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Being Your Own Advocate on the #TTC Journey

I HAVE MISSED YOU!

Many of you know that I became very ill during the annual launch of my Yes, You Can Get Pregnant eCourse. I had to take some time off to rest and recuperate but I am BACK!

Throughout this illness I really had to fight, not just the dis-ease itself but also, to get the care that I desperately needed. And of course, that made me think of all of you on this fertility journey. ​​​​

In this video, I’ll be talking about being an advocate for yourself and your health and figuring out who and what to listen to. Take a half hour for YOU and join me live.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a medical doctor. I have been a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 17 years and I will be speaking from my clinical experience helping thousands of women conceive. The office of Aimee E. Raupp, M.S., L.Ac and Aimee Raupp Wellness & Fertility Centers and all personnel associated with the practice do not use social media to convey medical advice. This video will be posted to Aimee’s channels to educate and inspire others on the fertility journey.

SEE THE FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW.

Hello. Hi, how is everyone? I’m so happy and honored to be here with you again. I missed you guys last week when I was still recovering from a pretty bad viral illness. Yes, a pretty bad viral illness. I got hit with a bad virus and I was very sick for many days, had a very high fever, and was still recovering last week. I had to really kind of pick and choose my battles of where was I going to show up? I did not choose to come to you guys live last week, and it’s not because I don’t love you, just because I had a lot of teaching to do to my private students and I needed to basically save my energy.

Those of you that are brand new to me, there are so many newbies, welcome, welcome, welcome. I am Aimee of AimeeRaupp.com. I am on a mission to help women heal themselves, because women who heal themselves heal their children’s children, and that’s really important to me. I am known in many areas as a woman who helps women get pregnant, “Fertility detective.” I’ve written a handful of bestselling books on the topic. You can learn everything about me and how to work with me and my team and all the things at AimeeRaupp.com.

But I also get to do this every week, except for when I’m recovering from a major virus that seems to only happen to me once every decade or so. I usually get to come to you live every single week. This week, because of what I went through when I was so sick a couple weeks ago, because of what I see my clients go through on such a regular basis, I wanted to dedicate this week to talking about how to advocate for yourself when you’re dealing with health challenges, who to trust.

There are so many people to follow on Instagram that talk and spew information, right? Who do we go to to trust? How do we know who is the right person to trust? How to build our team, right? We need a team. When we are dealing with a health challenge, we need a team. Claudia says, “This is the first time I get to see you live, yay!” Yay. Well, welcome everyone. I love going live, it’s really a lot of fun, so, welcome. Be here. I’m so excited for all of you guys to be here.

What happened to me a couple weeks ago is a bit of a function of the times that we are in and everybody’s major concern over the things that are going on. I’m going to not use certain words for certain reasons, but, I got really sick. I had a very high fever for quite a few days. Turned into what looked like bronchitis or pneumonia and I couldn’t get care. My doctors did not want to treat me or even see me, even though I did not have a positive test for you know what.

But they were all scared, and the feedback I got was, “Well, the testing is so unreliable, we don’t really know. You seem like you do have it. We don’t want you in our office. The only place you can go is the hospital.” I felt that was really, if you will, shitty care. Reckless, and it was very infuriating for me because I did not feel supported by the medical doctors that I have chosen to work with. What I did, and this is something that I advocate for you guys, and now, everybody is in the same position that I am.

I’m in the medical field. I have a lot of doctor friends. I have a lot of people who look out for me, a lot of people who have a lot of clinical experience, so I was fortunate enough to have a team of people that I could rely on and reach out to and ask for support and information, and I got the care I needed that way. I basically had to piece it together, and the doctors at urgent care and the general practitioner, who is, I think, a phenomenal doctor that we have for our family, just fell short in care, and because I felt like they thought it was out of their scope and they themselves didn’t want to get anybody in their office ill.

I understand that from that perspective, but there was just some things that I had asked for that I just couldn’t get, basically. I see that happen a lot with my fertility clients. For instance, I just had a woman who she’s in her 40s, she’s trying to conceive her third child. She did not have any problems conceiving her first and second child. She now can’t seem to get pregnant, and it kind of doesn’t make much sense, because she was seemingly so fertile. Did I just put mascara all over my face? I guess so … seemingly so fertile.

Anyway, what I do … I’m a diagnostician. Of course, I come in, I help with diet, I help with lifestyle and ask all sorts of questions. I said to her, “Has anyone done a hysteroscopy on you?” “No, what is that?” And I was like, “It’s a surgical procedure, but, they go in and they look at the uterus. I would like a hysteroscopy and I would like an endometrial biopsy, because those are two things that could be preventing implantation.” You could have scar tissue in your uterus, you could have an infection in your uterine lining.

