Today's post is going to be a little bit different than usual, as I want to delve into a topic that effects all of us WAY before potty training, WAY before we birth our babies and for some of us, WAY before the moment of conception even. In this post I am going to share my personal journey of infertility with you, and how we were able to conceive and birth two beautiful babies totally naturally. At the end, I will be posting a link to Gabriela Rosa's new book, Fertility Breakthrough: Overcoming infertility and recurrent miscarriage when other treatments have failed, which she has generously offered FREE to my readers and social media followers .
They say that 1 in 8 women experience infertility. It sure didn't feel that way to me. I was 27 years old when we started trying for a baby and I looked around at my friends, neighbours, and large extended family and it appeared to me that I was the only one whose family wasn't growing when I hoped and planned it to. Perhaps it wasn't true, but when no one is talking about their difficulties, it sure feels that way.
We had been trying for about a year when we had our first appointment at the fertility clinic in 2010. I had been tracking my menstrual cycle and arrived at the appointment with a few months of charts, hopeful that they could see what was wrong with me by looking at my basal body temperature readings. My husband's sperm was fine, they said. The Hysterosalpingogram showed that my fallopian tubes were clear. As for my charts? "We don't look at those" they said.
I was told that they could start me on Clomid right away, and if that didn't work in a couple of months, I could start injectable drugs and they could book me in for IVF. I told them that I wasn't ready for all that, I was looking for answers. I told the doctor that we were going for acupuncture weekly, and had been taking Chinese herbal medicine. He said the acupuncture might help but that the Chinese herbs would do nothing. He wished me luck and told me to come back in 6 months if we weren't pregnant by then.
How disappointing. How discouraging! Was there really nothing I could do? I was a healthy 28 year old. I ate well, did light exercise (walking, biking, yoga), I had stopped drinking alcohol. I had been taking prenatal vitamins for over a year, and the tests available to us showed us that nothing was wrong! I started seeing a naturopath and taking more supplements. I found a doctor who was willing to order more bloodwork to check my hormone levels, I cut my work hours in half. I started doing more yoga and learning to meditate. By some miracle, after 2 years of trying, we finally became pregnant. My pregnancy was absolute perfection, I had never felt so healthy, fit and beautiful. My daughter was born into water the day after her due date in 2012.
I felt at that time like I had finally cracked the code. I knew just what to do to achieve pregnancy and now my body was on my side. I thought it would be easier next time.
When she was 18 months old, my period finally returned and we started trying for another baby right away. By this I mean I also started yoga again, found a new naturopath, went back to acupuncture, started fertility massage and started tracking my cycle, on top of timing intercourse to the fertile part of my cycle each month. 6 months passed, then a year. Infertility was consuming my life. Every time I tried to talk about it, or even think about it, I would start to cry. I read books and blogs.
We went back to the fertility clinic, hoping for a better experience. His sperm was still fine, my tubes were still open, our trouble making a baby was still "unexplained". This time, I consented to starting Clomid and made an appointment for an IUI (intrauterine insemination). I was sure that this would work.
The Clomid made my cycle super short. I had to wait for the next one to do the IUI. After the next month of Clomid I went for the insemination. The doctor doing the procedure was not my usual doctor, but he seemed alright. First he did an ultrasound on my abdomen, and at that time discovered that I had a bunch of cycts on my ovaries. He pretty much freaked out (and completely freaked me out), going on and on about all the different kinds of huge cycts I had and cancelled my IUI right there, while I was laying on the table. I was devastated. I had previously booked an acupuncture appointment for after the procedure (to have the best chance of implantation), so I went to my appointment and sobbed into my acupuncturist's embrace.
Long story short, the only other option they gave me was to start ovulation stimulation via injectable drugs. Drugs that have potential side effects of blindness, or death. Another side effect is the chance of multiples... twins OR MORE. I already had 1 child and was no longer naive to the work, sleeplessness and selflessness that parenthood required. I didn't want more than one more baby and I didn't want to die in the process. Hopelessness set in.
It had been 3 years since we started trying for a second baby. I was certain I had tried everything but those dangerous drugs and pretty much lost hope. Then I learned about and readily signed up for a 4-week fertility yoga workshop being offered in my city the next month, November. At the class I met 5 other women going through infertility. We talked and cried. I hadn't realized how much I needed to talk about it, and to feel supported by other women who were going through it too. At that class I met a new friend, and a month later, she introduced me to Gabriela Rosa's Fertility Breakthrough program.
My first intro was a podcast where Gabriela Rosa talked about "minor factors" that can lead to infertility. Things like weight, age, diet, and stress. In a nutshell, each of these minor factors that you and your partner might have add up to a more and more difficult time conceiving a baby. It was a lightbulb moment. Perhaps she held the key to getting to the bottom of all this. Thankfully, the next "Gabriela Rosa Fertility Challenge" was only a few weeks away.
After over 3 years of secondary infertility, you guys.... I kid you not, we were pregnant 3 months after starting the challenge. Gabriela's program is difficult, for most of us it requires huge shifts in our lifestyle, diet, and thinking. Even though I thought, going into the challenge, that I was already doing everything possible to become pregnant, I learned SO MUCH from her and her team. But the best part? The absolute BEST part was that my husband and I worked on this diligently TOGETHER. This healthy baby we wanted to make was bigger than our cravings, addictions, bad habits and bad patterns. Over the preceding 3 years, I was the one making the changes, doing the research and starting to resent him because I felt like he didn't care as much as I did. And that his habits were standing the way of conceiving our baby. Standing together in this let all that resentment melt away, and our love to grow, every day that we stuck to our plan, together.
The rest is history, I suppose. Our Natural Fertility Breakthrough baby is little Alek, our blond curly haired now-2-year old who, those of you who are familiar with my blog and social media will know well. He was born in December 2017.
So... that is our story of challenge and eventual triumph. Certainly not everyone will become pregnant as quickly as we did after starting the challenge, but one look at Gabriella's track record and you will see that most of the clients working with her do, eventually, Her new book, Fertility Breakthrough: Overcoming infertility and recurrent miscarriage when other treatments have failed, is going to change lives. And get this... Gabriela Rosa has offered to give my readers a FREE paperback copy, mailed right to your door. All you have to do is click on the link to her book here, fill in your details, enter in my unique coupon code at checkout: nfbdanielle and hit "Apply Coupon". Even your shipping is included!
This is a fertility revolution ladies. No more will we let ourselves be poked and prodded with no hope, no answers. No more will we be pressured to use drugs unnecessarily, or be ridiculed for taking our time and trying "alternative" answers. No more will we spend every last dime we have on procedures that have an incredibly low success rate. Nor will we allow ourselves to believe that lifestyle changes won't make a difference to our outcomes.
Click the link between today and February 7, 2020 to claim your copy. If you are not in need of fertility help, please forward a link to this blog post to any friends or family who you know may benefit from it. If you are reading this post after the 7 day window has closed, I urge you to consider supporting Natural Fertility Breakthrough and purchasing a copy for yourself through their website. And, take part in the next fertility challenge, of course!
Here are a couple of handy Pinterest images too!
Hi! I'm Danielle, your friendly neighbourhood potty specialist.