Are you ready for a new Story of Hope?!
In this video we go through a case, share their struggles, and talk about what we did together to overcome them and rejuvenate their fertility.
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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.
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Hi, everyone, how are you guys? Hello, hello. It is time for another Story of Hope. How does that sound to you guys, huh? How does that sound? How does that sound? I think it sounds fun. We love stories of hope, don't we? So this is a case of a woman that was a client of mine for a super long time and I'm just realizing in this moment in time, I don't even know her age. How'd I miss that? I can figure it out real fast, but back story is long-term acupuncture client of mine who then turned fertility coaching client because she had moved out of the area. And so for years I treated her for stress and anxiety and menstrual cycle challenges.
Let me see if I can find this paperwork. I wonder. I don't think so, but let's just see. But I am going to say early 40s for certain and I can find out the age later. It's kind of hysterical. Oh, you know what? I have it in my herbal pharmacy just so I can tell you the age. But so long story short though, she was a client of mine for many years and was in a previous relationship where at one point she was starting to try for a child and then right before COVID… Let's just see. Of course, date of birth is not here. Is that funny? Okay. She's such an old client that that's before my thing used date of births, but it'll probably come up, maybe it's in here somewhere.
So for years I treated her. I won't go into that back, back history because I think it's just such an old history, but was a longstanding acupuncture client of mine, was with me when I wrote, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant. Pretty much always was on herbs with me, supplements, dietary recommendations. We did a lot of gut healing work in the 2018, 2019 timeframe. And then her life changed some and she left this New York City area. And even during the time when she was an acupuncture client, a lot of my clients, especially around COVID, turned to virtual clients. But she had also left the area. So now she's coaching with me and she's now in a new relationship and they are very serious about making a baby. Very serious. And so she comes to me…
So I'm going to start… Even though I have a history with her from as long back as like 2016, I'm going to start with 2020 as our starting point. Yeah, 2014, actually. She was a client of mine from 2014. Is that crazy pants? And here's her new patient form so I can actually get you her… This is so long ago. Let's just see. Anyway, I can't find it. I don't think it matters. But 2014 we started working together and I think she was… Okay, let's see. Let's see if she replied with it. No. Okay. She probably came in and handed it to me in person.
So anyway, 2020, we're in a new relationship. I'm going to say she's 40, 41 years old and decided to start to try for a baby. So we do our very first virtual coaching session for this, April 2020. Like I said, she's in a newer relationship, she's feeling really healthy, her body feels really strong. Her cycle was always a bit wonky when we worked together. There was even a point in time where I had had her on progesterone, seeing a doctor, because she would either have short cycles or super long cycles. And then when we would test progesterone, it was typically low. So I was typically concerned about lower progesterone, which as I talk about all the time really does still stem from not a super healthy follicular development. And so typically she was ovulating really early and then I think the egg wasn't fully mature and ripe and then we wouldn't have great progesterone levels.
So when I see her this time, and I hadn't spoken to her since late 2019 when she left the previous relationship, the last conversation we had and she had just had a 26-day cycle. So at this point my cycles have had its ups and downs. She was getting acupuncture pre COVID because now we're coming out of COVID I think. I can't even remember the years anymore. And her cycle at that point, the last one was 28 days but it was trending shorter, had some luteal phase spotting, dark brown. And overall, it was a super light flow and she was seeing signs and symptoms of ovulation.
At that point, she had been actively trying for a few months with her new partner and her flow with her period was two days medium, one day light. And we were talking about… Because she's eager to grow her family, she's now in her 40s, with the love of her life, and they would love to have more than one child, she's like, “Should we just go to fertility treatment? Should I just go and start freezing embryos? What do you think?” And they were living in Colorado. So we discussed going to Colorado Clinic of Reproductive Medicine in Denver because she hasn't had any testing.
And so at this point, a couple years prior, I had had her do some progesterone testing like saline sono, transvaginal ultrasound, but we hadn't had any testing since. And so we're just coming out of COVID, all the things. So she's like, “For peace of mind, should I freeze some embryos?” And I was like, “You know what? I think it's smart. We also don't know his sperm. We're very serious about making babies. Let's do it. Let's just check all the boxes.” And she's been with me long enough to know that I'm the person to come to and straight shooter Amy. Let's no bullshit, what should we do? We want to get this bomb show on the road ASAP.
