Hands On Women's Wisdom: Thankful

Hands On Women’s Wisdom: Thankful

By Meredith Nathan

November is a month that draws our focus towards thankfulness. It is
a time to reflect on what we are grateful for, and to pause and
appreciate things we may have taken for granted. This month I'm
thankful for many things, but especially for two visionary women who
created an integrated center for fertility over 13 years ago. I have
always appreciated Pulling Down the Moon as a place to work, a place
to innovate fertility enhancing techniques, a place to meet incredible
women, and hopefully play a role in their journey to becoming mothers.
But this past year I got to experience Pulling Down the Moon not just
as an employee, but as a patient.

Fertility challenges run in my family. My mother had severe
endometriosis, and suffered through several miscarriages and surgeries
before having my brother and I. So it wasn’t a big shock when I
discovered at 27 that I had large endometriomas, blood-filled cysts on
my ovaries, that created daily bouts of pain. The birth control pill
kept these cysts in check, but didn’t cure them - in fact, 6 years
later as my husband and I were trying to start a family, the cysts
still had not budged (other than occasionally rupturing and growing
back again). Add to this very inconsistent cycles, and I knew I
likely had my own fertility journey ahead...

After a few months of trying, my husband and I decided I should start
acupuncture to help my body get into balance. Through acupuncture and
herbal blends, my cycles normalized over the course of several months.
I now had 25-27 day cycles (previously my cycles could be as short as
11 days). Meanwhile, I received a nutrition consult and started a
detox. After this, I incorporated some general dietary shifts, a
vitamin protocol, and a pituitary supplement.

A year after we’d started trying, I had an ultrasound and bloodwork
done. I was elated with the results! The cysts, which had stubbornly
plagued me for what was now 7 years, were completely gone! My
bloodwork came back perfect, and I was told I had a ‘model uterus’! I
was thrilled with my progress, and thought that certainly now we would
get pregnant without a hitch! I incorporated timing-specific
Fertility Enhancing Massage month after month. And yet several months
later, I was still having tearful mornings and negative pregnancy
tests.

Finally we sent my husband in to be checked out. It may sound silly
that we waited this long to see what was happening on his side of the
equation, especially since I work in fertility. But he is such a
robust, healthy person, and since I knew I had a host of fertility
issues, we both somehow assumed the problem was only on my end. But
sure enough, his results came back with room for improvement: though
he got an A+ for quantity, his motility and normality were more like a
C-. Without delay, we got him in with our acupuncturists and
nutritionists, shifted his diet, changed a few lifestyle factors, and
incorporated supplements and herbs into his diet.

Meanwhile, I abandoned my high intensity workout regime in favor of
PDtM’s yoga programs during my two week wait (and eventually during my
whole cycle), after experiencing what may have been a chemical
pregnancy…I felt safer doing these restorative, gentle poses, versus
workouts that may have been overly-stimulating for my body and uterus.
After giving my husband’s body a month to balance, we started
re-incorporating timing-specific Fertility Enhancing Massage for both
me and him.

19 months from the time we started trying for a baby, I was several
days late. At this point, I was hesitant to even take a pregnancy
test…I’d seen so many "Not Pregnant"s at this point, and didn’t want
to get my hopes up. Lying in bed, I debated whether I would take one
or not, and finally decided I would. As the minutes ticked by, I
found myself getting more and more hopeful, even though I tried not to
be. Finally it was time to check the results. I looked dumbfounded
at the test that said something I’d never seen it say before:
“Pregnant”.

This November I am thankful for many things. Unlike when my mother
was attempting pregnancy, we have so many tools now to help us achieve
our goals of starting families. There are so many advances in
Assisted Reproductive Technology, and Reproductive Endocrinologists
can achieve results that decades ago could only be imagined. My
husband and I prayerfully considered these options after our first
year of trying, but never felt like we were being moved in those
directions. With a little (and then a lot of) patience, and with
access to so many incredible tools, we immersed ourselves in every
service Pulling Down the Moon and the world of holistic medicine had
to offer for both husband and wife. Fourteen years ago the concept of
a center for integrative care for fertility (to my knowledge) didn’t
exist. But two visionary women, Beth Heller and Tami Quinn, took
their own experiences, their pain and loss, and their successes, and
created a space that offered something they never had during their
fertility struggles: a multi-disciplinary center for fertility,
incorporating the best of what holistic therapies could provide for
couples trying to conceive naturally or through ART.

Because of their vision, women like me have so many tools and
resources to accomplish our most urgent, important, and emotional
goal. And the results of their vision never cease to amaze me…the
results take my breath away.

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