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Story of Hope: Finally naturally pregnant at 41 after a DOR diagnosis & 2 failed IVFs

Are you ready for a new Story of Hope?!

In this video, go through a case and share their struggles and what we did together to overcome them and rejuvenate their fertility.

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SEE TRANSCRIPT BELOW OR CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE FULL VIDEO.

Hello. How is everyone? Hi. I apologize. Facebook’s still coming in. I apologize for my delay. Facebook was not letting me come live and I couldn’t figure it out. Anyway, here I am. How are you? So I’m not as prepared as I normally am for this Story of Hope, but I got lots of notes in front of me, so I think I can do it, right? Let’s see. One out of five, two out of five. So this is, I know you guys like all the details. I’m going to read to you from her new patient paperwork when she first came to see me. She was 39 when I met her. She signed up to coach one-on-one with me, lived in Houston, Texas. So 39, had been seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. Her main reason for seeking treatment was to become more healthy, improve her fertility, and conceive her third child.

She had two children, right? She also was dealing with migraines, depression, anxiety, diminished ovarian reserve. She was on Chinese herbs. She was seeing an acupuncturist near her in Texas. She was taking some medications for the depression and anxiety and for the migraines. She was also taking spirulina, cod liver oil, probiotic, liver. But she had just started all of those the month she started working with me. So this is January 2020. She was having recurrent miscarriages. She was prescribed Lovenox and baby aspirin. She was let’s see, pretty healthy, exercised four to five times a week, slept six to eight hours a night. She has a really stressful job, and she did drink 10 ounces of coffee a day. She didn’t drink much alcohol, a couple times a month. She was trying to cut out bad sugars on her kinks as you guys would call them. Our red flag or our kinks in our system list that we have in the Egg Quality Diet or in Body Belief, she had headaches. Like three checks. So the three checks is a lot. She had headaches, migraines, dry eyes, sinus congestion, dry skin, dry scalp, night sweats. Three checks, lots of night sweats. Leg cramps, palpitations, allergies, cold hands and feet, chest pain, tightness, depression. And she had really bad menstrual cramps, excessive menstrual bleeding. She had had a total of six pregnancies and only two children. She had two ectopic pregnancies and then two miscarriages.

She was dealing with night sweats, low AMH, and headaches. So she thought maybe she was in perimenopause and really stressed about that as I know many of you can relate. I get that question a lot. “Do you think I’m in early menopause?” Let me just get out of this box.

So let’s see, everything’s fine on Facebook, right? I don’t see anybody joining, but I see people watching. Team Aimee, can you make a comment to let me know that you see me just fine on Instagram? Let’s see. Facebook, you guys are there. I’m just going to wait a second on Instagram. Can someone comment that you guys see me and are tuning into this because … okay, I see a heart. Okay, good. Thank you. It’s saying right here, “We’re telling your followers that you started a live video,” but usually I see all the people that have joined and stuff. So okay. That’s good guys.

So those of you that are new to me and don’t know what the hell I’m doing, I didn’t even introduce myself cause I was running late and I was just speeding. I’m Aimee Raupp with aimeeraupp.com. I’ve been helping women get and stay pregnant for a long time. I’ve written a few books. And every once a month, we do what’s called our Story of Hope live. So I highlight someone from my practice or one of my associates’ practices, and we discuss their case so that everybody can learn from it and get some hope, or words of encouragement, or things to think about for themselves.

So again, our first appointment was early January of 2020. Her last menstrual cycle was just five days prior to. She was on cycle day 18, 19, sorry when we met. So she had two ectopic years ago, low dose oral contraceptives in college, methotrexate for the first [inaudible 00:05:16] she lost the tube in the second ectopic. So mind you, she’s down one tube now. She has two children. She conceived the first one pretty quickly, after the second month of trying. And then that one was seven. So she conceived that child at 31 very quickly. And then the second child who was four. So she conceived that one at 35 or 36, but she had two miscarriages before conceiving that child and keeping that child. And she was planning to do IVF when she conceived and stayed pregnant. So I don’t know her back then. But then we’re in the time now. She’s discovered that she has factor five, which is a clotting factor disorder. And she has MTHFR. So once she discovered that, she used Lovenox, and she was able to get and stay pregnant with that second one and carry them to term. So now she knows all that and she’s trying for a third.

