Goodbye, beloved stimulants.

Ohhhhhh Coffee.

You were with me through my high school years, when gas was $1.00 a gallon. You stood by my side through all-nighters in college, and then held me in one piece when I became a working stiff.

Ohhhhh cigarettes.

You are the asshat/bad boy of the stimulant world. You were with me to make me think I was feeling better through a rough breakup, but you were the closest I’ve ever been to an abusive relationship. You made me feel horrible, but then would apologize and tell me you were sorry, and reel me back in with a single gas station rose and a stinky, yellow-stained smile.

To bring this into the realm of infertility, I’ll tell you what NOT to do, so you will hopefully never do the same thing.

If you are on fertility meds that already mess with your system in a HARDCORE way, (believing you will spontaneously combust if you do not continue singing Dashboard Confessionals songs at the top of your lungs I think is a bit ‘invasive’), do not overload yourself with stimulants. You may think having a smoke will make you feel better, but, in fact, it just makes your hormone-induced crazy go on overload. And you know what would make things even worse? Adding a cup of strong-brewed coffee to that equation.

The worst of these occasions resulted in me rushing to the Emergency Room after a night of convincing myself I was having a heart attack. The combination of my meds, which increased my anxiety FIVE FOLD, and the added stimulants made me feel like I was in the middle of the Tell-Tale Heart; I felt like my heart was beating so loud that my ears would explode. Thankfully, when I arrived, they strapped me to a bunch of sticky monitors, and said, “Um…. you’re nuts. BP is 120/78, and your pulse is around 75. Oh, and this pricey EKG we took? It’s beautiful!”

I’m smiling a little now, thinking about this hopped-up, crazed, psycho version of myself that always felt a little like I’d been electrocuted. But seriously…. if you’re fighting infertility, cut out all the stimulants you can, within reason.  The synthetic versions of the hormones you’ll start taking, particularly if you have PCOS, don’t play nice with caffeine or nicotine. Be kind to your body, even if it *is* being a bit of a stubborn ass at the moment!

I’m very lucky to have a phenomenal husband who has eased me out of my own destruction. I quit smoking about 3 months ago, right after I left the ER that day. And I had to learn about quitting the caffeine the hard way after having a few more “heart attacks” like the first one before officially cutting out caffeine.

Anybody else have resolutions to quit these nasties, even if you’re not struggling with baby makin’?


One thought on “Goodbye, beloved stimulants.

  1. When I first took myself off the meds and decided to go healthy I cut out caffeine completely for the first few months because I knew it was ruling my life. A few days into it I had the worst headache of my life, which ended up pissing me off because I hated the idea that something was clearly so in control of my body. I will still allow myself a chai tea latte a couple times a month but I don’t make it a daily occurence like I used to. It’s not worth it!

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