For a lot of doctors I work with, these are standard procedures that they will do when a woman is not getting pregnant who has previously gotten pregnant or has had a miscarriage and maybe a D&C, or had a C-section that can cause scarring. Anyway, I tell her. She’s in California. She’s in a very nice city in California with educated, lovely physicians. You know what the doctor said to her? “Those tests are pointless for you. You have three reasons that you are dealing with fertility challenges, age, age, and age. Don’t waste your money on these tests, they will do nothing for you.” Basically, he just was like, “You’re broken. You’re too old. You’ve missed the boat. But I’ll continue to take your money. I would rather you spend your money on IUIs and IVF with me-” this is what he says, “-instead of doing these tests.”

But he was argumentative and actually mean. It was actually an email. I saw the email, he was a complete DB if you want to know how I really felt about him. I shared the email with other doctors who may know him, because I was like, “Do not refer to this man ever again, he’s a mean, mean person.” Sometimes I do stuff like that and it makes me feel good. She was devastated, as you could imagine. I encouraged her to find other support. Okay, how else can we do this? How else can we go and get the support that we need without a doctor being totally mean to us or dismissive of our feelings and thoughts?

That’s what happened with me. I said, “I would like to get a chest X-ray,” and my doctor said to me, “There is really no point. If you can’t breathe, you probably have what everybody is scared of getting and you need to go to the hospital. That’s all you can do for this.” And I was like, “But that’s not true. I could have pneumonia, I could have bronchitis.” It doesn’t have to be what you’re scared it is. You could just order a chest X-ray for me. Wouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it. I worked around it, and that’s what I encourage all of you. Advocate for yourself.

If someone on your team is dismissive, is rude, is obnoxious, is mean about tests that you are asking for or rocks that you want to look under, you need to remove them from your team. You need to find more support, someone who is in line with what you are looking for. Sometimes that requires work, I’m not going to lie. Sometimes it requires paying out of pocket for a certain doctor. We don’t all have those resources, and I get that, but another place that you can go to is online forums. I have a very special one, it’s a private community, though, and you will have to be a member of my e-course.

But there are, like NancysNook. That’s more endometriosis, but, there are some really, really good quality online resources that you can go to and speak with other women who have had similar situations. What did they do to get better? That’s basically what I did. I pieced together a plan from different people, doctors included, friends included. “What did you do? Okay, and how can I get that support?” That’s how I did it. That does feel like a lot of work. It should be simpler than that. It should just be that our doctors support us and they want to come in, and they want to help us figure this out and dig deep with us, and look under every rock and do all the tests.

But oftentimes it’s not the case, and some of my dearest friends who are amazing doctors have said to me, “Oftentimes when we look for problems we find them, and sometimes it’s not the problem, and now we’ve just found a new problem.” And I said to this doctor, who I really respect and admire, I said, “But I don’t think that’s your decision to make for the patient. If the patient wants this test, you should support them in doing it because you know you could find something.” He agreed. He said, “I get protective. I don’t want them to spend too much money on certain things.”

This other doctor that said, “Your problems are age, age and age,” to my patient may have been coming from that space, too. “I want to protect your money.” But it’s also not his decision to make, it’s your decision. You are the patient. It’s your body, it’s your time, it’s your money. You find the people to support you. You find the right team. You come together. I do think one of the best places and resources is talking to other women who have gone through what you have gone through. Any of those online forums that aren’t deeply negative and everybody is so dramatic on, but where it’s supportive and collaborative, you could actually get really good information from other women who have gone through similar situations and what they did to help themselves.

I do think you have to think about building your team, and sometimes you have to think outside the box of who could be the best person. I think when you’re looking at online resources, like people like me … There’s other practitioners out there, too, that I think are absolutely phenomenal. I think you want to look at a couple things, one being, are they clinicians? Are they actually seeing patients in real life somewhere in a clinic? Do they have a medical degree or background? Those are two really important pieces, and I would prefer them to have both.

There is a lot of awesome women out there who have gone through fertility journeys and are supporting women and sharing the mental emotional health. I am so supportive of that, but medical advice should come from medical practitioners and clinicians, people who see people in a clinic every week, every day. People who have been working with patients. Because it’s one thing to say, “DHEA seems to help with egg quality in these small studies that we’ve had.” It’s another thing to say, “What did you see, clinically, in your clinic, when you used DHEA on 20 women?” I saw it work for about three, maybe five. The dose is typically too high that’s recommended out there in some of the books, in some of the doctors, the dose is way too high.