So last year when they decided she wanted a third, she went straight to IVF. Because she’s now 38 and the doctors were like, “It took you a long time to conceive your second. You should just go right to IVF.” Okay. She goes straight to IVF. She has no response on the first IVF. The second one, she gets three embryos. None survived. So none made it past day three. So no transfers. So the RE is telling her to do IVF again, but she decided she wants to try to conceive naturally. So mind you, she didn’t start trying to conceive naturally again. So right away, I say, “You got to start taking a baby aspirin after ovulation and then start the Lovenox the second you get a positive.” So she agreed.

So like I said, she’s on spirulina, cod liver oil, probiotic. She wasn’t on enough cod liver oil. I increased her dose so she would get her 3,000 milligrams a day. Her period, it comes cycle day 25 or 26 all the way up to 32, 33. Kind of alternates. And it lasts five to six days. It’s super heavy the first three days. It goes from a lot of bleeding to no bleeding. First three days, she changes is super every three hours. So I’m immediately concerned about the amount of blood she’s losing. I’m immediately concerned about her iron levels, her ferritin levels. And in Chinese medicine, her blood deficiency. Because blood plays a major role in creating healthy eggs, and healthy uterine lining, and just the ability to get and to stay pregnant.

So moderate cramps, super red, doesn’t feel that wiped out during the period. But she’s super irritable. She has a history of ruptured ovarian cyst. The docs wanted to do a hysteroscopy, but hasn’t done it yet. I said I would consider that for her considering her losses and childbirths. She just started back with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Feels like she’s about to ovulate. So that was cycled to 18, 19. So that means she’s going to have one of her longer cycles. Like I said, she has pretty bad migraines, one to two a month. And depression, anxiety started in the year before. Her job’s super stressful. She’s super disappointed as you guys can all relate. That fertility treatments didn’t work. She’s overwhelmed, she’s depressed. And she has allergies, itchy eyes, hair is very dry. Night sweats every night is alarming her. Started two years ago with dietary changes. Usually sweats at night if she loses weight. Sweats profusely in the chest, and her weight is 130 to 135. She exercises daily. If she skips, it’s rare. She does spinning, Pilates, hot yoga. And her AMH went from a 1.5, to a 0.8, to a 0.7. Her sex drive is good. She’s seen less cervical mucus than she’d like. She gets restless leg syndrome. Her diet. Right, so I want to go into this.

So last year, when all of the anxiety kicked in and the period started acting wonky, the night sweats kicked in, this is what she was doing with her diet. Last year, she went low carb and keto. Not great on it, but took pieces from it very habitual. So she does 10 ounces of organic coffee in the morning with collagen peptides, ghee, MCT. Then she eats salad with chicken or beef. She snacks on nuts, then she’ll just have cauliflower or broccoli with protein, paleo-free granola. Her bowel movements are not great. They’re loose all the time, not urgent. And she’s in my eCourse. She said it was a very efficient eCourse. She loves it. You guys, the enrollment will open again in late September for the eCourse. So keep your eyes and ears open to that. But she had joined my eCourse I guess in September 2020. Oh no, 2019. And then started working with me. So let’s just see.

I want to just see my follow-up email to her. Okay. So let me just see my follow-up email to her, and I’ll get you a great chat yesterday. Here’s my herbal formula. Okay. Okay, her vitamin D was super low. I sent her for vitamin D testing. It was at 28.4. So I agreed, put her on 6,000 IUs a day. I gave her some work on the forgiveness prayer. And then she … okay, let’s see. Here’s her herbs. Okay. I liked her herbs. I increased those. Her herbalist was not happy when I asked her to shift her herbs. So then I put her on Chinese herbs myself. So the biggest things we shifted right away was eating more regularly. She was eating well, I thought. But she was going too long between meals, and she wasn’t eating anything for breakfast. She was just having that coffee with the collagen peptides, and the ghee, and the hemp seats. And then she would have a salad around 1:00. So I made her add in breakfast.

