During my annual check up, I expressed my concern for not getting pregnant yet. At this point, we were just shy of trying for a year. I tried to rationalize by saying Dustin was away on a few business trips, but I still felt insecure and inadequate. The CRNP was understanding and ordered an ultrasound to look at possible anatomy issues.
When the RN called with the results, She said it looked like I could possibly have PCOS. It was not really confirmed. So, I began to read everything I could on PCOS. The symptoms did not match me (in my opinion). However, I had recently read that people with cystic acne should avoid Dairy, and that is also a recommendation for those with PCOS. I made the decision to eliminate dairy. *sigh* I loved dairy, so this was really hard for me! However, when I thought about having a baby and eliminating my acne versus my love of dairy, you could guess which one won. I also tried to eliminate sugar around the same time, because both dairy and sugar are inflammatory. It was not an easy road, but having a baby is a good driving factor to make healthy lifestyle changes!
Armed with the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I also began charting my temperature upon waking in the morning. This allows you to see potential issues (like progesterone deficiency, estrogen dominance, thyroid) and see when you are ovulating. This info was empowering; but my charts looked normal. Seriously, all women should have this book! Go buy it here:
After a year and a half of negative pregnancy tests, I decided to try acupuncture. I had read in two separate books that 6 months(+) of acupuncture was extremely effective in allowing couples who couldn’t conceive to be able to conceive. Actually, the authors said to not expect results before 6 months. After talking it over with Dustin, He was willing to let me try for 6 months; but then he wanted to see a Fertility doctor. So, I went to google, like any modern day person would, and searched for an acupuncturist in the area. Lucky for me, I found a Naturopathic Doctor who did (and continues to do) acupuncture as part of her therapy, AND her interest was in FERTILITY! I hit the jackpot! I was very excited!
I was tired of trying to self diagnose, taking vitamins, etc. by this point; so I welcomed the Naturopathic Doctor’s recommendations! She looked at the whole picture, not just fertility. You see, when one thing is off in your body, it can have a domino effect. Its a matter of getting to the root cause, which, let’s face it, mainstream doctors just put a band-aid on things or do things against nature and cause other issues. Acupuncture works to get the body functioning at its optimal level.
In addition to Acupuncture, I was taking high doses of vitamins (those linked to Fertility), taking homeopathics, while also on an Anti-Inflammatory diet. I even tried herbs toward the end. One herb I had to take 10 caps a day, so I opened them up and mixed it with water to get them down. I also did a food sensitivity panel to find out which foods my body had a delayed reaction to. I can certainly do another post just about food sensitivities. Perhaps I’ll talk about it in the next post?
The closer and closer we got to the sixth month mark of working with the Naturopathic Doctor, the more unsure I was about reclaiming fertility naturally. I saw a moving video by Focus On the Family regarding adoption during that time and felt like God was guiding us that direction. At least he was opening my heart towards the idea of adoption. However, we were in no place financially to afford adoption through a service like Bethany. Our only option was really fostering to adopt. Dustin was not ready to surrender to the fact we weren’t going to have our own children, and I knew we weren’t in a place to foster a child at the time. Dustin was persistent about going to a Fertility Doctor, so I scheduled one. I figured it was only fair to go and be evaluated since He allowed me to try things naturally. However, if you are familiar with Fertility Doctors around here, it takes months to get in.
One reason I was resistant to go to a fertility doctor is that I really believe fertility is a changing state. When a doctor declares that someone will likely never have children, I cringe, because the health of eggs and sperm are ever changing. The health of your sperm and eggs are related to things you did 3 months prior (I’m stating this from memory, so I may have the exact period of time wrong.) So, the theory that you can reclaim your fertility is not a crazy one! It can be rather complicated for some couples getting to the root of the cause. Maybe you have an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, maybe you have food sensitivities, maybe your hormones are out of whack thanks to taking birth control (this happens when you put synthetic hormones in your body, maybe you have an anatomy issue, maybe your body attacks your husbands sperm….THESE are just SOME of the many causes of infertility.
Back to my story:
Right before Christmas, close to two years after we first started trying, my period was late; but this was not unusual since I had started taking the herb vitex. Vitex can change the length of your cycle, so I wasn’t getting my hopes up. However, I did succumb to buying a dreaded pregnancy test from the Dollar store. I was in no hurry to read another negative result. When I did test, it was POSITIVE!? I literally said a not so nice word as my very first response. I was in disbelief. I thought, of course, the first time I buy a dollar store test, I get a positive result . I refused to believe it. I went out and bought an expensive $20 test to confirm.
The $20 test confirmed it, but I still didn’t believe it. I refused to get excited. However, I wrapped up the positive test result and a onesie I had bought two years prior with Dustin’s company logo on it as a way of breaking the news to him when he got home later that night. Of course it was a day he was away and didn’t get home till really late. I was mildly excited to share the news, but still trying to protect my heart in the event it wasn’t true.
Around 9 weeks we had our first ultrasound and saw our “little gummy bear”. We heard it’s heart beat and it was beginning to feel real. Still I was rather emotionless.
I struggled the entire pregnancy to really accept and believe a precious baby was growing inside me. The two years of infertility had made me put a protective wall up in my heart. It wasn’t until I felt Eby kicking that I was reassured our fairy tale was real and more so when she was born.
I know several people who are struggling with infertility (and some even longer than two years). Its a hard road. For some, I feel like God is directing them to adopt. I am a firm believer that God is trying to grow us through every circumstance (although I can’t say I always feel happy about my circumstances and I certainly wasn’t happy every month my period came). I am still very open to adoption in the future and I am very excited to hear about people adopting. It makes my heart happy! I think more people should. So many children are out there without a “family”. I also understand the desire to have your own children. Interestingly enough, a lot of people adopt and then get pregnant. Perhaps the stress of having a baby is no longer there and that was what once hindered them.
Fertility is a sensitive topic. I really don’t know if ALL couples can be helped by natural means, but I do believe it’s worth a shot. Yes, acupuncture can add up to be a lot of money over six months; but in comparison to fertility testing, IVF/IUI costs, acupuncture is the cheaper option. And if it helps you to reclaim your health and nothing else, that is something!
Here are some of the books I read: