage bag and left my bathroom shower and cabinets nearly empty. I still have some new products I didn't toss out, but won't use. I'll give those to someone who isn't ttc, but I feel like attaching a warning "use at your own risk." If nobody wants them, I'll throw them out, too.

This mainly came about because Dave asked me not to use these products. He didn't know much about parabens, but from his university chemistry class he was concerned about the chemical effects on our embryos. We were also told by our doctor to avoid many cosmetic products around the time of the transfer. I was also told not to use the Lidoderm patches on my arm because the lidocaine can be absorbed into my bloodstream. I knew these products could be absorbed, I just didn't realize how toxic they really were, especially to little fragile ones.

I've been banned from having baths or swimming for at least the next two weeks. It's not necessarily a temperature issue, since that can be controlled (my doctor says bathing is fine in pregnancy as long as the temperature is kept under 99 degrees). The big issue with IVF is that they extract those eggs - leaving the woman's feminine bits exposed and at an increased risk of infection. So, for the duration I am forbidden from prolonged water exposure in my nether bits - and it's kind of difficult to swim or take a bath without exposing those bits to the water.

Without my nightly bath I have been feeling deprived. With RSD I've changed my diet and there aren't many indulgences left to me. A nice warm bath, perhaps with a candle, some soft music, a good book, well, that was my big and almost my only indulgence left. Now I don't have that.

In looking for a replacement indulgence, I was thinking of lotions and potions that might help feed my "girly side." When Dave asked me not to use them, I agreed but after a few days I was really feeling deprived. I mean, in this stage of the IVF I'm taking 7 pills a day and getting a big shot of oil in my bum each night. The shots really aren't so bad, but after a few of them now my upper bum cheeks are a bit sore.

The sacrifices are definitely worth it, but I still needed some sort of indulgence. I know, that could be selfish of me, but we all need "me time" and some pampering or we suffer and it's more difficult to take care of others.

A friend of mine suggested a foot bath at night. Good friend and great suggestion! I have a really nice foot bath but only use it a few times a year - didn't see the point if I was going to take a full bath most evenings. I went to Whole Foods and replaced my shampoo, shower gel, bar soaps, and body lotion with organic and simple solutions. In the foot bath last night, I used some of the citrus bath salts (naturally scented with essential oils - I hope citrus is okay). My foot bath has 3 settings: massage, bubbles, and massage with bubbles. It also has an infrared area for a little extra heat on parts of my feet and a massager/pedicure device that allows different attachments and spins on pressure.

After using it I felt so relaxed! It was great. :)


Norah said...

Congrats on kicking those parabens to the curb!!!! We are 100% organic and very careful what we put on our skin and hair. My newest fav product is Bee Yummy Skin Food. It's 100% RAW and Organic. A little piece of heaven.

Barb said...

YAY for foot baths! And love the embryos. :)

kaaron said...

I am now yearning for a good foot soak. Going to have to look up those parabens and phthalades. Have NO IDEA what those are.