And we got thrown off though. Because right away February 28th, “I got a positive pregnancy test today. I think I’m around 10 days DPO. I was going to wait and tell you next week when we chat, but I just wanted to ask you if I should stay on the same supplement regimen. Going in for blood work this morning.” I said, “Holy shit, amazing. Stay on the supplements, stop the herbs, and start your blood thinners.” “Okay. Starting the Lovenox this morning.”

And then she purchased the pregnancy and new momma guide. Okay. And then we talk. She’s cycle day 32/33. This is late January. She got a blazing positive on cycle day 24. Painful leading up, so a lot of cervical mucus. I had her add in sweet potato. She wasn’t doing enough carbohydrates. So she was very resistant to adding in the carbs because she liked her weight and she didn’t want to gain weight. So I asked her to start eating a more plentiful breakfast with protein and vegetables. And I wanted more carbs in her diet, because I didn’t like the low carb keto diet for her. So I said, “Please add in a sweet potato one day.” But mind you, she gets pregnant. So we’re kind of like I get thrown for a little loop here. She adds in the sweet potato, and her bowel movements go back to normal.

So her loose bowel movements that she was having every day, she adds in just a little bit of carbohydrates and then also changes breakfast up, and bowel movements go back to normal. Okay. Doctor wants to add progesterone in addition to the Lovenox and the vitamin D. She’s worried about that. She’s worried about adding the progesterone. She’s worried about the pregnancy. So she’s added back in the carbs. Listen to this. She added back in more carbs. So mind you, she was keto. She was about 5 to 10% carbs. I had her go up to about 20 to 25% carbs. Look at this. Night sweats go away. Bowel movements shifted. She did gain one and a half pounds. She was not super thrilled with me on that, but … Sorry, let me just see this. Okay.

So what happens in the next two weeks is she miscarries again, which is devastating. So we get on a call when she has the miscarriage. I’m recommending castor oil packs and get back on the acupuncture and the herbs. Now I feel like okay, we got to double down. So I have her double the cod liver oil. I have her doing bone broth daily. I add in the liver support soup, which is in the Egg Quality Diet. Emotionally, she was feeling good and positive. She was doing some emotional, spiritual work. Depression, anxiety. We talked about generational trauma. I shared with her the forgiveness prayer, like I already mentioned. Her headaches were going away. And this ovulation, the cycle after she miscarried, she’s feeling super crampy.

Diet. So this is what we did diet-wise. I want to go through this with you guys, so you can really see the difference. Because in the beginning, remember she was just having that coffee drink, the collagen, peptides, and ghee? So then she added five ounces of bone broth to her coffee drink, which I thought was really interesting. And she decreased the coffee from 10 ounces to five ounces. She loved the way it tasted. She added the collagen peptides. And then she added in coconut yogurt with gelatin. Then in the lunch, she added that sweet potato with the protein and more fat avocado. Then she was doing her nuts, her celery, her hummus. She was doing protein and veg for dinner. And she had a little bit of almond milk before bed. Going to bed earlier, less TV, sleeping better, counting down the minutes to check out, less exhausted, mentally at ease. We cut back hot yoga to once a week only in pre-ovulation. She can jog/walk outside for her exercise, do bar and spin. So we cut back on that. She said she’s still needing some lubrication having sex. So a lot of pressure on all the things.

I think she felt optimistic that she had gotten pregnant again, but devastated about the loss. But since the IVF, she got no embryos with the IVF. So in her head she was out of the game. So then to get pregnant again so quickly when deciding not to do IVF again at the age of 39, even though it was another miscarriage, she felt motivated by it in an interesting way.

I had her add in black sesame seeds. Because in Chinese medicine, we use that a lot to really deeply nourish the yin when I see the night sweats and the dryness. So she’s having this vaginal dryness. The night sweats are getting better since we’ve increased the carbs, and increased her food, and decreased her coffee. And then we talked about adding in some rice as well. So she needed a little more carbohydrate in my opinion. Okay.

