Infertility Story: Our 7 Year Journey

Posted in About Stephanie, Infertility, Inspiration
on May 22, 2017
naturally & beat infertility...

Today I’d love to share with you our infertility journey.  This journey is still ongoing, as we are still waiting for our “little blessings”.  Although, our journey has been a long one (7+ years), we have learned so many amazing lessons along the way.

If you are in the process of “trying” to have a baby, or are knee-deep in fertility treatments, we understand what you’re going through.  The process can be intrusive, unromantic, & extremely stressful.

Here’s our infertility journey including all the personal details that I know you’d be interested in (wink wink!), plus 7 Ways To Get Pregnant Naturally including some of my favorite fertility products.  So, here goes…

{This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.  This post also contains affiliate links to products I’ve used and loved along our fertility journey.  You can read my Disclosure Policy for more information.}

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A Mystery Diagnosis & A Dream

My journey through infertility began way back in 2002.  I was freshman in college, had moved away from home & was living in Wisconsin, & I had recently begun dating the boy who would later become my husband.

We went through some stressful situations at home, my parents got divorced, and life seemed to be falling apart.

I quickly began to pack on the weight, gaining over 40 pounds in a mere 3 months. I also started noticing some other weird symptoms, that were pretty irritating.  My cycles were spacing out to the point where I had only one or two periods a year, & was growing hair in unwanted places but losing hair on my head where I needed it to be.

I made a doctor’s appointment, thinking that I had an issue with my thyroid like the rest of the ladies in my family.  But, what I was diagnosed with, would forever changed my life.

The doctor came in, sat me and my soon-to-be hubby down, and told me that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  She explained that it’s a syndrome that basically wreaks havoc on your body; causes your body to behave like a type II diabetic; and was linked to various types of cancer and heart disease.  Oh, and PCOS as it typically called, is also the leading cause of infertility.

She handed me a script for birth control and Zoloft, told me I’d most likely need help getting pregnant, & told me to work on losing weight.

That was it.

I left confused and bewildered.  I was worried about what Adam would think, but he quickly encouraged me with these words,

“If God wants us to have children, then He will give us children.”

e Naturally & Beat Infertility

I was slightly caught off guard that day.  But, if I’m being honest, I kinda always had the feeling I’d have a hard time getting pregnant.

Growing up, I was the babysitter in the neighborhood.  I started my own Babysitting Club that several of my friends joined.  We hosted “meetings” at my house every week, and we sat around the phone waiting for parents to call us with babysitting jobs….just like in the book series.  It’s comical to think about now.

I was the girl giving speeches about multiples, like the McCaughey Septuplets or the Dionne Quintuplets, in speech class.  I read Parents magazines religiously like I had a million kids already.  I nannied all through college and nursing school, and would watch TLC’s A Baby Story every single day on my lunch break when I worked as a bridal consultant in my early twenties.

The dream of one day being a mom was never far from my mind.

I planned for my future family.  I thought up meal plans, crafts, vacations, birthday parties, you name it.  Being married and having kids of my own was my biggest dream.

But, at the time when I got the diagnosis of PCOS, there wasn’t much information about the syndrome.  I ignored the doctor’s advice to a point, and only took the birth control pills for a couple of months.

I went about my life, leaving the possibility of having fertility problems in the back of my mind.

I went to nursing school, planned a destination wedding in 6 weeks, & married my best friend and boyfriend of 10 years {yes you read that right…10 years!} on a gorgeous island in northern Michigan.

We honeymooned in our own private cabin in the Smokey Mountains,

bought our dream house;

& spent many months painting and ripping up carpet.

We turned our house into our home. We created traditions and made memories.

And, it was after our nephew Benjamin’s first sleepover at our house, where we made alligator cupcakes, built Lego’s, & watched Wall-E in bed, that we decided that we really wanted to have kids.  And, I mean ASAP!

After little Ben went home after our fun sleepover, the silence in our house was deafening.  We missed the laughter, the toys, & the love.  He was 5 years old then.  Now, he’s 12!

So much time has passed since that day, but I still remember distinctly how we felt.  We were ready to be parents.

Doesn’t that old rhyme go like this,

“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage”?

Well, that was not the journey we are about to embark on.

Our path to that baby carriage included many doctor’s appointments, injections, painful procedures, ultrasounds, tears, sorrow, & pain.

