Sep 22, 2014

The Baby Raincheck: Do you have a Family Plan?

 The Baby Raincheck
Essence magazine, September 2014 issue by Charreah Jackson

A baby girl is born with 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Those are all the eggs she will have for a lifetime. By puberty we have around 300,000 eggs and lose roughly 1,000 of them each month. 

I have been fortunate. When it was time to have children I had already met the love of my life during my much younger, hotter years (#realtalk). I honestly didn't put a lot of thought into having children I just figured when I wanted them I would just get pregnant. My husband and I both knew we wanted them and we agreed we wanted five. He was an only child and I had come from a big full house of kids so the rest was all she wrote.

I didn't really have to think too hard or figure anything out because my husband and I both were superhero baby makers. By the time I was 36 I had three children and we both knew that having 2 more was not an option-we were done! I was able to close off my baby making tunnels and settle into parenthood or our circus. Take your pick.

Our journey was not without a few bumps in the road. We had trouble with two out of three of our pregnancies. There was extreme Fibroid pain for our first that left me bedridden for 5 of my 9 months. I had pretty much sworn off children for a while after that. Then our second pregnancy was met with a rare disorder that left my daughter dangerously spending the 8 of her 9 months in between the layers of the amniotic sack instead of within it where she should be. 

By the time we got to baby #3, I was 35 and considered high-risk (given my two previous pregnancies compounded with age) but I believe a higher power had figured we'd been through enough. The last pregnancy was a breeze and pretty much uneventful. I'm also happy to say that all my children are healthy.

That's our abbreviated story but there are many women today who have a different one. They either are having trouble making babies for various reasons, finding partners to make babies with, or their partners have low motility sperm (slow sluggish sperm that's not interested in dancing with your eggs), etc. This is where The Baby Raincheck comes in. The article which I quote at the opening is based on an interview between the author Charreah Jackson (Essence Relationships editor) and Tai Beauchamp's (Style expert, philanthropist and media personality) decision to harvest and freeze her eggs for her future family. The article has sparked such a dialogue that the ladies put together a panel of health and relationship experts together to inform our women of their options and decisions they can make today to set the course for their future families. 

The event was hosted by Latham Thomas (wellness & birth coach, yoga teacher, and author on the vanguard of transforming the maternal wellness movement) of MamGlow as part of her salon series. She along with Charreah (moderator), Tai Beauchamp, Dr. Juliet Nevins (Obstetrician & GYN and author of as well as Dr. Michelle Callahan (TV Relationship expert and author of Ms. Typed) rounded out the discussion. It was an amazing evening and I want to share the highlights with you in the form of digestable tips. I hope if you are reading that this may help you or someone you know. 

From Latham Thomas- quote of the evening 'we have the sunshine between our thighs'--I'm totally using that again. More from this wellness genius...
  • If you know you want a family in the future its important to put as much investment in that as you do your career. You are never too young to begin this conversation with yourself from a very holistic perspective. 
  • Your body is a vessel, take care of it so it can do what you want it to do later.
    • How do we maximize our fertility? Be mindful of how you take care of YOU.
    • Before you can mother anyone you have to mother yourself first (my mom says to me all the time)
    • Feed yourself first. Be aware that food, media, and relationships are all things that affect your stress
      • Stress affects secretions. It programs cells (it can deter your ability to conceive)
      • Foods come with information- it can reprogram our cells for optimal health. Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth
From Tai Beauchamp
  • Things to consider if you want to harvest your eggs
    • Have more than one healthcare consultation.
      • Be active participants in our health, go in with questions
    • Understand your end goal. Is it motherhood- do you want to raise the baby alone? Is it marriage? Do you want to have a partner in the process. All things to consider first.
Your physical self...via Dr. Juliet and Latham
  • Dr. Juliet- take care of your reproductive organs today for tomorrow
  • Be mindful of the HPV and other STDs that go untreated
  • Fibroids- Dairy is evil and you acutally don't need to drink milk. Dairy promotes fibroid growth. It's a reproductive byproduct it builds mass (bad word). It has hormones in it and as a result interferes with our hormones. 
  • Your womb is a sacred space where all your creative ideas are born
  • Listen to your whispers when they get loud is when you have an issue. Meaning, pay attention to the small things happening within your body before they become a bigger problem that is out of your control

My old friend Dr. Michelle Callahan
Always remember you have more options then you think you do. You have do your research and you have to truly  know what your plan is.

For more information and to read the article check out the September issue of Essence.

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