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“Sooo… How did this happen?”

Since dropping my little 14 week bombshell, I’ve had numerous comments and questions, both here at the blog and in real life, to the effect of:

“How did this happen?”

“What finally worked for you?”

“All this time and it was getting drunk that did the trick, huh?”

“Did you conceive naturally or have some kind of treatment?”

“I told you to just stop trying!  See??”

…And so on.  🙂

I figure I should probably let you in on the not-really-so-secret series of events that led to this amazing, if unexpected development.  Here we go…

1.  Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  And not just dabbling with it – full-on hardcore living the lifestyle that meshed best with my Chinese diagnosis, which included reading books, giving up cold drinks and food for months, spending three hours driving round trip weekly to appointments, spending money on said appointments, supplements and herbs, lying on a table with tiny needles sticking out of me at regular intervals, and learning to have the kind of patience that only five years of infertility can really teach a person.

I’m serious about the patience thing.  I gave my life, diet, medicine cabinet, and pocketbook to this process over the course of eight full months of treatment before I learned that I was pregnant.  That’s eight solid months of prepping my body to do something in a healthy way it had never been able to previously; eight months of retraining my hormonal system to operate correctly and release healthy eggs; eight months of helping blood flow where it should, increasing my intake of whole foods, and improving and repairing my body with the right kinds of supplements.

It sounds like a lot,  but spread over the course of time, it was relatively simple to integrate the changes into my everyday life.  The part that wasn’t simple was the part where I had to learn to let go completely, learn to trust a soft science verging on straight voodoo, and learn to let the positive changes come to me over time rather than as instantaneously as taking five days’ worth of Clomid.

So that was the biggest part of what worked.  The conundrum is that the researcher in me may never be satisfied with why it worked, because there are just so many unknowns about TCM.  I’m working on just accepting that things just are, rather than asking how they got there.  It’s a process,  but I’ve got a pretty good distraction to keep me occupied while I figure things out.  😉

2.  Time.  I know, I know… We all hate to hear “good things happen to those who wait!” and “it will happen if you just give it time!”… I hate it too.  Even now.  But I’m telling you that for me, the journey to this point had to happen the way it did for me to arrive at the solution.

Five years ago, you would not have been able to tell me that if I invested in some kooky Chinese voodoo that I’d likely conceive in eight months’ time.  I would have laughed you right out the door and promptly marched over to my RE’s office for pills and shots that would obviously work faster.  It’s funny, but I look back at how much younger I was then.   Not just in years, but in life experience.  I’ve learned more than I can even comprehend, about medicine – traditional and alternative, my body, and myself.

Time gave me a new outlook on life, and taught me about loss, letting go, and still having a full life.  I think coming to that conclusion was so freeing… McStabby might say that reaching this conclusion unblocked some meridians or some crap, and maybe he’s right.  Either way, getting to that point made a big difference for me, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

3.  Heredity?  My maternal grandmother passed away when I was 15, long before I was even thinking about having babies, or about my reproductive system in general.  I can’t ask her the questions I want to ask, but if I could, I would ask if she knows why at her young age, and in the generation of Baby Boomers, it took her and my grandpa five years to have their first baby – my aunt.  I’d also ask if she knows why it took another seven years after that to conceive my mom.

No one seems to know, and maybe she didn’t either.  Maybe she struggled like I did, and maybe her five year journey will mirror mine.  There’s no way to know, and that’s frustrating, but it’s a bit heartening to know that despite obvious setbacks – whatever they were – she had two beautiful girls who grew up to have families of their own.  A happy ending to a mysterious tale…

4.  Straight-up Voodoo.  Surprised by this one?  Don’t be.  Something in the universe – besides my fallopian tubes – aligned perfectly in order for this miracle to have happened the way it did, when it did.

There are several factors that I think played into the voodoo aspect of this nearly immaculate conception.  One was the fact that just a few months back, I was speaking with the RESOLVE representative about starting a support group.  One of the questions she asked was how I planned to handle the situation that would arise should a group member get pregnant, and then further, what if I, as the support group host, were to get pregnant.  I laughed at that, but she said “You know, you’d be surprised.  It happens much more than you’d think!  There’s just something about taking this step that seems to launch many women into their path for resolution, even if completely unexpectedly…”  Hmmmm.