It’s not how we would’ve planned for our family to begin, and our story is certainly not over.  We still have many chapters left to write.

But, for any of you who have found yourself on a similar path, I’m right here with you.  I’d love to share with you what we’ve gone through…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

7 Ways To Get Pregnant Naturally & Beat Infertility...

Clomid, Ovulation Kits, & Hot Flashes

After our adorable and clearly memorable sleepover with little Ben, I swiftly made a doctor’s appointment with a new Gynecologist.

At the time, we had only been married for a couple of years, and I explained to him that we had been trying since “I do” with no results.

My doctor ran some tests, told me that everything hormonally looked “ok”, & gave me a prescription for clomid.

He shared his wife’s battle with infertility with us.  She also was an OB nurse, and he relayed the memories he had of finding her in the newborn nursery late at night crying. It was a relief to have a doctor who finally understood how I was feeling.

He also shared with us, that after a round or two of clomid, he and his wife found out they were expecting twins.  So, of course after hearing this story, I was sure that the clomid would work for us too.  I had us pregnant with twins in my mind already.  My mind was reeling with nursery ideas, and how to tell our families we were pregnant.

So, I began taking the clomid (a medication to help me ovulate) and starting monitoring my cycles with ovulation kits.  My cycles were still hit or miss, some lasting longer than others.  It was like trying to piece together a crazy puzzle.

I was convinced I was pregnant several times, only to get negative results.

The doctor increased my dose of clomid, and along with that came awful side effects.  I was short-tempered, experiencing hot flashes, & felt like I was carrying around ovaries the size of bowling balls.  It was unpleasant to say the least.

After 3 cycles of clomid, and no success, the doctor referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist.  But, I never followed up with the RE.  I’m not sure why.  Probably because I was afraid.

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An Early Mid-Life Crisis

We went about our lives, taking a break from medications and doctor’s appointments, and continuing to “try” on our own.  A couple of years went by.  I made it a point to de-stress by taking a job…my dream job as a mother-baby nurse…closer to home so the drive to work didn’t kill me. We focused on saving money, doing house projects (like a roof…yuck!), and did a little bit of traveling.

Struggling with infertility can turn your marriage topsy turvy.  For me, feelings of failure and inadequacy began to creep into my thoughts.  Honestly, I think I was deeply depressed, but didn’t know how to share that with anyone, including my husband.  I always felt as though I had a black cloud hanging over me.  This super exclusive “mom club” was something I wanted so desperately to be a part of, and yet despite my best efforts I always fell short of getting there.

For my hubby, he struggled with knowing how to comfort me.  Often times I’d push him away.  Sometimes I wondered if he’d made a mistake in marrying me, someone who couldn’t give him the family he so wanted and deserved.

During our “break periods” from trying (which let’s be honest trying to conceive couples…is there ever a time when we are truly taking a break? No…not really!) we spent time together, made memories and traditions, and had to relearn how to be ok with just the two of us.

I’m sure eventually these years of waiting will be a blessing in disguise.  There is a lesson that I’m meant to learn through this, many lessons really.  And, I’m still trying to figure out what those are exactly.

For my 30th birthday, Adam surprised me with a beautiful trip to Chicago.  He went all out.  He booked a fabulous corner suite at the Ritz-Carlton, with a view of the city and the historic water tower at one end of the room, & a view of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier at the other.  I could literally sit in the enormous bathtub and look out over the water and Navy Pier…it was breathtaking!

I’d always wanted to go to Chicago for my birthday, to see the Chicago River turn green for St. Patrick’s Day!  Yes, I was born on St. Patty’s Day!  It’s a fun birthday, indeed!

We made so many wonderful memories that trip.  Here’s some pictures of this time in our lives….

After we returned home from this getaway, I had a mini mid-life crisis.  I was thirty years old, married to my best friend (who clearly knows how to plan a great surprise trip!), living in my dream house, working as a nurse with moms and babies…my dream job….but, I was missing something.

I couldn’t believe that I was 30 with no kids yet!  I felt old and decrepit.  🙂

I knew I needed a new plan.  I was ready to start “actively trying” again (I love that phrase!).  I ordered what I’ve termed “my fancy fertility monitor” the OvaCue Fertility Monitor from Fairhaven Health because I had read that it was the best fertility monitor for women with PCOS.