What I have seen clinically work is a much lower dose, but after I test the DHEA. I am a clinician with a medical background, so I want you guys to keep that in mind, of, “Who can I trust?” It’s not to put down other people, because everybody is doing their part, we hope, in educating and coming at you with integrity, and speaking their truth as best that they know it. But are you actively seeing patients? Do you have a medical degree? Do you have training? Are you doing continuing education? What are you doing to stay up with your medical side of things? Are you in the research? Are you seeing the research?

I think it’s really important to think about that from the scope of who you’re taking advice from, versus, “I read on one of the forums that I should take Vitex if I have low progesterone,” or, “so and so’s book says Vitex is good for any woman with low progesterone.” I’ll tell you right now, as a clinician, that is not true, and it can backfire on you. Vitex is not good for every single woman. Evening primrose oil, not good for every single woman. Borage oil, not good for every single woman. DHEA, not good for every single woman.

You should work with someone who is … And maybe all you have the bandwidth for is following people on Instagram, reading their books. Maybe you don’t have the bandwidth or the resources to go and pay for a private one-on-one consultation. I’m not saying that you need to. I don’t want to put that pressure on you. I just say that you should then pick and choose who you take advice from. Also, take it with a grain of salt. In books, even in my own books, I have to generally speak about supplements and diet because I’m speaking to thousands of people at once. You have to take that in with a grain of salt.

The general recommendation doesn’t work for every single person. It’s best to work with a clinician, have a one-on-one partnership. Get exact, individualized advice for yourself. But if you can’t, then what you do is, if you’re more of a self-starter type, it’s trial and error. You have to piece things together. You have to ask questions. You have to advocate for yourself. You should talk to other women who have been in your shoes and ask them what worked for them, and that’s how you build your team. That’s how you get the support that you need, and I do think that’s how you get to where you get to.

I had a conversation with a new mom friend appear the other day, and, small world, it just so happens that … and we didn’t realize this until I did a story of hope live with her coworker, who is one of her closest friends … realize that, “Oh, my God. That’s the same woman that lives up the street, and her son and my son are friends. She knows what I do for a living.” I did a story of hope with her, I was actually really sick that day. Caitlyn is her name. She’d had multiple miscarriages. She came to me. I got her to the right doctors, she got the right care.

She didn’t need IVF, even though she had done IVFs and they didn’t work. She didn’t need IVFs. She got pregnant naturally and she carried that baby to term because it was the right care. But I was talking to this friend about … we were just talking casually about what we do for work, and I just … I got really heated thinking about her friend that I treated, Caitlyn. I was saying, “I look at a case like hers and it’s like, I cut out heartache in her life fairly quickly.”

I mean, she had gone through a couple of losses before she got to me. When she got to me, it was like getting her to the right care. What I see my main job as is not just as a clinician and as a medical provider who can give you solid medical advice, but I am an advocate for you and I teach you how to advocate for yourself. It is a tremendous part of my job. But when she came to me and she told me her history and she said, “The doctors say I need to continue to do IVF or to use donor eggs,” and I looked at her and I was like, “You’re going to miscarry a donor egg. This isn’t about egg quality, this is about something is going on with your immune system and you’re miscarrying for that reason. These are the doctors you need to work with, not those doctors. You probably don’t even need IVF.”

I literally saved her another IVF, which is, as you guys know, tens of thousands of dollars. Got her to the right doctor for immunology testing, which is still a couple grand, but a couple thousand dollars versus $14,000. She got pregnant the second month she tried doing his protocol, working with me, following the diet, all the things, carried that baby to term. Had she stayed with the fertility clinic, had she maybe gotten advice from someone who wasn’t a clinician practicing for almost 20 years, she could have just continued down that path and continued to have loss after loss and financial hardship after financial hardship.

To understand, working with someone who has years, decades of clinical experience, not just research, not just writing books, but actual real life clinical experience seeing patients, knowing the ins and outs of the field that they practice in can save you so much time and energy because it gets you right to the heart of the matter. That’s what I feel like I do. Girls come to me and I’m like, “Boom, boom, boom. This is what’s going on and this is what you need.” My team does that, my coaches. We’ve all been working together for over 10 years. We’ve got it on lockdown.

