Welcome to Stories of Hope: True tales of life, love, and perseverance from the Yes, You Can Get Pregnant community. Because we’re on the fertility journey together.
Joan started coaching with me in August of 2017. She was 36 years old, and she and her husband had been #TTC for three years. Over that time she had three miscarriages (from natural conceptions), a myomectomy (removing 2 fibroids), a laparoscopy (removing minor endometriosis) and three unsuccessful IVF attempts (one fresh transfer and two transfers of PGS ‘normal’ embryos; none of the IVF’s resulted in pregnancy). When we did our first coaching call, I could tell that she and her husband (he attended the first coaching call with Joan) were exhausted and broken by their journey.
I did my complete health history with her during that first coaching call and discovered a lot more was going on with her health than just fertility challenges. She had a long history of IBS and digestive issues, anxiety, insomnia, and a challenging recovery after a bacterial infection a few years prior that left her feeling tired all the time. From my years of working with such complicated cases, I knew right away that we were dealing with an underlying and untreated autoimmune condition.
I urged her to hold off on additional IVF transfers (as they still had one frozen embryo which was not genetically tested) until she had her doctor do a complete clotting factor panel, MTHFR genetic mutation screening, along with some additional tests. Additionally, I had her change her diet and follow the diet I have outlined in my latest book, Body Belief so we could begin to heal her gut and manage her autoimmunity. She followed my instructions to a tee, as she was really ready for a game plan to help her heal.
On our second coaching call, one month later, she reported how good she was feeling on the diet. She had also started the Yes, You Can Get Pregnant E-course that was included in her package of fertility coaching, and was working through a lot of the emotional trauma from her fertility journey. She had also started working with her acupuncturist again and was taking a Chinese herbal formula that I worked with her acupuncturist on creating, but her sleep and her anxiety were still a problem.
She admitted she felt like she had no control in her life and her fears were causing her to feel panic attacks. We spent most of that second call working through her fears and anxieties. For her ‘homework’ assignment I had her write a new fertility story for herself and adopt the mantra, “I am doing the best I can. I am collecting more information so I can best support my body and my fertility.” Joan really took the emotional piece seriously and tried her best to be more kind, loving and supportive of herself.
We scheduled our third call two weeks later to continue to address the emotional components to her healing. In addition to sticking with the diet and supplements, herbs and acupuncture and following her homework assignments, she also was doing daily guided meditations (as part of the Yes, You Can Get Pregnant Ecourse). She was feeling so much more positive and grounded, she was sleeping better and her digestive symptoms were 100% better. Even more, her periods were improving. She used to have several days of spotting leading up to her period and that had gone away. And, she was no longer needing pain reliever because her cramps were basically gone.
Some of the test results from her doctors had come back, and we were getting more clues as to why she was having such fertility challenges, but she was feeling sad because a few of her friends had recently fallen pregnant. We discussed the idea of transferring that last frozen embryo in the coming months. She was open to the idea but wanted to let herself heal emotionally and physically for at least another month or two. I agreed.
In early October, Joan and I had our fourth coaching call. Same as the last two, we continued to work through her fertility fears and shift her body beliefs. She was feeling the best she had felt in years. On October 27th, 2017, she emailed me:
We've decided we want to try another IVF round before Christmas. My acupuncturist said she thinks my body feels ready enough to try if we wanted to and we are really wanting to have one more go before the end of the year.
I think you know this (as we've talked about it), but here they do the harvest and then only do one embryo transfer at a time. So this is the single embryo, untested that we have frozen and I guess we will see! Our fertility specialist, said the embryo doesn't look very pretty, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not a good embryo, but obviously this means there could be chromosomal abnormalities.
I will get acupuncture the evening before and also go straight after the transfer/nesting ( we have decided to call it a nesting :)) and then home to rest. As previous times I've left work, gone in and had it done and gone straight back to work. But that doesn't feel right anymore.
I'd love to hear if you have any advice to give or any insight at all. Your help and guidance on this journey has been invaluable. Thank you for your time.”
I responded with my support for their decision, especially since Joan and her husband were clearly feeling called to move forward with the procedure at this time. I offered my recommendations of sticking with the diet plan that we outlined on our coaching calls and the meditations from the ecourse, as well as continuing with the acupuncture plan. But most importantly, I encouraged them to move forward with kindness and self-compassion, no matter the outcome. And, a few weeks later, I received this email from Joan:
“WE ARE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just got the call and ran to my husbands work and you are the first person we are telling! I’m in shock and I can’t quite believe it but I can. If you know what I mean. I can’t thank you enough and so look forward to our next session of how to nurture and be the healthiest I can be for our little baby!!!!! I’m still in shock and really feel you are our guardian guru!!!! No one asked the questions you asked and asked me to test what you wanted us to test for. You are amazing and we so appreciate what you have done for us. It’s beyond words how much we thank you.
The three of us.
Joan’s words made me cry with gratitude. As of right now, Joan is 25 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby girl, and I continue to support her so that she can achieve the healthiest pregnancy possible. Though Joan and her husband live abroad, and we’ve never met in person, we have connected in such an amazing through my fertility coaching program and the Yes, You Can Get Pregnant E-course. I am incredibly proud of the work that Joan and her husband did to get them to this place. Though I guided them with my diet and lifestyle recommendations, it truly was their commitment to the protocol and their willingness to change their perceptions that allowed them to shift from a place of fear and feeling broken to a place of hope and possibilities.
If you are ready to take back the power over YOUR fertility, I can help you. Learn more about my books, my online workshops and guides and my amazing Yes, You Can Get Pregnant E-Course, which allow you to work with me from the comfort of your own home and receive support from an amazing group of women on the #TTC journey. I also offer private online fertility coaching in addition to my acupuncture & wellness services in my clinics, so if you want to work one-on-one with me to achieve all your health & fertility goals, I am here to help you.