With that miscarriage by the way, we did not get any tissue samples. She wants to know, “Can I try and conceive again right away?” I said, “Yes, feels fine.” She said, “Not anywhere near previous devastations.” And now her husband is very on board with trying to conceive again, which was great. So let me just see. She got a migraine. Anyway, so we’re going on. Okay.

After the miscarriage, she ovulated 20 days later. So anyway, so she’s working on things. Now we’re on a regular regimen. She’s doing her castor oil packs. Her headaches are getting much better. Her allergies are getting less. We’re doing the neti pot, saline. I added an NAC. So March.

Now we’re in April. Sleep is good, skin is good. Digestion, so much better. She’s eating her breakfast. Her stroller walkouts happening daily. She is still ovulating around cycle day 19 or 20. She’s starting to do some Spirit Baby work with Kelly Meehan. And let’s see. Kelly, I thought this was interesting. Kelly also saw heat in her body, which is what I kept seeing. There was a lot of heat that was drying things out. So from a Chinese medicine perspective, that was depleting the yin, which would compromise the quality and the ability to get and stay pregnant. But she said to me, “I feel very certain that the baby will come through.” And then she asked me, “What else do I have to do? Is there anything else that I have to do?” Which I know all of you guys feel that way.

So we really worked through that because … and I say this all the time of it’s frequency and consistency at this point. Right? So now it’s sticking to the plan. Which is really hard to say for many people. So she was encouraged by getting pregnant again.

But then now, we’re about two months after. And she only tried one of those months. Yeah, her TSH also was interesting. It jumped when she got pregnant. And no one was saying on top of that too. She said, “I wasn’t miscarrying yet.” And she got her blood results from the labs, and her TSH was a 4.39. So now we have another thing to deal with. So her TSH came back down to a 2.48 about two weeks later. “Still a tad high. Let’s test again in a few weeks,” is what I said. Have her on herbs. What else can I do? And I’m just really having her stay with the diet, which I know for a lot of you guys is where you start to get antsy of, “What else can I do? I want to get pregnant again like yesterday.” I’m just looking. I see there’s some smoothie recipes. She joined the Yes program to really work on the mindset, which is now called the Ignite program. She sent me an email at the end of it. “I loved every minute of this program. Thank you so much.”

So May, we do another coaching session. Horrible migraine, went to the neurologist. Getting really hungry in the afternoon. Weighed herself. She’s up five pounds. Six pounds since January. She stopped hot yoga, and she added in the carb. She’s okay with these. I talked about monitoring the macros. She didn’t try that month. It’s been super stressful. And she did some more of the spirit baby work. And we just talked about doing all the things. And she wanted to add in more supplements. And I said okay. So we’re on liver, spirulina, cod liver oil, probiotics, CoQ10, NAC. She’s doing a liver support soup, and doing the castor oil packs. She started to see some spotting, so I shifted the herbs.

And then I talked to her again in late May. And she’s like, “I feel better. The night sweats are better.” So she’s kind of like, “All right, I think I need to just take a break.” And we had this long conversation about she was at the crossroads of what should I do versus what must I do. And I thought that was a really interesting time. We just kind of sat and worked through, and this is something I bring up to you guys as well all the time is what are the things we’re doing to get pregnant versus what are the things we’re doing to maintain our health? So for her, her weight was a big piece. She felt good though. She had gained some weight, and now she’s seeing her cycles are better. Her cervical mucus is better. No more night sweats. She has better vaginal lubrication during sex. Her ovulations look stronger. She’s seen healthy cervical mucus. So kind of coming to terms with this is where my body needs to be for me to have the fertility I want to have. Right?

And now she’s fearful of another miscarriage. She’s pretty certain she doesn’t want to go back to fertility treatments. So we take a break from our coaching. She’s still active in the course. And September, I check in on her. “How are you doing?” She says, “I’ve been thinking about you. I’m doing okay. No concrete plans for baby number three. My husband’s work pressure has been lifting. We had a great talk about it the other night, but I still feel the need to give him more space.” So basically, she’s stopped trying for a while because she felt like it was taking over their lives. And she just needed to shift her focus back to her.

