Saturday, April 7, 2012

In Disagreement with the Docs

Long story short: I've been seeing a Naturopath who is not just a Naturopath, but a healer, with a gift of seeing and hearing and experiencing things that the rest of us can't see or hear or experience. You can't deny it once you've seen and experienced her. She knows things about me, my past, my future. Devon saw her for the first time this week and the next day, the Naturopath gave Devon a message from her (dead) mom, that could only have come from Dev's mom.

So when she is assessing me this week and stops, takes a step back, has her fortune-telling look on and asks me "What happens if you never get pregnant? What would you do?" my heart and everything in my body sank.

What would I do? I would break in half. I would not know how to move on from this place. I would lose all of the hope that I'm rummaging up inside of me to drive me forward every month.

I know she's just one person, but she's been right about so much. She then asked me to put as much energy into not being a mom than I am becoming a mom, so that I can have an "equal" head about it. I am not willing to go there. I am not ready to go there. I will become a mom. And I really, really hope I will become a biological mom.

To add insult to injury, both the Naturopath and my Chinese Medicine doctor (who I respectably call my witch doctor, and who is also quite tapped into things that aren't necessarily "there") are vehemently against IVF. In their experience in treating IVF kids, they've found that the kids aren't as healthy as the general population, that there are cognitive "wires crossed" and it's not fair on anyone to go that route. I know enough IVF kids - and I know enough about all of your lovely, healthy IVF kids - to know that this is not necessarily the case, but it is really hard to feel as though I would be going against everything these two women stand for.

I know it's my body, my choice, but I've built an amazing rapport with both of them. In tandem, they have essentially rid me of the chronic pain that no Western doctor could get rid of over a span of 5 years. They have both been working on me throughout this TTC process and I go to my witch doctor every day that I inseminate for acupuncture.

My Naturopath also wants me to take three months off. My body is tired. My hormones are out of whack. I am apparently in dire need of a break. But my fear is that I'll lose that hope I hold on so tight to, and that every month we don't try will be a month of wishing that we were. I'm also not ready to go there.

Additionally, the Naturopath wants us to find a known donor going forward. We have someone in mind, but have not been serious about the option (I'll save it for another blog post). I would much rather use an anonymous donor. It's easier. But apparently it's not working. And with a success rate of 7-20% per month, it's frustrating. With "live" sperm, our chances increase significantly over frozen sperm, but so do the risks, in my mind. And, I can't help but notice on so many blogger's TTC Timelines, that many start with a known donor and then move onto IUI after months and months of BFNs.

I am not closing the door on IVF, but I do hope it becomes a moot point. We will be trying an IUI this month, against my naturopath's orders. We will be doing it at a new clinic, as our clinic has been shut down until the end of April, at the earliest. We had to go through all of the consent forms AND the blood tests (which I JUST checked now... and huh - my prolactin levels are above normal. I don't know what that means... Dr. Google will hopefully tell me shortly), which was a pain... but apparently now a good thing, considering something may need to be addressed.

I'm just waiting to bleed and then we'll be on our way (unless there is a problem with elevated prolactin?). I just want to fucking try again and get all this shit from my Naturopath out of my head. Maybe just to prove her wrong.


  1. Lex, keep on your path. Make sure your blood tests are the right ones. Have the test to make sure your tubes are open if you haven't had the test. I am hoping the new clinic will inseminate better than the last one. It is not even close to time to give up on a bio child in my opinion. I know others who have tried for years and it worked when it was suppose to. As long as your primary MD had checked everything out and you are fertile and good to go, I would keep trying. It took me a year with a husband and both fertile as can be at 22. So now is not the time to get down. Pick other people who support you and continue until it becomes apparent you need to adopt or foster to adopt.

  2. Elevated prolactin can be problematic. There is a naturopathic remedy called Chase Tree that helps with it though. My naturopath is fantastic, though not clairvoyant, and if you want her name just shoot me an email and I'd be happy to share it with you.

  3. As Allison recommended above, Chasteberry extract (also known as Vitex) is a really great hormone-regulating supplement you can take (when you do get pregnant, though, be sure to stop taking it right away). It was recommended to me by an MD who was also a naturopath. Good stuff.

    Please keep in mind that naturopaths can be wrong too. We're all just human, and she may well be interpreting something she's feeling in a way that is not quite accurate. Maybe she's feeling that as things are right now, pregnancy won't work. Perhaps as you shift strategies a bit, shift your own body chemistry a bit, that will change too. As much as I appreciate intuition, I'm always a bit suspect when people intimate that they know my future. Our futures are mutable, and we're not fate's victims.

