Items listed below are pictured here

Like any good librarian, I did lots of research on how to get pregnant. I mean, I understood the basics, thank you fifth grade health video, but I wanted the “inside scoop” – the tips and tricks that other women had found useful.

Combing baby books, message boards, alternative health web sites, and talking to an acupuncturist helped me compile a fertility/conception toolkit. Now keep in mind, it took me a while to actually get pregnant, so I’m thinking I don’t have any magical insight to offer, but here’s the list:

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  1. Making Babies by Sami S. David and Jill Blakeway: I’m not ashamed to admit that I bought the book because Giuliana Ranic talked about it on her reality tv show (and I totally bawled the other week when they got the call that their gestational carrier was pregnant – love them). The book uses a quiz to identify your personal fertility type, and then provides a plan to help improve your fertility. I liked the book because it was full of holistic, customized solutions, many based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, that didn’t involve medical intervention. But it was also great because it didn’t swing too far in the direction of kooky; it offers a nice, balanced perspective.
  2. Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler: Another great book – it wasn’t the first one I bought, but it would have been helpful to have it earlier on. It’s a great resource for learning all the ins and outs of charting. It’s not a strictly “trying to get pregnant” book, so I think it’ll stay on my bookshelf even after I’ve stopped having babies.
  3. Basal Body Thermometer: If you’re temping, you’re going to need a thermometer. If you have a digital thermometer at home, chances are good it will do the trick. Glass thermometers aren’t as accurate – you want something that will read your temperature to a tenth of a degree. Cheap thermometers are fine, but since you’ll be taking your temp first thing in the morning, you might want one with a lighted display and/or memory, so you can read it in the dark or roll over and go back to sleep without writing anything down until later. Another thing to look for? One with the quietest alarm – that beeping is annoying first thing in the morning. I always covered the thermometer with a squishy pillow so I didn’t have to listen to it go off.
  4. Wondfo Ovulation Test Strips: These suckers were super helpful. I didn’t spend big bucks, but rather bought a jumbo pack of Wondfo brand strips on Amazon. If you combine ovulation predictor strips with charting your basal body temperature, it’s pretty easy to pinpoint your most fertile days.
  5. Period Tracker Deluxe App: I love technology, so of course I was all about using it to keep track of everything. I bought this app before we even started trying because keeping track of my cycle on a desk calendar wasn’t cutting it (I was never sure if I was counting correctly). If you’re into simple, the app lets you note just the basics, but you can also use it to chart your temperature, cervical mucus, and symptoms. Not to mention the fact that it’s darn cute with a whole variety of theme options.
  6. Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Tea: On the advice of my acupuncturist, I switched from drinking gallons of peppermint tea (which is cooling) to drinking gallons of ginger tea (which is warming). I’ll cover my acupuncture experiences in a future post. My favorite brand is the Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Tea. When I wasn’t being lazy, I used slices of fresh ginger root instead, but that wasn’t always convenient, especially at school.
  7. Cusinart Coffeemaker with Hot Water System: I was drinking a TON of tea. This coffee maker, which we got for Christmas, is fantastic because it also has a hot water reservoir. On demand hot water made it way easier to refill my mug on a constant basis.
  8. Lundberg Rice Chips: In addition to the tea, I also worked on reducing the amount of wheat in my diet – another acupuncturist recommendation. These rice chips were a great snack. They’re made with whole grain brown rice, and are super tasty. The Sante Fe Barbecue flavor is my favorite.

What tricks helped you get pregnant?