I always had her on Chinese herbs over the years, but at the moment in time she was not on any herbs. We always had her on stuff to support her adrenal glands. I had done DUTCH tests on her in the past and she was always more like the adrenal compromised type, lower cortisol. And she also always had a history of GI issues, whether… I think it was like low lying, like H. pylori, some SIBO issues. So at the moment she was not on herbs, she was taking a B12, CoQ10, spirulina, liver, cod liver oil, glutathione, Gut Restore. She was on Chasteberry Plus and Progest-Avail in the luteal phase, which is something I had put her on prior and said… She was in altitude now, too. She was really noticing how that was affecting her. And so the naturopath she was seeing, had also recommended getting in some extra iodine.
She was on Maca in the follicular phase and Vitex in the luteal phase with Progest-Avail. Now this was not prescribed by me, this was another acupuncturist that put her on this. Her digestion was pretty good, slightly slower. Her weight, she had lost some weight in COVID and with stress of relationship changes and things like that. So she was on the thinner side. So our focus was to try to get her to gain some weight because that was a tendency for her with stress. And then that would usually throw off her cycle. The skinnier she got her, the more irregular her cycle got. She said, “I'm eating well but not enough.” And she as a long-term client of mine, especially gut stuff, she basically lived very similarly I would say to the, yes you can get pregnant diet. She was a very clean eater, generally gluten, dairy, soy free, ate lots of good quality protein and vegetables. And she was doing some castor oil packs. She was focusing on good quality food.
So we made some adjustments based on that conversation and I want to just see… I wasn't doing… I moved to digital shortly after this call. So then I'll have everything in here which will be easier for you guys to see. But in June of 20… Let me see. I want to just review my follow-up notes to her because I know you guys always love that. So I just made a few tweaks. I wanted her to stop the Vitex and the Maca and I wanted to see what her cycle was like on its own because at the moment that wasn't entirely working. She did have a 28-day cycle, which was longer for her and that was a good thing. So many emails from her because we've been clients for so long. Can you tell I wasn't as prepared on my calendar? I was supposed to do a book club and then realized that you guys got an email that I was doing a story of hope. So I pulled this together quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly. But it's a great case. So I just want to give you all the details.
Okay, so we had our meeting. She went over some hair products with me and let's see. I put her back on Chinese herbs. Like I said, she made an appointment with CCRM. I took out the Vitex and the Maca and then we adjusted. I wanted her to get in more methylfolate and yeah, that was the biggest changes. And so then we spoke about a week later, she had some weird spotting cycle day 19. She hadn't yet made all the changes yet, just keep in mind. And then her previous cycle was 25 days. So I pushed again to just stop the Vitex. I didn't think it was working for her. That's the thing with Vitex. If you don't see positive cycle changes right away, it's typically not going to work for you. Maca can be a very drying substance. I was already worried about that with her because of some of her other symptoms. And so pulled that as well. We increased the fish oil, made sure she was getting enough. I added in Chinese herbs, made sure she's getting enough methylfolate.
She felt like this cycle, she actually didn't see any cervical mucus. So I was concerned that she actually didn't ovulate at all this past cycle. And it was stressing her out because now she was like, there's so much uncertainty. She has the spotting, she gained some weight, she feels off. So she had an appointment coming up. I wanted her to get her thyroid checked, her vitamin D, I wanted a saline sono. She got back to acupuncture. She said a lot of emotional stuff was coming up, some grief, some anger. So much sadness I think over a sense of time. And that was time on her side to now have the family with the man of her dreams. And she was worried about her age. So at this point, like I said, I'm, I'm going to make a guess, a strong guess that she's 41 at this point in time. And so then I put her on Chinese herbs, and let's see.
Let's see. We had our one-day work up with CCRM. Thoughts are in… I thought I'd send you to the labs ahead of our call so we can discuss. And so as far as the labs, her AMH is low but she only has one ovary. That's something I left out guys, I'm sorry. During the time we worked together, she had, this is years ago, she had to have an ovary removed due to a kind of chocolate cyst. And so let's see, her vitamin D was a 55, that's fine. Her TSH was a 1.19, looked great. Her AMH was a 0.36. Not bad for one ovary at all, in my opinion. Semen analysis looked pretty good. And let me just see. Yeah, he had… Actually, his morphology was low. Sorry. So semen analysis showed morphology low but everything else looked good. And so then we go from there and I'm going to go into my… Here.