I began monitoring my cycles again, which were really few and far between.  I’d have a cycle every few months.

I honestly believe that the OvaCue Fertility Monitor clued me in to some issues with my body that no doctor had noticed before.

I began noticing that on months when I would feel ovulatory pain on my left side, that my progesterone levels would swiftly drop off again and my body would try to ovulate again.  The OvaCue Fertility Monitor was able to indicate small shifts in my hormone levels via the tongue depressor and the vaginal wand (yes, you read that right!), and I knew something wasn’t right.

I feared that even if we got pregnant, I would miscarry anyways because my progesterone levels were not staying elevated as they should after ovulation.  Sorry, this is a lot of medical talk, mumbo jumbo.  Just know, that if you have PCOS or have been trying to get pregnant for a while, the OvaCue Fertility Monitor might be a valuable investment.  It’s a smart little machine.  And, it’s because of this machine…and my strong desire to have a baby too…that led me to a new gynecologist.

7 Ways to Conceive Naturally...

Polyps, Periods, & Palpitations…Oh My!

I had been working at my new job as a Mother-Baby Nurse for well over a year when I finally decided to follow-up with a new gynecologist.  I worked alongside her at the hospital, and thought she was extremely nice and competent, so I made an appointment.

I first saw a Physician’s Assistant who ordered some lab work and ultrasounds.  The PA told me to follow-up with Dr. Wallace in a few weeks.I was highly anticipating this appointment.  I figured it would be similar to a few years ago.  Here’s some clomid, go home, make a baby, & wallah! But, no.  I was wrong.

Dr. Wallace came in the room and told me that they had seen polyps on my uterine wall.  These were probably the reason why I had been having such heavy periods.  She said that my ovaries were “cyst-y”, and I needed to go see a reproductive endocrinologist for a consultation and possibly a hysteroscopy (basically a roto-rooter for your uterus).

I heard none of that.  Once I heard “polyps” I began convincing myself that I had cancer.  I went home crying, which totally freaked my husband out.  It was very non-nurse like.

I made my appointment that day to see the Reproductive Endocrinologist.  We were scared.

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“If this is what labor feels like, then forget it!”

There we sat at the Reproductive Endocrinologist’s office, getting the low-down on our fertility picture.  I was scheduled for a hysteroscopy and hysterosalpingogram (which I’ll explain in a second) ASAP, & Adam completed his “testing” (if you know what I mean 🙂 ) that day.

His results came back, and we were pleasantly surprised.  No problems on his end, which was a relief but also annoying at the same time.  It was just one more test that confirmed that I was the issue in our infertility.

Oh well, I pulled up my big girl panties, and headed into the office a couple of weeks later for my tests.  It was not a good day. Here’s what happened…

I was told to insert miso (a medicine often given to pregnant women to induce labor) to help soften and open my cervix for my hysteroscopy the next day.  All night long I cramped and cramped.

I was exhausted going into the office the next morning.  They gave me some pain medication and an anti-anxiety medication to take at home prior to my appointment.

First on the agenda that day was a hysterosalpingogram, a procedure where the doctor inserts a small catheter into the vagina and passed the cervix, then injects a dye (I think this substance may have changed though in recent years), and then performs an X-ray of sorts of the female reproductive system.  The doctor is supposed to be able to visualize the dye traveling up through the uterus, through the Fallopian tubes and out the other side of the tubes indicating that the Fallopian tubes are open and patent.

It’s basically like a roto-rooter for the reproductive tract.  And, it felt like that.

I was warned that every time something is passed through the cervix, the body’s natural response is to contract the uterus.  And, boy my uterus became very angry.

The catheter during my test kept falling out, resulting in the doctor having to perform the test 3 different times that day.  I chaulk it up to the “nurse curse”.  As a nurse you just know that this is a thing.  The blasted nurse curse got me that day.

The test did however show some valuable information that I thought I’d already detected by using my OvaCue Mobile Fertility Monitor.  My left tube was blocked.  That’s why all those cycles when I’d feel ovulation pain on that side, my monitor would indicate that my body would try again to ovulate and I’d often feel the second round of ovulation pain on my right side.

My right ovary was doing double duty.  Poor thing.

