Show and Tell: Vitamins

December 8, 2008

For this week’s Show and Tell, I present the various vitamins and supplements that I take daily. The list has gotten progressively longer over the years.

First, a little story. After M/C #1, a friend gave me a gift certificate for a day at the spa. Massage, facial, pedicure, and being wrapped up like a burrito for an hour (don’t ask). I usually have long-term relationships with spa personnel, but this time I saw a new esthetician. During the facial, she started making small talk about vitamins. It was obvious that she was looking for a new brand of vitamins and had been asking all of her clients.

Her: Do you take vitamins?
Me: Yes.
Her: Oh! What kind?
Me: Multivitamin.
Her: What brand?
Me: They are from Trader Joe’s.
Her: Oh, the women’s blend?
Me: A different one.
Her: Which one?
Me: (sigh) Prenatal.
Her: Oh! Are you pregnant? Oh how exciting!
Me: I was.
Her: Huh? What do you mean? Did you just have a baby?
Me: I miscarried last week.
Her: Uh.

She didn’t say another word for the rest of the facial. Sometimes I feel bad for making people feel bad with the reproductive truth, but often I do not — when their questions are persistent (as in this case) or inappropriate (as in many other cases), if they keep asking they will get an answer. Unless they are a friend or family member, in which case they will get diversions and lies.

And now, the supplement roundup.

Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal Vitamins
I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins for the past 7 years. I went through several brands until finally settling on these. The coating prevents the fish food taste that most multivitamins have, and they have an adequate amount of key nutrients like folic acid and iron that will become crucial if I can ever get and stay pregnant.

Vegetarian Omega-3

I actually started taking omega-3 supplements at the suggestion of my esthetician (not the nosy vitamin one), but they have obvious importance for pregancy. As a vegetarian, I don’t consume fish, the most common source of omega-3. It also isn’t easy to find omega-3 supplements that aren’t fish-based. Aside from my desire not to consume any animals, I also have concerns about the decimation of the world’s fish supply. One common vegetarian alternative, flax, apparently doesn’t convert to DHA and EPA well enough. After much research, I finally stumbled upon these great algae-based pills from Switzerland. See, fish don’t make omega-3 fatty acids; they get it from the algae that they eat. So, it makes perfect sense to skip the middleman fish and go straight to the algae.


Vitamin B6
Although there isn’t solid scientific evidence, I take 50mg per day just in case the rumors are true about improving eggs and other aspects of fertility. Since it’s water-soluable, I deem it to be in the “probably can’t hurt, and may help” category.

Pure wheatgrass juice smells just like cut grass, but the taste isn’t as bad as I feared. Not good, but not as much like eating grass as I imagined. (Was I the only one who tried a blade of grass as a child?) Sometimes I’ll get a wheatgrass shot from the organic juice bar, but usually I drink green juice blends rather than pure wheatgrass juice — more convenient, and less grassy.

Chinese herbs
Prescribed by my acupuncturist. They have really helped regulate my cycle, but they obviously have not helped the system enough to result in pregnancy.

Of course, that’s the case for all of the above. I don’t expect any of them to work magic, but I’d like to think that together they’ll up my chances for the next IVF cycle — if not a lot, just enough.

If you’d like to see what else people have brought for Show and Tell this week, head over to circle time.

13 Responses to “Show and Tell: Vitamins”

  1. Lindsay Says:

    Wow, that’s quite the regimen. But I think I’m heading in a similar direction, so it’s interesting to see what others are taking.

  2. Stephanie Says:

    I really loved the idea of algae pills for Omega3. I never heard of that. I’m a vegetarian and have tried flax, I’ll have to look into the algae though.

    And you know, I hate bursting nosy people’s bubbles too… but it has to be done some day. I always figure that if I stop them with me, that maybe say things like that to someone else.

  3. Wishing4One Says:

    You totally out due me in your supplements but I always chuckle when I say “oh yeah I have been taking prenatal vitamins for like 7 years…”

  4. Heavyheart Says:

    Wow..I am a vegetarian too and I didnt know this algae option existed..let me check this out asap! Thanks for the tip.

  5. katery Says:

    some people just do not know when to shut up!

  6. loribeth Says:

    You take almost as many vitamin pills as I do! ; )

  7. Heather Says:

    Great list of vitamins. I’m sure to some it may sound like a lot, but I’m the queen of vitamins too, and I take about what you take. I will make a recommendation for some extra zinc. I take an extra 25mg a day. They say it’s great for fertility problems.

  8. Kristin Says:

    Definitely more supplements than I take. Good for you though.

  9. JuliaS Says:

    I don’t even have a uterus and I take prenatals – the b vitamins are great for my hair and nails. SO not ready to take “old lady” vitamins.

    I didn’t know that about the Omega’s. Now I know what to be on the look out for. (does switching mean I won’t have burps that taste like fish anymore?) :0)

  10. Sam Says:

    am late for Show and Tell this week!! Oooh, that green wheatgrass one doesn’t look very good to me!! 😉

  11. Mel Says:

    I’m glad you posted the omega-3 because I haven’t been able to find a non-fish based one yet. And…the idea of putting fish oil in my body…I’m just cringing at the thought.

  12. Shawna Says:

    Wow! Good luck with the next IVF cycle.

  13. Barreness Says:

    I like your comment about truth-telling:

    >if they keep asking they will get an answer. Unless >they are a friend or family member, in which case they >will get diversions and lies.

    Rings so true for me too. Why is it so hard with friends and family?

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