Eastward Bound

Hello, my lovelies!

I wanted to give you all a quick update on how Plan G is coming along (because I know you’re all on the edge of your seats.  Ha.).

First, as far as diet goes, I’ve been doing very well.  I’ve never been terribly disciplined in general about things like this, and expected to struggle more with these changes; however, so far so good!

I’ve been almost completely gluten, dairy, sugar, and soy-free for 16 days, give or take.  I say almost completely, because it’s hard to eliminate foods that may be contaminated with gluten, and since there’s no proof that I have Celiac Disease, I’m not going that far.  I eat gluten-free products as often as possible, and I avoid anything with wheat ingredients, so I’m probably like 98% gluten-free.

I’ve been really good at avoiding dairy, with the exception of butter in some dishes.  I tried a little shredded cheese on my baked potato yesterday at lunch, and felt like crap afterward, so I can see that avoiding dairy is a good thing for me.

Sugar is so hard to give up.  I crave it.  I want to rip open eighty-nine Pixie Stix and pour them down my throat.  I haven’t done that, though.  I’ve found ways around the sugar cravings.  I eat fruit, staying with the recommended options for the Spleen Qi diet and away from tropical, high-sugar content fruits like bananas and mangoes.  I also eat a lot of nuts, and throw a few raisins in for that salty/sweet combo I love so much.

I’ve managed to steer clear of white sugar altogether, as well as the dreaded high fructose corn syrup.  I do put a tiny bit of honey in my tea sometimes, but the cinnamon concoction I drink most of the time has a natural bit of sweetness, so I’m not derailing all of my progress when I have it.

Soy is also surprisingly hard to eliminate.  I’ve stayed away from soy for years due to its estrogenic properties, but looking closely at food labels is an eye-opening experience.  There’s soy in pretty much everything!  Preservatives, oils, fillers… All from soy.

I don’t whip myself if I ingest a food with a soy ingredient, but I also don’t consume it regularly.  I figure that’s probably good enough.

I’ve been concentrating on “warm” foods and beverages, following the Spleen Qi dietary recommendations.  It’s not all that difficult, as I prefer warm drinks and warm foods anyway, but I’m finding it hard to drink enough water without being able to add ice.  It’s taken almost two full weeks, but I think I may have trained myself to be able to drink room temperature water in larger amounts.  Blech.

I’ve also been taking PILES OF PILLS.

Supplements, mainly, and some herbs and vitamins.

I’ll post a detailed list soon, but the basics include my regular prenatal, Maca root and royal jelly twice daily, l-arginine, CoQ10, B-12, B-6, and fish oil all daily, and vitamin D3 three times a week.  I also just started taking Vitex, although I’m concerned that I might be taking too many things… I’ll find out soon enough.

After finishing Randine Lewis’ The Infertility Cure, I started putting much of what she endorses to work.  All of the dietary and supplemental changes I’ve made have been directly because of her book, and I’ve also adopted her recommendation of femoral massage.  Femoral massage is a technique recommended to certain body types to help increase blood flow to the pelvic organs by compressing the femoral artery for a short time, and then releasing it.  I do this twice daily from CD3 to ovulation.

Another recommendation I’ve decided to try is Maya Abdominal Massage.  It’s an interesting concept, and there are many who praise its benefits, though there are not a terribly large number of practitioners throughout the US.  Oddly enough, there’s someone right here in the Toledo suburbs that is experienced in Maya Abdominal Massage, and I have an appointment set up with her in early September, during a time which should fall toward the end of Aunt Flo’s visit.  This was the recommendation made by the masseuse, and I’m inclined to believe that she knows what she’s talkin’ ’bout, Willis.

Wow, that’s a lot of changes in a few weeks!

But wait!  There’s more!!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, probably because of Dr. Lewis’ book and other books and articles I’ve read lately, that I should get a more thorough workup from an Eastern medicine practitioner.

You may remember that I tried acupuncture and Chinese herbs previously, but only lasted about a month before I stopped both altogether.  I believe it was a combination of not feeling like my acupuncturist had much experience with infertility (read: none), and feeling the pressure to move forward with medicated cycles.  It was also highly expensive, as I was having acu treatments once per week, regardless of progress.

Despite all that… maybe TCM and acupuncture deserve a second chance.

I have been doing research for a while now, and found Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine in the Detroit suburbs, a little over an hour from here.  He operates an integrative medical center with a naturopath and holistic doctor.  Even better news is that he’s open on Saturdays, so I have a consultation set up with him in just a few days!

Here’s how I know this guy is good:  First of all, he has been doing this for 20 years.  Just infertility, for 20 whole years.  Before that, he was the staff acupuncturist at the oncology center for a large local hospital system.  Secondly, I emailed the office to have them contact me to schedule an appointment, and he called me himself, less than 30 minutes later.

