Confessions of a Naughty Infertile

24 Sep

I had my second opinion with a new RE this morning. He didn’t really do much differently than my original RE, but he is having me have my prolactin levels retested and I got swabbed to check for ureaplasma infection. So we shall see if that goes anywhere.

In his professional opinion he was reluctant to diagnose me as unexplained, but rather attributed my infertility to environmental factors. Now here is where I confess to you my deep, dark secret that I have been hiding since we met.

I’m a smoker.

I know! Stupid infertile, cigarettes aren’t for the fertility challenged. This I know, but allow me for a moment to make up some excuses for this ridiculous behavior.

  • My current RE never said anything to me about smoking causing a problem. She even knows that my husband has been known to smoke other things and straight up said that it’s not really a problem since his sperm count is off the charts. She did tell me that I would have to stop smoking once I got pregnant (duh!), but made no indication that she believed that is what is impacting my fertility.
  • You know that feeling when your period shows up and the first thing you do is indulge in every possible thing that is on the pregnancy no-no list? (Just me?) Well, for me that list includes a cigarette. It goes a little something like this each and every month: Shit. I got my period. Cue tears. Cue anger. Smoke a cigarette (or two). Pour myself a glass of wine just as soon as the clock tells me that it’s socially acceptable to do so. Cue relaxation. Cue tears. Cue smug satisfaction that I can still smoke, drink, and eat sushi. My husband and I affectionately refer to this monthly tradition as “Fuck It Night.” Anything and everything goes. It’s an essential part of my hope/despair cycle.
  • I have known SO MANY people who have gotten pregnant as smokers and drinkers. My BFF got pregnant as a pack a day smoker and heavy drinker. My other BFF got pregnant smoking pot every day and consuming dark and stormies for the first eight weeks of her pregnancy. Don’t judge her for that, she didn’t know she was pregnant. Instead, judge her for the fact even though she ovulated once in blue moon and rarely even gets her period, she managed to get pregnant on her first or second try.

Now that those excuses are out of my system, I will move on to the game plan. It’s pretty simple really. I (and my husband) have to quit smoking. Tomorrow is my quit day. I am scared to death of getting fat. Between not smoking and my broken foot the chances of me gaining 100 pounds are pretty great. I need motivation and accountability. Help me e-friends! Please?

Whew. I feel much better haven gotten that off my chest.



33 Responses to “Confessions of a Naughty Infertile”

  1. Shelley September 26, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Don’t beat yourself up, Jenn. We all have vices and flaws, and we shouldn’t be expected to give them all up just because we’re infertile. That said, I do hope you’ll be able to quit simply because it’s better for your health in the long run. I know it will be so tough, especially during those moments when the shit hits the fan, but I’ll be here cheering for you all along!

  2. Lisa @ hapahopes September 24, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    You can do it, girl! I’ve got out my pom pons for you!!!

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

      Best cheerleader ever. Thanks Lisa!!!

  3. jell jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown September 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    You could hide an emergency cigarette in your boot? Then when you get it off it will be all stinky and you won’t want to smoke it. Then all cigarettes will smell like 8 weeks of under-boot sweat! You’re WELCOME.

  4. Sunny September 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Yaaaay! So proud of you for making this decision. As a former smoker myself (smoking for 5 years, then quit for 3, then back on smoking for 2 weeks while going through the extreme rough patch a few months ago), I know the lure of a pack of cigarettes when shit is all going wrong. The trick is going to be in avoiding the cigs if AF rears her ugly head again, or there are some stresses that make having that “fuck it” night really tempting. I would also avoid drinking during this time, simply because it will lower your inhibitions and make you more likely to crave and have a cig. I know you can do this!

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      You are so right, alcohol is the devil under these circumstances. That’s why I am getting it out my system tonight 🙂

  5. TheStorkWhisperer September 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Great! So proud of you for taking that first step.

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm #


      Sent from my iPhone

  6. Kelly September 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    My face when I read this went something like that famous expressionist painting called “The Scream.” I honestly did not peg you as a smoker! But you will get no judgment from me. I know…it happens. I’m really proud of you for confessing this and am hopeful that this is some sort of resolution for you with the IF stuff. You never know! Sure, some people get pregnant who smoke, but some can’t. Others can get pregnant under high stress, and others can’t. Some can get pregnant when they’re overweight or underweight, and some can’t. Maybe this is it!

    Good for you for deciding to quit. We are your support! It will be tough but you are strong and you can get through this. Don’t be afraid to seek a doctor’s help if you need it. In Florida, there’s a bunch of quit lines you can call for help. I don’t know if they have anything like that in your state but it might be worth looking in to. But just remember that even in your weakest moments, you are still stronger than most and have been through so much! If my mom can do it, you can for sure! Saying prayers for you! xxoo

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Haha. That’s why it has been my deep, dark secret 🙂 They definitely have those phone lines here, so if I need I will use them. Plus I have all of you guys and pretty mcuh everyone I know IRL holding me accountable, so there will be no escaping. Thanks for the support and the prayers! Hope you are having a lovely day.

  7. futuresoccermom September 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Good for you for coming clean!! You can totally do this, and you will be so proud of yourself when you do!!

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      Thanks lady! Thanks for the support!