Next, they ushered me down the hallway to another room for my hysteroscopy.  This procedure was going to give the doctor a good look at the anatomy of my uterus.  He was going to continue to clean out my innards and remove those pesky polyps and take uterine tissue samples.

I thought being the medical professional that I am, I would enjoy seeing my insides up on the TV screen as he did a quick spring cleaning up in there.  But, I was not amused.  My cervix was mad from the previous test, which required some lidocaine shots to be injected directly into my cervix to relieve pain.

But, my main pain source was the contracting of my uterus.  I’m a dramatic person, but I try not to be in front of other doctors and nurses.   I had a plan to be their least dramatic and irritating patient.

Well, I lay there with lightbulbs, mini scissors, and other instruments crammed up my hoo-haw, and just balled.  They knew I was cramping really bad, and the doctor said that other patients had compared those cramps to giving birth.

After the testing was done, they brought my hubby back who had been sitting in the waiting room reading Sports Illustrated for the last horrifying hour of my life.  I didn’t know whether to hug him or kick him in the “you-know-what”.

Man, don’t guys get the easy part of this whole “fertility thing”?

I remember leaving the office that day, feeling a bit groggy because all those meds finally kicked in.  I had mascara running down my face.  I must have frightened the other hopeful parents in the waiting room by looking like I’d just been beat up.

I was hurting so badly I think I even uttered these words under my breath,

“If that’s what labor feels like, then forget it.  I don’t want to do this anymore.”

What an emotional rollercoaster that day was.   We learned a lot about my reproductive status.  My uterus anatomically was fine.  The polyps were nothing to be fearful of. All of my pathology from the many tissue samples taken from inside me that day were all negative…thank God!

And, now we understood a little bit more of why we’d been struggling to get our positive pregnancy test.  My left tube was blocked for some unknown reason.

The next month we started trying with the help of modern medicine for our miracle baby, and that’s when the real fun began…

“I will not cause pain, without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord” Isaiah 66:9

Cycle #1- Fingers Crossed & Positive Thoughts

Soon our lives were filled with early morning appointments for ultrasounds and lab work.  We dove head first into our first cycle using clomid and timed intercourse, per our request.

After just a few days, and several ultrasounds of my ovaries and follicles, it was clear that clomid was doing nothing to get my “girls” going in there.

We were then told I’d need to use injected medications to stimulate my ovaries.  I was in shock as the nurse walked me through how to give myself several shots in my belly every day. It was a crash course in Injections 101.

I left the office that day with needles and vials of very expensive drugs, not sure if this was really what I wanted to do.

Along this 7 year journey, we’ve faced many decisions that caused us to wonder if we were doing the right thing.  In the world of infertility, all I can say is to “listen to your gut”.  If you have wrapped your lives and this portion of your story in prayer, and asked God to guide your decisions and steps, then walk confidently through the doors that open.

So many questions came up during this process, of whether or not we were “stepping on God’s toes” or  “lacking faith and patience”.  Believe me, we thought of it all.  We didn’t want to trust in modern medicine more than we trusted in God.  But, we also didn’t want to miss a clear opportunity.  So, we stepped out in faith and listened to the Holy Spirit.

 We attempted that month to keep things as natural as possible.  We opted for a “timed intercourse” cycle, which basically means that I went to the office every other day for ultrasounds and blood work, and then when I had developed enough follicles we were given the go-ahead to begin having traditional baby-making sex.

Is that a little TMI, or what?! Sorry, Mom! : -)

I was giving myself several shots a day of HcG (the pregnancy hormone), follistim (a medicine to stimulate my ovaries to make more follicles…AKA potential future babies), & then when given the green light I injected Ovidrel (a hormone to make my body ovulate).

We did everything we could that month.  Suffered during the 2 week wait. And waiting patiently by the phone for my pregnancy blood results.

“I’m sorry, but your test is negative.  Stop taking the progesterone, and come back to the office on Day 3 of your next cycle to start again.”

That day was hard.  As much as I tried not to get my hopes up, it’s hard not too.

I stopped taking the progesterone prescribed to help preserve a pregnancy, and waited for my period to start again.

My hubby took me to Olive Garden and then out for a walk at our favorite park, Stony Creek.  I put a somewhat encrypted status on Facebook, which typically drive me crazy, to signal to my co-workers who were anxiously waiting for the result as well that it was a “no” this month.