We talked for maybe 10 minutes, and he said that he’d read in my email about my infertility journey so far.  Color me impressed that he actually retained five years worth of info crammed into one short email!  He asked me a few questions, and then he said something that I’ve been speculating about for years:

“Most of my patients with unexplained infertility turn out to have an issue in the follicular phase.  For you, it seems like it might be too long, causing egg quality problems and causing the endometrial lining to be out of sync, possibly even causing a Luteal Phase Defect.”

Then he said this:

“I am confident that I can get your follicular phase straightened out with very specific herbs and acupuncture once per month in the follicular phase only.  I know without even meeting you, I’m that confident.  When you come in on Saturday, I’ll fine-tune a program for you, but my track record with women that have the same symptoms as you has been excellent.”

And then:

“Rest assured that this process will improve your fertility.  Have faith, and be confident.  I do, and I am, and you should too.”

Well jeez.  How can I not think that this guys knows his stuff with confidence like that??

I’m excited about these next steps.  More excited than I’ve been in a long time.  I haven’t even really wanted to say this out loud, to be honest, but I have such an overwhelming feeling of confidence in this process that I probably should share it with all of you.

I think this could work.

I think that this natural approach could tweak my body back into alignment.

I think – no, I believe – that what I’m doing will make a difference.

I even believe that these changes, treatments, and steps in the Eastern direction may be my ticket to motherhood.

You guys…

I might not need to have IVF.

There’s a chance…

This might work.

This could be it.

Stick around…

2013 might be my year after all!

13 comments on “Eastward Bound

  1. nonsequiturchica
    August 20, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I really hope this is your year and that you don’t need IVF. However, I would be a little wary of someone that is making such big promises….just my .02.


    • Tracy
      August 20, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      Oh I hear ya… I have had three REs promise me the same thing, and we all know where that’s gotten me, lol.

      I’ve just been feeling so much like I need to go back to roots with this process, and it all seemed to make so much sense when I started reading… And then to have him say the same thing I’d been thinking was nothing short of amazing.

      Regardless whether he’s the used-car salesman of acupuncturists, I still believe that I’m on the right path. If I don’t get pregnant naturally, at least I will have a healthy base for IVF, and I’m totally happy with that. 🙂


  2. Heather
    August 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I am so so glad you have found a competent practitioner! I also found someone who was a homeopath and acupuncturist and he helped me get pregnant. I am so impressed with what you are doing with your diet, I just know something’s gotta give. It will work!!


    • Tracy
      August 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      I certainly hope you’re right about that, and THANK YOU for the success story! It’s so nice to hear that others have been where I am, and that this path has worked for them…

      I hope to follow in your footsteps soon! 🙂


  3. ~kboo
    August 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I believe this will work for you, too. Mainly because you responded so positively and so quickly to the minimal acu/herbs you had before. Remember though, it can take 3 months… (Even though last time you responded that same month, big changes may take a bit longer.)


    • Tracy
      August 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      I keep telling myself that same thing! I responded well at first, and then I stopped the herbs, went back to meds, and stopped responding as well. I got impatient, and the Eastern way is all about patience.

      I’ve set the goal to keep with all of this for the rest of 2013. I’m going to follow every rule set forth, and I’m going to see it through. If I’m not pregnant naturally by the end of 2013, we will start moving forward into IVF territory.

      It’s a win-win-win – we have several months to give the natural treatments a chance, improve health and egg quality overall, and save money for IVF either way.

      Thank you for your support, friend, as always. 🙂


  4. journey2dfuture
    August 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Sounds exciting. Wishing you all the best.


  5. Erin
    August 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    How exciting! I am totally excited about the new acupuncturist. He sounds like he really knows his stuff. And great job on the diet and supplements — I know it’s not easy.


  6. A Morning Grouch
    August 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    Well good for you. Going for it. I am a little leery of some of that stuff working INDEPENDENTLY, but then again I’m quite the pessimist. So ignore me. BUT, I am curious about the combo naturalistic approach to make the body primed for any meds, if needed….okay. I’m basically just thinking about what I would do. I’m impressed with your dedication.


    • Tracy
      August 21, 2013 at 8:21 am #

      I’ve given this a lot of thought (since I pretty much have time to do nothing but THINK lately…), and I agree with you on the whole hesitancy of this voodoo working on its own thing…

      I guess my plan is to fully give myself over to the process for the rest of this year, and if I’m seeing an obvious difference in my cycles, symptoms, et cetera, but still have not conceived, then I will be open to giving meds another shot. Heh. Shot.

      No really. I was thinking that I might even be open to trying a back-to-basics low dose Clomid cycle early next year, just to see how I respond. I’m totally open to Western medicine, but I want to use this Eastern route to pave the way for it to work…. And if it happens to pave the way to natural conception in the meantime – even better. 😉


      • A Morning Grouch
        August 21, 2013 at 9:41 am #

        Yep.. Makes sense. You never know how much the chemicals in our processed foods/hormones etc… are really ‘making a difference.


  7. jaclynmd321
    August 20, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    ❤ You are an inspiration!!!! BELIEVE AND YOU SHALL SUCCEED!


    • Tracy
      August 21, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      Thank you, friend! I haven’t given up yet! 🙂


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