The Importance of the Infertility Voice

the importance of the #infertility #voice and how to deal with family when you are #TTC“When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.” ­–Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis

Samantha was invited to her nephew’s birthday party but was struggling when she thought about going. She knew she didn’t want to miss her nephew’s birthday but she also had anxiety when she thought about the questions that would come her way like, “You are such a great Aunt! When will you have kids of your own? You guys have to get on it! You’re not getting younger!”

Julie’s long-time friend, Heather, was pregnant and having a baby shower. Julie had just been through a miscarriage and couldn’t bear to celebrate her friend’s baby, even though she loved Heather like a sister. She didn’t want to cry during the event and have the attention put on her.

Do these sound familiar? Continue reading

Acupuncture Reviews for Blossom Clinic in Portland, OR


Acupuncture Reviews for Blossom Clinic

Fertility Enhancement:

Just What we needed!!!. My wife and I had been trying for some time to get pregnant to no avail. We decided to look into the Acupuncture route for increased fertility, At a friends suggestion (who had enjoyed success using their service ) we went to Blossom. Today we heard our soon to be babies heartbeat for the first time!! Our experience at Blossom was professional , pleasant and informative , and most important of all SUCESSFUL!! Big Thanks to all the staff at Blossom! CM

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Fertility Story: Infertility, Loss and Hope Against All Odds

At 37 years old Lisa had crafted a meaningful, interesting life. In addition to being happily married she was professionally fulfilled. A psychotherapist, she helped clients overcome trauma and move forward with their lives.

But something still felt like it was missing. Continue reading

Surviving Stillbirth and Loss: Josh and Kat’s Story

Surviving Stillbirth and Loss: Josh and Kat’s Story

At 38 years old Kat and her husband, Josh, welcomed twins into their family. The Portland couple’s story to parenthood began five years ago, however, and took them through a series of disappointments and even tragedy before they found a happy ending.

Kat was never the kind of woman who felt her clock ticking. Infertility was a foreign thought.

But when she and her husband, Josh, had difficulty conceiving Kat found herself setting out on an unexpected journey, which ultimately led her to Oregon Reproductive Medicine and Blossom Clinic in Portland, Oregon.

“When it was explained to me what my chances really were-the reality of it-it was shocking, and I wasn’t prepared to accept it,” she said. “I’m the kind of person that when someone tells me something is not possible I am going to do whatever I can to prove them wrong.

“Still, I didn’t know so much of this is based on luck. I started to wonder how anyone over 18 years old ever gets pregnant.”

Kat’s doctors didn’t have any answers. Even though they told her it was better not to know what was causing complications than face an insurmountable obstacle; their words, she said, felt like cold comfort. Continue reading

Fertility & Infertility Reviews for Blossom Clinic, Portland Oregon

We love it when our patient’s feel inspired to write to us and give us positive feedback.  Here are some comments our patients shared with us recently. For more reviews, click here. Continue reading

Summer MediClear Cleanse

The MediClear Cleanse is user friendly.  In this cleanse, you eliminate foods that are commonly allergenic or inflammatory for 15 days. Continue reading

Would you like to share your IVF experience in a book?

The letter below is from a friend of ours and the book she is writing is unrelated to Blossom Clinic.

Hi:

My name is Rebecca Matthews and I am an embryologist at Oregon Reproductive Medicine in Portland Oregon. I’ve been an embryologist for 11 years and also have a PhD in fertility. I would like to use my experience to help others by writing a book about IVF and answering the questions and concerns I commonly hear.

I would like one of the chapters in my book to be personal stories from people who have been through the process. I would love to hear from you regardless of which clinic you went to and whatever the outcome was.

All of this will be in the strictest confidence and you name will never be published.  If interested, please email me:

Rebmatthews2002@hotmail.com

Yours gratefully,

Rebecca

Fertility Story: From Miscarriage to Healthy Birth

fertility story portland I recently had the opportunity to interview a former patient about her journey to pregnancy after she had a miscarriage at 14 weeks.  Her fertility story brings tears to my eyes.  She now has two beautiful, healthy children.

The desire to have children is so strong.  When did you know that you wanted to have a child?

I always knew.  When I was a child myself I loved to care for younger kids and I just always imagined myself with a family.

Why did you start seeing an acupuncturist and how do you think it helped you?