  8. Kristin September 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    You can do it! I quit smoking after 14 years. Honestly, it has been four years and I still love the smell of it. I will purposely walk through plumes of second-hand smoke just to get a sniff. Yet, I finally was able to quit and quit for good. The smoking ban in bars helped a lot, as did dating a person that is a vocal complainer about smoke. I also tried to avoid getting really drunk for a couple of months. Really drunk = cigarette goodness. Good luck!

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Thanks lady! I’m going into it telling myself that I have no choice…but I sure am going to miss it!

  9. 35life September 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Not gonna judge – I was a smoker for 12 years before I finally quit. As times, I was up to almost two packs a day! This was back before they cost anything remotely close to what they cost now. I lost weight too. I didn’t think it would happen after quitting, but it seems like quitting went hand in hand with making other healthy lifestyle changes. It was like a chain reaction. And I never would have been able to take up running if I still smoked. I’ll admit, it took me a while to shake the feeling of needing one, especially if out drinking with friends, but I did finally get there and the thought of it repulses me now. You can do it!

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      That definitely makes me feel better 🙂 I hope I can be one that loses weight too. Thanks for the support and non-judgement!

  10. Belle September 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Here’s my confession: I smoked cigarettes and “things” for 15 years. I tried to kick the cigarette habit so many times but always failed. Then I started hiking with then boyfriend extraordinaire (now the Professor) and realized I could not keep up. And just like that I put them down. I still keep an “emergency” pack in the freezer. I have not touched it in four years. When you want something badly enough – to keep up with your awesome fit husband or to have a baby – you can do anything. Also, I actually lost weight when I stopped. For me: cigarettes go with wine. Wine goes with more wine. Enough wine goes with lots of high-calorie food. Too much wine and food = hang over which = no exercise. Which equals fat. So quitting smoking GREATLY improved my health and body shape. Hopefully it will yours, too!

    Also, rice crackers & low fat popcorn when drinking your Fuck It wine really help with the hand to mouth fixation when trying to quit smoking.

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      All great ideas! I think I will definitely put an emergency pack in the freezer. I think just knowing it’s there will make me feel better. Glad I’m not alone 🙂 Thanks for the support Belle!

  11. amy September 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    You are so funny, you always crack me up 🙂 Proud of you for trying to quit…you CAN do it! I hear ya on the “F-IT” nites, def had a few of those!! Good luck 🙂 xoxo

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Thanks Amy!! I need an update on the IVF process. How is everything going???

  12. Theresa September 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    I feel you – though on a totally different level. I am a huge runner and swear up and down that running while TTC or pregnant is totally FINE, but SO MANY people were telling me I need to quit running.
    I’m definitely supportive of quitting smoking (and totally get why it was used to cope after AF showed up)

    • Theresa September 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      Though FWIW – I stopped running when I started IVF stims and have been walking since.

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      It is very similar! But we still have to stay sane right?

  13. Kathryn September 24, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    You can do this! How scary and exciting. You have some pretty awesome motivations! I’ll be cheering you on.

    I have this flyer in my office for clients that I am now going to type out for you 🙂
    When Smokers quit:
    Within 20 minutes of smoking that last cigarette, the body begins a series of changes that continue for years. All benefits are lost by smoking just one cigarette a day, according to the American Cancer Society.
    20 minutes: Blood pressure drops to normal, pulse rate drops to normal, body temperature of hands and feed increase to normal
    8 hours: Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal, oxygen level in blood increases to normal
    24 hours: Chance of heart attack decreases
    48 hours: Nerve endings start regrowing, ability to smell and taste is enhanced
    2 weeks to 3 months: circulation improves, walking becomes easier, lung function increases up to 30%
    1 to 9 months: coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decrease, cilia regrow in lungs increasing ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, reduce infection, body’s overall energy increases
    1 year: excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker
    5 years: lung cancer death rate for average former smoker (one pack a day) decreases by almost half, stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5-15 years after quitting, risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus is half that of a smoker’s
    10 years: lung cancer death rate similar to that of nonsmokers, precancerous cells are replaced, risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases
    15 years: risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks! That is good info to know! I’m 20 minutes in now…but I plan to smoke the hell out of some cigarettes today before I quit tomorrow. Thanks for the support lady!

      • Kathryn September 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

        heheh, one last horrah! What will you do with all that extra $$ you’ll be saving?? 🙂

  14. EmHart September 24, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    We will be here cheering you on. I think it is great you and your husband are doing it together, you can help each other along. As for not putting on weight, just be really conscious that you don’t swap smoking for snacking. Good for you for taking the plunge, even if it has no impact on your fertility, you will feel better and that has to be a good thing.

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Tis true. I know it will be hard, but so worth it in the end. Thanks for the support!

  15. storkchaser September 24, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Jenn!!!! Lol! I’m very proud of you two for deciding to quit. It’s hard. And may or may not help, but you will be so proud of yourselves. Keep us updated with your plan and how you’re doing. 🙂

    • Jenn September 24, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      It’s something that I’ve needed to do for a long time so hopefully this is just the motivation that I need. Thanks for the support!

      • storkchaser September 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

        I think this definitely will be what you need to do it. You ALWAYS have my support. 🙂

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