In my last post on this topic, I said I wasn’t going to talk about my fertility challenges again until I was pregnant, but I’ve experienced some things that I really want to share in the hopes that it can help someone else on their own journey. I’ve turned a major leaf in the last few weeks, so read on and find out how.
When I wrote about my miscarriages at the beginning of the summer, I was in a better place but still hyper-focused on getting pregnant… pretty much on a daily basis. That feeling lasted for over a year, since my first pregnancy last August. Finally, about a month ago, after feeling exhausted from my fertility challenges and fed up with feeling sorry for myself, I made an appointment with a fertility specialist in Stamford, CT. My doctor recommended her as the best around, so I was excited to hear what she had to say.
I went into the appointment full of hope, but left the building angry and upset. After looking at all of my blood work and test results, she told me that I officially have “unexplained infertility”, a term that I keep hearing lately. I then told her about my struggles with sleep and severe anxiety, and her response was that neither of those things have anything to do with it. My jaw dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe that she would dismiss these seemingly obvious problems that have scientifically been proven to correlate with infertility (Other doctors have since confirmed that, BTW). Not to mention she didn’t ask one question about my diet, exercise or lifestyle aside to ask if I smoked cigarettes.
Her solution? Clomid (a drug used to stimulate ovulation, which isn’t actually a problem that I have) and IUI (inter-uterine insemination). I let her know that I didn’t feel comfortable with the Clomid (a personal decision, it definitely works for many other people though!) and I would have to go think about it. I left the office feeling deflated and hopeless.
I immediately emailed both my acupuncturist and my fertility coach Aimee (yep I have both!) and they both responded: “Don’t do the Clomid, let’s talk first”. So with their encouragement, I decided to get a second opinion. Upon Aimee’s suggestion, I set up a phone consultation with a doctor from CCRM, a well-known Colorado-based fertility clinic that has opened up a post in NYC. Tip: The in-person consultations cost a fortune but they’ll do phone consults for free!
On the call, the doctor talked to me and Anel for an hour, reviewing our case and discussing our diet and exercise, supplement plan, and even the work I’ve been doing with acupuncture. For the first time, I felt like I found a doctor who really understood me and looked at the full picture of my fertility challenges. She made a few changes to my supplements and recommended some more blood tests, stating that Clomid might be a solution down the line, but not until we learn more. Since then, all of my tests have come back negative, which means that medically, I’m perfectly fertile.
When I told her about my experience with the doctor here, she said that it’s unfortunately pretty common in this business for doctors to be results-driven in a speedy way as opposed to remembering that the woman is human being whose health and wellness is important as well. The takeaway here is that you should always get a second opinion if you don’t feel comfortable with the solution. I’m so glad that I did!
After these appointments and the call, I had a revelation… I don’t know what happened but something switched inside of me and since then, I’ve had a totally new outlook on the situation. For the last year it’s been a constant nagging in my mind, thinking about what days I’m ovulating, disappointment when I get my period, and enduring “the two-week wait” month after month. I’m sick of that, I’m sick of feeling sad, I’m sick of wanting for something that I can’t control.
I’ve realized since then that I don’t need a baby right away. It would be amazing and I can’t wait to be a mom but I don’t need to be one tomorrow or even this year. My mom didn’t have me (her first kid) until she was 35 and she is the best mom in the universe (I might be biased). So our new plan is to give it another year of trying naturally, and we’ll explore medical options next summer if we’re still having fertility challenges.
Instead of holding back on things like planning trips or saying things like “Well if we get pregnant this month I can tell my family at Thanksgiving!” or “If I get pregnant before Christmas we can announce it on our Christmas card!”. No, now I have no expectations and it feel so good. In weeks since I’ve made this mental shift, I’ve felt so much happier and healthier, and Anel and I are in a better place than we have been in over a year.
So what am I doing in our next “year of trying”? I’m taking a lot of supplements, drinking bone broth daily, cutting back on drinking, getting as much sleep as possible, and trying to enjoy every single day. I also switched every single cleaner in our home to natural options. Basically my thoughts are: do as much as I can that makes me feel good and leave the rest up to the Universe, or God, or whatever you want to call it. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll reassess.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy life to it’s fullest and stop worrying so much. I’m working on getting in the best shape ever (props to my trainer Madison!), eating a healthy diet (I’m now 90% gluten free thanks to Aimee and have so much more energy), keeping up with my acupuncture sessions (twice a month with Ailin), meditating daily, and appreciating the beautiful life that I’ve already created for myself and Anel without a baby.
I can’t tell you how much of a difference this new mindset has made. Everyone kept telling me over the last year to let it go and live my life but I just couldn’t seem to do that. Now that I have, I totally get what they meant. Sometimes you have to go through the worst of it to get to the other side.