So aside from the RESOLVE voodoo, there’s also the fact that a coworker came to me around that same time and asked me to join his soccer team, to which I also laughed.  I mean, have you met me?  I’m not exactly athletic.  Or coordinated.  Or anything even remotely close to what should appear on or near a soccer field.  I also don’t know how to sports, so there’s that.  Anyhoo, he said that all of the girls he’d had join his team typically dropped off within a month or two because they kept getting pregnant.  He felt like maybe if I joined as an “honorary member”, that this would dramatically increase my odds.  I thought it was silly, but I agreed to an honorary membership where I didn’t have to attend or participate at all, and could still say that I was part of this cursed/blessed team composed of men and very fertile women.  I’ve also had to drop off the team since joining.  Another hmmmm.

There were several other hmmm-inducing factors that may or may not have played into this blessed event, including the fact that I’ve loved Christmas and the whole holiday season my whole life, and that I’ve always dreamed of a Christmas baby.  Too many weird little bits all falling together at one time to make me think that this baby is anything but perfectly timed for me, for us, and for this weird little life we’re stumbling through.

So now that you have a little insight into what probably and maybe led to a healthy, happy pregnancy after more than five years of heartache, I’d like to share a short list of things that I know for a fact didn’t work:

1.  Going on vacation.  Yes, I had been out of town for a night just before this happened, but no, that’s not what actually did the trick here.  Don’t be silly.

2.  Getting drunk.  Again, soaking one’s membranes in cheap vodka will not increase one’s fertility.  That’s just stupid.  I did it anyway, but still… stupid.

3.  RelaxingHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Shut up.  Never.  Relaxation doesn’t make your ovaries function any more than taking a nap cures cancer.

4.  The “just stop trying…” tactic.  Come on.  Be serious here.  I may have taken a bit more of a passive approach to things over the course of the last few months, but that was largely because Chinese medicine somewhat forces you into a state of patience.  Changes don’t come overnight, and neither do solutions.  Once I embraced that fact, I was able to calm myself enough to see the positives that were coming to me over time.

That being said, I never, ever, EVER stopped trying.  Even in those last few months where the husband and I had been talking about how fulfilling a life could be without having children, I still knew when I was ovulating.  Even after I had laid down the thermometer and stopped letting temping and charting rule my mornings, I was always very aware of when I was fertile.

The month we conceived, the “encounter” was timed, at least on my part and at least mostly consciously.  I actually felt more pressure that month than I had in quite a few, as I held April’s fertile days as my last-ditch effort.  I had made the decision that it would be my last month of really trying, and that the next month the husband and I would just… be.  I don’t know if I would have been able to just stop cold turkey like that, but as it happened, it didn’t matter… surprising though it was at the time.

I didn’t stop trying.

I couldn’t.

And for all of those efforts – for all of the reasons, both logical and completely illogical above – what do I have?

My little Hail-Mary Jelly Bean, due on Christmas Day.

As much as the journey sucked , there’s absolutely no way I could ever argue with that timing.  It’s completely perfect, and completely worth every minute of struggle it took to get here.

*****

So while I’d love to tell you that this miracle child is being brought to you by booze and irony, do you want to know my answer to the question, “How did this happen?”

 

I never, ever, EVER stopped trying.

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25 comments on ““Sooo… How did this happen?”

  1. rainbowbabymaker
    July 7, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    I also dabbled in TCM & Tibetian medicine. Although my issue we found out were blocked tubes, I can’t discount all those vile teas & acupuncture appointments, & everything inbetween didn’t help for a healthy body!

    And like you, I never stopped trying. Why would i have stopped? I was told by friends to ‘take a break’ but why would I do that? What for? Everyone has advise…..I heard ‘relax’ many times. But they’ve evidently never been infertile.

    Congrats, lady! xo

    Like

  2. mylifeasacasestudy
    July 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I’ll drink to that! XOXO

    Like

  3. Lo
    July 7, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Full on sobbing as I read the last part.

    Like

  4. Elisha
    July 7, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Glad you clarified…I was curious too. Hehe

    Like

  5. tallyjs
    July 7, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    So thrilled for this news!! TCM is so interesting and amazing!

    Like

  6. lydiaseeks
    July 7, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Standing, clapping, nailed it. While my journey wasn’t the same as yours, I also had people say “oh so it happened when you’d stopped trying”. Mostly because it happened for us after I had done a lot of the emotional work of accepting we couldn’t do it without IVF. That was a big process for me, and one that was still on-going when I got pregnant. But. We still had timed sex that month. So while I didn’t think it would work, because it hadn’t for the previous 30+ cycles, I still did it. So thank you for this! And again, so many congratulations!