I was convinced that we’d need to do a few more of these cycles…then be talked into trying IUI (intrauterine insemination where they inject the sperm passed the cervix and into the uterus) which would cost several hundred dollars a cycle….fail at that also….then take a few years off to save for IVF.

I had it all worked out my head.  Isn’t that kind of sad?

Obviously I’d hit a low point, but for some reason we kept going.

It’s amazing how fast your hope can rebuild in these types of situations.

“As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”

7 Ways to get pregnant naturally & beat infertility...

Cycle #2- “I think you left your ovary on the island!”

We took the plunge and started a second cycle right away.  I was excited because at least this time we knew exactly what medications worked for my body.  No trial and error this time around.  We were ready.

This cycle ran right into our annual anniversary trip to Mackinac Island, where we were married.  The doctors gave us permission to go up for a few days, even though I was still in the midst of “stim-ing” my ovaries.

(“Stim-ing” is a fancy termed used by those of us who are activity stimulating our ovaries out of their deep slumber and making them ovulate…just in case you were wondering!)

I think that the doctors got the hint that I really needed a break from life, ultrasounds, blood work, and so on.  We packed up the meds on ice and drove up to the ferry dock to take us to our beloved island.

We had a fun few days away from the worries of regular life.  We rode bikes, watched the sun set, ate really yummy food, listened to the waves, & took carriage rides.  It was just what we needed.

I purposely avoided having housekeeping staff come into our room because we looked like druggies with all the needles and vials all over the room.  And, I was super relieved to find a refrigerator in our hotel room also, to store my medications.  This was definitely a unique trip to Mission Point Resort.

The day after our anniversary, I woke up early and headed in to the office for an ultrasound.  It had been 4 days since my last ultrasound, and I couldn’t wait to see how big my follicles had gotten.  Fingers and toes were crossed that they were done “cooking” and that it was go-time!

The doctor couldn’t believe how large and in charge my right ovary had gotten. I had three follicles that were the ideal size for conception.  But, my left ovary was nowhere to be found on the trans-vaginal ultrasound.

She found my left ovary floating up north in my abdomen.  It had moved out-of-the-way to give the right side more room to work.  Suddenly my ovaries had personalities.  I was proud of my meek and timid left ovary for getting out of her sisters way, and letting “her” (my right ovary) take charge.  Alright, now I’m sounding like a crazy person. 🙂

I got the go-ahead to give myself the Ovidrel injection, and have lots of “relations” over the next couple of days.  Funny thing though, I had to go back to work that night.  We got busy before work, after work, you name it.  It was exhausting. 🙂

The 2 Week Wait…

This second time around I was better at this infertility treatment stuff.  I filled the 2 weeks before our pregnancy test with lots of activities.  It was October, so we visited cider mills and apple orchards, went on coffee dates and carved pumpkins.

We filled our days with many of our favorite activities, which helped the time go faster.  But, this cycle I wasn’t going to wait until the phone call from the nurse to get the results.

I began taking pregnancy tests 10 days post ovulation.  With the medications I was on, I had to be careful to not get a false positive and lose my mind with excitement.  I tested early on, and made sure I had a couple of negative pregnancy tests to confirm that the medications were out of my system.

A few days later, I saw a faint second line.  I can’t even begin to explain what I felt.  I was in shock.  I felt excitement, disbelief, relief, and so much more.

I think I screamed or something, and Adam came running.  He was so used to having to pick up the pieces after so many negative tests, he probably thought it was a big fat no once again.

He didn’t know what to say, really, other than to give it a few days and see what the doctor said.  But, I couldn’t help myself.  I went out that night, and bought a cute little monkey toy for the baby.

7 ways to beat infertility naturally...

{Apparently I was already convinced that the baby was a girl!}

I had already looked up when our due date was– July 4th— and made plans on how we could tell our families.  I was planning nurseries, going through baby names, & anticipating so much already.

My positive test was confirmed by a phone call from my fertility nurse a few days later.  We were overjoyed!

If you are on this same journey through infertility, can I encourage you, dear friend to not give up.  All of the pain; all of the procedures; all the questioning and inconvenience was worth it in that very moment.

We had gotten pregnant with some help from some medications to wake up my ovaries from their deep sleep, some careful monitoring from doctors and nurses, & with good old-fashioned husband-wife stuff at home.  We never had to do IUI or IVF which we were so thankful for.  We couldn’t have been more amazed.

