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  1. #11
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    Last edited by harleyquinn; September 28th, 2012 at 02:20 AM.

  2. #12
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    Ok, I'm sorry Harleyquinn, because I don't see how it can cause drama and I thought it would be of benefit to everyone. I often repost things I receive via PM that can benefit everyone because I just don't have enough hours in the day to give quality answers to people one at a time, so if more than one person might be wondering about it or if it's something we haven't talked much about (which we haven't gone into the specifics too much on this topic) I figure that I'll answer it publicly and then everyone can benefit. My apologies if that was the wrong thing to do. I meant to ask you first but then my first message didn't go through and then I felt like I"d made you wait too long for an answer and decided just to go ahead and proceed.

    This is probably going to be long and quite complex so please ask questions about anything that is less than clear.

    The first thing that I want everyone to understand is that we don't know and have no way to answer HQ's questions, with available information. Not even the most well-versed researcher into the issue of stress, cortisol, etc truly knows how it works and beyond that we certainly don't know how it works in terms of gender swaying. People who have doctorates in biology and chemistry are putting together nothing more than educated guesswork, and we as laymen can only cobble together the barest understanding.

    I think at times with swaying, the devil can be in the details and when we go down that rabbit hole it serves no purpose other than making us get upset and confused because there are things tht are unexplained and things that may seem contradictory. After all, if not even the researchers who study this stuff all day long and have for years know how it works, there's absolutely no way that we can know and we end up reading things that make us worry about the state of our sways and cause us to get hung up and focused on things that really don't even matter. (which is BAD for testosterone levels.)

    The good news is, we really don't HAVE to know. We can let the smart people sit around and wonder how it all works biochemically and hopefully at some point they'll have answers for us, while we can take a step back and look at WHY stress could sway, and try and emulate those conditions. So why might stress sway? Females at the low end of the pecking order are ill advised to have sons because while it's relatively easy for daughters to marry "up", a poor, socially disadvantaged male often starts life behind the curve (scraping out a living as a ditchdigger), and has less of a chance at mates than a rich, socially advantages male (who will go right to work at Daddy's Law Firm after graduation).

    It's extremely hard to predict on the individual level, because there are so many social circles (aka tribes) that people run in - if a family is the Rockefellers of the ditchdiggers, then it may very well be the case that they have more sons than a well-off family that's considered less socially desirable among their social circles. Humanity did not evolve in the huge complex world of 7 billion in which we now live, we are used to dealing with tribes of about 150 people and it's very likely that is what is evolutionarily familiar to our bodies. Our bodies use the info available in our immediate environment to determine gender ratio, NOT some carefully calculated analysis about which gender child we should have based on our bank account and social prospects. If you FEEL large and in charge, even if society as a whole may not see you that way, your body interprets that and uses it to help determine what gender offspring has the best shot at survival. Net result, there are boys born to people lower on the pecking order overall and girls born people higher on the pecking order overall and you cannot look at one family in isolation and say, well, if that's true then why would atomic have boys when she's trailer trash while the Hiltons have girls and they're so successful?? LOL.

    Now then, are there different kinds of stress? Do they sway in different ways? To use your example, HQ, I think our bodies absolutely CAN tell the difference between the type of stress you get from running from a wolf (you may need to fight for your life and thus need a big burst of testosterone to survive) and the type of stress you get from not being able to pay your bills. One is short term and carries a payoff in terms of triumph and success and that feeling has been shown to raise testosterone. Whereas chronic, long term stress where you feel defeated and hopeless would lower testosterone.

    Taking it into the human condition, imagine there's a tribe where the chieftain's wife is pretty much in control of much of what happens in the tribe, at least where the women are concerned. She keeps people in control, following the rules, disciplines rulebreakers, plays matchmaker, etc. There's no small amount of stress involved in that gig. Probably she has to face conflicts on a daily basis, but they're conflicts that she feels well-equipped and capable of handling and they bring with them emotional rewards and a feeling of success that boosts her sense of self esteem. She's probably quite high in testosterone and probably has more sons than average because her sons will grow up to be highly respected and perhaps a chief themselves. Then, something dire happens. The neighboring tribe raids the tribe and the chieftain's wife is captured and ends up working as a servant for the neighboring tribe. It would be extremely foolish for her to continue her previous habits of trying to control others and boss people around in that scenario. She can survive only by keeping her head down and suppressing her bossy nature and learning to submit to the wishes of others. It is totally stressful and scary but it's a different kind of stress - she never feels relief from it, she never feels success, it's probably pretty soul-crushing type of situation. Over time she may find a place in the tribe and end up pregnant again, but the offspring of a servant will have little hope of ever becoming chief. It is much better for the odds of that child's future reproductive success if it's a girl - no one will feel threatened by her and she has the possibility of "marrying up" and escaping a life of servitude.