And now she’s 40. And they were thinking about moving. She’s been keeping up in the group. “I’m trying to live the Aimee Raupp life as best I can.” And she said, “And when you’re ready, I hope you’ll have me back.” And then she sends me another message in early November. “I loved your hot seat today. It made me realize how much your approach has changed my outlook. When Dr. B kept labeling herself as DOR, I kept thinking that doesn’t define you. And then of course you reiterated this, and I realized I used to have a similar, maybe even more negative mindset. Thank you for influencing me in this way. Hope you are well. We’re all good here. Still not trying, but not preventing. Miss you and talk to you soon.”

So then a year later, one year later. Let me just see. November 26th, 2021. “Hope you’re well. Happy Thanksgiving. It’s been a year, but I’ve continued to keep up with all of your recommendations and keep up with you in the group. I think about you often. I’m so thankful our paths cross and had a chance to coach with you. You really helped me put my miscarriage into perspective, and I ultimately realized I was hyper-focused on the physical part and not totally invested in the emotional component. I ultimately,” sorry this email. “Had to learn to completely,” she underlines it, “Let go. And I genuinely made peace with having two kids versus three. We stopped trying completely. And now, I’m almost 12 weeks pregnant. Total surprise. Just found out our baby is healthy, and another little girl. I’m so grateful for going through your program, as I know it brought me to the place I’m at now. I love you and the work you do for every woman everywhere.” And I said, “Oh my God. This is amazing. I love it. I’m so grateful for our time together, and so damn psyched for you.”

So mind you, she’s now two years older than when she first started working with me, and got the diagnosis back then at 39 of diminished ovarian reserve, had two failed IVF cycles where she didn’t create any embryos, then had a miscarriage, and then went through this whole reformat of diet, supplements, mindset, what’s important in life. She had this total shift, took the pressure off of her and her husband of trying.

And then Tuesday, April 19th, “I hope you’re well checking in to say hi, as I’m in the home stretch and can’t wait to meet this baby.” And then she asked me some questions about food and pregnancy. And then she said, “Despite feeling like a Sasquatch and everything being uncomfortable, I’m doing well and just feeling so grateful for this baby girl to join the family. Here are some pictures from this week’s ultrasound.”

And then on Friday, June 10th, “Baby girl has arrived.” She was born on my dad’s birthday, which I also think was interesting. “I know our little surprise baby has always been meant to be, and I can’t thank you enough for being such a formative part of that journey. Love you and what you do.” Yeah. And there we have it. So that was this past June. And yeah.

I think it’s a great story in the sense of … I mean, I think they’re all great stories. But the letting go and the surrender piece and digging deep emotionally. She was really ready and committed to all the nutritional and the supplement pieces. Resistant a little bit on adding back the carbs and cutting back on her exercise. But then also realizing the hyper-focus on the trying to conceive. And I know a lot of people will be like, “Yeah, but she had other children. And I don’t have any children.” And I agree with that. It’s harder to shift your focus away. But I can also tell you the desire is just as strong for those who are trying for a second or a third versus … it’s all relative to everyone. The desire is there and we want what we want. Right? But there is that emotional piece that can never be ignored of how much efforting am I doing? How much is this consuming me and my life? And can I let go and let God?

And I wanted to read you guys a card that I had pulled recently from Kelly Meehan’s deck. She is a spirit baby coach. Two of my favorite spirit baby coaches, Nancy Mae and Kelly Meehan. “Stop trying so hard and surrender to your God/goddess heart. Please trust, believe, and have faith.”

So with all that, she still did all the things, right? She still added in more carbs, she started eating breakfast, she cut back on her exercise, and she stayed that way for that solid almost year. And then gets pregnant on her own and carries that baby to term. So I think that’s a beautiful thing and a beautiful piece to remember. And with that, I’m going to go. I love all of you. Thank you so much for tuning in. And have a beautiful, beautiful day. Okay?

END TRANSCRIPT.

VISIT MY WEBSITE: Aimee Raupp is a licensed herbalist, natural fertility expert and acupuncturist in NYC, offering natural fertility treatment, care & coaching solutions to women who want to get pregnant! Aimeeraupp.com

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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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