    By no means is it time to give up, so hang in there woman! May you bleed soon so that you can start this new course of action quickly!

  4. For what it's worth, I'd keep going, too, and I might consider taking a break from these practitioners for a bit. The IVF thing (understandably, I think) ruffles my feathers--maybe there will be something about kids who come from IVF that makes them less than perfect. So are kids who come from every other background. I'm hoping you don't end up needing IVF, but if that's the path you end up taking, remember that no baby is guaranteed to be pristine and untouched and perfect in every way, no matter how they arrive on earth or come to their families.

  5. i have to preface my comment with 2 disclaimers:

    1. in general, i have a practice of not leaving comments that disagree with what the blogger wrote (in terms of choices they are making in ttc/parenting/whatever). i don't really appreciate comments like that on my blog, so i don't make a habit of leaving them on others. but, this post has been nagging me ever since i read it yesterday and i just have to get out what's circling around in my head. (so, apologies in advance, if necessary)

    2. i have the utmost respect for alternative medicine practitioners. my wife is a massage therapist and has worked with some really awesome acupuncturists, chinese medicine doctors, etc. over the years.

    oy..okay. that said, i feel like your nautropath and "witch doctor" have really crossed a line here from supporting you in your journey to being a negative energy. is it possible to pull back from them in this (ttc) aspect, and maybe just continue to see them re: the original health issues you sought their services for? okay, i get the advice to take a break and regroup, fine. but some of the other things they've said really rub me the wrong way. specifically:

    to me, it feels wildly inappropriate for either of them to weigh in on your decision to use an anon donor vs. a known donor. that is one of the most personal, intimate decisions you and devon will ever make and it shouldn't be something you feel pressured to do from a third party. as you alluded to, choosing a known donor has a whole host of it's own (legal) issues and making that decision is a very complicated, PERSONAL one.

    and obviously, as the parent of three IVF i mean, wow. i don't even know where to begin on the opinion that it isn't "fair" to conceive kids through IVF and that they have wires crossed. that's offensive in so many ways. and im sure you know there isn't a shred of scientific evidence to back that up. (1) how do they even know who was IVF conceived? it's not like there is a mark on the kids' foreheads. our pediatrician doesn't even know we used IVF, it just isn't relevant to their current medical care. (2) look around any elementary school - there are millions of kids in america with behavioral, emotional, etc problems and i'd venture to guess 99.9% of them were conceived the "natural" way. (3) if anything, IVF kids (especially those conceived with anon donor sperm that has been highly screened for a healthy genetic background), imho, turn into awesome children because their parents desperately wanted them - they have all of the advantages of healthy pregnancies and doting parents through childhood. to imply ivf children are somehow damaged because their pre-blastocysts selves spent a few days outside the fallopian tubes is just wrong.

    okay. i'll stop now. and i'll reiterate my apology if this comment offended. but i really feel strongly about it and want to see you surrounding yourself with people who are *supportive* of your journey and decisions.

  6. I agree with a lot of what Offering Of Love said, so I won't repeat it. What I will add is that Nutella had higher levels of prolactin before getting pregnant and you know the outcome of our story.

  7. Offering puts it better than I could. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it's hard to hear such an opinion from people you have learned to trust and who are supposed to be part of your support team. Last night I was hanging out with one of my (straight) best friends who has 2 kids from IVF.(They're perfect.) She's a Brooklyn, cloth diaper, wooden toy mama. She was talking about her TTC process and said. "Sometimes I want to say to all the people who tell you how to live, 'Yes, I tried cutting out coffee, I tried cutting out alcohol, yes, I cut out soy, and you know what worked? IVF, bitches."

    Instincts tell me that IVF babies, if they come from a standard cycle, should be really strong, healthy babies - they are the healthiest, strongest embryos; someone has actually looked at them under a microscope and determined that. I don't know about low birth weight statistics, but my IVF baby was smack in the middle at 7 pounds and was born 2 days after his due date and the delivery was delightful. More than angry at these people trying to talk you out of something that might be the best way for you to get a baby, eventually (though hopefully you won't get to that point!), I feel kind of *shrug* whatever people, IVF works.

    And my IVF baby is brilliant, handsome, musical, athletic, and charming. ;)