Fertility acupuncture

I wrote a few months ago about my first experience with acupuncture. I had a great groupon deal and overall I really enjoyed the experience.

Since then, I’ve had to find a new acupuncturist that’s closer to home along my commute. I had my first appointment with her yesterday and it was amazing!

I started by filling out a bunch of paperwork. There was a three page checklist of a variety of symptoms, some of them being really strange things. For example, cold toes, sweats easily, feelings of dread, etc. We sat in her office and went over all of my health background. I told her how long we’ve been trying to get pregnant, our miscarriage, medicated cycles, and now moving on to IUIs.

She asked a lot of strange questions about my cycle. At first I was caught off guard, but then I felt like it was important to know. Even my RE hadn’t asked about this stuff before! After going over all of the health information she took my pulse. I had to rest my hands on a pillow and she gently pressed on my wrists at different angles and pressures. Then came the fun part – the tongue!

As part of the Eastern Medicine tradition she examined my tongue. Initially I just stuck it out of my mouth like a child. She instructed me to open my mouth wide and stick the whole thing out! Then…. she drew a picture of my tongue! Next to it she wrote RED underlined three times. I guess I have a really red tongue… As soon as I got in the car to go home I pulled down the mirror to look at my tongue!

After all of this she finally started to piece things together. She said she felt like my energy was stagnant. I’m putting all of this energy in, but it’s stuck. And I’m stuck. When she said this I almost teared up. The day before I was just talking to my husband and how I feel stuck in this horrible process and all I want to do is move forward with my life. She said she could tell that emotions are playing a large part in my overall health and right now I’m not balanced. So we’re going to work on supporting the IUI process through acupuncture and more importantly, stress relief.

I know most of us hate hearing about not stressing out about this process. Because how can we not?! But when she was talking about stress with me, she wasn’t saying, “just relax, it will happen.” She was reminding me that I’m a whole person, not just a woman going through fertility treatments. I need to be conscious of my whole body and take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel like I have another person on my team now. She even circled on her personal calendar when I might ovulate and do the IUI so she could help keep track too. I feel understood and supported.

The rest of the appointment went smoothly. She inserted needles into various calming points to help me relax. Then she put a few in my stomach and over my ovaries since I’m currently taking letrozole to help stimulate egg production. I relaxed with the needles in for twenty minutes with aromatherapy and felt the weight of the world melting from my body. I really can’t express how wonderful acupuncture feels.

So I went ahead a set up another appointment next week, hopefully a day or so before the IUI. She mentioned that I should try to come in the same day at the IUI, but reminded me to not stress about it if it doesn’t work out! Ha! She already knows me too well!

If you are ever considering acupuncture, I say go ahead and try it! Even if it doesn’t help the physical symptoms it will definitely help with the emotional ones. I really look forward to my appointments as a piece of time each week to take care of myself.

Needle pokes for pleasure

Being in a serious relationship with my RE means being poked and prodded on a regular basis. So I never imagined voluntarily signing up to be stuck by more needles. 

Recently I saw an awesome groupon deal for acupuncture. It was from this little hippie place that happened to specialize in alternative fertility treatments. Sign me up! 

Before getting started I talked to my acupuncturist about our 2 and a half years of trying to get pregnant. Ever since stopping clomid my cycles have been unpredictable and have ranged between 16 to 60 days. Yesterday I started my second period in the month of May. Just lovely. 

My goal this summer is to take care of myself and try to naturally regulate my cycles back to 28 days. I’m doing yoga, acupuncture, trying some herbal concoctions, and relaxing from my classroom! 

I’m not the kind of person who enjoys needles. I’m pretty sure my chart says I look like I’m going to pass out during blood draws. The nurse always asks me ten times if I’m doing ok.

So the acupuncturist showed me the needles and inserted one on herself first. She made me take deep breaths and started by placing a needle below my big toe on my foot. I didn’t feel a thing! She placed a few more on different parts of my feet and ankles, one on my tummy, a few on my hands, and one right on top of my noggin! Then she placed a heat lamp over my toes and I laid listening to ocean sounds for about 20 minutes. It was soooo relaxing! After teaching I really appreciate quiet moments and this was absolutely wonderful! 

After laying on my back, she took out the needles and repeated the same thing but on my back instead. In total the appointment was about an hour and I left feeling absolutely great! I definitely plan on returning. 

On a side note, I’ve been having some intense cramps, pressure, and sharp pains since I started my period. I’ve never felt like this before and it can’t be attributed to any meds because I stopped clomid in March. My whole abdomen feels tender to touch and I didn’t sleep well because it hurt so bad. The acupuncture helped in the moment but I’m back at home and feel the pain again. Anyone ever experience something like this? I’ve been using a heating pad and downing Tylenol, but if it doesn’t get any better I might be heading back into my doc’s office.