    Like

  7. Rose
    July 7, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Ugh, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for stating loud and clear that it didn’t happen because you stopped trying. I swear there must be like 5 women out there to whom that applies, and every other person loves telling and re-telling the same tale. So anyway, congrats again and glad to see things are still chugging along nicely. Your u/s photo turned out very cute. While they’re doing mine, they always look so amazing but the photo print outs don’t do any justice to how cute that little babe looks in action. Are you starting to show yet??

    Like

  8. A Morning Grouch
    July 7, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    CRYING. So happy for you! My depressive funk has rendered me almost unable to read blog posts for awhile – so glad I caught this one. SO GLAD!!!!!

    Like

  9. Kimmy
    July 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    I was sure it was the twerking😏

    Like

    • Tracy
      July 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      I’m not totally saying that the twerking didn’t play some part in this… 😉

      Like

  10. Dominican Dreamer
    July 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Thank you for listing both sides of things. For most of us, we never fully stop trying. After years of knowing your body like clockwork and praying it will happen, you’re still always trying.

    Congratulations! I wish you a happy and healthy 9 months!

    Like

  11. Hannah
    July 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Thank you for writing this and bring so open. I have been on the long journey myself and have started Chinese medicine. Been a few months and it’s encouraging to hear and be reminded that it takes time for your body to heal itself.

    Also, to never stop trying. Love this. My heart longs for babies and I can’t imagine ever giving up the fight.

    Thrilled for your news. Look forward to reading more great things from you.

    Like

  12. Daniela
    July 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I don’t think there’s capital letters big enough to express how thrilled and happy I am for you! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your post. So so happy for you guys. Can’t wait to hear more updates on your little miracle 😉

    Like

  13. Lisa
    July 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    LOVE THIS. Never stop trying, indeed. Gotta get me some of that RESOLVE voodoo, too! lol.

    Like

  14. hollye7916
    July 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    I love it.. and I hope you understood that my previous comments were purely sarcastic and in jest about you now being “that girl” 🙂

    Like

    • Tracy
      July 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      Haha, of course! And don’t think I didn’t think it myself more than once, LOL. I’ve had some IRL folks seriously try to explain the science to me of why “stop trying” is valid medical advice…

      And this is my response to some of them, not to any well-meaning sarcasm, which I ALWAYS encourage and appreciate! 😀

      Like

      • hollye7916
        July 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

        Good!!! It’s so hard to convey sarcasm in text so I wanted to make sure!! I mean after all… I’m “that girl” too… 😛

        Like

      • Tracy
        July 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

        LOL – I might be one of the few, but I just assume sarcasm all the time. Life’s more fun that way. 😉

        Like

  15. Hope4babyover40
    July 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Well done! It is wonderfully inspiring to know that persistance – and who knows, whatever else – can pay off. Wishing you every happiness!

    Like

  16. infertilityusuck
    July 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    Congratulations! I am so happy to read this post and gives me a renewed sense of hope:).

    Like

  17. B
    July 8, 2014 at 12:37 am #

    I love this post!!! Thank you for sharing your story.
    My sticky baby was also after many months of acupuncture and herbal decoctions. There’s definitely something to be said for TCM.
    I hope you’ll keep sharing about your process through pregnancy. I’m curious about the research you’ll do around pregnancy, birth, etc.

    Like

  18. Julie Conley
    July 8, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Welp, I’m not where you are in mind or practice (I’m smack dab in the middle of Metformin, Femara, Follistim, Ovidrel, IUI, timed intercourse… the WHOLE shabang!!!!), but am over the moon happy for you (duh). 🙂 I can’t wait to hear more posts about how pregnancy is going. Can you do that? WILL you do that?

    Like

  19. Alice Anne
    July 8, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    Congratulations!!! That is so amazing!

    Like

  20. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife
    July 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    wow – congrats! after 5 years of ttc, we are 11w2d after IVF. Still doesn’t feel real. Each week is a milestone. Best wishes on the rest of your blogging, and keep us posted!

    Like

  21. Shelley
    July 22, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    I am so thrilled for you! I decided to check back in with a few IF blogs on my reader, not even imagining to have this news from you! What an amazing and wonderful turn of events. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of platitudes about patience and when you least expected it, and the universe works in mysterious ways or whatever, but I’m just focused on this as your reality and how amazing it is! Congratulations lady!!!

    Like

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