I encouraged her to start tracking her cycle with UVA. So she's doing that. She was a bit nervous about the CCRM, but overall feeling calmer, more peaceful. Her cycle, like I said, that previous cycle was wonky. We don't even think she ovulated. So she's nervous. And then the AMH comes back, her age, the doctors are putting pressure on her. But then this next cycle, she had a 27-day cycle. She wasn't sure about ovulation.
And so she's doing acupuncture, she's feeling really dry with the environment over there. And so then like I said, we get the CCRM results. So the other thing, antral follicle count was four, but she only has one ovary, remember. So that's not a bad antral follicle count. The sperm, a lot of sperm, but motility and morphology were low. So I've now put her partner on the Healthy Daddy Diet. The doctor says, “Your antral follicle count is so low, so we need to do a few retrievals, we should start right away.” And she's worried about the meds because she's a super sensitive person. So we put her partner on E3Live liquid and she's on Seeking Health prenatal at this point, MitoCORE, liver, B12, vitamin D.
Let's see. And then so she in July, good things happening. The day three bloods gave her a tentative calendar. So she's getting excited. She's starting Estrace, she's ready to do it. She does have a history of some pretty intense medical trauma I would say. And so to trust a doctor and to be in the right place and to… She's one of those that slow and steady wins the race. And so they bought a place. So she was excited about that. And then she was really worried, as you guys can all relate to that, she was worried that her eggs will be bad, that they won't get any embryos. That's her bigger concern right now.
I want her to check her MT…. Well, we knew her MTHFR status. She was homozygous from MTHFR. I wanted to see her homocystine levels to make sure they weren't too high. The plan was to do a prep cycle with just Estrace and then progesterone and then start a retrieval cycle. And then doc agreed to do minimal stimulation, which was something I really pushed for because of how sensitive she is. And so I wanted him to approach her like a mini IVF cycle and we worked the angle of like she had only one ovary. And so her partner's taking all his vitamins, he's shifting his lifestyle some. I had them cut out beer and switch to tequila. And so he was doing that and they were both doing acupuncture, which is exciting.
And she was going to do Manipur, Clomid, and that's it. And then a trigger shot. And so again, vitamins CoQ10, B vitamins, vitamin C, fish oil, liver, E3D. And they wanted her to go on full Guard. I told her she didn't need it because we were covering it with… Sorry, we had her on Methyl-Guard Plus just one a day. So there we have it, that's in July. And that cycle, we actually got only two retrieved, one sent off and it was normal. Super duper exciting. She did the low stem cycle. They were expecting two eggs, wound up getting two small ones. They're both fertilized, only one made it to blast and it was tested and it was normal. And I do think that right there speaks volumes of the years of work we had done together. The years of the gut healing that she had done. The years of emotional work she had done and the joy. She was just the happiest I'd ever seen her in my whole… At this point I'm working with her six years. She's happy, she's free.
I mean, there's stress like post COVID, moving to a whole other part of the country, new relationship. And so then she's like, “Okay, I'm going to take off.” This is now we're talking on the end of the summer. She says, “I think I'm going to do another cycle in October.” She really wants to detox from the meds, give herself another time to have the best cycle. She said the retrieval overall was fine for her. The worst part was the IV. The doctors were great with her. She's doing all her things, all her supplements. She said, “My body feels really good.” She's been exercising a little bit more, not over exercising. If you guys have any questions about fertility and exercise, please Google Aimee Raupp and exercise and you will see a whole thing on the best exercise for fertility.
They were getting married. This is really exciting. So she's excited about that. And then she had some fears coming up of course, but so we talk again about two months later and they had done another cycle. We were emailing between now and then. She got nothing. They did a different protocol on her. She had had two follicles growing, which was less than they expected, but her body ovulated through it, which… Raise your hand if you have experienced that. And so they got nothing and she herself suspected and I did too, that the first protocol was the best protocol for her. So this is always another piece of the advocacy part. I also don't really know why the doctor went and changed the protocol. I felt really frustrated over that because they got genetically normal in the first protocol.
So she was trying naturally. They decided to take some time off. She was surging around cycle day 14. She's like, “I'm just not ready for another retrieval yet.” She really wanted to just try naturally, her husband now is going through some health stuff, so they want to focus on that. She's really working on the mindset piece, doing visualization. And she was even talking to a therapist and creating a sense of safety for her. Rewiring like, “I have this one normal, but we'd love more than one child.” She also understood the odds. Not every IVF works even when you have these normals. And I went through and I did a session with her husband and put him on a more specific protocol for him because his health was really flaring up.
