My first experience with acupuncture was during the begining of my infertility journey, only 1 year of trying to concieve. I had always heard that it could be helpful for fertility so I had decided to try it out. I tried out one acupuncturist down in the east village but never committed and let it go after a month. Mainly due to costs and inconvenience with my schedule. The second acupuncturist I went to was a Korean acupuncturist and herbalist who actually never even gave me acupuncture. Instead he created this herbal drink for me after declaring me “cold” inside. He told me to not eat pork or dark meat because they would make me colder. I drank the herbal drink for a month and did not continue any treatment after that because frankly, he did not have any treatments for me. He did not seem to want to do acupuncture and kind of shrugged his shoulders at my infertility woes. So, I let it go.
It was only until after my 1st failed IVF cycle where I was told that poor egg quality was my diagnosis that I looked into acupuncture again. The doctor at Columbia suggested that I try it and gave me a recommendation. At this point, I was five years into my infertility struggles and willing to try anything. I phoned to make an appointment immediately. This time around, I waived my concerns about costs aside (as the price tag was and is still quite expensive). My mind set was that I will try everything under the sun if it might help my chances.
This is when I met Angela at Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness. I was definitely hesitant at first but I was so lost at that point, I wanted to make sure that I explored every option.
When I first met with Angela, we spent almost an hour just talking about my fertility situation. She not only wanted to know about the medical details but also how I was doing overall in life and my mental state. Was I happy? How was my marriage? … I remember thinking that I felt like I was in therapy! lol.
Angela was so easy to talk to and sharing came easily. I should note this was a time when we did not tell or talk to anyone about the struggles we had been going through (not really even to one another) so it was such a nice release to be able to talk to someone about it openly who understood.
I felt relief after finding Angela and Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness, not because of the acupuncture but I had found a kind of guide in this journey that could help me make choices that best fit my situation. Angela knew all about all the options and clinics, down to the specific doctors in the area. It was like finding an expert by accident, something I never knew existed.
To begin the process, I went on supplements and agreed to go on an fertility eliminimation diet for 3 months to cleanse my system before trying for my 2nd IVF treatment.
If you have been following my story you will know that the 2nd IVF cycle at Columbia was similar to the first IVF which led to no transfer which was extremely frustrating. This is also the lowest point in my journey where the doctor at Columbia gave me a less than 1% chance of having my own baby. She essentially told me to give that dream up and start looking into other options (specifically egg donor and adoption).
Devasted .. beyond devastated I went to Angela the very next day. Angela was so confident in my next steps and told me not to give up hope that she lifted me up instantly from the hole I was in from the previous days news and gave me hope. She even suggested a specific doctor to see and advised to me go see him right away. I did not waste any time and followed her instructions exactly as she suggested.
Three months later, I was pregnant (with my own child) after seeing Dr. Davis at Cornell – everything Angela had laid out for me, down to the coculture recommendation. Who would have thought that going to an acupuncturist would lead to be a relationship of guidance and support that would result in my baby? I definitely did not foresee this when I first made that initial appointment, but I am so grateful that is what happened. Personally, I do not know if the acupuncture increased my chances of having a baby, but I do know for a fact that having someone like Angela there to guide me absolutely did. It would have been so easy to give up after 5+ years of trying after a doctor tells you to give up and that you have less than 1% chance. Without Angela telling me exactly where to go next, I do not know where I would be today in my journey. Again, I feel beyond grateful and so lucky.
When I started thinking about trying for miracle #2, it is no surprise that my first stop was to see Angela, even before going to see any doctors. She did not dissapoint. She talked to me about my expectations and also my options for doctors, as Dr. Davis did not take my insurance. Again, she suggested the specific doctor, Dr. Chung (who has been great) to go to and had a plan of action laid out for me.
So, here I am! In the middle of implementing the plan. Tomorrow is my (hopeful) transfer and I am beyond anxious. Something that I did during my last IVF round was to have a pre and post transfer acupuncture session. What does this mean? It means, before my transfer I will go in for an hour session of acupuncture to prep my body. I will go to the hospital to get the transfer done and phone the acupuncture office as soon as I am done. I will then return to the office for a second round of post acupuncture treatment. I know what you are thinking, does that really do anything? Honestly, I have no idea if it does or not. My thought process is:
1. The last time I did do this, resulted in a pregnancy so I want to do everything the same, just incase this helped the embryo along 🙂
2. Why not? (the only reason why not would be financial reasons since it is not inexpensive) Like I said before, when you have worked so hard to get to that transfer state (think of all the meds, appointments, mental anxiety .. ) then it is a no brainer to add this on in the hopes that it could help even a little. If anything, it will help you relax and ease your mind on a very stressful day! So, with those reasons, I will be going to acupuncture tomorrow before and after the transfer. I feel relaxed just thinking about it.
I also want to say a special thank you to Tarah Herrington, who was working with Angela at the time of my first struggles. She is amazing. Tarah has moved to Charleston, South Carolina and is the founder of Well Rounded Healing. Charleston is very lucky to have Tarah there, we miss her here in NYC!