This morning I was at the grocery store picking up a few things we needed. While there I noticed they had beautiful, fresh-cut gladiolus flowers for sale. Gladiolus flowers are among my favorites, especially since the summer of 1997, when I lived in a small town in Illinois called Momence, where I served as Recreation Director. Momence has an annual Gladiolus Festival where they crown a “Glad Fest Queen” and have a parade including floats built using gladiolus flowers. I decided to buy a some “glads” for my parents, as a small token of our appreciation for allowing the kids and I to stay at their house (my childhood home) this week in Evanston, while Sean participates in a Piven Theater Workshop Summer Camp program here.

Glads - August 2007 As I looked through the bunches of glads, I flashed back to six years ago, in August 2007. I remembered that we were doing our second try at our second IVF cycle. If I recall correctly, Bob, Sean and I were visiting my in-laws at their summer cottage, where we I was trying to relax and take it easy after our embryo transfer (ET) that cycle. My husband’s maternal grandmother (a.k.a. “GG”), who was still alive at the time, knew how anxious and excited I was to find out if that cycle was going to be successful. GG knew I loved glads. So when my mother-in-law took her shopping at a local farm stand, GG decided to surprise me with a beautiful bouquet of multicolored ones.

I smiled at the grocery store thinking about how GG’s gesture that day was one of many thoughtful things loved ones did during that difficult and uncertain time in our life to show Bob and me their love and support. Then, still reflecting on that same visit with my in-laws and GG after our embryo transfer, I remembered something else that made me giggle. It was one of many unique and somewhat silly things I did over the years we were trying to conceive and sustain pregnancies in effort to build our family.

I had read somewhere, probably online, that eating pineapple could help increase the chances of an embryo implanting after being transferred into the uterus. Having already experienced two failed Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) cycles that year, our first IVF and our second IVF converted to IUI, I was willing to do and try just about anything to help our cause.

So around the time of our ET, which happened on day five after the egg retrieval, I went to the grocery store and bought three pineapples. Yes, three of them! I proceeded to have two or three bowls a day of fresh-cut pineapple between our ET and beta blood test about 10 days later. I recall GG getting such a kick out of teasing me about the amount of pineapple I was consuming! I just kept telling her that I knew it might not make a difference, but I was willing to do it anyway, just in case. Besides, eating that much fresh pineapple was both delicious and nostalgic, as it reminded me of Bob and my honeymoon in Maui, in September 2000, when we got to eat as much of the tropical fruit as we wanted at every meal.

As you may know, we did not get pregnant that cycle. So the pineapple didn’t work for us, at least not that time and I don’t recall trying that approach again in the future. However, our baby girl Molly was one of our embryos that were frozen from that cycle, so that was something we found comfort about and optimism in as we tried to make peace with another failed cycle.

What unique, silly and/or creative things did you do while trying to conceive/sustain pregnancies over the years? 

Do you think they may have actually helped (physically and/or emotionally, in that it gives us a sense of control and influence over something that we have very little of either in reality)?

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