Then we talked again and she still wasn't sure about another retrieval cycle. This is now January 2021. They just want to take time to heal and continue to try naturally, but her last cycle was only 20 days. And so it felt like stress was actually starting to trigger her cycle irregularity again. So she's back on acupuncture. She wanted to do this kind of interesting cleanse with this naturopathic doctor out there and I was a little like maybe… So she started to try it and did not feel good during it and so stopped it. But she had mysteriously gained some weight and she was really frustrated about it and she felt like her body needs a reset and maybe there was some gut bacteria that needed to be addressed.
Then what happened was the cycle was wonky and I said, “Please get in for another transvaginal.” Turned out she had ovarian cyst, which really scared her because mind you, she had already lost an ovary due to an ovarian cyst years prior. So it spiraled her a bit. She was really anxious about the cyst and so they decided to… We treated the cyst, we did the castor oil, the Wobenzym, like my typical protocol. I did some herbs. Her acupuncturist worked on her and it actually went down pretty quickly. And we worked a lot around reframing that of like the fears and the holding on and carrying the past into the present. Of just like that was then, this is now, not every cyst has to be one that I lose my ovary over. And so a lot of reframing and just identifying the trauma for what it was.
And they moved into doing an IUI and sperm looked good. She was really happy about that. She had two follicles. I told her to use progesterone after the IUI and she said, “Feels pretty good.” Other than how that second retrieval cycle went, it still was really taking a big emotional toll on her. She's feeling like she's really fatigued, generally feels depleted. She's trying not to overexert herself. So she wound up not doing that cleanse like I said, because it just didn't feel right for her.
And so we really talked about… I had her do four days of a phase two of the egg quality diet and that really seemed to be a nice reset for her where she really focused on broth. And then she said to me… We really dug down into their relationship piece and she said, “Emotionally feeling so much love and connection and appreciation in my relationship.” And she was so proud of how fast the cyst shrunk. She's doing her castor oil packs, she's doing acupuncture treatment. So she was really enjoying using the UVA, she loved seeing her surges, she loved seeing her healthy progesterone levels. Her cycles really were starting to take a positive turn. Her husband's getting healthier, so keep working on the nervous system work. And so we decide to go through with another retrieval. This is now… We're now into April 2021.
We went through her supplements from CCRM. They had told her to put in myo-inositol, CoQ10 she was already on, fish oil she was already on, vitamin E, vitamin C, pycnogenol. I talked to her about some of them and what I think she needed versus is not. We went through her food diaries, her meals and her protein. She's getting 70 or so grams of protein, definitely enough vegetables. For the next retrieval, really pushed her. We're going to go back to the original protocol, which worked for her. And then same thing. So she does another retrieval. They do the exact same protocol. They got to have one sent off for testing and it comes back normal. So now she has two normals on ice.
So this is a good takeaway for you guys of protocol, I think was the biggest difference on her. I actually don't think that second cycle was her fault or her egg quality because consistently she's been doing the same things. Maybe there was a little more stress, but I think it was the protocol. The second protocol was more aggressive than her body could handle. And this time on the low stem, she got four mature, all fertilized, all looked great. Three of them stopped growing at day three. One grew out to five and it was normal. And so she was psyched and then they were going to try again naturally. We went through supplements one more time and then she had another cyst come back, which was really annoying. We had a really deep conversation, emotional about whether or not we should just transfer or should we move to retrievals.
She's so ready for a baby. I know you guys can all relate to that. And she had some blocks of like, “I don't know if this is the right home for the baby.” Just all these visions. So we really worked through the vision of what a family would look like for her. And also that sense of it doesn't have to be perfect to bring the baby through. Relationship doesn't have to be perfect, home doesn't have to be perfect. Your cycles don't have to be perfect. And so just letting go of that perfectionist piece. And we really got down to, she would just love to be pregnant. She's just so excited to be pregnant, so excited to grow her family with this man, with the love of her life and just like, okay. And she said, we worked on meeting her body with compassion and her mantra that I left her with was, “My body is resilient, my body is ready.” Went through supplements again. She's basically on all the same things.
We talked about switching into receiving mode. I recommended Nancy Mae's book, The Energetic Fertility Method. And so then there was the cyst situation. It resolved again and she's decided that… It's now November 2021. She decides that we're going to do a transfer in January. So they're not getting pregnant naturally. I'd say they probably continued to try naturally. I'd say they probably had eight to 10 attempts naturally between the retrievals. And then there was some health stuff and there was a cyst. Some of her cycles were a little off, but we really worked on trusting the baby coming through at the right time.
