You would think that once I realized that things were not as they should be reproductively wise, I would enlist all manners of assistance to get knocked up and stay that way. On the Western side of the equation, that has been the case. I was popping Clomid within eight months of starting to try to get pregnant and I had a full RE workup a little over a year after we started trying. But, West is not the only game in town.
East has quite a few weapons in the arsenal. None of those weapons, however, were in my infertility tool kit. Why was this?
The people I have known in my life who turn to Eastern medicine have done so as a last resort, not as a first option. It didn’t help that what I did know of it involved sticking needles in strange places. At that point in my life, my dates with needles were few and far between, the fewer the better. In other words, I had no positive experiences to view Eastern medicine as a serious and worthy compliment to Western medicine.
And then I became infertile. My opinion of Eastern medicine, however, did not change, partly because Western medicine did get me pretty far. Acupuncture probably wouldn’t have cleared out my tubes, but darned if that laparascopy did the trick! And, then I got pregnant. And, I miscarried. Then I got pregnant again, and I miscarried again. With the same chromosomal abnormality.
It was at that point that I began to look at what we had been doing to see what we could do differently to change our outcome because even though we had been given a diagnosis of Bad Luck, I wanted to see what we could differently to possibly counteract whatever was causing things to go awry. I began to seriously consider acupuncture, having read a lot about its benefits with IVF, and general well-being. Dr. Salsa recommended it, something Dr. Uterus never mentioned, and Dr. Salsa had even partnered with an acupuncturist so that they would work out of his office. It couldn’t have been any easier to get acupuncture treatment.
And yet I still hesitated. That little part of my brain* kept saying, “this is the last step to you declaring that you are a desperate infertile!”, obviously a throw back to my original opinions about Eastern medicine. Then my cycle started getting out of whack and I reached the point where I wanted to do something, anything, that did not involve more hormones to get things moving back in the right direction. And, it wouldn’t hurt that acupuncture has been shown to help with IVF, which we are on schedule to do in the spring. So, I made an appointment and I have now had two sessions. I will have two a week up until it’s IVF time and then one on the day of retrieval and two on the day of transfer.
So far, it’s been interesting. Some of the sticks hurt, others don’t. Once the needles are in, she leaves me for 30 minutes to sleep, which so far I haven’t been able to do. I’ll stick (ha!) with it, though, because even if it has few to no physical benefits, the mental benefits of knowing that I am doing something toward our goal and that it is something new, are worth it.
*The little voice has completely changed her tune, by the way. She’s now convinced that acupuncture will magically fix everything. I’m going to have my hands full beating down her expectations and remaining realistic.
image: run dorkas run