There are several suggestions that I’d love to share with you if you would like to achieve a pregnancy naturally…or as naturally as possible at home.

With that being said, sometimes you do need a little extra help and guidance and that’s ok.  But, you have to know what you feel comfortable doing.  And, if you are told you need additional interventions, give yourself some time to think and process, show yourself some grace, & proceed with your husband however you see fit.  Shower your future family in prayer from day one, and trust that God will lead you down the path that you should take.

In honor of the 7+ years it took us to get our first Big Fat Positive, here’s 7 ways to achieve pregnancy naturally at home.  Most of these suggestions I’ve tried or friends of mine have tried with success.  Included here are some of my favorite products also, along with a brand new fertility product that has had great reviews and can be found at your local Target.

 naturally & beat infertility...

7 Ways To Achieve Pregnancy Naturally

1. Get a Reliable Fertility Monitor-

I wholeheartedly believe that my OvaCue Mobile Fertility Monitor helped me pin point issues with my cycles that later lead to the diagnosis of PCOS and anovulatory cycles and a blocked left fallopian tube.  I encourage everyone I know that is struggling to purchase a reliable fertility monitor, especially if you’ve been trying for a while.

The ovulation kits at the store are fine, but often times don’t give you enough time to “act” if you know what I mean.  By the time you get the positive ovulation “+” sign or smiley face, you’ve already run out of time to have sex to hopefully conceive.

With the OvaCue Mobile Fertility Monitor you’ll be notified when your most fertile week is, and with the use of the vaginal wand you’ll know exactly the day you ovulate.  It makes it a lot easier to track your bodies natural tendencies prior and during ovulation, like different aches and pains you may have never noticed before or help you understand what fertile cervical mucus looks like.

Your results can be easily stored on an app in your phone so you can share them with your doctor.  It takes the guess-work out of tracking your cycles.  Click here for more information.

2. Take Fertility-Boosting Supplements- 

Fairhaven Health, where I purchased my OvaCue Fertility Monitor, also sells some amazing fertility supplements that may be helpful to you also.

I have been taking FertilAid for Women for years.  It’s like the Mac-Daddy of prenatal vitamins.  It’s especially helpful for those who have PCOS and irregular periods.  It contains ingredients like Vitex Chasteberry that helps regulate menstrual cycles.  It’s an amazing product.

And, this year as we are talking about trying again, I have also started taking OvaBoost. OvaBoost protects my eggs and nourishes them.  We are only born with so many eggs, we don’t acquire any more in our lifetime, ladies.  So, OvaBoost is like special egg food.  Since I’m approaching my mid-thirties I need my eggs to be as healthy as possible for future pregnancies.

Talking about supplementation leads me into my next tip for conception….

3. Make An Appointment With A Naturopathic Doctor-

Often times medical doctors easily point out what physiologically is causing infertility, and they can quickly throw some procedures and medicines at you to help. But, they usually don’t dig much deeper than that.

A Naturopathic Doctor looks at everything from nutrition to stress management to help you work through your infertility.  I just started seeing a Naturopathic Doctor and I’ve learned more about my health in the last few months than I have my entire life.

She is working with me to get down to the root cause of my infertility.  She focuses on not only my body, but also my mind and my emotional health.

She has run several blood tests, stool samples, and saliva samples looking for micronutrient deficiencies, cortisol level issues, food sensitivities, and more.  And, so many of these things could be causing my infertility.

I can’t wait to share more of this journey with you, but I’d encourage you to seek out your own Naturopathic Doctor to help you in addition to your Primary Care Doctor and Reproductive Endocrinologist.  Many doctors recognize the benefits of Eastern Medicine, but don’t fully understand them.  That’s where your Naturopathic Doctor will come in to play.

4. Practice Yoga & Mindfulness-

My Naturopathic Doctor spoke with me about how beneficial yoga is for women going through infertility.  Not only does it help you get into shape, but it also teaches you how to focus on breathing, being mindful, and relaxing.

Infertility and all of the negative thoughts and feelings that come with it, can soon take over your life.  I know it affected me every single day.  But, practicing yoga has helped me stay grounded, feel more confident and beautiful, & get stronger inside and out.