Something I've been saying a lot lately, and I feel like I've always said it, but worth repeating, is our job is to be prepared to receive. To get into receiving mode, to prepare the vessel, to give it the nutrition and the support that it needs. And the rest is not up to us. I think even if we're doing IVF, it's just not up to us. It's like we have to trust that the baby has their timing and their divine timing. And so we are prepared to receive the opportunity when it comes through. So we did a lot of conversation around that. And heading to transfer, the feelings that came up for her, “I want to be in the best possible place in love and belief, but can I be?” And again, we came back to this, you don't have to be perfect. Can you be in love and belief 60 to 70% of the time? That's good enough. And so you don't have to always be in this deep state of belief or deep state of hope.
And then we talked about her life and how things, and it makes me emotional because I was with her for so long, and just how so many things finally fell into place for her. And I was like, “So why can't we just trust the timing of this?” And so I left her with, it's amazing how many things have fallen into place in my life. When I step back and look like even when I was trying to push things to work, just letting go, allowing things to fall into place was usually what worked for her. So we talked about trusting her body, her doctors, it's a big one. The process, her preparation…
A phone call had just come through. Let's make sure I didn't lose everybody. Can someone comment or host something so I know we're all still here? Yes. Okay, people are coming back on, so I think we're fine. Okay, good. We're good. So we talk again right before the transfer. She had a spirit baby reading. She's feeling really good. Gave her a lot of peace, soft spirit baby, and said she will need help to come through. So now focused more than ever on the transfer and gave her more freedom not to worry so much during the time leading up. Her and her husband just kept getting closer and sharing and healing past traumas of their lives. And really just I think preparing their home and their relationship for this child.
I had her doing abdominal gua sha, castor oil packs and she was feeling so good, so good. And so CCRM gave her the protocol. We were really excited. We're doing all the things. And let's see, I'm just going to go to email here because some of these emails are worth reading. What month? Oh my god, I've just lost my track of dates. 2022. So I have to get to 2022. Okay. So preparing for transfer. I had her back… Oh right, she was trying to get on my calendar. “I want to go over some preparation stuff. What do you recommend in terms of activity?” So she's asking about, “Should I need to do bed rest? What about yoga? Here's all my supplements.” And so I go through… We get on a call for that Friday, we go through everything. I give her my two-week wake checklist. And let's see. Wait a second. I want to find the… Okay. Sorry, I don't feel like I have… She must have just emailed me.
Anyway, we have a call on February 28th and she's eight weeks pregnant. And yeah, here we go. Triggering tonight, transfer went beautifully. Here we go. This is the stuff I want to read you. “Transfer went great. The embryo thought perfectly. Every cell survived. It was quick and smooth and it's a very happy feeling of rightness having it there inside me. I get teary when I saw it on the monitor.” And then on February 3rd, “I'm pregnant. HCG is 61. Checking again Saturday. All other levels look excellent. Thank you, thank you. Thank you for your ongoing love and support.” Then her hCG went up to 187 and she's having some cramping, she's concerned, constipation, so all sorts of things. But what's amazing is the first transfer. The two embryos it took.
And then we're going through supplements again and all the things. And we continued to do coaching calls throughout the whole pregnancy, which I do with a lot of my girls. We work on diet, we work on supplements, we work on mindset. She had a little spotting, she freaked out about that. But everything was fine. The baby looked fine. We put her on a baby aspirin, which I think was really helpful. Her ultrasound looked great at seven weeks and we talked about choline, she gets concerned about choline. But let's then fast forward to… He's here. “Baby boy arrived on Tuesday. He's healthy and fabulous. I'm in recovery mode and looking forward to catching up with you.” We run through supplements. She had the placenta encapsulated, her milk is coming in and she sent me pictures and here we are.
So I apologize, I don't exactly know her age, but AMH was 0.36. She's in her early 40s. Three retrievals. We got two genetically tested embryos. We only were able to send off two and both came back normal, which is also impressive as all hell in my opinion. And the first transfer worked and she now has her first baby and hopefully we can do another transfer with that second embryo and bring home a second. So there you go guys. I will dig a little deeper right now and get her age exactly for you, but another Story of Hope for you and another mama sitting at home with her baby right now, breastfeeding. I pray for all of that for you guys soon. Okay, have a beautiful day.
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