Just Relax They Say

Just relax. It will happen once you stop trying. If you were meant to have children you will.  Just relax. Stop stressing. Just relax. Just relax. Just relax.   If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than about 3 months you have likely heard these statements.  If you have been trying to conceive for a year I would bet my salary that you have heard these statements.  If you have been trying to conceive for longer than a year, well you probably hear these comments in your sleep.  They made me so frustrated, angry, and hurt (the opposite of relaxed).  Don’t you think that if all we needed to do to be able to conceive was to “just relax” we would have conceived in fewer than 5 years? Of course stress plays a big role in how our bodies function, but stress may not be the only factor in fertility challenges.  Trust me, we know.  We lived the “just relax” mantra, the pin cushion trials, and the loss.  It is ironic to me that the day I decide to write about this whole “just relax” statement our fertility clinic, Fertility Center of the Carolinas, posts to Facebook that one of their Reproductive Endocrinologists has been featured in a local tv news report about acupuncture being helpful for conception.  The parents featured noted that acupuncture really helped relieve stress so that they could conceive.  Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Miller, stressed that although acupuncture may not be the only necessary intervention, it is amazingly effective in aiding conception. We were one of those couples who went the traditional route and ignored Eastern medicine (things like acupuncture).  Drs. Forstein, Miller, and Lessey worked tirelessly with us to achieve conception.  We went through testing, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), a laparoscopy to remove endometriosis, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).  Our first IVF was an abysmal failure.  Although our doctors had suggested that we try acupuncture in conjunction with traditional medicine, we declined.  We honestly didn’t think it would help.  Fast forward to our second IVF.  This time we paired it with acupuncture treatments with Kathyrn at Key Acupuncture.  Kathryn and our doctors work together to help patients achieve conception.  Although I truly felt like a pin cushion, the second IVF was MUCH more successful.  This time we had beautiful embryos to transfer and even some to freeze for future Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET). ...
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K’s Birth Story – Part 1 – Our (in)Fertility Journey

Our (in)Fertility Journey After 22 months, it is probably time to finish putting our son’s birth story down on paper.  It was such a long journey, that his birth story would not be complete without rewinding to December 31, 2006… Over champagne at nearly midnight I looked at Nate and said that I really wanted to have a baby.  I thought we were ready and had overcome some of the big hurdles in figuring out how to be married.  At that point we had been married for 2.5 years and had worked really hard at our marriage.  Nate was stunned to say the least, but he smiled and said that sounded great.  We pitched the birth control, patiently waited 3 months like the OB requested to give my body a shot at normalizing it’s hormones and then April 14 we started “trying”.  At the end of that cycle I rushed out, just sure I would be pregnant, bought a test and learned the hard way that it doesn’t always happen the first time around.  Nate didn’t know I had bought the test, but I fessed up later. We kept trying to conceive, Nate kept working to support our family, and I kept working on my dissertation, but month after month we were not blessed with conception.  By the following January (2007) I was getting antsy and nervous.  We went to see the “reproductive guys”, as we have now called them for 6 years, and after some conversations and a ton of bloodwork we figured out my hormones were out of whack.  Ok, easy fix right?  Take some Clomid and off we go to spend “quality time” together.  It turns out that Clomid was not my friend…nor were many of the medications we tried along our journey.  We stayed pretty minimal with our interventions until October of 2007.  That month I had surgery and we figured out a big part of the problem was endometriosis.  Endometriosis is something that isn’t curable and greatly decreases fertility.  In a way, the diagnosis was terrific, we now understood the battle we were facing and were open to the idea of adoption if we didn’t conceive.  We tried a hyped up set of medications and I grew a gazillion follicles (remember the goal is one baby in the belly at a time which means just one follicle is needed).  That cycle was a bust...
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