Basic Quantum Mechanics
For those of you who aren’t brushed up on your quantum physics (or fans of the Big Bang Theory), please let me introduce you to the concept of Schrödinger’s cat in a nutshell.
Schrödinger’s experiment involved putting his cat in a sealed box with a flask of poison and a device that had the potential to break the flask of poison, killing the cat. After a certain amount of time you can’t know for sure whether the cat is alive or dead. Thus, quantum mechanics implies that, for the purposes of making any kind of predictions, the cat must be viewed as simultaneously alive and dead. (Basically, you have to consider both possibilities as equally valid.)
The same kind of thinking applies when you are in the process of trying to start a family. During a month when you’ve had sex with your partner in an effort to conceive a baby, but prior to the pee test showing a positive or you getting your period, you are both pregnant (P) and not pregnant (NP). This presents several paradoxes that can cause anxiety.
Do This, Don’t Do This
Currently, my head is spinning with the number of things that I should do if I’m not pregnant, but should not do if I am pregnant. As I am presently both P & NP, I often am at a loss for determining the correct course of action and am sort of shooting from the hip.
I am currently overweight. My doctors all want me to lose weight. I want to lose weight. How do you achieve this? By limiting caloric intake and maintaining or increasing physical activity.
What are you not supposed to try to do if you’re pregnant? Lose weight or restrict calories.
What am I doing? Recording every bite I eat in a journal and damn near losing my mind wondering whether I’m eating properly. I’m focusing mainly on having good nutrition and not overeating. I aim for between 1400 and 1600 calories a day. I’m taking prenatal vitamins every day and making sure that I drink enough water. I’m honestly hoping to continue to lose weight until I have a pregnancy test that comes back officially saying “positive.”
One of the best ways to increase your caloric burn while also keeping your body healthy is to lift weights. If you are not pregnant, there’s no question that weightlifting is good for you.
What am I doing? Following the advice of the camp that is in favor of weight lifting with resistance machines during pregnancy, while listening to my body and not pushing for gains, but rather endurance. I also am avoiding plank pose. (Though to be honest, that’s got way more to do with laziness than anything else.)
Protecting My Nervous System
I have MS. This means that I need to be taking a disease modifying drug (DMD) to slow the progression of the disease if I’m not pregnant.
The only DMD that is acceptable to be on while you are actively trying to conceive is Copaxone, and most neurologists have you quit taking it once you are pregnant. I no longer take Copaxone because my neurologist determined that it was doing absolutely nothing for me, so it’s not even an option.
What am I doing? I’m not taking any DMDs. This leads to a lot of anxiety for me. On the one hand, I want to conceive and carry a healthy baby — and I feel healthier and better because I’m not dealing with the side effects of medications that suppress my immune system. On the other hand, I’m having a marked increase in seizure activity, fatigue, and muscle spasticity.
If you’re not pregnant, fostering kittens is rewarding and fun. It’s something I’ve done for many years that brings me a great deal of joy, not only from my interactions with the kittens but from the knowledge that, despite my disability, I’m making a positive difference in the world.
If you are pregnant, it can be dangerous to deal with kittens because of the danger of toxoplasmosis.
What am I doing? Sadly, even though Adam has said he’ll take care of scooping the litter box for the duration — we’re taking a break from kitten fostering. Better safe than sorry.
Eating Sushi or having Alcohol in Moderation
There are actually scientific studies that suggest that light drinking while pregnant can be a good thing. At the very least, drinking as little as I do and as infrequently as normal will not harm the kid.
If you’re Japanese, sushi is considered good neonatal nutrition.
If you’re American, you’re not supposed to have any sushi or alcohol. And it sucks.
What am I doing? So far, not drinking or having sushi. And it’s making me cranky.
The best things in life are not safe for pregnancy.
I just want to take a moment to recognize the things that I deeply appreciate that I am foregoing while in this quantum state… the things that if I’m actually not pregnant, I’m missing out on for no other reason than caution.
- Medical cannabis to help with muscle spasms and neuropathic pain… I miss you, bud.
- Aleve… because Tylenol doesn’t actually do shit.
- 5 Hour Energy/Caffeine… Naps are just not as effective as you are.
- Afrin… Nasal washes just aren’t the same, but at least they do something short-term.
- Soft cheeses… feta, I miss you the most.
I hope this is all worth it.