In January 2005 I became pregnant and my husband and I were thrilled.  We read all the books and did all the things we were supposed to do.  When I went in for an ultrasound to check a possible complication with my cervix the radiologist coldly told me something was wrong and gave me the number of a genetic counselor to call.  At 12 weeks we learned our baby was not going to make it.  At 14 weeks we lost her.  I had a D & C (dilation and curettage) procedure. We waited the recommended amount of time to start trying again.  We knew we wanted to have a baby.  Every month I got my period I became more discouraged and disappointed. Our baby’s due date came and passed and still I was not pregnant.  Making it through that due date was so hard.  I was tracking my ovulation with ovulation sticks and with my morning temperature.  I was charting everything.  I had started seeing an MD because it seemed I was ovulating around the last day of my period at times and my cycle was completely unpredictable.  One month I had a 40 day cycle, the next month a 27 day cycle.

I had read so much about acupuncture and I started to talk about it with my husband.  He searched the internet for someone in Oregon who had experience with families trying to conceive.  Thank our lucky stars he found Liz. Liz immediately created a routine that worked along with my medical treatments (progesterone) to regulate my cycle again and she also helped me change my diet and, best of all, relax!  I loved the appointments.  I felt so confident in Liz’s knowledge and skill that I could just go and rest and calm my body and mind.  I started weekly treatments in early December and we were thrilled to learn I was pregnant again in February!

In my final trimester of that healthy pregnancy our baby was transverse breech and happy to be that way.  I didn’t want to have the physical manipulation to move her and I hoped to avoid a C-section.  Liz helped us again with moxa treatments.  I actually saw baby turn that first night!  She stayed head down and I had a normal delivery.

 

What obstacles have you faced in your journey to be a mom? Who supported you?

The obstacles we faced were both mental and physical for me.  My husband and I became even closer when we endured the loss of our first pregnancy together.  We had an unusual situation where doctors told us there was a less than 1% chance our baby would survive after that fateful ultrasound.  We decided right away to make the time we had with that baby special.  We were sad but also loving and I genuinely felt happy to have carried our little bundle for as long as I did.  I felt like everyone I talked with about our baby was kind and supportive.  I was so lucky to have coworkers who understood my sadness during the hard times and knew how to just be there for me and cover for me when I needed it.  When we were pregnant again everyone was thrilled and my husband, mom, and mother in law went above and beyond to help me be comfortable and healthy.

 

 What advice do you have for any couples out there who are trying to conceive?

Be a team.  You need your partner more than ever when times get challenging.  Believe that your little baby can sense your stress and try to relax!  It is hard to achieve but I found a path that worked for me through acupuncture and self-hypnosis/ deep relaxation techniques.  I think the focus on a healthy mind and body contributed to the happy and calm spirits both of my kids have now!  Best wishes!

Pregnant at 44!

ultrasound1Here is an interview with a former patient who was able to conceive against the odds at age 44.

How old were you and what was your FSH when you tried to get pregnant with your second child?  What did the doctors say about this?

–I started trying to conceive my second child when I was 42.  I didn’t seek medical intervention until I was 44.  By this time, my FSH was 10.  It fell to 6 when I took the fertility drug Clomid.  The doctors I consulted were willing to work with me, but they were careful not to raise my expectations.  (I think I surprised them when I called to schedule a prenatal appointment!)

What turned you on to Chinese Medicine?

–After two and a half months with no success on Clomid, I started wondering about other ways to boost my fertility.  I didn’t have any experience with acupuncture, but I was intrigued by what I learned from the Blossom website.  And when I called to schedule an initial consultation with Liz, she recommended two books: Fertility Wisdom by Angela C. Wu and the The Infertility Cure by Randine A. Lewis.  Both of these books include truly inspirational examples of women my age (and older) who relied on Chinese Medicine to achieve successful, healthy pregnancies.

What kind of advice would you give someone who is told that they have a small chance of conceiving on their own?

–Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Western medicine tends to focus on statistics.  Here is an example of one statistic I encountered when I was thinking about a second child: “A forty year old woman has a less than 10% chance of having a successful pregnancy using her own eggs.”  My doctors also warned me about my elevated risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities.  By contrast, Liz never gave me the sense that my efforts to conceive and carry a healthy baby were futile.  She counseled me to make some changes in my diet, try herbal supplements, and come in for regular acupuncture sessions.  Less than two months after my first appointment with Liz, I was pregnant.   I am now solidly into my second trimester and expecting a healthy baby boy in January.

