Many months ago, my acupuncturist told me that she would really like to see me give up dairy as well as sugar before I started the redo of IVF #1. I could handle giving up sugar (and obviously imitation sweeteners like Splenda, etc) as I’d been doing that on and off (though mostly on) for 8 months prior. The thought of giving up dairy was absolutely unfathomable to me as a vegetarian for many, many reasons that I highlighted in this post. However, I wanted a baby so desperately that I gave up 16 years of vegetarianism, bit the bullet and gave up dairy (and sugar again).

I’m not going to lie…giving up dairy is a huge challenge for me. I’ve lived nearly all of my life in Wisconsin and I love me some dairy. Sugar was not as tough as I thought it would be, but I still had my moments of weakness as I’m pretty convinced that I’m addicted to sugar. Once I start eating it, I can’t stop. It’s BAD.

So I’d muddle through about 6-8 weeks of a dairy free lifestyle before and during my IVF cycle until I got the official BFN from the clinic, then promptly go into depressive cheese/sugar/booze binge for a few weeks until it was time to do it all over again. I distinctly remember a particular trip to Target where I walked out with a package of peanut butter M&M’s, a bag of green apple Jelly Belly’s, three Tollhouse cookies and a block of cheese. And ONLY those items. It was heaven. I also got to experience cheeseburgers for the first time in years. Absolutely divine. And having cheese and sour cream with my Mexican food was so delicious.

And while giving up dairy and sugar during those weeks was tough, it was certainly doable. But like I mentioned above, it was only for 6-8 weeks at a time. At this point, I’ve been sugar and dairy free for 14 weeks and counting. I’ve tried to make due with substitutes. I found grain sweetened chocolate chips to help with my chocolate cravings. I’ve got a great sugar free and dairy free pumpkin muffin recipe that I’ve been baking nearly nonstop so I have quick snacks that somewhat help quell my sweet tooth. I’ve got rice milk that I can pour on my sugar free granola. I’ve gotten by without too much discomfort.

But now it’s starting to kill me. I honestly feel like I can’t do it anymore. My acupuncturist told me that I needed to maintain my diet until the end of the first trimester. If I’m calculating my trimesters correctly, I won’t be into my second trimester until the 16th of August, which, while only three weeks away, seems literally like an eternity to me. I really don’t think don’t think that I can hold out much longer. Every day gets harder and harder to decline those foods that I crave so desperately. In fact, I suppose my statement above about being dairy and sugar free isn’t entirely true. In the past week I’ve consumed two tiny sips of a 7-11 cherry Slurpee, one tiny bit of a 100 Grand bar, a bunch of tiny pieces of melted cheese on the nachos that I was mostly able to de-cheese, a tiny bit of sour cream which I was unable to remove from said nachos, two small sips of a Starbucks caramel Frappacino, a sip of iced coffee and one small fried cheese curd.

And isn’t the general rule “all things in moderation?” And don’t they generally say about pregnancy related guidelines that if avoiding whatever the taboo items is that if it’s going to stress you out significantly, then perhaps it’s better to just partake than to stress yourself out more? Can you tell I’m fishing for support in my desire to return to sugar and dairy?

I think that if all is well at Tuesday’s ultrasound, I will probably gradually start to bring those items back into my diet. At this point it’s causing me more stress and anguish than I believe it’s doing me good. All things in moderation, that’s just what I need to remember.

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