My fertility journey started, probably like most, hopeful, excited, a little scared about what was to come, but I had no idea of the roller coaster we were starting on.
My husband and I had been married for a year when we decided to start our family. I assumed we would be pregnant soon and by our anniversary next year, we would be parents.
That was not to be. We tried on our own for 10 months before we saw an OB/GYN who was recommended by a friend; he had been helpful in her fertility journey. After meeting with us, and examining me, his treatment recommendation was for me to start on Clomid (a medication used to help the woman mature more eggs) and see if that helped.
I was not ready to start on medications, I thought there had to be more of an explanation for my infertility and more I could do, so we never went back. Something in me said to walk away, so we did.
After that experience, I sought out more natural approaches to fertility and found an amazing acupuncturist. We worked together to regulate my menstrual cycle. During that time, I was also charting my BBT and learning about my cycles and I changed the foods I was eating. One thing I changed was I finally got rid of gluten.
I had always suspected that I reacted to wheat, but there was no way I was giving it up. I didn’t have a reason to, until I was trying to get pregnant. This time, I listened to that inner knowing and gave up gluten. The amazing thing was, I felt so much better and my seasonal allergies decreased to the point I no longer needed daily allergy medicine.
After about a year working with the acupuncturist, I was finally ready to add reproductive medicine to my journey. We went to see reproductive medical specialists and tried several rounds of Clomid with trigger shots and IUI.
By this time, I knew a lot about my cycle, I had been charting my temperature and fertility signs for almost 2 years. I knew that my body did not produce a lot of progesterone in the second half of my cycle. Progesterone is needed to keep the uterine lining intact as the fertilized egg implants and begins to grow. On the last IUI attempt before we moved to IVF, I asked for supplemental progesterone. I got pregnant on that cycle, and our first daughter was born the next year.
Looking back, the biggest lesson I learned through my fertility journey was to trust my own intuition and to make decisions about my body based on what I know to be true for me. I am the expert on me, just as you are the expert on you!
It is easy to fall into the belief that the doctor knows everything, we have been led to believe that all our lives. But, you live in your body everyday, every cycle, and you know when you are ovulating, when your fertile window is, what food gives you energy, how your body likes to move and what helps you decrease your stress. Your doctors are valuable partners in your fertility journey, and I am so grateful to my doctor for helping us become a family, but don’t underestimate your own knowledge of yourself.
Sometimes on this journey, we may need a guide to help us tune in to ourselves and listen without judgement as we try to listen and respond to the messages our body gives us.
If you are on this journey and need some support, let’s set up a time to talk. Trying to get pregnant is a vulnerable topic and sometimes we need a person to listen that is not so close to the situation, I get that. I support women just like you, who want to prepare their body for pregnancy so they can optimize their fertility. If you are ready to talk, contact me here.