The Deep Reaching Trauma of Stillbirth: Part I

butterfly-pictureBy:  Lori S. Reising, BA, LMT

As I try to come up with the best way to talk about the far-reaching effects of stillbirth to our physical and emotional body, I struggle to find the words.  The reason being that there are no words for this tragedy.  There is no sense to the loss of a child a lifetime too soon. Our bodies are designed to carry children and keep them safe until they enter the world.  When this fails, our entire belief system and trust is broken along with our hearts.

This subject is entirely too big to cover in one article so I am going to attempt to break it down into several parts.  In this first piece I would like to talk about the point of trauma to our womb.  In an instant our life has changed.  The moment we learn of the loss the shock overwhelms us.  We go into hysterics, distress, grief, sadness, anger and more.  Every woman’s reaction is unique in itself, but there is a sudden reaction nonetheless.  Inside the cells of our bodies we carry something called emotional memory.  Our emotional cellular memory imprints all the emotions we feel as our bodies tense from pain.  The sadness left in an empty womb grows as we grieve.  The layers dig deeper and deeper as we move through many phases of loss.  Everything we feel throughout this process becomes trapped in our cells.  We need a release.

After the loss of my daughter, I had a phantom pregnancy.  I still felt pregnant.  Sometimes I could even feel her kick.  I believe some of this is a result of a hormonal cycle stopped abruptly, which caused utter chaos in my chemistry not just for months, but years.  It was also because my subconscious was not ready to let her go.  I held her in my womb even without her body there.  I was supposed to protect her and unconsciously I continued to do just that.  I remained unwilling to let her go.  After all, if I completely let her go, who was I?  I was not a mother anymore, I was not a beautiful pregnant woman awaiting the blessing of my first child, I would lose the bond that grew everyday we were together and I would be living a life without meaning.  I was so deep in my grief I did not make that connection until I went and had abdominal work done and I am therapist trained in this exact area!  The reaction to a loss can be so overpowering logic becomes meaningless.

It was over a year after my loss that I went in for a Myofascial Release treatment in Sedona, Arizona.  A whole year had passed before anyone touched my daughter’s previous “home”.  During that year my body continued to guard itself and hold on to her memory.  By the time I reached out for help, I was like a rock.  As the therapist moved into my womb, there was excruciating pain.  I quickly realized my body was still holding on to her.  Our bodies innately want to protect themselves.  After a trauma to an area the fascia (or connective tissue) begins to tighten itself to protect against any more pain that might come.  In this case it may even tighten itself to hold a memory in.  We don’t even recognize this process as it continues along with our pain.  Our entire body has just gone from the state of growing and nurturing a baby to the place where we lost our baby.  This shift is very sudden, but the effects remain long after.  Having the profound releasing I did in Arizona made it no surprise that we had been dealing with secondary infertility since our loss.  There was no flow in my abdominal tissue.  Everything was locked up and holding on to my daughter’s memory.  Just the physical trauma of her delivery alone was enough to tighten things up.  Having to deliver a child not there is one of the most horrific experiences a woman can go through.  There is no positive ending coming, it is a mother’s nightmare that waits.  We go through so much, I wonder how our bodies function at all following the process.  But we survive.  I want to help other mothers of angels thrive.  I had to search for help.  I want to be here for all of you brave women that are finding the strength to continue on this painful journey.

I feel like I am getting ahead of myself.  I want to talk much more about the delivery process, the grief, our relationships post-loss, the return to self and more.  I needed to touch on some of these areas, however, to stress the need for abdominal work.  It is essential to nurture our wombs after such heartbreak and open our connective tissue that becomes tight from shock and loss to create a flowing environment again.  It takes courage to place your trust in a therapist after that same trust has just been shattered.  You can take these steps.  I ask you to make them sooner then I did.  As I said earlier, this tragedy has far-reaching effects and the abdominal area is the first and foremost point of impact.  I will talk later about the need for overall bodywork through grief, but the sooner you have help in releasing your womb the sooner you will begin to heal, physically and emotionally.  When we reach out to those people that understand our pain we mend a little more hour-by-hour and day-by-day.

Some great resources related to these thoughts include the book “Molecules of Emotion” by Candace Pert and “Healing Ancient Wounds” by John F. Barnes.

Stay tuned for another part in the series ‘The Deep Reaching Trauma of Stillbirth’.