How I took the Green Beaver pledge before I even knew it
It wasn’t a particularly memorable day. The weather wasn’t blustering, the sky hadn’t opened up, there was no ominous dark cloud... although, perhaps there should have been. We sat in another fertility clinic, getting another opinion, and she said it: “unexplained infertility”. Words that cut like a knife. I didn’t know then what I know now, that somehow, we’d see ourselves through this and end up with two amazing children. In that moment, it felt so definitive, so absolute and so... catastrophic. INFERTILE.
“Were we going to try everything we possibly could to treat ourselves better? Absolutely.”
I am not the first with this story, nor am I the last, sadly. It’s not as definitive as I thought at the time. It’s not absolute. It’s a term so tossed around and, while terrifying, we learned is essentially a synonym for “we have no idea what’s going on”. What followed our year of trying before this dreaded day was four more years, countless doctors, disappointments, gutting losses and tons of tears. Also, change. It brought change... real positive change. We started the path towards living a healthier, cleaner lifestyle after a lot of research. Were we going to be perfect? No. Were we going to be pillars of strength and willpower? Again, no. Were we going to try everything we possibly could to treat ourselves better? Absolutely.
My intentions were good regarding what I was putting in my body, but it took me a little longer to give up... all the things. We started, actually, in the bathroom. I went through my cosmetics, and our beauty and hygiene products. Little did I know I was taking the Green Beaver pledge before I even knew what it was. The pledge to use natural personal care products, household cleaners, and antiperspirants. I even went so far as to go ‘no poo’ for well over a year. No, that’s not what you think. That means no shampoo! I used oils and homemade shampoos and conditioners, and my hair never looked better.
Now, I can’t say anything definitively, but do you know what happened? I got PREGNANT. I wish I could tell you that it was my beautiful Ella girl, and that it was all a magical fairy tale from then, but it wasn’t. We still had a bumpy, hard road ahead. We suffered a second trimester loss with that pregnancy, and it was devastating. Through the devastation, though, there was so much hope. It had happened. A year later, it happened again, and yes, that was our Ella. I can say with so much confidence that I genuinely believe that becoming more conscious of what we put in our bodies and on our skin had a huge hand in that.
We maintained a lot of these positive changes for many years, and still to this day nearly ten years later. When it came to have another baby, it still came with struggles, but they were much less intense. I felt better and was healthier than ever. It took much less time. It felt right, my pregnancy and Brynne’s birth were incredible. So, you better believe the choices we make for our two daughters are rooted in the same ideas that gave our lives such a positive turn so many years ago, in the midst of many hard moments. We are filled with hope that these choices will help our daughters have a smaller chance of facing the same struggles we did. In an odd way, we are almost thankful.