Let me start off by saying that I’m not crazy about saying I “hacked” my pregnancy. Getting pregnant, especially as you get older, is a journey and everyone’s journey is different. I understand though what resonates with people when you talk about providing solutions to a problem.
My first child was born in December 2015 after just a couple of months of trying to conceive. My husband and I knew we wanted a second and that we wanted them to be three to four years apart. That was before I left my job and started Vyana Infant Massage, my other baby. Growing a business from scratch has not been easy and so family planning was delayed.
When we decided in the fall of 2019 to start trying again, I got pregnant right away. I realize how fortunate I am to have this been the case two times. Then, nine weeks into my pregnancy, I had a loss, a loss so unexpected, it shook my confidence and would later rob me of an anxiety free pregnancy.
As we put our toddler to bed and rushed to the emergency room, we both expected the worst. After six hours waiting in a cold, packed emergency room, the ultrasound confirmed that my pregnancy was not viable. There was a sac in my uterus but no embryo and what should have measured at an 8 or 9 week pregnancy was actually measuring at 4. The doctors said the cause was cell division during conception but, of course, we want to take blame and find something we did or didn’t do to cause it. Since it was so early, I would have to wait a few more days to let my body naturally miscarry.
My husband and I cried together and returned home at 4 am knowing we would be waking in a few hours to our three year old, who had no idea what had transpired while she was asleep. Her requests for a sibling had been within arms reach and were now gone, at least for the time being.
I had an incredible team of people around me to support me through this period, including a midwife, doula, acupuncturist, and a chiropractor. They not only supported me during and after, they made the loss easier physically and emotionally. Three days after the emergency room visit, I had my appointment with the OB, who confirmed what the ER had said but said it was still possibly viable and I would have to wait. I was so angry as I had already had accepted the fate and was waiting for my body to ready. This lack of certainty was not what I wanted to hear and made accepting a loss much more difficult. In addition, we were leaving town for winter holidays in just a few days. How would I manage in transit?
The next day, I had previously scheduled appointments with my chiropractor and acupuncturist, both of whom I’ve been seeing for years. My chiropractor provided the adjustments I needed for pain relief. My acupuncturist gave me herbs that would help me expel the tissue, if the time came for that. About an hour after that appointment, I started feeling intense back pain. This must be it. This must be the miscarriage happening, I thought. I was in a lot of pain and called the OB. They said there was nothing they could do for me so that I should go to the emergency room. That was not happening. I refused to go and wait for hours to only have them give me pain medication. That’s not what I needed. So, I took the herbs my acupuncturist gave me and within 20 minutes, felt the intense release of the tissue.
I had asked my husband to pick my daughter up from daycare and take her to swim class. He sent a friend to come and be with me but I was feeling better and was able to make it to her last swim class, 1 hour after having a miscarriage. I credit the herbs for that and am so grateful for my acupuncturist. There was no delay, no infection, no complications. I continued taking them until everything was out but the worst physical part was over.
It took a month for my body to regulate again but I was ready to start trying again in February. Because of the team I had and how the loss was not as traumatizing, I was in a good mental health space. In my mind, I had not lost a baby but had lost a pregnancy. Maybe it was a coping mechanism but it helped.
After unsuccessful attempts for three months, I began to panic. I knew getting pregnant takes time but I didn’t want to waste any time given my age so I did everything I possibly could to hasten the process. As an infant massage instructor, I’ve been lucky to learn so much about pregnancy that I didn’t know about with my first and had an amazing network of incredibly talented and passionate practitioners who support mothers and mothers-to-be.
I used apps Femometer and My Calendar to better understand my cycle, tracking temperature, cervical mucus, activity, etc. In addition to this daily tracking, here is a list of what I did to help me conceive:
- Wisdom of the Womb Tea (If you’re on Instagram, check out their profile. People have been having amazing results after years and years of infertility)
- PROOV test: This test is administered after ovulation and is used to confirm that you ovulated. I learned about this through Dr. Patti Haebe, who is a fertility specialist. Look her up on Instagram. I’m glad I had this test to confirm progesterone, which is needed to get pregnant and carry to term. The PROOV founder’s history is interesting. She struggled with infertility and went through many rounds of IVF and IUI unsuccessfully and it was an easy fix all along of progesterone supplement.
- Fertility Powder: I purchased this based on the reviews.
- Energy Medicine: I had been seeing Dr. Tina Minert for two years and trust her completely. She told me 80% of my not getting pregnant was emotional.
- Acupuncture: I have been going to Acupuncture monthly for over 10 years and swear by it for a range of issues whether you’re pregnant or not. In pregnancy, it helps with conception, nausea, stress, pain, etc. Here is an interview we did with my acupuncturist.
- Chinese Herbs: These were given to me by my acupuncturist so make sure you consult a licensed practitioner.
- Womb Massage: I used this Youtube video because of the pandemic but there are practitioners who have specialized in Mayan Abdominal Massage.
- Womb Meditation: You can find many options on Youtube. This is one I used.
I know this seems like a lot but, if you want to try everything possible that is natural, before you resort to expensive, painful fertility treatments, you have nothing to lose. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what thing or things helped me conceive but I can’t do that. I feel strongly about acupuncture, energy medicine, and the fertile mama tea. I know that it was a combination of taking better care of my mind, body, and heart. Many experts say to spend a year before you want to get pregnant to get your body ready and changes to diet and lifestyle are necessary. If you are already at the end of your timeline, then this list of interventions are worth trying with intention and optimism. Please reach out to me if you have any questions!