And then we can also help with all the mental, emotional, and all the other things. But finding people like that is key. It might sound like I’m tooting my own horn, and I’m not, necessarily, but I am also here to say, be weary. Be very … maybe not weary. Be very aware of who you take your information from and where you get it. Don’t just pop every single pill or every single herb, or just take progesterone cream because someone told you your progesterone is low, or just take Vitex because someone told you your progesterone is low.

Dig deeper. There is always the root. We’re often just treating the branch, and a lot of this is like, “just take the CoQ10,” or, “just take the melatonin,” or, “just take the myo-inositol.” I totally support those supplements, I think they’re very useful when it comes to fertility. But understanding the why, and also understanding how to individualize your protocol for you, knowing that it really comes back to the basics. “I live in Canada, can I apply for a consultation with you?”

My team is on this thread, they’re going to respond to you, “Life With Hashimoto’s.” I just want to go through some questions. “Oh, my God, I was told the same. I’m 46.” “Same here, told the same thing at 40, “You’re too old.” I didn’t know what to do. I wish I knew all this info back then.” We work with women all over the world, we do. My whole team and I work with women all over the world. We were currently on a wait list for all coaching, but we’re going to be opening that back up.

Also know, if you work with any of my coaches, I see every single case. I meet with my coaches every week, Max every other week, depending on life and what’s going on, and we go over every single case. But, also, my coaches have been working with me for over a decade, each of them. To say that they think the same way is the truth, and we are in it together with you guys. “I refer to it as building your own board of directors.” I love that, Sonia. I think that’s brilliant, I really do, and I want to use that. It really is.

It’s like, “Who are my trusted advisors? Who are my people that have my back that are going to go into battle with me, if you will?” I don’t want this to seem like it’s a battle, but, that are going to have my back? I didn’t feel totally supported by my actual medical doctor when I felt like dying a couple weeks ago, but, thankfully, I have a team of other people that are resources to me, that are supportive, that love me, that want the best for me. That can tell from a Zoom call that I was going into either pneumonia or bronchitis and I needed antibiotics immediately, and I listened to them.

They’re my trusted board of advisors, and everybody needs that on their team. You need an advocate. You need someone to help you fish through all the crap, because there is a lot of crap out there, and there is a lot of people spewing a lot of crap. Aww, I miss you, too, my love. “My Ari is exactly that way, good or bad?” I don’t know. “When do you open spots for consultations?” Okay, people are asking. Yeah, you can email us. Let’s see. So true.

Just seeing if anybody else has any comments here. Okay. Oh, my gosh, you guys. Okay, well, you can email my team if you want to do consults with me or my team. Info@AimeeRaupp.com is where you can do that. Anyway, I think the biggest thing is I just want you to think about, “Who am I taking advice from? Who has my back in this? Who has medical expertise in the field that is, also, in my recommendation, a clinician, someone who is actively seeing patients?” Because that is where it’s just crazy.

People are not textbooks. We all learn from textbooks, right? I was in medical school. I was in Chinese medical school. I’ve studied functional medicine. We learn textbooks. “This should be this, this should be that.” But then, when you see real live people, they are not always textbook. They can be different. A trained clinician can see that and know how to apply the right principles to then help the patient. I love the kind of clinician I am as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, because I’m really taught to look at the whole body. The mind, physical, mental, emotional, nutritional. All of it, together, instead of … I think Western medicine can really compartmentalize things.

I love the medicine I practice and am trained in, because I feel like it’s given me the best of all the things, and I can help piece it together for my patients. Again, my coaches are all also traditional Chinese medicine trained. We all approach it with that perspective, and I think it’s super helpful for our patients. Okay, I’m going to go. Aww, “You’re such a support to so many women, thank you for giving me hope.” You’re welcome. Thank you for acknowledging that. It makes my heart feel really loved and supported, so, thank you for that, because that really is my main mission is, as you said, giving women hope in themselves again.

A big thing I’ve been talking about lately is coming back home, home to your heart, to your inner wisdom, to trusting that guidance system. And that’s it, too. If someone you’re working with feels like a “hell no,” don’t keep working with them. Don’t force yourself. Listen to that inner wisdom, okay? Remember, you have a choice here. It might not feel that way. You might feel really up against a wall because these challenges can suck, right? But you still have a choice and it’s your body, it’s your time, it’s your money, it’s your life, so choose wisely and ask for help, guys.

Ask for help. Talk about what’s going on with you. You would be so surprised at how many people in your life already probably know someone they can connect you to, or recommend something, or that kind of thing. The more you share, I think, the more support you get. Okay. Have a wonderful, beautiful day. I will see you guys next week. Goodbye.

END TRANSCRIPT.

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