    I think it's very likely that both sky high cortisol and low cortisol may sway pink, while middle of the road cortisol levels sway blue. It's the same ol' "U" shaped curve we see again and again in swaying - more girls conceived on the extremes, both low and high cortisol, while boys fall in normal/optimal ranges. These hormonal levels are not like flipping a light switch, you understand. They rise and fall gradually over time, so it's NEVER just a matter of "oh my cortisol levels are a bit too high, my adrenals have suddenly worn out, ahhh now overnight I'm suddenly low in cortisol"...that's just not how the human body works. Everything happens gradually and even if your adrenals get "worn out" that doesn't mean that they give up and pack their bags and head to Jamaica - they are still trying to work and that may have an entirely different set of consequences in terms of swaying. It may very well be the case that tired adrenals are sending an even stronger "pink" signal than hyperactive ones are.

    You're quite right that all the factors like diet, sleep, etc all play into this. We know that it does because PCOS and the relationship between carbs, insulin resistance, and testosterone, proves that it does. That's why I think you're barking up the wrong tree (no offense meant) by getting too hung up on how it works. You're risking raising your T levels that way and it's just not necessary. We just don't have all the info, no one does, and so it's like spinning wheels trying to accomplish a goal that's impossible. It's best to focus on what you can do, rather than launching into crusades to understand things that are at this point, not possible TO understand.

    All this having been said, I don't think stress as a sway factor is something we can really harness anyway. We may have it working for us (and this is usually only realized in retrospect), or we may not and we may then need to rely on things like diet, antihistamines, etc. What we CAN do is avoid unnecessary stress - conflict, confrontation, launching into detail-oriented sway projects, staying off the Internet if we get feisty on there and not playing video games, and avoiding physical activities that emulate confrontation such as kickboxing and Taebo. Control the controllable and let the sway take care of the rest. It may even be that for some of us who are boy moms, learning to let go and walk away from a fight (whether that fight entails interpersonal conflict or if it's a "fight" in the sense of spending hours online amassing and analyzing data) WILL sway pink for us much more strongly than we can even realize.

    Hope this helps and again, sorry for any hard feelings.
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  3. #13
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    Last edited by harleyquinn; September 28th, 2012 at 02:20 AM.

  4. #14
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    As a general rule, my thinking is that first of all if you are in the situation where you could potentially look back and feel that regret, then it's best to wait. You never know where you'll be in a month's time and it may be that things will just blow over and work themselves out now that you've disengaged from your stressors. Or, it could be that you're exactly right and you somehow can harness that stress to sway for you. We just don't have the info at our disposal to know and so you have to go with what your heart and your gut is telling you. We can speculate till the cows come home but we just don't KNOW and I never say things about swaying that I don't feel relatively confident in.

    That having been said, if your health is that poor than you may not WANT to TTC this month regardless. It's not going to help maintain a pregnancy at all whatsoever and will only add to your stress if it doesn't work out. I can't tell you what to do of course but take it for whatever it's worth.
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  5. #15
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    Last edited by harleyquinn; September 28th, 2012 at 02:19 AM.

  6. #16
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    Last edited by harleyquinn; September 28th, 2012 at 02:18 AM.

  7. #17
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    I'm sorry about your sister, harley. I cannot imagine losing mine. Hugs to you.
    Mom to

    and my IVF/PGD

    It's better to look back on life and say: "I can't believe I did that" than to look back and say "I wish I did that".

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  8. #18
    Swaying Advice Coach
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    I understand and as always, it's your call to make on that - I'm just offering food for thought. Wishing you the best of luck and peace of mind regardless of what the future holds in store.
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  9. #19
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    Last edited by harleyquinn; September 28th, 2012 at 02:18 AM.

  10. #20
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    Researchers took a group of monkeys from their communal environment in a zoo (where they were subject to a very tight pecking order - monkeys are nasty that way) and put them into single pens and they had disproportionally more daughters.

    BOTH relaxation and high stress can sway pink because the net result is lower testosterone, cortisol, etc. If you're relaxed and safe, your body won't make as much because the signals from your environment are not calling for it. If you're superstressed, your body may try to make it but get tired and run out of raw materials. It's like two paths to the same situation.
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