How I Became A Mom Against the Odds

​This Mother’s Day, I’m thinking about my own journey to motherhood. Do you have friends who can basically get a wink from their lover and then – Bam! – they’re pregnant?  Yah, that was so not me.
 
In my twenties, I used every type of birth control I could find because becoming a mother felt at least five (or maybe even ten) chapters ahead in my life. It wasn’t until the age of 30 that a young doctor asked me if I wanted to consider freezing my eggs. I was actually shocked by the question because in my most basic understanding of biology, I had calculated at least 10 more good fertile years ahead of me. I was sure that when I met the right guy, got married, and hit my career goals, I could drop the birth control and get pregnant right away. Wow, was I wrong.
 
Five years later, I had found and married the love of my life and was ready to start trying. Within three months, I found out I was pregnant and thought to myself, “See, that wasn’t so hard!” I loved being pregnant and knowing I was growing a tiny human. A few weeks later, I woke up in excruciating pain and had a miscarriage. I was devastated. I was a mom with nothing to show for it. The following Mother’s Day was heartbreaking.
 
After a few months, we started trying again, this time with a renewed fervor. I charted my basal body temperature at the exact same time every morning and produced impressive graphs that showed I was ovulating every cycle. But, my cycles were short and after meeting with a reproductive endocrinologist, I learned my cycles lacked enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy. Upon hearing that news, I brought home the infamous Clomid, the gateway drug to assisted fertility. Then I read every book I could find about getting pregnant, received acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs almost daily, and created a vision board of what motherhood meant to me. It was intense and exhausting trying to sustain hope and keep up with the daily rigors of all of it.
 
Fast forward through nearly two years of assisted fertility treatments and shattered dreams. Our grand finale was investing in the grandmother of all fertility treatments, IVF with ICSI. After harvesting only a handful of viable eggs, the fertility clinic prepared us for the worst. Of the eggs collected, only two matured into embryos. We transferred them both and kept our fingers and toes crossed during the two-week wait for a pregnancy test. The stakes were high… it was our last chance to become biological parents and my last chance in this lifetime to get pregnant. Since our immediate family and friends had never been down the same path, I found support and solace in an online tribe of women experiencing the same journey. We were all in it together, exchanging baby dust (wishes for a successful pregnancy) like it was a real currency.
 
It’s now been four years and I am a mother to a beautiful girl who defied the odds and stuck with me to arrive earthside exactly 39 weeks after conception. She is a perfect mix of my husband and I, with his sense of adventure and my love of learning. When I look back at all we went through, I can’t imagine my life without her in it. I do wonder what it would have been like if I had conceived her naturally, without the years of prayers and tears. But, with her arrival, she gave me the ultimate gift. She made me a mom. 
Sunset on the beach

Why I Disappear For 4 Days, 4 Times a Year

Where pink clouds meet blue water…4 times a year, I disappear for 4 days to visit this lake to experience a symphony of silence, solitude, introspection & inspiration.

While it’s technically a self-led spiritual retreat, I affectionately call it “Mom Camp” because that phrase makes sense to my four-year-old. The truth is coming here makes me a better mother, wife, friend, doctor & human.

Every trip here is a different experience. The only constant is I’m always transformed by the time I get home.

I highly recommend finding your own version of Mom Camp. Because once you find it, you will never be the same.

Get Real: IVF

Reality: IVF is brutal. The bruises are real. The fear of failure can be overwhelming. The financial burden is heavy.

The antidote to this challenging reality is faith.

Faith in the Universe to unite a mother with the soul of her unborn child.

Faith in doctors to expertly prescribe the exact dose of Follistim or Gonal-F, Lupron, hCG,  Prednisolone,  Estradiol, and/or Progesterone needed to hijack a menstrual cycle and optimize the body’s conditions for conception & pregnancy.

Faith in holistic medicine to support & protect the body, mind, and spirit from such an invasive process.

Faith in traditional Chinese herbs to harmonize the body, mind, and spirit and nourish the Uterus.

Faith in yourself to answer the sacred calling of a Mother.

​Your Pulse Can Reveal Pregnancy & Your Baby’s Gender!

As a Licensed Acupuncturist, one of my favorite skills is reading a patient’s pulse to find out what’s going on in their body-mind-spirit. In Oriental Medicine, this is called pulse diagnosisWithin seconds, I can find out whether a patient…
… is having nightmares
… is digesting a greasy hamburger
… is constipated
… has a headache
… has back pain
… is about to catch a cold

And, my favorite pulse revelations:
… is pregnant
… is pregnant with a boy or girl
… is pregnant with multiples

Patients often ask me, “How in the world can you know that from my pulse?” 

The short answer is, the pulse reveals everything.

Pulse diagnosis has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. There are over 25 distinct pulses and each has its own unique characteristics. Licensed Acupuncturists spend at least 4 years in graduate school learning & practicing traditional pulse diagnosis. It’s a skill that develops with practice and study over time.

Now, let’s circle back to my favorite pulse revelations, pregnancy and fetal gender

I can generally detect pregnancy in a pulse shortly after implantation between cycle weeks 3-4. The pulse reveals pregnancy about a week before any modern medical pregnancy test or bloodwork will register enough hCG to deliver a positive result. Discovering a pregnancy pulse is always the highlight of my work day!

The gender of the fetus appears in the pulse as early as cycle week 5. To minimize error, I monitor the pulse carefully between weeks 5-7 before I share the news. Sometimes, parents don’t want to know, so I record the gender and deliver it to them in a sealed envelope for later use. Anatomical ultrasounds typically occur around cycle week 20, so learning a baby’s gender by cycle week 7 gives parents plenty of extra prep time to shop for pink or blue!

Are you ready to get a pulse diagnosis?
Request an appointment here!

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