Bend, Breathe, and Conceive Fertility Yoga is a DVD you can do at home that is focused around those trying to conceive.  It’s challenging, but also very relaxing.

5. Try Acupuncture-

Several friends of mine have tried acupuncture and had wonderful experiences with it.  My Naturopathic Doctor suggested I try it as well, so hopefully I’ll have some more information for you in the near future about my experience.

Acupuncture has many benefits for couples going through infertility by increasing blood flow to reproductive organs.  To learn more about how acupuncture may help click here.

6. Clean Up Your Diet-

There are several dietary factors that come into play with couples trying to conceive.  Depending on what you’re experiencing, it may necessary for you try a diet without gluten, dairy, or soy.  Infertility can be caused by an inflammatory reaction in the body because we may be eating foods that we are sensitive or allergic to and not even realize it.

This is something that your Naturopathic Doctor may have some suggestions about, especially if he/she does testing similar to what I’ve had done.  I know a meeting with a nutritionist is in my near future as I continue to battle my PCOS.

One of my favorite sources of nutrition information is Kym Campbell who also struggled with infertility.  Here’s her article on foods to avoid when trying to conceive.  And, for those of you with PCOS, check out her PCOS Diet Challenge.

7. Try the Stork OTC

When we started our cycles with the reproductive endocrinologist, he really encouraged us to combine the injectable medications with IUI (Intrauterine Insemination).  We were really trying to keep this as “natural” as possible, and requested to try a timed intercourse route instead.  We were able to get pregnant on our 2nd cycle without needing IUI, thankfully.

I was recently introduced to the Stork OTC an at home fertility aid that allows the hopeful parents to insert what they call a Conceptacle (how cute is that?) into the vagina to deliver and hold the male sperm right against the cervix to increase chances of getting pregnant.  Here’s a very scientific video that explains how it works…

 The Stork OTC would be a great tool for a couple who is dealing with low sperm count, decreased sperm motility, or unexplained infertility.  You can buy the Stork OTC at Walgreens, CVS, or my favorite….Target!!

7 Ways to Conceive Naturally...

I found the Stork OTC at my local Target in the Family Planning aisle next to ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, & some pretty crazy looking condoms. 🙂 It only costs around $80 which pales in comparison to the costs of IUI or IVF.

7 Ways To Conceive Naturally & Beat Infertility

e Naturally & Beat Infertility

e Naturally & Beat Infertility

Inside the box you’ll find step by step instructions, a lovely thank you note from Stork OTC, & your kit.  It looked pretty easy to use, especially because of the detailed instructions.  It is a single use device, but still less expensive than traditional fertility treatments.  Here’s what came in my box…

7 ways to get pregnant naturally and beat infertility....

7 ways to get pregnant naturally and beat infertility...

7 ways to get pregnant naturally and beat infertility...

We haven’t personally used the Stork OTC ourselves just yet, but I do think it might be a great tool for a couple who is searching for an alternative to expensive fertility treatments.

I have teamed up with Stork OTC to host a Twitter Party on May 23rd using the hashtag #TTCwithStorkOTC.  We are going to be talking about all things infertility, babies, trying to conceive, and more.  Please join me there to ask questions about my own journey and to share your story.  The Twitter party will begin at 8pm Eastern Time.

e Naturally & Beat Infertility

Where are you, friend, in your fertility journey?  Are you feeling frustrated today?  Are you just at the beginning, or are you near giving up?  Please leave your comments below, I’d love to get to know you.  I know infertility can be a lonely experience.  Hang in there, show yourself some grace, and don’t give up.  Thanks for joining me today & I’ll see you on Twitter on May 23rd!

See ya soon!

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How to honor hopeful daddies this Father's Day who are also going through infertility.....

2 Comments

  • Reply Angela Ewart

    Thank you for sharing what your journey has looked like. I could relate to so much of what you said. Our journey has been pretty similar. September will be 6 years of “trying” for us. I will keep you and your hubby in my prayers. Thanks again for being so honest about your journey and all the helpful suggestions. 😊

    May 22, 2017 at 8:19 am
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thank you so much, Angela! And, right back at ya! You and your hubby will be in our prayers too! So glad you found this post helpful. So often I feel alone in this journey, and then I meet people like you, and I realize I’m not doing this alone! Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon! 🙂

      June 19, 2017 at 6:21 pm

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